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Pop-up sprinklers are great for watering your yard. They are installed just below the soil line and have a center pipe that rises up under water pressure to irrigate. One common problem is that grass can grow too close or even over the pop-up part and block the water from coming out. One super-easy way to take care of this problem is to take a tin can and cut off the rim, leaving the sharp edge behind. Then, place it over the area where the sprinkler head is, sharp edge facing down, and press it into the grass to cut it at the soil line. Once you pull out the grass, you’ll be left with a nice, clear path for your pop-up sprinkler head to emerge from. Ta da!

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Q: The steps on our deck are slick, especially when they are wet. I want to see if I can do anything to make them more skidproof. – T.W.

A: There are a couple of ways to do it. Why not add some of those peel-and-stick skid-proof treads that you can add to the steps? These aren’t permanent and probably will have to be replaced periodically. There also are some additives that can be added to paint so you can paint the steps.

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Q: I really like my rechargeable string trimmer. But lately, it just won’t hold a charge very long. What is going on? – R.F.

A: After a lot of recharging, they can go bad. Hopefully it’s detachable so you can replace it. But before you go to that expense, check to make sure it’s not clogged up with grass. Also, the battery and charger need to be stored in a place that is not too hot or too cold.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: We are getting ready for a family trip this summer to visit relatives in three states. We have learned to always carry a couple of large empty coffee cans with the lids. This is where we dispose of empty drink containers, candy wrappers, napkins and other trash. It keeps it from getting all over the place. We just dump it when we fill up with gas or stop to eat. – B.W.

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Dear Al: Last Christmas I bought an extension pole, made just for hanging lights on our house. It extends almost 16 feet and has a variety of hooks on the end to make that easier. I have left it out to use this summer because it’s also great for hanging plants and birdfeeders on our patio and in our trees. – M.P.

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Dear Kelly: We seem to be having more storms during the past couple of years, so we have a designated safe place in our home to shelter. I keep a first-aid kit and water there. I found a three-day food supply at my local bed and bath store, all in one small box, to keep there as well. We have shoes and extra clothes and an old cellphone that has a standby battery. We’ve been lucky so far, but many of our neighbors have not. We are ready if it comes our way! – R.A.

A Super hint

When painting around screws, loosen them first. When they are loose, you can paint under them and then screw them back down into place when the paint has dried. This way, the screw won’t be painted and locked into place forever.

Shoptalk

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