Categories
Gardening

Gardening Makes Your Heart Sing

While gardening for some means absolute joy, others either don’t like it or think they can’t do it well and wish they had the extra money to pay for a gardener! Some of us are just content to plant a few summer flowers each year so our yard looks colorful and inviting.

In today’s media world no-one needs to be bad at gardening. There are so many really good gardening books you can buy (or borrow from your local library), there are gardening magazines and tons and tons of websites with a gardening theme. If you are looking for help, for example, where to plant those kitchen herbs, you just need to do a Google search and you will find more than enough helpful hints.

Also gardening is not a year round effort. During the winter months, the garden is at rest and so are you. Springtime is the time everything wakes up, the birds are back and your lawn starts to become that lovely green you remember from last summer. This is the ideal time to start planning your garden and to think about planting those summer flowers and deciding on which ones and where to put them is always exciting.

It is also a joy to prepare the ground for spring planting and to get rid of those old leaves you didn’t pick up in the fall. You can help your garden come to live and make sure the earth has enough nutrients to support all those beautiful flowers you will be planting. Weeding of course, needs to be done as soon as the growing process kicks in and you can plan on weeding throughout the summer and into the fall. Weeding also gives you the opportunity to be with your plants and to enjoy their beautiful perfume and bask in their different shapes and colors.

Gardening is also basic alone time for you and your plants. It is a great time when you are out in the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine while doing something very worthwhile. Gardening is an almost meditative process. Of course the more effort you put into your garden, the more you will enjoy it. Also your friends and family will be able to get the most out of it in lazy summer days of garden barbeques and evening drinks.

Even if you do not have a garden, you can enjoy its benefits. Some simple flower pots on your balcony will do wonders and if you don’t have a balcony, you can always choose to brighten up your outside space with window boxes filled with beautiful blooms. Window boxes need to be watered regularly, especially if they face the south side as the sun will dry out the earth in record time. You can also plant herbs in window boxes and flower pots. This way you can enjoy fresh herbs in your summer salads or in pasta sauces, etc.

Gardening is a wonderful way to connect with nature and to be outdoors in the fresh air whilst you are busy attending to your garden.

Categories
Gardening

Growing Tomato Container Gardens

Homegrown tomatoes are incredibly delicious, but what do you do when you do not have room for a garden? How about growing tomatoes in a container garden? Tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow in containers and even if the only space you have is a 12 inch square on your front porch, you have enough room for a tomato container garden.

Choosing the Right Container

Almost any container will work for tomatoes, but grow boxes are very nice. Grow boxes allow you to control the flow of the water to the tomato plants which improves the chances for growing healthy plants and producing wonderful, ripe tomatoes. If a grow box isn’t an option, try and find a container that is at least five gallons or larger. Ensure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.

You can also try using bushel baskets lined with plastic bags with holes in the bottom of the plastic bags for drainage. Bushel baskets will hold at least three tomato plants and they look very nice sitting on a patio or deck.

Selecting the Tomato Variety

The dwarf tomatoes work the best in containers. If this is your first tomato container garden, try one of the cherry varieties for a patio like a Pixie II or a Tiny Tim. These types of small plants produce very tasty fruit, but don’t need a lot of support in the container. They will also produce very early.

Planting the Tomato Plants

When selecting tomato plants for your containers, choose strong, stocky plants to transplant into the containers. Prepare the containers by filling them with a mixture of potting soil and compost, approximately 50/50, ensuring it is thoroughly mixed. Fill the container to within a few inches from the top. Place the tomato plants in the container, three or four per container with between 3 to 4 inches between plants. Water the container thoroughly, ensuring the soil is soaked all the way down to the roots and below of the tomato plant. Set the container in a location where it will get at least six hours of full sun each day.

Caring for Container Tomatoes

Water the containers more often than a traditional garden because container gardens will dry out more easily. It will be necessary to check the container garden daily to ensure it stays moist and does not dry out. During the heat of summer, it may be necessary to water the plants daily. Check the tomato leaves for brown spots or for insects. Apply fertilizer every other week or so and apply it around the base of the tomato plant. If the leaves begin to turn brown or the fruit begins to get brown spots, try placing crushed egg shells around the base of the tomato plant.

When the plants flower, shake the vines to release the pollen and help pollination along a bit. The tomato plants should start producing fruit within a couple of months.

When the growing season is over, bring the containers inside if you have a sunny place to place them. They will continue to produce fruit as long as they can receive six hours of direct sunlight each day. This can prolong the growing season quite a bit. Growing tomatoes in a container garden is a great way to get fresh vegetables and maximize the space you have available.

Categories
Kitchen Improvements

Why Laminate Countertops?

In times past, picking a ledge for your house was a genuinely clear process as the decisions were restricted. The present mortgage holder, be that as it may, faces various decisions and should invest some energy figuring out what will best suit their requirements, style, and in particular, spending plan. Yet, what may come as an astonishment to numerous is that the cover ledges of old, are as yet accessible, however headways in innovation and configuration have settled on them a more commonsense decision than any time in recent memory.

For some, the prospect of overlay ledges is unwelcomed as they think about those exhausting and shoddy looking ledges of their youth. Actually, an investigation found by the National Builders Association found that lone 25% of first time home purchasers would think about a home with cover ledges. Why? Since what rings a bell are the ragged out hues and appearance of the 80s kitchen! In any case, in the same way as other different things inside the home ledges have gone along way – particularly concerning cover.

So why are overlay ledges making a resurgence? Here are nevertheless a couple of reasons:

Cost – Coming in at $40 or less per square foot – a large portion of them drift in $10-$15 territory introduced, it offers a critical reserve funds over different materials.

Sturdiness – While they won’t not keep going for a considerable length of time like a portion of the common surfaces, overlay can keep going for various years.

Change-capacity – When you have rock, marble or other stone counters, it is troublesome and expensive to swap them out should you become weary of them or they end up harmed. Overlay fits simple updates, repairs or even made a look only your own.

Appeal Old school cover was once in a while really attractive. The sheets all seemed to be comparative and the hues did not look normal. Today the hues are more extravagant, accessible in more extensive scope of hues and would now be able to be introduced with the same delightful edgework that common stone has.

Establishment – Of all the ledge decisions, this is one of the least difficult and snappiest to introduce truth be told, the procedure is sufficiently straightforward that numerous individuals pick to do it as a DIY venture. Even better, you don’t need to evacuate the current overlay cover, in the event that you wish to introduce another look specifically over an old surface.

Upkeep – No favor cleaners required! Only a soggy material and some essential cleaner is all you require.

Try not to feel influenced to choose a surface that won’t not be inside your financial plan. With the magnificence and strength of cover you can have a kitchen or washroom that satisfies the eyes and additionally the financial balance. Converse with a ledge authority today to take in more about how picking cover can give the look you need at a value you can grin about.

Categories
Gardening

Beautify Your Home And Surroundings And Enrich Your Diet With Container Gardening

Once you have been container gardening for a while and had some success, you may be ready to ramp up your efforts by going for style as well as nourishment. You may be surprised to learn that lots of veggie plants are not only edible, but also attractive. In this article, we’ll give some recommendations for some of the best looking edible additions to choose for your container gardening project.

Presentation is a very important part of attractive container gardening. You may be tempted to just line all your containers up against a wall or put them all on a balcony rail, but this is not a very creative idea. Instead, try ranging them out at different heights and levels. Place some of your larger containers at ground level, but do creative things with larger containers on racks, shelves, tables and railings. Hanging plants are attractive and fun, and hanging pots make a great way to grow strawberries and even tomatoes.

You can also create interesting planters for strawberries and other clingy, climbing sorts of small plants by creating a planter wall. You can do this with wire hanging shelving, with wooden palettes or with just about any other kind of building material your imagination can come up with. Just be sure there is enough room for roots to grow and plants to spread. This can be a freestanding divider or you can attach it to a galvanized metal or concrete wall that will not be damaged by the dampness. If you are planning on working with concrete, then consider contacting concrete contractors to ensure that the job gets done correctly. 

If you want something big and beautiful that can actually give you some privacy on your balcony or patio, try planting some big pots of okra. This vigorous plant is great looking and a tremendous producer. There are lots of great ways to eat okra. It can be added to soups, lightly stir fried or sauteed, or deep fried.

If you do decide to plant okra, be sure to gather it all when it ripens. It will quickly become too tough to eat. Luckily, okra is easy to preserve by freezing or pickling. Pickled okra is very delicious to snack on!

Just because you are focusing on veggies doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some flowers, too. Adding self-seeding annuals such as marigolds, zinnias and various wildflower mixes can fill in blank spots in your veggie planters and add color and variety to your container gardening project. As a bonus, you can enjoy cut flowers for your table and, with care, these additions will return each year so you won’t have to plant them over and over again.

You may also find some very attractive and unusual kinds of fruits and veggies by exploring the world of heirloom seeds. These are becoming more and more popular as people become frightened by the specter of genetically modified foods. Heirloom varieties are old-fashioned varieties that have not undergone any genetic modification or research. They produce the kinds of fruits and veggies your great grandparents enjoyed – natural and safe!

Container gardening is a lot of fun. Just as with anything else, the more you practice, the more proficient you will become. Follow the tips presented here and use your imagination to create an attractive and edible container garden.

Categories
Gardening

Gardening Tips: The Essentials of Fertilizer

Growing plants require a nearly endless supply of the best nutrients to maintain quality plant health. This is true whether the gardener is attempting to grow ornamental flowers, fruits or vegetables. Fertilizer is often added to the dirt as a way to replenish the depleting nutrients that are sucked up by the plant life during growing season.

Organic and chemical fertilizers provide essential nutrients including potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Plant life requires these essential ingredients along with other valuable trace nutrients. Applying the right amount of fertilizer, and the correct percentages is based on a variety of factors, but are all highly dependent on each particular plant’s needs.

Testing the Soil

By taking a test on the soil, the gardener can easily determine its acidity, or pH factor. This will provide all the necessary information to determine which nutrients are deficient in the soil. The soil test can be used to help the gardener adjust the types of fertilization used to replenish the nutrients. Even the best testing provides only minimal results when determining how much nitrogen needs to be added to the soil.

Garden centers at the local home improvement store or hardware store will offer sample test kits. These types of tests can give the gardener significantly more information on the soil by analyzing its content. It is possible to achieve high quality soil without using a soil test, but requires significantly more guesswork in selecting the best fertilizer.

Adding Amendments

An organic amendment is often used in conjunction with strong chemical fertilizers. An organic amendment can be nothing more than compost. The organic matter will continuously decompose and leach out many of the essential nutrients it contains to provide vital ingredients for the soil.

Some gardeners choose to add bone meal as a natural organic substitute for blending in phosphorus with the necessary chemical fertilizers. Additionally, blood meal and manure can provide the necessary nitrogen, and pot ash can generate potassium. All organic amendment should be blended into the soils before planting begins.

When It Is Time to Fertilize

Each different type of fertilizer has its own unique time for application for blending into the soil. It is often listed on its bag. Traditionally, all types of fruit and vegetable plants will benefit greatly by having higher levels of phosphorus during the early part of the growing season. It is phosphorus that encourages the production of healthy stems and roots.

During mid-season, adding more nitrogen to the soil can help in the fruit and foliage production. However, too much added nitrogen will often create too many leaves and only a minimal amount of flowering buds.

For the consummate gardener, over fertilizing the soil can cause just as much damage to the plants as not applying enough fertilizer. When the gardener is in doubt, as to whether or not they should feed the garden plants more fertilizer, it is always advisable to wait until the plant life begins producing less. Only then can the gardener be assured that the proper addition of natural fertilizer for commercial use is required.