Categories
Gardening

Here’s a Few Tips To Make Yours the Best Looking Yard on the Block

Don’t you just love the spring? It’s during spring that everything comes to life. I especially love cutting my grass for the very first time after a long winter. Of course gardening is a lot of fun for me because everyone tells me I have the best looking yard on the block. Let me share with you a few tips on how I achieved this honor.

When I first fell in love with my yard it was about 25 years ago and I picked up a lot of great tips from Jerry Baker’s “On The Garden Line” radio show. So I have to give credit to him for some of these suggestions.

First off, I am almost a 100% organic gardener. Every once in a while something comes along that I feel requires a chemical in a bottle — but 99% of the time everything I put on my lawn, flowers and shrubs is organic.

Each week I feed my lawn with a spray that I make myself. Into a normal hose-end sprayer I pour a 12 oz can of beer, a 12 oz glass of apple juice, a cup of amber antiseptic mouthwash, a cup of ammonia and a cup of liquid dish soap.

The soap is designed to reduce tension and clean the lawn of toxins. The beer breaks down thatch by creating an enzyme action. The apple juice feeds your lawn with healthy sugar while the amber antiseptic mouthwash fights off diseases. The ammonia greens up your lawn.

If you do this every week your lawn will look unbelievable. During very hot spells water your lawn early in the morning. Between weekly applications of the lawn potion, fill your hose-end sprayer with a cup of dish soap and spray your lawn.

I do admit that I occasionally will use a weed and feed product. Truth is, though, when your lawn is thick and healthy weeds have a hard time making an appearance.

You should also use the magic potion on all of your flowers and shrubs. But before you do that, make sure you have good, rich soil in your flower beds. Here is what I did to prepare the soil in my beds.

I rented a tiller and tilled all the flower beds. I then added a couple of inches of compost and a couple inches of sphagnum peat moss plus a few hands full of sand every foot or so. I then tilled all of this together, down as deep as I possibly could. When I was done, I was able to reach deep down into the soil; as I raised my hand the dirt would literally fall loosely between my fingers.

About compost: Many cities make free compost available in certain city parks or botanical centers, or you can make your own. Compost is a wonderful addition to your soil.

After planting your flowers and shrubs, cover your soil with a thick layer of compost. If there is no compost available, use a hardwood mulch.

These are a just a few of the tricks that have really worked for me. If you follow these steps regularly you will have a great looking yard!

Categories
Gardening

How Can You Avoid Cross Pollinating With Genetically Modified Crops?

Big seed companies with their genetically modified seeds and crops have been in the news a lot lately. These corporations create their own versions of plants of all kinds, and they hold the patent on their creations. If your neighbor has genetically modified plants in his garden and the plants are cross pollinated with yours, you and/or your neighbor could end up in big trouble.

The reason for this is that people who plant genetically modified seed (typically commercial farmers) are under contract with the seed company. They are not allowed to save seed or to share seed with anyone else. This is a big change in the world of growing food since swapping seeds is a time honored tradition, but it cannot be practiced with genetically modified seed. Producers of genetically modified seed want to keep control of, and gain profits from all the seed to be had.

The fact that bees and other pollinators are not under the control of these companies can cause complication. A bee or butterfly moving from plant to plant cannot tell the difference between a genetically modified plant and a natural heirloom plant. If the pollinator brings GMO pollen into your heirloom garden, your plants will be genetically modified. This could cause you lots of problems, not to mention introducing unknown substances into your natural produce. This is important because some of the things that are happening with genetic modification, such as programming plants to generate pesticide as they grow, are quite scary.

Pollinators are not just insects, though. Remember that plants can also be pollinated by the wind. For this reason, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with your surroundings. To avoid GMO cross pollination, you may need to be half a mile to five miles away from any GMO crops that may be in your area.

In addition to knowing what is already in your immediate environment, you can help prevent the encroachment of GMO crops in your area by practicing the time honored tradition of seed sharing. If you have good heirloom crops and seeds, be sure to share them with your gardening neighbors. Talk with your neighbors about the many advantages of choosing heirloom seeds. Among these are better flavor and nutrition, greater hardiness and more economical planting.

When you choose heirloom seeds and plants over genetically modified, and even hybrid garden plants, you are really choosing food and financial independence. With heirloom plants, you own the seed. You can keep the best seed from the best plants and improve your own crops from one year to the next. Your plants will adapt to the environment and conditions you provide and become better producers of more nutritious produce than any of the commercial options available today.

At present, the best way to avoid contamination of your crops by cross pollination with genetically modified crops is to gain as much distance between yourself and them as possible and keep a close eye on your local environment to prevent the encroachment of GMOs. People around the world are protesting the rapid spread of genetically modified plants and seeds. You can do your part, too, by protecting your own corner of the earth and promoting the growth of heirloom varieties.

Categories
Home Improvement

Turn Your House Into Your Dream Home With These Home Improvement Tips

You can do a lot to improve your home if you can find the right information. You can use the suggestions given here to make your ideas spring to life. Use the tips in this article to start gathering your home improvement knowledge before you hire people looking for Hiring construction jobs.

If you are purchasing a home, consider hiring a professional home inspector. This avoids you having to hear from a potential buyer what needs repairing or replacing, or needing to depend on your own evaluations. Having a professional that is neutral will also be beneficial to both parties.

Find your true style before you start your customizations to your home. Getting the help from professional remote home staging companies could help you a lot, too! The decorating style that you choose should serve as the catalyst for your project. Without a plan, you can easily end up with mixed styles. Style changes will add extra time, as well as extra money, to any home improvement project.

Dusting your home and furnishings on a weekly basis is a good idea. An amazing amount of dust can pile up in just a few days, along with all of the allergens that accompany it. By dusting you will remove those allergens as well those pests such as spiders or ants.

Can’t afford a designer? Start researching. You can find books, magazines and websites with great ideas. You may find the perfect inspiration for your entire home improvement project in a single magazine layout. You can also find projects that are less expensive.

Redoing your floors with new tiles can be a great idea, but adding radiant heat tiles will bring a whole new level of comfort to your floors. Your electricity allow these to provide heat. If you follow the instructions, you could even do it yourself. You can add onto this project by doing it yourself or by hiring professional residential electrical services. Visit sites like https://redstarelectricny.com/electrical/electrical-repair/ to hire a professional. You will enjoy radiant heat tiles especially on a cold, winter morning. You may also go with soundproof floor for more privacy. On the other hand, you can also do HVAC installation for both cooling and heating purposes with the help of professionals from AirMAX Heating & Air. You can visit sites like globalcoolingair.com/air-conditioning-service/ac-tune-up/ to hire a contractor. If you find yourself needing repair, Home Service Heroes identifies ac repair in Tampa.

An outdated luggage rack can add an interesting twist to a room if you turn it into a fun, new side table. Secure glass from a big picture frame onto your luggage rack by using permanent adhesive. Place a lamp on top and enjoy.

Think about the colors you want to add to your home and decide what is a good fit for the impression you want to give off. When choosing fabrics, use airy materials such as linen or cotton. To complete the tranquil theme use potpourri or lightly scented candles.

When planning with door replacement companies, a high quality and attractive door and doorway can add up to a 10 percent increase to your home value. You can do simple things to a door like adding new handles and locks. There are a lot of fine knobs and locks specially designed as replacements, from unusual shapes and sizes to nice eye-catching finishes.

Facing your outside lights downward can accent your lawn and show its attractive elements. With the help of an electrician like A-Lumination Electric, by positioning this kind of lighting into large tree branches, you can create a lot of natural light, making it appear like moonlight. Nice outdoor furniture that you can get from a furniture store or landscaping features like a statuary can also benefit from this sort of lighting.

Before you remodel anything in a room think about painting it. Painting your ceilings and walls will go faster and easier if you get it done before installing your flooring. Splattering your lovely new floor with paint would be a real risk, no matter how carefully you masked and tarped the area.

Quotes and feedback from contractors should be viewed with a degree of skepticism. Even the most experienced and reputable contractors have been known to exploit homeowners who are indifferent, naive or easily manipulated. Make sure you verify all of the problems before you start spending money through a contractor.

Let the neighbors know what to expect during your renovation. Living next to someone doing construction can be very irritating to some. Neighbors will be happy to know when the disturbance is going to be, as well as how long it is going to last.

When you make home improvements, you must balance the increase in property values with your desire to personalize your home. You don’t want your property to stick out like a sore thumb! It will make it much harder to sell your home if you ever decide to. But there are still real estate firms like Reali that buy homes regardless of its condition.

Does your timber flooring appear old and worn out? If you are feeling ambitious, consider pulling up the old flooring and replacing it with a sticky wood substitute and using Water Proof Flooring Adhesive. Some people believe this sort of flooring is cheap; however, it’s nice if done properly. It is also easy to lay, which makes it doable for most people.

Crown molding can be just the thing to make your walls stand out! The molding spices up plain walls to add interest so they are not so bland. Crown molding is very affordable, and the installation isn’t too difficult.

Some improvement can also save you money on energy bills. Just by installing more energy efficient light bulbs, you can use a lot less energy – almost 75 percent less. In addition to installing energy efficient light bulbs, you can save energy by insulating your water heaters or by getting a water heater repair if your system has been failing recently.

Cool and attractive ceramic tile is an attractive upgrade that is perfect for rooms like bathrooms, entryways and kitchens. The tiling can sport unique designs, or it could be all solid for a uniform look. This quick and easy home improvement can increase the value of your home and add new life to a tired room.

Creating a landscaping project will add beauty to you home and property. Planting everything from flowers to a hedge will not only improve your appreciation for your home but also your neighbors’. You will be able to increase your home’s value as well as create a great first impression by updating your landscaping.

Use the information provided in order to aid you in completing all the possible projects in your house. The sense of pride you will gain from completing projects for your home is only second to the value you add from them. Use this information and enjoy the feeling of having accomplished something wonderful for your home.

Categories
Gardening

The Best Vegetables To Grow

A vegetable garden is great to have in your backyard. You can give yourself a hobby to do in your free time and you will also be able to save money by growing your own vegetables. It can be kind of hard to determine what vegetables are the best to grow in a garden though, but do not worry if you are indecisive. This article is here to help you figure out what vegetables are the best to grow for your garden.

Tomatoes are the first vegetable you should plant in your garden. People use vegetables for just about anything, so you will most likely consume these regularly. Try and grow at least 5 different tomato plants in your garden. Start by planting your seeds indoors anywhere from 6 to about 8 weeks. Expose your tomato plants to the sun for at least 6 hours a day. Once they are ready plant them in an area that gets a lot of sun and 2 feet apart from one another so that they can grow to their potential. Some vegetables don’t require full exposure to the sun all the time, but tomato plants should get the maximum amount of sun possible. Try to use loamy soil and make it acidic. This is the optimal growing condition for your tomato plant.

Peppers are another good vegetable to plant. These vegetables go good in a lot of meals. Just like you tomato plants you want to give peppers full exposure to the sun. You should start the seeds for peppers indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before you plant them outside. Keep the temperature of the growing area around 75 degrees. Once you are ready plant them in your garden with loamy soil. Keep the soil pH neutral to help the peppers grow.

You can potentially eat lettuce with every meal and it will be healthy. Grow lettuce in your garden you will save a lot of money. Lettuce grows best in the cool season, so you might not want to plant any during summer. Start getting your plants prepared towards the end of winter so that they can grow during spring. Get your plant ready 4 to 6 weeks inside before you take it out to grow. Lettuce does not need a lot of sun throughout the day, just partial. As far as the soil is concerned all you have to do is grow it with loamy soil and it should grow fine.

The three vegetables listed are great starters for a garden. Grow the vegetables listed and then expand your garden further. Share the vegetables you grow with your friends, family, and neighbors by preparing tasteful meals with them. There is no point in growing a vegetable garden if you do not make good food out of your creations. A vegetable garden is a rewarding experience because it helps you become more independent and gives you the ability to start growing your own food. Start your vegetable garden as soon as possible.

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Gardening

Create A Garden Playhouse

Children love playhouses and creating one in the garden is fun and easy and the children will enjoy helping you create it. Your children will spend many happy summers playing in one of these and it will become one of their fondest childhood memories, you can also make it even more fun by getting some equipment they can use in the garden like 4 in 1 buckets. 

What You’ll Need

A nice sized section of garden area. Make sure there’s room enough for the kids to play inside.

Sunflower Seeds (various types, we like very tall ones and then smaller ones)

Various herbs (we like chamomile, lavender, mint, basil, oregano, marigolds and other similar herbs)

Carrots

Snow Peas

Decide On A Shape

Decide what shape you want your garden playhouse to be. You may wish to draw it out with string prior to planting your seeds.

Planting Your Playhouse

Plant your giant sunflower seeds as the outer “walls” of your playhouse. Space them far enough apart that children can go in between them, but close enough together that they make it appear like a secret garden.

Plant snow peas near the tallest sunflowers. They will grow and wind up the tall sunflowers. Children will enjoy nibbling on these while they’re playing so be sure to show them how delicious they are.

Intersperse the herbs throughout the sunflowers and plant smaller sunflowers in between as well. You want it to appear as if there is a quaint little garden fence along the outer “walls” of your playhouse so be creative and make the herbs appear to be a fence line or add pops of color here and there. If you prefer getting a real fence instead of having the plants so exposed, then consider getting some Lattice Screening installed. 

Plant the carrots along the inside “wall” of the tallest sunflowers. These make great snacks for hungry children while they’re in the playhouse.

Water

Help your children water their playhouse every day. Talk to them about how some plants grow faster than other plants. Talk about how some plants have edible seeds (sunflowers) and some have edible roots (carrots) while some have edible flowers and delicious leaves.

Furnishing Your Playhouse

Depending upon the age of your children, you may wish to put some lawn furniture inside the playhouse area. We have a hammock we like in ours, but you can Click Here to find the best one for you.

You could make the inside like a sand castle as well and have a sand bucket or some “earth moving” tools like toy dump trucks etc. Get creative and make this playhouse as personal as you can for your children.

Winding Down The Season

As the season winds down and the sunflowers begin to tip over teach your children about how to dry sunflowers. Remove the heads of the flowers and air dry your seeds. Then toast them with some sea salt and enjoy eating them.

Uproot the remainder of the sunflower stalks and put them in a compost pile. Save the herbs and dry them for eating with dinner in the winter months. Remind the children how the herbs grew in their own playhouse.

Oregano, lavender, chamomile and marigolds will come back year after year so there is no need to remove these. Basil will need to be replanted each year.

Enjoy playing in the playhouse.