Pages Navigation Menu

Growing Organic Saves My Budget and My Health

Par Excellence — 5 Steps To Creating A French Formal Garden In Your Yard

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Par Excellence — 5 Steps To Creating A French Formal Garden In Your Yard

If you’re looking for a striking landscaping design that can serve as the perfect frame for a beautiful home, look no further than a formal French-style garden. A classic garden design filled with geometry and beautiful designs, a French garden landscape can transform any yard into a work of art.  If this sounds like the right thing for your home, here are 5 steps to get started. Start with a View from the House French gardens were designed to complement and highlight the beautiful homes to which they were attached. To mirror this, start by creating a long center line from the center of your home straight out through the yard. This central view is the backbone of your garden design. Enhance the home’s presentation and avoid obstructing the views by planting trees in straight lines along the outer sections of the yard while leaving only low plantings near the house.  Create Symmetry and Shapes Radiating out from the central axis line should be geometrical shapes and/or swirling, unique designs using greenery and hardscaping. Most French gardens use neatly trimmed hedges to create fun designs in the garden. You can plant beds inside the hedges and surround them with gravel paths that meander around the garden. The contrast between plants and gravel or hardscaping will help make your design more visible and attractive.  Complement with Statues and Fountains Once the garden’s general design has been laid out, it’s time to add some fun touches. French gardens took their cues from Italian Renaissance design, so feel free to add classical Italian, Greek or Roman statues as focal points in the yard. Water fountains are another good way to create interesting points and add contrast. For example, a circular fountain placed in the center of a star-shaped or square bed balances both shapes nicely. You can find garden water fountains for sale in your area or online.  Throw in Some Color As a final layer to your French garden, plant some soft flowers inside the shapes and around the edges to soften the hard lines of hedges or hardscapes. Traditionally, French gardens were limited to white, mauve, blue and pink flowers. But you can add a modern touch by including other flowers, such as a variety of roses, crocus or climbing sweat peas.  And a Folly or a Pond If you have a large enough yard and sufficient budget, you can go beyond the basic by adding some of the most unique features of a traditional French garden: a reflecting pond or a folly. Follies were specially-built structures designed to look like ruins or castoff architecture from ancient civilizations. A simple folly could be a Greek column covered in vines or a Roman water fountain half-buried in a flower bed. A folly can turn an ordinary space into something few guest will forget.  Designing a formal French garden is a project any homeowner can enjoy. If you follow these 5 steps to outlining your basic garden layout and adding some classic touches, you will quickly have a yard that will thrill guests and make you proud for years to...

read more

Natural Food Supplies You Can Use To Fight Pests

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Natural Food Supplies You Can Use To Fight Pests

If you want to try and deal with ants in your home in a non-toxic and more natural way, there are a number of options you can use. One approach is to try and use largely food ingredients that you’re familiar with because then you can be sure that what you’re using is non-toxic since you could just eat it anyway.   Cornmeal All that is really necessary for you to use this approach is to put a small dish with a big pile of cornmeal in it in any area that you suspect may contain ants. Ants are attracted to cornmeal, but they can’t digest it. The goal is to drop it as close to the ants’ home as possible in order to get them to bring it back into the colony. This will actually cause them to starve to death because their bellies will be full of something that they can’t actually get nutrients out of or even really get rid of in any way. The approach isn’t fast, but it is effective. Mint Mint tastes just fine to humans, but ants can’t stand it. You can use mint oil or even just bags of mint tea in any location where you want to discourage ants from coming. The strong scent of the mint will encourage them to stay away and go elsewhere for their foraging. Sugar It’s possible to trap ants with sugar since they will be highly attracted to it. One common recipe is to use sugar with highly watered down boric acid; it is toxic to ants, but it can be made safe to humans and pets provided you water it down sufficiently. You need to mix at least 1 teaspoon plus 6 tablespoons sugar in 2 cups of water. You should make this even more diluted if you’re worried about children and pets. You can then soak it all in cotton balls and put the balls around your house. The ants will load up on it and then bring it back to the nest, slowly poisoning all of the ants there. If they poison themselves with a low enough dosage and slowly enough, they often won’t notice the problem. Also, you can either just use these supplies on their own or else purchase supplies that contain these ingredients. Many products containing the ingredients are more effective since they will contain the components using the highest quality sources at the exact right amounts. For more information, talk to a company like ASE Pest & Weed...

read more

Tired Of Your Hard Water? Here Are A Few Things To Know About Water Softening

Posted by on Nov 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tired Of Your Hard Water? Here Are A Few Things To Know About Water Softening

If you have hard water, your plumbing pipes and appliances may not last as long as they would if you had soft water. Hard water contains a high amount of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It’s undesirable because these minerals form deposits on pipes and appliances that the water comes into contact with. For instance, the scale buildup you see on your glass coffee pot is caused by hard water. This same buildup occurs on all the plumbing in your home. After several years, it can clog pipes and cause clogs. The solution to the problem is to install a water softener. Here are a few things to know about getting softer water. How A Water Softener Works A water softener is much more than a filter. Rather than filtering out the minerals, it removes them through ion exchange. The tank of a water softener is filled with salt and the salt and calcium ions exchange in a chemical reaction inside the softener. Hard water goes in and soft water comes out. This reaction uses up the salt, so you have to replace the salt in a water softener on a regular basis. Installing A Water Softener You can install a water softener in your home whether you live in a house or apartment, and whether you rent or own your home. The softener is placed inline with your water main so all the outlets in your home deliver soft water. This is different from a typical home water filter that just treats water at the kitchen sink. This way the water used in bathing and doing the laundry is softened too. You can buy a water softener or rent one. Renting might be a good option if you don’t plan to live in the same place for very long. Rental agreements may come with a maintenance plan included as well, so you won’t have to worry about making repairs or cleaning the unit yourself. Benefits Of Soft Water While installing a water softener helps protect your pipes and appliances, it has other nice benefits too. Soft water reacts better with soap. It causes soap to make suds more readily, so you can reduce the amount of soap you use to do laundry and the dishes. It also makes the soap more effective, so your laundry may seem softer and cleaner. You’ll notice the difference in your skin and hair too. Your hair will feel silkier and your skin will feel nice and smooth after you shower rather than dry and tight. A water softener may save you money over the years by prolonging the lives of your appliances and plumbing pipes, but you may think the expense is worth it just for the extra sudsing power and the effect it has on your skin. For more information, contact a company like Anderson Water...

read more

4 Considerations For Installing Fencing On Your Property

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Considerations For Installing Fencing On Your Property

To be sure that you are purchasing and installing a chain link fence that can enforce boundaries and enhance your property overall, you will need to understand some tips. These tips will help steer you in the right direction and allow you to make the decisions for purchasing a fence and getting it installed. Follow these points and use them in order to get the fence that you need for your property.  Find Out How Much Your New Fence Installation Will Cost If you’re thinking of getting a new fence installed, the cost will understandably be a big part of the process. Because of this, you need to plan on getting several estimates of labor, supplies and service, so that you have a clear idea of the prices contractors are offering in your area. Based upon a nationwide study, the purchase of a fence and installation can cost you, on average between $16.30 to $21.83. Getting some quotes ahead of time will allow you to get the best prices possible in this regard. Shop Around For The Chain Link Fence Specifications That Will Protect Your Home It is also important to note that there are plenty of different types of chain-link fences. Some examples include fences that are about 2 in.² and built in a mesh style, fences that are zinc coated to prevent rust and your standard medium-size chain-link fence, with no extra coding or color added. You will need to take inventory of your home to get an idea of which will work best for your property.   Find The Right Contractor To Handle Chain Link Fence Installation Project Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle is which contractor you get to install your fence. There are some things you will need to keep in mind as you reach out to potential contractors. First and foremost, get an idea of your contractor’s experience level in relation to the size and scope of your project. You should also be sure that you research the needed zoning changes, permits or any other municipal obligations, and ask your prospective contractor whether they will take care of that legwork for you. Have a contractor walk you through their construction process and provide a look at their previous work, so that you can feel comfortable about the hire that you make. Purchase A Gate Opener If you are building a fence that surrounds the entrance to your property, or simply want to streamline the process of getting in and out, consider buying an automatic gate opener. These gate openers will require professional installation, which will cost between approximately $2,000 and $8,000 total. Shop around between contractors to get the best price and service. Use these tips so that you can get the chain link fence that you need for your...

read more

Fall Lawn Care Dos and Don’ts for Cool-Season Grasses

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fall Lawn Care Dos and Don’ts for Cool-Season Grasses

When the cooler months of fall approach, homeowners in the northern portion of the country (those with cool-season grasses) must begin preparing their lawns for the harsh winter months. This way, their lawns will be in the best possible shape come springtime. As you prepare your lawn this fall, however, there are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind that will ensure the best results and save you a lot of weeding, seeding, and hassle next spring. DO Use a Winterizer Fertilizer Fertilizing your lawn during the fall is a must if you want to have any semblance of a healthy, lush lawn in the spring. The best times for fertilizer application can vary greatly from one cool-season state to the next, but you generally want to apply a fertilizer just before the first frost or heavy freeze of the season. Be sure to use a winterizer fertilizer, which will provide your grass with nutrients it needs to grow back strong when temperatures warm back up. DON’T Forget the Pre-Emergent Believe it or not, weeds that will plague your lawn in the spring are likely already germinating this fall. Therefore, the best way to get an upper hand on them is to simply apply a pre-emergent during the early months of fall. This can help you avoid a potential weed problem this spring. If you’re looking for an organic, natural pre-emergent, you can spread corn gluten meal on your lawn, as it’s quite effective. DO Make Use of Fallen Leaves If you have lots of leaves to rake up on your lawn this fall, make use of them! Don’t just bag them and toss them out. You can actually use your leaves as mulch and spread them on your lawn to use as a natural fertilizer. Of course, you shouldn’t use this in place of a regular fertilizer, but mulched leaves can help to add more nutrients to your lawn that will come in handy this winter. DON’T Mow Grass Too Short Finally, when you’re preparing to mow your grass for the last time this season, be sure to leave it decently long. This will help to insulate it from frost this winter. Mowing too short can leave the grass more susceptible to weed overtake and will also leave it growing back patchy in the springtime. Stick to one of the longer settings on your lawn mower for the best results. For further advice, contact an establishment like Turfcare Unlimited Lawn Spray...

read more

5 Tips For Keeping Your Carpet In Good Shape

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Keeping Your Carpet In Good Shape

A good-quality carpet does not just improve the look of your home; it also adds insulation in the winter. Whether your carpet is brand new or 10 years old, it is very important to take proper care of it. If you treat your carpeting well, it will last you many more years. Here are five helpful tips for keeping your carpet in good shape: Take Care of Set-In Stains Although spills should be cleaned up immediately, that is not always possible. If the spill has been on the carpet for a few hours already, dip a dry wash cloth in some detergent and blot the stain for a few seconds. Wait about 15 minutes. Then dip another wash cloth in vinegar and dab the stain with it. After another 15 minutes, pat the stain with a wash cloth dipped in warm water. Use Furniture Coasters If furniture sits on your carpet for a while, it can create dents. These dents look unsightly and can be quite difficult to remove. If you do not feel like moving your furniture around every month, you should put coasters under the furniture legs. Vacuum More if You Have Pets Although it is important to vacuum at least once or twice a week no matter what, you may have to do it more often if you have pets. Dogs and cats tend to shed a lot, making your carpet look unkempt. To keep your carpet looking nice, remember to vacuum it at least every other day. Get Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned Even if you do a good job keeping your carpet spotless, you should still get it professionally cleaned once a year. Professional carpet cleaners have the right equipment and products to remove deep stains from your carpet, helping it look fresh again. Spending the extra money every year will prolong the life of your carpet. Keep the Curtains Closed The sun’s ultraviolet rays do not just harm your skin; they can also fade your carpet. That is why you should remember to keep the curtains closed when the sun is shining. Blocking the ultraviolet rays will help your carpet look newer longer. Keeping your carpet beautiful does not have to be a challenge. If you follow these helpful tips, your carpet will last you many more years. When guests come over to your house, they will be impressed at how nice your carpeting...

read more

4 Ways To Deal With Weeds In Your Yard

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Deal With Weeds In Your Yard

If you’re like many people who like their yard to look beautiful, weeds are something you are very familiar with. However, you may not be aware of any natural, nontoxic ways to deal with them, so that you don’t have to worry when your children or pets play in the yard. Here are some ideas to help. Boil Some Water One of the easiest things you can do to kill weeds in your yard is to use boiled water to kill them. Boil some water in a kettle, and pour it onto weeds. The extreme temperature of the water will kill them. It is important to note that boiling water doesn’t discriminate between weeds, grass or other plants. Therefore, be sure not to touch any other plants with the boiled water; that way, you can preserve those while killing the weeds. Try Baking Soda Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly referred to as baking soda, can be used to handle weeds that sprout up through cracks in your cement walkway or path. Simply sweep or pour a bit of baking soda into the crack where the weeds are growing, and the sodium in the baking soda will affect the soil structure and the ability of the weeds to absorb water, causing them to wither and die. Use Alcohol Vodka, gin and other spirits may be effective in stunting the growth of plant leaves and stems, so pouring a little diluted alcohol directly onto your weeds might stop them from growing any further. Vodka in particular may disrupt the coating on leaves that prevents them from blocking out the sun and they dry up as a result. Use a Shower Curtain Sometimes, you can handle weeds by ignoring them completely. If you’re working in an area where you plan to put down mulch or wood chips, an easy way to make sure that weeds don’t poke through is to use a plastic shower curtain. Simply arrange the shower curtain flat on top of the soil, and put down your wood chips or mulch. Without sun and water, the weeds are likely to die underneath the shower curtain. Now that you have some ideas about how to handle garden weeds, use the information above to see what works best for you. You may also consider getting in touch with local landscapers for more ideas about how you can keep your garden free from weeds throughout the year.  To learn more, contact a company like Snyder’s Weed...

read more

Receive A Potted Plant As A Gift? Care For It With This Self-Watering Trick

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Receive A Potted Plant As A Gift? Care For It With This Self-Watering Trick

If you have received a potted plant as a housewarming gift, you know how much life it adds to a room. However, you know that you’ll need to spend some time keeping your gift alive by making sure it has enough water. Make the process easier with this quick and easy self-watering trick. All you need is one empty wine bottle. Step 1: Make Sure Your Pots Are Big Enough to Accommodate the Wine Bottles Before you get started, make sure your pot is big enough to accommodate the wine bottle. The neck of the bottle will be shoved into the dirt of the pot with the body of the bottle sticking up out of it. Be sure that the pot can support the weight of the bottle without tipping over and creating a mess. Also, check to see that there will still be enough room for the plant to grow without getting crushed. Step 2: Wash Out the Wine Bottle The wine bottle will soon become an essential part of your plants’ livelihood; so wash it out to make sure it’s clean. Use soap and water and even a bottle-cleaning tool if you have one. You may also want to remove the label on the bottle, depending on the aesthetic you’re looking to achieve in your room. Step 3: Fill the Bottle with Lukewarm Water Fill the bottle with lukewarm water once you have cleaned it. The temperature of the water is important. Hot water could potentially harm your plant and cold water could shock it. Room temperature water from your kitchen or bathroom faucet is perfect, so simply fill the bottle with it. Step 4: Insert the Bottle Into the Plant Insert the bottle into the plant once you’ve filled it with water. Remember, you want to bury the neck and opening of the bottle into the dirt so that the body of the bottle is sticking upright or at an angle. You may spill a little water when flipping the bottle over but don’t worry about it. Initially you will notice that some of the water will empty from the bottle and into the plant, this is your plant’s first self-watering! Step 5: Repeat as Needed Once the plant has been self-watered, the water will stop flowing and remain in the bottle. When the dirt is dry, water automatically seeps out of the bottle. When you notice that the wine bottle is empty, it is time to refill it. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to reset your new self-watering system. This simple self-watering trick for your new potted plant gift can save you a lot of time. One word of caution, some children may be tempted to pull the bottle out of the dirt and play with it. Keep an eye on small children or keep the potted plant out of reach. For children that are slightly older, include them in the preparation process so they understand what the bottle does and even feel like they helped create it! To learn more about creative gifts, contact a company like Clarence’s Gift...

read more

Want More Blooms from Your Gerbera Daisies? These Tips Can Help

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want More Blooms from Your Gerbera Daisies? These Tips Can Help

If you’re beginner at gardening, you might find that there are many tips and trick to help your plants grow faster. You may also find that there are many ways to promote more blooms on flowering plants. If you love gerbera daisies, you likely want as many blooms as possible. This guide provides some natural tips to make that happen. Tip 1: Ensure That There Is Plenty of Sun Full sunlight for part of the day is ideal for these plants. Gerberas take in the sunshine’s vitamins to keep their shape; otherwise they droop and are lifeless. Consider where the sunlight falls in your yard when choosing where to plant your daisies or place your pots. Tip 2: Create a Lot of Space between Plants Gerbera daisies do best when they are able to have their own water, soil, and nutrients. Plant your gerberas several inches apart, so that they can thrive in their own space. When the flowers are not able to get enough vitamins, they tend to wilt. Tip 3: Deadhead Frequently Snip off dead flowers as soon as possible, just below the bud on the stem with small shears. Doing so ensures the nutrients go to the live blooms, not the dead ones. Removing a dead bloom makes room for the plant to replace the bloom with one or more flowers. Tip 4: Fertilize with the Proper Fertilizer Fertilize your gerberas with a balanced fertilizer. The needs of these daisies are similar to African violets, so a fertilizer created with the African violet in mind may be ideal to keep them fed with excellent nutrition. Tip 5: Mist the Gerberas with a Water Bottle Mist your gerberas with a water bottle with a mist setting or even a hose with an attachment. Gerbera daisies do well with a daily misting. This helps them best absorb the sunlight they need each day. Misting the daisies also helps create moist soil, which is what gerberas thrive in. Consideration: If you’re in an especially rainy season, hold off on the misting until the natural precipitation levels out. Even though gerbera daisies love moist soil, they won’t do well if they are in standing water. The more you care for your gerbera daisies, the more blooms you’ll have. In no time at all, you’ll see the entire area where you’ve planted them filled with gorgeous flowers, adding to your healthy landscape. Ask your landscaper, from a site like http://www.lawnscapeshydroseed.com, for help with any of these tips, or if you still have problems getting the amount of blooms you...

read more

Keeping Your Closet Clutter Free: 3 Tips For Packing Clothes For Storage Units

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Your Closet Clutter Free: 3 Tips For Packing Clothes For Storage Units

A study conducted in 2010 found that the average American household spends approximately 3.8% of their earnings on clothing each year. Keeping all of your purchases in your closet can quickly become chaotic and can ruin fabrics if not properly folded or stored. Instead, consider storing clothing that is not in season in a storage unit. Here are 3 tips that you should follow to keep your clothes looking fresh and like new. Wash Your Clothes Before Storing Them Even if you think that your clothes are clean, wash and dry them thoroughly before storing them. This will remove any unwanted odors and stubborn stains that will only be more difficult to remove after being stored for long lengths of time. Inspect all clothing before you pack them up for storage. Also, skip the fabric softeners and any starchy products, as they tend to attract moths, insects, and other unwanted pests that can damage your clothes. If you are concerned about the softness of your clothes, you can put them through a wash cycle with fabric softener when you take them out from storage. Avoid Cardboard Boxes and Opt for Sealed Plastic Containers Although cardboard boxes are cheap and easily accessible, make the effort and buy sealed plastic containers. Cardboard boxes, no matter how secure, are never airtight and even bugs can get in. If the self-storage units flood, the cardboard boxes do not offer any form of protection against mold or mildew. Sealed plastic containers are not only airtight, but will protect your clothes from flooding and other elemental conditions. Stack Heavier Clothing at the Bottom The different materials and fabrics make some of your clothing, like jackets and pants, heavier than others. Perfect the packing that you do by folding and placing all of your heavier clothing at the bottom of the sealed plastic containers and placing the lighter pieces of clothing on top. If you place heavier pieces of clothing on top, it may cause the lighter pieces of clothing underneath to become damaged or excessively creased or stretched to the point where the integrity of the clothing becomes compromised. Conclusion By packing seasonal pieces of clothing in sealed plastic containers and storing them in your storage units, you could free up closet space and get rid of a lot of clutter. This will not only make your closet look a lot more attractive and organized, but will also help you easily find the clothes that you are looking for without having to dig through piles and piles of clothes. For more information about self storage, check...

read more