Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden

February 14, 2012

When people say there’s nothing like the taste of a tomato grown in your own garden they’re not kidding.

The gardener, indeed, will be loathe to go back to a plastic-tasting store bought tomato after the joy of growing a big, fat heirloom tomato in their own garden. But how does this happen? It’s fairly simple, and can even be easy.

Where to Plant

First, the gardener has to locate where the garden plot will be. Vegetables need good sun all day long, so it should be in a sunny place. If the gardener is planning the garden in the fall or winter, which is a good time to plan it, they should take into account any trees in the area. The trees might be empty when the garden is planned, but leaf out during the spring and summer and cast unwelcome shade over the vegetables.

What to Plant

The gardener should also make a list of the sorts of vegetables and herbs they like to eat and whether they can grow them in their garden. Then, they should narrow the list to which varieties of vegetables they’d prefer. While some people love beefsteak tomatoes, they have no patience with cherry tomatoes and are indifferent to plum tomatoes. Some gardeners covet fat purple eggplants, but find white eggplants strange looking or find their flavor off-putting. The gardener should be careful when they buy or order seeds or seedlings.

How Much Space?

They should also learn what sort of space a vegetable needs to be productive and healthy and plan for it in the garden. In the end, they should know how much space they’ll need for what they wish to grow. Ideally, beds shouldn’t be wider than four feet. They should also plan for paths that will allow the gardener to visit all of the beds. Paths should be a least three feet wide and from four to five feet wide if the gardener’s going to use a wheelbarrow. Gravel is a good covering for a path, though it might be a bit tricky to push a filled wheelbarrow over it.

Prepping the Easy Way

Fall and winter are good times to plan a vegetable garden, because it gives the gardener time to remove the grass and other vegetation. Rather than do the painstaking work of digging it up and out, the gardener can lay newspapers about three sheets thick over the area, and cover it with overlapping sheets of black plastic. Then, two by fours should be laid over the plastic and secured with bricks. The time it will take for the vegetation beneath to die off should be around three to six months.

The Right Soil

After that, the gardener should amend the soil. If they wish, they can send samples of their garden soil to a lab for analysis. They should find out what types of vegetables and herbs like what type of soil. Most of them prefer soil that’s rich and just a little bit acidic, although tomatoes are acid loving plants. The gardener can sweeten soil that’s too acidic with some limestone and also add fertilizer before they plant. They should plant seeds and seedlings according to the instructions that come with them, water them well, prune, fertilize and let nature handle the rest. At the end, they’ll probably have so much produce they won’t know what to do with it all!

 

Harrison is a bonsai tree enthusiast and loves to write about how to take care of your own bonsai trees at home with the proper tools and techniques. On his blog, Bonsai Tree Gardener, he provides advice on various topics related to bonsai trees.

Interior Design for Moms: 7 Tips

February 11, 2012

There are probably two main words that describe Moms today: busy and careful.  Besides the multitude of duties Moms have around the house, most today also work outside of the home. And of course, Moms worry about keeping their children safe at all times.

Therefore, in most aspects of most Moms’ lives, including decorating, those two descriptors have to stay in the forefront of their thoughts.  Here are some decorating tips that make life easy for busy Moms and keep the safety of their children a priority:

  1. Whatever you put in the house should be not only decorative, but easy to clean.  Save the glowing chandeliers for your empty nest and use pretty but simple lines when decorating: think wrought iron instead of crystal.
  2. Decorate with your day in mind.  Face it, you rush out the door in the morning, so having a lovely plant or statue at the entrance is just plain impractical. You need a table next to the door that acts as a takeoff spot for your day. Keys, things you have to bring to work, lists, etc. need to be at the ready. You can clear the table off for company.
  3. Think about flow as well.  There is actually a division of management design that concentrates on how workers or employees move through an organization. Smart Moms have to apply that same concept to the home.  A coffee table can’t be too close to an entrance door, for example, for rushing kids to crash into whenever they enter the home.
  4. Keep surfaces as clear as possible. This may be another dream that has to be deferred until ATCAG (after the children are grown).  Knickknacks on shelves have to be dusted; canister sets on kitchen counters slow down after dinner cleanups; vases or sculptures on coffee tables are going to be kicked off. Put bound books or a few large items on shelves; keep flour and sugar in plastic containers in the cabinet and put an attractive, but low and unbreakable item to decorate a coffee table, such as a pretty tray or book.
  5. Forego the pillows.  We all love the Calvin Klein look, with multitudes of pillows strewn on the bed, but do you really want to take them off each night and put them on each morning? Buy a pretty spread with matching shams and the bed is done in an instant. Keep children’s bedding sets as simple as possible, with just a spread they can pull up, and a matching pillow that can just be placed at the head.  Today’s designs make this look as pretty as it is simple.
  6. Think hard and long about your choice of floors. This is a difficult decision. Wood floors with a few rugs placed strategically are easy to clean with a quick swipe with the dust mop, but this has to be done frequently because every speck shows.  Carpeting has to be vacuumed less often but is a more time consuming job. I love the clean light look of wood floors, so I’ll put up with having to dust them every other day.
  7. Consider floor lamps instead of lamps.  Lamps on end tables make nice accents, but, unless they have very modern lines, need frequent dusting. They are also another target for kids to crash into. Tall, slim floor lamps require less cleaning and are neatly tucked away in a corner.

These are just a few tips, but if you use them as examples, you can come up with many more ideas that meet your top criteria: ease and safety.

As a busy mom, you know two things. One, saving time is always a good thing and two, the best friends you can have are other moms. Try finding more moms like you with a quick and easy people search.

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Improve Your Home By Refinishing And Adding New Features

February 8, 2012

Even the smallest changes in a home can make a big impact. It is possible for a homeowner to make a few small changes in their home that will not only enhance the beauty, but also the value of the home.

However, not all home improvements will accomplish this. It is possible that a homeowner may spend money on a costly enhancement and it will have no affect on the resale value of the home. There are a few home improvement projects that have a good chance of adding to the resell value of the home. These would include, remodeling in the kitchen or bathroom, adding onto the home or doing something as simple as adding a new coat of paint on the walls. It is important to note that undertaking a home improvement project does not have to be a massive ordeal. Taking your time and making the most of your home’s space will allow you to reap the most benefit out of even the smallest of changes.

Brightening Up Your Kitchen Area by Remodeling

Although the kitchen sees a lot of family traffic, it is often the room that is overlooked when considering home improvements. Making a few small changes can help to increase the aesthetics of this room.

- Refinish or put a fresh coat of paint on the cabinetry.
- Refinish or paint the room’s wood flooring.
- Using towels, table clothes and curtains in bright colors will enhance the room.
- Removing a door from the cabinet will create an area of display for your favorite items.
- Installing a new sink and faucet will give the area a new look.
- Using a satin finish paint will beautify the room.
- Installing new lighting will brighten up your kitchen.

While you want to enhance the room for yourself, you should keep in mind how the changes might affect a future resale of the property. While the suggestions are simple ones, they will make a huge impact on the usability and enjoyment of the kitchen.

Remodeling Your Bathroom

The bathroom in a home is another busy area, although it is probably not on the top of the remodel list. Updating this room is a simpler task than one might think. The list below should help you get started thinking of ideas.

- Think about what your ideal bathroom would look like.
- Install a new sink and replace the grouting.
- Install a new bathtub and/or shower.
- If you have plumbing issues, call a professional.
- Brighten up the room with new lighting and window treatments.
- Give the bathroom a good scrubbing and replace your old towels and rugs.

Because some bathrooms are small, remodeling there may not be an easy task. However, there are a few tricks that can give you the perception that the room is a bit larger. Some easy ways to do this are, installing a shower instead of a bathtub, hanging  a well placed mirror or using a sink and toilet that are wall-hung.

Adding On To Your Home

When your family begins to outgrow your home’s space, you are not always financially able to move to a new home. It is times such as this that you might consider adding on to the home that you already own. Read on to learn the basics of adding space to your home;

- After making plans, get your permits.
- Make decisions about the foundation, start excavating and pouring concrete.
- Remember to add sealant  to waterproof your new windows.

It is important to know the basics of adding on to your home and once you understand what is involved in doing so, it is time to start making your plans. Whether it is a man-cave, play area or a baby’s nursery, now is the time to begin.

Thankfully, increasing the value of your home can be done without completely a major remodel project. Even something as simple as a new color of wall paint will enhance the indoor appearance of your home. You need not spend a lot of time and money in order to see huge changes in your living space. You can feel like you have a new home every so often just by making little home improvements yourself.

Emma Cub is an interior designer who writes for Liberty Bathrooms, on teh subject of home and bathroom renovation. Liberty Bathrooms are an online bathroom retailer who specialise in bathroom suites, bathroom furniture and freestanding baths.

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Feng Shui Tips For Apartments

February 8, 2012

In case you are residing in an condo which is not really the best dimension for the expanding family unit, it may be a serious problem to brighten it. It may seem a practically not possible job to include Feng Shui ideas too. You may create a condo or perhaps little area appear bigger and it is really affordable and easy to include the art of Feng Shui to help improve your wealth, improve your health and general well-being, and also lighten up your jobs and relationships.

Here are a few basic items to remember for every little room:

Right here runs the particular ditto you have heard often: the term muddle. Then again, keep in mind the meaning of clutter. It’s whatever you do not use, want or adore. I had a issue from a client that’s residing in a little place but did not want to be there forever. She had elements inside containers for several weeks which she could not bear to do without however had chose to present them to open inside the room.

She really liked this stuff and was not gonna be in her apartment a long time. It seemed like she would rue sooner or later if she sent them all up or even offered for sale. I advised her to pack the bins, use a attractive tablecloth and change the place in among elegance with cotton blooms ahead.

Abruptly, her “clutter” was become a thing she can currently keep for when she could let them out and really enjoy it. And while we will usually inform you to become conscious of the environment, there’s no need to spend the stuff you like.

Which Color to Choose?

As long as colors to spread out up a space, cause it to seem bigger and attractive, definitely depart the threshold light and also breezy. When it comes to Feng Shui Colors a lot of people are utilizing a gentle yellow or beige tone with this spot. Still, since apartments usually open up in various areas, do not be scared to research color. Normally a bright color on one of your walls in a different room helps you to differentiate that room like a different space and may be very eye catching, painting you into a space. You mostly wish to sense used and want your own guests to experience the just like good.

Furniture

If you are buying furnishings, don’t forget some elements. Search for furnishings having curved edges rather than sharpened sides and check out “lighter” furnishings just like rattan. They will not provide the room extra weight and heaviness which strong oak household furniture can. If you’re able to locate end or a coffee table which function as dual purpose for storage space, a lot better. A lot of wicker items have this plus look beautiful.

Lighting

Watch for lighting. Get a many light inside little areas. Keeping the blinds open could be a problem if you are facing a different condo nearby. A good idea to allow light filter through is pure curtains. A Feng Shui theory is “let the outdoors in” which may be also set up with some lush vegetation.

Try to keep path ways from area to area open to keep your flow of energy a simple and relaxing one. As the areas usually are not split oftentimes, you can actually identify entering a different space with little wind chimes or anything little hanging over doorways.

Watch the position of the mirrors and also what they reflect. They are able to open up a place and move your interest from small places or they are able to cause you to feel “closed in.” Make sure to view what a mirror is reflecting as it’s accelerating it and doubling the energy.

Helen A. Martinez is Feng Shui Expert and she blogs about feng shui benefits in your home decor. Helen also want to explain benefits of Office Feng Shui, the workspace interior design that actually reduce work stress.

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