Great Ways to Protect Your Garden from Bugs

gardening-womanGardening is not just a popular hobby for those who own property, but a family activity and even a profession for some. As with any endeavor, gardening is a lot easier if you know a few things before you get started. Read on to learn some pieces of advice sure to make your thumb a little greener.

Plant your garden in stages. Put in a new vegetable every week, or plant vegetables with different maturation speeds when you do your planting. This helps prevent you from having a large harvest all at once, and will better allow you to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labors.

You can get most of the gardening tools you need second-hand. Visit yard sales and estate sales near you to look for gardening tools at a very low price. You can also visit online trading or donation groups to trade items you have for gardening tools, or even to find find free tools.

Test your soil before purchasing fertilizer. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants, such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. However, fertilizers can be very expensive. By testing your garden soil to see which nutrients it is lacking, you can avoid spending extra money on a complex fertilizer, and instead purchase a fertilizer containing only the nutrients that your soil requires.

To be sure a tree doesn’t become a problem with age, think of what size it will become before you plant it. The perfect place for a sapling may not be a great place for a tree several years down the road. You should be especially careful not to plant a tree too closely to your house, as the roots can cause damage.

Make your own compost ahead of time rather than purchasing it. Adding compost to your garden gives your plants a needed boost to grow successfully. Begin saving your grass cuttings, raked up leaves, egg shells, and skin from fruits and vegetables in a sturdy bin 6 months prior to your gardening season. Your compost will then be ready to mix in with your dirt on planting day.

If you can’t get mulch for your soil, use wet newspapers. Damp newspapers around the base of your plants will help hold moisture in the ground and protect your plants’ root systems from heat and sunlight. Newspaper is biodegradable, so it will eventually degrade and actually add more nutrients to your soil.

Brighten up your winter garden with trees that have interesting bark. A winter garden can tend to look bare and drab, especially if you live in a very cold climate. Three good choices are a paperbark maple, silver birch or scarlet willow. This will make a quite noticeable difference to the look of your garden.

If you want to make plant markers from objects you have around the home, try using old window blinds. Cutting up your old blinds will let you make markers that are almost identical to the ones you’d buy at a store. They’re very durable, and should easily be able to survive bad weather.

Make sure you read the labels on any weedkillers or pesticides that you use in your garden. Follow the directions closely. Using too much of a chemical can be dangerous to your health and the health of your garden. Failing to read the label might also mean that you get the wrong chemical for the problem that you’re having, polluting the ground around your garden for no reason.

If you are gardening in containers, be sure each container has a drainage system to prevent water from pooling. Lining the bottom of a container with small rocks or pebbles can also help with water drainage for container gardening. Allowing water to sit for extended periods can rot the root system of your plants.

Pay attention to the time of year that your plants bloom before you start pruning them. If you prune your flowering shrubs and trees while they have buds on them, that plant won’t flower that year. The best time to prune is just after the last season’s blooms have faded.

Pay attention to zones when choosing plants for your garden. Most plants will come with the zone marked. This is also true of seeds. Make sure the zone corresponds to your growing zone. Though plants may grow outside of their usual zone, they are less likely to be hardy plants.

To rid your plants of red spider mite, use old coffee grounds. Take the grounds and mix them with water in a spray bottle. Head over to your plants and spray all the infected areas. The caffeine in the grounds will help your plants fight off the spider mite, and unlike many other caffeinated beverage, there’s nothing in coffee grounds that will harm your plants.

You were told in the opening of this piece that if you read on, you would learn a few things about planting and growing. Hopefully, that has taken place and you are ready to go out in the yard and plant some seeds. Keep in mind what you have learned, and you’ll have fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers in no time.

This entry was posted on April 11, 2013.

My Tips for Getting a Great Green Thumb!

Maze-Wall-Vertical-Garden5Has searching for tips and tricks related to gardening proven unfruitful so far? Either the information you have come across is wrong or it is worded in a hard-to-understand way. This article will provide some great advice for you so that you have a successful gardening experience.

Try using latex or plastic gloves instead of cloth gardening gloves. Cloth gardening gloves do not block moisture well – a problem when working with moist soil, and they often get stiff, crinkly, and uncomfortable after a few uses. A sturdy pair of plastic or latex gloves, like those used for cleaning, are a much better choice. They protect against moisture, and cleaning is as simple as rinsing them off under a hose and hanging to dry.

Try to fill your garden with a variety of plants instead of just a few types. A garden with a wide variety is more resistant to garden pests. It attracts more beneficial insects that eat the bad bugs. This will cut down on the need for pesticides. A garden with just a few types of plants will sustain more damage from pest invasions.

For those new to gardening it is suggested to experiment with annuals. The following varieties are hardy, thrive in average soil, and take minimum care: sweet alyssum, marigold, zinnia, sunflower, nasturtium, petunia and verbena. Just remember to deadhead them frequently to encourage new flowers to grow.

You need to make sure to wear sunscreen when you are gardening. It is important to apply a generous amount of sunscreen on a regular basis when you are gardening so that you can protect yourself from the rays of the sun. Sunscreen should be applied more than just one time throughout the day.

Gardening doesn’t have to stop in the spring. Planting in the fall can help you have a beautifully vibrant garden once the winter snows melt away. Some plants that do well being planted in the fall include chrysanthemums, kales, and asters. Another benefit of planting in the fall is that bulbs need less fertilizer and watering, saving you some additional costs.

Treat yourself while you garden with a little petroleum jelly. Before donning your gardening gloves, apply a bit of petroleum jelly or your favorite moisturizing cream to your hands. The gloves protect from the dirt, while your hand movement works the cream into your skin. You will finish your gardening with silky soft hands!

Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap, to seal the undersides of your nails off. Doing this will prevent dirt from becoming trapped underneath them while you are gardening. When you are finished in the garden, you can clean your nails with a nailbrush to remove the soap.

Get rid of any garden pests immediately. Garden pests, such as red spider mites, ants, whitefly, and aphids, can infect your plants with various diseases, so if you notice any of the plants in your garden dying or failing to thrive, check for pests first. To get rid of garden pests, invest in a good pesticide.

To rid your plants of red spider mite, use old coffee grounds. Take the grounds and mix them with water in a spray bottle. Head over to your plants and spray all the infected areas. The caffeine in the grounds will help your plants fight off the spider mite, and unlike many other caffeinated beverage, there’s nothing in coffee grounds that will harm your plants.

When deciding to plant a garden, it is important to survey the areas available for planting and determine which will be the best location. Whether you grow your fruits and vegetables in your yard, on your patio in containers, or on your apartment balcony, your plants should be in a location which is exposed to sunlight. To yield the best harvest, most crops need to be situated in an area which is an open location that is sunny.

A great tip to consider in regards to gardening is to make sure that you detach your hose from any outside water outlets when the weather starts to get cold. This is important so that you do not cause any damage to your hose or outlet due to freezing water.

The best way to improve your soil is to amend it with different substances, depending on the type of soil you have. Most plants thrive in loamy soil, so adding organic mulches, such as peat moss or hummus, will add nutrients and improve the soil structure. Grass clippings are another material to add that will decay slowly into the soil and add valuable nutrients. Just make sure the grass doesn’t have pesticide residue on the blades that might harm plant roots.

To summarize, you ended up here because all of the information about gardening that you have come across so far has proven to be less than useful. This is wasting time that you could have spent outside in the garden! Use the advice given here and you should be happy with your results.

This entry was posted on April 4, 2013.

Xtreme Gardening

Competitive-pumpkin-growing-Brain-C.-Frank-for-The-New-York-TimesPeople go nuts over their hobbies all the time.  I guess that’s because we don’t find working nine-to-five very interesting!

No, seriously, people really love their hobbies.  I love my garden, obviously.  But extreme gardening??

Well, first of all, just what is it, anyway…it’s basically folks who get all crazy over their creations and, well, create these astounding gardens, really incredibly well manicured plants and whatnot — but the thing is, they’re all out of proportion, you know, like Trump’s bombast or Romney’s car elevators…only we’re talking gardening here!

If you search the internet you can find amazing photos and videos of people’s pet projects: we’re talking about victory gardens that not only put Versailles to shame, but Lucasfilm’s SFX department as well!  I mean, they’re really crazy creations, stuff that involve not just imagination but, ahem, a rather perverted Jim Burton kinda imagination, you know what I mean?  Something out of Bettlejuice or Nightmare Before Christmas — yeech!

I, Zalman Silber, nominate this kind of gardening xtreme gardening, gardening that, well, goes to extremes.  Like costing thousands of dollars a year to maintain!  I don’t care how rich you are; that’s just plain ridiculous.  I mean, do you really need giant bushes that are trimmed to look like Mickey Mouse silhouettes?  Well, do ya??

Take it from me; you ain’t seen nothing more beautiful than an expertly cared-for flower bed…that right there will put to shame any mega-sized effort…I mean, think about bonsai — they’re so small and yet there’s something really artful about them!  (Actually, truth to tell, I think technically they may qualify as extreme gardening, too, but that’s another post.)

Okay, that’s it for now…tune in next week (“same Bat-time; same Bat-channel!”) for more of my thoughts on anything and everything having to do with nothing at all!  Yeah!

This entry was posted on April 3, 2013.

The Zalman Silber Guide to Gardening

topiary_460Very few things are as rewarding as gardening. Seeing a plant grow from seed to a mature plant is fun and fulfilling. By reading the following tips, you can gain new insight into your garden and expand your techniques. Even the most basic of actions can produce satisfactory and noticeable results.

Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.

Tulips can be a gorgeous outer border for your garden. These beautiful flowers are the first to bloom in the spring. There are many vibrant colors of tulips and so, they can easily add beauty to your garden. Tulips will bloom while some of your other flowers are still waiting to pop out. This means you will have a more colorful garden, for a longer period of time.

When weeding, be sure to remove the roots of your weeds. These roots cause new growth to happen quickly. They also remove precious water from your soil. Weeds that grow quickly will strangle your flowers, and steal nutrients from the soil. Get close to the earth and pull all weeds out by the roots for best results.

If you are planning an irrigation system for your garden, consider a drip irrigation system. A conventional system using sprinkler heads loses a lot water through evaporation. However, a drip system irrigates your garden by a constant slow drip of water beneath the surface, which means less water is wasted through evaporation.

Recycle your old pantyhose for garden use! Pantyhose make exceptional garden ties as they are very malleable, very strong and yet extremely soft, so they won’t saw into the plants you are tying up. Best of all, since you are recycling, this solution is another great way to save money.

Prune climbing roses after blooming. The first year you plant a climbing rose it won’t require any pruning – simply encourage it to grow. A rambling rose or large-flowered climber probably won’t bloom until the second summer. In early spring, prune out any dead branches, and generally tidy up the plant. After blooming, remove the oldest canes that are showing no signs of new growth. Don’t leave this too late, as climbing roses produce strong new growth immediately after flowering, and you may end up pruning the new canes which are responsible for producing flowers the following year.

Make a point to get rid of slugs as soon as you see them. Slugs will continue eating your plants until your garden is just a shell of its former self. There are a variety of chemical and organic methods that you can try; find something that works for you and protect your plants!

Once you begin gathering produce from your garden, share it with your friends and family. It is extremely satisfying to give them a gift containing something that you made with your own hands. Seeing the pleased reactions of the recipients, also motivates you to continue working hard on your garden.

To make the most of the water you use, be sure to water your plants first thing in the morning. Doing this makes your water less likely to evaporate, and allows foliage to dry quickly. This reduces the risk of many common diseases, and will help your plants grow to be strong and healthy.

Make sure you water your garden daily. If you or someone else can’t do it every day, you may want to look at setting up a sprinkler system. The convenience of having a sprinkler system outweighs the cost of it. This way your garden will be watered every day.

No one said gardening was easy. However, few will say it isn’t worth the effort. As with anything that requires effort, time and patience are needed. You already spent a moment to read these tips, so take the initiative and give these tips a try. You won’t regret it and you might even be glad you did.

This entry was posted on April 3, 2013.

City Dweller? You Can Still Grow A Garden!

rooftop-garden-new-york-greenroofIf you knew the one sure-fire way to create a beautiful garden, you would probably be at the garden store right now. But alas, planning a garden that integrates all the elements that make it aesthetically pleasing is easier said than done. Start your planning by considering which plants will grow with little maintenance. Then, focus on contrasting foliage colors and plant shapes. Choose large-leafed bushes and set them off with an agave with spear-shaped leaves, for example. Write out your plans on paper ahead so you can change things until they feel right. This is just some of the helpful information contained in this in-depth guide to successful gardening. Want more tips? Read on!

Use both well-matured compost and mulch in your garden. Compost will naturally help plants grow faster, taller, and healthier, and increase the yield of your vegetables. Mulch helps prevent the growth of weeds. Mulch also shades the ground around the roots of your plants, protecting them from heat and conserving water.

Choose certain plants for shady areas. All plants need light to survive, but not all of them require bright sunshine. Woodland natives, for example, are happiest when given a little protection from the sun’s rays. Be generous when enriching the soil if the plants are under a canopy of trees, as they are competing for the food supply with the big guys! Ajuga, anemone, foxglove, cyclamen, hosta, viola and allium all enjoy a shady area.

Hold off having a pond in your garden until your children are older. A pond, no matter how shallow, can be very dangerous for small children. If you start off with a sunken sandpit for your toddlers to play in, you can easily convert it into a garden pond when they are older. Simply line the area with a rubber pond liner or use a preformed pond.

Make sure the hole you plant for a tree or shrub is at least three times wider than the root ball of the seedling. Most of the root system of a tree or shrub is found in the top foot of the soil. Planting a seedling in a small hole will result in slower growth and failure to thrive.

Do not kill the spiders in your garden. Spiders prey on other insects and can keep unwanted bugs under control. They are a natural source of control for common garden pests. When you see a spider, you should leave him alone to do its job. This will reduce your need for insecticides in your garden.

Disbud your plants. Disbudding is the method of ‘pinching out’ new growth buds to encourage bushier growth and showier flowers. New buds are produced at the leaf axil (where the stem and leaf stalk are attached). By pinching out the top buds, you will encourage the lower buds to grow more freely. This also ensures that the plant has a much longer growing season. Plants that benefit from disbudding include sweet pea, carnation, fuchsia, aster and marigold.

As you can see, garden planning and design takes a little bit of upfront work. When you understand more about features such as your area’s climate and the type of soil in your yard, plant selection and placement becomes much easier. Sketch your plans on paper, then bring them to life and crate a garden you will cherish all year around.

This entry was posted on March 28, 2013.

Gardening Tips for Green Thumbs and Newbies Alike

DSC03914When done well, gardening can be a very rewarding activity. Nothing beats the flavor of a tomato you’ve grown yourself, or the scent of your own flowers. Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener or you’ve been growing things your whole life, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few tips any gardener can use.

To make the most of the water you use, be sure to water your plants first thing in the morning. Doing this makes your water less likely to evaporate, and allows foliage to dry quickly. This reduces the risk of many common diseases, and will help your plants grow to be strong and healthy.

If you can’t get mulch for your soil, use wet newspapers. Damp newspapers around the base of your plants will help hold moisture in the ground and protect your plants’ root systems from heat and sunlight. Newspaper is biodegradable, so it will eventually degrade and actually add more nutrients to your soil.

A great gardening tip is to water your garden at night time. This ensures that the heat of the sun does not cause the water to evaporate, allowing for maximum absorption. This will help your plants get the appropriate amount of water they need in order to grow.

Save the water when you cook pasta for use in your garden. If you have ever boiled pasta in water, you have seen the cloudy state of the water when you drain the pasta. This water is loaded with starch, which is quite nutritious for plants. Make sure to let the water cool thoroughly, as hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

It isn’t necessary to have a huge back yard or large space in order to be a gardener. It is even possible to have a small garden somewhere like an apartment. If you live in a smaller space you will want to look into the possibility of having a potted garden in your laundry area.

When it comes to deadheading blooms, wait to remove the faded blooms until the bloom is completely finished. Leave on as much foliage as possible so that the leaves can continue to feed the plant. When the foliage begins to fade, cut out the dying or discolored canes of the plant so that rot or disease does not set in.

Keep your gardening tools organized. You do not want to trek out to your garden, only to realize you do not have everything you need with you and need to hunt your tools down. Keep small tools in a tool belt that you can grab and throw on easily or keep them in a 5-gallon bucket that you can carry out to your garden, quickly.

Gardening doesn’t have to stop in the spring. Planting in the fall can help you have a beautifully vibrant garden once the winter snows melt away. Some plants that do well being planted in the fall include chrysanthemums, kales, and asters. Another benefit of planting in the fall is that bulbs need less fertilizer and watering, saving you some additional costs.

Create an illusion of space. If you have a small garden, use color to create an illusion of more space. A background of blues, grays, pinks and mauves will create a misty effect, giving you the feeling of depth. If you use a bright color in the foreground such as red, this will emphasize the effect, as it draws the eye forward.

The best way to improve your soil is to amend it with different substances, depending on the type of soil you have. Most plants thrive in loamy soil, so adding organic mulches, such as peat moss or hummus, will add nutrients and improve the soil structure. Grass clippings are another material to add that will decay slowly into the soil and add valuable nutrients. Just make sure the grass doesn’t have pesticide residue on the blades that might harm plant roots.

A great tip to consider in regards to gardening is the fact that only plants that are potted or in baskets will need to be watered on a daily basis during the hottest weather. The plants in soil will have access to moisture that takes a lot longer to dry out. This is important to avoid over and under watering.

When removing and replanting perennials, it is important to replenish the soil as well. If you remove a large number of perennials, and then replant them without adding additional compost and soil, the bed will be lower, reducing drainage and air circulation. Also, the compost will replace nutrients that have been used up by previous growing seasons.

As with any pastime, your gardening will benefit if you continually educate yourself. No matter what your skill level is, you can always learn something new that will make you a better gardener. Put some of these ideas to work, and soon your garden will flourish more than it ever has.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2013.

Don’t Have A Green Thumb? Follow This Advice And You Soon Will!

large_07-31-nz-cabbageGardening is a magnificent way to spend time and spruce up your house’s exterior. Not only can it help you to see your home in a new way, but you will also be able to eat all of the great food you’ve grown. It can also be beneficial to your mental well being, as you will have something to see grow and to take care of. It’s a great way to spend your off time.

Plant self-seeding flowers. Let your flowers do the work of re-stocking the garden for you. If you allow your flowers to go to seed, the following year you will have new seedlings popping up everywhere. If things get too crowded, or if plants appear in the wrong place, simply thin them out. Good self-seeders are alyssum, bellflower, forget-me-not, poppy and columbine.

Buy Diatomaceous earth as an alternative to toxic pesticides or adding predatory insects to your garden. Diatomaceous earth is natural, organic, and non-toxic as well as inexpensive and easy to find. It is a green way to keep pests under control. Sprinkle over the surface of soil and water as normal.

There are several different styles of gardens and they are not all compatible. This means that you should decide the purpose of your garden long before you actually start planting things. If you want a garden simply for beauty you need to plant very different things then if you want a garden for food.

Organize your garden so that all your plants are exposed to the sun most of the time. Your house or your trees cast shadows: keep in mind that these shadows move throughout the day. You ideally want your plants to be exposed to the sun in the morning and the afternoon, but not around noon, especially in the summer time.

Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.

Alfalfa meal can be a great fertilizer for many gardens. This is a natural fertilizer, and can be readily purchased at most health food stores. It provides essential nutrients to your plants, while letting you avoid harmful chemicals. Apply the alfalfa meal directly over your soil. Reapply after any heavy rain falls.

If you are intending on getting into gardening, be sure to purchase the right tools and equipment necessary to do all the tasks. This will help insure that you do not end up ruining your garden by using improper tools and wasting a lot of time and energy for naught.

If you have many potted plants, do not water them all the same way. Some plants do well with plenty of water, whereas other plants might prefer a drier soil. Over-watering can do as much damage to a plant as under-watering. So, be mindful of what types of plants that you have in the pots, and water them appropriately.

To make your own miniature greenhouse, simply cover a pot with an old plastic bag. This will mimic the humid environment that allows plants inside a greenhouse to thrive. If you’d also like to protect your plant from the weather, build a dome out of a sturdy plastic and place it atop the plant.

Gardening will make you feel better and will help your yard look spectacular. It’s a very great way to eat, and to keep busy. You can find many tools to help you and many nurseries in your area that can sell you different types of plants. It is a fantastic hobby for anyone to take up.

This entry was posted on March 21, 2013.

Create A First Class Garden When You Use These Ideas

versailles_gardenMany people think gardening takes a lot of time and work. This is not always the case! There are types of gardens to suit all climates and lifestyles. In many places, native plant gardens require little water and will attract beautiful butterflies. Even if you have only a small yard, or no yard at all, you can grow herbs and vegetables in pots. This article provides some helpful tips for home gardeners.

If your home just has a small patio, you can still have a garden by growing plants in containers. Container gardening can give you the option to grow all kinds of flowers, plants, and even vegetables. You can also bypass the problem of frost by taking your containers inside during frosty weather.

You should place human hair in netting around your garden to deter animals from eating your growing produce. The scent of humans can deter animals from coming near an area. When you get a hair cut place the cut hair into satchels made from netting. Hang the netting around your garden to ward off pests.

Wash off your garden harvest before taking it inside your home. Use a laundry basket or some other plastic basket with holes. You can spray down your fruits and vegetables easily with water inside the basket, and the water and dirt will run out. You could also save the water that runs out to water your plants with.

Wait for the right moment if you plan on dividing a plant. Leave perhaps two years to grow and divide it at the end of the season when it looks at its best. If your plant shows signs of diseases or has areas with fewer leaves and flowers than others, it is too late.

Protect your hands when gardening. Garden gloves are made to fit all different hand sizes. They protect your hands not only from getting dirty but also from splinters, cuts and scrapes. Most gloves are inexpensive and are well worth the investment.

Choosing colorful perennials for your garden will make a bold statement and will give you much satisfaction throughout the season. Some perennials with interesting foliage are the lungwort, Japanese painted fern, and the hosta. These plants are very attractive and thrive for many months. There are many varieties of perennials to choose from, just go online and search for perennial plants that remain beautiful for many months out of the year.

If you are planting your first garden, download a zone map to use as a guide. You can also find these on the back of some seed packets. The zone map will basically tell you what plants to plant when. Some plants thrive in sunshine and hot weather, others prefer cold weather and shade.

When deciding to plant a garden, it is important to survey the areas available for planting and determine which will be the best location. Whether you grow your fruits and vegetables in your yard, on your patio in containers, or on your apartment balcony, your plants should be in a location which is exposed to sunlight. To yield the best harvest, most crops need to be situated in an area which is an open location that is sunny.

Check your store bought soil for pests. If you buy from big home improvement stores, your soil may have pests such as aphids. To kill the insects and their larvae, put the soil in a metal baking pan and place it covered in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before using.

Grow vegetables and fruits to drink. Often overlooked yet easy to grow are items that can be made into fantastic and nutritious drinks. These berries and fruit juices can be frozen or canned or made into wine and hard cider. A well made apple wine or blueberry wine can start at $10-12 a bottle, so this can also be a profit available with the garden.

If having a lot of color in your garden is what you like but you want a sense of continuity, the best way to achieve this effect is to use two colors consistently among all of your plantings. As you look at your garden, your eyes will be drawn to the continuity of color and the view will feel more harmonized to the senses.

A tip to prevent dirt from accumulating under your fingernails while working in the garden, use a bar of soap before starting. Rake your fingernails across a bar of soap and it will seal the undersides of your nails so that dirt will not collect beneath them. When you are finished in the garden, just use a brush to scrape the soap from beneath them and your nails will still be sparkling clean.

To grow an incredible crop of tomatoes, make sure your planting area gets plenty of light and has lots of room around each tomato plant. Tomato plants are sun hungry! They really want at least ten hours of sun each and every day and the additional space between plants helps maximize each tomato’s succulence.

Use bar soap to keep dirt out from under your fingernails when you are gardening. Before you start digging in the dirt, drag your fingernails across a bar of soap. The soap will gather under your nails and seal them up so no dirt can get stuck in there. Then you simply wet your hands and use the soap that is already under your nails to wash them.

Create a series of garden ‘rooms’. The days of a square lawn with a surrounding border are long gone. A garden can offer so much more, by creating different areas to explore. A patio area is simply an extension of your indoor living space. Add an arbor at the end of the patio, leading to another outdoor room. This can be a play area for children, or a small vegetable or herb garden. Create seating areas under a tree or nestled in between shrubs. Add an element of surprise, such as a unique sculpture or piece of large pottery. Let your garden reflect your personality!

Whether you want to grow your own food or herbs, provide a habitat for wildlife, or just like to stop and smell the flowers, almost anybody can make a garden, even in small spaces. Use the knowledge gained from this article to make the most of your home garden, whatever type it may be.

This entry was posted on March 21, 2013.

Growing Your Own, by Zalman Silber

a_zalman_8700led_cpu_coolerIt’s so important to grow your own, now more than ever!  Hey there, I’m Zalman Silber, international man o’ mystery and green thumb extraordinaire, and I’m gonna expound now on the critical importance, blast it, of growing your own healthy delicious fruits and most importantly vegetables.  Yeah, veggies! Now don’t make any faces — you know they’re good for you.  And cooked right (and oftentimes just prepared right, with no cooking at all!), they taste just as good as anything meat-based.  But to really reap the benefits, you really ought to grow yer own.

Of course, many if not most of us have no access to a garden, whether a small plot where we live or some community space for vegetables.  But there are now these things, “agro-culture”or “hydro-agriculture” or some such thing, which let you grow fresh nutritious veggies right on your kitchen counter!

This entry was posted on March 14, 2013.