Author Archives: Amelia

Seven Ways To Exterminate Slugs From Your Garden

Unlike most other leaf-munching critters that are usually in your garden, slugs are not insects.  Slug infestation is a serious business, filled with damage leaves, slime trails, and missing seedling. Slugs are hermaphrodite, meaning they have both male and female reproductive systems and can mate with themselves. They can produce up to 36 eggs, several times a year.  There are some slugs that are 10 inches long, so they keep growing. Slug reach adulthood in about six weeks, and some species have a life span of two to six years.

Slugs mainly feed at night, and they have an insatiable appetite and can eat double its body weight in a day.  Research has it that Slugs have 27,000 teeth; they really did an excellent job counting it. Slugs love moist and dark spots. They are one of the most destructive and painful pests to get rid of. However, they do play a very important role in ecology by eating decomposing matter.

Slugs really love moist and dark places, so you best approach to eliminate this pest from your garden. Cleaning and hoeing your garden often as slugs and eggs hide under the weeds. Make sure you remove all vegetables refuse, as well as boards, bricks and piles of debris they can hide under.

If you find any slugs dead or alive, put them in the compost. The live ones will stay put and help break down the compost. There is good in everything that why you don’t throw the dead ones away because they are full of protein and will add to the compost.

Here are seven tips to help you get rid of slugs in your garden

If you find a slime trail in your garden, destroy the trail before other slugs follow it. Slugs follow each other’s path.

Slug repellent; there are some plants that deter slugs because of the smell; plants like garlic, fennel, mint, chives, geraniums, foxgloves and fennel. Use these plants as a fence around your garden by planting them around the edge of your garden to keep them away. You can use these plants to keep Japanese beetles out too.

Beer; as funny as this may sound, slugs love beer, so fill a shallow bowl with beer and live overnight.  Slugs really like it, dispose of the slugged brew by adding it to your compost.

Diatomaceous Earth; slugs do not like anything dry, scratchy or dusty, that’s why they avoid crawling on them. Such as lime, diatomaceous earth, gravel or sand, coarse sawdust, cinders. These are great barriers to keep them out.

Use copper or foil as barriers; copper or foil can serve as a barrier against slugs. Use either of them around the plants that the slugs eat. This will give the slug a small shock when they cross the plant. You can use this method for snail too.

Petroleum jelly; put petroleum jelly around tops and base of your potted plants, if you see any slug in it. This will make them slip and slide.

Epson salts; sprinkle Epson salts on the soil, and this will help deter slugs. This also helps prevent magnesium deficiency in your plants.

Call the professionals; if you have tried all the options and above, but still having slugs in your garden it is best to call the best commercial exterminators and pest control services near Greensboro NC or anyone near you to help you get rid of slugs and other garden pests.

Great Plants That Will Help You Sleep Better

Good quality of sleep is something that many people want but, unfortunately, do not get. Plants can improve your rest so that you can sleep well and wake up refreshed the next day.

One reason you might not be able to sleep well is that the air quality in your bedroom is poor. Adding plants to your room will allow the air inside and provide more oxygen, which improves sleep patterns. At the same time, plants are usually mostly green-colored, which is good for calming frazzled nerves.

Sleep hacks like putting plants indoors will allow you to get the rest you need. Thus, if you have trouble sleeping at night, try caring for some of these plants that can promote good sleep for you:

Plants You Need for Restful Sleep

1.      Snake Plant

You can place this plant in a large pot in a corner of the room. This plant is good for your air quality because it can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen for you even while you sleep (most plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen only in the daytime).

The other good part about this plant is that you only need to water it occasionally—once a week. Just be sure it’s placed in a corner where it’ll get sunlight because this plant is originally exposed to the sun in desert conditions. NASA puts this plant in outer space vehicles to help astronauts get access to oxygen, too.

2.      Spider Plant

This plant can be hung from your bedroom ceiling in a hanging planter. This plant can absorb harmful chemicals including xylene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. These chemicals are known to deter humans from a sound sleep. The Spider Plant is considered a low-maintenance plant, too.

3.      A Gerberia Daisy

This is another plant that works on improving your air quality, thus leading to improved rest. It has colorful flowers as well that’s great for the color scheme of some bedrooms.

4.      Dracaena Colorama Plant

If you’re worried about toxic chemicals in your bedroom, you may add a Dracaena Colorama Plant near your bed. This plant was described by NASA as being able to remove toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, and benzene—all of which are considered toxic to humans.

5.      Peace Lilies

If you don’t like the look of the Dracaena Colorama Plant, you can resort to Peace Lilies. This plant also absorbs toxic chemicals from the air. It has the distinction of being chosen by NASA as one of the best indoor plants for eliminating pollutants. It’s especially great at removing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.

6.      Lavender

You can put a Lavender plant on your side table so that its aroma can soothe you to sleep. Lavender is said to be good as a relaxant, plus its colorful blooms are nice to look at.

7.      English Ivy Plant

If you’re concerned mostly about formaldehyde in the air, then you must buy a hanging English Ivy plant. English Ivy is also great at removing airborne mold, which some people are allergic to.

8.      Heart Leaf

Another plant that removes formaldehyde from the surrounding air is the Heart Leaf Philodendron vine. Although not everyone has room for this trailing vine, you might hang it from your bathroom ceiling and let its leaves climb window bars. When you open the bathroom door, the bathroom air enters the bedroom to refresh the air.

9.      Aloe Plant

If you live in an industrial area where chemical factories do production, you probably need an Aloe Plant. The leaves of this kind of plant will become brown if there is a lot of toxic chemicals in the air. Just make sure you don’t overwater this because it’s a low-maintenance plant.

10.    Golden Pothos

This plant is another workhorse when it comes to removing pollutants from indoor air, especially formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. This plant survives even in low-light conditions as long as it has enough water to grow with.

11.    Chinese Evergreen

This is ideal for cleaning out air pollutants indoors, too. Grows best in partial shade with temperature not surpassing 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand harsher growth conditions, such as low humidity, no sunlight, and no watering for a time, though.

12.    Areca Palm

It is effective in removing air pollutants and is very easy to grow indoors. It is a tall plant so it’s advisable to put in bedrooms that have high ceilings. It needs plenty of water during spring and summer, but hold back on the watering during the fall and winter seasons.

13.    Jasmine

It has a very nice scent that is pleasant to fall asleep to. You can expect to have a more relaxing rest when you use Jasmine in your bedroom. One study claims that it is even better than Lavender. It does need a lot of sunlight so put it by the window where it can catch some rays in the daytime. It also needs a modest volume of water.

14.    Bamboo Plant

The Bamboo Plant is great at eliminating benzene and trichloroethylene from indoor air. Is a bit on the tall side so place it in bedrooms with sufficient headroom. It needs moist soil to survive but avoid overwatering it. Put it near windows to allow it to get sufficient sunlight.

Final Thoughts: Loving Plants Is Rewarding

Getting adequate rest can be challenging for you. If you find it hard to sleep, putting plants in your bedroom (and in the bathroom beside your bedroom) will help you relax and get into the mood for rest.

Watering your plants, talking to them, and playing music that you think helps them grow are all good ways to motivate you to keep plants in the bedroom. If you find it hard to find space, you can hang plants from your window bars.

If this is your maiden attempt at caring for plants, it can become a nice habit. Taking care of plants is really rewarding and will boost your health. Once you start taking care of plants, you may find that your sleep patterns will normalize at night and it’ll be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep until morning.

Must-Have Farming Equipment for Your Small Farm

Farming has a history that dates back thousands of years and it has changed the world. While it dates back to ancient times, that doesn’t mean it is obsolete today. However, in the modern day, farming is still incredibly important as a variety of different food and other useful materials are still grown on farms.

While there are several huge farms throughout, there are also a ton of smaller farms and family farms. Despite what you may think, these smaller farms actually produce a large majority of the agricultural products sold by farms. These small farms still take a lot of work but can be started by anyone as long as you have the land.

However, there are also some important pieces of equipment you will surely need to start a small farm or ensure your farm is operating successfully. With that in mind, this article is going to look at a few “must-have” pieces of farming equipment for your small farm.

 A Variety of Tools

Of course, you will need a variety of different tools if you want to be able to operate a farm. This includes shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows, rakes and potentially dozens of others. The ones you actually need will depend on what you grow on the farm and the type of work that needs to get done.

When looking for these tools, look for high-quality providers that have a history of providing great tools to their customers. There are a variety of different hand-tools available on Easy Digging’s website if you want to stock up.

A Tractor or Truck

Being able to transport things and potentially pull machinery are both incredibly important tasks on a farm. As a result, be sure to have either a truck or some type of tractor to be able to help you out. These vehicles can come in various different types and sizes and can be used for dozens of tasks on the farm.

They aren’t always cheap but are incredibly important investments for most farmers. They can cut down the amount of time certain tasks take by a lot and make your farm a more efficient operation. Also, look into what sorts of attachments and machinery you may need for your truck or tractor.

Some Sort of Irrigation System

No matter what you are growing on your farm, there is a very good chance that it will require water to grow and mature. A constant and regular supply of water is needed. You won’t be able to manually water everything on your farm unless it is incredibly small. As a result, some kind of irrigation system will probably be required. This could be a soaker hose on the simple side or a complex multi-faceted drip system.

The option you choose will depend on the size of your farm, how much you want to spend and potentially even the layout of your farm. Take your time in deciding how you want your crops to be cared for and watered, as it is an important part of the success or failure of your farm.

In conclusion, we hope this article has been able to help you identify some must-have farming equipment for your small farm. While these are far from the only pieces of equipment a farm can use, they are among the most important.

Don’t Have A Garden? DIY Garden In A Mint Tin

Thinking Outside The Planter

There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding horticulture. For one, you don’t have to have a plot of land to grow a garden. You can even regularly harvest from a humble crop grown inside an apartment. Even if you’re pursuing the van-dwelling lifestyle, you can grow a tiny little garden in your domain, and gradually reap a harvest from it. How? A mint tin.

Do you like Altoids, or other mints that come in a similarly-sized tin? Do you have a few tins lying around? Most people do, and size doesn’t really matter. Many plants only grow to the level of their surroundings—they’re strongly influenced by their environment.

Still, in a mint tin you can grow quite a variety of flowers, grasses, vines, and even Bonsai trees. Over the course of this brief writing, we’ll go over what you’ll need to grow your perfect garden in a mint tin.

A Fairly Straightforward Process

A Fairly Straightforward Process

It’s not terribly complicated to husband your own mint tin garden. First, find your mint tin. There are a few different types of tins out there. Some have a lid that just pops off, while others have a hinge on the lid that will need to be removed. Next, you’ll want to put some holes in the bottom of it.

The holes are for drainage. You can make them a number of ways. A small drill is ideal, but some hole-punch devices have the strength to push through some mint tins. Not all, though; you can really cramp your hand if you’re not careful. If you’ve got push pins or nails and a hammer, these also can work.

Once you’ve got the holes done, put the lid on the bottom of the tin. Pace the tin in the lid kind of like you’d put a plate under a planter to catch the water. The next step is just what you’re thinking: you’ve to fill the tin with soil. There are a few schools of thought here. You can use soil configured to be fertile, or options like miracle grow. Alternatively, you can use soil you find nearby.

It’s also considerable that some plants come with roots wrapped in plastic, or inside a moist paper towel. You might put some paper at the bottom of the tin, and put your soil atop that before planting seeds. Alternatively, if you’ve purchased a seedling that’s already sprouting, it may have a wrap of some kind as alluded to. You can just put it in the tin and add the soil around it.

Why It’s Better To Grow Your Own Plants From Seeds

Cultivating A Micro-Garden

Still, though you can certainly add plants to your new mint tin garden that have already been grown, there are advantages to sprouting your own seeds. There are certain small plants that may require preparation before transplant, and though they can be rather fantastic, they can also be temperamental.

Meanwhile, if you husband your mint tin garden from seedlings, you’ll have a better chance of seeing the results you seek, and you’ll also likely spend more time caring for the garden incidentally.

It can be exciting to see green shoots push through the soil, and begin to mature. Also, if you do your own planting, you can choose from a greater variety of plant life. There are resources that have practically anything and everything under the sun, such as Seed Needs.

Cultivating A Micro-Garden

Grass, bonsai trees, flowers, vines—there are a lot of different possibilities with a mint tin garden. Additionally, you can husband one incredibly cost-effectively. While there aren’t a lot of plants which can give a decent bloom from such a small plot of soil, there are certainly some. You might even be able to grow some berries if you’re very diligent and skilled.

Additionally, you can begin multiple little gardens that are easy to move, look downright darling, and act as an exceptionally profound mode of décor. A tiny apartment with a few mint tin gardens has a certain character to it that’s all-around pleasing.

 Finally, with a mint tin garden of the DIY variety, you’re simultaneously learning a new skill and recycling what otherwise may just end up being a piece of garbage in a dump somewhere. So you’re actually doing something that’s good for you and the environment.

Eco-Friendly Ways To Get Rid Of Pests

Chemicals Aren’t Totally Necessary For Pest Reduction

Just as there are natural predators to common animals, there are natural repellents to common pests. You don’t have to fumigate the entire house, you don’t have to use rat poison, you don’t have to do any of a hundred things which are known to have toxic side-effects. However, you do have to be a little creative, and willing to try new things.

Following, we’ll briefly explore a few ecologically friendly means of pest elimination that won’t make you or your family sick, and will have a clear effect on whatever pest problem you’re contending with.

Baking Soda And Sugar Kills Roaches

Get half a cup of sugar and half a cup of baking soda. Mix these powders together, and put them into something like a salt shaker—though be careful you don’t mix it up with the other condiments! Take your anti-roach mixture and sprinkle it where you know they are, and where you expect them to go. The roaches eat up the sugar, the baking soda kills the roaches.

Citronella, Lavender, Garlic, And Rosemary Repel Mosquitoes

When it comes to mosquitoes, you want to get rid of standing water, and you want to use aromas to push them away. There are smells mosquitoes can’t abide. Bug spray essentially uses chemicals to repulse them, but this can be bad for you and your skin. Meanwhile, you can use essential oils or plant certain flora indoors and outdoors.

Citronella comes in oils that can be burned in tiki torches in strategic places throughout your backyard. Lavender looks wonderful and smells fine. Garlic and rosemary are fine seasonings for a cookout, use them in abundance! Also, you can use plants at the windows and doorways of your home where the bugs enter. Don’t forget the drafty attic!

Mice Hate Steel Wool, Use It To Clog Up Holes; Also: Cats

Rodents use their teeth like humans use power tools. They’ll chew through just about anything save cement, and steel wool. Have you run your nails down a chalkboard and felt your body involuntarily cringe? This is what steel wool does to mice. You stuff it in their holes, they go to bite it, cringe, and back off. Secure it with caulking so the persistent mice or rats don’t simply move it aside.

Once you’ve clogged all their little holes up with steel wool, next totally clean your house as extensively as you can. When you’ve got the whole home clean, be sure you store food in containers that rodents can’t get their teeth on. Plastic tupperware can be chewed through, but it eliminates the smell. This keeps rodents from realizing food hides behind the plastic.

Lastly, once you’ve blocked up all the holes and properly stored your food, get a cat. Cats are the natural predators of mice and positively enjoy the hunt. It’s a win for you, and it’s a win for the cat—unless, of course, you’re allergic to cats; in which case you might need some other tertiary measure. There are humane mousetraps that allow you to catch-and-release, but let the mice go a long way from home or they’ll just come back.

Safeguarding Your House Naturally

You don’t want to make your family sicker through chemicals than they would be through varying diseases that pests carry. A great way to have the best results is to use natural pest control strategies.

Natural foods can kill roaches without making your home toxic. Aromatic plants both indoor, outdoor, and in essential oil form can keep mosquitoes away from you. Mice don’t like steel wool, and cats like mice. Safe solutions exist, and they’re pretty straightforward. Do a little research to find which best fits you and your family, and keep your home pest-free naturally.

Best Houseplants To Repel Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes: They Must Be Undone

You don’t want mosquitoes in your house, and you don’t want them outside your house. Also, you don’t want to use a conglomeration of harsh chemicals to keep the bugs at bay. It’s no good keeping mosquitoes out of your house if the price you pay is some slowly percolating toxic illness from Deet or another chemical.

With these things in mind, it may surprise you to know that there are quite a few different plants which are totally natural, and repel mosquitoes. Many of these plants are extremely pleasant in terms of their aroma, too. Following we’ll briefly cover several plants or plant derivatives that can be grown (or made) indoors, and that can be used to repel mosquitoes.

1. Citronella, Catnip, And Lemon Balm

Citronella can be grown in the home with relative ease. It can also be grown outside. Citronella oil is often used in tiki torches to keep exterior areas clear of mosquitoes. You don’t have to burn citronella tiki torches on the inside of your home, though.

People often don’t realize catnip works well to repel mosquitoes. If you’ve never gotten down and given it a sniff, it’s not an unpleasant smell. Catnip actually has effluvia much like mint. Your cats love it, and the mosquitoes don’t. However, if you are growing catnip indoors, prepare for felines giving it their full attention. This may not be a solution for multi-cat houses.

Lemon balm works similarly to catnip and citronella, can be grown indoors, can be grown outdoors, and is downright disgusting to bloodsucking mosquitos. If catnip or citronellas doesn’t suit you, lemon balm is fine.

2. Rosemary, Basil, Garlic, And Cinnamon

Rosemary has an odor that’s pleasant indoors, as does basil. Also, you can cook with both of these. You can keep mosquitoes from inhabiting the interior of your home with plants that, when in bloom can provide you cooking materials. Garlic does this as well, though it’s a plant that isn’t going to be so effective until it’s been harvested. The same is true of cinnamon.

Rosemary and basil are good for indoors, if you can grow a cinnamon tree and harvest it, spreading the aroma through the home, that will keep mosquitoes at bay; but doing so inside is a bit more difficult than growing such plants outdoors. Since garlic shares much with onions, as you may have thought, it grows underground.

However, you can keep garlic and cinnamon outside, harvest it, and spread the aroma through your home. Lastly, rosemary, basil, garlic, and cinnamon are common herbs used in cooking. If you regularly prepare food with them, you can naturally keep mosquitoes from you.

3. Essential Oils From House Plants

You don’t necessarily have to grow plants indoors to experience their mosquito-repellent benefit. Many don’t realize they can repel mosquitoes via essential oils.

This represents a fine little shortcut. Essentially, you go to a Spouts or Albertson’s grocer, pick up some essential oils, and use them as you would cologne. The cinnamon essential oil can be dabbed on your wrists and neck, it will make you smell delicious, and keep the mosquitoes away.

Think about it from the mosquito’s perspective. A drop of cinnamon oil is the size of a mosquito, roughly. Can you imagine a bathtub full of cinnamon oil? Wouldn’t the aroma make your eyes water? It would be impossible to handle. Well, a drop of that on your skin has the same effect on mosquitoes. They just can’t stand it.

Naturally Repelling Pernicious Insects

Mosquitoes don’t have to be repelled through chemical bug sprays. You can keep them away from you naturally and smell positively delicious at the same time. Essential oils from common houseplants can be directly applied.

Additionally, you can plant house plants like citronella, lemon balm, rosemary, and catnip in your home. Find the plants you like, and which you are willing to husband. Place them strategically in the home near windows and doors, and mosquitoes will avoid you of their own volition.

How To Cook Vegetables Grown In Your Garden

It took you many pains and stress for the past six months or more to grow those precious vegetables in your garden. Those weeks of watering and soiling the veggies have now resulted in harvesting them to be ready for cook; but instead of boiling them like many others, you choose to grill them or find the best possible ways to cook them.
You could also be tired of following the same boring style of preparing vegetables and would like to try something new anxiously. There are multiple or numerous ways for one to make these greenies; either you choose to grill them using a portable charcoal grill, or result in boiling them quickly and simply. It is quite essential to try new methods for the benefits of your taste buds.
Vegetables is an important food for healthy eating as they are low in fat and offer many nutrients, including potassium, fibre, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C to the body. There are numerous ways to prepare your veggies below, and they can provide you with a recipe for your next dish.

Leaving them Raw

One of the uncommon ways of cooking grown vegetables is to keep some of it raw. Eating them in its raw form allows one to enjoy it in a normal taste and benefit from it nutrient as well. You may decide to prepare the vegetables using pickles, sauces, herbs or any other type of dish that appeals to you.

Boiling Method

Boiling your vegetable is a quick and straightforward way to have crisp, and well-cooked veggies; although not doing it right could result to having it mash up together, turned grey and they may lose their nutrients altogether. The secret for overcoming this is putting the vegetables in the boiling water based on the time it needs. Examples of Vegetables you can choose to boil include broccoli, green beans and cauliflower.

Hot Grilling

Grilling the Vegetables is simple for one to prepare vegetables. It offers an unlikely look, smoky flavour just as we have in grilled meat, however very different. Whether you choose to do them indoor or outdoor with a portable charcoal grill, you can still get a great taste. The main problem you could face is getting the right grill for the vegetables.
With so many types of charcoal grills on the market, it’s obvious the choice is not that easy to make. Luckily, here’s a link to an informative article which contains all-encompassing top portable charcoal grills analysis.
A good tip you can use when about to grill is to keep the vegetables inside a plate of marinade for at least half an hour or inside a bowl of oil and seasonings. After that, you cook it, depending on your choice.

Roasting and Baking

Many vegetable lovers recommend that you roast your veggies more than anything else. Vegetables you can either roast or bake include Brussels sprouts, broccolini, asparagus, carrots etc. It is seen as a simple means to cook them, as all you need to do is broil it in a hot oven and it does not require you to be with it while cooking.
To roast the greenies, Adjust your oven to about 400 degrees, then cover the oven with a cooking piece and chop your vegetables into it. After that, put them to an oil and seasoning stand by, then with any herbs and spices you want. Allow them to broil till they are gentle and have a crispy crust.
Similarly, baking it is the same procedure except you don’t get to broil it, so you make use of many oil.

Using the Stir-Fry Approach

Stir-frying is faster than any other frying techniques out there. Emerging from the Middle East Culture, It is by far the quickest way to make any sort of dinner. When carrying out this method, you are to first list out all the ingredients you need, as it cooks quickly, and there is no time to cut the vegetables at the same time. Because stir-frying is fast, a sauté pan is needed as it has much place for food.
The next thing is to have the veggies, sauces and ingredients ready then added to the dish. Place your fry pan on a high heat that is placed 450 degrees, then begin stirring the vegetables until they are very soft and bright.
This article has shown you some of the numerous methods you can choose to explore to cook vegetables grown in your garden from leaving them raw, boiling, grilling, roasting and baking, and stir-fry. It is now left to you to choose the one that is convenient for you because as you try each method, you will find a new recipe that will inspire you to cook a new dish.

How to Save your Garden when Flood Damage Occurs

Do you experience frequent floods in your region? This can be frustrating, especially when you're an avid gardener. Protecting your garden can be difficult when floods occur.

Cleaning up the damage can also be a tricky task, particularly when you have sensitive plants that need special care.

If you've recently taken an interest in gardening and your backyard has been damaged by a flood, take a look at the short guide below to help you restore your garden. You'll see some damage won't be visible immediately, so it's important that you keep a close eye. After all, a garden can make any home look inviting, so you want to maintain the aesthetics of your landscape regularly.

How Floods can Destroy Your Garden

High standing water can damage your garden in the following ways:

Suffocate the roots of your plants and kill them

Expose your plants to chemical compounds that can saturate the soil

Dirty water produces fungal growth in your garden that can be toxic to you and your plants

The amount of damage you have to repair will depend on the type of plants in your garden. If you have succulents and shrubbery they can be more resistant to flood damage. But vegetable patches may need to be replaced as the dirty water can sap the nutrients out of the soil.

It’s important that you don’t plant vegetable seeds right away after you’ve removed flooded water as the soil may be toxic. Instead, fill your garden with clean soil before planting seeds so they can thrive.

Clean Up and Restoration Services

Water damage can be difficult to clean up yourself so using restoration services can be a lifesaver. A restoration company has professional teams with specialized equipment that make short work of removing large amounts of water at a time.

If your garden is flooded, read more at about cleaning up after water damage and reconstructing landscapes. 

How to Clean Your Plants after Water Damage

If you have potted plants they’ll be easier to clean than flower beds or vegetable patches. Remove the plants from the pot and throw away the saturated soil. Clean the plants' roots with warm water and place them in clean pots with new soil.

To save your vegetable patch, dig ditches and burrows to drain some of the standing water out of the beds. After you’ve removed most of the water, wash any mud off of your plants thoroughly. Dry weather will be beneficial as it will evaporate excess water from your plants.

Watch your plants for any die-back so you can prune them to allow new growth to occur. Then sprinkle some fertilizer into your garden to restore nutrients. 

Final Tips

If you experience frequent floods, then you’ll want to take preventative measures. Install a proper drainage system in your garden so water can flow out of the beds during floods.

Protect your garden against floods and opt for high rise garden beds instead of flat landscapes. High rise garden beds can improve the aesthetics of your garden and increase your curb appeal.

So don’t let a flood stop you from enjoying your gardening. Simply take precautions and know how to protect your plants during storms and floods. 

Food Quality and Safety From Common Household Pests

Household pests like cockroaches, ants, rats, fleas, bed bugs, etc. are common problems, especially in autumn, summer, and monsoon, as they like to hibernate in winter. In most cases, we ignore their presence as they don’t directly annoy us, though it's not entirely true. Getting rid of these pests is a real problem if you don’t know how to do and what to do.

Hiring pest control services can be a costly affair; rather, you can maintain some healthy habits on a regular basis to keep the creepy crawlers at bay. If you live with children and pets keep a strict eye on your food, don’t let them eat contaminated food as their digestive system is much more sensitive than adults.

If you ignore pests like rats and cockroaches, it may cost you a lot in terms of health and wealth. Rats roam around some of the nastiest places, that is why their body is always greasy. If you have a rat infestation in your home, you may find signs of greasiness along their path. Food safety must be your top priority as the health of your family members is directly related to the quality of food cooked from your kitchen.

Pests carry pathogens

Household pests are not at all innocent, so compromising with them cannot be an option. They can attack and contaminate food, damage your property, and spread many diseases. Some of which are maybe fatal for humans. Wherever these pests move, they leave faces; if those got mixed with your food, your health might deteriorate. So, quality control is must for cooked food.

Rats carry many diseases, some of which are-

  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
  • Tularemia
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)

Among the above-mentioned diseases, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) is an infectious rat borne disease that may be transmitted through urine and saliva of rats. Victims may experience long term effects of this disease with enormous discomfort. Another worth mentioned rat borne disease is bubonic plague, which is also termed as Black Plague it occurs when fleas from rat’s bite humans. They are also potential sources of allergens. It affects most of those who are suffering from asthma. Their dropping and other micro-body parts may result in sneezing, rashes, and itching in humans. Those diseases may result from direct biting.

Similarly, cockroaches also carry pathogens of harmful diseases, some of them are-

  • Typhoid
  • Salmonella Typhi
  • Poliomyelitis (causes Polio)
  • Dysentery

The main causes of cockroach diseases are their faces and body parts. If these somehow got mixed with your food, you may experience any of the above-mentioned diseases. Cockroaches are easier to detect than rats, though they like to hide, but they are not pro in this. Their crave for food forces them to be seen in your kitchen.

If you have pets like dogs, cats, birds, etc. you may face a flea problem. Flea bites are extremely itchy and poisonous to humans. Flea borne diseases are not as common as rat and cockroach borne diseases.

Some of the serious flea diseases are-

  • Bubonic plague
  • Murine typhus
  • Tungiasis
  • Tularemia
  • Allergies (from flea bites

Fleas are known to transmit tapeworm that primarily attacks pets. Keep your pets safe from fleas, use flea proof products recommended by your doctors. Change their bedding material once a week. Wash them regularly with shampoo, and don’t forget to apply anti-fungal powder.

Another annoying household pest is mosquito. Females mosquitoes bite to perform their special biological phases (reproduction), male mosquitoes generally do not bite, but in case unavailability of their food (sap), they may bite you. Not only their bites are painful, but they also transmit harmful diseases like:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika fever
  • Rose River fever
 These diseases can be fatal if not treated in time. So, if you have mosquitoes remove them immediately before its too late. Children are more sensitive to mosquito bites than adults.
harmful diseases

Warning signs

Look out for signs of infestation regularly. It only takes a couple of weeks to spread an infestation, which may be cockroach, rat, bed bugs, or any other infestation. Cockroaches and rodents are quite shy in nature; they don’t prefer to be seen in the daylight. So, if you want to look for them, night is the ideal time.

Common infestation signs are:

  • Presence of scattered droppings in your kitchen.
  • Presence of large droppings with a stinky smell.
  • Small holes in furniture.
  • Increased cracks and crevices in your kitchen.
  • Gnawed goods or packaging.
  • Greasy animal footprints
  • Musty smell
  • Urine stains and smells
  • Seeing live cockroaches and rats around your kitchen.

How to keep your food safe?

  • When it comes to food safety, you must clean the kitchen regularly with a disinfectant.
  • Close the lid of your containers.
  • Seal all the cracks and crevices
  • Don’t lave spills.
  • Close the dustbin
  • Leave no gaps between the doors

Removing the attraction

  • Clean the food storage area regularly
  • Examine all the food, both raw and cooked before eating processing
  • Clean all the spillages with a disinfectant
  • Do not store foods on the store
  • Before opening, check the packaging of the food.
  • Secure the bin before leaving the kitchen
  • Don’t leave food and drink overnight
  • Do not accumulate cardboard or other discarded material as the pests may hide within them.
  • Clean your dustbin every day
  • Fix leakage in the water supplying pipe
  • Remove all stagnant water sources like a container that may house mosquitoes.

How to remove those pests?

It is difficult to keep all the pests away in spite of taking various measures. After an infestation, it is necessary to check it ASAP so that it may not spread further. There are two major ways to remove pests. One is a natural way, and another is a chemical way. Natural ways are safe, effective, but time taking whereas chemical ways, i.e. insecticides are faster but sometimes harmful to health.

#1 Natural ways 

There are various natural ingredients that repel different pests as effectively as insecticides; these are known as a natural insect repellent. Here we have listed some of the most effective natural insect repellents.

a. Citronella oil

Citronella oil repels insects, specially mosquitoes and ants. They don’t like the strong smell of it. If you sprinkle a little amount of citronella oil in your curtains and bedding material, mosquitoes won’t come near you. This is a completely natural product, does not possess any harm to human health.

Natural ways

b. Lavender oil 

You can add 30 to 50 drops of lavender essential oil into 500 ml water, mix it well and sprinkle it near the target area to keep mosquitoes and fleas away. You can directly apply it to your skin as it is natural and doesn’t contain any chemicals.

Citronella oil

c. Lemongrass oil 

Lemongrass oil is a wonderful ant repellent. Sprinkle it around the cracks and crevices from where an ant colony is crawling, leave it overnight. The ants will change their course as they don’t like the strong smell of lemongrass oil. It can be mixed with rosemary oil that creates a strong smell which keeps mosquitoes at bay. It also repels water bugs and cockroaches.

Lavender oil

d. Clove oil 

Clove oil is very effective against cockroaches and mosquitoes. You can sprinkle it the same way as citronella oil. It is believed to work best among the natural insect repellents.

Lemongrass oil

e. Mint oil 

If you want to repel your ant colony, naturally purchase mint oil. It required a small amount to work. You can apply it directly to the cloths as it does not have any staining property. You can sprinkle it on your kitchen floor, keep it overnight, and get rid of the painful mosquito bites.

Clove oil

f. Thyme oil 

Thyme oil is very effective in repelling mosquitoes and cockroaches. Sprinkle it around your dustbin and kitchen floor to get the best results.

Mint oil

g. Neem oil 

Neem oil repels mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, and rats. Instead of using costly insecticides, you can apply a small amount of neem oil to keep these pests at bay.

Thyme oil

h. Vinegar 

Another natural pest repellent is vinegar; in most cases, it is used as bait to kill pests like cockroaches, ants, and rats.

Neem oil

#2 Chemical control 

There are four major types of chemical control, those are-

a. Spray 

Which can be directly applied to the pests to kill them. Sometimes these sprays are harmful to humans, specially those with asthma or other respiratory illness. Sprays are considered as one of the fastest pests killing methods. Sprays are effective in case of large infestation. But in case of rat infestation, sprays won't work, whereas it works like magic in cockroach and mosquito infestation.

Chemical control


Powders are less effective than sprays. It contains diatomaceous earth and other poisonous materials. It needs to sprinkle on the target area from where you wish to remove the pests.


c. Bait 

Baits are effective in removing cockroaches and rats, but it won't work in case of mosquito infestation. Baits are available in different forms like powder, tablet, gel, liquid, etc. Baits are also efficient in removing ant colonies.

d. Trap

Traps are effective and free from harmful chemicals as these are specially designed to catch those target pests either alive or dead. Traps are useful for catching rats, cockroaches, bed bugs, and mosquitoes, but those are not effective in catching ants.

Foods are the main attraction and reason for infestation. Keep your foods secure, out of the reach of these pests. Do not apply any insecticides directly on your food as they contain poisonous chemicals specially designed to kill the pests. In case of a large infestation, hire an exterminator to tackle the situation. Do not apply insecticides on your own without proper information.

Tips for Maintaining Your Garden While on Holiday

Holiday times are great moments when one takes a break from work to relax and feel rejuvenated. Often, families plan for a winter holiday, end of year holiday for a couple of days to enjoy as a family, a group, or solo.

While all these factors are taken into consideration, one should not forget the garden that has made the home a beautiful place to live in.

Other plantations are birthday presents from loved ones, and they add so much love. Holding on to them and leaving them for a vacation is never a surprise.

The flowers, landscaping, kitchen garden, all form a basis of looking for ways of managing it while on vacation, and no one is around to take care.

Whether taking a weekend off from home or extended days, we have a few tips for maintaining your garden as below.

#1 - Tilling the Soil;

  • This is the first and foremost point. While plants need moisture to keep them fresh and hydrated, hard ground cannot allow the moisture to penetrate through the roots. 
  • It's paramount, therefore, essential to cultivate the entire garden, give the soil a soft feel.
  • Ensure to use proper tools usually used for home gardening, such as the hand trowel, the shovel to assist in reaching out to the tiny spaces in the garden.
  • Make sure that the garden is also well protected from predators, which may invade the garden in your absence and mess up with the plants. Fence all-round, use tools such as the cordless drill to drive any fasteners when securing the area.
  • To manage water efficiency in the soil after tilling the area, water the plants as much as possible before leaving.  Apply hygroscopic humectants which work like small water magnets to draw water together.
  • This helps to convert any unavailable moisture in the soil into usable water drips.
  • After cultivation is complete you can use a tool for measuring plant moisture to check on how moist your ground is. If you're going through a dry patch increasing your watering is recommended and measuring the soil's moisture routinely.

#2 - Use of Automatic Sprinklers;

  • With the advanced technology, maintaining the plants in your absence is no longer a challenge.
  • One of the useful products is installing outdoor faucets.
  • This is where the automatic sprinklers and timers will keep watering the plants depending on the set times. Besides, the Wi-Fi enabled devices will enable you to control them remotely and access the weather condition.
  •  In the instance when it’s wet, you can put them off to prevent overwatering the plants.

#3 - Mulching;

  • Watering alone is not enough. This is because, at times, technology may fail, and the plants end up drying. To conserve the moisture at all times, practice mulching.
  • Organic leaves, dry glass can be used to cover the stems and the entire ground.

#4 - Find a friend to take care of the plants when away;

  • Friends are there to help in times of need, and this is one way that one can use to manage the plants.
  • A good and trusted neighbor will work out to ensure that the plants are watered daily. The best thing is to leave a hosepipe outside the main house where he can connect to the primary source of water and do the needful.
  • The same case applies to you when you are around, and he is away. Support in checking over his garden, and he would never fail you.
  • Leave any tools that may be required to prune or till some needy area before your return. For instance, if a flower is falling, some of the tools can be used to restore it to its reasonable condition.

#5 - Train a family member to help;

  • We do not expect to travel with the family members at all times. For instance, when going on a business trip, traveling solo is the order of the day.
  • Technology has it enough when it comes to automatic sprinklers and timers.
  • However, there are times when one will need to water some of the plants using jugs or water sprayers.
  • It’s essential to train a family member to take up the responsibilities while you are away.
  • If they may forget, put a plant indicator somewhere within the vicinity. Check for the once that wilt fast. This will quicken their minds and remember that there is a duty to complete.
  • An indicator plant is useful in giving the person in charge knows the amount of water to use.

#6 - Do proper planning for vacation;

  • Winter periods are better spent away from home. In any case, why take a vacation when there is sunshine, warmth, and conducive weather for outdoor activities during summer.
  • It’s worth noting that you may not need anyone to water the plants, neither the sprinklers during winter. The weather alone is enough to keep your plants hydrated.
  • You will only need a bit of first aid when you get back home on any dying plants.

#7 - Harvest time;

  • Do you know that you can plan well ahead of your holiday on the tentative days for harvesting?
  • Yes, this is possible to count the dates and plan to harvest days before leaving. This will give ample time to organize for storage, sale of any extra, and even gift the neighbors and friends.
  • Therefore time the planting season and harvest time in this matter.

#8 - Open the field for the wild;

  • This may look sarcastic buy should all these other options fail, do you have to stop your holiday because of plants? No, why not open the garden for the wild animals such as rabbits to feast on them. After all, the vacation could bring better returns than worrying so much.
  • After coming back, release the chicken to go and clear any leftovers before cultivating it once again. Cast all the worries behind and purpose to enjoy the holiday.
  • Gardening is one of the most fulfilling activities at home.
  • It not only provide vegetable foods s but is a leisure activity, makes the compound look beautiful, and brings botanical life at home. We hope these tips will help you maintain your beautiful garden even if you are not available to take care of them yourself.