Here’s How You Should Plan for a Garden Party

A garden party sounds like a nice way to spend your vacation, especially in summer. It feels right to take the party outdoors when the weather is fab.

However, as the host or hostess of the party, you have a lot of planning to do. Everything has to be just right so that everybody can enjoy themselves.

Even if it’s a small party in the garden, you have to start planning as early as possible so that you can overcome any issues.

Wondering where to start? Take a look at our checklist for planning the perfect garden party.

Choose a Theme

Before you do anything else, you should first decide on the theme of the party. The theme is the foundation on which you’ll base everything else.

For instance, if it’s a birthday party, then you’ll need balloons. If it’s a baby shower, then you’ll need plenty of pastel colors.

Then, think about who you’re inviting to the party, and tailor the event to their interests. For example, kids’ games and candies if there are going to be lots of children.

The music, food, and attire should match the theme of the event. Ask your guests to dress up in a particular color. For example, have a Christmas themed dress code for a festive party.

Lighting

Since the event will be hosted in your home, consider how much power you’ll need. If you’re hosting a big party, it may be worth having a proper generator installed. Visit this website to get a generator for your garden party.

Depending on the number of people you’re inviting, you may require more electricity than usual. The garden will be decorated with fairy lights, music, and extra lighting. You may even decide to have a band play at the party.

Night parties must have adequate lighting in place. A good generator will keep up the power supply without the risk of power failures.

Set-Up

There are a number of things to consider when hosting a garden party. A yard that hasn’t been cleaned in months needs to be tidied up.

Check the garden for bugs and have a plan in place to deal with mosquitoes.

Trim and prune the plants and fix anything that’s broken. Set up space beautifully with furniture. Make sure you have enough chairs, plates, and glasses for the number of guests you’re inviting.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you’re too busy, call a professional event planner to decorate the space for you.

Have a back-up plan in case it rains or it becomes windy. Although people can just rush inside the house, you don’t want the sudden change in weather to ruin your party set up.

Invitations

The earlier you invite people, the sooner you’ll receive the RSVPs. It’s impossible for people to attend a party at short notice so send out the invitations at least a month in advance.

That way, your guests can reserve that day for you and plan their outfits accordingly.

You can send the invitations personally or online. Personally inviting people to come over is more cordial. But if you’re too busy to do that, create thoughtful invitation cards for your guests.

The layout of the card should mention the time, place and theme of the party. It should also have a list of activities that your guests can look forward to. Additionally, request them to dress according to the theme and include a map of the location on the card.

What to Cook

What you cook or decide to order from a restaurant should match the theme of the party and the weather. For hot days, cool drinks, hummus, sushi, bruschetta, burgers, french fries, macaroni coleslaw, fruit pies, sandwiches, and ice creams are perfect.

However, you need to cook warm food for a winter garden party. Think tacos, pizzas, pasta, grilled meat, soup, stir fry, mashed potato, and potato wedges.

Be mindful of your guests’ preferences when you prepare meals. Some people may have allergies, so let them know what you’ll be cooking or ordering.

If you’re cooking everything yourself, only cook dishes that you know you can manage to finish before the party. The rest you can order from an external company. Another option is to ask some of your friends and family to assist you in cooking.

Long Story Short

Planning a garden party is not hard at all. It’s actually fun to organize a party and you can be creative with it.

Event planning is a creative skill that will help you to nurture your creativity. When you’re decorating the garden and designing the card, you’re using your inner talents.

It can be relaxing to do something that’s not related to work. But, of course, its more relaxing when the party goes smoothly.

The whole point of hosting a garden party is to enjoy your time with near and dear ones. We hope you don’t forget that important factor and enjoy the holidays to the fullest!

LITTLE KNOWN HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLANTS

The human race did not inherit the Earth as it looks today. It took a lot of effort, intellect, and the resultant developments in technology to turn it to the planet as it is now.

Sterile land was converted to grassy pastures and later used to construct buildings and skyscrapers. These advancements contributed to the amenities and luxuries we enjoy today, but this came at a price. Fewer plants.

The very first biology book we read as a kid tells us that plants are important for all living things. As we advance through our academic years we are even told that life, as we know it, will not exist without plants.

Plants are extremely important for the ecosystem. All organisms in the food chain, directly or indirectly, get energy from them. However, as mankind thrived for better infrastructure and buildings, plants were sacrificed. In recent decades, governments around the world have realized the calamitous consequences of this negligence and we are forced to revert to the knowledge of our first biology book; plants are really important. They serve us in ways many of us are not even aware of.

Reduce Carbon Dioxide

One of the main functions of a plant is to reduce carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Humans and animals breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and, as mentioned earlier, plants do exactly the opposite. Plants use the sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water to sugar and oxygen, through a process called photosynthesis. A planet without plants will be impossible to breathe in. This testifies the earlier statement; life will not exist without plants.

Purify Air

Rising health awareness has made people more conscious about the food they consume, but what about the air they breathe? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that on average, the indoor air quality is typically 2 to 5 times worse than the outside. This polluted air poses an equally potent threat to human health and requires us to improve the air quality indoors. Plants absorb pollutants while providing oxygen, ensuring uninterrupted supply of purified air. This is reason enough to have more plants in our homes and work environments.

After a series of experiments and studies, scientists have concluded that plants purify the air, improve the indoor environment and are useful in combating the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). While we feel secure within the premises of our homes, we are still exposed to airborne pollutants. Only a quarter of 82,000 chemicals in the US have been tested for their effects on humans. This tells us that the only protection we have against these alien, invisible chemicals is air purification, and the best way to do this is through indoor plants.

Reduce noise

People generally do not like noisy places. Offices, hotels, retail shops and medical facilities make a concentrated effort to reduce noise and ensure that the inhabitants enjoy a sense of serenity. An expensive solution would be soundproof walls and windows but the right way to do it is to grow plants.

Plants have this mystic characteristic to absorb noise through different means. Plant parts like stem, leaves and wood absorb sound. Plants can also reduce noise by deflecting it. When a sound hits a wall, it bounces back, but when it hits a flexible material like a plant, the sound wave is transformed to other forms of energy and is also deflected to other directions.

Lowering Blood Pressure

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common diseases today. Currently, one in three adults in the United States suffers from high blood pressure.

Plants not only serve as an important food intake to combat the disease but also help reduce stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure. Eating a plant-based diet and being surrounded by plants may well be the step in the right direction for all hypertension patients.

Fight Cold and Flu

Catching a cold or flu may not be a medical emergency but it is certainly not the best feeling either. Flu symptoms usually last for a week and even medical specialists avoid prescribing medicines for it. Instead of medicines, people can use plants to avoid or heal the flu.

Consuming plants like citrus fruit, ginger and garlic can help heal flu and you can also grow plants in your surroundings which can protect you from falling sick. According to a research conducted at Kansas State University, adding plants to hospital rooms improved patients’ recovery speed.

Conclusion

Biology theories have always been right in highlighting the importance of plants. We may have overlooked these theories and followed the advancements in physics and chemistry which made our lives more convenient, but for healthier lungs and lives, plants and trees are still the best choice.

Wondering How to Grow Kratom? – A Guide to Growing This Plant

Kratom plants typically grow in warm and tropical climates, but with the right plant care, they can also grow in non-tropical climates. You can grow them either indoors or outdoors. Kratom plants for sale are popular in many parts of the world because of Kratom’s pain-relieving, mood-enhancing, and stimulating benefits. Are you wondering how to grow Kratom? It is understandable that you are looking for the answer to this common question.

How to grow Kratom from seeds or cuttings

You can grow Kratom plants from seeds or cuttings. However, their propagation process is demanding, and few seeds or cuttings grow to become mature trees, particularly in non-tropical regions. If you want your Kratom plants to reproduce and reach their full potential, you need to emulate their natural habitat. These plants are used to growing in a high-humidity environment and in soil that does not flood. To ensure that the seeds germinate, sow them after a few days after picking them from the mother plant. Besides, you need to plant the seeds in large quantities to increase the chances of getting some germinated seeds.

You can also opt to cut clippings from live Kratom trees and plant the clippings. Propagating cuttings is equally challenging. You need to choose a high-quality Kratom plant when using clippings to boost its chances of growing and reaching its full potential. Cuttings usually fall prey to fungus and plant diseases and may not get to grow meaningful roots.

To get a Kratom cutting to grow, it is advisable to place it in a moistened container that is filled with a growing medium. You can also place the cutting in a moistened pot and use a plastic bag to seal the pot to prevent direct sunlight from reaching the cutting until the roots form. Open the plastic bag sometimes to allow the plant to adapt to lower humidity. Once the plant starts to grow, you may remove the bag and expose it to direct sunlight.

How to grow a Kratom plant from seedlings

If you do not prefer to grow Kratom from seeds or cuttings, you can find high-quality Kratom plants for sale. You can easily buy the plants online. Once your plant has arrived, you need to help it adapt to its new environment. Since this plant is used to growing in humid areas, dry air can make it lose its leaves. Try placing it in something like a dome to help maintain high humidity levels. As the days go by, gradually take off the dome to let more air inside until the Kratom plant gets used to its new environment.

If the plant came in a plastic bag, do not take it off immediately. Poke holes on the plastic bag so that the plant can get used to its new environment. You also need soil to plant your Kratom tree. Ensure that the soil is of good quality, preferably soil rich in perlite or pumice for easy drainage. You can consider getting a pot to plant your Kratom. This is ideal if you plan to plant Kratom indoors. Pick a location that is favorable because Kratom plants can grow up to a height of 10 feet. Ensure that the plant has enough space for developing. You should also consider lighting because it is crucial for the plant. The plant needs enough hours of light per day.

How to grow Kratom outdoors

If you plant Kratom outside, it is better to do so in a greenhouse. A dome or greenhouse effect can protect the plant from harsh weather and maintain high humidity levels, making it grow properly. A greenhouse is necessary if the climate of the area where you want to plant Kratom is cold. The plant will become dormant when the temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures can endanger the plant. In contrast, heat is not an issue for Kratom plants, and they can grow well even when the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to grow Kratom indoors

If you opt to plant Kratom indoors, it is wise to imitate a tropical climate all year round. You need to provide it with light, and you can consider using artificial lighting like high-intensity discharge light bulbs (HID). Ensure that the lamp is at a safe distance from the plant because this light can be too strong if it is very near it. For instance, you should keep a 400W bulb at a distance of four feet away from the plant. Another essential thing to do is ensuring that there is adequate ventilation. The plant needs fresh air for its growth.

Taking care of Kratom plants

Growing Kratom plants is relatively involving since they are big feeders. They need rich and fertile soil with a lot of nitrogen. The soil should also have a high level of humus, and its pH should range between 5.5 and 6.5. You should also water the plants occasionally because they are sensitive to extreme conditions like drought. However, drainage is unnecessary. Do not keep the soil wet all the time because insects and fungi can take over the plant. You also need to fertilize the soil regularly to ensure good yields. You can fertilize the soil every four weeks to keep it nutritious. Choose natural fertilizers as they boost vegetative growth. You also need to use pesticides to keep away pests. Do not let your plants get attacked by pests as the yield will be reduced. Spray pesticides twice a week to avoid pest infestation.

By following these tips on how to grow Kratom, you can cultivate the plants either indoors or outdoors successfully. The process may seem tedious, but it is rewarding. Cultivating Kratom plants is an excellent way to ensure that you have a steady and personal supply of Kratom powder and related products that promote health and wellness.

Artificial Grass for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Artificial turf or artificial grass is a natural grass-like surface that is made of synthetic fibers. It is usually used in sports arenas, but are now growing in demand for both commercial applications and residential lawns.

In this post, you'll learn everything about artificial grass for dogs to help you make the best decision when buying one for your furry friends.

How Artificial Grass Works

Synthetic grass is made by melting the material, like how a polymer, and ribbons are created, until the grass is ready for tufting. The artificial grass is tufted to a fabric backing. The adhesive used is polyurethane for a polypropylene material. After completing the tufting manufacturing process, artificial grass is ready for installation.

During the installation of the artificial grass, a generous layer of infill or small granules (made from silica dust, crushed rubber, sand, or a combination of these materials) is scattered throughout the surface to provide cushioning and support. In that way, the artificial turf can withstand traffic and will last for many years. The infill keeps the artificial grass blades upright and beautiful.

Features and Benefits of Artificial Grass

As a dog owner, you only want the best for your pet, so you provide your hundred percent tender loving care at all times. You want your dogs to enjoy playing while they help you become physically active and boost your confidence and passion in taking care of them and the people you love.

One of the best ways to show how much you care and love your fur babies is by installing an artificial turf for dogs in your home. Artificial grass has a lot of advantages for your furry friends. Here are some examples:

  • Safety Feature: Artificial turf is created soft and warm. It's generally safe for your dogs to play on it and it’s very inviting, most especially in the sun, giving your total dog relaxation and pure enjoyment in warm weather.
  • Stays Lush and Green: Homeowners don't need to feed or weed an artificial lawn. With little maintenance, you'll keep your artificial grass lush and green for many years to come. You don't have to water it and no need to worry about drying out or dying grass anymore, unlike natural grass.
  • Durable: Artificial grass is made of durable materials like nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene material that can withstand aggressive dogs.
  • Dog-friendly: Artificial turf is increasingly becoming popular in backyards, front yards, dog runs, and play areas because dogs love it just like real grass.

Common Concerns About Artificial Grass for Dogs

Common Concerns About Artificial Grass for Dogs

Because artificial grass is made of synthetic material, a lot of homeowners have concerns when it comes to maintenance and cleanliness. These might be your concerns as well, so it's worth discussing these things in this post.

Here are some of the issues or major source of concerns when using artificial grass:

  • Melting or Overheating: Because modern artificial grasses were made using melted polymers with UV protection, overheating, or melting due to the heat of the sun is not a major cause of concern. Synthetic turf can withstand extreme temperatures because it is not made from cheap plastic materials.
  • Dog Poo and Pee: Many homeowners are skeptical about using artificial grass because of the possibility of urine and fecal material from their furry friends damaging a fake lawn. Artificial turf won't die, unlike real grass, even if your dog poo or pee on it. Also, you don't need to be stressed about urine spills because it drains away, and you can simply scoop the feces and clean up the mess using a water hose to remove residual dirt and stains.
  • Nasty Odors: You can naturally and permanently eliminate nasty odors lingering from your dog and fake grass by applying some baking soda and vinegar over the area.

Natural Grass vs. Artificial Grass: Which is a Better Option?

What are the differences between natural grass and artificial grass? Why should you choose artificial grass over natural grass for your dogs?

There’s no doubt that natural grass reflects the real beauty of nature and gardening brings joy and health benefits for you. But, artificial grass can be highly beneficial if you're trying to care for pets and maintain the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your home at the same time.

Dogs can be playful and overly naughty, so natural grass can easily get damaged and turn out ugly because of muddy footprints with grass fibers scattered around. However, with artificial grass, you have less stress handling gardening problems and pet mess at the same time.

As previously mentioned, artificial turf never withers, and they don't need nutrients and water to remain lush and green.

Here are some other differences between natural grass and artificial turf:

  • Chemical Exposure and Bacterial Buildup: Chemicals are frequently used in natural grass lawns, requiring an abundance of pesticides and herbicides to keep pests away and for them to look their best. It is especially true if you hire a landscaping company to take care of your yard, which makes it difficult to determine if they're using natural products or organic options.
  • On the other hand, artificial grass doesn't require fertilizers, so even if they chew on safe artificial turf, chemicals won't be a major source of concern. Artificial turf also comes with anti-microbial or acrylic-coated infill to avoid bacterial buildup.
  • Maintenance: You need to mow, weed, water, and fertilize natural grass while artificial grass only requires water and vinegar solution to keep it clean and odor-free (more on maintenance discussion below).
  • Overall Safety: Conventional grass usually has uneven surfaces that may pose a safety hazard to your pets and children. The correct level of the ground is usually impossible to see, which can cause tripping accidents. On the other hand, synthetic turf installers know how to work on edges, seams, and the sub-surfaces, so they are level or even for children and pets to play. The infill also provides extra cushion if ever your dog falls down to improve safety.

How Artificial Grass Can Make a Difference

Surely, you now probably have realized how effective and efficient an artificial grass is for you as a pet owner. But, how can artificial grass affect the life of your dogs in general?

Here are the impacts of installing an artificial turf for dogs:

  • Dogs Take It Pretty Quickly: Are you worried that your dog won't love the feel of artificial grass? Don't worry because artificial grass feels and looks similar to natural grass without becoming muddy. Dogs generally love comfort, so installing artificial turf is like re-carpeting their play area with denser and softer material.
  • Small Dogs Love It: Overgrown natural grass can become an intimidating place for small dogs. With artificial grass, you don't need to mow your lawn, and the tidy length may persuade them to go outside more often. By doing so, they tend to get more exercise, get physically active and confident, and help them do their activities with ease.
  • Cope With Your Dogs’ Habits: Dogs love to lie down on certain spots, and the good thing about artificial turf is that it compacts when lying on and spring back after. It is because artificial turf is made of durable plastic so that it won't get damaged even with energetic play. Just wash the area with soapy water to keep your dog's favorite spot sanitary.

How to Maintain Artificial Grass for Dogs

Artificial grass is not totally maintenance-free. Like natural grass, you have to keep it looking at its best, so your dog can use it for many years. Regular cleaning and maintenance are important.

How often do you clean artificial grass? Well, it really depends on the situation. For instance, you'll likely need to clean your artificial lawn more often if you have several outdoor pets, lots of shrubs and trees, and children playing around.

Living in a sandy or dusty area may also require rinsing down your artificial lawn more often. Allow the rain to drain and wash it during rainy days. Due to a wide array of factors involved in cleanliness and maintenance, setting up a maintenance schedule will help you keep your artificial lawn at its best at all times.

Here's a quick guide in maintenance scheduling of artificial grass for dogs:

  • Weekly Synthetic Lawn Maintenance: Lightly rinse your artificial lawn once a week. Use a water hose to spray down the synthetic grass fibers to remove small debris and dust.
  • Monthly Synthetic Lawn Maintenance: You need to do a more thorough artificial grass cleaning every month by removing dirt, dust, and leaves using a stiff brush. Avoid using steel bristles because they could cause undue damaged on the artificial grass. Using a handled brush or a broom is also a good idea to sweep natural grass grain and maintain the grass in an upright position.

How to Clean Pet Waste From Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is a pet-friendly option that only requires minimal maintenance to keep your lawn looking great. Your dog may urinate or defecate in your synthetic turf, but you can address this problem by:

  • Removing solid waste with a pooper scooper or baggie.
  • Cleaning the area by using a water hose in a decent pressure.
  • Making sure to spray or clean areas where your dog frequently urinates at least once or twice a week.
  • Applying a turf deodorizer is a good idea to keep nasty smells away.

Note: You can create a separate bathroom area, like a gravel or dirt patch in your side yard, to make synthetic lawn maintenance a lot easier. Dogs can be easily trained to use separate bathroom areas.

How to Clean Stubborn Stains from Artificial Grass

Stubborn stains could be chewing gum, sticky candies, barbecue sauces, spills, and blood. While many stains can be easily washed away, you can use mild soap and warm water to clean stubborn stains. Also, you can use a water and vinegar solution as a cleansing agent to help remove bacteria or disinfect the area.

Here are some tips when removing stubborn stains:

  • If ever a chewing gum, gummy candy, sticky candy, or caramel chocolate stick on the artificial grass, you can simply pick them up with your hand.
  • Chilling the gum with an ice cube is a good idea to remove chewing gum easily.
  • Also, a plastic putty knife can help remove tough stains.
  • Don't use harsh solvents or chemicals to remove sticky substances or spills from your artificial lawn because they can damage the fibers due to their corrosive properties.

How to Avoid Burns on Artificial Grass

You can repair cigarette burns in your synthetic lawn. Burns are usually caused by lubricant spill, grease, battery acid, and motor oil, that may damage or discolor your artificial grass. Prevent burns by repairing your car or not using garden tools near or on your synthetic lawn.

Also, cigarettes, fireworks, sparks from fire pits, and charcoal spill from grills can cause burns of artificial grass. That's why you have to keep a safe distance when grilling, smoking, or lighting fireworks to avoid burning your artificial grass. You can always contact your artificial lawn provider for repair options.

How to Remove Ice and Snow from Artificial Grass

It's quite easy to remove ice and snow from your synthetic lawn by allowing them to melt and eventually drain away naturally. If you're dealing with a light snow dusting, simply sweep or brush the snow away. For several inches of snow, you can use a snowblower or shovel to remove the top layers, and the bottom layers are best brushed or swept away.

Conclusion

Artificial grass is a great alternative to natural grass if you have dogs around because it is more durable and requires little maintenance. Removing dirt, ice or snow, and stubborn stains are easy with simple tools to use. Also, dogs love synthetic grass-like natural grass because they're much softer and denser, and grasses don't grow at all, which is beneficial for small dogs.

Investing in a synthetic lawn is a wise move because you'll save money with watering, fertilizing, and hiring a landscape company to maintain a conventional lawn. Your dogs are also happier because they can easily get used to the feeling and the looks of an artificial lawn. For pet owners, your life is a lot easier because you don't have to deal with the mess every time so that you can spend more quality time with your family and pets.

Things You Need To Consider When Building A Greenhouse

Gardening has become a popular hobby nowadays since it is affordable as well as a relaxing activity to do. Gardening has become a joyful hobby because of the sense of responsibility it gives to its owners. Since it’s easy to maintain, gardening inside a greenhouse has become more popular in recent times. Building a greenhouse for your personal use can benefit you in many ways but you can’t become successful without proper planning. You must consider a few factors before building a greenhouse garden of your own.

Here are some things you should take into consideration before starting to build this project:

Size

When planning to build a greenhouse for your garden, you must consider the size that you want to have. The size of a greenhouse will depend on several factors, but the most important one to consider is the kind of plants or vegetables you plan to grow inside of it. If it is your first time building one, it is recommended to build a smaller greenhouse. However, the small ones tend to be more difficult to manage when it comes to regulating its temperature.

Temperature

The regulation of a greenhouse’s temperature is as easy as opening its windows to let the heat out. During the summer season, heat builds up which leaves the plants in an unhealthy habitat. Consider putting fans or enough windows to regulate the temperature and lessen heat buildup. During winter, make adjustments for chilly days. For smaller greenhouses, a small electric heater can be all you need to prevent the temperature from going down to hazardous levels. You can also use alternative heat collection systems such as drums of water or blocks of thick concrete that will warm when sunlight hits them. During the night, these will slowly let out the retained heat back into the greenhouse.

Roofing

If your area snows during the winter, your greenhouse will need a peaked roofing system to prevent snow from collecting and collapsing the greenhouse. If you choose a dome-type roof, guarantee that it has enough pitch so that rain and snow doesn’t collect in one spot. Roof drainage becomes a huge factor when owning large greenhouses where there are a lot of areas where water can be accumulated. Gutters, drain pipes and downspouts can be installed to manage excess water on the roof. For larger installations, City Seamless Roofing recommends getting a catch basin for both ends of the greenhouse.

Location

If you are looking for optimal growing conditions, the best orientation for your greenhouse should be south or southeast. Exposing the greenhouse all day helps the plants undergo photosynthesis. If it is not possible to have a southern orientation, the next viable option is the east orientation. The end walls of the greenhouse should face the direction of east to west so that sunrise and sunset can provide sufficient sunlight for your plants.

Functionality

How do you plan to use the greenhouse? You have to know exactly why you want to have a greenhouse. Do you want to grow exotic plants or cultivate a collection of eclectic plants? Perhaps you want it to jumpstart seedling procedures? Will the greenhouse be for your personal use or could it double as an entertainment section so that family and friends can see your plant collection? These are just a few questions that can help determine your greenhouse’s functionality.

Flooring

Gravel flooring has been the choice of many greenhouse owners since it is simple, low maintenance and provides easy drainage. However, others prefer the traditional concrete tiles to make it look good.

Having a greenhouse that can provide sustainable gardening can require upfront investments but it will provide you with outstanding advantages in the long run. You will have the opportunity to raise different varieties of plants which cannot grow in a traditional garden.

6 Home Sidings Upgrades To Help Improve Your Curb Appeal

The moment your home looks incredible right from the curb, you will easily impress everyone passing by your home including homebuyers. Now, improving the curb appeal seems like an easy task when it really isn’t. Here are some great ideas on home sidings upgrades to improve your curb appeal and complement your garden.

Start with the front door

The front door is pretty instrumental when it comes to improving the general outlook of your home. Make sure you pick colors that complement the front lawn and garden. You could always install a custom wood door and paint it to match the surroundings. The advantage of wood doors is that you can easily repaint should you want to change the outlook in the future. Most people don’t know this, but the door should also reflect what your home looks like inside. Ensure that you pick a style or swag that suits your personality and encompasses what you love.

Replace old hardware

You have probably lived in your home for a while now, and if not, then there are a few components that you have already realized are kind of old and worn out. Such hardware includes wall-mounted mailbox, entry door lockset, house numbers, and overhead light fixtures. If these old components are worn out then they might not be entirely suitable for the aesthetic you are going for. When you ensure all these outdoor components work collectively, then you will find it easier to improve your curb appeal. Yes, mix and match elements sometimes come together okay but not always. Most of the time old and new don’t quite blend in well.

Ensure you create asymmetry

One of the simplest things to arrange is symmetry. It is also the most appealing element to any home and should be done rather keenly. Since you want the curb to compliment your garden, ensure that the light fixtures and all the accents create a welcoming appeal to burst the general outlook of your home. When it comes to creating a perfect symmetry all you need is time and a little creativity. Don’t be in a rush to dismiss or approve an item until you take a really good look at it.

Install outdoor lighting

Install outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting is a key element in creating the perfect curb appeal for your home that compliments your garden. Most people prefer a low-voltage landscape type of lighting since it best compliments most homes and also helps with both security and safety. When you find the right fixtures, they should be able to add accent lighting to the plants and trees in your home. You could also simply install solar fixtures should you find wiring to be a little difficult. Solar lighting, however, is not as bright and powerful as the ordinary electrical lighting.

Do a mailbox makeover

Did you know that your mailbox is an important element that greatly helps improve your curb appeal? The perfect mailbox should reflect your personality. In case you want to install a hanging mailbox, ensure you pick one that mirrors how your garden trimming is done. There are several mailbox options to choose from on the internet and you should ensure that you carry out enough research.

Apply stone veneer

Apply stone veneer

Stone has some sort of appeal that is simply difficult to explain. Use stone veneer which is cheaper than a brick to spice up your exterior by creating column footings, concrete foundations, and other details. You need to ensure that the brick veneer compliments your garden and it doesn’t have to be something fancy. The problem with bricks and regular stone is that they are heavier and you will need experts to help you create the details that you require.

Conclusion

 Home sidings don’t have to be expensive or created by expertise, but it definitely increases the overall aesthetic and value of your house. Sometimes all you need is a little creativity and time to create the sidings you need. You won’t be able to change your home’s curb appeal at once. It will take some time before everything falls in place and you have a perfect curb appeal that compliments your garden. Do extensive online research to help you come up with home siding ideas. Remember that just because some home sidings seem to look appealing to another person’s home doesn’t mean that they are what’s best for your home.

Maintain and Save this Fall with these Great Garden Tips

Fall is great when it comes to gardening because you have the chance of looking at successes and disappointments, but you will still have some time to do some garden maintenance.

Fall gardening will provide you with cooler temperatures and you will be dealing with fewer insects, and you will have an easier time gardening during the fall compared to doing it during the spring meaning it is easy to put some autumn color in your landscaping.

Different Fall Garden Money Saving Tips

Pick Up Plants Without Spending As Much

A lot of the nurseries you will find end up putting their remaining stock on deep discounts during the Fall season in order to avoid having to set it aside for storage in the winter. Therefore, you will be able to save around 40 to 50 percent of the list price for various plants, seeds, and tools.

What would be even better, completely avoid the nursery entirely and acquire plants without paying anything at all. Fall is a great time to split and divide spring-flowering perennials including both peonies and day-lilies. To do this, you can cut a piece off of your favorite specimens in various gardens in your surrounding area and plant them in your yard. This is not only beneficial for the original plant that you are splitting, but it will also save you a lot of money in the process. You can visit burpee.com for direct instructions on this process.

You just have to ensure that you are able to get everything planted and in the ground a minimum of 6 weeks prior to your average first time the ground freezes. To get this date in your area, ask a knowledgeable nursery in your area.

Grow A Much Healthier Lawn

Because weed seeds don't germinate in the fall, you will get a grace period to get your lawn started without much competition according to Wilmette, Ill., landscape architect Steve Kooyenga. Because the fall is traditionally much cooler and due to the increased rainfall during this season, the turf will be both thick and strong enough in order to beat out a lot of the weeds that grow in the spring. Therefore, if you wait and seed until the spring, you will likely have to repeat the treatment which can get very costly in a hurry.

Fertilize Beds

Feed your garden now and you will be able to reduce the total cost and amount of time that you end up having to spend fertilizing and watering it over the next year. This is primarily due to the fact that the air temperatures will drop and the ground will remain warm which can encourage plants to focus their energy on root growth. Having healthy roots means having much more drought-resistant plants that can survive a lack of rainfall. Thus, you should aim to use a fertilizer that is high in potassium for the best root growth potential.

Save On Your Spring Blooms

Fall is just about the only time when you can plant spring-blooming bulbs including tulips and lilies. A good way to save money on this is by buying and sharing a bulk order with your surrounding neighbors. Doing this will allow you to reduce the total cost and it can help you enjoy colorful flowers in your garden for years to come.

Below are some tasks you need to do to make next year’s garden great.

Enriching garden beds using compost and manure. Take the compost and manure then spread it on exposed soil. The soil will be rich because of the freezing and thawing of winter, and also earthworms.

Collecting dried seed from veggies and open-pollinated flowers. There is a good chance you are going to sow next year, and it is a good idea to save some seeds you are going to use. You can even decide to give winter sowing a try.

Cleaning bird feeders and getting them ready to use. The birds have helped you in getting rid of garden pests and chirping all summer, and you can pay them back and try to get them to stay for the next year.

Gathering herbs, flowers, and seed heads for drying. Try leaving some flowers for the birds, but you should start cleaning-up by cutting plants such as yarrow and hydrangea, and the good part is you can bring them indoors.

Cleaning out cold frames for winter use. The worst time to do this is when the temperatures are very low. When you clean it out during fall, it increases the likelihood of you using it during the spring.

Winterizing your water garden. You need to be prepared to switch the pump for the ice breaker. Covering the water garden using a netting is a good idea because it keeps the falling leaves out.

Water the trees and shrubs till the ground freezes. They will be alive, even though they might look dormant. If the winter is dry, then you should continue watering throughout the season. This is even more important for trees planted this year.

Cutting back most perennials. If there are any diseased perennials in your garden, cut them back and dispose of them somewhere. You should not compost them.

Cleaning, sanding and oiling your garden tools before you store them. You should do this because you are going to store them for winter. This process is not as hard as it might seem.

Taking cuttings now, before the frost starts turning the plants to mush. You will have an easier time bringing a small cutting of plants to over-winter, instead of large pots of mature plants. They will also transplant better outdoors the coming spring.

5 Organic Pesticide Recipes For Your Home Vegetable Garden

Growing vegetables in your garden supply fresh produce your family while providing you full control of what is used and of their maintenance. Pest control is crucial to steer away pesky insects from gorging on your plants. Pesticides are an excellent choice, but they contain harmful toxins, leaving chemical residue on your yields.

Thankfully, there are homemade organic pesticide alternatives, which you can make from items readily available at your home. With these five natural pesticide recipes, you can now stave off unwanted visitors from your feasting on your vegetable garden the safest way possible.

#1 Neem Oil Insecticide

Neem oil is an extract from the seeds of the Neem tree (Azadirachta Indica), which originates from India and other parts of South Asia. For hundreds of years, it has traditionally used as an insecticide but also used as a raw ingredient for wax, soap, oil, and an array of cosmetic products.

How It Works

Neem oil disrupts the insect’s hormones, hampering their normal feeding habits. It disrupts the life cycle of insects, includes all other phases of their growth (the egg, larvae, and adult.)

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp liquid soap
  • 1-liter water
  • 2 tsp pure, cold-pressed Neem oil

Get a spray bottle and mix all the ingredients. Spritz the mixture on affected foliage of your vegetable and plants. Typically, one to two treatments are ample to free your greens of the pesky insects.

Don’t worry as the oil is safe to humans, pets, birds and is biodegradable. Make sure to use this in moderations as it can jeopardize the bees. They are crucial in the pollination process of some of your vegetables. So, It’s essential not to drive them away.

#2 Garlic and Cayenne Pepper Spray

If you’re dealing with more robust insects, time to use a more powerful organic pesticide. Combine the power of garlic and cayenne pepper into a mixture and get rid of leafhoppers, aphids, borers, slugs and cabbage loopers in a breeze.

How It Works

Most of these small critters simply don’t like the odor of garlic and cayenne pepper. Both ingredients contain substances that irritate them.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups, water
  • 1 tbsp liquid soap
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
  • 1 small peeled onion

Put the water, chopped garlic head and onion and powdered cayenne pepper (flakes or fresh one would also do) in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it stay for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and pour it in a spray bottle. Spritz it in the affected plants as needed. You can store the liquid in the fridge and use it for up to one week.

Alternatively, you can also partner garlic with various home products such as salt, vinegar, baking soda, and horseradish. All would still be effective as organic pesticides.

If making a spray isn’t for you, why not plant garlic between your vegetables instead. Its veggie friends won’t mind its smell, but inspects will surely refrain from your garden.

#3 Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a kind of powder derived from the sediment of fossilized algae, called diatoms, found in bodies of water. It has a variety of uses around the home but can also serve as an effective insecticide.

How It Works

Diatomaceous earth has abrasive features and the capacity to absorb lipids from the insects’ exoskeletons. Eventually, it forces dehydration and death among the insects who got in contact.

Ingredients

1 bag Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the foliage, or dust the soil around the plants. Make sure to reapply it after every rain to get its full effect.

#4 Oil Spray Insecticide

Natural and essential oils are a staple part of every home. While they are widely used for their primary purposes, natural oils (mineral, vegetable, etc.) and essential oils (citronella, lavender, etc.) are also efficient in steering pests away.

How It Works

These oils coat the insects’ bodies and cut their oxygen supply, eventually suffocating them to death. They are commonly in fighting a wide array of insects such as thrips, mites, aphids, and mealybugs.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of natural or essential oil
  • 1 tbsp of soap
  • 0.5 liter

Shake the oil and soap to get the standard oil you can use for staving off these little creatures. Dilute 3-4 tsp of the mixture in half-liter of water and put in a spray bottle. Spritz it directly on the affected plants.

Don’t overuse it, however, especially on hot weather. Too much oil can be harmful as it may burn your plant’s foliage when exposed directly to the heat of the sun. Applying it once a week is good enough to keep pests away.

#5 Tomato Leaf Spray

Are you growing tomatoes in your vegetable garden? Why not use it to protect its veggie neighbors? Tomato leaves are effective against many herbivorous insects and have many properties enough to keep them away.

How It Works

Tomato plants have a natural glycoalkaloid called Tomatine (Solanum Lycopersicum). The substance has antimicrobial, fungicidal, and insecticidal properties. While safe for plants and humans, it is toxic for most insects.

Ingredients

  • Tomato leaves
  • 3 cups, water

Fill a cup with tomato leaves and add two cups of water. Let it stay for 24 hours. Then, strain it and add another cup of water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spritz it on the foliage of the affected vegetables.

We hope this guide in helping you find new ways to keep the pesky insects away while ensuring that your vegetable prodauce is healthy. If you need further help with your pest problems, make sure to visit Wave Pest and know more valuable information on how to keep your home and garden critter-free.

Is Hemp Oil Safe to Use to Treat Symptoms When Sick?

Getting sick is just a part of life, but it is never fun or pleasant when it happens. You have all kinds of plans, a full to-do list and a packed calendar and then all of a sudden you wake up with a cough and stuffy nose.

At this point, what you want and need is to start feeling better fast so you can get back to living your regularly scheduled life.

Can XO Hemp oil help you do this? Let's find out!

Is Hemp Oil Safe for Use During Sickness?

This is an important question to ask before starting to use hemp oil for the first time.

The answer depends on what type of hemp oil you take, how much you take and what else you are taking at the same time.

Let's look at each of these factors separately.

Type of hemp oil.

For the best and safest results, you always want to choose the purest natural hemp oil that is free from synthetics or fillers (the addition of a carrier oil is fine and beneficial).

When you choose a high grade hemp oil product, you know the only thing going into your body is the hemp itself.

Dosage of hemp oil.

Just as with any supplement or medicine, you need to choose an appropriate hemp oil dose for your age, weight, gender and medical issue.

Here, a higher dose isn't always better. What you want instead is the right dose to deliver the desired benefits. It is important to remember that some people are more sensitive to hemp oil's benefits than other people, so always start at the lowest recommended dose and work your way up if needed.

To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet issued any formal dosing guidelines for hemp oil. Instead, you can be guided by the manufacturer's own dosing range suggestions and information provided by your doctor or holistic practitioner.

Potential interactions.

Whenever you are ill, it is natural to want to just feel better as fast as possible. But if you are already taking any medications or supplements for your health, talk with your doctor or holistic provider before adding hemp oil.

You just want to rule out even the slightest possibility of any drug or supplement interactions before you start taking hemp oil.

CBD Hemp Oil Has Many Health-Promoting Natural Properties

While modern western medical research with cbd hemp oil is still in its infancy, the use of the Cannabis genus of plants and the hemp strain in particular is not new at all.

In fact, hemp varietals are known to have potentially hundreds of beneficial naturally-occurring compounds, of which CBD (Cannabidiol) is just one of the best known and most researched to date.

Here are just a few of the known beneficial properties of CBD and hemp oil:

Analgesic (pain relieving).

One of cbd hemp oil's most popular benefits is as an analgesic, or pain relieving agent.

Research studies have shown that cbd can aid in pain relief from injury, temporary illness and chronic illness.

Sedating (sleep promoting)

One of the hardest things about getting better after a bout of illness is that being sick can disrupt your sleep. Sleep is the time when the body does the majority of its repair work, so not getting enough high quality sleep can really set you back.

Cbd hemp oil has proven sedating properties that can last up to eight hours - plenty of time to get a good night's healing sleep.

Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is part of the body's way of repelling invaders and promoting healing. But it can also lead to chronic illness, pain and discomfort in its own right, especially when the immune system itself is chronically stressed and overburdened.

CBD hemp oil can ease inflammation throughout the body to heal muscles, ligaments and tendons and calm an overly-sensitive immune response.

Anti-spasmodic (spasm relieving).

Muscle spasms can occur for all kinds of reasons, including an injury to the area as well as some chronic health conditions like restless leg syndrome.

Cbd hemp oil can help to relax muscle activity so your body can relax and heal.

Anti-depressant.

Depression is a common by-product of illness, especially chronic illness. It can be hard to keep your chin up in the face of daily aches and pains, inflammation, medication reminders and restricted activities.

CBD hemp oil has demonstrated effectiveness at easing depression during illness and at other times in life.

Anti-anxiety.

Anxiety is so prevalent in today's all-go, no-stop, 24/7 modern society that it can actually be hard to find anyone who doesn't suffer!

But some people struggle more with anxiety's effects than others, especially when life hands you an unexpected curve ball like illness at the wrong moment.

Unfortunately, a spike in anxiety will result in decreased immune response, prolonging rather than healing your body of illness. Taking cbd hemp oil can ease anxiety and let your immune system get back to the business of getting you well.

Immuno-supportive.

CBD's known anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties make it a natural addition to your wellness toolkit.

In other words, cbd hemp oil can fight off bacterial and fungal infections, virus germs, toxic microbes and harmful pathogens.

CBD does this in part by repelling these toxins and in part by boosting immune system response in the presence of threats.

How to Start Taking Hemp Oil to Feel Better

Start by talking with your healthcare practitioner to identify the best dosage and rule out any interactions with other supplements or drugs.

Also be aware that hemp oil can have certain temporary side effects for some people, including sedation, dry mouth and low blood pressure.

Then start at the lowest recommended dose. Start in the evening just in case hemp oil has a temporary sedating effect. Monitor how you feel the next morning and adjust your dosage as needed.

By following these general guidelines you can safely use hemp oil when you are sick to start feeling better fast.

DIY Hydroponics Kit Basics

Making a garden is one of the fulfilling hobbies you can do while at home. It does not only gives you a possible bountiful harvest but also can be a form of relaxation. However, making one proves to be difficult if you’re living in an apartment with a small area. Fortunately, hydroponics is now a trend in gardening, which enables people to create small patches of gardens in their balcony, terrace, rooftop, or even in a sunny window.

How does Hydrophonic Works and Why Have One?

Hydroponics is derived from Greek words, which means “ working with water.” As the name suggests, its a method of planting that relies on a nutrient-saturated liquid, usually working in a closed system. It means that the system should be able to sustain the growth of the plant without sourcing its nutrients from the soil. Here are advantages of having a hydroponic system:

Hydroponic does not require a large area for planting and can be done indoors.

You don’t need to prepare or look for sources of soil.

Your plants can grow faster since you can control the availability of nutrients.

You don’t need to be wary about pests and parasites from the soil. Thus, limiting your use of pesticide.

If you’re interested in making your very own hydroponic garden, but you don’t know where to start. This article will be listing down the basics and tips to achieve your garden goals DIY. Read on.

Plan Your Location

Although the hydroponic system does not require a large area for growing plants. It’s still crucial to look for a suitable place for it. Your set-up should be exposed to sunlight for your plants to grow. It should also be placed on a leveled surface to make sure that water will flow sufficiently. You have to make sure that your system will be safe against strong winds, rain, or overexposure to sunlight.

Plant Chamber Or Growing Tray

 Your plant chamber is an essential part of your hydroponics as it houses the root of your plant. The chamber makes sure that the plant’s root zone is safe against physical deterrent and exposed to the nutrient-rich liquid of your system. You can use different materials in building your plant chamber. Some of which can be found in your home. Here are some tips on how to choose suitable materials for your DIY plant chamber.

Stay Away from Metallic Materials- Since your system is exposed to water, any metallic material may corrode and reacts with the nutrients present in the liquid.

Look For Old or Unused PVC- Most DIY designs for hydroponic found online utilizes PVC as a plant chamber. You can make holes where the plants are inserted and where water can pass along. You may also use plastic bottles, containers or tray as long as you can easily put holes in it.

Make Sure Your Plant Chamber Can Fit Your Plant- The shape and size of your plant chamber must accommodate the type of plant that you will be using for your garden. Bigger plants will entail a larger chamber since it will have a bigger root system.

System`s Reservoir

Your reservoir holds the nutrient solution for your garden. It is vital as the nutrient solution brings life to your hydroponic system. Once this is compromised, your plant can stop growing, or it can die. Although the needed material for building your reservoir is easily found at home, there are some essential things you have to consider before making or buying a reservoir for your garden.

Your reservoir should be capable of holding enough water for your plant. Make sure that there is no leak in your tank since your plant depends on the nutrient solution for survival.

It’s important that your container should be light proof. It ensures that algae or fungus will not grow on your nutrient solution, which can be a source of competition or contamination for your plant.

Put a lid on your reservoir. The cover is crucial to prevent dust, algae, and fungus from entering your system.

Submersible Pump

A submersible pump is responsible for the transfer of the nutrient solution from the reservoir to the plant chamber. It’s essential for those hydroponic designs with elevated plant chamber. You can easily buy a submersible pump from garden supplies stores or hydroponic supply shops, and they are usually very affordable.

Air Pump

 An air pump supplies additional oxygen to the water and root of the plants. It also helps in circulating and mixing the nutrient along with the system. It keeps your plant from suffocating since they are soaked in the water for an extended period. However, installing an air pump for your garden is optional, and you can still make one without it.

Conducting System

The conducting system of your hydroponic is responsible for delivering and the continuous flow of your nutrient solution. It is crucial if you have several plants in your hydroponic system. Your conducting system can be customized according to the design of your garden by using PVC tubings and connectors. Its also advised that you prepare spare pipes and connectors since these conduit systems are prone to clogging.

 

Plants

Your hydroponic garden will not be complete without your plants. Although hydroponic cannot sustain all plants compared to a soil garden, there are still a lot of options for you to choose from vegetables to herbs. Its also advised that you steer away from deep-rooted plants and those that need large spaces. If you’re not sure what to use, Here are some example you can try:

Vegetables- lettuce, kale, spinach, beans, tomatoes, pepper, and cucumbers.

House Plant- Chinese evergreen, Devil’s Ivy, spider plant and money plant

Herbs- Chives, basil, and mints