How to Grow Plants for Oil

In this article, we’ll discuss three different plant crops to grow in your garden and how to produce your own oil. You might think it’s not worth growing your own oil, or that you’d need to harvest too much fruit to make it worth it. Fact is, however, that most oil crops have an oil content of 6-30%. Just imagine a bucket full of sunflower seeds. A third of that bucket is oil!

The first plant is the Olive, probably the most well-known oil crop. The humble Olive is surprisingly easy to grow and making your own olive oil is not particularly difficult, although it can be time-intensive.

Olives for Oil

Olives are incredibly versatile. You will be able to extract your own olive oil from them, as well as make pickled olives or preserved olives. They are a great self-sufficiency crop as the resulting product is healthy and can be preserved for years.

How to Grow Olives (Olea europea)

Did you know the ‘Olea’ is the ancient Roman word for oil?

Olives are Mediterranean natives. They are incredibly hardy and will grow in places where other plants don’t grow. They need a hot, dry climate (similar to a mediterranean climate) and, although they will grow on any rocky, dry hillside, they will grow faster in good, deep soil, with adequate water.

Olives love sun, so plant them 7-8m apart. You don’t have to prune olives, but if you see fruit production start to slow down, give them a light prune to encourage wood growth, which will, in turn, give you more fruit.

Fruiting will start after 3-7 years, but full production is not reached until they are at least 15, sometimes 50, years old. They’re incredibly long-lived; possibly as much as 2000 years old! Every Olive tree in full production will yield around 50kg of fruit.

Olives are picked at varying stages of ripeness, for a variety of processes. For olive oil, select ripe (black) or nearly ripe olives, including the ones fallen on the ground. You don’t need to pick the fruit by hand; just shake the tree and the ripe fruit will fall on the ground. If you place a tarpaulin underneath, you can easily gather the fruit.

You can read more about growing olives as a staple crop for self-sufficient gardens here: https://www.outdoorhappens.com/5-best-staple-vegetables-for-edible-self-sufficient-gardens/

Making Olive Oil

Olives will need to be crushed before you can press them for oil. You can use a coffee grinder for this purpose, a blender, a meat mill, or even a hammer (gets messy!). If you are going to produce oil regularly, invest in a small crusher (like a rock or bone crusher), it’ll be worth it.

Once thoroughly crushed, put them in a canvas sack or strong pillowcase. Only half-fill it, so you have room to close the bag and it doesn’t all spill out. Put your sack in a press. You can make your own with a barrel and a screw-down mechanism or buy one fairly cheaply. You can also press it the traditional way by covering a small table or with a plastic cloth, making sure that you prop the cloth up along the sides, so you don’t lose your oil.

Put the sack of olive pulp on the plastic and cover it with a piece of solid wood or metal. Put a very heavy stone, or something similar, on top and leave it overnight. You can also try pressing the top down with levers or jacks.

A black juice will be pressed out. Once the juice stops running, pour boiling water onto the sack, just enough to make it wet. Press it again. Repeat this process three or four times, until the juice comes out clear.

Transfer all the liquid to jars, and the oil will float to the top overnight. Separate the oil from the juice as soon as possible, strain it through very fine cheesecloth or tea towel, and seal it into clean jars.

2. Sunflowers for Oil

Sunflowers’ Latin name, Helianthus, literally means "sun (helios) flower (anthos)”. They are fast-growing annuals with huge, beautiful flowers.

How to Grow Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflowers are annuals, so you’ll need to re-sow them every year. They will grow up to 3m tall and will need adequate sunshine to make sure they don’t grow leggy and fall over. Even still, some may need support to keep them upright.

Grow sunflowers from seed. They germinate easily, as long as they are kept moist and are protected from birds and other animals; there are many that love eating sunflower seed! Seed can be sown straight into the garden. Plant them 20-40cm apart, in full sun. They will grow fine in poor soil, but again, they will grow better in rich soil with regular watering.

Once the flowers start fading, the round center will fill with black or black and white striped seeds. You can harvest when the seeds have completely filled out and the flowers start to go from yellow to brown. You can also wait for the seed heads to dry on the stalk. It is very easy to shake the seeds out that way, but some seed may fall on the ground and if you have a lot of birds around, they’ll happily clean them up for you.

Making Sunflower Oil

Thirty-five percent of sunflower seed is edible oil, which makes it a very productive crop. As with olives, sunflower seeds will need to be crushed first. You can do this in a blender or coffee grinder.

Put the crushed seed in cheesecloth and hang it over a jar. Gently squeeze until all the oil is removed. When the oil stops coming out, pour some boiling water over the seeds, leave overnight, and strain the oil off in the morning.

You can of course use presses for sunflower oil too, as described above.

 

3. Sesame for Oil

Sesame oil is very high in vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, so it doesn’t go rancid as quickly as other oils. It’s also low in cholesterol. If you aren’t inclined to make your own oil, you can use sesame seeds as garnish, instead of breadcrumbs, sprinkle over stir-fries, and for many other purposes.

How to Grow Sesame Seeds

Sesame (Sesamum orientale) is another tall, fast-growing annual. It grows to 1.5m tall and prefers a warm, frost-free growing season with rich, deep soil. You can grow sesame from brown, unhulled seed (not white seed).

It has white, trumpet-shaped flowers, followed by seed capsules. The seed capsules burst when they are ripe, shooting sesame seed all over the place, unless you can find a commercial variety that was specifically developed NOT to burst and scatter. Try to harvest when the seed is ripe, but just before it bursts open. A trick is to cover the capsules with plastic bags, to catch the seed when it disperses.

Making Sesame Oil

Seeds will need to be ground first, in a blender or coffee grinder. Empty the pulp onto cheesecloth, and hang it over a jar. Press gently with your hands to help it along, and leave it suspended over the jar overnight to catch every little drip.

Warning - rancid oils are bad for you. If you think your oil has gone bad, do NOT consume it!

What are the Best Vegetables to Plant and Grow in Cold Frame – Fall, Winter, and Spring?

In this blog post, you will find which the best cold frame vegetables plant during the Fall, Winter, and Spring is. You’ll also learn which plant is best sowed/harvested when, along with a dash of interesting facts, historical and scientific, to accompany each of the two lists:

The best cold frame vegetables to sow in Fall

The cold frame vegetables for all winter long

The veggies suitable for cold frame gardening in Spring

What is a Cold Frame for Plants?

“A cold frame is а short-heightened greenhouse meant to keep greenery safe from severe weather, moisture, and low temperatures during fall, winter and spring.” commented the London-based Fantastic Gardening Services, “Basically, cold frames allow you to greatly expand what you plant and produce.” the gardening experts added.

Learn What Is The Average Time For The Seeds To Sprout.

So what to grow in a cold frame?
Here are the best vegetables for a cold frame:

The 10 Best Cold Frame Vegetables to Sow in Fall

The 10 Best Cold Frame Vegetables to Sow in Fall

Fall, being the warmest of the other off-seasons is a great time for growing larger sized veggies. Longer days lead to better solar ray absorption and higher growing temperatures within the cold frames. For most areas, the Fall growing season is between late August and mid-December.

Thus let’s look at some examples of plants suitable for cold box gardening during that season:

  • Carrots - There are many types of carrots that are great to plant during fall, for a spring harvest. Sow these in September. Carrots are the richest sources of beta-carotene, meaning that they turn into vitamin A when digested. Beta-carotene, not only helps improve eyesight but also boosts our immune system. Carrots will also last for a while when outside the fridge.
  • Leeks - Plant leeks in early fall(around the beginning of September) for a spring harvest. Leeks were very popular amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans because of their extremely beneficial effect on the throat. Even Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, credited his clear and healthy voice to a diet of leeks.
  • Radishes - Sow your radish seeds 4-6 weeks before the first fall frost, for a winter harvest. Radishes were amongst the veggies offered as wages to the Ancient Egyptian labourers. This was because of their ability to relieve stomach aches, regulate blood pressure, and grow almost anywhere.
  • Turnips - Turnip greens are fairly easy to grow in almost any well-drained soil. They can be sown in late August to early October for a fall harvest. Turnips were mass-produced and eaten in Germany during WWI when meat and other veggies were scarce. Since their leaves are rich in iron and copper, they were a perfect substitute for the meat they lacked
  • Beets - When planting beets in early fall, use slightly heavier soil to protect the plants from any unexpected early frosts. Scientific studies have shown that beets posses can help reduce the risk of many types of cancer. This is due to the vegetable’s high levels of unique antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Parsnips - This veggie can be sown in mid to late autumn. However, when early spring comes and it’s time for harvest, it’s important to be quick and swift, and not wait for the temperatures to rise. Parsnips originally come from Europe, but can now be found throughout the whole world. Because of their hardy nature, they now grow wild in many uncultivated areas.
  • Onions - This strong crop can withstand low temperatures with ease, making it perfect for a cold frame. When planted in autumn, this pungent vegetable can be harvested by early summer. Onions are one of the first vegetables to ever be cultivated by mankind, dating back to before 5,000 B.C. Thanks to its amazing dietary value and incredible medicinal properties, it has helped humans survive throughout the ages.
  • Swiss Chard - This green leafy vegetable is usually sown in August or in some cases in early spring(for summer harvest). Although Swiss Chard is a type of beet, it differentiates from the rest because of its inedible root.
  • Claytonia - The seeds of this vegetable are usually sown between August and early September. When kept in a cold frame, the plant needs to be kept moist until the raining season comes. Claytonia is famous for being used during the California Gold Rush by miners to prevent scurvy.

Cold Frame for Vegetables all Winter Long

Cold Frame for Vegetables all Winter Long

Without a doubt, winter is the season most-difficult for growing anything, but difficult does not mean impossible, as long as done right!

Winter cold frame vegetables:

  • Arugula - Being a cool-season leafy crop, Arugula can be sown as early as January in a cold frame. Harvest can be done at any time once the leaves are of a suitable height. The Arugula was a very popular plant amongst the ancient Romans, because of its aphrodisiac properties.
  • Spinach - Seeds should be sown in early winter, as early as a week before the first frost. During the great depression, in the 1930s, spinach sales saw a huge spike, with an astonishing 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption. This was all thanks to the fictional character of Popeye the Sailor. As you can see, home-grown spinach is health and budget-friendly, too!
  • Mache - Mache are best sown in late winter and harvested in mid-spring. This vegetable’s nickname “corn salad” stems from the fact that it grows as a common weed in wheat fields.
  • Lettuce - Lettuce can be sown as earlier as 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost (as long as it’s in a cold frame). Although lettuce has been consumed for more than six thousand years, it originally started out as a weed around the Mediterranean basin.
 Ten Veggies Suitable for Cold Frame Gardening in Spring
Ten Veggies Suitable for Cold Frame Gardening in Spring

Spring is the best time of the year to sow salad greens or sprouting plants for your summer garden. Here, it’s good to note that most seeds intended for a summer garden, should be sown around 5 weeks before the last frost.

And here are:

  • Endive - Sow this plant in your cold frames, between the beginning of April and mid-May. Never let the temperature fall beneath 68°F as that would bolt the plant. According to studies, the endive plant is quite beneficial for humans as it can prevent cataract, anaemia and the development of certain types of cancer.
  • Kale - Kale growing season is between April and early May. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables there is and it can grow on compost. Eating it can drastically increase the nutrient content of anyone’s diet.
  • Brussels sprouts - Early varieties of brussels sprouts are sown in early spring, around mid-March and bear fruit around October. Brussels sprouts are so popular in fact that there are more than 9000 ways to cook them (balsamic-roasted, cherry-glazed,dijon-braised and many more).
  • Asparagus - When sowing asparagus in cold frames, wait until the soil is around 60°F to do so. Unlike most other veggies, this perennial takes great patience to grow, as it will take three years before you’ll be able to harvest it. When the harvesting time does come (in spring), however, cut the spears at ground level and continue harvesting for another few weeks, but no later than the beginning of July. It’s really no surprise that a sort of asparagus(white asparagus) is one of the most labour-intensive vegetables to grow as once clipped it must be placed immediately in a dark box so that it stays white.
  • Peas - What makes peas the ideal veggies to sow in cold frames is the fact that they need soil that isn’t too cold and also an abundance of sunlight. Sow these in early spring, around the end of March, beginning of April to get a good summer harvest (between June and October). Peas are very dense on vitamin C and one portion of these little green wonders is like eating two big apples. Keep an eye out for spider eggs, tho!
  • Rhubarb - Rhubarb is best planted in early spring for a mid-summer harvest. Although this herbaceous perennial is oftentimes consumed as a fruit, botanically speaking it belongs to the group of vegetables.
  • Potatoes - Potatoes can be sown as early as two weeks after the last spring frost. Depending on the sort of potatoes you have planted, harvesting time may vary - between June and October. Potatoes are so popular in fact that they were the first vegetable grown in space (aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia)

Final Words,

Sowing the right seeds in a cold frame is crucial for a fruitful crop. That’s why choosing the appropriate vegetables for a cold box is a must for any agriculture and gardening enthusiast!

Best Kinds of Greenery to Plant around Your Home

Having greenery around your home can improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, act as a stress reliever, reduce tension and provide beautiful, natural decor while creating a more relaxing atmosphere. According to the National Garden Association, sales of houseplants have increased by 50% in the last three years. If you plan on purchasing Newark real estate, consider adding these potted plants around your home as a means of adding lusher greenery to your life in a larger city.

When buying houseplants, you have a lot to take into consideration. Are you the type of person who will forget to water your plants, and only remember once they’re gone? Maybe you’ll be putting houseplants in an area of your home that doesn’t get much natural light. Pet owners should also make sure that their plants are pet-safe. Of course, you also want to be sure that the plants you’re getting aren’t likely to bring bugs into the house.

Some plants are too finicky to be kept indoors. Here are some great plants that will flourish inside the house.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

This finicky rainforest plant does not necessarily love life indoors, but with love and proper care, it will thrive. Very inexpensive, starting at only $12.99 at IKEA, a potted fiddle leaf fig tree can grow as tall as 10 feet high indoors. Outside, it can grow as tall as 50 feet. It is not for a novice gardener, however, as the plant does not like drafts, soil that's too wet or too dry, dry air, or too much sun. Humidity is key so keep it moist by using a mister. A benefit of keeping fiddle leaf fig trees inside is that they take up little space, but add a lot to any room.  If your tree is not doing well, revive it by cutting off the top as it will resprout new leaves and become bushier than when you first bought it.

Snake Plant

Unlike a fiddle leaf fig tree, a snake plant, also known as Sansevieria, is very tolerant. The most important thing to know when caring for a snake-plant is that is needs well-drained soil as it's prone to rot. Snake plants are ideal for anyone who fears they might not remember to water their plants regularly. Indirect sunlight is ideal, although it can withstand both full sun and low light. The snake plant is a very beneficial plant to have in your home as it purifies the air by removing toxins and producing clean oxygen.

Peace Lily

Another beautiful plant with low maintenance is the peace lily. It also comes with lovely foliage and white petals, resembling those of a calla lily. Recognized by NASA as one of the best plants for air cleaning properties, it can grow as tall as three feet high, making it best suited as a potted floor plant. However, be very cautious with this plant if you have pet cats or dogs. The ASPCA has listed the plant as the most common to poison pets and can lead to swelling in the mouth and airway.

Rubber Plant

Also a wonderful plant for providing clean air, the rubber plant prefers indirect sunlight, a well-draining pot, and a regular schedule for watering. Native to southeast Asia, the rubber plant, with large, rich green leaves, is a beautiful addition to any home. When well cared for, the plant can become an impressive height within only a few years. Rubber trees are another low-maintenance plant that can help make the air cleaner. Since rubber trees have such large leaves, they can pull in larger quantities of toxins from the air. They can help turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and remove bacteria from the air.

Aloe Plant

Aloe plants look great no matter what you’re style is and are easy to care for. Aloe is a type of succulent, so it needs very little water to survive. Unlike some plants that might be just for decor, aloe is far more useful. By growing an aloe plant inside your home, you have natural aloe vera whenever you need it. Rather than buying processed aloe from the store, you can get it directly from the plant whenever you need it. People have been using  aloe to treat burns and other injuries for centuries.

Pothos

Pothos is one of the best plants you can get if you’re prone to killing houseplants. These plants are resilient, so they’re great for anyone new to gardening. A pothos plant can grow vines that are over 10 feet long, which will make every plant owner feel successful. If you can put your pothos plant in direct sunlight, that would be best for it, but it’s not necessary. A pothos plant can grow in indirect sunlight or fluorescent lights just fine.

What is Lightweight Chainsaw and Why You Need a Lightweight Chain Saw?

There is wide range of saws and each comes in different forms and designs and with different utility purposes specially and characteristically assigned.

This has immense impact on the varied range of saws and while taking a chainsaw into consideration it is worth discussing its characteristics and several other variations of utility and functionality.

A chainsaw is the one that comes with the design of chained blade that has the specification of ripping teeth assigned in the chain. This has been implied for the purpose of ripping materials, especially trees that require a high intensity of cutting with power.

 Most of the tools manufacturing companies are involved in the manufacturing of many varied technologically sophisticated and updated versions of chainsaw of different models and designs but of equal level of power that has the high efficiency of cutting trees of varied thickness and depth.

Categorically the chainsaw falls into the category of band saws but it differs in its subtle specifications and it has its own specific ideals of delivering tasks of uniqueness and authenticity.

Let us go deep into the chain saw and learn more about it.

Contents

What is Lightweight Chainsaw?

The chainsaws come in different weight variations and each has its own specific uses and qualities. It is known that a light weighing tool is anyway a preferable option for anyone but sometimes the average weighing and the high weighing ones too have their own specific qualities and characteristics.

A light weight chainsaw is the one that has its first and foremost requirement of its light weighing attribute that ranges maximum to 7.5 pounds.

 It has its own genre specific quality of being a chain saw that has the orientation of a blade that is actually a chain that has ripped teeth for better ripping of the materials that has the deliverance of satisfaction to the users.

Some of its features that define the chain saw of light weight are

1. Weight specification

While considering the matter of a light weight chain saw one has to look for the weight. This is the basic of looking for the best light weighing chainsaw.

The light weighing chainsaw is specific of its weight not exceeding more than 8.5 pounds. So every time one steps out to look for or to buy a chain saw it is beneficial to check the weight whether it remains within 8.5 pounds.

2. Blade specification

The blade that is attached to the chain saw is another specificity of the saw that is important to define it as a chain saw.

The blade as been discussed above is required to be characterized of ripped teeth that come with the high capacity of ripping the materials with fluidity of tasking.

A light weight chainsaw if characterized with the excellence of a good set of ripping teeth can indeed lead on to deliver the best of the ripping with  the additional feature of being a light weighted one that can make cutting easy for the users

3. Power source


The power source of the chain saw is one of the important qualifications to be concerned of and a very important aspect that contributes to the light weighing feature of a chain saw. The chain saw can come in various power orientations.

 It can be of electricity and for some different models can be of battery orientation and for several other variants can be fuel oriented too.

As per the research it has been perceived that most of the prominent light weighing chain saws have the power orientation of batteries and not any other sources of fuel and electric cord.

The fuel oriented one is the oldest version of chain saw but it comes with heavy weight due to its containing of fuel in its body itself.

While on the other hand the battery powered ones are the lightest weighted ones that come mostly with weight that remains within 3 to 8 pounds and not more than that.

Why Do You Need a Light Weight Chainsaw?

The chain saw is the one that has the power of defining itself as a saw that can contribute to a great extent in relieving the users from the bulk of manual wood working.

It can perform ripping on varied materials that are mostly tree branches and logs which makes it a good friend to the home owners with a large backyard full of trees.

Here are some of the basic reasons regarding the need of a chain saw

1. Maintaining large backyard

The chainsaw, especially a lighter one is an essential tool that is of great importance when it comes to the maintenance of a large backyard with a good amount of trees that needs to be maintained with the spreading branches.

A light weight chain saw is an extremely easy handling tool to do such cutting of tree branches comfortably without any fatigue of a heavy tool. With a light weighing chainsaw the user would feel the ease of cutting down the loaded branches.

2. Clearing debris


The debris left after heavy storms are usually hard to clear. A chain saw is specifically designed to serve this purpose of clearing out the after storm debris of logs and branches and stems that fall off the trees.

In this case a light weighing chain saw is the basic requirement. It is so because it is already too difficult to clean the huge bulk of after storm debris and therefore a chainsaw that is light enough with pounds between 3 to 6 is the best suited one to the purpose to carry out the clearing of the debris at great ease.

Conclusion

The chainsaw is considered to be one of the most popular versions of saws that can give the users an everlasting feel of cutting that is characteristic of easiness comfort. The above discussed pointers would definitely add a good bulk of likes to the existing popularity of the light weighing chain saws.  

Top Power Tools You Will Need for Your Garden

Gardening provides many benefits. It helps individuals to get the much needed Vitamin D from the sun, it offers an excellent form of exercise, it boosts happiness, and it reduces dementia risk. The list could go on, but one thing is clear - gardening promotes healthy living. Trying to live a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you have to do the heavy lifting all on your own.

Gardeners have much to benefit from using power tools as well. Using power tools helps them achieve their gardening goals with more efficiency and less physical strain. If you are set on beginning your gardening journey, here are some of the top power tools you will need:

Auger

If you are not keen on experiencing terrible back aches when digging holes, then you must have an auger. These tools come in different sizes, depending on your requirements. Bulb-sized ones can easily attach to a household drill. Bigger power augers are also available and are commonly used for planting shrubs and trees.

If you are using a bulb-sized auger, it is best to use it with a corded drill. Cordless drills must have 18 volts of power to make the auger do its job.

String Trimmer

If you want your lawn looking immaculate, buy a string trimmer. It helps you remove weeds faster and efficiently. Rather than using blades, this power tool uses a rotating plastic line to cut weeds and grass. String trimmers are best to use along irregular terrains such as around trees or steps. It can trim the edges of driveways, sidewalks, and patios neatly. If you feel like you will most likely work with thicker stems, you can also choose to buy string trimmers with blades.

When using a string trimmer, positing the head at least two to three inches from the ground to prevent bald areas.

Leaf Blower

If you have a vast lawn, consider investing in a powerful leaf blower. Stop wasting hours raking those leaves. This power tool can remove fallen leaves with ease. You can even use it to clean snow in winter.

Pole Saw

A pole saw will make your pruning job more manageable. This power tool, which is essentially a chainsaw on a pole, is ideal for hard to reach tree limbs. Since you’ll be using this over your head, make sure to get the one that is lightweight and easy to handle. Choose a pole saw length that matches your requirements. If you have plenty of tall trees, get the longest one (approximately 27 feet).

Safety Tip: Clear the area and allows space for falling debris, leaves, and branches. Make sure that you use a helmet and your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Hedge Trimmer

While gardening is an enjoyable hobby, it can be stressful at times, especially if you have to deal with trimming bushes and hedges. Just imagine cutting them by hand - you will spend a week doing it, and you will not finish it. Having a hedge trimmer will make you love gardening once again.

Leaf Shredder

Leaf shredder can turn all those leaves into compost or mulch that you can use for your sustainable garden. These powerful machines can grind soft materials at high speeds. If you always have a mountain of leaves, it is time to make them useful. Leaf shredders are an excellent method of waste reduction and a great way of returning the nutrients back to the soil.

Power Washer/Pressure Washer

A power washer is a handy tool that you can use for almost anything in your garden. It is that tool you thought you did not need until you have one. This high-pressure washer can remove any type of mold, grime, dirt, mud, and just about any debris from surfaces.

Owning all of these power tools affords you tons of convenience, home insurance company Allstate, suggests getting personal property insurance to help you cover the costs of replacing these power tools.

The Most Ideal Plants for Patio Covers

Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies you can have. It can be very satisfying to be able to enjoy the beauty and smells from growing flowers, fruit and vegetables, and various trees or bushes. If you have a patio area in your yard, the addition of plants beautify and give off a rejuvenating effect to enhance the aesthetic. 

You can grow plants in or around a patio to add more color and pleasant aromas. While a patio cover provides appeal and protection to the home, it is best to cover it with flowering plants for additional shade. Aside from protection, they also provide a good aroma, freshness, color, and privacy.

Here are five of the most ideal patio cover plants that you can grow for an added positive effect and a relaxing feel for your home.

Vines

Vines are ideal plants for a patio cover. They create an added privacy as it enhances the shade and aids in the cooling of the patio area. Ideally, vines that thrive under direct heat from the sun are the best patio covers.

Bougainvilleas, for example, bloom perfectly under the direct heat of the sun and add bright colors to the patio through its red, pink, and purple flowers. These vines normally grow to approximately 15 to 40 feet.

Carolina jessamine is considered another vibrant vine that thrives well under full sunlight. It grows to about 12 to 20 feet. Red passion flower, on the other hand, has beautiful scarlet blooms and fruits.

Passion Flowers

Tropical passion flowers are also considered one of the best additions to a pergola or patio cover. They require well-drained soil and complete heat from the sun. Passion Flowers also need at least two applications of fertilizer annually, one during early spring and another during the midsummer.

Rapid Climbers

If there is a need to cover the patio immediately, the bower vine is considered an ideal choice. This vine normally grows under direct sunlight and partial shade. Bower vines generate pink and white flowers during winter, fall, and summer. They have glossy green leaves and twining stems, and even if they grow quickly, they exhibit a fine-textured look.

Another rapid climber is the pink jasmine, also known as Chinese jasmine or winter jasmine. This hardy and coiling vine has aromatic white flowers that bloom in spring and late winter. It also thrives under direct sunlight.

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are one of the most sought-after garden plants since they can serve as great covers for pergolas and patio arbors. Although they need more maintenance compared to other vines, they also require regular pruning and deep watering to guarantee effective air circulation. Roses have a traditional feel and they also add fragrance and color to the patio.

Rosa “Joseph’s Coat” is a tough rose species and is the main preference among most garden roses due to its vibrant colors and orange-red buds. The buds usually open to show petals with golden yellow to pinkish orange-red tapered edges.

New Dawn, one of the fastest-growing rose species, also produces light, creamy-pink, and fragrant flowers.  It lives in direct sunlight to partial shade, though it blooms more on direct sunlight.

Romantic Twiners

Wisteria vines typically produce stems, fragrant flowers, and foliage that create romantic southern gardens. American wisteria is one of the most beautiful vines that thrive in a clockwise-coiling manner to above 40 feet. It has aromatic, lilac-purple flowers drooping from the vines during the months of April to May.

Japanese wisteria, on the other hand, can thrive up to 25 feet in the same coiling manner as that of the American wisteria. The pink-tipped purple flowers usually come out in May and are fragrant and showy.

Protecting your home from extreme weather conditions is no longer a major concern when you have these beautiful plants on your patio cover. If you don’t have a patio cover yet, consider having it installed by experts such as City Seamless Patio Covers today so your patio will get the protection it deserves. They do not only provide shade but also generate a relaxing atmosphere that exudes a sense of pleasure.

Why is Professional Landscaping Important?

Natural Landscape vs Professional Landscaping

Stepping out of the town or city and heading into nature will quickly reveal a beautiful natural environment to admire. This is a great time to get some exercise and fill your lungs with fresh air and reconnect with nature. There are accessible areas within reach of Perth, but if you don’t have the time or means to travel further out your choices are a little limited. Let’s face it, on an average day most working people don’t have much of an opportunity to relax in out in the natural landscape. This is often left to the odd weekend here and there, and it’s important to spend time in nature. This is why we need professional landscaping to bring some of that much needed nature into our towns and cities. Spending time at the park may not be much like getting into real nature, but give the time considerations it can act as a suitable replacement.

3 Important Landscaping Categories

Broadly speaking, you can break down the importance of landscaping in three key categories that can be further defined with a number of subcategories. These main categories are economic, ecological, and cultural. Let’s examine them in more detail.

  1. Economic: This would include pertinent subcategories, such as tourism, attracting investment, attracting residents, branding opportunities, and attracting fresh investment.
  2. Ecological: Professional landscaping can promote ecological agendas, such as regeneration, conservation, and the creation or protection of indigenous habitats.
  3. Cultural: When landscaping is sympathetic and thoughtful, it can promote cultural benefits, such as improved quality of life, cultural values, historical links, spiritual renewal, and an enhanced sense of identity and community.

The Value of Landscaping to a Person

Many people have differing ideas of what a well landscaped area should look like. Tastes differ, but broadly speaking, people often want some nature, calm and tranquility brought into their lives. A well landscaped area can fulfill a wide variety of needs, one person could use a bench to read a book, and another could meditate there. A path can be combined with a cycle path to facilitate walking and cycling at the same time. Smaller nooks and crannies can be set aside for wilder nature or paths could lead to a fountain for a cool afternoon by the water. With a little thought, a landscaped area could mean many different things to an individual person if they were asked why they liked the space.

Introducing Landscaping to Your Home

When they think about garden landscaping in Perth, many people would imagine rockeries or a deck for cooking and eating outdoors. However, this doesn’t have to be the limit of what we could be achieving with our garden space. When you choose an imaginative landscaper in Perth that can bring your ideas to life, the sky is literally the limit. Imagine having a calm and relaxing outdoor space dedicated to meditation or taking a nap in a hammock. Perhaps a vertical herb garden is more to your liking, a place to grow herbs for cooking or making home remedies and enjoy those natural scents.

The Value of Professional Landscaping Around Your Home

Many homeowners attempt to achieve their dreams for their outdoor spaces, but they just cannot seem to get the formula correct. We have a very specific climate here in Perth, and it can be tricky to get a garden established and keep it healthy. Even a simple lawn can take a great deal of work and keeping it watered without a reticulation system is extremely difficult. Planning and growing a lush and green outdoor space where you can enjoy some nature in and around your home can be a real challenge. This is when a professional landscaper with plenty of local experience can really help. Understanding the needs of the plants is important, but it’s equally vital to know about our local soil and how our watering needs are handled.

The Value of Landscaping on Property Values

Almost everyone enjoys well designed landscaping, and this is equally true of potential homebuyers. If you’re planning on selling your home in the short to medium term, it’s probably a smart idea to invest in some professional landscaping services. A well designed garden will improve the kerb appeal to get potential buyers through the front door. Then if you have a practical, beautiful, and well designed landscape at the rear, it will be hard for many buyers to resist. In many cases, the return on investment for professional landscaping is considerable.

The Importance of a Well Designed Reticulation System

If you’re serious about landscaping an outdoor space here in Perth, you simply must have a well designed reticulation and/or irrigation system. Ideally, this would be set to automatically water your garden every designated watering day before 9.0am or after 6.00pm. Having an automatic timer will ensure that the watering is carried out on time and you cannot forget to water your plants. A well designed reticulation system will deliver the exact volume of water and distribute it efficiently to your lawn and plants. This is an easy and efficient way to enjoy your garden without the hassle of inefficient manual watering.

If you’re looking for a trusted professional landscaper in Perth get in touch with Luke’s Landscaping today. We offer a comprehensive service, including irrigation systems & reticulation installation.

How CBD Helps With Stress and Sleep Problems

Finding the best CBD oil today can be an overwhelming process since there is a growing number of manufacturers and hardly any regulation. However, several studies have been conducted to investigate the application of CBD oil in relieving stress and sleep problems.

CBD products have become one of the best natural alternatives, especially if traditional methods such as meditation, exercise, or medication do not work. If you are looking to get on the CBD bandwagon, read on to the end for insights on how CBD helps with stress and sleep problems.

CBD and Stress

 There are several types of stress, including oxidative stress, situational stress, and stress associated with depression and anxiety. When considering the CBD for stress relief, you must take into account that everybody is unique and will respond differently to the chemicals and medication introduced to the body.

Research shows that CBD reduces neuro atrophy in the hippocampus. This helps the brain to improve memory as well as in boosting mood and focus. Additional research shows that CBD can help in:

  • Alleviating autism symptoms
  • Reduced feelings of isolation
  • Reduced feelings of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

CBD’s ability to calm and relax the brain while protecting the hippocampus has led to many people using it to alleviate stress. Moreover, CBD has been shown to help with psychosis and social anxiety disorder. In general, CBD induces feelings of relaxation and overall wellbeing.

 However, since there is little research in the area, there are little known long-term effects of using CBD for managing stress. People who have tried it for stress claim it is a better alternative to traditional medication.

CBD for Sleep Problems

CBD has been used for thousands of years to treat and manage sleep problems. With increased research, we are seeing more people accept CBD as an alternative to taking sleeping pills and sleeping aids.


CBD for Sleep Problems

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Several studies over the years have linked a variety of reasons for sleeping problems. Before of medical marijuana, most people had to result to meditation, exercise, and medication to get a full night worth of sleep. However, CBD can help in managing and treating sleep problems in the following ways:

1. Reducing Anxiety

One of the most common causes of insomnia and other related sleeping problems is stress and anxiety. Taking controlled amounts of CBD will help in regulating cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can have adverse effects on your sleeping cycle.

A recent study showed that CBD is beneficial for anxiety-related disorders, and the participants reported an increase in the quality of sleep.

2. Pain Relief

Chronic pain can be one of the causes of sleeping problems, and CBD is a better alternative to the commercial pain killers already in the market. Unlike sleeping aids, CBD acts on the symptoms rather than providing a sedative effect.

3. Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnant women find it difficult to get restful sleep due to factors such as stress, nausea, pain, and general pregnancy-induced insomnia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has come in support of CBD’s ability to reduce and manage problems during pregnancy.

However, there are few clinical trials, if any, in this area and you ought to consult your doctor before taking CBD while pregnant for managing your sleeping problems.

4. Eliminating Nightmares

Frequent nightmares have been found to have a negative effect on the quality of sleep for many people. This is especially rampant in people who have REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which is characterized by an increase in nightmares and restlessness.

Patients that have been treated for RBD using CBD products have shown fewer side effects compared to traditional medications. Some have shown no side effects at all and increased sleep quality.

5. Somnolence

Somnolence is a state of strong desire to sleep at odd times or sleeping for unusually long periods. CBD can help in regulating the sleep and wake cycles, which leads to improved wakefulness during the day and relaxation at night.

Somnolence affects your productivity during the day and the ability to fall asleep at night. When administered during the day in the proper dosage, you will be more alert and more restful sleep at night.

How to use CBD for Sleep

Unfortunately, there are no clear guidelines on how much CBD you should consume to help with your sleeping problems. For this reason, experimentation is the only option for finding out how much CBD you should take.

Presently, CBD is recommended for short-term sleeping problems since the effects may fade over time. CBD products such as sublingual sprays and tinctures offer immediate results. You could also use a dab pen to vape a CBD e-liquid an hour before bedtime for the better sleep.

Conclusion

There is an increase in the funding allocated to researching the effects of CBD on stress and sleeping problems. It is projected that it will surpass the $3 billion mark by 2025. However, the use of CBD is mainly unregulated, and you should consult a doctor before trying any CBD product to avoid adverse side effects.

Things to Consider Before Using Laundry Water for Plants

Recycling household water is a common practice that almost every household does. There are different types of household water, and one of them is laundry water. Laundry water, also known as greywater, is the water you get after you have finished washing your clothes. There are very many ways you can upcycle this water. You can flush the toilet, mop the house, and even water the plants in your garden. When you speak of watering your plants using greywater, there are things you need to consider before doing so. Below is a list that explains some of the things you should review before using water obtained from washing clothes for plants;

The Cycle in Which the Water was Used

When washing, there are two primary cycles namely;

Wash Cycle

The wash cycle is where you add detergents and carry out the washing. The water from this cycle is said to have a pH value of about 9 to 10, meaning it is very alkaline. Too much alkalinity is known to affect the soil and growth of plants negatively. Therefore if you intend on using this water, make sure you have passed it through a treatment unit. However, when you use this water in minimal quantities, it can help in keeping away insects that would otherwise damage your plants.

Rinse Cycle

Watering your plants in the garden using washing water from the rinse cycle is probably a better option because the water in this cycle contains fewer detergents. In essence, using rinse cycle water is safer for your plants as compared to wash cycle water.

When handling water either from the wash cycle or rinse cycle, be cautious, accidents do happen. You may end up damaging your whole house by flooding it with detergent water. If this happens and you are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you do not have to worry. Experts from Water Resto USA do Fort Lauderdale water damage restoration effectively and efficiently.

Rinse Cycle

The Detergents used

Greywater disposal in your garden is suitable. However, make sure you take note of the type of detergents you use when washing if you plan on upcycling the water. The case is more dangerous when you are planning to reuse the water on your plants. The reason for this is because some detergents contain hazardous chemicals like;

 

Boron

Many soaps contain boron, which is a very harmful chemical to plants. Its defects will depict themselves on the leaves of the plant. When gardening using water obtained from washing clothes that have boron, you will see a “burning-like” occurrence on the leaf. Always make sure you use a laundry detergent that is safe for your plants.

Boron

Chlorine

Most of the time, greywater contains high levels of chlorine. One of the vital contributors to this phenomenon is the use of bleach when washing clothes. You will see the damage of this on the plant’s leaves as they will appear as if they are bleached.

Chlorine

The Type of Plant

The Type of Plant

Some plants have no problem at all with taking in laundry water to sustain and keep themselves healthy. Other plants are not ok with this type of water, for instance, household plants. The reason is simple. These plants do not have enough soil to disperse the toxic elements that may be present in the water.

Conclusion

Can you use water obtained after washing clothes to water your plants? Definitely, yes. Before doing so, there are a few things that you need to consider. The cycle in which the water was used is one of these things. You should try and go for the water used in the rinsing cycle as it contains fewer chemicals as compared to the water used in the wash cycle. You should also be keen on the type of plants you are watering using laundry water as some plants do not like it.

5 Signs to Spot If Your Tree Is Going to fall

Trees have numerous benefits to the environment. One massive tree can increase your property value in addition to air conditioning. However, Falling trees can cause injuries, property damage, and even deaths.

Some of the main reason why tress falls includes insect infestation, poor soil condition, malnutrition, and improper planting condition.

While we can’t predict accurately when a tree will fall, you can spot some warning signs and act before it is too late. Luckily we have compiled some telltale signs you should know. Let’s get started.

1. A cavity in the trunk

A cavity inside the trunk usually forms as a result of shedding branches. Secondly, self-pruning does open wounds that can cause decay inside the tree. However, if there is enough solid wood around the wound, then you should not worry about the tree tipping over. It is shrewd to consult a professional to be on the safe side.

2. Deep Cracks or missing cracks in the Tree trunk

Missing barks on the tree trunk are enough causes for concern. First, you should have it examined by an arborist. The presence of cankers signifies that the tree is dying while deep cracks could make your tree considerably weak and unable to support its branches. As the tree becomes weak, there is a higher likelihood of falling.

3. Weak or decaying Roots

It is somehow tricky to spot weak or rotten trees since roots are covered in soil. However, it is an excellent method to determine if the tree is rotting from the inside. Fungi and mushroom growth is an indication of rooting wood. A tree with decaying roots is unstable and may fall anytime, especially if strong winds blow. If you notice your tree has weak or rotten roots, then you should consult a professional arborist. In case you leave around Atlanta and you feel something is amess with your trees, check out this affordable tree service in Atlanta.

4. Dead or falling branches

Although dead branches do not necessarily mean that your tree will fall, it is a signifying the current tree condition. This means that if you spot falling dead branches, then something is not right with your tree. Shedding is a way for the tree to make it smaller. It is also a self-pruning method.  Typically, this means that the tree is not getting enough nourishment or its suffering from insect infestation.

5. V-shaped branch growth

Tree branches should grow at an ideal distance to provide a perfect space for development.  U shape is proof of this strong union. However, if the branches grow tightly together, they often have a v shape. You can spot the v growth during winter or after falls when the tree sheds the leaves. The point is that tight branch growth is a bad sign.

6. Missing inside leaves

Trees should lose leaves from outside. If your tree loss leaves close to the trunk, then you should be concerned. This is because the root zone may have a problem. Remember that trees get water and nutrients from the root zone. With an unhealthy roots system, your tree may fall easily, and the first signs to see will be loss of leaves from the inside.

7. Leaning trunk

Is your tree leaning more than 15 degrees? If the answer is yes, then you should have it removed. If your tree is leaning too much due to roots problems or winds, then it is a telltale sign that it is going to fall. However, a tree that tilts naturally as it grows is not always a risk.

Conclusion

If you notice the signs above do on wait until it is too late. Seek professional help to determine the best course of action. A certified arborist will inspect and decide whether or not it is safe to keep the tree. They can also help with pruning if need be. Lastly, you may have to bring the tree down before it causes property destruction or hurt people.