Tuesday, June 19, 2016

Eco-Friendly Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds

There are many gardening chores, which you must deal with, if you are to hope that your garden will thrive. Dealing with weeds is one of the most common and most important tasks.
When faced with too many weeds in your garden, you may rush and resort to harsh chemicals. However, that is far from ideal, as they will seep through the soil and possibly end up in other of your garden plants. In order to avoid this, you can use one of these trusted eco-friendly weed control techniques:

Eco-Friendly Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds
  • Remove them by hand - yes, it does take some time and effort, which you could be spending doing something more important for your garden. However, this is a garden care chore, which will effectively target weeds and nothing else. It works great in that you will ensure the entirety of each weed is removed, thus reducing the chance of it reappearing again.
  • Mulching - if there is one tip you have probably heard from all expert gardeners, it is that mulching goes a long way in protecting your garden against weeds. Grass clippings, straw and chipped bark all do a wonderful job at preventing weed growth, all the while helping soil retain moisture. This is more of a preventive technique, but one that is worth noting.
  • Burning - gardening centres now offer a flame-weeder tool, which serves to apply flame directly to weeds. The main thing about this tool is that it focuses the heat and flames on single plants, thus reducing the risk of lighting up your entire garden. The method is also a good one and you will feel great watching the foliage of weeds immediately wilt. Still, be very careful not to harm the rest of the plants.
  • Pour boiling water - pouring boiling water over the weeds is one of the most popular methods out there. It works best on weeds located in driveway cracks, sidewalks or areas that you want to replant. There aren’t any long term side effects or residue to worry about.
Pick any of these 4 methods for controlling weeds, before you resort to harsh chemicals. Your eco-friendly gardening efforts will be rewarded.

Tuesday, June 19, 2016

DIY Container Gardening Ideas

A lot of people consider gardening to be an expensive activity. Buying all of the tools and containers can leave you short of money. As far as containers are concerned, that might not be the case.
There are some DIY ideas you can implement to take some of the stress off your budget. Apart from being interesting and creative in design, each of the following is very easy to make and uses mostly recycled items:

DIY Container Gardening Ideass
  • A box of succulents - if you have an old tool box you are no longer using, you can turn it into the perfect pot for succulents. All you have to do is paint in the appropriate colour and drill some holes on the bottom to ensure proper drainage. This is a perfect home for succulents and an ideal garden solution, which can be carried whenever a display of greenery is needed to aid your garden design project
  • Truck beds - if you have children and all of them have outgrown their toy trucks, you can in fact use them as planters. Keep in mind the space they offer is limited, however, so using them to hold a planter is also a good idea.
  • Pots, kettles and colanders - just think of how great all of these items look when used as planters. They provide enough protection for your plants and can really become part of intriguing landscape designs.
  • Wheelbarrow - if there is an old wheelbarrow, which is more trouble than it’s worth, you can turn into a new home for flowers. Gardening experts agree that planting in wheelbarrow is possible and does provide some rather interesting results.
  • Wooden boat - if the old boat is no longer fit to serve you, it is likely that it can be turned into a wonderful landscaping feature. Fill it with soil and plant flowers with beautiful colours. Keep in mind that plants with strong enough roots may penetrate the wood at some point.
All of these ideas are worthy of implementation in your garden. It is up to you to select what fits best and what you can create with the tools you have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2016

4 Ways To Maximise A Small Garden

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a huge garden. If you are part of the people who only have a compact garden to work with, you must think of creative ways to use that space. Don’t dream big, but focus on using what you have.
As it turns out, your gardening efforts don’t have to suffer due to a small garden. On the contrary, this presents plenty of opportunities for you and in some ways even makes garden care easier and more bearable. With a few clever tricks, you can turn the defect into an effect. Here are few proven strategies:

4 Ways To Maximise A Small Garden
  • Plant vertically - if there is no vast garden space to utilise in your backyard, you can make use of the vertical space, which is endless. There is a well known strategy, which all gardening experts recommend - blurring the boundaries by planting tall shrubs and plants very close together, leaving no gaps. That way you get a nice looking backdrop, all the while creating the illusion of a large space. Start with tall plants at the back and implement smaller ones towards the start of your garden.
  • Plant in raised beds - raised beds with soil rich in compost make for an excellent way to plant in a small garden. That way even what is considered a skimpy garden will yield you a solid growth. It will make garden maintenance easier.
  • Grow in containers - herbs and vegetables can be grown in containers. Arrange them along the wall of your home, cluster them around a terrace or place them on the steps. Who said that only flowers should be on display?
  • Stay on top of your garden clearance chores - you already have a small garden, so if you leave any dead plants and debris for too long, it will feel even smaller. That is why you should keep it tidy and free of any unwanted weeds and outgrowth.
Even though your garden may be small, it doesn’t mean it cannot be turned into your personal outdoor heaven. All you have to do is implement a few creative ideas and handle your chores there regularly to keep even a small space impressive.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I am proud of...Sweeping: #BlogChallenge Day 19

Before our son was born, my husband swept the house once a week. I love that man! Now, with a toddler, a cat, a dog, and babysitting, it needs more attention than that. A lot more. I struggle with housecleaning. I am working on growing the desire want  a clean house, rather than just ignoring dirt because I don't want to clean. For the past week I have swept the kitchen and dining room at least every other day! I'm quite proud of myself :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garlic Lover's Roasted Chicken Breasts: #BlogChallenge Day 18

Sometimes I try to do my weekly shopping trip "early" (9am) in the morning so that I can find meat that is price-reduced for a quick sale. I recently scored a club pack of split chicken breasts for $0.99 per pound. I often cook and shred chicken to put in the freezer so that I can save time cooking dinner. But chicken be so blah and I rarely get excited over chicken. I decided to up the flavor of my roasted shredded chicken with garlic and lemon. I couldn't keep this chicken out of my mouth! And it goes perfectly in any dish I add it to. I think it would also be great for a pot-luck batch of chicken salad or bbq chicken sandwiches. Love it!
Garlic Lover's Roasted Chicken for Freezing
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 lbs. split chicken breasts, skin removed
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a small bowl.

Place chicken on a baking pan with meat side up. Pour mixture over the chicken and rub it around, if you feel like it.
 Bake for 1 hour or until juices run clear when you poke it with a knife.
Let sit until cool and remove chicken from bones, storing in freezer bags or containers of your choice.

Makes 8 cups shredded chicken

Linked at these yummy sites:
Kelly's Passion for Nutrition

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Renting Textbooks Makes Life Easier

Recalling my cash-strapped college days, I have some very clear and bitter memories involving textbooks. The worst scenarios, in my opinion:
  • At least one of your classes, maybe organic chemistry, decides to upgrade to the newest edition of the textbook. Consequently, there is no way to buy a used copy = $$$$.
  • You stand in line at the bookstore for hours only to get $12 for a book you paid $70 for. Or to find out that next year they will be using a new edition. Argh!
These memories are why I am impressed with CampusBookRentals.com.
Some of the aspects that appeal to me:
  • You can save 40-90% off bookstore prices.
  • They have flexible rental periods and a 30 guarantee to get your money back if you drop the class.
  • You can highlight in the books!
  • No membership fee.
  • Free shipping both ways.
  • No need to box up the books--they provide pre-paid envelopes.
  • The option to buy the books if you want to keep them. This seems like a good idea for homeschooling families who want to try out a curriculum. Just for kicks I looked for my highschool math, Saxon, and they have it! 
On top of all that, CampusBookRentals gives a portion of their proceeds to Operation Smile, an organization that provides life-changing operations to repair cleft palates in children whose families cannot afford it. What a great way to give back! 

This is a service that definitely could have made life easier for me and I would recommend that those looking for textbooks should check it out. 

This a sponsored post for which I received some form of compensation. All opinions are my own and I only recommend that which I would personally use or think would be beneficial to my readers.

Am I a Couch Potato? [#BlogChallenge] Day 16

Uh, yes, I really am. I grew up loving to read and hating the sun. I love staying at home and doing "nothing". Reading, cruising the internet, watching sports--I am very good at sitting still. That's one reason I was surprised by falling in love with flower gardening. Its active and it takes place outside! But it is just so fulfilling.

This week, Caleb had roseola. He had a fever of 102 for 4 days and just cried and slept the whole time. I did very little as I tried to mother him through this most miserable time so far in his little life. He feels better, thank God! Now I have to wrench my lazy brain out of the do-nothing rut its is in. So I forced myself outside into the garden for a few hours--and I feel so much better. I like to spend three or four hours gardening in a week. We also take some short walks a few time a week. Short because our old Great Dane starts to drag after just a little ways.

I'm looking forward to the two vacations that we are taking this summer, since they will involve a lot of outdoor activities. Its good to put ourselves in the position to be active. I really do enjoy it! As long as there is shade :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Flowers: Late Spring

Clematis 'Jackmanii' and Digitalis ambigua


Thalictrum glaucum or Dusky Meadow Rue

Hydrangea 'White Dome'

Astilbe 'Peaches and Cream'

Surprise! A friend in the compost pile.