Gardening

What you need to know before starting up your own indoor garden

You keep trying to grow your own herbal garden in your kitchen or a pretty flower pot on the window sill, but the plants keep dying on you? You are not alone. Indoor gardening, just as outdoor gardening require some basic knowledge about plants as well as the essential factors for their proper growth, especially if you want to grow them indoors.

Here are the basics

Save yourself some of the hassles by understanding the principles of what’s going on above and below the dirt. While you could come back to this after killing many of your plants, why not start out with an indoor gardening guide to give you all you need?

The plant roots and the containers or pots you use

Roots are vital for the plants. Think of them as intravenous systems which bring all essential minerals and nutrients from the soil and transport them to the rest of the plant, and namely to the leaves which are in charge of the photosynthesis which they need to grow.

Choosing a pot or container which gives adequate space for the roots is crucial if you want your indoor plant to grow healthy, strong and to reach full maturity. Limiting the space for the roots limits the growth of the plant as well. If you choose pots which are too small you are in a way limiting the nutritional intake of the plant, just like we cut calories to lose weight.  As the plant grows, you may need to repot it in larger sized containers to promote its further growth.

On the other hand, choosing a pot which is way too big for the plant can also cause issues. It may cause the smaller roots to be unable to capture all the nutrients and minerals necessary for the growth of the plant. These minerals are passed on to the roots through the water. This can cause the roots to rot and the plant to stop growing.

The light

Plants use light to turn carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients into sugar which they use for energy. This is also known as photosynthesis. If you deprive your plants of sufficient amounts of sunlight or light from your LED grow lights, this will literally starve them, as they will be unable to make the food they need to grow and live. So, always pay attention to the instruction tags of the seeds or plants you want to grow at home, and ensure that you provide them with the amount of direct sunlight or alternative LED grow light for the recommended time period every day.

Some plants do not need direct sunlight and can live only at ambient light, so make sure you check that too before you choose which types of plants to grow and where you are going to set up your home indoor garden.

Water

Water is another element which as with all living things is essential for the plants as well. It is used for the photosynthesis and is also the means for transporting the essential nutrients from the soil to the roots of the plants. It also provides the plants with the humidity which they need to be healthy.

Carbon Dioxide

Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and use it for photosynthesis. This is good news for all indoor gardeners as the oxygen released by the process is essential for us too, so your air will become healthier and fresher once you start up your own interior garden.

Soil

The soil you choose for your indoor plants needs to be suitable for home use. The mix should allow for the water to freely pass through to the draining holes, and yet be able to accumulate some of the moisture in order to help pass the nutrients to the roots of your plants. Choose an organic soil mix from a local company which has some compost, bark, coconut fiber added to it.

Nutrients

Your plants, just like we humans do need certain essential nutrients in order to live, grow and flourish. The nutrients help the photosynthesis process and also promote strong root growth. The different types of plants require different amounts of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus to live.

So, now that you know the basic needs of plants, hopefully, you are feeling much more confident to take the next step and start planning on creating your own home garden.

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Landscape Design

Bеnеfіtѕ Of Uѕіng Gурѕum Aѕ Fеrtіlіzеr In Home Gardens And On Farms

Fоr mоrе thаn 250 years gурѕum has been оnе оf thе еаrlіеѕt types оf fеrtіlіzеr uѕеd іn the Unіtеd Stаtеѕ. Thе advantages of uѕіng gypsum аѕ a ѕоіl аmеndmеnt is well еѕtаblіѕhеd. Gурѕum contains a mоdеrаtе amount оf soluble plant nutrіеntѕ, such as саlсіum and sulfur whісh саn іmрrоvе оvеrаll plant grоwth, аnd соndіtіоn ѕоіlѕ for future use.

Gурѕum gіvеѕ саlсіum аnd sulfur tо the ѕоіl. A рrореrlу nourished soil allows plants tо bеttеr ассеѕѕ the nіtrоgеn, іrоn, zіnс аnd other nutrients they need tо flоurіѕh. Thе calcium аnd ѕulfur соntеnt of gypsum рrоvіdеѕ kеу ѕесоndаrу nutrіеntѕ that support nutrient uptake іn plants аnd аіdѕ іn ѕееd production. It also hеlрѕ correct compacted ѕоіl, making rооm fоr wаtеr, аіr аnd plant roots. Gурѕum еvеn hеlрѕ rеmоvе еxсеѕѕ ѕаlt frоm lawns оr gardens thаt mау be been еxроѕеd tо ѕаlt runоff frоm wіntеr ice mеltіng.

Gypsum аѕ Fertilizer

Pure gурѕum іѕ 23-реrсеnt calcium and 19-percent sulfate (CаSO4-2H2O). In thе hierarchy of thе 16 essential рlаnt nutrіеntѕ thаt bеgіnѕ with nоn-mіnеrаlѕ hуdrоgеn, oxygen, and саrbоn, саlсіum is ѕеvеnth and ѕulfur is nіnth.

Cаlсіum is thе рlаnt nutrіеnt most lіkеlу tо be unаvаіlаblе to rооtѕ when nееdеd. An essential nutrіеnt іtѕеlf, саlсіum also іmрrоvеѕ rооt uрtаkе of оthеr рlаnt nutrіеntѕ, especially ammonium nіtrоgеn. Calcium dоеѕ nоt move frоm оld tо nеw рlаnt tіѕѕuеѕ, ѕо a constant ѕuррlу оf soluble calcium іѕ nееdеd. Thе grоwіng роіntѕ of bоth rооtѕ аnd shoots аrе ѕеnѕіtіvе tо insufficient саlсіum, but roots more ѕо. The rаtіо of саlсіum tо ѕоdіum is more сrіtісаl thаn thе actual соnсеntrаtіоn оf саlсіum.

Mаjоr Bеnеfіtѕ Of Gурѕum

Hеrе are 5 key bеnеfіtѕ оf gурѕum:

  1. Sоurсе of саlсіum аnd ѕulfur fоr рlаnt nutrіtіоn. Gурѕum іѕ an еxсеllеnt ѕоurсе оf ѕulfur fоr рlаnt nutrіtіоn and improving сrор уіеld. Cаlсіum іѕ essential for mоѕt nutrіеntѕ tо bе аbѕоrbеd by рlаntѕ rооtѕ. Wіthоut adequate саlсіum, uptake mесhаnіѕmѕ would fail.
  2. Imрrоvеѕ асіd ѕоіlѕ аnd trеаtѕ aluminum toxicity. One оf gypsum’s main аdvаntаgеѕ is its аbіlіtу to rеduсе аlumіnum toxicity, which often ассоmраnіеѕ ѕоіl асіdіtу, раrtісulаrlу in subsoils.
  3. Improves ѕоіl ѕtruсturе. Flocculation, оr аggrеgаtіоn, іѕ needed tо gіvе favorable ѕоіl ѕtruсturе fоr rооt grоwth and аіr аnd water mоvеmеnt. Gypsum has bееn used for mаnу уеаrѕ tо іmрrоvе aggregation аnd inhibit or оvеrсоmе dіѕреrѕіоn іn sodic ѕоіlѕ.
  4. Improves water іnfіltrаtіоn. Gypsum also іmрrоvеѕ thе аbіlіtу оf ѕоіl to drаіn and not bесоmе wаtеrlоggеd duе tо a combination оf hіgh ѕоdіum, swelling сlау and еxсеѕѕ water. When we аррlу gypsum to soil іt аllоwѕ wаtеr tо mоvе into thе soil аnd allow thе сrор tо grоw well.
  5. Hеlрѕ rеduсе runоff and еrоѕіоn. Agrісulturе іѕ соnѕіdеrеd tо be оnе оf thе mаjоr соntrіbutоrѕ tо wаtеr ԛuаlіtу, with рhоѕрhоruѕ runоff thе bіggеѕt concern. Exреrtѕ explained how gурѕum hеlрѕ tо keep рhоѕрhоruѕ аnd оthеr nutrients frоm lеаvіng fаrm fіеldѕ.

Cоmmоn Uses

Gypsum is mоѕt оftеn used tо hеlр manage соmрасtеd ѕоіlѕ аnd pH.

  • Spread thе gурѕum evenly оvеr the entire ѕurfасе аrеа оf a lawn, garden or farm field. Gурѕum can bе spread оvеr рlаntѕ without harm to thе рlаntѕ.
  • Mіx gурѕum with соmроѕt or оrgаnіс mаttеr uѕіng a rаkе оr a hое. Sрrеаd еvеnlу thrоughоut your gаrdеn.
  • Wаtеrіng thе gурѕum into the soil wіth a gаrdеn hоѕе оr sprinkler system wіll ѕеttlе іntо thе ѕоіl faster.

Gypsum саn be рurсhаѕеd for hоmе use or for form use in bulk quantities.

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Real Estate

Home Improvement: Budget and Bidding

In my profession as an Architect, many of my clients underestimate the cost of construction. Builders will have to guesstimate their cost unless they have a complete set of drawings.

It is very important to get a well detailed set of construction drawings in order to obtain a realistic bid which will prevent misunderstandings and additional hidden costs. Drawings that are very well detailed will also help to avoid catastrophic mistakes.

For example, a builder called today and invited me to see a house on which he was in the process of demolishing many interior walls. Good thing I stopped him and advised him to get the original drawings of the house. Sure enough, the old blueprints revealed that there were a few bearing walls. I pointed them out to the builder, preventing a major disaster from occurring for both the builder and the homeowner.

The use of the area to be renovated is another factor to be considered in determining the realistic cost of any home improvement. SF by SF, the cost of a kitchen or bath remodel can be five times more than the cost of an open, large living room or garage.

In conclusion, when getting an estimate make sure the builder does not use a standard average price per square foot but provides a cost breakdown item by item. It is better to get an allowance for kitchen appliances, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, flooring and finishes if you are comparing competing bids from more than one builder.

Learn more at https://www.mangonearchitects.com/

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Home Maintenance

Repair vs. Replacement – Make an Informed Choice

If your air conditioning system has broken down or if it is not working as efficiently as it used to do, you could be thinking about its replacement. As you already know, replacing an air conditioning system can be a costly affair. So, it’s always better to consider getting it repaired. In most cases, a simple repair saves the huge replacement cost.

Before you replace your air conditioner, make sure you get an air conditioning estimate for replacement vs. repairs. Here are some points to consider.

The cost of repair – The first thing you need to do whenever your air conditioner breaks down is to get an estimate of the repair. Call a technician, get your air conditioner inspected and ask the cost of its repair. If the cost is too high, the better decision would be to replace your machine. Now, you may think that ‘too high cost’ is a vague unit. So, let us tell you what it means to be too high. Actually, there’s a very simple formula. You just need to multiply the repair cost with the age of your AC in years and compare it with the cost of the new model you wish to buy. If the repair cost is low, go for repair and if it’s higher, then surely you need to replace your AC unit.

The age of your AC unit – Typically, the lifespan of an air conditioner is 10-15 years. You can get more accurate information about the lifespan of your unit by searching customers’ review of the model you are using. If your air conditioner is in the last stage of its lifespan, then a replacement will be a more preferred choice. It is not that air conditioners cannot be repaired at this stage, but, the breakdown will get more frequent. And this frequent breakdown will eventually cost you more than the replacement cost.

The frequency of breakdowns – The age or repair cost formula can fail in certain instances where a relatively young AC starts behaving like an old one. If your air conditioning unit starts making noise or breakdowns very frequently, repairing can get a costly affair. Air conditioners generally start making noise when it cannot handle the demands on its performance efficiently. It could be the fault of the user, in most cases. It’s your responsibility to take care of your AC and get it maintained professionally once a year. If you fail to do so, your unit cannot last very long. Whether you take care of your AC or not, you will need to replace it if it demands one or the other repairs every year.

You need to sacrifice lots of your precious time and effort to earn. So, do not waste your hard-earned money on unnecessary repairs or purchases. Always take an informed decision by calculating all risks and benefits associated with all the options available to you. As in the case of the air conditioner, you have the option of repairing or replacing. Choose the one that is more cost-effective for you.

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Home Improvement

5 Things You Need To Consider When Hiring Electricians

There are more than 35,000 electrical services operating in Australia. This means that you are spoilt for choice since you will always have a large number of electricians to choose from. However, this also means that hiring the right electrician for your home is also a tough task since you may not know which of them provide top-quality services and which ones are shady.  To help you with this, we list below five important things you need to consider when hiring electricians.

Look For License

The first thing to look for while hiring an electrician is the license. Never ever hire electricians who do not have the necessary license to do their job. Most electricians working in Australia are required to be certified as a Registered Electrical Contractor. Similarly, they are also required to issue you a certificate of compliance when they complete an electrical work in your home, indicating that all work is done in accordance with the laws of the land. So, if an electrician is unable to show their license or commit to providing you a certificate of compliance, then you should definitely look for other options.

Ensure They Have Insurance

You must also make sure that the electrician you hire does have the necessary insurance. Typically, electrical businesses are required to take a small business insurance. And this has two benefits. Firstly, if a worker gets injured in your home, any expense related to their medical care will be taken care of by the insurance company. Secondly, in case you become injured due to any work being conducted by the electrician, you can claim hospital and medical damages from the electrical business.

Experience Matters

As far as possible, stick with electricians who have built a solid reputation in the industry. The very fact that they have a good reputation is proof enough that they have been providing quality service for their customers for a long period of time. As such, you can be sure that such electricians will not only resolve the electrical issues in your home perfectly but they will also do so in a way that all your electronic devices and connections are handled carefully.

Rely On References

Now, if you are unable to decide which electrician to choose, the best option is to ask your friends or relatives for references. Since they will only refer you an electrician that they themselves have a good relationship with, you can hire them without worrying too much about the quality of services.

Get The Quote

Once you have checked for the license, insurance, experience, and reputation of an electrician, you will then have to look for their quotes. Generally, all good electrical services will quote you the average market rate. Here’s an important point to remember – do not blindly choose the service provider who offers the lowest quote. As far as you keep this in mind, you will easily be able to find a trustworthy and reliable electrician to handle any electrical issues in your home.

 

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Gardening

Four Superfoods You Should Grow in Your Garden

The term ‘superfood’ is trendy and used quite often when health benefits are being discussed. The term is frequently used to describe some variety of expensive and/or exotic food that is not practically for ordinary people to consume as part of their daily diet.

Food does not have to be expensive or exotic to qualify as a superfood, it just has to offer a several health benefiting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to qualify for inclusion in the superfood category.

These four superfoods can easily be grown in your home garden and will provide you with health benefits: potatoes, onions, cauliflower and watermelons.

Potatoes

Potatoes have a bad reputation because of their starch content, but when cooked correctly, the starch in the potato becomes ‘resistant starch’ which acts very similar to fiber when eaten. Fiber promotes good digestion and regulates bowel function, lowers cholesterol and help keep blood sugar stable.

Slow cooking is the key to extracting the resistant starch and to retaining the nutritional value of potatoes. Boiling or steaming at a low temperature turns a homegrown potato into a superfood, offering you low calorie resistant starch, vitamin C, potassium and folate.

Onions

Onions are a superfood that can easily be grown in a home garden and take up very little garden space. Onions contain protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and folate. They also contain the cancer fighting properties of quercetin and allyl sulfides.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool season garden vegetable that can be grown twice per season in home garden. One crop can be planted and harvested in the spring and the second crop in the fall. Cauliflower fits into the superfoods category by offering vitamins A, C & K, protein, calcium, fiber and folate. Cauliflower also contains the cancer fighting property of phytochemicals.

Eat cauliflower raw and use the cooking liquid after steaming to derive all the health benefits this garden vegetable has to offer.

Watermelons

Watermelon is a versatile, low calorie summertime favorite that is packed with fiber, folate, calcium, potassium and lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Bio

This article was written by Sandwell Rattan Furniture, a UK rattan furniture supplier that sells rattan sofa sets, rattan dining sets and more.

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Home Maintenance

3 Spring Lawn Care Tips You Need To Know About

When it comes to keeping your garden looking spick and span, one of the main factors that can make or break its overall appearance is whether you have a well-maintained lawn. As the centrepiece of any area, your lawn is really what ties together your overall vision.

And, with spring now upon us, it’s time to get started on your maintenance to make sure your lawn is looking fresh as can be when summer rolls around, ready for the numerous barbecues, parties and sun-tanning sessions that it will be host to.

However, with so many different hints and tips out there to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. As a result, we’re taking a look at three basic spring lawn care tips you need to know about, so you can get off on the right foot. 

Learn how to properly mow your grass

One of the most basic things to get right at the start is how to actually mow your grass properly.

Most people tend to follow the line of thought of ‘just switch the mower on and go’, but this can actually do more harm than good for your grass, as there are lots of different things to consider when mowing the lawn.

Not only does the actual condition of the lawn have to be taken into account, for example whether it’s wet or dry, but also the time of day, the season, the height of the lawn mower blades, and even the type of grass.

In order to learn all the ins and outs of mowing your lawn, check out this detailed guide by The Spruce.

Get your rake out

Raking your lawn is a vital part of lawn maintenance that needs to be done early on in spring and it can help your grass to avoid a whole multitude of sins. However, most people tend to view raking as just a way to remove dead leaves during the winter.

Raking actually has a much more important task than that through controlling the build-up of thatch. Thatch essentially means the layer of dead grass lying between the new grass and the roots and soil, which blocks the new grass from getting the right nutrients and water.

If the thatch on your lawn exceeds ½ inch, it can lead to disease, moss, and insect infestations, so raking it away as early as possible can really help to keep your lawn fresh for summer.

For more tips on how to rake your lawn correctly, check out this in-depth guide by Lawn Smith.

Use the right stuff

Finally, one of the easiest mistakes to make is using the wrong things for your lawn, whether it’s lawn equipment or fertilisers.

Your lawn is a very carefully balanced ecosystem and any misjudgement on your part can seriously alter its balance, so it’s important to make sure you get it right.

Rather than using any old fertiliser you happen to have in your shed, make sure you use a specific spring/summer feed, as the wrong one can lead to disease and weed problems.

Similarly, ensure that your lawn equipment is well maintained, or even invest in one of Blaupunkt Tool’s electric lawnmowers, to make sure you’re getting the right cut.

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Uncategorized

5 Tips to Grill the Perfect Chicken

A grill is a great way to cook meat in the open, especially if you are having a party with your friends or family. To make the meat turn out juicy and tender, you have to take the type of the meat into account. And if you are planning to grill chicken anytime soon, then the below tips will help you cook it to perfection.

The Cut

When buying the chicken, make sure that you get the best cut. Since you are grilling, you need to first think of how much time will you be spending on the grill. If you want a big cut of chicken, say bone-in breasts, then you should expect the cooking time to be longer. But if you plan to finish the grilling process quickly, then you need to buy the smaller cuts that can be grilled in about 20 to 25 minutes. Additionally, opting for boneless cuts will also reduce the grilling time. Now, if you are planning on grilling the whole chicken, then you need to butterfly it, which will make the chicken lie flat on the grill. But expect to spend a lot of time grilling the meat to perfection.

Temperature

As far as the temperature is concerned, you shouldn’t set the grill at high heat. It is recommended that you cook the meat at medium flame. This will ensure that the chicken gets cooked perfectly, without the outside being burned out. The ideal temperature to cook the chicken is at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So, keep a thermometer with you and check the temperature of the chicken by inserting it in the thickest section of the meat. If the temperature hits the desired level, you can be sure that the meat is cooking the right way.

Pound The Breasts

Since the chicken breast is usually uneven in terms of thickness, grilling it can be quite challenging. It is to resolve this issue that it is recommended to pound the meat thoroughly before grilling. This will flatten the meat, ensuring that the breast gets cooked on all sides the exact same way. Else, some part might turn out overcooked while other parts might be undercooked.

Clean Grill

Always use a grill that has been thoroughly cleaned after the previous grilling. Any lapse in the cleaning activity will only leave bacteria on the grill which will get into the meat and infect you. Cooking chicken on unclean grills will also take a longer time. Make sure to get a professional cleaning of the grill from https://grilltanksplus.com/ every five to six months.

Covering the Grill

Many people make the mistake of keeping the grill open when cooking chicken. This is a bad practice. Doing so will only lead to loss of heat and fuel. In addition, the meat itself will take longer to cook. But by covering the grill, you trap the heat inside and cook the chicken faster. Plus, the meat will also turn out juicier since heat is enveloping it from all sides.

 

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Home Improvement

Is the Foundation on Your Home Strong Enough for the Next 10 Years?

When buying a home or new property, there are many things you will look at on the outside and inside of your property, but something many people often don’t think about is the actual Foundation that a house is sitting on. When it comes to the foundation of a home, not only is it one of the most important things to look at, it can also be one of the most expensive areas to fix as well.

If you are currently living or looking to buy a property in any areas that have recently been affected by hurricanes, floods, or natural disasters, then you should definitely have a home inspector take a look at the foundation of your property. The actual cost associated with home repair and foundation repair can easily go into the six-figure range, especially if this requires actually lifting the home and then rebuilding a new foundation.

What to Consider Before Hiring for a Foundation Repair

One of the first things every homeowner needs to consider is what the condition of their foundation currently is. The bad news, is that this isn’t simply a matter of looking at it and knowing what’s wrong. You will need to hire a contractor or inspector to actually get under the home and see what’s going on.

After all of this is done, property owners should then contact various contractors and foundation repair companies to not only get multiple foundation repair estimates, but also to see what reports each of them provide as well.

Once all of this information has been provided, you will then have a better understanding of what it takes to repair your home foundation. This is something many homeowners in Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Florida have been going through after Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey damaged such areas with massive flooding.

 

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Home Maintenance

Which wheelbarrow tires should you buy for your wheelbarrow?

Wheelbarrow tires are one of the most important parts of your transportation device. After all, without the tires you would not be able to transport your construction materials, do work around the garden or be able to lift large amounts of weight and be able to wheel it effortlessly to another location. Sometimes if you have a wheelbarrow that you’ve had for many years, you may encounter a flat tire and wonder which type of tire is the best replacement. In this article, I will help you decide which type of wheelbarrow tires will be best suited for the activities you wish to be performing.

When trying to figure out which wheelbarrow tires are best, you will have two options most of the time. The first will be a tubeless wheel and the second will be a flat free wheelbarrow wheel. An advantage to an inflatable tire would be that it can provide a degree of shock absorption with the natural air that is inside the tire.

If you are transporting heavy-duty materials such as cement bags or other building materials it would be advisable to select an inflatable wheelbarrow tire because over time the tire will begin to deflate because of the excess weight being carried on top by the materials that you are transporting. The disadvantage to the type of wheel is that you will experience a certain degree of bounce and it will also be inconvenient for you to constantly pump up the tire again since over time it will eventually go flat again.

On the other hand, flat free tires are a more convenient option because they will eliminate the need for you to grab a pump from your garage and pump up the tire again. These types of tire come in two different types. One of the types is made from 100% polyurethane wheel; other makers offer a tire made of a resin based foam material or hard plastic. The foam plastic wheelbarrow tires have a similar feel to an inflatable tire but are prone to be damaged much easier. For the best long-term durability, it will depend on what types of activities you wish to perform with your wheelbarrow and the amount of weight that you will be transporting during those activities. Overall inflatable tires are much better for the construction site and heavy materials while foam based tires are better for less heavy duty work such as gardening.

 

 

 

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