Spruce up your backyard this spring
It’s that time of year again. We get the opportunity to trade in our winter coats for springtime shorts and venture out into our backyards. After being stuck indoors for months, we tend to look at the outdoors with a new perspective.
Plant a New Garden
Planting a new garden is a massive undertaking. The first step is to figure out how large you want to make the garden bed. The bed should be about 20 x 25, if you have the space for it. This will give you the maximum space for
Now that you’ve figured out how large your garden will be, you have to think about location. Your garden will need ample sunlight— at least five hours a day. When you plant your garden, try to free up the space around it of weeds, bushes and trees. Your flowers or produce will have a better chance of thriving. If you have a densely vegetated yard, you may need some extra help such as hiring a professional or a backhoe rental from Sunbelt Rentals. With a backhoe, you’ll have to dig a rut around your expected garden placement. The rut should dip below the nearest root system. Using a backhoe for this process will make things go much smoother and faster.
Once your rut is dug, place a heavy material, something roots can’t break through, into the rut. Fill it back in with the freshly dug soil. You should dig about two feet into the ground to ensure that your garden has plenty of vitamin-rich soil to feed.
Plant New Grass
If you’re not looking to go as aggressive as digging up your backyard and planting a brand-new garden, laying down new grass may give you a fresh perspective on your yard.
Before you start planting, test your soil for available nutrients and ph levels. Take samples from several different parts of your yard. Make sure the soil you remove is more than eight inches deep into the ground. There are plenty of local organizations that can test this sample you’ve produced. Contact your lawn care service for more information.
A simple roto-tiller will aid in preparing your lawn to be seeded with new grass. Set the tiller for a six-inch dig and run it over the portion of the yard where you want grass. If your lawn is new, this tilling should suffice. If not, you’ll want to obtain a verticutter. The verticutter creates perfect planting rows out of freshly dug and sifted soil.
The verticutter can also help you plant your new grass seed. The general recommendation is to throw your seed and verticut at least one time. Then, lay some more grass seed and use a hoe to displace this added seed. This process will give you a better coverage of grass. Once your seed is ready, water the ground immediately. Continue to water for one week after the grass starts to break through your yard.
Courtney is a yoga teacher and naturopath who writes for a variety of health and exercise blogs from her home in Maine.
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Enjoy Summer Produce Year-Round
The best secret to purchasing summertime produce is to shop at local farmers markets, produce stands, or farming coops. Not only are you supporting your local famers, but you’re more likely to find; fresher produce, a wider selection, and more for your money.
Once, you’ve found a good supply, purchase additional fruits and vegetables to freeze for offseason. Here are a few helpful tips on freezing your summer produce.
Use freezer bags or package your produce in plastic food containers. Label it with a permanent marker with contents and date processed. Choose perfectly ripe produce, overripe or under ripe produce does not fare as well in the freezer. Choose vegetables wisely: vegetables that you usually cook are better candidates for freezing.
Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, cranberries and strawberries. Rinse under ice-cold water if choosing berries that have been sprayed. Place berries on a baking sheet, freeze, and then transfer to freezer bag or container.
Cherries: Rinse in ice-cold water and pit the cherries. Place cherries on a baking sheet, freeze then transfer to freezer bag or container.
Melons: Watermelon is the only melon that does not freeze well. Simply peel casaba, Crenshaw, honeydew or cantaloupe, remove the seeds and cut into slices chunks or balls. Place in freezer bag or container.
Peaches: Cut an X into the bottom of each peach. Place in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Remover, allow to cool slightly and peel off the skin. Slice in half and remove the pit. Cut into slices or cubes. Toss with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to prevent browning. Place in freezer bag or container.
Freezing Vegetables: While most vegetables require a quick blanch and then a plunge into an ice bath, some vegetable require a longer cooking process before freezing. This includes root vegetables like beets. Timing is very important when blanching; under-blanching actually stimulates enzyme activity, while over blanching causes loss of flavor, color and valuable nutrients. For additional tips on freezing vegetables check out these tips from GardenGuide at http://ow.ly/6jji.
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Choose the Perfect Gate for Your Home
Are you planning a home-remodeling project? Do you have a garden in front of your home? Then, the one thing that you must include is a gate. It not only ensures the safety and security of your house, but also enhances the beauty. Gates have enamored us for a long time. A mansion with an imposing gate in front of it has never failed to impress us.
There are several kinds of gates available. The two basic models are slide gates and swing gates. If you can manage the space in front of your home, then the swing gates are a good option. A swing gate is something that comes to our minds when we think of gates. But, if you do not have the space then a slide gate is a good option too. They are very good if your home is of a modern design. The swing gates have fewer mechanisms compared to a slide gate and so they are expected to develop fewer glitches in them.
The gates can be made out of various kinds of materials. They include, wrought iron, wooden picket, vinyl, etc. the material that you choose will depend on the kind of climate you have round the year, the maintenance cost and the safety that it will provide. The most popular are wood and iron.
They can either be simple or ornate. Simple gates are of course easy to maintain and they are cheap. Also, if you are installing a simple wooden swing gate then you can do it yourself on a weekend. Gates with complicated patterns on them look very grand and add to the beauty of the house. But, you have to work really hard to keep them clean. Besides, they must be compatible with the house and the gate of your neighbors, if any. A grand, imposing gate in a row of simpler ones looks very odd.
If you have seen a spy movies or a horror movie, a gate opening by itself is something that must have attracted you. You can also have a gate like that at your home that opens automatically. A manual gate has to be opened either by you or by your guests. Also, it becomes difficult sometimes to open the gate. In such cases an automatic gate is very helpful. They provide better security than the manual ones as they are not so easy to break-in. they also provide you with the added facility of installing a burglar alarm that you can activate at night or when you are not at home.
There are several kinds of automatic gates and you must consult an expert before you invest in one. The perfect kind of electric gates Surrey home owners should install depends on the owner’s needs and affordability.
The author Eve Warner has a deep interest in home remodeling. She has written many blogs on the same. Here, she shares some tips about installing http://www.geminigates.co.uk/electric gates Surrey residents will find helpful.
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