Will Container Gardening Donate You Joy? Discover It In This Article Thanks To These Helpful Tips For Gardening Beginners

By Austin Okayne

Afraid of food poisoning? Rest assured that you no longer have to live in fear of E. Coli or salmonella. How can you do this? Use container gardening! You don't have to be a hobbyist or a hardcore gardener to appreciate the simplicity and helpfulness of a container garden.

But a lot of people are against container gardening as well. They think it takes too much time, and requires too much work. But it really doesn't! In just four easy instructions, you can be planting your own basil for under forty dollars. Here's how:

1 You have to buy your supplies. The total cost should be under twenty dollars if you have a place that plants can receive sunlight from. If not, you'll need light bought from a store-around fifteen to twenty extra dollars. Your supply list is as follows: Three plastic-based pots with holes used for draining out earth and water. They should be ideally five or six inches in span, and five or six inches down, allowing you plenty of room for soil. One pack of basil seeds, a relatively small holder of compost, one simple bag of peat moss, a single garden trowel, a watering can, and a source of light later will set you off on your container gardening creation.

2. Prep the soil by mixing a bit of compost with moss (5 parts compost and one part peat moss. For every trowel of moss, essentially place five trowels of compost). Measure three pots until they are around .5 of an inch from the top w/h the mixture.

3 Plant your plant-starters in the dirt, and make holes about an inch below in the middle of each pot using your index finger. Three seeds should go in each inch deep hole and be covered. After watering lightly, allow them to sit in front of your desired light source, and once the seeds begin to germinate into plants, clip extra sprouts once they've reached 5.08 centimeters.

4. Just water regularly. In order to guarantee optimal growth, take off the tops of the stems every other week. Also, remove any random stalks growing from the plants once they begin to grow.

There's nothing more to it! It's that easy, and that fast to start your own container garden. We only planted basil in this example. But you can branch out on your own: try tomatoes, peppers, thyme, roses, or other, as any will work with a few small changes. - 30422

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Go Green & Save the Planet

By Martella Hudson

There are many ideas about what constitutes sustainable or "green" living. Many of these ideas have been around for a long time and are now being brought back into vogue. Other require a basic re-thinking of the relationship between suppliers and users of products. Fortunately, for most consumers, going green is probably easier than you imagine and can actually reduce your monthly expenses while improving your lifestyle. The key is to think before you buy and consider the real cost (not the monetary one) of a given item and how that item will be disposed of when it's no longer useful.

So what is a sustainable lifestyle? It's basically living more realistically, by being aware of reality. The reality is that if a beef patty in America came from a cow raised in Brazil on land made by clear-cutting the Amazon rain forest, it's not being raised sustainably. It may seem cheap, but the cost is hidden by governments and tax policies that encourage this destruction of the eco-system. Your power to stop this is to realize the reality of it, and not eat that particular hamburger. Fortunately, if you have a computer and a connection to the internet, finding out about this reality is easy. You can live in beautiful house, have electronic gizmos, wear fine clothes and drive a fancy car and you can do all this while living green. You just have to be aware of how something was made and what happens when you throw it away.

Is "sustainable living" compatible with modern life? Yes, more so than ever. The "green revolution" is over. Everything you need to go green is already in place. You just have to know about them and take the correct actions. The power of consumers choosing green over "not green" will eventually make the Earth a better place for all of us to live. So choose reality-based products and recognize the impact of your actions and make the decisions to not pollute (while recognizing that this is impossible, but you can reduce your pollution footprint), recycle when possible and buy products that were produced from sustainable practices and your power to change the planet will be complete. Nothing and no one get it perfect every time, but by making the changes you can make, you will go a long way to help and the choices will be come easier over time.

As noted previously, part of sustainable living is recognizing how you're using the Earth's natural resources and vowing to reduce your pollution and use. Locally this means not dumping toxins (like oil, paint thinner, herbicides, pesticides) into streams or into storm drains. Don't fire up your fireplace with wet, smoky wood, and use a pellet stove if possible. Buy electricity from "green" sources if you can afford it. Conserve water. Buy a low flow shower head. Turn your water heater thermostat down to 120 or lower. Heat your house to 68 - 70 degrees (F) and cool it to 78 - 75 degrees. The list of easy ways to reduce your personal use of natural resources is endless and you will live just as comfortably as you do now. Not everyone can afford to do everything (or is willing to), but by being a responsible citizen of your community, and the world, you will be helping and that's what we all need to do.

What's the next step? You must keep learning. Visit the blog-o-sphere, register at some forums, read articles and keep up with the news. Try to find and implement one idea a week and you'll soon be the greenest person you know. - 30422

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Change To Green Lawn Care Products And Your Family Will Thank You

By Michael Tait

What are green lawn care products? They are organic products that you apply to your lawn instead of chemical ones. If you are thinking why you should apply green lawn care products then read on to discover what the benefits of green lawn care products are.

Lawn care can be a complex practice that entails various different components that need to support each other so that your lawn can really be healthy. But have you considered why you would like to use green lawn care products. If you want to apply them because they are cheaper and easier to use, then possible they aren't for you. However, if you want the best looking lawn and want products that are harmless for your family and your pets then green lawn care products are for you.

Organic Lawn Care Product Benefits

Green lawn care products make things healthier for you and your family and they also make your lawn healthier. Many times, chemical treatments for your lawn change the natural minerals or elements in your lawn with chemical ones; your lawn will become dependent on these chemicals to live. With no chemicals, the lawn browns and becomes contaminated. Natural, green lawn care products do not have this problem as they maintain the lawns natural growth with natural nutrients and minerals. While your lawn would not do as well without these organic products, it does not wither and die as dramatically as when you stop applying chemical treatments.

Additionally, the organic green lawn care products are generally not whatever harmful, so you, your children, and your pets can relax on the lawn without worrying that you will become ill. If you apply chemicals, you have to use a mask, gloves, and possibly eye protectors - would you like your children playing on the lawn or your pet licking the grass if it is full of dangerous chemicals?

A further reason why green lawn care products are generally better is that they make your lawn stronger in general. They support the growing process and will cause your lawn to have strong roots that will allow your lawn stand up to harsh winters or scorching summers. This means less work on your part to keep your lawn healthy in the long run. A chemical lawn will not be as good at fighting off these things because it relies on the chemicals to stay strong not its inner strength.

Pet and Child Safe Lawn Care Products

One of the more commonly used child and pet safe lawn care products is organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer helps not only your lawn to prosper and support its natural resistance to insects and disease, it is also completely safe. By using a natural, green lawn care product like organic fertilizer you not only aid the health of your lawn but of everyone in your home.

On average two applications of organic fertilizer per year is more than adequate. At first, if your lawn is considerably damaged, you could need further applications. A green pet and child safe lawn care product can increase the health of your lawn and the strength of its root system so that you don't need to constantly apply it.

In addition to organic fertilizer you can use seaweed to support the health of your lawn. Seaweed is very rich in minerals and is not expensive - it is something you can apply for a small amount of cash on a monthly basis.

I hope this has given you some insight into why using green products for your lawn is the safest thing to do. I was an administrator of an organic coffee plantation with the use of organic material as well as organic insecticides and fungicides. Also, I have a chemical free garden that produces organic citrus fruit and vegetables - convert to organic and green gardening because it is truly rewarding and safe. - 30422

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Constructive Information On Your Home-Based Hydroponics System

By Frank Froggatt

There are quite of few different homemade hydroponics kits out there and if it is your intention to buy one, then be very sure of what you intend to grow with it as many of them can be used for any kind of crop.If this is a field that you are just getting into and you are looking for a place to begin, then you can find a kit in a local store, but they can be rather expensive. Let's go ahead and take a little bit of a closer look at what is really needed for you to be successful in this venture instead.

What Do I Need For Homemade Hydroponics?

First of all you will need one tote that will work as the nutrients and mineral reservoir; then a water pump will be used for oxygenating the nutrients all the time. You're also going to need an upper container which is going to be used to hold your actual plant containers. In the bottom of the container, you're going to have to place to holes which will be used in the following way: the first hole is going to be used for flooding and draining, and the other one must be therefore an overflow pipe. A short tube is going to be connected to the bottom drain fitting from the water pump, and the water pump also needs to be hooked up to a timer clock. This is the basics of an effective homemade hydroponics. You need to set the timer on the pump to turn on for half an hour intervals four times a day.

If you got through the part of putting together a homemade hydroponics system, then you are about halfway there. The other essential part is to learn how to feed your plants. The type of crop that you want to grow will determine the type of nutrients and minerals you need to get the results that you want.

A couple of things that will help you to be successful are a pH meter and an EC meter as these will both help to keep you up-to-date on the amount of nutrients and minerals that are in your system. A homemade hydroponics setup is not something that's super easy to set up, but it's not real hard either and with a little bit of effort and determination you can see really nice results.

The setup is neither impossible to do nor is it very expensive to complete. You're going to need two 32 new totes, an aquarium water pump, and an air pump. You also need to buy the timer, the tubing for the plumbing, and the necessary fittings for the flood and drain.

Hydroponics has become quite a hobby for many researchers, and the fact is that its importance is recognized even by NASA who uses this technique in providing fresh vegetables and to recycle air on the orbital space station. - 30422

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After Building How To: Raised Bed Gardening

By Jonathan Beltran

When you're through with building a garden bed, be sure to congratulate yourself because now that your garden is set in place you can start raised bed gardening. It may be a bit empty now, but through this article you can begin the fun part.

When you use the right kind of soil, manage watering and keep your plants healthy and disease free, you can build a great raised bed garden that will beat all your expectations.

Soil pH Levels

One of the safer techniques for making a raised bed garden is also a simple one. Use a mixture of one quarter yard soil, three quarters compost and sand. This puts a solid base to start your gardening and should prompt some nice growth. Always keep track of your soil's pH levels, too. If it's overly alkaline, nothing will grow.

Kill All The Weeds

The way your raised bed garden is setup should help prevent weeds, but since when have plans ever gone the way they were initially drawn? Put organic mulch over the top of your bed as an added protective measure.

If that doesn't work, try products for weed guarding to make sure those pesky weeds stay away. If this still doesn't stop them, don't worry too much. They're simple to get rid of, and remember gardening is ongoing work. There are going to be setbacks occasionally.

Reasonable Watering

It's just as unhealthy for plants to be watered too much as it is to be ignored. If plants stay wet for long period of time, disease will be more likely to form on the leaves and general bad health will result. To combat this, do your watering by hand and focus on the areas of the garden in which plants are buried and try to avoid watering surrounding areas as well.

Alternatively, you can pick up one of those irrigation systems. These handy contraptions use a dripping technology to water enough but not too much. Whatever you do, don't just hose down your plants.

Minding Your Raised Bed

Though raised bed gardening actually requires little maintenance, there are still things you have to stay on top of as a gardener. First, obviously you need to water your plants as necessary, being careful not to overdo it. Next, try turning the soil over periodically, adding in new organic matter as you go.

In the event that disease gets a foothold in your garden, empty the bed and replace the soil with all new soil/compost/sand mixture and reseat your plants. It's also important to keep an eye on your garden and make sure it's not tipping over time.

Low maintenance gardeners and lovers of nature enjoy raised bed gardening the most, but it's a great hobby for anyone. It's simple to pretty up your yard and grow some delicious vegetables all at once.

By following the tips above, you'll keep your garden beautiful and secure -- for the plants and you, as the owner. - 30422

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From Grass To An Organic Vegetable Garden On Your Front Lawn

By Susan Honeywell

Lawns may look good, but they are unproductive, require a lot of care, and are environmentally unfriendly due to the high use of pesticides and fertilizers necessary to maintain them. As even the White House has discovered, turning a lawn into an organic vegetable garden is a much better use for the land.

Don't be put off by the idea of organic vegetable gardening being a strenuous and unrewarding physical activity involving lots of tilling. If you follow this easy guide and some easy principles, you won't have to do any tilling and you'll turn your lawn into a garden with real ease.

Start by marking off the area for your organic vegetable garden with string. The White House's vegetable garden is about thirty feet by thirty feet square, which is enough to feed a large family. But to start, you could do with a quarter of that space. Water the area thoroughly.

Cover the area with a six inch thick mix of sand or gravel, old grass clippings, soil, and some ready-made organic compost or manure. This will ensure a solid nutrient base for your organic vegetables to grow on in years to come. Cover everything with cardboard, or with several layers of newspaper. This cover will eventually become compost too.

Now build a raised bed frame around the whole area for your organic vegetable garden, providing for walk paths if the area is big. It's best to use solid, untreated wood planks. You can add dividing frames if you like. The previous paper layer needs to stick out from the sides of the main frame.

Add a mix of organic compost, soil, and pebbles until the frame is full. This is the layer that your plants will grow in, and that you will replace with your own compost as time goes by. But for now, you'll have to buy compost to start your organic vegetable garden.

You should now leave everything as it is for at least a couple of weeks, ideally for a month. In this time, your old lawn and the organic materials on top will decompose, with the help of earthworms that will return to the previously sterile earth, and everything will turn into a fertile mixture for your seeds.

Now is the time to plant baby plants known as seedlings, or alternatively seeds. If you don't have any available from a windowsill you can get seeds and seedlings from shops, from neighbours, or over the internet at specialized organic vegetable gardening retailers.

Regarding the herbs and vegetables to pick for your lawn turned new garden, go wild and take whatever you prefer. Don't be afraid to leave out some common plants and go for lesser known crops, the variety of plants available to the home grower compared to the supermarket is staggering.

It's recommended to involve any kids that live in your area in the planning of the organic vegetable garden. This should of course include your own children, but also any other kids in your neighbourhood that your family is on friendly terms with. They will be engrossed in the activity, and you will get some help to transform that lawn into a garden.

Starting a compost heap is just as important as the other steps to a perfect organic vegetable garden. For that you need to pile all your garden clippings and non-animal kitchen waste into a wooden frame or a special composting box and water. After a while, you will have more compost for your plants. - 30422

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Organic Fertilizer Is Saving Our Planet, One Lawn And Garden At A Time

By Tina Hull

Fertilizing your lawns, gardens and crops with organic fertilizer is the way Mother Nature wanted it to be. Fish emulsion is a renewable source that has served as nature's finest organic fertilizer for centuries. How we ever converted to synthetic fertilizers is beyond me.

A little known Gulf fish called the Menhaden is used for its oils and the byproducts make a great fertilizer. And how appropriate is it that Menhaden, loosely translated, means "that which manures", since manure is an excellent fertilizer as well.

A much desired quality of fish emulsion as organic fertilizer is that it offers instant gratification. One misconception many people have is that all organic fertilizers don't act fast enough. True, some organic fertilizers are slow acting but not fish emulsion. Your plants benefit almost immediately after its application. Some other organic fertilizers leave you waiting. Often their ingredients need some time to decompose and release their nutrients. You have to be careful to store fish emulsion at room temperature so that it doesn't degrade before you want it to as it will in excessive heat.

Seedlings especially benefit from fish emulsion as organic fertilizer because it is so fast acting and transplants need the extra attention so they aren't harmed too badly from transplanting. Fish emulsion applied to roots of plants ready to go into the ground helps the plant?s roots cling to its nutrient rich soil, aiding in transplanting by reducing shock to the plant.

Organic fertilizer doesnt pose the same risks that synthetic fertilizers do. Brown burn spots on the lawn are a problem of the past. Your plants wont be dropping dead from chemical overload.

Yes, fish emulsion has a drawback, it doesn't smell too great. Though a super organic fertilizer, you'll want to exercise caution when using. Try to keep it off your hands and clothes. The lovely aroma will diminish after a short period of time, so don't worry. You won't have to live with it for very long.

The Menhaden fish is the best fish to use for organic fertilizer. They're too bony to eat, but they feed on mineral rich plankton making them a treat for the lawn and garden, super rich in nutrients.

Fish emulsion has been used as an organic fertilizer for so long that no one can legitimately debate whether or not it works. Millions of lawns and gardens are well serviced by fish emulsion, especially younger plants. The rewards justify the stench, so get over it. This too shall pass. Your vegetation will thrive like never before when using fish emulsion as your primary organic fertilizer on your lawn and garden. - 30422

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