5 Eco-Friendly Landscaping and Living Tips

First of all, I think I can say confidently that garden lovers and enthusiasts alike are suffering very hard from the repeated announcements of global warming and rising prices. While this is a shame, we can all do something to impact positively.I’d like to start with the essential element for landscaping…water.

  1. Use Rain Water

Harvesting rain water is as easy as pie. It’s free and it saves a lot of money and energy. Sure, if you live the desert you can use water from the hose, but for those of us who live in rain-rich areas, we should really use rain water. Just put a bin outside when a storm is brewing and the next day, you can use all that fresh rain water to hydrate your plants...

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Household Repairs Anyone can do

household repairs

Whether you are an urban homesteader or a rural homesteader, in the home there is always some aspect of the property that needs a little fixing up. Unaddressed, small problems and tasks become large and expensive eyesores, requiring professional attention, precluded by a sizable withdrawal from your bank account. Granted, not everyone has the skill set to remodel a house, or for that matter, even change a light switch. But everyone does have the ability to complete simple household repairs, and thereby save money and preserve their homestead.

A list of household repairs anyone can do should be approached from a perspective of maintenance, you’re just attempting to fix what you can properly to preserve a pleasant environment...

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Fertilization 101: Growing Vegetables in Your Organic Garden

When we talk of fertilization for your effective gardening of vegetables in your organic gardening, it is almost similarly attributed to mulching. But there are also other aspects such as the introduction of fertilizers that can be available naturally or commercially. Simply defined, it involves placing matter, whether organic or inorganic, around your plants.

Aside from providing fertilization, it also protects your soil. Whether your garden is subjected under heavy rains or at the risk of weed infestation, the mulches provide ample protection and strengthening needed to supplement the natural growth processes of your organic garden vegetables...

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Fire-Safe Landscaping: Create Defensible Space to Protect Your Home

Every homeowner fears fire. This year, which has been particularly dry in California and throughout the Southwestern United States, has been particularly worrisome, as drought conditions have escalated. Homeowners can help themselves, though, by taking a look at their landscaping and what’s in their yard, and trying to eliminate anything that could start a fire or provide fuel for one. There’s a lot you can do to create fire-safe landscaping around your house. The name of the game is “defensible space” – a 30-foot area around the home is standard rule of thumb; however, in California, a 100-foot space is now urged.

Here are some things you can do to create a Fire-Safe Landscaping defensible space:

  • Simple outdoor maintenance can help remove hazards...
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Soil Basics – Creating Fertile, Healthy Soil

Soil Basics

Have you ever looked at the soil in your garden and considered it as anything more than dirt? If not you should because there is a lot more there than meets the eye. It performs many functions that you may not be aware of and having good quality soil in your garden is essential for your plants. In this article we will look at the functions of soil, what different types there are and finally some ways to make it healthier.

Functions of Soil

The most immediately apparent function of soil is a medium to support plant life. It provides support both physically and biologically. Physical support is provided by allowing the plant to grow its roots through the soil to hold itself in place. Biological support is provided by its ability to hold nutrients and water that the plant needs...

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Understanding Composting

Composting can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. The best part about creating compost is that it can consist of any organic material and we all have access to plenty of that every single day because it is produced by the lawn, garden, and kitchen.

Compost is what happens when leaves, grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, woodchips, straw, and small twigs are combined, then allowed to break down into a soillike texture. Compost introduces and feeds diverse life in the soil, including bacteria, insects, worms, and more which support vigorous plant growth.

Compost is multi-faceted but not intended as a fertilizer. It offers only a relatively low proportion of nutrients, yet what it does is close to magical...

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How to Create an Evening Oasis of Bloom and Fragrance

Evening Oasis of Bloom

I think it is equally important to turn your outside space into a place to feed your family, but not overlook the chance to escape into it. We have a suburban house, that has a backyard backed up to 5 other yards, so we wanted to create a perfect little oasis for ourselves to escape into. So, we are creating a moonlight garden, to give us a perfect little escape for those late-night bonfires.

moonflower bloomMany plants bloom in the evening, particularly in warm climates, and their delicious fragrance can be smelled on the breeze perfuming the whole area. The flowers are usually white or light yellow.

One vine that I especially like is an annual called, appropriately enough, moonflower...

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Making Homemade Yogurt

homemade yogurt

I love yogurt, and knowing how to make my own homemade yogurt is a skill that provides me with this tasty treat all the time.

I know, I can here you now, “homemade yogurt! I’m not that great in the kitchen!” Well fret not, it is actually very easy if you follow the directions below.

 

What do you need to make homemade yogurt

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 2 large dollops of natural yogurt with active live bacteria (Okay so you do have to take a trip to the store once).

That’s it for ingredients, nothing fancy. Now below are the instructions for simple healthy homemade yogurt:

making homemade yogurtStep 1- Add 1 quart of whole milk to a saucepan and heat until small bubbles appear around the outside of the saucepan (but do not boil). Heat milk to about 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit...

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Rain Gardens: Save our environment with landscaping

rain gardens

There’s a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!

Storm water runoff can be a big problem in summer during heavy thunderstorms. As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can’t handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water! By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you’ll be helping to protect our rivers,...

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Veggie Gardening in Hot Areas: Long or Short Growing Periods?

Long or Short Growing Periods

Contrary to popular opinion, long hot summers do not necessarily mean long growing periods for vegetable gardens.

Some vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and squash don’t do well when the weather is extremely hot for long periods. There are also many varieties which are resistant to common tomato diseases.

Growing Periods

Tomatoes

Vegetable gardeners who live in areas with long, hot summers should plant early maturing varieties of tomatoes.

In fact, starting them indoors before last frost date, and then planting them in the garden after any threat of frost, will give the gardener a little more growing time, and allow the plants to set fruit before the weather gets too warm.

Many heirloom and older variety tomatoes have longer growing seasons...

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