Organic Fertilizers for Your Home

Organic garden fertilizers consist of decomposed plant and animal compounds that are broken down by microbes into a form that living plants can use, usually dissolved in water and taken up through the roots. They are naturally occurring chemical compounds, unlike chemical fertilizers that are compounds created in a lab. Some organic fertilizers contain mostly one main nutrient, for example bat guano has high nitrogen content and very small amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Organic fertilizers also contain other nutrients and trace elements. When you select an organic fertilizer, you need to know where it falls on the N-P-K range so you know on what plants it should be used and when in the plant’s life cycle it will offer the most benefit.

What makes good fertilizer?

“N” = Nitrogen, “P” ...

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Tasty Addition to Your Herb Garden; Chives

Chives are a perennial so once you get them started there is no need to replant each year. They are very bountiful and will take over a larger area if left to go to seed in the winter time. There are common chives and there are garlic chives which to me have a stronger flavor. Both are a great addition and if you do not have space for them outdoors, they are easily grown inside using containers.

Chives can be found growing wild in yards, along road sides, and pastures and several other places. They spread easily and are very hardy.

Chives thrive best if grown in soil that will drain well and should have ample supply of sunlight. If using a container choose a potting mix rich in Hummus...

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Trees – Spring Planting Tips

Spring means that the garden centers are packed with people, and car trunks are packed with plants. Everybody has dirt on their knees, dirt under their nails, and is excited about gardening. To make certain that this excitement yields positive results, let’s discuss the basics in this article of spring planting tips.

Installing new plants and having them grow successfully is not difficult, nor is it as complicated as some would have you think. Is it as easy as just digging a hole and setting the plant in? Yes, it certainly can be. I won’t get into bed preparation, as I have covered that in other articles.

Let’s start with B&B plants. B&B is short for balled in burlap. Closely examine the ball on the plant that you have purchased...

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22+ Tips for a Greener Life

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to start living green, and with a few simple changes, you can start small and build new habits that will lead to a more eco-friendly life. In honor of Earth Month, here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to tread lightly on the earth this year.

Protect both the environment and your pocketbook with these 22+Tips for a greener life:

Inside the Home

1) Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to decrease run times when you are away or asleep. This way energy isn’t wasted.

2) Set the Thermostat Higher in Summer, Lower in Winter
When you are home, set your thermostat a little higher in summer or lower in winter. Lowering the thermostat in winter can reduce energy usage by 3 percent, for instance.
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How to Save Your Own Set of Seeds

Saving seeds doesn’t have to be a frightening task and can even be absolutely easy, according to Fred Bove of the San Francisco Permaculture Guild. Instead of waiting for the last riffraff plants to flower, he instructs to look for the biggest, most colorful specimens that were among the first few plants to become ripe.

He urges to resist harvesting the first beautiful flower, vegetable or herb of any one planting, and allow full maturity.

“You want to save the best characteristics (of any plant) and pass them on,” explained Bove. Depending on the plant, you may want to select for size, flavor or how quickly it takes for the crop to reach maturity. “That way, you’re promoting the desired characteristics in the next generation of seeds.”

The next important challenging task is identifying a ...

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Advantages to Community Gardening: With limited gardening space, consider a community garden.

You might live in a townhouse with a postage stamp-sized yard. Perhaps you live in an apartment building without a balcony or access to green space. Perhaps you have a large yard, but it is completely shaded by large trees, or the soil in your yard is not hospitable to growing edible plants such as tomatoes, herbs and peppers. If this is the case, a community garden plot may be just the solution.

Advantages of Community Gardening

Good Soil and Sun Exposure

Community gardening allows individuals and families to cultivate plants and grow food when otherwise they may not be able to due to conditions at their own home. Many community gardens are located in areas with mostly sunny exposure, perfect for growing vegetables and many varieties of perennial and annual flowers.

Tools and Storage are ...

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Organic Edible Gardening With Kids

Teach Kids to Grow Vegetables and Herbs Without Chemicals

Composting

You can start an organic garden with your child any time of year by composting. Playing in the dirt is elementally satisfying to children, so give them children’s garden tools to help you hack away at your mound, introducing oxygen and hastening the breakdown of your scraps.

If you live in an apartment, consider a small vermiculture station in the kitchen where red wiggler worms turn vegetable scraps into rich garden soil. Red worms appreciate paper bedding, so the child can shred old homework and tests to get the bin started.

Seed Starting

The smallest toddler can get in on the gardening game when you start a flat of vegetable seeds at home...

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Starting Seeds Indoors

STARTING SEEDS INDOORS

Starting your seeds indoors will lessen the amount of time you have to wait to see results in your garden, and many people prefer to grow their plants indoors first to ready them for the growing season. It can be motivational and satisfying.

If space is available near a sunny window, start seeds four to eight weeks before the plant-out date in your area (average date of last killing frost). Starting too early usually results in spindly plants due to crowding and lack of sufficient light.

Almost any container with drainage holes in the bottom will work for planting. Paper milk cartons cut in half, Styrofoam cups, tin cans, plastic trays and pots are common containers used...

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Green Home Pest Control Methods

Ant poisons and ant baits are extremely toxic substances. For homes with pets, small children, or those that just care about the environment, these methods of getting rid of ants may not be viable options. There are non-toxic home pest control methods, however, that are safe for kids, the environment, and pets and get rid of an ant infestation.

Common Types of House Ants and Where They Nest

  • Pharaoh Ants – Pharaoh ants are tiny. They can range in color from yellow to red and have black and white markings on their abdomens. Pharaoh ants are a common house pest and will build their nests in the walls, behind appliances or underneath carpeting.
  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants are either black or black with a red head...
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Plumbing Noises In Your Home: Your Pipes are talking to you

To diagnose plumbing noises, it is important to determine first whether the unwanted sounds occur on the system’s inlet side-in other words, when water is turned on-or on the drain side. Noises on the inlet side have varied causes: excessive water pressure, worn valve and faucet parts, improperly connected pumps or other appliances, incorrectly placed pipe fasteners, and plumbing runs containing too many tight bends or other restrictions. Noises on the drain side usually stem from poor location or, as with some inlet side noise, a layout containing tight bends.

Common Plumbing Noises

Hissing Pipes

Hissing noise that occurs when a faucet is opened slightly, generally signals excessive water pressure...

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