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Canadian Hemlock for Landscapes

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Canadian HemlockThe Canadian Hemlock is one of my all time favorite upright evergreens. I use them in many of the landscapes that I do, including my own. They grow nice and full but are still easy to maintain at just about any given height you choose.

In a landscape planting I like to keep them at a height of about 6-1/2, maybe 7′.  This is just tall enough that I can trim the tree without the use of a ladder. I frequently use the Canadian Hemlocks on a corner then accent the evergreen Hemlock with the brilliant yellow Gold Thread Cypress. But don’t over use the Gold Thread. Three around the front of the bed is good, then use another evergreen around the back of the bed. Something like Taxus Sebian, Taxus Densiformis or even Blue Girl Holly. Using the additional evergreens around the back of the Hemlock also provides an evergreen back drop for the Gold thread from different angles and really makes them stand out, but still not over the top with the yellow color.

How to Trim Canadian Hemlock

When I trim Canadian Hemlock I use regular, manual hedge shears and all I do is tighten it up. Each time that I trim it, it gets a little tighter and eventually, over a period of years it gets so tight you can’t even get your fist inside of the plant. As a side note, I trim Rhododendrons the same way and they get just as tight! Nice and full.

Left untrimmed the Canadian Hemlock looks great for the first year or so, but what happens is the same thing that happens with all plants that are left un-pruned. When you leave a plant un-pruned the following year it flushes out with new growth in the spring just like it’s supposed to. But all of that growth is on the ends of the branches that should have been trimmed off the year before. Many people don’t realize what’s happening, don’t really know how to correct it, and before long the plants in their landscape look terrible. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Pruning is much simpler than most people make it out to be but some people really don’t like to do yard work so they simply don’t prune. Then when they do, they don’t prune enough to make up for the prunings that they missed. Others just can’t bring themselves to cut off much from their plants. I’m not sure if they are afraid they’ll hurt them, or if they feel that they paid good money for them and they are not going to cut away part of what they paid for. I’m not sure what all the emotions are that go with pruning or not pruning.

One of the emotions has to do with spousal issues and I’m not even going there. It’s not a gender thing, it’s a spousal thing. There’s always one person in the relationship that wants to prune and the other thinks he or she is a pruning maniac. To the point that they drag me or their father into the argument!

So whether you are pruning a Canadian Hemlock, a Rhododendron or any other plant in your landscape I’ll let you in on a little secret. The ideal time to trim any plant is when it needs it. If you wait, you might not get around to at the “ideal time” and next thing you know the landscape got away from you.

Like most evergreens Canadian Hemlocks don’t do well in really wet soil, but they can tolerate more shade than most other evergreens. But you should also know that I use them and grow them in full sun, so they are okay with that too. They do well in zones 3 through 8 and make an excellent evergreen hedge. However, they are slow growing and slow growing plants always cost more.

Mike McGroarty is the owner of McGroarty Enterprises and the author of several books. You can visit his website at FreePlants.com and read his blog at MikeBackYardNursery.com.

Want more information? Try these articles:

Caring for New Landscape Plants

Maintaining Trees in the Landscape

Practical Landscape Specifications

Top 10 Plants for Clay Soil

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Budget-Friendly Home Additions

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With the current state of the real estate market, affordability is more important than ever when looking for a new place to live. Every day, it seems like there’s a new story about how home prices are getting more and more out of control. With more and more people looking for places to live, it’s no wonder that prices are continuing to go up. The good news? Even though prices are rising, there are still plenty of ways to get into the real estate market without spending all of your savings. These low-cost DIY home improvement ideas will make you feel like you spent more money than you actually did. Although they may not be as exciting as buying your first home, making additions to your current house can make any place feel more open and inviting!

Add a Deck for Morning Breathing or Evening Sunsets

Even if you can only step outside for a few minutes, having an outdoor space can make a big difference in your daily routine. A deck can be your morning breathing space, a spot to watch the sunset, or the perfect spot to plant a garden. If you’re looking to add an outdoor space without breaking the bank, you can set up a tent and bring out furniture, such as a summer outdoor seating. With the right design, an area under a deck can be used as an office or a play area for kids, or even both at the same time. Adding a deck to your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Add on to the Backyard

If you’re lacking the space for a full backyard expansion, another affordable solution is to build an addition or extension onto your existing backyard. By adding an extension to your backyard, you can create additional space to enjoy while also increasing the value of your home. Landscaping can be a popular addition to your backyard, as it can add aesthetic value, as well as decks and pools. If you have any extra space in your yard, you might be able to add a garden, a patio, or even a fence.

Add a Sitting Room

Some people feel most comfortable spending their time in a less-active area of the home, such as the living room or bedroom. By adding a sitting room, you can help create a sense of flow and unity between the kitchen and the other living areas in your home, making your house feel more like a cohesive unit. This can be done by adding a new wall, a desk, a bench, or anything else that would block the view. You can partition off a living room from the rest of your house with a curtain or a special kind of fabric that could be an alternative to a wall. If you would prefer a temporary division, several different upholstery fabrics can be used and changed as necessary. 

Add Something That Grows

Incorporating another living thing into your home decor does not have to be a costly endeavor. You can find beautiful plants for a very reasonable price and add them to your home in just a few easy steps. Mushrooms can also be a great, natural addition to your home improvement project. Some mushrooms can actually do well when kept in the house, so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about them and can tend to them when needed. If you don’t think foraging for mushrooms is for you, then you can always purchase a mushroom growing supply kit that you can keep indoors. Not only are these easy home improvement ideas budget-friendly, but they’re also a great way to introduce your family to the rewarding hobby of gardening. If you or anyone in your family is new to gardening, or if you have kids who haven’t shown interest in gardening yet, adding something that you can grow in your home is a great way to get them interested.

Remember to Enjoy and Save Money as Well 

It’s essential to select a home improvement project that is also within your budget. There are a number of ways to renovate on a budget, ranging from small changes to complete overhauls. Depending on the level of renovation you’re considering, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of a home renovation is important to factor in, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your decision. Where you spend your money matters, and a renovation is an excellent opportunity to make your home more sustainable. If you want to be economical with your renovation project, you should select one that will upgrade the usefulness of your total living area without being too expensive.

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Landscaping

What Is Xeriscaping and Why Should You Consider It For Your Lawn?

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Grass lawns aren’t sustainable in many parts of the United States. They require a lot of maintenance and water to stay green and look nice. This amount may be too much maintenance for many people, but you may still want a gorgeous lawn. 

If this is you, you should consider xeriscaping!

What is xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping means dry scaping. It is a style of landscaping that lowers the need for irrigation. If you own a lawn in hotter parts of the United States, you may have heard of xeriscaping already. Xeriscaping is for people who want a beautiful yard while saving water, especially during droughts.

Xeriscaping may be the solution to a lawn with high water needs. With xeriscaping, you can transform your yard with native plants with lower water needs. Xeriscaping is excellent in places like Nevada and Utah, which have sweltering and dry summers.

Native plants

Xeriscaping uses drought-tolerant, native plants, which you can get from Utah seed companies. These native plants can survive on the amount of water that the area typically gets, which often results in these plants being drought-tolerant in locations like Nevada and Utah. 

These may be plants like succulents or drought-tolerant ground cover like Allegheny spurge. Purple coneflower, a plant native to Texas, is popular for being incredibly drought-tolerant while still being a striking flower.

Replacing the lawn

Xeriscaping typically replaces a grass lawn with rocks and mulch or soil. Using these eliminates the water needs that grass has. You plant the drought-tolerant native plants and group them with plants of similar water needs.

Irrigation

Another part of xeriscaping is using more efficient irrigation for your lawn. Drip irrigation systems work well for xeriscaped lawns. These save on water usage by delivering water to the plants more efficiently than using a hose or traditional sprinklers.

Why should you consider xeriscaping for your lawn?

You should consider xeriscaping your lawn if you live in a dryer area that often goes through droughts or a place that doesn’t have access to a lot of water. Your yard can still look beautiful, green, and colorful while not needing as much water as a traditional lawn.

It lowers the amount of work you have to do to maintain your lawn because the plants need the same amount of water that the area naturally gets. They also have the exact sunlight needs the area offers. So if you want to keep that look, you don’t have to eliminate the whole grass lawn.

You can use beautiful hardscaping like rocks and footpaths, which reduces the amount of space you have to dedicate to plants while still having a beautiful lawn.

Xeriscaping cuts down on cost, too, since it saves water and needs less upkeep. Drip irrigation systems can drastically cut your water bill. Grouping plants together based on water needs can, too. Needing to mow less also reduces your water bill and helps the environment by lowering gas consumption.

Before you go

Xeriscaping is a great way to keep an eco-friendly lawn without sacrificing beauty. If you live in hot regions, you may greatly benefit from trying this landscaping method. Anyone anywhere can benefit from planting native plants in their lawn.

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Landscaping

How to Start a Landscaping Business

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Landscaping and horticulture are disciplines that occupy a unique space in the economy, being a unique marriage of popular hobby and lucrative business opportunity. There are many green-fingered garden enthusiasts who will have considered taking their first steps into monetizing their hobby – but what are the steps to making such a move?

Settle on Your Niche

While it may be tempting to hit the ground running and start taking clients immediately, it is of instrumental importance to the long-term success of your business that you take the time to plan your offerings properly. Taking any and every job may seem a shrewd idea to guarantee short-term profits, but can harm your long-term growth strategy and even cause you to overstretch beyond your capacity.

Instead, you should decide on a niche for your business to specialize in. While this limits your client pool, it also enables you to raise your rates and stake a claim to a high-demand corner of a wider market. Since you are not being forced to spread thinly over a wide range of work, you can stand to invest in specialized tools and lead in your niche.

Formulate a Business Plan

The next step in this approach is to draw out your business plan more comprehensively. Start with the months running up to launch. What equipment will you need to buy? Will you be a sole-trading freelancer, or will you start a limited company and hire staff? Next, you should plan the first 12 months of business in detail, and draw up a five-year plan for growth and development.

Build Your Business Structure

With your plan secure, you can begin to make the various investments and arrangements that will form the structure of your business. This will naturally include the purchasing of tools and equipment, but should also necessarily incorporate research into logistical, legal, and protective services.

For one, if you are starting a limited company with staff, you may not have the financial nous to manage payroll and accounting – in which case, outsourcing to a chartered accountant can be a wise, cost-effective business measure. You will also need to ensure you receive correct and relevant legal advice for business growth and staffing.

It is important that you choose your outsourcing businesses and legal advisors carefully. With regard to the latter especially, missed deadlines or incorrect advice can lead to damages, and amount to professional negligence on the part of the solicitor or advisor in question. While you would be liable to make professional negligence solicitor claims in these instances, it is better to avoid the eventuality entirely.

Marketing and Launch

All that remains is to launch your business. Depending on the nature of your niche and work, your marketing strategy is likely to differ. For domestic landscaping services, word-of-mouth marketing might be best for helping you gain the trust of local communities. For corporate work on commercial premises, a targeted marketing approach with flyers and a strong digital presence may better capture the attention of administrative staff.

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Indoor Gardening

DIY Guide to a Garden Makeover

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Are you thinking of revamping your garden space? If so, you’re not alone. During the pandemic, 78% of Americans made outdoor upgrades as people sought to reconnect with nature. It could make better sense to refurbish what you have than move, too, especially considering recent increases in the cost of moving.

Planning a garden makeover might not seem like as much work as a new kitchen or a loft conversion, for example. But while you might experience less disruption, you’ll still need to work through the process carefully to achieve the results that you want.

Below, read a quick DIY guide to a garden makeover.

Analyze your existing space

You might just want to rip up everything and start again. But it’s wise to analyze your existing space and measure up to understand the resources with which you, or a professional, are working.

You’ll want to spend time in it at different times of day too so that you can work out which spots receive light when. A south-facing garden will get more sun than a north-facing garden, for example, and will suit different plants as a result.

Make a wishlist

With these basic details in hand, next start creating a wishlist of ideas that you’d like to incorporate. This could range from practical features like seating, lighting, and dining space, to decorative elements like raised beds, potted plants, and other features.

Pinterest and Instagram are good places to get inspiration, as are garden centers, gardening books, and exhibitions. You might need to include key problems to solve, too, such as sloped or uneven ground or waterlogging issues.

Set a budget

This step is where you start working out what’s truly possible. While you might have had a rough figure in mind to begin with, your wishlist will allow you to start costing up the project based on the materials and labor needed.

Part of this means working out what you can do yourself or with help from friends and family, and what’s best left to professionals. You might need to reassess your finances to get the result you truly want.

Draw up your plan

Finally, it’s time to unleash your inner architect and draw up your garden plan. You could do this on graph paper to keep everything to scale, which will help significantly come the time for execution.

Start by outlining your garden based on the measurements that you took, then include structural elements like buildings, walkways, and fences. Finally, start adding in your new features like seating and plants.

Sure, you’ve still got to source the materials and do the hard work. But nailing the planning stage will improve your chances of creating the garden of your dreams.

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Landscaping

5 Landscaping Designs to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

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Whether you’re selling your home or want to make it look nicer, improving your curb appeal is a great way. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is landscaping. By adding some strategic landscaping features, you can improve the look of your home and its value. Here are some of the best landscaping designs to improve your home’s curb appeal:

A Garden With Colorful Flowers and Plants

A well-designed garden can add beauty and value to your property and provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. When choosing plants for your garden, select varieties that will thrive in your local climate. Once you plan, you can begin planting in spring or early summer. To keep your garden looking its best, be sure to deadhead spent blooms and pull up any weeds. 

An Elegant Porch With a Rocking Chair or Bench

Your home’s front porch is the first thing visitors see when they come to your door, so you want to make sure it makes a good impression. An elegant porch with a rocking chair or bench will add to your home’s curb appeal, while giving visitors a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. You can find porch furniture in various styles to suit any taste, and you can even add personal touches like flowers or hanging plants to make it your own.

A Well-Manicured Lawn With Trimmed Hedges

This is a classic way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Keeping your grass healthy and neatly trimmed will create a neat and welcoming look that will make your home stand out from the rest. In addition, well-groomed hedges can help to frame your home and create a sense of privacy and intimacy. If you’re unsure how to start, you can hire an experienced landscaper to help with your landscaping project

A Patio for Relaxing Outdoors

You can customize a patio to fit your home’s style and needs. For example, you can add built-in benches, planters, and pergolas to create a more inviting space. You can also install a fire pit or outdoor kitchen to make entertaining more enjoyable. If you have the space, you may even want to add a swimming pool or hot tub. Whatever features you choose, a patio can be a great addition to your home and an excellent way to improve your curb appeal.

A Stone Pathway Leading Up to the Front Door

The front of your home is what greets visitors, and you want to make sure it’s sending the right message. An easy way to do that is by adding a stone pathway leading up to the front door. Not only does this add a touch of elegance, but it also gives visitors a clear path to follow.

A pathway can also help to protect your lawn from wear and tear. Choose a material that complements the style of your home, and be sure to lay the stones in a pattern that is pleasing to the eye. A professionally designed stone pathway can make a world of difference in your home’s curb appeal.

These are just a few landscaping designs that can improve your home’s curb appeal. With some planning and effort, you can create a stunning outdoor space that will make your home the envy of the neighborhood.

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Home Care & Living

Suggestions for Renovating Small Spaces

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Many homeowners feel limited by their lack of square footage, but with a few tips, you can make your small space open and inviting. Here are some suggestions for renovating small spaces to help you make the most of your home.  

Keep It Simple

Keeping it simple means avoiding overly complicated designs or excessive embellishments. Instead, focus on creating a clean and uncluttered look. Trying too much in a small space can make it cramped and cluttered. Instead, focus on a few key elements that will make the most impact. For example, replacing old flooring and painting the walls can transform the look of a room without requiring a lot of time or money. The beauty of simplicity is that you can DIY most of these renovations, saving money.  

Make a Plan

When renovating a small space, one of the most important things you can do is make a plan. Trying to wing it will only lead to frustration and a final product that falls short of your expectations. Instead, take some time to sit down and map out what you want to achieve. Once you have a clear idea of what you want, it will be much easier to move forward with your renovation. When making your plan, you must be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t worry if you’re unsure where to start; renovation professionals like Easy Reno can assist you if you need help. 

Get Creative With Storage

No matter how big or small your space is, there’s always a way to be creative with storage and make the most of what you have. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips: 

  • Think vertically: When space is limited, it’s crucial to think about using all the available space, including vertical space. Wall shelves and racks are great for storing things like spices, cookbooks, and other kitchen essentials. 
  • Invest in multipurpose furniture: For example, a coffee table with hidden storage is perfect for hiding away books, blankets, and other household items. 
  • Get creative with nooks and crannies: Every home has those little nooks and crannies that can be hard to know what to do with. Instead of leaving them empty or filling them with random clutter, get creative and use them for storage. You can put baskets or bins in unused corners or use curtain rods to hang up clothing or towels. 

Choose Furniture Carefully

Multi-purpose furniture is always an excellent choice for small spaces, as it can help to maximize the available space. For example, a coffee table with built-in storage can provide a place to stash books and magazines while offering a surface for snacks and drinks. 

Consider a daybed that can serve as a sofa and a guest bed. When selecting furniture for a small space, it is also essential to consider proportion. For instance, using smaller-scale furniture will make a room feel more open and airier, while oversized pieces will make it cramped and cluttered.  

Choose Colors Wisely

The right color scheme can make a space feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting. Conversely, the wrong colors can make a space feel cramped, dark, and dull. Light and neutral tones are usually the best bet when choosing paint colors

These colors will reflect light, making the space feel open and airy. If you want to add a pop of color, consider using it as an accent rather than painting the entire space one color. You can add accents in different forms, including furniture, accessories, or even wall art. 

Small space living can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips will help you make the most of your small space and create a functional and beautiful home. 

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Home Care & Living

The Amazing Benefits of Adding an Indoor Garden to Your Home

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Sharing your home with houseplants will instantly make you happier and more motivated, according to studies. Indoor gardening is a growing trend, with Instagram searches for #indoorgarden increasing by more than 50% in just a year. The health benefits of indoor plants are well-known, but there are some other big advantages of bringing your garden indoors, too. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Year-round gardening A new study has found that doing gardening activities, including selecting and planting seeds and harvesting edible plants, improved the mental health of participants. The problem with only having an outdoor garden is that most people tend to only do gardening activities in the spring and summer, so they often experience dips in the mood. When you have an indoor garden, you can reap the mental health benefits all year round as you’re able to work on it whenever you like. 

More productive mindset Are you one of the 7.1% of U.S. workers currently working from home? Even if you’re not, there’s a good chance you will in the future as it’s estimated that 32.2 million will do so by 2025. Having greenery in your home officeimproves productivity levels by as much as 15%, according to research. Plants are also good for keeping your attention and could boost it by 20% when you’re working at your desk. The theory behind this is that plants keep us calm which means you can focus all your energy on the job you’ve got to do rather than on other things. 

Healthier eating An indoor garden doesn’t just have to improve the aesthetics of your home. An indoor garden gives you the opportunity to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs that you’re sure to want to devour. Studies show that people eat more vegetables when they grow them themselves. Your diet will also be healthier because the veggies you eat won’t have been contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. Tomatoes, carrots, kale, cauliflower, peppers, and potatoes are just some of the vegetables that you can grow indoors. And you can season your dishes with homegrown herbs, such as basil, chives, thyme, and rosemary from your indoor garden. 

Better humidity levels Ideal humidity levels in a home are between 30 and 45%. If the humidity in your home is too low, you may experience negative health effects, including sore throat, itchy eyes, dry skin, and frequent cold symptoms. Your home can be negatively impacted, too, as low humidity can damage wooden furniture. Water from plants evaporates into the air, making it moister and improving the humidity levels in your home. Some of the best indoor plants for boosting humidity include areca palm, ferns, peace lily, rubber plant, and English ivy. It’s a good idea to include these in your indoor garden if your home has humidity issues. Indoor gardens are growing in popularity for good reason. Physical and mental health are some of the biggest benefits of having an indoor garden, but your home and eating habits can also benefit.

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Growing Tips

5 Tips to Growing Top Shelf Marijuana

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Successfully growing topshelf marijuana is quite a challenging task – especially if you are a beginner. It requires plenty of experience, knowledge and most importantly, patience. While it may seem daunting at first, it’s actually not as hard as you think. To help you grow the absolute best weed, we’ll be outlining the top five growing practices responsible for cultivating high quality craft cannabis.

  1. High Quality Genetics and Starting Material

Strain genetics are the foundation of any successful crop. In order to grow top shelf buds, you’ll need to start off with top shelf seeds. In my experience, it is best to do some research considering all cannabis strains possess their own attributes which can give insight on potency levels, taste and CBD levels. By selecting strains that have been bred for quality and potency, you’ll give yourself the best chance for a successful harvest. Genetics are also important for selecting the correct grow method. Some strains are better suited for indoor growing, while others do better outdoors. By selecting the right genetics, you’ll set yourself up for success from the start.

  1. Soil Quality

Similar to genetics, the quality of soil you utilize during cultivation plays a crucial role in your plants growth. Soil quality is extremely important when growing cannabis, as it directly affects the quality and yield of the buds. Poor quality soil can stunt a cannabis plant’s growth, leading to smaller yields and lower quality buds. Conversely, high quality soil will help a cannabis plant grow healthy and robust, yielding larger, more potent buds.

One way to ensure that your soil is high quality is to mix in organic matter. This could include compost, manure, or worm castings. These organic materials help to improve the structure and fertility of the soil, while also providing essential nutrients for the cannabis plant. Additionally, using a soil mix specifically designed for cannabis will help ensure that your plants are getting all the nutrients they need. A well-fed cannabis plant will produce large, resinous buds that are packed with THC and other cannabinoids. By using high quality soil and incorporating organic matter into it, you can give your plants the best chance at producing top-quality buds.

  1. Properly Dry & Cure Your Buds

When it finally comes time to harvest your precious buds, a thorough drying procedure followed by properly curing your buds can go a long way. These two final steps can greatly influence characteristics such as taste and aroma which ultimately have the ability to separate mediocre cannabis from craft bud. Drying is typically done in 60-70 degrees fahrenheit room with 45-55% humidity. As for curing, place your dried cannabis buds in airtight containers for at least 2-3 weeks to flush themselves of chemicals and prevent the formation of mold.

  1. pH Levels

When growing top shelf weed, it is important to regularly check the pH levels of the soil or growing medium. An ideal pH level for cannabis is 5.5 – 6.5, as this provides the best environment for the plant to grow and thrive. If the pH level is too high or too low, it can cause problems for the plant, such as nutrient lockout and wilting. For instance, as pH levels rise above 7.5, the cannabis plant will be unable to process fundamental nutrients such as copper, iron and zinc. By keeping a close eye on the pH levels and making adjustments as needed, you can help ensure that your cannabis plants grow healthy and robust.

  1. Air Quality

The quality of air is critical when growing high quality weed. Poor air quality can cause problems such as mold, mildew and pests. All of these can damage and/or kill plants. Good air quality, on the other hand, helps to ensure healthy, robust plants. Ventilation is essential for providing fresh air and removing stale air. Humidity should be kept at the correct level of 60% to avoid problems with mold and mildew.

Final Thoughts

By following these five tips, you can make the process of growing craft cannabis a little bit easier and less stressful. Just remember to always use high quality seeds and soils, take your time to properly dry and cure the buds, and routinely monitor the air quality and ph levels in your grow room. With a little bit of effort, you will be on your way to harvesting some top-quality buds from your own garden!

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Home Care & Living

Lawn Care 101: The Best Options for Your Home

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A lush, beautiful lawn can be the defining feature of a front yard. It’s the first thing people see when they drive past your home and can add a good deal of curb appeal if you plan to sell soon. 

However, most homeowners know that keeping a lawn looking its best can be tricky. From knowing when to plant your grass to getting your soil and seed combination just right, a lot goes into the perfect lawn. 

Seed options

Your seed options are the first thing you should consider when planning your lawn. There are three regions in the United States for grass: the cool season zone, transition zone, and warm season zone. Each zone has specific types of grass that thrive best.

Some grasses are versatile and will thrive in multiple zones. For example, a fine or tall fescue mix or Kentucky bluegrass will do well in the cool and transition zones. Similarly, Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass work best in warm or transition zones. 

Planting season

Once you choose your seed mix, you’ll need to confirm when you should plant it. Each region has its own rules, so to speak, about when to plant grass. You should do your best to follow them for the best chance of success.

You should plant cool season grasses in the fall or spring. You’ll want to put the seed down before the first frost to ensure a root system develops. Warm season grasses do best when planted during late spring or summer.

Soil testing

Soil composition is a critical factor in growing your best lawn, which is why soil testing is a necessary lawn maintenance step. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, your grass might not thrive or could fail to grow entirely. 

Soil testing involves using a testing kit to determine your soil’s pH. You can purchase a kit online or anywhere that sells gardening supplies, such as a home improvement store. When you test your soil, you want a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. You can adjust the pH by adding sulfur or peat moss to increase acidity or lime to decrease it. 

Prepare the area

Clearing away any rocks, roots, or other soil debris is vital to ensure your grass can develop strong roots. A hardy root system will help your grass stay strong during the dormant season and absorb sufficient water during the growing season.

All you need to prepare your planting area is a pointed shovel and a bucket or wheelbarrow. Using your shovel, dig down and remove any plant remnants or rocks and break up any hardened soil chunks. Cart everything away in your wheelbarrow, then fill the holes with topsoil.

Wrapping up: Lawn care 101

Growing the perfect lawn can be a labor of love. Although it might take time, once you have a lush carpet of grass gracing your yard, you’ll know it was worth it. Fortunately, if you follow the guidance here, you’ll be all but guaranteed to have success.

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Landscaping

Top Landscape Architecture Schools and Colleges

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Tree in Landscape

Landscape architecture is one of the most exciting fields of study for those interested in addressing issues of critical significance to the future of our planet and its inhabitants. Through developing projects ranging from intimate gardens to parks, gardens, and cities, landscape architects are poised to intervene at a wide range of scales, in myriad contexts, and for multiple constituencies. Industry reports show that the field will grow exponentially over the next several years. According to the United States Department of Labor, the employment rate for landscape architects will increase by 5% between now and 2024. As populations worldwide continue to expand, they create the need for development. The strain of development on the natural environment also creates the need for trained individuals capable of balancing both facets without causing detriment to either side.

Accordingly, organizations in the landscape architecture industry are increasingly looking for talented and well-trained professionals. They have a strong interest in the education and preparation of students who are the future workforce of the profession. Through hiring and working with graduates of disparate programs, employers have a perspective on the relative strengths of schools and colleges and how graduates are prepared for professional practice. We have researched the best schools for landscape architecture, highly rated by leading architecture firms in the world.

Best Landscape Architecture Schools

If you’re looking to study landscape architecture, many programs are available at the bachelor’s level. You can earn a BA, BSC, or a BLA (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture), depending on the university you choose to study. The best landscape architecture colleges offer majors and minors in undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs that meet licensure requirements. Students that enroll in these schools can also combine the professional graduate program with an urban or regional planning master’s program. Below is the list of the best and most admired landscape design colleges.

Cornell University

Any student pursuing a degree in landscape architecture needs to look into Cornell University. Located in Ithaca, it is the only undergraduate landscape architecture degree among Ivy League schools. The Agriculture and Life Science college at Cornell University is one of the best landscape architecture schools and an international leader in education and research. The Department of Architecture, established in 1904, endeavors to produce socially responsible and creative graduates. Its flexible curriculum allows students to tailor the program to their interests. Students can explore innovative and functional solutions for the challenging problems associated with the profession. The university has world-renowned experts and educators who teach landscape architecture courses. It affords students the benefit of extensive resources related to the college and cutting-edge facilities, including state-of-the-art technology and tools. Cornell University offers the following programs.

  • Undergraduate degree – Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture
  • Graduate programs – Master of Landscape Architecture & Master of Professional Studies
  • Online programs – includes CALS Exchange Program

Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the top schools to get your degree in landscape architecture in the U.S. Situated in the midsize city of Cambridge, it offers a graduate-level architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning program designed to prepare graduates who wish to enter teaching and advanced research careers. The school also offers Doctor of Design and Ph.D. programs that don’t meet licensure requirements but are geared towards students interested in pursuing a career in academia or research. Program cohorts in the college are small, enabling one-to-one contact with faculty. Students also get the chance to work with internationally recognized faculty and experts and explore the multiple ways that landscapes positively contribute to the complexities of the contemporary city.

Iowa State University

Admissions to the university’s BLA program are very selective, admitting just 36 students per year. Iowa State University offers a limited enrollment, five-year bachelor’s degree program that prepares students for state licensure. The available graduate degrees include a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture intended for those pursuing research-oriented careers and a professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree. Graduate students can also choose to earn an MLA degree in conjunction with a Master of Community and Regional Planning. They also embark on the traveling studio during the fall semester within and beyond the great Midwest region of North America to study regional natural systems and their respective cultural responses. Both its undergraduate and graduate programs incorporate minors in Critical Studies in Design, Design Studies, and Digital Media.

Why a Student May Need Professional Writing Services

Landscape architecture is a practical and hands-on program, implying that learning can take place in design studies, field trips, lectures, and seminars. Students can find it overwhelming, especially when they have to juggle other essential things in their lives like work and family. Luckily, reliable custom essay writing services help students with all their academic writing needs. CustomWritings.com is a professional essay writing service that helps you get in control of your studies. It has a team of professional writers and experienced specialists in all academic fields, ranging from landscape architecture to nursing to computer science. The experts guarantee quality, original, and personalized papers at pocket-friendly prices. The company has been offering academic assistance for years and great solutions for complex dissertations, research papers, assignments, term papers, admission essays, and many more.

Prominent Colleges for Landscape Architecture

Several other landscape design schools with comprehensive degree programs incorporate experiential training with academic studies. Here are three prominent landscape architecture schools that you can also consider.

Auburn University

The school offers a master’s degree in landscape architecture. Students gain experience through field trips and research assistantships. Auburn University also has a dual degree in landscape architecture and community.

University of Florida

The university’s Department of Landscape Architecture offers the only professionally accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in Florida and is considered among the top schools in the field. The program covers a broad spectrum of practice and theory and provides opportunities to study abroad.

Clemson University

The Department of Landscape Architecture’s focus on the values of the art and science of design, innovation, engagement, and ethical environmental and social justice has made the university prominent across the country. Clemson offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in landscape architecture and provides the option of pursuing the programs off-campus within and outside the U.S.

Most Sought-after Landscape Design Schools

Whether you are looking for two-year or four-year programs, there are dozens of landscape-related design programs offering dynamic instruction that students highly sought-after. While these schools are not at the level of Ivy League colleges or among the top 10 landscape design colleges, they offer landscape design programs that you can use to kickstart your professional career. You can jumpstart your landscaping career by pursuing any of the following programs near you.

  • American River College
  • Bergen Community College
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • Columbus State Community College
  • The Conway School
  • Southwestern College
  • Saddleback College

Final Thought!

Today, landscape architecture enjoys greater public visibility, cultural relevance, and potential for professional leadership than at any time in recent history. Accordingly, obtaining an education in landscape architecture from schools with comprehensive programs incorporating practical, abstract, and experiential training is crucial. The above-listed programs have quality landscape architecture programs that meet licensure requirements.

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Growing Tips

5 Benefits of Bonsai Trees for Your Body and Soul

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Bonsai are one of the most beautiful and versatile plants, and they are very loved for it. We love keeping them in our homes, and we feel so proud when we successfully grow one. 

They are not the easiest plant to grow, and so many people find themselves looking up how to grow a bonsai tree from a seed, but you can get bonsai plants already partially grown. 

Looking after a bonsai is interesting, and its interest is increasing. It is cute, but these Bonsai trees are so cute as well, this makes them so popular in people’s homes. But, they are more than just cute plants. 

Bonsai trees do have benefits for your soul and your body. This is part of why they are so popular, because even though they are not that easy to grow, they benefit us enough to keep us wanting to grow them. 

With this in mind, let’s look at the top 5 benefits of growing a Bonsai tree for you.

#1. Bonsai Trees Are Good For Your Health

Bonsai trees have a number of benefits for your health that will make you feel better and improve your overall well being. 

Here are some of the health benefits. 

  • Bonsai trees purify the air. Having plants indoors is a good idea in general, their presence in your home reduces pollutants in the air, and purifies the air inside your home. However, note that some species of bonsai will do this better than others do.
  • Indoor plants, such as Bonsai will help to reduce your blood pressure, and lower any feelings of emotional stress. After a hard day at work, 1-1 time with your plant can totally refresh you emotionally. 
  • Plants help to improve your well-being overall, they can improve your attitude, activity, stress levels and so on, just by being around you. 
  • Plants also increase in home humidity. This means that having some plants in your bedroom can reduce the likelihood of you getting a sore throat, a cough, and even dry skin. Plants naturally increase humidity in any space.

#2. Bonsai Trees Help You With Patience

Having a Bonsai tree means you need to honor your long-term goal of growing it. Bonsai take a long time to grow in comparison to most houseplants. So, growing a Bonsai teaches you to be patient. 

You are looking after the future by caring for the present, you achieve long term goals through careful maintenance on the daily. You will also honor cycles that tend to come with long-term goals as well. 

#3. They Can Spark Off Your Creativity

Bonsai can also help spiritual benefits with your creative personality. As you care for the plant with proper techniques you can make your bonsai grow however you want. You are only limited by yourself. 

Being adaptable and creative can help you to achieve whatever effect you desire from the plant, meaning you may have to learn new things, try out new techniques. You build cages, try rope training, or prune structurally. 

Your tree is a living being, it will grow as it wants in the end, but the real challenge you face is your flexibility, and the tree will test this in you.

#4. Having Plants In Your Life Makes You More Self Aware

When we are taking care of plants we become more self aware. It is not unlike meditation or yoga, as it can help us to cultivate a better understanding of how we react internally to the world around us. 

If you notice an oversized leaf, wilting branches, dry soil and so on, how you react to this will teach you how you react to challenges in your everyday life. Do you get annoyed, frustrated, angry, start blaming yourself, or self loathing. 

Having a plant like this in your life helps you reflect on yourself and ask those ‘why’ questions that are not always so pleasant.

#5. They Make You Compassionate

Bonsai can live a very long time, and if you care for it properly, it may even outlive you. Tending to a tree like this reminds us that everything needs love and care, even when it does not look pretty. 

Even as our tree sheds their leaves, or their branches need removing, it reminds us that new beautiful things will come from it. As you care for and love your tree as it goes through its cycles, you will become a compassionate ally. It can teach you acceptance in all forms. 

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Landscaping

The Practicality of Hiring a Skip Bin

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Skip Bins have been around for many years and have been traditionally used by professional contractors. But now, more individuals have started using skip bin hire companies to a large extent as well due to their various benefits. Skips offer homeowners with varying needs an economical, flexible and money-saving option for their waste disposal requirements.

A skip bin is an open-topped container that is often hired to dispose of any kind of refuse. It’s normally placed at the customers’ premises or street in a neighbourhood until it is full, with rubbish being loaded into the container by hand or mechanically with machinery. The most common types of skip bins are those with a capacity of 2 cubic metres, 4 cubic metres and 6 cubic metres and with the largest one can hold up to 30 cubic metres.

There are many reasons why somebody may need to hire a skip. They may be in the midst of a renovation, have accumulated too much waste for their trash bin to accommodate, or need to dispose of an old couch.

Different people will require different skip sizes, depending on the amount and type of waste they produce. If a business has several types of waste that are collected separately, all in large quantities, then hiring two or more skip bins could be the best option. But if they have only one or two small types of waste and large amounts of it, then hiring a bigger skip will be more economical and provide more flexibility.

green waste skip bin hire

Economical 

Skip hire is an effective way to manage rubbish at home or work because it can save you money in many ways – skip hire firms may include a loading service for a fee, recycling contents for free and sometimes even delivering them for free as well as offering discounts.

Hiring a skip bin is considerably more economical than renting one, which means it can be reused by different households in the same neighbourhood without having to buy a monthly subscription package. One can hire a skip in any desired size, depending on the size of the garbage they need to dispose of. Not only that but hiring a skip saves time as it arrives at your doorstep ready-to-use!

Varied Size and Varied Waste Skip Bins

mini skip bin

Skip bins are used widely for both commercial and residential needs. If you have varied needs, then skip bin sizes provide a range of flexibility to cater to those needs. There are smaller skips intended for small jobs like home renovations or gardening projects, or bigger skips for larger office clearances or house clearances. Whether it is recyclable waste or garden waste, hiring a skip is the most economical and efficient way of disposing of them.

You can find out the skip bin that best suits your waste type needs by getting in touch with the professionals at Skip Bin Finder for more information about their range of skips, which includes skip bins for mixed waste and recyclables as well as other specialised types for different kinds of rubbish such as inflammable waste.

Competitive Price

It is not difficult to find a skip bin supplier nowadays. There are so many companies around the country that offer skips for hire and it is up to the customer to choose their preference in terms of size, type, cost and location. This abundance of competition will naturally create a competitive price and give a big advantage to the consumer.

Takeaway

Skip hire is a practical way to get rid of many kinds of unwanted, bulky items. In recent years, there has been an increased need for hiring a skip because of the rapid growth in construction, renovation and house moving. Skips can store all kinds of waste material before being disposed of by the waste management company – which makes them an economical and flexible option for households. Skip bins are also environmentally friendly because they make sure that no material is wasted for a prolonged period of time.

The average Australian household disposes of 10,000 kilos of rubbish each year, with that figure expected to increase. The suggestion is to hire a skip and make use of it. Skip hire can be a highly economical decision in that it can help you save on time, and money and has the added bonus of being flexible.

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Design Tips

How to style a succulent bar for your next event

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If you’re looking to add a touch of style to your next event, why not try incorporating a succulent bar? Succulents are trendy, eye-catching, and can be used as part of various event décor. Plus, they make great take-home favors for guests!

Here are some tips on how to style a succulent bar:

1. Choose the correct location. Succulents need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive, so placing your succulent bar near a window or patio door is ideal.

2. Prep the area. Before setting up your succulent bar, clean and prep the surface, you’ll be using. This will help ensure that your plants stay healthy and look their best.

3. Select a variety of succulents. When choosing succulents for your bar, choose a mix of different shapes, sizes, and colors to create an eye-catching display.

4. Provide adequate drainage. Succulents are sensitive to overwatering, so it’s essential to make sure they have sufficient drainage. Use a tray lined with rocks or gravel, or consider planting your succulents in pots with drainage holes.

5. Add accent pieces. Add some accent pieces like driftwood, shells, or stones to style your succulent bar. You can also use succulents as part of a larger arrangement, such as a centerpiece for tables.

With these tips, you’ll be able to style a beautiful and functional succulent bar for your next event!

What succulents make good bar decorations 

When decorating a bar, there are many options to choose from. However, if you want something that is both stylish and unique, then using succulents is a great option.

There are a variety of reasons why succulents make good bar decorations. For one, they are low maintenance and don’t require much care. This is ideal for busy bartenders who don’t have time to worry about watering plants or trimming them back.

Another reason succulents are a good choice for bar decorations is that they can help create a relaxing atmosphere. Most succulents’ soft, soothing colors can help create a calm and inviting space. This can benefit customers who want to enjoy a few drinks without feeling overwhelmed by their surroundings.

Finally, succulents are also relatively inexpensive. This is important for bars that want to save money on their decorating budget.

If you want to add style and personality to your bar, succulents are a great option. They are easy to care for, look great, and won’t break the bank. So next time you decorate your bar, consider adding some succulents to the mix.

Tips for keeping your succulents alive and healthy 

If you’re like most people, you probably think that succulents are virtually indestructible. After all, they’re drought-resistant and can survive in extremely hot or cold climates. However, even though they are tough plants, they still require some primary care to stay alive and healthy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Light: Succulents need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. If your plant is not getting enough light, it will become etiolated, which means it will become leggy and stretched out. 

2. Water: One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to succulents is overwatering them. These plants are used to surviving in arid conditions, so they don’t need a lot of water. However, too much water can kill them. Therefore, it’s best to err on caution and only water your succulents when the soil is completely dry.

3. Soil: Succulents need well-draining soil to prevent root rot. A good potting mix for succulents is mainly comprised of perlite or gravel.

4. Fertilizer: Although succulents don’t need much fertilizer, they benefit from being fed every once in a while. Use a succulent-specific fertilizer and apply it sparingly according to the package directions.

5. Temperature: Most succulents can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefer to be in warm, dry conditions. If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to bring your plants indoors during this time.

These simple tips can help ensure that your succulents stay alive and healthy for many years.

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Landscaping

What Tools Does a Landscaper Require?

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If you’ve recently qualified as a garden landscaper, have a passion for horology or you’re simply wanting to help friends and family maintain their gardens, you’ll need the right tools for the job.  

Not sure where to begin? Luckily, we’re rounded up some of the handiest tools on the market so you don’t have to.  

What tools does a landscaper need? 

If you’re one of the 157,000 landscapers in the UK, then you’ll need a toolbox first and foremost. Other than the obvious equipment, a landscaper will also require a varied toolbox including a tape measure, a level and a screwdriver. Landscapers will also need spanners, sockets & wrenches from retailers such as RS

Long handed tools  

As well as a selection of hand tools for more involved jobs, you will also need some long-handled tools. When it comes to long-handled tools, we believe the more the merrier as you will be spending the majority of the day using them.  

Some of the most practical hand tools include: 

  • Spades  
  • Garden forks  
  • Rakes  
  • Dutch hoe 
  • Lawn shears 

When choosing your traditional gardening equipment, try to think about how comfortable each item is. The last thing you want is blisters halfway through your first job!  

A roomy van  

There’s no way you’ll be able to fit all your tools in your family car. And you wouldn’t want to either – it’d get filthy!  

As such, you’ll need a reliable and sturdy vehicle that’s suitable for transporting heavy tools to and from the site. If you have some oversized equipment, you may also want to consider buying a trailer.  

Think about your online presence  

If you’re wondering what an online presence has to do with landscape design, then listen up.  

Although you may overlook this part, having a website is essential when you’re working as a landscape designer. Without having an online presence, your potential customer base won’t be able to find you. If they can’t find you, then you’re seriously limiting your earning potential!  

With a recession on the horizon and inflation increasing, you’ll need all the work you can get to stay afloat.  

Final thoughts… 

If you’re starting out as a landscaper, it can be daunting knowing where to begin when it comes to setting up your business. However, the good news is that with a few handy tools, a van and a shiny new website, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful business.  

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DIY Projects

Why Is Waterproofing Your Property Important?

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If you are a homeowner, you might have had problems with an insect infestation or a moldy environment. This is a dangerous, preeminent problem resulting from faulty waterproofing. Waterproofing is a procedure that ensures that your house doesn’t get any leaks. It will protect you against a weakening structure and peeling paint. Your property’s life will also increase, and your home will stay insulated. While you may be able to handle moisture control yourself through some creative DIY work, nothing substitutes for professional services. 

The waterproofing process involves a professional inspection of your home to reveal faults and leaks to take care of. If you want to get your property waterproofed through affordable quotes, then visit this website. Here are three reasons why you need to take action:

  1. Increases Your Property’s Lifespan

Waterproofing ensures that your property lasts for an extended period. Wood and metal are significant parts of your house’s structure and weaken with continuous water exposure. Concrete doesn’t get damaged because of water, but it facilitates the growth of moss and mold and can host insects like termites that will ruin your home. Water can weaken the foundation of your place, and this will lead to a short property life. Moisture control is essential to increase a property’s life.

  1. Increases Your Property’s Value

A sound waterproofing system will make your property more attractive to buyers and can help you increase its value. Conversely, buyers will be hesitant if they see water damage. Waterproofing will ensure that you don’t get any mold and leakage in the house, both of which are detrimental to the value of properties.

Waterproofing also acts as an insulating system by keeping most of the moisture outside. Your winters will be much warmer and your summers less humid. Your investment will yield low bills and good returns.

  1. Prevents Health Complications

Mold has many health complications that will affect your well-being and put your family in danger. It is also a leading cause of respiratory diseases and has a hand in complicating asthma. Deal with mold as soon as you find any, and try to find the root cause. 

Waterproofing Considerations

Your basement, bathrooms, kitchens, and roof are especially vulnerable to moisture accumulation. Your basement often doesn’t get enough sunlight to get rid of excess water that builds up. It also is hard to renovate after damage caused by mold or leaks. Get it inspected as soon as you buy your property. If you’re building one, then have the builders give it extra attention.

You may have noticed that your bathroom gets moldy between the tiles. This is because water gets stuck there, providing a healthy environment for mold to grow. Ensure that the drainage system is up to date and that the waterproofing in the walls and windows is tight. Make sure that you don’t fall back on the routine inspection. 

In addition, don’t neglect your roof and its lining. Water accumulation on your roof will seep into the walls and the lower portions of the house.

Endnote

If you want to breathe humidity-free and fresh air once again, you need to waterproof your home. Early detection of damage can help you take care of it before it gets more extensive and more expensive to fix. Timely action can prevent future issues easily. 

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DIY Projects

6 Ways to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

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Bathrooms are among the main areas of the house that most homeowners often change. Unfortunately, these upgrades tend to be expensive and must be appropriately managed to avoid cost overruns. In this article, we look at five ways to save money on a bathroom remodel.

  1. Hire remodeling professionals

You can save a lot of money on a bathroom remodel by working with professionals like Kitchen & Bath. Taking this path will protect you from many uncertainties as you have a team to help you create and implement a plan that best suits your budget and needs. Professional remodeling experts will also complete the project on time by avoiding delays and errors that often make bathroom remodels expensive.

  1. Use the existing walls, plumbing, and electrical circuits

One of the main reasons why bathroom remodels cost so much is that most homeowners will tear down everything, including existing walls, plumbing lines, and electrical circuits. Since relocating these utilities is never cheap, you will save a lot of money by choosing to keep them in the exact locations as they were before. As an alternative, you can consider bathroom renovations that increase your home’s value, such as adding windows and installing standalone showers, plus other luxury features.

  1. Check out yard sales and flea markets for bathroom accessories

Hunt bargain deals for bathroom accessories and fixtures by checking out yard sales, flea markets, and resellers in your location. Some items you can acquire on a budget include; vanity, bathroom shelves, mirrors, sinks, light fixtures, and cast iron tubs. To ensure everything fits your bathroom style, only buy accessories that suit the remodeling plan you already have.

  1. If it is not broken, you don’t have to replace it

When remodeling a bathroom, it is always a natural instinct to want to have everything replaced. However, this is not always necessary as you can reuse most items that work just fine. For example, you do not have to replace that standard-type toilet that is less than five years old, and you can reuse your old mirrors by framing them. You can also give your old toilet a fresh look by simply replacing your toilet seat and top.

  1. Consider alternatives to tiles

While the go-for solution for most bathrooms is a tile floor, there are several flooring options that can save you money, such as reclaimed wood panels and vinyl plank floors. For vinyl plank floors, you will not have to remove existing flooring, saving you on demolition and disposal fees. On the other hand, wood panels are easier to install and give a warm, comforting vibe that will make your bathroom look classy.

  1. Opt for open shelves

Open shelves help create an illusion of space in a smaller bathroom and are cheaper to install than closed organization units. You could opt for hanging shelves or a small-sized vanity with open shelving and choose to house your personal items on higher shelves.

Endnote

Your bathroom remodel project does not have to be too costly when you can save money using the ideas discussed above.

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General Gardening

Creating a Butterfly Sanctuary in Your Garden

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Butterflies are some of the most important contributors to our environment. They’re proven to be hardworking and effective pollinators, and their presence determines the stability and health of an ecosystem. Lately, they have also become valuable in promoting tourism. For instance, Texas holds its annual Butterfly Festival in October, where you can see more than 300 species of free-flying butterflies. Butterfly spotting has also become extremely popular, and people often go to butterfly sanctuaries such as the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in California and the Magic Wings Butterfly House in North Carolina to see and admire these insects up close. 

Since research has found that there is a 2 percent decline in butterflies every year, it’s important to find ways to protect them and provide a safe place where they can thrive. A garden can be the perfect place to help butterflies survive– here’s how to transform your outdoor space and make them the ideal place for these beautiful and brightly-colored winged creatures.

Choose the Right Plants

Brightly colored flowering plants such as phlox, marigold, lantana, heliotrope, and lavender, as well as plants and herbs such as milkweed and mint are attractive to butterflies, and having them in your garden may encourage these insects to visit your outdoor space frequently. But if you want to create a haven for them, then you need to have plants that female butterflies will want to lay eggs in, as well as caterpillar host plants. These include pussy willow, sulfur buckwheat, honeysuckle, blueberry, lilacs, and ivy. Since butterflies prefer a somewhat wild garden with long grass and some weeds here and there, designate a spot in your outdoor space for your butterfly sanctuary, then keep the rest of your garden looking neat and orderly.

Meanwhile, if you want to keep butterflies off certain parts of your garden, such as the places where they can get accidentally trampled on by kids and pets, then make sure that they’re free of grass, or mow these spots frequently. Caterpillars like to eat the roots of native types of grass, and butterflies also like to make them their breeding grounds. Maintaining your lawn with a zero turn mower is a great option because it’ll prevent butterflies and caterpillars from getting injured or killed.  

Make a Place Where Butterflies Can Bask

Butterflies need an open, airy, and sunny space where they can bask. Since they’re cold-blooded creatures, they need the heat of the sun to warm up the tiny muscles in their wings so they can take flight. In the morning and on cool days, you’ll likely see butterflies spending a lot of time under the sun with their wings spread. Make sure that there are several spots in your garden where butterflies can do this, and avoid putting plants in these areas. Also, since butterflies need certain minerals from the earth that they can’t get from flowers, you’ll need to have spots called puddlers, where they can siphon these minerals from the soil. To make a puddler, place an old basin in the butterfly sanctuary and fill it with sand, a little water, and a bit of salt. Once the water evaporates, you’ll be left with damp sand where butterflies will love to drink from or puddle in.    

Avoid Using Pesticides

The use of pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers in gardens is one of the main reasons why butterflies are dying out. Avoid using these in your outdoor space, and if you truly have to get rid of pests, consider using a DIY or organic pest repellent. Horticultural oils will get rid of pests, such as aphids, without harming pollinators. You should also keep your garden clean and be on the lookout for any signs of infestation every day so you can deal with the problem swiftly before it spreads to other parts of your garden.  

There’s nothing quite as magical and charming as the sight of fluttering butterfly wings in the air. Consider these tips to create a butterfly sanctuary in your garden so you can do your part to protect and conserve these amazing pollinators.

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DIY Projects

6 Tips for Saving Money When Building a New Home

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Ways to save while building.

Building a home is one of life’s greatest achievements and a dream come true for most people. However, the excitement of building a new home fades as soon as the expenses spiral, especially when you do not have a well-researched plan. If you are ready to start your construction project, here are six tips to give your family their dream home without breaking your bank.

  1. Get bids from different home builders

It can be tempting to settle for the first builder you encounter to speed up the construction process. However, this is a bad idea because you could hire a contractor way above your budget. Take time to research different contractors in your area, check completed projects, and read reviews to zone in on contractors most likely to give you the total value for your money. Next, compare pricing while reading the fine prints to choose an affordable, reputable, and experienced home builder for your project. To find a reliable and trustworthy custom home builder with transparent pricing in Oakville, visit this website.

  1. Handle the less skilled tasks yourself

Reduce the overall construction costs by taking on tasks unrelated to MEP systems. Such tasks include painting, installing faucets, wall sheathing, putting down wood flooring or plywood floor decking, butting insulation installation, and installing faucets. If you do not have enough time to work on the construction project or are not handy, you could consider asking friends or family members to help. The cost of working with relatives and friends may be significantly lower than hiring a contractor.

  1. Source building materials yourself

Instead of relying on your contractor or subcontractor to purchase building materials on your behalf, consider sourcing yourself. Most home builders could reduce their bids when they are not responsible for the material expense. Building material suppliers could also offer discounts for upfront bulk payments. However, ensure you shop around and compare prices before purchasing to avoid paying more than you should.

  1. Pick the right location

Picking the right location could save you a significant amount when building your new home. Before purchasing, conduct extensive research or consult your contractor to ensure the lot can be built on without additional expenses to prepare the area for construction. 

While buying raw land may seem convenient, it may lack proper sewage lines or drinking water access, and adding them could strain your budget. Choosing a mountain retreat could mean spending more money to level the ground and clear rocks and trees. 

  1. Return any supplies you do not use

Home builders often suggest buying more materials than they need to prepare for emergencies. Some construction projects use more materials than the contractor had estimated, and others could break.

If you have a significant amount of supplies left at the end of the project, take them back. Most suppliers often allow returns because it is common to purchase more building supplies than necessary. However, to avoid issues in the future, always check the return policy before buying.

  1. Have a budget

Before starting your project, determine how much you want to spend. Liaise with your financial advisor to set a reasonable budget that accounts for each aspect of the project, including labor costs, land expenses, appliances, building materials, stamp duty, interior accessories, and settlement charges, to mention a few. You should also have a contingency budget to cater to emergencies. Once you create a budget, communicate it to your contractor and demand that they stick to it.

Endnote

Do not let the excitement of building your dream home cause you to overspend. Create a budget and stick to it, choose the right builder, buy supplies yourself, and pick a suitable location to save money when building a new home. 

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Uncategorized

Ways to Shrink Pigeon Population Growth

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Pigeons reproduce in increasing numbers and can cause disturbance to people living nearby. Industrial areas, parks, and massive institutions spend millions to control the pigeon population. Preventing the pigeons from nesting and roosting is not a simple job, and the alarming reproduction often means more rubbish for cleaning. 

Pigeons also consume lots of leaves, insects, and fruits, damaging the neighborhood. The destruction of the neighboring landscapes can be an annoyance and a challenging nuisance. Reducing pigeon population growth becomes an all-consuming problem for some homeowners and barn owners. This article outlines some practical solutions to get rid of pigeons.

Control breeding of pigeons

The best method to prevent pigeon population growth is to try a pigeon control service using OvoControl. Pigeon food or bait is mixed with OvoControl and strewn on the ground, which the roosters eat. Such a birth control method prevents egg formation and development when the birds roost.

There are areas like grounds, hall terraces, and hospitals where many pigeons roost and nest. Fencing them completely with spikes is difficult because they can fly over them quickly. It becomes impossible to place light or speakers in those vast places because it will make human life difficult. 

The birth control method prevents overcrowding and does not result in any side effects, and the pigeons who survive thrive. It is a humane and non-lethal way to control their reproduction massively. People who use this method have seen a significant reduction in the pigeon population.

Bird mesh and netting 

Pigeons roost on the balconies, ceilings, under solar panels, and in high-altitude areas. Fixing a bird net on your solar panels or roof will prevent the pigeons from creating a home on your rooftop. When a family of pigeons arrives, builds a nest, and reproduces, they multiply exponentially, and before you realize it, there are up to 30 birds. 

Pigeon defecation leads to iron corrodes, and the perching and pecking damage the wooden things on the roof. As a result, the rooftop begins to leak quickly, and the messy rooftop draws insects, snakes, and frogs. Use a net to cover your ceilings and mesh to cover your patios from the pigeons roosting there.

Offensive smell and odor

Getting rid of pigeons using vapors and fogs is typically suited for larger structures and facilities. These products are widely used in the flavoring industry. They are primarily used to give grape flavor and scent to food. These vapors and fogs have a strong smell of grape juice. 

Some manufacturers of these food flavorings sell them as bird repellent to protect crop production. For the fogs and vapors to take effect, you must spray them in the air. They usually achieve it with a fogger or hazer, which suspends the solution that is oil-based in the air into small particles. The foggers work by sensitizing and irritating the sense of taste and smell of the pigeons.

Pigeons avoid these smells. The hazers are set to release them in the air periodically. Keeping such constant pressure increases the likelihood of the disappearance of the birds. They will then tend to avoid places where this airborne product is used. 

Unappealing places to land

Make the roosting spaces of pigeons less appealing by installing anti-roosting spikes where they land and tying the waterproof strips. Anti-roosting barbs and waterproof stings make it very difficult for them to land. Pigeons find it hard to stay in uncomfortable areas, forcing the roosters to search for an alternative site. 

The birds need water to survive every day. Without a water source, pigeons will find it harder to stay. Bird baths attract pigeons as well as mosquitoes and rodents. If you find it impossible to eliminate the bird bath, replace it frequently with fresh water. 

Mix some water with honey, pour it into a bottle and spray it on places frequented by the birds. Pigeons will naturally stop arriving because they dislike sticky solutions. This method is the most effective yet the simplest solution to shrink their numbers. The idea is to make their spaces less appealing to land.

Culling pigeons with exterminators

Pigeon exterminators trap pigeons into a lure net or nest, which is invisible and take the birds away to release. Some people exterminate the pigeons effectively by hunting them and training them for sports and races. Some exterminators also use electricity to kill them to control their numbers effectively when there are numerous. 

Fierce dogs are unleashed to coach them to kill and hunt the roosters. Natural predators such as owls, raptors, and hawks are released too among the netted birds to get rid of them. The pigeons are also sold and used as food for predators in conservatories and zoos.

Hunting and culling to eliminate pigeons is a non-humane and lethal method to shrink pigeon population growth. Extermination through hunting and culling should always be used as a last resort. People must try other non-lethal and humane methods before resorting to such methods to kill pigeons.

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Landscaping

Are Garden Rotavators Worth It?

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Spring preparation soil for seeding with tiller

A garden rotavator is primarily used for churning up soil and aerating it before seeds are added to the land or new turf is to be laid. But do you really need one? In this article, we’ll explore whether a garden rotavator is worth the money.

When is a Garden Rotavator Needed?

Most homeowners won’t need a garden rotavator or cultivator for lawn maintenance, however, if you have the budget to purchase one and skills and knowledge to safely use one, it is worth considering. In addition, garden rotavators tend to be used in agriculture, but they can be used for gardening, lawn care, and landscaping too.

However, if you need to prepare your soil for seeding or new turf, you will need a garden rotavator or cultivator. Of course, you could hire a professional to undertake this work with their own equipment, rather than purchasing a rotavator yourself. Garden rotavators generally cost somewhere in the range of £200 to £500, although there are more expensive options. It’s possible to hire rotavators for temporary use too.

Benefits of Garden Rotavators

There are a range of advantages to garden rotavators and how relevant these are will depend on the person.

Here are some benefits of using garden rotavators:

  • Provides less draft in comparison to conventional tillage.
  • Fast-paced seedbed preparation.
  • Very useful in agriculture.
  • Can maintain the quality of grass in a lawn.
  • Makes for a healthier and longer-lasting garden.

With many rotavators costing £500 or less, the advantages mentioned above could certainly make it worth the money. It would, of course, be cheaper to simply shovel and spade the ground. This process involves turning the land over in a totally manual way. With that said, this would involve a ton of work, so if you want to turn over your lawn, it’s best to use a rotavator or hire a professional to use their machine(s).

Best Garden Rotavators

If you determine that a garden rotavator is right for you, you might be wondering what the best options on the market are. Consider a garden rotavator comparison for more in-depth research.

The best light-duty rotavators: *

  • Mantis 58V Cultivator Rotavator – £300 to £400
  • Mantis 4-Stroke Petrol Deluxe Tiller – £500 to £600
  • Dealourus 52CC Garden Petrol Tiller – £150 to £210
  • VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller – £85 to £100
  • Stream Electric Garden Tiller, Cultivator & Rotavator – £100 to £120

*If you are a homeowner, you’ll probably need a light-duty rotavator.

The best heavy-duty rotavators: *

  • SwitZer Heavy Duty 6.5 HP Portable Petrol Garden Cultivator – £430 to £530
  • BU-KO 52CC Garden Petrol Tiller – £130 to £190

*These options are more suitable for agriculture, as are medium duty rotavators. Heavy-duty rotavators are designed for use on harsh land with a large area.

Petrol vs. Electric Rotavators

Notably, rotavators can also be categorized based on their fuel source. Depending on your preferences, you may prefer one of these types over the other. Let’s look at their pros and cons.

Petrol Rotavators

ProsCons
More suitable if you need to rotavate large amounts of soil.Heavier
Generally, it requires less effort to work.More maintenance is needed.
Less eco-friendly.

Electric Rotavators

ProsCons
Less costly.Usually offer less power than petrol rotavators.
Better for the environment and lowers your carbon footprint.May involve more physical effort.
Corded and cordless options can be found.
Relatively low-maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Today, we’ve explored who would need a garden rotavator and discussed whether or not it might be worth buying one. We’ve also listed the best garden rotavators on the UK market and compared petrol rotavators with their electric counterparts.

Ultimately, deciding if a garden rotavator is right for you depends on a range of factors. If you need one, then that already answers the question. However, if you don’t, it depends on how concerned you are with maintaining a healthy lawn over time and whether you feel confident that you can use a rotavator effectively and safely. 

Hiring a rotavator is worth the money if you just want to use it once off but if you intend to use a rotavator every so often, it would be better value for money to buy one. If you need one soon but are currently strapped for cash, consider purchasing a garden rotavator on finance.

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Health & Wellness

What Are the 5 Benefits of Buying Kratom in Bulk?

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Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic effects. It is not currently an illegal substance and has been easy to order on the internet in the US. It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum. However, you might want to try the new dawn kratom bulk.

5 Benefits Of Buying Kratom In Bulk

1. You’ll Save Money In The Long Run

Kratom is the native tree of Southeast Asia; its leaves are often used for their medicinal properties. For those who wish to use it regularly, buying it in bulk can be a great way to save money. 

It is typically sold by the ounce or pound, and buying in bulk can often lead to significant savings. In addition, many online vendors offer discounts for customers who purchase larger quantities. As a result, buying it in bulk is often the best way to get the most bang for your buck.

2. You’ll Have A Larger Selection Of Strains To Choose From

Buying kratom in bulk online is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have a wider selection of strains to choose from. When shopping for kratom, it’s important to consider the different strains and their effects. For example, some strains are more energizing while others may be more relaxing. 

By buying in bulk, you’ll be able to experiment with a variety of strains to find the perfect one for you. Plus, you’ll always have a stash on hand in case you need a little boost. So if you’re looking to save money and try new things, buying it in bulk is the way to go.

3. You’ll Get Better Quality Kratom

Kratom is available for purchase in a variety of forms, including powders, capsules, and extracts. When purchasing kratom, it is important to buy from a reputable source. Buying it in bulk will ensure that you get high-quality kratom. 

Buying it in bulk is often more affordable than buying it in small quantities. In addition, buying bulk kratom allows you to try out different strains and varieties of it. When choosing a supplier, be sure to read reviews and compare prices. By taking the time to find a reputable source, you can be sure that you are getting high-quality kratom at a great price.

4. Buying It In Bulk Will Help You Find A Reliable Source For It

There are many benefits of buying it in bulk. For one, it will help you find a reliable source of kratom that you can count on. You will also be able to get the best possible price for your kratom when you buy in bulk. Buying it in bulk is also a great way to ensure that you always have a supply of fresh kratom on hand. 

It is a perishable product, so it is important to buy from a source that you trust will send you fresh, high-quality kratom regularly. When you buy it in bulk, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible value for your money.

5. You’ll Be Able To Save On Shipping Costs While Buying In Bulk

If you’re a fan of kratom, then you know that it can be pretty pricey to purchase regularly. However, did you know that you can save a lot of money by buying it in bulk? Not only will you save on the actual product, but you’ll also save on shipping costs as well. Here’s a look at why buying kratom in bulk is a smart idea:

For starters, when you buy it in bulk, you’ll be able to take advantage of bulk pricing discounts. This means that the more you buy, the less you’ll pay per unit. And, when it comes to shipping, most vendors charge by weight. So, the more kratom you order, the lower your shipping costs will be. It’s not uncommon to see savings of 50% or more when ordering in bulk.

Furthermore, when you have a larger quantity of it on hand, you won’t have to worry about running out as often. This means that you can space out your purchases and avoid last-minute rushes to the store.

Finally, buying it in bulk is simply more convenient. If you order from a reputable vendor, your kratom will be shipped directly to your door – no need to make multiple trips to the store. Plus, if you order a large enough quantity, you won’t have to re-order for several months, which saves even more time and hassle.

As you can see, there are many benefits to buying it in bulk. So next time you need to restock your kona kratom supplies, remember that ordering in larger quantities can help you save money and hassle in the long run.

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Health & Wellness

Red Vein Borneo vs. Bali: Are They Similar?

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There are plenty of Kratom strains depending on the color of the veins or the place they belong to. Such a wide selection baffles consumers in situations where they don’t know what to buy. Not only this, but there are other sub-varieties like Red Bali and Red Borneo Kratom, which could add to your confusion. Know that each strain will hold its unique properties and potential advantages. The red strains of Kratom are popular among people for their extreme potency. Using it even in low quantities could be highly beneficial. But which one to choose? This blog will provide insight into red vein borneo vs bali to help you make a better decision. 

What Is Red Bali Kratom? 

One of the popular varieties of Red Kratom is Red Bali Kratom, all due to its easy availability. The alkaloid combination in this strain is excellent and may act as a pain reliever. It is also popular among users for euphoric effects that last longer. Although it’s not the only strain that might help with pain, its effects are more potent than all others. Also, not only this, but the Red Bali strain has much more to offer. 

The Bali strain grows in Bali island and Indonesia. This area’s high-quality temperature and environment make it ideal for this strain to grow. There are almost forty distinct alkaloids present in it. The common alkaloids are mitraphylline, 7-hydroxy mitragynine, mitragynine, and speciogynine. Many people also think that it is a combination of two different Red vein varieties. Hence it might indicate that it can have similar effects and properties to all other strains. 

What Is Red Borneo Kratom?

Red Borneo Kratom is famous for its potent effects, which one might not experience with other strains. People also know it as one of the most potent Red vein Kratom strains. The alkaloids found in this strain are natural and can provide maximum effects. Their natural properties give them an advantage over other varieties. Just like the Bali strain, it also grows in part of Indonesia. Not only this, but it also grows in the parts of the Borneo Islands. This place has an apt environment to support the growth of Kratom. 

In this type of environment, even mature leaves of the tree grow. It further leads to the enhancement of the potency of this Kratom strain. Also, the Red Borneo strain has a soothing aroma making it favorable for people. With just the smell, you can identify it among the different varieties. Hence this is another point of difference between Red Bali and Red Borneo. Also, its alkaloid profile makes it a more potent variant. Red Borneo Kratom’s most commonly found alkaloids are mitragynine, 7-hydroxy mitragynine, and Speciogynine. These alkaloids are present in higher amounts accounting for the high potency of strains. 

What Is The Point Of Similarity Between Red Bali And Red Borneo? 

Here’s how Red Bali and Red Borneo are different:  

  • History 

If you look at general naming, Kratom strains get their name from the color of the veins. Also, another point for naming them is their point of origin or the region they are grown in. Everyone knows that Kratom is native to Southeast Asia; Borneo and Bali are islands. But when discussing Red Borneo and Red Bali, these strains follow both naming policies.

  • Potential Health Benefits

All Red Vein Kratom varieties are known for their high alkaloid contents. These varieties favor people who have been using Kratom for a long time. Due to its high potency, people familiar with this herb love it. Know that different strains will offer various potential benefits per the alkaloid profile. Before trying it for health issues, you should talk to your health care professional. Both of these Kratom varieties have potent effects that might be enough to relieve pain. Also, one may utilize them for dealing with anxiety and stress. Make sure you use it in a limited amount to avoid adverse effects. 

  • Which Is The Best? 

As you are aware, there isn’t much scientific research on this herb that proves its efficiency; hence, there is tons of anecdotal evidence. Make sure that you adopt the right piece of advice while deciding on both of these strains. It might be tougher to choose between Red Bali and Red Borneo Kratom. Know that this will vary according to your preferences. People who need more potent euphoric effects might want to try Red Bali, or else the other ones can go for Red Borneo. The apt one for any person depends upon their needs. 

Summing It Up 

Red Bali and Red Borneo are excellent Kratom varieties famous for their potential benefits. However, there are some facts that you should know before choosing between both of them. First, understand that Red Borneo is a more potent variety than Red Bali. Also, both strains might be a good idea for people with stress and anxiety. The strain that you would like will depend on your preferences and needs. If you still cannot decide, consult a specialist. Also, conduct enough research before buying any Kratom variety. 

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Health & Wellness

How Long Does THC Gummies Take To Kick In?

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THC Gummies are a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabis, and they can be a fun and tasty treat for those who enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC. THC Gummies are cannabis-infused edibles that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Unlike some other edibles, they are relatively easy to make at home and can be customized to suit individual preferences. THC Gummies are made by combining cannabis tincture or oil with fruit juice or another sweetener, then pouring the mixture into gummy bear molds. The gummies are typically left to set up for several hours before being consumed. When eaten, THC Gummies take effect within half an hour to an hour, and the effects can last for several hours.

How Are THC Gummies Made?

THC gummies are a popular way to consume cannabis, as they are discrete, easy to consume, and offer a pre-measured dose. THC gummies are made by infusing THC into an edible gummy base. Making THC gummies is similar to regularly infused edibles, but with one key difference. The decarboxylation process converts THCA into THC when making regular edibles. However, when making THC gummies, this process is not necessary as THC is already active. As a result, THC gummies offer a more potent and immediate high than other edibles. When consuming THC gummies, the effects can last for several hours. The exact duration will depend on various factors, such as how much is consumed, your tolerance level, and your metabolism. However, one of the main advantages of THC gummies is that they offer a more controlled and predictable high than smoking cannabis. As a result, they are a popular choice for those looking for an enjoyable and hassle-free way to consume cannabis.

What Do THC Gummies Do To Your Body?

THC gummies are an edible type containing the active ingredient in marijuana: THC. When you eat a THC gummy, the THC is absorbed into your bloodstream through your digestive system and then travels to your brain. THC gummies can come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and typically have a sweet or fruity flavor. The effects of THC gummies can vary depending on several factors, including how much THC is in the gummy and your tolerance level. However, some common effects of THC gummies include an altered state of mind, relaxation, impaired coordination, and increased appetite. THC gummies usually take around 30 minutes to start working, and the effects can last several hours.

How Long Does THC Gummies Take To Kick In?

THC gummies take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to kick in for most people. However, a few factors can affect how long it takes for the effects of THC gummies to set in:

  • It’s essential to consider how you ate the gummy. If you just nibbled on it, the effects will likely take longer to kick in than if you gobbled it down.
  • Your metabolism affects how quickly your body processes THC. Those with a slow metabolism may find that it takes longer for the effects of THC gummies to set in.
  • Your tolerance level is also a factor.

If you’re a heavy smoker, you may not feel the effects of THC gummies as strongly as someone who doesn’t smoke regularly. No matter how long it takes for THC gummies to start working for you, one thing is for sure: when they do, the effects can be intense! So be sure to start with a small dose and increase it until you find the sweet spot.

How Strong Will The Effects Of THC Gummies Be?

THC gummies are discreet, easy to dose, and offer a consistent experience. But how healthy are THC gummies? That depends on a few factors, including the quality of the cannabis used to make them and the creation process. However, in general, THC gummies can pack a punch. The average THC gummy contains around 10 milligrams of THC. For some people, that’s enough for a solid high that lasts several hours. Others might only feel a milder effect. When taking THC gummies for the first time, it’s always best to start with a low dose and see how you react. You can avoid unwanted side effects, like anxiety or paranoia. Ultimately, the strength of your THC gummy experience will depend on your tolerance level.

How Can You Ensure You Get The Most Out Of Your THC Gummies?

THC gummies are a popular way to consume cannabis but can also be quite potent. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your THC gummies:

  • Start with a low dose. THC gummies can be very potent, so starting with a low dose is significant and increasing gradually as needed.
  • Choose a high-quality product. Not all THC gummies are created equal. Make sure you choose a high-quality product from a reputable source.
  • Be patient. Give the gummies time to work their magic! THC can take up to an hour to take effect, so don’t be tempted to take another dose too soon.

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and potent THC gummy experience.

Are THC Gummies Safe To Consume?

THC gummies are a popular choice for people who want to experience the effects of cannabis without smoking it. THC gummies are also relatively easy to make at home and come in various flavors and strengths. However, there are some safety concerns associated with THC gummies. Because they are so potent, it is easy to consume too much THC accidentally. This can lead to unpleasant side effects such as paranoia and anxiety. In addition, THC gummies can be appealing to children and pets, who may not realize that they contain cannabis. As a result, it is essential to store them safely out of reach of children and animals. Overall, THC gummies are a safe and effective way to consume cannabis, as long as they are used responsibly.

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Indoor Gardening

4 Benefits of Gardening on People’s Health

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It’s long been recognized that gardens are good for the environment and wildlife,
however, you may be surprised to learn that gardening is also beneficial to your
physical and mental health. There is an increasing amount of research to show that
gardening improves health and general wellbeing. Here are just four of the many
benefits of gardening on health.


A Connection with Nature


Whether you have an allotment with polytunnels or a small garden at the back of
your house, gardening provides a connection with nature. Reconnecting to nature
has been shown to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety and can help you to
unwind and relax.


Responsibility and a Sense of Purpose


Growing and tending to plants also gives people a sense of responsibility and
purpose. This is something we can all benefit from in our lives but is especially
crucial for those living with mental health conditions, such as depression who may be
struggling to find a sense of worth.
Gardening is also an excellent activity for people who have recently retired or who
may be unable to work due to health reasons. The routine of watering your plants
can give your day some structure and also means you can sit outdoors and admire
the fruits of your hard work if you’re feeling low.


Work/Life Balance


Gardening is ideal for those who find it to switch off when they get home from work
or for providing a divide between working and leisure time for those who work from
home. Getting outside to tend to your plants or pull weeds gives you some time and
space to process your working day and can help you to switch off.


Keeps You Active


From a physical perspective, gardening is also great exercise. Unlike many types of
formal exercise, gardening doesn’t require an initial level of fitness or any special
equipment and it’s gentle and adaptable, making it accessible for those with health
conditions or disabilities.

It’s possible to carry out many gardening activities while sitting, for those who
struggle to stand for long periods. You can also get padded cushions to kneel on
when bedding-in plants or weeding.
The more time you spend gardening, the more calories you’ll burn, which can help
you maintain a healthy weight, protecting you against obesity-related ill-health.
Spending time in nature also releases endorphins aka feel-good chemicals, which
can boost our mood and reduce pain and fatigue.


Perspective and Control


Last but not least, spending time in our gardens can help us put things into
perspective, which means we’re less likely to spend time ruminating on our
problems. It also gives us an element of control – at least over our gardens – and
means we can focus our energies and attentions on something we can directly
impact, such as what plants to add to our gardens and where to place them.

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Home Care & Living

4 Useful Home Insulation Tips for Better Energy Conservation

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Climate change will almost certainly increase both our energy requirements and our electricity bills. As a result, energy-efficient home improvements are required. Being ecologically aware is crucial in the modern world.

Your home is the best and crucial place to start when it comes to protecting the environment and living a more energy-efficient lifestyle. Insulating your home not only makes it more energy-efficient but is also one of the most efficient ways to reduce your energy bills. This is also one of the best ways to increase the market value of your property while lowering your energy costs. By investing in insulation, you can live a healthy lifestyle while also preserving important the planet’s resources.

1. Add Insulation To Roof

Insulation does not have to be extremely expensive. It can be constructed from a variety of materials to suit any budget. Also, it can make a significant difference in the overall comfort of your home. Every method of insulation, from metal roof insulation to floor properly insulated, is equally important. You should insulate the area directly under the roof if your loft is warm.

If you have a frigid loft, insulating above the last floor’s ceiling will be less expensive. There is an even better idea if you have unfinished attic spaces, the best area for insulation is between the ceiling joists. And if you live in a hot sunny climate, think of reflective foil insulation. This kind of insulation helps reduce radiant heat transfer in a home or any enclosed space. It is most effective at keeping your home or building cool.

2. Floor insulation

Depending on your home’s flooring and whether you need it, you may or may not need floor insulation. Since this kind of insulation is pricey, you should first determine if you actually need it. If your home is older, there may be some improvements that need to be made. Homes with concrete floors have less of a problem. Modern homes typically include polystyrene insulation slabs a few inches below the concrete floor surface, effectively reducing heat loss. Whatever the type of your house, there are still steps you may do to insulate your floor. This is one of the upgrades that will add value to your home.

But if you are not ready for a bigger investment there are other solutions. Rugs all over the floors of your home are a considerably more affordable substitute and in most cases, they will do a job.

3. Draught-proofing

Draught proofing is the process of sealing cracks and spaces around common heat loss areas in the home. Windows and doors with their frames are the most common offenders but look for draughts around letterboxes and chimneys as well. Fortunately, it’s also a simple problem to solve.

Draught-proofing materials, such as draught-proofing strips, can be used around casements, or putty or sealant can be used in any clear cracks. For the large gaps between the bottom of your door and the frame, you can purchase brushes or hinged draught excluders that are easily attached. Specialized products are required for larger gaps, such as chimneys. A chimney balloon is inflated and inserted up your chimney flue, or if you don’t use your chimney, it can simply be capped off at the top.

4. Hot Water Tank

Insulating your hot water tank is a lesser-known way to save energy. Your new hot water heater is most likely already insulated. If your tank is older, however, you should check to see if it is insulated. 

According to the US Department of Energy, wrapping an insulated blanket around an uninsulated tank can reduce heat loss by 25-45 percent, saving 7-16 percent on water heating costs. These insulating blankets come in a variety of configurations, so you must pick the one that best suits your requirements. And don’t think of the price, the blanket will pay for itself in about a year.

By keeping your home well-insulated, you can get the most out of the heat you pay for. Try not to choose the cheapest option or materials that are not suitable for your home. Always remember that spending a little more money on proper insulation will save you a lot of money in the long run.

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DIY Projects

Guide: Spray Foam for Garden Sheds

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Garden sheds have been increasingly popular in recent years, and their uses have expanded far beyond that of simple tool and bicycle storage. Garden sheds have been transformed into everything from “Man Caves” to “garden rooms” to “pubs at the end of the garden” to “hobby rooms.” 

But is your backyard shed sturdy enough? Most garden sheds ought to be insulated & improved before you wish to spend time in there because of holes, dampness, creepy crawlies, and structural difficulties. 

One of the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing methods to do this is with spray foam insulation. Please continue reading to learn… 

What are the Benefits of Insulating My Garden Shed? 

We often purchase our garden buildings in the flat-pack style from hardware or home improvement stores. They are simple, low-cost panel structures slotted together on the same concrete or paving slab base typically built from softwoods. 

Plywood covered in black bituminous sheets or plastic is the standard roofing material. Sometimes they may suffer from shingles. Single-layer walls are standard, but plywood can be added on the inside to turn them into shelf-ready space. 

There are several problems that might arise in a garden shed due to its lack of insulation. 

  • Condensation: 

Condensation will form on the inside of your shed if the weather outside changes. Water will drip onto your storage areas, and mold and dampness will spread throughout the timbers. The wood will deteriorate with time, forcing you to repair the shed at some point. Although painting can help preserve the wood, doing so is an ongoing job. 

  • Severe damage: 

Without insulation, the moisture within the shed would slowly deteriorate the things you’ve put there. Insulation is especially important if you plan to store upholstered furniture in your sheds, such as a sofa, chair, or even a daybed. Electric components are also susceptible to water damage. 

  • Temperature:

Without proper insulation, a room will be freezing in the winter & sweltering in the summer. Insulation is used to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. 

Why is spray foam the superior option?

After you’ve finished building your shed, you’ll find that there are gaps and perhaps areas where you can look outside. This is not due to your lack of DIY ability but rather to the inherent quirks of a flat-pack design. 

The shed’s intended use as a garden shed means that a simple shed like this one will do. Common forms of insulation, such as mineral wool, may have trouble filling these crevices and voids. The insulation will become damp because of the spaces between the boards. You need a solution that will completely plug the gaps. 

A spray foam gun is an excellent insulator and can also be used to patch holes. It will go like this to insulate your shed: 

Your shed should be constructed according to the manufacturer’s specifications on a base that is elevated off the ground. Installing a solid foundation of concrete or paving stones is recommended. 

Once you’re done, fill any visible cracks or holes with spray foam with a fine nozzle. This will involve the bottom of the roof and the seams where the corners meet. Inspecting the area around the windows is also crucial. 

Plasterboard or plywood can then be installed to complete the look of the room before it is painted. Your shed will be more comfortable and usable throughout the year as a result.

This Fusion Air Purge gun is Graco’s most popular plural-component gun that can spray both applications.

The insulation work can then be done by a professional. Since spray foam insulation contains chemicals that must be mixed thoroughly and let to solidify before they are stable, its installation should be left to a professional. The builder will spray the foam in the spaces between the rafters on the roof and the studs in the walls. After that, it will be cut down to size so that it is parallel to the wall. 

Conclusion

We’re willing to wager that after reading this, you feel like a seasoned pro when it comes to insulating a shed. Let’s quickly review the various insulation options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

  • Celotex insulating board panels are effective and simple to install. 
  • However, bubble wrap is the least expensive form of insulation; it is also the least effective. 
  • Fiberglass wool is an effective insulator, but it is dangerous without the right protective gear. 
  • Mineral wool has the same strength as fiberglass without the cost or health dangers. 

You can now begin insulating your home. On the other hand, you can also think about purchasing a garden shed.

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Landscaping

How to Plant Lawn Seeds? Preparing the Ground

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The process of preparing the ground before planting the lawn seed consists of several steps. It is very important for the growth of grass. The first thing to do is to order the site. You should pick up the debris and trash left on it and do the cleaning. All of these factors can affect soil acidity and influence lawn seed growth.

Another step in the soil preparation process is to break up the soil and test its acidity. It is a good indicator of what type of grass seed to choose for a given type of soil. For best results, the soil should be fertile, aerated, and moderately moist.

Fertilize the soil before sowing the lawn

Be sure to fertilize the soil for a week before planting lawn seed. To do this, use a lawn fertilizer. You can buy both at Moowy. Mix it with the soil as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The last but equally important step of preparing the soil before planting grass seeds is to roll the soil. This helps level the surface for planting and thickens the soil.

Planting grass seeds – how to do it?

A popular and quick method of planting grass seeds is to do it manually. It involves sowing the grain yourself. To do this, you need to divide the prepared ground into several equal parts.

When planting lawn seeds, it is advised to do so crosswise. In this way the grain is evenly distributed, and the grass can reach optimum density. To make things easier, start planting in one direction, and as you return, distribute the rest in the opposite direction. Rake the ground thoroughly afterwards. It helps cover the seeds with soil, which will protect the sprouts from weather conditions.

How to water the sown lawn seeds?

Another very important part is watering the lawn. To do it correctly, pour a small stream of water on the ground. Water the lawn regularly for two weeks after planting the lawn seeds. The best time to water the lawn is very early in the morning or in the evening, when there is no sun to burn the seeds. Regular watering makes the grass and its roots grow faster.

When to plant lawn seeds?

If you want your lawn to be green and lush, try planting lawn seeds in specific months. When to plant grass or lawn seeds so that they grow fast and well?

Most grass seed species require fall planting. Planting the grass seeds from August to October protects the seeds from heavy rains and high temperatures. Also, the moisture in the soil encourages the grass to sprout and grow

The most common mistakes made when planting lawn seeds

When preparing your lawn, you must pay close attention to every detail of the process. First of all, remember all the rules for preparing the ground, planting and continuing to care for the lawn. Very often, even the smallest mistakes can affect the proper growth of the lawn.

The most common mistakes are:

  • Poorly prepared soil and not removing all the elements that may affect growth.
  • Do not loosen the soil – which helps in the removal of plant debris that used to grow in the area.
  • Insufficient removal of any weeds from the area in which the lawn seed is to be planted. If there are a lot of weeds, you may need to use an herbicide, which will kill the plants from the ground.
  • Do not enrich the soil – some types of soil require additional fertilizer. It is particularly important in the case of sandy soils, where a special mixture of peat or compost must be used.
  • Choosing the wrong lawn seeds, which are not suitable for garden grass, but rather for meadow grass.
  • Uneven planting, resulting in an unattractive looking lawn.
  • Not securing the seed after planting, especially in windy weather, which may cause the seed to be lost.
  • Insufficient amount of water, which prevents the seeds from sprouting and growing properly.

Lawn seed and Lawn fertilizer is an essential part to make a perfect lawn. For more information regarding lawn seed, you can contact us freely.

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Home Care & Living

A Dream: Retiring in Canada

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Introduction

The prime of a person’s life is represented by the golden years. If you’ve put in a lifetime of hard work, responsibility, and adhering to a strict work schedule, you can finally retire to your “cape” and relax in your own home, which need not be in the city where you currently reside. If you have made the decision to relocate for your retirement, you may be looking for the best Canadian city to retire to spend your time in.

Even if you already have a list of preferences for where you want to retire, this list can be a great resource. The adoption of a pragmatic and practical approach when selecting a retirement city can help you enjoy a happy and financially secure retirement.

Everyone has their own set of preferences, priorities, likes, and dislikes when it comes to just about anything and everything. This includes everything from minor details such as a favorite cup of coffee to major decisions such as choosing the right career path. As a result, it is understandable that each individual would have their own ideas about how and where to spend their retirement years.

Fredericton, NB

The city of Fredericton serves as the provincial capital of the province of New Brunswick. Although it is a small city in terms of population for a capital, it is a fortunate mix for retirees. In spite of the fact that the city is not particularly crowded, its status as the regional capital means that it has many amenities that a city of its size does not typically have (though public transportation is not available on Sundays). Real estate prices are low enough that you can afford a home if you have enough savings, which is especially true if you are looking to purchase a condominium.

In addition, the rent is significantly less expensive. It has a humid continental climate and is located on the banks of the river. So, if you like to fish, it could be a fantastic place to settle down in. For a city of its size, the city has a large number of historical buildings and museums, as well as parks and gardens. It also hosts a large number of festivals. The city’s largest hospital, which has more than 300 beds and several specialists, as well as a level 3 trauma center.

It’s possible that Fredericton will be the perfect place for you if you’re looking for a nice, affordable blend of nature and a moderately large city.

Kingston, Ontario

When it comes to living in a city where half of the population is made up of young students rather than old retirees like yourself, Kingston might be the best Canadian city to retire to. Because of its strategic location, it has a long and illustrious history, particularly in the military sphere.

As a retiree, you’d appreciate Kingston’s laid-back atmosphere and easygoing pace of life. Almost half of the year, the city is bathed in sunshine. Transport in the local area is efficient, quick, and reasonably priced. One of Kingston’s most significant assets, however, may be its world-class medical facilities. Kingston General Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the province of Ontario and is located in Kingston. Many wonderful places to visit or spend your retirement time in the city, such as Lake Ontario Park and the Museum of Healthcare, which is the only museum of its kind in the country, are available to you. Many outdoor activities are available to you in the city as well, including sailing, fishing, golf, and hiking, among many others.

Burlington, Ontario

There are 115 parks in the small community of Burlington, so getting some exercise and fresh air will not be a problem. Given that it’s only about 40 minutes away from Toronto, it’s possible that you’ll enjoy living in this charming little town if you have family in the city. It has a vibrant creative community as well as a sufficient number of art venues, especially given the size of the city. In addition, the city is very bicycle-friendly.

Even though there is a major hospital in the town, you may need to travel to Hamilton, which is not far away, if you have a serious medical problem. The high cost of living in Burlington is a chink in the city’s armor. Even if you decide to rent a place in the city, you may find it to be an expensive place to live. However, if you can find a way to avoid this expense (by living in a co-op or a small house, for example), the city will appear to be quite affordable. Alternatively, you can choose one of the city’s retirement homes. In addition, the city offers a diverse range of retirement living options, including active retirement living, assisted living, and home care.

Kelowna, BC

When it happens to come to retirement homes, Kelowna is a bit of a cliche, to say the least. Until the most recent census, retirees accounted for more than 18 percent of the population, which is significantly higher than the national average. This city experiences all four seasons, although housing can be expensive (especially if you try to live near the lake). If you are an oenophile (a fancy way of saying wine enthusiast), Kelowna is the place to be. It’s the perfect combination of nature, peace, and the big-city hustle and bustle (especially in tourist season).

If you don’t mind living a little outside of the city for cheaper housing, if you enjoy driving and taking part in outdoor recreational activities such as picnics by the lake, you might find Kelowna to be a reasonable price. The primary medical facility, for example, is quite large, with over 700 beds, and the number of doctors per capita is sufficient given the city’s population density. The dry weather is a major draw for many retirees who come to this city to enjoy their golden years.

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Utah’s Top 5 Real Estate Markets for Investing

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Introduction

Investors seeking to expand their holdings have plenty of options in the growing Utah real estate market. But, with its reputation as a tech hub on the rise, the state’s best days are yet to come. Find the best real estate markets in Utah and begin to build your wealth today.

As the state with the fastest population growth over the past decade, Utah real estate investors have noticed. A population increase of 14.4 percent in the last decade was made possible by a high birth rate and a booming economy.

Investors who pay attention to the right cities and neighborhoods could profit greatly from this success. For those looking for a quick return on their investment, here are the top five investment markets in Utah.

Ogden

Ogden is a postcard-perfect city, which in and of itself is enough to attract investment and development opportunities. In addition to its highly rated school system, low unemployment rate, and reputation as an economic hub, Salt Lake City has earned a reputation as one of the most desirable places to live in Utah. As a result, it offers a well-balanced combination of outdoor activities, big business, and education while catering to a diverse population.

The housing market in Ogden isn’t quite as hot as it is in some of the other cities in Utah, but it is just as promising nonetheless.

Home values have increased by 20 percent in the last year, and they are expected to rise by another 12.5 percent in the following year. However, the list prices, which are significantly lower than those in other desirable Utah cities, are even more appealing to potential investors. The median list price in Ogden is $225,000, while the median list price in Salt Lake City is $420,000, and the median list price in Provo is $299,900. The bottom line is that there is a lot of interest in the market, and prices are low, which gives Utah real estate investors every reason to investigate this opportunity.

Provo

With its diverse job market, strong economy, low unemployment rate (2.4 percent), and opportunities for real estate investors, Provo has been featured in a slew of news stories and reports over the years. Boomtown is defined by its ability to provide residents and investors with every reason to be optimistic about the city’s long-term prospects.

Home values have risen by 17.4 percent in the last year alone, and they are expected to rise by another 10.6 percent in the coming year, according to recent data. Additionally, nearly 60% of Provo’s residents rent their homes or apartments, which is good news for investors who are interested in multi-family residences in the city. Currently, the average rent is between $1,025 and $1,352 per month, with data showing that rent prices have been steadily increasing since 2016.

Salt Lake City 

Salt Lake City is the most populous city in Utah and is expected to grow by 4 percent in the next three years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The metro’s strong economy can be attributed to its low unemployment rate of 3 percent and growing reputation as a technology hub, as well as the presence of high-quality industries such as healthcare, travel and hospitality, education, and finance in the area.

When compared to other cities in the state, the housing market in Salt Lake City isn’t quite as hot as it is in other cities, which is good news for investors looking for a bargain. In just the past year, home values have risen by nearly 16 percent, and they are expected to rise by another 7.9 percent in the coming year. In the Salt Lake City metro area, investors may want to consider investing in residential properties because home prices per square foot are significantly lower than in the city itself.

St. George

When it comes to growth potential alone, St. George is unquestionably the best bet. St George is expected to see a 9 percent increase in population over the next three years, which will automatically increase the demand for housing, according to population projections. The job growth rate, which is expected to be 5.4 percent, will also outpace that of other major Utah cities, according to the forecast.

Despite this, the median home value in St. George is $308,000, which is lower than the values in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Real estate values have risen by an average of 13.9 percent in the last year alone, and they are expected to rise by another 8.6 percent in the coming year, providing investors with plenty of reason to be optimistic.

Draper

Draper is a well-established community that has almost reached the limits of its growth potential, but that is about to change. Since the state’s decision to relocate its prison to an area north of Salt Lake City, the town will soon be able to free up nearly 700 acres, and the city is eager to take advantage of the newfound space by developing residential areas on the property.

Despite the fact that home values in Draper have increased by 7.7 percent in the last year, they are expected to rise by another 4.8 percent in the coming year. The median rent price in this area is $1,800, which is higher than the median rent in Salt Lake City Metro, which is $1,575.

And, given the potential population and economic growth that new acreage and advancements will bring, shareholders will want to keep their finger on the pulse of the market at all times.

Conclusion

In Utah’s best years, there is still a long way to go. Contrary to the ups and downs of Florida’s stock market and the oil country, Utah’s economic drivers would last for decades. The Beehive State is still a good place for real estate investors looking to expand their portfolios.

Investing in Utah real estate can be made more effective by working with a knowledgeable local agent who can serve as a mentor and sounding board for newcomers to the market. With the help of your broker, you’ll be able to expand your investment portfolio in a profitable way.

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Purchasing Real Estate in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2022

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Introduction 

The demand for Atlanta investment properties is high among all types of investors because you pay for high-quality real estate when you choose to purchase properties in desirable neighborhoods. As a result, Atlanta real estate has continued to appreciate faster than most other cities in the country. The Atlanta investment properties, which can be purchased for as little as $100,000, have more than 7% annual appreciation rate.

Atlanta’s property appreciation rates were 6.44 percent in the most recent quarter, equating to a year-over-year appreciation rate of 28.36 percent. As a result, short-term investors, looking for homes for sale in Atlanta, GA, have benefited from a 15.25 percent increase in property values over the last year, resulting in a profitable investment opportunity. Our goal in this article is to provide you with an overview of some of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta where you can purchase investment properties.

Hanover West, Atlanta

It is a small, 1960s-era legacy development that is still in operation today. Several amenities are available to residents of all ages, making it a popular choice. This neighborhood was named one of the best places to buy a house in Atlanta by Niche, but houses rarely come on the market here. This allows landlords to charge a median rent of $1100 per month, which is the national average. The average home value in this area is higher than the national average and significantly higher than the average for Atlanta, resulting in many people who want to live here being forced to rent.

Midtown Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta

Prices in downtown and its surrounding areas, such as Midtown and Buckhead, have increased significantly. If you are able to purchase an investment property in Midtown Atlanta, you will be able to rent it out for a substantial profit. Atlanta investment properties will be valued for their space and privacy in an area that is rapidly transitioning from single-family to multifamily living. The average rent in this area is approximately $1800 per month. Property owners in the vicinity of Georgia Tech benefit from a steady stream of renters.

Buckhead, Atlanta

Want to invest? Check out homes for sale in Atlanta, GA. Buckhead is one of the best locations for purchasing investment properties in Atlanta. Because of their close proximity to downtown, the properties are extremely valuable. On top of that, it is densely packed with mansions and estate homes, though there are a few small cottages that can be rented out as starter homes. Alternatively, you could purchase an old bungalow and demolish it to make way for one of the four- to six-bedroom executive homes that are becoming the norm in this area.

Buckhead Heights is a residential neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, with a population of approximately 2,130 people. Residents have been assigned an A grade based on their ethnic and economic diversity, with many of them holding bachelor’s or master’s degrees, according to the report.

Gwinnett County, Georgia

This area is in such high demand that the amount of time on the market decreased by 20% in 2018. The median price of a home in this area increased by 5% from the previous year. A large part of this is due to the high quality of Gwinnett schools. The city of Buford in Gwinnett County was home to the best public schools in the state of Georgia.

Grant Park, Atlanta

Grand Park is Atlanta’s oldest city park, and the neighborhood that surrounds it is known by the same name as the park itself: Grand Park. Even though this neighborhood is close to downtown, it is primarily comprised of older single-family homes, which command high rents for the privilege of residing there. Because the median rent in Grant Park, Atlanta was $1300 per month in 2019, you’ll generate a significant amount of cash flow from investment properties in the area if you can buy at a low price.

Decatur, Northeast of Atlanta

One of the best suburbs in Georgia, Decatur has been named one of the best. Decatur is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located northeast of Atlanta. Even better, they were ranked 32nd on Niche’s 2017 list of the best places to live in America. The city was also recognized as one of the best suburbs for millennials in 2016, according to Forbes. In the year 2022, purchasing investment properties in the suburbs of northeast Atlanta may prove to be a wise investment decision.

Alpharetta, North of Atlanta

For home buyers and renters alike, Alpharetta is a desirable real estate market, which makes it a desirable location for real estate investors. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located north of the city. The real estate market is a mix of condominiums and single-family homes on a detached lot. Numerous schools in Alpharetta received perfect scores of ten out of ten.

Peachtree Heights West, Atlanta

Peachtree Heights West is a neighborhood in Atlanta’s southwest region. Because of the increase in sales and rental activity in this upscale neighborhood, it has been dubbed “one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city.” It is an excellent location in which to purchase an investment property in Atlanta, particularly an apartment for rental income. It is only a short distance south of Buckhead Forest, which is already overpriced. This area is an excellent location for investing in Atlanta investment properties because the median rent is significantly higher than the national average at more than $1700 per month.

Ormewood Park/Glenwood Park, Atlanta

Ormewood Park/Glenwood Park is a neighborhood park located between Grant Park and East Atlanta Village in Atlanta, Georgia. This neighborhood is dotted with Craftsman-style homes built in the 1920s. Affordable single-family homes are being replaced by multi-family housing and upscale homes as part of the area’s redevelopment effort. Many people relocate to this area in order to be close to the area’s excellent charter schools. That’s one of the reasons why median rents in Ormewood Park were a little less than $2000 per month.

Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta

The Old Fourth Ward is a historic industrial district that was on the verge of being abandoned at one point. It is being transformed into a trendy neighborhood with rents starting at approximately $1700. Because there are still properties in the area that need to be renovated in order to be attractive to renters, there are significant opportunities for real estate investors to purchase investment properties in Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta.

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Home Care & Living

Vancouver Real Estate: An Expensive Investment Option

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Beyond measure, we are fortunate to be able to live and work in Vancouver, which is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful and livable cities, as well as to make significant investments in the city. The city of Vancouver is regarded as one of the best places in the world to make long-term real estate investments, which is not surprising given the influx of over 40,000 newcomers who arrive each year.

Assuming a 5 percent deposit in 2000, when the average price of a home for sale in Vancouver home was approximately $400,000, as opposed to approximately $1.4 million today, a 5 percent deposit in 2000 would have resulted in an investment yielding one million dollars, or a return of 5000 percent in only 15 years. As a result of its emergence as a major global destination, the real estate market in Vancouver has been particularly strong. However, if you ask any retiree anywhere in Canada what their single best investment has been in their lifetime, the vast majority will say real estate, regardless of where they live in the country.

How is it that real estate is the best option for securing your future financial well-being?

One word describes it: leverage! Other than financial institutions, you won’t be able to find a place where you can put down as little as 5 percent and have someone else (the financial institutions) put up the remaining 95% of the funds. Thus, you can reduce your downside risk while still maintaining complete control over the entire property and all of the equity as it grows over the long term. Aside from that, you can have someone else pay for all of your expenses, such as your mortgage payment, property tax, and insurance, on your behalf if you choose to rent out your property. As far as saving for your future and retirement, as well as contributing to the future security of your children is concerned, we believe there is no better way.

The fact that real estate has outperformed other asset classes in many instances has led to an increase in the number of people choosing to invest in real estate as an asset class rather than other asset classes such as stocks, bonds, gold, antiques, art, stamps, and so on.

When it comes to real estate investing, there are a plethora of options available to investors.

If you are interested in increasing the value of your property, you can find real estate experts who can find you the best home for sale in Vancouver. He will work with you to gain a thorough understanding of your situation, goals, and level of interest in being hands-on versus hands-off during the process. After that, you can work together to determine the best approach for you based on your financial objectives.

According to your down payment amount and personal circumstances, you may be eligible for a variety of different types of creative financing, depending on your down payment amount and personal circumstances. A variety of property types can be targeted, ranging from turn-key condominiums to townhouses that require little maintenance to multifamily buildings that require a lot of maintenance on a regular basis.

An untold number of clients have benefited from the assistance of real estate professionals in growing and investing their assets, with spectacular results. Find one of the top-ranked real estate agents in your area and meet with them today to discuss how to build your estate through real estate investment, one step at a time, and come up with a strategy for how to do so.

The selection of the appropriate real estate investment property is critical when it comes to real estate investing.

In order to make a successful investment, you must first find an attractive property in an attractive location with low vacancy rates, then negotiate the best price for it, arrange creative financing, and manage or have it managed for an extended period of time.

Real estate professionals frequently recommend properties in which the new owner has the opportunity to increase the value of the property through renovations and upgrades. Real estate agents, through their comprehensive service approach and their extensive network of professionals, can assist you in facilitating both large and small improvements to your property in order to increase the value of your investment.

Analyze the potential value of investment properties to determine their worth.

A property that needs some work is not always a good investment. However, those who are willing to put in the extra time and money to make improvements can often get a better deal on the purchase price by purchasing a property that needs some work and then adding value themselves. You can find add-value analysis services from a variety of real estate agents through this method as well. These services can assist you in evaluating potential investment properties in order to determine if, where, and how you can add value.

Agents provide assistance to a diverse range of investors.

The assistance of agents who work with investors of all financial backgrounds to research, analyze, negotiate, and finance the properties makes investing in Vancouver income properties that provide a good return on investment a lot easier. Having a diverse portfolio of investment properties in British Columbia and abroad allows the experienced real estate agents to have personal, first-hand knowledge of all aspects of real estate investment, from forecasting cash flow to managing tenants and navigating tax regulations.

Out-of-town buyers, new immigrants, commercial investors, individuals, and families interested in purchasing a second home for the purpose of generating rental income are all examples of investment customers. Their proprietary tools can also assist you in estimating up-front costs as well as tracking monthly revenue and expenses in order to determine the ongoing return on investment for your business.

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Landscaping

What Do You Need to Start a Professional Career in Landscaping?

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A career in landscaping allows you to transform an ordinary outdoor space into something completely different. There are many different career paths in landscaping, with landscape design and landscape architecture being the two most popular.

Landscape architects must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and be licensed by the state. They also work on larger projects, such as commercial buildings, college campuses, parks, resorts, and cemeteries.

Landscape designers typically work on smaller and residential projects. Some landscape designers have a Bachelor’s degree, but others are self-taught. Both designers and architects can also own their own businesses.

Education and Training

As mentioned above, the type of education you receive depends on what type of job you want to do in landscaping. Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in landscaping will allow you to work as either a landscape designer or landscape architect. You’ll also need to be proficient in computer programs and software such as CAD (computer-aided design), which you’re likely to learn in school. This type of software will allow you to make more precise designs.

Join Professional Organizations

Being a part of industry-specific professional organizations is good for anyone’s career. This allows you to network with other professionals in your industry. Associations like the Association of Professional Landscape Designers can also provide certifications for you after you have enough years of experience in the landscaping industry.

Acquire the Proper Tools and Equipment

Even if you’re employed by an actual landscaping company, it’s still a good idea to acquire a set of your own landscaping tools. Examples of some of the essential tools you’re going to need to include:

  • Shovels
  • Rakes (steel and leaf)
  • Pruning shears
  • Hedge trimmers

If you plan on opening your own landscaping business, then you’re going to need many more tools, and you’re also going to need more heavy machinery to effectively run your business.

Lawn Aerator

Lawn aerators will help you keep the ground that you’re working on healthy. They allow the soil to absorb an adequate amount of water and oxygen so that it can get the nutrients it needs.

Lawn Mower

Make sure to invest in a good lawn mower (or two or more) if you plan on starting your own landscaping business. It’s one of the most necessary tools that landscape designers need, so it’s a good idea to go ahead and invest in high-quality lawn mowers.

Leaf Blower

A gas-powered leaf blower can be a lifesaver when it comes to collecting a large amount. Sometimes using a rake will take too long, and you want to be as efficient as possible in your professional career. Even an electric leaf blower doesn’t have as much power as a gas-powered one.

Skid Steer

A skid steer is a machine that is mostly used for digging, but it’s a very versatile piece of equipment that can also be used by landscapers. It has arms that can attach to a wide variety of tools to perform different tasks. The standard attachment is a bucket for clearing snow, but skid steers can also have:

A skid steer is a great investment for both landscape designers and landscape architects because there is so much that you can do with them.

What to Know About Starting Your Own Business

Before you start your own landscaping business, you should specify which services you’re going to offer, and this may largely depend on whether you’re a landscape architect or a landscape designer. This will also give you a clearer picture of what tools and equipment you’ll need to purchase as well.

Of course, you’ll have to go through all of the usual phases of starting a business: writing a business plan, getting financing for your business, getting business licenses/permits and registering your business, and also obtaining business insurance. You should also be familiar with the basic marketing techniques and should consider hiring other professional landscapers to help you.

Landscapers can easily make over $50,000 a year, whether they’re employed by a landscaping firm or if they’re in business for themselves. The key is to be consistent and invest in your professional career. Obtain the proper education and training, join professional organizations and network with other professional landscapers, and finally, invest in your business (or your craft). Following these steps will allow you to establish yourself in the field of landscape design.

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Landscaping

Grass Lands: Why Having a Skid Steer Driver on Your Farm Is a Necessity

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Skid steer post drivers are a necessity on farms today. They are used for a variety of tasks, from planting and harvesting to fence post and post-hole driving.

Before skid steer post drivers were popular, farmers relied on horses and buggy to perform these tasks. With the advent of the motor vehicle, horse and buggy transportation became less common. Skid steer post drivers have made this type of labor more efficient and less time-consuming.

There are a few reasons why having a skid steer post driver on your farm is a necessity.

Great For Planting And Harvesting

A skid steer post driver is a great piece of equipment for planting and harvesting. It is versatile and can be used to plant crops or harvest fruits and vegetables in your garden. This machine is also great for moving large objects, such as logs or lumber.

Great For Fence Post and Post-Hole Driving

A skid steer post driver is an essential piece of equipment for those in the fence post and post-hole driving industry. Skid steer post drivers are great for quickly moving fence posts and other objects into place, making them an ideal choice for jobs such as installing new fencing or repairing existing fencing. The machine’s powerful engine and durable construction make it a reliable option for these types of jobs, ensuring that your work is done quickly and efficiently.

Great For Post-Pounder Work

A skid steer post driver is a great option for those in the post-pounder industry. This machine is perfect for moving large objects, such as posts and lumber, into place. The machine’s powerful engine and durable construction make it a reliable option for jobs such as this, ensuring that your work is done quickly and efficiently.

Fast And Efficient Grounds Work

There are many reasons why grounds maintenance is an important part of any agricultural operation. Not only does it keep the areas around the facility clean and free from debris, but it also helps to prevent diseases from spreading. Skid steer post drivers can be very helpful when it comes to this type of work. They are capable of moving large amounts of soil and debris quickly and efficiently, which makes them a valuable asset when it comes to keeping the grounds in good condition.

Purchasing A Post Driver

When it comes to purchasing a post driver, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure the machine you’re looking at has the capabilities you need. Second, be sure to get an estimate of how much it will cost to operate and maintain the machine. And finally, be sure to find a reputable dealer who can provide quality service and support for your post driver.

Repairing and Maintaining Your Post Driver

The skid steer post driver is a heavy-duty piece of equipment that can be used in a variety of industries. It is important to keep your post driver in good condition so that it can continue to operate efficiently. Check your oil, air filter, and spark plug regularly. And if there is any sign of wear or tear, don’t hesitate to contact a dealer or repair service to get your machine up and running again.

Being Safe With Your Post Driver

Skid steer post drivers are extremely versatile machines, capable of handling a wide range of tasks. However, like any machine, skid steer post drivers can be dangerous if not used correctly. When operating a skid steer post driver, it is important to take into account the following safety tips:

Always wear protective equipment: A helmet, Gloves, and Safety Glasses are all essential safety gear when operating a skid steer post driver. If you are not wearing these items, you should at least have them close at hand in case of an accident.

Stay away from obstacles: When working with a skid steer post driver, it is important to stay clear of obstacles. If you encounter an obstacle while operating the machine, slow down and avoid contact. If contact is made, use the brakes to stop the machine as quickly as possible.

Watch for other traffic: When working with a skid steer post driver on busy streets or construction sites it is important to watch for other vehicles and pedestrians. Stay alert and keep your head up when operating your machine.

By following these simple safety tips, you can avoid accidents and ensure a safe working environment for your farm. 

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Grow Lights

Important Information You Should Know Before Buying Led High Bay Light

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Thanks to their low power consumption, quick start times, reduced heat emissions, and superior light quality, LED lights are proving to be a revolutionary technology. These lights actually assist customers in reducing their energy costs and providing better lighting for their residences and places of business.

But most consumers are unsure about which lamp to purchase. Finding the proper light is challenging due to the wide variety of sizes, colors, and lumens of LED lights. You won’t have to worry at all if you use LED Light Expert. We will go through a thorough buyer’s guide in this article so you can locate the ideal LED lights for your high bay applications.

Businesses are seeking more affordable and energy-efficient ways to use LEDs as a result of rising power rates and falling LED light prices. Starting with new, energy-efficient high bay lights is a terrific idea.

How do UFO LED High Bay Lights work?

Spaces with high ceilings are illuminated with high-bay lamps. That often implies having ceilings that are between 20 and 45 feet high. On the other hand, 20 feet or lower ceilings need the usage of low-bay lights. A high bay is a strong, brilliant light source that can illuminate a huge area by definition since a high-ceiling site has more room to fill. The circular design of this kind of high bay light gave rise to the moniker “UFO.”

LED High Bay Light Fixture

Better lighting is crucial, whether it’s in your backyard workshop or a sizable retail location. Lighting is helpful while you’re attempting to work. You don’t have to strain your eyes to see little details or read tiny types. Additionally, it makes sense if you want to give the general public a comfortable environment. People favor brightly lit areas because they feel happier in them. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider appropriate lighting for both your home and your place of business.

UFO LED high bay lights are a good option for decorating a commercial area with high ceilings since they provide brilliant light and are simple to install. The energy efficiency of UFO LED high bay light products is enhanced by their clever design. These spherical high bay lights were designed with a fin shape to aid in more evenly transferring thermal qualities, enabling extensive and potent illumination.

Where are you can use UFO high bay light fixtures?

They may be used in a variety of settings, including factories, assembly lines, and workshops. High-bay lights are also used in big gyms and leisure facilities. LED lights provide more light and are great for lighting warehouses and storage spaces as well. Large conference rooms, event venues, or really any location that requires illumination from a height of more than six meters, can use them. Even hangars and other huge, opulent structures employ them. Here are some instances of possible applications for UFO High Bay lights:

Why choose LED high bay lighting?

Determine your demand for LED lights before we go into the specifics of selecting the best-LED lighting. There are a variety of benefits to using LED bulbs for high bay lights. Here is a list of a few of them:

  • more durable lighting. Depending on the model, LED lights have a lifespan of up to ten years.
  • Low to no heat is generated. Since the lamp is energy-efficient, no heat is lost during manufacture, keeping it cool to the touch.
  • LED light bulbs require fewer replacements. This is especially helpful in an industrial setting where long-lasting lighting is required so that employees may concentrate on their work.
  • More lumens are produced per watt when using UFO LED high bay lighting. Over time, this will enable you to reduce your utility expenditures.

Types of UFO LED high bay lights

This light has a safety retention cord and a hook mount. The hook features a metal locking pin and is constructed of the same plastic as the housing. This pin prevents the hook from detaching from the ring or other piece of hardware to which it is fastened. A 5-foot AC power cord that connects to any wall socket supplies the electricity.

There are four different wattages available for the high bay light: 100, 150, 200, or 250. The 100-watt version produces 14,000 lumens, and each extra 50 watts produces 7,000 lumens. That equates to 140 lumens per watt of energy efficiency, which isn’t too shabby.

The housing and light have an IP65 rating for weather protection. As a result, they can endure both intense, continuous rain and any amount of dust. This is supported by a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee from Lepro. You can also view on Lepro. Additionally, the lamp may be plugged into a dimmer circuit because it enables dimming from 1 to 10 volts.

240W UFO LED High Bay Light by Lepro

In terms of the overall design, the Lepro 240W UFO LED High Bay Light are quite outstanding. At a 15-inch diameter and 8-inch height, it’s a little flatter and rounder. The fact that the housing is made entirely of aluminum is the most obvious change, though. This not only offers superior cooling but also greatly increases the light’s durability.

With a strong metal eye that may be attached to a hook on the ceiling, the Lepro light is installed. It has a 6-foot power cord with bare wire tips that are intended for hardwiring for power. Although a dimmer switch is not provided, it also comes with a 12-inch two-wire dimmer cable. Alternately, you may dim using a standard dimmer circuit from 0 to 10 volts. 

With a brightness of 36,000 lumens, this light consumes 240 watts. With 150 lumens per watt, it not only has the highest power among the items on our list but also the highest efficiency. With a strong five-year guarantee and an IP65 weather resistance certification, it is also rather durable.

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Home Care & Living

5 Ways to Manage a Bedbug Infestation

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If you have been unlucky enough to have a bedbug infestation, you know just how frustrating and challenging they can be to get rid of. These pesky critters can be hard to detect and even harder to eradicate, but with these five tips, you can manage a bedbug infestation and get your home back to normal. 

Apply a Pesticide Treatment

One proven method for getting rid of bedbugs is to apply a pesticide treatment to the affected areas. Pesticides can be used as a liquid, aerosol, or powder. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pesticide label and avoid contact with the skin or eyes. You may need to call a professional pest control company if you have a severe infestation. Taking these steps will help you eliminate bedbugs and prevent them from returning. 

Inspect Your Bed and Bedroom Carefully

Scrutinizing your bed and bedroom is one of the best ways to manage a bedbug infestation. By looking for signs of bedbugs, you can figure out where they’re hiding and how many there are. This information can be invaluable when it comes to treating an infestation. Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, so it’s essential to be as thorough as possible when inspecting your home. 

Check cracks and crevices in furniture, behind pictures, and other dark or secluded areas. Look for small brown spots on sheets and mattresses, as well as for actual bugs. If you aren’t sure what to look for, professional bed bug inspection services can help you find and exterminate them. Taking action quickly is essential for preventing an infestation from getting out of control. 

Use a Steamer to Clean Furniture and Linen

Steaming is an effective way to kill bedbugs and their eggs. A steamer can reach over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is high enough to kill bedbugs and their eggs instantly. Steaming is also an excellent way to clean furniture and linens that may be infested with bedbugs. Be sure to steam all sides of the furniture or linen and any cracks or crevices where bedbugs may be hiding

Steaming is safe for most fabrics and materials, but it is always best to test a small area first to ensure no damage. In addition, steaming is an effective way to clean hard-to-reach places like mattress seams and tufts, which are common hiding spots for bedbugs. When used as part of a comprehensive management plan, steaming can help to reduce the number of bedbugs in your home significantly. 

Vacuum Regularly

Regularly vacuuming your home can remove bedbugs from surfaces and prevent them from spreading. Vacuuming also helps to dislodge eggs and nymphs, which can be challenging to detect with the naked eye. Be sure to vacuum all areas where bedbugs may be hiding, including carpeting, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and baseboards.

When vacuuming, use a powerful vacuum with a fine-toothed attachment. Empty the vacuum bag after each use to prevent bedbugs from crawling back into your home. You should also keep your home clean and clutter-free to limit hiding spots for bedbugs. Regular vacuuming and cleaning allow you to keep your home free of bedbugs and help prevent them from spreading. 

Wash Bedding in Hot Water

One proven tip is to wash bedding in hot water. Bedbugs are attracted to the warmth of our bodies, so washing in hot water will kill them on contact. Be sure to wash all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and blankets.  While bedbugs are not known to spread diseases, they can be a considerable nuisance and cause stress. If you think you might have an infestation, it’s essential to take action right away. The five methods we’ve outlined should help eliminate the bugs and restore your peace of mind.

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Propagation

Learn More About Planting a Sapling in Our Handy Guide

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A sapling is a beautiful new beginning and requires care and love to become a strong addition to your landscape.

If you are bringing saplings into your garden and are looking for some insider advice on setting them up for health, strength, and maximum vivaciousness —stick around. Below TheTreeCentre cover all the important things you need to know about planting saplings in your yard.

Preparation

The first step in planning your sapling’s grand reception is to set the month of the year. The seasons play into the different ways you will prepare for sapling planting. There is no perfect time to plant saplings, but there are some considerations that will indicate the best time for you to plant your sapling.

Rule No. 1 is to make sure the ground is inviting. If the ground is frozen, soaked, or otherwise inhospitable, your sapling will have to struggle for its life in these conditions. If the weather is especially warm or dry, you will also need to consider the aftercare you are providing.

October – January

Deciduous trees will lose their leaves each year and enter deep sleep, or dormancy, for the winter months. During this time no energy is spent on growth and the tree is focused on hibernation. If you have a deciduous sapling, store it in the garage and keep the root ball moist. Don’t bring the sapling indoors as this will kill it.

Don’t store evergreens indoors at all, no matter the time of year. Evergreens need sunlight to stay alive. Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens are never fully dormant.

If you don’t have a location indoors where you can store your tree, have no fear. Wehave a fine selection of hardy local trees that will survive the elements well. We recommend that you keep these seedlings outside of any frost pockets as you await the perfect time to keep these saplings safe.

February – September

From February to September, the sapling will be coming out of its dormancy or in full leaf mode if it is evergreen. Either way, the temperature is perfect to plant in the ground as soon as the last frost has melted. If the weather gets warm or dry quickly, keep the roots moist in the weeks that follow.

Planting Tree Saplings in Pots

Some of the native trees that we provide include oak, which can grow to a staggering height with extensive limbs. This would make them best suited for a larger property where their massive boughs will not grow into buildings.

But don’t let this concern you, your oak sapling will live and thrive in a pot for over 10 years before it needs to be planted in the ground in its forever home. This is good news if you have to change homes, the treecan come too.

Planting Your Tree Sapling in a Pot

To accomplish this simple task, you will need:

  • A watering can
  • A trowel
  • High-quality potting soil
  • A large pot with good drainage holes
  • And of course… your tree sapling

Planting Tree Sapling in a Pot

Begin by filling the pot or container with compost and then create a small hole in the center where you will place the plant. This needs to be at the perfect height, if the stem is toolow, it will rot, but if the roots are exposed, they will die. The key is to cover the roots completely, and add top-soil, a mix of compost and soil for a couple inches above that.

Add some soil to replace any that has fallen off the roots. You can thenadd a mixture of soil and compost to the top to get a good amount to cover the roots, but not too much of the stem. Some well-rotted manure can also improve thequality of the soil and its richness.

Secure the sapling in the pot and pat down the top layer of compost. Don’t pack this down too tightly; a good amount of water and air circulation can keep your soil healthy.

Once the soil is sufficiently settled, drive a stake into the ground near the stem for support. A tree guard can also be added. It is important to note that a tree will achieve a healthy trunk only if it is allowed to sway and move without support.

You can then repot your tree every few years until it can no longer be placed in pots and it can be planted in its final resting place outside.

If you expect your sapling to be in the pot for more than 2 years, you can top-dress the soil. This means removing the top layer of soil and replacing that with a layer of compost.

Planting Tree Saplings into the Ground

If you already have a spot where you will place your sapling, then you may be ready to plant it in the ground right away. Here is what you need to do the job:

  • Your tree sapling
  • A space in the garden to plant
  • A trowel or spade
  • A watering can

How to Plant Tree Saplings

After you have selected a spot for your sapling, draw a circle on the ground with white chalk that will be the hole you dig. This should be slightly bigger than the root ball itself. Keep the soil that you remove from the hole so that you can fill the holeafter the root ball is situated.

Plant the tree in the hole at a good height where the sapling will not be too low and not too exposed in the hole. Backfill any soil to ensure that the roots are completely covered. Then create a mixture of compost and cover the surface of the roots with this mixture.

Firm down the soil, but avoid packing it down too tightly. Add a stake and protection, but remember these should only be used temporarily. The sapling needs to be mobile to develop a strong trunk.

After Planting Tree Care Tips

Whether you have planted your sapling in a pot or the ground, you can ensure its greatest chances of survival by following some simple tips.

Keep the top-soil, the compost and soil mix, moist. This will allow the root systemto establish itself well. This is especially true for potted plants. Make sure the drainage is good, or you risk rotting the root ball.

Add another layer of mulch —as time goes by you will want to add another layer of mulch and this will allow the soil to retain moisture in dryer climates.

Protect from frost in the winter –frost damage is the killer of young trees. Even though native trees are well-adapted to the climate here, it would be a good idea to avoid damage to your tree if you can.

Ground planted trees —young trees will need all the moisture and nutrients they can get from the soil. Keep the area around your sapling clear of weeds to give it the best possible start.

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Greenhouses

Why Is Growing Cannabis in a Greenhouse the Newest Trend in Cultivation?

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Growing cannabis in greenhouses has quickly become popular, and many individuals are showing interest in growing their own cannabis in a greenhouse. When compared to growing cannabis inside or in a growing room, cultivating cannabis in a greenhouse offers a significant number of benefits.

Despite this, there are still certain challenges to contend with when one is inside. The fact that you can quickly remove unnecessary complexities, such as those found in an enclosed growing chamber, is the nicest aspect about producing cannabis in a greenhouse. Growing cannabis outdoors was thought by many experienced cultivators to be riskier and less reliable than growing the plant in a greenhouse.

You may also simply take advantage of the best natural parts and provide some security for those harsher part factors, which together create the ideal growing environment, particularly for cannabis producers who dwell in northern part regions.

Even cannabis plants can naturally heat themselves in greenhouses; nevertheless, you may still alter the temperature to provide extra heat if necessary. Consider growing your cannabis in Prospiant greenhouses if you are a cannabis farmer who wants to cultivate enough cannabis to fulfill both your medical and recreational requirements.

Why Should You Attempt to Cultivate Cannabis Inside of a Greenhouse?

When compared to other methods of cultivation, marijuana grown in a greenhouse has been known to produce a product that has a higher THC content. If you start your cannabis plant from seeds that have strong genetics, you can anticipate that the bud it produces will be of a high grade when it reaches the conclusion of the growth period. It is for this reason that an increasing number of cannabis farmers are opting to cultivate their plants in greenhouses rather than growing them in indoor or outdoor settings.

What Are the Advantages of Cultivating Cannabis in Greenhouses Rather Than Outdoors?

Cannabis is best and most cost-effectively cultivated in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse. In the structure of the greenhouse, the force of the sun is harnessed to provide a warm temperature and to act as a shield from a variety of climatic circumstances that are not desirable.

The Climate Can Be Managed Inside a Greenhouse

When it comes to the production of a high-quality product, climate control is of the utmost importance. Other cultivators have constructed a conservatory with their very own windows that are designed to be readily opened in order to allow for the circulation of wind to chill the plants or to catch the warmth which the cannabis plants require.

Greenhouses may also protect plants from harsh weather conditions, such as excessive rain, which could be detrimental to the plant’s health. It is also possible for it to occur from the decomposing branches, which provides most of the moisture that is retained within the cannabis buds.

In addition, greenhouse gas warmers (www.epa.gov), fans, and air conditioners will all be able to contribute to the climate management efforts. Growing in a conservatory allows you to manage the temperature and the amount of direct sunlight that your plants receive, and despite the fact that it is more expensive than other types of growing setups, it still ensures that you will end up with a highly stable product.

Exercise Complete Authority Over Every Stage of the Cannabis Plant’s Development

Light deprivation, another name for the approach that is effective throughout the summer months and is the standard process which is used by greenhouse farmers, is an effective strategy for controlling the life cycle of plants and is utilized by greenhouse growers. For more information on greenhouse lighting, click here. They reduce the quantity of light which the plants are exposed to just before reaching its conclusion.

season. You can get around this problem by blooming early. Because of this, you will be able to plant an early crop, which is great for those who reside in colder places.

Growers of cannabis typically harvest that crop before the start of the rainy season, even though doing so may increase the likelihood of mold growth on the plant. You will, however, need to rely more on auxiliary heaters and lights in order to continue cultivating cannabis throughout the colder months of winter and fall.

Cannabis plants have specific lighting and heating requirements. Extending the amount of daylight available each day is necessary if one wants to manufacture goods of a high standard. After it’s too cloudy outside, a modern greenhouse may give supplementary lighting, and when it is excessively light outside, these can block the light.

Capable of Prolonging the Duration of the Growing Condition

The utilization of a greenhouse to cultivate plants provides the best possible conditions for controlling the duration of the growth season. This method is utilized by a significant number of cannabis cultivators as a means of extending the harvesting period. This becomes advantageous for them because they keep sufficient air required by plants, particularly when the temperature inside becomes toasty warm or when the cooler weather of fall begins to approach.

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Home Care & Living

A Sustainable Wood Substitute: Hemp-Based Lumber

When HempWood founder Greg Wilson worked for a bamboo flooring company, the lightbulb went off. He realized that hemp could be used as a sustainable wood substitute and set out to develop a process to make this possible.

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HempWood’s Greg Wilson – NUGL TV S2E11

When HempWood founder Greg Wilson worked for a bamboo flooring company, the lightbulb went off. He realized that hemp could be used as a sustainable wood substitute and set out to develop a process to make this possible. Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant – it can be used to create everything from hempcrete to hemp-based lumber. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of HempWood and how the soy-based adhesive can be used to create sturdy boards from hemp stalks.

Greg Wilson at the BMW Materia: Exposition

Sustainability

HempWood is a more sustainable option than traditional lumber. Greg states, “hemp grows in 4 months, [whereas] bamboo grows in 5 years.” Additionally, hemp doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers; these hardy plants are resistant to pests. Hemp-based lumber also doesn’t require the same energy-intensive kiln drying process as traditional lumber, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

HempWood Manufacturing

Safety

The hazardous chemicals used to bond traditional wood flooring together affect the health of people and pets in both the production and commercial usage, due to the off-gassing that occurs. Formaldehyde, in particular, is a known carcinogen used in traditional flooring adhesives. According to Greg, during the production process, “when going from a liquid state glue to a solid-state, it has to be heated up where off-gassing occurs […] and if it’s not fully cured or it heats up in the house from sunlight, it will start to off-gas again.” Soy-based adhesive, however, doesn’t off-gas these harmful chemicals, making it a healthier option during both the manufacturing process and when installed in your home.

HempWood Flooring

Durability

HempWood is also incredibly strong and durable. According to Greg, with “a hardness of 20% harder than Hickory,” hemp flooring is ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens and living rooms. HempWood boards are also less likely to warp or cup than traditional lumber, making them a more durable option for your home. 

HempWood Flooring

A Clear Winner

If you’re looking for a sustainable, durable, and healthy wood substitute, hemp-based lumber is the way to go! What are some other benefits of using HempWood? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out their website, hempwood.com, or Instagram @hempwood_ for more information on hemp-based products.

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Design Tips

Environmentally Friendly Solar Lights for Garden Decoration

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As the world becomes more and more environmentally conscious, people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Since regular lighting uses a lot of electrical power and can hugely affect your bills, solar lights have been used as an eco-friendly alternative.

Solar lights, as the name implies, are solar-powered lights that perform a lighting function. These lights are usually environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral, meaning they do not produce any harmful emissions – making them the best option for those environmentalists who are concerned about social sustainability. For many households, the use of solar lights can reduce electricity bills, which is a great choice for lighting.

Ways to Use

In addition to the lighting function, the lights can also be used as decoration; therefore, many environmentalists will use solar light elements in their home decor. And solar pathway lights usually need to absorb solar energy for energy storage, so they are often used in gardens.

Advantages of Solar Lights

Because of their widespread use outdoors, solar lights typically have several significant advantages over electric lights:

  1. Solar lights are very easy to install, usually requiring only simple assembly and plugging into the ground.
  2. Solar lights do not need to be plugged in, so they are safe and recyclable.
  3. Solar lights are usually made of durable materials and pass a series of quality tests for wind and rain resistance, so that they can be used normally even in bad weather conditions. 
  4. Solar lights usually consist of many types, solar ground lights, animal sculpture lights, line lights and other kinds of lights, so they can greatly meet the needs of home decoration.

Details to Note

Of course, solar lights are not perfect. Firstly you need to have a place where you can place the light, while some ground-plug lights can only be used on the ground. Different kinds of solar lights have different ways to use, so when choosing solar lights you should buy them according to your needs. 

There are various types of lights on the market, and the quality varies, so we need to conduct sufficient research when choosing solar lights to select the best product.

How to Choose

 So what kind of solar street lights can achieve the above-mentioned quality performance characteristics? Just try Gigalumi’s solar lights for garden, whose lights have several products with excellent lighting effects, and many customers who have used them praise their products for their good-lighting-effect even at night. And if you are worried about the need for a party at home and do not know what decorative lights to buy; if you also want to make your way home brighter and warmer; if you are also a pursuit of environmental protection, then visit their official website, there may be some surprising gains.

Conclusion

Garden decorating with GIGALUMI solar pathway lights is the wise choice at a time when being harmless to the ecosystem is imperative for the future of the earth and the ages to come. Their goal is to contribute to carbon neutrality, to make clean energy the first choice in people’s daily lives, and to contribute to the green development of society while saving money!

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Design Tips

7 Environmentally Friendly Home Ideas

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Home improvement might be at the top of your to-do list as you think about getting your house ready for summer entertaining. While planning how to give your home a new look, you can also make choices that are good for the environment and can be wise for your wallet and your health. These green choices will also help your house appeal to potential buyers.

Replace Your Faucets and Toilets With Low-Flow Options

You could throw away gallons of water each year without even knowing it. Switching out regular-flow toilets and faucets for low-flow ones is a relatively easy job with a big payoff to save water and lower your utility bill. You will need to invest in installing new low-flow toilets, but while they might cost a bit more, the water savings will be worth it. For example, replacing an older model toilet with a low-flow toilet could reduce your bathroom water usage by 50 percent. Apart from low-flow toilets, you could also look into installing a heavy-duty macerator pump. It’s to install and makes your toilet system more water efficient, reducing water waste. In this way, you can save on water usage and help the environment as well. Low-flow aerators for showers and faucets are easy to install yourself and could also lead to 30 to 50 percent water savings. If you expect to have a lot of guests coming in and out of your home this summer, making these small changes can have a big impact. Low-flow toilets and sinks can also add to your home’s value.

Opt for Native Plants

Unless you are an award-winning gardener, chances are your ideal garden is one that is beautiful and easy to maintain at the same time. Any professional landscaper will tell you that going with native plants can help you to keep your watering and pruning time to a minimum and ensure that your plants can look their best all season long. These plants will regulate themselves with your home’s weather patterns, including rainfall and humidity levels. You will also likely be able to avoid pesticides and fertilizers. Because native plants are local, their prices will be lower than plants that have traveled across the country or the world before reaching you. Instead of buying plants, you can also ask a neighbor to take a cutting from their garden to start making your own grow.

Use Recycled Water in Your Garden

Depending on the climate where you live, collecting water can be an option for watering your garden to save on your water bill. Collecting rainwater could be as simple as having a bucket in your garden or getting a more involved system that collects water and distributes it to your plants. Collecting rainwater can also be used to clean your windows or wash your car.

Make Your Decor Green

When you’re thinking about adding decor to your home, plants can be an environmentally-conscious choice. Adding more plants can add oxygen to your home environment and, in general, creates less waste than buying home decor items. Beyond plants, green can be a choice for rugs and furnishing made in bamboo or jute.

With these environmentally-friendly changes, you can give your home a new look with a green focus.

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Design Tips

Bathroom Renovations to Increase Your Home’s Value

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There are signs that house price growth is slowing significantly, after a period of explosive growth that saw property values increase by an average of 10% in the last 12 months. The potential for market-led growth grows ever slimmer as the year continues. As such, eking that extra bit of value out of your property sale will require more than simply deferring to the movements of the market.

Developing your property by undertaking shrewd renovation work is an indispensable approach to increasing property value – but it can be difficult to know what to do with some spaces, in particular the bathroom. Here are some ideas for targeted bathroom renovations that can increase your home’s overall value. If you need some inspirational ideas to design your bathroom without a tub, I highly recommend this article: https://acremodeling.com/master-bathroom-without-tub/

Installing a Stand-Alone Shower

There is always going to be a market for luxurious bathroom sets – and if you have the room, a standalone bath unit can be a statement piece that sells the idea of a space for pampering. However, not every home has the spare space for a free-standing bath – and new trends in bathroom design are seeing new preferences emerge amongst younger homeowners.

More people are choosing to shower than bathe, for a number of reasons – but regardless of those reasons, the increased popularity and convenience of showers makes it a shrewd decision to install a dedicated shower unit. They are relatively cheap for their utility, can look incredibly sleek when installed, and are much easier for homeowners to maintain; with the right hardware, they can be an extremely cost-effective way to increase value and appeal in one.

Adding Windows

Windows are an evergreen choice for increasing house value and can be particularly worthwhile when installed in bathroom spaces. Bathrooms can be commonly dark and dingy, especially en-suites in older homes; rather than playing to type and settling for dark, humid, and boxy bathing spaces, endeavor to let the light in with abundant windows where possible.

Not only can windows provide additional ventilation for shower steam, but they can also drastically improve mood when using a bathroom – and with the right windowsill dressing, can make for a very appealing bathroom overall. Natural light is a natural selling point and will be sure to bolster your home’s market value.

Luxury Features

Perhaps it goes without saying that the more luxury features you install in your bathroom, the higher the overall price of your home becomes. However, being judicious about what you design to include in your renovations can maximize your returns in the event of a sale. Rather than cramming features into a small space, think wisely about the available room and the demographic to whom you’re selling.

Installing a bidet can be a forward-thinking renovation idea, enabling new homeowners to up their hygiene and reduce monthly expenditures. Meanwhile, installing smart systems such as lighting and digital showers can bring your bathroom into the modern age, providing unique functionality not often seen in conventional, well-lived bathing spaces.

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Home Care & Living

How to Prevent Garage Door Problems

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A garage door is not only a valuable space that allows you to access your cars and even keep items safe inside your home. It is also a significant investment and will be a place you look after with your most precious possessions.

If you don’t have https://fixgaragedoors.ca/services/garage-doors-repair/opener/ garage door opener repairs in your area, you should get it repaired immediately as these small faults can lead to larger issues, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. This is why this post is a guide to help you fix a broken garage door without paying a pro to do so.

What Should You Look out For When Checking for Garage Door Problems?

No matter how old your garage doors are, you can still be faced with different problems. And you do not need a diploma or special talents to understand that something is wrong and should be fixed. Many things can be broken or function wrongly in garage doors. That’s why you should know what to pay attention to identify an issue. There are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to when checking for garage door issues. Stick to the below tips when you run a door inspection on your own.

1. Pay Attention to Noises

First of all, you need to pay attention to the noises it makes. Thus, it is best that you are aware of any rumbling, groaning, or creaking, and you will be able to check for any small issues even in the quieter of the night.

2. Look for Signs of Rust

Another way of spotting problems is by looking for any signs of rust. Rusting can be one of the most common signs of garage door problems. If you notice any signs of rust in your garage door, it is best to call a professional garage door repair service right away.

3. Check the Springs

If you notice that the force of your garage door is constantly changing, this is a sign that something needs to be repaired. It may be as simple as your springs need replacing. But if you notice any signs of wear, you should call a garage door service immediately. They can check whether the springs are too tight or not, and replace them if there is a need for that.

4. Check the Cables

Another common garage door repair is replacing or repairing the cables. The thing is that cables can be easily damaged by objects hitting them. And as a result of this, they can break and lead to the garage door breaking. The solution is usually the replacement of the cables. But if you can’t find replacement parts, you should contact a garage door repair service in your native town.

5. Look at the Tracks

If you find the tracks are not at the right level and not in good condition, you can assume they are broken. To fix this problem, you need to call a garage door repair service, or you can try to handle the issue yourself. If you notice any issues with the tracks and see they have become bent or crooked, you need to fix them as soon as possible.

6. Check the Panel

Sometimes, the components that are in the panel may need replacing. And if this happens, a professional repair company will be able to help you fix it. Components of the panel like the rollers, cables, and panels need replacing from time to time. But it is always better to contact an expert to make sure everything is working fine.

Final Say!

When it comes to inspecting garage doors, it is best to check them regularly and be wary of those who tell you they can fix them. Depending on the type of door and the issue, repairing it can be challenging and dangerous. Not to mention, the DIY repair can cause more damage to the garage door. If you do not have time to dive deep into all these details and make your hands dirty, we strongly recommend that you order a professional service. Thus, you can be sure that the repair will be handled properly and will not cause a failure any time soon.

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Landscaping

Backyard Landscape Design: 4 Important Things to Consider

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Wanting your exteriors to look exquisite, it is only natural that you will also focus on the surroundings of your house. After all, a beautiful, well-maintained backyard will only enhance the charm of your property, and it can be the perfect place to spend your leisure time surrounded by nature. That is why so many people are devoted and spend so much time improving their gardens.

Whether you are designing a backyard from scratch for a new property or you want to get your outdoor space ready for spring, your project will need to plan carefully for each element. Unfortunately, it might not be the easiest process, and you have to consider things like the site, your needs, form, theme, plants, and the time it will take for your garden to grow.

Your goal is to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional space. To ensure that your backyard satisfies your needs, here are some things you should consider in your design. Check them out! Here is a link to, pool remodeling services

Understand Your Site

One thing you should always do is to consider the size of your property because it can greatly affect the layout and design of your backyard. If you are not quite familiar with the lay of your land, you can easily arrange a meeting with a professional. To have a great design, you need to take into account things like drainage, sunlight exposure, moisture level, and soil pH. Also, do not forget to think about potential hazards like nearby structures prone to storm damage.

Know Your User’s Needs

Your backyard will be an extension of your home, and it needs to be functional as well. That is why you need to know how you will use it and how much time you will spend there. It can help you decide on the type of plants and materials that you should use in your design.

For example, if you want a place for relaxation, then you should think about adding comfortable seating arrangements and maybe even a fire pit. If you want a space for entertaining guests, then you might want to add a barbeque area or a swimming pool. Think about the types of activities you will conduct in your garden, such as gardening or cooking, and give yourself enough privacy so that you can enjoy your time without worrying about being disturbed by people passing by or peering from behind the windows.

For kids, a playground might be the ideal element. You can build them a treehouse or an obstacle course, or just make sure that they have their own section of the garden where they can play without worrying too much about breaking things or getting hurt.

Choose Your Theme

When it comes to designing your backyard, you need to create coherency between all the elements. That is why it is best to start from the overall concept first before deciding on the details, such as the color scheme and plants.

You don’t have to stick with one theme, but having a specific style in mind for your landscape design will help you decide what materials to use for your project, as well as how to arrange everything. There are several design elements that you can use when creating a landscape for your property, including:

Garden Design Elements

There are plenty of elements you can use to enhance your backyard, such as hardscapes, water features, lighting, walls, and fences. With proper planning, these elements will create a more functional space and will enhance the visual appeal of your garden. For example, installing fences or walls between different sections of your property will not only improve the appearance of your garden but can also offer privacy and security.

Color Scheme

You can also choose certain colors that will reflect the mood you want to achieve in your garden. For example, earth tones can give you a natural look, while vibrant colors can make your space feel alive and playful. Specifically, look at things like foliage plants that are available in different shades of green that you can incorporate into your design.

Plant Selection

You can find tons of plants that you can use in your garden, such as grasses and flowering plants. These elements are essential in improving the aesthetics of your property while also providing other benefits. You can plant trees that provide cool shade during hot summer days or citrus plants that will help attract wildlife to your garden.

Functional Components

You can incorporate elements or structures that will serve a purpose in your garden, such as raised beds for gardening or a gazebo for seating. Make sure to choose materials that are easy to care for, and that can withstand harsh weather conditions. To make the most out of your backyard, you should consider having a nice pavement that links specific areas.

Take Time Frame Into Account

You should also think about how long it will take for your garden to grow and mature. If you want an instant result, then you can choose plants that require little to no maintenance. Some plants will need more time to grow to a considerable size, and you should ensure that they have enough space as overcrowded plants might not grow or produce as well. You can also incorporate some elements like pots or trellises for climbing plants that can instantly add color to your garden.

In Conclusion

Designing your backyard landscape can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a challenge. That is why you need to plan ahead and know what you want before you start doing anything else. Review your site, know your needs and wants, choose a theme, and determine when you can work on your project. You will then be able to create a garden that you will love and that will enhance the appeal of your home.

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Design Tips

Kitchen Garden Tips, Ideas, Design, and Benefits

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As the world is going back to nature, why not create a kitchen garden? Kitchens can get suffocating sometimes, that is the utmost reason some people run to gardens to create beautiful kitchens for themselves and spend a meaningful time with their friends and family in order to have fresh vegetables and fruits. It promises you healthy and inexpensive fresh vegetables right at your doorstep. Green vegetables are known for their nutritional value and health benefits. In order to get the full amounts of vitamins, you need to let them grow in your sight.

The best part about a kitchen garden is that it helps your house get fresh and unharmful air to breathe. The green vegetables in your kitchen garden can help a large amount of CO2 vanish from the air as they take it all in for photosynthesis. Here are some of the Tips, Ideas, Design, and benefits of Kitchen Garden,

Tips

When you are planning to choose the land, try to select the backyard of your house, as it is the perfect place for you to set up your kitchen garden. The north side of the garden should be kept for quick-rising fruits such as Kagzi lime, papaya, and many other tasteful fruits. The fence can be covered with climbers such as pea, cucumber, etc.

The ridges known for separating the beds must be utilized to raise root vegetables such as turnip, radish, etc. The interspace between slow-growing crops can be utilized to give to fast-growing crops. The selection of the crops is better to be done in a systematic manner where the size of the garden and the choice of the family are considered side by side. The climate of your region also has a pivotal part in the overall growth of the vegetables. Plus, never compromise on kitchen equipment, make sure you have the finest in your kitchen garden.

Ideas

There’s no denying the fact that some of the plants are too beautiful to hide in the rest. Rainbow Swiss Chard is one of the prominent examples of attractive plants. Create a few focal points of your garden and place them there. You can plant them into strawberry pots and they will fill out astonishingly. You will have a lush look when the new leaves come out. The containers are very attractive and you can plant almost any of the vegetables in them.

One of the most admired ideas is to have a garden of hanging vegetables. There’s no certain rule that all hanging baskets are to be filled with flowers, vegetables can also grow in them. Choose any of the plants you think are suitable for the bucket, and try them. When it is about the container, you can use old buckets, recycled soda bottles, ceramic bowls, and whatever you think can add more beauty to your garden.

Design

Designing your garden is surely a crucial part. It is hard to change the design of the kitchen garden. Well, shed builders Houston can be a great help here. Once your garden kitchen is designed according to your preference, you can add custom cast stone to give an alluring site of stonework. Choose a location that gets sunlight at least six hours a day. The harvest surely depended on the amount of sunlight received. A mix of hanging and grounded pants can uplift the quality and beauty of your garden. Don’t forget the importance of stonework as well as the right equipment. Heavy rains can bring floods, and design the kitchen garden in a stable environment.

Benefits of a Kitchen Garden

Here are the benefits of having a kitchen garden at your backyard,

  • You get the opportunity to enjoy fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits at your home that are inexpensive too.
  • The taste of vegetables harvested at your kitchen garden is much better than the one’s purchased from the market, due to the presence of toxic chemicals.
  •  The wastewater from the kitchen is also finely utilized.
  • The wasteland around your house can become more productive.
  • Air pollution is one of the deadliest dilemmas in the urban world, people are looking for unnumbered ways to tackle the issue. The ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen can prove to be a free supply of fresh oxygen for you and your family.
  • One of the most neglected benefits of a kitchen garden is that it increases the aesthetic value of your house. Whenever you will have a look at it, the kitchen garden will lift your mood, and that’s what nature does.
  • As a hobby, you can indulge yourself in the management and creation of a kitchen garden. It will keep you busy and away from any negative thoughts. It is well-known that plants are exceptional for Aura too.
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Home Care & Living

6 Things to Consider Before Demolishing Your Home

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While demolition is the fastest in the construction process, there are specific factors you should consider before going ahead with it. This article outlines six things to consider before demolishing your home.

1. The Demolition Method

A demolition method helps you determine the most suitable way to bring down your home. It makes the work more manageable while helping you meet your goal effectively. You may consider the mechanical demolition method, which involves using heavy machinery like excavators to demolish the property, and it takes a relatively shorter period.

Alternatively, you can try the deconstruction method, where the demolition is done manually. While the process takes longer and costs more than mechanical destruction, it gives you a significant advantage to reuse some of the building materials, including doors, sinks, light fixtures, copper pipes, tubs, and other things that you can salvage from the demolition.

2. Hiring Demolition Experts

Hiring demolition experts can be quite beneficial because they have tactical planning skills to help you avoid unwanted issues, including accidents, local law violations, and other dangers. Demolition professionals come prepared with the necessary machinery, tools, and demolition vehicles to make the process easier and quicker, saving time. They also have access to the latest technology and advanced machinery for a safe and successful demolition exercise.

Professional demolition experts are responsible for waste management. They clean and secure the job site surroundings after completing the process, saving you related costs and time. Demolition experts adhere to safety procedures to avoid accidents and damages. A professional and reputable demolition contractor like Cascade Concrete Sawing and Drilling always complies with local demolition laws, avoiding fines and penalties from local authorities.

3. Pre-demolition Inspections

A pre-demolition inspection helps identify the environmental issues you need to address immediately or include them in your demolition bid specifications. This allows you to get more precise bids from organizations that are better placed to handle the environmental issues associated with your demolition project, avoiding expensive contract changes after being awarded. It also eliminates the overhead costs demolitions experts add when they subcontract the environmental work. An inspection can also help identify hazardous building materials like asbestos, whose inhalation negatively impacts health.

4. Demolition Permit

The demolition contractor you pick should be able to handle the local authorities on your behalf by getting the necessary permits and ensuring that the demolition is done as per the local regulations. A demolition permit, also called a building permit, is a legal requirement and must be obtained from the local council before the demolition work begins. This may require relevant documents, including the site plan and title deed.

5. Your Neighbors

Demolition work can be noisy, dirty, and dusty, causing disturbances to your neighbors. Consider informing about the demolition in advance to take precautions about the expected chaos and mess. It also helps prevent protests against you or complaints to local authorities.

6. A Contingency Plan

Demolitions don’t always go as planned, meaning unexpected costs and situations may arise. This is why you need a contingency plan before the demolition work begins. It shields you from sudden occurrences like lack of supplies and bad weather, which can delay the work.

Endnote

If not well planned, a demolition may not go as expected and could get you into trouble with the law. Consider the above factors before demolishing your home.

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General Gardening

How to Make the Most of Your Small Garden

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Limited outdoor space needn’t limit your dreams of nurturing a flourishing garden. With some creative solutions and ingenious tricks, you can easily maximise the potential of even the tightest of spaces! 

Vertical Gardening

With small gardens, it’s crucial to utilise every inch of available space. Creating a vertical garden does just that. By using walls, archways, trellises, fences, and window boxes, you not only maximise your potential growing area but adding height to the garden also creates the illusion of space by drawing the eye upwards. 

Succulents can be grown in even the smallest cracks and crevices in boundary walls. Climbers like passionflower and clematis need very little square footage on the ground to produce beautiful blooms, and hanging baskets provide the perfect home for pretty flowers like trailing lobelia and verbena, without using up precious floor space. 

Create Different Levels and Zones 

It may seem peculiar, but splitting up a small space can actually make it seem much larger. Concealing areas using trellises, hedges, and low walls tricks the mind into thinking there’s more to discover than there really is, giving the garden an air of mystery and intrigue because not every part can be seen at once.

Raised beds can be simple to build and are a great, practical way to divide your garden. They provide plenty of growing space for plants and even double up as seating areas if the sidewalls are wide enough. They can also be constructed in just about any size and shape imaginable, perfect for utilising awkward corners! Consider staggering a few raised beds of different heights, as creating multiple levels and layers will add to the illusion of space by introducing diverse depths and perspectives.

Smart Storage

Scarce storage can be problem in small gardens. Affixing shelves, hooks, or even old boxes and crates to vertical surfaces offers nifty storage solutions for tools, plant pots, and other gardening paraphernalia. Disguise unsightly wheelie bins and maximise growing space by installing a wooden storage unit with a miniature green roof that can be used for shallow rooted plants and herbs. 

Be Creative With Colour 

Colour choices are really important in small spaces. Opt for lighter colours on boundary walls and fences, as these reflect light, making the area feel more spacious. This doesn’t necessarily mean white; light blue, off-white, and pale grey all bring a contemporary but airy feel to the garden. Alternatively, mimicking the colour of your foliage by using a natural green paint will give the impression of bountiful borders that extend far beyond your boundary.  

Plant Choices

Ingenious planting can bring a sense of abundance in a small space. Select plants that don’t spread wildly, taking up too much space. Create the illusion of depth by choosing plants of varying heights, structures, and textures. Ornamental grasses will add fluidity and movement to a small border, whilst tall flowering plants like lupin, honeysuckle, or salvia add a hint of drama with their vivid blooms and towering height, all requiring minimal ground space.

If you want to create a vegetable garden, choose crops like tomatoes and beans which grow vertically. Strawberries are happy in hanging baskets, and chilis are perfectly content in a small pot or container. 

Most importantly of all, small gardens tend to be much less labour-intensive than bigger spaces, requiring minimal maintenance and leaving you with plenty more time to relax and enjoy your petite, but perfectly formed, garden!

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Home Care & Living

ACME Furniture’s Kitchen Cabinet Collection

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Have you ever wished to sit down and have a glass of wine as you prepare dinner? Cooking at home for many cooks entails much more than preparing meals. Kitchen furniture may assist them not only get efficient but also sit back, relaxing and entertaining guests while they spend hours producing delicacies.

Modern kitchens are designed for maximum storage, practicality, and efficiency, not for relaxing and unwinding. These furniture ideas will ensure that your kitchen is a practical room that can get used for discussion and waiting for spaces while your meal cooks to perfection. We will discuss the best kitchen furniture design and types from ACME Furniture.

The Best Kitchen Furniture From ACME Furniture:

Kitchen Cabinets:

Kitchen cabinets are an essential component of every kitchen’s furnishings. Cabinets are handy for storing items. Everyone wants to declutter their kitchen. Thus, the ideal answer is a kitchen cabinet from ACME Furniture Outlet. Minimizing the space between goods might also provide you with more room to store other items.

Cabinets nowadays come with pull-out drawers. These pull-out drawers provide easy-to-adjust storage. These sorts of drawers provide you with a lot more storage space. They’re too adaptable, robust, utilizable, and fashionable.

Kitchen Chairs and Tables

In today’s kitchens, tables and chairs are becoming increasingly frequent. They are available in various materials, including wood, crystal, granite, and lumber rack glass upper ends. The seats are available in different materials and styles, including wood, bent iron, aluminum, fiberglass, etc.

It may also get used as a dining table. The dining area might get saved by tables with kitchenettes and seats. Ensure your kitchen’s theme and layout get reflected in your tables and chairs. For a traditional look, utilize metal chairs or corrugated iron furniture. If your kitchens have an old or current vibe, you may choose polished and stainless steel furnishings.

Buffets in the kitchen

Kitchen buffets are elegant and incredibly artistic, transforming medium to big kitchens into home masterpieces. Granite-topped buffets provide excellent work surfaces and may safely exhibit your most treasured crockery or kitchen artifacts. Natural wood kitchen buffets can give more room and storage without compromising the aesthetic of your kitchen, as you can see in our online kitchen showcase.

Kitchen Bar Stools

In today’s kitchen, bar stools are becoming more popular. These barstools come in vast styles and patterns and get built of several materials such as wood, steel, cast iron, and bamboo.

Choose them based on your kitchen’s theme or your preference. Consider the height of the stools while choosing kitchen bar stools. Your kitchen theme should get reflected in your style. Furniture requires maintenance; while choosing kitchen bar stools, keep in mind that the chairs and table should get readily wiped clean. Choose low-maintenance bar stools, such as bamboo or steel.

Shelves and Pot Racks

Pot racks allow cooks to hang cups and pans from a vertical kitchen surface for easy access and help organize the kitchen. Pot shelves provide kitchens with a lot of space inside, and they typically move back and forth to make it easy to find the apt bowl or pan without having to rummage through cutlery cabinets.

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Health & Wellness

What to Look for When Buying Your First Apartment

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Buying your first apartment may seem daunting initially. After all, it is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. However, doing your research and knowing what to look for makes the process easier. 

First, understand that finding your first apartment is a roller coaster of emotions. Excitement, nervousness, apprehension, these are all emotions that are to be expected. And stress is a big part of the process. 

You might be worried that you won’t be able to find an apartment or that you won’t qualify for a 

loan. Or you might be overwhelmed and wondering if you’re making the right decision. While all of these feelings are totally normal, there are a few ways you can help mitigate stress.

CBD is quickly emerging as one of the most popular all-natural supplements for stress. CBD gummies for sleep 1500mg are an excellent option. The gummies are delicious, easy to take, and deliver a healthy dose of CBD. If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed while searching for your first apartment, they’re certainly worth trying.

Now, let’s look at the most important things to look for when buying your first apartment. 

Consider All the Costs Involved

Financial stresses can take the biggest toll when buying any property. Therefore, it’s important to consider all the costs before beginning your apartment search. 

Firstly, depending on how much money you have saved, decide what down payment you can afford. The down payment required depends on what type of mortgage you choose and the lender. In some instances, first-time buyers with an excellent credit record can qualify for a down payment as low as 3%. But you will need to research loan providers and your loan options to determine what down payment you qualify for. 

You also need to think about the closing costs, which usually range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. These are the fees and expenses due to finalize your mortgage.

Finally, think about your move-in expenses. Are you planning on doing any design upgrades? What about the furnishings, home repairs and maintenance. Make sure you budget for everything to minimize the financial pressures.

Do Research on Your Location

Now that you’ve figured out your budget and determined how much you can afford, it’s time to start searching for your dream apartment.

Think about the kind of area you want to live in and what the most important factors are to you. For instance, is safety one of your primary concerns? Then, ask around, do a Google search and see which neighborhoods are the safest in your region. 

Of course, you also need to consider your budget.

Also, consider nearby facilities since apartment living usually means less space. Therefore, you may want to be located near a park or open area, especially if you have a dog. You may also want a gym, restaurants, and supermarkets nearby. 

Packing space is also an important factor. There is often a shortage of car parks around high rises, especially those close to the city center. Therefore, you may want to check that the apartment has a designated parking space, especially if you have a car.

Think carefully about what you require before deciding on an area.

Inspect What You Are Buying

In search of your first apartment, you’re likely to view a lot of properties. Do not rush your buying decision, and be sure to do a full inspection before finalizing a purchase. You may even want to enlist the help of professionals to help assess the property.

You need to look past the furnishings and conduct a detailed and orderly inspection of the property, its structures, design, and fixtures. Look for any signs of dampness, cracks in the wall, faulty electrical installations, roof sagging, etc.

These are all things that you likely won’t be able to assess properly unless you’re a professional in this area. Hiring a home inspection service company may increase your costs, but it’s worth the investment.

Choose a Real Estate Agent Carefully

Typically, there are a number of third-party players involved in the apartment buying process. It starts with your estate agent, moves to a bank, and then attorneys who help finalize the purchase.

The whole process can be quite overwhelming. A good estate agent will scour the market for apartments that meet your needs and guide you through the negotiation and closing process. Ask other recent home buyers about potential agents, and be sure to interview a few before choosing one. You want a reliable and trustworthy agent with a proven track record to ensure you get the best first apartment at the best price.

Final Thoughts on Buying Your First Apartment

Buying your first apartment is a stressful task that requires a great deal of time, effort, and research. But if you know what to look for and seek help from a few professionals, the process can be a lot less stressful.

Most importantly, know your budget and consider all the costs involved. Also, think carefully about what area and neighborhood you want to reside in and the nearby facilities. Plus, be sure to thoroughly inspect the property’s structures, design, and fixtures. Working with a trusted real estate agent can also be incredibly helpful.

Wondering how to become a luxury real estate agent?

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DIY Projects

6 Tips To Pet-Proof Your Garden

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Pets aren’t meant to be kept inside your home or caged all the time. But, of course, if it’s cold and wet outside, then your pets are going to take refuge inside the house. When the weather permits it, however, there’s no better thing for your pets than to run freely in your garden. It’s good for their health and overall wellbeing for them to get a feel of fresh air, for their paws to feel the ground, and for them to be able to stretch their legs.

While ideal, many homeowners would also unanimously agree that pets and a beautiful garden are a dangerous combination. Pets are known to dig up soil, eat leaves, and be plain destructive to a garden. It’s every homeowner’s nightmare to one day wake up with their garden destroyed by their beloved pets.

When you pet-proof your garden, you can enjoy having your pets and a beautiful garden in your home. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to be sacrificed anymore, in favor of the other. Here’s how you can pet-proof our garden:

1. Plant More Herbs

While there are herbs that are absolute no-nos for your pets, there are also those that serve a good purpose both for the homeowner and the pets. When placed strategically around your garden, the pungent smell of certain herbs can actually help deter pets from going too close to plants. 

Some common examples of those pungent herbs are sage and rosemary. If you have cats, there’s also an herb known as ‘Scaredy Cat Plant,’ which comes with a strong smell that felines can’t stand. If you’re looking for further insights into this matter, this article discusses effective ways you can keep cats away from your lush plants.

2. Avoid Growing Plants That Are Toxic To Your Pets

There are certain plants that are toxic to common house pets, like dogs and cats. There’s no uniform enumeration to this to put here, as those plants can differ based on where you’re reading this from and what type of pet you have at home.

The best thing you can do is to ask your veterinarian as to what plants you have in your local area that are toxic to dogs, for example. Commonly-known toxic plants, however, can include:

  • Daffodils
  • Parsley
  • Caladium
  • Sago Palm

Remember that they can very easily sniff and chew on the plants in your garden, so be sure not to plant any of those dangerous and life-threatening ones.

3. Make Sure Your Garden Has Fences

This second tip applies to those households where their pets are allowed to go off-leash every so often. A sturdy fence without holes and with enough ground support to prevent your pet from digging is needed both for the pet’s safety and your plants’ growth as well.

Fences are very useful especially when you want to section off certain areas from your pet. This gives you a hint of control over where your pet can roam around without necessarily keeping them locked or caged the whole time.

4. Clean Up Any Exposed Soil

Exposed soil is as dirty for your garden as it is enticing for your pets, especially dogs. They’ll be more inclined to actually keep digging when they see loose and exposed soil. The love to dig is inherent in dogs, so there’s no stopping them from doing so. The best you can do to minimize this is to ensure they see and feel as little exposed soil as possible.

A good solution is to plant more grass around your garden. Or, you can also opt for concrete walkways or pavers instead of just having loose soil.

5. Avoid Growing Thorny Plants

As you avoid planting toxic garden plants and vegetables, another thing to forego are thorny plants. For the simple reason that they’ve got thorns, those types of plants can be very dangerous to pets. 

Thorny plants may result in abrasions or cuts in your dog. If they happen to run through those plants, even serious consequences, like blindness, may ensue. Some of the most dangerous spiky plants to keep away from are blackberries and cacti.

6. Cover Pools When Not In Use

Lastly, if you have a swimming pool, you have to remember to cover it up when not in use. Or, at least, have a neat and well-made glass fence installed around it. While a nice part of your garden, a swimming pool can be difficult to have if you also have free-moving pets. The last thing you’ll want is to have spent on chlorine for its maintenance today, ready for a party, only to find your muddy and dirty dog enjoying the water.

Takeaway

Transforming your outdoor space into a pet-friendly area is one that’s crucial not just for your garden’s beauty but also for your pet’s safety. Having a beautiful garden is always a dream for many, but some plants may be harmful for your pets. On the other hand, your pets can also be like monsters toward your own garden. The tips above are worth exploring in the name of finally pet-proofing your garden. Rest assured, now, your pets and your garden can co-exist harmoniously.

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Home Care & Living

Tips to Pet-Proof Your Garden

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Cats are delightful, but they can also be destructive. If you’re wondering how to keep cats away from houseplants, you’re not alone. As cat owners, we love our pet’s mischievous blunders—until their curiosity results in shattered glass, messy spills, or entire shelves raining down. 

Since indoor plants can be toxic to cats, many pet owners find it easier to sacrifice their lively green decor. But if you have just about given up, you should know that cats and plants can coexist

Though your cat may fight your plant, eat it, dig up its soil, or even use it as a litter box, there are ways to stop them. 

We will teach you how to protect plants from cats, but first, it helps to know why your cat wants to destroy your plants in the first place.  

Why Your Cat Keeps Getting Into Your Plants

There are several reasons cats get into plants, from how they taste to curing boredom. But if you can determine what motivates your cat, it will be easier to stop them from turning your next plant to shreds. 

Whether your cat is fighting, eating, digging, or going to the bathroom in your plants is your first clue.

Your Cat May Like the Taste or Digestive Boost

If you’re wondering why cats eat plants because your cat craves yours, there are instinctual reasons behind their behavior. 

For one, cats tend to explore items by putting them in their mouth because it provides sensory data. But if that item tastes good, there is nothing to stop them from going back for more. 

Another possibility is that your cat’s instincts tell it to eat your plants to aid digestion. Wild cats often eat grass for the extra fiber, so your cat may be attempting to ease a stomach ache if their food or hairball isn’t doing them any favors. 

Important: Even if your cat doesn’t eat plants, only decorate with non-toxic varieties. Some plants are poisonous to cats, and it’s never worth the risk. 

When you buy plants that are safe for your cat to eat, ensure that they don’t eat too much, and use the tips below for keeping cats out of plants altogether. Any plant can upset your kitty’s tummy if they overeat it. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pawing at their nose or mouth

Plants Bring Out Your Cat’s Inner Hunter (or Huntress)

Cats come from a long line of ferocious hunters that fought and killed to survive, and some cats still perceive themselves that way. It’s why they love to attack toys—and sometimes your toes. 

To some cats, your plants look like great victims. Even the gentlest movement can be enough to encourage an attack. 

Your Cat Might Be Bored

It is also possible that your cat may first get the urge to hunt or play, and your plant is the best opponent around. 

Cats are considered low-maintenance compared to dogs, but they need just as much entertainment to stimulate their brains and encourage healthy behaviors. If a cat is bored, it may experience pent-up energy and frustration. Sometimes, this results in acting out or taking it out on your plants or other belongings.

Why Do Cats Dig In Plants? 

Perhaps your cat is more of a digger than a fighter, and you often come home to uprooted plants and dirt scattered across the room. This behavior traces back to the fact that digging is an instinct for cats, as it is for many animals. 

If your cat also uses your plants as a bathroom, the digging is instinctual to cover up their scent. In this case, the problem stems from them wanting to use your plants as a bathroom.

Your Cat Likes Your Plants More Than Their Litter Box

Litter boxes are designed to appeal to a cat’s bathroom needs. Their instinct for privacy—and to dig and cover up their business—is why litter boxes look and function the way they do. However, if your cat is unsatisfied with their litter box, they will choose to do their business elsewhere. 

If your cat uses your plants as their personal bathroom, start by consulting with your vet. If there isn’t a medical cause, the problem is probably due to an unsatisfactory litter box situation, and you can refer to the section “Litter Box the Right Way” below.       

How to Keep Cats Out of Plants

Now that you know why your cat has made enemies with your plants, you know it’s not out of pure malicious intent. Still, you might be wondering how you can duel with a cat’s nature. 

Here’s what you can do to enjoy the serenity of having houseplants and the adventure of owning a pet cat all at once. 

Make Your Plants Unappealing to Your Cat

One of the best methods for keeping cats away from plants, regardless of their motivation, is to make the plants unappealing to them. If your cat hates the taste or smell of your houseplants, they are more inclined to stay away. 

Smells and tastes that are repulsive to cats include citrus, certain spices, and coffee grounds. 

To make your plants less appetizing, try mixing water with juice from a lime, lemon, or orange and spraying it over your plants. You can also sprinkle your plants with chili powder, cayenne, or black pepper. If you’re wondering how to stop cats from digging in plants, cover the soil too. 

You can also buy spray to keep cats from eating plants; these sprays are made with distasteful ingredients for furry friends. 

When using this method, reapply repellents after watering plants. 

Cats also naturally dislike certain plants, like rosemary and lemon thyme, but you should check with the ASPCA before buying any plant. Some articles on how to stop cats from eating plants recommend the Scaredy Cat Plant—aptly named because it repels cats—but some research reveals that this plant is sometimes called dogbane, which is poisonous to cats. 

Important: Never use citrus essential oils to protect plants from cats. Although they emit a strong scent, essential oils can be toxic to cats. We also recommend checking with your vet before using any homemade or store-bought cat repellent sprays. 

Place Your Plants Out of Reach 

If your cat can’t reach your plants, they will have a hard time getting into trouble.

One option to keep plants away from cats is to place them high up on a shelf or hang them out of reach. When employing this method, keep in mind what your cat can do. Most cats are excellent jumpers and can rebound off nearby objects when determined. You’ll want to make sure that your cat has no way to access each plant. 

Another option is to use a plant cover for cats. You can enclose your plants in a cage, fish tank, or terrarium, but you’ll want to ensure your cat can’t knock it over or paw the lid off. 

★ Important: Even with plants out of reach, never buy toxic plants. It’s better not to risk it if your cat is feeling extra capable one day, you forget to put the lid on your tank, or anything else happens. 

Cover Plant Soil to Protect from Digging Cats

If you have a digger on your hands, one way to deter cats from plants is to cover up your plants’ soil. There are several creative ways to go about this. 

Covering the soil around the base of your plants with aluminum foil is a popular recommendation because cats don’t like the feel of foil. Mesh is another option. 

If the aesthetic of foil or mesh isn’t for you, you may consider more decorative options like rocks, stones, or shells. Just be sure to use heavier stones or a thick layer to prevent your cat from knocking them out of the pot.

Train Your Cat

It’s possible to train pet cats just like you would a dog, but it takes time and patience. For this option to work, you need to be consistent and fast. Speed is essential so that your cat can connect their actions and the reward or punishment. 

If you are home a lot and willing to commit to their training, you can teach your pet to leave plants alone or engage in a different activity when they want to play with them. 

Bonus: Knowing what motivates your cat helps. For instance, treats or pets make a better reward based on whether your fur baby is food or affection motivated. The same goes for punishment; some cats are more deterred by a spray bottle, while others have a stronger dislike for loud noises. 

Give Your Pet Their Own Plant

The whole point is to protect indoor plants from cats, so why should you willingly give them a plant to play with? Giving your cat their own plant may satisfy their plant-related instincts, so they aren’t as desperate to mess with yours.

To effectively use this strategy, you will want to train them to play with their plant any time they try to get into yours. 

Cat grass is a popular choice for this strategy because it’s non-toxic, has all the plant traits that call to a cat’s instincts, and can even aid your cat’s digestion while providing extra niacin and B vitamins. 

Although cat grass is non-toxic, it’s still important to monitor your cat’s consumption of any plant and talk with your vet first.  

Catnip also comes from a plant, but your cat may love catnip a bit too much for it to be a great choice. 

Bonus: If your vet approves of this method, plant your pet’s new friend in an unbreakable plastic pot. You don’t want to have to clean up shattered pieces or risk an injury when your cat gets too excited. 

Litter Box the Right Way

There are three factors to consider when it comes to providing the right litter box situation for your cats:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Availability
  3. Size

In terms of cleanliness, cats need their litter box cleaned once a day. If it occasionally slips your mind, you can set a reminder on your phone. 

Availability is about how easy it is for your cat to access their litter box at any given time, and it’s important to note that cats don’t like to share. The Pet Health Network recommends always having one more litter box than you have cats (# of cats + 1). Therefore, if you have one cat, you should have two litter boxes; if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes. 

If you have a multi-story house, it can also help to provide a litter box on each story, especially when there are plants around. 

Lastly, your litter boxes should be large enough for your biggest cat to use the bathroom comfortably. Get a box as long as your cat, measured from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail when fully extended.

If any one of these three factors isn’t up to par, your cat may claim a potted houseplant as their preferred place to go. 

Protect Your Cat From Boredom 

If your cat attacks your plants out of boredom, the best way to stop them is to tackle the problem at the source. 

Begin by creating a playful environment that stimulates your cat so they have something to do even when you’re not home. Interactive toys and cat trees are a great place to start. 

As a bonus, providing your cat with mental and physical activities is also great for their health. 

Your Fallback: Keep a Cat-Free Plant-Haven

Have you tried all the methods above, and nothing is enough to stop your little troublemaker? If plants bring you happiness, you have an option to fall back on: the cat-free plant room. 

Creating this room is as simple as putting all your plants in one room and keeping the door shut to keep cats out. Consider picking a room with a decent amount of natural lighting. You may even have other items that could benefit from a cat-free zone. 

Talk With Your Vet Before Changing Your Cat’s Lifestyle

Before trying the tips in this article, we advise talking with your vet about the changes you’re considering. If your cat is exhibiting behavioral issues or begins to, there’s a chance they may have a stomach bug or other medical issue to prioritize.

Once your methods are vet-approved, only bring cat-friendly plants into your home. Even when keeping plants away from cats, it’s best to play it safe when it comes to the smaller members of your family. 

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Landscaping

Attract Clients, Improve Safety, and Support Sustainability: Spruce Up Your Business With Commercial Landscaping

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The landscaping business industry experienced a growth rate of 2.5% between 2016-2021 with demand fueled by the outdoor trend, water conservation, and environmental issues. Commercial businesses require landscaping services to improve the curb appeal of their properties, entice customers to enter the premises and create a good first impression. From landscape design to management, there are several improvement options that your business can avail of to attract traffic, improve safety and security, and support sustainability.

Click this link for professional landscapers

Design and Planning

One of the most important services that a landscaping company offers is to design and plan the outdoor site of a commercial property. The design of your outside premises will increase its curb appeal making your business pleasing to customers. A professional landscaper will know where to put and arrange the appropriate plants for your location. For example, Alabama falls under zone 8a. Hence, plants and grass that thrive in Tuscaloosa city will not grow in the same manner when put in the colder climate of Wyoming or Minnesota. Planting, trimming, and mulching is other services that landscapers provide following the company’s design.

Photo by Sonny Smith on Unsplash

Lawn Care and Maintenance Services

If your outdoor area is already established, you might just need care and maintenance services. Mowing, aeration, and weed control are part of the package in addition to tree and shrub care. The advantage of using an enterprise to maintain your outdoor area is that they have the right tools and equipment to do the job quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, the landscaping firm will also ensure that your lawn is healthy and therefore, puts in place a regular fertilization schedule. Fungicide treatments may also be applied to keep the grass, plants, trees, and shrubs disease-free. Unhealthy trees are not only eyesores, but they can also be dangerous to the safety of your clients and company if they are uprooted or big branches fall off.

Water Management and Irrigation

Ideally, water-wise plants should be rooted in your landscaped garden. Landscapers will not only select the right plants for your climate, but they will also create zones based on the amount of supplemental water that the vegetation needs. Hence, a high-use zone is an area that is planted to annuals and borders that should get water whenever they need it because the lack of it will lead to stress or death. A ‘medium-use’ zone may contain plants such as perennial borders that have a good tolerance for droughts while plants in the low-use zone will not receive extra water except during the time that they are being established. Once the roots are in place, rainfall and moisture in the air are their only sources of hydration. Part of the landscaping company’s job is to improve the soil to enhance water-holding capacity and to mulch for water conservation and weed control. Finally, proper irrigation techniques will be used including drip systems to provide water, when necessary, in an efficient way.

Landscape design, lawn care and maintenance, and water management are services that landscaping companies offer to businesses and commercial properties. Outdoor improvement and renovation can improve curb appeal, catch the attention of clients, and even increase the value of the business.

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General Gardening

Garden Care Advice – Is Your Garden Prepared For Summer?

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Summer is a time of the year when you spend more time in your garden than in any other home area. The warms of the sunshine, a refreshing summer breeze, and the birds’ harmony teething all around you, what is there not to love about this time of the year. 

Now is the perfect time to kick yourself into action and get some gardening done. In this article, we will be covering the essential jobs that every homeowner needs to complete to prepare the garden for summer.

Is Your Garden Ready For Summer?

Your garden might be a place that you spend most of your time in during the summer, so it is crucial that you make sure it is ready to use before the summer gets into full swing. To do this, you will need to do a few things:

De-weeding The Garden

Weeds are a real pain in any garden, but you can get rid of them by getting de-weeding done. This isn’t a term that most people are familiar with, but it is something that is done in many gardens each summer. If your soil is moist, you will be more susceptible to weeds growing in your garden. This is because weeds are not only a nuisance, but they also take away nutrients from the plants in your garden, making them look less vibrant. To de-weed your garden, you will need to hire a gardening company that offers de-weeding services, or you may want to purchase a garden sprayer.

Cutting The Lawn

If you want to enjoy relaxing in your garden this summer, then you will need to make sure you take care of your lawn. A lawn can look great when it is fully grown, but if you don’t take care of it properly, it can look shabby in a matter of weeks. To cut your lawn at the right time, you will first need to determine what type of grass you have. If you are unsure, you can buy an identification book from your local gardening store.

Another way to tell is to look for clumps of coarse, thick grass. If you want the best results from your lawn, you will need to cut it at the right time. You should cut your lawn when there is around 10% of growth left. If you don’t know when this is, you can use a lawnmower timer to make sure you get the perfect length each time. You can also use a lawnmower thermometer to make sure the soil temperature is at least 58 degrees Fahrenheit before you mow.

Replanting Dead Flowers

If you have some beautiful flowers growing in your garden this summer, they will probably look much more vibrant and colorful than they did when they were first planted. If you want to keep your garden looking beautiful all year round, then you should consider repotting your flowers before they die. If you don’t know how to do this, you can simply purchase a book from your local gardening store, or you can use an app on your phone. If you want to make sure your flowers grow back next year, you will need to take a few steps:

  • Choose a variety that will grow back year after year. 
  • Dig the flower up carefully and make sure that the roots are still in good condition. 
  • Replant the flower with the roots facing down. 
  • Water the soil until it is damp.

Spreading Grass Seeds

If you have a patch of lawn in your garden that has become worn out over the years, or if you simply have an area of land that you want to transform into a lush green lawn, then you should consider spreading grass seeds. If you want to make sure that your lawn grows back properly, you will need to choose the right grass seed. 

There are a few things that you need to consider, such as the climate in your area, the type of soil, and the type of grass you have. There are many jobs that need completing in your garden before it is ready for the summer. By taking a few moments each week to make sure your garden is in top condition, you will be able to relax in your garden for longer.

Finding The Right Garden Care Products

Having the right tools is crucial when preparing your garden for those warm summer months. Before you even start your project make sure that all of your gardening equipment is in good condition and is actually functional. The last thing you want is to set some time aside on a Sunday to find out your lawnmower doesn’t work and even worse, all the shops are closed!

Ensuring you have the right garden care products for the rob is also very important. We are now all using solutions to help the garden gain that vibrant luscious appearance so It can be good to order these products in advance. Hydra Int are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of garden care products and they offer products that can help with your garden care this year.

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Greenhouses

7 Ways To Make Your Greenhouse Energy Efficient

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More people are interested in gardening and growing their vegetables and fruits at home. Especially during the pandemic when people are limited in the vicinity of their homes, they found ways to escape boredom by planting different types of vegetables and flowers on their lawns. For this reason, constructing or buying easy-to-build greenhouses is becoming a fantastic option because it allows people to grow more types of plants.

It also allows gardeners to grow certain plants out of season. You could even start growing plants that don’t naturally grow in your local area. These are only some of the terrific benefits a greenhouse can bring you.  

But maintaining a greenhouse can require you to spend more. So, it’s crucial to find ways to make it more energy-efficient. Doing so will help you save money. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your greenhouse more energy-efficient, continue reading this article.

1. Install Solar Panels  

One way to do this is to use green energy by installing solar panels like the ones you can find at Solar Run and other similar companies. It will help power up the entire greenhouse on its own. And with enough solar panels, it can also produce enough energy to power up other parts of your home. It is no stranger to our knowledge that solar panels can be expensive, but if you consider their long-term benefits, you can conclude that the positives outweigh the negatives. With this, you can save money while also contributing to the betterment of the environment.

2. Use Thermal Screens 

Maintaining the temperature in a greenhouse is extremely important. It is because plants and crops can be sensitive to changes in temperature. Fortunately, installing thermal screens can be a great way to keep them insulated. This way, you can avoid using heaters, which can use up a lot of energy.

3. Seal The Greenhouse

Since maintaining temperature is crucial for greenhouses, so you need to avoid problems like heat loss. If it’s your first time choosing a greenhouse, ensure to assess its quality because some materials likely lose heat faster, and some get damaged easily.

For instance, many more affordable greenhouses are fantastic, but they tend to use polycarbonate plastic, which isn’t as durable as glass. If your greenhouse uses the plastic variant, consider examining it regularly to see if there’s any damage, such as tears and holes. This way, you can seal the greenhouse as soon as possible to avoid heat loss and the need for heating equipment.   

4. Use Lighting That’s More Energy Efficient

Lighting is vital in a greenhouse, but this can be tricky if you want to be more energy-efficient. If you wish to have better lighting and save on bills, you’ll have to get rid of old and inefficient incandescent bulbs because this can take a lot of power. Instead, it’s better to use LED lighting since it doesn’t require as much energy, and it can save as much as 50% energy on your greenhouse.

5. Seal Around The Fans

For the fans in your greenhouse, it’s a good idea to check around them. It is because some might not be sealed properly. At night, it’s easier to see if there are parts that aren’t sealed by seeing where the light passes. Once you see it, you’ll be able to repair them by using a caulk gun. This way, you can make sure that your greenhouse is at the right temperature to grow all kinds of plants, which is one of the main reasons to get a greenhouse.  

6. Clean Up The Fans  

Another vital step is to clean up the fans because this can affect how well the fans work. Make sure to wipe the fan blades down and get rid of the dirt from the ventilators since this can cause cold air to get inside. Cleaning up is so effective that it can improve ventilation efficiency by 15%

7. Maintain Boilers And Heaters  

If you use boilers and heaters, it’s also crucial to maintain them always as you would with the fans and ventilation. Having them inspected every year is usually enough to identify cracks, leaks, and any problem with their functionality.  

It’s also essential to clean up the vents and remove any clogs therein. That is because it can cause incomplete combustion. Also, the noxious gases won’t discharge if the vents are dirty or blocked up. So make sure to clean it up and get it serviced at least once a year.

Why Keep Your Greenhouse Energy-Efficient?

People’s electricity bills can hike up, especially if they have a greenhouse. In colder seasons, heaters and lighting is needed more to keep the crops alive. But constantly keeping these appliances and lighting on will cause a surge in electricity costs. Therefore, looking for energy-efficient solutions would be extremely helpful.   

In addition, this is also a choice that’s better for helping the environment. By forgoing using energy from fossil fuels, greenhouse gases can be avoided.   

Conclusion

Finding ways to be efficient can be beneficial for greenhouse gardeners. Some of these strategies to make it more efficient can be simpler, but there are also more technical measures. However, it’s good to remember that these are investments that can help you save, avoid environmental damage, and help grow healthy crops.

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Home Care & Living

How to Transform Your Bedroom From Chaos to Serenity

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When life gets a bit hectic, all order goes out of the window. Often, the first place you’ll notice this is your bedroom. When you’re in a rush you’ll often chuck clothes down and leave washing all over the place. But, this can leave you feeling stressed, down, and anxious. After all, it’s true what they say, tidy room, tidy mind.

Getting your act together and cleaning your room can feel very over-facing. However, there are things you can do to make your life easier and ensure chaos never strikes again. So, here are some tips on taking your bedroom from messy to tidy.

Effective Storage

Storage is key for creating an ordered, presentable bedroom. Built-in storage like fitted wardrobes is perfect for giving your clothes and belongings a place to live. Once you’ve built or made your storage, it’s time to fill it in an orderly fashion. You can do this by sectioning your clothes into designated areas, color coding, or placing labels on boxes. Whatever you choose to do, having effective storage will help prevent a messy room and a stressful life.

Use Hidden Space

If you have space under your bed – use it! The empty gap under your bed is wasted space, dying to be filled with your stuff. Often, under the bed storage is perfect for items of clothing or belongings that you don’t use frequently. For example, now the seasons have changed, why not pack your winter woollies away in a vacuum-packed bag? This way, they’ve neatly tucked away and don’t take up unnecessary space in your wardrobe.

Declutter Your Bedside Table

Bedside tables frame your bed, do you don’t want them piled full of useless junk? Unfortunately, your bedside table often gets lumbered with empty packets, keys, chargers, drinks, and more, leaving it looking untidy and unkempt. So, cleaning up your bedside table is a great way to give your room a tidy finish.

Use Small Baskets

Small baskets are incredibly useful for grouping items together that don’t have a home. For example, you could use small baskets to keep your skincare together, gather your pants and socks, keep your jewelry in, or simply create a home for your random items. What’s more, small baskets now come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose a style that suits the design of your room.

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Home Care & Living

Top 7 Tips On Keeping Your Family Cool Even In Hot Weather

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Hot weather needs to be managed effectively for your family members to stay comfortable while going about their daily routine. Otherwise, the heat can cause sickness, make you feel lethargic, ruin your mood, and even make you feel too uncomfortable to become productive. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your family cool throughout the summer season. Don’t know where to start? Here are the top 7 tips on keeping your family cool even in hot weather. 

1. Install Air Conditioning

Having fans in every room of your home helps keep you cool, but those don’t do much during very hot days as they just end up moving the hot air around. With an air conditioning unit, you have better control over the room temperature. You can consider hiring an air conditioning installer toms brook homeowners trust if you decide to get an AC.

While getting an AC is the easiest way to keep your family cool, it also happens to be the most expensive. You also have to make sure you get a unit that is powerful enough to regulate the air inside your home. To figure this out, get the square footage of the total indoor area that needs cooling down, and look up AC charts to find out how much horsepower (HP) you will need for that much indoor space.

2. Serve Frozen Treats 

If you’re serving hot meals during hot weather, your family members will only feel warmer. Serving frozen treats as dessert helps balance this out, plus it helps keep them cool after every meal.

Make sure your fridge is always stocked with frozen treats. This way, one can just get a treat whenever they feel hot. Ice cream is a very popular option, but other frozen treats include icicles, popsicles, flavored ice cubes, and even just plain frozen drinking water.

3. Encourage Water-Based Activities 

Taking a dip in the water is always a fun way to cool down, so you should consider planning a trip to the pool or the beach. If you have a pool, this one’s an even better option, since you don’t have to stress about packing stuff for an out-of-town trip. 

Aside from taking a swim, you can add more variety to your next pool or beach trip by coming up with group activities such as water balloon fights. Alternatively, you can also visit water parks that usually have fun slides and other water-based features that can keep everyone entertained all day. 

4. Wear Light Clothing 

Wearing multiple layers of clothing in the hot weather can get very uncomfortable. To make things even worse, it will cause swearing that could increase the risk of causing skin rashes and pimples.

Light clothing is often made of thin or breathable fabric that feels much cooler to wear than thicker options. If you have babies or toddlers, you even allow them to just run around in their diapers. Thin cotton shirts are perfect for the summer because they absorb sweat effectively but dry very quickly. 

5. Block Out The Sun

Normally, natural light makes your home brighter and more inviting. On a normal day, you’d want to open your blinds and curtains first thing in the morning. However, keeping your window blinds open throughout the day is a surefire way to make things uncomfortably hot during the summer season. 

Blocking out the sun’s heat is a top priority during the warmer days. You’d want to keep your curtains and blinds closed until late afternoon. This is especially true if you already have an AC because the heat from the sun would cause your AC to use up more power to keep the room temperature comfortable. 

6. Turn Off The Lights 

Aside from the heat coming from the sun, you also have to pay attention to other heat sources in your home, such as the lighting. This is especially true for homes that use high-powered room lighting or incandescent lights.

The best way to minimize the heating effects of artificial lighting is simply to make sure that all lights are turned off when not in use. If there are parts of your home that absolutely need lighting during the daytime, make sure you are using LED lighting, which generally emits less heat when powered on.

7. Freeze Hot Water Bottles 

Hot water bottles are great for keeping yourself warm during the colder months but you can also use them to stay cool during the summer season! Instead of filling them up with boiling water, you can use regular water and leave them in the freezer overnight. 

Frozen hot water bottles can be used in a wide variety of ways, but the easiest way to cool down with them is by using them like regular cold compresses. Alternatively, you can put a frozen water bottle in a bucket of water. Once the water has properly cooled, you can shower with it to draw heat away from your skin.

Conclusion 

Keeping your family cool during the hot weather isn’t as difficult as some people think. Remember these seven tips on keeping your family cool, and you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortably hot during the warmest months of the year.

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Health & Wellness

Potential Health Benefits of CBG

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Not many people are familiar with the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG). Although CBG is a unique component in a cannabis plant, it is important. Despite its extremely low amounts, all primary and secondary cannabinoids would not exist without CBG.

Cannabis and hemp contain cannabigerol (CBG), a naturally occurring cannabinoid. There are several cannabinoids in it. As the first cannabinoid produced, CBG is an important component in marijuana. CBG is one of the field’s most promising new medicines.

CBG has a wide range of health benefits:

Benefits of Skincare

 Acne, inflammation, and irritation can all be healed using this product. You can achieve cellular health with the help of squalane oil and its ability to provide moisture and nutrients deep into the skin’s surface.

The inclusion of CBG in an already effective and straightforward skincare regimen is long overdue. It’s important to take a proactive approach when it comes to maintaining healthy, clear, and hydrated skin.

A Potent Regulator of Mental Health

CBG is also an important component of CBG. CBG oil can be used in the same way as CBD oil to alleviate anxiety and tension, according to several.

It is well-known that stress, anxiety, and depression harm our physical and mental health. Taking CBG oil could be the key to organically resolving your mental health issues. If you suffer from mental health problems, If you have a serious mental health issue, you should always seek medical advice before taking CBG oil or supplements.

Benefits to Your Health

The good news is that many of these advantages also apply to the physical world. Many promising results have been found so far in the physical health benefits of CBG.

It has been proven to reduce nausea, increase appetite, regulate sleep, and even fight cancer-causing cells in other research.

This newly recognized cannabinoid has the potential to be a game-changer. Although it isn’t a new concept, it’s finally making its way into our vernacular.

Cancer

CBG may ease Cancer-related pain, but it also has the potential to eradicate cancer cells without causing intoxication or euphoria, according to research

CBG appears to be an effective treatment for melanoma cancer cells in mice. You can kill breast cancer cells more effectively with CBG, THCA, and THC.

Israeli researchers have recently discovered the combination of CBG and CBC in the fight against gastrointestinal cancer

Prevent Vomiting

Antiemetic qualities are largely due to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that CBG may also be useful in treating nausea. Cancer and HIV/AIDS patients will find the oil very beneficial.

So far, medical experts haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly how cannabigerol oil eases nausea. CBG’s antiemetic qualities may be linked to its ability to interact positively with the endocannabinoid system.

Inflammation and Pain

Inflammation and pain are two of CBG’s most promising advantages. More research is needed to determine if CBG is a better pain reliever or anti-inflammatory than THC.

As a potential muscle relaxant for patients with spasticity, CBG shows some affinity with your brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors and inhibits GABA reuptake and elimination.

One hundred twenty-seven patients who use CBG-dominant products for medical conditions were recently surveyed, and the results are interesting. For chronic pain, 40.9 percent of the people polled said they used CBG, with the vast majority claiming that it had a significant impact on their symptoms. Most patients who use CBG for chronic pain say it is superior to other treatments, including opioids, which is encouraging.

Worry or Anxiety

In terms of anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, CBG may be superior to CBD or THC.

Anti-anxiety effects of CBG are directly linked to its ability to inhibit and eliminate gamma-Aminobutyric acid reuptake and elimination (GABA). Neurotransmitter GABA has a calming effect on the central nervous system when it binds to GABA receptors.

A cannabinoid called anandamide is responsible for dopamine production, and CBG has the same effect on enzymes that break it down. When dopamine levels are high, people feel good about themselves, which is due to its role in the brain as a neurotransmitter and a hormone.

When used in conjunction with CBD, CBG’s anti-anxiety properties are maximized.

Protection of the Brain From Damage

It is well known that CBG protects the brain from damage. You can think of neuroprotection as protecting your nervous system from harm. Several diseases and conditions can cause harm to the nervous system, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and even diabetes. You can reduce nerve death by neuroprotective, or your nervous system can be protected from deterioration by neuroprotective. CBG was significantly more potent than CBD at reducing neurotransmitter depletion, even in low concentrations, when hydrogen peroxide toxicity impacted the brain and spinal cord cells.

Stimulation of the Appetite

As with CBD, CBG is a promising treatment for eating disorders, AIDS, and cancer-related appetite issues because it stimulates your appetite.

Purified CBG isolate was found to increase the appetites of 16 rat test subjects in a recent study. Increased food intake was observed when CBG concentrations were 120 and 240 mg/kg, respectively.

THC is also a good appetite stimulant and induces hunger by activating CB1 receptors in the brain regions that control smell, taste, and appetite. The use of both CBG and THC in combination is a viable option in this case.

CBG’s Uses

If you’d like to reap the health benefits of CBG, you may not know where to begin, or you may be feeling overwhelmed.

A few of the most popular approaches to administering CBG are as follows:

  • You can apply many forms of CBG to the body in the form of an oil or tincture.
  • CBG crystals can be taken under the tongue or added to smoothies or oils as a dietary supplement.
  • Supplements for CBG – CBG pills are indeed available. You can add these to your daily supplement routine on a tablet.
  • Through absorption, it is possible to heal the skin by applying topical CBG ointments and products, either directly to the affected area or as an overall treatment.
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Home Care & Living

Making the Most of Your Home’s Solar Panels

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Solar energy accounts for 2% of the total US electricity generation in 2019, and this number is expected to trend upwards in the coming years as more and more countries try to cut back on their carbon emissions from electricity generation. And with the high demand for solar energy coming from the Chinese and American markets, it is expected that global solar power capacity will triple in 2022.

Though it might still take a bit more time for it to overtake traditional electricity generation sources like fossil fuels, natural gas, and coal, solar energy is set to become the next prominent source of energy within the next decade or so. Not only is it renewable, plentiful, and sustainable, but it’s also inexpensive. But like every other recently-developed technology out there, a lot of people are still getting used to the concept. In fact, most solar panel owners out there are unaware that the panels require active maintenance for them to function reliably and with longevity. Here’s how you can make the most of your home’s solar panels. 

Pick Your Solar Provider Wisely

According to EcoWatch picking a solar provider wisely is the first step to ensuring that a solar panel investment will last for years. After all, a solar panel installation isn’t a one-size-fits-all project, and each customer would have different energy requirements depending on their location, lifestyle, and schedules. That’s why it’s always best to work with a provider who is willing to custom-engineer and tailor a system that is perfectly suited to their customer’s needs.

Think About Panel Placement

The placement of the panels is one of the factors that can affect how much power a system can generate. Simply put, the more sunlight the panel receives, the more energy it produces. Panels should be placed far away from trees and shade or any other structure that can impede sunlight from reaching them. Homeowners should check regularly if there are overgrown trees, shrubs, and other greenery that may block sunlight from hitting the panels at any time of the day.

Direction Matters

The direction where the panels face matters too. For example, south-facing panels produce the highest output of energy throughout the day when they’re facing the sun directly. The average 3.5 kW panel facing south is expected to produce 3,000 kWh per year if conditions are ideal. Meanwhile, panels that are orientated to the west produce more power in the afternoon and early evening. The direction that is best for your panels will be ultimately determined by your schedule, and how you use most of the electricity that your panels generate.

Clean Solar Panels Regularly

Work doesn’t stop at installation though. In order to get the maximum performance out of your solar panels and to ensure their longevity, you’ll need to be vigilant about maintenance and cleaning. Dust, like trees, can block sunlight. What’s even worse is that dust left uncleaned can turn into mud, which can trap moisture and damage and erode the panels. Thankfully, solar panels are easy to clean. No need for special cleaning equipment and tools- all it takes is just a simple rinse with a garden hose, and then remove any remaining dust or grime with a soft brush. This is also the reason why, in choosing an installation location, one should consider how accessible the location is for periodic cleaning.

Timing Is Everything

With solar panels, timing is everything. You may find that using energy-hungry appliances, like washing machines, microwaves, and dishwashers during the day would be an efficient use of your panels’ energy. Experts say that the best time to use these appliances is from 11 am to 4 pm, regardless of your country. Working within this timeframe means getting the most out of a solar panel system. You could also try investing in appliances and devices that use rechargeable batteries since they could be charged during the day and run off on battery power at night.

Check Out Incentives and Rebates

For those looking into using solar power for their homes (or those who may have installed solar panels already), there’s a high chance that they might receive rebates and other forms of incentives. A lot of governments, as well as local utility companies, like to offer incentives for households who are getting new solar panels installed. Tax credits and rebates are also sometimes provided so as to offset the costs for installation.

Having solar panels installed in your home can help lower your household’s carbon footprint and save you money in the long run. Consider these tips to make the most of your panels, and remember to have them professionally installed for best results.

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Home Care & Living

How to Find the Best Concrete Contractors for Your Project

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In terms of versatility, concrete is one of the most flexible building materials. The material is strong enough to hold up massive constructions.” If you’re looking for something that’s both versatile and easy to work with simultaneously, then concrete is the best option.

So finding a concrete contractor that understands the ins and outs of this material is critical if you want them to assist you in making an informed decision about the type of concrete you need for your project.

You want everything to go perfectly the first time you’re building your dream home. The worst pain is to start anything over or delay development because a contractor does not follow through. You must choose a concrete contractor carefully so that you may receive the most satisfactory potential outcomes from your construction project.

Here are factors you need to take into account while finding the best concrete contractor for your project:

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions

No matter how modest the project, the concrete contractor you choose should be able to answer all of your questions. Moving on to another commercial concrete services supplier should be done if they sidestep particular topics or appear unprepared for the job.

Always Go For Experience Above Pricing

Years of training and experience are required to produce high-quality work. Please find out how long a prospective contractor has been in business before hiring them. The result of a seasoned concrete contractor will be more consistent and reliable, and better. They will be able to solve difficulties faster and more creatively if they have extensive expertise in the topic. Investing in experience is usually a good idea.

Reputation Management and Customer Feedback

You can receive reviews by searching “Google My Business” or the Better Business Bureau to see how the firm and its services are rated. TNA Concrete has a solid reputation, so you know they will do the job right.

Continuity of Employment

With TNA’s decades of experience in the building sector, you can rest assured that it will meet your expectations, if not exceed them. To become better at something, you need to put in more time. They have a wealth of commercial and industrial experience that allows you to develop creative solutions for building solid working relationships and even stronger projects.

Certifications

Check out their business license and credentials if you doubt their reliability and experience. If the company is legitimately operational and has been in business for an extended period, these records will prove it.

Equipment

If you’re looking for a trustworthy concrete contractor in Calgary, ensure they have their vehicles and equipment. Determine if they have drum mixers and sufficient trucks to reduce delays in completing your projects by checking their website or gallery. Inquire about the machine and equipment’s capabilities over the phone if you want to ensure it’ll work for your project’s requirements.

Realizing Your Project’s Scope and Necessities

Concrete requirements vary based on the type of project. A garage floor, a driveway, or even a home’s foundation can be affected. Consider hiring a contractor that specializes in cement work. It doesn’t matter your concrete needs; TNA Concrete can handle any size job. The contractor specializes in anything from concrete foundations to stamped concrete and everything in between.

Insist on a Written Bid

You don’t want to work with a concrete contractor who doesn’t present you with a detailed written estimate. Before signing a contract, make careful to get an estimate for materials and labor expenses and any permits or other fees required. It’s easy for everyone involved to stay on budget and meet scheduled deadlines.

Make Sure Insurance, Licenses, and Bonds Cover You

If a potential concrete contractor tells you that there is no licensure for jobs under a specific monetary limit, be wary of their intentions. When hiring a contractor to work on your home or property, you should always verify that they are correctly licensed, especially if they will be working with heavy machinery or undertaking dangerous work. It’s also good to check on their insurance coverage to see if they have any. The contractor must be Bonded and capable of providing evidence of these documents are also important.

Choosing a Contractor With a Positive Track Record

Online reviews of concrete contractors are an essential part of the hiring process. See what previous consumers say about a company on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. After hearing from both perspectives, you’ll be more equipped to choose a concrete contractor.

Consider Your Financial Situation

The price of a decent concrete contractor isn’t going to be the cheapest option you can find, but they shouldn’t be too pricey either.

Find a Regional Contractor to Do the Job

Hire a local concrete contractor if at all possible. That will save both time and money. They’ll know where to buy the supplies they need, how to secure the licenses, and even where to find the equipment if they need it. When your contractor is nearby, it makes life simpler for everyone. Visit www.elpasoconcretecontractors.com if you are in or near the El Paso area.

Trust Your Instincts

You can judge a contractor by how they communicate with you. You’re looking for a person who is prepared to spend time with you, get to know your needs, and have a good concept of the project you want to do. If they are hesitant to answer your queries, are quick on the phone, or take days to reply to your message, you should be wary. Hire someone who makes you feel heard and at ease from the beginning of the relationship.

But To pick the best concrete contractor and company, keep these four points no matter how large or tiny your job may be. If you need concrete paths surrounding your house or slabs for new commercial buildings:

  • You must first compile an extensive list of sources
  • Look for a contractor who has worked on similar projects.
  • Make sure you ask for five or six recent works they’ve done and the contact information for the client as a reference.
  • Verify the level of satisfaction with your possible concrete contractor with these customers.

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Home Care & Living

4 Renovations That Maximize Space in a Smaller Home

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Living in a small house often comes with its own set of unique challenges. They might include finding enough space and storage for all your belongings or, at times, struggling with the feeling of being cramped. In such a case, maximizing your space can be tough, but it can also make a huge difference when done right.

So, how do you renovate your home and do it in a way that gives you more space? For instance, you can start by finishing your basement so it can serve as an extra room. Giving your garage a little TLC to turn it into an efficient storage space is also an excellent idea. Additionally, many small-house owners decide to knock down some walls to open common areas and transform their bathrooms with space efficiency in mind.

If you feel like you need more ideas and details, read the article below. Here, you’ll find some of the most clever solutions for your small house.

Turn Your Garage Into Storage Space

Most people treat garages solely as the space where they keep their car along with some junk that they need to get rid of but never do. Don’t be the person who remembers their garage only when something goes wrong and it’s necessary to use a garage door service – instead, be smart and use it as an efficient storage space.

However, you’ll likely need to clean out and declutter your garage before that happens. Go through everything accumulated there over the years and throw away everything you don’t need. Then, install new shelves or durable cabinets that will help you keep your things organized. Head to the storage and purchase clear plastic storage bins with lids.

Once you get them home, you can use these bins to store things such as holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, DIY and craft supplies, or even some products that you buy in bulk and take a long time to use up. Make sure to label every bin, and voila – you just managed to free up lots of space in your small house by giving your garage some much-needed TLC.

Finish Your Basement

Finishing your basement can be a huge help when it comes to maximizing your space. Basements can serve as extra rooms for your family, especially if you don’t have much space upstairs or want to be able to host guests from time to time. If you want to finish your basement, there are a few ways to do this, depending on the size of your house and the overall layout of the basement.

You can, for instance, divide one large room into several small ones with the help of drywall. You might also want to move the living room downstairs or create a big playroom area for your children to enjoy. Finishing your basement can be especially useful if you are also planning to expand your family, as it allows you to utilize the space in your current home without having to look for a bigger house to fit everyone. The room is already there, you just need to show it some extra love!

Remodel Your Bathroom

Small and cramped bathrooms can be a true nightmare, especially if your house has only one that everyone shares. Luckily, it’s not a lost cause, and there are a few things you can do to free up some space.

For example, if you have a bathtub, getting rid of it might be one of the best decisions you could make. Bathtubs tend to be bulky and take up a lot of unnecessary space that could be used for storage purposes or simply help to make moving around easier. Transform your bathtub into a standup shower and enjoy your newly gained square footage. Fill the extra room with a linen closet, a laundry basket, or a cabinet for toiletries.

Then, take a look at your vanity. If it’s too big, it needs to go, as it’s simply a waste of space. Instead, you can try fitting in a corner vanity for both under and over-the-counter storage. Make sure to change your mirror for the one that comes with a medicine cabinet so you can store more things in there. If you need some inspirational ideas to design your bathroom without a tub, I highly recommend this article: https://acremodeling.com/master-bathroom-without-tub/

Open Up

If it is possible to open up the kitchen and living room in your home, then creating an open concept space is one of the best ways to make your small home feel more spacious without having to throw away anything (besides the debris left after knocking down some walls). Keep in mind that if you want to remove a wall, it can’t be a load-bearing one. Make sure to consult your idea with a professional before starting demolition.

When you open the space and feel like the space needs to be brought together, you can add a kitchen island to make the transition from the kitchen to the living room look more seamless. A kitchen island is also a great way to add more seating and provide you with some extra storage space.

If you have a bit of an outdoor area, that’s just great! You have more space to “open up.” Establish a seamless flow from inside to outside your house, and have more area to move around. One way to do that is to build a tiny deck that easily connects to your kitchen or living room with sliding or wide double doors. Use composite deck boards if you plan to build a deck that will save you more in the long run. The material offers the same attractive finish as natural lumber without the latter’s hefty price tag and annual maintenance.

In Conclusion

When it comes to maximizing the space in your home and showing it some love, you have plenty of options. For instance, you can add an extra room by finishing your basement. You can also knock down some walls to open common areas or turn your bathroom into a space-efficient one. Your garage should also get some attention, especially if you need extra storage space.

 Whatever option you choose, just make sure that you do some research and plan it out carefully so you can get the most out of your renovation and plan your budget wisely. Good luck!

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General Gardening

Ideas for Your Garden in Retirement

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Gardening is good for you. In fact, it’s prescribed on the NHS. Getting outside gives you the chance to get some vitamin D, which is great for your immune system while doing a hobby you enjoy triggers dopamine, the hormone that helps you feel motivated.

If you’ve recently retired and you’re planning on using your garden more, now could be a great time to plan what you’re going to do with it. Maybe you saved enough funds for a project in your retirement. Perhaps you can benefit from equity release to allow you to focus on renovating different areas of your home.

Whatever the reason for pepping up your outside space, here are some ideas to inspire you.   

Grow Your Own

Why not set aside a corner of your garden for a vegetable patch? Whether you’re a gardening pro or a novice, there are plenty of vegetables that are relatively easy to maintain. Plus, it’s rewarding to be able to tuck into the different foods that you’ve grown.

Some key points to remember are to set up your fruit and veg patch on a flat part of your garden and to make sure the plants get plenty of light. You might need to invest in a protective cover to ward off insects and birds, too.

Get an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Are you thinking of hosting some garden parties? While barbecues remain one of the most popular ways to cook outdoors, pizza ovens are gaining in popularity and are sure to be a hit with any guests you have.

These are a particularly great choice if you don’t have a large outdoor space and can make mealtimes fun. 

Build a Garden Studio

If you saved enough to retire and have enough money for a larger garden project, an outdoor studio could be ideal. This is a step up from a tool shed and can be used to create something truly special.

This could be a space where you can enjoy crafts, such as pottery and painting. Or maybe you could use it as a writing room or somewhere you go to do yoga. You can really make this your own.

Make a Play Area

Set aside a section of the garden for the grandkids. They’ll love having their own little part of your home where they can play outside and enjoy games.

This could also be a great use for your garden room if they visit a lot. Add some slides, games, and bright cushions to make it special.  

Watch Wildlife

A pond or bird watching shed is ideal for wildlife lovers. If you’d love nothing more than to watch the creatures that visit your garden, this is your chance to create a place for them.

What will you do with your garden?

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General Gardening

Why Do You Need a Garden Shed in 2022

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If you enjoy gardening, you probably have a list of required tools. You will need plenty of storage space for your devices during the wintertime. Most people keep garden tools inside their garages. However, they frequently notice that their area is scarce, and their garage is crammed with different tools.

The more you put into your landscaping and home, the more equipment and tools which require a location to set up. A shed for your outdoor is a good option because of its proximity to your backyard and the ample space. For a lower cost, you can build your shed with the help of shed builders LA.

Reasons You Need a Garden Shed

Here is a list of reasons you may need an outdoor shed for your garden and why it is beneficial:

Clear Out Your Garage

Do you get bored with looking through boxes in your garage? Take gardening equipment, tools, and Christmas decor, and bring them to the storage shed. Garden sheds are an excellent alternative to storing items. That’s why you must ensure the declutter of your garage.

Ensure Safety

Instead of spreading all of your toys, equipment, and bicycles scattered around your yard, ensure they are secured in one spot. It will also make your home less appealing to burglars and provide you with a sense of security. Protecting your children from hazardous tools like lawnmowers, power tools, pitchforks, and hazardous gardening chemicals. A storage shed purchase allows you to secure all dangerous items and keep your kids away from danger. Also, you can look for shed floor covering ideas since floors are an essential part of ensuring safety.

It Will Allow You to Work and Have Fun

A garden shed can offer you a place to enjoy all of your interests. When you buy or build your shed, you’ll find that perfect spot that you’ll always need to visit for a relaxing time and unwind. The garden shed gives you additional storage. However, you’ll be able to turn it into a space where you can create something, such as an entirely new piece of furniture.

Ensure Cleanliness

If you purchase an outdoor shed, you’ll be able to store everything you use for gardening, bicycles, tools, and other things that you may not use every day. If you purchase a 9×6 foot metallic garden shed, you’ll be capable of having an uncluttered garage and garden. A less cluttered space will mean less cleaning. If everything is in order, cleaning these areas won’t be a hassle and will take less time to complete.

Accessibility and Organization

There is no need to rummage through your garage to find the one thing you’ll need. If you organize the garden shed space, you’ll not be trying to find something. It is simple to build shelves, cabinets, and tables in your shed. So, you can also add storage space. It is also possible to classify the items you require knowing their location.

Protection Against the Weather

Winter can be very hard on your garden and the gardening tools. Therefore, you’ll be able to bring the most vulnerable plants inside in winter, which will help ensure they are warm and healthy. If you choose a shed that includes windows, you can make the appearance of a “greenhouse” that your plants can use too.

How Do You Choose the Right Shed for Your Garden?

It’s clear why you’ll require an outdoor shed by 2022. There are numerous factors to consider before you purchase a new garden shed. The most crucial aspects are listed below.

What Will You Do With the Shed?

The thought of this can assist you in determining the size of your shed. If it’s merely something to store your garden items, consider their value and what you need to keep. If you own powerful, expensive power tools, you’ll need the largest and most secure shed than you would if you were storing small pots and hand tools.

If you’re thinking of using the shed for a workshop to work on DIY projects, you’ll require enough space and headroom to work and move about. Also, you’ll need adequate lighting so that you may be thinking about double doors, windows, and electricity. If you’re planning to spend much of your time in your shed, you might consider investing in heat and insulation.

What’s the Price of Garden Sheds?

The cost of your garden shed is contingent on the material and the dimensions you pick and other options like shelves and security lighting. In general, you’ll be able to find smaller sentry-style sheds at less than £150. Make sure you budget at least £200 to get a high-quality medium-sized shed, whereas you’ll require more than £500 to get a more oversized wooden shed. Although you’ll want an enormous shed for your price, you should keep in mind the quality of the materials, and a sturdy roof, sturdy frames, and strong doors will always yield value.

Do You Require Foundations for Your Garden Shed?

Garden sheds usually include flooring or adding flooring as an option in the event of an exception. If you don’t have a stable basis for your sheds, like concrete or paving slabs, you’ll have to build the base or purchase an entire shed base.

How Can You Keep Your Shed in the Backyard?

General upkeep shouldn’t require all amount of time. The most important things to keep in mind are to ensure that the roof is free of debris, dirt, and moss, treatment of metal and wood with protective paint or stains every couple of years and grease hinges to prevent corrosion, and then fix any leaks or holes at the time they occur.

Final Words

As you will see in this article, there are a few aspects you’ll be able to think about before choosing whether or not to construct your garden shed. It would help if you thought about the most crucial things are your time and expense.

When you buy a garden shed from Urban-Sheds, you will gain additional space, an area to do your favorite activities, and an unofficial greenhouse for your plants in winter.

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Landscaping

Growing a Garden That Birds Will Love to Visit

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Bird species are dwindling across the globe, with forests in the US and Canada alone having lost one billion birds and nearly three billion in total since 1970—as found in a Cornell University study. Common birds—those you may have seen in your yard in your youth—are the most affected, since over 90% of losses arise from common birds like sparrows, warblers, and blackbirds. If you want to ensure the survival of common birds species in your area, optimal garden design can help you achieve your aim. Read on to discover a few small changes that can make a big difference.

Planting Native Species

Native plants enable wildlife such as birds to thrive, thanks to their nectar, acorns and nuts, seeds, fleshy fruits, and insects. In order to work out the optimal combination of plants for your yard, it is vital to research the different wild birds that are native to your area. Study the different species and take note of the preferences of any endangered bird species you wish to help proliferate. Sparrows, for instance, are attracted to blackberries and wild grasses, finches take to pines, spruces, hemlocks, coyote bush spruces, and composite flowers, while warblers are known to favor maples, oaks, American elderberries, and serviceberries. Some of these trees are chosen for nesting, others for their fruit, so try to create a garden that combines both types of plants or trees.

Sticking to Organic Growing Principles

Birds are vulnerable to the immense harm that pesticides can cause. Birds can either swallow pesticides directly, drink tainted water, or absorb toxins to the skin. This can have an array of effects, including deformed embryos, lack of appetite and weight loss, suppressed immunity, greater vulnerability to predators, and the inability to orientate correctly for migration. Organic, gentler alternatives to pesticides include companion planting (which can keep specific pests at bay) and soft chemicals (like rhubarbs, stinging nettles, and soap). For a small yard, try plant oils like rosemary, geranium, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, and lavender. You can also consult gardening specialists about parasites that may be useful for targeting specific host insects. Finally, some predators can help reduce pest populations. These include frogs and lacewings. As your yard begins to fill with birds, you will find that they, too, help reduce the presence of pests.

Adding Active Water Features to Your Garden

Once again, it is important to study the specific needs of native birds. Warblers, for instance, are attracted to running water, so adding a fountain to your garden may increase their presence (and that of many other beautiful birds). You can additionally set up a birdbath where birds can enjoy a bath on a hot summer’s day. When choosing your bath, remember that although smaller baths are easier to clean, the larger the bath, the more birds you are likely to attract. You should also prioritize height since high baths enable birds to frolic while still keeping an eye out for predators. Your chosen fountains and baths should be made in materials that will withstand challenging weather. If you live in a cold zone, avoid resin baths, which can crack in the winter.

Many bird species are in danger because they don’t have enough green spaces. Designing a bird-friendly garden will take time and a small investment, as you will need to cater your landscaping features to the need of specific birds. In addition to planting suitable plants and trees, remember to give water features the importance they deserve.

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Home Care & Living

6 Best Matching Guides of Furniture and Mattress

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Allrightsleep.com recommends, when it comes to furniture and mattress shopping, it’s essential to have all the information you need before purchasing. Whether you’re looking for a medium-firm mattress or a bed frame that fits your specific dimensions, we’ve got you covered. Our handy tips will make the shopping process more accessible than ever.

Which Bed Size is Right for Your Bedroom?

Here’s how to ensure a perfect fit.

  • To determine the right bed size, first, measure the length and width of your room.
  • Remember that you’ll also need to leave enough room for other furniture pieces like a dresser or nightstand.
  • Avoid covering the window to ensure you get maximum light. You should also have at least two feet of space on either side of the bed for easy access.
  • Parents may want to consider bunk beds or trundle beds to make the most of a small room but give children their own space.
  • Taller people may want to consider a California king mattress because it’s longer than a standard king mattress. Their dimensions are 72″ x 84″, making them ideal for taller people or couples who want the extra length.
  • Twin-size mattresses are a good option for partners who don’t mind snuggling but still want their own space or a different mattress firmness.
  • Full-size mattresses (also known as double beds) are best for single sleepers or couples who don’t mind sleeping close together.
  • Queen size mattress dimensions are 60″ x 80″, making them an excellent option for couples who want more space than a full-size mattress.
  • King size mattress dimensions are 76″ x 80″, giving couples even more room to spread out.
  • An XL full queen mattress is slightly longer than a standard queen mattress, making it a good option for taller people or couples who want more space.

What are the Different Types of Mattresses?

The mattress you choose should be based on your sleep habits and preferences. If you tend to sleep hot, look for a mattress with cooling features. If you have back pain, consider a mattress with additional support.

  • Innerspring Mattresses are the most popular mattress and feature coil springs that provide support and comfort.
  • Memory Foam Mattresses conform to your body and relieve pressure points. They’re a good choice for people with back pain.
  • Latex Mattresses are made from natural or synthetic latex and are known for durability. They’re also a good choice for people with back pain.
  • Hybrid Mattresses combine the best features of innerspring and memory foam mattresses. They’re a good option for people who want the support of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of a memory foam mattress.

Mattress Dimensions

Before you start shopping for a mattress, it’s important to know the dimensions of the bed frame you’ll be using. That way, you can be sure to find a mattress that fits perfectly. Here are the standard mattress dimensions:

  • Twin: 39″ x 75″
  • Full: 54″ x 75″
  • Queen: 60″ x 80″
  • King: 76″ x 80″
  • California King: 72″ x 84″

Medium-Firm Mattress

Whether you like to sleep on your back, side, or stomach will play a role in finding the perfect mattress firmness for you.

For example, people who sleep on their side need a softer mattress to support their hips and shoulders, while stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent their hips from sinking in. Ultimately, it’s crucial to find a mattress that strikes the perfect balance between comfort and support.

If you’re looking for a mattress that’s not too soft and not too firm, a medium-firm mattress is a way to go. This type of mattress provides the perfect balance of comfort and support and is ideal for people of all sleep styles. Plus, it’s perfect for couples who may have different firm preferences.

Bed Frame Dimensions

When considering bed frame dimensions, you’ll need to consider the mattress dimensions. That way, you can be sure to find a frame that’s the right size for your mattress.

Bed frames can be made from solid wood, metal, or both. They come in various styles, from minimalistic and straightforward to more ornate and detailed.

Bed frame dimensions match mattress size, so use the information above about mattress dimensions to help you find a bed frame that’s the right size for your mattress.

Other Bedroom Furniture

Now that you know all about mattresses and bed frames, it’s time to start shopping for furniture! Here are a few other pieces you’ll need to complete your bedroom:

  • Nightstand: A nightstand is a perfect place to put a lamp or alarm clock.
  • Dresser: A dresser provides ample storage space for clothes, linens, and more.
  • Chest of drawers: A chest of drawers is an excellent alternative to a dresser and can be used to store clothes, linens, and more.
  • Bedroom set: A bedroom set includes a bed frame, mattress, nightstand, dresser, and drawers. It’s the perfect way to furnish your bedroom all at once.

Great Bed, Perfect Sleep

Now that you know all about mattresses and bed frames, it’s time to start shopping for furniture! With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect pieces for your bedroom. If you need curtains for your bedroom, read Top Reasons to Buy Custom Curtains.

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Home Care & Living

Top Reasons to Buy Custom Curtains

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Drapes are more than just light-blocking strips of cloth; they can add drama, refinement, coziness, and warmth to your home in an instant. Whether you want to make a design statement or probably make a house look more like a home, selecting the proper set of curtains online may make a huge difference. Nowadays, it’s so simple to design your own curtains online that there’s no need to drive to a store or get someone to come over to measure your windows.

There is a broad choice of high-quality window coverings and inexpensive custom-made curtains online that may make your home both comfortable and attractive, ranging from graceful sheer curtain materials that allow air to flow through intelligently-designed blackouts which help to regulate temperatures. You might be amazed at how many custom window treatment options are available and how simple it is to obtain the right look by choosing custom curtains. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing bespoke curtains:

Advantages of Custom Curtains

1. Perfect Fitting to Window Measurements

The first benefit of having custom made curtains is that they are produced to your window specifications rather than a set of stock sizes. Today’s windows come in a variety of sizes and dimensions, and it might be difficult to find stock curtains that match them. However, if you choose to have your curtains custom-made, they will perfectly match your windows.

2. Customized Curtain Headings

There are many different types of headings available, each with its own style and purpose, such as double pinch pleats, tab tops, eyelets, waves, pencil pleats, and so on. When you order bespoke curtains, you can select any heading for the window curtains as per your choice.

3. Higher Quality End Results

Customizing your curtains also leads to superior quality outcomes because your fabric alternatives are sturdier and long-lasting than stock options. Because of this, these curtains will provide you with years of enjoyment and utility.

4. Unique Style Statement With Curtains Customization

Another advantage of custom-made curtains surely is that they make a one-of-a-kind statement that you will not find in other people’s homes. Everyone who enters your home will be impressed by how unique you are. Furthermore, with custom blackout curtains ideas, you may choose the capabilities that are most important to you depending on the needs of your home.

5. Long-Lasting and Cost-Effective Choice

You may not require replacing your customized curtains as frequently because they will outlast stock choices. Because of this, these curtains are a good long-term investment. Yes, they are more expensive at first, but since you will require replacing them quite less frequently, the cost per year of use is lower than with stock options.

Better Functionality

We all have different needs when we talk about the curtain’s functionality. Some people want their curtains to totally or partially block out light, while others want them to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These features are usually determined by the nature of the lining material of your bedroom curtains. The most common lining types are standard, interlining, blackout, acoustic, and thermal. Most of the time, one must sacrifice utility for fabric style, or vice versa. With customized curtains, you can put an end to these compromises.

Considerations for Choosing Custom-Made Curtains

Good things obviously take time; between consultations to installation, you might be looking at a three to four-week wait, if not longer. The initial cost of custom-made curtains would most certainly be more than the cost of ready-made curtains. However, the cost can easily be justified by the product’s quality. To avoid measuring errors, you must properly measure your windows.

How to Take Measurements for Curtains

There are a few things to keep in mind when measuring for curtains. To begin, measure the length of your window starting right from the top of the curtain frame to the floor. Second, take a measurement from the left to the right side of your window. Third, you’ll want to figure out how much additional fabric you’ll need on each side of your windowpane. Curtains can drape over the window frames or fall just inside them, depending on the effect you want.

How to Pick Fabric and Materials for Custom Curtains

One of the key advantages that custom-made curtains have is that you may choose your own materials and fabric. You have the option of having your curtains made entirely of cotton. There’s also the option of blackout lining. Perhaps you have a certain specific hue in mind regarding your space and can’t locate anything similar in the store. It is possible to get exactly what you want with custom-made curtains.

Also, with custom-made curtains, it’s not only about appearances. You can also choose long-lasting curtain materials if you’re concerned about sun exposure or other potential issues with wear and tear off the drapes. This helps you to ensure that your curtains will last you for a long period without being damaged.

Bottom Line

Once you have determined your budget, wants, and preferences, you may adorn your windows with curtains that express your personality in the most attractive way.

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Health & Wellness

How CBD Is Made: The Whole Production Process

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CBD has been trending in the natural wellness space. It’s a powerful cannabinoid touted for its potential anti-inflammatory, stress-relieving, mood-enhancing effects, and more. 

A key ingredient of the cannabis plant, CBD is added to various products, such as tinctures, gummies, and lotions. Before we dive into how CBD is made and explore the whole production process, it’s important to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.

Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant. The defining difference between the two is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the primary intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana, notorious for making users high. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana features much higher levels of THC.

Generally, hemp is the preferred plant for CBD extraction because it has a higher CBD content and contains minimal amounts of THC. Therefore, hemp-derived products are non-intoxicating. Also, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal.

Here is a step-by-step overview of how CBD is made.

1. Cultivating and Harvesting the Hemp Plant

CBD production all begins with planting, cultivating, and harvesting the hemp plant. According to Farm Journal, the ideal time to plant hemp is towards the end of May and into the first week of June. The hemp grows quickly, sprouting up in 60 days.

Hemp grown for CBD extraction is harvested for its flower heads, which contain the bulk of cannabinoids. Moreover, these plants are grown and nurtured to contain high levels of CBD.

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-green-canabis-2178565/

Harvesting usually takes place around October, depending on the climate. Before processing the hemp, a sample should be tested to ensure it does not exceed the THC limit and that it’s free of toxins that may contaminate the finished product.  

Once harvested, hemp plants are hung up to be cured or air dry in a well-ventilated area. This process usually takes three to four weeks. Once dried, the flowers are stripped from the plants and sent to manufacturers that extract the cannabinoids.

2. The Extraction Process

When discussing how CBD is made, the extraction process is integral. There are a few different techniques for extracting CBD from the hemp plant.

Many extraction methods require the use of a solvent. Some are considered safer and more efficient than others, but each method has pros and cons. Solvents act to separate the CBD molecule from other compounds in the hemp plant and turn it into a usable extract for ingestion.

Here are the most popular extraction methods.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction is widely regarded as the most effective method, resulting in the cleanest, purest, and safest CBD extract. Typically, this process involves using a closed-loop extractor to isolate cannabinoids.

The hemp is placed into a chamber filled with carbon dioxide. By applying pressure to the chamber, the CO2 is turned into liquid (supercritical CO2) as it enters the second chamber. The supercritical CO2 runs through the plant materials and extracts the cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes. Then, the cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a third chamber, where the contents are separated. No chemicals or residue are left behind.

CO2 extraction is an expensive process that requires the use of robust equipment. However, CO2-extracted CBD is some of the world’s purest when done right.

Ethanol Extraction

Another effective way of extracting CBD from the hemp plant is using high-grade grain alcohol (ethanol). This method involves soaking the hemp in ethanol to extract the CBD oil. 

Ethanol is highly efficient and can dissolve an array of substances in the hemp extraction process, including cannabinoids, terpenes, waxes, and lipids. This efficiency means that ethanol extraction occurs in one single-stream process under warm or cold conditions, making it a very time-efficient process. 

Liquid Solvents

CO2 and ethanol are not the only solvents that can be used to extract CBD. Other options include butane, hexane, or isopropyl alcohol. However, using these substances often results in low-quality CBD extract.

Although the process works similarly to the previous two methods, such solvents dissolve the plant waxes containing nutrients. Furthermore, not all solvents can remove impurities, and chlorophyll from the plant may be left behind in the oil extract, resulting in a bitter taste. While chlorophyll can be filtered out, the filtering process reduces the oil’s potency.

Since many of these liquid solvents are highly flammable, this is often considered a more dangerous extraction method than others.

3. Advanced Purification

Typically, companies committed to crafting pure and effective CBD products submit their CBD extract to further processing. Therefore, it’s important to check how CBD is made when shopping for high-quality CBD.

Winterization

Winterization is the process used to remove undesirable components, such as fats, lipids, and waxes, from the extract. This process is only necessary when high pressure/high-temperature extraction (supercritical CO2) is used. The intense extraction pulls everything from the plant, including the material you don’t want, into the final product. 

Distillation

The oil goes through short path distillation to further refine the CBD extract. This simple technique involves slowly heating the CBD oil until unnecessary substances, such as terpenoids and contaminants, begin to boil off. As the extract is heated, each compound is separated because each one has a different boiling point. Each compound is isolated and can be used by itself, depending on whether the manufacturer wants to create a full-spectrum or isolate CBD product.

4. Creating CBD Products

Now that a pure CBD extract has been obtained from the hemp plant, manufacturers can start producing CBD products. Typically, the CBD oil extract is combined with other ingredients, including carrier oils, like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. Natural flavorings are also often added.

This step largely depends on the company, its product offerings, and what effects they want its products to have. For instance, CBD products designed to improve sleep also often contain melatonin – a popular natural sleep aid. 

Companies crafting a CBD concentrate need to turn the oil into a CBD wax, CBD shatters, or CBD crumble. To make CBD capsules, the extract must be infused into soft gels, while CBD topicals require the CBD to be immersed into the relevant cream, lotion, or balm. CBD tinctures, like a 1000mg CBD oil, require less processing. 

There is also the matter of full-spectrum or isolate CBD formulas. Full-spectrum CBD oil 1000mg means that the product contains an array of cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant. CBD isolate is pure CBD with no extra cannabinoids. It means the CBD was completely isolated from the hemp extract.

Final Thoughts on How CBD is Made

Hopefully, now you have a good idea of how CBD is made and what goes into producing a high-quality CBD product. The process is, of course, a lot more detailed than what we’ve covered here, but it’s a step-by-step overview of what goes into making CBD.

Always shop from CBD brands that provide information on their manufacturing processes to ensure you’re getting top-quality products.

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Home Care & Living

Benefits of Low-Voltage Lighting in Your Home

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Initially, low-voltage lighting was meant to promote landscape lighting. Soon after, it became an indoor lighting option. It can be applied in recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, strip and tape lighting, track lighting, and more. Recessed lighting is ideal for general lighting, indoors and outdoors, or directional lighting for highlighting specific features. Low voltage cove and under cabinet lighting can be used in closets, kitchens, and bathrooms for countertops, surfaces, and shelving illumination. Discussed below are the benefits of low voltage lighting in your home:

1. Great Lighting Option for The

Outdoor lighting improves your home’s curb appeal while enhancing safety. With outdoor lighting such as the Low Voltage LED Deck Lights and other outdoor options, you can illuminate flower beds, pathways, fences, trees, patios, doorways, decks, and driveways. You can also light up your pool’s interior.

Thanks to low-voltage outdoor lighting, you can add comfort and warmth to your space. This allows you to enjoy your outdoor space even at night. You can also use it to highlight your home’s essential features, especially when selling. Moreover, outdoor lighting can improve safety by preventing break-ins and burglary.

2. Easy to Install

Low voltage lights are easy to install. With proper guidelines, you can install it yourself without the help of a professional because there’s no risk of electric shock. Upon purchasing your low voltage lights, you can find an installation guide to lead you through connecting wires to the transformer and then readjust the light to ensure its functionality.

3. Safety

Low voltage lights are safe to install and use compared to high voltage lights. It uses less than 50 volts of electricity through a transformer linked to a standard voltage outlet. There’s no need to worry about electrocution even if you or your loved one touches a cable, transformer, or fixture. Moreover, you can install low voltage lighting even when the transformer is on. This helps you ensure that your connection is done correctly during the installation process without going back to fix them if needed.

4. Energy-Efficient

Low voltage lights are energy-efficient. They provide eco-friendly lighting options to make your home greener, making them suitable for the environment. Low voltage lighting emits an equal amount of light as standard lighting but less energy. Adopting low voltage lighting fixtures makes your home more environmentally friendly. These lights also require low wattage, meaning powering the system costs less, saving more money on energy in the long run.

5. Long-Lasting

LED is a popular low voltage lighting form whose technology generates suitable conditions for longer-lasting bulbs than halogen and incandescent bulbs. This saves you money since you don’t need to replace them frequently.   

6. Low-Cost Lighting

Low voltage lights consume less energy than incandescent lighting while providing excellent lighting. Their energy-efficient nature saves you money. Low voltage lights are also a cost-effective lighting option and are more practical than other lighting options.

7. Versatile

Low voltage lighting is versatile. It offers you multiple light bulb options and beams size varieties. You can also use different lens types with low voltage lighting fixtures, allowing more control over the light being cast.

Endnote

Low voltage lights can be very beneficial as a home lighting option. Consider investing in these lights for these benefits and more.

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Design Tips

5 Green DIY Ideas for Your Dorm Room

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If you really care about the space around you, creating a green, eco-friendly dorm room should be on top of your mind. Most modern students do choose to get into the matter of this and create a healthy environment to live in.

Many articles and essays are now written about eco-friendliness; yet, there is always room for improvement. This is a perfect chance for you to dive deep into best practices and choose what resonates with you. After all, this is your room, your safe haven, and you need to make it as comfortable as possible the way you see it.

If you are really determined and still haven’t given up on this idea, below, you’ll find a few tips on how to make your room greener.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

If you can get rid of all these chemical detergents within your living space, please do. They are not good for most people, especially those allergic to any component.

You can make your own cleaning products at home. Lots of ideas are described all over the internet. Moreover, there are recipes for all-purpose cleaners that are really easy to do. Just invest some time to research the topic, and you’ll get a healthier DIY alternative to Domestos.

Students are often required to write an essay about green DIY ideas and their application at home. It’s sometimes hard to explain your determination to make your room greener, but you can always count on professional help. Type “write my essay for me” and you’ll find an EssayHub team waiting to help. Do not hesitate to reach out and use your chance.

Upcycle

The best idea to make your room eco-friendlier is to believe in the power of upcycling. It is a fantastic way to give some older staff a new life. Why? Because when you try to upcycle, some things find a way to be repurposed.

For example, your older jeans can be easily converted into shorts. A plastic bowl can become a great place to grow your favorite house plant. Lots of stuff can be repurposed before you finally have to recycle them.

If you need swift help writing an essay on the topic of upcycling, you can easily do that by typing “make my essay by tomorrow.” A team of domyessay writers can handle any task within a short period of time. The quality is always on top.

Utilize Used Things

Just think of it: do you really need all the new stuff for your dorm room? Isn’t it greener (and cheaper) to buy some used things and mix them up the way you see fit? This will help you live not only to make your place eco-friendlier. Also, it will ensure that you have done everything to minimize waste while arranging your room in the best way possible.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/x8ZStukS2PM

Again, the topic of waste management or waste minimization is often a number one topic for essay writing. Students must know best practices and be able to apply them in practice. If you’re looking for a company to help you in writing, check the Essay Pro review on the NoCramming review website. This is the best way to find a reliable company to get essay help.

Light It All Up

Think of the ways to ensure you have enough daylight and artificial light while preserving nature the best way you can. Place your table close to the window to enjoy the sun while studying. At night, your light must be eco-friendly as well. Make sure all your light bulbs use LED technologies. Also, buy some candles and second-hand garland to save energy while making your room cozy.

If you really dive deeply into the topic of lighting in the room, you will find lots of interesting ideas to follow. Research more if you want to maximize your eco-friendliness. The same applies to essay writing. If you want to get the best essay written for you, check EssayReviews.com to find the best company. Research all your options to find the best offer. The quality matters, after all.

Shop Locally

If you can buy all the appliances and stuff you need for the room locally, do it. You can combine new or used things to arrange your place the way you see it. Do not, however, encourage cross-border or cross-country transportation unless you absolutely need that thing. Just remember: any transportation you use is not green. Try to minimize this waste.

At the same time, buying things locally and designing them the way you see it will not only give you aesthetic pleasure. It will also help you be creative and more aware of the things around you.

Takeaway

If you are really concerned about making your room greener and eco-friendlier, take your chance and do your research. This huge step into independent living, which you are doing right now, actually predetermines your attitude towards the space around you. Make all you can do to live more responsibly and try to help nature sustain.

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Landscaping

The Plant Guide for Southern California

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One of the best things about SoCal life is that a lush Mediterranean dream can always come true, which is why it’s easy to find a list of the best outdoor potted plants for Southern California.

It just seems to be quite the statement to have patio plants to pair with the serene setup of your home, and we have just a few helpful tips for you if you’re already ready to expand your green thumb’s capabilities for a much bigger space.

1. Bask in the Light

You may already know that not all plants love the sun. There are some who prefer breathing under a shade. Before you decide to buy plants for your patio, plan out where you want to place them.

Plants that thrive in full sunlight are those that enjoy a good six to eight hours of basking. On the other hand, those that love being under the shade need only an hour to two of direct sunlight.

It will be good for both visual appeal and ecology that you have a balance of plants that require full sunlight and some that thrive in full shade. This way, you have space to sit down and relax on the patio, as this avoids cramping all of your plants to a single area or side.

2. Make Room for Growth

Compared to growing plants indoors, a patio space is a win.

Work well with the space as you consider not just how many or how much more you can add to your growing nursery, but more so, that you still need space for your own furniture and also for the plants’ growth.

Because a patio gives you not just floor space or possible shelves but also the space to work with hanging plants, you can maximize this to create an aesthetic flora and fauna in the confines of your own home.

However, also remember that hanging plants can create or add more shadows to your patio. Ensure that plants that require full sunlight will still be able to access their healthy dose.

Additionally, because of the bigger room that you can have on a patio, you can check out a more comprehensive array of pots and containers that you can choose from for the plants you’ll be having.

3. Be in the Zone

Another great thing about SoCal is that the entire state has its own planting zones. California is known as a state for growing both food and plants all year round, and SoCal’s specific planting zones are 5A to11A.

Knowing which one is nearest to your home will help you plan ahead and learn which specific plants thrive during particular seasons. These are also where you can purchase new plants.

Planting zones study the changes of temperature and weather within the state itself and thus, be able to predict the specific plants that are strongly suggested for when you make your plan come into fruition.

This is also a great learning tool for you if you want to keep developing your green thumb, as these zones do not only discuss plants for your home but also flowers and all forms of vegetation.

4. Consider Flowers and Vegetation

Since a patio gives you the ability to plant outdoors, you can diversify your plants by also looking into growing your own flowers or even fruits and vegetables.

This part is exciting as you get to practice a micro-scale of agri-farming by enabling you to grow your own food. You also get to learn more about farm-to-table practices while you’re doing this.

Growing your own flowers also reminds you about the importance of other life forms outside of you and your plant. You get to interact with the bees that help your plants grow with you.

Suppose you’re conscious about your carbon footprint. In that case, this upgrade to your nursery elevates that consciousness to a much bigger scale by allowing you to participate firsthand in how the rest of the planet grows, even within the small space of your own patio.

5. Reconnect With the Space

Your patio becomes an entirely different space to your home when it has new life within it. It no longer becomes just another room for you, but it becomes a space for reconnecting.

With plants in your patio, you get to be in touch again, not just with our environment, but the plants in your deck will exude breathing room for you to have a clear mind.

If you live alone, this is not just a space to take a break, but the commitment itself to take care of plants will also allow you to join a growing community of plant lovers.

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DIY Projects

Compartmentalizing Your Garden Areas for Children of Various Ages

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Children in the US, the UK, and many other countries are currently undergoing what Nature author, Richard Louv, calls “nature deficit disorder.” Having a strong bond with the world outside is key to so many elements of healthy child development. Being outside helps children calm down, test their limits, and hone physical abilities and skills like strength, balance, and flexibility. Spending time outside has been shown to boost children’s ability to calm down and focus during classwork. If you have a sizable garden space and you have children of various ages, then compartmentalizing is an important way to encourage them to spend more time outside together in a harmonious fashion.

Creating a Fun Play Area for Smaller Children

From the time children are toddlers until they are adolescents, they usually love playing in dedicated playgrounds and treehouses. Setting a playground up on one side of your garden is easy and does not have to be expensive. Check out secondhand sites for slides, outdoor houses, and play structures with various components (such as steps, a walkway, and a slide) in one. Children somehow don’t get tired of climbing structures, spending time watching the world from their playhouses, and honing their strength at tasks such as swinging or utilizing monkey bars.

Compartmentalizing Your Grass/Turf Zones

The one bad thing about kids running around in the yard all day is that they can cause damage to grass, as does any heavy equipment that sits on a grassy area. To reduce expense and ensure your garden looks spic and span, consider creating paved two or more green spaces surrounded by paving (think of these areas as small play rectangles). Kids can also get hurt if they fall from even a small height onto a hard surface or one with short grass. Artificial turf will enable you to kill two birds with one stone since it requires little to no maintenance and provides a safety net for your kids. The area occupied by younger, super-active kids and playgrounds can contain turf for safety. Use taller turf if you have a high tree house or playhouse, to provide more protection for your children.

Creating a Zone for Older Children

Children of middle-school age will most likely enjoy being in the garden to chill out with older siblings or take part in activities like swimming, reading, and making s’mores. Their paved area can have real grass, as well as features like a small pool or hot tub, benches, and a fire pit, which will keep them outside in all but the coldest winter months. If you don’t have the room for a pool, a simple fountain surrounded by benches (shaded by a tree) will be a good enough reason for kids to head outside with their favorite books for reading or studying activities. The pleasant sound of a fountain can help kids relax, as can specific aromas like lavender, so encourage them to plant species whose aromas can help them calm down and concentrate.

A Place for Older Teens

Older teens will most likely enjoy having the patio space to themselves. Make sure your patio is well-decked and protected against the sun with remote control awnings or attractive shade sails. You can up the appeal of a large patio by including statues, potted plants, and (if space permits) a Balinese bed. A greenhouse will also be an ideal place for teens to escape from their little siblings for a while, so they can concentrate on growing their favorite plants, flowers, and herbs.

Many children in current times do not spend enough time outside to build a vital bond with nature. You can make a big difference by designing an attractive garden. Compartmentalization is key if you have a big family with children of various ages. The great thing about creating different spaces is that you, too, will be more tempted to enjoy them all in your free time, when the kids are at school, and you have the house all to yourself.

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Health & Wellness

Buyer’s Guide to Water Filtration Systems

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There are many different types of water filtration systems on the market today. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which system is right for your home. This buyer’s guide will help you understand the different types of water filtration systems and what to look for when choosing one for your home.

The first step is to understand the different types of water filtration systems. There are three main types of water filtration systems: whole-house systems, point-of-use (POU) systems, and reverse osmosis (RO) systems.

What Are Whole House Filtration Systems?

As the name suggests, whole house filtration systems are designed to filter all of the water coming into your home. These systems are typically installed at the main water line coming into your house. Whole house systems can be used to filter out a variety of contaminants, including sediment, chlorine, lead, and more as QWL suggests.

Activated Carbon Filtration

One of the most common types of whole house filtration systems is an activated carbon system. These systems use a process called adsorption to remove contaminants from water. During adsorption, contaminants are attracted to the surfaces of the carbon filters in the system. This leaves clean, filtered water to flow through your home.

What Are Point-Of-Use (POU) Systems?

Point-of-use (POU) systems are smaller filtration systems that are designed to filter water at specific faucets or appliances in your home. These systems are typically installed under the sink or at the point of use, such as a refrigerator or coffee maker. POU systems can be used to filter out a variety of contaminants, including sediment, chlorine, lead, and more.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

One of the most common types of POU systems is a reverse osmosis (RO) system. These systems use a process called reverse osmosis to remove contaminants from water. During reverse osmosis, water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. This leaves clean, filtered water on one side of the membrane and contaminants on the other side.

UV Filtration

Another type of POU system is a UV filtration system. These systems use ultraviolet light to kill contaminants in water. UV filtration systems are effective at removing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms from water.

Water Softeners

These systems remove hardness minerals from water, such as calcium and magnesium. Water softeners are typically used in homes with hard water.

Water Conditioners

These systems treat water to improve its quality. Water conditioners can be used to remove taste and odor-causing contaminants from water. They can also be used to remove iron and other minerals from water.

Having a Professional Water Test

Before considering any of the above filtration systems, it’s best to have a water test done by a professional as suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A water test will identify the specific contaminants in your water. This information will help you choose the right filtration system for your home.

When choosing a water filtration system, it’s important to consider your specific needs. There are a variety of factors to consider, including the type of contaminants in your water, the size of your home, and your budget. With so many options on the market, you’re sure to find a system that’s right for your home.

What Potential Contaminants are Common in Drinking Water

You would be surprised to learn what potentially lurks in your drinking water. While the water that comes out of your tap may look clean, it can actually contain a variety of contaminants. These contaminants can come from a variety of sources, including agricultural runoff, industrial waste, and sewage treatment plants.

Some of the most common contaminants found in drinking water include:

Chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical that is used to disinfect water. While chlorine is effective at killing bacteria, it can also be harmful to your health. Long-term exposure to chlorine can increase your risk of cancer.

Lead

Lead is a metal that can be found in water due to leaching from old pipes. Lead is harmful to your health, particularly for children and pregnant women.

Nitrates/Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are chemicals that can come from agricultural runoff. These chemicals can be harmful to your health, particularly for infants and pregnant women.

Harmful Algae

Harmful algae are microscopic organisms that can grow in water. Some types of harmful algae produce toxins that can be harmful to your health.

Bacteria

Bacteria are microscopic organisms that can be found in water. While some types of bacteria are harmless, others can cause diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever.

Viruses

Viruses are microscopic organisms that can be found in water. Viruses can cause a variety of diseases, including hepatitis and polio.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water, it’s important to have it tested by a professional. A water test will identify any contaminants that may be present in your water. Once you know what’s in your water, you can choose the right filtration system to remove these contaminants.

What To Look For When Choosing A Water Filtration System

Now that you understand the different types of water filtration systems, it’s time to learn what to look for when choosing one for your home.

The first thing you need to consider is what type of contaminants you want to remove from your water. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a system that is designed to remove those specific contaminants.

In Closing

Once you know what contaminants you’re dealing with, you need to consider the size of your home. The size of your home will determine the size and capacity of the water filtration system you need.

You also need to consider your budget when choosing a water filtration system. Water filtration systems can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Choose a system that fits your budget and meets your needs.

Finally, you need to decide whether you want a point-of-use or point-of-entry water filtration system. A point-of-use system filters water at the tap, while a point-of-entry system filters.

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DIY Projects

How to Fix a Worn Out Shower Head Holder

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When it comes to all of the moving parts in your bathroom, the bracket that holds your shower head is usually low down on the list of priorities. That is until the bracket gets worn out or breaks entirely, making showers a lot more complicated.

If your shower head holder has become faulty, it needs to be repaired or replaced. We have ways of doing that below, so you can get the job done yourself, save some money, and have your shower in perfect working order in no time.

If you like reading about how to fix little things around the home, you’ll love https://organizedworktips.com/.

1. Remove the Shower Head

The first step is simple and obvious, you’ll need to remove the showerhead before you start. Then you can get at the bracket properly. Depending on what kind of bracket you have, you’ll need to unhook or unthread it to get it free. Place the showerhead somewhere safe where it won’t get in the way.

2. Try Tightening the Bracket

Before you try anything, check if your shower head holder hasn’t just become loose. Sometimes, these brackets become loose and won’t hold the showerhead as effectively, but those issues can often be solved quite easily.

For example, if there is a screw adjacent to the pit (where the showerhead clips/threads into) then you should grab a compatible screwdriver and get to work. Try moving the bracket to see if it’s still loose, then place the showerhead back temporarily. If it holds the head, you still have some use left in your bracket!

3. Remove the Shower Head Holder

If tightening the shower head cradle didn’t work, you’ll need to remove the head holder entirely. Inspect the shower head holder to see how it is anchored to the wall. Once again, this is usually through screws. If you’re lucky, it’s connected by a suction cup and is very easy to remove.

Use appropriate tools to remove the bracket. If you have a manual for your shower system lying around, this will have specific information on how to take the bracket off without causing damage. Usually, a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and pliers are required.

4. Repair the Shower Head Holder

If the holder is plastic, check for cracks. It may be possible to repair any visible damage or imperfections on the bracket that could cause it to become loose and ineffective. Try water-resistant superglue when making repairs but know that it will be much less effective in the wet environment of a shower. It may give your damaged bracket some extra mileage but it is ultimately a temporary solution.

Maybe your holder is metal and has become loose, in which case you probably can’t repair it yourself. Instead, you should pursue replacing it. Fortunately, this is cheap and there are many, many shower head holders out there.

5. Replace the Shower Head Holder

If the showerhead holder cannot be fixed, you’ll need to replace it entirely. You can get a new one or, if possible, you may be able to contact your shower manufacturer to get a replacement that originally came with it. Otherwise, you should search for alternatives that match the décor of your bathroom and how the rest of your shower system looks.

If you are replacing the showerhead cradle, you may need to remove other parts of the shower system like the riser. That’s why you should have a full toolbox at the ready to do any required DIY work.

Sometimes, you need to admit defeat. If for whatever reason, you don’t have the equipment or expertise to tamper with your shower system, you should seek help. This can come from the manufacturer or a third-party contractor. Some manufacturers purposely make systems that are hard to tamper with.

Conclusion

Those are your options if you’re currently looking at a worn-out shower head holder and you’re not sure how to fix it. If you’re lucky, you can quickly repair it by re-tightening it, or your bracket is connected to the wall via suction cups. If not, you’ll need to grab some tools and put in some elbow grease to remove and replace the bracket.

Remember that you may be able to repair a damaged plastic cradle, though this will only prolong its lifespan and it will still need replacing in the future. With how cheap showerhead cradles are, you shouldn’t spend too much if you do need to buy and replace your bracket.

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Health & Wellness

3 Reasons Why You Should Add Reishi Mushroom to Your Diet

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Superfoods are known as being great sources of large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and all that good stuff we need to be fit and healthy. That’s why they are called super.

There are many different kinds of superfoods out there, and while adding any of them to your daily routine may provide you with a boost of extra vitamins, we thought that today, we would focus on the many health benefits you could experience when you add Reishi mushroom to your diet.

So, if you’re looking for a way to increase your intake of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, keep reading!

What Is the Reishi Mushroom?

As part of the fungus family, the Reishi mushroom is one of the many super mushroom varieties that is believed to provide a number of different health benefits. 

The Reishi mushroom grows in the hot and humid climates of Asia and has long been a staple in Eastern medicine.

The health benefits associated with Reishi mushrooms are often attributed to the presence of several molecules, like peptidoglycans, triterpenoids, and polysaccharides. Now, before you reach for a medical dictionary, don’t bother, because today we’re going to attempt to explain how these may benefit your health.

How Reishi Mushrooms May Improve Your Health

Here are only some of the amazing health benefits that Reishi mushrooms may provide for you.

1. Give Your Immune System a Boost

The immune system is the body’s first line of defense to help us ward off illnesses, infections, and diseases. And while the body does a pretty great job of keeping it in check all by itself, it can always benefit from a little extra help.

One of the ways we can help improve our immune system is through healthy eating and a balanced diet. The addition of the Reishi mushrooms is beneficial when it comes to the immune system as it has been shown to have an effect on one of the immune system’s main fighters, the white blood cell.

Reishi mushroom is believed to be able to increase the activity of a particular type of white blood cell which is particularly important when it comes to fighting off cancerous cells. While research is still ongoing, it couldn’t hurt to strengthen those white blood cells with a little bit of Reishi.

2. It May Increase Your Lifespan

The Reishi mushroom is actually nicknamed the “Elixir of Immortality” as it is believed to increase the human lifespan.

How does it do this?

Well, the presence of the polysaccharide molecule we mentioned earlier, as well as the high antioxidant count is what is thought to help here.

Polysaccharides and antioxidants are believed to help in ridding our bodies of free radicals. Free radicals are nasty and unstable atoms that can damage and threaten our cells. When cell damage is caused by free radicals, this can lead to cancer or speed up the aging process.

However, the addition of Reishi mushrooms is believed to prevent this from occurring.

3. It May Help to Fight Fatigue

Depression and fatigue are two conditions that can truly affect the quality of life. And while the free-radical fighting and immune-boosting qualities of the Reishi mushroom are often talked about, the impact it might have on the body’s ability to fight fatigue is often underrated.

The ability to help strengthen the immune system and fight off potential free radical damage means the body’s cells can concentrate on other things, and potentially allow your body to have more energy.

In addition to this, it’s believed that the Reishi mushroom is able to help regulate testosterone levels in the body which can help to promote better energy levels. 

Get Your Fix of Reishi Today

Reishi mushroom is a super simple addition to your diet. Reishi can be eaten fresh or it is readily available in powdered extract forms, which makes it even easier to add to meals, smoothies, and dishes. If you’re looking for Reishi mushroom powder in Australia, look no further than Superfoods Australia, the leaders of organic and ethically sourced superfoods in Australia.

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Health & Wellness

9 Benefits of Gardening for Young Scholars

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As remote learning becomes the new norm, students have more time to spend at home. For people with backyards and gardens, this new normal presents an opportunity for students to reconnect with nature by taking up gardening.

But while students take care of plants and flowers in their backyards, they still need a reliable essay writing service to help them complete their school work. For this purpose, students can use EssayService, one of the best writing services available online. Once they are done with the homework, young scholars can enjoy growing and nurturing plants in their gardens.

This article covers the importance of gardening for young scholars. Continue reading to find out why you should consider this activity a full-time venture or part-time activity.

Educates Them About the Environment

In this current era of climate awareness and sustainability initiatives, children can learn more about the environment from gardening. By bringing kids closer to nature, they will better appreciate the fine details of their ecosystem as well as learn how the elements in the environment interact to promote growth.

Also, some institutions are now using gardening programs to educate their students about the benefits of planting trees and flowers in the modern world. Students enrolled in such programs can also take advantage of paper writing services available online. To find good ones, they can start by checking out Essay Hub reviews on NoCramming.com.

Boosts Their Creativity

Kids can improve their problem-solving capabilities by finding solutions to gardening problems. For example, if a water source is clogged, the student has to find a way to clear it up and get the water flowing as it should.

Also, experts claim that gardening is good for cognitive functioning because it exercises the memory-related nerves in the brain.

Serves as a Source of Exercise

Garden work is not all rosy. Sometimes, you’ll have to get your hands and garments dirty. In some cases, you might need to lift heavy equipment around the garden space or work in high temperatures.

Essentially, these working conditions help you burn calories and exercise several muscle groups in your body, which, in turn, helps battle obesity and weight gain in children.

Besides, outdoor gardening exposes you to direct sunlight — a major source of Vitamin D, which the body needs for strong bones.

Gives Them a Sense of Responsibility

Taking care of a plant is similar to owning and caring for a pet. You take additional measures to ensure they are nourished, watered, and viable at all times. By handing over care to the scholar, you help them understand how to care for the things they love.

Helps Them Develop Survival Skills

Gardening allows young scholars to learn how to grow their own food or live off the land. This skill will come in handy when other sources of food become unavailable, as we’ve seen in recent pandemics and armed conflicts.

Boosts the Immune System

With the prevalence of diseases that affect the immune system, any activity that boosts immunity is a welcome addition to the routine. Experts have also shown that kids who practice gardening have more robust immune systems because they are in constant contact with microbes.

And how does this work? First off, the immune system comes in contact with a microbe from a soil or compost sample. Then, the body gets used to these germs, which helps it develop a strong enough defensive mechanism to deter similar diseases when they appear.

Fosters a Sense of Community

When students work on a garden as a class, they need to collaborate. One student waters the plant, while another makes sure it gets enough manure and light. 

By working together toward one goal, young scholars can develop a camaraderie that blossoms into long-lasting friendships. At the same time, dividing labor and monitoring individual contributions makes the project participants better at working together.

Helps Them Eat Healthy Foods

Dedicating time to grow your own food gives a sense of fulfillment that comes full circle whenever you eat the food. For young students, this sense of contentment serves as a justification for them to eat fruits and vegetables, even if they are picky about eating them. And by doing so, they can introduce healthy meals into their diets.

Relieves Stress

Being in nature helps young scholars relieve stress and decompress after long days of studying. And when you are in the presence of beautiful flowers and budding plants, you’ll feel some mental relief. 

Scientists have also identified horticultural therapy as a means of using gardening to relieve stress and improve social skills. The American Horticultural Therapy Association has also outlined guidelines to help gardening enthusiasts and students build therapeutic gardens.

Conclusion

Gardening brings kids closer to the environment and helps them find effective ways to solve problems. It also boosts their immunity by introducing them to germs. And in terms of eating, gardening helps young scholars manage their diet and eat healthy fruits and vegetables.

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Design Tips

Maximizing Your Garden Space for Year-Round Enjoyment

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Spending time in a green area—be it a park, forest, or your very own backyard—brings about an array of benefits, including a significant reduction in stress levels, enhanced focus and alertness, and higher energy levels. Unfortunately, statistics show that most families in the US spend around 90% of their time indoors, with many children and adults firmly glued to their phones, tablets, and desktop devices. If you have a garden, you have a true gift that many people across the planet do not have access to—a healing green space that is 100% your own. To make the most of it, consider incorporating one or more of the following elements into your landscape design.

Setting Up a Greenhouse for a Fun Family Activity

A garden needn’t simply be a place of passive rest. Study after study has shown that being active in the garden through the pursuit of horticulturalism, can hone various skills ranging from hand strength to self-esteem. A greenhouse is a comforting, enclosed space where family members can work together for sowing seeds germinating tender crops, and other tasks, together, away from technology and its isolating effects. Those with green thumbs can also take a few activities outside the greenhouse, setting up a vegetable garden or trying their hand at aeroponics or other unique, water-saving ways of growing produce.

Designing an Appealing Deck

In order to entice family members to spend more time outside, creating a comfortable patio adjacent to the garden will definitely work. Beautiful wooden decking, comfortable outdoor furniture, shade sails or retractable awnings, and a fire pit are examples of exterior features that make great investments. A designer deck, for instance, can add up to $100,000 to the value of your home, yet installing decking can cost as little as $3,400 (approximately). Your patio should face the most beautiful aspects of your garden—be they flower beds, stately trees, or outdoor sculptures.

Enticing Your Kids Outdoors

Children need to spend time outdoors to stay active, hone skills such as strength and flexibility, and become confident about climbing trees, jumping, and testing their limits (in a safe, supervised fashion). You have many choices when it comes to keeping them happy. One is to build a treehouse. If you’re not up for something quite so architecturally challenging, then buying a ready-made fort kit (which contains flexible poles and joiners and which can be used to make large and smaller forts alike) is a great way to give them a space of their own. You can also choose a scenic part of your garden for swings, a slide, and a playhouse. Make sure the flooring is soft (wet pour fours are ideal) and rubbery to withstand the impact of falls and jumps.

Your garden is so much more than a place in which to rest or enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. It has the potential to accommodate a greenhouse, designer deck space, kids’ space, or even a pool! The ideal garden has a bit of everything—the beauty of nature combined with the ability to encourage human beings to get active and create an important and consistent bond with the Great Outdoors.

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Landscaping

How to Start a Landscaping Business

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If you’ve got a talent for reshaping gardens, then you might be tempted to start a career as a landscaper. It’s something that there’s considerable demand for – given that gardens have a natural tendency to become overgrown and to generally fall into disrepair.

But to succeed as a landscaper, you’ll need the skills to achieve respectable results. Moreover, you’ll need to be able to market yourself and liaise effectively with clients and sub-contractors. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a few basic business skills.

Let’s take a look at a few steps you’ll want to take before getting your landscaping business off the ground.

Preparation

People who start profitable landscaping businesses tend to have experience in the industry, to begin with. But this isn’t necessarily a requirement. If you’re willing to pick up the skills by working in your own garden, and working at first for friends and family, you can gradually pick up the skills you need.

To keep yourself covered, you’ll need to be qualified for all of the services you’re going to offer.  You’ll need to be aware of any risks posed by equipment and materials like pesticides. You’ll need to appraise your customers of these risks and take precautions in the form of protective clothing.

You’ll also need professional indemnity insurance, to cover yourself against potential mishaps. The equipment you’ve invested in will also need to be covered.

Find Customers

You can and should promote your business via multiple avenues. Look into print advertising that can be posted through local front doors. Think also about word of mouth, which may be your most powerful means of spreading a message. Most of your customers are going to be local, so be sure to promote your business as such.

On the Job

While you’re on the job, you’ll need to do a whole range of different tasks. It’s partly for this reason that the job is so satisfying. You may need to occasionally work from plans laid out by designers and landscape architects. You might need to install paving and water features, prepare the ground and prune trees and shrubs. But you’ll also need to be able to direct and instruct your workers to do the same thing, both verbally and via posters and other messaging, which can be used to promote safe practice. Make sure that you have a robust supply chain in place. If you can’t work because of a lack of basic materials and equipment, then you’ll end up losing money in the long term.

Progression

As your business grows, and you gain experience as a manager and a landscaper, you’ll be able to secure larger and more lucrative contracts. This can sometimes throw up legal difficulties. You’ll need to pay closer attention to your health and safety responsibilities, and possibly hire a dedicated solicitor to address them.

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General Gardening

Low Maintenance Ideas for Your Garden

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Tackling your garden can often seem like an overwhelming task but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some low-maintenance ideas for creating the garden of your dreams, so you can spend less time worrying and more time relaxing.

Start Early

The best way to create a stress-free gardening experience is to start as early as possible. Start planning for spring and summer in the winter months and get a jump on your garden preparation. The first thing to do is to brainstorm some ideas for what you would like to achieve in your garden. Once you have a plan together, it’s time to start planting.

Plant spring bloomers nice and early, then when the sun starts shining, you’ll have a garden full of flowers without any work on your part. The same goes for seeding your lawn – plant grass seed early on to ensure you have a lush lawn ready for the summer months.

Install Composite Decking

It’s all well and good creating a beautiful garden full of shrubs and flowers but you need somewhere to sit and enjoy it. Installing some composite decking is a great way to create a low-maintenance seating area to relax on summer evenings with a glass of wine or for a barbecue.

Composite decking is a man-made material, unlike natural timber. This comes with a few unique benefits. Firstly, it is much hardier than traditional lumber, meaning it will last longer. Secondly, it is far easier to clean and keep in good condition, only requiring basic cleaning to keep it looking fresh and new. Thirdly, since it is man-made, it is often crafted from recycled materials, meaning it is much better for the environment. Finally, the nature of the material allows it to be very flexible in how it is designed, providing lots of options for the exact style you would like to fit in your garden.

The cost of composite decking tends to be slightly higher than that of traditional timber, and will of course depend on the size of the area you are hoping to have decked. However, the long-lasting nature and easy upkeep of composite decking will offset the cost significantly. Have a look at the options available and see if they would work for you!

Start a Low Maintenance Project

There are plenty of fun garden projects for the whole family that can really add something to your space, but without lots of hassle! A compost heap is a great way to recycle food waste and help the environment. Even better, it is a very easy thing to get started with, only needing a place for you to store your compost. Once you have a heap going, it will take care of itself with minimal input from you and produce fertilizer to keep the rest of your garden healthy. Win-win.

Another great, low-maintenance project is installing some insect houses in your garden. Unlike bird feeders or tables, insect houses do not need to be periodically filled with food – just hang them and leave them to attract their occupants. Different types of houses will attract different types of insects, so have a look around and decide on which critters you would like to welcome into your garden.

Plant Evergreens

There is nothing worse in the winter than watching your borders turn into a barren wasteland as all of your plants lose their leaves. A great way to combat this is to plant evergreens in the borders of your garden. These plants won’t lose their leaves when the cold comes and will ensure that your garden is always surrounded by a thick layer of greenery for a luscious space every month of the year.

Reduce the Size of Your Lawn

Related to the previous idea, consider reducing the size of your lawn by expanding your borders. While it is nice to have lots of space to move about on, lawns require a lot of upkeep, water, and nutrients. Border plants and shrubs on the other hand need far less maintenance. By increasing the size of your borders, particularly with evergreens, you will have a garden that feels rustic and bountiful all year round, as well as one that requires much less water and input from you. An added bonus is that the reduced water usage will also make your garden more environmentally friendly and better for the planet.

Consider an Artificial Lawn

While reducing the size of your lawn will reduce the upkeep you have to do on it, consider going one step further and putting down an artificial lawn. There are now many options available for synthetic turf that looks and feels like real grass but does not come with any of the associated maintenance. There is of course an upfront cost to having artificial grass put in, but the money and time you will save not needing to look after your lawn will quickly add up. Plus, with artificial grass gone are the days of your lawn turning into a mud bath over the winter, ensuring you have a rich layer of turf year-round.

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for how you can start to create a low-maintenance garden for the whole family to enjoy. There are many ways for you to reduce the hassle of your outdoor spaces, so let your creativity run wild and start crafting the perfect, low-maintenance garden now in time to enjoy it this summer.

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Home Care & Living

How to Take Care of Your Furniture

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The right item of wooden furniture can make or break a room – especially if it’s solid wood. But to get the best from these items in the long-term, you’ll need to put a little bit of effort into care and maintenance. You don’t need to be a skilled carpenter to do this, and in many cases you can do it with tools and consumables you can pick up cheaply from good DIY shops.

Joints

Furniture-making, at its heart, is the art of getting different pieces of wood to stick together. A skilled joiner can create joints that not only look the part, but that can withstand pressure and punishment.

Occasionally, however, a joint will break – or even just loosen slightly. If you notice that this is happening, then you can often fix the problem with the right adhesive. This will likely prevent more serious damage from being inflicted.

Cleaning

Wooden furniture should be cleaned only using non-abrasive substances that won’t strip away the finish. Anything containing ammonia should be avoided, as this will inflict a lasting stain that you won’t ever be able to get rid of. Instead, go for mild soap and water. Then rinse with just water, before patting dry.

Re-finish

If your furniture is starting to look a little bit on the dull side, then it might be time to treat it to a new finish. This might mean sanding back the existing finish, sweeping away any loose sawdust, and then applying several coats of the new finish. Waxes, oils and paints each have their distinct advantages. It might be that you want to go for something different from what you already have. On the other hand, you might elect to swap like for like.

Bear in mind that MDF and other fibreboard can’t be re-finished in the same way as solid timber (and plywood faces). This is because it’s made of tiny bits of sawdust, which will soak up the finish rather than displaying it.

Fill in Scratches

It’s inevitable that your wooden furniture will accumulate scratches over time. These can usually be fixed with a little bit of wood filler. You can match the colour of the filler to that of your timber, or to the paint that’s covering it. Put in more than you need, so that it’s slightly proud when it’s wet. Then sand it back so that it’s flush. If you’re going to be finishing again, then make sure that you fill any scratches beforehand.

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General Gardening

4 Tools to Start Your Career as a Professional Gardener

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Working as a gardener can be intensely rewarding. You’ll spend your time out in the sun, and you’ll be physically active. What’s more, you’ll have the flexibility that comes from working for yourself.

Professional gardeners have slightly different requirements when it comes to tools than amateur ones have. You’ll need equipment that’s able to cope with constant use, and deliver reliable results every time.

Several items stand out as particularly

Heavy Duty Gloves

When you’re gardening, you’re going to be dealing with rough, spiky and potentially finger-damaging equipment and environments. Consequently, it’s essential that you invest in appropriate protection for your hands, in the form of a solid pair of work gloves.

If you injure your hands, or even just expose them to chronic low-level damage, then you might quickly find yourself unable to work effectively. This will hurt your income.

Spades

Spades come in many shapes and sizes. You’ll want to have a selection of them to hand, so that you can turn to them when the relevant task presents itself. You’ll want a border spade and a digging spade. The former comes with a slightly flatter blade that’s more manoeuvrable in tight spaces.

Carbon steel is lighter and more resilient than the stainless variety, but it’ll need to be treated well and looked after if you’re going to get the best from it. Similarly, the shaft of the handle can be made of metal, fibreglass, wood or plastic. Personal preference, and the task at hand, will influence your decision.

Hand Trowels

Similarly, you’ll want several different types of hand trowels at your disposal. You might look for trowels with different lengths and breadths, or with bladed edges for easy sawing and chopping through any roots that get in your way. You can pay anything from £10 to £100 for a quality trowel – and it’s better to get a handful of good ones than to have to keep replacing the cheap alternatives.

Landscaping Rake

A rake is one of the tools that you’ll reach for frequently. Look for one that’s matched to your height, so that you don’t have to waste energy, or stoop unnecessarily. Like all of the tools we’ve mentioned, rakes come in a range of different styles to suit a range of different purposes. The landscaping rake is the one with many short metal wires that shoot out of the end in a fan formation. It’s ideal for levelling out surfaces, and for collecting debris, like leaves.

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Home Care & Living

Affordable AC Installation in St. Petersburg FL – Licensed AC Installers in St. Petersburg FL

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When your air conditioning unit in your St. Petersburg, Florida, home stops working, there are only two options you can use to get the problem resolved. Basically, you can either fix the existing system or install a new one. You can start by troubleshooting the issues, as explained on this page, and checking if those can be fixed. If not, then you should resort to getting a new unit and installing it.

In case you have bought a brand new home in St. Petersburg, then you will also have to think about installing an AC unit because you want to be sure that the temperature will be kept just right in your house and you want to be comfortable inside it. Anyway, whether your old unit has run its course or you are simply moving into a new home and need to buy an AC, one thing is for sure. You’ll have to have it properly set up.

Do you think you can do this all on your own, though? You might be feeling optimistic enough to try it, but here is the thing. Unless you’ve spent a lot of years working as an HVAC technician yourself, there is no way you’ll be able to go through the installation process all on your own. What does this precisely mean for you, though?

Well, I am certainly not saying that you should invite some friends to help you out because that won’t be a good idea either. In short, what you have to do is find and hire the right professionals from St. Petersburg, i.e. licensed AC installers, and let them do the hard work for you. I suppose you do understand why hiring these experts is the best possible move.

If you’re still adamant to try this on your own, you should at least get properly acquainted with the process: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/heating-cooling/21015106/adding-central-air-unit Anyway, while you might understand that hiring experts in your area is the right move, there’s one thing that might be confusing you. Basically, there is a chance that you don’t know how to find and hire the best people for this job. Well, that’s about to change, since I’ll share some tips that will help you in that process. You’ll find them below.

Get Recommendations

It is always the right move to start this process by getting a few recommendations from the people around you, i.e. people who have already had their AC units properly set up. They will be ready to recommend certain installers if they have had great experiences with them. Of course, they could also tell you which installers to avoid in the event that they’ve had some troubles with them. In any case, talking to the people you know is a good start.

Check Experience & Reputation

Whether you get recommendations from the people around you or you find some potential installers online, your next step should always be the same. Simply put, you should check their experience and their reputation, because you want to choose highly skilled, experienced, and trusted installers to do the work for you. The good thing is that you’ll manage to do the research and find the necessary information online.

Have A Conversation With More Companies

Now, if you think that you are ready to make your choice after you’ve done the above-mentioned research, you are certainly wrong. There are still a few significant steps to take. For instance, you’ll need to have a conversation with the Gulf Coast Heating & AC of St. Petersburg companies that you have come across. You should use these conversations as an opportunity to ask any questions you have and ensure that the entire installation process is perfectly clear to you, as well as to check specifically how each of those companies operates.

Talk Prices

Apart from that, you should also use those conversations as an opportunity to talk about the prices of the installation services they are offering. These can be different from one contractor to another, and it is your task to do the comparisons. Keep in mind, though, that you should never make your final hiring choices based simply on those prices because quality is what matters most.

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Home Care & Living

5 Types of Flooring to Consider While Buying a House

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flooring

When buying a house, you consider many factors, such as its condition, location, price, and the like. You want your home to be a place where you can live with comfort and ease. And with that, you need to consider the layout of the rooms, the space, or even the furniture. The type of flooring used for the house is as essential as the other factors.

There are various types of flooring to choose from, but picking the right one for your home can be a challenge. However, it is not just about the design, style, and appearance but also durability and longevity.

To help you pick the correct type of flooring for your house, here are some of the most popular choices, including hardwood flooring, natural stone, carpet flooring, and laminate flooring:

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is one of the traditional choices, especially for the bathroom and kitchen. This type of flooring is not as easy to install as laminate or carpet, but it is certainly worth the effort. 

Tile flooring can be made from various materials such as porcelain, ceramic, marble, and the like. It comes in multiple colors, too, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste and preference.

Tiles are known for their resistance to moisture and water, and they can also last longer than most of the other flooring types. For example, terracotta tiles are famous for their timeless beauty, elegance, and durability. They have been used for centuries to construct buildings and structures, especially in the Mediterranean region. Nowadays, this kind of flooring is used for indoor and outdoor flooring alike. And you can easily find reclaimed terracotta tiles for a more eco-friendly and affordable price.

Hardwood Flooring

Depending on your preferences, style, and budget, hardwood floors can be made from various trees, such as oak, teak, hickory, ash, and so on. Many people choose hardwood for their homes because of its natural beauty and elegance. Besides, this kind of flooring is also known for durability and longevity.

The different types of hardwood floors have their characteristics and qualities. Although they all have in common, they are relatively easy to maintain, they can be costly, especially those made from less common tree varieties.

Natural Stone Flooring

Natural stone flooring is another popular type you can choose for your home. There’s a wide range of stones to pick for your floor, such as marble, granite, limestone, travertine, slate, etc. Natural stone flooring has its advantages, one of which is its durability, but it may not be the best fit in terms of thermal insulation.

The high cost of natural stone flooring is another thing that you should factor in, especially if you will install it in your whole house. However, if you are looking for something elegant and stylish for your home, natural stone flooring is certainly a good option.

Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is among the most affordable options; it is highly effective at insulating and is suitable for a house prone to extreme weather conditions. However, its affordability comes with a different price – the soft surface of the carpet makes it vulnerable to dirt and stains, so you need to put a lot of time and effort into maintenance.

Nonetheless, carpet flooring is more prone to lose its luster and beauty. Only the proper maintenance can prolong its longevity, but it still won’t serve you as long as other flooring types. 

However, if you are looking for an affordable floor for your house, carpet flooring is undoubtedly a good option.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another quite affordable type. It will provide you with comfort and, contrary to carpets, it is pretty durable, given its resistance to scratches and stains. However, laminate flooring can be prone to damage when the moisture content in the air is too high.

Similar to carpets, laminate flooring can lose its beauty after several years, but you can still make it look new again with proper maintenance. It can be re-vamped with an electric sander and additional layers of laminate. Moreover, laminate flooring comes in various styles and color schemes to be a good choice for any home.

To Sum Up

When looking for a home, it is essential to consider all factors that can affect your life inside and outside of your house. Flooring is among the most critical features that determine the house’s look, feel, and aesthetic. You have to take your time to choose the right flooring for your home, especially since the cost can be pretty high.

Picking the best floor for your house is not an easy task, especially with so many types of flooring to choose from. Still, you can select the flooring that will suit your taste and lifestyle the best with some research and preparation.

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Health & Wellness

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Full Body Checkup

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While it’s undoubtedly true that a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and a balanced diet are vital if you want to keep yourself in good health, it’s just as important that you don’t forget about going for regular checkups. 

Doing a full body checkup includes a range of tests for all body systems. The results will let you know how well your organs are working and whether there’s anything you should be concerned about. It’s a great way to determine the overall condition of your body. Still, it can also help in the early detection of different diseases, increase your chances of getting more accurate and better treatment, and reduce the cost of healthcare in the long term.

Diseases do not discriminate, and rather than being convinced that something can’t happen to you, it’s better to stay safe than sorry and make sure that you do regular checkups. Below, you will find more helpful information on the topic. 

To Detect a Disease Early 

Going for regular checkups can help you detect a disease in its early stages when you might not even know it exists. There are millions of people suffering from diseases but don’t even know it. By performing a routine screening, whether it is a sexual test, an X-ray, or a detailed study of kidney function, it’s more likely that the doctor will diagnose severe or even potentially life-threatening conditions and will be able to start the treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, you might even be able to treat the disease without going through unnecessary invasive procedures due to how early it was detected. 

To Reduce the Cost of Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare can be very expensive, and while most people don’t want to be thinking about this until they need it, the fact is that both you and those who will be taking care of you will probably be better off if you go for regular checkups.

Because the early detection of certain diseases allows you to receive appropriate treatment, you may save lots of money in the long run. A complete body checkup can offer you peace of mind and let you avoid going through what could be unnecessary and expensive treatments. While it’s true that screening does have some financial implications, you should also know that a routine checkup is less likely to involve invasive techniques or surgeries.

To Learn the Risks of Developing Certain Conditions 

One of the most important benefits of a complete body checkup is that it helps you learn more about the risks associated with developing certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease, and what you can do to prevent them. Older adults develop more health conditions due to the natural process of aging, but knowing what the risks are and how to keep yourself safe will be an excellent advantage for the future. 

Moreover, your doctor will also ask about any health issues that run in your family to ensure that the necessary precautions are in place and that the family history is taken into account when it comes to medical decisions.

To Create a Personal Medical History

When you make sure to get regular checkups performed by the doctors you trust, you can receive medical care that’s tailored to your personal needs. The results of the checkups will let your doctor know exactly what measures are needed, which issues should be addressed, and what the best plan for your future treatment might be. It is a great way to receive personalized medical care that can be much more effective in preventing diseases and keeping you in good health.

It is also an excellent opportunity to build a trust-based relationship with your doctors. It will give you the confidence to be as open and honest as possible about your medical issues and concerns. It will also enable your doctor to notice more details about changes in your health, and you won’t have to worry about disregarding any symptoms that don’t feel right.

In Conclusion

To sum up, doing a complete body checkup is not just for detecting diseases in the early stages or preventing them from occurring in the first place. It’s also an excellent way to improve your overall health, especially if any conditions run in your family or you’re at a higher risk of developing certain diseases due to other reasons.

Regular full body checkups will help you maintain a good quality of life and let you feel more in control; it may also save you lots of money in the long run. You will undoubtedly feel more at ease thanks to being aware that you’ve done everything in your power to check whether there are any potential health concerns.

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Home Care & Living

7 Ways to Keep a Pet Safe in the Garden

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We are a nation of pet lovers, and whether you are a dog or a cat person, the safety of your beloved friend is paramount. Dogs especially need access to a garden, and making sure that the garden is safe is essential. With cats, you have a more individual animal that will do its own thing, and they need to have a safe environment to live in.

We’ve put together a list of seven things you can do to ensure that your pet is safe in the garden, so let’s get started.

Ensure Fences or Hedges Are Secure

There is some excellent advice at cockapoohq about safety for dogs in the garden, and we want to talk about our ideas. This means installing a secure fence or, if you prefer, a dense hedge that the dog cannot get through. If you already have one or the other, it is essential to check it once in a while to make sure it is not damaged in a way that may allow the dog to get through it. This one doesn’t apply to cats, but a secure boundary is vital for dog owners.

Keep Chemicals Stored Out of Reach

Making a garden dog friendly and safe for cats means keeping any garden chemicals out of reach of the animal. Items such as fertilizers and weed killers can contain ingredients that are poisonous to animals and humans. Anti-freeze should be kept out of reach of cats, especially as they are attracted to it, and it will more than likely kill them if ingested, so any spills of chemicals of this type should be dealt with carefully.

Be Careful What You Plant

It may surprise that many popular garden plants can be dangerous for dogs if they eat them. It is not unusual for a dog to eat plants, so you need to be careful what you put in your garden. Daffodil bulbs, for example, are toxic for dogs, as is the amaryllis. Yew berries and leaves are also dangerous to animals, while many other plants that may grow wild or be cultivated should be avoided. Click the link for more information.

Fence off Your Pond

If you have a garden pond and a curious dog or cat, you should install a fence around it. Pets can get into trouble in the water, and there is a real risk of drowning. This also applies if there are small children in the home. Some dogs like water and will be entirely at home in your pond, while those not familiar may get confused, so it’s best to make sure the pet cannot reach the pond.

Don’t Leave Tools Lying Around

Tools such as saws can cause injury if a dog or cat stumbles upon them, ad they should always be put back where they belong and locked away safely. Power tools should always be unplugged and put away, as accidents happen.

Keep Gates Closed

Finally, keep gates that give access to your garden closed and, if possible, fit them with an automatic closing device. Ensure there is a polite ‘Please Close the Gate’ sign visible for people coming into your garden. A dog is a curious animal and will take every chance to have a good look at the outside world!

We hope that we’ve helped you with some helpful advice on keeping gardens safe for your pets, so check your hedges and fences now and make sure your dog cannot escape easily. 

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Home Care & Living

How to Carefully Pack and Store Your Plants When Moving

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Preparation is crucial when planning to move your household items. However, it would help if you were more prepared when moving plants. This is because transporting plants is not an easy task. You need to consider various factors such as temperature, weather, and mode of transport. 

But with a bit of preparation, it might not be a stressful procedure. By planning how to move the plants carefully, it is possible to relocate them without damaging them. 

You can choose to hire commercial movers or move the plants by yourself. But there are a few things you need to consider to ensure everything goes well. Below are essential tips on packing and storing your plants when moving. 

How to Pack and Store Plants When Moving

1. Consult the Authorities

If it is a long-distance move, you need to consult the authorities. This is because there may be restrictions when moving plants from one area to another. Some states prohibit the moving of dangerous plants. 

So, before you start packing your plants, make sure you have the green light to relocate them. You do not want to be on the wrong side of the law.

2. Take Care of Them Before Moving

The next important thing you need to do is take care of your plants before moving. For instance, you need to replace the old soil with a fresh one. This is to ensure you do not transport bugs from one place to another. Also, you will ensure you do not infect your car or the moving truck. 

In some states, you may need to get a certified inspection. Hence, call the local agricultural department to plan for an appointment. After inspecting the plants, they will give the required papers to present to the authorities.

Also, two to three days before moving, water the plants. Make sure the soil is moist but not soaked. It would help if you kept the roots damp when in transit. 

3. Pack the Plants Properly

The next step is to pack your plants. It would help if you packed them properly, to protect them from cold, heat, and sunlight. Therefore, you need to get suitable packing materials. 

Happily, you can be creative when packing the plants. For instance, you can take a craft paper of the same width as your plant. Then wrap the paper around to make a cone shape at the top. You can use staples or tape to keep the form. 

But for delicate plants such as succulents or cacti, place them in a box and cushion the empty spaces with towels or bubble wrap. 

4. Store Them Safely When Moving

When moving the plants, you need to store them properly. You do not want them to get damaged or break your other items. It is recommended you pack the in the back seat of your car. Here, it is a bit tighter, and it might not slant. 

But if you are moving the plants in the truck, make sure several items are packed around it. This will ensure it does not fall over. 

5. Take Care of the Plants During the Move

During the warm weather, make sure you regularly stop in shaded places and open the windows to allow fresh air in. Also, during the cold weather, make sure you maintain a comfortable temperature inside the car. 

In addition, do not expose your plants to direct sunlight or harsh winds. During stopovers, make sure you take your plants inside as well. It is not a good idea to leave the plants inside the car throughout the night. But make sure you do not crush the branches or the leaves. 

6. Take Care of Your Plants After the Move

After reaching your new home, take care of the plants as soon as possible. Unwrap them and then water them. But give them a few weeks to recover from the moving shock. 

Some plants may wilt or lose leaves. However, you need to note that this is normal and will be back to normal after settling in. 

7. Take a Cutting

If some of your plants are too cumbersome or big to relocate, the best option is to take a cut. Use a knife to cut a healthy growth, and remove any excess leaves. But make sure you keep the cutting as moist as possible. 

Hence, wrap it with damp towels or paper, then secure it with a rubber band. The cutting will start to root after some days. That is the time to be replanted in the new place. 

Bottom-line

Moving a plant is not a simple process. Whether you have done it before or your first time, the process is a bit complicated. You need to research the new place’s climate and the soil. 

Happily, you can hire professionals such as NYC movers to help you with the move. But before you choose a moving company, it is essential to compare the quotes. In addition, not all movers agree to move plants. So, research well and ensure you select a reliable moving company. 

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Design Tips

Biggest Design Errors and How to Fix Them

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Decorating your home can prove to be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have much experience with interior design or feel overwhelmed by the abundance of different ideas.

Most homeowners have one common goal: to create a cohesive look among various rooms to look their best and not look like a collection of random trinkets. You’ll need to choose the right furniture, the perfect paint colors, and the ideal decor accessories for every space. This leaves a lot of room for making mistakes, but there’s no need to worry, as there are many quick and easy ways to fix every design misstep.

With that being said, if you feel like you could use a few easy tips, we’ve prepared this article just for you.

Using Uncomfortable Furniture

Comfort is an essential factor in creating a cozy and liveable space instead of turning your house into one extensive showroom. There’s no need to sacrifice comfort for aesthetics, so try to keep this in mind when shopping for furniture. If possible, always try to go to the store and try out sofas or chairs for yourself because what looks great in the pictures might be incredibly uncomfortable in real life.

Look for sectional sofas with stuffed cushions and choose fabrics such as cotton or linen. Clear plastic or rattan chairs might look great from a distance, but they can be impossible to sit on for longer than a few minutes without proper cushions. And don’t hesitate to decorate your home with small touches that can improve comfort even more. For instance, a soft footstool or pillows can go a long way in making your furniture more comfortable – you can check the best adjustable pillow here.

Picking Neutral Colors Only

There’s no shame in saying that you love classic and neutral colors. The truth is that they make for a safe and timeless choice, but at the same time, they can get pretty dull after a while. That’s why it might be better to mix them up a bit.

For instance, if you choose to paint the walls in your room in colors such as eggshell, ecru, taupe, brown, or cream, you can try to add some bold accents by choosing the right furniture or decorations. Different shades of green make for a great accent color, so feel free to incorporate them into the decor in the form of an armchair, curtains, blankets, or pillows. Dusty pink, teal, crimson or purple can also help arrange a visually-interesting space. Don’t be afraid to opt for bold accents to break up the monotony!

Picking Wrong Light Bulbs

Light bulbs play an essential role in determining the mood in a room and have the power to make or break entire interior designs. For instance, yellow light bulbs are perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere that will make anyone feel relaxed and comfortable after a long day at work or school. They should work best in bedrooms, living rooms, as well as for outside lighting.

Cool light bulbs can also prove to be helpful but in different rooms. They usually work best in kitchens, especially if you’re going for a modern and sleek look, and in bathrooms that often have no windows and need bright lighting.

Overdoing It With Patterns

If you love patterns, then there’s nothing wrong with using them liberally throughout your home; however, it would be better if you chose to stick to a few essential rules when mixing patterns. Try to use similar colors and use them on objects that vary in size.

Chevron and herringbone are pretty versatile but can be overwhelming in large quantities; that’s why it’s better to keep them for things like vases and pillowcases instead of grand wall art. It would help if you also kept in mind that plaid rarely works with polka dots, and floral prints don’t go together with animal prints – there’s too much going on at once.

Following these simple rules will help your house look much more harmonious and balanced in the end, especially if you use complementary patterns rather than striking ones that aren’t likely to complement each other well under any circumstances.

Using the Same Stuff in Every Room

Usually, people like to decorate every room in a way that makes each of them look unique, but at the same time, try to keep them connected with the others. However, this might prove to be a big mistake if you don’t mix up your accessories and furniture enough.

For example, if you have an elegant living room, keeping the same sofa in your study might be an easy but boring choice design-wise. The same goes for decor. If you find a piece of art that you like, you might feel tempted to buy more of it and set it in every room. Instead, you could perform a Google search using keywords to describe this accessory and find similar items that will help you create a cohesive look. 

Additionally, even if you like a particular shade of green or blue, using them as accent colors throughout the house might make your decor look dull. Instead, try to either go for different shades of your favorite colors or take a look at the color wheel and find opposite colors to create exciting contrasts.

Conclusion

Designing your home can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you take your time to do it right. However, it can also be pretty challenging, especially these days, when we’re bombarded with new trends on each step. That’s why knowing how to avoid and fix the most common interior design mistakes is so important. By following the tips in the article above, you’ll be able to create a visually-appealing space that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Good luck with transforming your space!

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Design Tips

Chic Modern Dining Room Ideas to Style up Your Space

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Modern dining spaces are more appreciated than traditional design because they still give alluring and classy looks. Although modern means sleek and streamlined, it doesn’t have to be too formal, making the area more welcoming. But what is modern design? What furniture and accessories should you get?

There isn’t one answer to those questions. You can make a statement with modern art and graphics, or you can opt for a more minimalistic look. If you want your dining room to be a happy place, you probably want to make sure that it’s in the best shape for everyday use, as well as for get-togethers and parties.

Whether you need some inspiration to redecorate or design your new home, get ready to take notes from the chic modern dining room ideas to style up your space below. It will surely impress anyone who comes over to your house. Read on!

Join the Minimalist Movement by Keeping It Simple

Do you have a minimalistic approach throughout your home and want your dining area to have the same style? Choose accessories and paint colors that will add dimension to the room. Since you picked pieces that play well with your furniture, you can stick to having the “less is more” feel without it feeling unfinished.

There are endless ways to pull this look together. For example, if you have ever wondered what is hybrid flooring and how it can help you, you should know that it’s a great way to add depth and texture to your dining room. Let’s say that you have a white-and-black patterned floor; you can add dark-colored chairs to make a bold statement.

Go For a Statement Piece

A statement piece is something that sets the tone of your dining area. If you’re looking to bring in a beautiful centerpiece, traditional artwork, framed photos, and other art pieces are great ways to add interest to your space. It doesn’t make sense to go with cheap-looking pieces to create that chic look.

Another idea is to opt for a beautiful rug. To create a modern feel, choose colors that are neutral or cool tones. A nice rug will also help you define the different areas in your dining room, like the living room and the kitchen. On top of that, it adds a softness to your space.

Add a Touch of Modern Art

One of the things that can make any space more modern is a vibrant portrait or piece that creates a purposeful and tasteful look. Sleek angles and stark lines of modern furniture can make an area of your home feel cold. A pop of color to an oversized piece can bring that contemporary tone with a cozier and warmer feel.

Consider Adding Graphics

Modern style has a different meaning for everyone, but the bottom line is that it gives you a chance to experiment with designs and colors that scream “fearless.” You may already have a striking modern chandelier, as well as soft-toned chairs, so try an extraordinary graphic rug to bring all your pieces together.

Speaking of walls, there’s another way for you to get a modern dining room design besides painting it – bold wallpaper. You can even use a simple shade then experiment with accents and patterns without overpowering the space and furniture, and it will make your dining area unique and interesting.

Invest In Glass Items

Glass is an excellent material to use in modern dining spaces because it makes the area pops with light and makes the space feel bigger. Glass tables, chairs, and chandeliers can all make your room look more spacious while still being contemporary. If you’re using glass items in your dining room, choose a soft-colored floor such as cream or white to enhance the light quality.

Mix Traditional With Modern

If you have a home with a traditional design, it’s not right to go modern all at once. It’s best to layer your space with different styles. You can start by painting the walls of your dining area a soft shade such as gray or beige and add a few more modern pieces. Mixing elements from different eras can create a unique feel. And don’t forget that you can always use accents such as rugs, flowers, and artwork to spice things up.

Opt for a Cozy Dining Room

A cozy dining room is one of the essential areas in your home because you spend a lot of time there with the family. You want everything to be just right, including lighting and décor. A great way to make your dining area feel more comfortable is to add some beautiful throw pillows on a sofa or couch. The next time you and your family have dinner together, you can take a little break and lounge around.

To Sum Up

Are you ready to go for a chic modern dining room design? If you’re looking for a new way to make your space pop, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the pieces above. All of them are easy to style and install. Don’t forget that the success of your design depends on how well you combine all the elements. So, go on and choose what’s best for you!

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General Gardening

Is Well Water High in Iron Bad for Plants?

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Many areas have soil naturally rich in iron. Iron-rich soil always looks a bit orange, depending on how much iron it contains. But if your soil’s color has recently changed from brown to orange, it could be because you’ve been watering your garden with iron-rich water.

Since well water contains more iron than tap water, you’re more likely to water your plants with iron-rich water if you use a well.

Effects of Iron-Rich Water on Your Plants

Having iron in your water isn’t always bad for your plants. Plants need some amount of iron to flourish, but there’s such a thing as too much iron. Plants draw iron from the surrounding soil as they grow and develop.

When you water your plants with iron-rich water, you add more iron to the soil, which leads to a buildup of soil iron over time. Here’s what happens when there’s too much iron in the soil:

1. Overexposure of Plants to Iron

With too much iron in the soil, your plants are exposed to more iron than is safe for them. They may droop, lose their color, or even die.

2. Plants Lose Other Minerals

Excess soil iron can make it harder for plants to absorb other necessary minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, two essential minerals they require to survive. Plants need phosphorus for cell division and photosynthesis. At the same time, they need magnesium to produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. Chlorophyll also helps plants produce sugars and starches. With too much iron in the soil, your plants miss out on these important minerals. You can expect your plants to experience discoloration, trouble controlling photosynthesis, and weak roots.

Unbalanced levels of several other important elements, like zinc and manganese, are also expected with too much iron present.

How You Can Remove Excess Iron from Well Water

Iron exists in our water in different forms, but ferrous iron is the most common kind of iron found in well water. If your well water contains a lot of iron, you need to take steps to reduce the iron content. You can achieve this by using an iron water filter. You can also lower your well water’s iron levels by treating it with a water softener or an oxidizing filter.

There are different types of iron water filters, some of which are more effective than others. To choose the right iron filter for your home, you need to know the kind of iron present in your water and how much there is. You can find out the exact form of iron by conducting a water test. Take a water sample and head down to a lab near you. There’s the option of using water test kits, but lab results are often more accurate.

Your lab test results will determine the kind of iron filter you should get. Sediment or carbon filters won’t remove dissolved ferrous iron, but they’ll be effective against low amounts of ferric iron (which causes red, brown, or black deposits to form). Moderate and high concentrations of ferric iron can only be removed using a more advanced filtration device.

You can also remove iron from your water using a water softener. Water softeners work by trapping positively charged mineral ions in a resin tank filled with negatively charged resin beads and exchanging them with sodium ions. Water softeners remove iron from water to some extent, but they may not be the best choice.

If you’re filtering out ferric iron with a water softener, you’ll need to filter it first with a sediment pre-filter. Most water softeners can only remove up to 3 ppm of iron. They work well for low iron contamination, but using them on highly contaminated water can permanently damage them.

If you have a water softener, you can rely on it to remove hardness-causing minerals and low levels of iron contamination. But to fully optimize your home’s water filtration, install an iron filter along with your home’s water softener.

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General Gardening

Can I Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?

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If there’s one type of plant that we know to be trending not only because it’s pretty but also for its low maintenance, that would be succulents. Succulents are naturally resilient and drought-tolerant. As such, they will most likely survive even if you forget to water them every once in a while.

Then again, this doesn’t mean that they’re completely invincible. Just like many other plants, succulents need certain things to survive, including water. What if your succulents are already dead? Is there a way to revive succulents? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Can You Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?

In all honesty, no. If your succulent is already dead, there’s no way to bring it back to life. However, there are ways to revive a dying plant. As long as there are still signs of life in your plant, there’s a chance to save it. You can expect the process to be challenging, though. Just like us, the closer plants are to the brink of death, the harder it will be to revive them.

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to save a dying succulent? Before we move on to the actual steps, there are two things you need to determine.

1. What Type of Succulents Do You Own?

Is it a tropical or desert succulent? Knowing your succulent and its specific needs will help you ascertain the root cause of the problem. At the same time, it can also help you choose the best revival steps later on.

2. What’s the Cause of the Issue?

Speaking of the root cause, that’s the next thing you should figure out. Knowing the issue is critical if you ever want to stop what’s happening to your plant, resolve it, and more importantly, prevent it from happening again in the future.

The Most Common Causes of Succulent Death

There are usually five common causes of succulent death: overwatering, too much sunlight, neglect, abrupt temperature and weather changes, and pests and diseases. To know the reason your succulents are dying, let’s talk about each one.

Overwatering

The most common cause of succulent death is overwatering. As mentioned, succulents are drought-tolerant, so they don’t need as much water as other plants. Overwatering your succulent can lead to root rot and disease.

Too Much Sun

The fact that they are drought-tolerant doesn’t mean they would love to get burnt by the sun. Exposing your succulents to too much sunlight can scorch their leaves and may even lead to their demise.

Neglect

Though hardy and low-maintenance, your succulent plant will still need care. The failure to provide them with what they need is a sure way to kill even the most resilient of plants.

Weather and Temperature Changes

Aside from the potential damage that the summer sun’s heat can cause, succulents also don’t like being left outside in the wintertime to freeze.

Disease and Pests

Finally, your succulents can get cross-contaminated with disease from other plants or even attacked by pests.

Saving Your Succulents

After figuring out the issue, you can now move on to the next step: resolution. Here’s what you can do to save your dying succulents:

  • If your succulent is dying due to overwatering, consider repotting it into a more well-draining medium and container.
  • If the issue is sunburn, you should relocate your plant to a spot where it can receive bright yet indirect light. Relocation is also a good solution to save a succulent dying from the winter chill.
  • There’s no resolution for neglect other than taking better care of your succulents. For example, if you feel that they are too dry and thirsty, the best way to revive them is to give your plants a good soak.

You can do this by placing its pot in a larger container with about a couple of inches of water. Allow your succulents to sit there for a while until you feel the topsoil already getting moist. Don’t let your plant soak for too long to prevent drowning it.

  • Finally, there are different products and organic formulas (some you can even prepare yourself) you can use to save your succulents from diseases and insects.

Bringing Your Succulents Back to Life

One of the reasons many people love growing succulents is their resilience. Sadly, this translates to some people as a license to neglect their plants.

Once your succulent has completely died, there will be no way to revive it anymore. However, there are some steps you can take to save a dying plant, as long as you see that it’s still showing some signs of life.

You will need to determine what type of succulent you have and the root cause of the issue before you can revive it. Once you’re able to account for them, you can then move on to try the various tips we shared. Good luck and happy planting!

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Home Care & Living

Don’t Move, Improve: The Best Ways to Achieve Your Dream Home

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It seems fair to say that most of us have spent a lot more time in our own homes over the last couple of years than we maybe would have previously. And when the time came when we could finally step outside of our own four walls and think about heading further afield, the UK property market hit us with a painful dose of reality. Housing prices have been going up and up for a long time now, and experts have warned us that we should not expect this trend to change any time soon.

With that in mind, why not think about the ways in which you can bring your property closer to the perfect home you have in your mind? It is so easy to put these changes, upgrades, and major alterations off because we think they are going to be expensive, or because we think they are going to be hard work. But these are the projects that can remind us why we fell in love with our homes in the first place. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for how you can breathe new life into your property this spring.

Ask Yourself What You Want From Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the big beating heart of any home, but it is also one of those rooms that can leave us feeling like we are putting up with something instead of enjoying what we really wanted. We complain every time we struggle to find room for all of our shopping in the fridge that has been too small for our needs ever since we moved in. We mutter under our breath every time the oven fails to do what it’s supposed to in the time we were counting on.

If you have been putting up with something that is not making you happy for far too long, then it is high time to change things. Whether you have always wanted marble countertops, a kitchen island, or new appliances, treat yourself to the heart of the home that you can be proud of.

Make Your Garden Feel Luxurious

With spring coming in, we are all looking forward to spending a lot more time in our gardens. The winter has felt endless, with long stretches of freezing cold and torrential rain. During those months, it can be tempting to write the garden off completely. We’ll pop out every now and again when the sun is shining, sure, but apart from that? Well, now is the perfect time to think about how you can give your outdoor space an upgrade.

 If your garden has felt purely functional for far too long, then there are several different ways that you can make it feel more elegant and luxurious. Consider adding decking to give your outdoor seating area more definition. Could this be the year that you commit to learning how to raise flowers and plants? If you plan on doing a lot of relaxing outdoors this year, you should absolutely consider looking at awnings or a veranda. They will help you to enjoy your outdoor time no matter what the weather is doing. Nationwide Home Innovations has decades of experience in this area, and they can help you find the perfect awning, louvered patio roofs, and glass veranda for your home.

Get Your Bathroom In Order

While the kitchen may be at the top of most of our lists of most-wished-for improvements, the bathroom tends to come a close second. We always tell ourselves that we will get around to reworking our bathrooms when we move into a new property, but it is so easy to keep putting it off. It is impossible to underestimate the impact that a refitted bathroom can have on your home.

Why spend another year wishing that you had a different shower or bathtub? Why not see how much difference slatted blinds would make to the lighting in the room? It can be as bold as underfloor heating or as simple as new faucets on your bathroom sink. But given how much relaxing we do in the bathroom; you owe it to yourself to really make it somewhere you enjoy spending time.

The Home Office Is A Priority

With the restrictions lifting in the UK, most of us are heading back into the office for at least a couple of days a week. However, we are still spending the rest of the time working from home and you really need to have a space that works for you. Stop making do with working from the kitchen table and think about how you can create a home office that fosters productivity. Look at fully committing to turning that spare room into a bright and organized space where you can get your best work done, and that you can close the door on at the end of the day.

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Home Care & Living

How to Use an LCR Meter

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An LCR meter is the name of a specialized measuring instrument that is used for the purpose of measuring the typical parameters of electrical components. LCR meters specifically measure a physical property called impedance, which is the opposition offered by a circuit to the flow of current that goes through it.

L refers to inductance, with C being capacitance and R meaning resistance. This device is a dedicated meter that comes with a high degree of accuracy in its measurements.

If the operation of a precision instrument is not standardized then there is the risk of damaging the instrument, which can result in an inaccurate measurement result. Therefore, it is of vital importance to make sure LCR meters are used correctly.

How to avoid common LCR meter mistakes

In order to avoid common LCR meter mistakes, it is important to make sure the device is correctly grounded. Users need to ensure that they are utilizing the three-phase AC power cord that came with the LCR meter.

Avoid making use of autotransformers, lead wires, or power cords that do not have to protect grounding conductors, or else the grounding protection is likely to fail. Proper grounding is vital to preventing the creation of static electricity that can cause damage to both the LCR meter and the user.

Before starting to make use of LCR meters, operators should be certain that they have checked the polarity and the quality of the AC power source. LCR meters usually use a voltage of 100V, 120V, 220V, or 240V. The standard grounding resistance value is <1Ω, with the voltage being <1V between the neutral and ground lines. It may sometimes be necessary to configure a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

The LCR meter needs to be stored in an environment that is both clean and dry. The ambient temperature of the storage environment should not be higher than 35C, with the best working temperature ideally being between 23 and 25C.

Cooling fans and cooling holes need to be checked on a regular basis and cleaned before any problems can develop. Making sure that the working environment is kept clean is of vital importance due to the fact that the LCR meter can be damaged by dust because of static electricity, with the dust accumulating on the fan sometimes preventing the LCR meter from starting.

DC voltage or current should not be applied to unknown terminals or you risk damaging the LCR meter. The capacitance should be checked to make sure it is free of charge prior to the capacitance is measured. Being both the LCR meter and the device being tested is connected or disconnected, the power should be turned off.

The device being tested should not be placed outside of the fixture for testing. The bias current should be outputted or turned off via the DC Bias button, which can be found on the LCR meter’s front panel. The current should not be disconnected by replacing either the cable or the device that is being tested.

LCR meters are available in both analog and digital forms, though the latter tends to be more accurate, and are ideal for performing precise, direct measurements of capacitors, inductors, and resistance that make use of different test frequencies.

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Containers

Growing in Pots: 9 Secrets to Successful Container Gardening

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Growing your container garden is a fun & easy way to unleash your creativity & add some color to your outdoor space. The best thing is that container gardening is not limited to a balcony garden. You can have your container plants anywhere like patios, walkways, front doors, decks, etc.

Container herbs are your saviors when you want to grow your food but are tied up with limited time & space. You can grow anything from a mini-farm to a specimen tree with the right pot, soil, and place.

You have endless choices when it comes to container gardening. Railing baskets, fish tanks, cedar boxes, half barrels, resin pots, storage totes, and even kitchen sinks can grow vegetables. Below are some secrets to growing these versatile plants successfully.

Choose the Right Container/Pot

Your container should have adequate drainage. When you water your plant, the water should quickly move through the soil & effectively out of the hole in the bottom. The herb may suffer when the water sits in pots after heavy rain or simple watering. So having suitable drainage holes are necessary.

The growth of the plants largely depends on the soil mass as well. Small hanging baskets of 10-inch are tempting but they are quite inefficient to grow a healthy plant. Hangers with at least 14 inches of diameter are preferable.

Be Location-Specific

Some plants require sunlight, and some don’t. For instance, plants like Bromeliad, Chinese Evergreen, and Dumb Cane don’t need sunlight to grow. It’s essential to put the pot in the blazing sun only if it helps with the herb’s growth. Try to know the amount of sunlight your plant requires and place the pot accordingly. That is a prime requirement for the health of your plants.

Feed the Right Soil Mix to Your Plants

If you fill the containers with garden soil, your plants will deteriorate. Your containers must contain lightweight and well-draining potting mix. A 50-50 blend of compost and potting mix is advisable, as the former will add nutrients and hold the soil moisture.

You can mix a slow-release fertilizer in your potting mix and continue doing the same every week. It will also give the plants the nutrients they need to grow.

Water Your Plants

Water is the most significant ingredient required by your plants, especially rainwater, it is warm, soft, and charged with oxygen. Ensure that you allow the container soil to dry between watering.

Watering is also necessary because after the water transpires through the plant, its space in the soil is replaced with oxygen-rich air.

Only Good Neighbors Should Stay Together

When you place multiple plants in one pot, you should consider if they will be good neighbors to each other or not. If you place multiple plants in one pot, they should require the same amount of water, sunlight, and moisture. Plants with different needs will not thrive together.

Read the Tag

Tags are crucial to know all about your plants. They will inform you about the needs of your flora, such as how much food, water, and light is required. It will help you provide them with everything it needs in optimum quantity.

Tags will also inform you about the structure, growth rate, shape, etc., which will help you arrange the combinations depending on the container designs.

Fertilize Well

It’s vital to know that container plants require more nutrients than garden ones. The high need for nutrients is due to the soil volume in the roots. Markets are filled with fertilizers that are organic or synthetic.

You should choose the one your plant needs depending on the tag. You can get to know about it through a quick internet search, or you can ask the salesperson as well.

Remove Dead Flowers

Removing the dead flowers will restore your plant’s energy and make the soil healthy. Along with improving the look of your plants, it will help grow more flowers, leaves, fruits & vegetables.

Get a Cure for Pests

Flower buds & leaves can be damaged when pests start to take place in your well-maintained plants. Snails, slugs, earwigs are just some of them. You should recognize the pest based on the trails and then remove them. For instance, slugs often leave a slime trail.

You can peel off the slugs easily & remove them. You can also spray insecticide directly on the insects (not bees and ladybugs). Just give the leaf-top and bottom a good drenching, and you are good to go.

Conclusion

These easy steps will take you one step ahead towards having the perfect container garden. It will give a colorful and aesthetic look to your home and the many health benefits that comes along.

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Home Care & Living

7 Tools That Every Backyard Gardener Should Own

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While there may be snow covering your property at the moment, if you are an avid gardener, you are likely making your plans for the spring. If you have been inspired by the movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle and dream of growing your own food, you will want to arm yourself with all the tools you will need to be a garden warrior.

For most gardeners, working with plants is about more than growing vegetables. It’s about nurturing the soil and the seeds so that they can produce a vital bounty. Many people get out in their gardens as part of their relaxation routine. Whatever your reason for loving the garden, it’s important that you have the right tools to get the job done. 

If your gardening passions extend to the rest of your property’s landscaping, you could have a lot of spring chores in the near future. If you plan on pruning your trees with a chainsaw, you will need a pair of chaps to start. Safety should always be a priority when you are working on your yard or your garden. Let’s take a closer look at some of the must-have tools that every backyard gardener should own.

Hand Trowel

No respectable gardener’s work belt is complete without a hand trowel. This handy and sturdy tool can help you dig out those stubborn weeds, prepare your soil for transplanting, and add new plants to your garden. If you spend a lot of time in the garden, you will be using your hand trowel often and should purchase one that is durable and has a firm grip. To prevent rusting and extend the useful life of your hand trowel, it should be cleaned and dried after every use.

Spade

A gardening spade is a very handy tool for the garden. Whether you are digging holes for new plants, dividing rooted saplings, or edging your new garden space, a spade is the right tool for you. Your spade should have a long handle and a flat edge, unlike a shovel to do the job properly. 

Rake

Cleaning up leaves in the fall isn’t the only chore for which your rake is good. Your rake can be a handy gardening tool. When you are ready to clean up your garden beds, your rake can be very helpful in the spring. It can help you to remove rotting leaves, turn the soil and remove clogs from your beds. For your comfort, you should have a rake with a sturdy and long handle that is covered with the right grip material.

Garden Hose

Water is the nectar that helps your garden grow into beautiful maturity. If you are going to be spending lots of time in your garden this spring, you will need a sturdy and reliable garden hose to help with your work. Traditional garden hoses can be bulky and heavy to carry around the yard. You may want to invest in a retractable hose that is light and easy to work with.

Pruners

The key to keeping your garden looking great is knowing where and when to do some pruning. To do the job right and with ease, you will need a reliable pair of pruning shears. Ensure that you get a set of shears that fits your hand and aren’t too stiff to operate easily. To extend the life of your pruners, you should rinse and dry them after each use. You should have your pruning shears sharpened at the beginning of the gardening year.

Gloves

Gardening can be hard work, and your hands will take the brunt of your labor. If you will be spending any time in the garden, you should have a quality pair of gardening gloves. Gloves that have rubberized palms are a good choice to help protect your hands and keep them dry. Working with gardening gloves helps you avoid small knicks and cuts from your plants and be safe from the toxic fertilizers you use in the garden.

Wheelbarrow

Spring is a time for planting in the garden, which means a lot of physical labor. If you are putting in new plants, you will want to have a wheelbarrow to help you carry your load. Carrying heavy bags of soil, pavers, or mulch can be tough on your back. Use your wheelbarrow to move the heavier loads around your garden.

If you are itching to get your hands dirty and bring your spring garden to life, make sure you have these essential tools. Every backyard gardener needs the right tools to make their gardening chores easier and more enjoyable.

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Tips for Attracting Wildlife to Your Urban Garden

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When we think about a wildlife garden, we tend to think about thatch-roofed cottages surrounded by the sprawling British countryside, but many don’t consider that, in fact, our city and suburban gardens can be perfect for wildlife too.

While not home to the same creatures you might find out in farmlands and meadows or along riverbanks, there is, in fact, plenty of wildlife that passes through urban areas, and some that even takes up permanent residence. If you’re looking at attracting more critters to your garden, then take note of our top tips for turning that urban garden area into a haven for wildlife.

Planting Flowers

The foundation for attracting wildlife into your garden is to get planting. You don’t necessarily have to plant in the ground, but, if possible, this is the best choice as many insects like to live in the moist soil and dirt beneath your plants and flowers. Flowers will attract pollinating insects, most notably bees, to your garden, which are great for the environment as many plants require these bugs to breed.

This symbiotic relationship between plants and pollinators is a very important one, as bees will help keep plant populations healthy, and the nectar that bees take from these flowers sustains them and their hives. Pollinators also partly serve as prey for larger insects and birds, further strengthening the food chain.

Consider Wild Growth

A great way to attract a wealth of interesting creatures is to let nature do its thing, of course, with a bit of a push. Plant a wild assortment of native plants in a space and allow it to just do its thing. Grasses and wildflowers are perfect for wild growth areas and serve as a perfect hiding place for so many different creatures, from rodents to creepy crawlies.

This undergrowth will also provide these creatures with shelter for hibernation and rest. You could even allow a part of your lawn to grow wild, even if you cut the rest of it. Just be careful when cutting plants back, especially grass, as there could be countless things living within.

Create Access

It’s very common to want to fully secure your garden, especially in the city, and while we’re not suggesting you take down any fences, you have to remember that if you’ve closed up holes and gaps in every wall and fence, the only creatures that will be getting into your garden are things with wings or those that have good climbing skills.

The best kind of border to provide cover and security, as well as access to wildlife, is a hedge, especially one that either has plenty of spikes or one that remains green and full all year round. Allowing this increased access will let creatures in like hedgehogs and foxes that may not have otherwise been able to deal with your fences or walls.

Bird Feeders

Another great method of attracting animals to your garden is to turn it into a handy rest-stop for birds. Adding feeders and birdbaths is a sure-fire way of attracting birds to your garden very quickly. Visible seed dispensers and fat ball holders will draw passing birds in, as will birdbaths. These baths also function as a means for birds to hydrate as well as clean themselves or cool off.

You can find loads of great bird supplies online from dedicated sellers like Little Peckers. They sell everything from different types of wild bird food to tables and even tools for deterring squirrels. Although, remember that squirrels need to eat too, and it may be worth getting a specific squirrel feeder alongside your squirrel-proof bird feeders so that everyone is happy!

Aquatic Life

You don’t necessarily need a fixed pond to have aquatic life in your garden. Of course, if you have the means to do so, this could be a great addition to your wildlife garden. If you can’t dig out a pond, you could use a large pot or another sturdy container to add pond life to. You can add everything from lily pads to rushes and even some amphibious creatures to it as well.

Remember though that, while frogs and newts love to spend most of their time underwater, they actually need to rest on land at times too. If you’re going to put some in your makeshift pond, make sure they have a way to get out and down to the ground, as well as back in again.

Homes for Insects

Providing undergrowth for bugs to live in is great, but some insects actually prefer to find tiny holes in tree trunks, walls, and fences, which they can squeeze into and, in some cases, block up for added security.

You can get what is often known as a bug hotel, a selection of holes of varying sizes suitable for many types of creatures like ladybirds, spiders, solitary bees, and wasps. The creatures living in these homes are great for your garden, as many eradicate pests and try their hand at pollinating.

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Containers

Liven up Your Garden Area With Large Plant Pots

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Gardening is an amazing hobby for most individuals. It takes you close to the beauty of nature. You get to raise plants that would remain seeds if you do not nurture them.

Many people use gardening pots to decorate their garden. If you have little or no space in your garden, gardening can be a challenging hobby. However, with 15-gallon pots, you can grow large plants and trees in a limited gardening area.

Gardening pots are available in different shapes and sizes. You need to consider the area and the type of plant you want to grow in the pot to choose the right one. These pots would enhance the beauty of any plant.

15-gallon nursery pots give you the pleasure of fulfilling your gardening passion by planting large plant pots. Big gardens around the city use these pots to grow large trees around.

Read on to learn what you need to know about gardening pots.

4 Reasons to use large gardening pots 

Here are a few positive reasons to place large gardening pots in your garden:

Design and Beautification: 

15-gallon planters add a sense of beautification and versatility to your garden. They allow you to lend instant color to your area. Large pots are placed indoors to add an artistic touch to your house. They add to the beauty of your home décor.

Whether you place them outdoors around the wall or mount them on the windowsill, they look extremely attractive. Not only do they add color and ambiance to your balcony but they also serve the purpose of having a welcoming decoration in your house.

You can either place a single or a group of pots on your outdoor patio or balcony. However, it is best to arrange small and large pots in a group. This would give a good visual effect to your house. Moreover, you can place different shapes of pots in a particular area to add more design and style to your house.

Easy to move around: 

The best thing about 15-gallon plastic pots is that you can take them anywhere you want. Planting trees and shrubs in the garden without plant pots makes it impossible for you to move. You have to uproot the tree or plant to change its place. When you use plastic pots in your garden, you can choose to either place them indoors or outdoors. You can change the position of the pots whenever you feel like it. There is no risk to the survival of the plant.

Organized look: 

Large plant pots allow you to have a beautiful garden on your terrace. You can place a few pots on your terrace in an organized manner and uplift the look of the house.

If you are planning to plant large trees in your garden, 15-gallon tree pots are going to prove to be quite useful. You’d be able to make your garden appear organized by positioning the pots in a proper manner.

Moreover, if you have limited space in your garden, you can manage the growth of large trees with 15-gallon plant pots. You can plant a couple of pots with single rosemary species and put them in a unique way to add a touch of beauty to your terrace.

Oftentimes if you plant trees in your garden, they grow in an unorganized manner making the garden appear unattractive and shabby. With tree pots, you can make your garden look beautiful and adorable.

Large plant pots hold more soil: 

You can plant flowers, shrubs, and trees in any size and shape of the pot. However, if you want to plant something that requires enough root space, you should consider buying a large plant pot.

You need to choose the size of the pot carefully. During hot summer weather, the small pots tend to dry up quickly. You need to water them often. If you want to resist temperature fluctuations and keep the soil moist for long, you should choose large plant pots for your garden. Moreover, to keep the soil cooler, you should opt for light color containers.

It is essential to have a drainage hole in the pot you choose. Without a drainage hole, the plants might die. Make sure that the holes are large enough to drain the water out.

Conclusion: 

You can bring so many variations to your garden with large plant pots. Different varieties of plant pots are available that cater to every style and taste. Lots of pots can also be customized according to the size and color you want.

Whether you want to seed a few herbs or you want to plant large ferns, garden pots are a must-have. They become the center of attention in your garden. You need to make sure that you water them properly and feed them on a regular basis. Remove the dried-out leaves and deadheads of the flowers. If you want to keep the pots looking beautiful, cut off the plants that don’t grow properly.

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Home Care & Living

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your Greenhouse

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Before you start construction on a greenhouse, you’ll need to find the perfect spot on your property to place it. You want it to get plenty of sunlight and be close enough to your house that you can take care of it easily, but far enough away that the greenhouse doesn’t steal too much heat from your home during the winter months.

As discussed in this full article, there are many choices you need to make when building your greenhouse, but location plays the most important role in its effectiveness. It’s worth taking the time to find the right spot if you want great results with minimal effort. Below we’ll explore five expert tips to help you choose the perfect site for your greenhouse:

1. Consider Your Climate Zone

Your climate zone (arid, mild/warm, or cold) can have a huge impact on your greenhouse site. Try to find a place that is suitable for your specific climate zone. If you’re building in an arid climate, for example, finding a site that receives plenty of moisture and shade will help keep your plants alive during dry spells. If you’re setting up in a cold or windy climate, it’s especially important to make sure you pick a spot with good shelter; trees, and buildings that help shield your greenhouse from high winds.

2. Pick an Area With Easy Access to Utilities

You’ll need to run electricity, plumbing, and other utility lines to your greenhouse. Make sure you find an affordable way to connect those utilities to your site. Some greenhouses are fully off-grid, relying on rainwater or a well water source. This might limit where you can put your greenhouse if it’s not near an existing water source. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice in your location, pick an area that makes for easy access to running water and electricity.

Additionally, consider where you will keep your equipment when it’s not in use. Many commercial greenhouses have attached storage buildings or sheds. Are there several nearby options, or do you need to be close to a busy road where trucks can pull up and deliver materials and supplies? How many times per day will you need to access your tools and supplies? Plan accordingly and build your greenhouse in a location where you can easily access essential tools and supplies.

3. Consider Pest Pressure

Another major factor in determining greenhouse placement is whether or not there’s a large pest population near your proposed site. Your greenhouse should be protected against pest infestation. There are a few extra precautions you’ll want to take, depending on your geographical location. Remember, pests in one region may not be present in another; pay attention to what local farmers face when choosing your site and prepare accordingly.

4. Choose a Spot With Enough Room for Expansion

An important part of planning your greenhouse is choosing a site with enough room to expand. If you have your heart set on a specific location, find out if it has enough space to accommodate growth. You might think you’ll only need an acre or two now, but what about in 10 years? Plants grow quickly, so if you build a greenhouse that’s too small and then need to upgrade in a year or two, you’ll have to move it, and that can be an expensive process. 

5. Don’t Compromise on Safety

All greenhouses need a place to store pesticides, chemicals, and other potentially hazardous materials. Make sure you choose a spot that won’t endanger local wildlife or groundwater supplies in case of leaks or spills. Ask any neighboring landowners if they are concerned about safety issues, as well. Check with local regulatory agencies to ensure your proposed site is zoned properly.

Wherever you decide to site your greenhouse, make sure the site is at least two feet above potential flooding or high-water marks. Water damage can result in costly repairs and could compromise your greenhouse’s structural integrity. Choose a spot away from areas that are likely to be hit by storms or hurricanes. Additionally, if you plan to work with sensitive or rare plants, or if your greenhouse will operate on public property (such as an educational institution), you may need to pay extra attention to its safety.

Endnote

Greenhouses serve many functions, but they must stay warm enough to grow crops year-round while also remaining cool enough to prevent your crops from cooking themselves to death. Choosing the right spot for your greenhouse can be tricky since it can seem like there are dozens of factors to consider when narrowing down your options. However, with proper research and preparation, you can easily pick the ideal spot and have your greenhouse in place within no time.

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Products

Hempwood: Laying Down the Foundation for a Greener Future

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Hemp is the low-THC-bearing cousin to the marijuana plant. Since the 1800s, fiber hemp has been utilized for everything from rope to textiles. With the re-introduction of hemp in 2018, hemp products have flooded the market. From clothing to plastics, it is all being done with hemp. While there are many hemp-based products in the industry, there remains only one manufacturer of HempWood®.

HempWood® is a hardwood alternative that is made from full-length hemp stalks with both the fiber and hurd included – no decortication required! HempWood® can be used for making lumber, flooring, woodturning blanks, and even DIY kits. This hardwood alternative is sustainable, healthy, durable, and all American-made. 

HempWood® starts within 100 miles of the factory located in Murray, Kentucky. All of the hemp used for production is sourced from local farmers. “By keeping the hemp close, we support the local agriculture community and cut down on transportation cost, which we can pass along savings to our customers,” Plant Manager Tommy Copeland said. After the hemp is received, this is where Fibonacci, LLC -the parent company of HempWood®- gets to work. From seed to flooring, it only takes 150 days. For traditional domestic hardwoods, it takes anywhere from 60 to 100 years to produce hardwood flooring. HempWood® is about 100 times faster and it even sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.

No, this building material won’t get you high if it burns,” CEO Greg Wilson said. “It doesn’t even smell like marijuana.

In addition to hemp, another healthy material is utilized – soybeans. Once the hemp is put into production, it is submerged into the soy-based adhesive, which has no-added formaldehyde. Fibonacci, LLC opted for this adhesive, so the health of its consumers is not sacrificed. Unlike other building materials, HempWood® Natural Flooring has no detectable VOCs levels, meaning that you are not subject to illnesses such as sick house syndrome. “It has been said that LVT makes up 50-80% of new floors in the US,” Parsons Healthy Designs Lab said. While LVT is a popular option many are unaware of the negative impacts on their health. For more information about healthy flooring materials, go to Healthy Materials Lab | Flooring

“Get good in, you’ll get good back is our philosophy,” said Wilson. In addition to the good materials and responsible manufacturing processes, HempWood® Natural Flooring is durable. This flooring has a Janka rating of 2,200 lbf, which is about 20% harder than American white oak. HempWood® Natural Flooring can even be refinished up to four times. This flooring option not only matches your lifestyle but will uphold for your lifetime.

HempWood® Natural Flooring is going beyond the stigma of marijuana. It is an American-made, sustainably sourced hardwood that offers both durability and peace of mind. For more information on the newest hardwood on the market, go to www.hempwood.com.

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Landscaping

Corded vs Cordless Hedge Trimmers: What You Need to Know

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Thanks to the marvels of lithium-ion battery technology, power tools have gotten a great deal more mobile over the past decade or so. This advantage is particularly noticeable if you’re using your tools outdoors, where there isn’t always easy access to a power outlet.

If you’re in the market for a hedge trimmer, then you might wonder whether it’s worth investing in something cordless – or whether it’s better to go for a traditional corded one, instead.

For gardeners, a hedge-trimmer is a fairly indispensable piece of equipment. You want yours to be easy to use – that way, you can be sure that you’ll stay on top of the task of keeping your hedge in good condition.

But is a cordless hedge trimmer worth it? Let’s take a look.

Why Go Corded?

Corded trimmers tend to offer more power than their battery-powered equivalents. This means that you’ll be able to get the job done faster, often using less power overall. You also won’t have to worry about the environmental cost of creating the batteries in the first place.

Since you won’t need to charge a battery, corded trimmers can also be much more convenient. You just pick up the device, plug it in, and get going. What could be simpler?

Why Go Cordless?

Going cordless can be incredibly liberating. You’re no longer tethered to the power outlet, and you don’t have to invest in another extension cord. Just remember to keep your battery charged, and to keep a spare one so that you can rotate and work uninterrupted.

Then there’s the problem of the cord itself, which can be a trip hazard. If you manage to cut through a cord, then you face a costly fix – and, naturally, you put yourself in danger. Given that the tool in question features a set of reciprocating teeth, this is an issue.

On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries tend to lose their ability to dispense power and hold a charge over time, which means that your hedge trimmer won’t ever be as powerful as it was on the day that you bought it.

While you can buy replacement batteries later, and most batteries are compatible with those of the same manufacturer, this is a little bit of an inconvenience. If you do shop for replacement batteries, make sure that you match the voltage, the amperage, and the polarity.

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General Gardening

3 Reasons Why Farming Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States

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When you go to the supermarket and grab a gallon of milk, perhaps the furthest thing from your mind is the process that occurred in order for you to enjoy that nice cold glass of milk. And believe it or not, that process wasn’t without many hazards.

All across the country, those picturesque landscapes you might envision with a rustic fence leading up to a big red barn are far from the reality of what farm life truly entails. In fact, most farms look nothing like the images we associate within popular culture today.

The truth is, farm life is hazardous. And it can even be deadly. For example, it’s been estimated that approximately 400 farmers and farm workers die each year due to farm-related accidents.

If you work on a farm, or if you’ve ever thought about farming as a career, the following will detail why it’s an extremely dangerous job.

Massive Gardens and Chemicals

If you’ve ever wanted to start a vegetable garden, you probably bought a few seeds and some tools and got right to work in a promising corner of your yard. And while this might have been a pleasurable experience for you, just imagine doing this on a massive scale.

Large areas of farmland are home to a variety of critters. And though many of these critters are important for pollination purposes, many aren’t friendly to the growth and quality of crops. As such, large amounts of pesticides and herbicides are often used to prevent damage done by pests and weeds.

The major problem with using chemical herbicides and pesticides is that they have been linked to a variety of health problems, including various types of cancers. And these can be deadly if you’re exposed to these chemicals on a consistent basis.

Grain Storage

If you look at most frontier landscape paintings, a large silo is often a part of the composition. But while these large storage silos might offer a romanticized image of a carefree farmland environment, these silos can also be quite deadly.

Perhaps the most tragic reality of a grain silo is the fact that just about every year a percentage of farmers and workers make a miscalculated step and fall into the silos. 

Grains within the silos don’t offer a stable surface. In fact, you can think of falling into a grain silo much like stepping into quicksand. Eventually, you will sink and suffocate.

Additionally, working around the silos while loading the grain is also a dangerous job as particles and dust from the grains can make breathing difficult or painful. And this can translate into other respiratory problems over time as well.

Heavy Equipment Accidents

As you probably know, large-scale farming often requires the use of heavy machinery such as tractors, plows, moveable irrigation systems, and many other pieces of large equipment. And much of this equipment can be deadly when operated without safety in mind.

For example, it’s difficult to see anyone who might be in the way if you’re plowing over a vast field of crops. And it’s not uncommon for a worker to get caught in the path of a plow or tractor.

Additionally, combines used to harvest crops such as corn are often the cause of a serious or fatal injury on farms across the country. As these machines use a large number of moving parts, if any loose clothing is caught, the combine can easily sever limbs or cause other life-threatening injuries.

Working on a farm is hard work, often requiring long hours and intense physical labor. This alone can cause major fatigue which can also result in a lowered state of situational awareness.

At the end of the day, exercising proper safety and maintaining awareness of your surroundings is your best defense for staying safe while working on a farm.

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Home Care & Living

What to Consider When Replacing Exterior Doors

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Exterior doors are the gateway to a home and are used to link different rooms in the house. Choosing the best fit door for your house that is well insulated and strong enough ensures that you minimize energy costs, you feel secure, and have the sense of privacy that you require.

When any of the doors in your house begins to rot have weak hinges and have difficulties in opening and closing, it means it’s time they are replaced. The replacement option that you settle on should fit your preferred design, style, and your budget. The following is a guideline that you can use when choosing replacement front entry doors for your house.

1. Exterior and Front Door Installation

This guideline on the best color and designs could best fit you and your home according to your personal preferences. Here is a link to, entry doors San Diego

A. Color

Find a color that best contrasts with the rest of the furniture in the house. Choosing the color of your door is not a tedious process as you can choose the color of the existing window frames and slides. Choosing a bright color is an inviting gesture to your home while a dull color could be a show of elegance. Modern doors from different materials like wood and steel come in a variety of colors.

B. Frame Type

Front entry doors require strong frames that can withstand bad weather, especially water. The frame should not rot easily or chip off due to extreme heat from sunlight. Frames range from the simple to fit ones to those that add to the beauty and safety of your door.

C. Designs

The door you want to use for a front door should be able to provide the attractiveness that you want your home to have. The door accessories that you plan to use for your door also add to the design of the door. The doorknobs, glass panels, and the door décor are some of the considerations you need to make before choosing a replacement door.

2. Patio Door Installation

These types of doors vary in size, shape, and design. Some of the common types of patio doors are;

A. Sliding Doors

This means that they are two attached exterior doors but one is stationary while the other slides open to facilitate entry. They are the best ideal for lighting and ventilation as they provide a wide view of the outside environment. Besides, they are also easy to open so if you have aged people and young ones, it would be easy for them to open.

B. Swinging Doors

They are usually paned doors that can be designed to offer a sense of security as well as provide you with a great view of the exterior environment. Swinging doors could either be single or double fixed doors depending on what you prefer.

C. Folding Doors

They are a perfect choice of patio entry doors as they add the entrance space and they come in variety according to the glass type and frame that you want. These doors ensure that you minimize energy expenditure in terms of cooling and heating the house as the majority of them are energy efficient when fitted well.

3. Provia Entry Doors

These exterior doors are built using the best quality materials, they are energy efficient and they can be customized according to your personal preferences. Most of them are made of steel which is a door material best known to last and cheap to maintain as servicing is not done often. They are also environmentally friendly as they do not chip off easily polluting the environment. They are considered the most durable door especially because of the material that makes them last longer.

Whatever type of door you choose for your home, you should ensure that it fits the preferences you want. The surrounding weather conditions are a consideration to make before you decide on the material you want your door to be made of. Choosing a door that is resistant to all weather conditions ensures that you do not need regular replacement or servicing hence saving on cost. The other important factor to consider is your budget. The type of door you choose should fit into your financial plans.

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Landscaping

10 Best Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Landscape Designer

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Want to make your home a tremendous place of living? It is a pain with no assistance from a professional landscape engineer! Read further on how to find only the best one.

In case you’re considering collaboration with a landscape designer, revealing the perfect fit (plus preventing the unexpected midway through the project) strongly depends on your knowledge regarding which questions to ask at the initial stage of your potential partnership. Meet 10 best queries you should ask before you delegate your home to a landscape engineer.

Seeking the greatest hiring places to initiate the search process of a landscape designer? It would be ideal to evaluate landscape design companies at Engre. Landscape engineers at B2B engineering marketplaces can do everything, starting from the support in choosing the right color of the flowers in a garden to constructing a terrace leading to the garden.

Can You Depict the Process in Details?

Begin the interview by asking a landscape designer regarding the whole development procedure from start to finish. It is vital to know the phases, from scheduling to installation. Discover the number of in-person appointments to expect. Ask whether certain consultations can be held via phone calls.

In case you want a guaranteed service to interact throughout the design process, ask a landscape designer the ideal method and period to communicate queries and challenges.

Can You Demo Samples of Your Former Solutions?

For example, in case you want a contemporary, sustainable city garden, ask whether they have designed any before.

As an option, if a specialist’s portfolio has nothing connected with the particular style you expect, monitor their credentials for proof of the education/training to bring the vision of your project to life.

Who Will Join in the Process?

A landscape designer’s process is based on the services they deliver. Getting to know who else will take part in the process to control each stage from the beginning is crucial for you to understand what to expect once the solution is finished. In case you are lucky to have a team of 2-4 landscape design specialists, ask who the key person is to negotiate modifications to the project or other significant cases.

How About My Solution’s Budget?

Frank communication about the estimated landscape project cost is a must. Ask a landscape designer for detailed pricing specifics for the development and the installation. The majority of installation estimates are created by landscape specialists depending on the cost per square foot of a designed area

Is My Project Vision Clear to You?

Find time to discuss with a potential landscape designer what your dream yard looks like and the scale of yard maintenance you are ready to undertake.

Check Pinterest or other resources to share samples of landscape projects you love. This will help you to explain what is in your mind. With this data, a landscape designer will prepare a 3D rendering of what your novel landscape will look like.

Ask then to explain the rendering to you to ensure both of you are in sync.

Where Do You Purchase Trees, Flowers, Etc.?

Though you don’t obligatory have to order local species, ensure that a landscape designer applies plants grown in your city. What for?

  • Local plants usually cost less while plants from abroad can cost you a fortune;
  • Such plants have more chances to survive as they don’t have to adapt to novel growing conditions. Moreover, they will be more resistant to pests and diseases;
  • Local plants need less maintenance (they don’t require additional watering and care from your landscape services team).

What Deadlines You Need to Estimate the Solution?

Similar to any other home optimization solution, bad weather, and other unexpected issues can happen. So, you should be ready that the release dates for landscaping solutions can be complicated to determine. Don’t forget to let a landscape designer know whether you possess any deadlines (for instance, a planned party in the yard).

However, always remember about schedule-changing events that nobody can predict. Anyway, have a detailed communication with a landscape designer regarding all those things.

What Will Be a Typical Day for a Landscape Team on My Yard?

Planning conflicts frequently happen. However, you should ask the leader of the landscape team for a general idea regarding the timing to expect the landscape team to come and leave daily.

What Can You Recommend to Save My Budget?

Decks or patios are traditionally more costly compared to planted garden locations. That is why the higher percentage of hardscape you have in the 3D rendering, the more it will cost to install. Furthermore, the materials implemented for hardscape greatly vary in terms of installation specifics.

It is perfect to discuss the approaches to minimize the project cost to stay on budget with a landscape designer during the initial plan.

What Is a Must to Perform at the Moment and Later?

Ask a landscape designer what can be realized immediately to optimize your project and what is better to finalize at a later date. You will get a better idea of what aspects you should put in priority this season and what to start during the next one.

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Home Care & Living

How to Design a House Surrounded by a Forest?

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In the Twilight movie, when Edward finally invites his beautiful Bella to meet the family, we are granted a peek into the private life of the elusive Cullens. What we see is truly impressive – a gorgeous modern pad in the privacy of the woods. The Hoke House, as it’s called, so impressed the audience that many started dreaming about their serene residence surrounded by the forest.

Even though nature offers you a peaceful environment, it also poses a challenge for your dwelling. While planning a home on a wooded lot, you should consider how the trees will affect your property. During your design process, you will have to think about clearing the area and accessing natural light. There is also the matter of durability as your house will be exposed to different elements than in a suburban area. Finally, you will want your property to harmonize with its surroundings.

Designing a house surrounded by a forest might be a daunting task, but don’t let it spoil your enthusiasm. Here is a guide that will help you build the home of your dreams.

Clearing the Area

If you’re planning on building a house surrounded by trees, you will have to remove some of the first. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as chopping down the tree and calling it a day. You have to remember that a forest is an ecosystem of interconnected elements and removing too many trees can cause damage to the area. For example, clearing on slopes may result in soil erosion and mudslides.

That’s why you have to be selective about deciding which trees to remove. It’s better not to disturb the areas that present a possible hazard. You might also want to leave the trees on the northern side because they will shield you from the cold winter winds, which will help you reduce the heating costs. On the other hand, it would be better to remove the trees from the southern side so as to have better access to the sunlight.

Of course, it’s better to alter your surroundings as little as possible. If you ask an Architectural Rendering Company, you may hear that there are many other ways to design the surroundings. But if you have to clear some of the areas, have a licensed arborist evaluate your lot and assess the trees before making any changes. Also, you should start the removal with sick and withered trees that pose danger.

Accessing Natural Light

Natural light plays an important role in your home’s design. It can make rooms look bigger and brighter or add intimacy to your living space. If your property is surrounded by trees, it’s likely that there will be less natural light coming through your windows.

You can harness this light by adding window walls, which will allow sunlight to enter your home through the huge opening they offer. This way, you will gain an excellent view of the stunning surroundings outside and let the air of serenity into your household. Moreover, you might reduce some of your heating costs during winter with the sun’s energy.

As your home is situated in the woods, you will most likely have to rely on artificial illumination during the winter months. During that time, try to choose lights that use warm colors such as yellow or orange. These colors will help create a cozy atmosphere and make your home feel warmer.

Planning for Durability

Even though nature contributes to the beauty of your home, it also poses a challenge for your dwelling. Your house will have to withstand the elements that are unique to the woods.

It’s best to build your house using materials that can withstand potential damage from the forest. For example, cedar is a great option as it is resistant to water and insects. It’s also much easier to maintain than most other woods. Alternatively, you might want to use a composite material that mimics the look of wood. It’s more expensive than cedar, but it can be a good investment as it is more resistant to termites, mold, and mildew.

Harmonizing With the Surrounding Nature

The natural environment plays an important role in your life and shouldn’t be neglected when building your dream home on a wooded lot. You should try to blend your home into the natural surroundings and make it look like it belongs there.

The best way to do this is to choose similar colors for your home like the ones used in nature. Many designers recommend using neutral colors such as beige or gray as they will go well with everything else on your lot – from furniture to landscaping.

You could also include elements that reflect the natural environment surrounding your property. For example, if you have a lot of trees around your house, you should consider adding wooden furniture and decor. This way, your home will have a rustic appeal that matches its forest setting. You might also want to include wooden beams or rough stonework in order to add an extra layer of authenticity.

Conclusion

Designing a house surrounded by a forest is nothing short of a challenge, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. If you put some thought into your design process,

 you will be able to create a stunning dwelling that works well with its environment.

Such a home provides you with a relaxing environment filled with natural beauty that you can enjoy day and night. Take your time planning your new home, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from experts. As you can see, the perfect house surrounded by the forest is within your reach!

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Greenhouses

How Does a Greenhouse Work?

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Gardening is a great way to get fresh air, physical activity, connect with nature, and spend time outdoors. But if you’re looking to take your growing operation to the next level, you should look into greenhouse construction. Ideal for large agricultural operations or even just your backyard garden, a greenhouse can extend your growing season, provide optimal growing conditions, and protect your plants from predators.

We’ve all probably heard of a greenhouse, but before you make the investment, it’s wise to do your research and understand your options. It’s also important to understand how a greenhouse works and how it affects the growing conditions of your plants. Well, that’s why we’re here to help. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at greenhouses and how this technology can help transform your growing season and plants.

What is a Greenhouse?

We’ve all heard of this type of structure, but do you really know what a greenhouse is? A greenhouse is a structure that consists primarily of transparent materials for the roof and walls. In the majority of cases, glass is used to allow sunlight into the space, but it then cannot exit, which creates a warming environment. Greenhouses range in size from shed-like structures you might see in someone’s backyard all the way to industrial-scale operations where they can take up acres upon acres.

What is this all for? The purpose of this structure is to allow in sunlight, which warms the interior of the greenhouse while protecting the plants inside from cold temperatures, bad weather, and pests and predators like deer or rabbits. Greenhouses are popular and can be used throughout the world, especially in colder climates, to create an ideal growing environment for plants, herbs, or any type of produce.

Greenhouses are versatile and customizable and can be used by anyone, ranging from multinational companies to your neighbor who loves to garden. If you’re looking to grow in optimal conditions, a greenhouse could be beneficial for you.

Benefits of a Greenhouse

Greenhouses are popping up everywhere—and for good reason. Take a look at just a few of the top benefits of having your own greenhouse:

  • Your own growing space: have you ever dreamed of having your own dedicated growing space? If so, you’ll need a greenhouse. Don’t worry about clutter or determining the best space for your plants. A greenhouse does all that for you and even will help you finally get organized with your growing.
  • Optimal growing conditions: by trapping heat and sunlight, a greenhouse creates ideal growing conditions for a wide range of plants and herbs. With a greenhouse, you’re in control of the growing conditions.
  • Protection: spending time on your plants only to have them eaten or destroyed by local critters is one of the worst feelings. To keep your plants safe from pests like deer or rabbits, use a greenhouse that provides maximum protection. It’s also an ideal method for keeping out disease and fungi that can harm or destroy your entire yield. With a greenhouse, give your plants the protection they need.
  • Extend your grow season: depending on where you live, you may have a rather short growing season, which can severely limit how much (and what types of plants) you can actually grow. A greenhouse changes all this by providing you with optimal growing conditions throughout the whole year. All you need is sun.
  • Save money: while the initial construction of your greenhouse will, of course, require some costs, most greenhouse owners end up saving quite a bit of money in the big picture. Since you can extend your growing season, you can grow more and more types of plants or produce. And since a greenhouse provides protection for your grow, you won’t waste money on replacing damaged or dead plants nearly as often. It will also cut down on your need to buy expensive fertilizers throughout the year.

How Does a Greenhouse Work?

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons to use a greenhouse for your grow needs. Greenhouses will let you extend your growing season, and at the same time, protect your plants from pests and predators. But have you ever stopped to consider how this technology actually works? Well, let’s take a closer look.

A greenhouse works by allowing sunlight to enter your space. This is why it’s so important that the building materials are transparent, such as using glass. Light will enter the greenhouse and then the heat from the solar radiation is absorbed by the plants in the interior space of the greenhouse. Remember, the darker the surface area, the more heat is absorbed.

When heat is absorbed, the wavelength of the incoming light is changed. In this new length, the heat cannot exit the greenhouse as it was able to enter. So, effectively, the greenhouse traps these wavelengths of heat inside. The heat remains in the greenhouse and radiates throughout the space, warming up the environment inside. As long as you’re receiving sunlight throughout the day, your greenhouse and your plants will stay warm.

Conclusion – How Does a Greenhouse Work?

A greenhouse construction project can truly transform your growing operation—no matter how large or small. From a full-scale operation to a simple home garden, a greenhouse could be the perfect solution to help you grow the best plants yet. By allowing sunlight and heat into the interior space, the greenhouse traps heat and ensures optimal growing conditions for your plants, herbs, and produce. A greenhouse enables you to have complete control over the growing environment, which will end up giving you the best yield yet.

Building a greenhouse is ideal for any space. Since you can customize the size and shape of your greenhouse, it can suit any yard or full-scale operation. Extend your grow season, create an amazing growing environment, protect your plants from pests and predators, and create your own dedicated growing space. All of these are just a few of the benefits when you’ve added a greenhouse to your space. If you’re really looking to take your grow operation to the next level, there’s no doubt about it, a greenhouse is a must.

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General Gardening

What Tools Do You Need to Start a Vegetable Garden?

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Any beginner gardener can get easily overwhelmed by the variety of gardening tools available. Don’t let this confusion keep you from growing a thriving edible garden of your own, especially when there are a lot of references online that can help you out.

Garden Tools and Accents is always here to help you out. Today, we’ll list down all the essential tools you will need to get you started.

Hand Trowel

Any gardener needs a hand trowel. It should be one of the first tools that you need to get. You’ll find it especially helpful when transplanting your herbs, regardless of whether you’re opting for an actual outdoor bed or a small container garden in a bright corner of your kitchen. It will also give you more control when you’re pulling out weeds.

When choosing a trowel to work with, we recommended getting one with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand. If you expect to work with rocky soil, getting one with a longer, narrower blade will be ideal. Meanwhile, getting a broad blade will allow you to move more soil and work on larger areas at a time.

You also need to consider the sharpness and material of your trowel blade. Investing in a stainless steel piece is worth it as it will be more durable. The sharp blade will prove helpful if you’re thinking of planting bulb vegetables such as garlic and onions.

Pruning Shears

Speaking of blades, you will also need a pair of pruning shears. Depending on your location, it is also referred to as hand pruners and secateurs.

Like getting a hand trowel, we highly advise getting one that fits the palm of your hand. Being comfortable handling your pruning shears is crucial, or else you’ll risk hurting your plants by accident.

There are different types of pruning shears. We personally recommend getting bypass pruners since they can minimize the risk of bruising fresh, green stems. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t consider getting anvil shears, though, especially if you expect to be dealing with a lot of dead wood.

Regardless of the type you choose or whether you decide to get both, the most important thing is to keep them nice and sharp. This will give them more cutting power, minimize plant bruising, and, more importantly, prolong their life.

Gardening Gloves

Most beginner gardeners don’t really prioritize getting gardening gloves, and we get it. A lot of us don’t really worry about getting our hands dirty. However, you should still consider them since certain vegetables are known to be prickly.

For instance, specific varieties of turnips are known to have prickly leaves. Having gardening gloves on will protect your hands from getting scratches and blisters. It will also come in handy during pruning sessions. After all, one can never predict when accidents happen, especially if you’re handling sharp tools and trying hard to be as gentle as you can.

That said, we recommend getting padded gloves for that added protection. Just make sure that it won’t be too bulky to the point that it will get in the way when you’re handling seeds and delicate seedlings.

Cinchable wrist straps are also a nice feature to consider. They will keep soil from getting inside your gloves.

Flat Hoe

Like other gardening tools, there are different hoes to choose from. Those who want to start a vegetable garden should consider getting a wide, flat hoe. It will make your life easier when you’re removing weeds and turning the soil of your rows.

The width of the blade will get your job done faster, but don’t forget to consider the space between your rows as well. Getting one with a shorter handle will give you more accuracy for smaller gardens.

As you have probably guessed already, you won’t need this tool if you’re only planning to start a container garden.

Watering Tool

Here’s something that every garden will need: a watering tool. The ideal one for you will depend on the scale of the vegetable garden you’re planning to grow. If you’re planning a small container garden, a watering can suit you perfectly. On the other hand, getting a hose with an adjustable nozzle will suit larger gardens better.

The National Wildlife Federation suggests timing your watering sessions accordingly to help conserve water. You’ll be pleased to learn that hose nozzles can also help reduce water consumption. It’s something that we highly recommend every gardener should consider getting.

The Joys of Growing a Vegetable Garden

We cannot put into words how much joy our vegetable garden gives us. The health benefits alone make every drop of sweat we put into our garden worth it.

There is a way to reduce all that sweat, though. Getting reliable gardening tools will significantly make everything easier. We hope that our quick lineup has given you an idea of which tools to get first. After all, you can always expand your gardening tool shed in the future.

Happy gardening!

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Landscaping

Helpful Tips to Clean Up Your Lawn and Garden

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Your yard is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends, relax, and enjoy life. However, to truly enjoy your space, you must have a clean and tidy outside space. If your lawn and garden need some attention and clean-up, there are a few tips that will help you along the way.

Initial Clean-Up

If it has been a while since you spent time cleaning up your yard, now is a good time to play catch up. Take some time to clear any leaves and debris, remove dead plants, and get rid of anything you no longer want or use. It may be a good time to rent a dumpster for all the items you are getting rid of, which will make the clean-up process faster and easier. Use this dumpster rental guide to know what size and type of bin to choose.

Focus on Your Lawn

Once you have cleared away leaves, branches, and debris, it’s time to turn your focus to the lawn. It’s necessary to trim it regularly to keep it healthy. For the best results, you should know the right grass care methods.

A helpful tip is to make sure you never cut your grass over one-third of the existing height. It’s also a good idea to set the mower deck higher and spread out how often you mow as the weather gets drier and hotter. The final mowing for the season should occur when the temperature has dropped and stayed under 50 degrees. 

Spread Mulch

If your mulch seems thin, old, or dull, now is time to add more. While you don’t have to do this all the time, adding a new layer of mulch can help your yard look fresh and revived immediately. Remember that mulch can be beneficial for more than just tree patches and flowerbeds. Consider adding a layer around the front garden areas and your mailbox. This can add quite a bit of curb appeal to your outside area.

Fix Any Broken Structures

If you have a shed, fence, hardscape patio, or deck, you need to check it for cosmetic and safety issues each year. Be sure your lawn is dry and that the snow and rain have passed. This gives your yard ample time to settle, giving you time to plan what fixes you need to make.

Trim Your Shrubs and Bushes

Some yard excerpts recommend that you trim your shrubs before they start to bloom in the spring to easily see the dead parts of the plant. Others state you need to wait until they have grown and bloomed for the season, which allows you to trim and shape them. In either case, it depends on your yard and needs.

Regrow the Patches in Your Lawn

Your lawn can take a beating through the year, and some patches may appear. It doesn’t matter if you have a small area to replace or a larger area, remove any leaves or other debris first.

The most important aspect of ongoing lawn care to remember is that grass is a plant and grows best in the right conditions and healthy soil. It’s a good idea to overseed, which will help thicken up your lawn.

Improving Your Lawn and Garden

A few tips can help you improve the look and health of your lawn and garden. Keep the tips above in mind for the best possible results.

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DIY Projects

Can I Build a Man Cave In My Garden?

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Given that you have enough space in your garden or don’t mind altering the said space to suit your relaxation needs, then the only answer to this is a resounding yes. Among the fresh ideas for relaxing and hanging out at home is to do it in your very own man cave.

So, now that we’ve established that you can erect a man shed in your backyard, you’re probably wondering how to go about things properly. Let’s shed light on some important stuff to consider before pushing through with a garden man cave project.

Do You Need Permission?

Let’s begin with the most important question: would you need permission to erect a garden shed? Seeing as how almost everybody is constructing these works of art in their very own backyards, you wager the answer would probably be no. Well, you would be right.

What’s great about building sheds in your garden is that it won’t require planning permission. And if you follow the guidelines set by the governing body for these projects, things should proceed smoothly for the most part. Here’s what to keep in mind to avoid unwanted visits by the local planning inspector:

Keep It Domestic

Build the shed for domestic purposes only. If you plan to invite people over to show off your creation or host a party, feel free to do so. Just make sure you don’t charge them for the alcohol; otherwise, you would need a license.

No Sleepovers

None of your guests should stay the night because you aren’t operating as a hotel. Trust us; you may think you can get away at first, but these inspectors are keen about what’s going on on their turf.

You don’t want to take the chance. Suppose it ends up being an oversight. You know what they say: ignorance of the law excuses no one. Make sure you are well-informed, so you can avoid these untoward mishaps.

Garden sheds can function similarly to a workshop, office, or bar. Don’t use it as a bedroom unless it’s for taking afternoon naps.

The Shed Shouldn’t Occupy the Entire Garden Space

Specifically, the shed should take up only half of your garden at most. You want to take this seriously because a square foot above the required space could get you in trouble. Except for the main house, no building within your property’s boundaries should take up more than half of the available land.

That’s not to say you can’t go big with your project. Just make sure the size of your property allows it; otherwise, you would have something serious to answer to.

The Front of Your Garden Is a No-Go

As much as you would love to show off your man cave to the world, having it built in front of your garden is not the way to do it. The rule indicates that no more than half of your shed should be visible to by-passers outside when it faces walkways, front driveways, or roads.

Limit the Height to Four Meters

Guys are prone to going crazy with their man caves, building them to equal the size of or be even bigger than their homes. That is not the way to go about this venture.

A multi-story shed is off the table since the height of a backyard man cave should not exceed four meters. So, if you have big expectations of your dream shed, it would be a good idea to take them down a few notches. That way, you’ll save yourself some disappointment.

Don’t Deviate From the Building Codes

Building codes also dictate that skylights are a no-go. There’ll be no recreating your dream science-fiction space where the rules are concerned. Dormer or skylight windows are off-limits, and you’d do well to remember that.

Leave the Electrical Work to the Professionals

Furthermore, external dimensions are always the basis for calculating measurements. You may or may not install an electrical wiring system in your shed. Most guys’ dream man caves would include a fridge, gaming area, bar, fruit machine, and the whole nine yards. If this also happens to be your dream, your playground will need a good power supply.

While you can install electrical systems using DIY methods, we recommend hiring a professional if you aren’t too experienced with the job. In fact, even if you are, the chances of doing things safely and properly would be so much higher with an expert on board.

The Ideal Garden Man Cave

Even under the above conditions, it’s still very much possible to create an entertaining and relaxing space for you and your friends in your garden. The backyard is where a man’s interests come together to make experiences more fulfilling. Consider adding foosball tables, or other lawn games around your new man cave as well. It’s where guys can escape and be themselves when their homes are not conducive to freedom and relaxation.

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Home Care & Living

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer

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It feels like you’ve tried everything. You redecorated your entire house a million times, went with a bunch of different themes, even rearranged the furniture, and spent your hard-earned money on a few new pieces of furniture, but your space still doesn’t look right. Something’s lacking, but you can’t quite figure what. If this situation sounds familiar, hiring a professional interior designer might be the solution you need.

You can toss aside the idea that interior designers are only for the rich or those with so much money that they don’t know what to do with it anymore. Actually, a professional decorator might save you money and time. No more wondering how to execute your style — let someone else do the budgeting and planning for you and take advantage of their access to resources that are usually out of reach. Soon the only thing left to do will be to relax in your new, beautifully designed space.

The article below looks in detail at some of the main reasons you should stop putting yourself through the headache of arranging a cohesive design and let a professional do it for you.

They See the Big Picture

Whether they work in a firm or freelance, a professional interior designer has spent years studying and training. Throughout their career, they have seen thousands of different design and home decor types. It means that they’ll see the bigger picture and know what elements will look good together.

For example, they will know if installing retractable awnings would be beneficial for the design of your house. After all, while it sometimes can be helpful to block sunlight from entering your home’s interiors, it is not always the case.

Moreover, a local interior designer will be familiar with the conditions. For instance, if you are moving in Washington DC, and you used to live in Texas, or the other way around, you might not know what will work best in the area when it comes to its climate, trends, or way of living.

Furthermore, they’ll also know how to make everything match while still providing less obvious solutions. It is something that most people can’t do on their own because they’re too close to the project and are focused on the small details. Sometimes, you have to let someone else take the lead to open yourself up to more possibilities.

They Know Their Way Around a Contractor

An interior designer will have contacts in the industry and know who’s suitable for what type of job. While you may find a decent contractor, there’s nothing like having someone who can vouch for them and make sure they’re reliable and know what they’re doing.

A professional will also know what’s needed for the job, which means that if you need anything else, such as materials or even just a piece of advice, they can point you in the right direction.

They Can Make the Project Look Expensive

One of the reasons people hire professionals is that they want their projects to look as expensive as possible while sticking to their budget. When you hire an interior designer, you don’t have to worry about spending too much money — they can do wonders even if your budget is limited.

A true expert always knows what to do without breaking the bank. You’ll get what you need without overspending or getting something that doesn’t fit with the rest of your home design.

They Can Save You Time

If you’ve ever tried to arrange a room on your own, you know how much time it takes to think about every little detail, from furniture placement to wall colors and everything in between. Hiring an interior designer will significantly shorten the time spent on such things. All you need to do is show them an idea or a few pictures of what you want and let them do the rest.

They Have Access to the Best Suppliers

Interior designers have access to all kinds of suppliers and people in the industry who can help them get whatever they need for your project. There’s no need for you to do any searching because a professional will know precisely where to go.

It is also useful if you need to find specific items quickly at a moment’s notice because they can reach out to their network immediately and get what you need without delay.

Final Thoughts

Although some people enjoy decorating, it’s a daunting chore for most of us. We usually end up having to do it ourselves because we’re hesitant to let someone else decorate our living space. However, if you want your home or apartment to look stunning, it may be worth hiring someone who can create a good-looking house for you while making it fun and exciting to see how the whole project develops.

Your decorator can show you pictures and examples and update you on progress. They will also take care of all the hard work so that when everything is done, there will be nothing left for you to do but sit back and enjoy your new living space. Have fun decorating, and good luck!

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Home Care & Living

Why Should You Invest in Steel Doors?

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As soon as we hear steel doors, we think of prisons or a cage though that may not be the case. Today we will learn about the essential elements of steel doors in everyday living. You would be surprised how far their use has come along.

Top Five Reasons to Consider Steel Doors

1. Customizable

Steel doors are not a one-and-done fixture. The doors come with numerous varieties to choose from, so you can complement the house architecture or office interior. The steel door comes in colors, different frames, and with or without the windows. Furthermore, you can purchase steel doors with a single or three locks. However, the steel door with more locks will likely cost you more.

You can also hire a craftsman to create custom steel doors. These doors will fulfill all your requirements, such as measurement, security, and design. Furthermore, you can even customize the color too. Steel doors are preferably a convenient feature for homeowners who wish to introduce safety into their haven.

2. Durable

Steel doors are a one-time investment. Erect them once, and you are set for the next few decades. Steel doors provide long-term use, which justifies their expensive construction. The doors can withstand water, weather, rust, and peeling. It will not swell when contacting water, so no need to replace them either.

Steel doors are mainly used in houses and offices to maintain security, privacy, and structure. The doors will protect the employees and household members from unwanted visitors, so better be safe than sorry!

3. Multiple Uses

Slide the steel doors and step into the backyard to take breath depths in the spring air! Is the cold draft in the winter annoying you? Close the doors and keep the house warm. Assuming you live in a high-rise flat, you can leave the doors open for fresh air and sun to enter and illuminate the rooms. The steel doors are multipurpose use that provides more than just security.

Some steel doors also have a mesh design that provides better ventilation, though primarily installed in houses and flats. These steel doors prevent the circulation of clean air and prevent mold build up in the vents. The mesh steel doors also keep the bugs and vermin outside of the house where they should be!

4. Increase Property Value

Steel doors are also a genius addition to increasing property value. The doors are pleasing to the eyes and a wise investment if you are thinking long-term. You can increase the house’s safety which in turn increases its value. Home dwellers which to feel safe in their house, which is achievable by installing steel doors. 

You can sell your house in the future for a profit if it incorporates steel doors. The added protection may seem pleasing to a few while claustrophobic to others. You can also rent or sublease at a higher rate too.

5. Increased Rate on Investment

The steel doors are very essential to the structure of the house or building. You can incorporate steel doors into presenting a control system that monitors movement in a building. Furthermore, you can also install steel doors in conjunctions to solid structures to boost their appeal.

The steel doors are primarily used as an additional feature in construction. Some of these doors will last you at least 30 years which means at least two generations. 

Time to Wrap Up!

Whether you want steel doors in a commercial or domestic setting, professional businesses are available to do the hard work for you. The doors will provide you with a high rate of return while being multi-purposeful. Contact the local contractors today for an estimate. If you want to learn more about home safety, check the blog from Speedy Locksmith from Denver, Colorado.

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DIY Projects

From Molehill to Mansion: Upgrades That Will Add Value to Your Home

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There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when their home could use some sprucing up. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to completely change the look of your home— it can be something as simple as painting the walls or buying new furniture. However, if you plan on selling your home one day, you’ll want to look into home upgrades that will increase the property value.

Home improvement projects can take a while and cost a lot of money, so it’s best to gradually upgrade your home, rather than try and upgrade everything all at once. Here are some home upgrades for both the inside and outside of your home that will increase the property value.

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Interior Home Improvements

Converted Basement and/or Attic

If you have a basement or attic that’s just used for storage, consider converting it into another bedroom/living space. What this does is add another bedroom/room to your home, increasing its value. This project also helps you to declutter these storage spaces. So if your basement and/or attic can be converted, talk to a contractor about making it happen.

Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations

Updating the tiles, countertops, and hardware in your kitchen and bathroom(s) also adds value to your home. Other updates to consider are a new shower/tub, toilet, and vanity in the bathroom, and maybe adding an island in your kitchen.

Updated Flooring

As for the type of flooring in the rest of your home, hardwood floors add the most value. They’re pet and child-friendly, and they last much longer than carpet. You can also opt for laminate, vinyl, or tile flooring in your high-traffic areas.

Exterior Home Improvements

Deck/Patio/Porch Addition

Owning a home evokes images of families spending time together for most people, so many people are going to love homes that have a porch, patio, or deck for gathering. Another idea is to add a pergola to your backyard for those cozy family gatherings around a firepit.

Exterior Paint Job

Over time, the paint on your house starts to fade and it may not be noticeable to you at first. A new paint job can really brighten up your home, making it stand out from the other homes on the block. Even simply painting the shutters makes a huge difference to the outside of your home.

Landscaping

Also known as curb appeal, the first thing people notice about a home is its front lawn. You’re probably already making sure that your grass is trimmed regularly— which is a great start— but you also want to make sure that any hedges are neatly trimmed as well. It’s also not a bad idea to plant some flowers and other greenery around your home.

Upgrades That Decrease Value

While many upgrades increase a property’s value, there are also some that will decrease a property’s value. If you’re planning to stay in your home then you can definitely add these upgrades if you want, but if you plan on selling, you’re more likely to spend way more money on these upgrades than what will be added to the overall property value.

  • Adding a sunroom
  • Building spaces for your hobbies
  • Expanding the garage
  • Installing a jacuzzi/hot tub or pool

Now some of these additions will pay off in certain circumstances. For instance, if you’re buying a vacation rental property, the addition of a pool or sunroom may pay off for you because more people may want to rent properties with these features. However, although many people may desire these features for their home, they also know that they’ll have to pay more for these features.

In conclusion, be smart about the upgrades you make to your home, whether you plan on selling or not. If you do plan on selling, there may be some home additions that will increase your property value depending on where you live, whereas it may decrease property value in another location. And if you don’t plan on selling your home, you can spend your money on whatever additions you want— just don’t go overboard.

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Landscaping

Simple Landscaping Tips to Increase Your Vacation Rental Property Value

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If you’ve ever driven by a home and had to stop, get out of the car, and look around at the beauty of the landscape, this is what’s referred to as “curb appeal.” And this is one of the biggest selling points of any home on the market today.

When it comes to vacation rentals, curb appeal is one of the biggest attractors for potential customers who may want to rent your property. And landscaping is the key to creating this type of appeal.

Vacation rentals are supposed to be getaways for vacationers who simply want to leave their lives behind and indulge in nice, new scenery in a great location. And the more work you put into your landscape, the easier it will be to attract vacationers from all walks of life.

If you’re looking to get more value (and renters) out of your vacation property, the following will offer some helpful landscaping advice.

Pathways

One of the best ways to sculpt the landscape and tie it into the property itself is to have pathways or pavers which lead to different areas of the property. And studies have shown that landscapes with walkways, pavers, or other stylized pathways, are much more valuable than those without.

When vacationers are on the hunt for vacation properties to rent, believe it or not, all of the little details are taken into consideration. And when you have a property that looks amazing on your online listing, this will make a potential customer stop and view your property.

Landscaping your property with pathways offers a means to walk the grounds and explore the landscape up close, without having to worry about walking on the grass or getting mud on your shoes. And this can also add great value to your vacation rental as well.

Gardens

Adding a floral garden to your landscape is a great way to add color to the overall design of the property itself. And it also makes your property all the more inviting and beautiful.

The truth is, even planting smaller gardens is a great strategy to add appeal and value to your vacation property. And you can place these around the property in many different locations to add a bit of color to areas that might be otherwise dull or lifeless.

Gardens are also great for the soil and can be looked at as selling points to make your vacation rental listing much more attractive when a potential customer views it online.

Additionally, if you take your garden to the next level by adding expensive flowers, such as a rose garden, you’ll add even greater appeal, and your property will be much more fragrant as well.

Decks and Porches

Every home needs a gathering space or two. And having a deck or a nice inviting porch to welcome guests, friends, or family is a great addition to consider.

A deck or porch not only adds gathering space to your property, but it also adds a good bit of value. For example, if you were to spend 10,000 dollars on a deck or a porch, you could factor that amount into your overall property value. And though this will fluctuate over time, you’ll still be adding significant value.

Decks and porches should also be able to tie into the overall design of the property. Basically, you’ll want to have your deck or porch match the design of the home itself so that they don’t look out of place. And once you have a cohesive design, your curb appeal (and the appeal of your listing) will be much greater than before.

Landscaping is perhaps one of the most cost-effective methods for adding value to a property. And even simply adding grass seed and fertilizer can actually work wonders for your curb appeal. All it takes is a little bit at a time, and you’ll be easily able to add significant value to your property through landscaping design.

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DIY Projects

Narnian Gardens: Large-Scale Outdoor Renovations for Your Personal Castle

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Do you ever notice that in fantasy literature, the royals always have the most elegant gardens? There’s something about the image of a well-maintained, luxurious garden that recalls images of royalty to us, that suggests the ability to cultivate and nurture, that puts us at ease and assures us that we are in a great good place.

While a well-maintained front yard is how first impressions are made, a beautifully sculpted, royalty-worthy backyard is how that impression is maintained: you want your guests to feel like they’ve stepped through the wardrobe when they walk into your backyard as if Mr. Tumnus is waiting under your gazebo with fresh-baked pastries. You want them to feel as though they have stepped into your own fantasy world, to hear the message that a well-maintained backyard can communicate: this is your paradise, and they are welcome to come and stay as long as they like.

Doesn’t that seem like hyperbole? After all, how many of our backyards look like something out of a fantasy novel? How many of us spend enough time in our backyards to warrant treating it like our own slices of nature; let’s get real, how many of us even think about our backyards, neglecting them and not treating them like the necessary fixtures of our home they are? However, with the right investments, and regular pest control maintenance, you can easily convert your drab, lifeless backyard into a magical, outdoor hangout space that would be the envy of fantasy royalty.

Building outdoor furniture isn’t easy and will likely require you to hire contractors to install to make sure everything is up to code. With that in mind, here are a few projects you can undertake to renovate your backyard, making it a paradise for your family and friends.

Construct a Deck

If you haven’t had a deck before and you don’t have one now, starting by having a deck constructed by a reliable, affordable deck builder is your best bet. A good hardwood deck acts as a balcony from which you can survey your kingdom, a customizable hangout space where friends and family can come, sit, and enjoy being outdoors. While most of the fixtures on this list provide space for communities to gather, decks are special, being closely mounted to the house and having room for a variety of activities. You can set your deck up as a purely social area, with several types of outdoor furniture allowing friends and family to sit and chat, or you can use it as a cookout space instead, with plenty of room for a grill, a table, and an assortment of supporting furniture.

Gazebos: The Height of Luxury

If you can afford it, installing a gazebo might be a great way to construct a space where people can gather in the middle of your backyard, in the midst of the natural world, instead of being distanced from it like a deck. Aside from the aesthetically pleasing design of most gazebos, recalling beautiful natural gardens such as those in elfin paradises, gazebos come with their own lighting, lots of seating area, and (if put in the right place) a prime location from which you can survey your backyard. Gazebos make great spaces for you or other members of your family to retreat to, reading a book in a sheltered space while basking in nature, or even for smaller communal gatherings.

Benches, Swings, and Things

If you have the space for it, installing benches throughout your backyard to give people places to hang out might be a great way to provide a way for guests to relax in the outdoors. However, if you’re running low on backyard space, you can also hang hammocks or swings on large trees to give your guests a place to hang out or kids to play. The idea behind this would be to give people a place to relax outdoors, but also a place for them to bask in natural beauty privately, so don’t be afraid to position your benches, so your guests are looking at flowerbeds, gardens, or even placing them in more secluded areas as well.

Whether you want to install large furniture or not, investing in your backyard can be a great way to construct new communal spaces, taking advantage of an oft-neglected resource in our hustle-and-bustle, mostly indoor culture. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your backyard’s natural beauty, doing what you can to convert it into the fixture it is.

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DIY Projects

Doing It Yourself: Easy Home Renovations for Amateur Tradespeople

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It’s shocking how many of us like taking on the challenges associated with homes that are a bit of a fixer-upper, especially for the first homes we purchase. After years of living in apartment complexes where you could only change the configuration of the furniture (if that, depending on how much space you had in your apartment) or condos with noisy neighbors and strict landlord guidelines, buying a house that needs a little bit of TLC presents a bit of a blank canvas on which you, the homeowner, can create.

It isn’t enough to own your first home, to be out from under the ever-oppressive heel of leech-like landlords and obnoxious upstairs and downstairs neighbors: you have to be able to do something with it, to make it your own. Homes that need renovations here and there tend to be cheaper than homes that come fully refurbished, and also allow new owners to customize them to their heart’s content. While some jobs are a little too complex for your average Joe to do by themselves and require a seasoned professional to avoid serious damage to your health or property, like installing pressure treated wood decks or wiring issues, there are plenty of jobs you can take on yourself if you want to have a direct hand in building your own corner of the world.

A quick note of caution: while many of these jobs are included on this list because they are easy for amateurs to jump into and represent a minimal health or safety risk if things go wrong, you should still be careful. Minimal risk does not mean no risk, and engaging in any kind of construction endeavor carries an inherent danger.

With that said, here are a few home renovation projects you can take on if you want to work on your home, shaping it into your ideal dream home without employing contractors.

Clean Your Home’s Façade

Whether your home has been standing for decades or was just built a few years ago, the façade of your home has likely accrued a fair amount of grime: dirt caking the paint, ever so slightly changing its color, as well as present threats like the presence of wasps nests or spider webs. One of the first things you might want to do to improve your home’s outer appearance is to take a powerwasher to it, sloughing off years of grime in a matter of seconds.

While deceptively low-effort, not requiring you to don your hard hat or pick up any tools, this can take years off the look of your home, making it appear brand new in a matter of hours. If you have more fragile siding, like vinyl siding, a hose with a brush will also do wonders, though it will take longer.

Refurbish Your Floors

Even if the flooring appears stable, chances are that if you’ve bought a property that has been well-lived in, the flooring hasn’t been changed out in a while: you might want to consider at bare minimum re-finishing and sanding them, as those two processes can take years off the look of your flooring and make your home appear new on the inside as well.

If you should notice structural issues or even dislike the kind of material used in the flooring, you can also take matters into your own hands and replace the flooring material. If you decide to do this yourself, be careful that you do your due diligence, looking over the floorplan of your home to avoid any potential hazards while re-doing the floors. Instead of tearing up the floors yourself, you can also use vinyl tiles that stick onto your current flooring, available from popular e-commerce sites. This is more of a band-aid, though, until you can either do it yourself or hire a professional.

Work on Your Backyard

There are several ways to renovate your backyard, as it’s one of the most easily customizable features of any home. With few safety concerns associated with it (as you aren’t likely to, say, accidentally cut into some wiring), you can redesign your backyard at will, shaping it into a Wonderland-esqué paradise. Grow a garden, add some new furniture, construct bird feeders or weed-resistant planters for your plants: just make sure for more serious construction projects, like gazebos or decks, that you hire a professional.

With the right tools and information, you can do little things here and there to shape your home into your dream house. Make sure you call a professional for larger-scale projects but feel free to experiment with safe ways to modify your home to your liking.

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Landscaping

Lawn Care 101: Essentials for a Successful Landscaping Business

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If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, a love for the outdoors, and are crafty with your hands, diving into the landscaping industry can be a lucrative and fulfilling career path. Starting a landscaping business gives you the freedom of being your own boss while allowing you to connect with nature and provide a helpful service to your community. While getting your landscaping business up and running is a simple process, it is essential to lay a strong foundation for your company by investing in quality equipment.

So whether you are thinking about starting a landscaping business or just have questions about the best lawn care tools, here are the essentials you need to start a successful landscaping company today.

Work Truck

One of the most important things any successful landscaping business needs is a reliable work truck. Your truck will not only get you from job to job but carry your tools and your crew. However, it is important to note that your truck is also a representation of your business and yourself. Therefore, it is essential to keep your truck clean and maintained. Many landscapers drive around in beat-up dirty work trucks, so keeping yours sharp not only looks professional but helps you stand out among your competition.

Rent Your Work Truck

Investing in brand new work trucks can be challenging, especially when you are trying to get your business up and running. Instead, consider renting your next company truck. Renting your work trucks allows you to keep up with the latest technologies and truck models without breaking the bank.

Trailers

To run a successful landscaping business, you’ll also need at least two trailers. You’ll need a utility trailer to carry your heavy landscaping equipment and tools. In addition, investing in a dump trailer will help you haul materials like mulch and topsoil and take away debris like leaves and branches.

Powered Lawn Equipment

While powered lawn equipment can be quite an investment, they are essential for operating a successful landscaping business. Without breaking your budget, it is important to purchase the best quality power equipment you can find. Not only will quality equipment last long longer with fewer repairs, but it will allow you to do the best job possible. The higher quality your work is, the quicker you’ll see a return on your investment for the equipment.

Lawnmowers

No landscaping business is complete without a quality lawnmower. Consider investing in a ride-on zero turn mower for your large flat lawns and a commercial walk behind for the small properties with hills. However, if you are inexperienced with lawnmowers, it is essential to understand lawnmower safety to ensure the safety of you and your crew.

Weed Whacker

Aside from the lawnmower, a weed whacker is one of the most critical pieces of power equipment for your landscaping business. You’ll need a weed whacker to trim the permitter of each lawn, as well as spots the mower can’t reach, like tight corners and around the mailbox and flower beds.

Leaf Blower

While a leaf blower is essential for leaf clean-ups and lawn maintenance, you’ll need it for every kind of job, from plantings to mulch jobs and patio jobs. You never want to leave a client’s property messy. A gas-powered leaf blower will help you clear off lawns, driveways, sidewalks, decks, and more from leaves, spilled dirt, grass trimmings, and other debris.

Hedge Trimmer

Many customers who want their lawn taken care of will ask you to trim their bushes and small trees. A hedge trimmer helps you trim and shape hedges with ease.

Hand Tools

Aside from power tools, every landscaper needs a solid arsenal of hand tools. The necessities consist of shovels, rakes, pruning sheers, wheelbarrows, tarps, and buckets. Just like power tools, it is crucial to invest in quality hand tools. Look for tools with strong wooden handles instead of tools made of plastic.

Investing in these tools will help you get your landscaping business up and running.  As long as you invest in quality equipment, work hard, and stay committed, you’ll have a successful landscaping career.

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Health & Wellness

Healthy Habits: Outdoor Activities to Keep Your Older Adult Feeling Spry

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People take to aging differently. Some choose to embrace the tired feeling they’ve been feeling in their bones since they graduated college, retiring in a mostly sedentary fashion and watching Judge Judy, spending their twilight years turning their brains off and just enjoying life. Some people retaliate against old age, doing everything they can to keep themselves healthy so they can cross everything off their bucket list, going through a late-life crisis. It’s safe to say that we all fall somewhere on that spectrum as we age, whether we get to retire from our day jobs or still need to go to keep food on the table.

Unfortunately for those who were looking to spend their golden years relaxing in splendor, it’s also important to make sure that you get a good amount of exercise to stay healthy. As we get older, it becomes easier for us to injure ourselves if we fall, as well as for us to pick up any number of annoying and frightening health conditions; moreover, the loss of stamina and physical strength that is correlated with old age is most often the cause of inactivity, which most older adults find themselves drawn to as they age.

However, for older adults who stay active, their risk of developing any number of health conditions goes down (most specifically heart disease), and they stay stronger longer, picking up a number of other potentially useful benefits and maintaining their overall quality of life.

This is why most nursing facilities have an exercise schedule in place for their residents, as maintaining a good exercise schedule can be seen as a vital component of your older adults’ health. That is also why if nursing facilities do not follow through on that exercise schedule, leaving older adults inside all day, it can be seen as neglect, and neglect severe enough to warrant an experienced legal professional getting involved.

It’s important to make sure your older adult gets enough exercise, no matter the setting of their care, and spending time outside can also have a positive effect on their mental health. For your consideration, here are a few activities your older adult can do outside that will improve their physical and mental health.

Gardening

You knew it was coming, but gardening is actually one of the best hobbies that older adults with mobility challenges can perform. In addition to being an activity they can do with minimal aid, it’s also an activity that gives them a lot of agency and responsibility: they can choose which types of plants they want to seed, are in charge of their feeding and watering schedule, and the positive mental health effect of seeing something they grew to start to sprout and flower cannot be denied. Even in colder months, the practice of gardening can be an excellent hobby for older adults who are struggling with their mental health, looking to be active and outdoors but not having the capability to run the pacer test anymore.

Walking

As opposed to its more energetic counterpart (running), walking allows older adults to take their own pace when seeking to spend time in the natural world, letting them get out of their rooms and easy chairs and exercise at a leisurely pace. If you’re in a nursing home, consider driving your charges to a nearby park and let them explore the place at their pace: an unfamiliar setting may be the perfect way for them to get out and enjoy their time outdoors. If you aren’t in a nursing home, you have total freedom in where you walk: go to a setting with an abundance of natural beauty, and you’ll find that the peaceful magic of the area works its way into your very bones as you partake in some light exercise. You can also check buzzrx.com for tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Team Sports

Yes, team sports: though we aren’t talking about something like football, which gives people in their prime serious injuries. We’re talking sports like kickball, capture the flag, just things to get people outside and working in teams, as team games can build friendships and relationships among residents that are struggling with socialization or depression-related issues. Make sure the appropriate safety precautions are taken, however, as you want to make sure that these activities don’t leave anyone hurt. Also you may want to install a Rolex wall clock to keep time on your activities.

Finding little things for you to do as an older adult outdoors can have a massive impact on your mental and physical health. Feel free to experiment with the suggestions above, as well as others, until you find what works for you.

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Home Care & Living

4 Factors to Remember When You Invest in Solar Panels

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Are you considering using solar energy in your home? The use of solar panels to light your house and power your household appliances has numer