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How To Not Ruin Your Lawn

How To Not Ruin Your Lawn

One of the first things that friends and relatives notice when they visit your home is your front lawn. It stands to reason then that it should be one of your highest priorities when it comes to maintaining your yard. The problem is that many people are doing more harm than good to their lawns, ruining their hard work and giving those important visitors a poor first impression of their home.

So in this article, I am going to take a look at what you absolutely should not do if you want your lawn to look its best.

Don’t Over-Water

Believe it or not, it is possible to over-water your grass. Too much water will wash away any fertilizer you have used, and also makes the grass more susceptible to diseases. Instead of watering your lawn each day for a short amount of time, you should water it once a week till it gets a good soaking. Lawns that are watered daily only develop a shallow root system. This leads to them being very water dependent and can cause your grass to die off much quicker in a dry period.

 

Don’t Skip Your Mowing

We all have those days where we just can’t be bothered doing the mowing; surely it can go another week….right? Wrong! Leaving your lawn to grow too long between mowing will mean your grass grows tall and sparse, instead of thick and dense. The blades of grass that shoot up the quickest will end up blocking the sun over the shorter grass which leads to an uneven lawn. Be sure to mow regularly with a good quality mower with sharp blades to give your lawns a nice even look.

Don’t Bag Your Grass Clippings

While I am on the topic of mowing, let’s talk about what to do with your grass clippings. The simple answer is nothing; get yourself a mower with mulching capabilities so that the cut grass is laid back onto your lawn as fertilizer. Clippings can also help the soil below retain moisture during dry spells. A good mulching mower will leave almost no sign of the clippings at all.

Don’t Over-Fertilize

Over-fertilizing is quite a common problem, throwing too much fertilizer on your lawn can have a devastating effect. It results in the grass becoming severely dehydrated, and it almost looks like it has been burnt – hence why they call this effect “burning the lawn”. Be sure to read the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and follow it precisely. It is also just as important to make sure you buy a type of fertilizer that is suitable for your grass – which leads me into the next point:

Don’t Assume All Grass Is The Same

Did you know there are over 18 types of grass commonly used on lawns throughout the USA? Each variety of grass can require drastically different care to thrive. Some of the differences in care between grass species are cut heights, watering frequency, and fertilizer type. So it crucial to know what type is growing in your yard and adapt your watering, mowing and fertilizing routines to suit. If you don’t know what type of lawn you have, take a sample down to your local garden center and get them to identify it. They will also be able to tell you more about how to care for your particular type of grass.

Of course, these tips are not going to make you a lawn care expert, but they will get you moving in the right direction. Watering, fertilizing and mowing are all critical aspects of caring for your grass and should not be neglected. Lawn care can be quite addictive, and when you get home from work one day and see what your hard work has produced, I think you will find that learning just a little bit about how to care for your lawns was more than worthwhile.

Bio: Aaron Green is a full time father of two who spends his spare time in the garden and around the house. Being responsible for two young children leaves him little time to pursue hobbies, but he loves to share his knowledge with others when he can. You can find more of Aaron’s work at: www.essentialhomeandgarden.com

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How to Grow Spinach in Your Vegetable Garden

How to Grow Spinach in Your Vegetable Garden

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Spinach is an amazing leafy vegetable that is loaded with nutrients and many health benefits. While you can buy it from the supermarket, fresh, homegrown spinach, however, is the best option for a healthier lifestyle. Organic spinach is more nutrient-rich, tastes better and when it’s grown at home can save you time and cash.

The Main Health Benefits of Spinach

This vegetable has many benefits that you can enjoy from consuming it such as:

  • It helps with diabetes management by increasing insulin sensitivity because it contains the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid.
  • Spinach has chlorophyll that has been suggested to help prevent cancer by effectively blocking carcinogens.

  • It can help to prevent asthma since it has beta-carotene.
  • Helping to lower your blood pressure.
  • Preventing constipation and helping to balance the digestive system because it’s high in fiber.
  • It is also high in vitamin A and vitamin C content making it fantastic for your skin and hair.

Not As Hard As You Might Think

Growing spinach is not as difficult as you might believe. It happens to be a quick grower so you can often enjoy a good yield in a short amount of time. Spinach prefers cool weather and usually grows well in organic soil during the spring and fall. However, some varieties can grow in the summer too, but it’s necessary to plant them under shade to avoid direct contact with sunlight.

 

Steps For Success

There are a few easy steps you’ll need follow before you can enjoy your spinach at home:

  1. Choosing the Perfect Place

The first and most crucial step is to choose the perfect place to grow. You’ll want to pick soil that is rich in organic matter and has a pH of 6.5 to 7. Be warned that soil which is too acidic is not suitable for growing this vegetable.

  1. Planting Spinach

Plant the spinach in rows, with a distance of 12-inches between them. You should sow the seeds 0.5 inches deep every 6-inches along the rows. Also, cover this with 0.5-inches of fine mulch. Using a weed barrier helps spinach to grow nicely.

When planting seeds in the spring and summer, you’ll want to  mix 2-3 lbs of alfalfa meal per 100 square feet into the soil you will be using.  Alternatively if you’ll be planting in the fall, mixing 1 lb of fish meal or some other animal-based nitrogen content into the soil would be a good idea.

  1. Watering

Proper watering plays a crucial role if you want to be able to enjoy homegrown spinach. While other types of  plants only need the soil to be watered, with spinach you’ll need to make sure that you water the leaves too.

Consistency is key with your watering because this leafy vegetable demands moist soil to grow properly. An efficient way to water it is from above, using a watering can, that way the leaves remain hydrated and the soil will stay damp.

  1. Fertilizing

When considering fertilizers you  will need to check the amount of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium present in them. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are the best choice for growing spinach. Using balanced fertilizers also can work well though too.  Add the one you choose to the soil before planting so that the fertilizer breaks down a bit. After that, a water soluble fertilizer should be used every two weeks so that the plant grows well.

  1. Harvesting Spinach

When can you harvest your plants? Well, spinach can be picked when you see that the leaves have grown big enough to eat. It’s recommended that you cut off the outer leaves first which are larger and older and leave the remaining leaves on the plant to grow to size.

Doing this well help to prevent bolting or flowering. If you see the plant starting to bolt, you can harvest the entire plant.

 

A Few Extra Tips 

Below are a few important tips that can help you out:

  • Cut old leaves off, when they start turning yellow.
  • The best time for you to harvest your crop is during a frost because when exposed to cold, the spinach leaves start producing sugars that taste great.
  • To protect the plant from snow, use frames or tunnels.

With the above info you can get started growing and eating healthy foods.  Whether for your kitchen garden, rooftop, terrace,  or backyard vegetable patch spinach makes a great choice that anyone can grow.

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Situations That Require A Professional Tree Service

Situations That Require A Professional Tree Service

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Trees look beautiful and majestic through the changing seasons, but at times, they are unable to achieve their optimum potential because of both internal and external factors that compromise their growth. Fortunately, a professional tree service can offer effective solutions to the many issues that trees experience. Tree specialists not only have solutions for tree growth problems, they also can address many other issues that property owners may have with the trees in their property.

Rounded up below are just some of the the different situations they can provide help with.

Tree diseases: A professional service will have methods and treatment formulas that work to cure and manage common diseases that can inhibit growth, cause trees and branches to die, or infect other plants in the area.

Tree branches spreading too much and getting entangled with infrastructure and cables: These are safety hazards that can result in fires and other problematic situations. The service that you hire will provide tree trimming that safely gets rid of branches and leaves which have been getting caught in important structures. The tree trimming service should not only address this safety hazard but also trim the tree or trees causing the problem to make them healthier and more visually appealing. They have advanced equipment, tools and methods and are trained to do this, so don’t try to fix the problem on your own.

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Trees in the way of property development: Most people don’t really want to cut down trees because they take a long time to grow so the best solution is often to have them removed and replanted somewhere else. Tree services cover this important task as well and ensure the safest removal of fully-grown trees to make way for development.

Trees growing into underground infrastructure:  Tree roots can cause plumbing pipes and sewers to collapse. Tree service providers and plumbing professionals can work together to prevent further costly damage.

Trees are too old and damaged; there’s the risk of them falling in the next storm: You should never wait for an accident to happen . Falling branches or entire trees can be not just dangerous but deadly. It’s always much smarter to play it safe and just have the trees removed in advance. A tree service can remove them safely and even make sure that the wood will be put to good use despite its condition.

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The situations mentioned above demand the immediate attention of experts.  They are not the time to try and save some cash by doing it yourself. Most tree service providers can also include land clearing, so if you need your property cleared of vegetation and obstructions in order to prepare it for an outdoor upgrade or structure like a gazebo or pergola, you can turn to them for help.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like http://www.cstree.com and shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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A Project You Can Easily Accomplish with DIY Concrete Supplies

A Project You Can Easily Accomplish with DIY Concrete Supplies

Creating outdoor furniture can be really fun. A lot of people discover that it can be much less stressful to take on compared to other DIY projects because it doesn’t always need to be perfect. Also, you can actually work with old furniture you have and give it a new look or simply make it new again especially if the furniture is already damaged.

One project that you can make is an outdoor stone table. This is actually easy using DIY concrete supplies. If you’ve never worked with concrete before, that’s not going to be a problem. This piece of furniture is not only low maintenance for it can stand the changes in weather, but it also comes together really quickly. If you end up buying the wrong items, it’s easy to trade concrete supplies for those that you actually need.

Pay attention to the following steps so you can create this great piece of furniture.

  • Bring out your old table and spread a ¾ inch thick sheet of melamine, which will serve as the base.
  • With PVC molding, create a border around the table and extend according to your desired thickness for the tabletop. Screw the molding in place.
  • To create an easy design for the tabletop, you can use different sizes of containers (preferably old cans and ice cream tubs) with tops and bottoms removed to serve as your design stencil.
  • Mix the concrete. Take the packaged concrete, add water to it (a little more than what’s provided in the directions) and make small batches of different colors of concrete (you can use coloring pigments to create different hues of concrete).

  • Coat the surface of the table, the molding and even the containers with cooking spray. Pour the concrete on the table and the different colored concrete into the containers.
  • Tap the underside of the table with a rubber mallet to make sure that there are no air bubbles in the concrete. Even out the surface with a trowel.
  • Level the concrete with a wood board. Use a back and forth motion for a completely even surface.
  • Let the concrete dry for two to three days.
  • Remove the mold and flip the concrete slab over.
  • Seal the surface with a sealant using a sponge. Sealants come in different finishes – matte, satin and wet.
  • Drill holes onto the table with a masonry drill bit and then fasten the concrete slab with concrete anchors. Voila, you have for yourself a piece of garden furniture that will last you really long time.

This furniture project is both uncomplicated and affordable. Moreover, and the instructions here also work for other projects, such as creating your own garden steps and other types of weather-resistant outdoor décor.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like http://www.easymixsales.com.au/. He shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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Turf-less Landscaping – Pros Introduce Xeriscaping

Turf-less Landscaping – Pros Introduce Xeriscaping

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Traditional landscaping requires the use of a massive amount of resources, especially water. In fact, studies indicate that lawn care accounts for roughly a third of the water consumption of an ordinary American household. That is a significant number that needs to be considered, especially in times of drought.

Does that mean that you should forgo the idea of landscaping completely? According to a specialist in landscaping, residents might want to consider xeriscaping, which is essentially landscaping without the use of turf. Eliminating turf from landscaping can lead to more savings not just in terms of water and money, but also in terms of time and effort, of which traditional lawns need a lot.

But if you are eliminating turf from the equation, how can you make the landscape look interesting? Are there substitutes for turf that you can use? One option you can look into is incorporating more hardscapes on your landscape. These can mean a lot of things like driveways and pathways, retention and privacy walls, patios, decks, water fountains, fire pits and more. Replacing grass with these hardscapes means you can cut back on your use of water. Additionally, you do not have to perform much yard work compared to maintaining a conventional lawn.

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Using hardscapes, however, does not mean that you should avoid using plants entirely.  It does mean that plants should be placed more thoughtfully on the landscape.  You will also want to choose specific types of plants that are drought-resistant and therefore require little water and that are low-maintenance.

For example one substitute for turf that you may want to consider using on your property is white clover. White clover has been traditionally viewed as a weed. However, according to landscaping experts, this plant offers a few unique advantages over conventional turf grass species.

For one, white clover does not require much watering. Second, it remains green and fresh from spring to fall. During summer, your lawn will be transformed into a green and white carpet when the flowers bloom. White clover is also quite resilient to heat and does not require fertilizers as it has the ability to get its nitrogen requirement from the air. It is also immune to some of the pests and weeds that often attack turf grasses.

Finally, you can consider adding more native plants to your landscape. Using native species allows you to save more time and effort because you are using plants that are suitable for the local climate. Plus, these plants do not require as much care, water and fertilizers.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like http://www.shannonlandscaping.com/. He shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

Click Here Now to start shopping for plants and products to Xeriscape your yard!



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