Articles

10/01/2010
Author: Jeffrey Lego

Leaf Mulching is one of the more organic methods of leaf removal. And, it is very lawn friendly.

If you have a push mower, it is more than likely that it is already mulch-capable. Most of the time, there is a plastic shoot where grass exits the push mowers deck. You should be able to remove the plastic shoot, and block the hole in the mowers deck. Most newer lawn mowers come with a mulching blade as well. If not, one can easily be picked up for around the price of $20.00.

10/01/2010
Author: John A. Nesbitt

Hanging baskets are typically used to grow impressive flower displays but can also but used to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. As well as being a novel alternative to flowers growing fruit and veg in a basket is a very clever use of space especially when in a town dwelling.

Strawberries make an ideal fruit to be grown in a hanging basket by providing both a delicious fruit as well as some colour for visual effect. Strawberries should be planted in spring.

You will need all of the materials to hand - frame, compost, liner, strawberry and other plants, slow release fertiliser and 12" of polythene.

10/01/2010
So, you've gotten a few chickens and while they were chicks you kept them indoors under a heat lamp..but now they're grown and you need a new place to keep them.

One or two things to keep in mind when building your chicken coops is to make sure there are at least a few individual boxes (ideally, you should have one box per chicken) in case your hens go broody and want to set on some eggs, especially if you have a rooster. If you don't have a rooster, there's really no point in letting a hen set because, well, she's just not going to have anything come of it. But either way, you should have one box per chicken because chickens want a little privacy while they lay their eggs - wouldn't you? And, you should also consider roosting bars, since chickens roost in trees at night naturally.
10/01/2010
When you're considering your child's education, you really should to consider all options. There's the usual choice of public school, which can be good for socializing your child but they aren't exactly number one when it comes to education, which can be greatly attributed to the fact that public school (especially high school) is a popularity contest, and a lot of kidsspend more time studying other people and their clothing than they do their curriculum.
10/01/2010
You might be surprised at what you can add to your compost pile, as composting goes much farther than just grass clippings and veggie scraps, and sometimes throwing dead leaves in. I was really surprised to come across some of the things that you can add to your composting pile, and not only will your plants benefit from these added nutrients but landfills will fill up more slowly.

Some of these things are basically common sense, but some of them made me go 'woah, really?'. Freezer Burnt Fruits/Veggies. These make good compost, because after all, once they thaw out they'll start decomposing just like any other fruit or veggie. Pet Hair. This also composts well, and if you put it in the compost pile it'll help get rid of some allergy triggers in your home and possibly help you breathe better!
Also:

Wood chips
Bee droppings
09/01/2010
Author: Donald Saunders

If you discover that your child is struggling in a public school and is becoming increasingly downcast as the weeks roll by then home schooling may be an option that you should look at. If so, be prepared for a changeover period after removing the child from the public school system before jumping into 'full-time' home schooling.

08/31/2010
Author: Barry Rodgers

Have you ever wondered what goes in to your favourite sausages? Have you ever worried about the quality of ingredients in those sausages that your family cannot get enough of? Whilst expensive butchers’ sausages may only contain the very best ingredients, the cheaper mass-produced varieties may not. The only way to ensure that your sausages are both delicious and nutritious is to make them yourself. If you are thinking that sausage making is some kind of mysterious butchers’ art and well beyond the average cook, prepare to think again! Read on and discover why it is fun, easy and satisfying to make your own sausages at home.

08/31/2010
Author: H.L.Stone

Hobby farming, also known as sustainable farming or sometimes family farming, can be a great way to explore your personal interest in growing vegetables, raising livestock, or even beekeeping while engaging in a home grown business venture that incorporates family togetherness and quality time as much as building a successful home-based business.

08/31/2010
Author: suzimc

Having been raised in rural Alabama, I must confess, I'm a bit domesticated. Growing up on my Grandmother's farm, I spent many a summer shelling peas and canning them in her kitchen. As I got older, we moved away from near my Grandmother, and my canning days were ended.

About 20 years ago, I got the wild idea to try home canning again, after finding a pressure canner in a catalog. I bought two and I have been canning ever since. Every year at Christmas my husband and I can about 75 quarts of pasta sauce and give them out as gifts. All of my friends and family look forward to it. I love to can and have been collecting canning recipes for years.

08/31/2010

By: Jesse Turner

I've been told that you can get out of the rat race (become a homesteader) or be a city dweller; the only difference is you'll either be trading your time working to be more self sufficient (self employed, gardening, getting wood in for the winter, etc.) or trade time away from home, at work, to pay for the conveniences and bills (Overtime).

The person who told me this didn't see the difference in the quality of life; to this person, you exist here or you exist there, the price you pay is the same, it was all a wash in the end - and they call me the boring one.

08/31/2010

Never underestimate the power of a pig.
Don't even doubt it's strength and resolve, because it WILL get through that fence you just spent hours or even days putting up..Or under it, or over it..
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell what a pig can and cannot get through until it's up and the pigs are in there. Plus, like all animals, what works for most might not work for yours.
So, to make things easier for you...


4x4 Fencing
Also known as goat fencing, this does not make a good pig enclosure, no matter how you anchor it, how many posts you use, how close said posts are together, or if you bury 6" of it.

08/31/2010
Keeping horses can be very rewarding, and you'll have your favorite trail buddy right there, ready to go whenever you are. It can also be very expensive, since the general rule is 1 acre per fullsize horse, and you'll need grain/oats, salt licks, hay, and horses love a little alfalfa every now and again - it's like candy to a horse.

And that's just food, you'll also need tack, and depending on what discipline and maker you choose it can be anywhere from kind of expensive, to holy-crap-that's-expensive expensive. Whether you pick the English discipline or the Western discipline, there's basic tack that both require, like halters, lead ropes, lunge lines, fly masks - if you're new to horses and don't know what all this jargon means, have no fear, I'll explain it all in a bit.
08/04/2010


By Steve Boulden

The word "espalier" is both a verb and a noun. It means to create a wall of fruit. That is done by creating a framework to support the limbs of the fruiting plant. The structure can be free-standing, in the middle of a lawn or garden plot; or it can be erected against an existing (preferably south-facing) wall that will provide warmth and shelter, as is often done in more northern areas.

08/01/2010
Author: Tom Sutton

Have you ever wondered how a professional painter decorator can paint so well? They do not have drips or areas where the paint has pooled on the frame of the window sill, they don't cover the floor in paint, the finished job looks absolutely fantastic. The secret to being a great painter is knowing your trade inside out, if you're a DIY enthusiast then the following tips can be of great assistance, if you're not keen on DIY then it is probably best to hire a skilled painter for your project.

 

Step One :: Choose The Right Type of Paint

 

08/01/2010


By Suzy T

Tomatoes are easy to grow making them very popular with home gardeners. They are a sturdy crop and can withstand fluctuations in weather conditions but when prolonged summer heat hits, it not only stresses people and power grids, it also causes problems for your tomato plants. If you plan ahead and follow these important tips, you and your tomato plants can weather the next heat wave without wilting in the sun.

Tomatoes thrive in warm, sunny weather but even the strongest tomato plant can be stressed if the temperature hovers above 90 degrees for too long. Several tomato plant problems become much more common in hot weather including blossom end rot, splitting, cracking and spider mites.

08/01/2010
By Piper Cox

 

Fall is a time when the garden is winding down, but the garden work isn't! There are things that need to be done that you really shouldn't put off until spring. If you want your garden to produce healthy plants next spring, there are some tasks you need to take care of in the fall.

 

08/01/2010
by: Ann Cohen

Our kitchens are the center of activity so when we are composting our kitchen scraps we want our kitchens to be odor free from our composting pail or crock. Many families today are recycling thier kitchen scraps to create organic compost for thier gardens.

Having a kitchen compost pail or crock in your kitchen makes composting much easier and convenient. No daily trips to the compost pile in the cold, snow or rain. And most importantly, no odors in your home.
08/01/2010
by: Michael Podlesny

I love the scene in the television show Seinfeld where character George Costanza, played by actor Jason Alexander, is talking to a female named Kelly, played by actress Tracy Kolis, about his love of the word manure. The funny line is, "when you consider the other choices, manure, is pretty refreshing." Of course Kelly cuts the date short as she finds talking about the subject pretty strange.

Had Kelly been a vegetable gardener she might have gone off on a tangent as to the wonderful benefits manure has for your home vegetable garden. I guess the "show about nothing" did not want to take that route.

Manure from the proper sources (I'll get to that in a moment) presents you with a great opportunity to add much needed nutrients back into the soil and with seasoned manure from these same sources, you can brew a wonderful elixir called manure tea. We'll cover manure tea sometime in the future.
07/01/2010
by: Steven Hill

Five years ago I read an article about hanging tomato plants upside down to grow them. The article talked about how much easier it was to grow tomatoes that way because you did not have to stake the plants and the fruit would be in easy reach. I thought it sounded like a very interesting idea. The article also talked about how the plant's natural inclination is to grow upward, so I wanted to create a planter that could start with the plant on top and be turned over when it got to the point of needing to be staked.

 

After thinking about various options, I went to my local home improvement center and purchased four 5-gallon buckets with lids. These were the kind of bucket you would see joint compound or paint sold in; they are also sold as just empty buckets. I thought they would make a good container for hanging tomato plants.

07/01/2010

by: Steven Hill

Summer gardening can involve lots of weeds and it may be very tempting to use commercial weed control products. The problem with this is that it will probably lower the quality of your produce. It most certainly will have a negative effect on the overall ecology of your area. These chemicals will be washed away with the rain and will ultimately end up in the waterways where they poison the fish and other wildlife as well as possibly poisoning those who consume the produce without washing it thoroughly. They also tend to take away from one of the less noticed benefits of gardening, and that is the exercise it provides for you. Just leaving the weeds is one approach to dealing with them, but this is not good for your garden. Sure, it may be “natural”, but they take nutrients from your vegetables and provide shelter for pests.

 

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