Starting your own home vegetable garden

Growing our own organic vegetables is very satisfying and surprisingly easy to achieve at home.

You do not need a huge backyard to grow your own produce. At the very least you can grow sprouts and herbs on a window sill and some tomatoes in a planter box. These alone will be a great addition to your family table.

If you are fortunate to have a backyard, you can produce a variety of bountiful crops with very little effort. All you need is adequate sunlight, water, soil and a little patience to successfully grow organic vegetables most of the year.

Before planting any seedlings you need to select the best area for your garden. A successful garden needs at least six hours of sun, especially during the winter months. This is important for strong, nutritious and healthy plants. Also consider protection from the wind which can slow down growth, dry out the soil, and physically damage your plants.

The soil needs to be rich and fertile for best results, and can be improved by adding aged manure and a good quality compost before planting. Most vegetables will thrive on these two additions alone. Other vegetables require lime, nitrogen and/or potash for ideal conditions — check the growing requirements for each vegetable before you plant.

Vegetables need lots of water and adequate drainage to thrive. The amount of water depends on the climate, the time of the year, and your soil conditions. Adding mulch, such as straw, on top of the soil will help to retain valuable moisture and regulate the soil temperature. Drainage is improved by incorporating bulky matter into the soil or by building raised beds on top of the existing garden level.After selecting the best position for your garden divide the area into three or more separate beds so you can rotate your crops each season. Crop rotation helps to combat soil-borne pests and diseases and improves soil conditions by nutrient transfer. Plants are then planted in family groups, such as root crops and brassica’s. As a novice gardener select vegetables that are both easy to grow and tasty to eat such as peas, tomatoes, swiss chard, beets, lettuce and cabbage, and divide them into family groups for each of your separate garden beds. For example, the first bed may contain tomato and capsicum, the second may contain lettuce and cabbage, and the third bed may contain carrots and turnips.

In addition to sun, water and fertile soil, vegetables need regular care to produce a strong healthy crop. This involves little more than maintaining soil moisture, weed and pest control, pruning, and occasional fertilizing as required. A little time each day will pay huge dividends at harvest time.

With a little time, discipline and patience you will be growing fresh, organic vegetables within a few weeks, providing delicious additions to your family table.

More great vegetable gardening tips here.

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Composting is good for your garden.

Gardening is a cherished past time and a productive activity, of that there is no doubt. Unfortunately, most gardeners are not toiling under the best of soil conditions.

Specifically, our soil is usually not in the most optimal condition. The prohibitive truth is that most soils have some underlying negative condition including nutritional deficiencies, excessive clay or sand, poor drainage quality, inadequate soil structure and aeration, and pH imbalance issues.

Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution, only requiring a reasonable commitment on your part. It’s known as composting and it involves the gathering of organic material that you’ve “created” and then periodically working these into your soil.

Controlled Rotting And Regular Rotation

Composting is essentially a process of controlled rotting where organic matter is gathered over time and left to decompose into an extremely beneficial soil conditioner that adds fertility and enhances soil structure.

The key to effective composting is to foster soil dwelling micro-organisms like fungi, bacteria, and also worms and insects that accumulate and then “treat” the debris you’ve stock piled. This activity will become readily apparent in time as your “pile” will begin to emanate an odor and even steam as you toss it around.

By consistently turning the decomposing material, it will break down into the some of best soil additive you can have. The composting process will take anywhere from several weeks to a couple years depending on the amount provided and the attention given.

Some Tips To Help Your Compost Decompose

There are some essentials to help it along. First off, composting requires heat so the sunnier, or less cool, the spot the better. Regardless of the spot, it must be accessible to water as pile moisture is another requirement of effective composting.

Another aspect is the size of the area or bin. While there is flexibility in this regard, do not pile it much higher than five feet as the sheer weight of the material will make it difficult to toss and turn adequately. Additionally, decomposition can slow while odors can increase under these circumstances. The ideal size is about a four-by-four square foot area, two to three feet in depth.

The compost matter needs oxygen to decompose so the pile should be rotated using a shovel and rake every few days to a week. Also, maintain moisture, but not sogginess, with a regular spritzing of water. Put gravel on the bottom to facilitate drainage, if necessary. Your compost should have the consistency of a squeezed wet sponge.

Another good idea is to shred materials like leaves and small branches before adding them to your compost. The decaying organisms work better on smaller materials comprising a lot of surface area.

When To Add Your Compost To Your Garden

The general rule of thumb for applying your compost is to add four to six inches four months before planting, two to three inches if you plant in the next two months and just one inch if you plant any sooner.

The decayed matter takes some time to fully integrate into the planting bed but the more decayed the matter, the quicker the beneficial effects. Also, when doing so, make sure to avoid large chunks that can cause air pockets to form in the soil.

Use A Variety Of Materials For Your Compost

To provide the greatest range of nutrients make your compost from a variety of materials but absolutely exclude diseased or pest infested plant matter, meat scraps, weed roots, and oils and fats.

Recommended items include coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, shredded paper, shredded leaves and plant clippings, sawdust, and fireplace ashes.

Types Of Composting Containers

Composting bins can be store-bought or home-made. When going with the factory made offerings consider the barrel-shaped types that can be rotated by turning a crank. This turning action can vastly increase the rate of decay. If going the home made route, simple fencing materials or cinder blocks can be used to form a relatively large composting area.

Regardless of how you go about it, composting is likely the best continuing practice that a gardener can undertake. It amends the soil like nothing else will, giving you a bountiful vegetable harvest and blooming flowers and herbs.Visit my site for more great gardening tips.

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The History of Woodturning

Woodworking is something that was practiced thousands of years ago. It is the process of building, making or carving something by the use of wood. There were two significant historic civilizations that used woodworking; the Chinese and the Egyptians. Woodworking is evident on the works made by both civilizations. Egyptians had drawings and pieces of furniture that have been preserved in tombs. It was also found that the coffins in the tombs were wood turned.

The Chinese also had furniture made from turned wood. It was believed that it originated from Lu ban and his lovely spouse, named Lady Yun, from the Autumn as well as the Spring period. Lu Ban was considered to have brought the use of plane, chalk line and some other tools to China.

Different Forms of Woodworking

A form of woodworking which evolved after thousands of years is woodturning. Dated to around 1300 BC, Egyptians were considered to have discovered woodturning. Two persons were responsible for working a lathe in those days. The first person would turn the wood with a rope, while the second one used the sharp tools that would cut shapes in the wood. This procedure is also called two-person lathe. After some time, the process of woodturning used by Egyptians was developed by the Romans.

Adding the Turning Bow

To make the work much easier, a turning bow was added. The turning bow discovered and used by the Germans. This meant that the craftsman could use one foot to turn the lathe, freeing up his hands to use the tools for designing the spinning timber. A pedal was then used during the Middle Ages. This made the work easier and faster, though it was still hard work. The pedal that was used during that time was connected to a pole; a straight-grained sapling. Later a system known as spring pole lathe was used. These lathes were commonly used during the early 20th century.

In the Industrial Revolution

During the 18th and 19th century, also known as the Industrial Revolution, significant changes occurred with regards to agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport. This period also had an effect on the use of the lathe which became motorized. This allowed the turned items to be created much more quickly. Further, the motorized lathe also produced greater rotational speed for the wood, the effect of which was that to easily and quickly produce a high quality of work. Yet, compared to these days, there were less art and speed back then.

Sources of Power

The old spindle as well as the bowl lathes that were used had different sources of power – viz. manpower. These speeds were very slow speeds – even the fastest of them was still slow when compared to motorized lathes. Nowadays, such slow speeds are rare; rather the speed is likely to be great enough to fling even the tiniest work right off the lathe, especially if it has not been securely fastened. It is important then in discovering the art as well as the proper skill of wood turning to make sure that all the techniques and practices are safe and secure so that the person will be protected from injury.

New Discoveries in Woodturning

Almost every year people try to make new discoveries in woodturning. Definitely, woodturning has evolved and become a more highly skilled art form than it once was. And though the number of machines and equipment we have today is wider than was possible in the early days of woodturning, it is still important to appreciate the work of art in any simple way.

Despite the fact that the products produced from woodturning are no longer necessary because they are made from man-made materials, the ability to still create them from the process of woodturning will stay strong and will still continue for as long as there are people who believe in and appreciate the artistic and useful items of woodturning.

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Easy Courses in Woodturning

Wood turning has a definite place in the commercial world. It is used in different forms like making furniture, building trim, tool parts, toys and many other useful and beautiful designs in daily use.

Because of its strong demand from both hobbyist and professionals, colleges and universities offer short and easy courses for those willing to learn more about wood turning.

The following are some of the easy courses you can attend during weekdays or weekend depending on your preference.

Footstools for Beginners

Tuition fee ranges from $200 to $300. The course aims for you to gain comfort in basic skills of both faceplate and spindle turning as you make your own unique footstool. Possibilities for embellishing the surface will also be discussed on the earlier part. You will surely be amazed at what you will accomplish and learn in just a short time.

Ornaments from Simple to Exquisite

Schools offer this simple course to wood turn simple ornaments into exquisite ones. The tuition fee ranges from $200 to $300. The course will teach you to start with simple icicle, angel, nutcracker-style stick or snowman ornament and progress to the challenging Hollow Globule with Icicle and Cap. If there is more time and interest, the instructors may teach you to turn birdhouse ornaments—maybe the multi-axis ones. Course emphasis is on improving skills through project-based, hands-on wood turning and learning. Skill levels appropriate in the class are intermediate and beyond.

Design Basics on the Mini-Lathe

Tuition fee ranges from $500 to $600. The course aims to explore your creativity as they put you on the path to developing your own wood turning style. You can learn basic turning strategies on the mini lathe by creating new varieties of items. You will then be encouraged to make design changes on each project. The class will include lathe safety, tool sharpening, finishing touches and tool-use choices. Beginning and intermediate students are very much welcome.

Turning Family Style

This is a weeklong learning about the fascinating art of woodturning. The tuition fee ranges from $500 to $550. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or have some experiences; there will be plenty of fun projects available to challenge you. Develop or fine-tune tool skills, with emphasis on safety as you work at your own pace in a relaxed environment. Students recommended for the class are those with beginning and intermediate levels.

 

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Find the best landscape gardening idea.

Coming up with your very own landscaping concept is not all that easy. In fact, nearly everybody is going to need a little help with designing a landscaping plan, with so much information available that it is easy to find a landscaping idea to use.

You will find a number of websites that you can get some fantastic landscaping ideas with todays technology start on the internet.. there are many quality websites on the net that will all have a great landscaping idea or two for you to take and make your own. Remember it is important to stop and think for a while about what you want to put into Your landscaping yard. in the front and?in the back, so finding the perfect landscaping idea is essential to your success.

You should start With a measured walk round your house in order to get a good sense of what can be done. See how the drainage is and check out the slopes and levels of your property. This way you will be able to tell What landscaping plan suits your area best.. It is the little things that will make a difference.. Imagine if you rush and chose a landscaping idea and then start work To find that the job can’t be finished with more than 50% of the work because your site doesn’t suit the plan.. This is a really important reason for you to do your research before you start.

And before you choose the final landscaping idea Which best suits your garden It’s a good idea to find out the fundementals of how to landscape.. This is imperative if you have never done any work like this before. Finding a good book on the internet is a good idea.. This small investment is well worth it.. There is a lot of be gained from reading some good landscaping books, you might even find a landscaping idea in them.

When you have made up your mind to landscape your front and back area then you need to use a landscaping idea that will incorporate both of these. Your front and back yards should flow together, this will give you the best possible design so look at a landscaping idea that will give you this kind of harmony.  You will have a better landscaped garden for it.

Landscaping tips here.

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Flower Gardening Tips 

Flower gardening is becoming more and more popular every day. Flowers can brighten everyone’s day, they smell nice, and are a great hobby. Flower gardening is simple, inexpensive, and loads of fun. Flower gardening can be done for yard decoration, simply as a hobby, or even professionally.
There are some decisions that have to be made before even flower gardening can be started. You must decide if you want annuals that live for one season and must be replanted every year, or perennials that survive the winter and return again in the summer. When buying and planting, pay attention to what kind of flowers thrive in your climate as well as the sun
Requirements.
When flower gardening, you must decide what type of look you want before planting. For instance, mixing different heights, colors, and varieties of flowers together in a “wild-plant style” will give your garden a meadow look and can be very charming. If short flowers are planted in the front of your garden and work up to the tallest flowers in the back you will have a “stepping stone style”.
You can order seeds for flower gardening from catalogues or buy them from a nursery. Most people will go to the nursery and buy actual flowers and then transplant them. After you have prepared your garden area and bought flowers, it is a good idea to lay the flowers out in the bed to make sure you like the arrangement and that they will be spaced properly.
One of the easiest processes in flower gardening is the planting/ if you have seeds just sprinkle them around in the flower bed. For planting transplants dig a hole just bigger than the flower, pull the container off, and set the flower in the hole right side up. Cover it with the loose soil and press down firmly, then water.

Maintaining a flower garden is even easier than planting one. Although they might make it on their own, a bag of fertilizer applied in the early spring is a good idea. Pinch back any blooms after they start to fade and keep them good and watered. To save yourself work during the next season of flower gardening, rid your garden of all debris and spread out organic nutrients like peat moss or compost. Don’t forget to turn over the soil to properly mix in the fertilizer and rake smooth when finished. If you have perennials planted be careful not to disturb their roots in this process.

Flower gardening is as easy as 1, 2, and 3, simply decide what to plant; plant it, and water, water, water! Flower gardening is undoubtedly gaining in popularity and gives anyone excellent reason to spend some outdoors and test out their green thumb.More great gardening tips here.

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4 Home Gardening Tips

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Home Gardening

Over the last few years home gardening has become an increasingly popular past-time and hobby. In fact, studies show that home gardening is at an all time high in America right now. In the United States 8 out of 10 households take part in some type of home gardening activity. Obviously from the number of people that are doing it, home gardening is one of the most popular recreational activities in nation.

1.Most people that try their hand at home gardening plant flowers; at least they start out planting flowers anyway. Roses
will probably be the first thought into any gardeners mind, but roses will take extra time and work, and should probably be
left to those who have gardened before. When planting flowers many choices are available, such as bulbs, perennials, and annuals.

2.Edible plants are another big thing in home gardening. Perhaps the best thing about edibles is the reward of eating
them. The list of edible plants that gardeners can grow at home is endless. Some of the most common edible plants in the vegetable arena are, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, squash, and cucumber. Many gardeners opt for fruits, such as, watermelons, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apples, pears, and apricots. Small fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries usually require less work and less space, making them much more feasible for home gardening. Herbs, most often used as spices in cooking, are growing in popularity every day; some of the most grown include basil, thyme,oregano, parsley, and cilantro. One of the most important things to watch for when planting edibles is insects and disease, after all, you don’t want to miss out on the feast you will get to enjoy from healthy plants.

3.Many people don’t realize it, but landscaping is a form of home gardening. Landscaping covers many different areas and
forms of gardening. You can even classify mowing your lawn as landscaping! Keeping in the line of grasses, landscaping
nearly always involves decorative grasses, and the great thing about them is they don’t take much work for upkeep. Types
of grass include monkey grass, pampas, buffalo grass, flame grass, and ornamental millet. Landscaping is not just limited
to plant life, but also includes anything done to a yard for decoration, such as adding rocks or stones, putting a small pond, statutes, or a waterfall.

4.There isn’t much difference between home gardening and gardening anywhere else. Plants still need to be planted in a
good location. The plants still need water and they still need the same nutrients. Home gardening shouldn’t cause anyone
to get nervous. If you do decide to try homing gardening and finding out that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t get
discouraged.

Get some information, read up on gardening, and try it again the next planting season.

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