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Gardening--Fun and Frugal!
Whether you are an avid vegetable gardener, a beginning herb gardener or just like to have a pretty yard, these frugal tips may help you save a little money!
1. Stale coffee and coffee grounds make great organic fertilizer. They provide many trace minerals and low, gentle levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.
2. Remember that a good soaking of water less often is better than a light sprinkling every day -- for veggies and for your lawn.
3. If your neighbor has a plant you particularly like, ask for a cutting, instead of going to the nursery and buying one. Maybe you could trade a cutting from one of your own plants.
4. To easily water a tomato plant, bury a bottomless coffee can next to the plant and pour the water into the can. This allows the water to go straight to the roots.
5. Plant marigolds in your vegetable garden. They will attract insects that eat aphids and other pests.
6. My husband bought some used carpet at a garage sale, cut it into wide strips and laid it down between the rows in our garden. Now we can pick peas with getting our shoes muddy.
7. Use grass clippings as mulch around your vegetable plants to keep moisture in and weeds out. Just don't use the clippings right after you have fertilized your grass or treated for weed control.
8. If you have access to them, pine needles make excellent mulch.
9. A natural, frugal garden pest spray: mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap and 1 cup of cooking oil. Use 3 tablespoons of this mixture to 1 quart of water and spray on plants.
10. In the herb garden, to keep plants like mint from taking over too big an area, put it in a clay pot and simply plant the whole pot!
"He who plants a garden, plants happiness."
About The Author
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".
You Cant Beat Perennials For Glorious Color All Season Long
When you start gardening with perennials, it's easy to think that all you have to do is get your plants into the ground, and with the exception of weeding, watering and cutting back, your garden will be done. But here's what really happens: in the first year your new plants are underwhelming ? the clumps small, the flowers sparse. By the second year, your perennials have grown fuller and have more flowers, but in the third season ? watch out ? your plants look like they're on steroids, and you look like an accomplished gardener. After that, many plants get bigger each season, while the odd one confounds you by doing a disappearing act. Responding to the inevitable change is your challenge as a flower gardener. Veteran gardeners say that no flower garden is ever truly finished. When I was starting out about 15 years ago, my husband used to joke that my plants should have been on wheels because I moved them so much. Perennial plants are the backbone of the flower garden because they're the plants with staying power. Their leaves die back as winter approaches, but with luck, the following spring, they come back. Some plants are short-lived, but old favorites like daylilies, hostas and peonies can last for decades.
Gardening is Good Therapy
Many of us garden just for the sheer joy of it. But did you know that all over the country the healing aspects of gardening are being used as therapy or as an adjunct to therapy? Although this might sound like a new concept, garden therapy has been around for decades. For example, the Garden Therapy Program at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, and in regional hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Rome, Thomasville and Savannah, has been helping people for over 40 years through gardening activities known as social and therapeutic horticulture. So what exactly is social and therapeutic horticulture (or garden therapy)? According to the article "Your future starts here: practitioners determine the way ahead" from Growth Point (1999) volume 79, pages 4-5, horticultural therapy is the use of plants by a trained professional as a medium through which certain clinically defined goals may be met. "?Therapeutic horticulture is the process by which individuals may develop well-being using plans and horticulture. This is achieved by active or passive involvement." Although the physical benefits of garden therapy have not yet been fully realized through research, the overall benefits are almost overwhelming. For starters, gardening therapy programs result in increased elf-esteem and self-confidence for all participants. Social and therapeutic horticulture also develops social and work skills, literacy and numeric skills, an increased sense of general well-being and the opportunity for social interaction and the development of independence. In some instances it can also lead to employment or further training or education. Obviously different groups will achieve different results. Groups recovering from major illness or injury, those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health problems, older people, offenders and those who misuse drugs or alcohol, can all benefit from the therapeutic aspects of gardening as presented through specific therapy related programs. In most cases, those that experience the biggest impact are vulnerable or socially excluded individuals or groups, including the ill, the elderly, and those kept in secure locations, such as hospitals or prisons. One important benefit to using social and therapeutic horticulture is that traditional forms of communication aren't always required. This is particularly important for stroke patients, car accident victims, those with cerebral palsy, aphasia or other illnesses or accidents that hinder verbal communication. Gardening activities lend themselves easily to communicative disabled individuals. This in turn builds teamwork, self-esteem and self-confidence, while encouraging social interaction. Another group that clearly benefits from social and therapeutic horticulture are those that misuse alcohol or substances and those in prison. Teaching horticulture not only becomes a life skill for these individuals, but also develops a wide range of additional benefits. Social and therapeutic horticultures gives these individuals a chance to participate in a meaningful activity, which produces food, in addition to creating skills relating to responsibility, social skills and work ethic. The same is true for juvenile offenders. Gardening therapy, as vocational horticulture curriculum, can be a tool to improve social bonding in addition to developing improved attitudes about personal success and a new awareness of personal job preparedness. The mental benefits don't end there. Increased abilities in decision-making and self-control are common themes reported by staff in secure psychiatric hospitals. Reports of increased confidence, self-esteem and hope are also common in this environment. Prison staff have also noticed that gardening therapy improves the social interaction of the inmates, in addition to improving mutual understanding between project staff and prisoners who shared outdoor conditions of work. It's interesting that studies in both hospitals and prisons consistently list improving relationships between participants, integrating with the community, life skills and ownership as being some of the real benefits to participants. But in addition to creating a myriad of emotional and social benefits, the health benefits of being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and doing physical work cannot be overlooked. In most studies, participants noted that fresh air, fitness and weight control where prime benefits that couldn't be overlooked. Although unable to pin down a solid reason, studies have shown that human being posses an innate attraction to nature. What we do know, is that being outdoors creates feelings of appreciation, tranquility, spirituality and peace. So it would seem, that just being in a garden setting is in itself restorative. Active gardening only heightens those feelings. With so many positive benefits to gardening, isn't it time you got outside and started tending to your garden? Next time you are kneeling in fresh dirt to pull weeds or plant a new variety of a vegetable or flower, think about the tranquility you feel while being outdoors in your garden. Let the act of gardening sooth and revitalize you. Soak up the positive benefits of tending to your own garden. If you have someone in your life that could benefit from garden therapy, contact your local health unit to find out more about programs in your area. Not only will the enjoyment of gardening help bond you together, but it will also create numerous positive mental and physical benefits for both of you. So get gardening today for both your physical and mental health. You'll enjoy the experience so much that you'll immediately thank yourself.
How to Control Poison Ivy
Poison ivy is found throughout southern Canada and most of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii. It is readily found along road sides, fences, railroads, and streams. But it can also be found in your own back yard. It is planted there in bird droppings from the birds who eat the berries of the plant.
Canopy Swings - Escape the Weather with One
Do you love to sit outdoors and swing for hours but have to cut your relaxing excursions short due to the intense sun or brief summer showers? Do you get tired of having to wipe down your outdoor furniture before you can actually sit in it and enjoy it without fear of soiling your clothes? If so, maybe you should think about getting a canopy swing or purchasing canopies for your existing swings.
Creativity with Ponds
Here's where your creative instincts kick in. This is where you make your pond your own. Basically, it's landscaping, but with a pond it can really become an artistic endeavor.
Sculpture Can Bring Life to Your Garden
I should know: I've been a sculptor most of my life, and I have plenty of years behind me of experience. Most of my sculptures reside in the gardens and landscaped outdoors of residences. My work is also in public places such as parks and downtown areas. But in this article, I want to focus on residences.
Park Benches - Making the Right Choice
When most people hear the words, "park bench", they envision one of two things - someone sitting at the local park feeding the pigeons or Forest Gump. No matter what your mind conjures up, park benches have been popular for a long time and will continue to be a place where people can sit down and relax while visiting the park or zoo.
Science Cant Explain Everything!
You will know that if you have spent at least some time reflecting on the world around you, some things cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. Armies of scientists and researchers swarm in labs around the world trying to take the mystery out of every bit of wonder we witness.
10 Free Gardening Products
One of the pleasurable spin-offs in organic gardening is finding alternative ways of coming up with the same, if not better, end result.....
What is Compost Tea?
Organic gardeners all know compost is fantastic stuff. But now, there's something even better and that's compost tea. If you start with a good compost you'll have a versatile elixir for all your garden needs. Compost tea helps prevent foliage diseases and at the same time increase the nutrients to the plant and shutdown the toxins hurting the plants. It will improve the taste/flavor of your vegetables. So why not give this tea a try either by buying it or brewing it yourself. You won't believe the results!
I made my very first garden when I was six in a small corner at the end of my grandmother's garden. It was a small patch, not more than six rows by 10 plants long, but it was MINE, with the flowers I picked and the dirt that I dug. And I knew that it was mine when Nana helped me put up the sections of wire fencing that set it off from HER garden.
The Rich History of Chrysanthemums
Did you know that those lush, colorful blooms called chrysanthemums are rooted in beliefs of human immortality and perfection? Today the "mum" graces gardens, cut flower arrangements and even salads (yes mums taste great), but they were taken much more seriously after T'ao Yuan Ming started it all in China around 500 A.D.
Moss on Lawns
Just about right now, we start to see moss on lawns and the plaintive cry goes up, "How do we stop it?"
Wildlife in Winter Ponds
This may seem contradictory, but you want to leave a little bit of debris in the pond when preparing it for winter.
Teak Patio Table - Why You Need One
Do you love to cook outdoors but end up having to dine on makeshift outdoor furniture or maybe even inside because you simply do not have the furniture to properly entertain in your yard, deck or patio? Would you love to find the perfect patio table or set to transform your empty space to an elegant outdoor dining room? If so, maybe you should think about enhancing your outdoor space with a teak patio table.
The Importance of Garden Decor
The Quest for Significance
Garden Sheds - More Than Just Storage
You may already have a garage or shed in your garden or backyard and its possible that you haven't even considered the prospect of adding a garden shed at all. Any garden implements could easily be stored in the garage or utility area. However, a garden shed is so much more than just an every day storage area, as it can have a character all of its own. It can serve many purposes other than practical ones.
How To Check If Cut Flowers Are Fresh
Fresh flowers should feel crisp or firm. Before you buy, run your hand under the flower heads from stem to petal tip. Proceed gently under the petals so as not to bruise them.
Are There Really Black Roses?
The history of artificial or fake grass is to say the least an interesting one and arose out of the social desire to in-effect ward off what could be seen, as far back as the 1950s, as an increasingly unhealthy tendency by youngsters not to exercise.
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