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The Benefits To Mulching Trees And Shrubs

Are you a gardener? There is something that is so relaxing about spending some time out in the sun working on a garden. You get the benefits of feeling satisfaction through your hard work and great fruits and vegetables to eat. It has many health benefits as well as studies show it helps to burn calories and provides help with mental well-being.

Growing a garden can be time consuming and hard work, but there are a few things that you can do to help improve the quality of your garden and make it easier to grow great produce. It is vital that the plants get enough water. Also, you need to make sure they are protected from bugs, deer, or other animals that may eat them. Finally, it is important that they get the proper nutrients. One great way to make sure your plants get the nutrients they need is by mulching them.

What is Mulch?

Mulches are material that covers the soil to help retain moisture, improve soil nutrients, and suppress weeds. This can make a big difference in how your plants grow. One thing that can be difficult is making sure that they get the water that they need. By covering your trees or shrubs with mulch, they will hold on to water for longer so that you don’t have to be as worried about them drying out.

A second benefit to mulching is that it helps keep the soil nutrient dense. As the mulch decomposes it releases nutrients into the ground so your trees and shrubs will have a constant supply of the minerals and nutrients they need. You can even make your own mulch out of recycled food products. This is great for the environment and it can save you a good amount of money.

A third benefit of mulching is that it can help keep weeds down. Much of our time working in a garden is polling those pesky weeds. It seems like every Saturday growing up I was spending hours pulling weeds in the morning. Weeds can take water and nutrients from your plants so it important to keep them away. But mulching your plants you will keep them weed free, properly watered, and give them good nutrients.

Make Your Own Mulch

Using the right tools can make a difference in maintaining your yard properly; this site has parts for Echo hedge trimmers and other outdoor tools. You can easily use the scraps from your old trees and other shrubs and make them into mulch. Here is a simple process to make your own mulch:

  1. Section off a part of your yard for your mulch/compost pile.
  2. Start off by adding leaves to the base. They tend to decompose faster.
  3. Rent a wood chipper so you can add the old branches from trees and hedges.
  4. Place additional layers of leaves on top of the branches that you have chopped.
  5. Allow the mulch pile to sit through the winter, about 4 months or so.
  6. In the spring, till the mulch into your garden to have nutrient-rich soil.
  7. For a layer around plants, use the wood chipper in the spring to create a nice-smelling mulch that can be added around the yard.
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How To Get Rid Of Termites

Termites are the biggest threat to homes; they destroy homes from the inside out. Termites hide so they are hard to find and when you do find them it’s too late. Paying an exterminator can cost you hundreds of dollars, however with the right upkeep you can prevent them! Here are some tips to detect and rid your home of termite infestations.

Check the Baseboards

Check around your home for termites. From the inside of your home you can notice a termite problem by detecting some “dust” or “powder” looking substance on the carpet around the baseboards in your home. It is common to see this in the basement areas of homes where daily living is less likely to occur.

Check the Exterior

Always look outside your home for termites. When you are mowing the lawn, look around for signs of rotting wood or rotting near the foundation or decking of your home. Power washing your deck is a good idea to help keep the pest under control. MTD parts have some great outdoor tools that you can use for this purpose. Plan on spraying your woof deck with the proper wood protecting formula and repellant to prevent termite problems

Prevention Time

The best way to stop termites is to prevent them. Make sure the home is dry: leaks, standing water, gutters and moist areas inside and outside the home must be handled accordingly. Keep wood off the property. Cut down limbs from tree and remove those and other piles of wood from the property. Look for signs of sagging floors, hollow foundations parts and holes in wood work. Tap the affected wood to check for hollowness. Push the screwdriver to see if wood gives easily and falls apart; it shouldn’t if you don’t have termites. Caulk and seal windows, cracks and doorways. Cover up gaps around pipes and electrical wiring. Add screens to doors, porches and windows to prevent termite infestation.

Laying the Bait

The signs that a termite is damaging the home are within the first five years. If termites are found there is a solution to handle it before it tears the foundation apart. Examine the area further for brown or tan substance–termite droppings. A better confirmation is to see the termites, but it’s not necessary. Use termite control products at your local home improvement store. Lay the bait near affected areas. Also spray termiticide on the same areas. If that fails try orange oil to kill off the termite infestation. Give it time for the oil to work before moving on to the last suggestion. When nothing else works the final solution is to hire an exterminator. Finding an exterminator is about finding one who is licensed, insured, qualified and worth the money spent.

Protecting your home from termite infestations can save you thousands of dollars! When it comes to pests like termites, your home can easily be vulnerable since they go for the wood, which makes up a large majority of the main structure of your home. Contact a certified exterminator to inspect your home and to prevent any termite infestations from occurring.

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Sizing Your Vegetable Plot

When we dream of vegetable gardens most of us envision row upon row of all varieties of vegetable plants with a few flowers and herbs thrown in for aesthetics. A mistake made by many gardeners, both inexperienced and old timers is to plant too much. When the garden is bigger than us the upkeep becomes overwhelming, weeds run wild, and the harvest it too successful to keep up with. If you want your plot to be rewarding and fun, keep it’s size in check with the realities of your time, energy and resources.

Unless you are out to feed the entire neighborhood, I strongly suggest you start your vegetable garden off small and keep it that way. You need to answer the questions, “why am I growing a veggie garden” and for “how many people”? For most of us we want to grow our own veggies for the fun and health benefits and a small plot will produce more harvest than you probably realize. If you plan to can, dry or freeze your crops and use winter storage you can plant a little more, but for garden to table eating a small space is all you need.

A veggie plot for the average household should require about 1 hour of upkeep each week. The beginning of the season, planting time and harvest time will be a bit busier. Make sure to choose a sunny accessible spot in your garden as vegetables for the most part are sun and heat lovers. If your soil is poor take the time at the beginning to enrich it with organic matter. Dig in compost or manure to a depth of 1 foot, and turn your soil over to bring air into it and also lighten it’s structure. Vegetables are heavy feeders and there is no point going through all the work of growing vegetables if you’re not aiming for success. Give your veggies adequate sunshine, nutrients and water and they will do the rest.

Depending on your climate, not all vegetables will be suited to grow in your garden. Best to research which ones agree with your area and plant them first. Once you’ve had success with those branch out to other more difficult crops. A simple row of each variety you choose to grow will be enough, you do not have to use up the whole package of seeds at one time. Use the method called succession planting. This simply means planting one or more repetitions of the same crop. So as not to have more of one crop that you can use at a time, try planting only half a row. A few weeks later plant the rest of the row. This method works very well for many vegetables, spacing their time of harvest to allow you to enjoy them throughout a longer season. Many vegetables can be planted in mid to late summer and still have time to mature for a fall harvest.

By only creating a garden the size you can properly handle, you are guaranteed greater success and enjoyment for your efforts. Once again, less is more!

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Using Vegetable Boxes For Canning

Vegetable boxes may be used to transport vegetables from the farmer to the store and then to home. The boxes also work great for holding the vegetables after they are canned or preserved. The canning process preserves and flavors vegetables, fruits and other foods. The vegetables can be canned in half-pint, full pint and quart jars. The jars are usually sold in boxes of a dozen or more. The boxes are separated by several cardboard dividers that protect the jars from breakage. The jars would shake around and bump into each other if the dividers were not in place.

The canning jars do not come with lids or seals. These need to be purchased separately. The lids may either be wide or normal. The wide mouth jars are best for pickling large vegetables. The vegetable boxes should be picked up at a local nursery during their growing season. The vegetable boxes are cheaper and in stock during their growing season. As a result, the canning process needs to be repeated during the same week each year. The jars are usually sealed with a screw type lid. However, the older wired shut lids are still popular with some people.

The jars need to be inspected before canning the vegetable boxes. The jars’ rims should not have any imperfections or they will not seal correctly. The canning method is determined by the type of vegetables to be canned. The best canning recipe for beginners is salsa. Salsa offers a lot of room for trial and error. Most canned salsas turn out good, but most still have room for improvement. People who can their own salsa tend to rework their recipe every year. Once a favorite recipe is found, the canning hobbyist may move onto chipotle or other flavored salsas. When making salsa, it is important to pick the ripest, juiciest tomatoes. One onion and jalapeno box should be purchased for every three tomato boxes. The vegetables should be inspected to insure they are ripe and delicious. The jalapenos may vary in heat, so several should be tested before beginning.

The tomatoes should be added to a hot water bash after they are rinsed clean. The hot water needs to be boiled before adding to the hot water bath. The scalding hot water will lift the skin off the tomato making it peel.

After the tomatoes have sat in the hot water bath for fifteen minutes, they may be ready to fully peel. If the hot water goes cold before the skin is peeling off the tomatoes, more should be boiled and added to the hot water bath. After the tomatoes are ready, the rest of the skin can be removed with glove covered hands. The tomatoes should be rinsed one last time before being placed to the side. After all the tomatoes are peeled, it is time to work with the onions and peppers. The onions should be peeled and diced into slightly larger pieces than what is desired in the salsa. The onions will cook down slightly during the canning process. The jalapenos only need to be rinsed and diced finely. Salsas with different heat can be prepared while canning. The jalapenos can be progressively added to the salsa as the canning process continues. As a result, each jar of salsa will be hotter than the last. The tomatoes should be diced last and added to a large cooking pot with the rest of the ingredients. Several different spices are added to give the salsa a zesty kick before the mixture is poured into the jars. The jars are cooked in a hot water bath on the stove for a certain amount of time before they are finished.