A Homeowner’s Guide To Starting An Herb Garden

Growing herbs are more rewarding than growing other plants. Most plants are grown for decorative purposes, but herbs are planted for a myriad of reasons and benefits. They can be used to flavor dishes and can help get rid of insects. They can also be used as treatments for certain kinds of diseases and illnesses.

To start your own herb garden, here are the tips that you can follow:

  • Choose A Location. The first thing that you need to do is determine where you want to place your own home herb garden. The most ideal spot to have this done is in a sunny and open location. This location should also be sheltered and is well-drained with fertile soil. Make sure that this place is also free from weeds. If not, you just have to make sure that you will weed it out on a regular basis. The location of your herb garden should also be near your home. Herbs can grow all year round. If your garden is near your home, it would be much easier for you to harvest when you need to.
  • Garden Idea: Formal Herb Garden. Timeless is the idea of having a formal herb garden at home. These gardens can be seen in geometric patterns. Each pattern is separated by paved paths and low hedges. Each garden bed can be planted with one kind of herb. This will give each block of garden bed different textures and colors when fully bloomed.When planning for your formal herb garden, make sure that you pave the path. This will help accentuate the geometric patterns in your garden. Choose natural colors for your paved path. You can have a terracotta or gray pavement, or one that is taking the color of the sand. This will contrast perfectly the color of your herbs making it pop. Having a paved path will also make access easier for anyone who wishes to go to your garden.
  • Planting Tips. It is always best to be ready than be sorry. This means preparing your soil before the planting begins. Make sure that weeds are removed from your garden and make sure that your soil is leveled by running a rake over it. Manure and fertilizer do not have to come in huge amounts. Before transferring your nursery pots to their designated areas, make sure that they are watered well, because once transplanted with a dry root ball, it will be difficult to wet them all the way. In addition, make sure that you loosen the root ball before planting them. This will encourage root growth. It will also be very helpful that you read about the herbs that you want to grow before planting them. This will give you an idea of how to plant them and in what conditioned they should be planted.
  • Herb Garden Care. Maintaining your herb garden is very essential to making it last. Make sure that you water your plant regularly or according to what they need. Herbs will need watering in regular basis until they have settled in their new environment. They will not need constant watering once they are established as they can survive without being watered daily. Don’t forget to mulch your garden. This will help prevent weeds from growing. Furthermore, you should fertilize your garden once a month in their growing season. In the winter, a couple of fertilizer doses will be sufficient to last them the entire season. Avoid using inorganic fertilizer as your herbs will not grow the way they should and insects will be attracted to them. And to encourage growth, don’t forget to prune them on a regular basis by removing dead leaves and flowers. And when you harvest your garden, make sure that you only do this in small quantities.

10 Herbs To Consider Growing At Home

Herbs are healthy and are fun to grow. Not only are they able to spice up your home cooking, but they are also helpful in terms of keeping you healthy as they provide essential nutrients to your body, including antioxidants. If you enjoy growing plants, then growing the following herbs would not be difficult for you.

  1. Rosemary. First on the list is Rosemary. This is an aromatic herb, which is a delight to keep around the house. This herb contains carnosic acid that is known to fight the growth of cancer cells. In addition, the scent of rosemary can improve your memory. This is according to the study conducted by the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom. If you have children, you can introduce rosemary to help with their studies, especially during exams.
  2. Thyme. Next on the list is Thyme. This herb has been used many years ago to help remedy respiratory problems like bronchitis. It has also been used for antiseptic purposes. This herb is a very suitable addition to your salad, soups, and other recipes and meals you have in mind. It is virtually calorie-free, which is good news to those who does not want the extra calorie in every meal.
  3. Lavender. Not only is lavender very pleasant and beautiful to look at, but it is also beneficial to your health. If you have sleeping problems, having a lavender around would be very helpful as its fragrance is very soothing and calming that it will help you fall asleep. It also has antioxidants (polyphenols) which are very helpful if you are bloated. Its antioxidants help get rid and fight bloating.
  4. Basil. If you are one that likes to party, having basil around is something that you want to consider. Basil is helpful in detoxifying the liver. It also has the ability to calm the nerves of the body and is rich in fiber. Basil oil is also helpful in getting rid of skin blemishes as It has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  5. Parsley. Parsley is something that a lot of people would leave out on the plate. But, this practice should be corrected as Parsley is packed with different nutrients like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is also rich in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood production. One tablespoon of parsley a day will be enough to supply you with the needed Vitamins A, C, and K for the day.
  6. Sage. Sage is known to have antiseptic and antioxidant properties. With its antioxidant property, sage is able to help fight early aging. It is for this reason that a lot of beauty products sold in the market contains sage. In addition, it is known to help fight fatigue and anxiety. It also can help enhance memory.
  7. Cilantro. Cilantro is a staple in Mexican and Asian countries. It is a good source of iron and fiber. It also helps detoxify the body of heavy metals, like mercury and lead. Cilantro will attach itself to these heavy metals and keep them away from body tissues.
  8. Chives. Chives is known to boost the immune system. Eating chives, combined with scallions and garlic, will help lower the risk of developing certain types of cancers, like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.
  9. Dill. Dill is very flavorful and can be used more than just for pickles. It is full of antioxidants, like beta-carotene, and is helpful in managing hiccups. The next time you get a hiccup, you can mix a teaspoon of this herb to a boiling water to help get rid of it. Strain the leaf from the boiled water and drink it slowly. In no time, you will not have hiccups.
  10. Mint. Mints are nice to have at home as it provides a calming aroma. It is no wonder spas smell like mints. In addition, this plant is rich in Vitamin A. Two tablespoons of mint a day will provide you more than half of the needed nutrient of your body. It is also good for digestion, headaches, nausea, asthma, respiratory disorders, pimples, cavities, and for your breath. A recent study also revealed that peppermint oil is good for managing blood pressure. It has also been found out that peppermint is a good complement to exercise rate and respiratory rate.

Now that you know the different benefits of having these herbs around, it is time that you grab your planting gears and start growing these herbs. It is not only fun to grow them, but also beneficial to be around.

5 Home Cleaning Tips To Start The Spring Season Right

Are you ready to give your home a proper cleaning to greet the spring season? Yes, winter is almost over, so it is time for you to ready your cleaning tools to give your home a fresh and clean look from top to bottom. Here are some cleaning tips that will help you start your cleaning journey this spring.

 

Start With Your Doormat

If you have put away your doormat in all of the winter season, it is time to get them from your storage. However, before you lay it down your doorstep, make sure that you have given your doormat a proper beating, swatting, shaking, and washing. You may find it moot to do so as the doormat will just get dirty again from all the dirt outside, but by giving your doormat a proper cleaning, you are giving it the chance to be in its prime to be walked over with dirt. Remember, your doormat is the front line in keeping dirt out of the house.

 

Clean Your Rugs, Carpets, And Upholstery

If you have taken the DIY way in terms of cleaning your upholstery, carpets, and rugs, then you have to be vigilant and try your cleaning products on a small portion of it at first. You have to make sure that your rugs, carpets, and upholstery are colorfast. If they bleed from the cleaning solution that you have, then you must use a milder solution to keep the bleeding to the minimum. Make sure that everything is dry before you place them back inside. A wet carpet or rug is very conducive for mold build-up, which is a health risk for your family. Thus, it is important to keep them really dry. If you are not sure how to clean them the proper way, then it is best to consult with the professionals to make sure your rug and carpet are protected, and that your upholstery is receiving the best care possible.

 

Give Your Floor A Finish

Your floor has gone through 12 months of wear and tear. The spring season is the best time to give them another finish as per manufacturer direction. You can have it waxed or sealed according to what your floor really needs. The simplest way that you can do to give your floor a new look is to wash and wax it. If you have a no-wax kind of floor, you can still give it a fresh look by giving them the occasional makeover. This will provide an added buffer that will help your floor last longer. You can use a floor cleaner that can clean and shine at the same time. For wood floors, you can start by removing any furniture off your floor, including rugs. Then you can clean your hardwood floor with liquid paste or polish paste. You can then give it a new wax coating for protection.

 

Wash Your Walls, Ceiling Fan, And Light Fixtures

It may look like your walls have not gone through a lot of stress all year round, but it is still important to pay attention to them to keep them looking nice and fresh. To clean your walls, you can use a sponge and a liquid detergent. You can mix the liquid detergent with a bucket of water which you can carry around. If you have a sponge mop, that would be very convenient. It will also allow you to reach higher surfaces that need dusting and cleaning. You should also have a second bucket of water which is not mixed with a cleaning detergent. You will use this to wring your sponge. Once you are done giving your walls a sponge bath, you can have them dry with a clean cloth.

After you have cleaned your walls, you might want to move on and clean your ceiling fan, that is if you have one. You may want to use a stepladder for this purpose. You will still use your sponge and two buckets of water for this cleaning. For your light fixtures, you can clean them with a sponge and an all-purpose cleaner. You can polish the surface of your light fixtures with a polish cloth to give your lights a new life.

 

Clean Your Refrigerator

Clean your refrigerator in and out. You can clean the insides of your refrigerator by using a sponge and a cleaning solution. You can start by defrosting and removing whatever you have in your fridge. Make sure that nothing you put out of the fridge will spoil by putting them in an insulated cooler. Once you are done cleaning the interior of your fridge, you can then check if the condenser coil behind your refrigerator needs cleaning. You can clean it using a brush with long handles and a vacuum cleaner for dust particles. To have a proper look on what’s hiding behind your refrigerator, you might want to pull it a few feet away from the wall. This will help you assess the cleaning that needs to be done.

 

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A Guide When Buying Patio Furniture

Function and comfort should be two of the things that you should look into when out and about shopping for a patio furniture. However, before you go out and install new furniture on our patio, here are the things that you should think about.

Making A List

Making a list will help you get organized. To do this, you should visualize how you want your patio to look like. What purpose do you want your patio to serve? Do you want it to be a place for a romantic dinner with your loved one? Do you want to use it as a part space for your kid’s birthday or when celebrating an occasion? Or do you want it to be a place where you can just sit and relax while reading your favorite book or novel? Answering these questions will help you visualize the concept and the type of furniture that you want to be present in your garden. Use the questions as your guide when coming up with a list of furniture that you need to buy.

Try It! Seat On It!

After your list is completed, you can then set out a date for furniture buying. When you’re at the store, don’t just point and pay for whatever you think is suitable for your patio. Sit on it and feel it. Is it comfortable enough to sit on? Is it aligned with the theme you have in mind? When choosing a furniture to sit on in the patio, the most important thing you need to think about is comfort. This is especially true if you are planning to spend a lot of time in there.

Care And Maintenance

You might want to opt for a furniture that is easy to use, care and maintain. This means buying a piece of furniture either made of teak, metal, cedar, or other materials that can stand different harsh weather conditions. If you are able to find one, grab it. It will surely last and look the same after different seasons have passed.

Storage

Even if your patio furniture are made of durable materials that can stand harsh climates, it is still a good idea to have a storage space where you can leave them when such condition arises. Storing your furniture in the basement or garage will help them last longer as opposed to just leaving them outside in the winter or during a storm. If you have limited storage space, you might want to look for fixtures that can be folded for easy storage.

Color

Patio furniture comes in different colors. This means that you are not limited to colors of white, black, mahogany, beige, or metal. This also means that you can play around with the color of your furniture as you come up with the theme that you want to go with. If you want to give your patio a party and laid back look, you might want to up for colors that are popping and cool to the eyes.

Pay For Quality

You will always get what you pay for. If you bought a cheap furniture for your patio, then expect to buy another one in a month or two. If you want your furniture to last for several years, then opt for one that is of high quality. When you are at the store, ask the staff which furniture will last for many years even when left out in the cold. Always shop with care and read customer reviews.

Outdoor Rugs

You might want to add in the mix outdoor rugs that can give your patio comfort and homey touch. With different advancements in technology comes a great number of outdoor rugs that can give your patio more beauty and comfort. They are also easy to care for and easy to dry after washing. They are also tested to last for years even when left outside for an entire year. Match and mix your rugs with your furniture to add aesthetic value to your patio.

Double Purpose Pieces

To get most of your hard-earned money, you may want to look for pieces and furniture that can serve two purposes in one. You can find a seat that comes with an ottoman that can also serve as an extra seat when the occasion needs it. Or you can buy a chair that can also serve as a lounge chair on a summer day.

Keep these tips in mind so you will be guided when you are out shopping for the best outdoor furniture for your patio.

4 Different Ways Hand-Made Rugs Are Made

There are several tips and quick guides that you can find on the web pertaining to the best practices of buying a rug. However, the best way really depends on the buyer and for what general purpose they are buying the rug for. A lot of homeowners would start conceptualizing the look and color of the rug that best suits the theme of their home. Some begin with a measuring tape to determine the width and length of the area rug needed. However, it is recommended that you educate yourself first on the type of rugs, how they are constructed, and the amount of care needed for each type. Knowing all these things will help you make an educated decision when finally buying a rug. As a starter, here are the different kinds of rug construction being practiced in the rug industry today.

 

Rug Construction

There are several ways and techniques that manufacturers and makers use to make an area rug. It is obvious that there are a lot of equipment and technology available to make rug making fast and efficient. However, there are still a lot of rugs that are carefully and patiently made by hand by those individuals skilled in the said process. The following hand-made rug constructions are as follows:

Hand-Knotted

This type of rug construction is the most labor intensive. One large hand-knotted rug would require several weavers and would take a year or so to be finished. The good thing about this kind of construction no matter how long it would take for one to get finished is that it is very durable compared to other rug construction. The more knots per square inch of the rug, the more durable it gets. It is also for this reason that this kind of rug is labor intensive. This is basically made by running warps (a column of yarn) through the loom in a vertical manner. After the warp is run over the vertical loom, tufts of wools are then tied around the warp to create knots. The process will be repeated until rows of knotted yarn is made until the pattern is complete.

Tufted and Hooked

Both rug construction goes through the process of looping and hooking a yarn to a rug-backing material. However, the difference comes with the surface pile of the rug. A hooked rug has evident loops, while a tufted rug does not have any loops and has a rug pile. In addition, a tufted rug uses a machine which helps in speeding up the hooking process. A hooked rug is primarily made by hand without any aid of a machine.

Braided

This type of rug can be seen in made through flat braid construction, cloth braid construction, banded braid construction, and yarn braid construction. This type of rug was commonly seen in Colonial American homes. The unique feature that is seen in this type of rug is its thickness and how it allows homeowners to use both sides of the rug. This feature will lengthen the life of the rug twice its usual life-span.

Flat-Woven

This type of rug can be identified as being flat compared to other types of rugs that display a certain degree of being lifted. This type of rug is made, generally, by tightly weaving a yarn along the warp yarns. This is the reason why this kind of rug shows a flat surface. It does not have knots. This also allows the rug to be reversible because both sides of the rug are flat. Flipping the rug over on a regular basis will also lengthen the life of the rug.

Knowing how your rug was made is crucial in determining the proper method to clean and repair it. For all your rug cleaning needs, visit Silver Rug Cleaning.

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DIY Indoor Garden

diy indoor garden

Gardening is something that is very relaxing and enjoyable to do. However, some are limited to what their yard, front or back, is able to provide. Some houses don’t have the available space needed to start a flower garden or a vegetable garden. Thus, starting a garden is put on the back burner. But, gardening should not be limited to an empty block of land outside your house. It can also be done inside your home. Yes! You heard right! You can also create a garden from inside your home. The tips you can find below should help you start your own garden inside the comforts of your own home:

Conceptualize Your Garden. The first thing that you need to do is conceptualize your garden. Imagine what it would look like. Think about the theme that you want your garden to deliver. Do you want to have a tropical themed garden inside your home for the winter season? Or do you want your garden to look like and English garden that is inviting for anyone that steps into it for a tea? Answering these questions will help set the ball rolling, and will help you determine where it should be placed, how the room should be prepared, and what plants you will need to buy.

Location.  There are a lot of places that your indoor garden could be installed. However, before you decide to put it somewhere, you should factor in some aspects. You should consider the room temperature and how much light can get in during the day. This is very important because your indoor plants are not as exposed as those plants growing outside. However, if the room you have chosen does not get enough heat or sunlight, you can always add some fixtures to have this fixed. You can always ask around for the best option to do these. Heat lamps can be used, but the tendency of the plant drying up because of this is high. Thus, ask around when you go to a garden store or shop.

Start Your Preparations. The things that you need to consider when preparing your indoor garden are as follows: flooring, lighting, air flow, and humidity. For the garden floor, it is not recommended to use hard wood or have it carpeted. A wooden floor and a carpeted floor will easily get ruined from watering. It is advised that you have your floor made of slate, linoleum or ceramic. The lighting of your indoor garden can be enhanced with the use of fluorescent lights. This can be very helpful especially during winter. Broad spectrum lights can also be installed. But you may need help in doing this to have it in different angles and different heights. The air flow in your indoor garden is also important. Your plants will be merrier and happier if ventilation is good in your indoor garden. If the location you have chosen does not get good air flow, you can address this issue by adding floor fan or installing a ceiling. Having these done will help keep the air flowing in your indoor garden. As for humidity, it can be improved using a humidifier, which can be set with a timer.

Types of Plants. How you want your indoor garden to look is to be considered when choosing your plants. In addition, the condition of the room where you are putting your plants will be considered. Plants that don’t need so much light can be added in a room that does not get much light during the day. An example of this type of plant is philodendron. Some palm plants can also survive in a room with low light. Having some would add a tropical feel inside your indoor garden. You can still choose plants that need a lot of light in your garden as long as you are able to provide fluorescent lights or broad spectrum lights.

Home and Garden Design Ideas on the Cheap

home-and-garden-ideas

Your home and garden is a reflection of your taste and personality. This is why so many people want to make theirs the best-looking it can be, spending so much money and hours of labor in the process. But giving your home and garden a makeover does not have to be expensive. If you want to give your space a new look but have a limited budget, there are a few things you can tweak without having to shell out so much money. Below are some of the best design ideas.

  • Adding perennials to your home garden is a great way to ramp up its overall appeal. Buy a bunch of perennials and pull them apart, planting every separate on a different area of your flowerbed. In no time, you will have one filled with blossoms of varying colors.
  • Cut or trim your lawn into any shape that you like. Use a string as your guide and start cutting, forming it into a circle, square or even a triangle. This should only take you one morning and not cost you anything.
  • Aside from colorful flowers, make you and your guests look up to enjoy beautiful trees. You can small plant trees and wait a short while for them to grow their optimal size. They are great for small and average-sized gardens.
  • Instead of paving, surface your patios with affordable material like gravel. You don’t have to hire a pro; you can do it on your own. Pick a lighter shade of gravel to create a beautiful contrast with the rest of your garden space.
  • Add a touch of color to stones, pots, fences and even furniture. A can of paint can already cover up so much, and you do not have to be an expert painter to get the job done. Go with bright colors that complement your blooms.
  • Give your patio a nice glow with fairy lights. Arrange them around a shrub or tree, or on chairs or fences. These lights are relatively easy to install so you do not have to hire an electrician to help you. Here are some pretty fairy lights ideas.

It is easy to beautify your outdoor space without having to spend much. You just need patience and creativity to achieve that luxurious alfresco area where you, including your family and friends, can enjoy lounging in. If you need help or more expert tips, contact a reputable garden landscaping company in your area now.

The Pros And Cons Of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is gorgeous and can completely change how any room in your home looks. These days there are so many different flooring options available that you need to make sure you compare the various kinds of flooring and weigh the pros and cons of each before making your final decision.

No Trapped Dirt And Dust

One of the major advantages that hardwood flooring has is that dirt is not trapped in it the way it is with carpet. You might need to clean and sweep hardwood floors a lot, but you can tell just by looking at them whether they are clean or not and you will know when the dirt is gone. On the other hand, carpet traps dirt down inside, so even after you have vacuumed you won’t be sure what amount of dirt is still left behind since it is difficult to get it out of carpets. For individuals who have environmental allergies to things like dust, hardwood floor ca be particularly helpful. Carpet keeps dust inside the house much more than other kinds of flooring do.

Stains And Spills

Spilling something on a light colored carpet can potentially be a disaster. Many stains are very hard or difficult to get rid of and getting them out might require a professional carpet cleaner to come out to do it, which can be quite expensive. Another advantage that hardwood floors have is they are easy to clean and you can just wipe away spills. You can use a wood floor cleaner for keeping your floors free of spots. One drawback to hardwood flooring is that it is susceptible to moisture. You should wipe spills up right away. It can cause some problems if liquid ends up getting absorbed by hardwood flooring. This disadvantage is why it isn’t recommended to use hardwood flooring in bathrooms.

Hardwood Flooring Is Durable

Ceramic tiles crack easily when a heavy object is dropped on them. It can be a huge hassle having to pull the tile up and replace it. Hardwood flooring is durable and very strong. It lasts a long time and when you drop something on a hardwood floor it won’t damage it. One area where hardwood flooring’s durability is a drawback is with scratching. Hardwood flooring is prone to scratching. If you have any pets, this can especially be a problem. It can be expensive to fix scuff marks and scratches, and usually you will need to refinish your floors.

Hardwood Flooring May Be Expensive

Some consider the price of hardwood flooring to be a disadvantage since it tends to be more expensive compared to most other kinds of flooring. It is one of the major disadvantages of hardwood and the reason why so many individuals decide not to use it. However, you can look at cost in a different way since installing hardwood floors can increase the value of a home. It might appear to be a big upfront cost, however in the long run it could be an advantage through adding more value back into a house than the original amount spent on the flooring.

Easy Do It Yourself Patio Projects

Patio Projects

There are several things to consider before starting a do-it-yourself patio furniture project. First, do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed with the details of the project. There are many easy DIY projects that you can handle when you are first starting out. For best results, think of how you want your patio to look and consider a number of projects to help you create a one of a kind patio that you and your family will enjoy. Check out the following ideas and then add your unique spin to it to create a hidden gem on your patio.

An Outdoor Bar

Outdoor bars are easy to make and can turn any backyard area into a dream. All you need is some discarded pallets, scrap timber and a bar top to create an out of this world outdoor bar.

Comfortable Seating

Do you need seating for your patio? Grab a few wood pallets and build yourself a perfect seating area for your patio. Cut the pallets to size or screw several together to make a bench. Paint or stain the wood and add colorful pillows for a showstopping seating arrangement for your patio.

An Outdoor Daybed

Nothing is better than a nap outdoors. The gentle breeze and the chirping of birds are sure to put you to sleep when you have an outdoor daybed to stretch out on. You can build one using pallets. Once the daybed is constructed, you can add casters to make moving it around a lot easier.

Benches

If you want a simple bench for your patio, check out this easy DIY project. Concrete blocks can be stacked on end to provide the side support for a bench. Then, use wood slats and slip them through the opening of the concrete block to create a simple DIY bench.

Pallet Swing Beds

You can build almost anything from pallets. One of the best DIY projects is to build a frame that is slightly bigger than your mattress. Then, screw eyebolts into the frame. A rope and hooks will suspend your bed from your patio ceiling. Add cushions and blankets for a comfortable pallet swing bed.

Hammocks

Everyone loves a hammock. Why waste money buying one, when you do it yourself? All you will need is some twine, zip ties, canvas, leather strapping and a piece of fabric, such as a blanket or a beach towel.

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