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Monthly Archives:August 2016

Pergola Construction

What do you know about pergola construction? It’s important to do your homework before starting to build your own pergola and taking responsibility as owner builder NSW to make sure it meets your needs and will be durable. It’s better to build it right the first time than to have to alter or relocate your pergola.

OK, you have a great outdoor area or your are considering your design of an outdoor area but, do you have adequate shade? After building hundreds of Pergolas in Florida, we at Outdoor Living are considered experts in design and construction of pergolas and would like to share some valuable insight into what you should know when considering building a pergola in Florida.

Three important factors to consider regarding Pergolas are:

1). Placement – try not to design anything that will impede with your view of any windows – the typical lowest height is 8′-6″ and many bay windows are much higher. Also, remember that you need to place columns in the ground or attach to you home. The columns should not be in any current or future walk ways.

2). Materials – Most building contractors oxford use pressure treated pine wood for the structure since it has to withstand the elements. You can use Cedar, but it can add 20% to 30% more to your cost. Columns can be made of wood, concrete and high density polymer. Always remember that it can be finished with accent tiles or other custom treatments to make it look and fell like your “own”

3). No Rain Protection – Timber pergolas Perth offer a beautiful addition to your home but do not protect you from the rain. Awnings or other materials can be added to afford some protection but it is not the same as having a roof.

Pergolas can be are a great way to add more usable space to your existing home. Always remember, use a licensed builders for any construction to ensure that you get what you pay for…


Better Vegetable Gardening Tips To Maintain An Organic Garden

You may be a beginner gardener and want vegetable gardening tips to get the best advice on growing your plants in your vegetable garden. You may have heard of other gardeners in your area and their unsuccessful attempts to grow vegetables in their garden.

When you visit your local nursery, and you are looking to purchase seedlings, seeds and bulbs for your vegetable garden, ask the nursery staff about the best growing conditions required for a successful garden. You can get professional vegetable gardening tips on how to prepare your soil, how and when to plant your seeds and seedlings and best time to water your garden. You may even request advice for the best type of organic fertilizer to use for your garden.

Organic fertilizers are naturally slow releasing and are effective over a long period of time. This is why I only use organic fertilizers in my organic garden. I avoid any chemical spraying or any other chemicals on my fruit and vegetables and keep all my produce organic for my family. This way, my garden produce retains all the natural flavor without the taste of any chemicals.

I have never had any problems with insects or snails or any of your regular garden pests. On the rare occasions where there are any weeds, I always pull them out.


Better Horticultural Therapy with Container Gardens

Container gardens can enhance many different areas of one’s life, however container gardens also can help rehabilitate people who are suffering from both physical and mental illnesses. For centuries garden therapy has been known to millions, but lately this type of therapy has become well known and is being used more often.

This type of rehab is called horticultural therapy, and according to Dr. Benjamin Rush who is considered the “Father of American Psychiatry”, the garden setting holds curative powers for people with mental illness.

Many of the regular tools that one uses to garden have to be adapted to reflect the disability. This in turn will cause a person who would normally be incapable of doing the gardening task to have the ability to complete something that they previously thought was impossible.

Another thing that is good for therapy is for the planter garden or container gardens to be full of color with various plants. This will in turn cause the stimulation of the individual to be increased promoting more rehabilitation.

Horticultural therapy has been around for many years, and the ancient practice is being taught in a variety of settings and cultures. Those who are trained in horticultural therapy range from medical doctors to psychiatrists and occupational therapist.

Container gardens are a perfect way to help those with disabilities because they can be easily moved into a variety of therapeutic environments.


African Violets Garden Nursery Landscaping Guide

African Violets Are Easy To Maintain And Grow Indoors

African violets are a popular flower as they are easy to maintain and can be grown indoors, but make sure you give the plants enough light and warmth.

A lot of people use a grow light to ensure the plant receives enough light and warmth to grow from a seed to a plant with beautiful flowers.

African violets are sometimes given to the elderly to keep them occupied as the plants are low maintenance and do not put much of a strain on their garden duties.

As people age it is important that they are able to continue doing things that they enjoy. This is often difficult if they are restricted in their mobility, or if their abilities change due to illnesses.

The elderly often have struggles with depression because of the number of losses they suffer. Having some type of hobby that they enjoy can help them deal with the depression.

My mother had to leave her home and move to an apartment when she could no longer drive. She was living by herself in a five bedroom farm house and she could not keep it up any more.

Indoor Garden

My mother has always enjoyed gardening. In the late winter she would plant seeds in small moss containers to start her tomato, pepper and squash plants. She did this in the basement and placed them in a windowsill so they would have sunlight and warmth to germinate.

This year for Christmas my sister-in-law gave my mom a kit for growing African violets.

The kit included a grow light, several trays to start slips in and two African violets of different colors. This was the perfect gift. Mom cleared space in the corner of her bedroom to put the light as well as the plants.

The room has a large window, but the natural light would not affect the growing light. Mom was pleased to have a hobby that was familiar, yet new.

Mom mentioned the African violets to one of the other residents. The resident told her that she was nursing a violet that had gotten too dry when she was away on vacation.

Nursing an African Violet back to perfect health

Mom told her to bring the plant over and they would put it under the light. That was the beginning of a new friendship that has grown to be very strong. The two of them now have African violets in many different colors and varieties.

African violets make a nice welcoming gift

They supply each person that moves in one of the African violets as a house warming gift. This hobby has not only cemented a friendship, but it has given my mother a new purpose in her life.

Now mum has given me some of her seeds and I have decided to grow my own African violets in a number of pots just inside the shed, underneath the window so that they can get just enough light as mum has advised.

I have bought my own grow light and I use it to give the plants some warmth, especially when it is cold and raining outside.

People can’t believe how such beautiful flowers are so easy to maintain.


The First Lawn Mowers

After seeing a reel with blades in a cloth mill, Edward Budding, an engineer, elaborated on the concept and invented the reel lawn mower. The gas powered lawn mowers starting showing up around 1890 and the first riding lawnmower was invented about 100 years ago. Mr. Budding said that a gentleman who used the machine would enjoy a healthy, useful and amusing exercise.

Perhaps one of the smartest moves of the inventor was to allow others to build their own lawn mowers while still under his license, resulting in improvements and more revenue. Ransomes was one of the first companies to take advantage of that and started to produce their own versions.

The company is still very active in the lawn care environment and they have become the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial lawn mowers and lawn care equipment. When the original patents lapsed and with the increase in popularity of certain sports, such as cricket, lawn tennis, rugby and football, other companies were able to begin manufacturing their own products.

Rotary cutting and electric power were first tried out during the 1920s through the 1930s, but did not become popular until much later. The 40s brought several innovations to lawn mowers, including lighter designs and a smaller, but more powerful lawnmower engine.

Beginning in 1950, there was much technological advancement and mowers became more reliable and less expensive. What some consider to be the major improvement made over the years is the hover or rotary motor, made with lightweight plastic and lighter electric and gas motors.


Sunflower Seeds For A Healthy Snack

The sunflower plant is quite majestic, especially when out in a field with hundreds more just like it. They are tall and have sunny yellow petals. What’s in the center of those petals is what people are really after; the seeds.

The simple organic seeds of the sunflower have been cultivated and eaten by cultures all over the world for thousands of years. This is because they are highly nutritious, portable and they have a warm, nutty taste people can’t resist. Sunflower seeds can be processed in a variety of different ways; raw, roasted or pressed to make oil.

The sunflower plant is more than just a pretty flower out in a field. Their seeds are a high energy snack food. They are rich in vitamins, protein, minerals, good fats and fiber. Each sunflower seed contains a tremendous source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.

These seeds contain vitamin E, the B complex of vitamins, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and calcium. If you are looking for a convenient snack that is tasty and healthy, and can provide a quick burst of energy, then consider adding sunflower seeds to your diet.

Not only is the sunflower gorgeous to look at and is appreciated aesthetically, it also contains a nutrition-packed food source in its center. The sunflower is native to many areas around the world and the seeds of the sunflower have been a significant part of the diet of Native Americans for the last 3,000 years.

Today, Russia leads the world in overall consumption of sunflower seeds. In fact, sunflower oil is the preferred choice in cooking oil there.


Servicing Your Mower Helps Reduce Lawn Mower Repair Costs

Even the top brands of lawn mowers, which always seem to work perfectly, will need some type of lawn mower repair or tune up, no matter what company has manufactured the equipment. Lawnmower repair is needed, in most cases, due to the lack of maintenance or attention to the mower.

Sometimes only a small repair is needed, such as sharpening or replacing the lawn mower blades or replacing a clogged fuel filter, which may be one cause for the mower not starting or why it stalls.

The exact lawn mower repair needed can be tricky to locate because in most cases the actual problem may not show up in the part that needs to be repaired, but rather somewhere else in the machine. Sometimes replacing a spark plug may help but you also need to get the carburetor looked at because many times snags in the carburetor will cause this to happen.

In some cases it is best to contact a professional when it comes to lawn mower repair, as professionals can also help the owner figure out what is wrong or if they have been using the machine incorrectly.

It is a good idea to obtain quotes on repair costs from more than one company. Then you can decide if repair to mowers parts is the best option or if you may be better off by purchasing a new one, such as a Honda lawn mower or a Toro lawn mower.


Seeds For Springtime

As spring arrives, a major part of preparation for gardeners in getting ready for the upcoming planting season is seed starting. Without a doubt, one of the most rewarding tasks in gardening is nurturing seeds through germination into strong healthy plants.

No matter where you sow, watching nature work its magic on a kitchen windowsill, in a greenhouse or in your garden shed is a rewarding and inspiring process. If you follow a couple of basic rules when planting, then you will increase your chances of success. Let’s take a look at what those rules are.

Cleaning All Your Pots And Trays Before Sowing

The first rule of thumb when you plant seeds is to practice good hygiene. Good hygiene you ask? It just means that you need to make sure you clean all of your pots and trays before sowing. They should be scrubbed clean with a biodegradable detergent in order to remove any traces of plant disease and prevent their spread into your new plantings.

Another important factor to consider is the growing medium you will use? There are a variety of soils available on the market, but as a general rule, any soil that is not too heavy, one that is water retentive and is high in nutritional value will suffice.

Taking Into Consideration Your Soil And Local Climate

It depends on your soil and your local climate as to when and where you can sow seeds directly into the ground outside. If you have a light soil, then you will be able to sow earlier than people with heavy soil. For early spring sowing the temperature needs to be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis.

At this temperature weeds will also start to emerge, so be prepared to undertake weed control. Work your soil well and sow as directed on the packet. Be aware that weather can change quickly. Many times there will be a warm period in March, only for it to turn cooler again in April.

It’s time to pot the seedlings when they emerge and grow past the two-leaf stage. There are many ready-bagged types of potting compost available, but typically a mix of three parts organic compost, one part coir (the shredded husk of the coconut) and one part worm castings is the best medium to use. This is a great way of turning kitchen waste into nutrient rich, soil composts.

Stimulating Growth In The Pot

Put the mixture into your pots and prepare it by indenting holes for your seedlings. You should gently and sparingly water your seedling once it has been placed into the pot. As your new seedlings grow, brush your hand over them occasionally. This simulates the wind blowing and actually stimulates root growth.

Don’t be afraid of planting flowers with vegetables. In this way, you make your garden your own. Whether it is big or small, the important thing to remember is that you enjoy your garden. Growing vegetables and flowers from seeds is the real beauty and essence of what gardening is all about.


Seeding Your Lawn

If you want to start your lawn from seed, then there is some information you need to know before you begin seeding. The advantages of planting grass seed over installing sod are that seed planting is much less costly and there are many more varieties of grasses to choose from. While there is a lot of labor and time involved when you plant seeds, the lovely results are rewarding and are well worth your time.

What seeds should you buy? You must take your local climate into consideration when making this decision. Take a look at your yard and figure out whether the area is wet or dry, if it is shady or gets full sun exposure. You also need to determine what type of soil you have. This will help you make the right choice for your lawn.

Adding Some Sand

You will need to add some sand to the mixture before planting the grass seed if your soil doesn’t drain well. This will keep the ground from becoming waterlogged and drowning your seeds. Be sure to check the pH level of your soil. Most lawns ideally thrive with a pH level of 6.5 to 7.0. If your soil is not in this range, you may need to adjust it to attain this level.

The real work now lies ahead. The first step you should take after preparing the site is to add a layer of organic material to your topsoil. Some people don’t use topsoil, and instead, use peat moss. Compost and manure, at a minimum of one inch thick should do the trick. Make sure you leave the mixture loose so that the roots can spread out. Consult a planting guide or ask questions at a local gardening center if you have any questions.

You May Need Fertilizer

Before seeding your lawn and while doing the final prep work, consider adding fertilizer to the soil. It helps give the seeds an extra boost at planting time. Remember to put the fertilizer down around a week before you plant the seeds or you run the risk of burning the seeds with the chemicals. Now it is time to start sowing! Read the information provided by the seed company regarding how you should start sowing.

To begin sowing your lawn, you can do it by hand or you can use a spreader, it is completely up to you. It may be easier to divide your lawn into sections and sow each section one at a time.

So The Seed In Two Directions

To make sure you have an even spread of seeds, sow in two directions. You will need to rake the seed into the soil after you have spread it out. Spray a fine mist of water to help them start to germinate. To prevent birds from eating your newly sown lawn, you can crisscross string about four inches above the soil surface.

Now it is time to sit back and watch your grass grow. Within seven to fourteen days, you should see seedlings starting to appear. Don’t forget to water your lawn with a faint mist, to keep the seeds moist but not saturated.

Seeding your own lawn does require effort and attention on your part, and to keep yourself motivated during the process, try to picture the lush green lawn you will have in just a short time!


Riding Lawn Mowers With Ease And Better Efficiency

Most everyone has better things to do with their time than spend an entire day mowing their lawn, which is one reason why many consumers decide to purchase a riding lawnmower. They say that with the ease and efficiency riding lawn mowers provide, it just makes sense. A riding mower allows owners to spend the time that would have been spent mowing on something far more fun.

Fortunately, many of the major riding mower producers offer additional features that make it easier and more enjoyable to mow lawns. It is not only homeowners who are beginning to purchase more riding lawn mowers, as many employers use commercial lawn mowers for lawn maintenance and landscaping jobs, making it easier and more efficient for their employees to get their work done.

If your yard is particularly uneven, then the best choice would be a riding lawnmower that can cope well with both a flat surface and steep hills. It is a good idea to do some research and read some consumer reviews of the makes and models you are considering, as there are some riding lawn mowers that have a difficult time on anything other than a flat surface, thus affecting your decision.

Also, check out some of the most well known brands, such as Honda lawn mowers, Toro lawn mowers, Murray lawn mowers and John Deere lawn mowers. Researching online first will give you some of the major features of the makes and models you are interested in purchasing, which may save you some time.