Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Benifits of Plants on Your Environment

Most of us by now have probably moved the plants back indoors for the for the colder months.  I'll admit I do get a little over enthusiastic with my plants.  When I last took count there are a total of 36 plants filling every bare spot of my home.  My collection includes a ficus tree that has been with me for fourteen years and stands 9 feet tall (thank goodness for vaulted ceilings).

Have you ever stopped to consider the benefits of having houseplants?  Of course there is the obvious.  They add a wonderful touch of ambiance to any room.  During the winter months an atmosphere of healthy, thriving green plants has proven to stave off those "winter blues".  You know, that feeling we get of wanting to be out in the fresh open air tearing into the spring garden again.  Feeling somewhat denied the pleasure of basking in the warm sunshine with a cool glass of fresh ice tea.  Wishing it was warm enough to fire up the grill and invite the neighbors over.  All that foliage we drag back indoors has proven to calm that feeling of loss.

Just like outdoor plants are know to help fight pollution and unhealthy air indoor plants will do the same.  Our homes are full of dangerous toxins that can lead to unwanted health issues.  The oxygen omitted by indoor plants will reduce carbon dioxide and even benzene and  formaldehyde.  The more vigorous and healthy the plant the better your results so be sure and follow the proper guide lines for the foliage's needs.  In order for any plant to be an environmental benefit the foliage and soil must both be kept as healthy as possible.

Studies have been conducted by many institutions to help determine exactly how extensive the benefits of plants can be on the environment.  It's very interesting to see the extent of experimenting conducted.  Research has shown that some plants tend to omit a higher volume of oxygen and are able to absorb a greater amount of toxins.  Just a few of these that are easy to grow and very sustainable are the Ficus, the Rubber Plant, The Lilly and many varieties of the Palm.  The Palm is a particular favorite.  Not only does it have a tropical feel with beautiful leaves, but it also happens to be particularly hardy.

I've always kept a plant in my work area.  It comes as not surprise to me that studies have shown those companies that allow plants in the work place have a lower rate of stress, and improved production.  Employees who spend the day working in those cramped little cubicles showed less anxiety when they were allowed to place plants in there surroundings.  What I find even more fascinating is the increase in focus and reaction time reported from employees with plants growing nearby.  What could possibly be the biggest benefit of plants in the workplace is a reported drop in sick time reported.

The benefits of house plants on the indoor environment is a continued research and one well worth looking into farther.  I'm pretty certain of one thing though.  With thirty six plants in every room of my home I hope I've got some pretty healthy air to breath.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Making a Poinsettia Last

My seven year old Poinsettia
I always believed it was inevitable.  You had to throw out the Poinsettia's when the holiday was through.  They weren't suppose to last beyond the festive season.  As my enthusiasm for growing anything facilitated I decided to the possibility of giving this doomed plant a shot for a longer life. 
My 2nd Generation Poinsettia
It was my second Christmas with my husband, and the first in our new home.  That sentiment made me even more determined to cherish the memory by holding on to the first Poinsettia he brought home to me.  I know that I had often heard Poinsettia's do not tolerate a lot of sunlight.  I decided to put mine in the one bay window of our house that got the most direct light.  It took off with a bolt. 
Not only did I discover that these beautiful plants do well with direct sunlight, they require constantly moist soil.  I found that if the soil became dry the leaves fell off very quickly.
The plant become so large I opted to try my had at growing another one.  Talk about an easy task. I carefully cut some strong ends from my plant and placed them in a large pot I had blended with compost. I placed the plant in another window filled with sunlight.  I carefully watered it and checked the growth every day until new foliage began to appear.  Now I have a second generation poinsettia that is out growing it's current container.

As the holiday approaches I removed the Poinsettia's from the direct sunlight.  As you can see as a result of reduced daylight the plants are beginning to obtain their festive red coloring.

I know I will need to thin my original plant down again this year.  I'm certain I will start another plant to pass on to my daughters.  It's a pleasure to know this memory will live on and be shared with a new generations to come.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saving on your Holiday budget

Like most people I love the holidays. I'll probably go over my budget like I typically do.  So anytime I can find a way to cut the stressful expenses I put them to good use.  If you are a big fan of gardening than I'm sure you've been saving some of those fresh goodies to set the holiday table with.  Let's see just how much I can save using my crops to prepare my feast.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's in Your Garden?

Chili Pequin

Every year I find myself believing it's a lot more productive to garden in fall than in Summer.  I can battle the 40 degree evening temperatures easier than the 100+ degree sizzling summer days.  Maybe I'm just fortunate enough to live in an area that will keep my garden producing well into fall. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Transplanting Plants

Possibly Impatient
Plants are sometimes fragile.  Like any growing thing they need plenty of room to remain healthy and productive.  Weather transferring plants from indoors to an outdoor environment, or bring a precious seedling indoors to continue growth it's best to be safe and cautious. 

Why and When to Transplant?

 There are several purposes for transplant.  On the right is a picture of what looks to be an Impatient.  These annuals were growing in my flower garden.  This one was found outside my garden in the yard.  I didn't have the heart to just let it go so I transferred it to an indoor planter and brought it inside. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Protecting Plants From Cold Temperatures

I love this special time of the year.  The mornings are crisp and fresh.  The afternoon sun shines bright with temperatures that are comfortable.  Fall is a beautiful time with a special blend of colors.  It is also a time of year that can be stressful on outdoor plants.  The evenings can get a little cooler than most foliage will appeciate.  The days are warm enough to leave room for continued growth.  It is an important time to protect plants and avoid possible frost damage.  If you still maintain a vegetable garden during fall it is important to keep a close eye on your harvest for possible signs of distress. 

Damage caused by frost is fairly evident.  Leaves will turn droopy and brown spots will show, often appearing transluent.  The only solution for frost damage is to head it off before it has an opportunity to appear. If your plant does subcom to the cold remove any discolored leaves. Keep a watchful eye on the plant for signs of recovery.  If the spoliage is not too severe the evidence of improvement will apear withing a few days to a week.  If signs of deteroriation continue it's likely your plant is not savable.

Moving plants back indoors may  be the most practical solution.  Allowing them the last few weeks of suitable weather to enjoy warm sun and fresh air is more beneficial.  Transferring plants between indoors and outdoors constantly will only add to the stress.  There are several methods to assure plants can remain in a consistant environment.  With the right preperation you can continue to enjoy watching your foliage progress. 

My Pequin Pepper is surving the cold well
with the right care
You'll want to make sure your plants are suitable for the climate. Although some tropical plants will survive in cold temperatures many are accustomed to warmer climates. Always  know your plants expectations and requirements. If necessary move these sensative plants into protection.  See Transferring Plants for tips on safely moving plants indoors. Never water in the afternoon or evening if the temperatures are expected to be lower than your plants willl endure.  The reflective qualities of water projects temperatures of all ranges.

A sheet covers my peppers
When the weather is forcast to be cooler than you are comfortable with add a nice heavy coat of mulch to the bed of your garden.  Hopefully you have saved leaves and grass clippings throughout the spring and summer months.  Once you  have properly treated the mulch for insects give your plants a nice blanket of protection.  See More Pests to Eliminate for checmical free ways to treat your mulch for insects. 

When I learn the weather is turning cooler in the evenings I pull out my stack of sheets to cover the plants at night.  I like a nice, light sheet that won't weight down the plant.  It still provides protection from the cold without harming the foliage.  It leaves plenty of breathing space so my gardening is not interupted.  I can find plenty of sheets at the local thrift store for less than $2 apeice.  Just make sure you wash them well before using them.  If you prefer a havier sheet be sure to use tall sticks to droop the sheet over so it won't smother the plant.

In summary when the weather turns colder it is important to take action and provide protection to your garden and plants.  Transport any plants that will not handle cold temperatures indoors.  Mulch the beds of your gardens and use sheets to cover plants.  Most of all don't panic.  The cold snap will more than likely only last a few days at this point.  Warmer weather will be back before you know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Transfering Plants Between Indoors and Outdoors

I love houseplants.  They add such atmosphere and color to my home.  When not adorning my interior with vibrancy I like to give them a natural environment of sun and fresh air.  Transferring these plants between the two climates needs to be done with caution.  A drastic change in surroundings and temperatures can cause irreversible damage.  On the other hand leaving plants outdoors in weather that is too cool for survival is certain disaster.  Most house plants are tropical or sub-tropical in nature.  They are not typically bred to survive in weather that turns too cool.  It is best to plan on bringing house plants back indoors before the evening temperatures reach a low of 50 to 55 degree.   You'll want to beginning to plan the move a week or two in advance.
First you will want to treat you plants with a chemical free insect control product before you begin action.  You never want the disadvantage of harboring these tiny troublemakers indoors where they will thrive and multiply in the warmer conditions.  You can find simple and quick homemade remedies for controlling unseen agitation.  For some tips on treating your plants with simple homemade and chemical free remedies check More Pests to Eliminate.  Clean the outside of all planting containers to remove soil and chemicals that do not belong in the house.  Check the plant to make sure no unwanted visitors have arrived. Occasionally you will find a blade of grass or tiny weed has drifted into the pot. Remove them as quickly as they arrive.
Preparing the indoors for your foliage's change of scenery is important if you wish to minimize damage.  A gradual transference of conditions is mandatory for adjustment and survival.  Temperatures and sunlight should be as compatible as possible so the growth and health of indoor plants continue to progress.  Refrain from moving plants from a seasonal temperature of 65 or 70 degree into a manufactured temperature of 75 or above.  Provide essential direct sun light for at least six hours each day. 
This is definitely not an appropriate time to attempt a transplant of indoor plants.  They are comfortable in their current container, so let them rest there.  Your plants need time to adjust to the new surroundings.  Transplanting will require more work from the roots than they are prepared to give.  Take time to remove any clearly damaged foliage.  Plants will need to concentrate on maintaining the growth that is healthy.  Do not go overboard and prune and plants that have been transferred at this time.  Pruning will add the additional stress of promoting new growth that your plants are not prepared to handle.
Once indoors keep the soil slightly damp, but never too wet.  Over watering a plant is one of the most common ways to damage any foliage.  A suitable amount of water on a weekly basis should provide plenty of moisture.  Now is a good time to give your house plants a good feeding.  Once you have given the soil a boost continue to maintain the level of nutrients with a monthly feeding.  There are plenty of items around your own home that will give you plants the nutrition and boost they require.  Visit here for a few tips on  Feeding Plants From the Kitchen.
Moving plants between outdoors and indoors can be somewhat stressful if the process is not handle with care and thought.  To keep your plants healthy throughtout the season and ready for a new spring be sure you handle all plants with caution and thought.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's Best to Winterize Properly

Just because the weather turns colder doesn't mean your garden quits working.  If you take the right precautions now you will be a step ahead when the world thaws and turns fresh green.  When the temps turn cold, the air is crisp and the earth is golden brown there is still work to be done.  Freezing temperatures and snow won't be the end to all of the hard work you've done through spring, summer and fall.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't Forget The Inverted Container

I enjoy container garden for so many reasons.  I have several of various sizes sitting around the garden waiting to transfer inside when necessary.  It is the opportunity to keep the fresh produce growing year round.  Several years ago someone decided it would be unique to create an upside down container and called it Topsy Turvy.  It's a useful idea for various reasons.  You can hang the planter from the patio and watch you crops grow right from the back door.  If you intend on moving the harvest indoors when the weather turns cool they are easy to transport.  They require no weeding and take up little space.  Gravitating downward promotes quicker growth and often a larger harvest.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Around The Yard This Fall

I love fall.  It's such a refreshing time of the year.  The heat of summer fades away, the earth literally changes structure right before your eyes.  Shades of warmth renew the senses and the world turns calm and inviting.  I celebrate the days when I get to see holiday decorations fill the streets from October through to the new year.  I look forward to to the time I will spend with my family enjoy the best meals and most festive celebrations.  I know it's a time to renew my energy and my gardening.  I've touched on what will work best in a fall vegetable garden.  What works best to beautify the rest of the homestead as the temperatures turn cooler?  In my neighborhood the HOA holds a monthly landscaping contest.  It's meant to promote eye pleasing surroundings.  Which plants are best for sustaining and promoting a pleasing and colorful landscape as the days turn  shorter?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reviving Your Garden for Fall

I don't know which I enjoy more, cooking or gardening.  I think the most inspired is when the two can be creatively intertwined.  That is why I strive to maintain a semblance of gardening all year round.  Spring gardening, Fall gardening and of course Container gardening. So here we are.  The heat of summer has gotten to your garden.  No matter how hard you tried to save what you could the heats probably going to win.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Know Your Zone

U.S. Zone Map
What is a USDA Hardiness Zone Map and why is it an important tool to any gardener?  The map on the right is a simple breakdown of the current US zones.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture first published the zone map in 1960.  Based on a plants resilience and a zones climate the formulation is not without flaws.  The ever changing weather conditions have required several revisions, most recently just this year.  Still, it is a handy guide to comparing climates and determining what might be the most appropriate time to begin planting.  Example:  I live in the heart of heat and drought where Spring gardening is earlier than other regions.  The winters are also milder which tends to extend the duration of fall gardening.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Save Your Garden

Don't let your garden look like this
It is the most harmful element to any vegetation.  It is particularly deadly to crops.  One day your hard word is luscious, green and productive.  A few weeks later it could look as if it will barely survive.  You can control the weeds and insects.  You can't control the heat.  Don't panic.  You can still protect you crops if you know the right precautions.

Never water your garden during the heat of the afternoon.  Water droplets reflect heat and scorch the plants foliage.  Always water during early morning or late evening hours.  Better yet if at all possible buy a 75ft soaking hose and lay it through the middle of the garden.  Turn it on for about twenty minutes every morning.  Your sure to get plenty of water to the right places.

Aerate the ground.  Soil that has become hardened during the hot days of summer will only allow run off of water.  Use a rate or hoe to loosed up the dirt to allow proper soaking to the right areas of crops.

Do You Know Crepe Myrtle

Don't misunderstand.  I truly have great respect for Burpee, and every thriving nursery out there.  They offer a vital service to the gardening and landscaping community.  However when I can look at my harvest and know it is 100% me I feel even more satisfaction.  When I can see the sections of landscape that I created from scratch I have pride.  After all, everything started from something right?

Pink Velour Crepe Myrtle-2 years old
Take for example the southern beauty Crepe Myrtle Tree.  The wide variety of colors available make these beauties a staple in nearly every yard in my neighborhood.  Many landscapes showcase a variety of specimens together.  I've long admired the vibrancy of these delicate saplings, but was never fortunate enough to have one. They are true in nature and physic to their native India.  Sure, I could run down to Lowe's and pick one up for around $25.00.  My stubbornness wouldn't allow me to do that since I'm prone to finding a way to get anything free.  Finally, thanks to a gift from my neighbors, I have not just one but three.  They don't know it yet though.  A line of Pink Velour Crepe's divides one neighbors land from our home.  The shade and moisture make a perfect breading ground for seedlings.  The trees are kept well trimmed and seedlings are plentiful.   It wasn't hard to find one to dig up.  I let these in the picture reach a height of at least eighteen inches before I dug them up.  The stronger the root the more stable the growth.  Why did I choose to dig them in the first place?  For one thing they landed right in the middle of my Elephant Ears.  Mostly I want to transport them to the back yard.  As soon as they are strong I (correction-my husband) will strategically place them.

Muskogee Crepe Myrtle-4 years old

My neighbor on the other side has a Crepe Myrtle growing along the fence line that drapes over and provides perfect shade for my garden. I won't profess to be an expert, but I believe the variety of this tree is a Muskogee.  When I found one growing in my garden I couldn't resist the opportunity to take advantage.  Now the tree is a little over four hears old and beautiful.  It sits along the far end of my garden about 3ft tall.  Soon It will provide addition shade for my crops in the sweltering heat of the south.  I'm sure neither of my neighbors would mind one bit.  I hope they would be a little proud of the additional beauty they've provided my landscape.

It is not difficult to give these small seedlings the life they desire.  Once they are strong enough to retrieve dig them carefully to be sure you do not damage the available root system.  Plant them in a very large, deep container with plenty of compost and rich soil.  They will survive well inside during the cold winder for the first few years.  Just be sure to provide plenty of natural sunlight.  Monitor the water closely.  The soil should remain moist, but not soggy.  If the tree is well cared for within two to three years it will be ready to cover that special spot you visioned.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Feathered Friends Aren't Always Kind

Yellow Crock Neck Squash
I have one of the most beautiful gardens I believe I have ever harvested.  I remember the compost, tacked the weeds, controlled the insects and kept the dogs out.  All of that effort and I still had one more nuisance that baffled me.  My plants are growing healthy enough but don't seem to be producing as well as they should considering the growing number of blossoms appearing every day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tips to Becoming a Good Cook

Ever wondered why some people just seem to have a niche for creating meals that get raves every time?  You probably think they must have some magical trick or secret talent.  It doesn't take extraordinary power, or fancy ingredients to be a good cook.  What it does take you've probably already got or you wouldn't be here reading this.  After all, you can't really burn water. Come on it's water!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

That's a Lot of Love


  • This sweet girl passed away this week. Her name was Lupe and the man who gave her to us knew she had parvo and lied when he said she was okay. Rest in Peace baby girl.

     I want to start this with a direct quote from my daughters Facebook page above.  Somewhere along the years we unwittingly became animal rescuers.  I don't remember quite where it began all I know is it continued to build to something stronger than we could have imagined.  I start with Lupe because she happens to be the closest in mind at the moment. She came to us at seven weeks old.  We have a wide reputation for taking in unwanted animals so it was no surprise when a friend of my husbands "dropped" her off in the back of my his truck at work one day.  While we were waiting to receive her vaccination records from the previous owner she passed of Parvo a few weeks later.  We cried as we always do. There were so many who came before her in order of appearance.

How To Survive Without a Stove

The house my husband and I purchased came with a Smooth Surface Stove Top.  If you've seen these they are fashionable and useful.  They are also very touchy.  The surface can be difficult to clean although I used a light brushing of baking soda to remove the blemishes.  The elements in the unit are typically Halogen lamps.  When they go the unit is no longer usable and they may be costly to replace. That is precisely what happened.  While we are deciding weather it is worth the cost to repair or replace the unit we have had to find alternatives to preparing meals.  It has turned out to be an economical advantage.

A True Story

Water bugs are just uninvited guests 
It seems all of the wet weather in my region has manifested the insects as well as the weeds. I don't know what you call these things but I call them cock roaches on steroids.  They are large and hide out anywhere they won't be found.  These intruders can range up to 4" long.

American, or Oriental Cock Roaches, are also referred to as "water bugs". They acquired the nick name because of they tend to invade themselves into your surrounding through drains and small openings in dark cracks.  Like all roaches they multiply quickly and pop out whenever you don't expect them.  Having small animals indoors I wanted to find a resolution that was suitable to my environment.  One that didn't require the use of harmful chemicals and would be economically reasonable.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Feeding Your Garden


By know I hope you are seeing some benefits of your spring garden.  If not, don't fret. Not ever garden will mature at the same rate.   Even though I have crops producing that won't be the case in all regions.  You may just begin to see tiny blossoms sprouting up, or you might be picking plenty of  produce already.  So how can you boost up your gardens production?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Signs Your Garden is in Distress

No matter how hard you try there is no such thing as a perfect gardener. You walk out to your garden one morning and something just doesn't look right.  How do you diagnose the problem and create a solution?  First you need to know how to recognize the signs.  Some signs are easy to detect, others may remain invisible until it is too late.  Routine maintenance, keen observation and the proper knowledge can help to avoid complete destruction of your crops.  A garden requires constant nurturing in order to produce at it's fullest potential.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How I Got a Free Fence

My new backyard fence
What do you do when your husband brings home a seven week old puppy that gets through your garden fence? You build a new fence of course.  Buying material for a garden fence can get costly.  The one we had put up previously was chicken wire with fence post that cost close to $75.00.  It didn't seem reasonable to spend that kind of money again.  On my husbands first day off we took the truck and went pickin for fencing material.  My husband keeps track of the city bulk trash pick up schedule and knew the curbs were lined with treasures waiting to be thrown out.
Our little clan Meijah, Cowboy, and Lupe

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Mans Treasure

I admit I was completely skeptical the first time my husband brought someones discards into our home.  It really wasn't my style.  Seemed a little unpractical in my opinion. Like most cities we have a monthly bulk trash pick up.  The curbs are lined with rows of tree limbs and old furniture for days waiting for their destination.  I figured if someone put it on the curb it was nothing but junk. Not my husband.  He sees a usefulness in nearly every item he passes.

Dining room area rug
I'll never forget when he made a true believer of me.  When we bought our home there was a formal dining room set with matching hutch that the sellers left.  It is beautiful and I enjoy it.  Problem was the floors in the home are ceramic tile.  I longed for an area rug to set the table and chairs on.  We were watching our expenses so purchasing one wasn't an option.  It only took a couple of days for my husband to show up with the most perfect rug (pictured right).  The colors, tone and design could not have been more compatible.  He found the rug rolled up and ready for disposal.  We cleaned it up and five years later it still sits in my dining room.

Cabinet door before
Cabinet after refinishing
When I met my husband I wasn't aware of his passion for refinishing furniture. It wasn't unusual to come home from work and find something on the back patio.  One day there was a stand alone cabinet that was such a mess I was puzzled. What could he possible see in this thing? The cabinet had obviously been left outside.  The top was plywood with the layers separating, and the wood completely whitewashed.  You can see from the picture that it was a mess.  But the cabinet is solid wood and my husband was determined to save the piece. He sanded down the wood, applied a stain and added a ceramic tile top.  He also found two 3' stools he finished to match.  It now sits in his "trophy room" affectionately referred to as his office.

The number of items my husband continues to find sitting along the side of the road continues to amaze me.  Recliners, sleeper sofas, chest of drawers and so much more.  The list continues to grow.  A lot of the items we clean up and resell adding a little cash to our pockets.  Not only are we keeping these re-usable items from winding up in  an already overcrowded landfill, but my husband has found away to supplement our income.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pictures from The Back Yard

Yucca Plant
Yucca Plant
What is it about gardening that lifts the spirit?  Is it the beginning of a new season?  The ability to spend so much time one-on-one with nature?  All of the above? The  Yucca plant on the left was rescued from a pasture in Oklahoma after a family reunion.  The one on the right I rescued from an Apartment Complex that was demolished.
Beans, Peas and Potatos


My tomatoes, beans, peas and potatoes are really taking off.   These potatoes are the same ones I planted right out of my own kitchen cupboard. I can't wait to dig into the fresh juicy crops.



My roses really got a kick out of the rain we received.  They are blooming nicely with a lot of color.  They smell so sweet that I enjoy bringing them in to lighten up the house.  These flower look better than they have in years.


Who would have thought that I could have peas almost ready to harvest in the middle of April?  If I had some of my new potatoes ready to dig I'd cook up a batch of creamed peas and new potatoes.  Talk about yummy! But, as you can see it will be a while before I can make up one of my mom's favorite dishes when we were growing up. 
These are my mums.  If you look closely you can see the tiny flowers peaking out and starting to bloom.  I love mums because they have so many colors and such a reconstructive life.  They bloom spring and fall making them a great addition to any decor.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Routine Garden Maintenance

Peas, Beans and Potatoes in my garden
I'm sure most of us have had a vibrant spring garden for a couple of weeks now.  Gardens require constant maintenance to insure a quality crop.   Thanks to the abundant rain my garden is looking healthy.  But what do I do now?  How do you make sure it stays productive and provides a healthy crop?  Visiting your garden regularly will help you best determine what action is need to maintain the growth process.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Natural Remedies for Common Seasonal Allergies

I am a big fan of spring.  Not only does it give me the opportunity to plant and nourish my garden, but it is just simply a beautiful time of year.  It is a sign of new beginnings with trees and flowers comming out from their winter hybernation.  It is also the time of year when I can't stop itching my eyes and Kleenex is my constant companion.  I am not a medical expert and do not pretend to give medicinal advice.  I only know what works for me when I feel the signs of spring affecting my sinisus.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easy Money Saving Tips

I'm all for saving money any way I can   You've probably got the basics already.  We've all heard the scolding since we were young. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.  Close that door when you come inside.  Turn that thermostat back to 78.  How about a few everyday tips that may not seem so obvious?  Are you truly ready to reform to a few basics to help maintain the family budget?  There are a few easy tips that will help if you are willing to make the commitment.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Industry Landfill Instigators

One Of America's Overworked Landfills
It is estimated by the EPA that landfills around the world are 17% consumed by food waste.  It seems there are more and more "going green" remedies popping up every day.  So why isn't there a logical solution to one of the largest garbage contributors?  Over polluted landfills supply dangerous levels of methane and other gases to the universe.  The results on our environment effect each of us.  These gases cause what is referred to as the greenhouse effect by holding heat into the atmosphere.  This is similar to the effect of heat retained by a glass object on a hot day.  Methane gases also displace oxygen which may be contributed to the increase in respiratory conditions in society today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Throw Out The Produce

We've all been there.  You find a great sale on your favorite produce but you hesitate to take advantage of it.  A great sale isn't so great if you wind up throwing most of it into the compost.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could take advantage the savings and still use your purchase? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 10 Most Useful Items to Stock

I will admit that I have more than one reason for using safer products for everything from cleaning to gardening.  Not only is it better on the environment, it is also beneficial to my pocketbook.  Previously I've covered several items and their constructive uses.  Your cupboards and fridge carry potential solutions to many every day challenges.  Several are so versatile they are useful in vast areas of everyday household chores.  I've picked some items that in my opinion are the most valuable staples you can keep on hand.  I've chosen these ten based on their effectiveness, as well as their variety of use.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Better Way To Eliminate Weeds

It seems the warmer weather and abundant rain this season have elevated the weed level.  I don't know about you but I can feel the effects.  Weeds are not only unsightly and drain vital nutrients from soil, they also reek havoc on allergies.  Most people will use the first line of defence and grab some chemical weed killer.  There are better ways to tackle a weed infestation.

The most amazing coincidence is that the safer products available

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Pests To Eliminate

I wrote earlier about ways to eliminate a few garden meddlers.  With the tiny green leaves of my spring garden peepeing through I need to be a lot more proactive. Even the most sophisticated gardener will be caught off guard with intruders that can destroy your harvest.  Commercial insecticides can be detrimental to the efforts of gardening.  Chemicals can truly damage the nutritional benefits of fresh grown crops.   So how do you save your output without doing more harm?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some Gardening Don'ts

Gardening is so many different things to so many people.  It can be relaxing, fulfilling and constructive.  It is one of the best ways I know of to be self sustaining.  The main requirement for gardening is to love the outdoors.  You must be committed to the care and attention your garden will require.  An ignored garden will not be a productive garden.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Summer Break

Spring break is hitting most areas during the next several weeks.  Does the economy dictate that you stay closer to home this year?  Aren't quite sure what to do to keep the kids happy?  Maybe you are a working parent and just can't get any time off of work.  Your not alone.  Due to rising fuel costs the number of travelers this spring is expected to decrease.

If you are a working parent promote a neighborhood club of other working parents.  Develop a schedule based on every ones available days off and take turns finding activities to keep the little ones entertained.  Three things to remember, do not overwhelm any one with too many participants at one time.  Second, be prepared to take