Growing Nice Juicy and Sweet Tomatoes

Tomatoes are among some of the most popular vegetables to grow in your backyard. Rightly so too, because for some reason, homegrown tomatoes taste about 500% better than store-bought ones. In fact, for a period of time when the tomato prices were unusually high, my husband and I boycotted store-bought tomatoes because they were simply a “cardboard tasting” habit for sandwiches.

However, once summer started, we decided to grow our own beefsteak tomatoes. It was just too weird to have a burger without a tomato on it! If you’re interesting in growing some good-tasting juicy tomatoes as well, here are some tips to help you on your journey.

1. Starting the seeds. Tomato seeds germinate in temperatures 65F/18C or higher. They grow pretty easy from seeds. You simply get some small pots, put some potting soil in them, and bury the seeds according to the seed package directions. Keep the soil moist and keep them in a warm sunny spot where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. In a few days, you’ll see your seeds starting to sprout!

2. Starting from plants. The easiest way to start growing tomatoes is to get some tomato plants from the nearest home and garden center or nursery. Select dark green plants that look strong. Make sure it doesn’t have any tomatoes already growing on it, because that will keep the plant from growing to its fullest size. When you get home, re-pot the plant into a huge outdoor pot or simply place it in the ground where you want to grow it. It’s good to bury the plant all the way up to the top leaves so that it develops a good solid root base. Few plants can handle being planted this way, but for tomatoes, it works well. Be sure to plant your tomatoes in a place that gets full sun at least 6 hours a day throughout its growing season.

3. Watering your plants. Keep your plants moist, but don’t over water them. Over watering can do as much damage to them as under watering!

4. Fertilizing your plants. Fertilizing might be a bit of a pain, but it’s highly important. Most soil these days simply doesn’t have enough nutrients to produce nice sweet and healthy produce. You can get some good fertilizers at your local nursery or home and garden center that is made specifically for tomatoes. This works well because it’ll be sure to give your plant the most nutrients it needs.

5. Harvesting your tomatoes. The tomatoes will be ripe when they are nice and deep red. Don’t pick them green if you want the juiciest and sweetest tomatoes, however, they do last quite a long time if you need to harvest them early. Simply wrap them up in newspaper for long storage.

Enjoy! There’s nothing like home grown tomatoes!

Heather recommends a used compact tractor for easier gardening. This site lists used tractors for sale

Five traits of a Frugal Gardener

If you are looking to create or change your garden on the cheap, here are five factors that you have to have to succeed in creating a truly frugal, yet wonderful garden:

Flexibility
The frugal gardener must be flexible. Your master plan cannot be set in concrete. Sometimes, the greatest gardens come around through a series of happy accidents. Someone may gift you some flower cuttings or plants, and although they may not have been in your original plan, they may make fantastic additions.

Physical Fitness
This is a must for any gardener, frugal or not! There’s alwasy digging, bending and reaching to be done.

Patience
Small plants, cuttings and seeds are often cheaper than buying fully mature plants and flowers. Therefore, the frugal gardener must have an abundance of patience to nuture their cuttings and plants through to maturity instead of being able to plant their perfect garden straight off. It may take years to achieve your perfect vision, but it will be worth it in the end!

Confidence
Firstly, you must have confidence in your gardening skills. It is also important when buying plants – ask for free items or reductions in price. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! If someone says no, shrug your shoulders and move on – it was worth asking! Also get used to asking people for cuttings so that you can put them into your own garden.

Creativity
Use your imagination! Do you want a particular plant but it is too expensive/ Use your imagination and creativity to come up with an alternative. Sometimes walking into a garden centre with an open mind and no set shopping list can be great – you can choose the reduced plants and use your creativity to work them into your garden plans. It may also help to enhance your gardening prowess by introducing you to new plants and techniques that you otherwise wouldn’t have used.

Any suggestions for cool lawnmowers?

First, let’s set the stage:

  • I really don’t like the traditional suburban lawn. Tons of chemical, energy, and effort to create and maintain a biologically unstable mono culture so that I can … putt … or something. So, so silly.
  • I’m also a big non-fan of petrol powered lawnmowers. They’re noisy, smelly, polluting beasts that beat the crap out of the grass, ripping it instead of actually cutting it.

As a consequence we’ve explored a bunch of alternatives, but none have really worked terribly well. We really liked the idea of reel mowers, but our experience with several of them makes it clear that our lawn is way too uneven and bumpy for a reel mower. Sigh.

What would be perfect would be a solar powered Roomba-like robot mower. WeatherGirl correctly pointed out that this is frequently known as a “goat”; sadly, the city classifies goats as livestock rather than lawn tools, and we aren’t allowed keep livestock in town. Damn.

So, anyone have any ideas for an interesting alternative to buying a stinky petrol powered monster?

Thanks in advance!

17 Sep

Fixing my eyes

But my best friend (my wife) encouraged me to grab a beer and go out on the patio to read. So with a Smithwick’s and a copy of C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian, I came across this quote:

“Lucy went first, biting her lip and trying not to say all the things she thought of saying to Susan. But she forgot them when she fixed her eyes on Aslan.”

And I was undone.

I needed to be reminded of that.

9 Sep

Guide to the Ultimate Flower Garden

Part 1

What is a garden without flowers? A boring one that does not stand out from the crowd as visually appealing, simply because all of the color revolves around green, the color of the grass. There are popular flowers that can make a garden glow as well as the rare ones that make your garden unique.

I will be letting in on some of the great flowers that can be used for your own garden and how to take care of them to make sure they thrive in your fantastic garden.

Lets get started with our flowers:

1. Amaranth
These flowers are clover-liked blossoms that come in several shades of purple, pink, and white. These derive from two foot stems that bloom throughout the summer. One of the great attributes of this flower is that it easily thrives in hot and dry weather all while maintaining there vibrant color. They pose as excellent fillers in arrangements.

These plants should be started indoors with the seeds being planted at temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees fahrenheit. You should give about eight to ten weeks before the last frost, and drenching the seeds overnight will improve their growing ability. When nighttime reaches no less than 50 degrees, they can be placed outside in fertile soil, preferably in a sunny location about twelve inches apart.

2. Confederate Jasmine
These flowers are usually known as a perennial vine. This specific flower is not native to the United States, while the most active periods are during the summer and spring. The Confederate Jasmine has flagrant orange flowers paired with seeds or fruits as well as foilage that is dark green. The life span of these babies is quite long, and they can reach up to two feet tall.

The Confederate Jasmine is only somewhat tolerant of restrictions in water conditions and drought, and they will not be able to survive exposure to temperatures below seven degrees fahrenheit. These flowers are often found in garden stores, plant dealers and distributors, as well as nurseries all around.

3. Clock Vine
Clock Vines reach there maximum height at five or six feet depending on how well they are taken care of, and they are favorites in cottage gardens. They also make great visual masterpieces when paired with hanging baskets, arbors, or mixed containers. During the hot and humid summer, these flowers do not fare well at all, but they will survive to the point of blooming nicely in October when the weather cools down.

Six to eight weeks before the last frost take some samples of the plants or sow seeds. The germination process will run about two to three weeks and their growth rate is very slow. Again, just like the last plant, wait until the temperatures are averaging over 50 degrees fahrenheit every night before you put them outdoors. Place these plants in moist soil with lots of organic matter, and with a little extra protection from the sunny mornings and afternoons these flowers will thrive even better.

That’s three flowers out of too many to count. Hopefully this information will help you get a head start on your garden experience, as the next part will introduce more flowers as well as ways to improve and expand your work of art. Remember, each and every flower needs to be taken care of differently, so make sure to follow instructions and guidelines for each one to ensure the best growth of your garden.

Kevin Bailey loves gardens.
Flower Garden Paintings and Rose Flower Paintings are great assets,
of excellent gardens can make a difference.
Find out more excellent information at Great Paintings.

2 Sep

Treat your baby to the pram it deserves

Baby obaby pushchairs, buggies or pushchairs as they are also known, are becoming more and more straightforward in their design. This critique outlines the key concept of each type of baby petite star pram and what advantages or disadvantages they have.

For a newfound baby, you have the choice of going for a traditional pram or a multi feature stroller, which can do both jobs with a few adjustments. A pram looks nice but some of the better brands can be costly, specificantly as a pram may only be used for the initial few months. However, a pram can doubled up as a second cot until the baby gets fatter.

A second problem the pram has compared to the buggy is its size. They are fine for walking on a rough path or in the park but they are almost intolerable to get on most busses and they are also hard to steer in a busy shopping area.

In recent years, highchairs and baby baby buggy or perambulator has become more accepted as they are normally more compact, light but still offer the stability of a pram. A baby stroller can also be used for many more weeks than a pram, even for years depending on the brand you pick.

Standard Baby Strollers – The regular pushchair looks the most like the traditional pram out of all the designs. It is also the type that can do the most number of tasks. As well as a carriage, it normally has a large amount of storage for bags and accessories and also often comes with a detachable cot or newborn carrier. A good all-rounder.

Umbrella Baby Strollers / Buggies – The umbrella pram is the lightest and most compact of them all, and probably the most well-liked for those reasons. These strollers are easier to take on coaches, trains and will fit nicely into the car boot. They by and large come with a rain hood and a small carrying tray / net underneath.

There is an even lighter version of this baby buggy, which doesn’t have a hood or any carrying compartments, it’s very movable but you have to hope it doesn’t rain!

All Terrain Baby Strollers – This type of pushchair is often a 3 wheeler and is the most stylish of the bunch. In fact, many paternity go for this type for the way feature as much as everything else. They can often be more high-priced due to their lustrous shape but do offer a comfortable ride for both passenger and pusher. Bear in mind that many of these strollers are often heavier than average ranges.

Jogging Baby Strollers – Like the all all weather buggy, these have air filled tires, which of course can rupture. These will cater a smoother ride and proficient of tackling rougher all terrain. The technique is you can keep fit while exercising your child, as long as the baby is old enough.

Each baby pram offers geography, which may or may not be right for you, so when you buy your stroller, keep in mind how and where you are chosing to use it and you won’t go far illegal.

Possible Solutions To Soil Erosion

Once soil erosion starts to take place, there is often a variety of reasons. Poor soil content, too much rain, or wear and tear over time can cause soil to start to slip away. Possible solutions to soil erosion including adding in extra soil is a short-term solution, but with soil erosion that’s advanced, other measures will need to be implemented.

If the soil in a side-walk garden has started to build up on the pathway, construct a small rock fence as this can help in maintaining the soil in its place. In time soil will start to shift. That is normal. However, if there’s more rain than average, the soil can shift at a quicker rate and start to escape onto the pathway. A simple border or fence around a garden bed can assist in keeping soil in place and looks appealing as well.

Soil erosion is also likely to occur if the soil features high rock content. These rocks can pull and push soil away from lawns and gardens over time. One more of the possible solutions to soil erosion can be to eliminate the larger rocks, but often the soil has a lot of rocks in it. Top soil is able to keep soil erosion to a nominal amount. Not simply is top soil great for plant growth, it appears a lot finer than rocky soil. Soil erosion video clips can be view here.

Now, how do plants affect soil erosion, well including more plants in a flower bed can help in keeping the soil from eroding more as the roots of these plants act like a net to take hold of the soil when it’s moving.

Soil erosion causes take place anywhere over time. Erosion can occur faster in certain weather conditions. Protecting a garden by featuring borders, planting extra plants, and applying top soil are ways to develop the overall calibre of the soil and keeping it from elapsing.

Soil erosion in time will damage plant life and cause them to give up the ghost in view of a deficiency of nutrients. By noting the possible solutions to soil erosion, such as adding extra plants, the soil has greater opportunity of staying put and to keep the plants healthy.

Article source: http://www.soil.andallabout.com/

Technorati Tags: Possible Solutions To Soil Erosion, How Do Plants Affect Soil Erosion, Soil Erosion Causes, Soil Erosion Video Clips

Why not search eBay for “Soil”? – Go to eBay.com search results

You Can Have The Career of Your Dreams with an Online Degree

For some,a traditional university degree is not for them.These schools have emerged to be of innumerable importance at present due to several reasons.Usually students who are in the closing time of their high school education or those who have completed their high school education are considered suitable for these vocational schools.Vocational universities form a significant part of this system.Now, educational institutions impart alternative professional course to aid their students.This is most likely one significant motive which has contributed to the cutback in the amount of vocational schools in the United States of America.

In most of the foremost countries of the world, vocational universities are mostly private endeavors however there are evident government sponsored occupational educational establishments as well.Schools provide straightforward learning and their main intention is to imbibe apt amount of pursuit in the child to love learning.The occupational educational institutes are often called to as Career College or trade schools and are in control for giving professional education.But in most of these examples, a particular amount of prior knowledge or education is exceptionally obligatory.More frequently their extensive education has been under scanner for their below the grade quality and also they have also been blamed for growing the seeds of over expectation related to their future jobs amidst students.It is to be remembered that till now vocational colleges are available mainly for the development of expertise and consequently their main schedule is not more of imparting learning but to safeguard correct schooling.One of the primary factors being that at present with the advancement of science and technology, humanoid empire has moved on by leaps and bounds and hence newer routes have opened up.Different technological areas are now open to employment.An online degree by studying a few hours a day and taking tests on your computer may be a better regime fit. It is compulsory to point out that there are distinctive kinds of educational establishments which are set up for the distrubution of knowledge and the essential level commences for the primary colleges and is followed by the secondary school and then the institutes of advanced learning like the colleges and universities.Here education does not just imply to book based education but it refers to the whole development of personality and behavior.In these cases the occupational educational institutes come of colossal help as they are in charge for providing the necessary preparation to the interested students.However, in recent times, a particular problem has been noticed in case of vocational schools.The most significant years in course of a child’s development are spent in colleges and it is therefore doubtless that the university education plays a very important role in designing the future of the child.

Lancaster Bible College (LBC) – A Top-Notch Academic Institution!

Overview of Lancaster Bible College:

  • Founded by Henry J. Heydt in 1933
  • Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School is an accredited non-denominational institution
  • Enrollment is just around 1,100 students
  • Faculty/Student Ratio: 1:16 undergrad, 1:10 graduate
  • Over 550 ministries contacted Lancaster Bible College this year to recruit their students & alumni

Interested? Take 2 minutes to get specific details (tuition, requirements, etc) on the Bible Degree Program of your choice at Lancaster Bible College (LBC) in Pennsylvania.

Lancaster Bible College Degrees offered:

Certificate Programs (1-year)

  • Concentrated Bible Certificate

Associate of Science Program (2-year)

  • Bible

Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Bible Education (ACSI Certification)
  • Bible Ministries
  • Children and Family Ministry
  • Christian Education and Discipleship
  • Church Planting
  • Cross-cultural Ministry
  • Education (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Physical & Health, and Music Education all offered)
  • Pastoral Ministry, Student Ministry
  • Pre-Seminary
  • Professional Counseling , Social Work
  • Sports Ministry and Management
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Women in Christian Ministries
  • Worship and Performing Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Bible / Master of Education
  • School Counseling Program – An undergraduate and graduate degree in only 5 years. In this program (more…)

Growing Nice Juicy and Sweet Tomatoes

Tomatoes are among some of the most popular vegetables to grow in your backyard. Rightly so too, because for some reason, homegrown tomatoes taste about 500% better than store-bought ones. In fact, for a period of time when the tomato prices were unusually high, my husband and I boycotted store-bought tomatoes because they were simply a “cardboard tasting” habit for sandwiches. However, once summer started, we decided to grow our own beefsteak tomatoes. It was just too weird to have a burger without a tomato on it! If you’re interesting in growing some good-tasting juicy tomatoes as well, here are some tips to help you on your journey.

1. Starting the seeds. Tomato seeds germinate in temperatures 65F/18C or higher. They grow pretty easy from seeds. You simply get some small pots, put some potting soil in them, and bury the seeds according to the seed package directions. Keep the soil moist and keep them in a warm sunny spot where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. In a few days, you’ll see your seeds starting to sprout!

2. Starting from plants. The easiest way to start growing tomatoes is to get some tomato plants from the nearest home and garden center or nursery. Select dark green plants that look strong. Make sure it doesn’t have any tomatoes already growing on it, because that will keep the plant from growing to its fullest size. When you get home, re-pot the plant into a huge outdoor pot or simply place it in the ground where you want to grow it. It’s good to bury the plant all the way up to the top leaves so that it develops a good solid root base. Few plants can handle being planted this way, but for tomatoes, it works well. Be sure to plant your tomatoes in a place that gets full sun at least 6 hours a day throughout its growing season.

3. Watering your plants. Keep your plants moist, but don’t over water them. Over watering can do as much damage to them as under watering!

4. Fertilizing your plants. Fertilizing might be a bit of a pain, but it’s highly important. Most soil these days simply doesn’t have enough nutrients to produce nice sweet and healthy produce. You can get some good fertilizers at your local nursery or home and garden center that is made specifically for tomatoes. This works well because it’ll be sure to give your plant the most nutrients it needs.

5. Harvesting your tomatoes. The tomatoes will be ripe when they are nice and deep red. Don’t pick them green if you want the juiciest and sweetest tomatoes, however, they do last quite a long time if you need to harvest them early. Simply wrap them up in newspaper for long storage.

Enjoy! There’s nothing like home grown tomatoes!

Heather recommends a used compact tractor for easier gardening. This site lists used tractors for sale