Collecting Water using the Green Gutters

greenhouse gutter

One way of conserving the environment is to utilize the little or the much it offers. This means that whenever possible we should try and conserve for future use. Water is one resource that can be conserved and used later since it is not perishable. By placing gutters along our greenhouses we are able to tap and conserve water which we can later use to irrigate our gardens. Regardless of the size of any greenhouse, placing a rainwater catchment system is important to conserve water which could go to waste.

This innovation ensures that the rain is able to be saved for future use. The water efficient system it able to collect rainwater from the roof of the greenhouse and redirecting it into storage tanks. It doesn’t matter whether you are well established farmer or a simple owner of a greenhouse to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, water should be conserved since it may not always be there when needed. A water catch system is always necessary. Though there are plenty of reason why we need to install water catch system, three reasons are what matter most:

greenhouse gutters

  • Cost saving

Every year the cost of water increases dramatically all over the world and even though it may not be something that worries, it is important to conserve the most crucial resource on the planet.

  • Conservation of an important resource

Fresh water is a resource that need to be conserved because once it is wasted it cannot be recovered again therefore we should try as much as possible to conserve whenever possible

  • Time management

A lot of time is used to irrigate your crops and when the dry season comes it might be even harder to do so due to water shortage, therefore storing water will come in handy at this time since you wouldn’t need to look for water to sustain your crops.

Note that you will need to inspect and clean the gutters for you to collect clean water. The gutter cleaning exercise will involve scooping out leaves and other debris as well as dirt that might have accumulated in the gutters. Besides, you will need to scrub the gutters to ensure that they are clean.

In a case where you don’t want to keep on cleaning gutters, especially if you home or the area where you have the greenhouse has a lot of trees, you may consider installing gutter covers.

Myths about Major Home Improvements

home improvements

Every homeowner desires to enhance their home appearance. However, there are some believes that are not true and you must abandon them. Otherwise, you may find the entire process of enhancing the aesthetic value of your home difficult. Here are the top 5 myths about home improvement you need to know.

You can only get best deals from home improvement retail chains

Most homeowners normally think that they can only get the best deals on home improvement products from huge retails like the Lowe’s and the Home Depot. One thing they tend to forget is that such retailers tend to overcharge their products especially on labor and installation. You may consider an independent interior designers and contractors because most of them offer good discount and charge less.

The bedroom and kitchen remodels are disappearing with the housing organizations

kitchen and bathroom remodel

Surprisingly, this belief is a new one and runs counter to a earlier myth that remodeling essentially paid for itself in regard to added value. The truth is that you will see a temporary in big remodeling projects, especially for individuals who are likely to seek home loans from banks to finance the home improvement projects. Therefore, what you should understand that the kitchen and bathroom remodels can’t be entirely replaced by the housing market.

The geothermal and solar panel heating systems have arrived

Inquire from various HVAC contractors about the geothermal or solar heating systems and they will all give you same answer: the systems aren’t cost effective. Well, I don’t dispute the fact that these heating systems and environmentally friendly and the economic benefits of these systems have enhanced with the favorable tax credits and the cost of oil. However, some HVAC contractors claim that the installation cost of geothermal and solar panel heating systems is high and it will take between 15 and 20 years to get your money back.

Home inspection is necessary only when you will be selling or buying a home

Home inspections are important when it comes to buying or selling a home. However, these are not the only instances when you will need home inspection. A professional home inspector can help in identifying home problems that can be addressed and prevent the chances of the problem spreading further. For example, a professional home inspector can help in identifying the loosening roof fasteners, harmful movement on the foundation, mold that might be growing behind your walls, and more.

 

Gardenias: Heavenly Aroma but Gardening Nightmare

gardenia

If you’ve never smelled a gardenia in bloom you might want to avoid doing so in the future. The heady aroma is seductive – perhaps even addictive. Before you exhale you’ll be considering a purchase. And this is something a smart gardener might want to avoid. The gardenia is a lovely plant but it can also be a brutal mistress. You bring home the plant and place it – indoors or out – and wait for the lovely blooms. Enjoy that first batch because it might well be the last. Before you know it the blooms are gone and the leaves begin to yellow and then fall off leaving you with a leafless brown corpse. If you are quick you might have tried various soil additives (from iron to coffee grounds) before the plant dies. If you are slow you might not have to. The results will still be the same.

kleim's hardy gardenia

A landscape designer arranged for me to have a full dozen Kleim’s Hardy planted in my beds. One lived after the first summer. It’s still alive three years later and laden with lovely blooms though it’s crooked after heavy snows this past winter. Eleven were replaced last spring – dead corpses removed and more glossy and lush Kleim’s Hardy gardenias planted in their stead. This time I was ready with corn meal, special fertilizers and a deal with the local Starbucks for coffee grounds. With this many it’s best not to try and drink the coffee yourself. But, right on schedule, the leaves began to yellow and fall off. In early spring only four had any green leaves.

At the first mention of replacing them again there was an uproar around the house. The general feeling being that as the gardenias were destined for a grisly yellow death we ought to just stick with the dead gardenias we already had. We could, I was told, just get some air freshener which smelled of gardenia and pretend we’d had the few glorious days of blooms. But a new cultivar, Frostproof, was available at the local garden center and, after much agonizing, three were purchased as a Mothers’ Day gift. The rest are languishing in their post-bloom death state waiting to be replaced by hardier, though less heavenly, plants. In the car, as we brought the latest potential victims home, a child muttered, “These don’t look dead … are they really gardenias?”

The one successful gardenia I have does offer some insight into the plant’s needs. It’s located with morning sun and afternoon shade and next to the house protected from a lot of cold weather in the winters. The ground drains well in this bed and the soil is acidic – a nearby group of azaleas are quite happy. If you succumb to the scent of gardenias try to plant yours in a similar location. Fertilize them immediately after they bloom. Do not over water them. Do not underwater them. Test your soil and be sure it’s exactly as they desire. If the yellow still takes over consider voodoo – or a gardenia scented air freshener.

Rain Gutter Maintenance during Dry Weather

Most homeowners think that they don’t have to do anything regarding gutter cleaning and maintenance during the dry weather. They tend to forget that dry weather offers homeowners a great opportunity to make routine maintenance to the roofing system since during this time it is easier and safer to climb up the roof and make routine maintenance to your roof gutters and the whole roofing system at large. Check for signs of wear and tear along the seams of your current system.

It does not mean that during the dry weather your home is protected from rain water. Prolonged drought will have opposite effect on your home. Gutters and downspouts help to redirect rainwater away from the homes foundation. Dry weather conditions however can leave the soil to erode around the base of your house. When it eventually rains the eroded areas will be more vulnerable to rain water damage. Occasionally water the soil around the base keeping it hydrated to prevent erosion during the dry season.

Take advantage of the dry weather to remove debris as to make them visible if there are any damages. This means that you will have to scoop the debris out using sturdy gloves and a plastic scoop. The gutters should be clear of any remnant of the last fall.

The dry months nesting birds will have moved on to gather food for the cold months. Take this time to check if there are any signs of life and if there is non remove the nest from the gutters. Look for wasp nest also and if inhabited remove them. Soon as you have finished removing the debris from the gutters, you will almost see them clearly. Use a scrub brush and a gentle abrasive or soap to clean out your gutter.

After cleaning the gutter you can now clearly see the damaged areas that will need to be repaired or parched. Use a recommendable material to seal holes and you can even replace fallen shingles.

Perhaps you are busy with the work or busy with kids. Or, you are scared of climbing up the ladder to scoop the dirty, smelly stuff that has made your gutters their home. In such instances, you may need to look for a professional gutter cleaning company to help with the gutter issues. This is important to avoid injuries associated with gutter cleaning activities.

Tips for Beautiful Landscape Gardening

Like the creation of any other piece of art, the task of creating a beautiful gardening landscape also requires a touch of artistic sense. In the creation of a painting the main points that are followed is a central idea based on which the whole painting, its surroundings and special effects are integrated in to the picture. Similarly in the design of a gardening landscape the gardener must have an idea about how, where and which plants are to be placed so that landscape gardening turns out to be beautiful to all its beholders.

There a number of steps or methods that can be followed in the design of a beautiful landscape gardening, which can be generalized as follows:

First, an overall look at the garden should be done to build up ideas in the minds eye. An open area in a garden is relaxing even for small garden grounds. If the whole of the garden is scattered with tress here and there, small bushes or plants randomly an overall shabby or fussy appearance is rendered to the garden destroying its beauty. On the other hand the arrangement can include a single tree or might be a small group such that a pleasing sight is provided to all those who take a look at it. It is advisable not to centre the tree as its appearance is much more satisfying to the eye when placed in the background.

The selection of the tree to be planted in the garden also requires a lot of thought and selection. Overpowering trees have to be avoided and interesting trees either with a good shape, or tasty fruits or beautiful flowers or distinctive bark or leaves can be selected to be the centre piece of attraction in the garden. The poplar tree is not highly recommended because of its fast shedding effect though there are places where a row or more of such Lombardy poplars are welcome. In contrast the catalpa is more acceptable for its broad leaves, eye-catching flowers, seed pods all of which contribute to a more scenic beauty and grace to the garden. The ash with its bright berries, the sugar maple with its brilliant foliage, the tulip tree and its blossoms, the white birch bark, the copper breach and its leaves are some of the few beauty points that can be taken in to consideration.

The place that is available as the garden ground has a large impact on the decision that can be taken about the type of trees that can be grown there. Moist low grounds are preferable for willows. Trees must be grouped together according to their proportion and synchronization qualities kept in mind.

Evergreens in the house surroundings are not highly recommended as a gloomy effect is created which subsists through out the whole life of the tree and the house appears to have a deserted or abandoned feeling to it. A house should have adequate amount of fresh air and bright sunlight for a bright and cheerful living.

As care is taken in the selection of the tree similarly care also need to be taken in the selection of the shrubs. A cluster of shrubs can be planted which includes early blooming plants, late blooming plants, shrubs with beautiful and bountiful flowers or fruits, colored bark so that the cluster always looks filled and fresh.

Houses can be surrounded by hedges which look more attractive than fences and for such purposes a number of shrubs are widely preferred such as the Osage orange, Japan quince, Japan barberry, Van Houtte’sspirea and buckthorn.

In the selection of the tress and shrubs one another point to be noted is that plantation those are similar to the surroundings should be given greater preference than outside foreign plants as their growth conditions such as soil, climate and manure choices may have variations as compared to the other commonly grown shrubbery.

Landscape gardening can be done either in a formal manner or in an informal manner. The good and bad points of each of the gardening manners can be briefly expressed as follows:

The formal arrangement of a straight line of plants might appear too stiff while informal arrangements have a fussy appearance.

The paths in the garden can be straight ones leading to any particular point or can be curving paths with beautiful bends and twists.

The paths can be either covered with gravel, dirt or grass. Grass paths when overgrown spoil the beauty and hence a gravel path is much more preferable. Paths should have suitably placed depressions for storage of water making a natural drainage system.

Climbing trees or creepers up and around the house gives a strong foundation or hold on the house together with a harmonious beauty with the garden. Climbing trees such as the Virginia creeper, clematis, trumpet vine, wisteria, climbing rose and honeysuckle all give satisfaction to the gardener as well as the observer.

Flowers are a natural source of beauty whether it is along the side of the building or along the walk border. Daffodils in the garden give a beautiful touch of exquisiteness in the early spring as do the hyacinths and tulips. Flower gardens are preferable in the side or rear of the house with open sunny lawns in the front. The rear can also be used as plots for vegetable gardening instead of littering grounds. Perfect blend of natural colors are needed to add touch of beauty to the gardens and special efforts need to be taken for that purpose. A small garden full of colors is more attractive than a large empty or overcrowded garden.

Landscape gardening can thus be briefed with a bright open lawn, beautiful flower beds, bountiful vegetation grounds and an overall beauty that attracts and magnifies all those who set eyes upon them. The landscape must be such that they blend grandly with the house and its style. Proper planning and its right execution should be carefully done for the perfect landscape gardening one could ever imagine in the wildest fantasies.

How to Recreate Your Own Tranquil Outdoor Space With Zen Garden Accessories

Japanese gardens are perfect for those homeowners who want a peaceful and well-organized outdoor space. This approach to gardening utilizes a minimalist approach to avoid clutter and fuss. However, this Japanese –inspired outdoor design plan will make use of symbolic and functional zen garden accessories and plants.

The important thing is to arrange the elements and achieve serenity and a more relaxed mood. This is a nice outdoor space theme for homeowners who love a good time to reflect while they are with nature. You can create your own zen garden at your very own backyard. Here are some of the elements that you can include for finding the ornaments and accessories:

  1. You must create an entrance to your garden. You can simply use bamboo fence to block the view. You can also make use of an arbour you emphasize the entrance to your zen garden.
  2. The key element to a Japanese garden is creating tableau or vignettes. You can copy winding paths which leads your view past a pagoda and signals exploration of your eye to what will come in the next corner of the garden.
  3. Evergreens are perfect for your design plan. A zen garden requires texture. The subtle difference in texture and color of the design elements are definitely soothing to the psyche. You can make use of conifers that will exude tranquillity and peace all year round.
  4. The Japanese garden would require moss growth. This is the best ground covers. You can make use of stone steppers to protect the cushiony surface provided by the moss.
  5. Construct a private pavilion that will create an intimate space for you and your family. You can use this structure in entertaining your guests or you can spend time in here viewing the peaceful view in your backyard.
  6. Include a pagoda pillar or stone lanterns to accentuate your Zen garden. This will echo the charm of the roofline of a teahouse which is definitely charming.
  7. You can emphasize contrast in your zen garden. You can do it with different textures and subtle color contrasts. You can make use of green and chartreuse hostas against the hakone grass which has very soft edges.

These are just some of the design elements that you can use for your own garden with a Japanese twist. Just enjoy the process of decorating your outdoor space to achieve tranquillity and peace with your garden.

 

Maintaining Clean Concrete Paving Slabs

The overall appearance of your home are determined by the type of paving that you use. There are a lot of property developers who work with modern paving techniques. This provides them the practical remedy in creating beautiful living spaces and work environment.  Concrete paving slabs are widely used because of its durability and quality. Furthermore, this material will require less time for maintenances. However, the challenge is how to achieve clean concrete paving slabs.

Concrete paving slabs are getting much attention from homeowners because of its quality and it would require little effort in maintenance. You can express your style with the use of concrete pavers. A concrete paving is designed and manufactured to withstand cranes, long and heavy lines of traffic for a considerable length of time.

If you are thinking about what to use for your pavings, you should consider concrete ones. This will definitely define the durability of the paved space or area. Concrete pavers are basically categorized according to size and the area to cover. The thinnest of them all ( around 40mm in height) is perfect for domestic installation.

When you are trying to clean your concrete pavings slabs, you should always remember that prevention of damage is a practical move. Once the damage starts to set in, you cannot do anything about it anymore.  Try cleaning the paving frequently to avoid spending too much for repairs of your concrete paving slabs.

Concrete is quite porous which makes it absorb moisture and any substance. Avoid using high pressure cleaning gears. This will cause damage to the grouting and the pavers as well.  You can get rid of the debris and avoid the build up of grime through continues sweeping Try using water to ensure that the dust particles are removed appropriately,

Once you discover huge spaces between the pavers, you can make use of plaster to fill the areas which requires your attention.

Do not freak out when you find stains on your pavers.  You can begin cleaning your pavers by washing the area thoroughly. Once the stains still remain even after the first wash, you should make sure that you know exactly what kind of stain it is. Use bleach with your pail of water for stains caused by molds. Additionally, if you are dealing with oil stain removal, you can make sure you are using liquid degreaser.

The Indoor Gardening Guide

Tips, Tricks, and Guides for Indoor Gardening

With it getting ever colder outside, indoor gardening is slowly gaining popularity. It is necessary to know what you are doing to properly garden indoors. This guide will serve as an aid for your indoor gardening needs.

Why do indoor gardening in the first place?

Indoor gardening is beneficial for many reasons besides the obvious ease of doing something indoors opposed to outdoors.

  1. While gardening indoors, you alleviate yourself the need for soil. This reduces the risk of disease, and the usage of water.
  2. Space. With indoor hydroponic gardening systems, less space is required in between plants than outdoors. This allows for a better allocation of gardening area.
  3. Time. Indoor gardening allows you do garden year round, as opposed to certain seasons or in certain climates.

Getting Started

In all reality, indoor gardening and indoor organic gardening require different tools for each job. You will come to find that one hydroponic system of plants needs something completely different than another system.

The very basic tools that you will need to get started are:

Grow lights (LED, Florescent)

Watering Pail (not necessary, but helps)

Seed pods (Dependant on your choice of hydroponic system)

Pots and holders for your hydroponic indoor garden

Hydroponic systems?

Hydroponic simply means something that you grow without soil. The majority of your indoor gardening will deal with hydroponic systems. Hydroponic systems can vary from anything : Vegetables under LED lights, Vegetables under Florescent lights, Herbs under a variation of lights depending on the cycle, etc. It is a good idea to educate yourself on a single hydroponic system to start out, as learning about too many can get confusing (although indoor gardening is relatively easy).

Various Tips and Tricks

– You do not need to garden indoors all of the time. Moving indoor gardening plants outdoors during beneficial weather can yield great results.

– Plants tend to grow towards the light. Make sure to turn your plants throughout growth to ensure stability.

– Try to water your plants with the same temperature water every time. This alleviates any damage the plant might receive by varying temperatures.

– If a plant in your indoor gardening hydroponic system seems to be undergrown, check the lighting source. The source could be insufficient or your plant could be at a weird angle, receiving insufficient light.

– Try to avoid rapid changes in temperature as much as possible. This can be very detrimental to your indoor organic garden.

– Make sure to buy pots that can drain water. You don’t want too much water to build up near the plant.

These websites may help you with indoor gardening, indoor organic gardening, and hydroponic systems:

  • Hydroponic Accesories
  • 77Hydro
  • http://www.77hydro.com/
  • Organic Gardening
  • OrganicgardeningOrganicgardening.com