Friday, May 25, 2018

Landscape for energy efficiency
Use trees and shrubbery whenever possible to cool the east and west windows of your home. According to the Department of Energy, carefully planned trees can save you up to 25 percent of the energy a home typically uses. Research the climate in your area and find the right landscaping strategies that work for you. In addition, be sure to keep the vegetation surrounding your outdoor unit clear of loose leaves and debris to maximize airflow. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tea adds nutrients to the soil: Tea leaves contain tannic acid and nutrients that are natural fertilizers for a garden. As the tea leaves decompose, they release nutrients into the soil, creating a healthier growing environment. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Let your yard stand guard
Use landscaping as protection in your yard. Plant thorny bushes around windows to deter trouble. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cinnamon isn't just for the kitchen 
Cinnamon is a fantastic aromatic, which makes it great for baking and cooking, but this versatile spice isn't just for the kitchen! With origins dating back to as early as 2700 B.C. Cinnamon is a popular spice all over the world for uses in cooking and medicine.
Once a very valuable trade commodity, you can find ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks at most grocery stores at a fair price. You might want to stockpile up on it when you see everything you can do with it in your garden. Here are 6 reasons to use cinnamon in your garden:
1. Deter Ants
Cinnamon will actually kill ants, according to Reference.com. The powdery substance will suffocate the bugs when it's inhaled. The smell can also make it hard for ants to smell food sources and it's non-toxic for kids and pets. Win, win!
2. Defeat Fungus
When you sprinkle ground cinnamon on soil, it kills fungi. The cinnamon targets surface-level fungi, so you may need to use other solutions in addition to this one, according to Indoor Gardener. You can use cinnamon to kill wild mushrooms too.
3. Protect seedlings from disease
The anti-fungal properties in cinnamon, make it a great tool for protecting seedlings from rot and disease, also known as damping off. Keeping moisture at bay is key, dusting the seeds with cinnamon and using a doming tactic can protect the seeds until they grow.
4.Root and graft plants
You can make your roses (or other plants) sturdier after cutting and replanting by first dipping them in cinnamon powder, which works like a rooting hormone, a bit. The cinnamon kills off the competition, so the speak, so that your flower can grow better.
5. Heal sick plants
Try sprinkling cinnamon on a plant wound (from cutting or other damage) to speed up the healing process and protect it from further damage of disease.
6. Keep mosquitos away from the garden

Try sprinkling a bit of cinnamon around your plants to keep mosquitos and other bugs away. They don't like the strong smell of cinnamon, so you can enjoy your garden (even at night) in peace. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

9 natural weed killers that won’t murder flowers
Finally, it’s time to trash the tarps and bust out your gardening supplies once again! Spring has (just about) sprung and everyone with a green thumb is undoubtedly ready to get back to it. But while gardening comes with many wonderful, relaxing benefits, it isn’t without some annoying aspects, too. For instance, finding a way to destroy weeds without killing your beautiful flowers in the process.
Your best bet for eliminating weeds and not your blooms are all-natural solutions. These nine weed-killing alternatives are professional gardener-approved and are made with products you might have in your cabinets at this exact moment. Check out these all-natural solutions to pesky garden weeds.
1. White Vinegar - One quick way to get rid of weeds? Pouring or spraying a little white vinegar on the offending weeds. This acidic masterpiece is perfect for shriveling weeds, just be careful of your flowers. A little excess spray won’t hurt them, but accidentally pouring the same amount of vinegar on your flowers as your weeds could kill them.
2. Cornmeal - Want to stop weeds before they even start? The proteins in cornmeal – or specially-processed corn gluten meal – stop any seed from germinating and growing. You can also sprinkle cornmeal on grown weeds, it’ll kill them just as well as it’ll stop them from growing.
3. Newspaper - This technique is called “smothering”, and it’s the process of literally weighing down weeds so they have no light, air, or room to grow. Wet some of those grocery store fliers and lay them on top of your weeds. You’ll get rid of your junk mail AND destroy gardens weeds, all at once!
4. Boiling Water - Perhaps the easiest and cheapest method on this list, using boiling water. Heat up a kettle of water and (carefully!) pour it directly on your weeds for a quick, chemical-free way to purge your garden.
5. Borax - You might not have thought of using this kitchen must-have in your garden, but it’s very helpful for killing unwanted weeds. All you have to do is add 10 ounces to 2 ½ gallons of water, mix thoroughly, and spray onto the weeds thoroughly. Watching them wither away smugly, optional.
6. Homemade Herbicide - Store-bought herbicides have been killing weeds since they were mass-produced in the 1970s, but the insane amount of chemicals found in most of these products is a big turn off for some gardeners. A great option is to make your own homemade herbicide! Just as effective with little to no chemicals involved. In a bucket, combine equal parts vinegar, table salt, and dish soap for a weed killing solution that can’t be stopped. Put it in a cheap spray bottle for easy use.
7. Mulch - The most common way to smother is to lay down a nice layer of mulch in your garden. Although mulch won’t hurt the plants you love and tend to, it will cover and kill the lower weeds. Best of all, the thick layer of mulch hides the weeds even after they’re dead, something that can really ruin the aesthetic of a garden.
8. Baking Soda - You can apply baking soda to unwanted weeds any time of the year at the rate of 1 teaspoon per weed plant. The baking soda must coat the entire plant, including its foliage, with the bulk of the baking soda covering the weed’s stem. This technique works best on patios, walkways, and driveways. It can also be used as a preventative measure by sweeping baking soda into the cracks (or sprinkling it onto the areas) in which weeds grow.
9. Table Salt - One of the most popular methods for killing weeds and saving plants is table salt. You can sprinkle salt directly on the weeds or even create a salt water mixture to be sprayed, which will help assure that your garden plants are safe. To make sure your other flowers don’t get hurt with this method, make sure to sprinkle a little salt at the base of each weed.