Category : Garden

Top 6 Popular Trees & Shrubs with an Edible Yield

Apple_OrchardThere are many reasons why you might want to get some perennial plants for your property. Not only do they provide something beautiful to look at, but they also produce oxygen for us to breathe and consume carbon dioxide in the air to purify the atmosphere.

What’s more, a great number of trees and shrubs actually produce edible fruits, nuts and more for us to enjoy. These items are typically very nutritious, not to mention tasty!

Here are six of the most popular species of plants that you might want to consider buying for your own yummy yield.

1) Apple

Who doesn’t love apples? They are juicy, crisp and sweet fruits that can enhance everything from sweet pies to savory pork dishes. There are many different varieties of apples, from the classic red Macintosh to tart green Granny Smiths, so you have a lot to choose from in terms of what will work best in your climate and which varieties you prefer.

2) Almond

Almond trees are less popular than apples, but they are also very versatile and can be used for everything from eating plain to making marzipan paste and trail mixes. Almond oil is also extremely healthy (it contains both antioxidants and is a good source of protein) and can be used to flavor food or to put in homemade beauty products.

Almonds originated in northern Africa and western Asia, so they do best in zones 6 through 10 (warmer climates).

3) Strawberry

Strawberry plants are a shrub rather than a tree, but they are native to America and are actually grown in every U.S. state. This sweet delight is unique in that it’s the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside. You can make a lot of things from strawberries, varying from jellies and jams to pies and shortcakes.

It should be fairly easy to find a plant that produces fruit in the size and look you want that will perform in your climate.

4) Blueberry

Blueberries grow on a bush, and they are another native American plant. They are one of the healthiest berries available, as they have high concentrations of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants. The blueberry is related to the cranberry, another berry with lots of beneficial attributes.

You can typically grow some sort of blueberry bushes in climates from zone 4b to 9a, although most varieties thrive in areas that tend toward colder winters.

5) Maple

Maple trees are the true workhorses of the flora world. In the summer, they unfurl their leaves to provide shade. In the fall, their leaves turn gorgeous hues of red and orange. In early spring, you can even tap their trunks to make tasty, natural maple syrup! Maple trees like cooler climates, but some species can also thrive up to zone 9.

6) Grapes

Grapes grow on vines, so you can train them along trellises, up walls, on fences – you name it. Once this prolific plant starts fruiting, you can make everything from raisins to jelly and wine.

Kelly lives on a large, rural property with her family, with plenty of room for fruit trees and other harvest-yielding plants. When she learned she could buy Willis Orchards fruit trees or plants from other nurseries, like Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co., she was delighted with the ease of purchasing online. She thinks other families will enjoy their trees and shrubs for years and even generations to come.

Five Essential Elements of a Great Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchenOutdoor kitchens are quickly becoming a must-have for a lot of homeowners. Especially in more temperate climates where it rarely snows, an outdoor kitchen can add a lot of character to a home and provide an extended entertainment factor for people who enjoy having guests. It can take cooking meals from a hot, sweaty nightmare, to a fun, relaxing visit outside under the sun or stars. After securing the basics like plumbing and gas lines, what are some essential design / functional elements that make an excellent outdoor kitchen?

A good cooking range and grill

This one is obvious, but the most important part of any outdoor kitchen is a good grill and cooking range. With the kitchen already being outdoors, a grill is a natural choice for both barbequing and daily usage. Gas, electric cooking units and ovens can be blended in to the design of your outdoor kitchen. Most new outdoor kitchens are even adding dual grills, which allow the cook to work with both charcoal and gas. (more…)

Choose Hot Tubs Direct – One of the Leading Retailers of Hot Tubs and Spas Online

pregnant woman in hot tubChoose Hot Tubs Direct is known as the industry’s leader in hot tub and spas retailers, and under the management of Steve Barbarich, CEO. The company sells hot tubs, freestyle spas, portable tubs, refurbished bath tubs, swim spas, and related products from the big names in the hot tub and spa business today – Dreammaker, H20 Fitness, Raindance, Paragon, and Island Escape. Choosehottubsdirect.com also bears certifications from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals or APSP, McAfee SECURE, Top Merchant, and Trust E. (more…)

BBQ Islands with a Built in Gas Grill

What better way is there to bring friends and family together than hosting an outdoor dinner party where you cook on a built in gas grill? Today, you will find more and more homes installing outdoor kitchens fitted for more enjoyable dinner gatherings and entertaining guests. There are numerous different outdoor kitchen designs which are completely customizable by the owner of the home. The outdoor kitchens with BBQ islands don’t have to take up much space and there is no limit on what you can install in them. Whether it is BBQ islands, a built in gas grill, or an outdoor fireplace, the possibilities are endless! One of the reasons these outdoor kitchens are so sought after is because there are many advantages to cooking in outdoor kitchens that you can’t get from cooking indoors.

First of all, the flavors created in foods cooked in outdoor kitchens are much more tasteful and bold than standard indoor kitchen foods. Cooking on a built in gas grill creates a much larger degree of heat than any oven or stove top could create. This is nice because it brings out bold flavors in foods by caramelizing the exterior of some foods. This brown, golden color the food creates brings out the best flavors in some foods, such as onions for example. Also, the built in gas grill located in BBQ islands can be teamed up with a smoker box to create that unique, smoked flavor only found in quality BBQ food dishes. Smoker boxers create flavors such as mesquite and hickory which add distinct and unique aromas and flavors to compliment your food and entire backyard. There is no way to create this cooking experience indoors with a standard oven or stove top. (more…)

The Perfect Garden

Many people dream of having the perfect garden but, alas, we can’t all have them, it takes a lot of work and time to get your dream to come true.

Cost becomes a large factor that many people can not handle, but, there are ways around this problem. With the economy being what it is, many people don’t want to spend money on things unless they absolutely have to.

Here is a way to create your perfect garden with spending next to nothing.

If you don’t have a large yard space but would like to have a garden, consider container gardening. You can use any container you have in your home for the most part, many you get when you make a purchase at the super market. For example butter tubs, yogurt cups, plastic coffee cans. As plants grow, the containers get covered by the foliage of the plants depending on what you plan to grow in your garden.

If you are just wanting flowers, it is best to start with seeds to save, on money, there are many great flowers that grow well from seed. Some examples are: marigolds, morning glories, pansy, geraniums, and many more. You can check with your local gardening club or garden center to find out which would be best for your area.  (more…)

Personalize your home with a unique letterbox

People in today’s society are always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, from the vehicles they drive to the clothes they wear, the music they listen to and even the looks of their homes. In a world where homes in bigger cities are starting to get closer together and seem more and more alike, there are still ways to stand out from the crowd. One of the methods of standing out that is becoming increasingly popular is showing off personal style by using a mailbox as an accessory.

While it must be a useful tool for delivering the mail, according to the postal service, a letterbox does not have to be boring. There are no laws regulating what mailboxes may look like; only that they must be useful for delivering the daily mail. That leaves a huge variety of options open for making a plain, boring box look like a piece of art you are proud of. (more…)

Shopping for Spring Flowers at Local Florists

With winter behind us, spring is a great time to buy flowers and add some colour to your home or workplace. After a cold, grey, wet winter, flowers are a perfect way to get your body, mind and soul ready for spring and summer. Also, with so many local Australian flowers coming into season and onto the market place, there’s no excuse not to have fresh flowers in your home or workplace. For those outside of Australia it is a great
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How To Maintain Stadium Artificial Grass

artificial grassThe use of synthetic turf is a current trend that has been growing in popularity. Synthetic turf is used as a grass area for lawns, stadiums, and more. Soccer and football are two sports that are played in synthetic grass areas. These fields require less maintenance than natural grass fields because artificial grass is durable and long lasting. They do not have to be watered. Grooming machines sweep fields in order to make sure rubber is distributed evenly. It is best if the artificial grass is swept during dry temperatures so clumping of the rubber does not occur. (more…)

Pool maintenance tips

Once a year and having completely emptied the pool of water, should be cleaned thoroughly with a detergent acid and then make a good rinse.

Then we perform an analysis of the lining of the pool, plugging cracks and crevices present on the tile, because this action will prevent further damage to the pool as well as prevent them from growing algae and fungi. The cracks can be filled with specific products in the market.

After completing this process of cleaning and repair, and prior to filling the pool, it is advisable to use a concentrated algae product.

After filling the pool will be cleaned at least twice a week the funds. Adding commodities such as chlorine and algae in the right amounts recommended by the manufacturer of the product you are using, always with the jets to facilitate its rapid dissolution. Once this process we expect about 24 hours of filtering, if the health parameters are correct we can use the pool. Checking the PH of the water should be performed weekly and whenever you add water to the pool, since it is likely that the pH of the water varies. (more…)

Gardening beginners

So, you’d like to start gardening – but you don’t know the first thing about it. Relax. Anyone who gardens will be more than happy to give you great advice – but here are a few basic tips to get you started.

First, decide where you’re garden is going to be. Any sunny, fairly flat space in your yard is fine. You can plant on hills, but you have to be more careful about plant spacing and how you water. For water quality go to water softener San Antonio company.

Next, find out what kind of soil you have. You can get complex with this, sending samples to county extension offices for testing, or you can simply get a shovel and turn over a good shovelful. If the dirt is moist, brown, and crumbles easily, well, I envy you, because you have a good topsoil. If it’s sandy, or like mine, clay, you’re going to have to either amend the soil, build raised beds or use containers, or cheat and just plant “in the bag.” The only caution I have here is that if your lawn has been one of those which was “weed & feed” treated, a lot of the chemicals stay in the ground for a long time and depending what you’re planting, that could be a problem. Amending the soil basically means mixing in things like compost, humus, or peat moss to help. Planting “in the bag” is just what it sounds like – you buy a bag of dirt, poke holes on one side, lay it flat on the ground with the holes down, cut a hole in the other side, and plant something in it and mulch with straw. The plastic helps hold moisture, and when you’ve done this one year you can till the contents of the bags into your garden area to have richer soil the next year. (more…)