How to Grow a Bountiful Garden on a Budget

It is true that gardening and growing your own foodstuff can save you money. This is because farm produce can be costly out there in the market. If you really have a fixed budget and want a bountiful garden, there is a way of doing it. This article outlines some effective ways on how to grow your garden on a budget.

First of all, you need to very resourceful. It is not necessarily that you purchase new gardening equipment in order to get started. Instead, you can shop around to find used equipment and this will enable you save money. For instance, you can get cheap scraps of chicken wire or bed frames to use in your garden. In case you do not have posts to use in the garden, consider using old tire.

Secondly, you have to relate well with your neighbors. This is good because you can borrow gardening tools from the neighborhood. Check whether they have extra tools, such as rakes, hoes or even shovel that they can lend you. As a way of encouraging them, you can promise to share some of your bounties come harvest time. You may also decide to trade share with your neighbors whereby they grow one variety of crop and you grow another then trade your harvest.

Thirdly, you can consider making your own compost manure for feeding your garden. Consider putting kitchen scraps and worms in a small container and seal it. If you do not have a lot of outdoor space for keeping a huge bin, just use a small container and keep it inside the kitchen. The compost manure is not only rich for your plants, but also gives the best results since it is free from pesticides.

Again, do not increase your water bill. Instead, you should consider collecting the rainwater in big collecting tanks to use it to water your garden. Rain water is available in spring and you can take advantage of this in order to save on water bill. Although it may not be adequate to take you through the gardening season, but it can at least reduce the costs.

Also, you need to use vinegar to keep away the weeds in your garden. You do not have to use expensive herbicides to eliminate weeds. Spraying weeds directly using distilled vinegar works miracles. Be careful when spraying vinegar as it can kill some of the plants in your garden. A good way to keep away cats and other types of pests out of your garden is by sticking orange peels near your plants.

In addition, consider looking for other cheap ways to get planting seeds. The best way is to buy them online at discounted prices. Also, you can have a friend or neighbor who has saved them from last season. Approach them to see if they can share some with you. There are also seed swapping groups both online and locally, which can be of great help. Do a bit of research to get those gardeners who may be willing to help you get started. These are great tips on growing a bountiful garden on budget.



How to use Essential Oils in Your Home

The benefits and uses of essential oils are endless. From alleviating allergies to promoting better sleep, essential oils are extremely effective as home remedies and can be smoothed onto the skin, added to a bath, or diffused into the air. Best of all, essential oils are safe to enjoy with no harmful chemicals or side effects. Add essential oils to your home routine as a natural alternative to common store-bought products.

Selecting your oils

When purchasing essential oils, you’ll want to aim for 100% pure, organic formulas. The retail market is saturated with essential oil suppliers, so there can be a variation in quality. Research the brand you are considering to make sure that you receive a high quality product free of fillers and chemicals.

Home uses

Depending on your needs, essential oils can be used for health and wellness, relaxation, or natural cleaning in the home. If you are interested in replacing some of your chemical cleaning products with natural ones, check out some recipes here: Many DIY cleaners are simple to make and require ingredients you already have in your home like baking soda and vinegar. Essential oils like tea tree oil, lemon, and orange are great natural cleaners and leave a fresh scent in your kitchen without any harmful effects.

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If relaxation is your goal, essential oils can be added to a bath or dropped onto a pillow for a soothing effect. Lavender is perfect for calming and soothing. Bergamot and Jasmine are also great choices for a relaxing or sedative effect. To use, just add a couple drops to a warm bath, or on top of your pillow and enjoy. You can also invest in an essential oil diffuser to dispense the oil throughout your home. Some diffusers have soothing light effects and can be used for up to six hours at a time. You can find a great selection of essential oil diffusers here:

In the realm of health, many people tout the small healing effect of essential oils. Peppermint can be applied to the forehead to relieve tension headaches, and lavender can help ease aches and pains associated with stress and hormonal imbalances. Ginger essential oil, when inhaled, can help cure nausea, and eucalyptus oil can help soothe a stuffy nose.

A lot of information is available online about the many uses of essential oils for home and health. And for those looking to deviate from standard chemical-laden products, essential oils are an alternative route that is gaining steam.

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Organize Your Garage With These 10 Tips

The garage is a catchall for all the things we don’t want to bring into the house. Screwdrivers, rakes, soccer balls, and an array of other household items are stored here, usually in a disorganized fashion. Getting your garage organized and keeping it that way can be a challenge, but these 10 garage improvement ideas make cleaning up much easier.

Garage Improvement Ideas

  1. Clean out the garage

Throwing away or donating things you don’t use anymore is the best way to clear clutter from the garage. Donate any sports equipment your kids don’t use anymore or dispose of things like expired paint and household cleaners. Make sure to read up on how to safely dispose of any hazardous waste.

  1. Get everything up on the walls

Garage walls typically have a lot of unused space, while most items lay on the floor. Mounting shelving, pegboards, bicycles, and tools to the walls frees up a lot of space for organization. Plus, maybe you’ll actually be able to get your car into the garage this way.

  1. Use the ceilings

Just like you can mount things to the wall, you can anchor additional storage to the ceiling. Think of it like an attic for your garage where you can store plastic bins, ladders, or bikes. The Family Handyman has great DIY instructions for suspending shelving.

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  1. Buy bins and label them

Now that you have shelving built up along the walls and ceiling, there is space to start organizing all of the odds and ends. Clear plastic bins are great because you can see what’s stored inside. It’s still best to label each bin for quick access.

  1. Hang the small (or big) things

If there are small tools you grab frequently or big tools that don’t fit inside the plastic bins, hang them up in a designated work area. This can be done with pegboard, slat walls, or a magnetic strip. Now, everything still has its place, but it remains accessible.

  1. Use the high low method

If you have large shelving units built into the walls, use the high low method to stay organized. Place items or bins that you don’t need to get into frequently on higher shelves. Place the things you need on a regular basis on the lower shelves. This saves a lot of stress getting things down and putting them back up.

  1. Keep certain items by the door

If you store household products like cleaners or brooms in the garage, keep these things closer to the door into your house. This saves you a lot of time trekking out into the garage to get what you need and it guarantees that you’re more likely to put it back where it goes.

  1. Store similar items in the same place

Give everything in the garage a designated space and store similar items next to each other. This means, keep your Christmas decorations next to the summer ones, the soccer balls next to the basketballs, and the rakes next to the shovels. This eliminates searching and saves a lot of time.

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  1. Give everyone a designated place

Much like items have designated places, each member of the family should have a place in the garage where their items are stored. This could be a shelf, a cubby, or a hook. This encourages accountability and reminds everyone to put their things back where they belong.

  1. Keep a trashcan on hand

The best way to immediately clear trash from the garage is to keep a trash barrel in the garage. This also gives you a great spot to unload junk from inside your car so it doesn’t end up on the garage floor. Keeping the small unnecessary clutter at bay makes it easier to maintain an organized garage.

How to Build a Fire Pit

Fire pits are a great addition to any backyard. You can toast delicious treats over an open flame, enjoy an evening with friends, and extend your outdoor activities into the cooler season. There are many pre-made pits you can purchase, but building your own is relatively simple. With just a few tools and materials, you can turn your yard into the ultimate outdoor entertainment spot. Follow these instructions to learn how to build your own fire pit.


Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is look into local ordinances or guidelines that dictate or restrict fire pit placement. You don’t want to start the building process only to be told you can’t use your new fire pit. Then, pick a location best suited for an open flame. Ideally, that’s not near any brush, too close to your house, or somewhere it could affect the neighbors. The last thing to do before you start is gather the necessary materials.

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What You’ll Need

50 Basic wall block for a fire pit – actual number may vary

1 fire pit bowl

1 fire pit grate

1 starter log

Building the Fire Pit

Start by measuring the diameter of your fire pit bowl to determine how many wall block you’ll need. As a rule of thumb, 70 block creates a fire pit that’s 4’ in diameter. Then, place the first layer of block on the ground, sitting them as closely together as possible. You can leave the bowl on the ground for this first layer to ensure you build the appropriate size. Next, add the second and third layers on top of the first, staggering the joints for strength. Three rows of blocks should create an adequate height. If you’re not utilizing a fire pit bowl, you must line the inside of the fire pit with fire proof brick. If you have a bowl, it’s safe to now insert it into the pit, hanging the lip of the bowl on the edge of the block. Now it’s time to add the grate. You can choose an option that cover the entire fire pit, including the block, or one that covers just bowl. The last finishing touches are adding a fire, some seating, and your friends and family.

Starting a Fire

Purchase a starter log and add a few other logs to the bowl. Logs will go over or under the grate, depending on why kind you purchased. Light the starter log and watch your first fire in your new fire pit appear. For added safety precautions, invest in a screen to cover the fire. Clear the ashes regularly for the best burn. Now you’re ready to enjoy your DIY fire pit.

Benefits of Composting

Everyone talks about going green, or at least hears about it frequently, but taking the necessary steps to actually doing so isn’t always easy. It’s something that you’ve thought about and maybe even taken a step or two towards doing, but fully committing can be difficult. Composting can be especially difficult to get into, because most people didn’t grow up doing it. The good news is that once you being a composting regimen, it is easy to maintain and there are numerous benefits.

Helps sustain a healthy lawn and garden

There’s no better friend to a lawn or garden than some nutrient rich compost. Compost is known to retain moisture in the soil to help your grass and plants get all the nutrients they need to be healthy. In addition to that, compost has been proven to suppress both plant diseases and the number of pests. For these reasons, using compost is a great way to keep your garden and lawn healthy and productive.

Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers

For those that prefer the natural approach to their gardening and lawn care, there’s nothing more natural than compost. The all natural components of compost are perhaps the biggest reason for its popularity amongst its users.

Compost also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers Chemical fertilizers are primarily made of non-renewable resources. In addition, chemical fertilizers can successfully grow plants, but do nothing to sustain the soil which can lead to a gradual depletion of many nutrients in the soil. Repeatedly using chemical fertilizers can result in a toxic buildup of chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, and uranium which can eventually find its way into fruits and vegetables.

Reduces methane emissions from landfills

In a time when we hear so much about our carbon footprint, composting is a great way to lower yours without requiring much effort at all. Methane is a greenhouse gas that, when emitted, absorbs sunlight and contributes to global warming. By composting, you are helping reduce the methane being emitted from landfills and creating a more sustainable source of food for your lawn or garden.

How to….

Composting isn’t only for people who have full-fledged gardens or a lot of green space around their house. In fact, it’s something you can do even if you live in an apartment or high rise. See the Green Mountain Compost guide here:

For those people who plan on composting outside, you will first need to select a dry, shady spot, preferably near a water source. Add brown and green materials making sure that pieces are chopped if they are too big. You can use food scraps that you collect from your kitchen, just make sure you cover them with a layer of brown leaves. And be wary of organic materials that might take a long time to decompose, as they could end up attracting unwanted animals. Moisten any dry materials as they’re added and mix in grass clippings and green waste. The soil will be dark and rich when it is ready to be used.

Composting can also be done inside the house if that is a better option. A special composting bin can be purchased at any garden supplies store.

If you aren’t sure what is compostable and what’s not, be sure to check out