Garden Design Tips – Organic Fertilizer

Posted on March 30, 2018 By

xwatering-large-garden.jpg.pagespeed.ic.E_iizxStz7I prefer the use of organic fertilizers due to all of its advantages. So what are the different types of organic fertilizers?

There are many and most are easily accessible so you can start gardening organically in no time. But it would be no fun for me to tell you about all of the ways to fertilize organically, so I am going to only tell about the disgusting methods.

When you peel an orange or a banana, don’t throw out the peels or leave them on the ground for someone to slip on because they can be used for compost! This compost serves as an excellent organic fertilizer. Compost protects against pest and diseases, is cost-effective, and helps with habitat restoration efforts.

Other food trimmings can be used in compost as well as yard trimmings, dryer lint, sawdust, and cotton rags among many others including ANIMAL MANURE. You read correctly, animal droppings provide important nutrients and in case you were wondering, human manure is included in this category. Although manure is a rather displeasing way to fertilize your plants, there is an even more disgusting way to do so.

Sewer Sludge! Yes, I use the recycled material from waste-water treatment plants to grow their plants. Advantages of its use include its low cost and easy accessibility for those who liver near waste-water plants. Be careful not to use too much though because toxic levels can rise, thus making it very dangerous.

An almost equally disgusting way to fertilize your plants is through the use of blood meal, which is collected from the blood of cows at a slaughterhouse. At least some other good is coming out of the slaughtering of cows other than the making of hamburgers. After the blood is dried and powdered, care must be taken when using it as a fertilizer as extreme doses can be harmful.

One last unappetizing way to organically fertilize your plants is through the use of fish emulsions. Partly composed of decomposed fish, fish emulsions are an excellent way to keep your plants alive and thriving. So now that you know some rather interesting ways to fertilize your plants organically, get out there and turn your knowledge into action.

I personally enjoy my contribution to the environment as I use organic fertilizers. However, I do have one word of advice: Take a little while before eating.

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Yard Spring Cleaning For You

Posted on March 19, 2018 By

clean_upSpring cleaning is one of the best ways that you can spend time with your family. Imagine having to clean your house all together while talking and catching up with each other. Although this may be such a tedious job for everyone, they still find the time to schedule a spring cleaning just to be able to spend time with their family. If you have always had spring cleaning inside your house, it is time that you also do it outdoors. Your backyard can really look messy and disgusting after the winter and spring is the perfect time to restore the beauty of your yard.

Since this is a big spring cleaning job compared to your home, you can ask your family and friends to give you hand in this. We all know how spring cleaning can really be boring especially when you are doing this on your own. This is why with a lot of company to help you out, you can work as a team and make spring cleaning such an enjoyable task for all of you.

The first thing you have to do is to clean up all the debris that you see on your yard. Sweep and rake leaves, trash and twigs that may have fallen from your trees. Because of the long winter, all of these may have accumulated so you really need to remove them from your yard. Once everything is cleared, trim or cut the tall grass, bushes and shrubs in your garden. These can really look unruly and all over the place after winter so you need to restore the look of your yard once you have trimmed everything. If there have been grass or plant which have died during winter, replant or reseed them in your yard. This will enhance the growth of these in your yard making it more beautiful with all the colors that your flowers will bring. Have your favourite flowers planted on your yard so you will have to look forward to something when they start to grown. Not only will this add to the beauty but it will also prevent these areas to become puddles when it rains.

After a tiring day of yard spring cleaning, feed your guests with the best meal that they can have. Cook your specialty and have them east to their heart’s desire. This will surely pay-off their hard work, working to each and every detail of your yard spring cleaning. This can also serve as your token of appreciation for them. Pamper them after a tiring day, and you will surely be having another spring cleaning of your yard next year.

After winter, your yard is one of the most affected areas in your property. This season leaves your yard to be very messy with all the leaves and grass that have been going in all directions. This is why when spring starts to make it mark in the calendar, you need to grab this chance, clean your yard and have it ready for spring and summer. You can easily restore the beauty of your yard with spring cleaning.

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5 Landscape Design Tips For Beginners

Posted on March 4, 2018 By

5-small-patio-design-tips-1I have recently been working on planning the new design of my front yard. Having previously been a horticulture specialist (in a past life), I knew where to start my research, but maybe others don’t. Here are my tips to designing a yard that not only compliments your home, but is also functional for your needs.

    1. Know your climate. You have to really know the climate you live in: average temperatures during the day and at night, what seasons (if any) does the area experience, how much rainfall does the area receive throughout the year, and does the climate include extreme temperatures (hot or cold, or both). You’ll want to find plants that tolerate the conditions in your specific climate.
    1. Watering. Is there, or will there be, a sprinkler system? Are you willing to go outside and water the yard (plants) every day? If the answer is no to these questions, and there isn’t an abundance of rain year-round, you’ll likely want to go with drought-tolerant plants. You’ll also want to look at each type of plant you choose to make sure the watering requirements are similar so you don’t over-or accidentally under-water any of them.
    1. Sunlight exposure. You’ll need to look at the specific sunlight conditions in the area you are looking to plant in. You’ll need to be aware of how much sunlight each area receives during the day and in what areas of the yard. Be sure to look at the specifications for the plants you are considering to ensure they will receive the appropriate amount of sunlight in that particular area of your yard.
    1. Maintenance. You’ll need to decide how much time and money you want to throw at the maintenance of your yard. Some plants require more maintenance than others, so the time spent will vary by the type of plants you use in your landscape. Also, will you (or someone in your home) be doing the maintenance, or are you going to hire someone to do it for you? How much are you willing to spend?
  1. Color. The fun, but for me, the hard part of the process. What color do I want in my yard? What compliments the color of my home? What color schemes look the best for my yard, and where do I want to put the colors? These are all questions that should be asked.

Other things to think about:

Fillers – i.e. small plants, grass, artificial turf, wood chips, etc.

Fertilizer – what type you should use

Sprinkler system – if you’re going to put one in, you’ll need to decide what type to purchase, who is going to install it, and where the controls for it will go

Trellis – if you choose to add vines to your landscape, you’ll likely want to include a trellis, so you’ll need to know what type, size, and color will look and work best

Home and Garden

You Can Have The Most Attractive Yard In Your Neighborhood

Posted on April 6, 2018 By

Many people maintain their yards themselves, but at great cost to their leisure time. Others choose to use a service so that they can have the perfect yard and still have time for fun activities. Of course, if yard work is a special hobby of yours, you might do it yourself. Still, there may be some services you will not choose to do on your own. Certain maintenance chores require special chemicals that you may not wish to handle.

Yard services range from routine mowing and trimming to detailed maintenance such as insect control, weed elimination, and lawn feeding. These are required in order to have a beautiful green carpet of grass. Landscaping is also a service that is often performed. This task usually requires skilled service from professionals who have gone to school to learn certain techniques.

Routine services include, among other things, mowing to keep your grass at a uniform height. Though a young person in the neighborhood might offer to do it for you for a price, they may not always be as meticulous at keeping a uniform height and trimming around trees, flower beds and shrubbery. Also, the pattern that is followed in mowing can impact the look as well. Professionals will be aware of that and proceed accordingly.

Pest and weed control is another area where you might seek the services of a professional. They have access to chemicals that you might not be able to obtain. Also, if you want to go organic, they have the means to do that as well. Hours can be consumed in maintaining a beautiful lawn, and you might not want to spend the time. A dedicated service can spend the hours it takes because that is their job.

Landscaping chores are best done by a professional. They are aware of what it takes to keep your yard looking good year round. Professionals can keep both plants and grass healthy year round because they understand the needs of each. Mulching and leaf removal should both be done at appropriate times. The professional will understand these needs.

If you need help with lawn maintenance professionals are available to help you in whatever capacity you need. You can opt for full services or for only those you choose not to do yourself. Whatever degree of help you need, they are available to lend assistance. It may be worth the expense to keep your yard looking beautiful.

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Landscaping Design Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Posted on March 28, 2018 By

First, you do not have to be an expert to have the best landscaping for your yard. Here are some basic landscaping design tips that will allow you to have the best yard, and even the gratification of building it yourself.

These are specifically tips and tricks that will assist you in creating your own landscaping environment even if you cannot do draft drawings. You may still need pencil and paper to assist you with developing your ideas, but overall you can do these with only a measuring tape, yarn, and maybe a few sticks from the yard.

Start your landscaping ideas from the outside and work in, this way you are not running out of space unexpectedly. As you design, consider where people will enter, if you will need or want to keep out children or animals, and what types of plants you will use.

Many people will take and map out sections for trees, if you have not bought the trees yet, remember that miniature trees can still get up to six feet tall, and shade can be more than triple that. In addition, while trees are wonderful pieces for a yard, they can require a great deal of maintenance, particularly trees that fruit.

You can use trees to border your yard; however, if you have animals and children in your area, you may wish to put up a small wooden fence until the trees have grown large enough to defend themselves. If you select to use a fence, measure the parameter of the yard more than once, it is very easy to miscalculate how much fencing you will need.

After you have determined what goes around the outside of your yard, plan the inside working your way in slowly, but remember that you may wish to move throughout the yard once the landscaping is done. You can plan for paths or walkways to move through.

Map out where you might want walkways by tying strings around the sticks and placing them where the walkways will go. This will help you measure the space you need for the walkway and check to see if your walkway is big enough for a person.

Finally, your landscaping design tips can be easy if you remember to take along your measuring tape to monitor the space you are using and use the yarn and sticks to map right out while you work. This way, you do not need drafting skills, and you can do your yard successfully yourself.

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Basic Landscape Design Tips For Beautiful Lawns And Gardens

Posted on March 27, 2018 By

Landscaping is an art. Like interior design, many people use their lawns to express who they are. A property’s exterior appearance is just as important as it looks inside. The earth is the landscaper’s canvas. Flowers, trees, hard-scaping, and water are the paintbrushes and tools that these artists use to express their individual tastes. Following simple landscaping tips makes it possible for anyone to build their dream garden.

When deciding on a landscape design it is important to take weather into consideration. Planting beautiful flowers in the summer does little good if they will all die in the winter and need to be replanted. Different plant species and types of landscaping will be required depending on where you live. Beautiful gardens and lawns should be as easy to maintain as they are aesthetically pleasing.

Gardens that are brimming with flowers are one of the most popular landscaping designs. Having a garden that is full of color and vibrancy is how most people measure the success of their yards. When planting flowers it is important to layer them in the terrain. If you have three rows of plants make sure that the shortest are in front and the tallest in back so that their colors and flowers can easily be seen.

Trees are another essential part of an overall landscape design. Trees can serve different functions. Some trees are planted for shade. Others are planted just because they are pretty. It is important to consider all aspects of a trees function before planting. Its final size must also be evaluated if being planted near a residence while still young. Many people find that they have inadvertently planted, what will become, a very large tree much too close to the house.

Hard-scaping is a term for pieces of landscaping that are not plants or trees. It includes fountains, fences, decorative statues, and bird feeders. These pieces can give your garden a feeling of diversity and fullness.

Water effects add class and tranquility to any garden. Fountains and small reflecting ponds give any outdoor space a peaceful air about them. The sound of water running can be extremely relaxing. Small pools and fountains can be surprisingly inexpensive and easy to install.

Landscaping design is like any other art in that there are no hard and fast rules. There are guidelines that should be followed based on geographic location, but even these guidelines are not set in stone. The perfect garden and yard is a matter of personal taste. Finding landscape design tips that suit your personal taste is the first step to building the perfect outdoor space.

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Tips for Choosing a Landscaping Services Provider

Posted on March 24, 2018 By

Does driving through the country and seeing gorgeously landscaped yards make you long to have time to create a lush landscape of your own? Does meandering through a botanical garden inspire you to go home and try to create an elaborate garden in your own backyard? Perhaps, you are more interested in merely having a view that soothes the mind and has some quiet places to relax and rejuvenate. If any of these scenarios appeal to you, or maybe you have landscaping dreams of your own, but you don’t have time to do it yourself, it is time to call in a professional yard service.

When it comes to having a gorgeous, peaceful, awe-inspiring yard, then hiring a professional is a great option. After all, just because you may not have the time, or perhaps the know-how, to design and maintain a magazine worthy yard, doesn’t mean you can’t still have one! It just means you have to be willing to let someone else do the work. Enter a landscape services provider.

But, how does one select a landscape services provider? You don’t necessarily want to hire the first company that shows up in a Web search, but you don’t want to spend a long time searching for that perfect company, either. To simply for your search for the perfect landscape service, here are some tips that can help you see your yard go from mediocre to marvelous.

    • Get recommendations form others who have hired a professional landscaping work done and then check out the companies with Angie’s List, your local agriculture department and the BBB. Be sure that the company has been in business for quite some time.

    • Know what you want. When you talk to professional landscaping service providers, it helps to have a plan in mind. Of course, be willing to listen to the professional as well, since they will likely have insight to what plants and designs work best for your region. You should also ask to see a portfolio of other jobs they have done; ask for local addresses so you can see the work in person.

  • Only work with someone experienced, not someone who is merely a contractor or someone who dabbles with yard work. A professional provider will have knowledgeable people who can help your landscaping dreams come true.

Using these tips will you soon turn your yard from okay to awesome. No more wishing that your yard looked like that one you saw in the magazine; simply look out your window to a view that is sure to delight. Contact a professional landscape services provider today. In the Minneapolis area, call Fernbrook Landscape to learn how they can take your yard from blah to beautiful.

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Have a Wonderful Yard in No Time

Posted on March 20, 2018 By

Do you have those neighbors who never take care of their yard? If you do, it can be very annoying and frustrating when their yard is unkempt. When you spend a lot of your time caring for your yard and the house next to you looks awful then it makes you feel like you wasted your time and effort. Yes, schedules obviously get very busy and not everyone has time to keep up with the outside of your home as well as in but it may help to suggest to them a professional landscaper. Landscapers can do the dirty work such as weeding, mow the grass, install a brick patio, plant flower beds, all the things you do not have time to do.

These professionals can add to all of the work that you put into your yard. You have to keep up with the cutting of the grass and the watering of the flowers, but if you really want your yard to look great, hiring a landscaper is the perfect thing to do. Every backyard or front yard has grass and trees, but not everyone has a pond, deck or swimming pool. A good yard service can do anything from adding a vegetable garden to installing the latest in sprinkler systems. With the help of a hired professional, you can have the yard of your dreams.

You may be wondering how you may go about finding the right company. If you know anyone who has a nice lawn with a nice pool in the back, you know they must have had some help with it. Ask them who they hired because if they liked the work they did and you liked the work they did then they will probably do a great job on your yard. Then lastly, call them and figure out a budget so that you know exactly what you want and what you can afford.

Most people first worry about indoors. They hire interior designers and get all of the furniture they need for their house. A lot of people spend a fortune on the inside. Think about this as the exact same thing but instead of an interior decorator, a landscaper is an exterior designer. You can get furniture for the outside and build a nice patio for it to go on. In the summer, it is so nice to spend your time in the sun because in the winter, you are stuck inside most of the time.

If you work a lot, it is nice to have a day with your family. Cooking out in the backyard and watching your kids swim in your very own personal swimming pool. You will need some help, but if you can afford and find that help, you can be on your way to some great summer fun with your family and friends. The outside will look just as good as the in because let us face it, your yard is technically part of your house and it is the first thing people see when they come to visit. Make a good first impression and hire a gardener who can help.

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How To Start A Livery Yard In The UK

Posted on March 4, 2018 By

If you are in the position of buying or renting a yard, you may be thinking about starting a livery yard. Running a livery yard is a rewarding lifestyle.

Some of the perks are:

  • You’ll be surrounded by fellow horse lovers,
  • Your horse will have the companionship of his four-legged friends,
  • You can take advantage of trade discounts by bulk buying horsey sundries, such as hay, straw and worming medication,
  • Get it right and you will benefit from having a regular income.

Some of the disadvantages are:

  • You’ll be on call 24 hours a day for any horse related emergencies,
  • You’ll be responsible for the welfare of every horse on the yard, whether you own it or not,
  • You will probably have to deal with awkward clients, chase payments and deal with people who may have the opposite opinion to you on every aspect of horse care.


Before you embark on your new horsey enterprise, it may be worth brushing up on your knowledge of equine care. Many riding schools across the UK run certificated British Horse Society courses. It’s always nice to be able to pull out a certificate to prove that you know your stuff when your authority is questioned. It is also advisable to attend a bookkeeping course, as you will be required by law to keep financial records and to submit them to the tax man every year.

Legal Requirements

In the UK the law requires you to:

  • Have adequate insurance.
  • Keep financial records.

There is no requirement for a license UNLESS you are planning to provide tuition or hire horses to clients.

Types Of Livery

You will have to decide what type of services you will provide. The types of livery commonly seen in the UK are:

  • DIY livery, where the owner is entirely responsible for the care of their horse;
  • Part livery, where the yard staff will carry out some of the chores, such as feeding or turning out;
  • Full livery, where the yard staff take full care of the horse, including exercising it;
  • Working livery, this is mostly used by riding schools, where the horse works (e.g. used in riding lessons) in return for a reduced livery bill.

Client Paperwork

Every client should have their own insurance for their horse. Ensure that you see a copy of their insurance certificate before you allow the client to sign any contracts or bring the horse to the yard.

You should have a contract for each horse. Each contract should have a space for:

  • The owner’s name, address and contact details,
  • An emergency contact number,
  • The names and phone numbers of their vet and farrier,
  • Details about the horse, including colour, breed and sex,
  • Details about any vices (e.g. cribbing) that the horse may have,
  • Details about any medical condition that the horse may have.

The contract must also clearly state exactly what services you will provide, the payment schedule, and what behaviour you expect on the yard (e.g. no smoking in the stables, no dogs allowed on yard etc.). It’s advisable to include what will happen if rules are not followed or the horse is neglected or abandoned.

Give each owner a copy of the contract to keep, and a price list of any extra services you provide, such as exercising horses or holiday care.

Yard Management Tips

  • Have a list of the rules displayed prominently so that nobody can use the excuse that they forgotten them,
  • Have your clients on the same worming program, bulk buy the appropriate wormers and let your clients buy them at the trade price. This will reduce the cost of worming for everyone and keep the yard a parasite free zone.
  • Keep a large notebook for your clients can record any problems they may be having or if they have booked the farrier or vet for a visit. This will enable clients to help each other and arrange group bookings for the vet and farrier.

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Basic Landscape and Garden Design Tips For New Homeowners

Posted on February 25, 2018 By

A lot goes into moving into a new home. It can be an exciting, exhaustive, and sometimes scary process for not only the new first timer, or for the well-seasoned owner who’s moved more than a few times in their lives. The amount of energy, money, and time spent moving and eventually establishing yourself into your home and your community are well worth the effort- and that includes how you change and establish your outdoor landscape and garden areas.

The property the house sits on deserves the same attention as the house itself, and for many, a lot of pride is taken into making their landscapes and gardens not only their own, but also well-kept and attractive. But starting from nothing or something unattractive, overgrown, or simply something that doesn’t work can be a daunting task.

Here are some basic landscape and garden design tips for the new homeowner and even some execution ideas for the sake of organization.

Please note: Before you begin any changes in your landscape, make sure you’re aware of existing HOA bylaws or covenants in your neighborhood.

Start Living the Space First

I always recommend that new homeowners simply live in their homes for several months before they start making changes. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, plant some containers- but don’t remove beds, add plant material, add new beds, create paths, or construct living spaces until you know how you’ll use your property.

You’ll begin to notice that there are some things about your new landscape that concern you above others. Maybe prevailing winds are cooling your home too much in the winter and you could use a windbreak to help. Maybe you need some shade somewhere on your property where your family likes to play the most.

You’ll learn about where the most used pathways exist around your property, where established areas for certain jobs are naturally occurring (like where you like to play, where you visualize your vegetable garden in the sunniest spot next to the best water spigot, where you tend to want to put yard waste, and where you think a tool shed would work well).

Privacy screen needs, windbreaks, steep slopes that are hard to mow- these are all things you’ll discover need immediate attention. Establish the few pressing needs you find yourself wanting first, and start your landscape plan from there.

Establish the Budget

The best way to approach setting ideas into action with landscape changes revolves around one simple thing – how much money can you spend on your projects? If you have the money, you could hire a landscape architect who you will work with to establish all your needs at once, and then hire a landscaping firm help to get it done.

But, if you’re like most homeowners, you might need to think about which projects should come first, and if you should go Do-It-Yourself or not. One common mistake a lot of new homeowners have is they underestimate how much money landscaping actually costs, so projects often go partially unfinished. Be sure to do a lot of research before you buy anything and take on only what you can comfortably afford. For some, this may mean small weekend projects until the budget loosens. If this is the case, start with the most pressing needs first such as repair needs and projects that simply make the landscape livable.

Get your Plans on Paper!

Before you buy one brick or toss your spade into the lawn, make sure you have an established plan, written down and drawn out, step by step, so that you have a beginning and a goal in mind for one specific project. A designer can do this for you and work with an installation team, but if you’re going DIY landscaping, you can easily write and draw down plans yourself. Decide on a solid plan and stick to it, so you don’t get ahead of yourself.

If you’re using hardscape materials, make sure you calculate how much you’ll need accurately. If you need help, you can contact a professional or the company that makes the material you’ll want to use and they can help guide you through an estimation process so that you don’t buy too much, or too little of a product. Make sure you have all the tools needed to install the product properly.

If you’re going to be planting materials, check your states invasive species list to avoid planting possible pests into your landscape. Make sure your choices of plants are well suited for the application you want them for and if you can provide the care they’ll need so that they stay looking healthy and happy for years to come. Create a plant list and work with a reputable nursery that offers a guarantee on their plant stock.

Get Ready for Hard Work.

Ahh, the joys of DIY and homeownership on a budget! And, if you hire all your help, the stress from working with others on plans for your own home, and having to deal with installers you don’t really know and construction issues aren’t easy either. Whether you’re laying the foundation for a new patio yourself or living through weeks of endless noise from jackhammers and bobcats, you’re about to have your work cut out for you.

Set aside plenty of time to get your work done, or simply do what you can in the time you have and don’t stress about it. Sometimes things go well during installation of a project, and sometimes they don’t. Expect blisters, maybe a twisted ankle, dirty nails and clothes, and maybe even sunburn if you’re installing yourself. If not, expect a messy house and strangers wanting to use your bathroom and the lack of privacy can get to some too. This is another reason I always highly recommend one simple job at a time to get it finished quickly before too much damage happens and you regret the whole experience before it’s even finished.

When it’s all Said and Done, BRAG!

Your hard work is starting to make your new home look and feel like your own. Invite family and friends over to enjoy, and post lots of photos on your favorite social media site. Enjoy the congrats and envy, you earned it!

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