Everything Home and Garden
Gardening Tips For A Good Summer Harvest
I’ve been gardening most of my life. We had a greenhouse when I was a kid and I love spending hours in there. Before having kids I liked having a pretty yard. Now I like having fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. The grass in my yard is now all gone and instead I have woodchips and raised garden vegetable planters with fruit trees mixed in. Each year that passes teaches me more of the plants that grow well, the bugs that like to eat the plants and gardening tips and hacks I pick up online and from other gardeners. Sharing gardening ideas is something I enjoy. This year I planted 21 tomato plants (each one a different type) in my backyard. Some are tiny, a whole bunch will fit into a spoon. Others a handful. Red, orange and purple too. I can’t wait to start canning with them. Going to try tomato sauce and ketchup. Fresh salsa, of course, too. Stay tuned for the recipes. Still waiting for an abundance of tomatoes to ripen.
Here are few must-haves for your own successful garden
Tomatoes like to climb. Offer them tall stakes or trellises and they’ll climb 6-8 feet high! These ones are already over 6 feet. Take the branches that are hanging low and twist them up into the different bars so that they are off the ground, away from pests and mold and grow taller. Some plants do fine on the ground and can grow on a trellis too. Cucumber, squash, even gourds. If you get the vegetable off of the ground there is less chance of rot, sitting in water and they are higher up away from snails and slugs.
When planting make sure you put trees and plants in areas that require the same amount of soil. Fruit trees usually require a lot. Dragonfruit (on the left) is a cactus and needs less. Don’t plant them next to each other. In warm climate, like California, it is best to plant in the late fall. That way trees can get a good root system established before it gets too hot. If you plant late spring or summer trees will require six times as much water.
Also, plant trees facing the south without another tree too close to block out the sun. This way they get enough sun all day. Some trees, like avocado, like partial shade from other trees is okay.
Natria Neem Oil. Great for rosebushes (in my front yard) and fruits and vegetables. The spray is for organic gardening and helps with aphids, whiteflies and spider mites. I know aphids really like my rosebushes and artichoke plants. Natria also makes insecticidal soap and Insect, Disease & Mite Control spray. Keeping bugs off my plants is important for me so that I have more to harvest.
Have the kids help! My front yard is all a drought-scape with lots of butterfly-friendly plants. It is hard on my wrist to dig big holes but the kids can do it easily. I love having them help me in the yard too. Make sure the holes are deep enough and mix a little planter soil with the dirts at the roots.
I’d never put fruit trees or ground vegetables mixed with the drought-tolerant plants. Some would end up overwatered and others not watered enough. Milkweed, sage, lantana, popcorn trees and other plants can be found in the area in nurseries that need less water and can take full-sun. During fall-spring I don’t have to water these at all. In the summer I only water once a week, or less.
Don’t forget to thin out your plants. I always overplant. Especially when I plant from seeds. These seedlings were tiny when I planted them and I wasn’t sure all were going to make it. They look great (always good news) so I need to thin them out and plant some elsewhere. Left to right: tomatoes, eggplant, melon and two types of cucumber. I’m going to thin these some but than going to let them go crazy and grow out the sides of the vegetable planter too. Around it is only wood chips so there is lots of room. But, in general, it is advised to thin out crop so each plant is about 6-10 inches apart.
It’s Time To Shuffle Your To-Do List
When life gets busy, you can really relate to how circus jugglers must feel! Keeping work, family, home, friends and everything else up in the air can be tough. So tough in fact, that sometimes we have to prioritize things. There is just no way we can do everything at once.
The chances are that to manage this, you have a to-do list. This might be a mental one, or it might be a physical one that you keep on your phone or on a noticeboard. Wherever it is, it could be time for a reshuffle.
Sometimes, we can forget what really is the most important things in life. Sure, running to the store to stock up on your kid’s favorite treat is important. But what about the other things? The things you might have forgotten about, because life is so busy, or because it’s been awhile since you’ve done them.
Read on to find out what needs bumping up to the top of your to-do list, today!
First up, let’s discuss that dentist appointments. If you only go once a year or so, it can be easy to forget about it. Chances are that when you book in for an appointment the next year, you don’t even have that year’s calendar or diary! This means that we are prone to forgetting, or booking something else for the same day. However, dentist appointments shouldn’t be skipped. They should be prioritized. Start going during the same month every year. That way, when it rolls around again, you’ll remember that it’s nearly time for your check-up. Save time and hassle by getting you and the family all booked in on the same day. That way you only have to make one journey. Keep a separate pot of money to one side to pay for appointments. If it’s been so long since you’ve visited that you need a new dentist, use a website like http://dentist.24hourly.com to find your nearest one.
On the topic of teeth, how about another important component of your body? Your eyes, of course. You shouldn’t miss optician appointments either. Eyesight deteriorates over time, and if you have a problem that remains undiagnosed or untreated, it could quickly get worse. By the time it is caught, it could be too late to reverse the damage. Get your children’s eyes tested regularly too. As their bodies are growing, their eyes and their ability might change. Children also do a lot of reading and writing also, so will need clear eyesight to be able to focus and thrive at school. Articles like http://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/slideshow-warning-signs.htm tell you eight warning signs to look out for in your kids.
Now, some of us also think that if we aren’t actually ill, we don’t need to visit the doctor. However, it is highly advisable to have a quick check up every now and again. Just tell your Doctor you want a quick once-over and they will do the rest. While not a necessity, it can put your mind at rest. And, if they do discover any problems, you can get them dealt with early. Pretty much everything, from back pain to tumors, is more easily treatable the sooner they are diagnosed. These are just some health warning signs you should look out for.
Recipes With Avocados
If you love avocados as much as I do then check out these delicious recipes for all sorts of meals! My dad has about 5 avocado trees in his yard and so we have an awesome supply of them for all sorts of dishes! I have two in my yard but still waiting for them mature enough to have a decent crop. Avocados are good for your body and can be in a variety of dishes! Save the link, print the recipes and share with others. You’ll be coming back to them again and again. Everything from salads to sandwiches, dip and even cheesecake! Who knew you could use avocados for so many dishes. I can’t wait for the trees in my yard to have an abundant harvest too! Fun Fact: You can freeze avocados and they’ll be yummy and fresh to eat later. Just store in a freezer bag or plasticware made for the freezer. The avocados will last a few months in the freezer and can be added to any dish. Simply defrost first.
Avocado Dill Dressing (Not Quite Susie).
Avocado BLT In A Bowl (Almost Super Mommy).
Avocado Banana Salad (Kids Activity Blog).
Chicken Over Avocados (CopyKat Recipes).
Zesty Avocado & Feta Hummus (Almost Super Mom).
Creamy Avocado Quinoa Salad With Mango (A Mother Thing).
Breakfast Nachos (Totally The Bomb).
Caliente Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Mariano Bambinos).
Saltgrass Steakhouse Boiled Shrimp and Avocado Salsa (CopyKat Recipes)
Turkey, Egg, Cheese & Avocado Muffin with Sprouts (Sweep Tight).
Gluten-Free Avocado Flatbread (Almost Supermom).
Barbecue Ranch Chicken Salad (A Mother Thing).
Avocado Summer Salad (Kids Activity Blog).
Homemade Guacamole Seasoning (Not Quite Susie).
Southwest Bean Salad (Hello Nature).
Chunky Avocado Vegetable Medley (Sweep Tight).
Avocado Ranch Dip (Totally The Bomb).
Breakfast Taco Bowls (Kids Activity Blog).
Avocado Cheesecake (CopyKat Recipes).
Chunky 7 Layer Dip (Totally The Bomb).
Homemade Cleaners you can use in your home or office!
I’ve never been one to say cleaning is fun but I do love having a clean house. When I was growing up I never thought about the ingredients in cleaners. Now that I am more environmentally conscious and have children I want to make sure the chemicals in our house that we breath in and clean with aren’t harmful. Check out this awesome list from a collection of bloggers of homemade cleaners! Not only are you helping Mother Earth but you are saving money too.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner (A Cultivated Nest).
DIY Disinfectant Wipes With Tea Tree Oil (Confessions of a Overworked Mom).
Cleaning With Essential Oils (Sunny Sweet Days).
DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets (Six Dollar Family).
Homemade Glass Cleaner (Wondermom Wannabe).
DIY Window Cleaner (All She Cooks).
Homemade Washing Machine Cleaner (Thrifty DIY Diva).
Essential Oil All Purpose Cleaner (Must Have Mom).
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent (Coffee With Us 3).
DIY Tub & Sink Cleaner (Sweep Tight).
Homemade Cleaning Products (Happy Deal Happy Day).
5 Amazing Uses For Vinegar & Baking Soda (The Relaxed Homeschool).
DIY Oven Cleaner (Thrifty DIY Diva).
Lavender Lemon All Purpose Cleaner (Six Dollar Family).
Homemade Non-Toxic Disinfectant (Imperfect Homemaker).
Homemade Lemon Lavender Dishwasher Tablets (A Cultivated Nest).
DIY Dishwasher Detergent (Must Have Moms).
Grandma’s All Purpose Cleaner (The Joys of Boys).
DIY Citrus Cleaning Spray (Confessions of an Overworked Mom).
Amazing Tub & Shower Cleaner (Trish Sutton).
How to Deep Clean No-Wax Floors (All She Cooks).
5 Tips To Get Your Children To Help You Clean (The Jenny Evolution).
How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances (Thrifty Jinxy).
Cleaning Tips From Pros (The Jenny Evolution).
How To Remove Ink & Crayon From Walls (Thrifty DIY Diva).
How To Clean Your Kitchen Garbage Cans (Thrifty Jinxy).
Spring Break & Summer Boredom Busters
Spring break is here and summer is just around there corner! Prepare now so you don’t hear the tale-old ‘I’m bored’ from your kids and so you don’t have to drag them away from the tv or other electronics. Get outdoors, get to the table and have fun with crafts, get wet and get dirty. This time off from schoolwork can be a blast if you plan it right and get your supplies now. This is a great way to have some fun time on hot days and enjoy the family time together.
Pillowcase Craft Using Sharpies (PS I Love You Crafts).
5 Summer Pool Noodle Activities (The Joys of Boys).
Join Free Summer Reading Programs (Atlanta’s Frugal Mommy).
Tame Dragon Playdough (Kids Activity Blog).
Homemade Puffy Paint (Happy Deal Happy Day).
Squirt Gun Painting (Crafty House Wife).
10 Cheap or Free Water Activites With Kids (Coffee With Us 3).
5 Fun Water Games To Play With Kids (Tales of a Ranting Ginger).
DIY Foil River (The Joys of Boys).
Gardening With Kids (Coffee With Us 3).
50 Fun Things To Do With Kids (True Couponing).
9 Ways To Use A Water Table (Atlanta’s Frugal Mommy).
DIY Ultimate Splash Pad (The Joys of Boys).
Homemade Playdough (Happy Deal Happy Day).
Fun Shaving Cream Art Project (PS I Love You Crafts).
Oil & Water Science Project (Kids Activity Blog).
Fun Octopus Craft (Crafty Marie).
Get Out and Go For A Walk! Collect leaves, identify birds or use this time to just chat.
Play some board games! Magformers has a new Neon Color Set that contains 26 pieces. Kids can create all sorts of shapes.