Monthly Archives

June 2018

Make Your Garden “Greener”

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Make your garden “greener”? Yep. You read that right! There are even steps out in your beautiful garden that can make the art of gardening better the environment! People never look at the petroleum based fertilizers, the plastic containers plants are sold in, and the number used for beds and sheds. There is a way to make a more earth friendly garden.

 

Here are 5 sustainable garden products to start with!

 

1) Organic Soils

There are many organic soil choices on the market. One brand that is highly recommended is Organic Mechanics. People like that this line does not use peat, and can be purchased for $10 for a 16qt bag. Dr.Earth is another line of soil that has gotten high regards. This line does not leave out peat in their formula, but doesn’t use sewage sludge or chicken manure in their mix. Contrary to what people may think organic soils are not just for container gardens, but for raised beds and when planting directly into the ground too.

 

2) Recycled Plastic Raised Beds

These plastic railroad ties are not only more environmentally friendly than lumber. THey are more durable and last longer. Within a few years of a lumber built raised bed they begin to deteriorate. The one negative with the plastic railroad ties that community gardeners are using require special equipment to cut them the perfect size. Several companies started offering raised bed kits for home gardeners that are made from recycled plastic. These are easy to assemble and come in a variety of shapes and heights. They range in price from $100-500.

 

3) Recycled Kneeling Pad

These products are made in the U.S.A. from old tires in the Midwest. Traditional kneeling pads are made too small for an adult to fit comfortably, and are made from flimsy plastic of foam that don’t hold up to the abuse of the garden. The Tube Pad is made from truck tire inner tubes and are large enough for an adult to kneel on comfortably while digging in the garden. You can purchase one for $20.

 

4) Water-wise Gardening

Runoff water is something that is very wasteful. The AquaFlower is a product that can help with this problem. It is made from 100% recycled water and soda bottle fibers and is designed to sit at the bottom of the pot. It keeps the soil in place in your container and conserves water by absorbing it. It then releases it back into the soil as it dries out. You can get a set of 2 for $6.00.

 

5) CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator

This tool is inspired by an antique garden tool that was invented and manufactured in the U.S.A. You can use it to dig out weeds, create rows for planting seeds and dividing and transplanting plants. The handle for this tool is made from 100% post-industrial recycled polypropylene and the strengthening fibers are 100% post-consumer recycled wood or flax fiber. This can be purchased for just $25, and is named “the best tool in earth”.I hope that these 5 products help assist you in your garden at home! These simple changes can truly help the earth.

I hope that these 5 products help assist you in your garden at home! These simple changes can truly help the earth.

 

 

 

BONSAI!

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Being  a child of the 1980’s, I was a huge fan of “The Karate Kid”. Recently Youtube released a TV show as a sequel to the “Karate Kid” series called “Cobra Kai”. Now, if that interests you, please check it out, but it isn’t the show I’m talking about, it was just one thing that happened in the show that made me do research. In the first episode every car the main character sold he gave them a free bonsai tree. They looked so cool, so I wondered what’s the info on them. Turns out they are very ECO-FRIENDLY!

Wiki says:

Bonsai (Japanese: 盆栽, lit. ‘tray planting’, pronunciation (help·info))[1] is a Japanese art form using cultivation techniques to produce small trees in containers that mimic the shape and scale of full size trees. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penzai or penjing, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese Hòn Non Bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation for the viewer, and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower.[2] By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food or for medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development. Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species[3] that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning. Some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles, that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of bonsai.

The source specimen is shaped to be relatively small and to meet the aesthetic standards of bonsai. When the candidate bonsai nears its planned final size it is planted in a display pot, usually one designed for bonsai display in one of a few accepted shapes and proportions. From that point forward, its growth is restricted by the pot environment. Throughout the year, the bonsai is shaped to limit growth, redistribute foliar vigor to areas requiring further development, and meet the artist’s detailed design.

The practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, but dwarfing generally refers to research, discovery, or creation of plant cultivars—especially coniferous subjects such as juniper and spruce—that are permanent, genetic miniatures of existing species. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques like pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation, and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees.

There’s a lot more information after that if you want to check it out.

 

Now the Eco-Friendly Fun Part!

These trees are great for the environment. And your home is your environment. The crazy thing is these little trees are also good for you!

 

Health Benefits of Growing a Bonsai Tree

  • Growing and tending to bonsai trees is a wonderful hobby and a great stress reliever.
  • Bonsai trees require proper water, care, trimming, and fertilizing to be healthy. Constantly caring for your plant can help develop your patience.
  • Working with nature, including bonsai trees, can help you become a more peaceful person.
  • Indoor plants, including bonsai, can clean and help purify the air in your home or office.
  • Bonsai can help you get over your cold. Plants grown indoors can help fight fatigue, coughs, and sore throats.
  • Successfully growing and caring for a bonsai tree can leave you with a great sense of accomplishment which is very good for your health.

 

Who knew a small little tree from Japan could be so useful, Eco-Friendly, and in my opinion, so much fun?

 

I purchased one to test it out, and now I have three. I highly recommend , if you are eco-friendly, to try this. Growing them is very calming. Trimming them into the shape you want is exciting. And the compliments of guests is great.

 

Take Care!

Green Clean Your Couch With These 6 Techniques

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Our couches get a lot of love in our house… some days a little TOO MUCH! Juice spills, sticky hands, and yes, even my beloved red wine. With a busy family like mine it’s hard to keep up on each time a new stain appears, and had no idea how long some of them had been there. I was a religious user of stain removal chemicals before I found out how harmful they can be for my family and pets! I said, “bye-bye” to those right away, and began researching safe and effective ways that I could treat my couch with!

 

These are six of my favorite tips I learned along my eco-friendly journey! Before you begin make sure you vacuum the surface so nothing gets ground into your couch!

1) Red Wine

 

Believe it or not the answer is Hydrogen peroxide! First blot up as much as you can with a paper towel. Then mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Continue blotting on the stain. This also works on carpets and clothing! I’ve pulled red wine out of my favorite white top!

 

2) Coffee Stains

This one I was very skeptical of at first! Simply mix an egg yolk with lukewarm water, and rub it on the stained surface!

 

3) General Stain Remover

Whipped detergent works well for any type of stain. Fill a container with half dish detergent, half water, and use a hand mixer to whip it up. Use a rag to rub the froth into the spot, and then rinse the area with water.

 

4) General Stain Remover

Another general stain remover can be made using shampoo mixed with water! Yes! That’s it! You can use whatever type of shampoo you have laying around the house.

 

5) General Stain Remover

STEAM CLEANING! It does use electricity, but the only component used to do the cleaning is water! This method is great to pull out those stubborn stains!

 

6) General Stain Remover

If you have tried everything and it still isn’t coming out, it may be time to call the professionals. I personally have never had to do this, but one of my good friends has! The process is called Chem-Dry. It uses carbonation to clean upholstery without solvents, enzymes, harsh chemicals, and with very little water.

Try these six tips the next time your couch come in an unfortunate encounter! You won’t regret it!

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