GBW Garden Blog

27 Aug

Patio Table and Chair Covers

Many consumers now make big investments in patio table, chairs and furniture. When purchasing table and chairs, you should also consider covers to keep them from being damaged by elements and weather conditions.

Try looking online.  You can find a lot of designs or options for patio tables and chairs covers. Manufacturers now provide covers with new colors and sizes.  You can customize patio furniture covers to match shapes or designs.  In ordering  covers, consider the following.

First, look at manufacturers that have the design that are the same or nearest to your preference.  Second, compare prices  from each company.  Some companies charge for providing quotes.  You should ask how to pay for the quote.  Will you be billed if you order?   You should also ask for their turn around time.  If your order is custom, the turn around time will be longer.

Educate yourself and have covers for your patio furniture, table, chairs, etc, that will extend the life of your investment.

 

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27 Aug

Worm Composting Bin

An indoor compost system offers a perfect opportunity to create beneficial compost materials.  An indoor or worm bin can easily turn kitchen scraps into well-rotted compost that can be used in window boxes, planters or containers. The worm bins are clean and do not smell.  If you hope to get your children interested in gardening, worm composting can be fascinating.

Worm composting is using worms to recycle food scraps and other organic material into a valuable soil amendment. Worms eat food scraps, which become compost as they pass through the worm’s body.  Compost exits the worm through its’ tail end. This compost is nutrient rich because the worms are eating nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable scraps.

For millions of years, worms have been hard at work breaking down organic materials and returning nutrients to the soil. By having a indoor worm bin, you are simulating the worm’s role in nature. Though worms could eat any organic material, certain foods are better than others.  Use only raw fruit and vegetable scraps. Stay away from anything else. Cooked foods can be  oily or buttery, which can attract pests.

Avoid orange rinds and other citrus fruits.  They are too acidic and can attract fruit flies. Try to use a variety of materials. We have found the more vegetable matter, the better the worm bin. Stay away from onions and broccoli which tend to have a strong odor.  Not what you want in your kitchen.

 

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01 Aug

5Piece Patio Dining Sets

I use the outdoor space of my home.  We have a large patio and Denver weather provides great outdoor time.  I want patio furniture that is perfectly suited to the varying purposes for using our patio.

A popular option in patio furniture is the patio or outdoor dining set. When shopping for a patio dining set there were a few things I had to keep in mind. The size of the dining furniture was dictated by the size of our patio.  I have never needed less than a 5 piece dining set.  These 5 piece patio dining sets are designed to seat four people with ease and comfort. The set we selected has  an adequately sized patio dining table with four patio dining chairs.

We found affordable 5 piece outdoor dining sets made of  various materials and designs.  The price tends to increase commensurate with size and quality. For example, a 5 piece dining set constructed from teak wood can be really pricey.   Teak is very high quality and can last for years if cared for properly.  Wicker and wrought iron patio dining tables can last for many seasons as well.

When shopping for patio dining sets, consider durability and longevity and factor these into the cost. It can often be prudent to pay a little extra to acquire furniture that will last for many years instead of  one season. Question the furniture’s durability when left exposed to the outdoors. Maintenance is usually required for anything outdoors.  Cushions should be of outdoor fabric.

Those looking for very low maintenance patio furniture may prefer a set made from cast aluminum. With cast aluminum, you just set up the furniture, use it as much as you like, and it barely even needs an occasional wipe down. CuIt looks beautiful even when left outside all year.

There are other things to consider.  Is it a good investment?  Have you found the style and design of your patio dining set  that will complement your outdoor area nicely?  If you like the appearance and comfort of your patio dining furniture, you  will enjoy using it.

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01 Aug

Vegetable Planters

Before starting your vegetable garden, should keep in mind these simple thoughts: size, location, soil and vegetable planters.

First, plot your garden in an area with plenty of sun and efficient drainage. Your plants need on average about 6 hours of sunlight each day.  Also, make sure that your garden has adequate drainage.

Second, decide how big you want your garden to be initially. Start out small and expand later; otherwise the size of the garden may overwhelm you. A recommended size is 25 square feet or less.

Third, soil is one of the most important aspects of gardening, so it is very important to have quality soil.  The best type of soil is slightly loose and easy to till. Remedy soil that is hard-packed by using mulch or compost. You can buy good soil amendments from your local nursery. Mulch is an organic covering, such as straw, leaves, compost, or peat that you can cover your garden with to enrich the soil, prevent weed growth, and prevent excessive evaporation of water. Compost consists of any organic particle, such as dead leaves, manure, or (most commonly) kitchen scraps. Compost improves the soil and provides nutrients for plants. Composting is great for your garden and cuts down on your trash.  It minimizes land fills.  Consider worm composting which is super beneficial for your soil.

Four, vegetable planters can maximize you gardening space.  We have vegetable cages for tomatoes, trellises for squash and cucumbers.  We have a big support cage for pole beans and small cages for bush beans.  We use bags for potatoes.

If you consider the location, size, and soil of your garden when doing the initial planning, you will have a great vegetable garden. Some of these tips will help those of you who choose to have a container vegetable garden.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/939886

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21 Jul

Vegetable Planters

I believe that to eat healthy you need to know the source(s) of your food.  While trips to a farmers market can be fun and provide you with locally grown food, growing your own food is even better.

I have a variety of vegetable planters to make growing easier and denser.  I have a bean tower for supporting  pole beans, an a-line structure for accommodating cucumber and squash plants, and of course tomato cages and planters.  Our gardening space is limited and so these vegetable planters make vertical vegetable gardening possible.

Tomatos can present a unique need for good vegetable planters.  Their size increases through out their growing season.  If the vegetable planters are not strong, they will end their season on the ground.  Bugs and squirrels delight when that happens.  You want the produce for your table – not theirs.

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21 Jul

Self Watering Planters

As gardeners, we all know how critical water is. We have seen plants thrive when adequately watered. We have pulled up brown withered stalks when watering was neglected. Because we travel a lot, this spring we decided to invest in self-watering planters.  We installed “spaghettis” – drip lines. (My grandsons so named them when they saw the finished products.)

We lease this house, so there is a limit to what we do that is of a permanent nature. Our lease-or who provides the property with a sprinkler system agreed to the project. It was not a difficult job, dirty and time consuming, but not difficult. We,the lease-es, tied the spaghettis into sprinkler system water lines using garden hose connectors, anchored them to our pots and monitored results. It took several attempts to get the time the self-watering planter lines running correctly.

Now, I am not lugging water buckets around when we are home or worrying about how the plants are faring when we are away. If this a possibility for you, I urge you to consider spaghettis. Make your planters self watering planters.  Especially, if you are growing vegetables and you don’t want to miss out on the harvest.

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21 Jul

Outdoor Rocking Chairs

outdoor-rocking-chairs-and-sets-I have been keeping house a long time.  I could really use some new indoor furniture.  I have, however, decided that for the next few months I would rather have new outdoor furniture.  We have a nice front porch and I am going to purchase some comfortable outdoor rocking chairs.  We have a great neighborhood and neighbors.  We tend to congregate at one house in the evenings.  My new outdoor rocking chairs will be an invitation for it to be at our house.

It is nice to catch up with everyone, but it is even nicer when we can view a beautiful yard and sit in comfy outdoor rocking chairs while doing it.

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11 Jun

UrbinGrower

Have you ever agonized over how much, too much water is needed for your plants? Have you ever wished you could extend your growing season?  Then the UrBin Grower is something you should consider. It is a compact self-watering organic growing system. It can be used on a patio, balcony, fire escape, backyard, greenhouse, or even inside during the cold months. Its innovative design allows for portability.  It can provide a bountiful harvest.

The UrBin Grower allows you to grow endless vegetables in a manageable container.  It has a unique sub-irrigation watering design that waters plants the way nature intended – from the bottom up. Watering into the UrBin Grower’s visible reservoir allows you to monitor the water much more effectively than in other self-watering containers which require you water through a tube into a hidden reservoir. With the UrBin Grower there is a soil wick which pulls moisture up to the plant roots, drawing nutrients with it.

The soil system also air prunes plants to keep the root growth constant and prevent root circling. With the constant exposure to oxygen you no longer need to worry about over watering. The fresh air prunes the tip of the roots which causes them to branch off, creating an even healthier root system.  This a great, useful gardening product.

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20 May

My Patio Furniture

outdoor-rocking-chairs-and-sets-I love being outdoors.  I love being outdoors in Colorado.  The humidity is low, the breeze is calming, and I think the sky is consistently the bluest in my corner of CO.  What I really love is having comfortable patio furniture to relax in and watch my garden grow.

Wicker is my preferred material.  It can be faux wicker but must look good and be sturdy.  We have two grandsons, 5 and 9, and a labradoodle that share our love of the outdoors.  They and we eat, work, and play in our yard and on our patio furniture.  Sturdy, cleanable outdoor furniture is a must.

Our outdoor furniture is not new.  It is not a matchy, matchy set.  Most of the pieces could have come from a recycle, repurpose shop. I must haul some of the cushions inside if rain comes.  I really want some new outdoor stuff. I purchased a new outdoor rug early this spring.  So I am now shopping for new outdoor love seat and chairs.  I can have new matchy, matchy or new unmatched pieces.  The patio umbrella is gold.  Rug has beige and brown tones.  I want to choose complementary colors.  There are many sources available that are fun to shop.  Decisions, decisions.  I look forward to delivery.

 

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20 May

Soil Amendments

I wished for perfect soil to grow all my favorite kinds of plants when we moved to Colorado.  I quickly learned that that would only happen if I made it.  Our soil is clay.  It is very compact and not good for many of the plants I love.  We purchased some organic  soil amendments and added to the clay.  But, more importantly, we got our compost going.  Every year we add amendments.

We garden organically so we only use grass clippings from our yard.  We know there are no  chemicals used on our lawn.  We rake leaves and bag them.  We add them to the compost after they sit in black trash bags for a season.  Kitchen waste, newspapers, etc., they all go in the bin.  The earth worms love us.  Bags of compost can be purchased, but homemade is better.  Compost is the ultimate soil amendment.

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