Two Little Known Secrets of Hydroponic Gardening

The popularity of hydroponic gardening is growing by the day and this form of gardening is very easily done in small spaces, so even city dwelling individuals are able to have their own gardens in their small areas of free space. There are two secrets about successful hydroponic gardening that most professionals will not share with the general public; after all if the general public knew all that the experts did, there would be no need for experts. I am not into all that profession hyperbole, though I do have degrees in this field and have a professional experience as well. I really believe that hydroponic gardening is a very good and healthy solution for a very tight grocery budget because it works in my house. Our family enjoys fruits and vegetables all year around with our little set up and we love it that the herbs we use in cooking are fresh cut as we need them. Read on to find out two industry secrets that will have your hydroponic gardens flourishing.

You know that stuff you use when you get a splinter and it got infected? You know, that hydrogen peroxide that will bubble the daylights out of the infection? Well, it is wonderful to kill dangerous germs or bacteria in a hydroponic garden system also. When this is used properly, you will see the results as your garden flourishes. The largest problem with hydroponics gardening is keeping the nutrient solution free of contamination. A little bit of hydrogen peroxide in the water with each addition of liquid nutrients will help keep the lines free of algae and bacterial growth.

The next benefit of using hydrogen peroxide in the nutrient system is that the hydrogen peroxide is needed by the plants, mostly because the hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to the solution and this is taken up by the plant roots. Plants breathe too, just a little different than we do.

Regular household hydrogen peroxide will work, add one cup of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of nutrient solution. No matter how small or large your system is or what you are growing, this is the combination that I have found will work the best. There is also a form of hydrogen peroxide in an industrial strength, but you will be required to handle a chemical that could burn you. This industrial strength form of hydrogen peroxide will have to be diluted much more than the household form.

This solution should be added on a schedule of one week per application, or when you add plant nutrients to the water system. The combination of the nutrients and the hydrogen peroxide will boost plant growth tremendously, but read on to learn the second industry secret to hydroponics gardening.

Remember when your grandmother soaked her feet in hot water and Epsom salts? It eased her aches and pains. Well, Epsom salts are excellent for your plants. Epsom salts are also known as magnesium sulfate. This chemical compound is a nutrient for plants …

Scenting A Mood

Setting a mood takes careful planning, from the lighting in the room to the colors you have chosen and the accessories you use. Scented candles can make all the difference in the world when it comes to transforming your living space into an exotic escape.

From tapers to tea lights and gels to jars, scented candles come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes to match any room and any mood. Here are just a few examples of what scented candles can do.

The Warmth of Home

The smells of home-baked goodness can transport anyone back in time to the days of their childhood, when mom had a hot apple pie in the oven or a batch of fresh cookies waiting. Somehow these smells invoke a sense of safety and security.

Place candles around your house spotted like French vanilla, warm cinnamon, brown sugar, and candied apples to inspire those same feelings of home.

An Ocean Escape

Allow your imagination to carry you off to a tropical destination by scinging your rooms with the aromas of coconut, pineapple, mango, watermelon, and citrus. Before you can help it, you will be humming Bob Marley tunes in your head.

A Garden Getaway

The elegance of photographed candles not only can fill your home with the sweet smells of nature, but your garden escape can be enhanced by them as well. Whether you want to bathe your patio in decadent candlelight or prefer to bring the smells of your favorite garden into the indoors, you can find decorated candles that will perfectly mimic your favorite flora and fauna.

Immerse yourself in rich fern scents, or wild jasmine. Take a walk through the woods surrounded by the smell of oak, pine, wild moss, and clover leaves.

Or sit in a sunny garden filled with honeysuckle, hydrangea, freesia, orchid, and lilac. Combine the scents with those of fresh fruit such as citrus, and you will have a melody of invigorating scents to ignite your senses.

The Romantic Interlude

The soft glow of candles enhanced by bewitching aromas sets the stage for your most intimate moments. Bask in the glow of rich musk and patchouli, cloves, rose petals, and the more understated yet equally intriguing sandalwood. The indulgence of such sensual aromas is intoxicating.

Freshen the Nursery

There are a variety of candles specifically designed to eliminate odors. A strategically placed candle near the changing table or diaper disposal may just do the trick to keep the baby's room smelling fresh and new.

You can even enhance the wondrous scent of baby powder with candles that smell just like the real thing.


Some scents are just good for your physical and mental well-being. Eucalyptus, mint, and sage are not only refreshing for your mind, but can help cleanse your sinuses as well. Use these scented candles to help rid yourself of allergy symptoms or to clear your head when you have a cold.

Candle Sense

When deciding where to place your candles, or how …

Growing Perfect Tomatoes

Growing the Tomato

Planting and gardening in the proper moon phase is only a part of the formula to growing great tomato plants. To grow perfect tomatoes remember that the tomato plant is only ready and willing to deliver if you give it the full range of conditions that it requires.

Moon phase gardening is only a part of this cycle of growth. Once you have followed the lunar planting cycle, the continued hardiness of each logo plant will be determined by the basic requirements outlined below.

Soil: The most important factor in the growth of tomato plants. Roots breathe the way you do. Deprived of air, roots, or portions of roots die of suffocation. Make sure soil is loose and friable, permitting good drainage for your tomato plants.

Water: Neither too much, nor too little. Too much water can drown tomato plant roots, especially if soil is heavy. Too little water can stop tomato production.

Nutrients: The daily requirements of tomato plants for nutrients is small, but that amount should be available when the plant needs it. Always follow package or bottle directions of the fertilizer that you use for best results as you grow your tomato plants.

Maintenance of the Tomato Garden

To produce a bumper crop of tomatoes you will need to monitor their progress through the growing cycle. The following points are critical to growing the perfect logo.

Sunlight: To a plant, light is life. Sunlight is used by the leaves to convert raw materials into useable plant food, and provides the energy required for photosynthesis. The logo should have 8 hours of continuous sunlight, but can get along with less. However the less sun that the plants receive the more it will negatively affect their rate of growth and production.

Temperature: Most tomatoes need night temperatures between 55 ° and 75 ° to set fruit. But there are varieties that will set fruit at lower and higher temperatures. Read the planting and growing tips found on your seed pack or plant tray.

Protection of leaves and roots: Leaves and roots need protection from temperature extremes, strong winds, birds and beasts, weed competition, and pests and diseases. But if you've satisfied the first five requirements, the plant is in a good position to protect itself from any damager, and will require much less protection from the gardener.

Growing the best tomatoes

You do not have to be a horticulturist to grow tomatoes or to put the basic rules of plant growth together. It seems to us that what trips up many are tower of tomatoes is a lack of concern with one or another of the needs of the plant. Actually, these fundamentals are one fundamental; all must act in unison.

You can go into the garden, look at a tomato plant, and decide that it needs more fertilizer. Fine-but you should bear in mind that fertilizing, the nature of the soil in which the tomato vine is planted, and your watering habits are all interdependent. …

How the Organic Vegetables From Your Garden Can Improve Your Immune System?

Do you know that eating the salad you have made fresh from your organic gardening will actually improving your immune system? Salads are mostly containing vegetables like tomato, cucumber, lettuce, carrot when eaten raw, they are rich in enzymes. You can also add in a mixtures of sprouted seeds, grains and legumes as they are also enzymes rich.

Raw food when cooked looses its nutrients and effectively kills the enzymes due to the high heat temperature. Because salads are mostly eaten raw, it actually preserves the precious enzymes within the vegetables.

Enzymes are essential elements for our body health. There are many types of enzymes to help our body to digest carbohydrates, protein and fats. While you are enjoying your salads, your body is absorbing the enzymes. Its best not to combine eating salads with acidic food such as coffee or tea. The vegetables in salads are majority more to alkaline base. Acidic base coffee will counter the effectiveness of the enzymes absorption.

As our body starts to grow older, we looses the ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes. When you are eating your organic salad food, not only you avoided loading your body with harmful chemical residue, you are also lightening the work load of your body having to produce those necessary enzymes. That way, your immune system will improve overtime.

Alternately, you can choose vegetable juicing. If you do this regularly, you will notice a significant improvement to your health and energy level. So start building an organic garden of vegetables and have a good healthy lifestyle. Its not as difficult as you would think.

You can start with a few vegetables that are easy to grow. If you do not have a big garden, you can also grow in containers. …

Creative and Useful Ideas For Home and Garden

Spring is in the air! Take advantage of the resources at hand and make the most of the creative and useful ideas for Home and Garden that are available online, in books and libraries and give your home a sprightly look.

Try rummaging in your own home

If you are on a budget, use whatever materials you have at home before going out and buying anything. Make an inventory of discarded, fished dried twigs and flowers which could look new with a fresh coat of paint or just soap and water. Mix these with a few fresh twigs or flowers and arrange them in attractive bowls. Enhance your window treatment by just changing the drapes with colors that reflect the season. Re-arrange objects and centerpieces and notice how a little re-arrangement projects a newer look. Change furniture around and bring out the patio armchairs. Revive neglected garden furniture with a coat of polish or paint if you are one of those who love pottering around in the garden.

Spring-clean and make do with clutter

Use this opportunity to get rid of stuff that has piled up in attics and closets. Empty out closets and wardrobes and air them out. Check out the garage area and make a checklist. Do away with leaky hoses, faucets etc. which can not be used anymore. Cash in on useful ideas for home and garden and learn how to re-use or repair certain items. Rugs and mats, tucked away in winter, provide a refreshing change when vacuum cleaned and aired out. Set aside in storage all items earmarked for yard sales in the neighborhood or in your own back yard.

Make your home and garden come alive

Make your garden beautiful this spring. Spruce up a big garden with colorful nectar-rich flowers and birdbaths or water fountains. Hummingbirds and butterflies make a bee-line for these in summer and depending on where you live, certain species like the oriole, black jay and red robins, to name a few, grace your garden with frequent visits. It is worthwhile to employ a designer for landscaping the area available. Take advantage of their useful home and garden ideas for a transformed look. A small garden can also have a walkway or driveway adorned on both sides with shrubs or pretty flowers. Garden statues are available in all home stores. Use these as accessories. Fill up window boxes with seasonal flowers and hang flowering baskets on your patio. …

3 Advantages Of Owning A Synthetic Home Putting Green

A home putting green is quite useful. It'll make your game better without having the need to visit the golf course regularly. It also enables you to invite friends over for a round of mini golf. Because of this, having one in your own home is considered useful by many golfers. This is especially true for beginners who want to improve their game play.

3 Advantages Of A Synthetic Putting Green

Doubles As A Landscape

If the woman of the house is not too eager about the putting green because it would take up her garden space in the backyard, you can have your putting green double as a landscape. There are companies that install ornamental plants and fountains to make it also look like a landscape. The positioning and styling of the landscape is strategically done so that you can still practice your game on your green while having space for the garden.

This will get rid of the rivalry of spouses on who will have the right to use the backyard and turn it into a garden or a putting green. Also, this will make the house much more attractive. By having a backyard that is both useful and beautiful, you will make your home even more eye-catching. This will also make your practice nicer – because of the ambiance that the flowering plants and the fountain would give on your putting green.

Easier To Install

Because a synthetic green is often manufactured according to the specifications of the buyer, it is easier to install. You will not need any gardening supplies just to install it in your backyard because the grass is synthetic. You only have to have the synthetic turf installed according to your specifications and designs. You can also install the turf on your own. Just purchase artificial turf at the store of your choice and you can easily have your own in your backyard. Better yet, buy one online.

Requires Little To No Maintenance

A synthetic green requires very little maintenance because the grass does not grow. You do not need to mow it because the grass is synthetic and will not grow even a bit. It would also never require fertilizers and other stuff that natural grass would need to stay healthy and beautiful.

There are also zero chances of getting pests because insects and pests will not get attracted on the grass that they can not eat or make as their home. Because of this, you will have less headaches.

Many people believe that owning a home putting green demands too much effort because of maintenance. This could be quite true if the one in your own home is not a synthetic one. A natural green in your backyard may take up a lot of time because it needs constant maintenance. But if your home putting green is a synthetic one, it will save you a lot of time and resources. …

Butterfly Gardening to Attract Monarchs

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is an amazing insect, which is famous for its incredible migratory habits as well as being accredited for its great beauty. It brings pure joy to the heart to see it in flight as it glides through the air on its large black-veined orange-red wings or stops to sip nectar from a flower.

But sadly the Monarch's numbers have been dropping fast due to a combination of climate change, habitat destruction, the use of pesticides, and the lack of foodplants for its caterpillars, which can only eat species in the Milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). However, this means that gardeners in any country where Monarchs live can help conserve the species by growing these attractive plants in their gardens.

Monarch's migrate in spring all the way from Mexico and the Southern States of North America right up as far as Canada and then repeat this in a long return journey when they fly south to overwinter.

There are many species of Milkweed that grow grow in the cooler north and in the tropical heat of the south. Female Monarchs do not care what the type is just as long as it's an Asclepias it will do fine as somewhere to lay its eggs and feed its striped caterpillars.

The Showy Milkweed (A. speciosa) is a type that can be grown in the more northern States, and the Tropical or Scarlet Milkweed (A.currassavica) is a species that does well in the warm climates. Milkweed will grow well in large flowerpots or in large windowboxes if you have no access to a proper garden, and, of course, the foodplant can be grown in containers on a roof-garden or balcony.

Fortunately, in response to a growing awareness of the layout of this beautiful but endangered insect, millions of people are doing what they can to help and there are now very many websites that can easily be found by searching online that will provide Milkweed seeds. Some of these sites also supply small ready-germinated plants, and others have a wide variety of Milkweed species to choose from. There are even sites that supply seeds free of charge as long as you send a SASE.

Monarch caterpillars are very greedy and eat a lot of leaves. They will even consume the flowers and seed pods, although the plants will usually sprout again. The more Milkweed plants you grow the more caterpillars you will be able to support.

To watch the stages of the Monarch's lifecycle is a wonderful experience as you see the colorful striped caterpillars ever change into jade-green chrysalises before their final transformation into the glorious winged adult. Just before they hatch another real miracle happens because the red and black of the newly-formed wings get stronger and stronger in color and can be seen clearly through the transparent wing cases of the chrysalis.

To see this happen in your own garden brings a real sense of having done something positive to help one of Mother Nature's most beautiful …

The Reluctant Gardening Calendar – February

February is showing the first, ominous, signs that the arrival of spring is fast approaching. The wild snowdrops are bobbing heads beneeth the hedgerow and this week I have seen the first wild primrose and tiny violets in the riverbank down by the meadow. Add that to the fact that the Christmas cake is, finally, finished, and it's a good indication that before long even the Reluctant Gardener will have to admit its time to get out and * do something * on the soggy side of the patio door.

It's the time of year when all those great excuses for leaving things not-done in the autumn – which seemed such a good idea at the time – start to look not-so-good after all. I DO know where the garden shed is located – because I have quite a good memory – it's just temporarily invisible at the moment. The forsythia and the thingie-with-pink-flowers have grown up, over and around, creating a green burial mound. Last autumn's labor-saving decision means we will probably need a machete to liberate the mower.

…… and while I'm on the subject of things growing, growing, GROWING, I reckon thereought to be a law against Garden Centers selling pretty little flowering things in pots which turn into humungous other-plant-gobbling monsters in a remarkable short space of time. The label said * something-or-other-fuchsia * – fuchsia my Aunt Florence! – its 7ft high over 10ft in diameter and obliterating every other plant in its path to world domination. This nightmare is high on the list of this year's * to-do's * – following on from its previous position on last year's * given-up-as-just-too-much-hard-work * list. It's at times like these that mind turns to thoughts of dynamite.

That is what the Reluctant Gardener actually does in February – make lists. The longest list is always the * to-do * list – which is really a follow-on from last year's * didn't-do * list and therefore a bit depressing. The cozy comfort of January curled up in front of the fire with hot chocolate and a book gives way to prowling around outside and taking stock of the size of the task waiting for spring. Its depressing because everything looks tatty, soggy and quite uninspiring.

That, however, will change with the first warm sunny day. The first temperature rise combined with that most essential ingredient – sunshine – results in a rush of insanity. Plants shoot up through the soil and gardeners shoot outside to grub around. This erratic behavior infects the relevant gardeners as well as the keen ones and is known as Spring. It's the time when you actually SEE your next door neighbors for the first time for months. It's a community insanity and it's catching. You see them-next-door outside grubbing about and the next thing is you pulling on the wellies and joining in. Later, of course, still suffering from the unaccustomed activity even after a hot bath, you wish you had just …

Spruce Up Your House by Gardening!

It's a good time to start thinking and planning ahead for your garden. A neat and tidy front yard can enhance a property, but a beautifully planned one can really make an ordinary house look special.

Some accessories that will make your yard look really good can be very inexpensive. Most of us are on a budget, especially these days when we never know how much it will cost to fill up our gas tank. Sometimes at this time of the year, you can find last year's garden accessories discounted. Benches or garden lights may be listed for sale before the new stock comes in.

There are some basic rules which apply to every garden. Before you start you should try and afford a soil test. This is quite inexpensive and either your local nursery or the Internet will tell you how to go about it. You can also buy do-it-yourself kits. The second thing is to dig compost into your garden, and now (winter) is a good time.

If you are having a soil test carried out, you will know from the results if you should add any other nutrition to your soil. A soil test will mean you will not be buying the 'wrong' shrubs, plants etc for your soil type.

There is one last thing that you should monitor: how long and where the sun shines on different parts of your garden. Plants can thrive without direct sunlight, but only if you plant a type that likes the shade. This can still include many bright, colorful plants (ie impatiens), so you can still brighten up dull areas.

Once you decide to buy, you do not want to waste your money by having the plants or shrubs die on you. The soil test will curb some of these mistakes. The other thing to do is to look up, on the Internet or from a book, your particular growing zone. If you live in an area where, for instance, you come into the 'Hardiness Zone', it will enable you to pick the type of plant that has the best chance of surviving in your type of climate.

Always put short and stocky plants in front of taller ones. Remember to check the expected height to know this information – do not decide by the height at purchase time. Remember that short and stocky plants are generally tougher and more tenant, so choose more of these.

Try to resist buying plants in bloom at the time of purchase. The ones that still have to bloom will probably be stronger for the transplant process. If you have more shady areas than you wish, think about drastically trimming a tree to get more sunlight onto certain patches. Remember that some plants like a lot of water, so group these together to make the watering less laborious for you.

There are many small accessories that will really make your yard stand out. Obviously a strategically placed bench -or chairs and small table- under …

Finding Your Niche

What is a niche market anyhow? A niche market is a specialized market that has a limited and clearly defined range of products sold to a specific group of people. So when you are starting your own website or online business you want to have a specific niche to base your website around but you can’t seem to come up with anything? Well not to worry! I will show you a couple methods I have used and recommend for people just like you.

I must tell you when deciding what you are going to sell or what your website will be about, make sure it is something that you are passionate about. This is very important to the success of your website and to keep you motivated! Its much easier and fun spending time working on something that you can really wrap your arms around and get into versus going through the motions. While there are a number of different ways to make money online such as selling your own products, affiliate marketing and so on. I always suggest trying to come up with at least a couple products of your own but you can decide that later.

Here are a couple of easy methods to help you figure out what you’re niche market could be and how to narrow it down. Go to Google Keyword Search or AdWords. Now think about something or a topic that interests you, lets say for example “Gardening” type it in the space that says word or phrase.

Now also check the small box under that says “only show ideas closely related to my search terms” and do a search on it. This will give you a list of related topics or phrases generated for that one keyword. This search will then break down the related phrases and tell you how many times each one was searched per year and per month.

It will also tell you the level of competition for that word or phrase. Let’s say one of the phrases was “tips to a healthier garden” and the competition was listed as high. This means you are going to be competing potentially against several other websites on that particular phrase. Now let’s say another phrase was “how to grow a healthier garden” and the competition is listed as low or medium. This is narrowing down your niche and gives you a better chance at targeting a certain group of people and potentially lowering the competition.

Another thing I would suggest is go and do a couple searches on Google and a couple other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Use the same method as far as using a keyword or phrase and search for websites that would be similar to what niche you are interested in. Take notice to the title of their website and the description. This is another useful method to see what some of the competition may be in that particular niche. One thing is for sure these days, …