Author Archives: mimin

The benefits of using reclaimed wood in the kitchen

The benefits of using reclaimed wood in the kitchen

If you want to add a sense of history to your kitchen, consider using reclaimed wood for your flooring. Nothing can match it for the richness of its patina and the sense of age it brings to the most modern kitchen.

Image Credit

Reclaimed wood can look stunning when used with materials like steel and stone. The contrast of a sleek and contemporary kitchen against a rough-hewn, rustic floor can add real impact to your design.

It tells a story

Where did your reclaimed timbers come from – an old barn or a now-demolished country house? By using reclaimed wood, you are allowing these timbers to continue to tell their story for the modern age and reducing your carbon footprint by recycling and repurposing scarce resources.

It has character

When you use reclaimed solid wood flooring for your kitchen, you will create unique effects thanks to its character and age. No two pieces are ever the same, adding to its charm. Its pronounced grain and knots will look beautiful contrasted with contemporary units, and recycled wood is often available in the wider plank sizes that are so on trend right now. However, some of the treatments used on recycled timbers are now recognised as toxic, and substances such as lead paint may be present in the wood. If you prefer to err on the side of caution or have young children in your home, you might prefer to source beautiful modern solid wood floors from sites like http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/solid-wood-flooring.

It has strength, stability and durability

Reclaimed wood has already been weathered and exposed to wear, leaving it far stronger, more stable and durable than modern woods. It is much less prone to warping and splitting, having already expanded and contracted numerous times. It is the ideal timber to provide a hardwearing floor for a new kitchen, and the scars and imperfections of age can make it look more beautiful.

It is unique

Not only is each piece of timber unlike any other, but some of the reclaimed woods available are no longer in use as building materials, making them an absolutely unique talking point for your kitchen. However you choose to use reclaimed wood in your new kitchen, you will create a real talking point and breathe new life into one of our most beautiful and natural materials.

Tips For Common Orchid Problems

Tips For Common Orchid Problems

Many people are under a false impression with orchids and believe that they are extremely difficult to care for. Although there are various orchid problems that can arise if they are not cared for properly, there are so many thousands of different species to choose from that anyone of any skill level will be able to find an orchid that they can grow with little trouble at all.

Orchids are Delicate

Most orchids don’t need any more care than the average houseplant but there are few types that do require some attention due to their delicate nature. The first crucial step is to find out what specific needs your particular orchid has. The blooms of an orchid are truly beautiful and this is what sets them apart from other flowers, but it’s also the blooms that are quite fragile. If the proper care is given though, your orchid and its’ magnificent blooms can be maintained to look just as it, and they, did the day you bought it. Due to their popularity from being known to be easily cared for than other less common orchids, the chances that you own a Phaleanopsis orchid are quite high. If it’s purple or white, then you definitely do!

Placement for Your Orchid

Most orchids will bloom for about 3 months of the year – the Phaleanopsis is one of these species – if taken care of correctly. A window on the east side of your home is the best location for any orchid. Being placed here will mean it gets the right amount of sunlight and shade it needs and will enjoy the morning and afternoon sunlight. Be mindful, though, of the midday sun as it should be avoided because it can be very harsh to the orchids’ leaves. Another good light source can be of the artificial kind, being fluorescent lights. If you use these, they should be positioned a foot or so above the orchids’ blooms. This way you’ll have a substitute for natural light, but it’s still encouraged for your orchid to receive sunlight during normal hours.

Temperature Range and Watering

The ideal range to have an orchid growing in is between 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). Any higher than this will harm your orchid and it will start losing its’ buds or just stop flowering at all. This will certainly be the result if an orchid is exposed to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher. You must be very careful to avoid over-watering orchids because this can easily happen. The flower must remain moist though, so just stick to watering it every one or two weeks. You could also use a watering tray to keep your orchid in constantly. The only point to remember with a water tray is to not allow the roots to touch the edges or the bottom of the tray. If this happens too much moisture will be absorbed by the plant.

Fertilizing and Pruning Your Orchid

To keep you orchid healthy and blooming for as long as possible during its’ life, fertilize it before it flowers each time. Once it does bloom, it doesn’t need to be fertilized again until the next time it blooms. Pruning your orchid while it’s in the process of flowering will help a second set of blooms to develop. This little tip will have you a stunning orchid for many years.

6 Tips On How To Care For Your Plants

6 Tips On How To Care For Your Plants

Many people worry a lot when it comes to caring for their plants. When talking about house plants, there is no need to worry. There are just a few things you need to consider.

1. Water your plants

Do not go gardening without a water can. This is a compulsory for gardeners. The best designed water can is the one with a slim spout to guarantee enough and sufficient watering. Before the watering, do not forget to place in your index finger to the soil to determine if the soil is wet and soggy.

2. Feed your plants

Feed Your plants accordingly. Foliage plants should be fed with those food rich in nitrogen. Flowering plants need K2O. You can mix compost with deliberate releasing fertilizer. However, Cacti and orchids required special feeds. The feeding is usually done during the height of the plant’s growth.

3. Determine the kind of plants that need lighting

Some plants like Sanseveria and Aspidistra do not need shade so you can put it far from the window. However Spider plants require semi-shade, place plants like these close to the window where exposure to sunlight is minimal. Remember that there are plants that need sun and there are others that do not just like cheeseplants.

4. Check the Temperature

House plants can live on to temperature a bit higher than 15-250 C or 55-750 F. But severe and extreme up and down of temperature may not be healthy for them.

5.Check the Humidity

Other houseplants really need humid environment. To provide maximum humidity, place the plant inside a much larger pot and fill in every gaps with some stones and compost in order to maintain the moisture. Compost helps maintain the moisture for it does not dry out. Another tip is to group your plants. Grouping your plants can create a humid climate that maintains the soil moisture, if not spray your plants with water once or twice everyday depending on the existing temperature.

6. Consider re-potting

Some plants really need to transfer plot or just merely re-potting to have the optimum growth they need. But this method may not be suitable to other plants, as there are plants with roots who do not like to be disturbed or these are plants with small system of roots. To determine the plants that require for re-potting, just turn it upside down and tap the pot to loosen and release the plants. Check the roots. If the roots are all you see then re-pot.

To nurture plant is not easy but you will find satisfaction and happiness when you see your plants and garden filled with beautiful bright colors. Furthermore, you can also learn the value of respect to others species alive regardless of its kind.

Tips to Beautify Your Neglected Houseplant

Tips to Beautify Your Neglected Houseplant

plants

One of the most common houseplants in America and one of the most abused is the Philodendron. Found in households and office buildings around the world, the most common variety is often seen as a straggly 10 foot long sparse vine with a few heart shaped leaves scattered along its length. Philodendrons originate in the tropics and are part of the Aroid family (Araceae). Philodendrons plants come in many shapes and sizes, from small trailing vines to giant trees. There are many different species of Philodendrons, each possessing its own characteristics as to leaf size, shape or coloring.

Most Philodendrons are at home in the jungles of tropical America and are suited for medium filtered-light intensity similar to a dense jungle floor. Because of this adaption, they are prime candidates for surviving in the low to medium light of many homes and offices. While most philodendrons will do well in low-light situations, the more colorful varieties require brighter locations.

Philodendrons grow best in a somewhat tightly fitting pot and will form a nice intertwined ball of roots, so you can plant them in a pot which may almost seem too small. Pot your philodendron in the late winter or in the spring. Fill the bottom of the pot one quarter full with broken crocks for easy drainage, which should then be covered with a moss, turf or coarse leaves to prevent the drainage from becoming clogged. Feed your philodendron in the spring and again in midsummer with a liquid house plant fertilizer. You can propagate your own philodendrons by taking a cutting with at least 2 joints on it and planting it.

The plant will tolerate low light conditions, but too little light will cause the plant to be sparse, with new leaves growing in smaller and farther apart on the stem. All philodendrons should be checked regularly and kept evenly moist. Over watering may lead to yellow leaves and under watering will cause the leaves to turn brown and fall off. Never let the soil get so dry that the leaves start to wilt, this may mean that the small, fine root hairs that absorb moisture and nutrients are in trouble. Clean the leaves with soapy water or an insecticide regularly to prevent the pores from becoming clogged up with dust and to control insects.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3685106

How to Grow Indoor Houseplants

How to Grow Indoor Houseplants

Learning how to grow indoor houseplants is easy and your success depends on a few things. The light conditions are important and different plants will need more or less light to thrive. Heat conditions should also be considered to help you locate certain plants in certain rooms or areas. Lastly, humidity requirements should be taken into account to help with placement and plant selection. Master these three aspects and you’ll be an expert on indoor planting.

Interest in growing houseplants is increasing tremendously. Why? Nowadays, homes have better heating, cooling, and lighting conditions than in years past. The assortment of available plants and containers are greater than ever and the concern for our environment has grown.

Many homes, apartments, and offices have large windows that provide the light necessary for plant growth. If natural sun light is not abundant, artificial light can be used as a substitute. Some indoor houseplants are easy to grow such as philodendron, whereas other varieties like Peperomia can be a challenge. Something a little more challenging would include Ferns and Anthurium.

Selecting the Right Plant: Your odds of success will be most affected by the conditions you provide them. Also helpful will be an understanding of environmental factors regarding plant growth such as light, humidity, and temperature needs.

Lighting Requirements: Well-lighted rooms suit most houseplants. South and west facing windows provide the best light if they are not blocked by buildings, trees or curtains. Windows on the east side of a house are better for plants like aglaonemas and rubber plants. Direct sun is usually not too strong for most plants in the winter, but as the sun’s intensity increases toward summer, the plants should be moved away from the glass or shaded by a curtain. Although sunlight is very important, excessive sun can cause leaves to turn pale green or yellow and can also cause them to burn. Where natural light is totally inadequate, artificial light can be added to make growing most plants a possibility.

Heat and Humidity Requirements: Most heated homes and offices have very dry air, which is harmful to indoor plants, especially those with high humidity requirements. Plants like African violets, ferns, and orchids which require high humidity do well if placed in a bathroom if the temperature and light requirements are also met.

Most homes are kept at a temperature range from 65 – 70 degrees throughout the day. This suits a wide variety of plants. Some plants; however, prefer cooler temperatures. Cyclamen will thrive in chilly conditions with a daytime temperature around 60 degrees. Night temperatures are important also. Most plants grow best when there is a 10 to 15 degree drop in room temperature between daytime and nighttime. Yet, be careful not to allow a greater drop as it will be harmful to your houseplants.

On extremely cold winter nights, it would be a good idea to move your houseplants away from windows. Temperatures on a windowsill can be 20 degrees lower than anywhere else in the house. In fact, you can also use cardboard or newspaper between the windows and the plants for temporary protection from the cold.

Watering Requirements: The number one cause of death in indoor houseplants is over watering. The amount of water a plant needs will depend on the type of plant, room temperature, and the time of year. Generally, houseplants need more water during the flowering or growing season (spring and summer) than during the resting season (fall and winter). The dry, warm atmosphere of certain heated dwellings may make it necessary to water more frequently during the resting months. Remember, all plants are different and will need to be watered according to it’s individual needs.

Fertilizer Requirements: Fertilizer should be applied during the growing season (spring and summer) after the plant has been watered. A liquid or powder fertilizer, which is specifically designed for houseplants is the best choice. Over use of fertilization can build up soluble salts and this can damage the roots for plants confined to containers. To remedy this, reduce the frequency of feeding and periodically flush the soil by adding a large amount of water and letting it run out the drainage holes. Discard water as it pools into your saucers and never let a plant sit in standing water for very long.

Following these tips on how to grow indoor houseplants will help you be successful in the long run.

Care and Propagation Tips for Your Houseplant

Care and Propagation Tips for Your Houseplant

Houseplants, they are a boon to our everyday life. They clean our room atmosphere, absorb suspended particle and also lessen noise level, making our life much smoother.

The only disadvantage of indoor garden is, it cost you money. I live in India and here most species of houseplants come with a high price tag. So, I started to experiment and acquire knowledge to extend my indoor garden in a cheaper way. Below, I want to share with you the knowledge, I gathered, regarding that.

Dracaena – They are one of my favourites, as they comes with many color and shape. They prefer indirect bright light and warm condition. Some of them Form a definite stem with a tuft of leaves on top. Prune them at the desired height. This will force, emergence of new shoot. Do not throw away the stem you have cut. Cut them in small pieces and plant in moist peat or sand. After some days new root will start growing, giving you more plants.

Aglaonema – Aglaonema is a hardy herbaceous plant, attaining a height of 20-30 centimeters. They are used as houseplants for their attractive foliage. Most of them produces branches freely and clumps are formed giving a showy appearance. If it overflow your pot cut nodes and put in moist sand or potting medium directly. The end result is more plants.

Turf Lily – it’s scientific name is ophiopogon. They are perennial herbs and have a compact grass-like appearance with narrow leaves. They are hardy houseplants and particularly the variegated forms are very attractive. With a little care they will outgrow your pot and that is the time to propagate them. Divide the clumps and put directly in potted medium.

There are tens of thousands of houseplant is available nowadays and it is impossible to list them in this article. So, my tips for you is try different methods to propagate. For woody or semi-woody types try stem or node cuttings. For herbaceous plants try clump division. Remember propagation is better done in summer and monsoon. Do not get frustrated if you failed first time. The probable chance is , may be you have choose a wrong plant or time. Next time may be you will successful. So, keep on trying.

Organic Lawn Care Can Save the World One Lawn at a Time

Organic Lawn Care Can Save the World One Lawn at a Time

As the world becomes more informed about the dangers involved in the continued use of chemicals on cropland and lawns, more people are changing over to organic lawn care. The title of this article may seem a bit extreme, but that doesn’t change the truth of it. Each person who changes from chemical lawn care products to natural lawn care products is helping to save the world.

Organic lawn care products are created to help the soil regain the nutrients and minerals that it needs to provide the best conditions for the growth of grass and other landscaping plants. It is created using natural materials that plants need, but that are used up as plants grow. Compost is a natural material because it is created using plant material exposed to water just as it would be naturally. However, some people do not have the time or inclination to do their own composting.

Organic lawn care products can take the place of this and are simple and easy to use. Products like Summer Blend or High-Traffic Blend are organic lawn care products that were created to resolve specific problems. There are many other organic lawn products that you could choose from for more general care of your lawn. Many organic lawn products come in a liquid form that you can dispense with an attachment on your garden hose. This makes applying them as easy as watering your lawn.

Other organic lawn maintenance methods are as simple as not cutting your grass too short. For the healthiest results, grass should be left at least 3 inches long. This allows the grass to develop strong root systems that reach further down into the soil. By growing deeper into the soil, the roots are able to reach water that collects in the lower soil levels; this also helps the grass resist times without rain. This can mean less watering of your lawn, which can actually save you money.

Another easy natural lawn maintenance method is to increase the number of earthworms in your soil. Earthworms are natural aerators. As they move through the soil they break it up and make it possible for air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your plants. They also help to break up organic material into smaller pieces for easier absorption by plants.

Whether you choose a liquid organic lawn product like Mineral Blend or a dry pellet form of organic fertilizer, you are going to be creating a lawn that is better for the planet and safer for your family. You may also find that your yard will attract more birds and wildlife after you begin using organic lawn care products. Chemical products make birds and animals ill or may even kill them, so they tend to stay away from areas where chemicals have been used.

Part of having a beautiful lawn is the ability to be outdoors and enjoy it. Organic lawn care allows you to enjoy your lawn without the worry that it may be dangerous to your children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5914242

Keep Your Lawn Health With These Lawn Care Tips

Keep Your Lawn Health With These Lawn Care Tips

There is more to keeping your lawn looking great than you may know. No doubt you want a beautiful and healthy lawn, but do you know how to keep it looking that way? Here are some lawn care tips to help you make sure your lawn looks green and luscious.

Tip #1 – Aerate the Lawn – In the fall or the spring, you need to aerate the lawn. This helps to keep soil from compacting and improves soil quality as well. When you do this, it allows the grass to more easily get the nutrients and water that it needs.

Tip #2 – Fertlize – When the lawn is growing, you should fertilize the lawn. Go with a fertilizer that slowly releases nitrogen into the soil for the best results.

Tip #3 – Mow Appropriately – Keep the lawn mowed to about 3 inches in height. Don’t cut it any closer then this. As the grass grows fast, make sure you mow on a regular basis to keep it at this height.

Tip #4 – Kill Weeds – Weeds can choke out beautiful grass. Purchase products that will keep the weeds from growing and something that will kill off any weeds you have. Especially make sure you never allow the weeds to seed.

Tip #5 – Keep Grubs Away – Grubs can kill your lawn. Test the lawn from time to time. This can be done by lifting up a foot of your grass and then seeing how many insects you have. If you have more than 5 in a square foot of lawn, you may need to treat with some type of grub treatment.

These are a few easy tips that you can use on your own lawn. They are simple to use and can keep your lawn looking beautiful all season long.

5 Effective Spring Lawn Care Tips

5 Effective Spring Lawn Care Tips

care

Your lawn has different maintenance needs for every season. When spring arrives, be sure to apply these five specific lawn care tips so that your grass will not only look great during this period but will also maintain its appearance throughout summer and fall.

1. Tune up Your Mower
First things first! Get your mower and give it a full tune up. It must be in good condition before you cut the lawn otherwise it will be difficult to maneuver and you’ll cause severe damage to the grass. So go ahead and change the engine’s oil, filter and other parts that need special attention. Dull blades will make the mowing much longer since it cannot cut the grass effectively, so remember to sharpen the mower’s blades as well.

Don’t panic if you don’t know how to tune up the equipment! You can always seek help from a lawn mower expert. Though you’ll have to pay a small fee, you’ll definitely have a more efficient mower in just a short while.

2. Remove Crabgrass and Other Weeds
Crabgrass and other kinds of weeds are more likely to pop out during spring, so inspect the entire lawn area and remove them right away before they start producing seeds and multiply. You can pull them out manually if you’re into organic gardening, or you can depend on a weed control agent for a more convenient method. The earlier you’re able to detect and remove weeds, the better because they won’t have the chance to spread out and ruin your lawn.

3. Apply Some Fertilizer
For a great-looking spring lawn, use a recommended brand of fertilizer for your soil to make your grass greener and healthier. However, be cautious of the amount you apply because too much of it will bring negative results. Overdosing the lawn will lead to several disease and encourage weed growth, so find out the appropriate application for your specific soil and grass type and follow it correctly.

4. Seed Bald Spots
The presence of brown patches on the lawn is a sign that the grass is weakening. The moment you discover a bald spot on your turf, make sure you attend to it immediately before the grass dies completely. The best way to address this problem is to seed the affected areas as soon as possible. Although reseeding is often implemented during fall, you can also do it this season especially if your lawn is in big trouble. So get a hold of those seeds and start planting so that the bald spots will be gone right away!

5. Rake the Lawn
Lastly, do some raking during springtime in order to get rid of thatch that’s highly dangerous to the grass. Even though you’ve already taken care of the leaves last fall, raking is also recommended this season especially if your lawn has a thatch buildup of more than half an inch. So make sure to set aside some time to rake so that you’re not only removing the leaves but the thatch as well.

How to Add Value to the Overall Appearance of Your Landscape

How to Add Value to the Overall Appearance of Your Landscape

When you plan to use landscape gardening for your home, the aim is to make your home look beautiful and also make it the cynosure of all eyes. Now, comes the important question of how can you make you landscape stand out? How do you add value to your landscaping to make it look beautiful and appealing? The answer to this is rather simple.

Beautiful landscaping does not always mean paying through your nose to hire the services of an expert nor does it mean running around to find a gardener. You can do it all by yourself. Hiring a professional or getting the services of a gardener can mean having to pay a huge sum for the services. You can do it on your own by just going out to the local nurseries and gathering as much information as possible. With the power of knowledge by your side you can confidently embark on your landscaping project.

Making a trip to the nursery and speaking to a qualified person there would help you make up your mind as to the right choice of greenery for your garden. Taking a picture along would help you to gather more personalized information that is suitable to your garden. You must decide on whether you wish to have only greenery around or also add some color. Flowering plants need more care and also regular watering, thus, you need to decide based on the availability of time and the effort involved. Flowering plants do add a dash of color to landscape gardening and actually make a positive contribution to completing the picture beautifully.

You could either have flower beds or grow plants in containers. If you wish to have more number of flowering plants in the garden then using flower beds is a good idea containers would work out to be more expensive. If you decide to grow them in containers make sure that the containers are large enough to accommodate the plant. The container should have enough space so that the plant remains healthy and is able to grow well. Using material like wood chips, rocks or any other decorative material near the bushes and flower beds would give it a nice and elegant look. However, make sure that if you plant to use wood chips you must not do so near the foundation as there is a threat of attracting termites.

Water is another feature that adds to the beauty of landscape gardening. It adds a very refreshing feel and provides a soothing effect. It is however, important to remember that the fountain or any other water body would look beautiful only if it is absolutely clean. Choosing material that is easy to clean and maintain is important. For the look of the fountain too they are many choices from the Gothic to the modern and you could choose one that perfectly matches your landscaped garden.