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Home And Garden |

Fall Gardening; Practical Yard Guide

Many gardeners will not even contemplate fall gardening because of the winter frosts that could make an early showing. On the contrary, fall gardening can result in excellent vegetables and will extend crops long after spring planted plants are finished. Vegetables produced from fall gardening are often sweeter and milder than those grown in the summer and offer a brand new taste to the same old vegetables.

What you decide to grow during you fall gardening will depend on your available space and what you like to eat, just like spring plants. But the crops that enjoy the heat, such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and okra, will produce until the frosts hit, which can be pretty late in the year in southern states. But, there are some plants that will quit towards the end of summer like snap-beans, summer squash and cucumbers. If these vegetables are planted around the middle of the summer they can be harvested until the first frosts as well. Hardy, tough vegetables will grow until the temperature is as low as 20 degrees, but those that aren’t as strong will only be able to grow through light frosts. Remember that if you have root and tuber plants and the tops are killed by a freeze the edible part can be saved if a large amount of mulch is used.

When fall gardening, be sure and pick the vegetables with the shortest growing season so they can be full grown and harvested before the frost comes. Most seed packages will be labeled “early season”, or you can find the seeds boasting the fewest days to maturity. You may want to go after your seeds for fall gardening in spring or early summer; they are usually not kept in stock towards the end of summer. If they are stored in a cool and dry location they will keep until you are ready to plant.

In order to know exactly when the best time to begin fall gardening, you have to know about when the first hard frost will likely hit your region. One of the best ways to discover this is by a Farmer’s Almanac. They will give you precise dates and are rarely wrong. You will also need to know exactly how long it takes your plants to mature.

To get your soil ready for fall gardening you must first remove any leftover spring/summer crops and weeds. Crops leftover from the last season can end up spreading bacteria and disease if left in the garden. Spread a couple of inches of compost or mulch over the garden area to increase the nutrients, however, if spring plants were fertilized heavily it may not need much, if any. Till the top layer of soil, wet it down, and let it set for about 12-24 hours. Once this has been done, you are ready to begin planting.

Many gardeners will run from fall gardening so they don’t have to deal with frosts, but if tough, sturdy vegetables are planted they can withstand a few frosts and give you some wonderful tasting produce. Fall gardening gives you the chance to enjoy your vegetable garden for at least a little bit more time.

And don’t you think you desire a spot in the backyard to relax. Why not built a pergola ready for those warm sunny days in the spring and summer. Find out more
Build a pergola
Cedar wood pergola
Pergola plans
These articles are packed with tips and advice. Building a pergola is not as hard, or expensive as you might think.

Finding the Value of Antique Furniture

“The process of incorporating an antique furniture value lookup isn’t quite as straightforward as you may think. There are so many older furnishings that border on the realm of artwork. There are also many pieces that hold little more than sentimental value to the owner.

While you may want to find the worth of a particular antique furnishing piece the prospect can be a little bleak. However, it is possible to get an estimate of the value of similar pieces from the same era. This will make a great starting point for your evaluation.

Some like to visit forums dedicated to the subject of antiquity. This is a nice approach for getting a general idea of the item’s worth. It is common to find a lot of conflicting information using this approach. Forums may be great for building a sense of community and for getting some ideas they just don’t stand up to a real antique furniture value lookup.

Shop around for similar antique furniture for sale. This can be done in person by visiting traditional antique stores. However, this approach is very time consuming. If you have plenty of time and you enjoy browsing, though, making a few visits to local antique stores can be a lot of fun.

Most of us simply don’t have time to shop around in person. There are many online options to consider as well. Some sites offer antique furnishing for sale while others offer antique furniture value lookup services right online. This is a very time-effective approach to finding assessments for your items.

So many items have rich histories and interesting stories behind them. There are many who find as much worth in the stories as in the items themselves. Try to get as much information about the furnishings as possible. If there is a story that goes with the piece, it may be of interest to many.

A good antique furniture value lookup will incorporate the history of the item including its origin and the number of similar items made during its era. Some items will have greater value simply because of their rich historical backgrounds.

Consulting a professional antique appraiser is the ideal approach for getting the right number for your investment. Before selling any of your fine pieces of furniture from generations past, try to get a professional estimate of their value. An antique furniture value lookup is the perfect starting point.

Tags: Home and Garden

Artificial Plants

“Are you tired of your present home décor? Sooner or later, that couch you loved ten years ago, now looks old, frayed and dated. Ditto on the kitchen curtains and the sterile white walls everywhere you look. You want a fresh look, but your budget for a redecorating project is modest. Don’t despair. With a few inexpensive changes and a little planning, you can have a new look you’ll love! Read on to learn of one of the highly effective and well-kept secrets of professional decorators.

A fresh coat of paint all around in colors that reflect your personality will work wonders. Perhaps colored levelors, to replace those dowdy curtains, will jazz up the the kitchen, allowing light and privacy at the same time. This is a good start. Now how can you infuse the scene with lively accents without breaking the budget? Any décor benefits from a few strategically placed plants. Plants lend a soft, cozy feeling that creates an inviting ambiance. Restaurants, coffee houses and corporate offices often use plants just for this reason.

There is a drawback to plants - they require maintenance and a green thumb for long-lasting success in a decorating scheme. Consider artificial plants as a low-cost, low maintenance solution. Technology is now so advanced. Quality artificial plants are so real looking, you’d need to put on your glasses for a close inspection to tell the difference between the faux plant and its fertilizer-gobbling counterpart.

With artificial plants, you needn’t engage a neighbor to water your friends when you go away on vacation. Weekend plans won’t be disrupted with watering, trimming, fertilizing and repotting tasks. Yet your home’s appearance suggests you’re a master gardener with decorating flair.

Among the many types of artificial plants available, one stands out as superior in appearance. Artificial plants made of silk are almost indistinguishable from the real McCoy. They’re a bit more costly than artificial plants made of plastic, but are truly lovely and they never die! A hanging fern in the bathroom appears as natural as the real thing. Any gardener will tell you that ferns need lots of moisture and typically thrives in a bathroom setting where steam and moisture keep it hale and hearty. An occasional spray with a spritzer bottle enhances this illusion.

A tall umbrella tree in the living room gives lots of value for your decorating bucks. Placed next to your couch by your reading lamp on the end table, this artificial plant makes your couch a desirable place to kick back with a good book. Add a nice throw blanket and a few new pillows and that old couch is back in business!

Just as real plants can be dressed up with backlighting, your backlit artificial tree can provide a romantic highlight. String some lights through its branches for a stunning effect. If your budget is very tight, you can always add to your artificial plant collection later. So there you have one of the best tricks in the pro decorator’s arsenal!

Tags: Home and Garden

Angel Wind Chimes

“There are few items that have the same appeal as angel wind chimes. This decorative brings merges the delight of angelic visual beauty and the magic of chiming sounds. There are many different options in these outdoor decorating products.

Shoppers have a couple different things to look for when shopping for these angel figurines for the outdoors. The aesthetic value of the pieces is in two realms. Not only does the wind chime have to look appealing to the eye, they have to be appealing to the ear as well.

When shopping for angelic wind chimes it’s usually better to look for a particular style and figure that you like. You have several choices in the looks department to consider. The material that the product is made of is very important. Shoppers can choose from wooden, plastic, resin and metal wind chimes, to name a few.

The material that the chimes are made out of will often determine the general look of the angel wind chimes. Metallic products often have a sleek, modern appeal while resin and plastic will have a more whimsical feel. Wooden decorative chimes can have classic style or a cutting-edge attitude.

Of course, the chimes themselves have to be made of a material that will produce lovely sounds. The size of the chime bars will determine the tone of the sound. If you are looking for a light and airy set of angel wind chimes that offer soft, higher tones, look for ones that have thin bars.

The thin angel wind chimes are perfect for creating a magically whimsical feel in the space. They bring a quiet mystery with them in their soft tones. These items are prime choice for a person’s first purchase of this type of product and it is ideal for small porches near entryways or windows.

Larger bars will have deeper, more substantial tones. The deep tones are ideal for creating a calming space outdoors. You will love finding these substantially angelic wind chimes in an outdoor sanctuary. Big garden areas are best adorned with the more formidable pieces. They are easier to spot and easier to hear.

Of course, there is always a balance. You can also opt for angel wind chimes that are perfectly mid-sized. These outdoor decorations are great because they offer a blend of tones that are appealing on either end of the spectrum. These items are ideal for any outdoor space.

Bring magical charm to your outdoor space by adding a lovely vision that emits lovely music. Angel wind chimes are the ideal choices for this task.

Tags: Home and Garden

Art Prints

“Many people love fine art but few think that they can afford it. Today’s market in artwork allows all different budgets to purchase various artistic items for sale. Art prints are affordable options to the originals and you have just about the entire collection of artistic endeavors available to you.

There are so many different art prints available that you may want to narrow down your options. Choosing from among the many art pieces for sale online can be overwhelming. You may want to do a little browsing to see what appeals to you then make your choices according to a certain strategy.

One strategy for finding art prints for your home is to browse by artist. We all have a favorite painter or sketch artist in mind. You may come across a magnificent piece of artwork that you thought you would never be able to afford. Since you are buying art prints, the work is far less expensive.

Who doesn’t dream of owning an original Monet, Van Gogh or Picasso? You can select art prints that replicate their finest works for a very reasonable price. You can still enjoy all of the splendor and beauty without breaking the bank. In fact, you can even make a little collection of your favorites for relatively little money.

Some people prefer to shop by subject. This is an ideal approach if you have a certain style in mind but you are not particularly drawn to any specific artist. I love to take this approach when shopping for art prints because I can learn about new or relatively unknown artists.

I also like to shop by subject when looking for art prints because I have more control over the style. If I’m shopping for a music lover I can browse art prints that are inspired by music. This subject can be narrowed down to classical music, blues, jazz or contemporary. There are art prints available that represent all facets of this subject.

Maybe you have your heart set on a Tuscan theme for your kitchen. You can browse by subject looking for art prints of still life images that include grapes, cheese and wine. This is a lovely choice for dining rooms and kitchen spaces that have a classic appeal to the viewer.

No matter what your tastes, there are most definitely art prints that are perfect for your living space. These items can transform a room and they make for the ideal present for any art lover.

Tags: Home and Garden

Alarm Systems

“With crime constantly on the rise, people are taking every precaution to protect themselves and their possessions. The number of home invasions each year is always increasing. Sometimes, the headlines will show that those home invasions end in murder. People go into panic. Alarm companies get a flooding of phone calls from people wanting quotes and immediate installation of alarm systems. Even households that don’t have alarms systems find ways to get the little stickers that claim there is an alarm in the house and plaster their windows with them. Floodlights are installed at porches and the darkest corners of yards.

Alarm systems can be a wonderful asset to your home. Not only can they ensure your family’s safety, but you may find the value of your home increases and you get some discounts on your insurance as well. Plus, the feeling of security for your family – that’s priceless. A lot of alarm systems nowadays aren’t just focused on burglary. You may also be notified of a fire or carbon monoxide. At the same time that your family is made aware of the situation, the alarm company is getting the message as well and making sure that every effort is put into keeping your family safe. A big turn-off for many people is the monthly fee that the alarm systems bring to the mailbox. Depending on what kind of security you want, the costs may be more than what you are comfortable paying. However, it may be more than worthwhile to find a way to pay that additional expense each month for that gigantic peace of mind.

Unfortunately, alarm systems on vehicles aren’t always worthwhile. Think about it – we all hear car alarms going off each and every day. Most often, it is the owner who accidentally set them off or someone walks too close to the car and sets it off. Usually, a car thief won’t target a car that has an alarm system. Or, if they do – they’re smart enough to know how to deactivate the alarm system before they even attempt to get into the vehicle.

The most effective alarm systems are put into homes. Vehicles can be replaced – lives and the invasion of your privacy cannot be replaced. There are lots of other safety precautions that you can implement into your lifestyle as well. Trimming the shrubbery around your windows and doors can take away hiding places from those who may want to find a way into your house. Making sure that deadbolts are on each door – and being used is a great way to keep people out. Having a peephole in your main doors allows you to look outside and see if anyone is on your porch. Keeping a porch light on during the night can be a huge deterrent. The best thing that you can do, is to walk around your house. Imagine you are locked out and need to find a way inside. Think about all of the things that you could do to get inside and ways that you can keep people on the outside. Being aware of your surroundings and being smart about your house can be just as effective as an alarm system. When it comes to your family, you just can’t be too careful.

Tags: Home and Garden

Asbestos Removal

“Until recently, I didn’t really realize that asbestos removal was serious business. Like everyone, I heard about the threats from asbestos when the World Trade Center was attacked, but I had figured that that was only because of the destruction of the building. It seemed likely that most people had already had asbestos removed or contained, and I didn’t realize that it was a real problem.

I was in for some surprising and unpleasant results when I started to renovate my home. To my surprise, there was asbestos all over the place! Some of it wasn’t really much of a problem. When I hired someone for asbestos siding removal, he gave me an extremely reasonable estimate. You see, asbestos removal is easier when the asbestos is well contained. It can be used in a wide variety of different applications, and in some of its forms it is relatively safe. In the case of asbestos siding, it can be removed in pieces without any of it getting into the air. This means that it is not very harmful to the home owners, and not very dangerous to the asbestos removers.

Still, the asbestos siding was definitely a wake-up call. After that, I wanted to sign up for some asbestos testing before I did any more home renovation. To my surprise, I needed more asbestos removal. You see, my attic had asbestos insulation. Unlike siding, the installation was not well contained. It was wrapped around pipes, stuffed into corners and crevices, and generally spread around. This type of asbestos removal was more important, but was also more difficult. You see, if you have asbestos hanging out in your attic, it is only a matter of time before it gets into your house. To this day, I don’t know how much I was exposed to. I hope it was very little, and so far my health is good, but who knows what the future holds.

The mistake that I made was assuming that, because I had never heard anything about asbestos being in my house, there was none there. In reality, the fact that I did not know meant that I was at risk. If you have a house built more than a couple decades ago, you should have it tested for asbestos, lead paint, and various other toxins that used to be used in home construction. After all, if you have a toxic home, it is best to know before it is too late.

Tags: Home and Garden

Antique Farm Tables

“When looking around for that perfect piece to complete your décor, you may have to leave the retails stores behind. Though most rooms can be completed by careful shopping both online and off, there are times when you need something special that you simple cannot seem to find. This is when you need to find old pieces that will give your room an interesting twist. Some have gone out to find antique farm tables and turned them into the centerpieces for their new dining rooms and kitchens.

What is great about finding antique farm tables is that you don’t know what you are going to find. There is no one look for these, as tables have been made differently for centuries. Those on farms were usually homemade, and that might mean that most of them are one of a kind. You may find a reproduction somewhere, but when you buy an antique farm table, you may have gotten something that is truly original and that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Some of the antique farm tables you find are going to be in bad shape. You may have to look through the outer mess to see what that table would be with some love and attention. You may have to sand down layers upon layers of paint and varnish to find the true beauty of the table, but it is under there. If you don’t think you can get all of the gunk off of it on your own, don’t worry. There are many places that will redo or just strip the excess from antique farm tables and many other old pieces of furniture, and they will do it with care so they give you the best table back when they are finished.

You never know where you can find antique farm tables. You may find them at flea markets for very little money. You may also find them at yard sales and estates sales. They may not be very much if they seem to be in bad shape, but if you learn how to tell which ones are gems underneath, you can get a great one for a steal of a price. Some have these for sale and have no idea what they really have, and you can get a really awesome price if you talk them down some. Keep your eyes open online as well, as you may find some listed in classifieds and even on auction sites.

Tags: Home and Garden