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Archives for August 24, 2013

Market Matters: The perfect match of buyer, model home no accident

New Home communities feature model homes. Why are they so inviting?

Most people are wowed by what they see and how they feel when walking into a model complex of new homes. A coincidence? Just luck? The decorator read your mind?

Years of planning go into the development of a New Home community. From the size and configuration of the home plan, every element inside the home, as well as the exterior landscaping, is carefully considered.

How do builders determine what to build? Typically the type and price of homes begins with the land. Each raw land parcel in our area is subject to numerous restrictions and requirements. Once those considerations have been met, the development of the actual community begins.

During the development planning and construction, house design is under way. The builder and architect take into consideration what types of homes will fit on the lot size and who the buyers for those homes might be.

This determines numerous aspects of the home including number of bedrooms, baths, entertainment areas and kitchen design. Every aspect of the components in the home is also determined. These elements are selected to appeal to homebuyers’ preferences.

For example, in our market, granite countertops are widely preferred over laminate. Brushed nickel fixtures and stainless-steel appliances are almost always included as a standard feature. This selection process continues through the entire home, from the largest to the smallest element.

Model home complexes can be a single home or up to 10 — or more! — models. Generally, the number of models will depend on the number of homes that are planned for the neighborhood. A large new-home community may have six or eight home styles from which to select.

The builder will want to demonstrate a variety of home choices in the model complex. He may determine this by price, showing the least expensive home and then several that have a range of increasing price points. This gives the homebuyers a number of ideas on what may work for their budget and lifestyle.

The interior design or decorating is also a well planned component in making you feel that “wow” moment. The interior designer creates a décor that will appeal to a general group, or if numerous models are available, to particular lifestyles. If you walk into a model home and say “I could just move right in”, the home meets not just your housing needs, but the way you want to live your life.

If we are building homes for families with children, the designer will incorporate family friendly elements into the interior design.

Children’s bedrooms will be decorated with age appropriate items like soccer balls, basketballs, footballs or other activities that boys might enjoy. For a girl the bedroom would be more feminine in design and feature some sport they may play and other activities such as ballet, pink princesses or horseback riding. If we anticipate infants, a nursery may be decorated in all the right colors and furniture, ready to go for the new bundle of joy.

The kitchen may have an activity board for daily postings and schedule updates for all those games and events children enjoy on a daily basis.

These themes would incorporate adult living as well, but speak to the family element by focusing on life with children.

If the homeowners are past the child rearing years, the home would be decorated in a more adult friendly environment. Photos from over the years of possible travel destinations, photos of weddings and grandchildren. There would probably be a den; the bedrooms would be featured as guest rooms or a possible hobby room.

So the next time you visit a new-home model complex and feel like moving right in, you will have a greater appreciation for why the appeal is so great and the amount of thought and work that went into creating a beautiful new home and neighborhood you can call home.

Barbara Allen owns Barbara Allen Consulting and is a member of the New Home Council. Market Matters is the council’s weekly column offering insight into the housing market. For more information on homebuying, visit thenewhomecouncil.com.

Article source: http://seattletimes.com/html/homesrealestate/2021652299_hremarketmatters25xml.html

What a gift: 500 free hours for Minn. agency’s workers – In

MINNEAPOLIS — Another summer racing by; so many plans, so little time, but this summer is different for Janie Waldron.

“My neighbor he goes, ‘What did you win the lottery or something?'” she says. “I sort of did. I won the time lottery.”

While her neighbors toil at their jobs, Waldron has been home most of the summer transforming her simple Linden Hills yard into a showplace, complete with rock wall, stepping path and a rain garden.

Now the clincher: She did it while earning her full salary and benefits from her employer.

“Oh, it’s a total gift,” she says. “It’s a huge gift.”

The gift giver seems delighted with the reaction of his employees.

“I think people were stunned more than anything else,” says Stuart D’Rozario, president and executive creative director at Minneapolis advertising agency Barrie, D’Rozario, Murphy.

Last spring, as the agency headed toward a cyclical lull in business, the agency partners gathered their employees and gave them something quite remarkable — time, KARE-TV reported (http://kare11.tv/14c313E).

D’Rozario’s message to his workers: “You have 500 hours of your life back, figure out what you’re passionate about and go and do it.”

BDM’s workers were told the 500 paid hours were theirs to use. The one option they weren’t afforded was to do nothing. Instead, they were told to seek out something they’d always wanted to do, but hadn’t had the time.

D’Rozario smiles, “That’s like four years of vacation in one Minneapolis summer.”

BDM partner and executive creative director Bob Barrie admits to skepticism when D’Rozario first approached him with the idea.

“My initial reaction was, ‘You’re crazy, right? Are you seriously suggesting this?'”

D’Rozario reasoned the agency had built up a comfortable cash reserve in its first seven years. BDM’s existing clients would still be serviced, but the agency would delay efforts to attract new business until the 500-hour project was complete.

Barrie says it wasn’t Stuart, but his wife, who finally brought him around.

“I said, ‘Why do you think we should do it?’ And she said, ‘Because you can.’ And at that moment I realized that was the best reason of all.”

With Barrie fully on board, BDM employees were off to pursue their projects. One of them was Kim Schmitt, the agency’s finance controller, who grew up in the city always wishing she could be around horses.

With her 500 paid hours Schmitt spent her summer volunteering at Sundown, a shelter in Hugo for horses neglected and abused.

“So why now?” she asks rhetorically. “It’s because I had the opportunity. The opportunity was pushed on me.”

The opportunity was “pushed” on all 18 of BDM’s employees, who spent the summer doing unexpected traveling, making music and putting paint to canvas.

Barrie, the initially skeptical partner, picked up a brush for the first time in years and renewed his passion for painting.

BDM account director Andrew Langdell designed a hands-free dog leash he hopes to market.

Mary Pastika, an agency project manager, made pottery and furniture.

Art and creative director Steve Rudasics — who commutes to the agency from Seattle — instead stayed home for the summer recording on video moments with his three children.

“My project is basically replacing ‘I wish I had, with I did,” he said in video chat from his deck in Washington with a son and daughter by his side.

Rudasics still did some agency work from home. D’Rozario says the expected ratio was 25 percent agency work and 75 percent personal project. In fact, the agency was buzzing only on days when employees gathered to present ideas for their projects and share their progress, which happened every few weeks through the late spring and summer.

A couple of times BDM actually turned down opportunities to make pitches for new business, which Barrie says was difficult, “but we had made the deep dive into this.”

Even BDM’s freelancers were included in the project. Freelancers like digital designer Natalia Berglund were “hired” for 100 hours, only to be given that time back for their projects.

Berglund used her 100 hours to create her first sculpture, using her two daughters as models. Her emotions showed as she spoke of the opportunity given to her by the agency.

“It’s just the generosity,” she said, “trusting the people to do something good with this time.”

D’Rozario spent his 500 hours working on three projects: a squid cookbook, a musical album and a book he’s calling “3 Bits of Advice,” in which he solicits random secrets of success from high achievers in various fields.

“If the only thing that comes out of it is that everyone got time to do great things and have an amazing four months which are the best times of their lives then that would be well worth it,” D’Rozario says.

The 500 hours came to an end the first week in August. The BDM office is again buzzing; the race of commerce back on.

But scattered about are subtle reminders of the rarest of summers — a bandaged blister on a keyboard from landscaping, callused hands on a calculator from wrangling horses and videos of laughing children pulled up on a work computer.

D’Rozario believes the 500 hours will make the agency better, but that was never the explicit purpose.

“Honestly, my big hope for this is now that they’re back, people realize, the things you wanted to do, you could always be doing and find a place for it in your lives,” he says.

Year after year we let the sun go down on dreams because we can’t take time. Maybe it’s time to start giving it.

___

Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags:
business, minnesota, updates

Article source: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/410056/group/homepage/

7th lunar month keeps landscaping firms busy

Burnt grass patches around neighbourhoods are a common sight during the seventh lunar month, and landscaping companies say they increase the workload by at least 10 per cent in terms of man hours to re-turf these patches for town councils.


SINGAPORE: Burnt grass patches around neighbourhoods are a common sight during the seventh lunar month, and landscaping companies say they increase the workload by at least 10 per cent in terms of man hours to re-turf these patches for town councils.

These landscaping companies need to have an extra pair of hands to tide them over the month. 

Work includes having to replace soil and plant new grass to turf over the patches, which take about a week to fix.

Meanwhile, Monday’s haze scare has prompted a temple to put in place contingency plans to control air quality. 

It has put up banners to encourage people to burn less paper offerings, and discourage them from burning plastic bags that hold these offerings. 

Cho Peng Weng, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery’s project manager, said: “Normally, what we’d do is that we’ll stop for a while, basically, until the haze condition gets better. Then only will we continue with the burning.

“We’ll stop, maybe, for an hour. If after stopping for an hour, it’s still bad, we’ll still continue to stop maybe for another half hour or so, then we continue with the burning.”

Article source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/7th-lunar-month-keeps/785554.html

Trowel & Glove: Marin gardening calendar for the week of Aug. 24, 2013

Click photo to enlarge

Marin

• The Marin Open Garden Project encourages residents to bring their excess backyard-grown fruit and vegetables to the following locations for a free exchange with other gardeners on Saturdays: Mill Valley from 10 to 11 a.m. on the Greenwood School front porch at 17 Buena Vista Avenue; San Anselmo from 9 to 10 a.m. at the San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn; San Rafael from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Sun Valley Park at K and Solano streets; San Rafael from 9 to 10 a.m. at Pueblo Park on Hacienda Way in Santa Venetia; San Rafael from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Terra Linda Community Garden at 850 Nova Albion Way; and Novato at the corner of Ferris Drive and Nova Lane from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Go to www.opengardenproject.org or email contact@opengardenproject.org.

• A free informational session for people interested in becoming Marin Master Gardeners is from 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 24 at the UCCE office at 1682 Novato Blvd. in Novato. Call 473-4204 or go to www.marinmg.org.

• West Marin Commons offers a weekly harvest exchange at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Livery Stable gardens on the commons in Point Reyes Station. Go to www.westmarin commons.org.

• The Novato Independent Elders Program seeks volunteers to help Novato seniors with their overgrown yards on Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons. Call 899-8296.

• Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Muir Woods or 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 561-3077 or go to www.parksconservancy.org/volunteer.

• The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 663-8590, ext. 114, or email jonathan@tirn.net to register and for directions.

• Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the MicroGardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to www.opengardenproject.org or email contact@opengarden project.org.

• Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

San Francisco

• The Conservatory of Flowers, at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, displays permanent galleries of tropical plant species as well as changing special exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $2 to $7. Call 831-2090 or go to www.conservatoryofflowers.org.

• The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, offers several ongoing events. $7; free to San Francisco residents, members and school groups. Call 661-1316 or go to www.sfbotanicalgarden.org. Free docent tours leave from the Strybing Bookstore near the main gate at 1:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends; and from the north entrance at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special-focus tours.

Around the Bay

• Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.corner stonegardens.com.

• Garden Valley Ranch rose garden is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 498 Pepper Road in Petaluma. $2 to $10. Call 707-795-0919 or go to www.gardenvalley.com.

• The Luther Burbank Home at Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues in Santa Rosa has docent-led tours of the greenhouse and a portion of the gardens every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $7. Call 707-524-5445.

• McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tips on planting olive trees and has olive trees for sale by appointment. Call 707-769-4123 or go to www.mcevoy ranch.com.

• Wednesdays are volunteer days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center at 15290 Coleman Valley Road in Occidental. Call 707-874-1557, ext. 201, or go to www.oaec.org.

• Quarryhill Botanical Garden at 12841 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen covers 61 acres and showcases a large selection of scientifically documented wild source temperate Asian plants. The garden is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $5 to $10. Call 707-996-3166 or go to www.quarryhillbg.org.

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to calendar@marinij.com or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903. Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 1 megabyte and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

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Article source: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_23921090/trowel-glove-marin-gardening-calendar-week-aug-24

The best secret gardens in Sydney

A rainbow lorikeet in Wendy Whiteley's secret garden in Lavender Bay. Picture: Brian Johnston

A rainbow lorikeet in Wendy Whiteley’s secret garden in Lavender Bay. Picture: Brian Johnston
Source: Supplied


Wendy Whiteley's secret garden in Lavender Bay. Picture: Brian Johnston

Wendy Whiteley’s secret garden in Lavender Bay. Picture: Brian Johnston
Source: Supplied




WITH spring just around the corner and the first-ever Australian Garden Show promising to be a major Sydney event, my thoughts have turned to gardens.


I’m looking forward to the spectacle of horticulture, design and landscaping that will erupt in Centennial Park early next month.

The Garden Show promises everything from a sustainable kitchen garden to an illuminated night garden, as well as retail displays and seminars for amateur and professional gardeners alike.

In the meantime, though – and on a much more modest scale – there are a few gardens in Sydney that I’ve been meaning to investigate for years.

And on a bright, sunny mid-winter morning, what better time to get out and enjoy these almost-secret green spaces?

I start in Paddington at Reservoir Gardens, just across the road from the imposing town hall. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked along Paddington’s retail strip, but somehow I always missed this hidden gem.

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Perhaps that’s because it’s a sunken garden, not easily visible unless you know it’s there. The site was once a reservoir, then a petrol station, before being transformed into a compact public garden lauded for its urban design.

It has retained many of the old reservoir’s features, including iron fixtures and brick arches that give it something of the air of a Roman ruin, reflected in mirror-like ponds at its heart.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Picture: Brian Johnston

Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Picture: Brian Johnston
Source: Supplied





Wooden walkways give you views from below and above of this wonderful little space, where greenery blends with wood, metal and brick in unexpected ways.

I unfold a free deckchair and soak up the sun on the rooftop lawn, right in the heart of the bustling inner city.

Across the harbour, there are two other secret gardens that are far less consciously designed, but just as wonderful and unexpected.

At Lavender Bay, perfectly sited to capture views of the Harbour Bridge, is the unassuming Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, created by the wife of artist Brett Whiteley.

I find it just below Clark Park, which itself has fabulous harbour views, framed between giant palm trees alive with lorikeets whose chattering competes with the scream of kids on the Luna Park roller-coasters just around the shoreline. This land adjacent to the Whiteleys’ home, once derelict and overgrown, was transformed by Wendy as a tribute to her late husband.

It’s a lush, almost wanton garden with meandering pathways and an explosion of greenery under giant fig trees.

Right under the tower blocks of North Sydney, it’s also a haven for native birds.

Here and there, I come across a sculpture, as well as shaded picnic tables that I earmark for a summer return.

Further around the harbour at Cremorne Point, there’s another very personal garden created by local residents Lex and Ruby Graham .

In the late 1950s, the couple started clearing rubbish from the area, then planted flowerbeds and created paths between sandstone outcrops.

The Grahams have passed away, but the council and local volunteers have taken over maintenance of this much-loved garden on the waterfront.

It’s a beautiful and peaceful corner of the city, warm in the winter sunshine, with a promise of bright colours of spring flowers to come.

Clark Park just above Wendy Whiteley's secret garden. Picture: Brian Johnston

Clark Park just above Wendy Whiteley’s secret garden. Picture: Brian Johnston
Source: Supplied




Follow the writer’s travel blog at www.thoughtfultravelwriter.com

GO2 – SYDNEY

Staying there


Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour has stylish rooms in the heart of the city, just a stroll from the Royal Botanic Gardens. Ph 9256 4000

Eating there

The Sydney Picnic Company can put together gourmet picnic baskets perfect for lunch in a garden. Ph 0420 943 670

Doing there

The inaugural Australian Garden Show runs September 5-8 in Centennial Park.

More:
sydney.com Ph 9240 8788

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Article source: http://www.news.com.au/travel/australia/the-best-secret-gardens-in-sydney/story-e6frfq89-1226702358890

Gardeners winning Florida turf war – Leader

ORLANDO, Fla. – After an embarrassing battle with a couple of gardeners, Orlando, Fla., officials have drawn up new rules governing homeowners who want to plant carrots and cucumbers in their front yards.


It’s the latest salvo – and probably the last – in a literal turf war over what Orlando residents can plant in front of their homes. It started last year, when Jason and Jennifer Helvenston were hit with a code-enforcement citation for digging up their College Park neighborhood front lawn and replacing it with lettuce, kale, radishes, tomatoes and more.

The perception of big government cracking down on veggies drew media attention and a gardener revolt.

City planners responded by drawing up rules that specifically allowed front-yard vegetable gardens, but critics protested outside City Hall. The rules were so strict that they would drastically cut the space available for food gardens, they argued. Commissioners sent the planners back to the drawing board.

The new version, expected to go to the City Council for final approval next month, is quite a bit more relaxed.

“We’re going to get to keep our garden,” Jason Helvenston said. “There are going to be very few gardens that will be illegal under this particular wording.”

The first version of the garden regulations would have allowed residents to plant vegetables on no more than 25 percent of their front yard; required gardens to be screened with fencing or shrubs, set back at least 10 feet from the property line or put in planter boxes; and limited vegetable plants to no more than 4 feet tall. Green-thumbed protesters objected.

Gardens are on the rise, partly because of the still-struggling economy, partly because of a “clean food” movement that objects to pesticides and the environmental footprint of factory farming. Gardeners argued that city officials should be encouraging residents to cultivate their own food, not limiting how much space they can use or how tall their tomatoes grow.

Planners revamped the new rules with help from landscape architects, horticulturists and the Helvenstons themselves.

The new rules would allow veggies to cover as much as 60 percent of a front yard. The 10-foot setback was shrunk to 3 feet, and the vegetable-height limit was thrown out.

Jennifer Helvenston credited the gardening army with changing minds at City Hall.

“I think we arrived at the right spot in the end,” chief planner Jason Burton said. “That input from around the world and locally helped get us to the point we are today, where we have an ordinance I think everyone can live with. I think it’s a positive thing.”

Burton said Orlando unfairly got a black eye over the garden war. Planners simply want to ensure the landscaping is well maintained – vegetable or otherwise – rather than out-of-control weeds or a garden gone to seed.

“People thought we were against front-yard gardens, and we really weren’t,” Burton said. “People are not always successful with gardens, and what happens is, people will do it for one season and suddenly it’s dirt forever. We wanted to make sure there was a level of permanent landscaping.”

Helvenston predicts one portion of the new code will have unintended consequences. The city added a 5-foot height limit on temporary structures, which was meant to govern such things as tomato cages. But Helvenston thinks it would prevent homeowners from placing swings or fountains in their front yards.

Gardeners are likely to be as happy as they can be with a set of rules. But the Helvenstons wonder: Why adopt any rules, especially if they are so limited that they will affect few homeowners?

“It’s a perfect example of how a government reacts to something and tries to do their thing but goes way too far,” Jason Helvenston said. “They didn’t really need to do anything but say, ‘Front-yard gardens are OK.'”

McClatchy-Tribune

Article source: http://www.leadertelegram.com/features/home_garden/article_5825d21d-0204-5d68-84d6-230365ccfa46.html

Duke Energy Faces Hefty Pollution Suit


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Article source: http://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/article/20130822/BLOGS/308229944

Gardening Tips: The ins and outs of growing your own grapevine


Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 10:55 am


Gardening Tips: The ins and outs of growing your own grapevine

By Matthew Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC

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Compared to most tree fruits and small fruits, grapes are relatively easy to grow.

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Article source: http://www.rrdailyherald.com/opinion/columns/gardening-tips-the-ins-and-outs-of-growing-your-own/article_10fd2abe-0c04-11e3-b99b-0019bb2963f4.html

Fall maintenance: end-of-summer gardening tips

Provided by Networx.com

It’s easy to get the gardening bug in springtime, when humans themselves feel like new sprouts finally getting out into the sun (or, for some of us, like vampires emerging from dusky lairs). But as the summer growing season comes to a close and the crowds at the garden centers and farmer’s markets dwindle, we feel resigned to letting it all die and shifting our attention to the fall lineup. This year, don’t let the changing seasons become an excuse to turn back into a vampire (or to watch them on TV). Fall brings plenty of reasons to stay active in the garden, including buying and planting new stuff and gearing up to extend your dirty pursuits into the cold seasons.

Killer Deals on Remainder Plants

Those poor specimens left on the racks at garden centers at the end of summera little droopy, a little dry, and surely a little sad, feeling like the forgotten gifts on the Island of Misfit Toys. But just like the square-wheeled train and the spotted elephant, those “aged” plants just need a good home, and they can be rescued for a fraction of what you’d pay for this year’s hottest toys (or healthiest plants).

Late summer is THE time to watch for sales at garden centers. Annuals are fire-saled, not surprisingly, but the real deals are the perennials that will thrive when planted in fall. Expect savings of 50% or more on many plants. And if something looks especially tired, try to negotiate the price down further; retailers know these plants have one last chance at yielding any revenue. Many sales also include garden tools, as the stores have to clear shelf space for winter merchandise.

Good Time for Planting

Flower children know that fall is when you plant many bulbs for spring emergence. It’s also a good time to transplant trees, divide and replant perennials and lay sod or re-seed the lawn. For many plants, late summer and fall are preferable to spring because the ground is warm (good for digging and encouraging root growth) and the sun’s heat is less intense (good for foliage and your water bill). You can even plant a late summer garden for one last crop yield.

When you’re emptying the shelves at your garden center, ask about planting and maintenance for this time of year and through the winter. Most perennials and trees will survive their first winter if their roots take hold before hard freezes set in, while some plantings should be watered periodically through winter, particularly if it’s a dry one. (Keep in mind that new trees do best in the long run if they’re watered regularly for three years, not for just the first season or year like most people commit to.)

Cold Frames and Hot Beds

A cold frame, for those who aren’t familiar, essentially is a mini greenhouse that lets you grow cool crops, such as lettuce, well into fall. Most cold frames are simple DIY affairs constructed with four short walls (or you can dig a hole instead) topped with an old storm window. As such, they’re perhaps one of the original examples of upcycling, back when it was referred to as “using up some of that old crap in the shed.” If you build a cold frame now you’ll get to use it twice before next summer because they’re also handy for starting and hardening plants a little early in spring. Nervous about making your own, or think now would be a nice time to build a garden shed? Call a handyman!

A hot bed is a nice, warm pile of poop. Horse poop, to be precise. You can turn a cold frame into a hot bed by digging down about 2 feet, adding 18 inches of manure — that is, fresh manure — and tamping it well. Top the poop with about 6 inches of sand to fill the hole. As the manure decomposes it creates heat, making the sand a toasty place to set pots and flats for growing plants in fall and even winter. If you’re not the kind of person who relishes a Saturday outing to gather manure, or you’re stuck in a one-horse town, you can create a hot bed with electric soil-heating cable (available online and through garden supply stores).

Homegrown Help

For fall and every other season, the best sources of gardening information are local gardening and landscape professionals, as well as state and local extension services. These folks know what works best in your climate and can steer you toward local stores and other resources for getting what you need. The most comprehensive extension programs typically are run by state agricultural (“ag”) universities and offer online content and call-in help lines manned by certified Master Gardeners. Many cities have small extension offices and can be great sources for finding cheap mulch and other garden materials, and don’t be afraid to call for help from a landscaper. Whether you’re a resident of Podunk, Illinois or Baltimore, Maryland, landscapers are there for you.

Philip Schmidt writes for Networx.com.

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Article source: http://www.kptv.com/story/23232121/fall-maintenance-end-of-summer-gardening-tips

Sea of Green Hydrogardens Presents Tips on Year-round Organic Garden …


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Sea of Green Hydrogardens Presents Tips on Year-round Organic Garden Cultivation

PRWEB.COM Newswire

Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) August 24, 2013

Sea of Green Hydrogardens, a leading Arizona-based retailer of gardening and outdoor products, is now offering tips on indoor grow. The company, which specializes in everything from hydroponics to outdoor lighting, is now providing tips on how to keep your organic garden going strong all year-round.

In a detailed tutorial the company discusses sufficient lighting, acidity testing, water conservation and fertilization.

“A great first step to having a successful organic garden is to test the acidity of the soil in your garden,” the company writes on its website detailing indoor grow. “The ideal number is 6.5, if your soil is on the low end, it’s too acidic and if it’s on the high end, it’s too alkaline. Neither of those situations lends itself to a successful garden. So by purchasing a soil testing kit before planting, you will assure yourself a beautiful organic garden in the summer.

The article also goes into the details of organic gardening. It discusses using organic compost and organic mulch. The company’s says it is confident the joy of organic gardening can be extended year-around by using proper indoor grow techniques.

“It is possible to indoor grow an organic garden all year if you have a sufficient light source for an indoor garden,” the Sea of Green Hydrogardens website states. “Plants need plenty of light in order to indoor grow properly and there are bulbs that can be purchased to provide indoor gardens with the appropriate amount of light to have them thrive and produce a fruitful bounty.

The article continues on to state that in order “to conserve water when you’re indoor growing, be sure to use three inches of organic mulch.”

About Sea of Green Hydrogardens

Sea of Green Hydrogardens is a leading online retailer of garden-related products. The company sells hydroponics supplies, nutrients, soil and media, pest and disease products, and a large selection of other critical garden-related items. The company also has four brick-and-mortar stores in Arizona. Two stores are located in the Phoenix-area, one is in Tucson, and one is in Flagstaff. For more information, please visit Sea of Green.

About Nuanced Media

Nuanced Media is a digital marketing and graphic design firm. The company specializes in strategic, multilayer marketing campaigns and efficiently crafted, user-friendly websites. Based in Tucson, the company has a variety of clients throughout Arizona, California, and Texas. For more information, please view Nuanced Media.

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Article source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1430561