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General Article

Have You Got a Hydroponic Closet?

Have You Got a Hydroponic Closet?

A closet can give you substantially better yield results than traditional gardening methods. Have you ever used a hydroponic closet? Would you like to try?

Hydroponics is a kind of liberation for gardeners as it removes the usual negative constraints associated with outdoor crop growing. For instance, a gardener has no control over his outdoor environment. However, using hydroponic gardening methods the indoor gardener becomes the boss, as it were, and controls the environment using basic science principles, affording fresh produce all year round whilst maximizing output to boot.

Hydroponic closets come in various guises but ultimately all do the same job. If you have plenty of spare dollars you could splash out anything from $1000 to over $3000 on a hydroponic closet system. Of course, as with most things, the higher end of the price spectrum will buy you more bells and whistles. Frankly, I wouldn’t pay these kind of prices for a hydroponic closet, but more on that in a minute.

The fact is, to enjoy the benefits of hydroponics, you do need to own a hydroponics closet.

If you don’t want to pay good money for a hydroponic closet you can always make your own, the scale of the project will depend upon your skills. But don’t however, let a lack of skills put you off owning one as you can very easily start your very own basic hydroponic garden with as little as $50, but more about that later.  

Besides, setting up your own hydroponic closet [] allows you to precisely tailor it to the space available, notwithstanding, your personal needs, and there are plenty of hydroponic guides to help you with your project.

Whichever route you decide, I wish you well with your hydroponic closet project and if you start right now, in a few short months you could be eating the most delicious fruit and vegetables you’ve ever tasted. …

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Home Contractors

The Importance of Regular Home Maintenance

One of the key responsibilities of owning a home is keeping it well maintained. From regularly cleaning the property to ensuring that the structure is sound and that everything works as it should, maintenance can be somewhat time consuming, but offers pleasant rewards for those who take it seriously. Enjoying a greater peace of mind and feeling proud about a home are prominent benefits obtained through the practice of regular maintenance, and homeowners can also avoid potentially costly repairs for issues allowed to worsen over time when proper maintenance is observed. Though these advantages are certainly enough to warrant a serious effort in caring for one’s home, there is still another more important result: greater security. Home security often involves the use of specialized security systems and devices including alarms and cameras, but some of the most effective security measures are actually delivered by a homeowner that takes the time to keep their property well maintained. By understanding how crucial this element is to a safe dwelling, homeowners can prioritize their maintenance tasks and keep themselves, their loved ones, and their belongings safe.
A large part of the positive consequences of keeping a home maintained is the depth of knowledge it lends to the homeowner. Despite their regular use of a home, many people are not precisely aware of how their dwelling is constructed or of how various home elements have been installed. When a homeowner performs their own maintenance, it’s easy to gain a thorough understanding of the most important aspects of the property and to gain insight on various parts of the home. In particular, those who perform maintenance themselves are likely to notice irregularities and potential problems that may lead to making a home more vulnerable to damage or break-ins. From doors that have been improperly fitted or installed to windows that require different kinds of locks or paneling in order to deliver a reasonable level of security, there are many possible problems lurking in and around buildings that may go unnoticed if owners do not regularly practice maintenance. Problems with a property that occur over time can also be easily spotted by homeowners who perform their own maintenance. Those who contract the work out to professionals or allow others to take care of their maintenance needs may never realize that a certain home element has begun to show weaknesses, and thieves and other criminals may take advantage of this.
While security breaches are less likely in homes that are regularly and thoroughly maintained by owners, they can still sometimes occur. During such an event, it’s important to be able to rely on any security features a home may possess, and when a home is properly maintained, achieving this reliability is a simple feat. From specially-installed doors with advanced safety mechanisms to safety features surrounding special entrances for basements or sheds, there are many objects typically used to keep properties safe from intrusion that may fail unexpectedly if they aren’t cared for and deliberately inspected from time to time. When in-depth knowledge of a home is combined with the certainty that security measures are operating as intended, homeowners can better protect their property while also feeling far more secure.
A further important benefit of regular home maintenance is the appearance that such an activity is likely to yield. Well-maintained homes typically look neater, cleaner, and better able to withstand any difficulties that may come their way. While this certainly has benefits for homeowners in terms of providing a sense of comfort, it’s also a great way to warn potential criminals that a home is being watched and that owners have likely taken measures to prevent theft and damage. More traditional security tactics such as employing specialty equipment or purchasing home alarm monitoring service may be of greater help when crimes are actually carried out, but the prevention that quality maintenance can deliver may be responsible for fending off break-ins and trespassing in the first place. Fortifying this move with complementary actions such as keeping lawns and gardens neat, parking cars in front of the house, regularly disposing of garbage, and otherwise giving a home the obvious appearance of being occupied and well-used is a step in the right direction for anyone concerned about the security of their home.
The satisfaction of a job well done is often the handyman’s greatest reward, but when working on their own home, a maintainer has the power to create high-quality security measures that may both prevent crimes and help homeowners effectively respond if such events do take place. Whether maintenance is scheduled as a weekly or monthly activity or homeowners make a point of performing maintenance tasks whenever the mood seems right, taking the initiative and following through on necessary maintenance tasks is absolutely essential for responsible home ownership.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Cooking on the Patio

A patio is the ideal space for building an outside kitchen that adds new dimension to your existing home. Home improvement projects are more fun when they add both aesthetics and functionality. That’s exactly what you get with an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens can be as inexpensive or as costly as you prefer. It all depends on what you plan to accomplish with your kitchen. You can create an outdoor kitchen for as little as $1,500 or you can spend upwards of $20,000 or more. The nice thing about an outdoor kitchen is that the return on the investment is always favorable for homeowners.
Americans spend billions of dollars annually remodeling their homes. About 33% of that remodeling money is spent on outdoor living spaces according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. Increasing the value of your home is just one reason to add an outdoor kitchen to your property. It can also be a great place for cooking, enjoying friends, and socializing.
An kitchen outside can include a barbecue and/or electric grill and oven along with a sink, work surfaces, and storage cabinets. Countertops can be constructed of granite or other types of resilient stone that will last for years to come.
Before you discount a kitchen outside as being too expensive for consideration, take a look at these tips to help you minimize the costs and maximize the opportunity for your remodel:
1. In today’s economy, bargain hunting is not only a good idea, it’s a smart idea. Contractor’s don’t have nearly as much business as they did a year or two ago. Now is a good time to find a good quality contractor and negotiate on price. You’ll get a top quality job at less cost to you.
2. Contractors find that their work fluctuates with the seasons. This makes seasonal bargaining a good way to find good quality at an economical rate. Many contractors have less work in December, January, and February. Weather may play a role, but often it’s more about people being motivated to get something else done. People aren’t always thinking ahead to spring and summer when snow is covering the hillsides and ice is hanging from the window sills. This is the optimal time to approach a contractor to talk about building your outdoor kitchen.
3. Consider talking with a contractor about building a “spec outdoor kitchen”. This allows the builder to experiment with different materials and designs when building your space. In return, he is allowed to market his services and use your outdoor kitchen as a live example of his work. You get discounted services but often get an even higher quality kitchen than you could have afforded.
An outdoor kitchen is a home improvement project that offers a good return on your investment. You can increase your home’s value with an outdoor kitchen, but more importantly, you can enjoy lots of quality time with family and friends in your outdoor kitchen.
If you’re considering an investment in home improvement, take a look at building an efficient and attractive kitchen on your patio or deck. You’ll soon be serving your guests surrounded by the beauty of nature.…

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Basement Remodeling

5 Tips For A Great Kitchen Remodel

Every time a person tackles a kitchen remodel, there are bound to be things that said individual wishes he had done differently. Kitchen remodels can be quite tricky, which is why it is imperative that people read the following list of tips for a great kitchen remodel. After all, there is nothing worse than injecting a good amount of money into a kitchen remodel and then finding out too late that it is not done right or contrary to expectations.
Straight Line Distance
If you have never, ever heard of something called the straight line distance and still want to do a kitchen remodel, then you had better start paying close attention. Getting the straight line distance totally right is very pertinent to a successful remodel. You are advised to always maintain the straight line distance between the fridge, the sink and the cooktop in between 12 feet and 23 feet.
Sink Positioning
Sometimes when people think about redoing their kitchens, they totally forget about the sink, which is a big mistake because it can be central to your kitchen layout and design. So when tackling a kitchen redo, always be certain that the sink stays right in between the cooktop and the fridge inside your kitchen. Of course, there is always the outside chance that the final position of the sink will be subject to plumb lines that are pre-existing.
The Issue of Counterspace
Counterspace can be another issue when redoing the kitchen that oftentimes does not get the attention that it deserves, even though it is very important to the layout and the design of your kitchen. Based on advice from the TLC website, it is imperative that you permit at least 3 feet of counterspace to the right and then 30 inches of counterspace to the left of the sink and the range, if this is at all possible. If this arrangement is not possible due to the size and confinements of your kitchen, then be sure to at least permit 2 feet and 18 inches of counterspace.
Wall-oven and Tall Fridges
For some homeowners, they only dream about putting a built-in wall oven and then a really tall fridge right next to each other. However, you are advised not to do this because it each of these appliances really requires its own landing space on either side in order that safety precautions can be ensured.
Barrier-free Products and Designs
During a remodel of your kitchen, you should give a lot of thought to barrier-free products and design because they are useful. These products and design are friendly to people with hardships, such as the aged, those with disabilities, pregnant women and even smaller children. As a bonus, these types of products and designs will add some much-needed longevity to the kitchen.
Remodeling a kitchen is never an easy thing to accomplish, at least the way that it looks from the very outset. However, if you understand what you are doing-which you should after you have read the list of 5 tips above-then making over your kitchen can be both a rewarding and enjoyable task at hand. At the end of the day, it is all about what works for you.…

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General Article

Extending the Life of Your Summer Garden

Extending the Life of Your Summer Garden

The overwhelming majority of gardens look their most impressive in the summer whether they produce flowers, fruit or vegetables, the same is probably correct of your garden. When the garden looks so pleasant and the weather is fine, it is nice to spend more time outside.

There are two ways of approaching this: you can try to extend the growing life of your garden by say a few weeks or a month or / and you can extend the number of hours you can sit in the garden every day. By taking both routes you will get the utmost pleasure from your summer garden.

The first thing you can do to extend the life of your summer garden is construct some raised growing beds. Raised growing beds heat up more quickly and cool down more slowly than a growing bed in the soil. This is because the brick walls of the raised beds will absorb and hold the sun’s heat, warming the soil faster and retaining it.

It will also chill down more slowly as winter approaches because frost comes up from the ground and your raised beds will be that much higher so the chill will have to travel further. You can also strive to heat these raised beds artificially if the first frost has not yet arrived. Apply the heating to the walls of the beds.

You may find that the expense of heating the flower beds is not worth the money, but if you have a special function on just at that period of the year when the weather usually takes a change for the worse, you may think the cost worth it to have a beautiful floral display for that special day.

Raised growing beds are categorically the best route to take, but if for some reason you cannot construct some raised beds, you could give your plants a head start by planting them in pots ahead of when the first frost is forecast for. if you have a greenhouse, you will be able to get even plants commenced in this way. Then, you could transplant more mature flowers outside when the weather permits. This will extend the life of your summer garden to the fore a little.

Another way of extending the garden’s summer life a little is to cover the plants over at night. However, you have to keep an eye on the plants, because these covers are very effective. You must be able to remove them before the sun heats up or your plants may cook. You cannot go to work in the morning and leave your plants covered over all day.

The second way to get more enjoyment from your summer garden is to stretch the number of hours per day that you can spend outside. This is easily achieved with exterior lighting. You can either run electric wiring to your garden and have lighting installed or you can use solar powered lighting, which will save you money on installation and running costs.

Once you have enough lighting, the only other things you might have to have to extend the life of your summer garden are a mosquito lamp and a patio heater.…

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General Article

Garden Hose – Few Important Tips to Consider

Garden Hose – Few Important Tips to Consider

Garden is an essential part of every household. Whether it is small or big, it certainly requires some maintenance to do. Though the time frame is not limited, daily routine would be a healthy practice to match. At times, we really enjoy this activity. On other occasions, we simply try to avoid it and the folly is nobody is going to punish us for it.

Garden hose is a pipe used to carry water. Given the kind of lifestyle and work download is there, we don’t get enough breathing space or for that matter of fact zero time to undertake a walk in open air. Garden is an easy substitute. Some time spent over here is a remedy for all other causes. Few tips to get it right are as follows:

You need to get the length right. Before you go out and buy a rubber hose, keep in mind what the requirement is such as equal measurements. Definitely, nobody would like to save few bucks initially and then realize that it was not good enough and buying the second one was definitely not on the cards. Money saving is indeed a fine art. So, practice it before you apply it on ground level.

Another disadvantage is the work performance and less durability. You cannot guarantee for how long it is going to work effectively and in some cases leak problems are always present. Always take care of the warranty period because every reliable product has got good warranty period. It makes your work easier.

Internet search is always handy or you can visit nearest store to get all the information needed. There are many online stores that sell different types of hose reels. This option easily provides you with all the answers that are frequently asked. It has got widest range of accessories. This internet option has got an extra edge, largest range and economical deals to fit your budget.

Next thing in line is the distance to be covered. We are talking about the distance between water supply and the area to be watered. Thickness also is an important feature. Garden hose should be in accordance with the size of plants. The more pressure of water is there, the more difficult it is going to be.

Garden hoses are of two variants, regular and commercial. Critical features are like what kind of material is it made up of and the consumption of water. An eco- friendly hose should be made up of rubber and polyurethane and eco -friendly hoses are also available. It uses less (at least 50%) amount of water as it has got patented water restrictors.

These are few things that should be in your list while you are thinking to buy a garden hose.…

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General Article

Why Use a Garden Designer?

Why Use a Garden Designer?

I’m often asked the question: “Is is absolutely necessary to use a designer when it comes to creating my ideal garden?” I always think it is necessary because you would never design a house without using an architect. Any good garden designer will be keen to offer an integrated design approach. This means not simply adding, say, a lawn or patio into a particular space, without regard to how they work together. I always think it’s important that the elements within a garden space hang together in a meaningful way.

It is vital that the hard and soft elements of the landscaping (i.e. constructed elements and plant material work together in a contrasting, yet harmonious way.)

COST EFFECTIVENESS

Couples will often say to me: “We saw these expensive paving slabs at the garden centre. They must be good, because they’re expensive!” Of course this is a folly. Good garden design can actually save money. A little bit of time looking at a project creatively, and imaginatively, can often mean less expensive materials used with flair. In particular, where a garden is on different levels, a client can often make big mistakes during the construction process, and this can often prove costly. A properly qualified garden designer will have surveyed the site accurately, they will have reflected the level changes in the design and factored in the cost of this work accurately.

USE OF CONTRACTORS

Contractors are always grateful to be supplied with clear and accurate drawings. It helps them to cost a scheme easily, because it will have been drawn to scale. The client can be assured that they will be quoted on exactly what is in the design, and in fact, the design becomes part of the contract. Moreover, when choosing a contractor (it is advised that three separate quotes are received before making a decision) the client can be assured that all quotes are based on the same information, and therefore, will be genuinely comparable.

An additional benefit to having a garden designed by a professional, is that, the client can be assured, that the contractor will be clear about what is expected from the scheme. This will avoid any potential dispute over interpretation of the design (often common when verbal instructions are used).

SITE SPECIFIC

A qualified designer will survey the clients site properly. Particularly, they will take note of levels, soil quality and pH, prevailing winds, screening issues, existing plant material, trees etc… Failure to work with these constraints can be problematic. For example, using exotic and tender plants on a windswept site, can lead to disappointing failure and a waste of money.…