Grow Your Own Garden Fruit Trees for Real Fruit

When visiting a supermarket have you never wished you had a few garden fruit trees? Have you ever noticed how purchased fruit these days is bit inconsistent in quality? Sometimes it will be fine, but mostly is tasteless, too hard or too soft. The pears are rock hard, you can push your fingers through the plums, and the peaches start growing mould before they are soft enough to eat.

Some of this has to do with forced growing and artificial fertilizers, and some on picking too early, and being left to ripen during shipping. Much of the foreign grown fruit is picked unripened, and then ripened in the ship’s hold. This leads to fruit with the taste and texture of wet cardboard. Why not grow your own? It is both cheaper and better for you, and the taste is far superior to anything grown and shipped from thousands of miles away, and fed on who knows what.

Even a small garden can be used for growing fruit trees, and there are apples, peaches, pears, cherries and plums suitable for the smallest garden. And these are just a few of what is available that be grown in shapes suitable for training along fences and walls, and up garden mesh and netting. You don’t need a massive orchard for garden fruit trees any more if you know how to train them properly, and what varieties are best for growing in your local conditions.

If your garden is susceptible to early frosts, you should purchase trees that flower later, or you will lose the flowers before they can develop into fruit. Irrespective of your conditions, you should be able to grow a selection of apples, pears, plums and so on and even apricots and peaches if you have a reasonable amount of sun. Even grapes can be grown in temperate climates.

You should buy your stock from a good supplier that knows what you need for the areas in which you live. It is always best to buy local, since if they can grow it then so can you. Many people travel to warmer climates and return with fruit trees that looked great in 35 degrees of sun, but are stunted in your chillier 25 degrees. You should choose a selection of fruits suitable for your climate, and at least two of each. There are some self-pollinating varieties of fruit around, but it is safer to have two trees – you also get more fruit! If you are purchasing more than one variety of each fruit, then make sure that their pollen is compatible. In fact if you are buying two trees for pollination, then they should be different species, but compatible with each other. Your supplier will have this information for you.

You should also check out the fruit provided by each and make sure that it is what you are looking for. You don’t want a Bramley tree if you want a desert apple, and some plums are naturally sour while …

Three Easy DIY Tasks to Add Value to Your Home

The DIY industry has long been popular in the UK and it's a great way to add a little extra value to your home. Whether you're planning on selling, or just looking to add a little luxury to your property, investing some time in a DIY project can be well worth the effort. Some popular projects include:

Renewing Your Bathroom

Spending a little time renewing your bathroom can make for a fun and potentially easy task. The bathroom tends to be one of the smaller rooms in the house, so it makes for a more manageable DIY project, and there are a number of quick jobs you can do. Replacing taps or showerheads, installing new towel rails and replacing old cabinets are all reliably easy tasks. Repaining old paintwork and cleaning tiles and grouting can also help improve the overall look. If you're looking for a larger project retiling / tiling walls or floors can make a large impact and can be completed over a weekend.

A Lick of New Paint

For many, the thought of repainting fills them with dread, but you do not need to make a major project of it. Ignoring the walls for the moment, repainting woodwork around the house can help overall looks immensely, touching up the skirting and removing and repainting flaking paintwork on windows. Repaining flaking paintwork on exterior woodwork is also worth spending a little time on, as it helps maintain the condition of your house. When it comes to the walls, it's worth breaking the job down into smaller projects, tackling a room at a time and taking the time to do it right the first time.

A Little Landscaping in the Front Garden

Taking a weekend to improve the looks of any space out front really adds to the first impression of the house, improving both its value and providing an added level of satisfaction every time you approach the front door. Doing a little weeding, brushing out, putting in a couple of new potted plants and repainting the front door are all easy tasks. If you have grass out the front of the house taking the time to mow the lawn and re-seed any bald patches can make the difference, it's also worth taking the time to edge the lawn and give it a neat finish.

Investing a little time in your home really does pay off in the long term and, by doing little DIY projects often, it does not feel like a chore either! …

Garden Lights – Perfect Amalgamation of Elegance & Utility

Lights are something that are generally considered utility items, mean for lighting up an open or enclosed space. But, this introduction is not enough for garden lights. Of course, they possess the fundamental property of lights, ie, to light, but they are not limited to only this. Garden lights are the perfect amalgamation of elegance and utility. That is to say, they serve the purpose of both lighting and decoration.

Garden lights are quite essential from the point of view of both safety and beauty. This is the reason that they have become an inherent part of the contemporary gardens. The number of styles, designs and sizes in which these lights are available are virtually countless. The primary varieties of these lights are stated below:

Garden Lanterns: Garden lanterns provide an elegant way to illuminate and embellish the garden. Commonly made of metals like iron, bronze, copper and brass, these lanterns can be hung on a tree branch or topped on a pillar. They have two variants, one lit by an electric bulb and other lit by a candle. Each is good at its place and the choice purely depends upon individual needs and preferences.

Lamp Posts: It is a kind of light that is fitted on the top of a pole or stand. They are quite aesthetic in appeal and usually installed in a particular formation. When lit together, these lights lend a magical appeal to the whole garden. The lamp posts are usually made of materials like iron, stainless steel and marble. These lights can be often seen near the boundaries or around the patios and walkways in a garden.

Antique Hurricane Lamps: These lamps are shaped like a hurricane and are also considered an ideal garden decorative item. The hurricane lamps either possess a wick or oil lamp for the purpose of lighting. They are particularly preferred due to their antique designs and styles. These lamps are most appropriate for adding an air of serenity to your garden.

You might be interested in knowing about various types of garden decorative items and accessories, visit: Garden Marketplace . …

Garden Games Can Be Fun

I'm fortunately enough to live in a house with a garden of a reasonable size. Until recently, however, I was very much of the opinion that it was not being fully used as a resource. I denied to make some changes to my own lifestyle and that of my family.

I realized that my kids simply were not spending very much time outdoors. That's not to suggest that they were hermit – it's just that they always seemed to want to disappear off to play computer games after school, rather than getting some fresh air. Did this concern me?

The truth is that I did not see it as a major worry until I started to hear about how many children were now being classified as being obese. It was clear to me that children who did not get enough exercise were obviously more likely to have health problems in later life.

I certainly did not like the thought of causing such problems for my kids – especially since it was something that I knew that I could deal with relatively easily.

When I initially started to suggest to my children that they should spend more time outdoors, they did not seem very interested. In fact, their initial reactions suggested that they thought that computers, games consoles and televisions were far more interesting.

I did not want to simply dictate a new set of rules – I wanted to show them that it could be a lot more fun to make use of the garden. Although things were starting slowly, I felt that I'd stuck gold once I hit upon the idea of ​​buying a trampoline.

The kids immediately started to take an interest when it was arrived. As they offered to help me to put it together, I could immediately see that there was some real hope of getting to see them spending time using it. It's turned out to be a great investment and they now often shun their video games in favor of it.

This has been a real success and I've been able to build on it by introducing even more games – we've been making use of swings and slides, as well as flying a kite. I have to confess that I've also found it to be great fun – it's given us a set of activities that we can all enjoy as a family.

It's a great feeling to know that we're all keeping fit and also having fun. The changes to our lifestyle have helped to show us how much fun we can have from garden games. …

Consider Outdoor Games For Your Child

If you were to think about buying a present for your child then what would it be? Maybe a DVD or the latest computer game? Or maybe something smaller like a chocolate bar or some sweets? With childhood obesity on the rise, matters such as these are now more likely to have greater consideration than they once did.

There can be no doubt that many of the decisions that we make will have a big influence on the lives of our children. That does not simply mean that it could have an impact in the short term. Many habits picked up by young children will continue into their adult lives.

Does that sound worried? It probably should do – children who do not get enough exercise and who have poor eating habits face a greater chance of serious health problems in the future.

All of this can sound but daunting but parents are in a position to make changes. By doing so, we can ensure that we give our children the best possible chance.

In the introduction to this article we made mention of eating habits and also of computer games. Why did they get a mention? The reality is that many children are happy to spend endless hours playing video games or watching television.

Parents may be happy with this behavior, believing that it keeps children out of harm's way. But does it really? Could it be that such forms of entertainment will increase the chances of problems?

Computer games and watching television tend to involve very little movement. As such, they mean that kids taking part in these activities are inadvertently to be getting as much exercise as they really need. Are your children getting outdoors to play more active games?

If not, it may be worthwhile to encourage them to take part in more active forms of play. This is not as difficult as it may seem – many kids love to spend time in the fresh air.

If your own child is reticent to do so then you may be able to help. By demonstrating how much fun can be found in outdoor garden games you can encourage them to lead a healthier life. …

Perennials Vs Annuals – What Are the Advantages of Each?

If you are a new homeowner, planting your flower gardens, bushes and trees are something you thought about from the time you first looked at your new home. You probably have a picture in your mind of what you want your flower gardens to look like.

There are pros and cons to perennial plants or flowers and annual plants and flowers. Those that are perennial will come up year after year, and usually cost more. Annuals are often planted as seeds and nursed into full flowering plants that require weeding and need to be re-planted each year.

You might decide to plant a combination, but those that have little time to work in the yard always choose perennial, because they practically grow on their own and don’t require much more than cutting them back at the end of the growing season. Typically, the flowers aren’t as vibrant as annuals, but there are some perennial plants that can bloom all season and be beautiful and vibrant, such as roses and day lilies and includes seasonal flowers such as daffodils, tulips, lilac bushes, peonies and daisies.

Annuals cost very little, if you plant them from seed. If you want uniform placement, you might consider starter plants to give you instant color and give them an advantage over the weeds. They are cheaper plant initially, but they require more work, such as constant watering, weed pulling and dead-heading. For those that like to garden, they may not mind this hobby. You can find a wide variety of annuals and for those on a budget, annuals are the choice.

The main advantage to perennials is that they can easily adapt to weather conditions and are hardier than annual plants. They are normally planted once, but bloom year after year. Some perennial plants only bloom every other year and newly planted perennial plants may not bloom the first year or two. You have to carefully consider placement, since it is harder to transplant them, once they have taken root. The other great thing about perennial plants is that you can add a few plants a year to your landscape until you get all of the color you want. It is considered a landscaping investment, when it comes time to sell your home.

With annuals, the main advantage is the varieties and bright colors you can get. The affordability is another factor and you can change the look of your landscaping every year, to something different. The main disadvantage is that they are not as hardy and the growing season is not as long as perennials, in most cases. If you have an extremely hot and dry summer, or if fall comes early, your plants may die. Because they aren’t as hardy, you may need to consider whether you have a sprinkler system and placement can be helpful in keeping them alive.

When analyzing the pros and cons of perennial plants versus annual plants for your garden, it might be best to make perennial plants a …

Things You Need To Know If You Are Taking Up Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is very popular these days but many people are afraid to dip their toes into it. The thought of starting a garden can be intimidating for many people, due to the fact that it is not something a lot of people are familiar with, and it does seem complicated. Read through this article and you can gain better insight on what it takes to start and grow your own organic garden; it’s not as hard as it may seem.

Avoid rose mildew. This fungus affects many types of roses, especially in wet weather, when days are warm and nights are cold. Small gray or white spots will appear on the plant, forming a felt-like down. Shoot tips are killed and buds fail to open. Don’t plant roses close together – they need good air circulation to avoid mildew. Spray any affected plants with fungicidal soap.

Key to any garden activity is using the right tools. While having a shovel is essential, so are other tools that work best with your garden size. For smaller gardens, short handled tools work best, for larger gardens longer handled hoes and spades work better. Make sure you keep a sharp edge on your tools for easier work.

You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them overnight. Drop them into a container of water and keep them in a dark place for a day. Check the location of the seeds. If they sank to the bottom, they are usable. If they float the top, they may be dead.

Add some earthworms into your garden soil. Earthworms are great in tunneling and loosening up the soil, giving the roots of your plants plenty of air space. They help make soil that is rich in nutrients by breaking down dead plant materials. Earthworms are a much better solution for your garden than commercial fertilizers.

There are several all-natural ways to keep pests out of your garden, including certain plants. Slugs who want to enter a vegetable garden, for example, can be repelled by a simple border of marigolds and onions. Wood ash used as mulch helps repel pests as well when around shrubs and trees. These methods are environmentally-friendly and mean you do not have to resort to harsh chemicals.

Once you understand and begin utilizing the tips you have read, the thought of working on your own organic garden should not seem intimidating at all. It is relatively easy to have an organic garden, that you can show off with pride. Soon you can have fresh, environmentally-friendly fruits and vegetables on your table.…

Following A Plant Based Diet Is Easy With Home Gardens

Many people today are turning to a plant-based diet as an alternative to diets too rich in saturated meat products, junk food, and highly processed foods. In some cases, it involves spending more time in the produce section of your local grocery store, looking for fruits and vegetables that are grown organically and spending extra money on them.

You can follow a great plant-based diet in an even better way while growing your fruits and vegetables in your own home garden. If you live in an apartment, you can start a container garden in front of a sunny window. If you have a plot of land to turn into a garden you can go big with a garden filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. You can grow almost anything in a small garden so you have the spring, summer and fall to eat off your own land.

Vegetables Easily Grown At Home

Tomatoes lend themselves well to container gardening and can grow like wild in the good earth of your back yard. They grow and ripen all season long so you can pick what you need for sandwiches, salads, snacks, fresh sauces and even for juicing.

You can grow your own peas or beans in a container or in your backyard garden. They are rich in phytonutrients that have their maximum potency if you simply pick what you need and eat them as soon as possible; you have the greatest amount of healthy phytonutrients and antioxidants in the food shortly after picking them.

Peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and greens like Kale are great options for a home garden and allow you to reach for healthy and super fresh produce all summer long and into the fall.

Your Home Garden

If you decide to have a back yard home garden, you need to decide if you want to grow organic foods or not. Organic gardening is the best possible choice because the food is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This means no harmful chemicals exist with the food you pick and you can even eat them straight out of the garden without having to wash them extensively.

Grow a wide variety of foods that become ripe at different times of the season:

Radishes, for example, take only a few weeks to become edible and, after pulling them up, you have room to grow a row of something else. Most people grow tomatoes and some people grow carrots, lettuce, and potatoes.

Both potatoes and squash need the entire summer to become available for eating so all you need to do is to keep them weed-free and watch them grow. In the early autumn or late summer, you can dig up the potatoes and harvest the squash. These types of produce can be kept at room temperature or in a cool place for many months so you have instant winter eating from vegetables you grew in the summer.

Lettuce and other greens can be grown and harvested all summer long for the …

Spring on the Cheap

Many of us are still grabbing jackets before we head outside, but there’s no doubt about it-spring is here! Whether you live in a high rise apartment or a cottage in the country, these tips will help you and your kids make the most of this beautiful season.

Instead of expensive plants, try this-

There’s no need to spend a ton of money at the nursery when you can just grab several packs of seeds for a few bucks. I remember when I was putting in my seed order from a catalog. I let each of my kids pick out a pack of seeds. My oldest daughter decided to try her hand at Curly-Q Cucumbers, seedless cucumbers that grow spirally. I didn’t think they would be able to grow, but I had to keep my promise and I ordered them just the same. Believe it or not, that summer, we had more Curly-Q Cucumbers than we knew what to do with. You never know what will happen with seeds-they are full of so much potential (just like kids). Go ahead and turn it into a family project and pick out seeds for everyone.

Instead of pricey greenhouses, try this-

When you are planting seeds, there is no need to buy expensive grow lights or portable greenhouses. I love saving the clear plastic covered containers from bakeries. These are the perfect little containers to start your garden because they are clear to enable the light to come in, but they are covered to protect them from the cold. If you have a sunny window, then you will have plenty of light for seeds to sprout.

Instead of peat pots or sprouting pellets, try this-

They may look inexpensive, but buying lots of them really adds up. Try my little trick of using cardboard paper towel or toilet paper tubes. Simply cut them up to lengths that are around two inches and fill them with potting soil. Rest them upright in a tray and use these babies to sprout seeds. Because they are open at the bottom, you can just plant them, tube and all, directly into the ground. The roots will grow out of the bottom and the cardboard is biodegradable. Wow! Cheap and eco-friendly-you can’t beat that!

Instead of an outdoor gardening plot, try this-

Okay, so not all of us have acres to grow our cutting flowers or organic veggies. If you have some spare containers, then that’s all you need. But don’t go purchase a bunch of pots at the nursery. You probably already have plenty around you. Perhaps you can put some drainage holes in an old wagon and grow some flowers or maybe you can find an old plastic bucket to grow some fresh tomatoes. Remember to rethink everything and get creative.

Instead of bottles of chemicals, try this-

No doubt about it, organic is the way to go! When you plant your little sprouts side by side, do some research on companion planting. When you …

Spruce Up Your House by Gardening!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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