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  • Quick test: is it a weed or a plant? If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
  • read all shaktoids!
    July 29, 2014
    Shak Yard

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    July 25, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Pepper Growing Secret Recipe
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    Epsom salt contains calcium and magnesium, which peppers need to thrive. Add some to your plants today!


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    July 22, 2014
    Herb Garden Inspiration Gold Mine

    I love, love, love growing my own fresh herbs. They’re the only plants that I don’t accidentally kill– plus, they’re practical! I love how they taste, and I love how they look. But the thing I love most of all about herbs? There are plenty of ways to get creative with planting them. If you need inspiration for planting your own herb garden, look no further than this compilation at By Stephanie Lynn-- it is the absolute mother lode of herb garden ideas. Some of these look like more art than dirt and plants. Here are some of my favorites:

    -Old wheel barrow garden

    -Repurposed ladder and tin cans

    -Recycled book planter

    -Spiral built rock bed

    -Cinderblock garden wall

    Photo Credit: loppear 


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    July 15, 2014
    Starting Up A Veggie Garden On The Cheap

    Growing your own, fresh veggies is way cheaper than buying them from the grocery store in the long run. You just have to know what you’re doing and have a few bucks to start up. Plus, you control exactly what you grow and how you do it: you can go completely chemical free if you like. Sometimes, though, people can be intimidated when building their own garden from scratch… You have to buy raised beds, gardening soil, and seedlings to start out with. However, Pam at Brown Thumb Mama shows in this post how to start your own plentiful veggie garden for less than $25! Here’s how she did it:

    3, 6-foot cedar fence boards $1.50 each: $4.50
    2 in. x 2 in. x 24 in. grade stake (6-pack): $5.47
    1 box of 35, 2” nails: $1.30
    2 bags of steer manure @ $1.37 each: $2.74
    Subtotal: $14.01

    Catalina baby spinach: $2.79

    Lacinato heirloom kale: $2.79

    Jericho romaine lettuce: $3.79

    Photo Credit: Images Of Money


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    July 7, 2014
    Front Porch DIYs = Big Curb Appeal

    One home feature that many people dream of is a big, beautiful, wrap around porch. At least, I do. The idea of sitting on a porch swing watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee is basically heaven to me. Or, you can listen to the rain without getting wet, read a good book, or create lasting family memories. Porches by themselves are pretty magical, but there are ways to make it a space that you never want to leave. Plus, having a porch and knowing how to show it off is a huge pull for buyers! Check out this post by Sarita Harbour at Zillow for some great ideas:

    -Apply a little paint to add a splash of color

    -Add a porch swing

    -Use rugs to cover the floor

    -Suspend a chandelier or a ceiling fan

    -Bring on the flowers!

    Photo Credit: Sonja Lovas 


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    July 4, 2014
    Happy Fourth Of July!

     

    Yes, this is a giant f lag made from flowers! USA! USA!

    Photo from Bing


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    July 1, 2014
    Chicken Food No-Nos: What Not To Give Them

    Chickens will eat just about anything. Like humans, they are omnivores and will eat whatever is put in front of them: seeds, bugs, grains, fruits, veggies, meat (a lot of people report watching their chickens happily chomp on toads, frogs, and rats)….Yum, right?! They also love “people food” table scraps from the kitchen. However, just because they will eat almost anything doesn’t mean that they should…especially fingers! Check out this post by Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead for what NOT to give your chickens:

    -Avocado pits and peels- can be toxic

    -Chocolate- toxic to dogs AND birds (besides, who throws away CHOCOLATE?? :) )

    -Junk food- processed foods are bad for them

    -Green potato skins, dry beans: both contain toxic substances

    -Citrus (peels)- MAY thin out eggshells, chickens tend to not eat them anyway.

    Photo Credit: Jay Gooby 


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    June 26, 2014
    “Gray Thumb” Proof Plants

    Some people have “green thumbs”. They are naturally inclined towards plants, and know how to keep them alive and help them flourish. Other people….have a gray thumb. They don’t do so well with nature, and their plants will usually die after a few weeks. But what do you do if you LOVE plants, but always accidentally kill them? Get some plants that are harder to kill, obviously! Check out this list by Holly Becker at the Decor 8 Blog if this sounds like you: (Side note, I swear my parents had a few of these houseplants when I was growing up. They were around for YEARS and I NEVER saw them water them.) 

    -Aloe

    -Echeverius

    -Arrowhead Vine

    -Kentia Palm

    -Golden Pothos

    -Spider Plant

    -Ghost Plant

    -Geranium

    Photo Credit: Manuel Martin Vicente 


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    June 25, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Gazebo Garden Path

    Photo from Sweetzgarden


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    June 23, 2014
    Easy Water Features

    When I think of water features, I admit that I picture insanely elaborate fountains like the one in this picture. It seems so unobtainable and out of reach to me, since I have no knowledge of plumbing or anything. The idea of mixing water with electricity makes me queasy. I think water features- fountains, ponds, and other elements- are gorgeous in gardens, but I never considered installing one myself since I was so intimidated. But- it doesn’t have to be so stressful! Check out this post by Briana Carter at Bargain Briana for some easy water feature ideas for beginners:

     The simple pond.
    You can find pond shells that are as small as 3×3 feet and as shallow as 1-2 feet at your local home improvement store. These make the perfect little oasis! 

    Easy peasy electrical fountains.
    There are many varieties of small and mid size electrical fountains that can still give you all of the benefits of a water feature at a great price. The best part about these is you just plug them in and go!

    The bird bath fountain.  For this project, you need a simple pedestal bird bath and small, solar fountain.

    Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell 


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