Copper Weather Vanes

Most simple weathervanes have directional markers beneath the pointer aligned with the geographic directions. The weather vanes can be made up of anything you can imagine to go with your home or garden. People can choose to show off their personal style by choosing a fun design such as a painted puppy or go for a dramatic look with a flying eagle. Ornate designs and fanciful shapes do not always show the real direction of a very gentle wind. This is because the figures do not achieve an unequal surface that is balanced in weight. But, for most of the heavier wind speeds you should be fine.

Weather vanes can be made with a combination of copper and brass, which will age and fade to light silver if left unprotected. Polished copper weathervanes may be sprayed with lacquer or varnish to prevent the copper from oxidizing and to maintain the beautiful high polished copper finish. Aluminum is another popular medium for creating weather vanes that should not rust and can be less expensive than copper. It can also be painted to show off more details creating fun and unique designs.

Once you have decided on the look for your weather vane you will want to choose a logical place to keep it. To obtain an accurate reading, the weather vane must be located well above the ground and away from buildings, trees, and other objects to give a true wind direction. Changing wind direction can be meaningful when coordinated with other apparent sky conditions, enabling the user to make simple short range forecast. Weather vanes are not only useful to the average owner they can also be a nice design element to your home.

Ways to Fix Bad Garden Soil

The first method to clear out all the unwanted debris in the soil. For example, you want to clear out anything that includes synthetic materials, weeds, and rocks. Basically, you should try and get rid of anything that provides no help to your plants. You may have to dig a few inches underground in order to identify these debris but it is a step that has to be taken. Rocks have to be removed because they impede the growth of a plant’s root system. You want a plant’s root system to be as extensive as possible so that it can absorb as much nutrients as possible. When you clear out the debris, make sure you don’t touch any of the organic materials. For example, don’t touch things such as dead leaves because they will break down and turn into.

The second method is to replenish the nutrients and minerals in the soil. There are two ways of doing this. You can either purchase organic compost from stores or make your own. If you want to make your own then you will need to have a composting bin. These bins will help break down organic waste into nutritious compost or mulch. Obviously, plants are going to grow stronger if there are more nutrients in the ground. If you use the garden on a regular basis then you may have to add compost on a regular basis. This is why some gardeners like to relocate their garden spot every few years. This gives a chance for the old spot to revitalize its mineral levels.

The third method is to aerate the soil. You want to give your plants enough space to breathe. This can be achieved by breaking down the soil into smaller parts. For example, if the soil is lumped together then you are not making it easy for the plant to grow since it won’t be easy for the roots to penetrate the soil. If you follow these three methods then the garden soil will once again be as good as new.

Plants in Pots vs Plants in Beds

This year we potted up a bunch of Potentilla but I stuck about 10 of them in a landscape planting to use as stock plants. The plants in the pots are far out growing the ones that I planted in the bed. Why? Potting soil must be pretty close to what it should be and the plants in the bed are small and mulched with 3″ of bark mulch. Not enough roots into the soil? Have we kept the plants in the pots watered more consistently than the ones in the bed? Probably.

I don’t know for sure, but as soon as I draw a conclusion about something I see something that makes me contradict my earlier claim.

So here’s my conclusion as of today.

In most cases if the soil in your yard is good plants in beds will out grow plants in pots. Unless your potting soil is near perfect.

Plants in pots need a lot more water. A lot more water!

Plants in pots are much easier to care for and keep weed free because you can pack them together then spread apart as needed. Once the plants fill out the pot the weeds don’t have much room to grow.

Plants in the ground? It takes a lot of calories (energy) to get plants out of the ground and the window of time to do so is pretty small. Digging season starts after Thanksgiving and ends about mid April in zones 5 and 6. Other zones are similar but the window is longer in the far north and shorter in the south.

If you plant in the ground, mulch the beds. This spring we put a lot of time, energy, effort and money into mulching all of our Japanese maple beds. What a difference. Weeds starting showing up in the isles weeks before the mulched beds and we used a pre-emergent herbicide over the entire area. The mulch helped the plants, it really helped with weed control, and I believe it carried the pre-emergent better than the soil.

Plants in the ground or in the field have to be close enough together to make weed control manageable, and even then, you’ll spend a lot of time “managing those weeds”.

Grow Lettuce Using Hydroponic System


The amount of light required in growing lettuce hydroponically may differ from plant to plant. In the case of most indoor hydroponic systems, your plants need more artificial light in order for photosynthesis to transpire. If you do not have enough artificial light yet, get grow lamps like LED lamps which generate the right intensity of artificial light without the additional heat. You could try an 80-watt fluorescent light, and keep it five to seven centimeters away from your plants, to encourage optimum growth, and allow around 18 hours of light each day.


There are a lot of hydroponic nutrients that can help your lettuce plants not only grow big and healthy, but also enhance their quality so that their leaves will become green and crisp. Also, you have to take into consideration the pH level of the water you’ll use, as the hydroponic nutrient solutions you add to the water will affect the pH level. Water pH level for lettuce plants must be between 6 and 6.5. Salts and nitrate nitrogen are both recommended nutrients for growing lettuce plants the hydroponics way.


Water temperature for growing lettuce plants is between 68 to 75.2 °F (20 to 24 °C), and you can monitor this in your grow tray. You can make use of a submersible heater. It can help you maintain and regulate the right temperature. You can lower the room temperature using oscillating fans. Doing so will help avoid tip burn in your lettuce plants, and at the same time keep humidity in the growing room a lot more regulated.

Patio Landscaping

Begin landscaping your patio with a new brick, stone or concrete foundation. Any of these materials will make a great base for your patio landscaping design. Patio landscaping design includes the use of a wide variety of materials. Soft materials refer to plants while hard materials refer to rocks, stones, bricks, tiles, concrete, timber and the like.

In choosing materials for your patio landscaping design, you should make sure that your choices match the theme you have in mind. In addition, your materials should both be attractive and functional, which will make your patio not only look good but durable and comfortable.

Details are important in your patio landscaping design. Adding finishing touches such as flowers and colorful stones can make your patio more appealing and inviting. You can line them at the edges or put them in pots so you can place them anywhere in the patio.

When planning your patio landscaping design, you should consider first the size of available space that you have in order to determine what features will work best. For example, winding paths may not work well in a small space. If you have a large patio area, you can divide it into sections, for example, a dining area, kid’s play area, and a quiet nook for relaxing or meditation.

A patio landscaping design that features plenty of lush green plants and vibrant colorful flowers breathes life into any space. You can install a mass of perennial plants, which require little maintenance. Spruce up your patio with bright potted annuals.

Water features are also pleasant addition to your patio landscaping design. Consider building a small pond or adding a waterfall if your space will allow it. There are small construction kits for these features available at popular building supply stores.

Accessories are also essential to enhance your patio landscaping design. Objects such as patio furniture, cushions, sun catchers, and many others all work to improve the overall look of your patio so you should also choose them carefully to make sure they will fit your landscape.

There are plenty of resources to get inspiration from for your patio landscaping design. Browse home garden magazines, gardening books and websites and watch home improvement shows to get creative ideas of building a welcoming patio or transforming your old patio from dull to interesting.

Hydroponic Gardening

Monitor pH Levels

There are many factors that could cause the nutrient solution to fall beyond the ideal range of 5.6. Often, if a hydroponic nutrients solutions is not monitored for too long, it could begin to drift outside of the said range, because it will get too dense in raw nutrients. Sometimes, it could become too alkaline or too acidic when you add new nutrients or transfer the plants to a new medium.

PH levels change rapidly. So it is important to check them every day. The longer the hydroponic nutrients solution spends outside the ideal range, the higher the chance that your plants will suffer. To make necessary adjustments to the pH levels of the solution, use a pharmaceutical-grade pH adjustment product.

Keep Temperature Levels Stable

The temperature of the hydroponic nutrients solution must be relatively cool, somewhere between 66 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to be particularly aware of this if you reside in an unusually cold or warm part of the world. In order to prevent nutrient deficiency, take additional steps and insulate your garden against the elements outside it. Also, you should avoid placing the reservoir directly on the ground, as the floor could be very cool. And such temperature can affect the temperature of your reservoir.

Keep an Eye on Phosphorus

Phosphorus is one of the most vital nutrients in a hydroponic nutrients solution. But it is very easy to have excessive phosphorus in a solution, which could result in deficiency in other essential nutrients like iron.

In general, the key to avoiding nutrient deficiency is keeping accurate measurements. If you can regularly and accurately measure the pH levels, conductivity, and temperature of your hydroponic nutrients solution, the chances of encountering less ideal condition will be surprisingly low. And ultimately, you will prevent nutrient deficiency in your plants.

Secret Behind Aquaponics

The first invention after conventional gardening was Hydroponics. This made gardening much easier by growing vegetables in small pots in water. The only drawback is it involves the use of chemicals and fertilizers which means that it is not quite organic. Now we have hydroponics and aquaculture teamed up together called aquaponics. When you build an aquaponic system the use of chemicals and fertilizers are not required.

Aquaponic farming as it is now called is a way of growing plants and fish in a natural and interdependent way with each other. You have the fish in a normal fish tank then after a certain period of time you plant the seeds and grow the veggies. All you basically have to do is take care of the fish and the plants will grow and develop naturally.

The principle is simple, the fish provide the food and fertilizer (fish pooh), while the plants clean the water for the fish making a perfect cycle. As long as your fish are happy your plants will be happy.

Think of the advantages a system like this can offer you: Independence from the market and its rising prices. Travel time, as your veggies are at hand. Grown in a small location, like home or garage. No digging or weeding. No back breaking work preparing the land. In fact no land required.

Independence from the market and travel time would be a big plus for someone living a long way from the market or having to carry food back home if you don’t have transport. Many people livening in a high-rise apartment complex can take advantage of aquaponics because you don’t need land to grow your own vegetables.

As you can see aquaponics is the farming of the future. It is so futuristic that many authors use aquaponics in their science fiction novels as a way of farm in the future. If you have read this far and have not found the answer to “What is the secret behind apaponics” the answer is FISH!
Gardening has never been this easy.

Create a Tropical Retreat

Purchasing a greenhouse manufactured with thermally enhanced aluminum framework and high performance glazing will ensure your structure is energy efficient and durable. Aluminum framing will not rot or warp in the high moisture levels created by the pool, like a greenhouse with wood framing might. The aluminum framing and high performance glazing with low emissivity (LowE) coatings will also reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, which will help to keep heating and cooling costs down. Incorporating vents into the greenhouse will provide fresh air exchanges for plants while helping to maintain comfortable temperature and humidity levels.

A greenhouse can be a freestanding structure or share a wall with another building. An attached greenhouse can be accessed directly from your home; thus you’ll never have to brave the cold or inclement weather to get to your tropical retreat. A freestanding greenhouse can be placed anywhere on your property and be as large as you desire. Utilizing a freestanding greenhouse for your tropical getaway may be favorable if you want to leave your home but not your property.

Enclosing a pool with a greenhouse not only allows you to enjoy your pool year-round, but it may also save you money. Enclosing the pool prevents leaves and debris from entering the water; reducing cleaning time. The shelter provided by the greenhouse keeps the water in the pool protected from precipitation and evaporation, which helps keep the pool at the appropriate chemical levels. The consistent temperature of the air around the pool due to solar heat gain, combined with a heating system, helps maintain the temperature of the water. The enclosure lowers the costs associated with heating the pool, saves on cleaning costs, and can reduce the chemicals required to operate the pool year-round.

The warm, moist environment created by the enclosed pool provides an excellent home for tropical plants to thrive. Placing palms and tropical succulents around the pool will create the feeling of an island retreat. Adding a sitting area with wicker furniture and larger plants will provide a relaxing, intimate space for you and your guests to enjoy, regardless of the weather outside.

Benefits Of Planting A Garden

He along with many other researchers hoped this simple alga, with its concentrated nutrition, could easily solve the problem of world hunger. One scientist projected that a thousand-acre chlorella plot could produce an unbelievable 10,000 tons of protein in a year.[1] Dr. DeSeblo often ate a strict chlorella diet for 5 or 6 weeks at a time in order to test the feasibility of depending solely on this tiny green superfood for nourishment.

Despite its promise, chlorella didn’t work out as the answer to world hunger. As chlorella cultivators well know, it’s not as simple as originally thought to grow and process high quality, contaminant-free chlorella. Growing low cost, clean, optimally nutritious chlorella on a small scale is still a challenge.

Nonetheless, Dr. DeSeblo’s vision lives on – albeit in new forms. One California-based chlorella company is working with the homeless shelter, Midnight Mission, in Los Angeles to introduce chlorella as a simple answer to the problem of poor nutrition and hunger in this country.

And most importantly, Dr. DeSeblo’s work emphasized the wisdom of solving the most difficult problems with simple solutions – a lesson we can all put into practice.

Because whether it’s through cultivating chlorella or some other green food, we can all contribute towards building the world’s food security. How? By planting a garden.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just a window box of herbs, a tiny plot behind your house, a bed in a community garden or a ten acre farm. Each of us can grow a little something to eat. And by doing so, we can each help to build a more diverse and sustainable food supply chain.

I have to admit, I’m a little spoiled. Living in northern California – just a couple hours from some of the best farming country in the world – it’s easy for me to get fresh fruits and vegetables year round.

But even food picked just this morning and trucked to my local farmer’s market is nothing like the nutrition you can get from eating food right out of your garden. With few exceptions, the sooner you eat food after it’s picked, the higher it is in nutrition.

One study out of the University of California found that after just a week, vegetables can lose as much as 15-77% of their vitamin C.[2]

Not to mention fresher food simply tastes better!

Better yet, when you plant a garden, you can control how the food is grown. You can make sure it’s non-GMO and organic. And you can choose seeds for varieties that are bred to have a higher concentration of certain vitamins and antioxidants – like beta-carotene-rich carrots.

Finally, growing your own food isn’t just about the food that ends up on your plate. It contributes to your quality of life in much larger ways…

  • When you garden, you get outside where you can breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine on your back.
  • With more of us locked onto our smartphones and losing track of reality, gardening helps ground us again, literally. You can’t help but build your powers of observation when you work with plants and are busy digging in the dirt.
  • It’s a great family activity. Or a project to launch into with friends and neighbors.
  • Best of all, gardening is a good way to stay active. Depending on what you’re doing, gardening burns an average of 280 calories an hour. Digging, crouching, bending and pushing a wheelbarrow keeps you strong and limber.

Shrubs Improve

Shrubs come in a wide variety – over a hundred different genuses, with a variety of species within each genus: There are shrubs with brilliant flowers, or evergreen shrubs for all seasons.

What exactly are shrubs? According to the dictionary definition: “A woody plant of relatively low height, having several stems arising from the base and lacking a single trunk; a bush.” A rose bush is a shrub, for example, but so is a flowering dogwood. Have you heard that a dogwood is a tree? Well, some dogwoods are shrubs, and some are trees! Just as some lilacs are shrubs and some are trees. It all depends on how tall the individual species within the genus grows.

So there’s quite a bit to learn about shrubbery before you decide on which ones you’ll use in your landscaping endeavors. It’s always best to consult with your local gardening experts while you’re working on your design.

But even though you’ll want to talk to local gardeners about what would be best for your landscaping plans, you don’t need to deal locally to acquire the shrubs. (Although it’s always nice to support local businesses.) And you will find that there are restrictions – some states do not allow you to import certain plants – Hawaii and Alaska are simply too far away.

But take a jaunt around the web to see what’s out there.

For example Direct Gardening offers everything from bulbs to fruits and nuts to hedges to shrubs to vines and water plants. Their website has plenty of photos of all their offerings so you can see what everything looks like. (They also sell what they call “Pre-planned gardens” – a mixture of several different but complimentary plants that will all grow well in the same type of conditions.)

Nature Hills Nursery is another online business that offers a wide variety of starter plants. And their website has a feature in which you input your zipcode, and it comes back with the “zone” in which you live – and the flowers, plants, shrubs and trees that grow best in that zone.

The major maintenance for shrubs is pruning – you simply must prune your shrubs, not only to improve their appearance but also to help them grow healthy and strong. Hedge clippers and hand pruners are must have tools, loppers and a small pruning saw will also come in handy.