garden http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3179/all en-US 13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000013042218.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Gardening is a satisfying lifelong hobby that keeps me fit, saves me money on food, and &mdash; without sounding too cheesy, I hope &mdash; lets me live a more beautiful life.</p> <p>Many people turn to home gardening hoping to gain these benefits, only to find at the end of the summer that they've spent hundreds of dollars on dead trees and bug-ravaged vegetables.</p> <p>Many garden failures are caused by human error, rather than a plague of locusts. The following 13 basic skills are worth spending time to master, as they will not only help you get the most enjoyment out of your garden, but also save you money, too.</p> <h2>1. Soil Analysis</h2> <p>Before you plant, it's important to know if your garden soil can actually support life.</p> <p>The first thing you will want to know about your soil is its pH. Is your soil alkaline, acidic, or neutral? Soil that is too alkaline or acidic keeps plants from absorbing key nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, so your plants suffer malnutrition. Although you can send your soil to a professional lab for testing, there are several inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Test-Soil-pH">test soil pH at home</a>.</p> <p>The second thing you need to know about your soil before you plant is its structure. Soil that is too sandy won't hold nutrients, and soil that has too much clay can suffocate a plant's roots by limiting its access to water and air.</p> <p>Although some people are blessed with perfect soil, most of us have dirt with less than ideal pH and texture. Luckily, even <a href="http://www.hobbyfarms.com/6-soil-problems-and-amendment-solutions-5/">poor soils can be improved</a> by adding amendments.</p> <h2>2. Composting</h2> <p>One of the best soil amendments to add to your garden is compost. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-reasons-to-compost">Compost is an excellent soil conditioner</a> that improves the texture and nutrition levels of all types of dirt. Also, since compost is made from household garbage, it saves you money in two ways: It's a free and natural alternative to chemical fertilizers, and it cuts down on your garbage bill and your water bill.</p> <p>Compost is really just controlled rotting. Contrary to popular belief, a well-tended compost pile isn't stinky, and composting is not a hard skill to learn, as microbes and worms do most of the work! Compost is made from two types of waste: green and brown. Green waste is made up of nitrogen-rich waste like grass clippings, coffee grounds, and food waste. Brown waste is made up of carbon-rich waste like dead leaves, pine needles, sawdust, or shredded paper. If the compost gets too stinky, add more brown waste. If the compost isn't breaking down fast enough, add more green waste. Well-balanced compost has a nice loamy smell and texture.</p> <p>Composting dramatically cuts down on what my household sends to the landfill, which is good for the planet. In addition to composting all of my plant-based food waste and yard trimmings, I also compost greasy pizza boxes and used cardboard food containers that cannot be recycled.</p> <p>Compost also helps my heavy clay soil retain water, which is vital, since Southern California is currently suffering from an endless drought.</p> <h2>3. Tracking Sunlight</h2> <p>Most vegetables need plenty of sun to thrive, so if your yard is shady year-round, you will be disappointed in your harvest. How much sunlight your growing area gets determines what you can grow. Although there are sun tracking apps, it's easy to <a href="http://getbusygardening.com/how-to-determine-sun-exposure/">track sun exposure</a> with just a pen and paper.</p> <h2>4. Seed Starting</h2> <p>Planting your vegetable and flower garden from seed has two huge advantages. First, there are far more varieties available in seed form than as seedlings. Second, unless you are like me and read seed catalogs with the intensity that most people reserve for pornography, <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/garden-hack-citrus-peel-starter-pot-seedlings/">gardening from seed</a> is the least expensive way to grow plants.</p> <p>FYI, you can buy seeds and plants that produce food with Food Stamps! Consider stretching your SNAP benefits by keeping a small garden. If you buy a package of tomato seeds for $3.00 and grow 10 tomatoes from just one plant, that is a huge return on your investment.</p> <h2>5. Seed Saving</h2> <p>Why buy seeds when you can just use seeds that you grew yourself last season? Saving seeds isn't just a great way to shrink your garden budget. It's also a great way to grow your community. My friend Steve has an impressive victory garden that he grew from seeds that he &quot;checked out&quot; from the <a href="http://www.kclibrary.org/seedlibrary">Kansas City Public Library</a> with his library card. If you love the idea of a seed library as much as I do but can't find one in your area, the Richmond, California Public Library has a tutorial on <a href="http://www.richmondgrowsseeds.org/create-a-library.html">how to start your own</a>!</p> <h2>6. Container Gardening</h2> <p>Not everyone has fixable soil or even open ground to use as a growing space. Luckily, container gardening allows even apartment-dwellers to create their own green space. Although I am incredibly vain about my vast collection of terra cotta pots, you can grow ridiculous amounts of food in containers such as plastic storage tubs and recycled food buckets. That said, Pinterest is full of brilliant ideas for <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/romanapartment/upcycled-garden-planters/">upcycled planters</a>, made from items you probably already own, for all kinds of vegetation.</p> <h2>7. Plant Propagation From Stem Cuttings</h2> <p>I learned how to <a href="http://needlesandleaves.net/blog/2013/5/31/propagating-leggy-succulents">grow succulents from cuttings</a> as a kid and never looked back. Every year when I trim back my succulents, I save the cuttings to use as barter currency with the neighbors, to sell at my garage sale, or to pot up and give as gifts. Plants are great gifts, for just about every occasion. This one little skill makes/saves me at least $100 every year between what I save on buying gifts and what I sell for cold hard cash. More importantly, I managed to plant 90% of my front yard with plant cuttings I collected from my friends and neighbors. I saved hundreds of dollars on my landscaping budget because I barely had to buy any greenery.</p> <p>But why limit yourself to just succulents? There are so many great indoor and outdoor plants that can be grown from cuttings.</p> <h2>8. Transplanting</h2> <p>My husband loves to collect&hellip; everything. So he's always out in the yard, sticking something new into the ground. Unfortunately, up until recently, about 50% of what he planted immediately croaked. I only discovered the cause of his brown thumb this year. He had no idea that he needed to immediately water plants after transplanting to prevent shock. Now that he's learned the basic rules of transplanting, he hasn't lost a plant.</p> <h2>9. Watering</h2> <p>Everyone knows you can kill a plant by underwatering, but did you know the most common cause of death in indoor plants is overwatering? Fortunately, learning the proper way to water your plants, both inside and out, is not rocket science. Also, learning <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/22/six-ways-to-save-water-in-your-garden">good watering techniques</a> will cut down on your water bill, even if you don't live in a drought-stricken area.</p> <h2>10. Mulching</h2> <p>I love to mulch, because it provides immediate gratification. The yard looks instantly tidier after mulching. Also, mulch cuts down on weeds, and helps the soil retain water.</p> <p>I am a great proponent of liquor store mulch, aka <a href="http://permaculturenews.org/2012/07/20/gorgeous-gardens-from-garbage-how-to-build-a-sheet-mulch/">sheet mulching</a>, because I don't even have to weed before I lay down the sweet, sweet topcoat. Also, it's basically free. Here's how I mulch:</p> <ul> <li>Get cardboard boxes from my corner liquor store.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cover my dirt, weeds and all, with flattened cardboard boxes, working around existing plants. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Water until the cardboard is super wet. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shovel green waste onto the cardboard. I use manure that my chicken-raising neighbor is so happy to give me for free, but you can use compost, grass cutting, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shovel brown waste on top of everything to hide the stinky green waste. I used dead leaves and shredded cardboard boxes, but you can use what you have on hand. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Water, water, water.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wait. By the following year, you will have lovely topsoil to grow in and far fewer weeds.</li> </ul> <p>By the way, if you aren't planning on growing a garden next season and just want to make your current planting look better, many cities offer free mulch, made from chopped up city trees, as part of their recycling programs. Just lay down that wood mulch over cardboard and call it a day.</p> <h2>11. Managing Pests</h2> <p>My mother is a master gardener. The second she thought my sister and I were old enough to handle garden tools without goring each other, she enlisted us in slug patrol. Every morning before school, we had to go out to the garden and decapitate every slug we found. To this day, I can throw a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009JXFUMW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009JXFUMW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KTHMWMHZ3FKPFQSI">weed digger</a> five feet with deadly precision.</p> <p>But killing slugs <em>Game of Thrones-</em>style is just one of the ways I manage pests in my garden.</p> <p>My favorite method of pest management is companion planting, because the plants do most of the maintenance work. One of my very favorite garden hacks is The <a href="https://www.almanac.com/content/companion-planting-three-sisters">Three Sisters</a>, an Iroquois planting method that is perfect in its simplicity. The three sisters are corn, climbing beans, and squash. These three crops are planted together in a mound of dirt. The corn provides a trellis for the beans. The beans are nitrogen-fixers, so they fertilize the soil for the corn and the squash. The squash's prickly leaves act as mulch, and they shade the roots of the other two sisters. The squash also acts as a defense against rodents and raccoons that don't like crawling through the prickly leaves to eat the beans and the corn. So genius.</p> <p>Because I am a beekeeper and own a koi pond, I cannot use chemical garden sprays without also killing my pets. Luckily, there are plenty of homemade bug sprays that do the job and are made of things you can find in your kitchen.</p> <h2>12. Pruning</h2> <p>There are a number of reasons why you should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">leave tree pruning to the experts</a>, but pruning shrubs and other small plants is easy, once you know how. Although most people think of pruning as decorative, proper pruning actually keeps plants healthy by removing dead or dying parts of plants that have been damaged by weather, disease, bugs, or animals. Pruning can also make a plant more productive by forcing the plant to put more energy into producing fruit or flowers.</p> <h2>13. Maintaining Tools</h2> <p>I am terrible at this. After spending approximately $539,287 to repeatedly replace wood-handled tools that I left in the yard to the mercy of the elements, I finally had to purchase way too expensive, rust-proof, all metal tools. Don't be me.</p> <p>Actually, maintaining tools is remarkably easy. If you clean your tools after every use and store them in a dry place, you can make most hand tools last a lifetime.</p> <p><em>Do you have a green thumb? What garden skills save you the most money and time?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home composting frugal person garden gardening green thumb how-to landscaping skills Thu, 26 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Max Wong 1717714 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Unexpected Uses for Mineral Oil http://www.wisebread.com/30-unexpected-uses-for-mineral-oil <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-unexpected-uses-for-mineral-oil" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_removing_makeup_000049279058.jpg" alt="Woman finding unexpected uses for mineral oil" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although it's often maligned, mineral oil is the key ingredient in many home, health, and garden products because it's super versatile. Consider these 30 unexpected uses.</p> <h2>1. Use as Fragrance-Free Baby Oil</h2> <p>Baby oil is actually mineral oil with an added fragrance. Save money on <a href="http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/cradle-cap-topic-overview">cradle cap </a>treatment by using food-grade mineral oil instead. Note that while mineral oil can be substituted for baby oil, baby oil should not be substituted for mineral oil. The added fragrance is not edible and may cause allergic reactions in some people.</p> <h2>2. Reduce Rashes</h2> <p>Along with cradle cap, mineral oil can be used to prevent <a href="http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/801222-treatment">diaper rash</a> and soothe other types of skin irritation such as <a href="http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-32605/mineral-oil-top/details">skin burns</a> from radiation therapy.</p> <h2>3. Remove Oil-Based Makeup</h2> <p>Use mineral oil to remove theatrical makeup (greasepaint) with ease. Mineral oil is also great for removing makeup without pulling at the delicate skin around the eyes. As an added bonus, it also works as a conditioner for brows and eyelashes, making them less prone to breakage.</p> <h2>4. Moisturizer</h2> <p>Although there is a huge amount of beauty propaganda devoted to describing mineral oil as pure evil in a bottle, contrary to popular belief, mineral oil <a href="http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/news/20050527/mineral-oil-cleared-of-pimple-rap">does not cause acne</a> or blackheads. Its molecular structure is too large to penetrate pores, so it <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-facial-moisturizers">moisturizes</a> by creating a barrier on top of the skin that keeps moisture in and dry air out.</p> <h2>5. Protect Skin in Freezing Weather</h2> <p>Old-time arctic explorers went out of their way to avoid washing their faces to preserve the protective layer of natural skin oil to prevent chapping. Because it provides such a good barrier against the elements, mineral oil is a great product to protect exposed skin in cold climates.</p> <h2>6. Soften Cracked Feet</h2> <p>Are your heels super dry? Regularly slather your feet with mineral oil at bedtime to keep the skin supple and crack-free. (Cover your oily feet with socks to keep your sheets clean).</p> <h2>7. Remove Temporary Tattoos</h2> <p>What seemed funny at the club on Friday night looks terrible on Monday morning before work. Pour mineral oil on a rag and gently rub the ink off before stepping into the morning staff meeting.</p> <h2>8. Remove Oil and Latex Paint and Primer From Skin</h2> <p>Using a rag that has been dipped in mineral oil, gently rub the paint spots in a circular motion to remove them from skin. Also, if you apply mineral oil to your skin before painting, the little paint specks rub right off.</p> <p>Important note: this is why mineral oil and latex condoms are a bad idea. Do not use mineral oil as a personal lubricant if you are using barrier-style birth control made of latex.</p> <h2>9. Dislodge Earwax</h2> <p>Place a few drops of body temperature mineral oil in the ears before bedtime for up to five days. Once the wax has softened, rinse ears with warm water (this can be as simple as tilting your head in the shower), then, tip your head so the wax can drain out. Dry your ears with a hair dryer set on low.</p> <h2>10. Treat Ear Mites in Dogs</h2> <p>Mineral oil is a non-toxic method of <a href="https://www.vetinfo.com/diagnose-treat-dog-ear-mites.html">killing ear mites</a> in dogs. Mineral oil works by smothering the mites, but as with humans, mineral oil is also good for loosening hard earwax and buildup in your dog's ears that can cause distress. Use an eyedropper to put several drops of oil in each ear. Instead of sticking the eyedropper into the ears, massage your dog's ears to move the oil down the entire ear canal. Fair warning: your dog will want to shake its head, so do this in the bathroom, where spattering oil and earwax can be wiped down.</p> <h2>11. Kill Aphids</h2> <p>I zap spider mites and aphids on my tomato plants using this <a href="http://forum.earthbox.com/index.php?topic=5556.0;wap2">homemade plant spray</a> recipe of dishwashing liquid, water, and mineral oil.</p> <h2>12. Remove Gum and Wax From Hair</h2> <p>Peanut butter costs way too much to be wasted on hair-related gum accidents. Work mineral oil into the gum and affected hair until all the gum comes off easily, without pulling. Also, if you have the personal fortitude to wax your own bikini line, you can remove stubborn wax residue with mineral oil.</p> <h2>13. Remove Beach Tar</h2> <p>My husband grew up in Santa Barbara, where beach volleyball is synonymous with tar-covered feet. He swears by mineral oil as the cheap and easy tar removal solution. Pour mineral oil onto old rags or paper towels and place these homemade wipes into a Ziploc bag. Store this tar removal kit in your beach bag or car kit.</p> <h2>14. Ouch-Free Bandage Removal</h2> <p>Saturate the bandage with mineral oil. Working from the outside edge of the bandage, slowly peel the bandage away from the skin, applying more oil as needed.</p> <h2>15. Remove Stickers</h2> <p>Mineral oil is a good solvent for removing glues from non-porous surfaces. Use it to remove price tags from dishware and furniture, for example. Or, use it to remove a bumper sticker from a car without damaging the paint job.</p> <h2>16. Laxative</h2> <p>Mineral oil is possibly the least yummy laxative &mdash; but it beats not pooping. Mineral oil works as a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-153865/mineral-oil-laxative-oral/details">stool softener</a> and as a lubricant laxative by making it harder for your intestines to pull the water out of your stool. While cheap and effective, mineral oil should <em>not</em> be used to medicate constipation in children younger than six or people who are bedridden.</p> <h2>17. Wood Conditioner</h2> <p>Many commercial lemon oil furniture polishes are just mineral oil with lemon scent. Plain old mineral oil will give your wood the exact same look without the added smell and cost.</p> <h2>18. Season Wood Cutting Boards and Kitchen Tools</h2> <p>Oil-treated wood is more hygienic. Dried out wood develops tiny cracks which are a favorite hiding spot for bacteria. To extend the life of wood cutting boards, utensils, and salad bowls, wipe them down with a liberal application of mineral oil. Reapply oil until the wood cannot absorb any more. Wipe off excess oil with a rag. Mineral oil is a superior coating for wood cooking tools because, unlike olive or vegetable oils, it won't go rancid.</p> <h2>19. Silence a Floor Creak</h2> <p>Pour a small amount of oil into the squeaky joint and wipe up the excess.</p> <h2>20. Quiet a Squeaky Door</h2> <p>Apply to door hinges and hardware instead of WD-40.</p> <h2>21. Protect Garden Tools</h2> <p>Before putting gardening tools away for the winter, apply a layer of mineral oil. The oil will condition wood handles and keep rust from forming on the metal parts.</p> <h2>22. Clean and Maintain Knives</h2> <p>As with garden tools, mineral oil creates a barrier against atmospheric moisture, and will help keep knives rust-free. Mineral oil can also be used as a lubricant when honing edged tools with a sharpening stone.</p> <h2>23. Prolong the Life of Razors</h2> <p>After shaving, carefully dry the blade of the razor. Then apply a thin layer of mineral oil to the blade. (Take care not to cut yourself!) The oil will keep the blade from rusting and will act as extra lubricant for your next shave.</p> <h2>24. Polish Stainless Steel</h2> <p>My stainless steel refrigerator came with an excruciatingly overpriced, tiny bottle of stainless steel polish&hellip; which turned out to be mineral oil. For brushed steel surfaces, wipe oil with a soft cloth in the direction of the grain to remove fingerprints and water spots.</p> <h2>25. Brighten Linoleum Counters</h2> <p>A Wise Bread editor discovered this old-school tip by accident. While seasoning wood cutting boards, he dripped mineral oil onto his vintage linoleum kitchen counters and discovered that the oil refreshed the color of the faded linoleum! Be aware that the vibrant colors revealed by oil only last about three weeks before fading, and constant application of mineral oil to linoleum will make it break down. So, only use this tip on special occasions like photo shoots or holiday parties when you really need your kitchen to look extra-gorgeous.</p> <h2>26. Untangle a Necklace</h2> <p>Is your favorite gold or silver chain in a knot? Before paying a jeweler to fix your necklace, dip the knot into mineral oil. Then use a pin to work the oily knot open.</p> <h2>27. Un-Jam a Paper Shredder</h2> <p>I am a chronic over-stuffer when it comes to shredding documents. Un-jam a shredder or give it a tax time tune-up by dripping a little mineral oil onto the blades to keep everything cutting smoothly.</p> <h2>28. Bleed Hydraulic Disk Brakes on Mountain Bikes</h2> <p>This article provides a definitive comparison between <a href="http://www.epicbleedsolutions.com/blog/dot-brake-fluid-vs-mineral-oil/">DOT fluid and mineral oil</a>. Please read your bike's warranty! While mineral oil that you buy at the drugstore can be used instead of the super expensive &quot;propriety blends&quot; mineral oil recommended by brake manufacturers, using third-party mineral oil could void your warranty.</p> <h2>29. Preserve Eggs</h2> <p>I love to hate-watch the show <em>Doomsday Preppers</em>. What an amazing time suck. However, one great tip I gleaned from all the crazy is how to <a href="http://www.preparednesspro.com/safely-preserving-eggs">preserve eggs without refrigeration</a> for months using mineral oil.</p> <h2>30. Clean Guitar Fretboards</h2> <p>While Gibson recommends only cleaning the fretboards of regularly played guitars once or twice a year, if you notice that your fretboard is starting to feel dry and there's build-up around the frets, it's time for a cleaning. Mineral oil softens built up gunk and is an excellent <a href="http://pickroar.com/672/your-guitar-on-laxatives-fretboard-mineral-oil/">treatment for dry fretboards</a>.</p> <p>One final but important note: mineral oil comes in a variety of grades, so make sure that you are using food-grade and/or cosmetic-grade mineral oil for homemade substitutes.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite mineral oil hack?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-unexpected-uses-for-mineral-oil">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick">7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year&#039;s Resolution Stick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty ear wax first aid garden mineral oil moisturizer wood care Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:00:45 +0000 Max Wong 1576076 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden-5094135-small.jpg" alt="seedlings" title="seedlings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my favorite children&#39;s books is &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067983687X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=067983687X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes</a>.&quot; The two characters are friends and neighbors. Bear plants a garden the right way (preparing the soil, getting rid of rocks, weeding, etc.) while Bunny throws seeds in a plot of dirt and then relaxes by the pool for the rest of the summer. At the end, the diligent gardener gets a great harvest and the slack one gets nothing, until Bear gives Bunny his extras. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way">Gardening Lessons Learned the Hard Way</a>)</p> <p>I love the book because I so closely identify with Bunny as a gardener. However, as diligent as I tried to be, none of my own gardening efforts ever yielded results. Trying hard didn&#39;t appear to be the magic ingredient in a successful garden.</p> <p>Last year, I decided to make growing a garden a new year&#39;s goal. When a <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11399177?sid=981709" target="_blank">Living Social</a> offer on a gardening class popped into my inbox, I quickly signed up. The deal was a four-hour class with the promise that I could learn the basics from a real-life gardener. The instructor overturned conventional wisdom that didn&#39;t work in real life. Most importantly, I learned that if you don&#39;t have four simple ingredients, <em>nothing else matters</em>. Here are the basics to growing a garden.</p> <h2>Soil</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gdn-4027293-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Great soil is essential to growing vegetables, fruits, and other plant life. Plants get their nutrients from the soil. So, for plants to thrive, <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/soil-is-the-key-to-successful-gardening/index.html">they need soil with great nutrients</a>. The first step is to evaluate your soil and, if needed, take steps to improve its composition.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.provident-living-today.com/Types-of-Soil.html">three main types of soil are clay, sandy, and silt</a>. To develop loamy soil (the kind you want) from these types, mix in self-made or store-bought organic matter. You can add plant food, just as you can take vitamins and supplements for your body. But the best and cheapest nutrients come from real stuff like grass clippings, dead leaves, chopped-up tree prunings, etc.</p> <p>Soil can also be classified by its pH level, such as acid, alkaline, or neutral. My instructor recommended <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Test-Soil-pH">getting garden soil tested to determine its pH</a>. You can try testing yourself using a commercial device or work with your agricultural extension office or similar resource, which should provide testing services.</p> <p>Most plants thrive at neutral levels although some, like blueberries, benefit from lower or higher levels. After you have received test results, <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-adjust-soil-ph-for-your-garden.html">make adjustments to the soil pH</a> depending on the types of vegetables you hope to grow. If you need help with this step, visit a full-service garden center or enlist help of your local agricultural extension agent. (Note that I skipped this test because my soil looked good to me.)</p> <h2>Sun</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gdn-5398339-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Plants need lots of sun. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis">The energy from sunlight is converted into chemical energy that fuels growth in a process called photosynthesis</a>. My instructor advised that most vegetables need at least eight hours of sun every day.</p> <p>Based on my experience, the spots on my deck and porch that get about four hours of sun daily do not support vegetable life. However, <a href="http://organicgardening.about.com/od/vegetablesherbs/a/shadeveggies.htm">some folks are able to grow certain vegetables, such as lettuce and beans, with three to six hours of sun per day</a>.</p> <p>There are just a few places in my yard that get enough sun on a regular basis. I chose a sunny location with great soil to plant my garden.</p> <h2>Water</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gdn-4950939-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Plants need water, which <a href="http://www.ask.com/question/why-do-plants-need-water">is useful for gathering nutrients from the ground</a>. Most importantly, I learned that <a href="http://www.kew.org/science-research-data/kew-in-depth/msbp/seed-banking-technology/environmental-conditions-seed-germination/index.htm">seeds need moisture to germinate</a>. So even if you ignore your garden for most of the season, make sure there is water or moisture immediately after you plant the seeds.</p> <p>We had an unusual amount of rain in our area this summer, so I watered my plants just once during the season. My garden got about an inch of rainwater each week, generally enough to grow vegetables. To determine how much water your vegetables need, check a <a href="http://www.burpee.com/gardening-supplies/watering/watering-your-garden-article10365.html">gardening resource</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-native-landscaping-for-your-climate">Landscaping for Your Climate</a>)</p> <h2>Seeds</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gdn-5025837-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>I purchased a seeds-of-the-month subscription from <a href="http://www.averagepersongardening.com/about/#.UkA7FdJt6hW">Mike of Mike the Gardener Enterprises</a>. There are two options for growing from seed: 1) <a href="http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/starting-seeds-indoors?page=0,2">plant indoors</a> or 2) wait for the ground to become amenable to seed growth. I followed instructions on the seed packets and waited until the soil was warm enough to receive my seeds and planted directly into the ground, rather than spend my winter cultivating plants indoors. (See also: F<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foods-you-can-grow-in-the-comfort-of-your-home">oods You Can Grow in Your Home</a>)</p> <p>I planted my seeds not being sure that they&#39;d actually grow. But they did! My garden grew a nice harvest of tomatoes and peppers along with amaranth. I wasn&#39;t completely successful, as my cauliflower plants looked like they were destroyed by bugs and my zucchini seemed to be drowned by the overabundance of rain; still I was thrilled to grow something.</p> <p>It impresses veteran gardeners when I tell them I grew vegetables from seed. The truth is that all the vegetables I tried to grow from plants never did anything but die. In fact, the vegetables that grew were so abundant I needed to <a href="http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetables/qt/Thinning-Vegetable-Plants.htm">thin my plants</a>. Where I didn&#39;t remove enough tomato plants, for example, they are all tangled up and drooping off the stakes installed to keep them away from each other. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">How to Plan Your Garden</a>)</p> <p>Next time, I will improve on my techniques. I will space out my plants. I may even keep a garden journal. But the truth is that I needed to learn how to grow something, anything, before I could advance to the next level. My advice is to start with the simple ingredients and grow from there.</p> <p><em>Now that harvest has almost come and gone, what gardening tricks worked for your garden this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living garden gardening vegetables Fri, 18 Oct 2013 09:48:04 +0000 Julie Rains 1031607 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Growing Your Own Garden http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-growing-your-own-garden <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-growing-your-own-garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3537246677_d65682ca63_z-1.jpg" alt="Growing Your Own Garden" title="Growing Your Own Garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on growing your own garden, garage sale tips, and odd ball costs of having kids.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/grow-your-own-garden-this-summer-to-save-at-the-grocery-store/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=grow-your-own-garden-this-summer-to-save-at-the-grocery-store">Grow Your Own Garden This Summer to Save at the Grocery Store</a> &mdash; If you live in the city, don't let that deter you from having your own garden and saving money. Give container gardening a try! [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/garage-sale-tips/">Garage Sale Tips: How To Sell Junk For Cash</a> &mdash; To sell your junk for cash, stick to your prices and be firm when negotiating. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2012/07/odd-ball-costs-of-having-kids/">Odd Ball Costs of Having Kids</a> &mdash; When you have kids, be prepared for the odd ball expenses of wasted electricity and extracurricular activities. [Budgets Are Sexy]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/what-is-really-making-you-poor/">The Things Making You Poor and The Things That Aren't</a> &mdash; Your home is one of the biggest things making you poor. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://almostfrugal.com/2012/07/22/simple-ways-save-money/#utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlmostFrugal+%28almost+frugal%29">5 Simple Ways to Save $50 a Month</a> &mdash; Want to save $50 a month? Buy generic brands. [Almost Frugal]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Careers-People-Who-Like-Animals-24124271">5 Perfect Careers For Animal Lovers</a> &mdash; If you are an animal lover, consider a career as an animal curator. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/how-to-buy-a-flat-screen-tv/">How to Buy a Flat Screen TV 2012</a> &mdash; One of the things you have to consider when buying a flat screen TV is whether you want a plasma or LCD TV. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mytwodollars.com/2012/07/23/used-car-negotiation-tactics/">3 Used Car Negotiation Tacticsi That Can Help You Save</a> &mdash; When negotiating for a used car, try using the car's condition to get a better deal. [My Two Dollars]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/07/the-power-of-likability-demonstrated-again.html">The Power of Likability Demonstrated Again</a> &mdash; Did you know you are more likely to get a promotion if you are well liked by coworkers? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/snack-attack-roundup-the-best-and-worst-summer-snacks-for-kids">Summer Snack Attack: The Best (and Worst) Summer Snacks for Kids</a> &mdash; This summer, skip lemonade and slurpees for your kids. They are among the worst snacks for kids! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-growing-your-own-garden">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-ways-to-eat-cauliflower-rice">12 Delicious Ways to Eat Cauliflower Rice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Food garden Wed, 25 Jul 2012 10:00:35 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 944099 at http://www.wisebread.com Beautify Your Yard: What's Your Best Advice? http://www.wisebread.com/beautify-your-yard-whats-your-best-advice <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beautify-your-yard-whats-your-best-advice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/black and decker cordless trimmer.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <h2>Wise Bread&rsquo;s &ldquo;Cream of the Crop&rdquo; Roundup</h2> <p>Our best garden and yard advice. What's yours?</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Free Food In Your Yard: Edible Weeds</a></strong> - Weeds are a pain, but Andrea has given us the best advice for those who have been officially defeated. If you can&rsquo;t beat &lsquo;em, eat &lsquo;em!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic from Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></strong> &ndash; This is one recipe that I didn&rsquo;t see coming! Paul shares this &ldquo;top secret&rdquo; formula containing a few choice beverages, mouthwash, and some cleaning products.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gardening-in-a-group-6-tips">Gardening in a Group: 6 Tips</a></strong> &ndash; Who knew that getting dirty with your friends could be so healthy and productive? Thursday&rsquo;s simple ground rules can keep things civil, and they can help guarantee a &ldquo;fruitful&rdquo; partnership.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vegetable-gardening-four-cheap-hacks">Vegetable Gardening: Four Cheap Hacks</a></strong> &ndash; Myscha presents four of the most clever horticulture hacks to our readers. When you combine frugality with farming, I&rsquo;m in!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growing-my-own-food-in-my-apartment">Growing My Own Food&hellip; In My Apartment</a></strong> &ndash; Thursday&rsquo;s not letting anyone off the hook this time. Even if you don&rsquo;t have a sprawling backyard, there&rsquo;s a gardening option for you!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &ldquo;Green&rdquo; Workout</a></strong> &ndash; Forget pricey gym memberships and recalled commercial fitness equipment; this gal&rsquo;s getting fit and trim in the garden! I&rsquo;ll show you how, in this reader-inspired article.</p> <p>So what do you think? Are you excited to grow something that will feed your body and your soul? Share your <strong>gardening and lawn tips in the comments!</strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beautify-your-yard-whats-your-best-advice">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smartypig-is-giving-away-500-to-wise-bread-readers">SmartyPig is Giving Away $500 to Wise Bread Readers!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hp-giving-away-500-to-a-lucky-wise-bread-reader">HP Giving Away $500 to a Lucky Wise Bread Reader</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-eco-friendly-families-win-a-copy">Book Review: Eco-Friendly Families (Win a Copy!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-google-way-a-book-review-and-a-chance-to-win">The Google Way: A Book Review (And a Chance to Win!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Giveaways black and decker garden giveaway lawn yard Mon, 04 May 2009 03:39:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3114 at http://www.wisebread.com Get More from Pumpkin Carving by Baking the Seeds http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-from-pumpkin-carving-by-baking-the-seeds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-more-from-pumpkin-carving-by-baking-the-seeds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pumpkin seeds.jpg" alt="pumpkin seeds" title="Pumpkin seeds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">My favorite memory of getting the jack-o-lantern ready every fall didn’t even include the designing, cutting, or illuminating.<span> </span>It was saving the seeds for our homemade pumpkin seed recipe that I really looked forward to.<span> </span>A simple way to get a little more from your pumpkin, it is still just as easy, delicious, and fun! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, the pumpkin is a staple food for fall recipes and decorating schemes.<span> </span>The bright orange squash variety is selling in stores and markets across the country this month, and it is not too late to get in on the action of making a pie, bread, <a href="/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">cake</a>, or soup from its inside fruit.<span> </span>But don’t throw away the pulp and seeds!<span> </span>The best treat can be made by following these simple directions for tasty, crunchy, pumpkin seeds:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Step 1</strong>: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp.<span> </span>Discard the pulp and place the seeds into a strainer or colander.<span> </span>Rinse the seeds in warm water under they are no longer slimy or sticky. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Step 2</strong>:<span> </span>Add the seeds to a small saucepan with 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of salt per cup of seeds.<span> </span>Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.<span> </span>Remove from heat and drain. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Step 3</strong>: Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with an all-natural cooking oil (olive oil is healthiest.)<span> </span>If you don’t have a spray-oil, use a paper towel and dab it in the oil, then smear it on the cookie sheet until it is evenly covered.<span> </span>Spread the seeds out on the sheet in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Step 4</strong>: Bake on the upper rack of a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.<span> </span>(Some folks prefer them crunchier than others, so just toast to your liking.)<span> </span>Allow the seeds to cool a bit, and enjoy!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Baked seeds can be stored in a storage container or plastic bag for up to a week without a compromise in taste or texture, but ours never stay around that long!<span> </span>For extra variety, try using different oils, salts, herbs and spices on your seeds.<span> </span>(Cinnamon and sugar, rosemary, garlic, curry, chili seasoning, and pumpkin pie spice are all great ideas!) </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Enjoy this frugal holiday treat, and please let us know of any other ideas for perking up pumpkin seeds that you may have.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-from-pumpkin-carving-by-baking-the-seeds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-wonderful-ways-to-use-this-year-s-cherry-crop">6 Wonderful Ways to Use This Year’s Cherry Crop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/edible-flowers-make-cheap-food-beautiful-again">Edible Flowers Make Cheap Food Beautiful Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick">New Ideas for the Chopstick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-a-pumpkin-this-fall-dont-throw-any-of-it-away">Carving a Pumpkin This Fall? Don&#039;t Throw Any of It Away!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living frugal garden pumpkin recipes Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:28:46 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308 at http://www.wisebread.com Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green tomato.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="285" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several of my gardening friends have reported a newer batch of tomatoes coming on their plants as late as last week! While this is great for those of us still craving fresh tomatoes, a cold snap is predicted for the Midwestern states over the next few days. Here are a few tips for saving the good green ones from the frost.</p> <p>Several of my gardening friends have reported a newer batch of tomatoes coming on their plants as late as last week! While this is great for those of us still craving fresh tomatoes, a cold snap is predicted for the Midwestern states over the next few days. Here are a few tips for saving the good green ones from the frost.</p> <p><strong>Get a rope.</strong> By pulling up your plants (root and all, if possible) and hanging them right-side up in a garage or basement, you can prolong their time on the vine for a few more weeks. Just string up some clothesline or heavy rope across one wall, and clip the tops of the plant to the rope with clothespins or <a href="/cool-ideas-for-clothespins-and-binder-clips">binder clips</a>. Try to avoid too much sunlight, or your tomatoes will spoil or ripen unevenly. A temperature of 60-72 degrees is ideal. You can continue harvesting tomatoes long after the vine has died. (This is essentially what some produce suppliers do in many instances, and this is why you see a little bit of vine on the tomatoes you buy.)</p> <p><strong>Go the paper route.</strong> My grandma used this trick to ripen up green ones over a period of a week or two. Pick only the green tomatoes without cracks, holes, or blight, wrap them individually in newspaper, and place them in a single layer in the bottom of a wooden crate or basket. This takes up a bit of space, and even more time, so use this as an option if you don&rsquo;t have a place to hang the vine or for the ones that have already fallen off.</p> <p><strong>Try a room with a view.</strong> We would just place any unripe tomatoes in our window sill for a little sun. Be sure they are not touching, and turn them every day or so for even ripening. This may not work for all tomatoes, and some will rot quickly instead of ripening. You will also find yourself with all the tomatoes turning red at the same time, so eat them quickly or freeze for later.</p> <p><strong>Go green.</strong> If you can&rsquo;t beat em&rsquo; &ndash; eat em&rsquo;! Green tomatoes can be used in a few receipes, although they aren&rsquo;t my personal favorite. Try them in <a href="http://southernfood.about.com/od/greentomatoe1/r/bl10712g.htm">green tomato cake</a>, <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/102006">green tomato relish</a>, or the <a href="http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&amp;recipe_id=461220">classic fried green tomatoes</a>!</p> <p>Saving the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor is a great way to be frugal and <a href="/gourmet-pizza-for-less-than-a-buck">try new foods.</a> Now get out there and make the best of your late tomato bounty!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-valuable-things-to-plant-in-your-garden-this-spring">10 Most Valuable Things to Plant in Your Garden This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs">The Only 4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-with-100-tomatoes">What to Do With 100 Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living garden gardening tomato Sun, 21 Oct 2007 04:05:42 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1306 at http://www.wisebread.com Edible Flowers Make Cheap Food Beautiful Again http://www.wisebread.com/edible-flowers-make-cheap-food-beautiful-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/edible-flowers-make-cheap-food-beautiful-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bounty.jpg" alt="bounty" title="bounty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Those of you with gardens are probably entering a new season of produce. Squash plants are getting icky, but they are still producing more zucchini and summer varieties than you can handle. If you are looking for a bit of variety in your day, why not give the flowers a try!</p> <p>While picking her dozens of zucchini and summer squash last week, my always resourceful mother commented that I should try eating the squash flowers. &quot;Come again?&quot; Yep, she knew all about frying the flowers for food. I had heard of flowers for salads and such, but never squash flowers, and never <strong><em>frying</em></strong> them.</p> <p>Well, I took some home (the male flowers only) and I washed them, cut off the green bottoms, and the inside boy parts (this would be the <a href="http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/L232.htm">stamen</a> for those who are anatomically aware). I dipped them in a bowl of eggs, and then in a bowl of seasoned bread crumbs. Two minutes in a hot bath of vegetable oil, and I got the most mouth watering, crunchy delights. They had a floral hint, but tasted more like a delicious fried thing that I can&rsquo;t describe.</p> <p><img height="279" width="371" src="http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i313/kylinsmom/friedfeast.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>If you get the chance, this is what it is all about! I enjoyed the flowers with some fried zucchini, summer squash, and mushrooms. This would also be dandy as a <a href="http://japanesefood.about.com/od/tempura/a/cookingtempura.htm">tempura</a>. The kids even ate them!</p> <p>I began searching frantically for even more flower recipes. My eyes were opened to the world of <a href="http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/nasturtiums2.html">Stuffed Nasturtiums</a>, <a href="http://www.sunriseherbfarm.com/recipes/lavenderdishes.html">Lavender Cookies</a>, and <a href="http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Squash%20flower%20soup">Squash Flower Soup</a>. With even more research, I found that most of us eat flowers everyday and didn&rsquo;t even know it. (Ever hear of a clever flower called broccoli?)</p> <p>While you most certainly can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006DP0RO?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=B0006DP0RO">plant edible flowers</a> for the sole purpose of a nifty new recipe, your most budget-friendly approach is to grab a <a href="http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blflowers.htm">checklist</a> of the safe flowers to eat and get foraging! (Please note that there are also some very common flowers in most yards that are very <a href="http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blflowersnot.htm">poisonous</a>. If you don&rsquo;t know what it is, please don&rsquo;t eat it.)</p> <p>Rose hips, nasturtiums, bachelor button, apple blossoms, carnation, coriander, sweet Williams, honeysuckle, lotus, and glads are just a few of the hundreds of edible flowers just waiting to be fried, baked, or boiled into a delicious gourmet meal. For even more inspiration, check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1903141176?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=1903141176">Edible Flowers</a> by Kathy Brown, or visit your local extension office website for some great entertaining ideas for an edible flower get-together everyone will enjoy.</p> <p>And if flowers don&rsquo;t float your boat, you can always revisit <a href="/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Andrea Dickson&rsquo;s article</a> on <a href="/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Edible Weeds</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/edible-flowers-make-cheap-food-beautiful-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-way-to-your-honeys-heart-is-through-the-kitchen">The Way to Your Honey&#039;s Heart Is Through the Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cooking edible flowers flowers garden recipes Mon, 02 Jul 2007 21:58:29 +0000 Linsey Knerl 799 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Uses for Those Old Whitewalls http://www.wisebread.com/6-uses-for-those-old-whitewalls <p><img src="http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i313/kylinsmom/tires.jpg" alt=" " width="153" height="230" align="top" /></p> <p>No, they don’t have to be whitewalls, but I know that sometime in the near future you will have an old tire to get rid of. I’m not the most eco-friendly gal in the bunch, but I do hate waste (and that nasty tire disposal fee they charge when you buy a new one.) So without further ado, here are the best ways I’ve found for putting those old rubber rings to good use:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">1. <strong>Flower planters</strong> – There are so many adorable and trendy ways to make flower beds, planters, and gardens by simply using old tires. An undecorated, clean tire can be filled with topsoil and placed in a sunny area for growing flower and tomatoes faster than using soil alone! Those with patios or small apartment decks might like the dozens of designs for do-it-yourself tire planters to match all decors. Durable, and unlikely to be dug up by dogs or blown away in storms, your plants will find a safe haven in your old tire. </p> <p> 2. <strong>Backyard play equipment</strong> – Sure, we’ve all had fun on a tire swing, but have you tried a horse swing? Made from tires and a few hardware staples, this is the swing to have!Big kids (you know who you are) can enjoy a good giddyup from a tree or sturdy swingset. </p> <p> 3. <strong>Fountains, Waterfalls, and more</strong> – Did you know that it is possible to use the walls of rubber tires to create beautiful 3-tiered fountains for your outdoor landscape? You could even create a fish pond full of koi with your unwanted tires. Bubbling water décor can be made from old tires and less than $30 of supplies! </p> <p> 4. <strong>Composter </strong>– Maybe you know that you should be composting, and that it is a very responsible way to dispose of and reuse garden refuse and vegetation waste. While it can be a pain to make your own composter, using tires makes it very simple and super cheap! </p> <p> 5. <strong>Sandals </strong>– Don’t go trading in your Birks for these tire-inspired models just yet. While wildly popular in some countries south of the border, these homemade sandals haven’t quite caught on here in the States. I’ll admit, they look comfy, and those that wear them swear by their ability to allow air to circulate (thus eliminating nasty, sweaty bacteria and yeast to thrive). A sort of Teva-style knock-off from tires and nylon strapping, these sandals can be made from instructions found at <a href="http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm">Hollowtop.com</a> . </p> <p> 6. <strong>Home sweet home</strong> – I have learned that it is possible to use landfill tires and other discarded rubber products to build an energy-efficient home! Obviously more than a weekend project, home-building with tires has been around for over a decade, and the designs just get better each year. A good place to start is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865342156?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=0865342156">The Tire House Book</a>, and if unsure of making that kind of commitment, you can design a small shed or garage to get started.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This is just six of the dozens of ideas for reusing tires (sometimes called “tirecrafting”.) A simple online search will get you hundreds of free resources to get you started. Some of the designs are so simple, and no one would ever guess that the finished project started out as an old tire. Other uses include lawn and garden edging, retaining walls, portable coldframes, solar raised bed planters, and sandboxes. There is also a super book called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0916095517?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=0916095517">Tire Recycling Is Fun</a>. </p> <p>I should note that over the years there has been concern about the toxins in tires that may be released over time into the surrounding soil. While moving the tires every 5 years should prevent any unwanted leeching of the zinc that is contained within tires, you may paint your tires with a toxin-free sealant to be on the safe side. More information on this topic can be found in an article by the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00097J4YC?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=B00097J4YC">Countryside and Small Stock Journal</a> . </p> <p>One other word of warning is on storing the tires. Please do not lay old tires outside where they can collect water. Since standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, you will not be doing anyone a favor by allowing rainwater to collect in abandoned tires. Keep them inside in a dry, cool place, and they will be ready to go for your next tirecrafting project!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-uses-for-those-old-whitewalls">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living crafts garden lawn recycling tirecrafting tires Thu, 21 Jun 2007 22:06:52 +0000 Linsey Knerl 767 at http://www.wisebread.com Snail Free Gardening http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/snail.jpg" alt="Photo by mozzercork" width="224" height="146" /></p> <p>Green gardening should be cheap. Organic gardening was the way of the world before chemical companies found ways to create compounds that could destroy pests quickly and effectively. The thing that makes organic gardening less-favored than, say, using pesticides, is that it&#39;s not as efficient. You have to put more effort into organic gardening.</p> <p>But it&#39;s worth it. It&#39;s cheap, it&#39;s fun, and you can protect your water supply. Remember, whatever <a href="/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">we spray on our lawns</a> and gardens ends up in our drinking water.</p> <p>I haven&#39;t had too much luck with critter control where I live. Seattle is a very snail and slug-heavy area, and I have one very serious problem:</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/snails/">I love snails</a>.</p> <p>I think snails are beautiful. I grew up in an area where there simply aren&#39;t any snails, and I was so taken with the little guys when we used to visit my grandmother in Pasadena. I was heartbroken when my father announced the ingredients to the escargot that I had just sampled while dining at my very first French restaurant. When I take my dogs out for their last walk at night here in the Pacific Northwest, I often have to tiptoe through the streets because the snails come out in droves and line the sidewalks - I can&#39;t bear to step on one.</p> <p>Thus, I can&#39;t stand the idea of drowning them in beer or setting traps and then throwing them in the garbage (although I don&#39;t suppose I would object to some one actually trapping and eating them - I wouldn&#39;t do it, but I can see why someone would).</p> <p>My mom used to drip some weird, sludgey black poison to protect her roses from slugs. I never liked this, and snail bait can be very <a href="http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&amp;A=1423&amp;S=1&amp;SourceID=42">dangerous to household pets</a>. But I&#39;m happy to report that there are plenty of ways to reduce the damage that slugs and snails do to your garden that don&#39;t involve pesticides. Sure, it take a bit more elbow grease than plain ol&#39; poison, but it&#39;s worth the effort.</p> <p>I should stress that there&#39;s probably <em>no such thing as a snail-free garden</em>, just a garden that snails don&#39;t really like to visit that much.</p> <p>Here are some tips from discouraging those mollusky visitors, courtesy of <a href="http://www.thegardenhelper.com/slugs.html">The Garden Helper</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Pulling the weeds from your garden is something you need to do anyway. As you pull each weed, you remove a potential slug outpost. </li> <li>Keep all decaying matter cleaned out of your garden beds. While leaves make a good mulch, once they begin to compost they become food and shelter for slugs and snails. </li> <li>Prune the branches of any shrubs which are laying on the ground. Keep the old leaves and such cleaned out. By doing this you will have destroyed yet another slug haven! </li> <li>Cultivate your soil regularly to keep the dirt clods broken up, and unearth any slugs which may have burrowed under the surface. </li> <li>The shaded areas beneath decks can be a slug arena: keep them weed and litter free. </li> <li>Keep the lawn edges trimmed. Slugs will congregate under the umbrella of unkept grass. </li> <li>Cedar bark or gravel chips spread around your plant will irritate and dehydrate slugs.</li> <li>Rosemary, lemon balm, wormwood, mints, tansy, oak leaves, needles from conifers and seaweed will repel slugs.</li> <li>Enlist allies... snakes, ducks, geese, toads, and [chickens] would enjoy helping you out as they dine on your slugs. </li> </ul> <p>Here are some other ideas that I&#39;ve gathered over the years:</p> <p><strong>Create as sunny a garden as possible</strong>. Now, this is tough, especially for those of us who live in the Land of Perpetual Rain, but put all of your snail-prone plants in a sunny area. If you have lots of shady areas in your garden, try to keep it free of ground cover like ivy, where the slugs and snails like to sleep during the day. I have a long strip of skinny yard that is VERY shady, and I&#39;m making it into a rock garden with some moss and a couple of tiny Japanese maples. It&#39;s low-maintenance and pretty, and snails just aren&#39;t interested in it.</p> <p><strong>Protect prone plants with copper barriers</strong>. For some reason, slugs and snails won&#39;t cross copper. You can <a href="http://www.glassmart.com/regular_foil.asp">buy copper foil online</a> for pretty cheap. I have a teeny courtyard that I use to grow tomatoes, so I put copper around the base and around the lip of the huge ceramic pots that I use. It looks pretty as an accent if you put it on right. You can also put a loop around the base of a plant.</p> <p>If you are a great big meanie, <strong>traps are easy to construct</strong>. Spray some beer on a board and place it, beer-side down, 1/2 inch off of the soil in a shady area of your garden. The snails that collect under there can be eaten, or thrown into your <a href="/is-this-job-worth-it">evil coworkers yard</a>. You can go out at night and collect them, as well. They are nocturnal, so day time collection is harder.</p> <p>Also, take note: <a href="/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">another use for vinegar</a>!</p> <p>&quot;As you wage your war on slugs and snails, you are almost certain to be &#39;slimed&#39; at least once. YUK! Mix up a little warm water and vinegar, and use this formula to remove the slime from your hands like magic!&quot;</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozzercork/146787892/">mozzercork</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-valuable-things-to-plant-in-your-garden-this-spring">10 Most Valuable Things to Plant in Your Garden This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living bugs compost flowers garden gardening organic pesticides pests plants slugs snail-proof snails soap top soil water Tue, 03 Apr 2007 20:17:27 +0000 Andrea Karim 446 at http://www.wisebread.com