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Learn How To Make Your Own Kitchen Garden

10 Kitchen Gardens You Can Rustle Up All By Yourself.

When it comes to using vegetables and herbs in cooking, the fresher they are the tastier and healthier the food. Which is why having your own kitchen garden is a good and convenient option.


There is no denying the fact that the best tasting veggies always come from your own garden. Right from tomatoes and lemons to chillies and herbs, there’s something tasty, healthy, and also therapeutic, about having a kitchen garden. However, if you have the will but don’t quite know the way, namely, how to make kitchen garden, don’t worry. In this article, we are sharing with you, 10 of the best kitchen garden ideas around:

1. The Container Garden

If you’re doing this for the first time, this garden is your best bet. It’s also ideal if space is a constraint. With container gardens, the only real restriction is that the roots of the plants don’t have much space to grow; pick a container that’s deep and wide.

2. In-ground Garden

As the name suggests, this garden can be grown in the ground near home. Not only is it effective, it’s economical too. All you’ll really need to get started are a hand tiller, some seeds, and compost. Get these and get to work on growing your kitchen garden plants.

3. Raised-Bed Garden

If you have a larger space for your garden and are willing to experiment with it a bit, this one’s perfect for you. If your soil isn’t very fertile this is a great alternative to planting directly in-ground.

4.  Window Box Garden

This is, by far, one the most effective yet economically viable ways to have your own kitchen garden. All you really need is a wooden box, some soil and seeds. This garden is best suited to growing herbs.

5. Recycled Bottle Garden

This is a garden that’s good for the environment too. Use recycled wine bottles to grow your plants using a hydroponic system. This way, you don’t ever have to worry about using soil and getting dirty.

 

6. Tea Tin Herb Garden

Have extra tins or jars at home? Great! You can use them as pots to grow your veggies. Make sure you add drainage holes, and if you can’t, at least put rocks in the bottom.

7. Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are a great way to utilize space on your wall. Plant the herbs or veggies that are thirstier than the others closer to the bottom; this way water from the others will trickle down to them.

8. Window Sill Planter

Not only are these great design elements to add to your windows, but these planters are made such that they hang outside your windows. This way your plants get plenty of sunlight. What’s more, you can just open your window and reach for the veggies you want.

9. Mini-Kitchen Herb Garden

Buy freshly cut herbs from the grocery store and then store them in glass bottles of water. It’s that simple.

10. Wooden Basket

Another pretty yet effective kitchen garden is the wooden basket. If you’re going to plant a variety of herbs or veggies in this garden, ensure that all of them need similar amounts of sun and water.

Fresh is beautiful! 

10 Unexpected Household Uses for Lemons

10 Unexpected Household Uses for Lemons

Use this miracle fruit for cleaning and so much more with our tips and tricks.


Lemons are not only good for keeping fruit from browning and for flavoring your water or tea. They are also incredibly useful for cleaning your home and making everyday chores much easier. Use our ten ideas to help you keep your home lemony fresh in ways you may not have thought of!

1. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
The often-used garbage disposal can get a little stinky over time, and every now and then needs a good scrub down! You can easily accomplish this task freezing slices of lemon or lemon rinds in an ice cube tray and dropping in a few before turning on the disposal.

2. Spruce up Your Flatware
Lemon juice is great for getting rid of those pesky watermarks or rust on your flatware. Rub lemon juice on your flatware with a paper towel and you’ll be amazed at how shiny and new they’ll look.

3. Clean Copper, Brass and Silver
Create an exfoliating scrub for your brass, copper and silver by cutting a lemon in half and dipping it in salt. Rub the lemon on your metals to get them sparkling once again

(plus they will smell delicious). Rinse with warm water and polish dry.

4. Avoid a Smelly Vacuum
By placing a few drops of lemon oil in your vacuum cleaner bag, your home will smell fresh by the time you’re done cleaning the floors and rugs.

5. Remove Icky Odors from Rolling Pins or Cutting Boards
Over time, your rolling pins and cutting boards can develop a smell after coming in regular contact with foods like garlic and onions. You can easily remove these lingering odors by rubbing them with fresh lemon and then washing.

6. Freshen up Your Hands
After cooking with certain foods, the odor can linger on your hands. Remove the smell by squeezing the juice of half a lemon onto your hand. Then wash your hands with soap and rub your hands together, making sure to wash in between your fingers and under your nails.

7. Revive Hardened Paintbrushes
Place hardened paintbrushes in boiling lemon juice and lower the heat. Let the brushes soak for fifteen minutes and then wash with warm, soapy water. Your brushes will be soft and as good as new!

8. Keep Pests Away While Painting Outdoors
Adding a few drops of lemon juice into your paint while you’re painting outdoors will keep flies and gnats from flocking to it.

9. Get Rid of Outdoor Pests with Lemon Rinds
Place lemon rinds in your garden or yard to discourage squirrels and other pesky critters from digging and destroying your garden.

Tip: Freeze lemon rinds in the winter and save them for next year’s planting season!

Tip: Find more of our tips for preventing outdoor pests here.

10. Freshen the Fridge
After a thorough refrigerator cleanout, you can remove leftover odors by dabbing a cotton ball with lemon juice and leaving it in the fridge for several hours.

Do you have any clever uses for lemons? Share them in the comments section below!

7 Mosquito Repellent Plants for Your Homes

Best Plants to Repel Mosquitos

Discover nature’s answer for avoiding mosquitos this summer.

We can all relate to pesky mosquitos invading even our most memorable summer nights. Swatting at legs and arms, these flying fiends can make it challenging to enjoy the great outdoors. But what if your own garden plants could help protect you from our buggy friends?

After turning to torches, candles and oils to keep mosquitos at bay, now you can reimagine your garden to include plants with natural mosquito-repelling qualities.

Grow an Herb Garden

Growing an herb garden is a fun summer treat, but did you know that several of the fresh herbs you grow on your deck or patio naturally repel mosquitos?

  • Basil: This essential ingredient to delicious Italian recipes isn’t just a great way to garnish your favorite pasta dish. It also proactively repels mosquitos!
  • Mint: Some of us like fresh mint in our tea or to garnish our deserts. Lucky for us, mosquitos find this herb less than refreshing.
  • Lemon thyme : Just rub a few stems between your hands and the lemony scent given off by this plant is troublesome for mosquitos. Planting lemon thyme for this reason alone is surely worth the effort.
  • Rosemary : A quintessential herb and staple in many kitchens, this herb helps provide a safe haven from mosquitos on the attack. The scent alone will have them flying in the other direction.

Tip: Given their needs for various sunlight and water amounts, grow each herb in a separate planter if possible. Then you can scatter them around your yard or patio as you see fit. It will help keep insects at an arm’s length.

To find out more about growing your own herbs this summer, click here.

 

Herbs alone don’t have to be your only answer to this summer nuisance. These plants are a great way to add a little color to your mosquito-elimination strategy.

  • Marigolds : While visually appealing, marigolds aren’t typically known for their fragrance. Mosquitos dislike this pungent plant as well and will steer clear. When planning your next vegetable garden, be sure to include some marigolds to prevent numerous other pests from destroying your source of fresh veggies for the summer. If you’ve already designed your garden, add in some marigolds to accent your current floral color scheme and deter bugs.
  • Ageratum : This little blue flower secretes a chemical used in many mosquito repellants. And since they’re relatively small, these plants are easy to add to a preexisting flowerbed.
  • Chrysanthemums : Varieties of this timeless plant are countless, and all of them are excellent at keeping mosquitos from feasting on those nearby. They also repel a number of other insects that may be harmful to your garden.

How do you protect your summer fun from mosquitos? Share in the comments below.

5 Effective & Simple Ways To Save Electricity

5-tips-to-save-electricity

How to save energy everyday at home? Check these five ideas to change to greener habits.


Turn off the lights. This is the simplest, most common way to save electricity, and it really works. When you leave a room always switch off the lights.
Switch off and unplug unused electronic equipment.

In the kitchen

 

– Switch off the boiler before going out for long periods of time.
– Don’t fill the kettle if you do not need that much hot water.
– Use gas for cooking.

Clean Your Balconies & Terraces With These 6 Tips

6-steps-to-make-your-outdoor-space-sparkle

Homes and apartments with terraces and balconies provide a welcome retreat for fresh air and barbecue cooking. Unfortunately, they also collect dust, grease, and bird droppings from our feathered friends who build nests in nooks.


Cleaning your balcony or terrace on a quarterly basis will make the chore less difficult than if you only tackle the task once a year. Because many of us live in apartments with neighbors who don’t want water running down onto their property, we offer steps for both dry and wet cleaning.

1. Empty your outdoor space
The first step toward making your terrace as spotless as possible is to remove all plants and furniture. If you live in a high rise building, and need to bring items indoors, clean them off first with a damp cloth while outside. Lay down a large piece of plastic, an old sheet, or a drop cloth so you don’t soil interior floors and carpets.

2. Clean out debris and dust
Next, sweep or vacuum the area to pick up cobwebs, dead insects and other debris. A handheld wet/dry vacuum just for outdoors is a helpful tool.

Always use the top down approach when cleaning. Begin cleaning high places first as debris and dust will fall to the floor. Check your local market for cleaning tools that offer extension rods for cleaning out of reach places. Be courteous to neighbors and use a dust pan. Don’t sweep debris over the side.

3. Wash your balcony
Using a hose or power washer to clean is a great temptation because it is convenient. But neighbors may not appreciate water cascading over the side of your balcony or terrace. Cement manufacturers warn against the use of power washers because as water exits the nozzle at a high pressure it creates flakes and voids in the concrete’s surface. Over time, this can erode the surface and cause the cement to soak up water like a sponge.

 

A gentle mixture of one part bleach to one part water applied with a brush or mop will sterilize the ceiling corners, floor and railing. Use a mop and a bucket with wringer to keep water from spreading to unwanted areas. If you are concerned about water dripping over your balcony, roll up towels and place them around the perimeter of the space.

4. Rinse out cleaning products
After sterilizing, clean with a soapy liquid cleaner to remove extra grease and grime. Then clean once more with plain water to remove any soap residue. Use old towels to dry the surface.

5. Clean the barbecue
To soak up grease from a grill, try putting baking soda or kitty litter over the stain. Let it sit for at least 24 hours. Then try a concentrated detergent or degreasing product to remove the rest.

6. Clean the French windows
Large glass doors can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water or glass cleaner. To minimize streaking, experts suggest using a squeegee and the “S” method to clean. Make “S” motions as you pull the squeegee down the glass.

Of course, the easiest way to keep your terrace or balcony looking great all year long is to prevent dirt from forming. Place a mat under the barbeque grill for capturing spills. Use outdoor carpets that you can vacuum, shake out or wash. Wind chimes and other decorative items that discourage birds from nesting in nooks or flying into glass windows are also helpful.

5 Successful Summer Gardening Tips

5 Successful Summer Gardening Tips

When summer heat starts to beat down on your garden, use these tips to keep it strong.


Unlike us, our gardens can’t run for the cover of air conditioning when scorching summer days keep us indoors. For those of you who are truly committed to your gardens, we salute you!

To keep plants perky, focus on these five key factors, then consult our basic tips to find out when your plants have met their match — or just need a little extra love.

1. Pruning
Perennials: Most perennials bloom for a four- to eight-week period, but deadheading (pruning dead flowers) can help promote a second set of blooms. Since a plant’s goal is to produce more seeds, pruning dying flowers sends it the signal to grow more.

Annuals: A majority of annuals bloom all season long, but for those that don’t self-clean, deadheading can help grow new blooms. If your annuals start to look less than appealing, cut them back 4 to 6 inches to encourage new growth that’s compact, fresh and green.

2. Watering
For an easy trick to see if your plants are thirsty, stick your finger in the soil to the middle joint. If it’s wet or damp, forego watering. As you’re tending to container plants, pick them up when they’ve been watered and when they’re dry. You’ll start to notice the difference in weight, which, over time, can help you to determine when they need to be watered.

In the full summer sun, container plants may need to be watered twice a day. If it’s hard to find the time, move them to a protected area. For trees and shrubs, use the previously mentioned soil-testing trick. With experience, you’ll start to get a feel for how often plants should be watered.

Water plants during the early morning and early afternoon, as wet foliage at night can lead to mold and mildew, so it’s important to give plants time to dry. However, if given the choice of wilted plants in the evening or not watering — water. Just be careful to keep the foliage dry.

Watering from the air can result in rapid evaporation, so water from the soil line. Weeper hoses are useful since they help water to directly seep to the roots. Lay them on the ground next to plants, and set your timer for about an hour.

3. Fertilizing
Container plants lose nutrients quickly due to frequent watering during the summer, so fertilize as often as every day, but at least once a week. Try using half of what the fertilizer calls for, since over fertilizing can cause plants stress.

 

4. Mulching
It isn’t too late to mulch! If you have less than 2 to 4 inches of mulch in your garden beds, consider mulching to help conserve water and reduce weeds. Weeds steal water and nutrients from your soil, so it’s important to keep them at bay. When mulching, we prefer organic mulches mixed with our outdoor and kitchen composts.

5. Pest Control
Embrace good bugs like ladybugs, bees, praying mantises and spiders while avoiding unwanted bugs like aphids or Japanese beetles. Placing birdhouses, birdbaths and birdfeeders throughout your yard attracts birds that control populations of unwanted insects, not to mention gives you lovely birdsongs throughout the day.

As far as pesticides go, match to your pest, and always start with the least harmful formula first. Our simple, gentle do-it-yourself pesticide is a good start: Mix 1 tablespoon of cooking oil with a generous squirt of dish soap in a spray bottle. Add water, and test a spot on your plant before going to town. When spraying, be sure to get the back of leaves since they’re popular hiding spots for pests.

When is it Time to Throw in the Towel?

  • When assessing whether a plant has met its match or just needs a little extra love, keep these basics in mind:
  • Grass goes dormant without water in the heat, so it’s best to leave it alone.
  • If a tree’s twig snaps when you bend it, it’s a sign the branch, and possibly the rest of the plant, is dead. Take a small branch off and scrape it. If it has some green, it’s likely alive.
  • When annuals have browned, it’s time to pull them out.
  • If conifers lose their needles, they won’t come back.

Do you know of a trick we didn’t mention? Share it with the community by leaving a comment below.

5 Creative Ways to Make Your Front Door worth Knocking On.

5 Creative Ways to Make Your Front Door worth Knocking On.

Front doors are untapped blank canvases for creativity. They’re also responsible for making a great first impression. These 5 DIY home décor ideas can help spruce up your front door.


Decorating your front door is not only incredibly easy but can also be a way to express yourself better. What’s more, should you be in the shower or busy with some household chore and can’t answer the door immediately, your beautiful door designs can keep people engaged while they’re waiting. Here are 5 creative front door designs to considerably liven up your front door.

Umbrellas & Rain Boots

There’s no better way to use umbrellas and rain boots in the summer than to create a simple front door decorative piece with them. Stick some freshly plucked flowers and ferns in a pair of rain boots or tether them to your umbrella; there, you’ve created a simple yet tasteful masterpiece.

Monograms

Monograms are a neat way to honour your family name. And nothing does it like giant letter monograms. Making your own isn’t difficult either. All you have to do is purchase a really large letter from a craft store. If you can’t find a store that has one, simply cut one out from some sort of hardboard. Now, simply cover your letter/s with buttons, shells, fabric or paint; just get creative!

Chalkboard Signs

If you’re the kind of person that would like your front door to embody the flavour of the season then this idea works perfectly. To begin, use chalkboard paint on the interior of a tray, frame or cupboard door. You could also fill your chalkboard with welcome message or an inspiring quote!

 

Flower Basket

A flower door basket filled with foliage and fresh flowers and foliage is sure to enliven your front door.

Empty Frames

Empty frames can be embellished with stuff lying around the house like fabric flowers, dried flowers or scrapbook paper. What’s more, you can put up Instagram photos of beautiful sceneries within the frame too!

With these 5 ideas you can turn your front door into a masterpiece. Expect your doorbell to ring a lot more!

5 Ways to Decorate Your Home with the Christmas Spirit

5 Ways to Decorate Your Home withthe Xmas Spirit.

It isn’t Christmas without the decorations. And these ideas will get your home Christmas-ready.


Christmas calls for a yuletide celebration, and like every celebration, it requires your home to be decorated. They key is to make your home embody the spirit of the season, while not being too loud about it. And even if you’re not throwing a Christmas party, it’s nice to decorate your home and beautify it for the festive season; it spreads happiness and good cheer. These 5 Christmas decoration ideas will really make your house visit-worthy, for friends, neighbours and Santa alike.

1. Half-Half Wreath

  • If you have a double door in your home, consider adorning it with a half and half wreath.
  • You don’t have to get one specially made; all you have to do is take a regular wreath, made of evergreen or grapevine, and cut it in half lengthwise.
  • Now, just hand each of the halves on each of the doors; the idea is that the two halves will meet when the door is shut and that the wreath won’t come in the way of the door opening.

2. Hanging Vintage Baubles

You needn’t go to the store and buy new baubles and ornaments every winter for your Christmas tree decorations. There’s a reason they say ‘old is gold’. Decorate your Christmas tree with everything from baubles to jewellery that you have accumulated over the years. Hey, even cool key chains will work!

3. The Centrepiece

  • If you’re having guests over for dinner you should make a centrepiece that’s memorable. And it’s really simple to do so too!
  • In silver or red vases, put s bunch of bright red roses and envelope them with white or Texas tallow berries.
  • You can add ferns or even white roses, if you like.
  • By creating an artful centrepiece you will ensure that your dining table radiates the Christmas spirit too!
 

4. Xmas Window Art

Even if you use something as basic as a frame that’s painted in Xmas colours and adorn it with a ribbon and some baubles, you can ensure your window reflects the Xmas spirit! Plus, it’s completely hassle-free.

5. Christmas Crib

Wondering how to make a Christmas crib? It’s simple really.

  • Using some dry grass, a carton box and a jute box, you can construct the manger inexpensively.
  • Decorate the entrance of the crib with Christmas ornaments like balls, stars and sparkles.
  • You can add cotton so that it looks like there’s snow in the crib.

5 Last-Minute Holiday Dinner Centerpieces

5 Last-minute Holiday Centerpieces

Cut out some holiday stress by throwing together one of our 5 holiday centerpieces.


If you’re like me, by the time dinner rolls around during the holidays, you’re behind schedule, over-budget and completely exhausted — all of which means the likelihood of either buying or assembling an elaborate holiday centerpiece is pretty much nil.

Fortunately, because the rest of the house is already decorated to the hilt, I’ve found I don’t need to go overboard on table decorations during the holidays. In fact — because the meal is really about food and family — I’ve found simpler decorations often work better.

Here are some low-cost, last-minute ideas that require minimal effort and make a great alternative to expensive floral arrangements:

1. Break out the Glassware

  • Glasses make great centerpieces because they are so versatile and can be filled with just a stem or two.
  • Try floating single blossoms, such as red gerbera daisies, in an oval glass or place individual evergreen sprigs in flutes and run them in a line down the center of your table for understated elegance.
  • Try an oversized hurricane glass with candles and cranberries.
  • Turn stemmed glasses upside down over sprigs of holly and place tea candles on the glasses’ upturned bases.

2. Fill a French Bread Basket
The long, narrow bread baskets and wooden bowls used to serve French bread make great centerpieces because they’re low and don’t take up too much real estate. Fill one with festive greens, votive electronic candles in glass holders, pinecones and red apples and call it a day.

3. Don’t Forget the Twinkle
Holiday decorations don’t have to be expensive to sparkle. Fill a glass bowl or bucket with glass ornaments.

4. Make a Candy Cane “Vase”
Dress up an inexpensive grocery store poinsettia! Simply put a rubber band around the cylindrical pot and insert candy canes into the band. Pack them tightly with the crooks facing outward. Surround the entire vase. Finish your project by covering the rubber band with a holiday ribbon.

Tip: If your container has a drainage hole in the bottom, be sure to protect your table by putting a plate or dish underneath it.

5. Explore Your Backyard
Even in the dead of winter it’s easy to turn a few unexceptional flowers into a full and festive bouquet by raiding your backyard. Boxwoods, holly and pinecones are a great way to extend an inexpensive bouquet. (Be sure to wear gloves when cutting holly.)

 

 

No matter how you decide to decorate your table, remember to keep your centerpiece low, so you everyone at the table can see each other. After all, that’s what the meal is all about.