Indoor Plants that Are Easy to Keep Alive

186753608Just because you don’t have a garden doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having your own plants. These plants liven up any room and are easy to care for. Some even help clean up your indoor air.

Aloe

This succulent has long, pointed leaves with well known medicinal properties. It can grow up to three feet high and is perfect for a small, sunny space indoors. The aloe plant prefers room temperatures of about 70 degrees and lots of sunlight. It doesn’t like frequent watering, so it’s very easy to care for.

English Ivy

Ivy has timeless elegance, and you can easily start a new plant by cutting some of the stem. English ivy trails nicely down furniture for a beautiful accent. It likes cooler room temperatures, between the mid-50s and 70, and it prefers moist soil.

Jade Plant

Jade plants have thick, lush leaves with interesting branches. These plants grow slowly and can live up to about 20 years. Jade plants prefer normal indoor temperatures and bright light, and they don’t require a lot of water.

Rubber Tree

This tree can grow to an impressive eight feet high indoors. You can also keep it smaller by pruning it to your desired height. The green leaves have a nice shine and can brighten up any room. The rubber tree prefers medium to bright light and temperatures between 60 and 80. Let the surface of the soil dry out in between watering.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are a popular choice due to their pretty appearance. They have curving white blooms and dark leaves, and they don’t take up much space. This plant likes low light and low humidity and prefers moist soil. It will grow best in a room without windows, and grows best in temperatures up to about 85 degrees.

Snake Plant

Snake plants are great accent pieces that can make any room look more sophisticated. They have a very unique look, with leaves that grow completely upright. They also produce small flowers, though these don’t bloom very regularly. The snake plant can grow in a wide range of lighting options and prefers somewhat dry air and soil.

Shamrock Plant

For an indoor plant with pretty flowers, a shamrock plant is the perfect choice. Its tall stems have white flowers, and the plant has full, bright green leaves. Place it in bright light that isn’t direct. Let the soil get somewhat dry in between watering, and water it about once a week.

With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect plant for your home.

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How to Transplant a Cactus

Saguaro Cactus and MountainsTransplanting a cactus is a bit different from transplanting any other type of plant, due mostly to its awkward shape and prickly surface. The following steps can help make the transition go smoothly.

Step 1: Choose a Healthy Cactus

If you transplant a cactus that isn’t healthy, there is a good chance it won’t survive the move. Choose one without blemishes, bruises or disease. Also check for sunburning and insect and rodent damage.

Step 2: Mark the Cactus

Mark the cactus so you’re sure to plant it in the same direction as it was before. A simple marker can be placed with a piece of string loosely wrapped around the top of the cactus.

Step 3: Dig out the Roots

Cactus roots are very fragile and close to the soil surface, so you want to dig them out very carefully. Start digging about six inches from the plant, slowly working your way around.

Step 4: Lift out the Cactus with a Shovel

Once the cactus has become loose from all sides, gently move a shovel underneath the cactus. Then lift it with gentle prying.

Step 5: Use a Hose if Extra Heavy

If your cactus is large or heavy, you may need something else to help you lift it out. An easy method is to wrap a garden hose around the cactus, slightly below the middle of the plant. Then lift the cactus out of the ground with the hose.

Step 6: Trim Damaged Roots

Trim off damaged roots while the cactus is on its side. If left alone, these roots will decompose and invite pathogens, which can harm the plant. Only trim the damaged parts of the roots, as the cactus won’t grow new roots after it’s been planted.

Step 7: Leave to Air Dry

After you’ve trimmed the damaged roots, let the plant air dry for at least two days. The air will help the roots to scab over, which will prevent pathogens from entering the roots.

Step 8: Use a Hand Truck to Move a Large Cactus

For a large cactus, move it using a hand truck with proper padding. Be sure the spine and ribs are protected during transit.

Step 9: Prepare the New Location

Dig a wide and shallow hole for the cactus. Make sure the soil has enough moisture by adding organic compost, pumice or perlite. Choose soil that drains quickly.

Step 10: Place the Plant

Place the cactus into the hole, making sure it’s oriented correctly. With the back of a shovel or a stick, backfill the soil so there are no air pockets.

Step 11: Water Thoroughly

Water the cactus thoroughly. Irrigate twice a week if needed, unless the nighttime temperature is below 60 degrees.

Step 12: Cover

Cover the cactus with a shade cloth for several weeks, unless the temperature is particularly low. The cover can be taken off when the cactus begins growing again.

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The Importance Of Giving Your A/C Unit A Checkup While Spring Cleaning

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Even though the weather is currently cold, spring will soon be upon us. There is no better time of the year to perform spring cleaning than the beginning of spring. While performing spring cleaning, you will get your home into tip-top condition while getting rid of unnecessary items. Another task that you should take care of in the spring involves your HVAC system. In order to ensure your air conditioning will work optimally once the weather turns hot outside, you should plan to have your system serviced. Here are some important reasons why your system should be serviced:

Constant Comfort

You don’t want to wait until the hot weather has already arrived because servicing your air conditioning system. If your system is faulty, you don’t want to suffer from discomfort because your system fails. By allowing a professional to give your system a checkup prior to the start of the season, you will increase your chances of never going without the comfort that your air conditioning provides.

Save Money

Even if your air conditioning works, it may not necessarily work optimally. If the coils or other parts of the HVAC system need to be serviced or cleaned, then this could result in the system working harder in order to cool your home. As a result, more energy will be used, causing higher energy bills.

Annual Servicing

Another manner in which you can save money is by having your system serviced during your annual spring cleaning is by avoiding system failure. Instead of waiting until your system completely fails, an inspector can detect minor problems and quickly and easily fix them. By fixing any problems before they become major and more costly, you could avoid paying high repair costs, and even replacement.

So if you’re going to be doing some spring cleaning soon, then you should definitely have your air conditioning checked at the same time. Having your system inspected is a good idea, as it will ensure that your system is ready to work optimally once the weather becomes warm. You don’t want to jeopardize your comfort by neglecting your HVAC system, especially if the weather becomes extremely hot where you live.

~Fallon Heating And Air Conditioning Gardnerville~

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Learning How To Grow Orchids In Your Home

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Orchids are gorgeous and colorful flowers that can add a splash of life to any environment. They can be set in any part of the home, but, like most house plants, they should be properly cared for to ensure that they bloom and flourish. No matter how inexperienced you may be when it comes to caring for plants, keeping some of the following tips in mind will ensure that your orchid grows.

Natural Growing Conditions

All flowers are successfully grown when they are placed in environments that successfully duplicate their natural growing conditions. Orchids are no different. They are classified as epiphytes, which means that they grow on objects, clinging to stone, bark, and any number of other fixtures. They thrive when they are set in strong light, but owners should avoid the direct heat of late afternoon sunlight. They enjoy high humidity and require plenty of air flow between their roots. They also need to experience regular drying periods, alternated with drenching rain periods, with temperatures that can range between fifty and eighty five degrees. If you can create such an environment in your home, your orchids will flourish successfully.

Potted Orchids

Most potted orchids, however, are restricted in terms of air flow for their roots. This means that they will develop rot and eventually die when they cannot get the air they need. Repotting, however, extends the life of your orchid, and the first thing that you need to do is enjoy the bloom. Once it is done, cut the dead flower spike and repot the plant again into a specific orchid pot. Caring for your orchid can be as simple as keeping the ideal environment consistent. Water it heavily during the summer and let the water drench the roots. Keep your plant warm in the winter, and water it only once every month or so. Mist it for hydration, and stay away from fertilizers.

By following these tips, you can expect to enjoy a healthy and thriving orchid in no time at all. They can be a tricky plant to take care of at first, but with a developed routine, a large part of the care process is already simplified.

Crucial Advice You Should Know About Furniture

Home FurnitureDo you have furniture? Of course you do. You and everyone else has furniture in your home. Whether it’s cheap or expensive, a hand-me-down or a new piece, everyone uses furniture on a daily basis. That’s why it’s so important to take it seriously. Here are some great furniture tips that will keep you happy.

Be aware of the types of wood your furniture is typically made from. Different types of wood have different qualities, so the same piece of furniture made from one type of wood may be a whole lot sturdier when made from a different type of wood. This can also lead to a bigger price as well.

If you want to save money when replacing furniture, you should look into purchasing previously owned furniture. With a little bit of elbow grease you can easily transform an older looking piece that is overall in good shape. You can find pieces like dressers, coffee tables, kitchen tables and more that just need a bit of paint to look good.

Watch for sales when buying furniture. Most of the time furniture is put on sale. If you need a certain piece, you can save a lot of money by patiently waiting for the price to be lowered. You might even ask your favorite furniture store when the item will be marked at a lower price.

The depth of an upholstered chair is important. Taller persons should look for chairs that offer a deeper seat that affords ample leg room while sitting. If you are tall, but have weak or bad knees, then look for less depth to afford easier standing up from the chair. If you are shorter, test the depth so as not to “flounder” when rising.

Now that you’ve had time to read a bit more about furniture and how to get it in a smart way, you’re ready to go shopping. Go into the furniture buying process with a clear mind. Use all the information here to help you pick the best pieces at the best price.

Don’t Have A Green Thumb? Follow This Advice And You Soon Will!

82283706Some tips on how to start with your own organic garden makes a great start for beginners. Below are some tips that will hopefully assist you into making better decisions and to start applying things to your garden properly. You need to work hard, so it is to your benefit to learn something from these tips.

Do not mow your lawn close to the bottom. If you let your grass grow, the roots will go deeper and make your lawn more resistant to dryness. The shorter the grass is, the shorter the roots are, which leads to a dry lawn.

To kill off aphids on rose plants, spray them with a powdered milk and water mixture (1/3 cup powdered milk to one quart water). When the mixture is sprayed, the aphids get caught in the liquid and eventually die. Every few weeks spray down the roses with water to rinse off the mixture and reapply it if needed.

A spicy solution to ridding your garden of pests is to spray your plants with a hot mustard or red pepper mixture (one tablespoon of hot mustard or red pepper to one quart water). The solution is safe to spray directly on your garden foliage and pests can’t stand the taste of it!

If you have a lot of low-growing plants to take care of in your garden, purchase gardening knee pads. The time that you will have to spend on your knees in your garden can cause you unnecessary knee pain. Your knees can get supported with a decent pair of gardening knee pads.

These tips should have given you some much needed insight on where to start and how to begin growing your own personal organic garden. These tips were thoughtfully compiled to help the new organic gardener learn the basics and some other cool techniques that are simple enough to use for their garden.

Tips to Become An Expert On Organic Gardening

464668713In the gardening world, it is important to to try to grow and maintain the best plants that you can. That is where smart gardening techniques come in handy. This will help you grow the most plentiful, beautiful and healthiest plants that you can. Follow these tips to become a better gardener.

Find the crops that grow well in your local climate and the soil in your garden. If you try to force a plant that doesn’t like your weather, you’ll end up putting out a lot of work for very little result. What grows well one year will probably grow well next year too, so plant it again.

Select perennials to reduce the amount of care your garden requires. Plants that return year after year usually require only a modicum of weeding and pruning. Edible perennials, such as asparagus, rhubarb, and sorrel, can provide an excellent salad addition for your household without causing too much work for you.

Pick garden vegetables often and early. While immature, many types of vegetables are very tasty in their young phase. Snap peas, little summer squash, cucumbers, and budding broccoli can be picked to keep the plants in a state of reproduction for a longer period of time. This will also increase yields with a second harvest off of the same plants.

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

If you have clay soil, the most important thing to do is work it over and amend it with some type of compost. Plants tend to do well this type of soil once they are established, as they can sink their roots deep enough into an area that never dries out. Conversely, plants in lighter soil need watering constantly. Remember to place an organic mulch on the surface, which will stop the surface from baking in the summer.

As you can see from the previous list of tips, gardening can really be an enjoyable hobby or career. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of maintenance and a lot of patience, but it is all worth it in the end to have a beautifully maintained garden.