How to Start a Green Roof Garden

August 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :2529

You are a garden lover living a crowded city with no backyard to nourish your love for gardens. Look up! There is the space you need, right above your head. A roof garden is all you need. A rooftop garden means carpeting your roof with green, which will make the building more energy efficient. It will keep the building cool in hard summers, which means you won’t be using much of electricity for cooling purposes. During monsoon, instead of rain water getting wasted it will nourish the plants. These gardens also help with reducing heat expansion of the building, as they keep the building cool.

 

 

Having a roof garden is more complicated than planting shrubs on the ground so you need to know step by step process of creating and maintaining one. There are five things you need to take care of-

  1. Safety – Please make sure you check with your builder or contractor that your roof is capable of handling such an endeavour. Now you need to make sure your garden will be safe. Check for higher building nearby and chances of something falling from there that can ruin your efforts. Install fencing and securely tie down all equipment.
  2. Containers- You should not put the soil right on top of your roof, else the roots of the plant can carve into your roof; resulting in leakage. You must install containers that can hold the soil. Get light weight containers that allow drainage. For energy efficiency it better to have flat containers.
  3. Weight – Soil is heavy, wet soil is heavier. Check with your builders about the weight allowed on the roof. And when you are weighing your soil better weigh wet soil. This way your roof is out of danger.
  4. Plants – There are only certain plants that go along the roof gardening route, those are the ones with less roots. . The best ones are herbs, green vegetables, beans and anything that doesn’t need too much of root space.
  5. Watering- During dry summers, its best to install sprinklers that will get water everywhere in regular intervals. During monsoon, you need to worry about water logging. Give a regular check on drainage and the amount of water in the soil. You don’t want your precious plants to rot.

The roof gardens provide you with energy efficiency along with organically grown food. What else you need?

13 Ways to conserve water in the Home..

April 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1106

Water conservation has become an important practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems plentiful.In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps protect against water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.

One can ensure water conservation at one’s own home quite easily. Simply be mindful of your surroundings! Here are a few tips to help you with the same…

1. Check out faucets and pipes for leaks

A small leak from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

2. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

3. Check your toilets for leaks

Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color starts to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired quickly. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Use your water meter to verify for hidden water leaks

Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read just the same, there is a leak.

5. Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank

To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.

6. Insulate your water pipes.

It’s easy and inexpensive to protect your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

7. Take shorter showers.

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

8. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush

There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

9. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for water conservation.

With clothes washers, prevent the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For limited loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load. If you’re in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving frontload washer.

10. Reduce use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units

In-sink ‘garburators’ require lots of water to operate effectively, and also add significantly to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

11. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing

If your have a double-basin, fill up one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water.

12. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables

Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

13. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.

Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a LifeStraw personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

 

The Garden Organic

January 1st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1103

What are the key advantages of the organic approach?

It’s a system of gardening for everybody – you don’t have to worry about your children using things that they shouldn’t. And we all like to know that the food we are eating isn’t sprayed. Also, it adds another dimension to gardening.

  • Nothing tastes better than fresh fruits or vegetables straight off the vine, tree, or plant.
  • By planting your own organic garden, you are assuring yourself and your family the best possible fruits and vegetables.
  • Planting your own organic vegetable garden will save you money.

 

Since organic gardeners use no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, none of these chemicals can run off and find their way into the water supply. Another benefit of this lack of chemical run-off is that small animals, birds, and beneficial insects are not harmed by chemical use.

What are the cornerstones of organic gardening?

In many ways, organic gardening is simply good gardening – and it’s about having a range of strategies, not a quick fix. One of the most vital things is suiting what you plant to your growing situation. If you give the plant what it needs in the soil and the right situation as far as light and shade, then it will grow. The right conditions are key. If needs be, you can improve your soil via composting, but while you can alter the soil to some extent, there’s no point in trying to dramatically alter an alkaline soil to grow rhododendrons. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got. The other key point is to remember that plants are living things and they will suffer from diseases – you need to have a relaxed attitude, but try to create a garden environment with opportunities for predators too. They are always working while you’re not.

SIMPLE STEPS TO GROW YOUR ORGANIC GARDEN

  • PREPARING THE SOIL

In order to get the best results with your new organic garden, you’ll want to make sure the soil is properly conditioned. You have to eat, and so do plants, so make sure your veggies get lots of fresh nutrients.

  • MAKE GOOD COMPOST

All gardens benefit from compost — and preferably you can make your own on site. Hey, it’s free! Compost feeds plants, helps conserve water, cuts down on weeds, and keeps food and yard waste out of landfills (where it produces methane), instead turning garbage into “black gold.”

  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS
  • PLANT CROPS IN WIDE BEDS

Plants that you will be harvesting, such as vegetables or cutting flowers, should be grouped tightly in beds that you don’t walk on (raised beds work great).

  • PROPER WATERING

The best time to water plants is usually in the morning. Why? Mornings tend to be cool and without strong winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is reduced. If you water in the evening plants stay damp over night, making them more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases.

  • WEEDING

Pulling weeds by hand may sound like hard work — and it can be — but it also can be good exercise, and gets you outside in the fresh air.

  • PROTECT PLANTS WITHOUT TOXIC PESTICIDES
  • HARVESTING

Decor Home Indoor

December 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1372

We all see a dream of creating beautiful home. Someone of us go the extra mile to do it. If you are planning to make your new room look elegant and cheerful, here are some handy tips for you to begin with.

The color and theme of the house

  • One of the most important aspect of decoration of the house are the walls which make the house, yet nobody notices the walls until there is a patch on it or if they are magnificently beautiful. Here are some of the colors you can apply to the wall of your dream house:
    • The color blue is calming, lowering your pulse rate which increases productivity.
    • Red and orange are symbol of excitement and enthusiasm.
    • Cheerful color is yellow.
    • Green creates soothing atmosphere, relieving stress.
    • Purple promotes creativity.
    • Brown gives an earthy atmosphere.
  • Now after the color of the walls comes the shelves and almiras which are embedded on the walls: the shelves should not be too high or too low that the view of the things kept on it is not clear.
  • After the shelves comes a very crucial part of your décor which is furniture: Try and get the best furniture according to your pocket which matches with the theme and color of your walls. (don’t overcrowd your rooms with too much of furniture as this makes the house to look small) prefer for as less furniture as possible and required.
  • Don’t forget about the flooring: if you have a good budget, go for a marble or wooden flooring, otherwise u can go for tiles, a mat covering whole of the floor will also solve the purpose.
  • When all is done: go for the accessories to be kept in your rooms. Like the fancy chandelier or the beautiful masterpiece or that cool poster in your room.

Just show your creativity, mix and match, try out different orientations and different permutations until you get the desired level of satisfaction from   your house.

 

Health and Peace in Your Backyard

November 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1179

While creating a safe haven for ourselves we call home, we need everything to be perfect. Be it the interior layout of the house, the colour, or the furniture. Some of us take it to another level when we take that extra step to bring beauty to our backyard. Gardening is one of the common hobbies in urban population. It gives us peace and me-time, away from the bustle of city life. And when we can create a healthy and wholesome lifestyle with that hobby, there’s nothing like it! Organic gardening is a process where we try to grow edible plants without using any chemical fertilizers. Hence we are directly upgrading our health by tapping into fresh produce straight out of our backyard.Organic garden

Now let’s see how to start an organic garden. First of all you need a piece of land to do it, else you can try to grow these on pots as well. Even a terrace garden will work out. See our previous blog on terrace gardens for tips on how to get started.

Once you involve yourself in gardening, you will get immersed in it, and your garden will be more or less your sanctuary. So you must vision your garden in your mind, thinking of it as your place of peace and health. It’s also important that you imagine and view in your mind how you want your garden to look like. A balance of different types of plants needs to be kept as eventually you are looking forward to eat something grown there.

Organic seeds can be bought locally from framers markets or any store that sells seeds. Do not use chemical pesticides or any other synthetic chemicals. There are many natural products for treating weeds, diseases, pests, and soil issues. These natural products are much safer and better for the environment. Be sure your planting area will not be contaminated with lawn fertilizer or other chemicals. Try to find organic soil and compost or make your own compost by recycling your food waste.

Choose plants that grow well in your climate and geography. Think locally. Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to plant apple tree in Kerala. Try to plant in batches instead of planting everything together.

All said and done, gardens are a huge responsibility. So think before you start it, and plan before your start it. Welcome a better world to your backyard!

Ever Felt You Needed an Anthurium in Your Emporium..

July 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :2023

Anthuriums are Perennials with creping habitat.The speciality of this flowering plant is its brilliantly coloured foliage in some cultivars along with flowers.The are two groups of anthurium grown in greenhouses: flowering varieties and those with magnificent foliage. The only ones you’re likely to see in the garden center are the flowering varieties with their multicolored spathes and red or yellow tail-like flower spikes. But if you are intrepid, you might come across a few of the large-leaved, deeply veined foliage types. Be warned: neither type of anthurium is particularly well-suited for most houses. Native to tropical rainforests throughout Central and South America, many anthuriums are climbers and all need very high humdity and warmth to thrive.

flower

Growing Conditions:

Light: Bright, indirect light. Do not expose to direct sunlight, except in the winter or plants that have been carefully acclimated.
Water: Keep compost moist at all times, but not drenched. Foliage anthurium throw off aerial roots that appreciate misting and can be pushed into the soil.
Temperature: They suffer below 60ºF. The foliage types prefer it even warmer.
Soil: Rich, loose potting media. Push exposed roots into the soil.
Fertilizer: Use liquid fertilizer throughout the growing period or pellets in the spring.

Propagation:

Divide during repotting, or take cuttings from the tip or stem. Older foliage plants might overgrow the top of their pots with exposed aerial roots. These can be cut off at the soil level and potted into new pots. Leaves will emerge from the old stem.

Repotting:

Repot annually as needed. They don’t suffer from being slightly underpotted, however, so only repot if necessary. When repotting, use high quality potting soil.

Varieties:

The anthuriums are collector’s plants, and many of the most magnificent varieties are rare outside of greenhouses and botanical gardens. Varieties include:

  • A. andreanum. Heart-shaped leaves up to 1 ft., with flowers available in red, white, pink and variegated. Distinguished by a straight flower spike.
  • A. scherzerianum. The most forgiving of anthuriums, it features a curling orange flower spike. Leaves are arrow shaped.
  • A. crystallinum. Deep green, velvety leaves with pronounced white ribs. Leaves up to 2 ft. across.
  • A. faustinomirandae. A monster with cardboard-stiff leaves up to 5 ft. long. A greenhouse plant.

Grower’s Tips:

All anthuriums prefer plenty of warmth, regular moisture and ample fertilizer. The easiest to grow are the A. scherzerianum and A. andreanum. These plants have been extensively hybridized and are relatively common in garden centers. Flowering anthuriums will flower any time of the year, providing they are healthy. Foliage anthuriums are mostly found at speciality greenhouses or through online nurseries. To grow them best, approximate conditions found in tropical zones, and if necessary, provide a climbing support for foliage varieties.
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Ever Dreamt Of a Swimming Pool In Your DreamHome ??

June 29th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :3398

After a long hot day in the summertime, there is nothing like jumping into a backyard swimming pool to cool off and feel refreshed. Building a swimming pool become trending topic almost in every area and you can do it if you have the proper instructions and equipment.swimming-pool

A concrete pool would require an experienced contractor’s knowledge and expertise, so you will probably want to build a pool with a cement bottom and a vinyl liner. The walls of your pool can be of plastic, fiberglass, galvanized steel or aluminum.

Material for the pool walls

  • The most popular material for pool walls is polymer.
  • Fiberglass may become brittle and is usually not readily available.
  • Galvanized steel would be suitable, but if you plan to sell your home later, potential buyers may be concerned about rust although modern galvanizing procedures are successful in preventing rust from forming.
  • Aluminum makes a high quality wall but is costly

Ready to start the pool

  • Shop for your pool kit and all the supplies that you will need.
  • Use stakes and string to make an outline of your pool. The kit will give you the correct measurements for the pool bottom and sides.
  • Begin digging at the deep end of your pool, and use a builder’s level/transit to make sure your final hole is level. You may want to hire a backhoe operator for this chore.
  • Dig the sides of the pool about two feet bigger than your outline to give you room to pour the concrete footer and work with the side panels and braces.
  • Dig 3 ½ feet down at the shallow end for the pool walls and farther down at the deep end.
  • Make a 2 foot wide shelf outside the deep end for the pool walls to sit on, and hold them in place by driving 2 foot long rebar stakes through the bottom.
  • Use a transit/builder’s level and tape measure to be sure that the bottom of the shallow end and the shelf are precisely flat and level.
  • Install the panels making sure they are level.
  • Cut the coping and install it.
  • Dig the spot for the drain box so it will be 2 inches above the bottom in the center of the deep end, and mark the pool’s bottom measurement with string 2 inches above the bottom.
  • Install the plumbing lines.
  • Pour a 6 to 8 inch thick concrete footer.
  • Pour the cement mixture 2 inches deep in the pool bottom beginning at the deep end using a concrete finishing tool to smooth and flatten it. Remove any nails and string markers as you work.

 

How To Re-design your Garden..

June 27th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1376

Gardening is often called the only living art form. Like any form of art, designing a garden is subjective. Although gardening successfully requires learning certain skills, in the end, a garden’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are no fixed rules to garden design. No garden design is ever finished. Plants fail, tastes change & weather is unpredictable.

Here are some easy tips for redesigning your garden :gardening

1. Learn from Last year’s Mistakes: At the end of every gardening season look over the list of disappointments and make notes of what not to plant next year or what to watch out for earlier in the season.

2.Start off on the Right Foot: Now that we’ve reviewed what worked and what didn’t, take a moment to consider what plants will be happy in our sunny, sandy, humid garden. They say a healthy plant is better able to withstand diseases and pests, so my next resolution will be to keep my plants healthy and happy.

3.Plant more Fragrant Flowers: There’s not been much point in stopping to smell the roses lately. Most of them have no scent at all. Like a flavorless tomato that was bred to ship without bruising, flower breeders fed out need for longer bloom periods and larger flowers, at the expense of fragrance. We want to get the same thrill when the lilac buds start to open, every time we walk into our garden.

4.Be More Daring with Containers: As grasses become garden staples, they are also finding their way into more and more containers. Growing ornamental grasses in containers is a great way to feature grasses without the worry of them spreading or taking over the garden.

5. Plant More Shrubs:  There was awhile there where new perennials were the holy grail of the gardening world. We went crazy every time a Hosta showed a new stripe. Trees and shrubs were for common landscapers, not cultivated gardeners. Well, have you seen the shrubs out there on the market recently? They’re textured. They’re colorful, They have flowers and berries. They don’t require months of endless pinching and primping.

6.Use More Foliage with Colour and Texture: Along the same line as planting more shrubs, resolve to make better use of plants with interesting forms and texture and perennials with colorful foliage. No plant blooms incessantly all season, but there’s no stopping great foliage.

garden 7. Mulch Early: Every spring we wait to see what plants have self-seeded and which tender perennials made it through the winter and will be putting in an encore appearance. I’m always delightfully surprised, but I am also way behind in mulching my garden. Waiting for flower seedlings to emerge means I’m also giving weed seedlings time to pop up – everywhere. This year I’m going to mulch early. If I lose a few self-seeders, I’ll make up for it with more time to plant because I’ll be doing less weeding.

8.Plant for Fall in the Spring:We want instant gratification after a long, dull winter and a bunch of plants that languish for 3 months of the growing season just don’t have that great an appeal. But fall is such a beautiful season and the garden can really come back to life as the cooler weather sets in. This year you just  hunt out plants that bloom, fruit and flare into color in the fall.

 

 

 

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