It’s never too late to start gardening

Now is the perfect time to start a vegetable garden. Young or old, it’s never too late to be a first-time gardener. Make your neighbors jealous with this rewarding way to save some money over the course of the season. So what’s stopping you?

Planting gives you the pleasure of tasting delicious tomatoes straight from your garden. The flavors will exceed your expectations after eating grocery store produce. It can be very rewarding to get started on taking care of a first garden no matter how old you are.

iStock_000014514671XSmallRome wasn’t built in a day. It can be overwhelming to do all the set up for a new garden all at once. Your green thumb will come with time, but figure out how much you can handle. It helps to have someone to show you the ropes or to share your garden with you. This senior home care company in Boca Raton, FL, for example, can bring in an experienced gardener to make sure you don’t have to start your new project on your own.

Here’s how you pick the perfect spot for it: Find a place where each plant can get about 8 hours of sunlight. Light will protect them from insects or diseases that can ruin your new garden. Find a space with good soil as close to a source of water as you can get it.

Deciding what plants to include can be a bit of a challenge. Tomatoes, spinach and beans are versatile crops perfect for your new green thumb. They are easy to grow and easy to use in many different recipes.

And harvesting is the best part. Don’t be shy about picking your vegetables. With many crops, the more you pick, the more you produce. When your children come over for dinner, impress them with produce fresh from your first garden.

Hardscaping: Breathe New Life Into Your Old Backyard

Your backyard contains a world of opportunities – it’s a place to entertain guests with a barbeque, relax with a good book in the fresh air, watch the children play, or practice your green thumb in the garden. On beautiful weather days in the summer, there’s nothing better than sitting on the deck in the sun with some ice-cold lemonade. But when was the last time you updated your backyard? A lackluster environment can discourage outdoor activities, and you lose out on all the potential an inviting backyard atmosphere has to offer. If your patio is riddled with cracks and overgrown by weeds, or if a drastically sloped hill is preventing you from taking full advantage of space, you may want to consider hardscaping.

Landscaping is comprised of hardscape and softscape. Whereas softscape generally concerns organic material, like gardens, trees, shrubs, grass and soil, hardscape refers to the heavier elements of the landscape – stones, gates, bricks, and patios. While it’s important to include both softscape and hardscape in your landscaping efforts, hardscape elements are often overlooked as they can be more costly and time-consuming to install. However, after installation, they can leave your backyard with a brand new, inviting look with minimal maintenance. Here are some hardscape ideas to get you started:

  • Backyard patioAdd a water feature. A stone bird bath or fountain will provide your backyard with a beautiful centerpiece for guests to gather around.
  • If you have a garden, consider building a pathway that draws guests from your backdoor through your flowers and vegetation.
  • To maximize space in a steeply sloping backyard, consider building a stone retaining wall. A retaining wall could create a unique terraced look, with varying levels for gardens and a patio area.
  • If your yard is mostly softscape, laying a patio with pavers will draw attention to a gathering space and provide a balance in aesthetic. A hardscape patio sloping away from your home will also protect from soil erosion and ensure that water flows away from your home instead of towards it. Pavers come in a wide variety of colors and materials such as concrete, bluestone, or limestone, and can be laid in different patterns to maximize or minimize visual space. Pete Rose, Inc. offers a variety of manufactured stone and pavers.
  • Use leftover pavers to build a fire pit! Fire pits are great for entertaining visitors with an opportunity to toast marshmallows, and also provide a source of outdoor heat on colder evenings.

With the right tools and supplies, including hardscape in your backyard landscaping design can be a DIY effort that will leave your outdoor environment with a fresh, inviting aesthetic. Make every weekend a barbeque party at your place. You won’t want to go indoors ever again!

Green Carpet Cleaning, Worth the Cost?

before after carpet cleaningIf you have ever shopped around for a professional carpet cleaning service or looked into buying or renting a portable cleaner you probably got a good feel for what each option costs. But do you know how clean each choice will make your carpets for each of these options you might decide to choose? Unfortunately the carpet cleaning industry, like many others is one in which your typically get what you pay for all else equal.

Which Cleaning Solutions to Avoid

Because of this, I would quickly eliminate the options of renting a cleaner from a place like Lowe’s or Home Depot or even your local grocery store as well as buying one from a store like Target. Rental machines are often not cleaned properly and come with cleaning liquids that can often have harmful chemicals in them. They are also under powered compared to those used by the professionals. The same thing goes for the ones you might purchase for yourself, these are clean to begin with but are even more under powered than the rental units.

Top Recommended Carpet Cleaners

I like to use http://carpetcleaninginva.com/, better known as Green Dog Chem-Dry as a great example of what type of cleaning company you should absolutely hire. In addition to being friendly and professional, they have probably the best equipment and cleaning practices on the market. And while I can’t make any guarantees, if you find a Chem-Dry in your area you will most likely find the same level of courtesy and deep cleaning. While the customer service, great deals and coupons are something I really appreciate, it doesn’t mean anything if my carpets and rugs are not spotless at the end of the day so thats what I really want to talk about.

Chem-Dry uses a unique process thats different from steam cleaning in a good way which uses carbonated hot water to extract deep and set in dirt and stains. The best thing about this process for me is the fact that its safe for children and all types of pets. The other huge selling point is that fact that it dries in half the time or less from other cleaners. They are able to accomplish this because they can do just as deep of cleaning while using less water than other carpet cleaning methods.

How Green Efficient Windows Can Save You Money

Investing in your home or commercial property is very important; however, there are many ways that you can end up saving more money than you ever put in! When beginning a design or remodeling project for your home, nothing beats replacing the windows, as a way to yield immediate results, and savings. Green, energy efficient windows bring saving you money on energy bills, but also through increasing the lifespan of your household furnishing. Rays from the sun are harmful to our décor, and by replacing the windows you can let less harmful light in, while also keeping cool in the summer and warmer in the winter. Many companies such as Andersen window replacement have financing options as well. My parents had a great experience buying from their BBB certified Philadelphia location you can find here. In the long run the windows or doors you have installed pay for themselves. Replacement windows come with  impact-resistance,  lifetime warranties,  can endure harsh climate issues, and damage from the outside world.

Energy Efficiency

insulating window sampleNew windows are normally overlooked as a way to save money on household bills (see the energy smart section). People often choose to use the lights less, or use appliances during non-peak hours; but why should you and your family have to suffer or change their lifestyle to find savings? A better alternative is to decide to have quality insulating products installed so dont have to sacrifice comfort just because you are trying to be better about energy saving.

Replacement windows are great at cutting down the cost of bills, by adjusting to the climate, and keeping cool air inside and reflecting heat, just another way high quality windows bring even bigger savings for your energy costs. Companies can add tints or color to the windows as well, which will increase the efficiency of the windows even more, which is why you find many office windows with grey, or dark tints, cutting the cost of running the air conditioning all day. There are many ways better windows bring bigger savings, and replacing the windows for your home or office is a decision you’ll be happy you’ve made in the end, as you see you bills drop down, and a new comfort brought to your household.

The Importance of the Roof Over Your Head

new roof installation GAFIt’s no small mystery why people refer to their homes as the “roof over their heads”. This is because of how important the roof of your house is to your overall protection. That’s why if you have been searching for the best way to truly improve your home, you should look up and figure out the status of the structure and weatherproofing of your roof. This is important not only for the structural integrity of your home but the look and insulation as well. Even something as simple as a leak from a few missing shingles or other general wear can cause rotting in the all-important beams that support the roof. If not found early, the repair can go from replacing a few shingles or weatherproof stripping to a major project.

Why Choose a GAF Certified Roofer

GAF complete roof systemIf you do think you may need to have work done on your roof or replace it altogether, I would recommend hiring Metro-Contractors They have what they call a lifetime roofing system when installing a new roof on your home. This starts with an evaluation and stripping of the current shingles down to the bare bones. This system is designed to work together as a complete system and starts with a water proof leak barrier on the contours of your roof to protect the most vulnerable areas for water damage. Next comes roof deck protection which insulates and protects the rest of the roof. Starter strip shingles are installed at the edges of your roof to further weatherproof before the asphalt or cedar shake shingles are carefully put on.

Now you can see how much thought goes into protecting your roof, and for good reason. Even if you don’t need a complete roofing system right now, the right repairs to your current roof could make all the difference when it comes to protecting your home. A solid roof will keep the value of your home up, protect your from the elements such as heavy wind, hail, and rain along with insulating your home saving you on heating and cooling bills.