Container Gardening Basics For Success

Container Gardening is becoming more and more popular as the population of cities and suburbs increases. Your "garden" is movable and so it is easier to manage pests and garden environments. It also brings the time that you need to tend to your plants because you can place them where they are easier for you to reach. This is especially good for people who are handicapped but still want a garden.

There are some things that are necessary in order to have a successful container garden.

First, you must have a container. You can find them in almost every size, shape and they can be made of many different materials. And, they can be very inexpensive, especially when you create them from "found" objects. You must make sure that the container that you choose has adequate drainage.

Make sure that your container is appropriate for your plant's full-grown size. You do not want to have to keep changing pots as your garden grows.

Soil is the next thing you have to have for your garden. I'm sorry, but you can not go outside and dig up some dirt. It will be much too heavy and will probably contain lots of bugs and pests that you do not need. The soil must be of good quality to keep your plants healthy and growing well. Buy potting mix that drains well but still is able to retain adequate moisture. The mix should not be so light that it will not hold the plant and root system in the container without propping the plant up.

You can mix your own potting soil by using one part compost; one part perlite and one part garden loam. Be sure that you inspect the loam for pests before using it.

Choose plants that do not have very large root systems. Those plants will soon get too large for the pot that you have planted them in, even to the point of breaking it. As I mentioned before, not sizing the plant to the pot (or the pot to the plant), can cause plants to be spindly and root-bound.

Tomatoes are a good choice for a new gardener because they are easy to grow and have a strong, but small, root system. Other vegetables that are appropriate are peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes and eggplant.

Herbs are also an excellent choice for container gardens. Herb gardens do not require much space and they are extremely easy to grow, even for the novice gardener. Like most plants, they do require adequate drain to grow them successfully.

Some people use container gardens as decorating accents as well as growing vegetables for the dinner table. Choosing containers that fit with the style of the area you want them in terms of its ambiance. You might even want to use them in a specific area inside your home. Sunrooms come to mind as a great place to grow plants. Do make sure there is adequate sun and shade for your plants.

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But I Don’t Feel Like Working Out!

Do most people actually feel like exercising? Think about it. Who do you know actually loves to work-out as often as they can? Probably not many because if most people felt that way there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic.

As I write this, even I’m putting off the inevitable. I have to work-out. I’m a Personal Trainer. Shouldn’t I be counting down the seconds until I get to hurt and sweat to the classic rock channel and my dumbbells? Nope. I have spent the last hour or so lollygagging around the couple of sites I tend to frequent, posting a few status updates and commenting “great pic” here and there while working up the motivation to get moving! I have a holiday party to attend tonight and I can promise you…the food will probably be pretty good. So how can I take my love of fabulous cuisine and my obvious Sunday morning laziness and somehow use this combo to get me up off the sofa and into the work-out room? Well I’ll tell ya….

I’ve been fat and I’ve been fit and I promise you that fit feels better! I just typed a paragraph or so about my own vulnerabilities above to let you know that I relate to your lack of desire to exercise. We aren’t that different from each other. I live in the same fast world with the same fast food and email vs. snail mail and instant gratification benefits as everyone else. The only problem with this is that permanent and healthy weight-loss and weight-management take time, perseverance and yep, hard work.

I know what happens when we put important tasks off. They either never get done or if they eventually do, there is usually a hefty late penalty. It’s no different with our bodies. To develop and keep a fit physique, consistency is the key. To stay consistent, we have to change our minds.

The truth is that the next hour or so WILL go by regardless of what I choose to do within that time. The last hour is over and I chose to sit on the computer. Now even though I really did more productive things other than post silly stuff online, the fact remains that there is still a work-out to be done. I will have calories to burn off for later. I have a metabolism to speed up for the indulgences I will partake in tonight. I can choose to sit here for the rest of the afternoon and not get my strength training session in and I probably still won’t put on any significant weight from tonight’s foods. The reason for this is that while most often I would prefer not to work-out, I do it anyway because I ALWAYS feel a sense of pride, joy and power by the end of that hour of exercise than I would feel by not doing it. I feel AMAZING when I finish an exercise session. Did it happen overnight? NO! I had to make myself continue to experience it for a good long time until I realized the power behind a regular fitness routine. The result is a faster metabolism which burns my calories for me while I do nothing at all. In real estate, they would call this cash flow from a rental property. The investing, rehabs and negotiations are done yet the pay goes on. Brilliant!

Think about where you are right now. Do you have any regrets over the things you didn’t do? Have you noticed any negative circumstances in your life that could have been kept small and insignificant if only you had tackled them sooner? What about any goals you would have accomplished had you acted sooner (or at all)? When you take a moment and honestly think about any of these regrets, are you convinced that if you only had the chance to make a different decision you would have done it and then you would have everything you’ve ever wanted by now? How much would you give to change the outcome of any of the scenarios I just mentioned?

It’s been 2 hours since my last paragraph. In that time, I worked-out AND prepared all the vegetables needed for my few days worth of healthy salads. I’ll be honest here. I absolutely didn’t feel like doing ANY of that. It’s time consuming and labor intensive as far as I’m concerned. Given that thought process, here’s another one which is equally true. I just finished my work-out and prepared my lean and nutrient dense post exercise replenishment not just for today, but for the next several days to come. It was labor intensive, but I FEEL AMAZING! The hard work is done and I’ll reap the benefits of 2 hours worth of work for the next few days! The technical term for this is delayed gratification. Let’s say it together. DELAYED GRATIFICATION. It’s a way of life we don’t experience much of these days and I believe it’s why our bodies suffer from malnutrition and limited physical capabilities.

You see, most of us don’t feel like doing a lot of the things we need to do and I’m no different. The only way to experience the other side of this particular coin is to just do it. Whatever it is. With exercise, the more often you muster up the strength to get it done, the more you’ll understand the rewards. Don’t get me wrong, you still may want to put it off, however, you’ll have a valid sense of what you’re missing out on if you do. You’ll get how powerful it feels to spend that hour or so doing what you’ll feel proud of rather than nothing at all, which you could easily regret much longer than a measly hour, possibly the rest of your life. This way of thinking creates pride and a healthy self-esteem. It also helps to abolish any feelings of restriction since when we take care of ourselves the majority of the time, we can enjoy our indulgences without guilt.

Well, now that I’ve done the hard work, I’m gonna relax. As I had mentioned earlier, it’s Sunday. The only day of the week that I don’t have to be something to someone. The day that’s reserved all for me. Rather than spending all of it vegging, I gave myself the best gift I could….peace of mind from good work well done. I took that hour, doubled it and now I feel free!

So what about you? What did you get from this?

Wishing you a lifetime of smart choices and self-pride!

Top 50 Christmas Quotations

  1. "Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years … Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. " - George Matthew Adams
  2. "The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting." - Louisa May Alcott
  3. "Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. - Bess Streeter Aldrich
  4. "The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!" - Charles N. Barnard
  5. "Gifts of time and love are certainly the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." - Peg Bracken
  6. "The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung." - Phillips Brooks
  7. "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. " - Taylor Caldwell
  8. "Remember, if Christmas is not found in your heart, you will not find it under a tree." - Charlotte Carpenter
  9. "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." - Calvin Coolidge
  10. "Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know." Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man. " - Margaret Cousins
  11. "Without we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska will not make it 'white'." - Bing Crosby
  12. "Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. faith again. " - Grace Noll Crowell
  13. "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit." - Isabel Currier
  14. "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget." - Hugh Downs
  15. "They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." - Mrs. Paul M. Ell
  16. "Christmas, my child, is love in action." - Dale Evans
  17. "Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal." - Lenore Hershey
  18. "My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still." - Charlton Heston
  19. "At Christmas, all roads lead home." - Marjorie Holmes
  20. "My idea of ​​Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. - Bob Hope
  21. "The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." - WC Jones
  22. "A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away; While quite lonely, it grows small." - Eva K. Logue
  23. "Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become absolutely alive." - Robert Lynd
  24. "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." - Hamilton Wright Mabi
  25. "The merry family gatherings – The old, the very young; The strangely lovely way they harmonize in carols sung. For Christmas is tradition time – Traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, The sameness of them all." - Helen Lowrie Marshall
  26. "There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." - Bill McKibben
  27. "I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." - Harlan Miller
  28. "Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence." - Joan Mills
  29. "Christmas is, of course, the time to be home – in heart as well as body." - Garry Moore
  30. "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. - Agnes M. Pharo
  31. "Mankind is a great, an immense family … This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas." - Pope John XXIII
  32. "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Do not clean it up too quickly." - Andy Rooney
  33. "Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intimate that it is like a fragrance. day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. " - Augusta E. Rundel
  34. "Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." - Charles Schulz
  35. "As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas bought to be, Christmas is." - Eric Sevareid
  36. "Christmas is the day that holds time together." - Alexander Smith
  37. "Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." - Ralph Sockman
  38. "Christmas … is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart." - Freya Stark
  39. "Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends." - Margaret Thatcher
  40. "At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year." - Thomas Tusser
  41. "What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic." - Unknown
  42. "Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wrought in smiles." - Unknown
  43. "If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away." - Unknown
  44. "Until one dreams the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display – so much tinsel and decorations. Firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again. " - Unknown
  45. "Many banks have a new kind of Christmas club in operation. The new club helps you save money to pay for last year's gifts." - Unknown
  46. "Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love ? Then you can keep Christmas. " - Henry Van Dyke
  47. "Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts." - Lenora Matttingly Weber
  48. "Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." - Deborah Whipp
  49. "Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you. your heart's possessing, Returns to you glad. " - John Greenleaf Whittier
  50. "Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." - Larry Wilde

Organic Gardening – Watermelons Are a Summertime Favorite

Sweet, succulent watermelon grown in your own home garden are a summertime favorite. There is nothing better than there sweet, cool, refreshing and delicious taste on a hot summer day. This warm climate crop thrills with the growing growing seasons in warm climates, but there are varieties for cooler areas that will preform just fine and as tasty.

When planting, choose a location that will get full sunlight and with a good air circulation. They can grow in many different types of soil, but prefer a good healthy soil structure that is light, loose, fertile and well drained. Working in a generous amount of compost, composted manure or composed leaves into the soil will greatly benefit the soils structure for your watermelons to thrive. A soil that keeps moisture well is very important when growing watermelons, they like a steady supply of water.

Sow seeds directly into the garden once all dangers of frost have passed, soak the seeds for a half hour before planting in compost tea will help the seeds germinate. Plant on hills with 4 seeds per hill and space the hills 8 to 10 feet apart for vine type or 3 to 4 feet apart for bush type. Once the seeds have germinated remove 2 of the seedlings leaving the 2 best plants.

Watermelons are heavy feeders and need a steady supply of water, giving them a feeding of compost tea every two weeks will add the nutrients needed for your plants to thrive. Do not overdue it with nitrogen, especially once the flowers form.

Harvesting your watermelons can be a tricky task. There are three methods that can be used in figuring out if a watermelon is ripe. Look, listen and feel are what it takes to check for ripeness in a watermelon.

First sign is visual, the underside of the fruit that rests on the ground will turn a gold color or yellow straw color. Next look for the curly tendril that is attached to the vine closest to the fruit, it will be dry and brittle when a watermelon is ripe.

Second is the thump test, tap the watermelon with your knuckles and it should make a hollow sound when ripe. This method will take some practice, but once you get the feel for it you will most likely you this method the most.

Third is feel, if you run your fingers around the center of the watermelon you should feel ridges on the rind when it is ripe. This is done around the center and not from end to end or from stem to blossom. A watermelon that is not mature will be smooth.