4 REASONS TO GROW MINT

Mint Attracts Beneficial Insects (& Repels the Bad Ones)

Let your mint go to flower and it will attract bees, beneficial wasps, hoverflies (aphid eaters), and tachinid flies (parasitic on nasty bugs).

The smell of the mint plant will also repel houseflies, cabbage moths, ants, aphids, squash bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, and even mice.  Not a bad deal, if you ask me!

Mint is Good for Your Pets

Chickens love fresh herbs and mint is no exception.  The best part is that it’s also great for them and their coop.  It keeps bugs, flies, and parasites at bay, as well as being an antioxidant and digestive aid for your flock.

Be sure to plant lots of mint (as well as other herbs) in and around the coop and run for chickens to nibble on daily.

cosmo mint

Mint is also great for cats and dogs.  Catnip is actually in the mint family and is a favorite herb for kitties as well as humans.

While cats and dogs probably shouldn’t eat a whole lot of mint in one sitting, a little bit is great for them.  It is a natural flea repellent, and I often see Cosmo the kitty rubbing up against the mint plant.

Mint is Good Food

Of course, mint is an awesome culinary herb!  Cut it from the garden without abandon to make all kinds of delicious treats.  I particularly like to make tea with it, hot or iced!

mint iced tea 2

Turn it into mint pesto or add it to your favorite homemade cookies, brownies, or this decadent sounding fresh mint cake with dark chocolate mint frosting.

Get creative and make mint infused honey, a gallon of mint wine, or chocolate mint extract.

This rhubarb mint jam sounds delicious, so does this traditional mint sauce for lamb. You can also just simply chop it up and add to salads or use it as a garnish.

Have a mint julep or mojito party, you deserve it!

Mint is Good Medicine

Mint is also an amazing medicinal herb.  It is well known as a digestive aid and breath freshener and is also good for an upset stomach.

Peppermint is especially great for headaches, and the essential oil can be rubbed on the temples for relief.  It can be helpful for seasonal allergies, and can also be added to body care products like salves and lip balms, soaps, shampoo bars, and lotions.

BEAUTIFUL ROUND GARDEN BED IDEAS THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LANDSCAPE

The garden bed is a low-maintenance way to grow vegetables, fruits, and plants in your garden. In addition, to prevent the weeds, prevent soil compaction, provide good drainage, it also decorates your landscape.

Vegetable Garden Design

Vegetable Garden Design | Cool Round Garden Bed Ideas For Landscape Design - FarmFoodFamily.com #raisedgarden #raisedgardenbed #gardenbed

Raised garden beds are great for growing small plots of veggies and flowers. They keep pathway weeds from your garden soil, prevent soil compaction, provide good drainage, and serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails. The sides of the beds keep your valuable garden soil from eroding or washing away during heavy rains. In many regions, gardeners are able to plant earlier in the season because the soil is warmer and better drained when it is above ground level.

Veggie Garden without digging

Veggie Garden without digging | Cool Round Garden Bed Ideas For Landscape Design - FarmFoodFamily.com #raisedgarden #raisedgardenbed #gardenbed

 Log Garden Bed

Log Garden Bed | Cool Round Garden Bed Ideas For Landscape Design - FarmFoodFamily.com #raisedgarden #raisedgardenbed #gardenbed

Brick Garden Bed

Brick Garden Bed | Cool Round Garden Bed Ideas For Landscape Design - FarmFoodFamily.com #raisedgarden #raisedgardenbed #gardenbed

Raised beds are not the same as garden planters. Planters are elevated containers which have bottoms to prevent the soil from falling out. Planter bottoms usually are slatted, with some type of semi-permeable cloth barrier which permits drainage. Raised beds, however, do not have bottoms; they are open to the ground, which offers the benefit of permitting plant roots to go further into the ground for available nutrients.

How to Attract Toads to the Garden and Why You Want Them There!

I bet you are asking yourself why in the world you want to attract toads to the garden, right?  If you love growing your own food, you really need to keep reading to find out!  We have a TON of toads in the garden and I am thrilled that they call my backyard home.  Toads eat garden pests like the dreaded hornworm caterpillar and squash beetles that like to attack my garden.  Learn how to attract toads and you will have significantly fewer garden pests!  But, can you just stick out a toad house with a for rent sign and hope they show up?  Not really!
How to Attract Toads to the Garden and Why You Want them there!

Garden Toads Everywhere!

Attracting toads is very beneficial because they eat slugs and snails, too. Slugs and snails are NEVER good for a garden! I spend a lot of time getting rid of snails and making homemade earwig traps so I am happy for the toads to eat them.

Are toads beneficial to a garden?

So, first off, let’s answer the question of WHY you want to attract toads to the garden. Are toads beneficial to a garden? Basically, YES! Because what do garden toads eat? BUGS!  Bugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare and toads like to eat them.  So, the more toads you have in your yard, the fewer garden pests you will have to deal with.  Sounds like a great plan to me!

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR GARDEN SOIL WITHOUT A COMPOST HEAP

A compost heap is a great way to recycle kitchen waste and improve your garden soil for free. However not everyone has the space needed and depending on where you live, you may want to deter any unwanted furry visitors.

It’s not always necessary to compost kitchen waste before adding it to your soil. So here are a few tips on how you can improve your garden soil without a compost heap using three kitchen scraps you’d normally throw away.

3 KITCHEN INGREDIENTS THAT IMPROVE YOUR GARDEN SOIL

EGG SHELLS

  • Rinse out any egg shells you have and allow them to dry for a few days in a bowl on a sunny window sill or by a radiator. When they are dry they crush very easily. This will help them to break down quickly when added to the soil.
  • Crushed eggshells improve drainage and the addition of  the calcium is excellent for promoting plant growth and preventing blossom end rot in tomatoes and squash plants. If you have an old coffee grinder or food processor this will make short work of it.
  • They are also a good deterrent for slugs and snails.  Scatter a generous barrier around any young seedlings to keep the pesky molluscs away. Apparently this is the human equivalent of walking barefoot on broken glass.

COFFEE GROUNDS

  • Coffee grounds can also be added directly to the soil. They act as a general fertiliser, adding organic matter, improving drainage, water retention and soil aeration. As they break down they will continue to add nitrogen which is so good for plant growth.
  • Used coffee grounds will not affect the PH level of your soil unless used in very concentrated amounts. However unused coffee grounds or leftover coffee is always such a wonderful pick-me-up for acid loving plants.
  • Coffee grounds also work very well as a mulch around plants. This keeps earthworms very happy as they seem partial to a little caffeine hit too!
  • Don’t worry if they look a bit mouldy, this is just part of the natural breaking down process and a sign that it’s working.
  • If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea bags are good for the soil too

 

  • BANANA SKINS 
  • Adding banana skins is another excellent way to improve your garden soil. They can also be added directly to the ground as long as they are cut up into very small pieces. They’ll break down faster and offer all the micro-organisms in the soil lots more surface area to work their magic.
  • This creates plenty of new organic matter resulting in a light, well drained soil which is full of lovely earthworms. Once the banana skins have broken down they will add a powerful cocktail of nutrients; calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphates, potassium and sodium, all of which help plants to grow well and develop their fruit.

8 Amazing Plants That’ll Repel Mosquitoes (And Other Pests!)

It’s almost summer which means mosquitoes will be coming out soon. And even when it’s not the warm season, some places can still get them year round, and any type of repellent will do.

But you don’t have to spray on toxic mosquito repellent to keep them away. In fact, there are plants that you can grow inside and out to make sure you don’t get bitten. And many of these plants produce essential oils, which means you can keep them repelled wherever you go.

So check out these low maintenance plants and start growing!



Citronella

Whether you’re using citronella candles, growing it in a pot, or making it a part of a centerpiece, this plant is definitely a great way to keep the mosquitoes away.

Lavender

Lavender is one of my favorites and is definitely a great way to repel mosquitoes. You can plant this around your entryways or put the lavender essential oil on for any nightly walk.

Rosemary

Mosquitoes are out in full force during summer, but thankfully rosemary can stand the heat. In fact, it prefers it.

And on a random note, I love growing rosemary since it’s so convenient just to grab a few sprigs and throw them into a pan of fried potatoes.

Lemongrass

Being related to citronella, lemongrass can look similar, but it’s actually edible! It can grow pretty tall which can make for a great garden design when planned out.

Mint

I love the fact that so many of these mosquito repellent plants can be put into recipes. And with that note, feel free to grow some mint, put it in some ice tea, and relax on your back porch. Because you know… if you’re growing mint outside, no mosquitoes are going to be bothering you as you chill.

Basil

Now I like this one since it repels mosquitoes and houseflies. Feel free to grow it in a pot inside as well so you can break a few sprigs off every once in awhile for cooking.

Catnip

Catnip contains a strong repellent called nepetalactone, and that makes it a lot stronger than other types of mosquito repellent. So definitely try this one out in your yard.

Petunias

Repelling many different types of bugs, you won’t have any trouble with mosquitoes all summer long if this one’s in your yard and house. Not to mention they’re beautiful, so they make a great centerpiece.

Want a More Colorful, Natural Garden? Try a Perennial Meadow

Perennial plants have been a favorite in gardens since the first days of the cottage garden, when the benefits of plants that were long lived, easily propagated and generally hardy due to their ability to survive winters by dying back to the ground were of importance to gardeners with little money to spend on gardening.

As our gardens evolved, so did our use of perennials. When I was a horticulture student in the 1960s, the traditional herbaceous border featured large in our garden design lectures. Today, no doubt, students learn more about the naturalistic prairie style of planting perennials, championed by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf and landscape architecture firm Oehme van Sweden. And now there is a third generation of perennial planting, best known by some garden designers — including Michael King, writer and perennials expert — as the “perennial meadow,” which uses the best parts of both the previous formats.

VINEGAR IS GARDENER’S BESTFRIEND?

You need to stop using chemical pesticides and plant foods if you want to keep an organic garden and start using vinegar instead.  It is a natural way to destroy weeds, and support the life of your fruits, vegetables, and plants. These are 10 ways to use apple cider and white vinegar in your garden: …

You need to stop using chemical pesticides and plant foods if you want to keep an organic garden and start using vinegar instead.  It is a natural way to destroy weeds, and support the life of your fruits, vegetables, and plants.

These are 10 ways to use apple cider and white vinegar in your garden:

Get Rid of Weeds

Pour some apple cider vinegar onto the unwanted garden growth to destroy them, but keep the soil healthy.

Keep Flowers Fresh

Add a teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of water prior to adding the flowers to keep the freshly cut flowers fresh.

Remove  Slugs and Snails

Spray the flowers with some undiluted vinegar to destroy slugs and snails and keep them at bay.

Food for Acidic Loving Plants

Some plants like holly, begonias, gardenias, azaleas, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas, grow better in acidic soil, so you should add a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water and spray them.

To remove the debris and soothe the itchiness after working in the garden, you can wash the hands with some distilled vinegar.

Kill Ants

Mix vinegar with water in ratio 1:1 and pray the ant hills with the solution to destroy them.

Wash the Garden Tools

Soak the garden tools in vinegar overnight to eliminate the rust and grime, and rinse off with water. You can also tie a plastic bag with vinegar over a water spigot to keep it submerged.

Keep Cats Away

Pour some distilled vinegar into the sand and soil to keep cats away from the places in the garden they use as a toilet.

Keep Rabbits at Bay

If rabbits are common guests in your garden, in order to keep them away, you should soak cotton balls in distilled vinegar and place them in a 35mm film container, poke several holes on its top, and keep it in the garden.

Clean Out the Birdbath

Scrub the birdbath with a mixture of undiluted water and white vinegar, and wash off with water.

Spring Clean-up

spring-cleaning

Now spring is here, many people will be looking to cleanse their home with a nice spring clean. However, why just stick to cleaning inside the home? Over the last few months, your garden will have faced some horrendous weather and it may be looking a little worse for wear, which is why it may also need a little TLC and a spring clean.

Your grass will have taken the brunt of the weather so you may want to consider installing artificial grass, but it won’t just be the grass you will need to check the condition of, you should also give any flowers and trees a once-over, too. If you’re not sure where to start these tips should help you with your garden spring clean.

Have a Clear Up

In the last few months, we have seen high winds, snow, rain and not a lot of sun. Because of the wind, you may find that rubbish and other debris has been blown into your garden. So the first thing you will need to do is to remove this. It won’t take long and when all the twigs, leaves and other rubbish is gone you will be able to see the garden more clearly, enabling you to decide what needs doing.

Installing Artificial Grass

With the various weather changes, there will be nothing in your garden worse hit than the grass. It will have taken the full brunt of the cold weather and with that, it may not be looking its best. Of course, you can fix this and let it grow but you will be back in the same position this time next year.

To avoid this never-ending cycle, you may want to consider investing in artificial grass. It’s low maintenance, pet and child-friendly and when winter comes and goes, your grass will still be a lusciously green colour.

Replant Flowers and Trees4

However, it’s not just the grass that will have been affected of the last few months. Your plants and trees may also be looking a little sad. You can try to recover them but they may need replanting in a different area of the garden, especially if they aren’t getting enough light.

If they look too bad and beyond repair, it might be best to plant some new flowers and trees. Of course, it will take time for them to grow, but it will be worth it in the end and, alongside your new grass, they will look stunning.

Recoat Any Garden Furniture

This will apply to anyone that didn’t place any garden furniture in storage during the winter. As we all know, the elements can be cruel and any furniture left outside will bear the marks from the bitter cold. It could be some rust on the BBQ or peeling paint on any wooden furniture, either way, these are both things that can be fixed, that is if it’s not too bad.

You can re-paint any of the furniture and treat any rust on your BBQ so that it’s all ready for the coming summer months. But you must remember that if you’ve invested in artificial grass, the BBQ cannot sit on top of it as it will damage the grass.

Now you know exactly what to do, all that’s left is to go and spring clean your garden. Remember your garden is open to the elements so don’t be too surprised if there’s damage. Try and avoid being in the same position next year by opting for artificial grass and covering any garden furniture and plants. Don’t waste your springtime cleaning next year, spend it enjoying your garden.

HOW TO CLEAN SYNTHETIC GRASS

Choosing to convert a natural grass lawn to artificial turf is a wise idea in areas where drought conditions can restrict water usage. The first thing a homeowner needs to do is learn how to clean artificial grass and what tools they will need. Unlike natural grass that needs regular maintenance, artificial turf requires very little in comparison. It’s affordable too!

Remove Large Pieces of Debris Daily

No matter what type of lawn a person has, there will always be fallout from nearby trees and bushes. It is important to remove any large pieces of debris so that they don’t damage the mesh fabric of the turf. Check the lawn after a good storm or a strong wind. Sometimes debris is carried into the lawn from neighboring foliage. This is normally a good chore for the kids who want to help around the house. It will keep them occupied and they can earn their allowance in a short period of time.

Lawn Blowers and Vacuums

Lawn blowers and vacuums can be used on smaller lawns on a low setting. Both can be used effectively as long as they are on a lower setting and won’t disturb the infill used to support the blades of grass. Sand and sand mix infills are lighter than pea gravel or crumb rubber and may shift or be sucked up into the vacuum if too much force is used. When you begin to clean the lawn, test a few areas to determine whether or not the infill is solid enough for the amount of force you need to use.

Lawn Rakes

Lawn rakes w/baggers that attach to riding lawn mowers are ideal for larger lawns. They will easily remove leaves and other types of small debris and not disrupt the infill that holds the turf in place. The soft brushes of the rake will also fluff the blades and pull debris that may be embedded deep into the turf. Smaller lawn rakes can be used manually but may not have the same effect and will have to be emptied more often than the larger versions.

 

A stiff-tined, handheld rake will also be needed. This will be used to rake through the infill to prevent it from becoming compacted and hard. Raking the infill will also allow air to permeate through and dry it out. It will help to aerate the infill and prevent odors from building up. Stirring up the infill will also straighten the blades of grass and keep them from becoming matted to the ground.

Lawn Brushes and Brooms

Lawn brushes and brooms are great for small lawns. These work well for small lawns and are stiff enough to fluff the infill as well as remove small pieces of debris from the blades of artificial grass.

Rinse Regularly

Rinsing the lawn once a month is recommended to knock down dust and eliminate any pet residue that may be present. If a homeowner has pets who are frequently let outside to use the restroom, landscapers often recommend rinsing the lawn in those areas at least once a week. This will dilute any remaining urine or feces and rinse away any residue that may be left behind to cause odors.

 

Cleaning an artificial grass lawn is easy and much simpler than worrying about all of the needs of natural grass. It requires minimal care and will look its best without putting in hours of effort. Artificial turf saves both money and time as well as helping the homeowner do their part to conserve water.

Why Synthetic Grass & Not Natural Grass

Proven Results:
Synthetic grass has many advantages over its natural grass cousin. Some benefits of artificial/synthetic turf grass are obvious but others are not, and we at No Worries Turf, Learned this advanteges after hearing feedback from our over 5,500 satisfied customers.

By installing No Worries Turf you will be able to enjoy the following Benefits:

Water Conservation & Money Saving- No Worries!
Because No Worries Turf does not require watering, except to clean it occasionally, you can feel great knowing that you are saving precious water. No Worries Turf lawns can save you 50% to 70% of your total residential water usage. No Worries Turf significantly reduces your water bill and will do so for decades to come. An artificially landscaped yard will pay for itself rapidly in water and maintenance cost savings alone.

Pet Friendly-No Worries!
No Worries turf lawns are great for pets, especially dogs. It seems impossible to have a dog and simultaneously maintain a beautiful lawn, but synthetic turf grass is the answer. Dogs and their masters love artificial lawns because they are clean, low maintenance, and always green and lush. Dead spots in your natural grass/sod are a thing of the past. No Worries Turf will enhance your home’s appeal with a beautifully manicured year-round lawn. Dog droppings and urine with minimal but proper maintenance will not stain or discolor the grass.

Enjoyment Benefits- No Worries!
Synthetic Grass Yards add usable square footage to Australian homes. We hear over and over from our customers that they use their lawns more, where before it was almost an off-limits area. Lawns that were previously a dry, dusty wasteland or an overwatered muddy/dirty area are now pristine manicured grass which is always available to be enjoyed. You will find, as most artificial grass owners do, that this product will improve your life in more ways than you think.

Low Maintenance- No Worries!
Homeowners, councils, and property management companies spend large amounts of money on water, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, mowing and general labor to keep their natural grass in good condition. No Worries Turf, however, requires none of these costly items.
No Worries Turf lawns eliminate many mundane chores related to natural grass. Chores such as pulling weeds, seeding, thatching and aerating are a thing of the past. Spend the most precious resource you have (TIME) doing something other than maintaining your lawn.

Environmentally Friendly- No Worries!
No Worries Turf requires no chemicals or pesticides for maintenance and provides a safe, healthy environment for families and the public.

Visual Appeal – No Worries!
No Worries Turf remains green, lush and soft regardless of climate changes, temperature or other environmental conditions, making it a logical and viable alternative for both home and business use.

Increase Value of Your Property- No Worries!
No Worries Turf, once installed will dramatically change the look of your property and instantly increase its value. Great and practical solution if you are planning to sell your property. Let’s face it, a picture says a thousand words.

How does a 100% to 200% return on investment (R.O.I) sound to you? Too good to be true? Not according to a Money Magazine story on home renovations or Penn State University, Department of Landscape Architecture. They both agree that a well-done landscaping home improvement offers the best return on investment of any home improvement you can make; and that you will get a 100% to 200% return on your investment when applied to a home’s resale value.

This far surpasses the R.O.I. you could hope to gain from a kitchen remodel, bath remodel, swimming pool, or any other home improvement. Yet homeowners rarely think of landscaping first when remodeling in hopes of commanding a higher home price. Even if you aren’t planning to move, it’s nice to know you are adding real value to your home by installing No Worries Turf artificial grass. Not to mention the savings from water usage and costs of maintaining natural grass. And it looks great!

No Worries Turf synthetic grass harmonizes well with surrounding foliage. Our products are very realistic and complement nature, which gives your home great curb appeal.

A real estate appraiser or agent would tell you that landscaping contributes to a home in two ways. First, it simply adds to the total value of the property, and Second is the aesthetic and emotional role landscaping plays when trying to sell a house.

It’s tough to measure how powerful a value-oriented landscape could be in the selling process. For a prospective buyer, it is very hard to separate the house and the landscaping. For two houses equal in all other respects, the one with the better curbside appeal will sell faster. Though it’s difficult to define what makes a landscape pleasing, it’s obvious to everyone when something’s not.

An ugly lawn speaks of the type of owner and how the entire house is cared for. A beautiful lawn can increase the perceived square footage of a home because this is seen as a really useable area.

The Benefits Of Synthetic Grass Lawns

Maintaining your lawn requires a lot of time and money. The constant trimming and watering that it takes to maintain a perfect lawn hardly seem worth it to most people. So why bother, when you can have a lawn that always looks perfect, never grows, and doesn’t need to be watered? These are the benefits of synthetic grass. You can have all the advantages of real grass without the hassles.

Imagine all the time and money you could save if you didn’t have to water your lawn. You could conserve a lot of water if you didn’t have to worry about your grass drying out. Synthetic grass stays green in any weather. It will never turn dry and yellow, and it will always look beautiful.

Artificial grass also doesn’t require mowing since it never grows. If you don’t enjoy mowing your lawn every week with a push mower or gas-powered mower, consider buying grass that doesn’t need to be mowed. You won’t have to worry about complaints from the neighbors when your lawn grows out of control. This is especially helpful for homeowners with limited mobility. No longer will you have to pay someone to mow your lawn. Synthetic turf will always be the right length.

You might be wondering: Doesn’t artificial grass look and feel fake? This is probably why some people think the synthetic grass is not a good investment. But a high-quality artificial grass actually looks and feels like real grass. That is one of the benefits of synthetic grass. It is also much more durable and will last many years. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference between your new synthetic grass lawn and the real thing.

Artificial lawns serve the same purposes that real ones serve. Most people only have lawns because they come with the house. Maintaining their lawn is what the community expects. The lawn also provides a place for kids to play; it’s much softer than concrete and gravel. Artificial grass is just as good for this. Because it looks real, doesn’t need watering, and never grows, it will always be in perfect condition. And it feels like normal grass, so it’s perfectly safe to play on.

You might be wondering what exactly artificial grass is made of. Well, it is made of synthetic fibers designed to imitate the appearance of grass. This was first used in sports stadiums, where real grass often cannot get all the sunlight it needs and is very difficult to maintain.

People who are familiar with the older types of synthetic turf think that all artificial grass is stiff and abrasive. Latest types are actually much softer and feel more like the genuine article. Polyethylene yarn makes this possible. Now that people have begun using artificial turf for residential lawns, the application of this new technology is more important than ever. Homeowners demand a high-quality synthetic grass that won’t feel fake.

You don’t have to spend a lot of your time or any money on lawn maintenance. The benefits of synthetic grass make it much more convenient and affordable than an ordinary lawn. In short time, it pays for itself because you save money not having to mow or water your synthetic lawn.