Preparing Your Garden for Winter: How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing Your Garden for Winter: How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing Your Garden for Winter, How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing garden for winter is important if you don’t want to have Herculean gardening tasks when spring comes. After abundant activities your garden has been through from summer, there will be so much left to do to tidy up.

This article covers all the necessary gardening steps before winter sets in. The steps are simple so you don’t have to be a professional gardener to follow.

Materials
Garden rake
Mulch
Compost
Cover crops
Garden oil
Pruner

How to Prepare Your Garden for The Winter
#1 Clean up your Garden

Via https://pixabay.com/en/raking-fall-autumn-rake-leaf-2756006/

Uproot all dead and dried plants. Leaving the dead plants will harbor disease-causing organisms. Slugs and snails will feast on a dead organic matter; they will damage your seedlings when they proliferate.
Remove all weeds. The weeds have the ability to seed rapidly during winter. When spring comes, you’ll be surprised with a hundred weeds if you don’t remove them now.
Rake all the scattered leaves and store it. These leaves can be used for mulch or compost. You won’t have a supply of dried leaves in winter so take advantage of the fallen leaves.
Do not add diseased leaves and plants to your compost because they will spread the diseases to the soil and to other plants. Let them be collected by the municipal garbage collector or you can burn them.
Do not remove all plants. Leave a few to provide shelter and food for overwintering birds and beneficial insects. Plants with large flowers like purple coneflowers, sunflowers, and zinnias are ideal for butterflies and bees. Echinacea and Rudbeckia are great for bird food.

#2. Protect garden beds using cover crops
When you leave your soil bare during winter, you are endangering it from erosion and loss of nutrients. You can protect the soil by planting cover crops.
Planting cover crops before winter will improve soil fertility. It will also protect your garden from cool-season weeds and prevent soil erosion. All of these will ensure that you have the best seedbed when spring comes.
Examples of cover crops that survive the winter are winter wheat, hairy vetch, crimson clover, and winter rye. For northern states, winter rye and hairy vetch are ideal.

#3. Repair greenhouses
It is important to repair greenhouses and other structures in your garden before winter sets in. If you fail to fix problems before it snows, it will become worse.
Replace any broken parts. Check that hinges are working well. Pour oil on all moving metal parts.

#4. Add compost and mulch
Remove the old mulch from your garden beds. After the beds are clean, add 1-2 inches of compost. Then top it up with a thin layer of mulch.
The mulch will prevent weeds from growing. It will also disintegrate throughout the winter to add nutrients to your soil so they’re ready for planting when spring comes.

#5. Prune perennials
Perennials like Bearded Iris, Blackberry Lily, and Columbine are best pruned before winter so that new leaves can sprout out better after the cold season. These plants don’t handle snow well. They’ll thrive better without their leaves during winter.

#6. Clean and oil your tools
Your tools have done hard work during summer. Before storing them, it is important to clean and oil them so they’ll be ready for garden work when winter is over.
Never store your tools wet. This will cause the tools to rust and will lessen the life of your tools. Wash the tools to remove soil and other debris then thoroughly wipe them dry.
Even when they’re clean, metal tools are still prone to rust. To protect your tools from rust, wipe them with oil using a cloth. Apply a thin coating of oil on all the metal surfaces of your tools.

#7. Wrap Up
Fall is not a time to relax from your garden work. Though the labor is not as tedious during summer, you still have to do them to ensure that your garden is in its best condition for the next planting season.
Preparing your garden for winter is all about cleaning up but leaving necessary plants for beneficial insects to survive. Protective measures for your soil, gardening equipment, and tools are also important to settle before winter.

Did you find this tutorial useful? Let me know what you think in the comment section.

 

 

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Make Your Baby Dreams Reality After Infertility

Make Your Baby Dreams Reality After Infertility

Make Your Baby Dreams Reality After Infertility

 

Creating a family is a joyous experience and a life goal for many people. In the modern world, we are fortunate to have many possibilities to make this dream a reality. While some people are able to conceive in a traditional manner, others – such as women unable to conceive naturally, LGBTQ families, and single parents – may seek alternative methods of procreation.

One such method is in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor eggs, where a young and fertile woman donates her eggs for others to use. Some people choose to use a fresh donor, such as a friend or family member, while others acquire frozen donor eggs through an agency like Donor Egg Bank USA – A California Cryobank Company. If you are curious to find out if donor egg IVF is right for you, further exploration at donoreggbankusa.com can help you choose with confidence.

There are many options for creating a family when struggling with infertility, including adoption and surrogacy – however, prospective parents are increasingly electing to bring children into the world via IVF. Donor egg IVF constitutes twelve percent of all IVF cycles in the United States of America. Moreover, the donor egg IVF process has the highest rate of success of all fertility treatments; in fact, top clinics in America report success rates of more than 75%.

Beginning the Journey

Embarking on the IVF journey means parents must be physically and emotionally ready for an often-challenging process. It can be daunting but, for many, proves to be pricelessly rewarding and valuable.

The process begins with parents making the momentous decision to move forward with donor egg IVF. Often, this choice is presented after one of the toughest conversations in their lives; finding out they cannot conceive in a traditional manner. Doctors make sure to guide hopeful parents through the process, ensuring both parents and the egg donor are in peak physical health. Tests can include a cervical culture, a hysteroscopy and a hysterosalpingogram, or a saline sonogram to assess uterine health. Additionally, male counterparts or sperm donors undergo testing to make sure their sperm is healthy and viable. Healthcare professionals at fertility clinics also ensure everyone involved is emotionally and psychologically ready for the journey.

The process may be slightly different depending on whether prospective parents hope to use fresh donor egg or frozen donor egg; however, each method has its benefits and can help fertility clinic patients achieve their baby dreams after infertility.

Choosing a Frozen Egg Donor

Both processes begin with medical assessments. For those who choose frozen donor egg, a mock cycle may begin once assessment is completed. This is an optional step, but allows doctors to assess if the recipient’s body is prepared to carry a pregnancy. After successful endometrial lining development is observed, the chosen eggs are thawed and then fertilized with the partner’s or a donor’s sperm. After 3 – 6 days of development, one or two embryos are implanted. A pregnancy test is required two weeks later to confirm successful treatment. While this process can be a little nerve-wracking, it’s also incredibly exciting for the parent(s)-to-be.

Choosing a Fresh Egg Donor

For those who elect to use fresh donor egg, they may choose their egg donor from a local database or ask someone they know to donate her eggs. Legal paperwork is involved to ensure the donor consents to the donation of her eggs and the recipients are the rightful parents. The donor is tested for infectious diseases and assessed by doctors, social workers, and psychologists (with frozen egg donation, the process is quicker because these steps are already completed.) The recipient’s menstrual cycle also must be synchronized with that of the donor to ensure the recipient’s uterus is ready to receive the embryos at the same time the eggs are retrieved.

Once the eggs are ready, the donor triggers ovulation using an injection of the pregnancy hormone hCG. After 38 hours, the eggs are surgically retrieved. The eggs are then fertilized with the sperm in vitro and finally implanted into the prospective new mother after 3 to 6 days. Both donor and recipient are monitored for several days to ensure full health. After two weeks, the recipient returns for a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy.

Priceless Relief and Reward

After confirmation, hopeful parents continue their pregnancy just as they would for a pregnancy conceived naturally. After a long and arduous path through the IVF process, this gives parents much-needed hope and respite. Though the donor egg IVF process is difficult, successful recipients are overjoyed with the outcome – their very own bouncing bundle of joy.

 

 

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7 Reasons We Should Switch To An Organic Mattress

7 Reasons We Should Switch To An Organic Mattress

When it comes to health benefits and comfort, organic mattresses and traditional mattresses are as different as lilies and thorns. Organic mattresses are gaining popularity over traditional mattresses as they offer both, the health and environmental conservation benefits. Why should we switch to organic mattress? Here is why:

Just like organic foods, organic mattresses are natural and healthy
If you have been conscious of your health and well-being, you probably could be ordering organic foods in the groceries store; organic mattresses are their equivalent when it comes to sleeping options. When it comes to the manufacture of mattresses, makers of organic mattresses avoid adding chemicals and other potentially harmful synthetic materials onto the mattresses. Instead, the mattresses are made of organic wool and organic latex among other organic materials. The exact way organic fruits are free from pesticide and fertilizer residues, organic mattresses don’t have chemicals that are often found in traditional mattresses. For instance, organic wool and organic cotton are the two commonly used padding materials in organic mattresses which have a natural source. These raw materials are also mechanically processed, thus eliminating the need to use toxic substances that may be detrimental to the human health. As a result, therefore, you will be more protected from respiratory diseases, skin irritation and neurological diseases which are often associated with the chemicals used in the manufacture of traditional mattresses.
It is also important to note that some organic mattress brands do use materials that are not entirely organic but are more natural than those found in traditional mattresses.

Flammability factor and toxic materials
All mattresses manufactured or entering the United States are required to pass flammability tests before being sold out to consumers. Mattress makers employ different mechanisms of passing the tests. One ingenious way traditional mattress makers use to pass the test is to add fire retardants such as brominated stuffing, antimony, boric acid and chlorinated foams which are all toxic and can cause reactions to some people. Besides, such fire retardants have been found to be leading causes of kidney problems, neurological diseases, and respiratory complications.
Organic mattresses have a better way of passing fire tests. Instead of adding toxic fire retardants, makers of these mattresses use wool layers, Kevlar and inert fiberglass among other non-toxic materials that help the mattress pass the fire tests. As a result, organic mattresses are not only good for your health but also help keep the environment clean.

Organic mattresses support sustainable manufacturing and farming
Every time you purchase an organic mattress, bear in mind that you are supporting sustainable production processes. It starts with the farmer. Cotton and latex rubber growers strive not to use pesticides and fertilizers that might add unwanted toxic elements in the final harvest. The organic mattress manufacturers use the harvested cotton and rubber to make healthy and environmental friendly mattresses. This is a great way of encouraging sustainable production, healthy lifestyles, and a lively planet.

Less overheating and Sweating
One pressing problem with traditional memory foam mattresses is that they tend to trap body moisture. This is why you often feel hot, sweaty and sticky while using your traditional mattress for sleep. The blame is shared equally on the coverings and material used to make the mattress. For instance, plenty of traditional mattresses have plastic polyesters and other synthetic foams incorporated into them. These materials aren’t porous enough to help circulate air. As a result, your skin’s pores would have nowhere to breathe and release the sweat. That’s why sleeping on a traditional mattress could make you feel like as though you’re roasting or you are in a sauna right on your bed!
Organic mattresses are less of a problem when it comes to temperature regulations. The cotton used in organic mattresses is great for your skin pores and helps keep you cool. Horsehair and wool are often mixed with cotton to act as natural wicking fibers. Lying on an organic mattress at night, therefore, keeps your body at the right temperature, humidity and circulates air to keep you comfortable.

Organic mattresses last longer and save you money
Frankly, organic mattresses are a little expensive compared to traditional mattresses. But they are a great investment whose returns can be felt for a long time. Organic mattresses have a longer warranty, retain support and feel good for a longer time compared to traditional mattresses. Over the lifespan of a typical organic mattress, you can buy and replace several other traditional mattresses. In these days of cost-cutting and saving every penny at any slightest opportunity you get, buying an organic mattress is the best thing that can ever cross your mind.

Organic mattresses guarantee a worry-less sleep and comfortable rest
Imagine lying on a mattress that isn’t pumping carcinogenic vapors into your lungs. Lying on organic mattresses removes the health worries that are brought about with traditional mattresses. Worry can affect the quality of sleep you can get. The safety of organic mattress, therefore, gives you fewer things to worry about and makes you sleep longer.

More importantly, they are denser
The density of a mattress has a profound impact on its durability and comfort. A typical organic mattress with just 5.4 pounds in density can last between 40 and 50 years. A traditional mattress of similar density will last far less than that and won’t have such texture for comfort.

Would You Give Your Kid CBD Oil?

Would You Give Your Kid CBD Oil?

Image Credit: Pixabay

Would You Give Your Kid CBD Oil?

Many people feel worried about how much attention that hemp oil has been getting in the realm of medicine. But, the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of reasons why many parents are actually fighting for their children to be able to utilize CBD (hemp) oil as a part of their treatment plans. Why would parents want to give their kids CBD oil?

Here are a few of the reasons that this has started to get a lot of attention recently.

Helps to keep seizures under control.There are many children who end up having severe seizures. They may end up having them many times a day, which can be painful and traumatic for everyone that is involved. That being said, American Hemp Oil actually plays a really big role in helping children and adults alike be able to deal with their seizures in a healthy way. For many children, it can be a lifeline to a “normal” life with fewer seizures.

Reduces anxiety and panic attacks.There has always been a lot of talk about how much hemp oil helps children and adults with anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are becoming more prominent in our society and, as a result, there are more children that are getting diagnoses at a younger age. Hemp oil helps the brain to calm down to a point where children can work through their thoughts and feelings associated with anxiety and panic attacks.

Helps to prevent involuntary spasms, including self-injury and the like, in autistic children.Many autistic children have some sort of involuntary spasm or muscle twitch that can be difficult to try and deal with. Hemp oil actually helps the nervous system to relax and, as a result, you will find that it is that much easier to help keep the self-injury and such under control.

Helps to reduce ADHD symptoms. ADHD can be a real struggle for many different children of all ages. Because of that, there are a lot of different treatments out there. If you have been looking for a natural way to deal with your child’s ADHD symptoms, hemp oil can help your child to focus better without using Adderall or something similar in order to get that effect. That means that you’re giving your child something natural and not addictive.

All in all, there is a lot of research that is related to the world of Hemp Oil. There are so many different types of medicine out there that it can be anxiety-inducing to figure out what your child is going to be able to take and what they may not be able to take. Something that is entirely natural and that has been proven to be safe is very helpful for you and what you want to be able to do to help your kids. Talking to a doctor about your options in this regard could be a great way to help your kids get the help that they need and deserve.

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 4 Year-Round Common Allergens and How to Combat Them

 4 Year-Round Common Allergens and How to Combat Them

Indoor allergens can cause problems for your family year-round. Chronic sinus inflammation, skin issues, or even behavioral problems can often be attributed to allergies, and the symptoms can interfere with the quality of your sleep and your daily life. If you want to control your symptoms without the side effects of medication, you’ll need to eliminate the source of the problem. Here are the most likely culprits and some tips for combatting them.

Dust and Dust Mites

 

 

Image via Flickr by tinafranklindg
One of the most common, and often overlooked, sources of allergy symptoms is probably collecting around your baseboards and on top of your window frames. Dust is made up of minuscule bits of plants, dirt, fibers, insects, skin, and other matter, any one of which could be triggering your allergies. Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in dust, and their droppings are the most common source of asthma and allergy symptoms. They love dead human skin flakes and humidity and tend to settle in your bedding and rugs. 
The biggest step to combat dust in your home is encasing your mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers. Keep dust down by washing your bedding regularly and vacuuming rugs thoroughly with a HEPA vacuum. Have your ducts professionally cleaned to remove any dust mite nests lurking there, treat your drapes and upholstery with a dust mite treatment, and install a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture content in your indoor air. 

Pet Dander
Contrary to popular belief, pet dander is not animal hair, but a protein that comes from the pet’s saliva. It’s a sticky substance that coats the hair and can also cling to people’s clothing and shoes, so dander is often present even in homes without pets.
If you are allergic to your best friend, there are some ways to minimize your suffering. Keep pets out of your bedroom and restrict them to rooms without carpeting if possible. Bathe your pets often and wash your hands after touching them. If you can’t keep your animals off your upholstered furniture, at least give them towels to lie on and wash those frequently. 

Mold
Preventing mold is mostly a matter of controlling moisture in your home. Repair leaks promptly, waterproof your basement if necessary, and keep your gutters in good repair. Fix any ventilation issues that cause moisture to collect in your bathrooms or kitchen. Encourage airflow throughout your home by opening doors and installing ceiling fans as needed. If your home is prone to mold or mildew issues, a dehumidifier would be a good investment. 

Cockroaches
Like dust mites, the real problem with cockroaches is the droppings, which contain a protein that is a common allergen. If you choose not to use chemicals to control cockroaches, you can discourage them by sealing up cracks in walls, cabinets, doors, and cupboards. Take your trash out often and keep the kitchen floor clean of crumbs and spills that might feed them. 
Controlling allergens in your home can feel daunting at first, but once you’ve tackled a few initial tasks, the maintenance work will be fairly simple. 

3 Easy DIY Kitchen Projects

3 Easy DIY Kitchen Projects

The kitchen is the heart of the home. For most people, this is a universal gathering place where friends and family come together several times a day. A space that’s both functional and welcoming will draw everyone in and give them a warm place to eat, work, socialize, and share. The right DIY projects can transform your standard kitchen into something really special. Consider these intriguing options.

Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash

Image via Flickr by B*2
Updating your backsplash will instantly add color and interest to your kitchen. Thanks to handy peel and stick tiles, you can add a DIY backsplash with minimal time and effort. Just measure your space and cut the peel and stick tiles to fit. Remove the backing and lay the tiles gently against the wall. Don’t press until you’re sure of the placement, as these forgivable tiles allow you to remove and reposition them twice if needed.
Once your tiles are firmly in place, finish the project by squeezing grout on a float and applying it to the backsplash in a diagonal motion. Push grout into the joints, moving first in one direction then in the opposite diagonal. Wipe the area down with a sponge and you’re finished!

Rolling Bar Cart
Homeowners who love to entertain will adore the idea of a handy rolling bar cart. You can build a bar cart to your personal specifications using lengths of lumber for vertical supports and laminated pine panels for shelves. Easily customizable, you can build your cart to fit in any nook or corner, no matter the size.
A slatted shelf will create grooves that nestle wine bottles. Hardware like hooks, glass holders, and cabinet pulls will help you store everything from wine glasses to dish towels. Rolling casters on the bottom make the cart a movable fixture so you can take the party to the porch, living room, or elsewhere in the house.

Bright and Cheerful Shelving
Shelving is a functional necessity in your kitchen, but it can also make a bold statement about your style. Put your dinnerware on display by replacing solid cabinet doors with glass paneled ones, or removing the doors altogether. Brighten up your shelves by applying wallpaper to the back or the cabinet, painting the interior, or sticking patterned washi tape to the front of the shelves, or any combination of the three.
You can make the items inside your bright cabinet a bit more eye-catching as well. Use porcelain paint to turn mugs and dishes into works of art. Use chalkboard paint or a chalkboard label on snack and spice jars for a charming touch that also boosts your organization. Your everyday items can become a cheerful and homey display with these easy tricks.

The kitchen has a natural allure that draws people in to this gathering place. Whether it’s the promise of good company or the warm spicy smell of a mouth-watering dinner that draws you in, it’s almost impossible to resist the pull. Give your kitchen a fun, festive atmosphere in any season with these attractive updates.