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8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

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8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

Have you been admiring your neighbors foliage and landscaping talents for years? Maybe you’re lacking the green thumb or your budget for a bountiful garden is limited. If you begin to plan and prepare now, you will have the best garden on the block this spring and into the summer. These tips are easy ways to spruce up your exterior view whether you’re into rustic or manicured.

1. Fresh Sod for the Spring

The foundation to a beautiful yard is healthy, green grass. If you really want to impress the neighbors, consider laying down sod this spring. Home and Garden suggests that sod should be laid in the Spring or early Autumn. Cooler temperatures with some rainy days help sod to root much more quickly. You can prepare the area for the sod yourself or get professionals to do it to ensure you get a healthy, thriving lawn.

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2. Preparation in Winter

You can begin pruning the hardy hedges if you have them as well as winter shrubs that have stopped flowering. If you’re planning to grow vegetables, you can prepare the bed if the ground isn’t frozen.

3. Map Out Your Garden

If the weather outside is still bitterly cold, stay inside, and create a diagram on the computer or by hand to determine how you want your garden to look. Think about where the sun hits on your yard and choose which sun-loving plants you want. You can also create a spot for your shade-loving plants. If you want your shade lovers to be in a sunny spot in your yard, you can conceptualize a creative way to block the sun. This is a great indoor project that will get your geared for the upcoming gardening season.

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4. Order Summer Flowers and Seeds

Let the creative part of you flow as you choose what summer-flowering bulbs you will want for your garden. Lilies and Gladiolus can be planted in early spring, giving your garden color. Looking through gardening catalogs can help to inspire you when it comes to how you want your garden to look. Based on your map of how you want your yard to look, you can order now to get them in time for spring planting.

5. Prepare Your Soil

Good soil is the lifeblood to any thriving garden and preparing it in the winter months is the best practice. Creatures that assist in the ecosystem of your garden by converting dead material into that of organic matters. Earthworms, centipedes and fungi assist in making your top soil perfect for growing. Your top soil should be about 12 inches deep but this depends largely on whether soil has been well cultivated. One of the best methods to improve your soil is to cultivate deeply as it open soil up for air and water. Dig 6-12 inches in the winter months and add organic matter such as seaweed or leaves.

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6. Sow Slower Seeds Now

The garden experts recommend you begin sowing seeds that need a longer growing season in the months of January and February. Now is the time to sow your Geraniums, Begonias, Peppers and Aubergines. They will need to be grown under a heated propagator or something that promotes growth.

7. Collect Rain Water

If you’re in an area where it rains a lot, collect this natural water while you can. Rain water is best for many plants such as Camellias, Blueberries and Rhododendrons. A lot of tap water is slightly alkaline which plants may be sensitive to. You can have a water barrel or install water butts that are right under your downpipe in order to catch as much rain as possible.

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8. Garden Decor

Garden decor can really spruce up your yard appeal and it takes no effort. Create a theme that matches with the flowers you have decided to go with. Even little pockets of themes are a fun way to bring your yard to life. For instance, if you plant tulips, you can put a garden windmill in the same area. Voila! You now have a mini Dutch garden. Decks and law furniture give a welcoming area for visitors that come for a BBQ or just to admire your yard. The good news, lawn ornaments and furniture aren’t so pricey so you can achieve a great looking yard for very little money.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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