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Eating and Living Healthy by Choosing a Plant-Based Diet Plan

More and more people are thinking of going for a plant-based diet plan now that their health has become something that they consider of utmost importance. Indeed, rather than choosing a diet rich in junk food, saturated meat products, and highly processed foods, a plant-based diet is a healthier alternative. If you are going for a plant-based diet plan, you often spend more of your time looking for vegetables and fruits grown organically and being in the produce section found in your local grocery stores. In addition, this diet plan might require you to spend more of your money just to meet your plant-based diet needs.

Fortunately, there is now a way for you to meet your plant-based diet needs, and that is by growing your own vegetables and fruits in your own home garden. If you live in an apartment, you may start your own garden by growing plants in containers and placing them under direct sunlight in your windows. On the other hand, if you have some plot of land available in your property that you can turn into your own home garden, you can be ambitious and grow it with healthy vegetables and fruits. With your own small garden, it is very much possible for you to grow almost every plant of your choosing throughout the spring, fall, and summer seasons without worrying about running out of supply.

If you are going to be starting a plant-based diet, you can begin to grow vegetables in your own home garden. You may start to grow tomatoes in your own home garden as they can grow well both in containers as well as in the good soil of your own backyard. They can easily grow and ripen all throughout the season making them a perfect ingredient for your salads, sandwiches, fresh sauces, snacks, and juices.

For both your backyard garden or your container garden, you can also grow your own beans and peas. They are a good supply of phytonutrients where you can get maximum benefit from them if you pick them and consume them as soon as you can. This is because these food sources have maximum amounts of antioxidants and healthy phytonutrients when you consume them shortly after you have picked them.

Other options for your home garden include carrots, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and greens like kale. These plant options ensure to provide you super fresh and healthy produce all throughout the summer months until the fall months.

If you are going to be growing your own backyard home garden, you have to figure out whether or not you will be growing organic foods. If you choose between the two, you are better off going for organic gardening because this helps to produce fruits and vegetables for you that are free from pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. In a nutshell, you will not be getting any harmful chemicals from the food that you are growing and will be picking to eat them. You can even pick them and eat them straight from your garden without having to wash them considerably.

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The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes in Your Own Garden

If you are planning to grow your own garden but are not sure what vegetables or fruits you should be growing, then you should go for fresh and juicy tomatoes. Growing your own tomatoes is not that difficult as long as you know what you are doing and have taken the proper precautions. Not having adequate knowledge about how you can properly grow your own tomatoes will lead you to waste the money, time, and effort you have invested in them only to find out that your plants have been consumed by pests or are dying because of certain diseases.

Fortunately for you, there are some ways in which the common issues of growing tomato plants can be prevented, and one of which is by implementing good gardening practices. Here is a complete guide to growing healthier and bigger tomatoes that will help you yield good results and prevent you from spending on corrective measures such as the use of sprays.

One of the first steps to growing healthy tomatoes is to plan your garden before the beginning of the growing season. Make sure to find a well-drained site that gets adequate sun exposure for your tomato plants. If possible, utilize raised beds as they help promote proper drainage. To prevent your plants from getting soil-borne diseases, make a three-year rotation schedule for your tomatoes and ensure to rotate them with different crops like lettuce, beans, and corn. Avoid planting your tomatoes in the same place that other tomato family members have grown in the past two years like potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. This will ensure that they are kept healthy. Lastly, before planting your tomatoes, enhance your garden soil first by adding some organic material in them like compost.

If you are going for seedlings rather than seeds for your tomato garden, make sure to look for dark green foliage that is clean. Avoid seedlings with flowers already showing or whose bottom leaves are brown or yellow in color. Closely check the underside of the leaves and the leaves themselves for any pests. When you se aphids or chew marks, do not buy them.

When planting tomato seedlings, make sure to space them at least 18 inches apart for maximum air circulation. If you choose tall and thin seedlings, make sure to plant them deeper into the ground until the first set of leaves. Doing this will help strengthen your tomato plants. Tomatoes are a unique set of crops that grow roots on any part of their stems.

In terms of tomato varieties, home gardeners have a wide array of tomato varieties to choose from. In choosing between tomato seeds and tomato seedlings, make sure to take note of their ability to resist diseases. There are actually hybrid tomato varieties that have been bred to resist common genetic problems with the likes of wilting.

To determine the diseases that a hybrid tomato can resist, check the letters that are found after their name on their seed packets or plant tags. For instance, going for the Celebrity tomato variety comes with a VFFNTA label. This label implies that this tomato variety is resistant to Verticillium wilt, Fusarium races 1 and 2, root knot Nematodes, Tobacco mosaic virus, and Alternaria stem canker. When diseases have killed your tomatoes in the past, this can be the perfect tomato variety for you.

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The Benefits of Setting Up Small Greenhouses

If you want to make the most of your home garden, you should be setting up your very own small greenhouse. Adding even a small greenhouse to your backyard garden has a lot of benefits. You see, you can increase your crops no matter your current location and even extend your growing season. It also helps you grow more productive and healthier plants. In addition, you can grow different varieties of home-grown produce.

Are the above benefits really possible with your own home garden? If you come to think about it, extremes in weather conditions are the number one enemy of every gardener. While good weather conditions are great, you can expect that crop production will be great; however, once weather conditions turn sour, crop production also turns out bad. With small greenhouses, though, you can better control the environment where you will be growing your plants no matter how bad or good the weather conditions will be.

As mentioned, the weather is a key element to whether or not your outdoor garden will be a success, and climates will always be affected by severe weather. Climates in northern regions always deal with short growing seasons all because they experience early fall frost and late spring freeze. Greenhouses are the best solution to this concern. You see, by setting up a greenhouse at your home, you will be able to protect your plants even when the temperatures will go below freezing point. Come the spring season, you can begin planting seeds months before the typical time that you plant them on the ground all because of the controlled environment that greenhouses offer. Afterwards, when it is safe for you to start planting outside, you will now have thriving and healthy plants to put in your ground instead of sowing seeds. Moreover, once your garden starts to yield, you can start on another round of seedings to grow in your greenhouse that can thrive and produce well even after the end of the first killing frost that has stopped your outdoor plant production. In a nutshell, with greenhouses, you will be able to add months of enjoying ripe vegetables that you have picked from your vine compared with having an outdoor garden alone.

Meanwhile, climates in southern regions need not worry about the length of an entire growing season; what they worry about more is how hot and long the summer months are. Being exposed to the harsh rays of the sun for longer periods of time can be very stressful on the part of your plants and will prevent them from producing more. Plants with soft leaves like spinach, lettuce, and herbs easily wilt and change in taste from sweet to bitter when they are exposed to too much heat and sun. With greenhouses, you can better control the ill effects of the hot summer months by protecting your plants from the drying and intense rays of the sun. Through them, the production and quality of your plants can be maintained. Greenhouses help you to easily start growing mid-year seedlings so you can grow a diverse range of plants while making sure that your young and tender plants are provided protection from the sun’s rays. Also, having too little or too much rain in any climate can help keep your plants well protected where they may have damaging effects on your crops.

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Common Enemy Garden Bugs and Natural Methods of Getting Rid of Them

No matter how much you tend to your garden, there will always be bugs and other animals that will come to destroy all the hard work that you have done. It does not matter if you just want a few flowers in your garden or if you are an avid gardener or a farmer because these insects will come to pester you day in and day out. That is why if you own a garden no matter how big or small it may be, you must come prepared for these creatures. If you want to be batting these garden bugs and creatures, always go with natural methods of controlling them.

Before you can get rid of the garden bugs that want nothing more but to come and destroy your garden, you have to educate yourself first about the helpful bugs that will be roaming around your garden. Believe it or not, not all bugs are bad. Some of them are actually helpful when it comes to growing your own garden. For example, worms help to enrich your soil with nutrients so that your plants can thrive and survive. Bees keep every flower and plant in your garden pollinated while dragonflies get rid of mosquitoes that might be feeding off of your family. Thus, you want to make sure to not get rid of these helpful bugs but only the ones that are destructive and will do no good to your garden.

Here is a list of the most common enemy garden bugs and natural methods of getting rid of them.

1. Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are not just downright annoying but also, they can put to danger the lives of a lot of humans. They are known to carry different viruses that can make any living person sick. Getting rid of mosquitoes easily involves the use of citronella candles. However, for a more natural method, you can install a bat house in your garden since bats can eat thousands of these mosquitoes every night.

2. Mice
Mice are difficult to get rid of, however, they can be carriers of serious diseases that is why you have to make sure to keep them away from your home and garden as much as you can. To get rid of mice, you can stop growing seed-bearing plants like sunflowers. Mice love seeds. If you keep these plants to a minimum in your garden, then no mice and other small creatures will be attracted to your garden and your home.

3. Hornets and wasps
In comparison to bees, wasps are not capable of doing something helpful to your garden and their sting can cause you a lot of pain. Also, they often build nests that are very large leading any home owner to avoid going out of their house to avoid being attacked by these creatures.

4. Slugs
Though slugs are tiny creatures, they can actually eat your plants away. They leave tiny holes in every leaf that they encounter. You can sprinkle some sand around each plant stalk if you want to get rid of these creatures naturally. Also, if your environment is suitable, you can introduce some toads in your area to get rid of them fast.

5. Earwigs
If you have tried having your garden attacked by these creatures, then you know how quick they are at destroying your herbs or flower beds. To get rid of them, you can mix water with beer, dish soap, or cooking oil and put a few ounces of them in low cans around your affected garden.

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The Key Advantages of Creating Your Own Herb Garden

Since ancient civilization, humans are well known to grow their own vegetables, herbs, and spices. A great majority of countries have been built on agriculture and farming truth be told. But then, in the present, you cannot expect things to be the same as they were in the past. Modern-day dwellers have become so busy with their lives that it seems impossible already to be growing their own herbs and spices. With industrial and manufactured goods dominating the world, it is of no surprise why most people have decided that it is no longer necessary for them to grow their own food just so they can survive. This has led to individuals of today buying herbs and spices from their local supermarkets with very high price tags. If you are reading this, it is high time that you change this habit of yours and start growing your own herb garden.

Now, there are several advantages of growing your own herbs and spices. Basically, when you grow your own herb garden, you are encouraging other people around you to also practice self-maintenance and enjoy what a quality product will bring you. Maybe you are still having second thoughts if you should do herb gardening yourself and still need to be guided to the path where you should be headed in growing your own herbs and spices.

Herb gardening, for one, is very beneficial because you are the one growing your own herbs. You take control of your products and how they grow. Whether you like it or not, herb gardening is actually not that expensive if you think about it. When you grow your own herbs, you can be sure not to use any fertilizers or pesticides in your plants besides what you have placed in your own.

Another key advantage of growing your own herb garden is that you can save more of your money when it comes to your grocery expenses. If you love cooking, then most definitely, you cannot get enough of buying a lot of herbs and spices for the meals that you will be cooking. However, when you grow them yourself, you will not have to pay higher prices for herbs that have been grown chemically by manufacturing companies.

In addition to saving more of your money, you get a sense of fulfillment knowing that you have done your own her gardening. You can find some passion and relaxation when you do your own herb gardening. There is just that feeling of satisfaction that you cannot get anywhere else when you harvest your own herbs for the very first time and use them in your cooking. Getting a sense of accomplishment is one of the reasons why something is worth pursuing. No wonder herb garden growers become engaged and invested in their own herb gardens.

If you want to earn some extra money with your herb gardening passion, then you can do so. If you are growing certain herbs and spices successfully, you can actually sell them to companies that will buy them for preserves, soaps, and other purposes. You can also give them as gifts to your relatives and friends. In this way, you can provide them a pre-grown starter kit that may encourage them to grow their own herb garden as well.

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A Few Guidelines in Growing Herb Gardens

Introducing herb gardens into your home can be one of the best things to ever happen to you in so many levels. With herb gardens, you can make any outdoor landscaping and outdoor area of a home more multidimensional and attractive. Furthermore, your cooking becomes tastier and appealing in the easiest and quickest way possible. If you are thinking of growing your own herb garden, here are a few helpful guidelines to help you.

• Grow herbs that you can use
Look at your spice rack. Which herbs do you often use when you are cooking your food on a daily basis? If you can pinpoint herbs that you usually use, consider planting them in your own herb garden. Besides, one of the reasons why you are growing your own herb garden is for you to grow herbs that will be needing often. Before you get the services of a landscape design company, ensure to list down all of the herbs that you are most likely going to be growing in your garden. In this way, when you consult these professionals, you will be able to give them some specifics on your herb garden requirements and preferences. This will make the process of growing your own herb garden run smoothly.

• Select your soil wisely
If you are no expert in soil, do not fret. It is not that difficult to learn about the different soil types and which ones will work best for your kind of herb. Usually, the landscape design company that you hire will be able to give you some advice regarding the different soil types that you can use. Plants get their nutrients from soil; thus, your choice of soil type is crucial to growing the kind of herbs you want. You can be sure to successfully grow an herb garden if you get your soil right.

• Organize your plants in a logical manner
Typically, grouping together similar herbs is advised when planting them into your herb garden. For instance, bushy herbs should be planted near bushy herbs. On the other hand, herbs that have a tendency to spread as they grow should be planted to herbs that grow in the same manner. When making the layout of your herb garden with some assistance from the landscape design company that you hire, make sure that you also think about how your herb garden will look like on an aesthetics viewpoint. To give your herb garden a more pleasing and organized look, plant taller herbs at the enter of your garden. Also, to make your herb garden look more professional, coordinate the colors of your plants.

When you follow the above mentioned guidelines, there is no doubt that your herb garden will be able to improve the overall look and feel of your home. Aside from that, your herb garden also ensures to provide you a regular supply of ingredients that you need to create mouth-watering dishes that you can prepare on your own. Once you plant your own herb garden, you will soon regret why you have not planted one earlier, most especially when your family and friends cannot help but gush over the food that you have prepared for them using your homegrown herbs.

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