Friday, February 24, 2017

What should you plant in your garden?

This is a very exciting time of year for gardeners. Seed catalogs are out and everyone is pouring over the glossy pictures deciding what to plant in their gardens this year. Whether you'll have a small garden with just a few veggies for fresh salads or a garden big enough to preserve food for all winter long, you need to ask yourself a few questions before ordering your seeds. This is especially important if you become easily enticed by those glossy pictures like I do! (ask me some time about the summer of Kohlrabi *sigh*)

what to plant?

1) What grows in your gardening zone? No matter how hard I try I will never get avocado trees to grow in my gardening zone and fighting it is pretty much useless. Save yourself the disappointment by finding out your gardening zone and plant accordingly. 

2) What do you have the space for? Unless your garden is really huge, you'll have to consider space when deciding what to plant. Some plants take up much more space then others and overcrowded plants rarely produce well. You can find spacing requirements in seed catalogs and plan accordingly.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The worst mistakes I've made starting seeds.

I've been gardening for many years, but I only started growing from seed about 10 years ago. Over the years I have made many mistakes starting seeds. Sometimes I lost a whole crop of them at just a few days old. Other times they made it all the way to transplant before dying off or failing to grow properly. It took me awhile to figure out the ins and outs of growing a garden from seed but I think I have it right now. Hopefully I won't make any of these mistakes again, but here are my 7 worst mistakes I've made starting seeds.

 mistakes, starting seeds.

I gave them too much water: I know that seedlings have to stay damp to germinate. I didn't realize that too much moisture after germinating would cause damping off. This is when the seedling stem rots where it meets the soil surface. I did know that it doesn't take very long for a seedling to dry out if it doesn't have enough moisture. Dry seedlings are dead seedlings. In my effort to prevent dry seedlings, I caused damp seedlings. Neither one is good. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.

Friday, February 10, 2017

50 ways to relieve heartburn without medications

Heartburn is something that most of us will experience at least once in awhile. It's that uncomfortable burning sensation right in the middle of the chest that's caused when acid from your stomach goes back up your esophagus. If that's not bad enough, it's even worse when you throat starts to burn and you can almost taste the acid. Yuck! Unfortunately my husband gets it a lot! He's tried everything over the years. Antacids, different prescriptions, changing his diet etc etc. Some help for awhile, but they all end up failing eventually. It's been getting worse over the last 4 or 5 years so we've turned to natural cures to help.

how to get rid of heartburn

He's tried everything from sleeping on his left side to eating mustard off a spoon. (ewww) Some of these home remedies have worked really well and others not at all. However, all of these ideas were either found in a health publication, recommended by the doctor or volunteered by some one who said it worked for them. As with any natural remedy...your results may vary! Some of them are so simple though that they're definitely worth a try.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The scary reason why I quit buying herbal supplements.

A few years back I was diagnosed with a serious liver infection. It was winter and the herbs I wanted to treat it with were not readily available so I went to the pharmacy and bought herbal supplements. I did get some herbal teas, but mostly my regimen consisted of capsules of dandelion root and milk thistle along with a few others. Then I saw the news report. The New York State Attorney General’s Office used a lab to test many of the herbal supplements available in stores and found that many of them didn't contain as much of the herb as they said it did. Some had none. That's zero. Not one tiny bit of what we are paying for when we buy that bottle of ginko biloba or echinacea. Others were full of fillers like powdered rice, mustard and wheat. How does that make you feel...because I was irate!

Don't buy herbal supplements

It actually gets worse though because the report goes on to say that some of them contained no organic material at all and some even contained sand. SAND! Now you may be thinking you know what to buy and you wouldn't buy unknown brands so this wont be a problem and I would have agreed with you. Except that these were all store brands from Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC. These are brands most people think are safe. This literally makes me sick. Sadly, it would have kept me sick! (I did link the article up above so you can check that out if you want all the details. More info here also) The scary part is that because herbal supplements are not considered medicines they are not regulated by the FDA. They don't go through safety checks with any governing body, they are not held to any standards. As long as nobody gets hurt they just sort of fly under the radar. It's not like rice powder is going to hurt anybody so they obviously can get away with an awful lot. 
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