SAHMs Should Always Make Time For Mother Nature

One thing that many stay at home can institute into their plans which can be both refreshing and healthy, is a walk in the park. Spending so much time indoors can plant seeds of depression and lead to unwanted habits that will result in unhealthiness. This is true for everyone, not just stay at home moms. Every day countless people wake up and perform ritual after ritual before heading out the door for a tedious day of work. This only lead to us getting home with the intentions of lounging for the next 8 to 10 hours.

One activity that any stay at home mom can enjoy, that’s fun for moms and kids alike, is a Nature Walk. We are all spending entirely too much time cooped up indoors. Not just stay at home moms, and kids, but everybody. All of us. We’re a nation of office and factory workers who spend all day inside at our jobs, then hurry back home where we go inside out houses and close our doors to the world around us, in favor of watching television the rest of the day. We’re losing touch with nature, losing our awareness of the wonders of the natural world around us. So are our kids.

There are numerous benefits to taking your kids on regular nature walks. Fresh air and exercise, for starters. But besides those obvious benefits, there are many others to be gained by getting in touch with Mother Nature.

A walk through the park, for example, is an opportunity to see how things grow…to experience not just the visual beauty of flowers, for instance, but to smell their delightful scent…feel the silken texture of a rose petal, hear the wind singing through the limbs of a majestic pine tree and so much more. A Nature Walk is a way of getting us in touch with all our senses.

Besides the beauty of growing things like flowers and trees, we can watch birds in flight and marvel at their natural aerodynamics. The discovery of a robin’s nest with beautiful little blue eggs is a treat enjoyed at any age. On another walk, on another day, we can watch as the baby birds who hatched from those same eggs take their first awkward flights from the nest. We might observe the mama robin as she ventures away from the nest to gather insects and worms, then carries them in her beak back to the nest to feed her perpetually hungry babies.

We might take our Nature Walk on the banks of a stream and see the tiny minnows darting like quicksilver just below the surface, or a dragonfly skimming the surface of the water….watch the sunlight sparkle on the water like diamonds….listen to the gentle, soothing murmur of the water as it flows.

Maybe we could take a Nature Walk past a pasture where cows graze, or horses, and observe them as they placidly munch the sweet smelling freshly mowed hay or emerald green grass. We might see a couple of baby calves or foals cavorting and romping, playing their animal games and having fun, filled with the simple joy of being alive.

We might visit a farm and see a garden bursting with rows of red, ripe tomatoes and bright yellow squash, tall ears of corn rustling in the wind, the delicious perfume of ripe melons, heavy on the vine. While we’re there, we can pick some of this bounty from nature to have for our dinner as a bonus of our walk with nature.

There are endless variations of the above scenarios. A whole world just full of wondrous things—plants, animals, minerals, earth, wind, water, sky; all there to be enjoyed by anybody who will get out there and take advantage of the opportunity to experience the pleasures and learn the lessons of Mother Nature. It’s fun, it’s healthy, it’s a treat for all the senses, and it’s educational.

Do this with your kids. You’ll be glad you did, and so will they!

Home Vegetable Gardening: The New Prescription From Doctors and Nutritionists

While finishing up a project I was working on the other night, I was flipping through TV stations to at least put something on that was watchable as background noise. I came across an infomercial selling some new great weight loss product that is guaranteed to give you those 6 pack abs and rock hard muscles in as little as 20 minutes a day.

As luck would have it, I was able to catch the fine print after the narrator uttered those words that read, “results may vary and were based on a combination of proper exercise and eating 3 healthy meals every day for 12 weeks.”

I am not a dietitian or nutrition expert but common sense would leave me to believe that a healthy eating regimen combined with exercise would yield a healthier “you” with or without that piece of equipment that costs 4 easy payments of $99 per month.

The commercial, if nothing else, did make me think about something and that was how can you tie in a home vegetable garden with a healthier eating lifestyle. I mean, after all, fruits and veggies by definition are healthy for you.

I recently brought up this topic to food and nutrition expert Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, author of the book The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment and the creator of the DVD, Pressure Cooking, A Fresh Look: Delicious Dishes in Minutes.

Jill is a registered dietitian who also teaches cooking classes. She recommends to her students that they should always grow their own fruits and vegetables. She had one student who grew a large garden and was able to lose 10 pounds by adding into her healthy eating habits the fresh fruits and veggies she grew herself.

Freshness, flavor, likeliness of consumption and pick what you need are just some of the reasons why Jill recommends to her students that they grow their own. Vegetables you grow yourself will always be fresher than what you can buy in the store and have a better flavor too. She says that you are more likely to consume what you grow since you will be growing what you like to eat and she says that waste will be at a minimum because you can wait and harvest only what you will consume.

Jill also recommends, “anyone who can grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs do so in an effort to be sure that they are getting the freshest, best and unsprayed produce. The flavor and freshness will be much improved. Also in the growing process, people get a lot of spiritual nourishment. You can’t get that from buying your vegetables. And almost everyone can grow a small pot of herbs of some sort.”

There is enough research out there to prove that adding fresh fruits and veggies to each of your meals is a great way to excellent health. So, is having a home vegetable garden the new prescription from doctors?

Yes, says, Dr. Nathan Daley a member of the International Association for Ecology and Health and the American College of Sports Medicine. “As a physician I do a great deal of nutrition and lifestyle counseling. I often recommend that patients grow their own vegetables, or at least some of them, in order to maximize the nutritional value and minimize the toxicant burden of their produce.”

In an environment where “fast” food is becoming the norm, doctors prescribing home vegetable gardening as a remedy is a great start in moving away from unhealthy eating habits. Everyone listens to their doctor right? Once prescribed though it becomes the challenge of parents everywhere to not only take and use that advice themselves but also instill that lifestyle into their children so they can then pass it on to future generations.

As a father of two children myself, I know it is important to me to do this as many other parents out there I spoke with. Registered dietitian Marcia Crawford, works with her clients to focus in on getting their children to enjoy the benefits of a “farm to fork” lifestyle. “The process always ends up with kids eating more produce. Inevitably the whole family gets involved. Meals begin to be planned and produce becomes the star of the plate, not an afterthought,” explains Marcia.

“I love the fact that you can garden at any age in any place and really impact your health – be it herbs that give flavor to foods that previously would have been drowned in fat for flavor or no fat, big flavor berries or some seriously healthy vegetables. “Fresh” and “local” cease to be marketing words; there is nothing more rewarding then eating the fruits of your labor.”

Ms. Crawford, along with Dr. Daley and Ms. Nussinow, all agree that once you make fresh home grown produce the focus, the calories will decrease and nutrient density will increase with every meal.

To determine the best way to incorporate your home vegetable garden with you and your family’s healthy eating style, evaluate a few areas first, so says nutrition expert and author of the book Nutrition Simplified: A Realistic 7 Step Workbook to Jump Start Your Metabolism , Betsy Markle, RD.

“What are the fruits and veggies the individual likes/dislikes? Are there any particular meals or foods that they would like to make? For instance, I love making my own salsa so I try to plant most of those ingredients. How much space do they have? How much time do they have to spend on their garden? Where do they live (weather/garden time period)?” says Betsy. You must be able to honestly plan this out in order to make it be affective and work.

If you can walk into your doctor’s office and get a prescription for pains and aches why not get a prescription from your doctor to grow your own fruits and vegetables? Maybe if more doctor’s made this prescription a staple to every office visit, more people would live a healthier lifestyle.

Lessons I Have Learned From My Garden

A garden is a very good teacher if you take the time to learn the lessons. Of course part of learning is to be open and receptive to what is being taught and willing to accept what you are learning. Over the years I have learned many things from my garden that has helped to make my life more full and richer. These lessons have also brought me a great deal of pleasure. There are not to many things that can bring such pleasure with out a great cost but a garden is one of them.

When I was younger I believed that the quicker you could get something done the better. Once completed you could cross it off your list and move on to the next task. Well my garden taught me that it is not always about finishing a job quickly but how you did the job. Taking shortcuts and cutting corners may seem like a good idea but most of the time you are way better off taking your time and doing things properly. When you are preparing your vegetable plot if you take the time up front to get rid of weeds then latter during the season your maintenance tasks are much easier and a whole lot less time consuming. It may sound like that is not such a big deal but believe me there are lots of other jobs I would rather do on a hot muggy summer day.

Another thing I learned is that do not cheat on materials or supplies. If you are going to do a job do it right the first time. A good example would be a paver patio. Be sure you dig down deep enough to get to some sold ground do not try to get by with a three inch base. Yes it means more work and material to dig out ten or twelve inches for your base. In two or three years your patio will still be level. If you try to cheap your way out of it in two or three years you will be doing constant repairs do to the freeze thaw cycle reeking havoc with your patio. While on the subject be sure to use premium quality adhesives on your seat walls no one wants to sit down and have the wall fall over on them. I have seen this happen many a time spend two dollars more a tube it pays off ten fold.

Remember what you do today will determine what your garden will look like tomorrow. Planting spring bulbs in October is not a very fulfilling task but come April and May you will be rewarded, and the little work you did back in the fall will be a distant memory while you are enjoying the beautiful display in your garden.

Along with these lessons I have learned patience it is not always about instant gratification. Giving you garden time to mature will revel a whole new view of it. A three year old garden is much different than the day it was planted it has matured and grown in. As with life efforts spent may not generate the immediate results you want but keep working on it and give it some time and you will see the fruits of your labor blossom before you.

The most important lesson I have learned from my garden is the most valuable. Take time for your self. Take a break and spend some time for yourself. The garden is the perfect place for this. Sitting on a bench watching nature and immersing your self in the garden world of butterflies and bees. Sitting and watching the birds, squirrels, and other garden creatures go about gathering food and frolicking in the garden can absorb your attention and release stress and tension that you were not even aware of. After about thirty minutes on a garden bench you will feel more relaxed and refreshed than after a whole night sleep.

Garden Furniture Covers Are Easy to Find on the Web As Long As You Do Your Research Properly

When you’re buying something like garden furniture covers for your home, it’s essential to take your time and do your research. Yet, yearly, thousands of people neglect this and tend to overspend and aren’t happy with the end result. No matter what you’re buying online, if you take your time, you could save yourself so much money.

Most of the time, research online is easy because you can use systems such as Google to do most of the leg work. Type into Google “garden furniture covers” or whatever it is you’re looking for. You should find a huge list of options available and this will help you set yourself a budget and find out where all the products you’re looking for are.

The main thing to think about is taking your time. Don’t rush yourself into buying the first thing you see. Make sure that you keep an eye on prices as you browse the web because you can use this information to set yourself a realistic budget as well as see where the best deals are.

Writing things down is a good idea because it can usually help you keep track of your progress. Research always takes time but it’s certainly worth it because you can save yourself so much money. Just be sure to keep a note of prices, products and features as you browse the web.

Garden furniture comes in a huge range of sizes and shapes and this is why research is so important. It’ll probably help you figure out what you want as well as what you need. Taking your time is very important and you’ll need to do some in depth research to find the best deals.

You’ll see things you like and dislike and this is all part of the process. You will probably find that many of the things on today’s market are suitable for just about anyone. However, if you’re a bit picky when it comes to things like this then it’s all the more reason to take things slowly.

Overall, as long as you keep in mind that you need to take your time and that rushing yourself is a waste of money, you should find that buying garden furniture covers or furniture itself for your home is really easy. Just think about all the money that you could save if you just slow it down a bit.

A Wise Strong Powerful Leader Will Always Make Time To Become Familiar With The Word of God

Daniel was one of the most powerful leaders that the Middle East has ever seen and we tend to overlook or even ignore this important aspect of his life. There are many lessons to be learned from a study of the life of the prophet Daniel.

Daniel is a leader in Babylon, or modern day Iraq, and we see in this book how God does not waste words. It is around 536 BC. Babylon was finished. A change of Government was making people think that there might a change in policy. Israel had been in exile for nigh on seventy years.

The first exiles had already been returning to Jerusalem, but Daniel had not gone.

You would have thought he would have been thrilled.

It is the month of the Passover, which makes it April 536, and Daniel has been mourning for three weeks. He is fasting. He is serious.

He is untidy and unkempt and unhappy. What is wrong? This was God’s number one man at that time and he is carrying a heavy burden.

He realised that a lot was going wrong. Some Jews had returned to Israel, but the rest would not return to Israel.

We know that some 50,000 Jews went back to Jerusalem, but many more remained in Babylon, and it is suggested that there might have been millions.

They had settled down in a foreign land.

Those who had gone had begun so well, but quite quickly their enthusiasm had waned. We have seen that happen.

Divisions arose. They were arguing among themselves.

Today there are more than sixteen political parties in Israel, and Israel was supposed to be one, and to be the united people of God.

There were enemies all around, and you would have thought that having gone back to the Promised Land, that they would have sought to have everything all right and united and as positive as possible, so as not to invoke the wrath and anger of God again.

Daniel realises that things are not working out so well. There are difficulties and troubles. Daniel has travelled some 35 miles which was a three day journey to the Tigris.

This had been part of the Garden of Eden. Daniel so wants to understand. “Lord, I just do not get this.” He has gone to be on His own with God. He is mourning and praying. Why?

It took him three weeks to get the answer. “Lord, I am not going back to the good life until you tell me why.” The answer he receives is, “Daniel, your people have much worse to go through. There are worse struggles to come and one day all this will happen.”

We can read all the details in Daniel Chapter 10, and it is certainly worth reading, but also, when we read and study the Word of God, God has a very special reward and blessing for those who do so.

A wise strong powerful leader will always make time to acquaint himself and be familiar with The Word of God.

Sandy Shaw

How to Best Maximize Your Garden in 10 Steps

Everyone wants to get the most out of the things they have and that is no different for the garden. You would be surprised how much more you can get out of your garden by following these simple steps. These steps have helped my garden become more productive using less money and less time. As a father, time is a valuable thing that I never have enough of.

As I have grown older and tried many different things I have learned that the things that are successful usually come from good planning. I like to keep track of what’s going on in the garden such as planting/harvesting dates, successes, failures, rotation schedule, and of course new ideas in a journal or log. This keep things organized, preventing me from making the same mistake twice, relieves some of my worries, and keeps me from wasting precious time and money. Here are a few tips for anyone trying to bring out the full potential of their gardens.

1. Less pathways
When I took over my current garden it was a labyrinth of walkways going everywhere. If you are going for decoration OK, but if you are trying to be practical and productive keep walkways to a bare minimum and around a foot wide! I put old carpet strips down in my garden that way if needed I can rearrange when needed.

2. Planting everywhere
Don’t limit yourself to just your garden either. Planters and containers can expand your garden, windowsills, and patios are all open spaces. I am a teacher and school as ample space and their own garden that I can use freely. Take advantage of that if you can or even planting in unused places at friends houses. When I first started gardening there were little spaces everywhere that went unused. Now I am planting in every nook and cranny I can find. Plants like lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, garlic, and onions can fit into tight areas and are good for planting at the end of your rows or even right next to current plants. This leads me to number 3.

3. Companion planting
This is a big one. You can maximize your space, quality, and yield by planting certain plants together. They work together in helping each other fend of predators and/or giving each other much needed nutrients. One of my biggest successes last year was my corn, beans, and pumpkins. My beans and pumpkins crawled all over the corn which didn’t seem to mind and I had a huge harvest.

4. Use all your space all the time
This is a little tricky but keeping seedling growing helps. When one crop is finished, harvest and insert the next crop the same day. Most of don’t have the luxury of huge gardens so we need to use the space that we do have effectively.

5. Using the proper tools
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the privilege yet to have all the tools I want and may never get them all either. But having basic proper tools is key to saving precious time and sweat. Last year I started gardening with just a shovel. WOW… that is a workout!!

6. Free fertilizers
Fertilizer is a necessary part of a successful garden in my opinion. Due to the extremely low cost of free 99 I like the natural fertilizers. There are many ways to get free fertilizer for your garden. Composting is a great way to create your own rich organic matter and what’s more it comes from the leftovers from the garden and yard. Another great source of fertilizer can be made from decomposing all your fruit and vegetable leftovers from the kitchen. If you are fortunate to have lots of wildlife in your area like me you can use their droppings and throw them straight into the garden. Hair from haircuts, leftover fish, fish tank waste, smashed bones, sawdust, and ashes from our fire pit are some other types of fertilizer thrown into our garden. I find when we clean our ponds all the sludge does wonders for that area of the garden. Being creative in finding organic waste material can go a long way for your wallet and garden.

7. Planting Up
This is a common technique but used quite often here in Japan for just about any plant you can think of due to the limited land space. Planting up can free up much needed space for other plants and can also be helpful in companion planting providing shade for plants who like cooler temperatures. There are many natural trellises that you can use instead of throwing some big ugly metal trellis in the middle of your garden. So be creative in planting up using rocks, walls, fences, netting, ropes, trees, or other existing plants like corn or sunflowers. I found that even planting plants that don’t need to climb like edamame benefit from growing up giving them more air circulation and sun.

8. Planting value plants
I like talking about this subject but I will keep it brief. The staples in your diet, expensive supermarket items, and herbs are great to plant to cut down on costs. Potatoes and onions are staples, used frequently and you might be surprised if you looked at your yearly spending on these two items. Throw them in the garden! Herbs are also easy to grow, store, and are used daily. Weigh the costs of supermarket price, your use, the space in the garden to tell what is actually of value to you. I also recommend planting plants that come back every year like asparagus and fruits if you have the space.

9. Leaving plants over winter
Greens that didn’t mature fast enough in the fall such as spinach, cabbage, carrots, and lettuce should be left for the spring. They jump back to life and give you a super fast start. Also by planting garlic and onions in the fall and leaving them through the winter you can save time in the spring and have an early harvest as well.

10. Weeding
This one goes without saying, but it’s still very important and should always be on any gardeners to do list. It’s easier to pick the two or three small weeds now then pick 10 large weeds out a week later. Just be vigilant and try to ALWAYS devote a small portion of your gardening time to weeding. If you have a large garden I suggest putting down either mulch or plastic both work wonders depending on your plants. Mulching not only protects the plants from weeds it retains more moisture for your plant. Black plastic is a tremendous help to me in minimizing my weeding time and it actually helps to magnify the heat helping plants like tomatoes and onions earlier in the season!

Unfortunately we all don’t have our dream gardens yet so it’s up to us to make do with what we have. And that means being efficient and creative. Of course, there are many other ways to maximize your garden but these particular ones have helped me greatly. I encourage if you are not doing so already to incorporate some of these tips into your gardening. I will leave you with one of my favorite phrases and something I try to live by… Work smarter, not harder!!

Benefits Of Sitting Down With A Bunch Of Gardeners

When you sit around with a bunch of gardeners, you are sure to hear some impressive garden tales. This is because serious gardeners always have something interesting to interject into conversations. They can explain how and when they started their first garden, which plants they included and how much trouble it was getting things just right.

The good news about visiting with successful gardeners is that they have already gone through the trials of figuring out how to create the right mix of soil, fertilizer and moisture to harvest favorite varieties of produce. Anyone who is just starting out as a newbie gardener would be well served to spend some time with those seasoned in the craft.

Although, it is true that getting advice from others is a great way to go about implementing plans to start gardening, this is not always the way it goes. Some people are just so sure they have what it takes to go it on their own. While this may be a fact, having what it takes in the way of muscle, time, and desire are not the only things needed for successful gardening.

Time, talent and energy must be part and parcel with any gardening adventure, but there are other ingredients, as well. For one thing, it is crucial to know which produce grows well in a particular climate. At the same time, one must realize that some plants will not do well under certain conditions.

An example of a well planned garden involves knowing when to introduce the first seeds into the ground each season. For instance, salad greens such as lettuce are tender and do not do as well in the hot sun and summer heat that is common in the Texas panhandle. However, most springtime temperatures are mild and allow for the growth of a plethora of scrumptious greens if the seeds are introduced into the soil early enough.

Something else that experienced gardeners are aware of is the ability to manipulate temperatures. By doing so, they get longer growing periods for crops merely by covering plants and providing good sources of heat or cooling. There are so many interesting things that can be learned while sitting around with other gardeners. It would be a shame for anyone with a passion for gardening to miss out.

After sitting down with a bunch of gardeners for awhile, an interesting transformation takes place. Individuals who take time for this vital activity come away better prepared to start creating some interesting garden tales of their own.

Fall is a Great Time to Get Growing

Fall bounty is our theme for the season. Bounty collected from summer gardens is the first thought in mind. Thinking again, we know that fall is an important planting season. Cool season annuals sown in late summer produce salad and greens for the table. Lettuce, kale, and collards are our basics, and will produce until a killing frost. Kale actually likes cold weather and its taste improves after frost; the plants remain standing and can be harvested as needed into winter months. A small salad garden can be a beautiful sight! Mixing lettuces of various colors, shapes, sizes can produce a garden to rival any flower bed . Galactica, Freckles, and Blackjack are variety names for some of the lettuces. Romaines, Leaf, Bibb, and Butterheads in red or green represent the types of lettuces. With many shapes and textures and varying shades of green and red, these planted together make a garden of spectacular beauty. So beautiful you may want to eat it, which is highly recommended. Growing salad gardens is like building sand castles at the beach; you know at the start your work will not last. Since winter will kill your garden, as soon as it is at its peak, it is time to begin deconstruction. Leaf by leaf, plant by plant, picking and pulling, each day the gardener reduces the salad garden. After frost, only the collards and kale remain but have become more valuable as the last fresh picked greens until spring salad garden time. Salad gardens are the gardener’s last stand before winter cold makes all dormant. They can be grown in a 10 x 10 bed to feed many or in a window box when space is scarce. Lasting only a few weeks, they are a bridge between summer gardens and winter when even the most stalwart gardeners must go inside.

Another Fall activity is growing cool season flowering plants in containers and small beds. Instead of stretching the summer annuals through to frost, replace them with plants that thrive in cooler temperatures. Patios and decks can be revitalized for the fall, giving a fresh new look and colors appropriate for fall. Caliobrachia (million bells), Argyranthemum (Boston daisy), and Verbena are some annuals that thrive under fall conditions. Perennials in mixed pots provide fall flowers and accents and will return in spring. Because time is limited, concentrate fall plantings where they will have the most impact. Large containers are favorite because they can transform a patio into an outdoor living space.

Gardeners looking to explore new growing adventures should not miss out on fall. Perennials, shrubs, and trees prefer fall planting because cooler temperatures are ideal for root development and establishment. Unlike a summer garden, a salad garden always gives out before you are tired of picking it. The short growing season also means you do not have to look at your mistakes long. So if you haven’t started, you should.

How to Introduce Your Toddler to Gardening

It’s gardening time again and, with the increase in gas and grocery prices, what better time to introduce your family to the aspect of growing their own foods? Toddlers in particular are very open to the new experience of gardening. Toddlers are always intrigued by new things. They love to play in the dirt, water plants, and watch their favorite foods growing right before their little amazed eyes. If you’re lost as to how you should start introducing your toddler to gardening, here are some tips to help!

Choose Foods They Like – One of the best ways to get your toddler involved in raising a garden is to choose foods, plants, and flowers that your child likes. If you toddler loves tomatoes, then pick up a packet of tomato seeds and go from there. When it’s something that they can look forward to enjoying, then you’ll pique their interest every time.

Child-size Gardening Tools – Another way to introduce your toddler to gardening is to make sure that they have their own child-sized gardening tools to enjoy. If you purchase them their own set of tools they will be more likely to enjoy their time with you in the garden. Toddlers and small children thoroughly enjoy doing things that they see their parents doing. So hand over a gardening set of their own and you’ll be on the road to creating a gardening lover for life.

Start Your Garden with Seeds – A lot of people will just jump right to buying small plants to go into their gardens. But when you’re getting your children involved, it’s a lot more fun for both you and them if you start out with seeds. Let them poke holes in the dirt with their little fingers, drop in seeds one by one, and then cover them up and await the arrival of the first sprouts. When those sprouts begin pushing their way through the surface, you’ll be amazed at the utter astonishment that your toddler will express. This is the perfect time to talk about baby plants and to show your toddler each new leaf that sprouts from their new hobby. If it’s still too early to plant seeds outside, then just start them inside. You can use starter trays, or even just paper cups and dirt (make sure you mark what plant is what).

Garden Care & Upkeep – When introducing and involving your toddler in the hobby of gardening, it is a wonderful idea to let them help you in the care and upkeep of the garden. You can let them water the plants that they are quickly becoming obsessed with. You can point out the weeds and let them pull for you. You can even have your toddler hold stakes for you as you tie up the tomato vines that they’ve been watching grow from seeds. The every day care and upkeep of your garden is just as exciting to your toddler as any of the other parts of raising a garden.

Time for Pickin’ – You and your toddler have planted, watered, nurtured, and cared for these plants from seeds to full maturity. What better way to celebrate all of the work that you’ve put into these last few weeks or months than to let your excited toddler pick the very first fruits and vegetable? How excited your toddler will be when you inform them that they can finally eat a tomato off of their very own plant!

You have now planted the seeds of a gardener into the young mind of your toddler. As long as you make it fun and exciting they will love helping you out in the garden. Remind them that they’ll get to eat the fruits of their labor. They will be so happy when it’s harvest time and you’ll be happy to have taught them about this simple part of life.

Benefits Of Good Garden Tools

Garden tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. People who are keen on gardening will need to procure some of these implements before they can begin the process. A good set of tools can be found at most home improvement stores. Amateur gardeners who have not grown vegetables before can use this as an opportunity to ask the clerks some questions. Usually, the clerks can help them select a set of instruments for taking the first step toward fresh garden delights.

Shovels come in handy throughout any gardening project. Early on, they will be needed to turn over the soil and aerate it. Men and women who have access to older, drier soil can deal with the problem by mixing in new organic soil from the local store. A shovel will mix everything together, while a rake will even out the soil after it has been tilled. Rakes can be made out of plastic or metal. As long as they hold together and are reliable performers, they should be useful tools. Broken rakes can sometimes be repaired by advanced gardeners who are also skilled in handiwork.

There are certain brands that may be better than others. Durability will be important, and prospective gardeners should try hard to buy quality tools. Very cheap tools will fall apart and will have to be purchased again. Gardeners who are unsure of which tools are the best can always go online and read some informal reviews of certain products. User reviews are the best, as these are written by people who have used the tools and can provide some direct feedback. Certain brands will likely finish consistently ahead of other brands. If a pattern like this is noticed, then people will have a pretty good idea of which tools to buy.

When not being used, most tools should be kept out of uncovered areas. Inclement weather can slowly degrade most materials over time, so storing the tools in a shed or a garage is the best bet. They can then be removed and used during active gardening times. If a family does not have access to a shed or garage, then the tools should be left under an awning and covered up with a tarp if at all possible. Tarps can be bought relatively cheaply at any local big-box store in the region.

Amateur gardeners may even enroll themselves in a local gardening class. Here, they can learn which plants will grow well in their particular climate. With regards to the tools, they can receive some tricks of the trade, which should help work the soil more efficiently. Different kinds of soil, of course, will be richer than others. The very best soil should be procured so that the vegetable plants have every chance in the world to thrive.

Men and women who have finally decided to buy some garden tools should look through some catalogues before they begin. They can view photographs of different tools and get a general idea of what is available for purchasing. They may even want to make a list of the tools that will be most important for their own gardening success. With some clues as to what they want, they can then head out and buy some great new instruments with which to start their gardens.