bee hive in large garden

The Rise of Beekeeping and Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Hive

Beekeeping is a hobby that is becoming more and more popular in recent years, due to the benefits it offers.

It is important to consider beekeeping as a hobby because of all the benefits it offers. It can help you relax, make you healthier and even provide you with some income.

Beekeeping has many benefits that are worth considering. It can help you relax, make you healthier and earn money from it too!

Getting Started With Apiculturing

Apiculture is the art and science of raising bees. It is a fascinating hobby to get involved with because it provides an opportunity for self-reliance and offers a break from the monotony of everyday life.

The benefits of apiculture are wide ranging, and include:

  • The opportunity to produce honey, which has health benefits that are well documented in medical journals around the world.
  • The production of beeswax, which can be used for a number of home remedies such as lip balm or salves for dry skin.
  • The chance to learn about nature in its most pristine form by observing how honeybees interact with flowers and other insects in an outdoor environment.
  • An understanding of how nature works by watching how honeybees communicate with each other
bee hive in levander garden

How to Build a Hive and What is the Ideal Location?

The hive is the home for all the bees in a colony. Bees are social insects that live in large colonies. The hive is made up of a series of hexagonal cells or honeycomb, which are arranged into three main types:

  1. The Queen’s Cell: This cell is larger than the others and contains an egg that will turn into a new queen bee.
  2. Worker Cells: These cells are smaller and produce drones and workers, which do not lay eggs but do all the work in the colony, including feeding larvae, cleaning out old wax cells, making new wax cells and storing honey.
  3. Drone Cells: These cells contain male bees called drones who mate with queens from other hives to produce offspring who will become new queens or drones themselves.

What Do You Need To Get Started in Beekeeping?

Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby that many people are interested in. It’s not too difficult to get started, but there are some things you will need to have on hand before you start your first bee hive.

The first thing you need to get started in beekeeping is a hive. You can build one yourself, or buy one from a beekeeping supply store. You should also consider buying protective gear like gloves and a hat for when you work with the bees.

What Types of Bees are There and What are their Benefits?

Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem. The pollination of plants and flowers by bees is crucial for the growth of the world’s food supply.

There are many different types of bee species, all with their own benefits to the environment. Here are some different types and what they do:

  • Honeybees: These bees produce honey, which is a food source for humans and animals alike. They also pollinate plants to help them grow.
  • Bumblebees: These bees can be found in colder climates where honeybees cannot survive. They produce a type of wax that is used in the production of cheese and beeswax candles, as well as being a major pollinator for plants.
  • Carpenter Bees: These bees are considered pests because they drill holes into wood to make their nests.

Conclusion & Reminders on Beekeeping Tips & Tricks

Beekeeping is a complicated process. It requires knowledge and understanding of the bees’ behavior, the environment, and the management of the hive. Keeping these things in mind will help you to avoid common mistakes and keep your bees healthy.

picking mint in the garden

How to Pick Mint Leaves without Killing the Plant

Introduction: Picking Mint Leaves can Kill Your Plants

Mint leaves are a common household plant that is used for flavoring and garnishing. The leaves are also used in cooking. But if you’re not careful, mint leaves can be toxic to your plants.

When they come into contact with the leaves, they release the chemical menthol which can kill plants by creating a toxic gas. You should be careful when handling mint leaves as they can cause severe damage to your plant and other houseplants.

This article will teach you how to pick mint leaves safely and successfully so that your cooking doesn’t go wrong!

5 Tips on How to Pick Mint Leaves Safely

Mint leaves are a popular herb that is used in many dishes and drinks. However, picking mint leaves can be tricky because they are so delicate.

Picking mint leaves can be tricky, especially when you are not sure how to do it properly. Here are 5 tips for picking mint leaves safely:

  1. Cut the stem of the leaf before you start to pick them. This will make it easier for you to pick them without breaking them or making a mess. You can also use your fingers to scoop the leaf from the stem, but make sure that your fingers don’t get stuck in between the leaves and stems.
  2. Pick up one leaf at a time and place it on top of your palm with its stem facing upwards before you pick more mint leaves from the plant.
  3. Don’t cut the plant down the middle if it is in a pot or a container. It will be difficult to water properly and might not grow as well.
  4. Don’t cut it down the middle if there is any chance that it has already been damaged by pests or disease. You might be able to save your plant but you may end up with more problems than before, so don’t risk it!
  5. If there are several plants in the same pot, be careful not to cut them all down the center because this will cause uneven growth and the plants won’t be able to get enough nutrients to survive on their own.
woman picking mint leaves

What is the Best Way to Pick Mint Leaves?

Mint leaves are found in many different types of dishes. They are used to add a cool, refreshing flavor to foods and drinks. They can be used in teas, desserts, and even salads.

The best way to pick mint leaves is by using a fork or tongs that have a long handle and sharp tips. You should use your hands as little as possible so you don’t damage the delicate leaves. If you prefer using your hands, then use gloves so they don’t stain your skin or clothes.

Which Type of Mint to Grow In Your Garden?

There are many types of mint plants that you can grow in your garden. The most popular one is spearmint, also known as common mint.

Spearmint is an annual herb related to the mint family and native to Europe and Asia. It is a popular herb used in tea, desserts and many other dishes. Other types of mints include peppermint, chocolate mint, apple mint and pineapple mint.

The most important thing to consider when growing a type of plant in your garden is its hardiness level and how it will grow under your conditions.

Holding green fresh mint

How To Harvest and Use Freshly Plucked Mint Leaves?

Freshly plucked mint leaves are a great way to add flavor to your food and drinks. This is why this herb is so popular in the kitchen.

Harvesting mint leaves:

  • Pick fresh mint leaves from the plant when they are still green.
  • Remove the stems by cutting them off just below the leaf joint with a knife.
  • Place them in a bowl of cold water until they are completely submerged, then take them out and pat dry with paper towels or a clean cloth.
  • Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
caladium planters

The Complete Guide to Propagating Caladium

What is Caladium and How Does It Propagate?

Caladium is a popular flowering plant that can be found in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It is also known as the jade plant or elephant ear.

Caladium propagates by sending out underground tubers that grow into new plants. The tubers are typically white and green in color. They grow around the base of mature plants and spread underground for about 6 inches before turning upward to send out shoots.

The shoots produce small leaves that produce flowers, which produce seeds. The seeds are then dispersed by wind or water into new locations where they can grow into new plants.

Caladium bicolor leafs
Caladium bicolor leafs tree with indoor low lighting and dark background shadow.

Tips on How to Propagate Caladium in Your Garden

Caladiums are often seen in gardens and flower beds. They have a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They can grow well in containers or in the ground.

Caladiums are easy to propagate by using stem cuttings or seeds. You can also take caladium cuttings from your garden and plant them in a pot with moist soil and keep them indoors over winter.

To propagate caladiums, you need to have a container with moist soil that is kept at room temperature. It’s best to use a pot that has drainage holes on the bottom so water doesn’t build up too much inside the container.

How to Spread Caladium Seeds Correclty

Caladium seeds are a popular flower that can be planted in the garden and grow into a large plant within the year. They are pretty easy to spread, but they need to be planted in the right soil, water and light conditions.

Caladium seeds need to be spread on top of soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and at least 8 inches deep. They should also be watered regularly so that they don’t dry out too much before germination occurs. And lastly, caladiums need at least six hours of sunlight each day for them to germinate successfully.

The best way to spread caladium seeds is by using a daisy seeder or a hand-held seeder tool.

Colorfil caladium plants
Various colorful exotic Caladium plants in flower pots on coffee tables inside urban jungle living room

What is the Best Way to Cut Down a Caladium Plant?

Caladium plants are best cut down in the spring when they are dormant. This is because they are more likely to die back than other plants.

Caladium plants should be cut at a height of two feet or less to prevent them from dying back and spreading. They should also be cut near the ground so that the roots don’t grow too deep into the soil.

The best way to cut down a caladium plant is with garden shears, but it can also be done with a mattock or shovel depending on what tools you have available.

Propagate Caladium with Fertilizer and Water

Caladium is a plant that can be propagated easily. It can grow in most mediums and it is easy to maintain. Some people propagate them by cutting the leaves off, some people use cuttings, and some people use seeds.

Caladium is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows well in moist soil but does not require much water to grow. It can spread quickly through rhizomes or tubers underground, which make it difficult to control its growth.

Caladiums are often seen in homes, flower pots and gardens. Caladiums need an even amount of fertilizer and water to grow. They love a rich soil that is well-drained, so plant them in containers with a drainage hole in the bottom.

Caladium leaves
Close up of a grouping of Caladium leaves

5 Tips for Propogating Caladium

As we mentioned before, Caladium is a hardy plant that can be propagated from stem cuttings.

1) Choose a sunny spot

2) Dig up the soil

3) Make sure the soil is moist but not wet

4) Place the cutting in the center of the hole and cover with soil

5) Water well to keep it moist

How to Get Your Plant Ready for the Garden

The best way to prepare your plant for the garden is to make sure it has a good amount of light and water. You should also keep the potting soil moist and provide it with enough nutrients.

Watering your plants helps them grow faster, prevents fungal infections, and prevents seedlings from drying out. If you have a drip irrigation system installed in your garden, then you can use it to feed and water the plants when they need more water than you can provide manually.

Lawn fertilizers for vegetable garden

Can I Use Lawn Fertilizer in My Garden?

After treating your grass, you’re probably going to have some extra lawn fertilizer just hanging around and taking up space. So, you might be thinking that it makes sense to use the extra in your garden, right?

Sure. The question is, though, should you? The answer is, unfortunately, not as clear as we’d like it to be. This is due to the fact that no two fertilizers, people, or situations are the same, which leaves room for there to be two sides to the debate. 

Today, we’re diving into both sides of the argument and going over a few pros and cons of both using lawn fertilizer for the garden and not using it for the garden. 

Lawn Fertilizer for the Garden

Convenient 

There’s no doubt about it — using lawn fertilizer for the garden is super convenient. Instead of purchasing separate fertilizer, all you have to do is move from lawn to garden with one product. This means that you won’t have multiple bottles of fertilizer or applicators laying around. 

Affordable

Using the same fertilizer for both the lawn and garden is a no-brainer when it comes to saving money because let’s face it, who wants to buy two products when you could get away with using just one? No one! 

Stronger solution

Most lawn fertilizers are more concentrated than the average garden fertilizer. This means that you can get away with applying less product less frequently. 

Higher risk of burns

When you use lawn fertilizer in the garden, you run the risk of burning your plants. This is because of the compounds in the lawn fertilizer; they are often too strong and concentrated for non-grass flowers to thrive with their application. 

Questionable benefits

According to some experts, lawn fertilizer is essentially useless on garden plants. Again, this goes back to the makeup of each lawn fertilizer and the fact that lawn fertilizers are made for grasses, which are more robust and durable than most flowers.

Some gardeners, on the other hand, swear by using lawn fertilizer in both areas. 

Garden plant with fertilizers

Avoiding Lawn Fertilizer for the Garden

Guaranteed safety

When you use organic lawn fertilizers in the garden, you might be worried that your edible garden plants will be rendered unsafe for consumption. Using garden fertilizer, however, you can rest assured that the product is safe for your edible plants — and yourself.

Gentler on plants

Garden fertilizer is generally composed with the sensitive nature of the plants it is tailored to in mind. This being said, it’s less concentrated and gentler on both the plants and the soil around them. 

More applications

With a formula that is less concentrated, you might need to reapply garden fertilizer more than one to get the desired results. Depending on your schedule and patience, this can be a major problem or simply a small inconvenience. 

So, all in all, it’s up to you whether you use lawn fertilizer in your garden or not. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence against and for the idea, so it’s impossible to say for sure which one is the best.

Humidity in grow tent

How to Increase the Humidity in a Grow Tent

Watching your plants dry out and with away is nothing short of heartbreaking. The entire situation is a nightmare for anyone who spends time and effort growing plants – especially when you spend the money to buy a grow tent in which your plants still manage to dry up.

So, how can you increase the humidity in your grow tent? Here are a few easy suggestions.

Add additional water sources

As a general rule of thumb, the more water surface an area has, the more humid the area will be. This applies to your grow tent.

So, an easy way to increase the humidity in your grow tent is by increasing the water surface area. It can be done by placing bowls of water in various spots within the tent. A few of the best places to place these bowls are by air ducts and other passive air holes, as the airflow will help increase the evaporation of the water. 

Install a humidifier

Humidifiers can be a good option for increasing humidity. To ensure that your humidifier doesn’t produce too much humidity, consider installing a humidistat alongside it. Together, these two pieces of equipment can take the stress out of humidity management.

Switch out the flooring

Switch out the flooring? That’s right! Another easy way to bring the humidity up is by changing the flooring you use in your grow tent. As you may know, some materials have a tendency to stay damper than others and so, why not switch out your moisture-wicking flooring for something that holds more humidity? Something like soil will work well.

Fluorescent lights in grow tent

Remove fluorescent lights

Lightbulbs and light bars can suck the humidity out of a room like no one’s business. This being said, if you have an entire room of fluorescent lights, you may want to consider reducing the amount of light in the room by half. This will help keep the temperature a little cooker, which will, in turn, increase the level of humidity within the air.  

Spray your tent walls

Instead of just spraying your plants, spray the walls of your grow tent, too. Doing this increases the moist surface area within the tent, which raises humidity and keep your plants happy and healthy. The walls will hold on to more moisture than you think they would.

Use a fan

Although fans are commonly used for their intended purpose – cooling -, they can also be used to increase the humidity in your grow tent. By having a fan going in the tent on a low speed, you improve air circulation which increases its ability to retain moisture.

With any luck, our list has helped you find a few new methods to battle low humidity. Any and all of the suggestions above can work wonders if they are done properly and consistently.

Grass after ammonia

Does Ammonia Kill Grass?

Ammonia is a great source of nitrogen for your grass. However, it also has the potential to kill said grass if the wrong type is applied or it’s not used properly. This being said, the obvious answer is yes – ammonia can kill the grass. In fact, it can do this quite easily if you aren’t careful.

So, to help you make the most of this powerful chemical, here is a breakdown of the most common types of ammonia that you might be tempted to use.

Ammonium Nitrate

Ammonium nitrate is a great source of nitrogen. It’s used in many fertilizer blends and is especially beneficial for fall and winter weed and feed application. This form of ammonia is best suited for grass that is already established and happy, as it releases nitrogen quickly, which can kill new seedlings or unhealthy grass.

With a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 33-0-0, ammonium nitrate fertilizers require applications of 3 pounds of product per every 1,000 square feet of area. This three-pound rule will supply your lawn with one pound of ammonium nitrate.

Common Household Ammonia

Ammonium hydroxide is the compound found within common household cleaners and it is most commonly used to create homemade lawn tonics. This powerful solution can, without a doubt, kill your grass easily. Depending on the brand of ammonia, the concentration in every product will be different which makes it incredibly easy to burn your lawn if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Unlike other types of ammonia, household ammonia doesn’t supply grass with enough nitrogen for there to be a benefit, as it has to be applied in small quantities to prevent the burns we mentioned before. This being said, it’s not usually a gardener’s go-to for ammonia products.

Ammonium Sulfate

Ammonium sulfate isn’t usually used in commercial grass fertilizers because it has a tendency to cause acidity changes within the soil. It’s generally used to lower pH levels to promote the growth of acid-loving plants.

To supply grass with one pound of chemical, one must use five pounds of products with this chemical. In addition, over-application is likely to cause chemical burns in the grass, so you have to be careful when applying and/or reapplying as overdoing it isn’t hard to do.

Garden ammonia fertilizers

Ammonium Phosphate Sulfate

Ammonium phosphate sulfate is a gentler form of nitrogen, which makes it ideal for newer and younger grasses. It’s commonly used before planting new grass seed or to kick start the growth of new grass. It contains less nitrogen than ammonium nitrate but also supplies some beneficial phosphorus.

When it comes to using, six pounds of the product will yield one pound of nitrogen per every 1,000 square feet. Of all the common ammonia used, this one is the least likely to burn or kill the grass.

Who knew that there were so many forms of ammonia, right? Well, no worries – now you know! You can now safely choose the best type of ammonia-based product for you and your needs.

Dandelions

Natural Ways to Kill Dandelions Without Killing the Grass

When it comes to killing broadleaf weeds like dandelions, not everyone wants to run to the store and purchase a chemical product to do the job. If that sounds like you, you might be wondering how you can kill those pesky weeds without causing damage to your grass.

We can help with that! It’s important though, as you read through our list of natural weed killers, that you remember to always do your best to avoid applying any weed killers – natural or not- to healthy grass or flowers because, unfortunately, even natural weed killers can kill the grass if contact is made. Otherwise, though, you don’t have to worry – your natural homemade dandelion killers won’t kill the grass as long as you don’t spray them there.

Salt

While not the most ideal treatment for the lawn, salt is a great option for killing weeds that pop up in your garden path or driveway, both of which are likely in close proximity to grass that you’d probably rather not kill. Luckily, when salt is used as a weed killer it won’t spread to any other areas.

Simply gather up rock or table salt and apply. Be careful not to use too much, as doing so can cause concrete to erode and soil to be barren for long periods of time.

Goats eating dandelions

Goats

Have you ever thought about buying a goat as a pet? No? How about as a professional weed killer? If not, now might be the time! Goats are wonderful at helping control weeds. They don’t care what kind of weeds they chow down on and can reach places that both people and machines have a hard time getting to. Best of all, though, is that they won’t kill the grass. 

Vinegar

Vinegar is an all-natural method of killing weeds. However, it’s non-selective and will kill any and all vegetation it touches. This is why it’s important to take care when applying it. Nevertheless, a simple solution of vinegar and water does wonders to dry up pesky weeds.

Dinner

Now that you’re considering owning a goat or two, why not take it to the next step and bring the weeds inside? Surprisingly, many weeds are edible (dandelions, for example). They can be made into teas, put into soups, fried, or eaten washed and raw in delicious salads. Incorporating them into your meals won’t do any harm to the grass and might even save you a few dollars at the grocery store.

Pulled out dandelions

Weed Puller

If all else fails, get out into the yard with a weed puller. These handy little contraptions have long handles and sharp blades that cut through the soil to grip the roots of weeds. All you have to do to remove the weed is push the puller into the ground, perhaps give it a twist, and pull it out. Whoila! The entire weed is gone.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is much like vinegar; it is potent, natural, and easy to get your hands on. You can use concentrated lemon juice from the grocery store or fresh juice from whole lemons. Carefully apply the juice to the weeds and watch the magic happen.

Mowing lawn at day

What Time Can I Mow My Lawn?: The Best and Worst Times To Cut the Grass

When it comes to lawn maintenance, there are a number of factors that should be considered. Today, though, we’re discussing the time of day. If you’ve never factored the time of day and its corresponding weather into your decision of whether or not to go out and cut the grass, maybe it’s time that you do.

Below, you’ll find some helpful information about the best and worst times of day in which to mow your lawn or do any kind of lawn maintenance.

Best

8:00 – 10:00 am

Starting with the beginning of the day, one of the most optimal times to mow your lawn is from 8:00 to 10:00 am. You may have heard that “the earlier the better”, but this is only true to an extent; mowing too early can be a problem, which we’ll get into a bit later.

8:00 to 10:00 am is one of the best times because, by that point in the morning, the previous night’s dew and moisture have begun to evaporate, making the grass dry enough to mow. In addition, it’s generally just starting to warm up during this time but won’t be too hot.

4:00 – 6:00 pm

Coming in second best is the window between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. By this time of day, the temperature should have reached its peak and be steadily decreasing. Your lawn will also have a few hours to recover from the trauma of being mowed before nightfall, which is a bonus.

The only thing with this time of day, though, is that it tends to be a prime time for the emergence of bugs like mosquitoes.

Mowing lawn at night

Worst

6:00 – 8:00 am

This early in the morning, even though it’s not hot outside and there are likely very few bugs, you’re going to run into more trouble than it’s worth if you try to mow your lawn. The main problem here is that the grass is wet.

This can lead to your mower leaving tracks in the grass as well as wet grass clogging your mower’s motor.

 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Although there is nothing really wrong with mowing your lawn during this window of time, it’s best practice to void it if at all possible. As we mentioned before, your lawn needs time to recover before temperatures dip too low during the night.

Mowing so close to nightfall means that your lawn has very little time to recover. This is important because lawns are most prone to damage during the night, so if it hasn’t fully recovered from mowing, it’s more likely to become sick and/or die.

While there are certainly good and bad times to mow the lawn, no one is telling you when to do it. The decision is solely up to you, the mower, and factors such as where you live, the current weather patterns, and your individual schedule should come into play as well as our recommendations.