It's no secret that fresh herbs add flavor and fragrance to foods. Growing your own herb garden is an easy and fun way to spice up your cooking and save money at the same time. Check out these 7 easy-to-grow herbs that make a great addition to any edible garden.
Nothing adds flavor and fragrance in the kitchen quite like fresh herbs do. Add a little "ooh-la-la" to your favorite recipes and cut back on the grocery store bill by planting your own herb garden. Check out these 7 tasty herbs that are easy to grow.
- Mint - This common herb is available in many tasty varieties, including peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. This plant proliferates rapidly, making it a suitable ground covering. However, grow it in a confined area or in an isolated container to prevent it from overwhelming other plants and herbs. While mint can tolerate full sun, it grows best in partial shade.
- Basil - This fragrant herb is a common staple of many Italian recipes, and different varieties can impart their own unique flavors. Basil grows best in the full sun, and is very sensitive to the cold - make sure to keep it indoors during the winter months!
- Oregano - Another classic, this herb is commonly used in pasta sauces. There are many different varieties of oregano that range in flavor intensity. This herb needs full sun and well-drained soil to flourish, and when it blooms it can bear elegant white or violet flowers.
- Garlic - Garlic is known for its pungent bulbs that deliver flavor by the forkful to recipes from all over the world. It also has many other health benefits, such as lowering the risk for heart disease, which makes it a viable herb in many medicines and vitamins. Garlic grows best in either full sun or partial shade, and should be planted in the late summer. Keep it mulched through the winter months, and come the summer after planting it will be ready for harvesting.
- Dill - This herb has a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs elegantly with soups, potatoes, and egg dishes. Dill grows best in the full sun, and will self-seed if allowed to ripen. Almost every portion of this plant is edible, from the seeds, to the flowers, to the leafy foliage. Dill makes a graceful addition to any garden.
- Parsley - From garnish to spice to breath freshner, parsley is a versatile herb that is available in curled or flat-leaf forms. For decorative garnishes or plate dressings, the curled variety works best. For seasoning and flavoring, try the flat-leaf form. Parsley grows best in full sun to partial shade.
- Fennel - This easy-to-grow herb is available in green and bronzed varieties, and has a soft, nutty flavor to it, It's feathery, fern-like foliage grows well among other plants, and its leaves attract many beneficial insects such as butterflies and pollenating bees. Fennel grows best in full or partial sun.
What herbs are in your garden, and what recipes do you use them for? I want to know, so share it in the comments!
Here's the top 10 list of celebrities who use their fame, fortune, and star power to actively participate in environmental conservation.
Hollywood isn't just responsible for giving us Oscar-winning movies, A-list movie stars, and a gossip machine that just won't quit. It's also given us some real advocates for the environment - celebrities who use their fame, fortune and star power to actively participate in conservation efforts and help raise awareness and support for the environment.
Check out this top 10 list of celebrities who donate more than just money - they also give their time, energy and efforts into keeping it green.
Leonardo DiCaprio - As an environmentalist, DiCaprio is best known for having co-written, produced, and narrated the global warming film "The 11th Hour." But long after the credits rolled, his own Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation continued to lobby hard for a variety of environmental and humanitarian issues, include forest preservation, healthy oceans, clean water access, and renewable energy.
DiCaprio actively serves on numerous environmental boards including the National Resources Defense Council, Global Green USA, World Wildlife Fund, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. On top of sizable donations he's committed over the years, the superstar actor has also pledged to forgo private jets and drives a Prius.
Cate Blanchett - As co-artistic directors of the Sydney Theater Company, the actress and her husband, Andrew Upton, were key proponents of Greening the Wharf, a project that oversaw 1,900 solar panels being installed in the Wharf Theatre at Sydney's Walsh Bay. This now provides 70 percent of the theater's electricity requirements and, together with a system for rainwater harvesting, will eventually turn it fully carbon neutral. Under her guidance, the theater also started reusing and recycling costumes and props.
Although the Oscar winner and face of Australia's "Who on Earth Cares" program recently came under fire for appearing in the Australian government's carbon tax ads, Blanchett says she will "not be deterred from spreading the message about climate change."
Brad Pitt - Apart from his well-documented humanitarian efforts, the "Moneyball" star is also a longtime environmentalist. His Make It Right Foundation is on track to finish 150 homes in New Orleans, where all the new residences will not only sport environmentally sound features, but they will also use advanced engineering to withstand strong winds and floods. The U.S. Green Building Council lauded the star for his role in establishing "the largest and greenest single family community in the world."
Pitt has donated more than $5 million to this project alone and, through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, also helps oil the engine for various other natural resources and wildlife conservation campaigns.
Gisele Bundchen - The mega-model was hailed as the Best Green International Celebrity in December of 2011, winning the online poll by a large margin, thanks to her work in ecological conservation and education. Through her eco-friendly flip-flop line, Ipanema Gisele Bundchen, the supermodel has raised funds for conservation efforts in the Amazon and the Atlantic Rainforest.
She also launched the Clean Water Project with her family, whose mission is to restore vegetation and the micro basins in her hometown of Horizontina, Brazil. In 2011, Harvard's Center for Health and Global Environment named her the year's Global Environmental Citizen, and in January 2012 she made her first official visit to Africa as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program.
Edward Norton - The "Incredible Hulk" star flexes his green muscles in a broad range of initiatives, starting with his work as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. At his designation ceremony in 2010, Norton spoke about how environmental issues are the "defining challenge of this era."
Norton is widely recognized for his work on the BP Solar Neighbors Program, which matches each celebrity purchase of a solar-energy home with solar panels for a low-income family home.
The 43-year old has also been vocal with his support of the Wilderness Society and Earthjustice, as well as lending his hosting talent to a National Geographic series called "Strange Days on Planet Earth." He has also been an active board member of Friends of the High Line, a group that campaigns to save and rebuild green space in New York City.
Daryl Hannah - Hailed for her role as the menacing Elle Driver in "Kill Bill," Hannah proved she can be just as fierce in real life when it comes to issues close to her heart. For one thing, she has been arrested numerous times in the name of the environment: first for a 23-day tree sit-in in 2006; then again in 2009 for protesting against mountaintop mining in West Virginia; and twice 2011 and 2013 for joining demonstrations against the Keystone oil pipeline in front of the White House.
When not running afoul of the law, Hannah also produces a weekly video blog on green lifestyles called DH Love Life, and runs an online business selling eco-friendly products. She also grows her own food.
Robert Redford - A pioneer among celebrity environmentalists and a former "Time" magazine "Hero of the Environment," Redford founded Sundance Preserve, a non-profit organization working to protect the North Fork Canyon in Utah. He also produced "The Green," an eco-themed TV program that tackles issues such as solar energy and wilderness preservation.
In 2009, the Sundance Kid was honored with Duke University's lifetime environmental achievement in the fine arts (LEAF) award. More recently, he has written op-eds calling for President Obama to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline project, citing severe environmental damage from extracting crude oil from tar sands. "The environmental tipping point has been reached," Redford said in an interview with MSNBC.
Pierce Brosnan -It's all well and good to be named "Best Dressed Environmentalist" by the Sustainable Style Foundation, but Brosnan takes his activist role very seriously. Brosnan has dedicated a large part of his life to environmental causes, serving on the boards of numerous groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, California Coastal Protection Network and Sea Shepherd.
Together with his wife, Keely Shaye Smith, Brosnan has been inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame with his efforts in raising awareness about and campaigning against illegal whale hunting and wetlands protection.
The Bond star, who says he's proud of "fighting for the forests and the oceans," also lent his voice and name to environmental films and documentaries such as "Oceans" and "Lethal Sounds."
Adrian Grenier - The 35-year old actor recently picked up awards from Global Green USA and Opportunity Green for his work on SHFT, a website advocating green living through traditional and social media. A far cry from his role as large-living Vincent Chase in "Entourage," Grenier hosts the show "Alter Eco" on the channel Planet Green, speaking out about the little changes people can make to be kinder to the environment.
He also drives a Prius and has a solar-powered home in Brooklyn, New York.
Ed Begley, Jr. - Known for sometimes turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Begley has long been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community. Today he continues to actively serve on the boards of various green groups, including the Environmental Media Association, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Tree People, and Friends of the Earth.
Begley and his wife, Rachelle Carson-Begley, star in their own reality TV show called "Living with Ed" on the Planet Green channel, which chronicles the couple's quest to live with a small carbon footprint. Begley also raises funds through a line of eco-friendly cleaning products called Begley's Best and uses the profits to assist other local green organizations.
The practice of utilizing goats and sheep for targeted grazing is a growing trend among private communities and government agencies.
By Merritt Melancon
Goats and sheep have a reputation for eating vegetation that most other grazing animals would not touch.
This trait makes them invaluable to people who need to raise livestock in tough climates, but it's also made them popular for landowners who need to clear brush or invasive plants from overgrown parcels.
These nimble grazers can get into overgrown areas that even the most dedicated grounds keeper or gardener won't chance. They've proved to be a low-impact, low-cost way to control invasive plants like privet, kudzu, honeysuckle and English ivy.
The practice of using sheep and goats to clear out unwanted brush is called targeted grazing, and many government agencies, municipalities and private landowners are using it to keep vacant lots, steep backyards, parks and right-of-ways clear of brush.
When is it time to bring in a herd?
"Targeted grazing is a suitable option, whether a landowner is dealing with acres of stream bank, a detention pond or a small backyard, but it's not meant to replace basic maintenance," said Brian Cash, owner of EWE-niversally Green sheep rental service in Dunwoody, GA.
"We're not a lawn mowing service," Cash said. "We'll do that, but we like to focus on overgrown yards and lots."
Cash often works with new homeowners in and around downtown Atlanta who have purchased foreclosed homes with overgrown lawns and local government agencies needing to clear brush from public lands.
"Sheep and goats are most useful when an area is so overgrown that no one else wants to clear it out. Even if it's just a small yard, most homeowners, and many landscapers, don't want to work in an area that's choked with poison ivy, poison oak and briars," he said.
Sheep and goats are also userful in areas that are too steep or too wooded to use a tractor to clear out brush.
"If you can do it with a bush hog on a tractor, then that would be cheaper, but if you need a guy with a weed whacker out there, then I'm cheaper," said herdswoman Jennifer Chandler, of Shady Brook Farm in Colbert.
Chandler and her sheep have worked with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) on the Athens campus to clear invasive plants including privet, kudzu and honeysuckle from along the bank of the Oconee River.
She also works with homeowners in the Athens area to clear kudzu covered hills and backyards.
While goats and sheep are a surefire and efficient way to clear out a choked backyard or lot, there are a few things that homeowners should consider before buying a half-dozen goats or even hiring a service like Cash or Chandler's.
They'll eat everything
While herdsmen and women out on the West coast are training goats and sheep to nibble around delicate plants like grape vines and other crops, targeted grazing isn't a technique homeowners would want to try around their prized hydrangeas or a heirloom rose bush.
In fact, some ornamental plants are seriously toxic to sheep or goats, including azaleas and Japanese yew.
"They're not very discriminant," said stry Specialist with the CAES. "If there's something you don't want them to eat, you need to protect it."
While goats and sheep eat pretty much the same thing, sheep prefer broad-leaf weeds like ivy or kudzu, and goats seem to prefer woodier plants.
Sheep can usually clear an area up to about a five-foot height, but goats can climb and take care of plants up to seven feet off the ground.
Because of their climbing ability, goats can take care of larger plants. However, that skill and natural curiosity makes them more likely to escape and antagonize neighborhood dogs.
Cash usually sends along a few goats along with his sheep herd to get the best of both worlds, but he's careful to select his best-behaved goats.
Graze, wait and repeat
"If a homeowner's goal is to eradicate specific invasive species, it may take repeated grazing to accomplish that goal," said Workman.
She and Chandler organized the first targeted grazing demonstration at UGA last year. The project, an effort to remove privet from a portion of the River Road area, is still ongoing.
"These invasive plants are invasive because they are so persistent," Workman said. "The idea is that the repeated introduction of the animals will deplete the root reserve of the (invasive) shrub."
"The shrubby stuff and woody vines are things that need repeated browsing," she said. "And hopefully the more they're eaten and knocked back, the less strength they have to regrow."
Managing the herd takes expertise
Herdsmen and women, like Cash and Chandler, have worked with their animals long enough to know how they'll graze a specific area and how to meet homeowner's goals for targeted grazing. Their customers get the benefit of that expertise when they rent their herds.
"Another option is for a homeowner to purchase a few sheep or goats, but they need to be ready for the responsibility," said Will Getz, professor of animal science at Fort Valley State University's Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center.
Zoning laws prohibit many suburban and urban homeowners from keeping any goats or sheep in their backyards. Additionally, suburban, urban and even rural landowners will face the challenge of keeping their herds contained and safe from predators such as coyotes or neighborhood dogs.
Moreover, there's the matter of food.
According to Getz, an acre of grass and brush can support about a half-dozen goats or sheep over the long-term. If a landowner wants to load their land with more than six sheep or goats per acre, they'll clear it out quickly.
"If you exceed that stocking intensity, then the animals are going to clear the area out more quickly," Getz said. "But then you need to be prepared to sell them or otherwise get them off of your land when they've finished - either that or start buying feed."
Homeowners interested in either renting or buying goats to clear their land should contact their local UGA or FSVU Cooperative Extension agent and the zoning or public development office in their county or city.
Sustainable landscaping requires less water and fewer, if any, chemical treatments. This results in cleaner air, fewer pollutants, reduced energy consumption, and a safer living environment for people, plants, and animals.
The concept of being "environmentally friendly" isn't just reserved for urban hipsters or tree-hugging activists anymore. Over the last few years, the idea of being good to our planet has found its way into households everywhere. From the energy-efficient light bulbs we use to the hybrid cars we drive, more and more people are educating themselves about making smart and responsible choices when it comes to the environment and our fragile ecosystem. And they're not just stopping at the front door either. Individuals, communities and public agencies across the globe are exploring the act of sustainable landscaping in their environmental efforts.
Sustainable landscaping incorporates a diverse blend of practices that were developed in response to tangible environmental issues and the growing consciousness of eco-friendly attitudes. From design to construction, and implementation to management, residential and commercial landscapes are employing these sustainable practices in an effort to:
- Reduce water waste and pollutants
- Eliminate toxic compounds such as pesticides, fungicides and herbicides
- Decrease the use of non-renewable resources
- Lower energy consumption
- Protect plants and wildlife
- Reduce carbon footprints
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, "sustainable landscapes are responsive to the environment, regenerative, and can actively contribute to the development of healthy communities. Sustainable landscapes sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and create value through significant economical, social, and environmental benefits." Wow...that sounds pretty awesome, right?
How are Sustainable Landscapes Designed?
Sustainable landscapes are designed to be both attractive and in balance with the local climate and surrounding environment, and should require minimal resource inputs. The design must encompass aesthetics, functionality and cost efficiency, while being environmentally friendly and maintainable. Sustainable landscapes should preserve limited resources while reducing wastes and pollutants. In addition, natural solutions for fertilization and pest management must be incorporated - such as composting and pest control measures that avoid or minimize the use of chemicals.
What are the Benefits of Sustainable Landscapes?
There have been many studies conducted by public agencies across the nation that illustrate how traditional residential landscapes waste up to 50% of water applied outdoors. In addition, the EPA has determined that residential applications of pesticides are as much as 20 times per acre as found on farms.
Over-watering damages plants, making them less healthy and attractive, and also creates urban runoff that carries pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides into water sources of all sizes. Those pollutants have a severe impact on local ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey has reported that, "pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders contaminate almost all U.S. rivers and streams, while the nitrates from fertilizers increase algae growth which suffocates fish."
And if that doesn't get your attention, think about this - all of these pollutants, most of which are toxic to humans - are easily tracked inside homes and often contaminate the surface space of living areas.
Sustainable landscaping requires less water and fewer, if any, chemical treatments. This results in cleaner air, fewer pollutants, reduced energy consumption, and a safer living environment for people, plants, and animals.
To learn more about sustainable landscaping practices, check out this guide by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And remember, the long term success of sustainable landscaping can be achieved through a series of short term goals, such as recycling water or creating a compost pile. Even the smallest steps can make a big impact on our communities, our environment, and our lives.
Did you know that EnviroColor can play an important part in your sustainable landscape design? Not only is it cost-effective, functional and visually appealing, but it's also non-toxic and safe for the environment and surrounding plants and wildlife. Contact us to find out how to "go green".
It's even easier to get EnviroColor online, available now at Home Depot!
You have a million things to do today. From family activities to projects at work, we understand that life moves at a hectic pace. That's why we're proud to announce that it's even easier to get the beautiful lawn and vibrant ground coverings that you deserve. EnviroColor is now available online at the Home Depot. With the click of a button, you'll be on your way to vivid green grass and refreshed mulch and pine straw in rich earthen tones.
EnviroColor provides turf, lawn, and ground cover colorant solutions that gives grass, mulch and pine straw a natural, healthy look without checmicals or pollutants. Our solutions use water-based, non-toxic pigments that are completely harmless to the environment, surrounding plants and wildlife. And it's even easy to apply with most standard sprayers.
Using EnviroColor doesn't just revive and refresh faded grass, mulch and pine straw - our colorants can reduce the annual costs of ground covering replacement by 25%-50%. Saving money never looked so good. Give your landscaping a natural, healthy appearance and then get back to what matters most - life.
Point. Click. Save. Get EnviroColor online at Home Depot today.
Communities everywhere are saving money and improving the appearance of their landscaping with EnviroColor.
Who knew that going green could save you green? Our valued customers do - and here's what one of our customers, a property manager for a local community, had to say recently about EnviroColor!
"We are going on our 4th year of using EnviroColor for the pine straw at our property, and what a huge difference it's made! Before you started servicing our property, we were spending over $14k a year treating the pine straw twice every year. We tried to cut costs and only treat the grounds once a year, but it looked awful and really affected the appearance of our neighborhood.
The high costs of treating our pine straw ourselves really took a toll on our community - amenities such as the pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the clubhouse were neglected. But thanks to the experts at EnviroColor, we're looking great and have even been able to upgrade our facilities with the money we've saved by using EnviroColor's services.
Over the last three years, we've saved well over $21k, and now only have our pine straw treated once a year because the color really lasts. Our HOA is delighted by both the money you've saved them as well as the outstanding service you provide. Because of EnviroColor, our community is once again a beautiful place to live!"
We truly value our customers, and are commited to making a difference in communities everywere. If you want to know more about how you can save money and improve the appearance of your neighborhood, contact us today!
How I discovered that growing grass was a heck of a lot more complicated than I originally thought.
Alright. I have a confession to make. I always just assumed that grass was...well, grass. I mean, sure - I knew that some lawns looked different than others, but I never really gave it much thought...until the summer of 2010. My journey to becoming a grass guru started innocently enough, as I was talking to a first-time-homeowner friend of mine who just bought a foreclosed home straight out of Fright Night. The "lawn" (and I use that term loosely) had more in common with the Sahara Desert than the Garden of Eden. So when it came time for her to do something about it, I naively volunteered my helpful services.
I had the brilliant idea to just call up the local grass store and have them deliver a new lawn. Visions of lawn parties and barbecues filled my head as the hold music played. When the grass guy answered, I was unprepared for the barrage of questions he fired my way. He asked about climate. He talked about foot traffic and soil type and about how much sun the area received. Then he asked about what type of grass was needed. And I'm sitting there thinking, "Dude. I just want to buy a new lawn."
For those of you still reading, it's safe to assume that the conversation ended in epic failure. But being the awesome friend that I am, I refused to admit defeat. So I decided to educate myself on the veritable mystery known as grass. Here's what I learned.
The survival of your lawn depends on buying the right type of grass for the climate area that you live in. As a general rule, northern areas are more suited for cool season grasses whereas warm season grasses are ideal for southern climates. Since this lawn project was in Georgia, that meant choosing from bermuda, zoysia and centipede grasses. Based on the limited amount of shade in her (dead) yard, bermudagrass seemed to be the best choice. It's fairly hardy and drought-tolerant, and grows best in our muggy, humid southern climate.
But choosing the type of grass is only half the battle, because then comes the big "S" question - seed or sod? Seeding costs less, but it takes more time to cultivate a healthy lawn. Laying sod means almost instant lawn gratification, but with a hefty price tag attached.
In the end, seeding was the best option for my friend's budget. As the days were getting hotter,we had to kick ourselves into overdrive to get the seeding started, since bermudagrass is best planted from May to July.
Following some helpful advice from this guide, we sowed, we seeded, and we sweated. It was time-consuming, but we were meticulous and determined. In the end, we were victorious. Over time and with proper care, her lawn began to grow and stopped resembling the patch of dead earth it once was. When she threw her first barbecue and we all gathered on the back lawn, I remember thinking what a great thing it was to be a part of making something grow.
Have you had an adventure in landscaping? Share it with me in the comments below!
The drought has forced us all to restrict our water usage, but that doesn't mean your lawn has to suffer.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), almost 52% of the contiguous United States is suffering from moderate to severe drought conditions. Despite, or perhaps even because of the series of brutal storms that kicked this year off, current weather patterns don't predict an end to the drought that has steadily been worsening over the past few years.
Here in my home state of Georgia, watering restrictions have tightened since 2010, limiting the use of water for planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground coverings and landscaping. And I'm sure that the same types of restrictions apply to those of you in neighboring states. While some people grumble about the general "dead" appearance of their lawns and shrubs, for the most part everyone agrees that water conservation is needed for the long haul.
For those of you whose lawns are looking like a dried out dead thing, at least I have some good news. It is possible to pitch in and do your part for water conservation and still have a healthy, green lawn - all year round.
EnviroColor provides turf, lawn and grass painting solutions that give your lawn a natural, healthy and green look without chemicals or pollutants. Our 4EverGreen™ colorant is a non-toxic, water-based pigment that gives grass a uniform hue and eliminates brown patches from drought and disease. It's easy to apply with most standard sprayers, and keeps your grass looking fresh for up to 12 weeks after application.
According to national forecasts, this drought isn't going away anytime soon. But that doesn't mean your lawn has to suffer. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to have a beautiful lawn with EnviroColor 4EverGreen™.
Are you ready to put the green back in your grass? Get EnviroColor 4EverGreen™!
No matter what type of garden you're planning, these seven secrets will save you money when it comes time to start planting.
Spring is here! The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and you're ready to roll up your sleeves and head into the garden. You want your favorite plants to root deep in the ground - not your wallet. So here are seven secrets to help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to making things grow.
- Plant from Seeds: To stretch your gardening budget, retain the seeds of flowers and vegetables from previous seasons. Once you've allowed them time to dry, deposit the seeds separately in well-labeled bags and store them in a warm, dry place. Before spring arrives, plant the seeds in seedling trays and keep them indoors - somewhere where they can get lots of sunshine. Make sure they're watered accordingly, and once spring hits and they're ready to go into the ground, you'll be on your way to an established garden. If this is your first planting, or if you don't have last year's seeds, check with family, friends, and neighbors for spare seeds, or watch for sales within your local community.
- Invest in Fruit Plants: Small fruit plants, trees, or bushes can more than double your ROI (return on investment) once they start to grow. There is a wide variety of fruit plants that are easy to care for, and often produce more than enough fruit to augment your monthly grocery bill. In addition, any excess fruit you have could be used as gifts for friends and family, or even sold for a tidy profit.
- Choose Water-Conscious Plants: All plants need water, but some require less than others. Choosing flowers, plants, and vegetables that don't get as thirsty as often can help you reduce your monthly water bill, and are perfect for those of us who have hectic schedules.
- Grow Plants from Cuttings: There are many plants and vegetables that can be easily grown from your neighbor's garden - this allows you to increase your garden's diversity, and can also eliminate the need to buy new plants to add to your plot. Just make sure to ask permission first. Also, check out this guide for more tips on how to grow clippings from established plants.
- Consider Composting: Creating your own compost results in many benefits - for starters, it gives you a great way to recycle organic material, such as tea bags, coffee grinds, vegetable and fruit rinds, grass clippings, leaves, and weeds. In addition, making your own compost eliminates the need to pay for costly fertilizers, and it's also a natural way to give your garden an energetic "eco-boost".
- Buy Seeds in Bulk: As it is with most things, buying seeds in bulk will save you money over time. Buying bulk seeds gives you more purchasing power, and if you're a shrewd negotiator, you can save up to 40% or more. You can make it a fun too - round up your gardening friends and have a seed-buying party. This allows you to split the cost and ensure no seeds go to waste.
- Plan Ahead: In your garden, a little bit of planning can go a long way. If you don't have a garden budget, it can be useful to create one. Knowing what you can spend will really help you when it comes to decision making. Along with a budget, try mapping out your garden on paper. It doesn't have to be fancy, but if you know what you want to plant and where you want to plant it, it can help you buy only what you need to maximize your garden's space. Also, make plans to save and store your seeds from this year's planting for use next year.
Whether you're gardening to supplement your family's food bill, or just because you love growing things, gardening doesn't have to be a "break-the-bank" pastime.
Is there a special way you save money in your garden? We want to know - tell us in the comments!
With constant exposure to the elements, your pine straw quickly loses its vibrant color. EnviroColor is an easy, eco-friendly and cost-effective solution that keeps your ground coverings beautiful all year round.
If you're like me, you love your home. It is your haven in an otherwise chaotic world. You spend time cleaning, maintaining, and decorating your home - so that it's warm and inviting when friends and family come to visit, or relaxing and peaceful when it's just time to kick back.
While you can influence what happens inside of your home, your lawn and landscaping can be more difficult to control, as it's subject to Mother Nature's unruly whims. Maybe your grass isn't as green as you want it, or your pine straw and mulch is fading into a dismal shade of gray that has about as much curb appeal as an army of pink flamingos. You want your lawn to look like paradise - not prison.
Here in the south, pine straw is the essential ground covering used in landscaping projects of all sizes. It looks great when it's freshly spread, giving your landscape an instant aesthetic boost. But over time, pine straw and other organic ground coverings decompose with exposure to the elements, losing color and volume. Within 30 to 60 days, pine straw loses that newly-minted "oomph", and looks more like it belongs outside of Dracula's castle than in your well-manicured community.
In order to avoid a serious case of "the grays", pine straw beds have to be refreshed multiple times per year. Depending on the size of the beds and the amount of pine straw you need, this can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year.
Stop. Before you pull out the checkbook to replace old pine straw...why not think about recoloring it instead? EnviroColor's pine straw painting and mulch color-enriching solutions are the perfect answer to keep your beds and landscaping beautiful year round, while saving you money in the process.
By applying EnviroColor to your pine straw, you can reduce the cost of ground covering materials by 25-50% while reducing your labor costs too! Regular treatment can extend the life of your pine straw, resulting in less material needed and longer cycles between each refresh.
Even better, it's eco-friendly too! EnviroColor solutions are water-based, non-toxic, and completely harmless to the environment, surrounding plants and wildlife. By reducing the amount of materials needed to produce the same results means a reduction in the amount of trees and fuel required to create, package, and ship pine straw and mulch products.
We offer a wide range of colorant products to suit every aspect of your landscape - diverse colors to match your lawn, mulch, or pine straw beds. It's an easy and cost-effective way to enhance your home's landscaping - so that the beauty outside mirrors the beauty you've created within.
You don't have to take my word for it. Take a look at what our customers are saying about us. Then contact us for a free estimate and see how easy and affordable it is to liven up your landscaping with EnviroColor.