Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Container Gardening Is Fun

You don't need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables are perfect for container gardening. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.

What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30") container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty, but they'll keep producing into the fall. 

Containers and Pots for Vegetable Gardens

Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything: flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs, plastic bags, large food cans, etc.

Drainage: No matter what kind of container you choose for your vegetable garden, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water.

Color Considerations: You should be careful when using dark colored containers because they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If you do use dark colored pots, try painting them a lighter color or shading just the container.

Size: The size of the container is important. For larger vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants, you should use a five gallon container for each plant. You can grow these plants in two gallon containers, however you need to give the plants considerably more attention.

Soil and Fertilizer

You can use soil in your container vegetable garden, but the synthetic mixes are much better. Peat-based mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants to get enough air and water. Mixing in one part compost to two parts planting mix will improve fertility.

Using a slow release or complete organic fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.


Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don't wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.
No matter what you plant ... have FUN! I promise whatever you grow will taste better than anything you have ever bought in the store. Pluse tending to your garden is relaxing and we can all use some down time these days.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Question: Why do I want to pay for a Home Warranty while my home is listed for sale?

Answer: There are several home warranties on the market so ask your Realtor which will benefit you and your home best but there are several reasons to buy a home warranty.
              1)  A home warranty gives the buyer some assurance that if an appliance or other item breaks within the first year of ownership they can simply call the warranty company and pay a small  fee and a repair man will come out and repair if possible or replace if necessary the broken item.
              2)  There is an option for the seller to be covered while the house is on the market and if during
                   the listing period something breaks it is covered with the home warranty
              3)  The cost of the warranty comes out of closing so there is no cash up front to pay for this
                   peace of mind.
              4)  Although no warranty pays for everything they can make a significant difference it what
                   it costs to repair/replace an item in your home. For example, the well pump goes out and
                   without the home warranty the bill was $450 to repair. With the home warranty the $60
                  fee you pay for the repair call is a savings of $390...that's alot!
              5)  If buyers see there is a Home Warranty on the house they can be sure that the seller
                  isn't trying to hide some defect.
These are just a few of the reasons to consider having a Home Warranty on the house you are selling.
So sellers talk with your Realtor and see which warranty is best for you. Don't forget this is a plus for
the buyers and can make a difference if it is your house they choose or another one.