Understanding Your Garden Soil Cycle

Understanding Your Garden Soil Cycle

Everyone who has ever tried to grow anything knows that it all starts with the soil. Most people never really think about the soil cycle that happens yearly, let alone things you can do at certain times to help improve it. Adding fertilizer alone is just not enough! In this article, we will look at the different stages of your soil and things you can do during each stage so you can reap the rewards at harvest time!

The first thing to remember is that soil is a living thing that’s made by the death and decay of other things. Mother Nature is efficient and nothing goes to waste! This article is written with the newbie gardener in mind and I encourage comments from other veteran food gardeners out there in the comment section below!

Fresh Garden. It’s spring and you’ve worked all winter long to plan and build your garden. You’ve got fresh soil, bursting with nutrients, to plant your seeds and sprouts in. Everything is set and ready for your gardening dreams to become a reality and you dream of fresh veggies from your own private ‘Produce Section.’ You’ve got your things planted in pretty little rows and now work on tending them as they grow. Since the soil is fresh, there is no need to amend much of anything – unless you’re growing something with special nutrient needs.

While there are no beneficial bugs in purchased soil, it’s still packed full of nutrients that are slow releasing to help those fragile plants get a good start! It’s important to not add anything to new soil, fertilizer-wise. Too much nitrogen can ‘burn’ and kill off plants before they really get started. Things like sand or perlite for drainage is …

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Six Tips to Growing Wild Mushrooms at Home

Six Tips to Growing Wild Mushrooms at Home

Cultivating wild mushrooms at home for gourmet or medicinal purposes is an exciting and rewarding experience. Fresh wild mushrooms are most tastier than the ones purchased at a grocery store. It requires some specific tools and a cool, dark place for the spores to cultivate. If done properly, you can have your own wild mushrooms within six weeks. The two most popular mushrooms that can be grown at home are the oyster and shiitake mushroom.

Things you’ll need:

  • Wild mushroom spore or spawn
  • Large pan or growing tray
  • Mushroom growing medium (hardwood shavings, straw, composted manure)
  • Heating pad
  • Potting soil
  • Cloth
  • Spray bottle

 Step 1

Pick your variety of wild mushroom spores (aka seed) or spawn (seedlings). You can purchase these at spore banks. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms (as shown above) are some …

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17 Ways to Keep Your House Cool and Save Money

17 Ways to Keep Your House Cool and Save Money

The seasons come and go, each with its own set of characteristics that can either be easy or difficult to get through. Summer is just around the corner and while it’s fun to go to the beach, the same cannot be said about going back to a home that feels like an oven. Turning on the air conditioning is the most convenient solution, but you won’t be excited to see the electric bill.

As the summer heat seems to lengthen and intensify each year, we preppers need to do something about it without having to resort to the expensive and artificial way of cooling our homes. Here are some tips to deal with the heat wave while saving money in the process.

  1. Dehumidify

If you live in a humid area, your sweat will stay wet. Wear loose cotton and other natural fabrics. Removing the humidity will help you feel cooler.

  1. Reduce and reflect sunlight

Sunlight alone can increase the temperature in your home. Keep that light from entering your interior and you can feel the difference.

  1. Turn off lights when not in use – especially incandescents

Light bulbs produce heat, especially the incandescent ones. If you can’t replace these antique type of bulbs, the least you can do is minimize their usage.

  1. Be smart about your doors

If a room is cooler than the outdoor temperature, close the door. This way the cold will not leave the room even in the warmest part of the …

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Six Reasons to Use A Old School Mower

Six Reasons to Use A Old School Mower

An old school mower may sound kind of boring, but I was excited when my friend brought one home from an auction for only a dollar. But then, just knowing how to do things the “old school” way gives me a feeling of satisfaction. So why do I think mowing the “old school” way may be better than a self-propelled or riding mower?

  1. It’s free to use. Push mowers run on human energy. In other words, the only thing spent on mowing the lawn is the energy from the person using it.
  2. Push mowers don’t pollute. Using an old-fashioned hand mower doesn’t use gasoline, diesel or any other polluting fuel. And it’s not just fuel pollution that is saved; there’s no noise pollution either!
  3. Maintenance is simple. With a push mower, there are no complicated wires or engines to navigate. If something needs fixing, it’s straightforward. Other than keeping the blades sharpened — if not self-sharpening — and keeping the mower out of inclement weather, there’s nothing to maintain ….

Read more » https://www.patriotdirect.org/six-reasons-use-old-school-mower/

Stay Safe With Your Own Safe Room

Stay Safe With Your Own Safe Room

To many, safe rooms or panic rooms are a new phenomenon. The principle of a safe place to hide, however, has been around for centuries. In medieval times, castles were designed with a special room called a “keep.”

This was a room built deep inside the castle where groups could hide during an attack. In the 1950s, a large number of Americans built fallout shelters out of fear of a nuclear attack. Safe rooms and spaces are still found today to varying degrees. This is especially true in the Midwest, where storm shelters are especially common.

In a more modern and specific capacity, though, a safe room is a place where you can hide in the event something dangerous occurs. The most common threat is a home invasion. A Hollywood version of this can be seen in …

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Plants That Repel Insects and Pests

Plants That Repel Insects and Pests

Repel Insects and other Pests…Naturally! Here are eight plants that can deter those annoying insects and different pests such as mice.


Mint is a helpful and cheap herb that can repel flies. You can use mint in both kinds – in fresh or dried form – to discourage flies. Apart from flies, mint is also helpful against mosquitoes, ants, and mice. You can keep crushed mint leaves in shallow bowl, to keep flies away. If you want, you can also fill few muslin tea bags with dried crushed mint leaves and keep them in the infested areas.

Tip: Because mint grows so quickly, keep your mint plant in its own pot to prevent it from taking over your garden.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves produce a subtle scent that flies hate. Different insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hate the fragrance of bay leaves. You can grow bay leaf plants in pots to place in the infested areas to keep roaches, flies, and mice away. Dried bay leaves ar equally effective in repelling flies.


To help deter mosquitoes with its robust fragrance, plant lemongrass along walkways and in locations near seating areas. Also, plant lemongrass in large planters ..

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Gardening Tips: Gardening In The City

Gardening tips: Gardening In The City

Trying to live self-sufficiently in a city or suburban environment is rewarding however comes with several challenges. One of the most common obstacles is just a lack of space. The typical residential lot may vary anywhere from 3,500 sq. feet. to 6,000 sq. feet. Either way, even a really massive suburban lot isn’t going to be larger than a quarter acre, and often quite smaller.

Fortunately, there are various ways to save space and still grow your own food in the town. One of these ways is called edible landscaping.

Edible landscaping is the technique of planting edible foods in place of strictly decorative plants within a landscape. These edible foods could be something from herbs to full-grown squash plants.

Of course, anyone will use edible landscaping on their property but it works exceptionally well for people who live in an urban setting, for two reasons:

  1. You can grow food without affecting the value of your current landscape
  2. It won’t attract unwanted attention from neighbors or passersby

Tight-knit urban communities may not be so happy about you having garden beds on your front lawn. Such a garden also can affect your property value. Additionally, it isn’t unheard of for folks in unfortunate situations …

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