What do chickens and greenhouses have in common one may ask? The answer is simple, this design mimics an old blueprint that is eons old and was first coined in 1978 by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison as permaculture. From this concept the basic chicken greenhouse was formed.
The chicken greenhouse works by attaching a chicken house and nesting box to a south-facing greenhouse. During the day the solar energy warms the greenhouse while throughout the night the chickens’ body heat and decomposing manure keeps night temperatures up.
In this type of system nothing is wasted not even the chickens’ breath. As the chickens breathe they release CO2 into the greenhouse that in turn is taken in by the plants that through a process called photosynthesis turn it into O2. The more CO2 that is produced the more plants grow and the happier gardeners are with their product.
At first glance, earthworms are not pretty. They are slimy and squiggly and don’t add much to the aesthetics of the garden. It seems all they do is sit beneath the soil surface emerging at night or on a rainy day to wander aimlessly about.
But did you know earthworms are as important as bees when it comes to having a successful garden? While bees pollinate plants to produce better flowers, fruits and vegetables, earthworms work underground to break down organic matter and create compost utilized by plants for optimal growth.
The earthworm’s body is an efficient composting factory. It starts with the pointed lobe covering the head, or the prostomium, used to pry open cracks in the soil followed by the mouth that eats everything in its path. The mucous secreted along the earthworm’s body helps the earthworm glide through dry hard soil. They breathe through the surface of their body, as earthworms have no lungs.
Once soil and organic matter enters the earthworm’s body, it passes through the digestive system. During the digestive process enzymes break the organic matter down on a molecular level. The worm absorbs what it needs for energy and growth and passes the rest into the garden soil. It is what the earthworm leaves behind that is considered garden gold. This garden gold, or garden soil enriched by earthworm deposits, is considered by many the best soil you can have in the garden.
Lawns are one of the most widely used garden features across the world. Made up of a complex mix of different grass species, they provide the perfect backdrop to show borders and pots off at their best. They are used for sprawling suburban driveways, bringing welcome green to the front of houses. And for even the most amateur of gardeners, they provide an easy option for turning any backyard into a lush and thriving oasis.
However, whilst lawns in commercial settings and public spaces may be immaculately cared for, most gardeners have little time to ensure that their own patch of green receives the perfect treatment. And with the summer sun beating down upon tender shoots, devastating consequences can often occur. A few simple steps however, can ensure that your lawn stays fresh and green, avoiding the bare, cracked, and brown grass that can become so common in the height of the summer months.
There’s nothing quite like the slight glint of a snowdrop petal to bring a smile on a gloomy winters day. Freezing weather and possible snow can dismay many people, with their outdoor spaces becoming horticultural wastelands with no flower in sight. A particularly quiet time in the gardener’s year, the small glimmer of vibrant flowers signals the beginning of spring, and the onset of warmer weather. And with such a huge array of beautiful flower specimens emerging from seemingly lifeless bulbs, a bit of care and thought can result in seasonal color throughout the year.
Planters and pots are particularly useful for growing bulbs, largely because varieties can often be lost in garden borders unless used in huge quantities. An expanse of spring tulips or a sea of daffodils easily provides a stunning sight, but a few clumps of even the most vivid petals can quickly be overshadowed by other shrubs and perennials. Meanwhile, with pots easily movable, color can be taken to where it’s most needed. And by choosing varieties with differing flowering times, a single planter can provide beautiful blooms from season to season.
Any gardener will know that water is vital for any flourishing oasis. Dry spells leave our plants wilting in the sunlight, blooms fading, leaves turning crisp and brown. And whilst there are many drought tolerant plants available, even they need a good drenching now and then. It is therefore not unusual that gardeners wanting to protect their beloved plants turn to watering to help strong and vibrant growth. But there are a few simple tricks that increase the efficiency of such methods, whilst also being as environmentally friendly as possible.
The time at which you water plants is vital to overall watering efficiency. Whilst many assume that you can water at any time of the day, factors such as heat and humidity vary the rates at which water can be absorbed. Watering at midday, when the sun is high in the sky, is therefore by far the worst time. Not only will large amounts of water be lost before it manages to percolate into the soil, but the suns rays can also potentially burn delicate plant leaves as droplets evaporate. For this reason watering is at its peak efficiency in the early morning or late evening. Meanwhile, if gardeners have sprinkler systems, leaving them on a timer overnight is ideal, thereby letting as much water as possible to soak into the soil.
Meanwhile care must also be taken to water plants in a healthy way. Continuous watering, little and often, is not advised as such a process results in plants developing a network of shallow roots at the surface. Whilst looking vibrant, these plants essentially become drought intolerant, meaning that watering becomes a constant necessity. Watering every few days and providing a good drenching is therefore advisable for gardeners wanting healthy specimens. As the water soaks through the soil it draws plant roots down with it, creating individuals which are healthy both above and below the surface.
Owning a backyard greenhouse has several advantages. Along with growing a fresh, organic selection of fruits and vegetables, you can try your green thumb at ornamental plants and seed harvesting. Not to mention, you can also compost and nurture plants all year round, which can save you money, give you a hobby and reduce your impact on the environment. It can be a win-win situation, that is, if you have the right accessories to get you started.
Fortunately for you, Outdora has quite an offer for those wanting to start their greenhouse adventure. With the purchase of any Sunglo greenhouse, Outdora will be giving away $400 in free greenhouse accessories. This package includes a 25-gallon soil mixing tub, a drip watering kit, a customized solar shade cloth, a 400-watt High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide all-in-one light fixture made by Floralux, and a water resistant light timer.
Why is this a great deal? How can these accessories make your greenhouse more successful?
For any garden it is important to create a sense of intrigue and mystery through the use of colors, textures and heights. Whilst personal taste will always remain at the forefront of design, careful planning and attention given to the contrasts, focal points, and highlight colors are as important in the garden as they are to interior designers. A garden based on one level can be a stunning horticultural masterpiece but the simple integration of a few structural items can provide the vital component to add an extra perspective that both gardener and visitors can revel in.
A simple way of producing such height diversity is to add some trellising to the garden, allowing for a huge range of beautiful and stunning climbing plants to offer blooms and scents at an entirely new level. Adding both depth and interest to the garden the variety of climbers is immense, offering the perfect plant for everyone.
Food is an essential part of every day life, so it can be a significant expense. How much money do you spend at the grocery store on a weekly basis?
Depending on the size of your household, you might spend anywhere from $50 to $200, and this amount only increases when you’re expecting family and friends or cooking for holidays and celebrations. Probably one of the highest expenses is fresh produce, and it’s frustrating when you end up buying fruits and vegetables that rot within a couple days of purchasing. If you’re tired of relying on the grocery stores for quality organic produce, take matters into your own hands and setup a home greenhouse in the backyard.
Finding the Right Greenhouse
Fortunately, there are many types of greenhouses so it doesn’t matter whether you live in a mansion or a small apartment, because you can still grow some crops. Below are some of the basic structure designs.
The thought of wriggly worms in your compost bin might give you the heebie jeebies, but it’s really not as awful as you may think. Starting your own worm farm can be beneficial not only for the environment, but the resulting compost can significantly improve your soil, which will make your flowers bloom brighter and your vegetables grow bigger. Who can turn their nose up at that?
Although you might not be thrilled to add worms to your existing compost bin, you could always enlist a family member who isn’t so skittish. Teaching your children how to start their own compost bin will instill them with eco-friendly values and prepare them for an independent future. Once we look into the advantages of vermicomposting, you might put your hesitance aside.