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How to Start an Indoor Winter Garden

After enjoying fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit from your own garden during the summer months, you may be disappointed when winter comes around. Of course, you can buy organic produce from many local markets. However, there is something enriching about the process of growing your own produce.

The reality is that you do not have to completely abandon growing your own produce in the wintertime. You can cultivate an indoor winder garden. What follows are some tips, suggestions, and strategies to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit indoors during the colder months of the year.

Herbs

Herbs represent the easiest edible plants to grow indoors during the winter months. With that in mind, basil is the simplest of the herbs to grow indoors — and, if you are like most people, basil is likely one of your favorite herbs. Growing basil can be done successfully by planning seeds in a pot placed next to a south facing window.

Other types of herbs oftentimes can be better grown indoors if you start them from cuttings, rather than seeds. These include rosemary, thyme, parsley, and oregano. These herbs can be planted in a pot place in a south facing window as well.

Root Vegetables

You may have grown different types of root vegetables outdoors. You can grow some of these successfully indoors during the winter months.

Radishes definitely can grow in an indoor setting because this vegetable doesn’t root as deeply as other root vegetables. Certain varieties of carrots can also be grown indoors as well.

The key to cultivating radishes and carrots indoors during the winter months is to select a box or trough of an appropriate depth (deeper for carrots). Seeds should be planted any time from mid-autumn to late winter.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms can be grown inside during wintertime. You may be unfamiliar with cultivating mushrooms. Indeed, you may think that there is just something too mysterious about growing mushrooms. In fact, you can cultivate mushrooms fairly easily.

You need to have a draft-free, dark place in your home. A cupboard of pantry can work. Ideally, the space should be such that you can maintain a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees.

You do not need to begin the process of growing mushrooms completely from scratch. You can purchase special compost that contains mushroom spawn. All you need to do to start the process of growing your own mushrooms is to water the soil and then leave it in your predesignated space.

Leafy Greens

If you want a bit more of a challenge, you can cultivate certain leafy greens indoors in wintertime. This includes lettuce, spinach, and arugula.

Leafy greens require more sunlight than the other vegetables previously discussed. IN reality, leafy greens are likely going to need more sunlight that can be gleaned even in a window with a southern exposure in wintertime. Therefore, you need to seriously consider investing in fluorescent grow lights to supplement natural light. You will want to leave the grow lights on between 10 to 12 hours each day.

Beyond the issue with ensuring leafy greens get enough light, the rest of the process of tending to these types of vegetables is not hard. You begin the process by planting seeds in moist potting soil. You need to water your leafy green crop regularly.

Tomatoes

You do not have to abandon home-grown tomatoes in the wintertime. As with leafy greens, tomatoes to require a bit more effort when grown indoors during the winter months.

You do need to select smaller varieties of tomatoes. With that said, you will still want to stake the plants to ensure that the weight of the fruit properly is supported. You will also want to use a larger pot or container to accommodate a tomato plant.

Edible Flowers

You may not have yet had occasion to experiment with edible flowers. You might want to take the plunge to growing and using edible flowers during the winter months.

Two edible flowers are particularly easy to grow indoors in wintertime. These are impatiens and calendulas.

These two types of edible flowers are delicious addition to salads. They are perfect salad toppers, adding color and an additional dash of flavor.

As with most of the other plants recommended for an indoor winter garden, edible flowers can be placed in a south facing window in your home. The amount of natural light received each day via a window on the south side of your house should be enough to sustain the growth of edible flowers.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Grow Ace, your best online option for getting your new hydroponic grow operation up and running quickly and easily.

Lovely Tablescape for Classy Wine, Dessert, and Cheese Gatherings

Like many people, you may enjoy entertaining. However, you may also be interested in planning gatherings that are a bit more informal, do not require a full meal, and yet feature classy, even elegant, tablescape. There are some solid design ideas you should consider employing to craft and create a stunning tablescape for a perfect wine, dessert, and cheese gathering.

Emphasize the Beautiful Bounty of Nature

In many ways, wine, cheese, and, in many ways even desserts, illustrate the bounty of nature. As a result, when it comes to designing an ideal tablescape, you should seriously consider emphasizing the nature’s bounty.

By way of example, you literally can use wine bottles of carafes, cheeses, and desserts as the focus of the tablescape itself. Oftentimes in creating a tablescape, the food is something to be inserted among the decorations. In the case of a tablescape for a wine, cheese, and dessert gathering, the items served become the focal point of the tablescape design itself.

The wine, cheese, and dessert served at the function can be augmented by other items that underscore the bounty of nature. For example, fruits can be added as adornment to the tablescape to carry forth the theme of nature’s abundance and to add a splash of color to the tablescape.

Large bowels can be added to the tablescape that contain fruits like apples, peaches, pears, and other items. Additional bowels can be included on the tablescape for placement of berries and grapes.

Include Mood Lighting in the Tablescape

The reality is that a wine, cheese, and dessert gathering becomes even a greater hit when lighting is included into the mix. A tablescape for a wine, cheese, and dessert function needs appropriate lighting to enhance its overall ambiance

The room where the tablescape is being placed is likely to have overhead lighting. For a wine, cheese, and dessert party, avoiding the use of overhead lighting if at all possible usually is a wise decisions. There are some exceptions to this suggestion. Nonetheless, in most instances, overhead lighting tends to the harshest type if lighting. A wine, cheese, and dessert gather tablescape calls from a softer lighting scheme.

Candles provide a perfect solution when it comes to illuminating a tablescape for a wine, cheese, and dessert gathering. Candles can be utilized in a number of highly effective ways with this type of tablescape.

Small tea light candles can be situated next to each place setting. A variety of candles of different sizes can be scattered around the table and tablescape to add suitable illumination and add to the lovely appearance of the setting.

Because you will be serving wine, you need to make certain that the lighting choices you make are suitable to properly illuminate the wine being served. When wine is a focus of an event, three elements associated with service come into play. Of course, these include smell and taste. However, the third element is the appearance of the wine itself.

Know How to Use Neutral Shades

As mentioned previously, using the wine, cheeses, and desserts as the true focus of a tablescape works beautifully for this type of function. As a result, in considering the foundation for the tablescape for this type of event, you are usually wise to consider neutral colors.

In developing the foundation for a tablescape for a wine, cheese, and dessert gathering, consider very basic table linens in white, ochre, or tan. Depending on the other design items you will be incorporating into the tablescape, different shades of gray may be suitable. Black may also work as well, in very specific instances.

Add a Splash of Color

Once you lay the neutral color foundation for your wine, cheese, and dessert party tablescape, you can add items here and there to the tablescape that will add a dash of vibrant color. Of course, as was noted a moment ago, the color of the wine will be part of the dashes of color on the tablescape. The desserts may also assist in this category. As was also noted, fruits can add a dash of color to the tablescape.

You can round out the addition of color splashes to the tablescape through the specific candles used for the setting. You may add a few other elements of color through place cards or even a floral arrangement included as part of the tablescape.

Creative Place Cards for Guests

You can round out a tablescape for a wine, cheese, and dessert function with the addition of creative place cards for guests. The sky’s the limit when it comes to place cards at this type of function. The focus needs to be on utility and how the place cards follow and even enhance the theme already selected for the tablescape.

Jessica Kane writes for TIPS Alcohol Training, offering TIPS responsible alcohol service training online for both on and off premise needs.

Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your House with a Permiter Fence

A simple way in which you can up the market value of your residence is to enhance its curb appeal. You do not need to spend a fortune on improving the street appearance of your home.

One step that you might want to consider taking as a means of improving the curb appeal of your property is to add a front perimeter fence to your property. There are a number of factors to bear in mind when it comes to adding a front perimeter fence at your residence.

The Importance of Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important when you have no plans to sell your home and want it to look tremendous. Curb appeal is vital if you want to put your home on the market for sale.

There is a saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover. That may work for reading, but it isn’t accurate when it comes to selling your house. The reality is that potential buyers are judging your house by how it looks from the curb. In fact, you may have an amazing interior, but if the front of your home is not up to par, you will lose potential buyers who will not even bother to set foot inside your home.

There are more simple steps that you can take to enhance the curb appeal of your home. This includes such things as giving your home a fresh coat of paint. In addition, you can give your landscaping an uplift as well. This includes dealing with problems with your lawn and making sure any plants on the premises look their best. As was mentioned, a perimeter fence should be considered as well.

The Focus of a Perimeter Fence

You need to contemplate exactly what you want the focus of your fence to be when it comes to the issue of curb appeal. For example, if your home is in a neighborhood that has had issues regarding crime, the focus of a front perimeter fence should be on protection and security. This type of fence sends a reassuring message to people who like your home but who may have heard about crime issues nearby.

Perimeter Fence for Decoration

Another primary focus of a front perimeter fence is decoration and enhancing the overall appearance of your home. In this regard, you have a myriad of options.

When it comes to a decorative front perimeter fence, you can head down the traditional path or you might have some sort of innovative idea of your own. With these points noted, you will want to make sure that whatever you select compliments and harmonizes with the design concepts of the house.

Perimeter Fence for Security

As mentioned a moment ago, a prime focus for a perimeter fence can be security. There are fences that are designed with a specific focus on security. These fences typically come complete with gates that activate via remote control, permitting you to drive onto the property without having to exit you automobile. Keep in mind that just because a perimeter fence has a focus on security doesn’t mean that it cannot be attractive in appearance.

Perimeter Fence for Privacy

A key consideration for many people looking to buy a home is privacy. Privacy concerns rise in a variety of situations. These include in neighborhoods in which houses are relatively close together.

When considering curb appeal, particularly with an eye to selling your home, adding a privacy front perimeter fence very well make your home far more attractive to potential buyers. In addition, adding a front perimeter fence with a focus on privacy works both ways. Yes, it likely will make your property more attractive to a prospective buyer. However, it also allows you, your family, and your guests the ability to enjoy all that your front yard has to offer. You are able to do this without the prying eyes of the neighbors or people motoring by.

Perimeter Fence for Multiple Purposes

Keep in mind that even if you have a primary focus for a perimeter fence, you are not resigned to having a single purpose front fence. Rather, you can construct a perimeter fence that covers all the bases, at least to some degree.

You can work closely with a contractor to convey what you really desire from a front perimeter fence. You will find that there are preexisting designs and products that likely meet your needs. In addition, there are fencing companies that will assist you in coming up with a customized option the specifically satisfies your needs.

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Jessica Kane is a writer for Viking Fence, the number on fence rental company in Houston.