Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Keeping Your Garden Green

There are many things we do to add a little splash of color to our summer gardens but we often fail to focus on keeping our summer gardens looking lush and green just a little bit longer even though we know that by doing so we are essentially prolonging the life and therefore our enjoyment of our summer gardens. The focus of this article is to keep your summer garden looking crisp and green as long as possible by taking a few extra steps a little earlier in the summer months to prepare for the inevitable beginning of the end.

One thing to keep in mind is that once your summer garden begins to take on that yellowish brown hue that indicates the end of summer it always seems to be a downhill ride into the fall. That ride, more often than not is over far too quickly and your summer garden is but a dim reminder of its formerly glorious summer greenery.




First things first, get rid of the yellowing leaves and dying flowers as they make their appearance. They rob the remainder of the garden of its splendor and leave the pallor of decay on the garden far too soon in the season. You will be glad you did, as it will immediately restore the look of health and vitality that your summer garden is missing while also providing a much perkier attitude and bearing from the remaining plants.

Weed. Remove those pesky weeds that detract from the beauty and lushness of the greenery in your garden. By removing the weeds your entire summer garden looks better almost immediately. While you are at it, reapply mulch. This will delay the inevitable return of the weeds while also providing an extra layer for holding in moisture to keep your plants from drying out and looking green. Another great thing about mulch is that it simply makes things look neat and orderly.

Fill in the gaps. While you are in the process of plucking leaves, weeds, and dead flowers from your summer garden it is quite likely that a few gaps will be created. Fill them in other greenery, small shrubs (evergreens are a good idea in this situation), or nice garden art for smiles and a little dash of color among the green. The effects are often stunning and you have the look of an almost new summer garden for only half the effort and expense of creating one. You may also want to scour the local plant stores for late season offerings and markdowns. These are often well cared for and in good condition to add a little touch of color or green to your garden.

Another way to keep your summer garden green is to plant plants that are appropriate to your climate. On an ordinary summer, excluding drought or excessive rain conditions this will be the best way to achieve maximum greenness from your garden. This is actually one of the best ways to prolong the life of your garden as well because the plants being used are accustomed to the weather patterns that exist in your locale. For this reason they will be much better suited to stay green and healthy much longer than most implants that are not accustomed to the local weather patterns.

Creating a greener garden is a worthy cause for most gardeners. We plant our summer gardens because we want to enjoy them. By keeping them green, healthy, and vibrant a little bit longer we are able to prolong our enjoyment of our gardens as well as the productivity of our summer gardens. This means more flowers, more fruit, more vegetables, and much longer spans of greenery for the uninitiated. Taking the steps mentioned above in order to prolong the life and your enjoyment of your summer garden seems to be a worthy sacrifice for an extra month of enjoying your lawn and outdoor living space.

You might also want to read: Common Rose Diseases and How to Treat Them

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What You Need To Know About Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee makers are some of the most commonly used coffee makers in the United States. They are easy to use and inexpensive to own and operate. Available in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes, there's a drip coffee maker to fit any kitchen. One study reports that automatic drip coffee makers are the most purchased small kitchen appliance. Approximately 14 million automatic drip coffee makers are sold each year.

Mr. Coffee is one of the best known automatic drip coffee makers. Other well-known coffee maker companies include Black and Decker, Braun, Cuisinart, and Proctor-Silex.

Automatic drip coffee makers are used in many homes and businesses. They work by dripping water through a filter containing ground coffee. Two types of filters are available for these machines: paper and permanent.

Paper filters can affect coffee taste as can some plastic permanent filters. Plastic filters do not last as long as metal filters. Metal filters may require that coffee beans be ground a bit coarser than is needed for paper filters.

Automatic drip coffee makers offer a variety of special features. From basic machines to high end models that do everything from grinding the beans to brewing it at a pre-set time. Basic automatic drip coffee makers feature a water reservoir, a filter basket, and warming plate to keep carafe warm. Most feature filter baskets that swing out or lift out and simple on/off control.

Extra features include indicator lights, a brew-pause selection, digital display and /or digital control panel, clocks, timers, permanent filters an automatic shut off. High end features include water filtration, flavor settings, and a built in grinder. Single cup machines are available, as are machines making anywhere from 4 cups to 12 cups.

Drip Coffee Maker Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best temperature for brewing coffee?

Most experts agree that 200 degrees is the best temperature for brewing coffee. Many restaurants do not allow the temperature to get that high because of liability issues should a consumer spill coffee and get burned.

What affects the quality of a cup of coffee?


Several things can affect the quality of brewed coffee. The cleanliness of the brewing equipment, the quality of the coffee beans, how long it has been since the beans were roasted, how long it has been since the beans were ground and the quality of the water used in brewing.

How do I clean my coffee maker?

Coffee makers should be cleaned at least once a week. Some experts suggest using dish detergent and water. Other experts suggest running one fourth part vinegar and three fourths part water through the brewing cycle a time or two followed by running plain water through the cycle. This removes hard water deposits and other buildup.

Can Espresso beans be used in drip coffee makers? Yes.

Where did the term 'cup of joe' come from?


Some say that Admiral Josephus (Joe) Daniels once outlawed alcohol on ships, making coffee the most used beverage, hence the 'cup of joe.' Others say that the term comes from 'Joe' as 19th cent, slang for coffee. Automatic drip coffee makers allow coffee lovers to indulge their senses whenever they please.

How To Organize Your Money

If you haven't balanced your checkbook in awhile, lose your received bills before they're paid, or put off filing your tax returns because it's too complicated to get everything together, then it's most likely time to organize your money. Below are five quick ideas:

1. Merge your credit cards. Rather than having a lot of different credit cards, consolidate all of your expenses on one credit card. This can result in less uncertainty over which card to use, it can give you a better idea of how much debt you're accumulating, it may give you more back for your dollar, and you'll only have to write out one payment check per month.

2. Employ a bill paying system. As soon as you get bills in the mail, they should instantly be placed into a bill paying system. Use that same bill paying system to store paid bill summaries, being certain that every category are in its own folder or envelope. Doing this makes it very easy to look something up when needed.

3. Organize your expenses, while you spend. As you spend, just record that outlay. This can be called your Expense Summary. A computer program like Quicken or a straightforward spreadsheet is great for this purpose, or you can do this with paper and pen.

4. Balance your checkbook monthly. In order for you to have an idea of how much money is sitting in your checking account, which checks have cleared, and any errors that you or your bank may have made, you have to balance your checking account. It doesn't take that long if you balance your checkbook the same day your statement and canceled checks arrive back from the bank each month.

5. Keep your tax-related stuff together. Before tax season, you'll start to receive tax related information from your job, your bank, etc. Keep all of these tax-related papers in a labeled file folder. This way, when you're ready to do your taxes, you won't have to search for the papers you need.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The History of Coffee Makers

Coffee has been used as a drink for well over 2000 years. The first methods of brewing coffee were pretty crude but they have advanced greatly over the centuries. People used to just chew the cherry that came off the coffee tree to get a stimulant effect. Inside the cherry was the coffee bean. Over time with experimentation, people started to roast and then grind the beans for better flavor.

As early as the the late 1700s, coffee makers began showing up. This made it easy for people to brew coffee and not worry about getting grounds in their cup. This was expensive and not many people had them. The basic design is similar to coffee pots of today. There was a pot on the bottom with a place to put your ground coffee on the top. This was connected to a chamber on top where you poured in your boiling water.



People tried many different types of coffee maker throughout the years since then. There have been percolators, vacuum coffee makers, and drip coffee makers. Percolators use a pot over a heat source that forces the water into an upper chamber where the coffee grounds are. The water drips through the coffee and back into the lower pot. You know it is ready when it stops making percolating noises which are easy to hear. Then you remove it from heat before it boils. Vacuum coffee makers use what looks like two pots, one upside down on the other. As it is heated, the pressure forces hot water up into the top chamber where it infuses with the ground coffee. When you remove it from heat, the pressure is reversed and the coffee goes back to the lower pot ready to drink. Drip coffee makers are the kind we are all used to. Whether automatic or manual they work by dumping hot water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter. It strains through into a pot and is ready to drink.

With the advent of electricity, coffee makers became very popular and a little cheaper. In the early 1900s coffee makers really started to boom and by the 1970s almost everyone had a coffee maker in their home. These were usually of the automatic drip variety as they were the easiest to use. Todays coffee makers have many features. They have timers that allow you to specify when you want your coffee maker to turn on, have built in grinders, storage areas, and much more. You can buy home espresso and cappuccino machines also. Coffee makers today range from the single cup variety to commercial units that make gallons at a time so no matter what your need, you can usually find it.

As more and more people start to enjoy different kinds of coffee, coffee makers become easier to use and offer more features. Many combine espresso, cappuccino, and coffee all in one machine but it is rather bulky still. Look for these to shrink in the near future.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The 3 Main Types of Garden

Need to choose a garden that's perfect for your place? Here's a guide on the three main types of garden.

If you're thinking about starting a garden, the first thing you need to consider is what type of garden you will have. There are many different choices and often it can be hard to pick just one, but hopefully you can narrow it down. But by narrowing it down, you'll make the gardening experience easier on yourself and the plants. If all your plants are similar, then it shouldn't be very hard to care for them all. So here are some of the main garden ideas for you to choose from.



Flower Garden

If you're just looking for something to look nice in your yard, you'll want a flower garden. These are usually filled with perennial flower. Perennial flowers are flowers which stay healthy year-round. They're basically weeds because of their hardiness, only nice looking. Different areas and climates have different flowers which are considered perennials. If you do a quick internet search for your area, you can probably find a list of flowers that will bring your flower garden to life. These usually only require work in the planting stage - after that, the flower take care of themselves. The only downside to this is that you don't have any product to show for it.

Vegetable Garden

Another choice for your garden is to have a vegetable garden. These usually require a little more work and research than a flower garden, but can be much more rewarding. No matter what time of the year it is, you can usually find one vegetable that is still prospering. That way you can have your garden be giving you produce almost every day of the year! When starting a vegetable garden, you should build it with the thought in mind that you will be adding more types of veggies in later. This will help your expandability. Once all your current crops are out of season, you won't be stuck with almost nowhere to put the new crops. A vegetable garden is ideal for someone who wants some produce, but doesn't want to devote every waking hour to perfecting their garden.

** Save on products to create a healthier home. Free store pickup at your participating ACE Hardware store.

Fruit Garden

One of the more difficult types of gardens to manage is a fruit garden. It's definitely the most high-maintenance. When growing fruits, many more pests will be attracted due to the sweetness. You not only have to deal with having just the right dirt and fertilizer, you have to deal with choosing a pesticide that won't kill whoever eats the fruits. Your fruit garden will probably not produce year-round. The soil needs to be just right for the plants to grow, and putting in another crop during its off-season could be disastrous to its growth process. If you're willing to put lots of work into maintaining a garden, then a fruit garden could be a good choice for you.

Basically, the garden type comes down to what kind of product you want, and how much work you want to put into it. If you're looking for no product with no work, go with a flower garden. If you want lots of delicious product, but you are willing to spend hours in your garden each day, then go for fruit garden. Just make sure you don't get into something you can't handle!
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