Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Start a Container Garden in the Patio

Gardening has been part of every home. The plants add color and life to the place, adds freshness to the surroundings, and allows you to grow your own food safely. The practice has become part of life, even in cities where gardening space and requirements is very limited.

Cultivating plants in urban areas is handily done through container gardening and there are so many ingenious ideas around. All you need is get to know the necessary requirements and basic steps. And It is never too difficult to get started.

Your patio will get even more interesting and you’ll get a better relaxation sitting under your patio umbrella surrounded with green life.

One of the essential requirements for plant to live is a sunlight. They need it in order to make their own food. You have to determine how much direct sunlight your patio can get. You need to be sure you get the right measurement of how long your patio can get exposed to the sun.

Too much or too little sunlight is not a problem because not all plants require the same amount of sun exposure. The key to being successful in container gardening is choosing the right plants for your patio.

You may be asking about what if you have favorite plants and are not suited to your patio. Well, we can do a little to nothing about it if more sunlight is needed. But if lesser sunlight is required, we can easily adjust that by adding some shade sails and sunscreens.

Container gardening usually involves the use or pots. But the popular practice is more creative. Anything that can hold soil is used for planting such as teapots, vases, cans, and even shoes. Serious gardeners reuse barrels, crates, and built boxes.

Any container will do just as long as the size is suitable for plants to thrive.

Plants in pots or containers have limited reach to nutrients because their roots are confined in the container. The solution is by supplying with appropriate fertilizers. Be sure to ask for the right type for your plants and ask about how to use properly.

Water is also a vital element for plants to live. You have to pay special attention to container plants because their soil does not hold water or moisture much longer than on the ground. You have to routinely supply your plants with water. However, there are ingenious ways if you are a busy type of person and routinely watering your plants is not possible.

I found a clever way to keep your plants hydrated even you are not around for several days. Fill a bottle or bucket with water and place it a level above your plants. Then get a string, preferably fabric type, put the other end soaked in the water reservoir, and extend the other end to the plant base. The water will be carried slowly through the string down and continuously water your plants. This is just one of the many ways that you can do yourself.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Guide to Modern Patio

Have you ever planned to recreate your patio to look modern? Or, are you considering to create a contemporary designed patio?

Regardless of how your patio looks like, it can serve its purpose. A well made patio will always be a great place for get-together activities and for relaxing. You may also use it for gardening through pots and garden plant containers. In fact, a garden patio is a great setup. The plants make the colorful setup and add freshness to the environment.

But, it would also be great if the patio looks fitting to the architecture of your house. It would also be much more interesting to be in an outdoor room with a fresh design.

What makes a patio look modern?
Just like any other design disciplines, modern patio design has been about simplicity. The variety of shapes and colors should be minimal and the texture is smoother. There should be an almost precise alignment, and that there is uniformity of elements.

On the other hand, traditional design appears natural in nature. The form is random or irregular, but in a beautiful way.  In short, traditional looks organic and looks natural while contemporary looks more of artificial and sleek.

Creating a patio with modern look starts with the choice of flooring or paver. Smoother and finer texture denotes simplicity and modernity. Then how you lay and build the patio follows. You must lay the pavers in almost perfect alignment or pattern.

However, the shape of the entire patio is not necessarily a perfect shape. You can get creative with its edges. Try to combine another type of material such as sand or gravel. It will act like a highlight that separates your patio from the backyard landscape.

As patios will not be complete without a set of patio furniture, don’t forget to update your patio furniture as well. Traditional outdoor furniture and fixtures will just cancel out the new patio. Synthetic and most metal-made outdoor furniture are the perfect choice.

Don’t forget about the outdoor shades, they should be updated too. Recreate or create a pergola in contemporary form. You can also get a good shade from a modern patio umbrellas especially the cantilever umbrellas. They instantly add a touch of elegance and modernity.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Restoring Teak Outdoor Furniture

Teak is one of the widely used wood for patio furniture for good reasons. First is that it is one of the most durable and stable hardwoods. The wood naturally has oil which makes it more resistant to a few outdoor elements. These characteristics allow you to enjoy your outdoor furniture for many years.

Some information would help you know if it is your preference to restore your teak furniture. Be warned that some toxic chemicals will be involved in this job like teak oil and stain. These will have effect to your teak pieces.

The natural oil of the teak wood has important functions. First, this is what makes a new furniture appear smooth and in vibrant natural color. Second is that the oil gives the wood strength and durability to last long in an outdoor situation. A quality teak patio furniture can be left in your backyard, patio, or deck all year long with less maintenance.

After several months, a teak furniture will naturally transform into silver gray. The rate at which the appearance transforms depends on the intensity and frequency of the sun exposure and rain. The tiny cracks on the surface will gradually appear, the grain will roughen until the surface becomes silver-gray.

In the surface, it does not look bad at all. From the inside, it is still really in great shape. But once artificial chemicals are introduced, it will forever change the composition of the wood. The change is somehow not for the better. Once treated with artificial chemicals, it will always require maintenance of the same.

Now, if you really need to restore your patio for good, then here is the way.

Cleaning alone is a good start. The removal of dirt and oxidation helps reveal the true color of the teak. All you need is a brush, a mild detergent soap, and a warm water.

Teak Oil
Applying teak oil is the best solution for restoring an outdoor teak furniture. Do this after the wood furniture is thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Before applying teak oil, you may need to sand to even the surface and remove hard stains.

Teak oil is toxic, so be sure to wear face mask. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area when applying the stain. Using a paint brush, apply a thin and even coat first, then let it dry for an hour. Do more coats until the original teak color is achieved or until you get the desired darkness. However, you should allow it to dry for about an hour before applying the next coat and always apply thinly for consistent and even coating.
You will need to seal in the oil after you have restored the teak to its original look. A few coats of polyurethane sealer will add protection to the new look and from surface damage.