Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Grow Potatoes in your Patio

A patio is commonly used for relaxation and recreation but, it can be used more than what it is intended for. As an outdoor place that is usually abundant of sun and rain, it can also be a good place to start growing your own food. An open ground space is not a requirement to get started because you can always cultivate plants in a container in and around your patio place along with your patio furniture setup.

One of the primary food you can start to grow in your patio is a potato. They are not just limited to ground cultivation and are even easier to grow in containers. When done correctly and organized nicely, the crop may even be a great addition or feature to the design of you patio.

To start growing potatoes, you’ll just need a few things which includes the following:

  • Seed Potatoes - these are potatoes which are about the size of a chicken egg.
  • Potato Bags -  there are dedicated garden bags but you can also use bin bags or trash bags or any similar used containers as an alternative.
  • Multi-purpose compost - good quality compost makes sure you have a good start and all you need is water them.

The best time of the year to plant potatoes is on end of February until early August.

There is a practice called “chitting” which is the process of growing potato tubers before planting. This will make sure faster growth and produce heavier crops. As soon as you get the seed potatoes in hand, you can start this process. Set them in a secure container preferably seed box or in egg boxes which is more practical. Put them in a place where they get plenty of sunlight to grow healthy shoots and roots.

Fill your potato bags with the multi-purpose compost to around 2.5 cm or one inch below that rim. Ideally an eight litre potato bag can make a good room for a single seed potato. Make sure the shoots are pointing upwards and bury the "chitted" potato to a depth of 12cm or five inches.

Arrange the newly planted potato bags around the patio and make sure they get plenty of sunlight. Repurpose old outdoor furniture and fixtures as a rack or stand for the growing crops. After that, water and keep the crops well watered. Feeding the plants with potato fertilizer once every two weeks ensures you grow your own food really well.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Makes a Fire Pit a Good Option

An outdoor fire pit is a great way to recreate a campfire experience right in your own backyard. Remember the day when you are out of town into a camping site. The yellow and orange flame rising from the glowing ember up into the night sky with flickers flying that seems twinkling together with the stars. It indeed gives a great view while creating an ambiance, a warming comfort that is soothing amid the chilling outdoor temperature.

A good fire pit also makes a great outdoor place as it add a touch of harmony and balance. It will serve as night light so that get-together and socializing can be held even in the darkness of night. The safe wood fuel adds the ability to cook food and of course toasting marshmallows and stuff.

Fire pits come in many sizes and shapes especially if you custom-make your own depending on what you want to achieve, how you use it, and how often you make a fire on it. However, there are only two general types of fire pit, built-in and portable, the ones you can buy and use immediately.

Built In
The most preferred by many is a built in fire pit or in-ground fire pit. You can hire someone to make one but, it is really easy to create one and there are many tutorials and plans available for free in the internet. Certainly, this would be a great do-it-yourself project that save you money. It will only take about a day or less to build so you can then sit in your patio furniture and relax proudly in a fire that you created yourself.

This type of fire pit will provide many years of leisure and fun. The only thing that make some people to think twice when building one is that it is a permanent structure. You cannot move it around and use the space it occupies for other purpose, yet, there are alternatives.

If mobility is what you need, then, a portable metal fire pit and its cousin fire bowl are the best option. These heating fixtures comes in many sizes, styles, and decorative designs that of course come at a higher price. If the amusement of fire is all you need, you can go with plain metal bowls. If you are very concerned with safety from flying embers and sparks, buy one with screened lid.

Mobility or portability is the great benefit of this type. Like a patio heater, you can move it and place it to any spot in your patio or backyard to recreate the best of campfire. Then store it for safety when not in use or when winter comes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Container Vegetable Gardening Guide

Vegetable gardening is indeed possible even in small spaces just outside your home. Despite the limited amount of space for cultivation, you can easily grow almost all kinds of delicious and nutritious vegetables in containers. Growing plants and herbs can be done in any outdoor place such as on a balcony, porch, patio, window sills, and even on walls.

Growing healthy veggies and other plants will also make a great outdoor place setup. Imagine placing these blooming greens along with patio furniture and fixtures, or creating a shade using climbing vegetables alternative to patio umbrellas, what a pleasing garden and nature-inspired space it can be. A place where you can enjoy fresh air and fresh food picked just where you sit and relax.

You can plant vegetables in raised beds, in garden planters, and in any kind of container. Even unconventional containers and regular objects are popularly subject to container gardening these days. Any used containers, cookwares, buckets, and even shoes or boots can make a good room for growing plants.

The most important part of container gardening preparation is providing appropriate and best quality soil mixture which is not rocket science though. For a greater success make sure the soil you use is 70 percent topsoil and 30 percent compost. This standard formula will work perfect for almost all plants. However, some plants may require differently and may need another type of element to grow on, ask your seedling supplier for guidance.

Another important consideration is the amount of sunlight your container garden area gets. Typically, it needs at least eight hours a day of full sun for vegetables to grow and produce well. If that is not the case, well, there are still plants that can thrive well in partial shade.

If you are planning to grow tall vegetable plants, you will need to provide support. It is simply putting long but sturdy stick to guide and support the plant to keep from bending as it grow.

Plants grown in containers are equally susceptible to insects and diseases to those grown in a typical garden. You need some knowledge on how to take care of these, the basics will be good enough. Regularly check your plants so you can see if they are developing some disease or insects that are potentially harmful. Better resolve the issue before it gets worse, else, all of your vegetable plants will be destroyed in a short time as diseases and insects can infest quickly in a matter of a day or two.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Essential Patio Furniture

To make a really functional patio or outdoor place, you need to provide a set of essential patio furniture. The pieces are vital to make sure your outdoor room is comfortable and safe. There could be no other way, besides, it would make a remarkable outdoor space design.

First and foremost, you need seating furniture items mainly to make a comfortable place to sit, relax, and enjoy eating or drinking. There is a variety of seating furniture types for different kind of setup. You can add one or several type which include outdoor dining chairs, outdoor sofas, lawn chairs, lounge chairs, and other patio chairs.

Ottoman is another furniture piece with dual-purpose. It is primarily partnered with armchairs and used as a footstool that you can comfortably rest your feet on. Then it can be used stand alone as a simple bench or a stool, quite essential for a versatile patio.

There are a number of table types and sizes with different purposes. There is an outdoor dining table, a patio table, a picnic table, a coffee table, and a side table. There is no doubt that these are also essential for creating an outdoor place for relaxing, dining, and entertaining.

Sometimes, storage furnitures are overlooked as another indispensable outdoor pieces. They are great furnishings to house your outdoor patio stuff like outdoor cushions, garden supplies, and miscellaneous items and tools for safety. You can find dedicated storage boxes of different sizes and styles to fit your needs. Amazingly, there are patio furniture that can double as storage boxes. Mostly benches and chairs have hollow seat base that are designed to make storage compartments.

Sun and Rain Cover:
Last but not the least, sun and rain cover are essential to make an outdoor place fully functional even in sunny and rainy situation. They also come in many forms and again, for slightly different uses. Patio umbrella, primarily a sun shade but will also be a good rain cover. Shade sail, a stylish and easy shade for creating an interesting outdoor place for relaxing. Awning, makes a great outdoor place that just extends from your house.

Pretty sure there are many other patio furniture. But just these essential pieces will make a great outdoor place that you’ll enjoy.