Home Gardening For Kids

Do you have an active child at home? Would you like to grow your own organic vegetables and herbs, but don’t have the time?

 A NYS certified teacher (Elementary, Special Ed.), who is also a mom, artist and avid home/school gardener, will teach and guide your child or children in designing, setting up, growing and maintaining a family ‘victory garden’ at your location.

Home Gardening

is the perfect combination of activities:

hands-on, contemplative and productive.

In his excellent book Last Child in the Woods: Protecting Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv argues that many children’s behavior issues stem from a lack of sufficient time spent outdoors. Children need unstructured free play outside; as well as productive activities in nature.

Creating and maintaining a garden at home calls upon and develops a whole range of skills and work habits. Producing their own healthful, colorful, delicious vegetables makes it much more likely that children will eat them.

The basics:

● Personal Safety ● Tools ● Pests

● Poison Ivy ID ● Sun Exposure

Planning out a garden:

● Choosing crops and understanding what goes best where

● Testing soil

Academic aspects can be addressed as well:

● The math and science of gardening: measurement, calculating materials needs,

● Understanding sustainable gardening, hypothesizing

● Journaling, personal reflections, descriptive and creative writing

Numerous other activities and skills can be included:

(it’s not just digging and weeding!)

● Building: creating raised beds, with or without painted decoration

● Making anti-deer and anti–pest structures to protect your crops!

● “Hypertufa pots,” seats, troughs and “Toad Abodes”

● And much more.  We hope to cover many of these questions here on the blog!

Will Spray Foam Really Rot Your Roof?

There have been so many arguments and debates on whether spray foam rots away the roof. Even more spray_foam_rot_roof1confusing is the fact that the argument is being supported and disputed by well-respected and learned professionals. Before going deep into this burning question, it is important to quickly differentiate between the types of Spray Foam available.

There are two types of spray foam, the first is the open-cell spray foam while the second is the closed-cell spray foam. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages which plays a major part on their effectiveness at different parts of the world.

The advantages of the open-cell spray foam lie in its low cost of installation, plus, is very easy to install. However, its disadvantages lie in its low effectiveness in the cold climates due to its inability to be used during low temperature associated with the cold climates.

The closed-cell foam spray, on the other hand, can be used anywhere due to its effectiveness in times of low temperature. The major drawbacks of the closed cell are that: it is very expensive to install; difficulty in installation and; high material usage.

Therefore, unless the complaints about spray foam leading to the rotting of the roofs is analyzed objectively and without bias, one may not be able to really ascertain whether spray foam can lead to the rotting of the roof.

Taking a closer look at the bunch of complaints about the rotting of the roof as a result of Spray Foam will show that the rotting of the roof as a result of Spray Foam is not universal and is subjective, in fact, the issue seems to be a climatic one in nature.

As a result of the fact that indoor moisture can diffuse through the foam and get access to the roof sheathings leading to the rotting of the roof, open-cell spray foam is not advisable in cold climates. This is due to its low water vapor permeability. Therefore, higher density closed-cell spray foam is the preferred method amongst majority of qualified professionals in the cold climates of the world.

Some have even argued that in cold climates, installation of a water retarder ensures that open-cell spray foam can be utilized. Also, the improper installation of close-cell spray foam in the cold climates can lead to water permeating the foam and its consequent rotting of the roof.

However, the open-cell spray foam is widely accepted in the warmer and equatorial climates of the world because precipitation is not common like it is in the colder climates.

Therefore, it should be noted that spray foam can lead to rotting of the roof if it is not effectively done. It is advisable to use close-cell spray foam in the cold climates but if open-cell spray foam must be used then the following should be followed:

  • Do not use open-cell spray foam unless you are using a water vapor retarder.
  • Ensure you hire a professional who will install it as building codes demand.

The notion that spray foam can lead to the rotting of the roof is wrong as there is no way the effective installation of spray foam can rot the roof.

What Flowers To Pick When Shopping For Your Garden

A lush garden is a garden filled with flowers; creating a bright, lively, and beautiful ambiance like only trimming your gardennature can provide. Colorful flowers turn an uninteresting area into a grand showcase. It is a rewarding addition to your landscape.

So what flowers to pick when shopping for your garden?
Most would say that selecting what you put in your garden is completely up to what you find beautiful. As much as that is true, it is also highly important that you follow some specifications when designing a garden. The things you should consider are their color, scent, bloom time, size, height, and hardiness. When looking into what to put in your garden, it is also important to consider your growing space. Will your plants be in full or partial shade? What you do you aim for? Do you simply want to make a beautiful area for your own appreciation or do you also want to attract birds and butterflies? Don’t forget to note the conditions of your soil. Is your soil well-drained and loamy? Or will your plant roots have to fight through clay soil? Once you have determined what you want in a flower and what kind of environment you can provide, buying flowers for your garden becomes fun.

For plants that have pretty flowers and also double as herbs, consider catnip, thyme, chamomile, mint, rosemary, parsley, dill, and fennel for partially shaded areas and sweet woodruff, angelica, chervil, and sweet cicely for areas in full shade.

Perennial plants come back year after year, growing in stature and size until they reach maturity. Some perennials lose their vigor after 3-4 years and may need to be replaced. One advantage to perennial flowers beyond the fact that they do not require replanting every year. They can be divided and planted throughout the garden. Perennial flowering plants can be started from seed or purchased as starts in a variety of sizes. Soil preparation is very important when growing perennials, because they will not be relocated. Perennials will likely require pruning and feeding. Also, consider how big the plant will be after a couple years and leave enough room for it to fill out.

An annual completes its life-cycle in one year, and must be replanted. However, if left to go to seed, many annual flowers will reseed themselves.  You just don’t get to decide exactly where they’re planted. Some annuals are technically perennials in areas with a year round growing season, but are treated as annuals in places that frost and freeze. Unless you live in an area with a very long growing season, or you want to start seeds indoors, annuals are best purchased as starts that can be transplanted right into the garden. As long as the soil is reasonably rich in nutrients, most annuals are not too picky about where they are planted.

Preparing the Soil
Whether planting perennials or annuals, preparing the soil in advance will help your plants flourish. Annuals will probably be less choosey about where they live since they will only be around for about a year. However, the better the growing conditions, the better the plant will fare.

If you are starting with a bare or weedy spot of land, you’ll need to start at the beginning. Determine the area for your flower bed and start digging. Remove all surface weeds along with rocks and roots.

Next, dig some more. Dig a trench the width of the garden to 2 shovel depths. Set the soil off to the side. Then, dig another trench next to the first one, dumping the soil into the first trench. Continue this process until the new garden space is completed. Use the soil from the first trench to fill in the last trench.) For an added kick mix organic compost into the trenches as you refill them.

When starting plants from seed, be sure that your soil has been adequately prepared. Dig a small hole in the ground according to the directions on the seed packet (usually about twice the depth of the seed) and drop in a couple of seeds. Cover with soil and water gently, but thoroughly. Be sure to keep the soil moist as the seed sprouts.

Next, dig a hole as deep as your seedling including its root mass and twice as wide. If your garden soil is mediocre, this is a great time to throw some compost or organic fertilizer into the hole. Loosen the root ball and place the seedling gently into the hole. Add enough soil or planting medium to fill in. Tamp the soil down gently and water thoroughly.

Tip:  As much as having colorful flowers in your garden seems great, planting them is not enough. We have to make sure that we have maintained them and all the other plants and trees that we have in our garden. Check your area. Are there any trees that needs trimming, pruning, and cutting? Is there a tree that imposes a risk for injury or damage to a property that needs to be removed? Is there a stump that needs grinding and removal? Whatever tree care needs you may have, a great company that delivers professional services is one call away. Contact Majestic Tree Trimming now for a free consultation.

Implants Are Being Used To Close The Reality Gap

affordable dental implants
Source: GuidoVrola/Thinkstock

The reality of the situation, according to new research from the Center For Diseases Control (CDC), nearly half of all Americans have one at least missing tooth. The reason for this is simple – people are not practicing regular dental hygiene.

So while hoping things will change is an approach most people take, dentists are not in the hope business – they’re in the teeth business; and they want to make sure their patients walk out the door feeling good about their teeth.

So what does a dentist do when he knows one out of every two people are missing a tooth? He figures out a way to replace that tooth, so the person has their moth whole again. The way we do today is with dental implants.

While this surgery used to take a few days to recover when it was first introduced into the market in the 80’s, today, an implant is performed in a day, and the patient could be back in work as early as the next day, although many dentist would recommend taking off at least one day to heal properly.

And while the initial surgery might not take too long, the real power of the procedure is performed by your body. The body needs to accept the metal post now lodged in your jawbone (the implant) as a a part of the biosphere that makes up your mouth. In a few months the dentist reopens the gum line, studies the implant, and determines if placing the crown is doable.

If so, the dentist begins the tooth implant restoration. This is where the dentist screws the abutment into the actual implant, and cements it into place. Then the crown is cemented into the abutment. Once the dentist is finished, the gums are then closed up, and allowed to heal. The medical portion of the procedure has come to an end by this point, but the body still needs to heal the gums before the implant can become fully functional.

This process works the same way for most patients, but every now, and again, there patients that need multiple steps before they can have the implants placed. This is where bone grafting comes into play. Bone grafting is using bone substitutes to help add bone density to a  jawbone. Lack of oral health leads to jaw bones that are bot able to hold an implant in place.

To learn where you fit into this equation, visit http://toothimplantpros.com, and schedule a free one-on-one consultation with one of our Pros today.


What are the primary benefits of having a “Family Victory Garden”?

Setting up and maintaining an organic “Family Home Victory Garden” is truly a “win-win-win-win” decision with multiple and lasting benefits for your children, family, community and the planet!

1. For your child or children:

  • Hands-on learning of useful life-long skills—not only gardening, but math, botany and other skills as well.
  • Understanding the concepts of sustainable, ecologically sound ways of living from an early age
  • The scientific, math and specific skills learned are about something the child is interested in. This makes the skills less abstract and more real, and a greater interest in learning is likely to carry over when the child is in the classroom.
  • Feeling a sense of achievement and of being a contributing part of the family’s success and well-being.

2. For your Family:

  • Your garden is a project that will bring family members together.
  • You’ll garner a supply of the the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious vegetables to be had anywhere.
  • The “fruits of your garden” will pay for themselves many times over if the garden is maintained from season to season,  and will thus be a net financial gain for you.
  • By using your own produce, your meals will naturally tend toward the healthy side (fresh kale and basil just don’t suggest “Big Macs” as a side dish!), so your garden should improve all family members’ overall long-term health and well-being.

3. For your Community:

  • Your garden is a healthy organic piece of land in your community on which no pesticides or manufactured fertilizers will be used.
  • Your friends and neighbors may be stimulated to consider starting gardens.
  • Anything you grow in excess of your own needs can be shared as you see fit to benefit whomever.
  • Learning and practicing principles of sustainable living will make you more informed citizens and voters and lead you to consider other healty, beneficial life style changes.

4. Planet Earth (“Think globally – Act Locally”):

  • None of what you grow will consume synthetic fertilizers, power to run agribusiness machinery, or oil for refrigerated boat/truck shipping and storage over long distances.
  • Fewer trips to shop will decrease local pollution and lower your carbon footprint.
  • The businesses who supply you with the materials for organic gardening will mostly be vendors with socially responsible business models.