Home and Garden on a Budget – Free Shed Building Plans

The economy has barely been letting up lately, so for those of us who are money conscious (and who can afford not to be?) getting free plans for our projects is very helpful. So when the last project, a storage shed, reared it’s ugly head, I was left wondering what I could do about free or inexpensive plans to get my project a-moving.

Where money is concerned, my advice remains the same. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! You’re never going to get the best deal on your plans if you don’t put in a bit of time and effort. After looking around a bit, the prices are pretty diverse too; ranging from free storage shed plans to professionally drafted plans costing hundreds… if not THOUSANDS of dollars. They get very costly, and honestly I personally can’t justify spending that much on a structure that’s sitting out of the way on the edge of my property. I barely even see it!

With that in mind, I began breaking it down. It seems that there are, in fact, a very few well reviewed sets of plans out there, that I could easily afford and not break the bank… and guess what? There are even some free ones out there! Eventually I settled on a blog “Free Shed Building Plans??” to help me locate what I needed.

I gave the free plans a try and they actually proved to be quite good. I ended up doing what the blogger suggested as well and tried out the paid plans. I actually found a set that I liked quite a bit in the package, and committed to that. I called up the local Lowes and had all of the materials delivered over.

Build time was actually shorter than material delivery time, between myself and a few friends. So far I’m very happy with the results.

Prevent Pests in Your Home Vegetable Garden With Natural Pesticides

Pests are, well, pests. They can wreak havoc on your home vegetable garden, if you are not careful and do your due diligence in keeping them at bay.

More importantly though is repelling them in a safe manner so as not to use any types of poisons that could be harmful to your plants or your family.

Here are some ways you can repel pests naturally that will go a long way to healthier and safer home vegetable garden.

Nature can truly be your best friend, so start by attracting some of nature’s best insect predators. These includes, birds, bats and toads. Simply build birdhouses and bathouses near your garden, or even better IN your garden. Toads like cool, wet or damp areas, so you can make a nice corner in your garden to attract one or add one that you can buy from a pet store. As long as conditions are optimal for toad existence, they will not only stay where they are, but return every year.

Another natural way to repel various pests is through the use of garlic spray. Garlic spray repels insects such as aphids, spider mites and flies. There will be a strong garlic odor at first, but that odor dissipates shortly. Garlic spray is not harmful to plants, nor do they absorb the spray to change the flavor of your vegetables.

The use of hot pepper wax which is made a number of ways but all have the ingredient, capaicin the active ingredient in hot peppers, helps deter pests because they do not like spicy things. Your plants won’t absorb the spray or the capaicin, just remember to wash off your vegetables prior to preparing them.

Planters Accent Your Home and Garden

The right planter in the right setting brings style, function and beauty to any indoor room or outdoor location. Planters can be used as a unique focal point or a graceful accent in any garden, patio, porch or room. The secret is finding the perfect planter – one that reflects the owner’s personality and surroundings while maintaining lasting durability. 

Planters come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, designs, materials and price points, which makes some planters a better choice than others. In today’s market, the unlimited assortment can also create unlimited indecision. Knowing a few useful tips can simplify the decision-making process and help consumers purchase plantersthat will bring years of pleasure. 

Considerations Before Purchasing A Planter   

o Location (shade, sun, extreme weather)                                                                                        

o Maneuverability                                                                                                             

o Size, Shape, Style, Color, Finish, Texture                                                            

o Drainage Hole and/or Self-Watering Options                                                                     

o Durability & Longevity                                                                                                     

o Artistic/Decorative Impact                                                                                               

o Reflect Personality of Owner/Home/Surroundings                                                                                                  

o Materials (Learn the advantages and disadvantages of planter materials such as clay, terracotta, concrete, metal, wood, resin, fiberglass, etc.)                                                                                                                

o Storage Concerns

A great way to get started is to purchase a matching set of various sized planters ranging from three, five or seven in total. Five containers used in a corner of a patio will help define your entertainment space. This grouped planter display can provide privacy and help tie in your overall outdoor living area. Don’t be afraid of using bright and vivid containers such as oranges, iridescent blues and reds. These colors can help liven up outdoor spaces.

Combining plants is a fun part of container gardening. Try mixing and matching different plants such as annuals, tropicals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vines and vegetables. Before planting, arrange the new plants in or around your container while they are still in their small pots to see how they fit best. A good rule of thumb is to plant the tallest upright foliage plant in the center. Next, plant the shorter and more compact flowering plant to the side of the center, near the edge of the planter. Leave enough space between these plants to allow for growth. Finally, place plants with trailing or semi-trailing growth habits around the planters’ outer edges leaving enough space for adequate spreading and trailing.

A word of caution: Also remove new plants from their nursery pots with care. Never remove them by pulling on their tender stems. Gently loosen or untangle the bottom inch of each plant’s roots before carefully spreading them out in your planter. This helps give young plants a better start. Additional potting mix can be added to ensure the soil covers the roots of each plant. When your planting is finished, the soil should be at least an inch below the rim of the container.

Gardening with planters is a great way for beginning and experienced gardeners to dig into the botanical world. And best of all, you can take your planter garden with you when you move.