Planting Asparagus

Adding An Asparagus Bed To The Home Garden

In the marketplace, asparagus is a major commercial crop – particularly in the United States, Australia, Europe, China, Mexico, and Peru. Given the diverse array of pesticides and chemicals used in commercial asparagus cultivation, an excellent way to stay healthy and keep yourself engaged this spring is to grow your organic asparagus in your backyard! Not only will you have an abundance of fresh and tasty asparagus for the table, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing your crop is free of noxious chemicals and pesticide residue.

Asparagus Cultivation

Professional organic gardeners suggest that asparagus grows best in a sunny location with well-drained and fertile soil. Asparagus can also be used as a new excellent companion plant along with parsley, tomatoes, rhubarb, raspberries, and basil. This will also help replenish nutrients in an orderly manner.

As a dioecious plant, an asparagus sapling can be either male or female. The female saplings grow and focus their energies on reproduction. Studies have shown different ways to identify and differentiate between the male and female asparagus. Male asparagus saplings produce thick, firm spears and do not present weedy problems.

The asparagus bed once laid, remains productive for decades. Preparing a bed at the onset of spring is highly advised. The soil should be tilled until the dirt clods break and the soil is loose and crumbly. After removing rocks, roots and weeds, til again to get fresh, productive, rich soil.

To establish healthy organic asparagus bed, keep these points in mind:
• Cultivate soil to a depth of 12-inches deep.
• Spread a 4-6 inch layer of well-aged herbivore manure on the top of the bed for extra nutrients. Because asparagus tends to use up nutrients fast, well-age manure must be added to the soil twice a year – in early spring and late fall.

One of the most important steps in cultivating asparagus is the preparation of the planting bed. The key is to spread the plants in 6-inch deep trenches across 12-18 inches of width.

Keeping a distance of 18-inches between rows of plants gives enough space for the roots to expand in the soil, ensuring a proper supply of water and nutrients and provides the gardener with enough space to weed between the rows.

Cover the roots and crowns of the plants with 2-3 inches of soil. This is done so when the plants establish and grow taller, the crown of the plant remains covered with soil. Experienced gardeners recommend placing an additional 2 – 4 inches of soil between the rows so as to facilitate individual plant growth.

If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves so as to avoid skin irritation caused by coming in contact with the plant. Some people exhibit skin sensitivity to fresh asparagus.

Asparagus beds need to be taken good care of once they start developing and growing plants. The plants produce a thick layer of roots, which grow horizontally and not vertically. The beds may even require a substantial amount of weeding. Any invasive plants that sprout on the bed must be handpicked carefully so as to avoid beetles and other pests.

After so much of hard work, the only thing you must keep in mind that asparagus must be harvested during or after the onset of the third season and not until then.

One asparagus planting is picked up 20-times a season. You can harvest young stalks by cutting shoots off the ground level. Keep in mind that asparagus deteriorates in quality quickly. Harvest only required quantities to avoid wastage. Happy Planting!

Home Security Basics You Might Be Forgetting

Once you’ve lived in your home for a while it’s easy to become relaxed on security. Maybe it’s because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm.

In this article, we’re going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips for security at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily averted by safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:

  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:

  • Don’t leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don’t leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don’t keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms & ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another’s homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you’re away so it doesn’t seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:

  • Don’t post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don’t advertise to your social media “friends” when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.

 

Selling Your House On Your Own is a Rocky Road

You can’t help but admire people who have an independent spirit and are determined to do things on their own. It’s reminiscent of early pioneers who lived by the belief that “God helps those who help themselves.” While it may be true that qualities like self sufficiency and initiative can help you get ahead in life, there are instances in which it makes sense to team up with an expert. You can’t always go it alone, and when the stakes are high — like in real estate sales — the last thing you want to do is try to reinvent the wheel!

Advantages of Working With a Professional

Realtors and real estate agents know the ropes, when it comes to the intricacies of marketing a home, finding qualified buyers, and negotiating the best possible deal. If you attempt to sell your own house without the benefit of an agent, you’ll be facing a steep learning curve and a lot of potential pitfalls.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for hiring a real estate agent is that time is of the essence. From the minute you put your house on the market, the clock is ticking. If your property is still on the market after a few months, then its perceived value will start to drop. Many people will assume there’s something wrong with it — whether it’s a diamond in the rough or a polished gem!

Real estate professionals are not only attuned to the pulse of the local marketplace, but they can guide you through the often complicated process of selling a home. Here are a few of the many ways that agents can simplify your life, help you avoid costly mistakes, and increase the probability that you’ll receive top value for your home and sell it in the shortest possible time.

  • Home staging: By taking advantage of their knowledge and expertise, you can make sure your home is presented in its best light. Your agent should advise you of cost-effective ways to improve your home’s curb appeal and correct any potential issues on the inside that may detract from its marketability.
  • Salesmanship: A good real estate agent is skilled in the art of persuasion, establishing rapport with people, and helping them focus on both the positive aspects of your home and its future potential. Many homeowners, on the other hand, tend to either undersell or oversell the desirability of their property. Their lack of objectivity can also cause them to overprice their house, resulting in lost opportunities.
  • Negotiating skills: One of the skill sets that real estate agents have is negotiating the terms and final price of a home. Since they do this for a living, a seasoned real estate agent has the practical experience, knowledge, and insights to help you get the most value for your home. They generally know how to push the envelope, without pushing too hard. Homeowners who attempt to negotiate a real estate sale on their own may make one or more “fatal errors,” which can derail a potential sale.

If you’re unsure whether you want the help of a real estate agent or Realtor in finding a buyer, handling the paperwork, and jumping through all the legal and regulatory hoops that real estate transactions involve, then test the waters, first. Set up a meeting with a couple different real estate agents and pick their brains. That way, you’ll be sure to make an informed decision when you decide which path to take in selling your home.

Great Home Based Jobs

Your home could operate as a profitable business. The business that you start in you home could turn into a game changer. To succeed, you need the right home office equipment. You also need an efficient home office design. Before and after you start a home business, think big.

Home businesses don’t always stay small

After all, presidential elections aren’t the only change agents. Business growth or shrinkage injects lots of change into Americans’ lives too. Startups turn the economic wheel in new directions. Amazon.com, Facebook and Google are examples of this. When established companies like General Electric, Microsoft, Black Rock and McDonald’s grow wealth, their resources to hire expand.

The latter puts Americans in position to take advantage of better job opportunities. Those improved opportunities make it possible for more people to buy and live in the homes that they appreciate. If you have the vision and the drive, you could launch a business that one day becomes a major employer and global revenue growth generator. You could own a set of keys that strengthens a community’s or the entire country’s economy.

You’d join the ranks of a host of companies that started out of a founder’s house. That’s where many of the aforementioned major firms began.  Following are jobs that you can perform from home. Focus on jobs that align with your passions. Map out how you will expand the job from your home to a larger platform. If you’re passionate about operating a home business, the important step is to get started.

Jobs you can start at home and expand into larger companies

Chances that your home business will be a success depends, in large part, on how passionate you are about the business. Also, think about how your talents, skills, knowledge and experience align with the below jobs before you start building your home office.

Marketing agency – Strong search engine optimization (SEO), writing, editing and coding skills are in high demand. If you have these skills, you could start a marketing agency out of your home. Make sure that you have a reliable telephone and Internet connection, so that you can conduct virtual face-time meetings with clients.

Web design – As a web designer who works from home, your business can grow if you don’t limit yourself to designing websites. Growth can come through designing social media pages,  virtual posters, radio station pages and company logos.

Beauty salon – You’ll need to meet local building and business code regulations before you start a beauty salon in your home. Operate the salon out of a section of your home. In fact, if you already know that you want to operate a home beauty salon and you haven’t bought a house yet, look for a house that has an in-law suite. You could use the in-law section of the house as your beauty salon.

More jobs that you can launch at home

Printer – Because print equipment is heavy and bulky, make sure that you have a garage or a basement before you open an at home print shop. Learn design skills and the range of products that you print can expand significantly.

Computer repair – Got solid technical skills? Understand computers like the back of your hand? Consider starting a computer repair business out of your home. If you land enough customers, you could expand and open repair shops throughout the city, state or country.

Pet grooming – If you’re a pet owner, you know how much people love their pets. Major pet stores offer pet grooming services. Bring these services closer to your neighbors by offering them out of your back yard or basement. Just make sure that you meet all local regulations and operate a safe, clean pet grooming company.

Tutoring service – Use your teaching skills to tutor children and adults. Decide whether you’ll tutor in certain subjects like math, English or language arts or if you will tutor as a generalist.

With the right market research, vision, tenacity, drive and home office environment, you could launch a successful business. As you operate your home business, you’ll learn more about yourself and people from diverse backgrounds. You’ll also build courage and may even become a community leader. And wouldn’t that be great? To look back and see that, as it has for many others, your home became the launching pad for many of your future successes.