There are a lot of reasons on why you should grow your own food. The most common benefit of doing so is you can save money and also you are able to eat healthier foods. There’s also an unmatched pleasure of eating flavorful ripe vegetables and fruits. Most often, they taste better than those being sold in the supermarket.

Growing vegetables and fruits on your own also means that you can eat organic food that’s free from pesticides and other chemical fertilizers. This also gives a sense of accomplishment as you successfully harvest the food that you grew yourself.

However, for those individuals who live in apartments or in houses with limited space, having their own garden may sound impossible. Well, there’s this method that they call as ‘vertical gardening.’ It is an effective way to make the most of your space especially if you have small balconies or patios.


Such concept is not new. Since the dawn of agriculture, the human civilization have already employed this method. One great example is the ancient Mayan culture where they developed a vertical gardening method. What they did was they planted beans next to cornstalks, providing a trellis system in which the bean plants could climb the cornstalks while receiving shade from the corn plant's leaves. Some scholars believe that this facilitated the rise of the grand Mayan civilization that came later.

Vertical gardening on the other hand, simply refers to any planting system that encourages plants to grow vertically. Other types of vertical gardening include shelves, pockets, hanging baskets, and pallets.

You may already have heard of shelves and hanging baskets. But the pocket and pallet may sound unfamiliar. Pockets are those bags made of burlap or other materials containing plants. They are then attached to available walls while the pallet vertical gardening makes use of wooden shipping pallets that are covered on the bottom and sides with landscape fabric. These are then filled with young plants and potting soil. The plants grow in the spaces between the slats and, the pallet will be lifted into a vertical position.

Also, you have to choose the right plants for your vertical garden. Take a look at how much sunlight is available. Take note as well that some plants are better suited to vertical gardening techniques than others.

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Maintain Sharp Blades

It is important that you maintain sharp blades whether you own a walk-behind lawnmower or a riding lawn tractor. If you have dull mower blades, you are likely to rip the grass and leave jagged ends that easily turn brown. Every spring is the perfect time to sharpen your mower's blades, and they should cut cleanly throughout the summer. You may sharpen your blades more often if you occasionally hit rocks or scalp the ground.


There are some steps to follow when sharpening a mower blade. You can start with a mower that has an empty or nearly empty gas tank. Also, make sure that the gas cap is firmly tightened. Then, do the following:

- Remove the spark plug wire and tip the mower on its side.

- With the use of a wrench, remove the blade.

- Smooth out the damage and sharpen the edge with work gloves and a mill file. Also, maintain the bevel at 40 to 45 degrees.

- To test the blade for balance, place it on a cone-shaped blade balancer or drive a nail into your work bench. Then, hang the blade from the hole in its center. Take note that on the balancer or the nail, the blade should hang evenly. Remove the metal from the opposite side If it tips to one side.

- Try to replace the blade. In order to check for vibration before cutting grass, refuel the mower and test it on a firm level surface first.


Take a Little Off the Top

Try to adjust the height of the mower's deck to the top or second-to-top position. For each time you mow, it is about one-third of the grass leaves that should be removed. During early spring, mow every four or five days while during summer, do it once a week.


If you trim your lawn too short, it will cut off much of the energy-producing top growth that may result in a weak and sickly lawn. With regular mowing based on the correct height, it will produce tiny grass clippings. They can then be left on the lawn that will decompose and return nutrients back to the soil.


Test the Soil and Apply Fertilizer

Conduct a soil test in order to check the acidity or alkalinity of your lawn.


Water Constantly
If it is not raining, you need to supply 1 in. of water per week for turf grasses. It’s also recommended to apply it in two watering sessions or else, the water has a tendency to simply run off especially during late summer.


Be Rakish

It is also important to remove the leaves during the fall and seed pods, pine cones, twigs and spent flowers all year long. Such debris can block the sunlight. They also dull the blade of a mower.

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1. Don’t Make an Expensive Mistake – If it’s a small garden job, it might be enjoyable to carry out yourself. If you trust yourself to do the job, what better way to spend your weekends? However, if it’s a bigger job, hiring a gardener may prevent you from making expensive mistakes. If the project is a too complicated or intricate, there’s a chance you may attempt it unsuccessfully and have to spend a whole lot of cash and time fixing it. If you think the project is too difficult for you, it is definitely worth consulting a professional.


2. The Standard Checks – When hiring a gardener, you need to perform all the standard checks that you would with any person hired to work in your home. Insurance, contracts, recommendations… most of it is covered in our handyman post – so have a quick read for the basics.


3. Quotes – Smaller jobs should have a simple pricing plan, some gardeners might charge by the hour, but larger jobs may be more complicated. One thing is for sure – a sign of a good gardener is that they know all the right questions to ask and they make sure to get all the details before submitting a final quote.

4. Assess What’s Already There – A good gardener should be checking for and working around things like gutters, drain fields and, if digging deep, any underground council lines that may run through your property. If you are aware of any hidden features that could be in the way, it’s best to give your gardener heads up.


5. Taking Out the Trash – Does your gardener include waste disposal in their price? It might be something you don’t want to be lumbered with at the end, or something you may not want to pay for if your council already provides it for free, so it’s best to agree before the start of the job.


6. Local and Wild – Check what types of plants and flowers your gardener recommends planting. Local flowers will flourish with ease as they are already in the right climate and have the right soil and wild flowers will be easy to take care of. The main point is: you don’t want to be stuck with a high maintenance garden that will wither as soon as your gardener leaves.


7. Priorities – If your garden is a big project, you will need to make a specific plan to get the most out of your gardener’s time. Know exactly what you want done, organise the plan into stages and then to smaller jobs within each stage. Prioritise tasks based on stages, importance and difficulty. You might be able to perform smaller jobs and save yourself some money, while leaving the more important and difficult jobs to the professionals.

8. Seasonal Blooms – If you don’t want your garden to look wooden and bare in the winter, make sure your gardener chooses a mixture of evergreen and seasonal plants and flowers.


9. Substance and Texture – It’s not all about plants – stones, wooden or metal structures, bird baths or garden seating can all help to add to your garden, so don’t forget to incorporate some of these features before you make your plan for the ideal garden. Have a look here for inspiration.

10. Hire Someone You Like – Your gardener will do a better job if there is a mutual understanding between both of you. If you get along, it won’t be a chore to have a chat over a cup of tea on a sunny morning – you want to still be able to enjoy your garden when your gardener is visiting.

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Get pre-approved

Try not to depend on what the internet tells you or a simple pre-qualification from a lender. Instead, obtain mortgage pre-approval. You will be more confident in your buying power as you talk about your financial matters with your lender. This is vital in the event that you plan to exclude a money condition in your offer.


Recognize the seller’s necessities

Buyers frequently commit the error of needing to ‘win’ in transactions. Then again, the seller has often the advantage in a hot seller’s market and not the buyer. Go for a ‘win-win’ circumstance by recognizing the contractual parts that are critical for the seller. For example, if the seller prefers a specific closing date. The best thing you can do is to give that preferred date or anything close to it.

Minimize the conditions as much as possible

If the property you are putting an offer has gathered a lot of interest, it might be good to exclude some standard conditions like financing and home inspections. This may not be the recommended approach for many buyers, but it is an inevitable reality. If you are in a bidding war, a strong offer will most likely win than a conditional offer, all things being equal.

Have a large deposit

One of your effective methods to attract the seller to opt for you is to give them confidence in your purchasing power. Do this by putting a large sum of money down on a home. With this, you will have an advantage over other buyers especially in a bidding war.

Make a strong offer

A strong offer may differ depending on the local market. However, each market has a trend that we can analyze. A common example of a trend in a particular market is an offer that should be increased by a particular amount above asking price. Let’s say by $5,000 - $7,000 above asking price.

The above-mentioned points are just tips that you may want to consider. However, you should use your discretion depending on the particular situation.


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Moe Pourtaghi

"Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my buyers & sellers have success in their Real Estate endeavours. I hope you find the articles on my blog inspiring and educating in your ventures." - Moe Pourtaghi

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