How to Prepare Your Garden For Next Spring

Flower, Red, Summer, Spring, Gardening, Macro, Object

Ah, spring – time of flowers, aromas, and beautiful colors.  We just love the look of our gardens when the colorful petals adorn our yards with vibrant colors and lushing designs.  It is just mesmerizing to contemplate the result of our efforts to prepare our garden for this glorious moment.

If you are not sure what it is that you need to do to get your yard ready for spring, do not worry.  We will briefly take you through the basic steps to make your kind of gloomy green yard become a rainbow of colors, butterflies, and bees for the spring.  But you need to prepare during the cold winter and it is definitively no easy task.

Ready? Set. Go!

Prepare Your Soil

The first obvious step.  Now, remember that a true gardener does not feed the plants but feeds the soil.  So, preparing the soil for the springtime is pivotal to welcoming the season with a grin and a job well done.  It is important to maintain soil fertility.

Probably the first thing you need is topsoil and compost.  They are not really the same thing.  An expert landscape designer weighs on the difference between compost and topsoil.  He says that topsoil is the soil on top of your garden and that the truth, you already have.  Compost, on the other hand, must be prepared with fully rotted organic material with enough nitrogen to guarantee the matter to rot even more, releasing the necessary nitrogen for the plants.

Keep the soil busy and with crops.  A soil devoided of plants and their roots is an eroded one.  So make sure that the roots are there to exude nutrients to the soil in preparation for spring.

Clean Out The Weed

Do not let the weed take the best out of the nutrients in your soil.  Clean them out as soon as possible and prevent them from adding more weed to your soil.  Failing to do this will double your efforts to get rid of weeds during the flowering season.

Dig out the roots of the problematic weed.  Be careful to remove all plants with seeds in them.  Otherwise, they can fall in your soil and make your spring gardening a nightmare.  While you are at weed cleaning, you can take advantage of the work to make some tilling, which also helps oxygenize the soil.

Start Adding Organic Matter

Organic matter is any living organism that we can exploit to provide nutrients to the soil.  Remember that we need to feed the soil.  The best sources of organic matter to nurture your soil are chopped leaves and compost.  You should start adding them now in winter.  Add generous amounts of compost to your garden beds.

Collect those leaves from the ground right away.  If you do not have leaves of your own, collect from the curb or from your neighbors.  Shred the leaves manually or with a mower.  Dig in these shredded leaves into your beds for them to decompose.  Decomposed leaves can act as mulch during the winter.  This helps the soil stick and prevents erosion.

The Cover Crops

You do not want your soil to stay idle during the winter.  Otherwise, your soil could be devoided from necessary nutrients.  These crops keep the nutrients running through their corresponding cycle, prevent erosion, and protect it from the fierce winter.  When they dig deep into the soil, they add nutrients to the soil.

A crop easy to plant and remove is rye.  No, it will not become weed later.  To avoid this, use annual rye and prevent the grass from going to seed and you should be fine.

The Best Dog Breeds for Families with Young Children

For ages, humans have created several breeds of dogs to serve different purposes.  Back in the days we had breeds used to run sleighs, sheep, work, hunt, and perform several other tasks.  Today, there are still dogs out there performing these amazing feets.  They still get the chance to kill it in their fields side by side with their humans.

Others became more household dogs, although they still keep the instinct of the traits that defined their ancestors.  You see a malamute biting on the toddler’s ankle to “guide” him, for example, or a Golden Retriever running vigorously after whatever he sees running across the yard.

These family dogs have become ideal companions, especially for families with young children.  This is due to their peaceful nature and docile tolerance for kids.  Check out these five dog breeds for families with young children.

1. Bulldog

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The terms that best describe the bulldog are calm, friendly, and courageous.  This amusing dog is always in for some play time.  He does not really beg for walks but it is necessary to take him for walks in order to exercise and they might enjoy some romping time.   They are actually pretty quiet as they don’t bark a lot.

Kids enjoy the company of a nice bulldog.  These dogs, even though they feel pretty massive (40-50 pounds) they do not pose a danger to the young ones.  He might not be hypoallergenic but he sheds very little and only during certain seasons.  Young ones can enjoy grooming this big boy as it is necessary to remove hair and to distribute skin oils.

2. Newfoundland

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Newfoundlands are known for being great companions.  They are pretty sweet and devoted.  This dog will love you and show you and your kids love for the rest of his life.  These dogs are big, large, and strong.  They make good swimmers too and could be lifesavers in the water.

In order to keep this one safe and not naughty, give him some romping time. Take him for walks with your young ones and train them as they are very eager to please.  We have here around 140 pounds of fur, muscle, skin, bones, and love.

3. Golden Retriever

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The Golden Retriever is known for its intelligence.   This is a friendly and devoted dog.  He is one of the most popular dogs in the United States.  Unfortunately, their popularity has increased their breeding by irresponsible people who have no control over genetic constitution nor health of the puppies.  You should never acquire a Golden Retriever from a backyard breeder.

Not only are they exuberant but they are also hard-working dogs.  Besides this, they are beautiful and pretty friendly with kids.  They are so multifunctional-whatever task you assign them, they will complete.

When it comes to children, they are a delight to play with.  They are as hard workers as they are downright silly!  You can’t get enough of these funny boys.

4. Labradoodle

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The Labradoodle is not a purebred but instead is a crossbreed between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle.  This is a pretty smart and sociable dog.  They were originally bred to be hypoallergenic guide dogs.  Their personality has made them owners of their own name as planned crossbreed they are.

Him being a hybrid, it is not easy to pin down a distinct personality.  However, he remains a playful dog and great with kids.  He has become one of the most popular breeds very quickly.  This also causes people to take advantage of such popularity to offer people eager to have a Labradoodle dogs that have not been bred carefully.  Theresa from Casadoodle suggests searching a licensed Labradoodle breeder that will guarantee a well-rounded dog.

5. Boxer

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Boxers are pretty active, they are loyal, bright, and fun.  The sight of one of these majestic beasts is quite a delight.  They are both graceful and powerful.  There is no way to get bored with a boxer.  They are always active.  As such, you must stimulate them physically and psychologically.

Go out with your boxer and the kids.  This helps them socialize and spend quality time with their family.  They are always eager to play games with those he loves. He is not one to be bumping on little children.  He is actually great and tolerates them pretty well.


Is your office chair slowly killing you?

If medical experts are giving us so much warning about how deadly cigarettes and alcohol are, they now are adding to that list. And that’s office chairs. You might not know it, but the kind of office chairs that you are using whether at home or in the office might be leading you to your grave.

That may sounds harsh, but that’s really possible. It may not happen in an instant, but it eventually will if you don’t give much attention to your chairs and your sitting position. If you don’t believe it still. Let’s check out, is your office chair slowly killing you?

Things to Check

In order for you to check whether it’s true or not. You might want to see how many of these are true to you.

You feel pain on your lower back, and it connects to your neck. And it does not only happened once. You feel it every single day, after work.

You are starting to feel that your job is stressful. For some reason, not because of your boss or your task. You just don’t feel like working and going to the office in the morning.

You can’t concentrate to the task at hand. You just want to stand up and walk. And you are starting to have a bad posture. Which eventually makes you look older.

If you think you are feeling some of these, then maybe it’s time for you to think about what type of office chair you are using. For all you know, it’s your chair that’s giving you all these negativities at work. Then it’s time for you to change it.

The effects

There’s a good reason why health experts are now starting to remind us about the negative effects of not sitting on the right office chair and they even consider it deadly.

First, having frequent back pains and neck pains would mean that something isn’t good. It may even lead to a more serious back injury if you don’t do something about it. Some people will end up going on surgeries for them to get back their mobility.

Another thing is that, do you know that stress is deadly too? Those who work in a stressful environment are most likely to acquire illnesses that they don’t think they’d have. If you don’t handle stress early on, it’ll probably lead you to depression and other worse things.

Not sitting on the right office chair will also ruin your posture and your looks as a whole. If you tend to slouch when working on long hours, your body will get use to that, and that will manifest to your posture. And not having the right posture will lead to losing your confidence. And lack of confidence will bring more negativity to you.

Maybe it’s time for you to contemplate and assess whether you already need to buy new office chairs. If you don’t know how to get started, you can start by checking some reliable office chair reviews to get an insight about the best office chairs available in the market.

How Much Damage Did Termites Cause in 2014 in the US?

If we base the likelihood of your home getting damaged by a fire or from a termite infestation, the latter has a higher chance. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites incur more than $5 billion in damage annually. Almost all property in the United States are at risk of termite infestation and a typical homeowner will spend an average of $3000 to repair the damage caused.

Termites are among the most destructive and most common pest all over the world, and the USA is no exception. No matter what kind of structure your home is built upon, be it stucco, brick, block or even concrete slabs, none of them are immune to termite infestation along with the damage that they can cause, which leaves termite control very important.

The worst part about it are that termite infestation can remain dormant until they’ve caused a massive damage, requiring you to dish out thousands of dollars for repairs and extermination. Added to it the fact that most home insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, leaving the homeowner to shoulder the entire repair bill.

“Termite swarms are common in many places around the country. In areas such as Texas, the South, Florida, and even California, operators can point their customers to look for termite wings around their homes, particularly in basements and on window sills”, according to Rick Rupkey, Sr., owner of University Termite & Pest Control.

Termite Damage Statistics

  • Each year, termites damage approximately 600,000 homes in the USA alone annually
  • S. residents spend $5 billion each year for termite damage repairs
  • S. residents spend about $1 billion on Formosan termite control every year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some experts even estimate the number to be closer to $2 billion
  • Every year, termites and other similar pests caused an estimated $30 billion damage to crops and man-made structures in the US
  • A typical homeowner who discovered a termite infestation will spend an average of $3,000 to repair the damage done

Termite Signs

In order to prevent massive damage to your property, be sure to keep an eye to for the following signs:

  • Mud tubes – these are used by subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground
  • Damaged wood – hollow damaged wood is another surefire sign of termites
  • Ripples and/or small holes in drywall – termites create tiny holes on woods when they damage it, extensive damage will make the wood look rippled
  • Pellets – drywood termites excretes pellets that often accumulate on window sills, baseboards, etc.

Once you see some of these signs, there is a huge possibility that your home is already infested by termites. If that happens, immediately seek for a professional’s help to minimize and eliminate the damage before it grows further.

Closure of Guantanamo Bay – Obama new directive as he prepares to exit office

guantanamo bay

Guantanamo Bay is infamous as a detainee prison that holds terror suspects without trial for indefinite periods of time. This U.S naval base located in South East Cuba has had over 700 inmates since its inception by former U.S president George Bush.

Human rights activists have been at the forefront demanding its closure and subsequent release of peoples of various nationalities. The most recent commitment to this cause has received a major boost from president Obama as he assured his commitment to shutting down the facility.

The process is not as straightforward as many would like to view it. The rule of law needs to be upheld at all times. Detainees potentially deemed to be a threat to national security and have to be kept under vigilant watch. Keeping them behind bars without trial however undermines their liberty and ultimately violates their basic rights.

Population at the facility reached an important milestone- under 100 as prisoners have been released over time and sent to different countries and other military bases. If the policy continues under President Obama’s watch, the problem is certain to take a quick demise. The worst that can happen is for the costly menace to be transferred to another president- Obama’s term is near its end.

Legal avenues to deal with this complex issue have long advocated for by those that recommend its closure. A country like the US needs to instill a sense of moral obligation to the world as a benchmark that will be followed by others seeking peace and security.

Action meant to stem violation of human rights needs to go beyond the signing of an executive order. To affirm the president’s commitment to timely action, a well laid out plan needs to be clearly set and its recommendations followed without fail. There are those that oppose its closure and have valid reasons for their stand but greater global interests prevail.

It costs hundred of millions of dollars each year to maintain the facility so the financial implication is a real thorny issue.

Repatriation to one’s home country is indeed a dream come true especially for inmates held over a decade without charge or trial. Other countries can receive their nationals as was the case with the recent release of 10 Yemenis to Oman in January 2016. Such gestures if upheld now and in the future could end up solving the Guantanamo Bay crisis as we know it.

Which Radar Detector Should You Buy for Your Sport Car?

Driving a sports car is a very rewarding experience. However, if you want to use every bit a power it has without stacking speeding tickets or worst, sent to jail, you need a top-notch radar detector.

radar detectors

In the radar detectors world, it’s definitely true that you get what you paid for. If you want maximum protection, you should consider only buying the best radar detectors on the market. Radar detectors under $200 to $300 are great for some people on the budget and hopefully, you are not, but if you want the best, you should be ready to drop some cash.

Escort Max360One of the top rated radar detector, the Escort Max360, is priced around $600. If you think that’s expensive then it’s just the beginning. Some radar detectors go all the up to $1,500, which is a little too much but you get the point. The Escort Max360 is the detector you want to get if you really want something easy to use with top performance.

Other contenders for the best detector on the market are the Valentine One, the Escort iX, the Beltronics Magnum, the Escort Passport X9000.

All these radar detectors will keep you out of trouble but you should never rely on the detector alone. If you happen to be driving on an empty road, your radar detector won’t have anything to detect. You will the be first and only car to be radared, by then it would be too late.

Another way your radar will fail you is if the police officer is using and laser gun. Although radar detectors are advertised as radar/laser detector, the laser detection not so accurate. What you need here is a laser jammer. Laser jammers are expensive, but you want to be bulletproof, that’s something to add to your arsenal.

Finally, keep in mind that cheap radar detectors, under $200 usually are more trouble than help. On the open road, you won’t have time to react as their performance is too poor. If you are strapped for cash, wait a couple of months and invest in top quality radar detectors like the Escort Max360, iX, the Valentine One and others.