City dwellers often think gardening is only for those who live in suburbs or rural communities, but planting an urban garden can be easy. Whether you are planting a garden for yourself or for your family, you can do your part to create a more sustainable and green future with these simple steps.
10 Tips for Urban Gardening
(Family Features) City dwellers often think gardening is only for those who live in suburbs or rural communities, but planting an urban garden can be easy. Whether you are planting a garden for yourself or your family, you can do your part to create a more sustainable and green future.
These simple steps recommended by Arjan Stephens, executive vice president at Nature’s Path Organic Foods, can help you on your way to greening your thumb and the planet:
Grab your container, select your seeds and see how beautiful, nutritious and delicious your results could be. Find more details about Gardens for Good and urban gardening at naturespath.com.SOURCE:
The same type of technology used in some of the United States Navy’s most powerful ships also powers handheld lawn equipment.
Battle Weeds, Leaves and Shrubbery with Tech
(Family Features) The same type of technology used in some of the United States Navy’s most powerful ships also powers handheld lawn equipment.
A lineup of string trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers from Cub Cadet use an innovative technology to power the units called CORE (Conductor-Optimized Rotary Energy). The sophisticated motor technology generates power equal to gas engines and maximizes pound-for-pound power efficiency, compared to its 25 cubic centimeter gas-powered engines.
The technology also features a unique Power-Lok system. This standalone drive unit offers lightweight, high-performance string trimmer, blower and hedge trimmer attachments. It saves storage space and money with one tool that does the job of three different units.
Printed circuit board technology and magnetic rotors generate concentrated, efficient power and torque that is on par with gas-powered units so the toughest outdoor challenges can be tackled without the fill-ups, fumes or pull-starts of gas engines.
By delivering high-torque performance with no dependence on battery voltage, CORE technology leverages a revolutionary motor design and a responsive load-sensing controller to deliver power and performance where and when it is needed. It also features zero gasoline emissions and much less noise than gas-powered equipment.
Because the motor consists of lighter weight materials and does not require a gas tank, it is lighter for users to operate.
With longer runtimes than other gasless tools, the technology offers all the power needed for various outdoor projects with nearly 45 minutes of power on one charge. The typical recharge time is 1 hour.
More information is available at CubCadet.com.SOURCE:
Every year, monarch butterflies embark on a 3,000-mile migration across North America. This feat of endurance lasts eight months, spans three countries and captivates people worldwide. Establishing your own milkweed habitat is a great way to get involved and make an impact on the continued reign of the monarch butterfly.
The annual monarch butterfly journey
(Family Features) Every year, monarch butterflies embark on a 3,000-mile migration across North America. This feat of endurance lasts eight months, spans three countries and captivates people worldwide.
These graceful pollinators rely on milkweed for feeding and reproduction, but over the last decade, a reduction of milkweed habitats has occurred along the butterflies’ flight path. The decline of any species can be a threat to natural diversity.
When the weather starts to warm each year, monarchs make their way north from Mexico to begin breeding. Upon arriving in Texas, the butterflies begin to lay eggs on milkweed. Milkweed is the sole food source for monarch larvae, more commonly known as caterpillars. As milkweed plantings have diminished, so has the monarch population.
Environmentalists and butterfly lovers have taken notice of the monarchs’ dwindling numbers. BASF, a company that serves farmers and agricultural customers, launched Living Acres in 2015. Living Acres is a research initiative designed to help farmers establish milkweed beds in non-cropland areas.
“The goal is to raise awareness about the important role milkweed plays in the monarch life cycle,” said Laura Vance, biology team lead, BASF. “We also want to make milkweed planting easier by researching the most efficient ways to raise it and then offer that knowledge to growers nationwide.”
Farmers and landowners can play an important role in helping increase monarch populations simply by starting a milkweed garden. With employee-tended monarch gardens, BASF is also sustaining butterflies at its manufacturing sites. The gardens are tended to ensure the milkweed is healthy and ready for the arrival of monarchs.
As summer approaches, caterpillars begin their metamorphoses, hatching and transforming into vivid orange and black butterflies.
“If you have milkweed planted somewhere in your yard, be sure to keep an eye out for those mesmerizing monarchs,” Vance said. “You just never know when one might flutter by.”
Once mature, the monarchs continue their journey northward, passing over cool valleys and prairieland. Monarchs look for resting places in open plains, often settling in beds of milkweed. Prime milkweed habitats include areas alongside cornfields, gardens, playgrounds and rural roadsides.
Some of the most popular flight paths include the Corn Belt and Interstate 35, a corridor that runs from Texas to Minnesota. Legislators implemented a federal plan to create habitable space along highways for monarchs by planting milkweed in ditches. This initiative offers food and shelter for weary butterflies and provides nursery sites for monarch eggs.
Monarchs then begin winging their way south to the oyamel fir forests of Mexico. They spend their winters there, crowded together on the tree branches for warmth, which can appear to transform the trees into blazing orange clouds. When warm weather returns the following year, monarchs resume their migration northward and continue the cycle of breeding the next monarch generation.
Establishing your own milkweed habitat is a great way to get involved and make an impact on the continued reign of the monarch butterfly. For planting tips, visit Living Acres at Facebook.com/BASFLivingAcres.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - Summer is home to many of the year’s most beautiful days, so who can blame you for wanting to spend them all outside? Your yard becomes your living room and your patio the kitchen. It’s your home away from home, which begs the question — do you like your current digs?
If your home's outdoor space lacks the comfort and appeal you are longing for, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time to transform your backyard into the perfect outdoor oasis you can enjoy all summer long.
To get started upgrading your backyard without breaking the bank — follow these tips from the experts at Lowe’s.
* A place to gather. Think of the parties you’ve hosted in your home. They've likely all had a common gathering place such as the kitchen counter, the living room couch or the dining room table. Your outdoor space needs a similar location and a dining set naturally invites guests to relax. Five-piece dining sets from Lowe's are perfect for more intimate gatherings, while seven-piece sets comfortably accommodate larger crowds.
* The focal point of your kitchen. Grilling out is a staple of any summer party, so if your existing grill isn’t hitting all cylinders, it’s time for an upgrade. The Master Forge 5-Burner Modular Gas Grill features four heavy-duty burners, one infrared searing burner and one infrared rotisserie burner, giving you a solution for any menu choice. Plus, its built-in halogen lights can keep your party going long into the night.
* A place to relax. The sofas and armchairs in your living room are popular sitting destinations during any indoor event, and you can create the same environment outdoors with sectional patio furniture. The Garden Treasures Palm City Patio Sectional Furniture features sleek and sturdy black steel frames coupled with tan Olefin cushions that up the comfort level, meaning when you sit, you'll never want to leave.
* A little shade goes a long way. An all-day party means plenty of sun, and when guests need a break from the heat, it’s good to provide an area of relief. Patio umbrellas are an affordable option, available in 8-1/2 and 9-foot varieties, providing ample coverage for a large gathering. And to keep the awning a hot destination into the evening, look for an umbrella outfitted with LED lights.
* The perfect accents. The difference between a backyard and an outdoor oasis is in the details you add to your space. Island King Garden Torches bring light to any situation. With durable metal construction and a long-lasting fiberglass wick, these lights will keep their look in any conditions. To add a little extra green space to your outdoor entertaining area, consider purchasing raised garden beds. They provide a grand ambiance upgrade to your oasis at an affordable price.
Summer has just begun! Implement any of the upgrades listed above and you'll be able to enjoy the season's greatest days from your brand-new oasis. To find everything you need to remake your backyard, without breaking your bank, visit lowes.com.
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