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How much do you know about plant fertilizer? While your level of knowledge depends on your gardening experience, as well as how much research you’ve done on the topic, this doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes when applying yours. It’s very easy to use the wrong type of fertilizer, not mix it correctly, or even apply too much (or too little) of it. Since fertilizer is an important part of the growing process, you need to know which mistakes your making so that you can avoid them in the future. Here are some of the most common ones.

Using Too Much Fertilizer

Too much of a good thing is definitely a problem. If you use too much fertilizer, you could actually be hurting your plants. As it turns out, over-fertilizing can cause certain compounds in the soil to build up, which will hurt your plants. For example, they need just enough nitrogen in order to survive and thrive, but too much can kill them. Never over fertilize. This is one of those things where the words “too much of a good thing” certainly come true. In fact, if you’ve just fertilized the soil and your plants look as if they need more fertilizer (look for droopy leaves, and so on) this might actually be a sign that you applied too much.

Suggested Article: The Best All Natural Fertilizers for Your Garden

Adding Too Much of One Nutrient

It’s easy to add too much of one nutrient and not enough of the others. Many people focus on the trio of NPK, or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, while forgetting that their soil actually needs to be a perfect balance of these compounds and others. In order to balance things out properly, make sure to use more than one type of fertilizer. Look for ones that contain calcium, sulfur, or one of the other many micronutrients that your plants need.

Related Article: 4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Garden Soil

Your Fertilized Them at the Wrong Time

This is where doing research on your plants comes in handy. There are numerous resources out there that tell you exactly when this type of tomato plant or that type of cucumber vine needs to be fertilized. You shouldn’t fertilize everything at once, or just “wing it.” Instead, look up your exact varietals and create a calendar or chart that shows when in their growth cycles that they need to be fertilized. Your plants will reward you growing plenty of vegetables if you do this correctly.

Repeating the Same Patterns

You need to remember that what worked great one year won’t necessarily provide the same results the next. It’s easy to fall into these habits and come up with a formula of sorts that spells out success. However, your plants might have different needs the next year, based on the air temperatures, amount of sunlight, soil conditions, and even how much water they’ve received. You need to plan everything to match – not just do the same thing over again because it worked that way in the past. Be open to change and everything will work out for the best.

Suggested Article: Why You Should Keep a Homesteading Journal

Not Testing Your Soil

The soil that you plant your crops in needs to be tested every year because its condition can change. Since you want your soil to have that perfect balance of nutrients and micronutrients, it helps to know what it’s exactly chemical composition is. This way, you can add in the right type of fertilizer. Otherwise, you might be applying more phosphorus to soil that already has plenty of this nutrient. This isn’t good for the plants or your soil composition. The more that you know about your soil before you fertilize it, the better.

Related Article: How to Test Soil Quality

The post Common Fertilization Mistakes appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Growing your own fruits and vegetables is much easier when you have great soil. If yours is filled with too much clay, is infiltrated by tree and shrub roots, or has nutritional deficiencies, then you won’t be able to produce as many of them as you’d like. Or, you could end up with great quantities of fruits and vegetables, but they won’t be very large. Either way, your plants will struggle. The best thing that you can do in order to reverse this is by improving the overall quality of your soil. There are several useful (and fairly simple) methods to do this. Here they are.

Use a Cover Crop That Adds Nutrients

Some crops are called “cover crops” because they add nutrients to the soil when they are allowed to break down and cover it. (After they’re grown in that same soil, of course.) These cover crops, including buckwheat and clover, can be planted during the off seasons. They’ll stay alive through winter and early spring, and then, when you’re ready to till your garden, just plow the plants into it. Not only will they act as mulch, but they’ll help enrich your soil.

Turn Your Perennials Into Mulch

Adding mulch to your soil does much more than keep it warm, ensure that it stays moist, and prevent weeds from taking root. It also adds some nutrients to the soil. What you can do in order to make your own mulch (or at least, enhance the type that you buy) is chop up any trimmings from your perennials and add them to it. Things like shrub trimmings, bits of perennial plants, and even small branches pruned from your trees all can be added to your mulch. As they break down, they’ll help your soil’s nutritional content.

Related Article: 4 Critical Methods to Improve Your Garden Soil

Allow It to Dry Out Before Tilling

Sure, it’s good to plant your crops after rain, because the soil is nice and moist. This doesn’t mean that you should till it at this point though. Instead, wait until your soil has dried out, and then till it up. Otherwise, you risk taking all of the oxygen out of the soil and damaging its overall structure. You won’t be able to grow as much in this damaged soil. It’s best to test your soil by grabbing some of it with your hand and squeezing before you bring out the rototiller. If it crumbles into dust in your hand, then it’s time.

Test Your Soil and Then Add To It

One of the best ways to improve your soil quality is by testing it, and then adding in what it appears to be missing. There are test kits on the market that can tell you what your soil is lacking. They are easy to use, as most involve placing a scoop of soil in a test tube and then adding some chemicals to it. If you want results that are more detailed than that, you can purchase the type of test kit that you need to send out to a lab. You’ll get your results in a few weeks.

After you find out what your soil is lacking, you can add that exact compound to it. For example, if it lacks nitrogen, just add some organic fertilizer that contains nitrogen to it. The test results might also include some suggestions for improvement, and give you the names of a few products that you can use. However, this depends on the exact test. No matter what, you’ll know exactly how to improve your soil in order to grow the best crops possible. That’s what every homesteader wants.

Suggested Article: How to Test Your Soil Using Only a Mason Jar

The post 4 More Simple Ways to Improve Soil Quality appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Creating a compost pile is always a good idea. You’ll get to reuse food scraps that would otherwise end up in the trash, and then eventually in a landfill. On top of this, compost piles create new, fresh soil that contains plenty of nutrients. Your plants will love it. However, before it gets to that point, you need to understand the basics of composting, which involve knowing what you shouldn’t put into a compost bin. Many of these items are downright harmful to your compost and will cause a number of problems. Avoid adding them to the pile at all costs.

Citrus Peels

While fruit waste of all kinds can be added to a compost pile, you should avoid adding in those citrus peels. They take way too long to decompose and can affect the overall balance in your pile. Your goal is to make soil, and you won’t be able to use it for much when it contains whole chunks of orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit peels in it.

Animal Feces

It’s understandable that you want to do something with your cat or dog feces besides putting it in the trash. However, if you add it to your compost pile, you risk contaminating it with parasites and microorganisms. You don’t want them getting anywhere near your plants, especially if you grow your own vegetables.

Onion Peels

A good compost pile contains a balanced combination of food scraps and other waste that break down slowly over time. In some cases, you might want to add some worms to your pile in order to help this process along. Onion peels will hurt, rather than help, here. Not only do they slow down the decomposition process, but they also hurt your worms.

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Sticker Labels

You’ve no doubt seen those annoying sticker labels that appear on fruits and vegetables. Yes, they serve a purpose – helping the cashier code in the right items during checkout – but they don’t do much else. You can’t even add them to your compost pile, because they won’t biodegrade. They’re actually made of plastic, not paper.

Paper That’s Coated or Glossy

When you’re adding items to your compost bin, you do need to balance out those fruit and vegetable scraps with some paper. However, it needs to be the right kind of paper. You can’t use glossy or coated paper. Those enhancements are made of plastic, which prevents the paper from breaking down properly.

Tea Bags and Coffee Filters

While used tea leaves and coffee grounds absolutely can be added to your compost, the items that you use to make that tea and coffee cannot. Your tea bags and coffee filters need to be placed in the trash unless you’ve determined that they’re made of natural materials. Many consist of synthetic polyester fibers that won’t break down properly, if at all.

Meat Scraps of All Kinds

The meat of any sort can’t be placed in a compost bin. This means that you can’t include any beef trimmings, leftover cooked chicken (or uncooked chicken), fish bones, or anything that came from an animal. The problem here lies not so much in getting those items to biodegrade (they will, along with everything else around them), but in the smell that they give off while doing so. All of the animals in your neighborhood will end up rooting through your compost bin looking for food.

Used Charcoal

It can be tempting to dump leftover charcoal in your compost bin, but you shouldn’t do it. This material actually contains a lot of sulfur, which can upset the overall balance of your compost. It’s even worse if your charcoal has been treated or soaked in fire starting liquid.

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The post 8 Items to NOT Include in Your Compost appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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How much do you know about sustainable gardening? These useful tips might just fill in any gaps in your knowledge! The more you know about these practices the better. Do you think that you’ll use some of these in your garden this year?

1) If you own cats or dogs, brush them and then sprinkle some of their hair around the edges of your garden. Sure, it might look weird, but it will keep any critters away. They’ll smell your predators and steer clear of your vegetables.

2) Place a laundry sink in your yard, near where your vegetable garden is located. A bucket underneath will collect the water that runs through it as you hose off your newly picked fruits and vegetables. Then, you can use that water in your garden.

3) Don’t use a machine to pull up weeds. Instead, get on your hands and knees and pull them the old-fashioned way – with your hands, or, if you need to, with a hand tool. You’ll have a better appreciation for your garden and the earth this way.

4) Instead of using pieces of plastic in order to mark your plants, just grab some twigs. Shave off a section of the bark and write on it with an environmentally friendly marker. The best thing about this is that the twig will end up decaying over the course of the season, helping the composition of your soil.

5) Repurpose old pieces of concrete that you find lying about. They make great stepping stones and even garden borders. Plus, they add a little rustic look to things, thanks to their broken edges.

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6) Create a hot sauce spray in order to keep pests off of your plants. Certain ones will not appreciate the flavor of the spray that ends up on the leaves. (Note: this takes care of many critters as well.) Just mix some ground cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, and water in a spray bottle.

7) Rather than buy twine to use as garden ties, just use some old pantyhose. You can even cover growing melons and other trellised vegetables in it, and then tie the pantyhose to the trellis. This is a great way to reuse something that would otherwise end up in the trash.

8) Make your own mulch out of old tree limbs, pieces of branches that you’ve pruned off of your hedges, or anything else that you remove from your perennials. As long as it’s small enough, and you can guarantee that it won’t sprout seedlings, it’s safe to use. This is a great way to use yard waste.

Suggested Article: Why do You Need a Greenhouse and Things to Look for?

9) Turn vegetable trimmings into stock. Rather than throw the ends of things right into the compost bin or the trash, place them in a freezer bag. When you have enough in the bag, make stock with them (all that you need is some water, those veggies, and a pot over low heat). Then, skim your stock and place the vegetable bits into your compost pile.

10)  When you’re planting your vegetables, create a furrow on either side of them. This will hold water for some time, and allow that water to go straight to the roots of the plants. It’s like creating a mini irrigation system in your yard.

11) Save items throughout the year and use them for other purposes in your garden. For example, you can use leftover rags (ripped into strips) as markers or ties. You can turn old popsicle sticks into plant markers. There are plenty of things that you can reuse as long as you get a little creative. This is one of the hallmarks of sustainable gardening.

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The post 11 Simple Ways to Practice Sustainable Gardening appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Are you haunted by your seasonal allergies? Even if your “seasonal” allergies pop up all year ‘round, there are plenty of remedies that you can use. Some of them, like number 11, go beyond the chemical-filled pills and tablets and into the all-natural realm. Yes, you can help keep your allergies at bay without subjecting yourself to chemicals. Here’s how.

1) Drink Tea

There are certain types of teas that can alleviate your allergies. They include those that contain a mix of peppermint (which can clear up the sinuses), ginger (likewise), and nettle. However, if your outdoor allergies extend to include nettle, you’ll need to be careful here.

2) Use a Neti Pot

Neti pots can really clear out your sinuses. All that you need to do is mix bottled and filtered water (not tap water) with a salt packet. Then, follow the instructions, which usually involve placing the spout in one nostril, allowing all of the mucus to come out of the other one.

3) Install HEPA Filters In Your Home

HEPA filters are designed to trap allergens that are in the air system of your home. You can purchase furnace filters with this technology built into them, or use a separate air filtration system. Some vacuums even come with a HEPA filter.

4) Take Stinging Nettle and Butterburr Supplements

These two all-natural herbs are great allergy fighters. Stinging nettle can lower the histamine that naturally occurs in your body during an allergic reaction. However, you do need to ensure that you aren’t allergic to it first. Butterbur should only be taken in its processed form, but it does help relieve sinus symptoms.

5) Eat Some Greek Yogurt

You’re probably already aware of the fact that Greek yogurt contains probiotics that can help balance your digestive system. However, it also has Lactobacillus casei, which can control your overall reaction to allergens.

6) Use Essential Oils

Did you know that breathing in essential oils is a great way to help your allergy symptoms? Some of these essential oils, including basil, eucalyptus, and tea tree, can all stop an allergic reaction in its tracks. You’ll just need to find a way to breathe them in – don’t ingest them.

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7) Clean Your House Regularly

We’ve already mentioned HEPA filters in your home, including in your vacuum cleaner. However, cleaning your house on a regular basis can really prevent your allergies from flaring up, since it removes any trapped pollen and dust.

8) Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acid Rich Foods

You’ve probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids since they are good for your heart health. The foods that contain them, such as salmon and mackerel, also have properties that reduce inflammation and help your lungs function better.

9) Eat Food Rich in Vitamin C

Studies have shown that Vitamin C is actually a natural antihistamine. This means that if you eat fruits that contain this vitamin, you’re helping your system cope with your allergies. You’ll need to increase your intake of berries, oranges, lemons, limes, broccoli, and even kale.

10) Exercise Indoors Whenever Possible

It almost goes without saying that if you want to avoid allergic reactions to plants and pollen, then you need to avoid them. If you exercise outdoors, then you’re exposing yourself to everything that you’re allergic to.

11) Get Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years for a very good reason – it helps a number of different conditions, including allergies. All that you need to do is find an acupuncturist near you who knows the right ways to insert the needles in order to relieve your seasonal allergies.

You may also like “The Lost Book of Remedies”, take a look>>>

The post 11 Simple Natural Allergy Remedies appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Legalized cannabinoids have been in the news quite a bit lately, more than likely because of the fact that many U.S. states have started legalizing marijuana for medical reasons. Even though marijuana is still considered to be an illegal drug in the eyes of the federal government, several states have legalized it outright for recreational purposes. Of course, all of this overshadows the fact that CBD oil and other cannabinoids, which are derived from the hemp plant and have no (or very little) THC in them, seem to skirt these laws. Some states have regulated them to the point of lumping them in with marijuana, while others have no laws in place for CBD at all. This begs the question – should they be legal? Let’s examine this from several different angles.

CBD Oil and Cannabinoids Have Medical Purposes

Studies have shown that these cannabinoids actually have a number of medical purposes. They can help people with seizure disorders, like epilepsy, because they calm the brain and prevent seizures from occurring. They are also good for people with anxiety disorders, helping them to focus and remain calm. This is one large advantage that CBD oil has over marijuana since the THC in the latter actually makes anxiety worse by creating a sense of paranoia. CBD oil and cannabinoids don’t do this.

In addition to those two medical purposes, cannabinoids can relieve pain, help cancer patients by giving them back their appetites (it’s crucial that cancer patients eat enough to keep their bodies in “fighting mode”), and even help prevent heart disease. There are so many medical uses for cannabinoids that it’s hard to understand why it’s still regulated.

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It’s Much Safer than Two Legal Drugs

There are two legal drugs that can cause a number of health problems, alcohol and nicotine, yet they are still completely legal. Of course, there are some regulations in place regarding them, as those under the age of 18 can’t purchase cigarettes and those under 21 can’t buy alcohol, yet people can purchase them freely. Both alcohol and nicotine are incredibly addictive, and studies have shown that CBD and cannabinoids are not. Cannabinoids don’t get you “high” to cause accidents as drunk drivers do. CBD oil doesn’t contain arsenic and other harmful compounds like cigarettes. Yet, there is more regulation surrounding cannabinoids than these two. It really makes you stop and think.

The Seeds Themselves Have Great Qualities

Did you know that you can eat hemp seeds? They can be sprinkled on salads and added to smoothies. You can make granola bars with hemp seeds in them, and even include them in your salad dressing recipes. They are incredibly versatile, which is good because they contain omega 3 fatty acids, as well as things like iron and calcium. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for your heart health, iron helps your red blood cells stay at the level that they need to be, and calcium is good for your bones. And all of this derives from hemp seeds.

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The Plants Are Good For the Environment

Did you know that hemp plants pretty much grow themselves? Of course, you need to water and fertilize them (sparingly), but they help clean the air around them and don’t require the use of pesticides. Most pests won’t go near a hemp plant, simply because they are turned off by the smell. As a result, these plants are very environmentally friendly and are quite good for the world around them.

What’s your final verdict? Hopefully, all of these points explain why CBD and cannabinoids should be legalized once and for all.

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The post How Can CBD Help You and Should it be Legal? appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Cheesecloth is a very useful material. While it has its obvious uses in the kitchen, including cheese making and filtering various products, this fabric can also be used in your garden. One of the reasons why you can use it outdoors is the fact that it’s such a natural material that it can be composted. On top of this, you can use it more than once, turning your small investment into something that will stick around for a while. Here are some additional uses for cheesecloth – and all of them take place outdoors in your garden.

Protect Your Plans

Your young plants need protection from the elements. This means that they need to be covered, especially when they’re still in the seedling stage. If you don’t have the space to start your seeds indoors and need to place them outside (as long as your climate allows for it, of course), then you can create a small covered “house” for your plants. Leave them in the large planter, place some stakes in the four corners, and then drape your cheesecloth over it. The cheesecloth will protect those seedlings, while still allowing plenty of air, light, and water in.

Scare Away Pests

Did you know that you can keep pests out of your garden with cheesecloth? This is another great use for this material. All that you need is a pair of scissors, some small stakes, and a liquid that will keep squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and more at bay. Ammonia is a great example. You want to use something that won’t harm your plants. Just slice the cheesecloth into strips, dip them in the liquid, and then tie them to the stakes. Plant the stakes near the crops that you want to protect.  Check out: 5 Tricks for Keeping Animals Out of Your Garden

Create Plant Food from Compost

Cheesecloth can even help you create plant food from compost. How? All that you need is to grab a scoopful of compost from your bin. Place it in a square of cheesecloth and fold up the corners. Then, tie them closed with a piece of string. It’s like you’re making a tea bag – and that’s exactly what this is. Place your cheesecloth bag, with the compost in it, of course, into a watering can full of water. Let it steep for around half an hour, and then remove the bag. Pour the water, which is now mixed with nutrient-rich plant food, onto your plants. Voila! All-natural fertilizer.  Check out: Benefits of Compost Tea

Tie Your Plants to Stakes

If you have plants that waver in the wind, either because they’re too tall to support themselves or too young to stay up properly, you can use strips of cheesecloth to tie them into place. Some plants, especially those with thin, young stems, can droop over, causing damage. Thankfully, tying these plants to a support system, like a series of stakes or even a trellis, can give them the support that they need in order to remain healthy. Just make sure to not tie them to the stakes too tightly, as that can damage them as well.

Start Your Seeds

You can make a sprouter for beans or sprouts out of a simple canning jar and a piece of cheesecloth. Soak your bean seeds or sprouts overnight and then place them into the bottom of a canning jar. Take your canning jar and remove the metal lid, leaving behind only the band. Cut a small square of cheesecloth and fit it over the top of the jar, securing it into place with the band. Leave the jar in a sunny area, and keep removing and then adding more water every day, until you see the sprouts emerge.

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The post 5 Great Uses for Cheesecloth in Your Garden appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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Modern homesteaders can take advantage of a number of different high tech tricks and tools in order to make their lives easier. Technology has changed quite a bit since the original homesteaders claimed parcels of land back in the 1800s. Just because you’re trying to recreate that lifestyle, doesn’t mean that you need to utilize their old technology, like pot-bellied coal stoves and outdoor bathrooms. Instead, use these seven tools in order to make your modern homestead run much more smoothly. You’ll be glad that you did!

1) 3D Printers

When something breaks, it can be hard to run out and get a part, especially if you’re located hundreds of miles from the latest town or store. For example, if a crucial part of your tractor breaks, you could be stuck without one for quite some time. This is where a 3D printer comes into play. These printers make three-dimensional objects out of sturdy plastic. While the part that they make may not hold up for years, it should do the job well enough to keep the tractor running until a proper replacement can be procured.

2) Grafting Plants and Other Gardening Techniques

Did you know that you can graft plants together in order to create a kind of hybrid? For example, if you graft branches of one apple tree to another, you’ll end up with a tree that produces two different types of apples. This is quite a space saver! On top of this, you can also create your own plant hybrids by using cuttings and breeding them together. This is a less expensive option than purchasing new plants and seeds every year, plus you’ll end up with a plant that will thrive on your specific plot of land.

3) Canners and Dehydrators

Saving every last bit of the fruits and vegetables that you grow is a crucial part of homesteading. You don’t want to waste anything. Since you’ll inevitably grow more crops than you can eat fresh, you’ll need to rely on canning and dehydrating in order to save them for later. Modern canning devices are very easy to use and heat the jar’s contents to safe levels. Dehydrators are another simple tool that can help you waste less food.

This guy shows us clear as day how anyone can power (with ZERO cost any) light bulb in their homes. 4) The Internet

This one seems obvious since you’re reading this article online. However, you need to keep in mind that the internet is a huge resource for things like recipes, instructions, and more. Everything that you need in order to be a great homesteader is right at your fingertips, through your WiFi connection.

5) Electric Bikes

These bikes have a power source, so they move faster than a standard bicycle. They charge themselves as well when you use them to travel from one spot on your land to another. Why do you want an electric bike on your homestead? They are cheaper to maintain, store and insure than a regular vehicle, and they have a smaller environmental footprint.

6) Drones

Drones are more than those tools that the military uses in order to shoot at and keep an eye on enemies. You can purchase a non-military drone and use it to watch everything that takes place on your land. This will save you time and energy since you won’t have to walk your land yourself.

7) Micro-Electric Power

Harnessing nature to create power for your homestead is always a great idea. You can use these micro-electric generators in order to gather power from a local stream or other water sources. While they won’t be able to generate enough electricity to run your entire home, they can be good for smaller things, like the electric pumps on your well or even the lights in your livestock barn.

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The post 7 More High Tech Tools and Tricks for Modern Homesteading appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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BUGS…No matter how hard you try, you’ll probably find a few of them in your kitchen. They sneak in through tiny cracks in your walls, foundation, and may even hitch a ride in on someone’s shoes. Thankfully, once they’re in, you have several methods of getting rid of them that don’t require the use of pesticides. After all, you don’t want those harmful chemicals in your kitchen.

1) Put a Basil Plant on Your Kitchen Counter

Basil smells great. Many people find that its aroma adds a little something to air quality in their homes. It’s also a great additive to your foods, as it works well on things like baked chicken and pork chops. This amazing, multi-use plant can even repel any insects that try to find their way indoors. Although humans like the smell of basil, most bugs are turned off by it and will head back outdoors from whence they came. Thankfully, live basil plants are easy to find. They’re sold in the produce section of many grocery stores.

2) Place Bay Leaves Around Your Kitchen

Bay leaves can add plenty of flavor to your food, and they can keep bugs at bay. No matter the form of the bay leaves – dried or fresh – bugs hate the smell of them, so they’ll steer clear. If you’re worried about insects getting into your flour, dried beans, rice, any other grains, or the other opened containers that you have stored in your pantry, just place a bay leaf on top of them, inside of the package. You will never have to worry about weevils again. Plus, the bay leaves don’t harm the food, so everything stays edible.

Weird Fabric REPLACES Paper Towels>>> 3) Purchase or Make a Batch of Hot Pepper Wax Insect Spray

Along with the smell of basil and bay leaves, insects absolutely hate hot pepper spray. You can make some yourself by mixing together water, dried red pepper flakes, and even a few drops of liquid hot sauce. With that said, many stores sell this pre-mixed, as well. The liquid contains capsaicin, the stuff that makes the liquid spicy, which deters insects such as spider mites, aphids, and more. It’s harmless to plants to the point that you can spray it right on and everything will be fine.

4) Mix up Some Essential Oils

Essential oils are great for clearing out your sinuses, relieving stress, and much more. But did you know you can even mix a few of them together and use them to ward off insects? Some suggestions include tea tree oil, lavender, lemongrass, citronella, and peppermint. Mix them into a spray container and mist the corners of your kitchen.

5) Place Some Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth in Your Kitchen

Food-grade diatomaceous earth won’t harm humans, but it does kill insects. It will remove all of the moisture from the insect’s casing, forcing it to dehydrate and die. Now there’s an easy solution to your insect problems!

6) Make a Fly Trap Out of Vinegar

Vinegar, which is a great all-natural cleaning solution, is also one of the crucial components of a fly trap. Place a little bit of vinegar in a bowl (you can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar – both will work just fine), and then add in a bit of dish soap. Fruit flies will be attracted to the sweet smell of the dish soap, but when they hit the liquid, the vinegar will kill them. You can set a trap by placing some plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and poking a few holes in it. The flies will get in, but they can’t get out.

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The post 6 Natural Ways to Rid Bugs from Your Kitchen appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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You don’t need to live on a farm or even in the country in order to be a homesteader. In fact, even people who reside in the suburbs or even the city can homestead in their own ways. Homesteading generally means using the land to provide for yourself and your family in one way or another. You can get a little creative with this and find ways to make it work no matter where you live, even if all that you have is a small apartment. Here are some great suggestions that you can utilize. Build off of them and find ways to make your own urban homestead.

Set Up a Clothesline

Yes, drying clothing outdoors is a practice that many homesteaders partake in. A clothesline is easy to set up when you have a yard of any particular size, as well as a fence, post, or even tree to anchor it on. City living makes this a bit trickier, especially if you lack a yard. Thankfully, they sell retractable clotheslines that you place on a balcony. When you’re done, just roll them up. There are also devices called “airers” that are meant to do the same thing, only they stay indoors.

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Gardening is an essential part of homesteading. You need to grow your own food in one way or another. Again, this all comes down to the size of your yard. Even some city dwellers may have enough land for a small garden plot. They just need to use that space wisely. Alternatively, plants can be grown on a porch, a back deck, or even an apartment balcony. If you’re truly landlocked, find a community gardening program in your area and then join it. This way, you can fulfill this general homesteading practice.

Join a Composting Program

Composting is tricky when you’re in the city. Compost bins tend to get a bit smelly, which can annoy your neighbors. With that said, there are still programs that you can join, including city-wide ones where they’ll collect your food scraps and use them to create a large batch of compost. Of course, not all cities do this, and if yours doesn’t, why not convince them to start one? Sometimes you have to take homesteading into your own hands.

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Obviously, your animal choices are limited based on your location. Some cities allow people to keep chickens in their backyards, while others have strict laws against this practice. If you’re lucky enough to live in an urban location that allows chickens, then, by all means, build or purchase a coop and buy a few chickens to raise. You’ll get plenty of fresh eggs and will learn quite a bit from the chickens themselves, as these animals all have very interesting personalities. However, if you’re in an apartment, you obviously can’t have a chicken coop. You’re limited to cats and dogs, depending on the rules in your lease. While you can’t obtain food from them like your chickens, you still receive many of the mental benefits of raising a pet. This is a good thing.

As you can see, there are a number of things that you can do in order to be an urban homesteader. You just need to get a little creative and find ways around the problem. For example, if you live in an apartment, you can start a container garden and have a cat or two. If your city lot is large enough for a garden, then feel free to start one. There are so many options available to you if you know where to look for them.

The post Urban Homesteading Alternatives appeared first on Homesteader Depot.

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