Archive for July, 2010

Hiding Up In the Tree House


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A tree house made from scraps can be an exiting place for children of all ages

tree houseI have fond memories of climbing trees when I was younger, but I did not have a tree house. When my son was younger, we started a tree house in a maple behind my shed. It was made from various scrap pieces. The floor was a pallet; one wall was a door. My son mainly used this as a staging area to go and sit on the roof of the shed with his friends. Not a bad place to hang out. I remember spending a good deal of time on the roof of my parent’s garage.
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Potatoes Roasted in Yogurt


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I have not harvested a potato as of yet, but I wanted to have fun with this tuber.

    The rains are beating down many of my plants. The flowers which would lead to peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, and beans are not setting. The New Zealand spinach is going wild. This is one leaf vegetable that I have never really had a issues with. I do let it grown wherever it pops up. Pests do not seem to attack it, and the vines will be vigorous. With my family coming back from vacation, I wanted to prepare a special meal for them, and I was hoping for more from the garden.
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Caring for Plants in Containers


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Container planting can be great for the home or porch, but they do need a bit more care.

plant container
I wanted to share this photo. What a container for those plants. I wonder if they take care of it, or if it has gone wild. My father took this picture while he and my mother were visiting relatives in Uruguay. I do not think my neighbors would care for this, if I did it in my yard. I am more into containers this year. Container gardening can be a wonderful way to enhance a space, but they do need your attention more often than a garden bed.
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How to Build a Home For Bees in Your Backyard


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As we all know, bees provide an essential service in our gardens, so why not make an inviting space for them.

bee home


A little over a year ago, the utility company came through my neighborhood to prune trees away from the power lines. This is a great service for hurricane season. I was not too happy with the result in my yard though. My maple was butchered in front of my eyes, with the worker stating “I guess you are going to have to get rid of that tree”. None of its branches came near the line, and other trees right along the line did not suffer the same fate, so I am not sure as to the reason for their thoroughness in removing all the branches from my maple. The tree seemed like it was coming back, but it obviously did not survive the winter. Now, I did see it as a threat. Dead tree falling.
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Beating Houston’s Summer Heat: Gardening Early in the Morning


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Heat and humidity can be dangerous for the gardener, so early mornings or late evenings may be your best bet.



I am not fond of the heat. Our weather has caused me to retreat a bit from garden work. However, I have been waking up at three in the morning on most days, so by six, I am ready to do something besides reading. I do not use power or gas powered tools, which means that I do not make much noise. I cut my grass with a push mower at six one morning. Since I did not wake up Sleeping Beauty (the nickname for one of my neighbors), I have continued to go out this early.
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Build Your Own Spinnable Compost Bin


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I have heard that compost bins which can be turned are said to produce compost faster.



I create layered compost piles behind bushes. I add layers of new material, then once a year harvest my compost for the beds. Recently I saw one of these plastic compost bins that is a round tube which can be spun around. The turning action is said to produce compost faster. I was thinking of buying it, but it was nearly $200, and I wondered if I really needed it. I would like to have some compost faster though.
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How to Make an Old Fence Look New


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A good fence can be expensive; even for a short section. However, you can make an older fence look better.

I have been replacing the fence sections in my backyard over the last year. Even with sharing the costs with the neighbors, this can be an expense. One small section of fence with a gate was standing fine, but it did not look too good, so we did not have it replaced to save money for other projects. To replace this section would also effect a neighbor’s gate, and he did not want to replace his gate. With some money set aside for improving the look of my fence, I wanted to find a way to make my old fence look new.cedar fence Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings

This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank

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