Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Choosing To Build A House When Their Is A Home Building Decline

Is it a good idea to build when there is a home building decline. With a decline in home building thanks to the financial crisis, the answer is yes. This is because without anything to build, these people will go out of business.

But is that the only reason? The answer is no. Thanks to the decline in home building and the law of supply and demand, the price of lumber is at its lowest in 5 years. This means you can buy more right now together with other construction materials you will need so you can achieve a lot with your budget.

With that, the first step is to plan your budget. You have to find out how much it will cost to build your home. There are ways to make it cheaper like choosing a home that does not have many corners. The more corners that you have the more cost in building it.

Next, select a house plan that fits within your budget. You can look at magazines, books, the web or even have them drawn up for you with the things that you want in it as you want them. If you choose a plan from a magazine, book or the web and you want to change somethings with that plan will have to go to an architect so that blue prints can be drawn up and this can be shown to the contractor, that you can get some bids of what you want built.

Another factor is where the lot is located. If you have had this for a long time, chances are the area is already well developed. If it is secluded like somewhere in the mountains, be ready to shoulder a little more because it is going to take awhile to clear the trees and remove the dirt from the ground. Finding a way to get power and heat, that is extra costs. Solar is an option or wind power but you will need backup systems as well.

Because of the slump, you can find a reputable and trusted contractor right away so the construction time could be faster then you expected.

The nest thing you have to do is pick the right contractor for the job. As mentioned earlier, the building decline will make it easy for you to find these professionals because they do this for a living. You just have to see which one is offering the best deal.

Make sure to check the contractor out. Are they licensed for the area that you live in? Are they insured-if someone gets hurt on your property you are liable, they could come after you for the injury costs and maybe more. Do they have complaints about them at the Better Business Bureau? Do they have references about the kind of work that they do, can you check them out? Did you look at more than just one contractor? What do they say they will charge you for the construction-compare all the contractor bids for doing the construction. Now that you have chosen a good contractor you can move forward.

Plan on paying the sub-contractors yourself then you know for sure that they get paid. If you pay the contractor and he does not pay the sub-contractors than you can have leans placed on your place and you have to pay that again. That is why it is best to pay them yourself. You make sure that it get done and no one comes back after you when you think it got paid by the contractor. Save yourself that trouble.

The next thing that you need to do is sign a written contract with the contractor and anyone else involved in the project. If everyone agrees to it, then there should not be any problems. You should just be ready to amend it in the event that some problems happen along the way because it always does due to many different factors.

Your dream home will be built in a few months even if there is a decline in the home building industry. After all, you have the money, the plan and the people so you have everything that you need to turn that into a reality. What is even better is that because the market is slowing down, this means cheaper building materials, cheaper labor, and faster construction times.

For those who don't want to build a home but have money to spare, why don't you consider buying an already built one instead. You just have to see the place first to find out if it is worth buying because you may have to do a lot of repairs and restoration first which could be equivalent to what you may be paying for when you build your home. If that is the case, just take advantage of the decline in home building and work from the ground up.

We would love to hear your comments.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Building Decline And The Hurdles For Building A Home Now

Part 2

If you signed a warranty with your contractor, any problems will be taken care of by them without any additional charges.

What is even better is that you live in a dwelling according to your specifications. If you don't like it or you want to add something, you can make changes and no one will oppose your decision.

Since your house is new, it is more energy efficient compared to older homes thanks to new technology and you are compliant with new environmental regulations.

A decline in home building has not stopped other people from having their own house constructed. In fact, most people you ask will probable tell you that they prefer to live in their own home rather than paying rent. With that, you have a land title under your own name and no one can take that away from you unless you decide to sell and move somewhere else.

This will enable you to establish good credit with the bank when you need to apply for a loan. That may not happen right now because of the financial crisis but when it is over, you will soon realize that this was very handy.

You will also get tax cuts which will never happen if you are renting. You will be happy about this when it is time once again to pay your income tax for both federal and state since these are usually fully deductible.

There is no better time to own a home or face its challenges than during a decline in home building because both labor and materials are cheap. If you have the money to pay for it, you shouldn't have a problem paying for taxes and mortgage.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Building Decline And The Hurdles For Building A Home Now

Let's say yo have the money and the resources to build a home. Within a few months, it is completed. Is it happily ever after? The answer is no because there will be a few other challenges ahead even the places where their is no decline in home building.

When you have built your home, one thing you have to deal with is the property taxes and this could range from $1,000 to $ 10,000 depending on where you live. Take note that this does not yet include mortgage expenses if you have not paid yet for the house in full. The only consolation is that you pay for this on a fixed term.

While most home values go up after how many years, in some cases like during the financial crisis, its value could go down. Some analyst said that the average home value has only kept up with inflation over the last few decades so you don't really gain that much.

If you are employed and you told that you have to relocate, it will be hard to move right away since it takes time to sell a house.

Should there be any problem with the house, you can not call your landlord since there is none. You will have to find a specialist to figure out what is wrong in order to fix it.

But these things should not deter you from considering building your own home even during a time when home building is on the decline. Why? Because building a home is a one time investment unlike rent where you pay a fixed amount per month and this could up the following years.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Best Posts That We Have Seen In A Long Time

The posts that we are talking about is by our friend Hilary. Her dear mother had a stroke a will back. Her blog is things to share with her mother and the rest of us. She is giving an update on how her mother is doing. It is so tender and loving. It is wonderful to read. That is why we are writing this. It is worth the time to read it. But there is more. A sweet lady had read her post and went to her own blog and posted a letter to Hilary. Daphne did such a great job on that letter. It is a pleasure to read both of them. You can get to Daphne's letter from Hilary's blog. Go read both of them it is wonderful the support that is given by both of the lovely lady's. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we did. This is the link to Hilary's blog . Please go and enjoy. Thank you so much from us in giving your support to our friend.

copyright Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Renters Beware, In Utah You Are Not Very Protected If Your Landlord Defaults On The Mortgagee

In the State of Utah if you are a renter and you pay your rent, but the Landlord does not pay the mortgage. You are just out of luck. You have no right to not pay your rent to them. They have no need by law to let you know that they are in Default on the mortgage. You could get the bank knocking on your door saying that you need to leave in two weeks.

You could be homeless even if you pay your rent on time and every month. Some other states have laws to protect the renter, but not Utah. So RENTERS BEWARE, in these difficult times you might be homeless.

We would like to hear your comments.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Home Building Declined, How Much ?

Just how bad did home building decline?

The construction industry took a beating due to the financial crisis. Just how bad did home building decline? It depends where you look and what part of the country that you look at, but over all, the numbers are very frightening.

In a report released recently, new order for homes built in the third quarter of 2008 was down 25% compared to 2007. In numbers, that is 2,002 homes for 2008 compared to 2,660 homes in 2007.

Because of what is happening in the economy, there was increase in the number of cancellations from 24% in 2007, to 27% in 2008. While real estate companies tried to curb the trend by offering it to other potential buyers, the market was not biting which is why there were a lot of homes that were not sold.

In terms of home building revenues, that roughly translates to $ 928 million. If you think that is still good, look back at the sales performance last year and you will see that it was lower by 27%. These figures goon and on and they are really depressing.

So are companies making money? No and the worse part is that construction companies have to layoff hundreds or even thousands of workers in order to stay afloat.

If you wanted to build a home, the only way you can do that is if you have extra money flowing around right now because most bank will not be able to loan that amount to you right now.

At this rate, the construction industry will only be able to produce 817,00 new homes this year compared to 1.98 million units in 2006. That is a lot and it is not expected to improve any time soon.

But are these numbers surprising? The answer is also no because it is the right reaction especially when the country is in a financial crisis.

Analysts believe this will change in the next 2 to 3 years because within this time frame, homes that were unoccupied will now have people living in them and only then will home building be once again on the upward trend.

What everyone is hoping for right now is a miracle because we are not yet out of the woods when we talk about the current financial crisis. Yes, a $ 700 billion bailout plan was approved and signed into law but just like Bernanke said, no one expects the recession to end overnight. It is going to take time.

Is the home building decline also happening elsewhere? In the case of Canada, the answer is no. In fact, the opposite is happening. If you were to compare the number of houses built for the month ending September 2008 versus 2007, 6,000 more homes were built in 2008 compared to 2007.

There are many reasons for this such like more people want to settle down so they move away from the rest of their family and most importantly the program they have in place happens to be much better across the border compared to what is available in the US.

But back to reality, no one can deny that over here, there is a sharp decline in home building. The only thing anyone can do is hope for the best in the months and years ahead so we can perhaps forget that this ever happened.

We would like to hear your comments.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today Is Green Day, Green Means More Money In Your Pocket

Here are 8 things that can help you to keep more green in your pocket. As it helps you keep more green in your pocket, it also helps the earth by using less of it's resources. Cost you less every month as you pay for utilities.

Most of these are things that you can do to an existing home or a home that you are building.

1. Blown-in cellulose insulation - the fibers completely fill precisely framed cavities and smoothly connects with all sides of the cavity.
2. Make sure that the doors and windows do not have drafts from them.
3. High performing, low E windows reduce the heat transfer through the glass. It also protects against sun damage like fading of furniture, window treatments, floor coverings.
4. All duct work is sealed with mastic instead of duct tape that doesn't always seal effectively over time. The ducts can be tested with a "duct blaster " test.
5. Efficient furnaces and air conditioners should be installed ( need to be 80% minimum efficiency on the furnace. On air conditioners 13 SEER. Choose energy efficient appliances.
6. Save the rain water to conserve on water use in the garden to water the plants.
7. Low-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads. Help to save on the water usage.
8. Tankless water heater to save energy on heating the water and does not run out when it is use for more than one place or shower after shower. It heats the water as you need it not all day long when no one is even home.

The education of people on the things that are out there to help save your money and help the planet also. Have a good Green day. ( More green in your pocket.)

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Details Are What Makes A House Into A Home, What Details Are In Your Home?

Making a house into your home is done in the details that you put into your house to make it into your home. If things are in good shape like the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. They are in need of an update. Change out the doors to your cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom. An other choice would be to re-stain or paint the cabinets and drawer fronts.

For other part of the house it is easy to add some elegance to a living room, family room,dinning room, bedrooms. Add some crown mouldings, decorative carvings, add some built-ins shelves.
They add interest to the rooms that they are put into.

This is a great place to get ideas for your wood product updates S0 many choices to make, enjoy looking.

We would like to hear from you. Have a great day.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Are You Looking To Remodel Your Home ? Fix It Up Instead Of Moving.

These are two companies that make a difference in your pocket book and in your home. If you make it more livable for your family, why not stay in the home that you are in already. Times are difficult. Make the best of what you already have.

Small changes can make a big difference, as seen in the photos to the right.

If you are tired of high prices, go to someplace that is factory direct NO middleman. Less cost to you to do cabinets , wood blinds.

Lighting will be coming soon.

They have these kinds of flooring- hardwood, laminates,tile, natural stone, and carpet.

They have blinds and wood shutters.

They have Granite counter tops.

To learn more about this company go to
Direct Buy Flooring

Now on to the other company. The thing that got my interest was the business card that we got from them. The front of the card had the kinds of things that you would think, name of the company, name of the person that gave out the card ( in this case the owner), address, phone number web address, what they do-wood reconditioning-custom refacing-and much more. They do remodeling of kitchens.

The front of the card was not the interesting part. It was on the back of the card. All the things that they guarantee to do. This is customer service. They remodel kitchens, that you can have a kitchen tune.up they have great before and after photos. Enjoy.

You are wanting to stay in your home but the kitchen needs some work. Check them out.

If you are wanting to sell down the road. Kitchens and bathrooms help to sell the home. If they are updated. They will sell sooner.

They have stores all over the nation. Great Job with customer service. Great business card.

Now is a good time to remodel and stay in the home that you already have. A few little things can make a big difference.

We would like to here your comments.

Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Create More Living Space By Going Outdoor

If you have a deck, porch, patio, sun room. Now is the time to think about fixing it up to use it as another room.

Some tips for making it work for you. It depends on the amount of space that you have to work with. If you have a larger space to work with you could add:
* A table and chairs that you can eat at after you have cooked it on the BBQ. ( Outdoor kitchen and dinning room.)
* Add some chairs, a coffee table, and a fire pit you also have great living room area outside.
* If it is next to a wall add some art ( that will not be hurt by the weather.)
* Do not forget some kind of lighting for the space. Make sure that it is outdoor approved.
* Do you need some shade. Add a canopy or an umbrella. That will keep the heat down.
* Add an outdoor carpet, pillows. (Make sure that the material is made for being outside .)
* Do you need some privacy. Add a trellis with some climbing plants to grow along the trellis. This block the view of others.
Take a look at the Outdoor Living

For smaller spaces like a porch or balcony add:
* A porch swing.
* A table and one or two chairs.
* A plant or two in containers
* Outdoor curtains to add privacy
* Outdoor carpet
* Wall art
* Add some lighting
Take a look at: More living space

What more can you ask for than to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. We would love to hear your comments about the outdoor living. How did you make it LOOK better? It has to be able to stand up to the weather so make sure that it is out door materials. Enjoy the summer now that you have it all taken care of and you can enjoy your outdoor spaces.

Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing unscrambled"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

House Cleaning Tips, Quick And Easy And Much More

This is a great blog post. It gives some tips for helping to keep the house clean with a few tips. Take a look at these cleaning tips with so many more things on this blog to look at you will not stop at the cleaning tips. They have just about everything for the home that you would have a question on . It is well worth the time to take a look at it.

This is another of the post that should be looked at on choosing house plans to buy. Tips that will help you choose the right house plans so that you really get the house of your dreams.

Now for us, we would choose a log home like the one to the left. It is up to you as to what you want and need in a home. By reading what they say about choosing house plans you will have a better idea of what to look for in those plans.

Take a look for yourself. See if you can find something that you have been wanting answered. They just might have it on this blog. Enjoy like us. Great job that they did. Check it out.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For Sale, Homes, Homes, And More homes

Spring is one of the best times to sell a house. The weather is getting better. People are out more.
Now is the best time to buy. With so many homes in foreclosure. The banks will want to sell them. The banks are slow to make a choice about if you can buy it or not. If you are doing this it does take some time. If you know that going in you will not get frustrated.

For the first time home buyer this is a good time to get into a home. Prices are lower now. Better for you. If you have good credit you can still get a loan. If it is not to good, it will be a lot harder to get that loan. Some tips before you start looking for the place that you will want to buy.
* Find out what you credit looks like now. You can get a credit report once a year. This is a good time to get it. Get things fixed before you go looking.
*Get pre-approved for your loan before you even start looking. This way you know how much they will get for your loan. You know what price of a home you need to look for. Conventional and FHA.
* Find a real estate agent, ask them the questions as if you are employing them ( you are). How long have you been doing this? What areas do you know best ( what parts of town? ) If they are expert in business buildings they might not be the right fit for you when you want to buy a house.

Have a great time house hunting. It is a buyers market. We would love to hear your comments.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Helpful Items To Beautify And Help Your Garden Grow With Less Work

Find the area that you live in, if you are in this area of the world. How hardy do the plants need to be?

This is beautiful as well as useful. To save on your water bill. Save the rainwater to use on your garden.
Urn Collect Rainwater To find out more about it, use the link above.

For any container plantings this works very well. Great for the house plants as well. They do not need to be watered as often. This helps to hold the water. The plant uses it a little at a time as needed.
Terr-sorb is were to go.

More watering systems that can help your garden. These give out water a little at a time, better for the plants. Vacation watering for sensitive plants
is the way to go.

Soaker Hoses
are a way to use less water and still get the job done. Use the link to find out more.

For this tree watering ring go to this link.

For the raised bed planting boxes. These are great. They show you where to plant. They keep the moisture in the soil and the root cool. They also help to keep the weeds out. That saves you time and money
( for watering.) Pre-cut mats are what you are looking for.

These help to keep the unwanted guests out of your garden. This is the way to go for great Pest Control .

This protects your plant in your garden if the weather changes from warm weather to cold weather.

This one can give the plants in your garden a bit of shade in the eat of the day.

Beautify your flower garden or other parts of your garden with the look of stone without all the work of real stones.

Hide the things that detract from your garden. Add some Mock Rocks to hide them from view.

The recycled rubber mulch comes in long stripes that can be used as a boarder or the circles that go around trees. They let the water go through. They keep the weeds out. It does not blow around. It last a long time.

We hope that these help you in your garden. May if be beautiful. That it is productive all season long. This is the last in our gardening section. Maybe more in the fall. May your flowers bloom big and beautiful. May your vegetables be abundant that you can share with others as well as take care of your own needs. Have a great time in your gardens.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Have A Great Easter Day

We hope that everyone has a great Easter Day.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tools And Things That The Gardener Is In Need Of

Get the best tools for the gardens in your yard. This one can do so much. Now you can trim, edge, blow, cut and more.

The STIHL KOMBI SYSTEM can do more then one thing. These tools helps you get the outside gardening chores done sooner. Then you can have more time to play a round of golf, shoot some hoops.

This is good for the earth and us. This Battery-Powered Mower is a great tool for the lawn care. Has no power cords to get in the way. No need to get gas. You get the exercise. That helps you to look as good as your yard. To get more information on this mower go to NEUTON.

To help keep your vegetable garden and flower garden looking the best that they can. This is a very helpful tool. It has other parts that can be put on it to have it do more things in your yard. You can see more at MANTIS

This large cart is a great tool to have in the garden. It is very helpful for moving things around. It works best if you have the best tools that you can get. It will save you money in the long run. If you buy cheep tools, you will pay more replacing them later. Than you will buying good quality tools up front. See more at

Water where your plants really need it, from the roots up.
Keep 20 patio plants watered for up to a week.
The bottom one works well for your indoor
plants. They can water themselves. What a good way to keep your garden growing good. For more information about other
watering systems. This is a time saving tool.

A lot of great products to help your garden. Save you time and effort. When you can find one product that does many things just by changing parts. That even saves you space in the storage shed or garage.

We would like to hear your comments. Have you used these things? How did they work for you?

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Great Place For Gardeners, Tips, Products And Know How

Above is an example of the garden that you can plan, it gives the instruction for each plant and how it should be planted and taken care of. You can find it at GARDENER'S SUPPLY COMPANY.
Go here to see more.

These are the different kinds of things that you can buy. Below are the things and places that you can learn from and more. The learning center check it out here It has these kind of things for you to learn from:
*articles on "how to"
* Innovative gardening
* Success stories
* Gardener's tips
* Pest & disease finder
* Photo center
* BLOG " Gardener's journal
* Ask an expert
* Seminars & Events
* Garden crusader

This is a great place to buy things for your gardening. If it is vegetables, flowers, herbs or all of the them combined. Tools, things to help you in the garden. To see more go to:

These are some of the things that you can find their:
Compost making containers
Gardening essentials
Gardening pest controls
Gardening tools
Grow lights and stands
House plant solutions
Seed starting
Vegetable gardening
Backyard birding
Pond maintenance
Solar lights
Yard & Garden Decor
Yard pest controls
Yard tools & carts
Indoor & outdoor planters
Self watering planters
Raised planter beds
Window boxes
Hanging planters

Outdoor furniture
weather instruments

Gift cards

It is a great place to learn and get the things that you need for your garden. Even if it is the indoor kind with grow lights and pots and planters. House plants, vegetables, flowers, and herbs can all be grown indoors with the help of grow lights.

We would like to hear your comments. How this site helped you?

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tips For Pest Control In The Vegetable Garden

* Herbs are great to plant in with the vegetable garden. These are a few that will do double duty. They will help keep the unwanted pests away. Because of the strong odors that they give off they work well in the flower garden as well as in the vegetable garden. Try these for pest control:
Chives, Garlic, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme. Alternate rows with these and the vegetables or plant here and there throughout the garden. They are great " pest away" plants.

*If you have a problem with peppers and tomato plants breaking off at the soil line, it is probably cutworms. Place a 2-inch-high aluminum foil collars around the plant stems. the foil needs to be 1 inch below the soil. Mulch with oak leaves to keep them at bay.

* To keep slugs at way, use a piece of old screen. Cut a slit into it with a round circle in the middle slide it around the plants stem. The slug does not like scratchy surface. Used sandpaper discs work the same way.

* Some pests do not like sunlight. To control the pests around your squash, cucumbers, and corn. Try adding aluminum foil as a mulch around them. This reflects light and pests are gone.

* This simple spray will help with pest control of the ones that walk, crawl, or fly in. This you can get from your own kitchen. The hotter the better. Mix 1 tablespoon of mustard in 1 quart of warm water, shake well until it is all mixed together. Lightly mist-spray it on your vegetable plants when you notice the problem.

These are a few ways to keep pests under control without the things that can harm us and the planet. If we work with nature it works with us. This way you know what is on your food. Nothing harmful. How much better for you is that?

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Container Vegetable Gardening, If You Have A Small Space For Your Garden

No need to limit yourself to just cherry tomatoes or peppers, many kinds can be grown in containers. They can also be started from seed in those containers. No need to transfer then from one place to the other. Less shock to the plants. Those that can be started from seed in the containers are: Kale, garlic, self-blanching celery, potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, and cucumbers. Radishes, spring onions, lettuce, and spinach.

If you plant several types, and plant the seeds at weekly intervals. You are able to harvest continually throughout the season. Don't forget to thin out the seedling, do it when are small.

Keep in mind with these three that they will need to be staked so that they can climb up. Beans, peas, and cucumbers.

Add some hanging baskets to the mix and place in them things like dwarf cucumbers, peas, and cherry tomatoes into well drained hanging baskets.

If you have deeper containers plant carrots and choose a variety that is stump-rooted. Potatoes are another that can be placed into a deep container. Only plant one potato plant per pot, for best results.

Many herbs can be grown in containers such as: chives, basil, bay, marjoram, thyme, mint, parsley, and sage. These can easily be brought indoors when the weather turns colder.

Even some fruit can be grown in containers such as strawberries.

These plants still need a lot of sunlight. Do not put them in the shade of a covered deck. Use good potting soil. Water daily, in the morning so that they have water for the heat of the day.

For helping to keep things watered go to for the irrigation spikes.

This is a good container to use. The grow box can be used for post plants. Automatic feeding and watering. No weeding or digging.

For great tomatoes and strawberries try www.topsy

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Your Vegetable Garden And Why You Should Mulch

What are the benefits of mulching?
* Mulch is great for weed control for the vegetable garden. Less weeding is great any time, in any kind of garden.
* Mulch is a good way to conserve the moisture in the ground for the vegetable garden. Less watering but the plants thrive.
* Mulch keeps the soil cool when the weather is hot, hot, hot. If the soil is cool so are the roots of the plants in the vegetable garden that are grown under that mulch.
* Mulch in the vegetable garden is a protection for those low growing plants like squash, beans, melons from getting dirty and water spotted.
* Mulch can give a longer season for vegetables like Okra, eggplant, and peppers.
* Mulch can add to the soil after the growing season is over by tilling it into the soil to add to the richness of the soil for the next growing season if it is organic such as grass clippings, leaves, bark chips, sawdust, peat moss, cedar chips, straw. You get the point. Great for next time you plant your vegetable garden.
* Mulch keeps your plants from wilting in your vegetable garden. It keeps the moisture in the ground, not drying out.

The best time to mulch is after a good rain storm. You want moisture in the ground before putting down the mulch. Do it before the weather gets really hot.

Different kinds of mulch are:
* Grass clippings
* Leaves ( fall)
* Newspapers ( if it is used in the vegetable garden, do not use pages that have the colored ink. It adds things to the food that you do not want, but the zinc in the ink will help prevent weeds.)
Put down 3 alternating layers of single newspaper sheets, add 3 inches of grass clippings on top of that. This keeps the paper in place.
* If you put a layer of cedar chips down first then any of the other mulching material on top of that. The cedar chips will keep the bugs away. Just like in the closet.
* Pear moss
* Bark mulch
* Sawdust
* Black plastic is great for weed control. It is also great for keeping the moister in the ground.
It can go under any of these other mulches. This one is not the best for tilling into the soil after the growing season is over. Place it on the row that you are planting, cut an x for the area that the plant will be placed. This help with the weeds and moisture in the soil.
* If you have a paper shredder and you want a place to put it. The garden is a great place. It also becomes mulch just like the newspaper does.
* Cardboard great for pathways
* Pine needles for plants that like a bit of acid like rhododendrons, azaleas, and blueberries.

Most of these things do not cost you money. You already have most of them in without paying a dime for them.

Mulch is also great for protecting tender plants from the hard winters storms and wind.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"

Seeds, Seeds, And More Seeds For The Vegetable Garden

If you are starting your vegetable garden from seed, then there are some things that you need to know about seeds. If you have seeds left from last year, they should have been stored in a cool dry place. Plant them a little thicker then you normally do to make sure that you have a good harvest. The plant can always be thinned out after they start growing.

Some vegetable seeds live longer than others Her is a look at the longevity of some popular fruit and vegetable seeds.

Short-lived (usually not good after 1-2 years)
* Leek, onion, parsley, parsnips, sweet corn.
Moderately long lives ( good 3-5 years under good conditions)
* Asparagus, bean, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chicory, cress, endive, kale, kohlrabi,lettuce, okra, peas, pepper, radish, spinach, turnips, watermelon.
Long-lived (good more than 5 years under good conditions)
Beet, cucumber, muskmelon, mustard, tomato.

If your have started plants from seed. It is best to transplant them after they have 4 or more leaves, so that they can withstand the shock of being moved.

When planning your garden it is a good idea to have 3 different areas.
* Plant perennial crops, such as asparagus, artichokes, and herbs, in a separate area so they won't get in the way when you're cultivating annual crops or plowing up the garden in spring and fall.
* Grow plants together according to the time that it takes for them to reach maturity. For fast growing vegetables such as: radishes, turnip greens, mustard, spinach, leaf and bibb lettuce, and green onions. Have them all in one area.
* Slower growing vegetables in another area such as: peas, beets carrots, Swiss chard, kale, head lettuce, collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bulb onions, and early potatoes. You can harvest one without bothering the other group.

It is always a good idea to place a marker as to what you planted in the different locations. If you use the seed package that you emptied, it shows what they look like when they first come up so that you know them from weeds.

copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"