Low Maintenance Landscape
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Try these approaches for a stylish, eco-friendly tub and shower.
The BagPacker is three handy yard tools in one.
Our recent article about energy-recovery ventilators stated that using a “true high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter” in your forced-air heating or air conditioning system would reduce allergens more effectively than regular filters. But one reader pointed out that this could be dangerous. So we went to the experts for their advice.
While it may seem like an easy fix or prevention method, septic system additives, generally used to kill bacteria, aren’t as effective — or safe — as you would hope.
This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
Machine expert Hank Will offers advice on whether to drain the gas tanks of machines that will be idle for a while.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) assures consumers that manufacturers have rectified many of the issues related to using CFLs, making them into mere myths. These issues include usage in three-way fixtures, non-compatibility in dimmers, the high price of CFLs and CFL use in fans and candelabras. Additionally, CFL users should understand the lifespan of the bulb and causes of flicker.
We use available time in the winter to preform routine maintenance on appliances and tools.
Extend the life of your washer and dryer and save money on repairs with these 10 tips.
One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
After a long trial-and-error process, Ilene White Freedman finally found a sustainable, weed-suppressing mulching system for her farm.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
To turn a woodlot into a park with no “litter” on the ground might look tidy, but is not very healthy or functional. Next time you look at a dead tree or a log rotting on the ground; look at it as something full of life.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
Believe it: With patience and pecking around, you can find low-voc paint for little more (maybe even less!) than you'd pay for conventional paint. What's your experience?
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
It's winter time. Take a break from the holiday madness to enjoy a little of what nature has to offer this season.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
Grapes can grow anywhere, thriving in a variety of climates and soil types. Growing grapes is rewarding, because after a few years they produce abundant fruit and quickly provide architectural interest in the edible landscape.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
A great way to get more enjoyment in the garden and less work, is to try the ancient concept of a garden Sabbath. That's one day a week where gardening isn't allowed, but communing with nature is.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
How one rural county without animal control regulations or a public pet shelter is working to make a better community for all residents — both humans and their companions.
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus National Advertising Division recommends that Sherwin-Williams modify or discontinue advertising claims that its “Harmony” paint line is completely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Healthy baby shopping begins with an investigation into nontoxic cribs. Check out these three solid wood options.
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
Many of us suffer from low self-esteem. Negative self-images plague our lives, robbing us of happiness. Here's an exercise that can help you rid your self of those thoughts that prevent you from seeing who you really are.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Urban food forests and public gardens provide communities with an edible landscape for everyone to share. These public fruit forests are the new trend in urban agriculture and play an important role as sustainable local food systems in their communities.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?