Gardening Tips Home Garden

Growing Heirloom Carrots in Your Garden

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One of the most common edibles is the “Heirloom Carrot”. Presence of “Heirloom Carrots” in your food makes it healthier, nutritious, and more delicious. Carrots could be roasted with meat, sauté or more commonly used as raw in salad. Salad decoration is never complete without carrots. If you grow this in your garden then you can enjoy the taste more frequently. Let us have some background information about “Heirloom Carrots” and to know how to grow them at home.

“Heirloom Carrots” generally display a variety of colors from white to orange. You must have seen yellow, pink, purple, and similar colored heirloom carrots in markets. Color of this specific carrot is more indicative of its origin. The purple colored heirloom carrots are commonly grown in Afghanistan and the pink ones come from India specifically. Europeans grow the yellow carrots. Although international trades have broken all these boundaries and now you can grow almost all types of heirloom carrots anywhere.

Heirloom carrots are very tasty but their nutritious contents vary along with its flavor. Purple carrots have been found rich in antioxidants. Almost all the varieties of carrots are rich in vitamin A, trace nutrients, and fiber.

If you are beginning with gardening then growing heirloom carrots is one of the best initial projects. Growing this organic vegetable is very simple indeed. Carrots are basically roots and therefore grow in the subsurface. Plants of carrots are sturdy and do not require much care and attention.

If you want to grow it from seed you can. Alternatively you can also grow carrot from seed pellets. Your local nursery would certainly have both the options available for you.

You must have well prepared and most suitable soil for obtaining bumper crop of carrots. Light soil is generally required for this purpose. You must add well processed compost to the soil and dig in depth. To loose up the soil you may also add up little bone meal to the soil. Ensure that the overall texture of soil is consistent. The soil must be loose and rich and free from stones, rock-pieces, and un-decomposed matter.

Heirloom carrots are anytime crops and therefore grow it whenever you like. However certain climatic conditions might be important to check with. You should preferable check your local gardening zone and preferable planting times. Once you have known the secret of right time-planting you will surely have good carrot crops throughout the year.

Carrots have two main varieties, the “early harvest variety” and the “main crop“. Early harvest variety can be easily harvested well before its complete maturity. This variety is tastier and sweeter. It bears a little more cost also simply because of its taste. May is the best month to harvest this variety. You must ensure the complete sunlight and full sun for this variety.

The main crop is a normal variety and requires light shady exposure during the summers.

A long trench of nearly one inch deep would be more suitable for planting carrots. Seeds must be sowed at least one inch apart in these trenches. Do not try to plant many seeds at one place as you would be fighting with more thinning work later otherwise.

You will have to ensure safeguards againstCarrot Rusty Fly” because it lays its eggs in the plants itself. Larvae of this fly will eat through the carrots and would cause rot. If you observe the reddish foliage or wilts then it is mainly because of this fly.

One best way is to avoid planting during the period when this fly lays its eggs. Mid- April to early- June and mid-July to early- September are the periods when you should not plant carrots if your area is prone to carrot rust fly. You can also spread a thin layer of net over the plants protecting them from the female flies.

Fungus is another enemy of carrot plants. It is always better to remove older plant every year. By the end of October you must have done that. Plant left in winters would be more prone to diseases and the infected soil would affect the next season plants as well. Expose the soil to solarizing in such case. Solarizing involves a best quality plastic sheet spread over bare soil for few weeks facilitating burning out of pests and germs present in the soil. Do not use PVC plastic for this purpose.

In order to avoid rust you must remove the foliated leaves with orange color. Ensure proper air-circulation with removing crowded plants and never try adding extra nitrogen in any form to your garden while growing heirloom carrots.

A little care and precautions will make you and your family happier when you will harvest a bumper carrot crop. So, add up more taste to your food and remain healthy with heirloom carrots gardening.

Gardening Tips Home Garden

Is House Clearance in Croydon in Winter a Good Idea?

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Waste get piled up in certain parts of the house all year round, and of you don’t see to clearing it away regularly, it will just become more and more of a problem as time goes by. But what if there’s too much clutter at your Croydon house and it’s winter already? How do you carry out a house clearance in winter and is it at all viable, with the cold weather and possibly even snow all around your house, to try to do it during the winter months?

In some cases, it may be more reasonable to put off the house clearance for spring, when the weather will be more favourable, but then again, in others, clutter may be gone so far out of hand that clearing it can’t be postponed any longer and has to be done, even in the wintertime. For those cases, this handy guide will help you organise and successfully carry out your Croydon house clearance despite the harsh winter conditions.

Check the Weather Forecast

Before you choose the day for your house clearance, make sure you check the weather forecast for Croydon and select a day for which no rain or snowfall is forecast. Low temperatures will pose a much smaller problem than heavy rain or snow would, so even if the day you have chosen for the job is very cold, if it’s not raining or snowing, the job can go smoothly.

Contact an Experienced Domestic Clearance Company

If you want to minimise the chances for any problems cropping up while your winter house clearance is in progress, the best way to go would be to hire a professional company in Croydon that has ample experience in handling similar jobs and has a proven track record of working efficiently in harsh weather conditions. There is an added bonus to working with an experienced and skilled company – they will guide you through the whole process and will be able to organise the job in such a way that the chances for any issues or accidents occurring will be minimal.

Safety Measures

There are certain points to keep in mind in terms of safety when planning a house clearance in Croydon in wintertime. Although Croydon , like most areas in London, enjoys a relatively mild climate and the temperatures rarely drop below zero and there are very few extreme cases reported of temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius, there are still chances of snowfall in winter and the snow can remain on the ground for several days. So, you should make sure that the workers you hire have access to your property and a place nearby where they can park their vehicle. Also, clear all the snow and ice from the path between the parking spot and your front door, as this will prevent falls and accidents. The collectors will most probably be carrying heavy boxes and junk items, so you don’t want to make their job any harder by leaving an obstacle course with piles of snow and icy puddles in their way.

On the Day

On the day of your house clearance, there are a couple of things you could do to make the process a bit smoother and the work of the collectors a bit easier. The first thing to do is quite simple – just stay out of the way. As much as you would like to help the team with your advice and input, you are more likely to slow down their work if you keep getting in the way and fussing about. Simply show the team what needs to go and leave them to it.

The second thing you could do is provide hot beverages for the team to warm themselves up with. Make a cup of tea or coffee and offer them some biscuits with it – it is nothing too complicated but it will certainly make their work in the cold weather in Croydon a bit easier.

The Garden

If there is any junk in your Croydon garden you would also like to get rid of, make sure it is accessible and it is not covered with a snow blanket.

If you follow these tips, your winter house clearance won’t be much more difficult than a job done at any other time of the year. Follow the safety measures; hire a trustworthy company and everything will be fine.

Golf Tips

Sensible Tips for Driving

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I would imagine that if you asked 10 golfers what club they love/hate the most, the majority answer would be the driver. Numerous players have a hard time using their driver effectively, and many will opt to use another club instead (which is good advice, by the way).

Here are a few tips that might help you conquer the driver.

The most basic (commone sense) and fundamental (important) tip is to try out as many drivers as you can before selecting one. You want your driver to feel good in your hands and you want it to feel good during your swing. If you are not confident with your driver you are bound to lack the confidence needed to make a good shot.

After selecting what you feel is the best driver for you, you should follow a setup routine before making your shot. Keep in mind that tee height is important. The tee should be adjusted to about the top line on the clubface. Now, this is not a hard and fast rule. You should experiement to find your optimum height, but make sure you do not tee too low.

Nearly every golfer will want to play the ball of his or her left heel. This, too, is important as it aids in getting the proper clubface contact with the ball.

Check your alignment to the target. Often a player will make a horrid shot and blame it on his swing when it was due to poor alignment to the target.

Keep about 60% of your body weight on your right foot, and have your feet about shoulder width apart. This will greatly aid your balance throughout the entire swing.

As for the rest of the drive mechanics, well, that is up to you. Every player will have a different backswing, a different momentum, tempo, delivery, impact and follow through. Anyone who tells you there is one hard and fast rule or technique for driving is not telling you the truth. The factors that make this such an open-ended shot include things like a player’s age, flexibility, muscle tone and experience.

Some pros will tell you to use your legs for power, some will tell you to forget the legs, it is all about upper body strength. The differing amount of information that is available for driving technique is simply staggering.

So, rather than share with you something that probably will not work for you, my suggestion is that you try different techniques (on the driving range) until you match your physical abilities with a technique that works for you. In other words, customize your drive to fit your needs. It is good to pay attention to basic swing mechanics and follow those as best you can, but you and only you, can put together the perfect “package” that works for you, and the only way to do that is to get out there and practice and pay attention to what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

Driving does not have to be a horror. In fact, it is one of the best feelings in the world to make a great drive with your driver. You will see what I mean as soon as you get your particular mechanics into a whole package.

Golf Tips

How to make a perfect golf swing ( Try Simple )

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Over the years I have seen one problem that seems to affect many golfers. And it does not matter where they are or who they are or how long they have been playing.

That one thing is a tendency to complicate things when it comes to the golf swing.

I think it is the over analysis causes paralysis thing. It is about overthinking. People are trying to think of, and do, too many things at once.

And it is no wonder. There are any number of guidelines being spilled out to golfers these days. Do this, do not do that, keep this in, make sure that part is out. Good heavens.

The truth is a golf swing should be based on simplicity. The secret of both teaching and learning the golf swing is good communication. You already know that there are hundreds of books and articles and how-to pieces out there on how to make a good golf swing, but from my experience the more you try to put into a golf swing, the less you end up with.

Learning from the written word is important and can be very helpful to most golfers. Watching someone who is good swing the club is also helpful. But when it comes down to your swing, the best advice is to keep it simple and do what works for you, realizing that you may have to make simple adjustments in order to get it perfect.

Much of a perfect golf swing is dependent on feel. It is not all mechanical.

If you have a particular problem, say a hook, then go back and narrow down all the reasons why you are hooking the ball and work on those areas of your swing. You do not have to start from scratch in most cases. Find that one little simple problem area and dedicate some time to fixing that and your golf swing will improve.

Hope this helps.

Golf Tips

Golf Tip: The Long Bunker Shot

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Here is a golf tip that many players may find handy. It has to do with hitting a long bunker shot.

Most of us are fairly good at hitting short bunker shots. No surprise there as most bunkers seem to be situated near the green. But there are some courses, and the trend seems to be increasing these days, with either fairway bunkers or bunkers that are far enough away from the green that you cannot call them close bunkers and yet they are not precisely what we think of as fairway bunkers either.

If you find yourself in one of these long bunker shot situations, consider this:

The problem that most players have when they are in a long bunker shot is not knowing if they should pitch the shot or blast it with some gusto. The answer to that depends on the type of sand you are standing on.

If you are say 50 yards or so from the green and the sand is soft and nice, you can try to pitch it by using a 60 degree wedge and hitting a perfect 9 o’clock shot, or you could take your sand wedge and try to hit a very hard blast shot and just pray that the ball will get to the green.

For me, I would rather attempt a blast shot because the sand is soft. If I went with a pitch, I might hit the ball too fat. But I would consider doing one other thing as well.

Instead of sand wedge, I would use my 9-iron. By using my 9-iron, I do not have to hit the ball as hard as I would with my wedge. I can swing a little easier and the ball should still make it to the green.

I use my 9-iron a lot in cases like this because I am used to playing with that club. When I was a kid, just starting in golf, I did not own a sand wedge! So, I had to use my 9-iron. With some practice, this is not a difficult shot.

Take your regular bunker stance with your 9-iron in hand. On the backswing, you want to go back as far as you would if you were trying to pitch 40 yards or so. When you are coming back, you want to hit about an inch behind the ball and make sure you complete a full swing. Follow through all the way.

Remember, you do not have to swing or hit as hard with this club, so take it easy with it. You will like the results.

Golf Tips

Golf Tip: Why we love Wie

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If you were lucky enough to see any (or all) of the first round of the John Deere tournament this week, you were. perhaps like me, most impressed with Michelle Wie’s calmness and grace under fire.

Wie is arguably one of the best female golfers in the universe. She is tough and she is good. Those are two facts about her that anyone who knows about her would probably argee on. And both of those qualities came out in her during this first round.

Without giving you the blow-by-blow account, it would be fair to say that she did not have a happy time on the tees. More than once she found herself so far out of bounds and so far into the thick trees that surround the fairways and greens that she had to drop.

I think it was on the 3rd tee that she was literally plauged by insects to the point she had to walk away from her ball three times. When she finally took her shot off the tee, into the woods it went.

To say the least, she had a rough day on the links.

And, yet, and this is the important part, she still managed to turn in a fairly decent score. It wasn’t a great score, and certainly could have been better had she avoided some of those drops, but it was still a decent score for the day considering what she had been through.

I believe the reason for that score was because she did not allow one bad shot to lead to another bad shot. Yes, she made some mistakes, but those were scattered out through the round. When she did mishit the ball, she did not follow that up by making another mishit is the point. She was able to regain her composure quickly and then play her next shot. Usually, those next shots were pretty darn good.

The morale of the story is this. Everyone has an off day, even the best pros. It is what you do after you make a mistake that can save the round.

Hope this helps.

Golf Tips

Golf tip: The 2 inch Sand Drill

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There are many golf tips associated with playing out of the sand. Indeed, many players have trouble when it comes to getting out of the bunker. Here is a quick and easy tip to help you with those bunker shots.

By the way, just because this tip is quick and easy does not mean it does not work. Some of the best golf tips I have ever read were of the quick and easy type.

Of all the many things you have to consider and do when playing out of the sand, one of the most important is where your club will impact the sand. For most shots, you want that club head to hit the sand about two inches behind the ball.

Now, this sounds simple and it is simple, but it is also the kind of thing that most normal players never practice. Honestly, when was the last time you devoted any practice time to honing your skill at hitting 2 inches behind a ball?

Here is the drill, and it works.

Go into your practice bunker with your sand wedge or whatever club you use for sand play and using the club head itself draw a straight line about eight feet long. Just make a straight line in the sand with the clubhead.

Now, using your clubhead, make a small mark in the sand about 2 inches in front of the line that you just drew. Make several of them, about two feet apart. These marks will represent golf balls.

Once you have these in place, go back to the beginning of the line and set up exactly as you would for a real shot. Imagine the small mark you made as being the golf ball. Now take a swing, but aim at that long line that you drew. That is the 2 inch mark.

When you are consistently hitting that long line, you know you are impacting the sand where you should be.

If you practice this drill, you will get very good at knowing where two inches is behind your ball, and knowing that will improve your sand play a lot.

Golf Equipment

Golf Equipment Reviews and Tips

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Golf Tips

Traveling with your clubs

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Summer is upon us and many golfers will be heading off on vacations. Here are some tips on how to best protect your golf clubs while traveling.

As you already know, golf clubs can be very expensive, but aside from the cost, most of us play better when we are using our own clubs, rather than some that we rent or borrow while on vacation.

When traveling with your golf clubs on airlines, trains, or even buses and cars for that matter, you will want to protect them from damage. This is not always easy to do, especially if others will be handling your clubs in your absence.

But there are a few things you can do to help the cause.

One way to protect your clubs is by packing them in a golf travel bag or case. There are plenty of options and many price ranges, so you should be able to find a travel case that fits your budget and needs. You can shop online for these if you wish.

There are two types of golf travel cases: soft shell and hard shell.

If you plan to travel by air, the hard shell golf case is recommended. Many airlines will cover damages if your clubs are packed inside a hard case. However, you should probably call and confirm this before assuming it to be true.

These hard shell cases can take a lot of abuse and still protect your clubs. Most are made of heavy molded plastic that helps protect your clubs against drops, throws, or the more common general banging that takes place while being loaded into a plane. They cost more than the soft shell choices, however the investment is offset by the level of protection provided to your clubs.

If you want a hard case that will carry your golf bag inside as well as your clubs, then make sure you look for that feature while shopping. Not all of them will do that.

Soft shell travel cases can be a good option provided you pack your clubs well. The level of protection is not as great as the hard shell types, but by packing your clubs carefully and with a few precautions, you can do well with this choice if you plan on traveling by car and handling your own luggage. An added bonus is that most soft shell bags do fit your golf bag inside nicely.

In order to get the most protection for your golf clubs when using a soft shell case, be sure to pack your clubs inside carefully. Keep your clubs in your golf bag, cover the club heads with the golf bag cover (if your bag has one) or you can individually wrap each club head with some towels or clothing.

The added amount of time that it takes to protect your clubs before traveling is well worth the effort. Just ask anyone who has arrived at his destination only to find his beloved clubs ruined!

Golf Tips

Composure

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I watched a lot of golf this past weekend as many of you did, too, I suppose. It was a great weekend for golf, lots of surprises and lots of action from some of the very best players in the world. While I enjoyed this little respite, I was somewhat surprised at how many bad shots these same players made during their outings. I was equally surprised at how composed many of them remained during their play of these bad shots.

Anyone with any compasion must feel for the pro who hits one bad shot, followed by another, followed by yet another. We’ve all been through that horror sequence where it seems we’d be better off to simply throw our clubs into the next water hazard and take up another sport. Yet, there is something heartening to see a pro keep his cool and make what he feels is his next best play, and to have to do that over and over again, even when his next best play lands him in a bunker or in the water or in the trees.

So how do these pros keep calm in a situation like that?

I think it has to do with their knowing how to compose themselves quickly and without a lot of drama. I would surmise that much of that comes from sheer experience. If you have been in a bunker 100 times before, number 101 doesn’t seem so terrible. If you have played 10,000 rounds of golf, you already know there will be days when it seems as if everything you do is off-center. And, lastly, I think it has something to do with listening to that inner voice (which we all have) that warns us that playing the next shot in anger is only going to make things worse. An angry shot rarely, if ever, is a good shot.

Having a bad day at the golf course is a lot like playing poker when you get one bad beat after another. It’s almost as if some higher authority has ordained that you are going to get slapped around today, like it or not.

Well, there may be some truth to that, but there is also truth in that much of what happens to us, we cause ourselves.

The next time you are having a horrid day on the links, step back, take a breath and try to release the memory of that last bad shot. Just let it go. Concentrate on the next shot and only on the next shot. And if your next shot stinks, let that one go as well, and concentrate on the next one. No one plays perfect golf everyday…not even the best pros in the world. Take a lesson from that.