Basic Garden Tools Every Beginning Gardeners Should Have

In ancient times, garden tools were basically pointed pieces of wood used to dig holes in the soil in order to ready them for planting, Throughout the years though, they have evolved to more effective and modern tools not only used for planting but also for maintaining gardens and landscapes.If you just discovered that you have a ‘green thumb’ or would like to engage in gardening as a relaxing and rewarding hobby, then you’ll need some basic gardening tools to get you started.

Shovels

Shovels come in different shapes and sizes, and even the general construction shovel can be used for your gardening endeavors, In the garden though, you may need two types of shovels in your shed like the best ratchet sets – the round point shovel and the square point shovel. The round point shovel can be used both for digging soil and well as some construction and masonry jobs like walling or for putting up flower boxes. The square point shovel on the other hand is primarily for ‘scooping’ things up.

On a side note, do get yourself a trowel or a transplanter. These miniature shovels are helpful in precision digging and preparing beds for planting.

Spades

Spades are another mainstay in the garden shed. You may want to consider buying a garden spade (which looks pretty much like a square point shovel) for digging, edging and lifting sod, as well as a drain spade with a narrow head that is used for transplanting and working in tight areas where the shovel cannot go.

Rakes and Forks

As in the above, these tools come in a wide variety of styles. For the rake alone, there are leaf rakes and thatch rakes, the latter primarily used for scratching turf and turning soil. You also have flat rakes and bow rakes, which fulfills the same functions but differs in their designs. Hay forks has rounded tines and is used to move compost or mulch, while a spading fork has flat tines and is used primarily to turn soil and lift plants. The spading fork can also be used to aerate soil and relieve soil compaction and is especially useful with rocky soils.

Pruners

Pruners and shears are also important to the gardening enthusiast, and is mainly utilized in the trimming, cutting and overall maintenance of plants. You may want to invest in an anvil pruner and a bypass pruner, the former being used for cutting tough, dead, woody stems, and the latter for cutting tender stems. The curved, scissor style of the bypass pruner allows you to cut nearer to the trunk and without damaging the tender tissues.

Loppers are basically extra large anvil or bypass pruners, with bigger cutting blades and longer handles similar to a ratchet. They are used primarily for cutting tree branches of up to 2” in diameter. If you find that the lopper is still not long enough to reach tree branches you want removed, then a pole pruner is what you need. Where loppers and pole pruners don’t work, you’re going to have to use a pruning saw or a bow pruning saw to cut those tree branches.

Wheelbarrows

Wheelbarrows are garden essentials especially in large spaces and areas – unless you want to be carrying sacks of soil and sod on your shoulders all the time. There are two basic types of wheelbarrows which you can choose from whenever you buy from a hardware store or the gardening section of a supermarket. There’s the standard wheelbarrow which is serves all your basic transporting and carrying needs, and then there’s the plastic yard cards. Plastic yard carts have two front wheels as opposed to the standard wheelbarrow which has one. The two wheels provide for better balance while in use.

There are many more garden tools which are not mentioned here, but the above are the most basic tools that you’ll need to have in your garden shed. As you grow into the hobby, you can always expand your garden shed and add more tools to your collection.

Where and how to sell your old bike?

If you are asking this question, then congratulations, you are probably updating to a newer one which will give you more opportunities and pleasures. Of course, this is not the only reason to sell your bike but it is among the top 5. One thing is for sure, the reason to sell are many, however, you need someone to buy. In order for this to happen, you need a couple of splendid advices that will make you stand out of the competition and make your bike look better. Needless to say, you want to be noticed and taken under consideration from a person who is looking for a bike like yours.
Where to sell your bike?
Here is the question that has not been leaving you to sleep. If you have best road bike that you do not use and it is just staying in the basement, gathering dust, the best place to sell it is via online sites especially built for this purpose. They are optimised and organised in a way which will show mostly the benefits of your product and will give someone a chance to come and pick it up from your home. Unquestionably, this is one of the greatest benefits for you. Most of the times, you have nothing to do, except to wait for the customer. The process is quite clear, you give the bicycle and get the money.
What is more, if you are looking for a fast sell, then those selling sites are the best for you. You are given the chance to pick various options for promoting your offer so that it reaches greater number of people. One thing is for sure, you will receive a lot of messages asking you to sell it, so pick the one you think is the best for you and arrange a meeting.
How to sell a bike?
Be careful with the description
Although, the description is a great opportunity for you to say everything about this particular road bike, keep it simple and only to the point. You definitely do not want to scare the buyer away. Do not get all sentimental or start telling stories. However, do not get this wrong either, it is vital to present every detail related to the bike – size, age, condition and whatever comes to your mind. The more informed the client is, the easier his or hers decision will be. Another key thing to remember about the description is to never lie. No one likes to be lied to and what is more, when you meet with the person, he or she will notice that you have lied, which will most surely ruin the deal.
Upload at least 5 photos
Nothing says “buy me” more than a number of pictures with high resolution. The person has probably dreamed about such bike and once he or she sees it, the deal is almost done. Therefore, never forget to include as much as possible photos with good quality. Moreover, if any imperfections are able to be seen, trust us, it is better to be now.
Being able to sell your bike is a great advantage. It is quite clear that not only you will open up space for a new one, but you will earn some extra cash that might come in handy. Thus, take your time to produce a splendid quality ad in some of the sites that offer such services and you will attract as much people as possible. The description and photos are what makes your offer outstanding, hence, give them a good thought and you will not regret it.

Best Navigation App and GPS App Options for Android

Whenever we think about navigation apps, typically we think about Google Maps, since this app is one of the most recommend app and it is that navigation app that most often gets updated. No doubt, Google has been on top of navigation particularly over the last couple of years. But, if you are not too interested in using Google Maps or you want to try a new navigation app, there are multiple different options. Following is the list of best navigation and GPS app for Android.
BackCountry Navigator GPS Pro
This is top on our list and if you’re a hiker or camper then getting a best motorcycle gps 2016 is vital, it is one you should definitely look at it. This app is pretty expensive; however, what you get is multiple offline topographical maps that are ideal for those places where there is no facility of data service for downloading them, which is generally required for apps, such as Google Maps. Beside this, there are a few fun features as well, such as marking the map and maps from several countries. Although, it is an expensive app, but since a trial version is also available, so you can try it first.
CoPilot GPS
CoPilot GPS is another great app, having a number of useful features, such as turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation. This app is available in several countries all over the world. CoPilot GPS also features a 3D guidance display, having with some fun little map features, including lane indicators. The best thing about this app is that you can try the whole package for 7 days completely free, however, after that you will be required to buy a subscription. According to user reviews, some maps are a bit old, but overall it’s worth a try and a solid GPS app.
HERE Maps

This App was developed by Nokia and it made quite the wallow in 2014. The HERE Maps app features an elegant, simple, interface with mapping options worldwide. You can easily download maps for offline use in your region; therefore, you do not require a mobile data connection. This app also shows you public transit maps, traffic information and you can modify by saving places for quick directions afterwards.
GPS Navigation: MapFactor
One of your classic turn-by-turn navigation apps is MapFactor. This app is for those looking to replace to Google Maps. This app installs and downloads the map files to your SD card. In this way, if you need to, you can use it offline as well.
This app uses Off Street Map data which provides support for a number of countries around the globe. Although, this app is not as polished as Google Maps, however, it has enough features to use it enjoyably and effectively. Beside this, it is also worth telling that the app and map data itself is totally free.

(Google) Maps
You must be here to look for alternatives to Google Maps; however, we cannot deny that feature-for-feature as this app is better than everybody in many ways like gps. The best thing about this app is that there is a venerable Street View, worldwide support, detailed information about 100 million places, consistent app and features updates, you can even download maps for offline use if you need them, however, (there is a 2week time limit on the downloaded maps, and you are using which is in the control of giant and most popular company, Google. Thus, there is just no other way to put it, because this app is beyond awesome.
Polaris Navigation GPS
This app tries to be the all in one map sources. The most prominent feature of this app is that it has access to Cycle Route Maps, MapQuest maps, OpenStreetMaps and Google Maps.
So, you can easily get whatever source you want. This app also features several coordinate formats, a unique waypoint management system, trail recording as well as your standard stuff, such as turn-by-turn directions.

How to Choose Insulated Boots

Some winter boots like those made by Sorel are tall and bulky while others are just like regular hiking boots. For you to choose the best boots several factors are to be considered like the activity you’ll be doing, are you using them to shovel the driveway or ice fish? Maybe you just like snowshoe. The following information is going to help you choose the best insulated boots to keep your feet warm are Best Hiking Boots.

Important; this article doesn’t discuss about leather or plastic boots used for winter mountaineering or ice climbing.

Temperature ratings

Several boot manufactures offer warm ratings for their products. A good example is Sorel which rates their Caribou boots of being capable of maintaining warmth in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. This information provided should be understood that not all boots will perform to the exact specifications of their ratings. Other things like activity, clothing, health and how much a person perspires also determining factors. Not all boot manufacturers provide temperature ratings.

Height

Insulted snow boots in most cases stand about 11 or 12 inches high. The taller the boots the warmer your ankles will be kept. A 12 inch boot is perfect for short walks but if you intent to hike for more than 5 miles, then they might be fatiguing. The best option for you might be an insulated hiking boot of 7 or 8 inches tall.

Removable Linings

Not all boot have an inner linings but there are some like those from Sorel, have inner linings. If you’re using boots that has inner lining, you can pull out the inner lining at the end of the day to speed up the drying process. You can even wear the inner lining inside a tent if you’re winter camping. The biggest drawback is that slightly loose fit that they create can cause blisters on long hikes.

Insulation type

Insulation type is also a factor you have to consider when choosing insulated boots. There are different types of insulations that come with different boots. Some of the insulation types include; heatseaker, primaloft, thinsulate, zylex, opti-warm, wool felt and many more. The choice of Hiking Bootis yours depending on the type of boots you want and the activity you’ll be using the boots.

Water Resistance

It’s crucial to keep your feet during winter but insulated boots achieve this through a number of methods.

Breathable/waterproof linings- waterproof lining such as Gore-Tex will keep your feet dry at the same time allowing the sweat vapor to escape.

Rubber shells- Rubber shell protects the lower part of the boot. Even if you stand in the paddle for a couple of hours, the rubber shells will keep you dry.

Leather uppers- Most winter boots have leather uppers that is easy to treat once you bring your boots home or boots might already have been pre- treated to repel water.

Traction

Consider what type of activities you’ll be doing before you decide on which type of traction device is best for you. If you intent to do ice climbing or heavy duty mountaineering, you better stick with semi-rigid or rigid crampons made from steel or stainless steel. Crampons made of aluminum wear out too quickly in rocky terrains. If you’re looking for boots that will carry you over a slick surface without any fear of bumbling, then lighter boots like Microspikes or Yaktrax are good.

It is important that you keep your feet warm when hiking or during winter season. There are many more factors that you might consider but if you intent to purchase insulated boots, the information provided above is vital.

Should You Let Your Kid Handle a Knife?

Children are curious about everything, and as they get a little older they become curious about something that they see their parents and other relatives doing quite often… cooking. Many parents may feel comfortable with teaching their child to cook something simple that requires very little prep. However, the comfort zone diminishes quickly when you throw knives into the picture. One of the most common questions that parents have is: When is it appropriate for a child to handle a knife in the kitchen? The best kitchen knives are important when purchasing a knife your child can use.

When teaching a child how to use a knife, there are only a few things that parents should keep in mind. First, kitchen counters are built for adults, so kids need to stand on a stool or chair so they are waist-height at the counter. Children need to clearly see what they are cutting, so elevation is key to ensuring a child doesn’t hurt themselves.

Second, there isn’t a “right” way to hold a knife. Holding a knife has to do with comfort, and children should hold the knife in a way that feels natural and comfortable so that it’s easier for them to cut. As long as their little hands are resting in a safe position, that’s really all that matters.

Third, it’s important that parents teach their children to practice cutting slowly. Cutting in a rush is more likely to lead to injuries. It’s also a good idea to teach children to curl their fingers when holding vegetables. One culinary mom advised parents to use Play-Doh and a lettuce knife for practice. Other parents might prefer a butter knife.

Finally, it’s probably not wise to hand a child a ten-inch knife. The smaller the hand, the smaller the knife should be. It might seem cumbersome for the child if their small hand is attempting to handle a knife that feels too large and heavy. Until a child knows how to use a knife properly and has handled a knife for a long period without incidents, children should be supervised by an adult while using a knife.

Of course, there are still many parents that believe that equipping a child with a knife in the kitchen is just inviting a recipe of wounds, blood, and emergency room visits. Some people think it’s a bad idea to give a kid a knife. But there are some undeniable benefits to allowing a child to handle a knife in a kitchen sooner than later. Studies have shown that children who cook in the kitchen are more likely to eat healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Involving a child in food prep also reduces picky eating, which is helpful for parents whose children refuse to eat anything that isn’t a chicken nugget or french fry. Furthermore, learning to respect a knife and properly cut food builds a child’s confidence in their culinary abilities.

Some parents teach their children how to use knives at a particularly early age. These parents may be culinary artists or enthusiasts who think that learning to use a knife properly is as essential as learning how to write. And one could argue that both skills are highly important to survival.

Allowing a child to use a knife in the kitchen doesn’t just depend on one factor. There’s a myriad of reasons a child should or should not be allowed to handle a knife. The maturity and personality of the child should be considered. Some children are mature enough to handle a knife with special respect and precaution at a younger age. It’s up to the child’s guardian to make a wise decision about whether or not the child is indeed ready to handle a knife.

Common gardening mistakes

There are quite a litany of mistakes that people make when choosing and planting gardens. Both new and seasoned gardeners may make one of the mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. Some of these mistakes can be fatal for plants. The first mistake involves planting in the wrong spot. This means ignoring the soil health as well as accessibility to water or sunlight. Trying to plant high quality plants in low quality soil can only yields frustration for the gardener. Acknowledging the shortage of planting land, it is important to understand that it is possible to enhance the fertility and quality of soil by use of organic manure, which is less harmful to plants. Planting under tree shade also limits the amount of sunlight accessed by the plant. Sunlight is vital for a plant’s health. Therefore, this mistake leads to unhealthy plants. You should choose the best lawn mower possible when to make sure your garden is well kept.

Poor timing is the second most common mistake that people make when introducing plants in a garden. Some plants especially fruits require a certain level of awareness regarding the seasons. Just like people who either love hot, cold or warm weather, plants also flourish in different climates. Since climate is not constant, it is important to understand the conditions necessary for a plant’s health. In most instances, the hot summer climate is not conducive for planting. When gardening, provide complements such as enough water during the hot weather.

When gardening, many individuals understand the importance of water for the growth of a plant. However, many people especially new gardeners often engage in overwatering the plant. This ends up drowning the plants, which just require a substantial amount of water. Garden soil acts as a reservoir by holding water to be used by the plant during the hot weather. When a plant has too much water around it, may fail to grow properly or absorb the necessary nutrients. Although a plant may have deep roots, this should not be a misguiding factor for the gardener to drown the plant.

Fertilizers and manure are important for a plant especially if the soil is low quality. However, many people often use too much fertilizer on then soil, hence making it toxic and harmful to plants. However, compost tends to have no negative effect on the soil. Therefore, beginners engaging inn gardening should try to use compost instead of the toxic fertilizer. Many people barely send their soil samples to the laboratory and therefore have no idea of the soil components. It is therefore wise to restrain from using the toxic fertilizer unless deemed necessary especially by an expert.

Before transferring seedlings to the actual garden, it is important to harden them and make sure they can do well in the sun, wind or temperature. The nursery is often designed to care and cater for the special needs of the fragile seedlings. Since the seedlings are already in papers, hardening them only requires slow and gradual introduction to the external environment. If they start to deteriorate, then it is time to get them back to the weather that they are conditioned for . by doing so, the plants get used to the harsher environment allowing them to grow healthily. However, abruptly introducing them to the harsh environment may mean complete failure for the gardener.

Gardeners may also be tempted to cut off the roots of some plants. This limits the plants ability to reach and search for nutrients underground. In order for a plant to grow properly, the roots should be as deep as necessary. Therefore, gardening does not require one to cut off the roots in an attempt to make them shorter. Gardeners should also avoid putting barriers such as fabrics, which prevent the roots from reaching the necessary nutrients.

Shower Improvements You Can Do

Feel Safer in Your Bathroom by Installing Grab Bars to Your Shower Wall

The shower can be a very scary place when all those soap suds start to accumulate on the floor of your shower. One way to feel safer in the shower is to install a grab bar to the wall. Here are the tools you will need and directions to properly install a grab bar in your tiled bathroom shower along side a double shower head.

Once you have acquired a grab bar you need to collect the tools needed to install it. The following are the tools you will need:

•Philips-head screwdriver

•Drill

•1/8 inch masonry bit or glass and tile bit

•Stud finder or a length of wire

•Tape measure

•Silicone caulk

•Sharp awl or carbide glass and tile drill bit

•Wood bit, 1/16 narrower than the size of mounting screws

The first thing that you will need to do to install your grab bar is to locate a wall stud. If you have access to a stud finder this will help greatly. Run the stud finder along the wall until a wall stud is located and mark the spot with a fine point marker. If you do not have an electronic stud finder you can take a 1/8 masonry bit or glass and tile bit and simply drill a hole into the grout. Then take your length of wire and make a bend in it. Put the wire in the hole and by spinning it left and right you should hit a stud. If you do not locate a stud, the hole that you just drilled can be filled with a slight bit of silicone caulk. Make sure to flatten the dab of silicone caulk so it does not protrude from the grout line allow the caulk to dry for about three hours. If you have powdered grout handy you can mix up a bit and patch the hole. Re-drill another hole until you locate a stud. When you do find a stud, measure 16 inches from that hole and you should be able to drill into another stud. You will want to mark your stud locations so that you can measure from the base of the tub to determine the placement of your bar. Place your bar so that each end is over a stud and mark the screw holes that are in the mounting bracket.

To drill the mounting holes into tile you will need to make a starting point for the drill bit or else the bit will run across the tile. To make a starting point use a sharp awl or a drill bit. Using your hand twist the instrument on your make to make a slight impression on the tile. This will keep your drill bit from slipping. Do not use a punch or you are likely to crack your tile. Use the glass and tile bit to drill your hole. If using a masonry bit, place tape over the tile and drill slowly to avoid shattering the tile. You don’t want to break your tiles when screwing the mounting brackets on either so use a bit that is 1/32 wider than the size of the mounting screw you will be using. Start drilling the hole slowly and with even pressure so as not to slide off your mark. Use light pressure when drilling to avoid cracking the tile. Make sure not to drill deeper than the tile and tile backing. At this point you will need to change your bit to the wood bit 1/16 narrower than the screw. This will make a pilot hole in the studs.

The final step is to mount the bar. Silicone caulk will need to be applied to the holes before mounting this is to protect the wood and backing boards behind the tiles from leaking water. Simply screw the bar to the wall. You will want to use stainless steel screw or they will rust. Tighten the screws firmly making sure to not over tighten them or they will crack the tile.

You should now have your grab bar properly installed. You can now take a peaceful, relaxing shower and feel safer in the process.

When not to go backpacking alone

There are some cases or should I say some countries that you just don’t want to travel alone. Because sometimes when you do it can be dangerous especially if you are a woman. See women who travel alone can be susceptible to predators out there.

Backpacking is a wonderful way to travel the world but like I said before it can be a little dangerous. I wouldn’t travel to a Muslim country because they seem to oppress women there.

I would however want to travel to Australia it’s a great country and you can work there for a year as well if you wanted to. It’s perfectly safe for women and the best part about it is they speak English there.

England is another good place to go but it is rather expensive. I’ve never travelled to Russia before and there are places there that are really cheap but it’s not like i’m going to be able to afford it anytime soon on my measly wage.

I keep dreaming about my year long holiday but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Someone told me that I should start blogging about where I want to go then when I actually decide to get out of my chair i’ll already have a following.

Let’s say that I did get a following and all you guys are reading this now. Then I really do start traveling the world and people are following me you think that’s going to be any safer than if I just sit in my couch day dreaming of the time I get to see far off lands.