Gardening Can Be a Bed of Roses: Try These Tips

Dreaming of a bed of roses or rows of tasty tomato plants is easy; the reality may feel like a nightmare, particularly to first-timers.

If you’re planning on seeing whether your thumb is green this summer, note that gardeners are just as varied as gardens, and even those who grew up surrounded by high-rise buildings can nurture something from a plot of earth.

You don’t even need your own backyard; thanks to locavores, the local food movement is spawning community gardens galore.

Before you take that first step, read gardening blogs and books. Talk to gardeners. Learn from them. Then check out these DIY tips:

Know your space. Gardens can occupy most of a backyard or a square-foot box. Consider where you’ll plant. Walk around your yard at different times of day so you can see what areas get the most shade, and when.

Make sure you have the necessary materials. Have water buckets and/or a hose that’s long enough. Invest in good tools and the space to store them.

A word about water. Many areas in North America are suffering from serious drought conditions, while others have the opposite problem: too much water. Both issues shape the way individuals on this continent garden today.

Know your soil. Different plants grow better in different soil types. It’s important to know the pH level of your soil. You can purchase a home test, or you can submit soil samples to a lab and have experts look at it.

Know your strengths. Gardening takes time. For some, weeding, watering, pruning, and keeping your plants safe from insects and animals is part of the joy of gardening. If all that seems like drudge work, you may have to accept that gardening isn’t for you.

Know your plan. Successful gardeners plan ahead. During June, for example, you need to plant fast-growing summer annuals and heat-tolerant vegetables that can endure hot summers.

Fridge Kaput? Chill Out with a Home Warranty

Dealing with a conked-out refrigerator, a malfunctioning dishwasher, a nonworking air-conditioning system, or a flooded bathroom can be a royal pain.

Appliance insurance helps homeowners deal with the hassle and manage the cost of unexpected home repairs. An appliance warranty, also known as a home warranty, is a type of service contract that covers repair or replacement of certain home appliances and systems when they fail due to normal wear and tear.

A basic plan that covers essential home systems and appliances typically costs from $350 to $500 per year. In addition, homeowners pay a flat service fee (in the range of $60 to $75) for each service call.

One obvious benefit of an appliance warranty is peace of mind. If a covered appliance or system breaks down, the homeowner can rest easy knowing the problem will be taken care of with a single call or email to the warranty company. Another important benefit is that major issues such as system breakdowns, for which a repair or replacement can cost thousands of dollars, won’t break the budget.

Preexisting conditions, like poorly maintained systems or broken fixtures, are not covered under a home warranty, so it’s important to schedule regular maintenance for all systems and appliances and document when and how they were serviced.

A home warranty is a great incentive for home buyers, and it has become increasingly common for sellers to include a home warranty as part of the sale of the home to encourage confidence and attract buyers. www.Consumeraffairs.com  recently published a list of home warranty companies. Check: Compare Reviews for Home Warranty Companies