Monthly Archive for "November 2010"

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 30 Nov 2010

The Remote Control Car Hobby Offers a Wide Variety of Models to Thrill the Kid in Every One of Us

Remote control cars come in various styles, sizes, and designs for operation on paved, dirt, or gravel roads, sidewalks, carpets, and off road, rough terrain. When you’ve decided you’re ready for a new RC toy figure out where you want to play with that toy. That knowledge starts you toward selecting which type toy is best for you.

Among your choices are cars modeled after “road legal” real-life cars you see every day. Some are family models like the sport utility vehicle, station wagons, mini-vans, and the full size sedans. Others are young couple or single people cars including sports cars, Mini Coopers, Ferraris, BMWs, Porches, Camaros, Mustangs, and Mercedes. You also have a choice of military cars, police cars, and other service vehicles.

If you want off-road adventure you have plenty of options too. From low-end buggies to the ultimate in high performance vehicles, they all await your selection. Next you’ll look at size. RC minis are small, and designed more for indoor use than the larger models. For instance, a 1:18 scale radio control car is 18-times smaller than the full-size car it’s modeled after. That’s small.

On the other end of the ruler the full-sized car is only six times bigger than a 1:6 scale remote control car. You need lots of space to operate something that big. Okay. You know what terrain suits your pleasure, and you narrowed the style of the best radio control car for your playtime desires. What kind of power do you want to propel your vehicle with?

Manufacturers provide two types of power plants for RC toys, the electric motor, and the NITRO engine. NITRO powered cars are internal combustion. They burn a special fuel that you fill the tank up with each time you get ready to run. Electric cars run on batteries.

Electric cars are cleaner operating, and have higher torque to the drive wheels, but preparation time for operating the electrics is longer due to battery charging. NITRO RCs are ready to run as soon as you fill the tank, and are much faster than the electric models. Some of the NITROs reach 80 – 90 miles-an-hour. NITRO cars are loud, spew exhaust fumes, and require more frequent maintenance than electrics.

Of course you want your operator skill level to match the model you’re running. Those faster NITRO models require experienced, and practiced, skills if you don’t want to crash, and destroy, the car. Before you make that final decision look at prices.

Electric remote control cars typically cost less than the NITRO models. Minis are often cheapest, but not always, of the toys available. Prices range from around $10 all the way into the thousands for those high performance radio control models I mentioned above.

Remote control car selection involves many options, but find that model that best matches your playtime personality, or that of the person you’re gifting, and you’ll enjoy unmatched RC thrill and adventure to last many years.

Holidays Vivian | 30 Nov 2010

Trick Or Treat – A Better Treat Than Candy

After editing a book on diabetes for a client, and learning about the complications of this horrible disease, I could not in good conscious give sugary treats to my little visitors this year.

The kids who come to our door this Halloween are in for a surprise. No, we are not boycotting the holiday, but the kids will get a special treat when they visit us. I’m not giving away candy or anything to advance tooth decay or lead kids toward having to deal with diabetes, which is at an epidemic level already. Nope. They are getting something fun and useful. My husband and I walked to the discount store in our neighborhood this afternoon. I told him we were going to get something for our trick-or-treater so, naturally he thought we were getting candy. We walked into the store and he headed straight to the candy aisle. While he went exploring and doing some detailed research on chocolate, I went to the school and office supply section to gather items for our trick-or-treaters. I found bargains and managed to get enough things to serve two hundred kids of all ages for less than $30. Anything that is leftover will go to good use rather than ending up as extra pounds on my hips! Here is a list of items you can give as an alternative to sweet stuff. Many come with several in a pack.

  • popcorn (four per pack)
  • stickers (separate the sheets or cut into segments)
  • note pads (there were three in a pack for a dollar)
  • pens (I got ten per pack)
  • pencils (twenty per pack)
  • erasers (twenty-five per pack)
  • balloons (twenty-five per bag)
  • party blowers and other party favors
  • crayon packs (twenty-four per pack for 59 cents)
  • post it notes
  • hair decorations for the girls
  • army soldiers for the guys
  • trading cards

The teenage guy at the checkout counter didn’t think it was such a good idea. “Halloween is all about getting candy,” he said. “No, it’s actually about honoring our deceased loved ones,” I replied. “Getting a gift at the door of a stranger is secondary.” My husband just shook his head as he put his chocolate on the counter. “What about him? He gets candy, but the kids don’t?” “I can’t do anything about him,” I said. “He’s an adult who knows better.” Once I got home and opened all the packages, I made three separate bowls and filled each one with items organized by age appropriateness from youngest to teenagers. When we answer the door, I will simply pick up the bowl with the prizes most likely to please the visitor. I’m really looking forward to sharing my surprises!

Babies-Toddler Vivian | 30 Nov 2010

Things to Look For in a Baby Stroller

Are you in the lookout for some high quality baby stroller this year of 2010? You have a variety of options from Baby Jogger down to Silver cross, and a lot more leading brands in baby products. For sure, you want your baby to have only what’s best and something that would be a good mix of quality, affordability and compatibility to your baby.

The primary consideration you should look for is the tire size. The classic ones in the tire size are the ones more realistic when used in travelling around shopping malls and other places with grounds that are levelled. But when it comes to outdoor roads and snow covered grounds, these strollers can be expected to be surprisingly stuck in ruts and hence serve hard to handle. Hence, it could be perfect if you would choose the strollers with bicycle like tires and probably the ones with lockable tires to add safety for rough terrains.

Another quality you must prioritize if its ability to be converted into a car seat. For almost every newborn, there are lots of stroller options which have a car seat that will surely fit inside the car. This is a great money saver since you won’t need to buy two units which are separate. Once the baby grows bigger, such types of strollers can still be used for the toddler age while detaching the car seat.

You should also not forget how easily you can collapse and assemble it. This would depend too on the kind of vehicle you have. Is it a compact car, a minivan or an SUV? According to the car space that you have, then you can determine what type of stroller you can buy as well.

Do you have kids more than one? Then the perfect option would be the multiple child strollers which are very much available in the market today. These stroller types are fit for twins, triplets or even quadruplets. If you only have one single child and you have plans of having more kids in the long run, then it is recommended that you purchase a double stroller at present. Some of these can even be converted into a single stroller type.

Now that you are so much near to buying a high class stroller, you should never forget to choose the most comfortable for you. Do not choose a stroller that is too low for you to avoid hunching your back way too low and steer away from possible back problems. Check out the grips too that you will be holding with your hand. You surely will be using the stroller for many more years ahead and hence you must really find something durable.

It could be a daunting task to choose the right strollers. So better take all your time to research first before making the purchase.

Holidays Vivian | 29 Nov 2010

Business Holiday Gifts Shopping Guidelines

Holidays are nearly approaching and you only have few number of shopping days left. Now is your perfect time to think about what you are going to give to employees, customers and clients to show how you really appreciate them. They are the reason why your business is still on the run, and so it’s time for you to give back. But before you begin to shop, consider some guidelines below that will help you select just the right business holiday gifts for them.

Make a holiday list. Creating your holiday gift list will help you determine who should be given a gift. The list should include names of the people you need to purchase gifts for. You can’t have a right gift if it doesn’t fit into your recipient’s personality, therefore, you should think about each of your recipient’s personality or interest, then set a budget for each one.

Do some research. Researching before hand will always be an advantage to any giver. In fact, one of the most challenging time to find a perfect gifts for loved ones, friends and colleagues is during Holiday season. So to avoid you from stress, consider researching first using the Internet, or perhaps reading some updated magazines and books.

Be creative. Explore your imagination and make use of your hidden talent and creativity. If you already have some information about your receiver’s interest, you can then purchase thoughtful gifts that will show that you really put some time and effort in choosing the right gift. Be more creative by adding your own personal touch, or perhaps wrote a personal special message to let that person know that the gift was specially chosen for her.

Enjoy visiting other locations. There are lots of office supplies and hardware stores where you could find interesting business gift ideas. You might be surprised with other unexpected locations that could offer the same stuff as well.

Your Christmas, however, will not be quite merry if you will do things like reinventing your gifts. If you have given the same business gifts each year, make sure you do not reinvent what others do unto you. Remember, important persons like your clients and loyal customers might look forward to your holiday present. Or, you do an overspending just to make an impression. You should always consider your budget before planning to buy gifts. Another one is by waiting too long to purchase the business gifts. If you have the time, you’re more likely to come up with better ideas sooner rather then being forced to “pressure” shop later. Don’t feel confined because your gift was already through before the holidays. If you are pressed for time or you really want your gifts to noticed, you may consider sending it as a New Year’s gift which can make a welcome surprise to your receiver. Lastly, don’t get stress over the holidays. Holidays are your great time to show clients, employees and customers that you really appreciate them. Don’t get disturbed by thinking what perfect holiday business gifts to give because there are lots of great choices to choose from. Some of the most popular business gifts you may consider are engraved business card holders or cases, office desk accessories, personalized picture frames and photo albums, business gift baskets and many others.

Pregnancy Vivian | 29 Nov 2010

Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

Striving to do the best for the developing baby, many pregnant women choose a more natural approach during pregnancy, which might also include the use of herbal remedies for various ailments. The thinking is that, since herbs are natural, they are healthier. Normally they are, but some herbs are very potent and should be severely limited, or completely avoided, during pregnancy.

Throughout your pregnancy, you should be very aware of everything that you ingest, whether food or medicine. You know that you should practice healthy eating habits during pregnancy. This includes getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lots of fluids, and extra protein. You know that you should avoid villains like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and artificial sweeteners; but to avoid herbs just doesn’t seem natural.

Remember, herbs are a drug and, as with any medicine, should be used with extreme caution during this time. While herbal remedies are considered natural alternatives to conventional drugs, they can also be harmful when taken during pregnancy. Many herbs contain natural steroids that can affect your baby’s development during pregnancy and even when nursing. Others are mildly toxic, and some can be strong uterine stimulants, promote menstruation, or cause premature contractions. Those containing high quantities of volatile oils, or alkaloids, can affect your, or your baby’s central nervous system. Harsh bitters, can strongly stimulate digestion and metabolism, and strong laxatives can trigger uterine contractions.

As with all medications, you should avoid taking any herb during the first trimester and use only minimal amounts for short periods of time thereafter, and then only when needed. Culinary herbs (basil, oregano, etc.) usually are safe in the small amounts used in cooking, but not in the larger doses used for teas. External use of herbs, such as aloe vera, usually presents no problem.


Alkaloids are the most potent of all plant constituents, They produce a wide range of pharmacological effects. It is best to avoid them all, especially the following:
Autumn crocus, Barberry, Blood root, Borage, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Ginseng, Golden Seal, Lobelia, Ma Huang, Mandrake


These herbs may have an effect on smooth muscle of the uterus and/or act as emmenagogues. All strong bitters should be avoided during pregnancy, especially the following:
Angelica, Barberry, Buckbean, Celandine, Feverfew, Gentian, Golden Seal, Mugwort, Rue, Southernwood, Tansy, Wormwood


Essential oils should never be taken internally, especially during pregnancy when they can have a devastating impact on the placenta and fetus. The whole plant that the oil was distilled from will occasionally be fine if used in moderation. However, many should be avoided, especially the following:
Hyssop, Juniper, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Sage, Thyme, Yarrow, Wild Celery


The strong herbal laxatives are often caused by the presence of anthraquinones that stimulate the colon, and may have a similar impact upon the uterus. Avoid especially the following:
Aloe, Alder Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada, Purging Buckthorn, Senna


There are other herbs which should be avoided during pregnancy, such as:
Anise, Artichoke, Bearberry, Barley Grass, Basil, Bayberry, Bethroot, Black Cohosh, Blessed Thistle, Bloodroot, Blue Cohosh, Buchu, Bugleweed, Butternut, California Poppy, Caraway, Carrot seed, Catnip, Cayenne, Celery seed, Chapparal, Chervil, Chinese Angelica, Cotton root, Damiana, Devils Claw, Dogwood, Ephedra, Evening Primrose, False Unicorn root, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ginger, Hermandia, Hops, Horehound, Horseradish, Horsetail, Hyptis, Hyssop, Juniper, Kelp, Kola Nut, Lady’s Mantle, Lemon Balm, Lemon Grass, Licorice, Liferoot, Lovage, Lungwort, Mace, Male Fern, Marjoram, Mayapple, Melilot, Mistletoe, Motherwort, Mountain Mint, Neem, Oregon Grape Root, Osha, Pasqueflower, Peppermint, Peruvian Bark, Pleurisy root, Poke Root, Potato skins, Queen Annes Lace, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Saffron, Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, Savory, Saw Palmetto, Scotch Broom, Shepherds Purse, Soy, Spikenard, Sumac berries, Tarragon, Thuji, Trillium, Turmeric, Uva Ursi, Vervain, Watercress, Wild Cherry, Wild Yam, Wood Betony, Yarrow, Yellow Cedar, Yellow Dock, Yohimbe

Important Note: This is only a partial list of the herbs which may be unhealthy during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before taking any herb for medicinal purposes. Consult an herbal practitioner or homeopathic doctor if you have questions about a specific herb.

Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 29 Nov 2010

Tooling Leather

Use vegetable-tanned, light-colored top-grained leather for tooling leather. If you抮e not sure what you have, test the leather抯 ability to take a pattern by wetting a corner and making lines with different objects like the edge of a coin.

When working with a large piece of tooling leather, tape or glue something to the back to prevent the leather from stretching when you are working on it.

The first step involves cutting a design into the leather, followed by creating depressions with various tools that result in elements of the design presenting a raised surface.

Tooling leather is done before it is painted or dyed. If the leather becomes dry while you are working on it, moisten with a damp sponge. If you抮e not able to complete your project in one sitting, store the leather in an appropriately-sized Ziploc bag and place it in the refrigerator.

Choosing and Tracing a Design

Choose a design and trace it onto tracing film or wax paper with a pencil. You can get tracing film in most hobby stores. Search the internet and leatherworking books for ideas on tooling leather.

Other sources include wood burning and stamp making catalogues, coloring books, seed catalogues (for floral designs) and magazines like National Geographic. Copy and paste this url into your borwser and check out this great site for tooling leather patterns:

Start with something simple if you are just beginning tooling leather, and work up to more complex designs as you gain experience. Paper palette, available at craft stores, consists of paper on one side and a sort of plastic film on the other side. It can be trimmed to fit in your printer.

Once you find the design on the internet, simply print it off. The plastic side will protect the design from getting wet when you place it on the damp leather.

Transferring the Pattern

Begin by dampening the leather on both sides with a sponge, or by holding the piece under running water or dipping it in water. Try to avoid soaking the leather, as it becomes too soft to work with. Then place the tracing film on the right side of the leather, using tape at the back of the leather to hold it in place.

Using the tip of a ballpoint pen from which the ink cartridge has been removed, trace over the pattern, following the lines, pressing firmly. Instead of a ballpoint pen, you can purchase a special tool called a ballpoint stylus that is specially designed to transfer patterns for tooling leather. Once you remove the film, you can see the design on the leather抯 surface. If you抳e made any mistakes, you can smooth them out using the back of a spoon.

Using a Swivel Knife

Taking a swivel knife, trace over the outline, holding the knife with your index finger resting on the u-shaped section at the top of the handle, while holding the body of the knife between your thumb and your middle finger. The knife should be turned by rotating the body between your thumb and the middle and ring fingers.

The knife is held upright at a 90 degree angle to the leather, cutting with the corner of the knife facing you. Don抰 do multiple cuts over the line and make the cut light enough to just penetrate the grain, about half the thickness of the hide.

Creating Texture and Depressions

Use a firm surface such as marble for the next phase, where texture and depressions are created in the leather using a wooden, PVC or rawhide mallet, a beveller, a pear shader and a camouflage tool.

Bevellers come in different sizes. Start with three: a small, medium and pointy one. This will give you plenty of versatility when tooling leather.

Position the deep part of the beveller into the groove you have made, and the shallow part towards the side you want to push down or depress. Strike the beveller with the mallet. Use the beveller on the outside of the design to create the formation of ridges while giving a raised appearance.

By overlapping each stamping, you achieve a smooth and continuous effect. The pear shader is used to depress areas of the design, adding contour and depth. The camouflage tool works to add texture to the design and is excellent for such fine work as recreating the petals of a flower.

Get comfortable with your tools by practicing on scrap pieces of tooling leather. That way you抮e less likely to make mistakes when you are working with the actual project.

Holidays Vivian | 29 Nov 2010

Keys To Staying Fit During The "Season Of Indulgence"

Who has the time to workout when there is so much to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner?

To answer your question in one word: EVERYBODY!

I know that this is the happiest time of the year for most but this is also the time of the year where the average person gains 3 – 7lbs of fat. The weight gain is usually attributed to the lack of exercise (because of a busy schedule) and ALL of the eating and drinking that we do at our family gatherings. It is no wonder why the beginning of the year is always the busiest time for gyms and personal trainers. The most common New Year’s Resolution is, “I’m going to get into shape this year and this time I’m really going to stick to it.” Although this is a great resolution, let’s think ahead and have an effective holiday season.

Below you’ll discover a few pointers that should help you stay ahead of the weight gain curve.

1.Exercise (Stay Active): Exercise definitely has to be habitual – make exercise as natural as brushing your teeth. When possible, wake up and workout first thing in the morning. You’ll find that you’re more energized and better equipped to get through your day. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, do something. Your activity of choice could be as simple as walking your dog after dinner.

2.Set a Schedule: Your workout does not have to be an hour. If you only have 20 minutes a day to workout, then workout for 20 minutes and just make it efficient by making every minute count.

3.Drink plenty of water: Drink water as it helps to suppress your appetite because many times thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

4.Partner Up: Find somebody that you wanted to build an alliance with. It’s good to have the support of a friend or family member. You can motivate each other to eat right and keep working out. Even try creating a family activity where it requires everyone to be active. Be creative!

5.Moderation is key: It is ok to have that glass of wine or to eat a piece of that apple pie. However, try just having one glass of wine or having just a small piece of pie and not going back for seconds (or thirds). Practice some self-restraint and your body will thank you later.

6.Take care of yourself: Acquire 30 minutes of quiet time per day. Meditate, read a book, or just relax. This exercise helps to keep the mind sharp. A strong mind equals a strong body!

7.Be realistic: Don’t forget that you are human so give yourself a little bit of leeway. Don’t set the bar so high for yourself that you set yourself for failure. Accept that some days you won’t be able to make your workouts – don’t be disappointed, just be flexible and work around it. Remember that it is still important to spend time with your family and enjoy this season.

So those were a few tips for avoiding the upcoming holiday season. Stay active and control your fitness destiny – have fun with your loved ones this holiday season and just remember that moderation is key! Happy Holidays to all.

Holidays Vivian | 28 Nov 2010

Christmas Quotes

An occasion as warm as Christmas has rightly inspired wonderful thoughts and nice quotes on it. These Christmas quotes are many and are worth a glance for anyone who’d like to be in the spirit of the holidays and share some warm notes with all far and near. From Shakespeare, Longfellow to Dickens and Scott, today’s literature can boast of a plethora of Christmas quotes that will keep nurturing the warmth and goodness of Christmas through time. So as you celebrate Christmas full throttle, stop and spare some moments to sink deep in the Christmas quotes. Here are some:

At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.

~William Shakespeare

I heard the bells on CHRISTMAS Day. Their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat. Of peace on earth goodwill to men.

~ Henry. W. Longfellow

So stick up ivy and the bays, and then restore the heathen ways, green will remind you of the Spring, though this great day denies the thing, and mortifies the earth, and all, but your wild revels, and loose hall.

~Henry Vaughan

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you.

~English traditional Christmas rhyme

I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.

~Charles Dickens

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

~Clement C. Moore

England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
A poor man’s heart through half the year.

~Sir Walter Scott

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.

~Christina Rossetti

Parenting Vivian | 28 Nov 2010

What Is Spiritual Freedom?

While taping a video for Kids Talk About God television spots, I asked a kindergarten boy, “What did the signers of the Declaration of Independence declare freedom from?” He looked at me with some uncertainty and said, “Your parents.”

When I asked another boy what happened in 1776, he answered confidently, “Christopher Columbus discovered America.”

Speaking of spiritual freedom, another child said, “You get to go outside and play and say, ‘Yea!’”

I like this definition of spiritual freedom because it makes me recall the sheer joy of going outside to play. In my childhood imagination, a whole world was “outside” waiting to be explored. No one had to teach me how to play or explore. Every child knows this instinctively. It’s part of God placing eternity in our hearts.

God wants us to experience the play and exuberance of spiritual freedom. He wants us to come outside, as it were, into the wide spaces of his kingdom, where we can learn the dance of his fellowship.

God is waiting for us to respond to his love so that he can fulfill our hearts’ desire for true intimacy. So many people live in a self-imposed slavery because they’ve been betrayed by selfish lovers. God wants to heal our wounds and bring us to a place of living free in a loving relationship with him.

Some would like to portray spiritual freedom as only a call to give up something, but it’s more of a call to gain something greater. Writer C.S. Lewis once compared our spiritual blindness to a small child’s fixation with his sandbox. When his parents remove him from the sandbox for a vacation at the beach, he may kick, scream and cry. But all this ceases at the first sight of beach, sand dunes and vast ocean horizons. Suddenly, the sandbox isn’t so appealing.

The problem isn’t that we’re seeking too much pleasure but that we’re settling for too little. We’re so infatuated with our little mud pies in the sandbox that we can’t see the vast oceans and continents God would have us explore.

How God ever got tagged as being against pleasure, I’ll never know. For King David wrote, “You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Have you ever noticed the faces of those who try to find life apart from God? The strain of life in the sandbox shows. In our hearts, we know there must be something more, but few have the courage to question prejudices they inherit from culture, friends, family, false religion and tyrants. Of course, our own bad decisions play a role in keeping us confined as well because we tend to justify ourselves rather than admit our guilt.

True freedom requires revolution. Our forefathers declared freedom from English tyranny by signing the Declaration of Independence. Many people have died so we can live free in America.

We declare freedom from the sandbox (lies that promise life but never deliver) when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin and rose again to break the bonds of death. He wants us to experience the vast oceans of life that flow from him as the source of eternal and abundant life.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus wants to be your liberator and source of life. Will you declare your dependence upon him today?

Point to ponder: Jesus came to set us free and to give us life.

Scripture to remember: “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Question to consider: Are you living free in Christ or enslaved by your own fears, traditions or passions?

Gardening Vivian | 28 Nov 2010

Frugal Gardner’s Late Summer Garden Tips

Is your garden worn out, tired and seen better days? If your outdoor living space has become a dried flowered paradise then keep reading for some frugal tips to get your paradise back into shape in time for fall.

Gardens, no matter how they are designed always have periods of what I call lull blooms. In late summer you can have some blooms but you probably feel like you would like somehow to get a little more. Right now it feels, because it is, overgrown with ratty leaves and annuals that have become tall and spindly. The lawn has brown or thinned spots but don’t despair. Here are some frugal tips to fix these garden problems.

Cutting back your perennials will stimulate new growth. Cut them back by 1/2 or 3/4ths. This will stimulate your second round of blooms or at the very least fresh growth. This also serves to manicure your overgrown flower beds. Be sure to keep your cutting for your mulch bin or simple work them into the soil around the plant you just cut back to start mulching on the spot. This puts organic matter into the soil which helps return moisture and nutrients to the root system of your prized plants.

It’s safe to cut off any brown foliage from any of your plants or flowering bulbs at this time. Brown foliage isn’t doing anything for your plants and it can be unsightly. If you trim your roses be sure to discard the rosewood and leaves to the trash and not the mulch bin. They often have pests or mold and it’s best to discard their cuttings.

If you have a pest problem, dust, trap or spray the problem plants as soon as you have identified the nature of the pest and problem. Your local nursery can give you the best advice for dealing with it organically, physically or with pesticide. You want the best advice you can get because the goal here is to ensure you don’t harm to the beneficial bugs. Especially the bees.

Annuals that you may have in window boxes, hanging baskets, potted planters or even as edge plantings should be cut back aggressively for them to bloom a second time for you. Use a water soluble fertilizer on them. This trick will give them what they need to perk up quickly.

If your lawn has developed some dry spots, apply dry leaves or peat moss to the affected area and water frequently for about a week in addition to natural rain. If you have any leftover grass seed you can also mix that with the leaves and peat moss. Consistent watering will help your seeds to germinate and take root quickly.

A late summer garden can be brought back into living color if your willing to try these frugal garden tips. Enjoy your beautiful autumn garden paradise.

written by Tana Brown