The Ultimate Indoor Gardening Cheat Sheet: Guest Post by Emma – Fixtures and Flowers

It’s a scientific fact that plants breathe life into the atmosphere. Without plants or trees to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen the human race would have no source of clean air. The world would be forced to breathe recycled or artificially produced oxygen.

The more plants there is then, the less pollution there is. Cities with more trees have healthier populations than those that only have a park or two. This premise applies to individual homes as well. A household would greatly benefit from having more plants inside the residence.

The size of the home is irrelevant, what matters is that there are plants indoors to help clean the air. Other than a natural air purifying system, indoor plants can also produce fresh herbs, vegetables and even fruits. Starting an indoor garden is not all that difficult. Take a look at this ultimate indoor gardening cheat sheet to make it easy…

The Ultimate Indoor Gardening Cheat Sheet: Guest Post by Emma - Fixtures and Flowers

Planting in Soil using containers

The style of using pots and decorative planting containers is the classic method for indoor gardening. It is also one of the most popular and convenient ways to start an indoor garden. The containers can be made of any material, ceramic, metal, plastic or even stone.

There is a timeless beauty in using free-standing containers. They bring a touch of nature indoors and brighten any room as well. They are also easy to handle because one can move them around the house with ease. There are a few things to keep in mind before starting an indoor garden using containers.

Sun spot

Choose an area in the house that takes inadequate sunlight. Proper sunlight is essential for a plant to reach its full potential. As long as the spot gets at least four to six hours of daylight then that should be enough.

Position the plants in that sun spot and decorate around it. Setting the plants in sun-filled setting will be easier than having to move the pot or container outside for it to get some sun.

Soil

Choose the kind of plants that are suitable to be grown indoors. Different types of soil fit the needs of specific plants. Research the type of soil required for the plants before starting an indoor garden. Each kind of plant needs a particular kind of soil.

Preparing the right soil for potted plants is crucial to keep them healthy. For most plants, a store-bought potting mix is an excellent soil base to start with. Then mix that with some compost, and that will create the perfect soil to nurture indoor plants.

Succulents would need a gritty mix that drains well. This is one of those cases where crushed gravel would be the perfect top dressing. Don’t forget to add homemade fertilisers to give your plants more nutrients.

Water

All plant life needs water on a regular basis. That is their primary form of sustenance. Plants absorb water and carbon dioxide to jumpstart photosynthesis.

Water the potted plants using a watering can. Water them early in the morning so that they have the whole day to absorb the water through their roots.

Hydroponics

Indoor gardening has gone through many innovations over the years, and hydroponics is one of them. Hydroponics is a soilless growing system that substitutes soil with an inert media. The purpose of the inert media is to hold the plant upright. It is the base of the plant which suspends it over the water.

Water culture

This is often used in the most basic hydroponics systems. To grow plants in water culture, first put each plant in a container or a growing tray filled with inert medium.

Then immerse the plant containers in an even bigger container filled with nutrient solution. For best results, use an air pump to create bubbles in the nutrient solution to help with aeration.

Nutrient film

This technique foregoes the use on any inert media and suspends the plants right over the nutrient solution. Holes are drilled through PVC tubes to house the plants, and their roots are allowed to grow at the bottom directly immersed in the nutrient solution. It is also advised to use an air pump when using this method to promote root aeration.

Drip system

Instead of the plants being suspended over the nutrient solution. This hydroponic growing technique circulates the nutrient solution throughout the growing media. A water pump continuously pumps the nutrient growing solution.

Aquaponics

This indoor growing technique would be perfect for people that own and love their aquariums. Instead of suspending the plants over a container with a nutrient solution this technique uses the nutrient from fish waste and feeds it directly to the plants.

The plants are set on top of a growing media which is then placed atop the fish tank. The microorganisms in the growing media would then break down the fish waste into proper nutrients for the plants. The plants would then absorb these nutrients.

The microorganisms found in the growing media would technically clean the water of any waste. Aquaponics is an efficient solution to the disposal of fish waste and cost-effective as well because it forgoes the need for the nutrient solution.

Aeroponics

Aeroponics is another new growing technique that can be used for indoor gardening. Here, the plants are housed in containers that do not have any soil and isn’t immersed in any nutrient solution. The containers are there to support the plant and provide access when water is sprayed.

The lower half of the container is filled with small holes or grills which allow the grower to spray water or nutrient solution directly on the roots. This is the same growing technique used by astronauts and is gaining popularity all over the world.

Conclusion

There are several paths to start practising indoor gardening. Choose the technique that best suits your personality. Consider all the factors, pros and cons of each growing technique. No matter what method is used the end results will be the same. Cleaner oxygen, fresh vegetable, fruits and a healthier lifestyle.

Author Bio

Author picture - Emma - Fixtures and Flowers

Emma is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of advice, tips and tricks that she loves sharing on her blog.

Let’s Talk BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder): Guest Post by Sarah – Life In A Break Down

I can’t work out looking back, when I changed from a normal mentally healthy child, to one who had a warped perspective of myself.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always been this way.

BPD or to give it is full name Borderline Personality Disorder, is somewhat stigmatized by mainstream media, as of course are many other mental health issues. So, I am hoping to break down those misconceptions a little at a time.

What is BPD?

I guess simply put it is a serious mental disorder which effects the way people who suffer from it process emotions.

There are 9 criteria used to diagnose people with BPD, although the way they are experience and to what degree is different between each patient:

• Fear of abandonment.

• A series of unstable relationships.

• Unstable image of ones-self.

• Impulsive attitude around things which are unsafe to such as drinking, drugs, sex, binge eating, reckless driving etc..

• Self-harm or suicidal tendencies.

• Extreme emotional swings.

• Chronic feeling of emptiness.

• Intense anger.

• A feeling of not being in touch with reality – suspicious and paranoid.

How BPD affects me

It’s been many years since I was diagnosed originally with BPD.

Over the years, things have changed. I have learnt in ways to find a way to live with some aspects of BPD. While those around me have learnt to calm and look after me when things get bad.

I’ve never been a danger to others, like media sometimes likes to portray BPD sufferers to be. However, I can be a danger to myself.

Through my teen years and into my twenties, I tried to take my life many times. It is perhaps only by accident I am still alive.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop self-harming in some ways and my gosh the emotional swings can be so tiring.

I’ve learnt over the years though I’m not alone.

That impulse to hit my head, to stop it. Is felt by many people with BPD.

The insane fear of being abandoned, which I suspect comes from the fact I was adopted, never leaves. But I am not alone.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a roller coaster with the ups and downs of emotions and sometimes I feel numb like there’s no emotions left. And that’s normal too.

How is BPD Treated?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mentalisation-Based Therapy (MBT) are most often the way people look to treat BPD.

I must admit I’ve tried many therapies over the years and the only one, for me, which worked to any extent was art therapy. I am not a talker, I write, I create, but I don’t talk. As I fear what people will think.

Therapeutic communities can often help some people as well. However, place me with people who are feeling similar and I become a bit like a bomb, ready to explode with the emotions that are swirling around.

Sadly, medication doesn’t help BPD itself, but it can sometimes be offered to help any mental health conditions that co-exist with BPD. For myself this is depression and anxiety.

What to Take from this Post

People with BPD are humans too. We just have issues with processing emotions in quite the right way. This is often linked to something traumatic that has happened in our lives.

Don’t write us off, don’t be scared to be our friend.

Author Bio: 

Sarah - Life In A Break Down

Sarah is the creator behind Life in a Break Down, UK Bloggers and Simply Saving and one half of the duo behind UK Lifestyle Hub. She suffers from a number of chronic health conditions and is often found cuddled up on the sofa with a movie and her pets. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram too! 

5 Tips on Staying Safe While You Garden: A Guest Post by Gardenknow

With our garden often just a few steps from the comfort of our home, sometimes it’s easy to forget the risks associated with gardening. In this post written by Gardenknow, we explore tips on staying safe while you’re doing your gardening. Below is a list of 5 simple steps that will help keep you safe when you’re doing your gardening…

5 Tips on Staying Safe While You Garden: A Guest Post by Gardenknow

1. Wear Protective Gear

Regardless of the task you’re doing it’s always important to consider protective wear. Even for jobs as simple as weeding, it’s recommended that you wear knee pads. Although this isn’t the most strenuous task, years of bending down to weed without knee protection could quite easily cut your gardening years short.

For more intensive jobs such as string trimming, remember to always wear the appropriate head and eye protection. All it takes is for the one time you forget to wear your visor, a rock to be flung up into your face to cause serious damage.

2. Stick to What You Know

There’s no two ways about it; gardening is addictive. However, don’t let this lead you to jumping into tasks you haven’t done before without any prior consideration. This can lead to safety risks for you and others around you.

We recommend reading guides for carrying out tasks prior to attempting them. This way you’re going into it with some understanding of what’s required. An example of this would be in our pruning guide post which you can read here. We detail the tools, techniques and precautions required before attempting pruning.

3. Drink Plenty of Fluids

If you were planning a trip somewhere involving lots of physical exercise, you are likely to consider staying hydrated. Gardening should be no different. Again, due to gardens being so close to the comforts of your home this is something that’s often overlooked.

Staying hydrated is vital, operating machinery within your garden will take lots of your strength. This is why it’s vital that you make sure you have all the nutrients needed for a long days work in the garden. This applies to food as well as staying hydrated.

Hand holding plant and woman smiling in background.

4. Bend Properly

We don’t want to make this post sound like a manual handling induction, but please don’t forget the importance of bending with correct form. Bending is one of the most common exercises in gardening. You’ll often find yourself bending down to remove weeds, or picking up branches and leaves.

Remember to always bend your legs and keep a straight back. We’re sure many of you do this already but it’s vital we emphasise how important correct form is in preventing injury.

5. Wear Sunscreen

This is something tons of people forget all about when gardening. Often you’ll pop to the garden for a job that would take minutes then end up spending hours there. Remember, whether you’re going out for 5 minutes or 5 hours skin protection is vital.

This doesn’t only apply for the summer time either. Whether the sun is glaring down or not, you’ll still want to make sure you have all the protection you can from UV rays.

Author Bio

Linda, a writer at Gardenknow, has a real passion for spreading her knowledge gathered through decades of gardening experience. She runs the website along with her Husband Paul. They formed the site as a way to document great quality information gathered through their combined gardening experience with the hope of sharing this with others.

Earning by the Sea: 30 Days Wild Guest Post

My last 30 Days Wild guest post is by
Kaya La Roche, 34 years old, from Margate Kent. She blogs at earningbythesea.co.uk

Guest post 30 days wild. Image Kent castle

What is your favourite nature activity?

We really enjoy woodland walks as a family and walking our dog Lola on the beach. I feel really lucky to live a five minute walk from the sea.

Where is your favourite wild place?

Blean woods near Canterbury in Kent. The woods are beautiful and there are lots of tree carvings and dens for children to explore.

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

Our local Forest school is taking part and my daughter Willow used to attend there so I saw a picture on their Facebook page.

Where are your favourite outdoor places? Which nature activities do you most enjoy? I would love to hear from you! Tell me in comments.

Becky the Traveller: 30 Days Wild Guest Post

Only a few guest posts left to publish now as we near the end of #30DaysWild for this year. But we do still have one whole week left yet to go – yay! I am really enjoying reading these guest posts and I hope you are too!

Today’s post is written by Becky Angell, 41, from Nottingham…

Becky the Traveller - 30 days wild guest post

What is your favourite nature activity?

Hiking is one of my favourite activities, because it combines my love of nature, wildlife keeping fit and being outdoors (yes even in the rain!)

Where is your favourite wild place?

Can I pick two! Peak District National Park – closest national park to my home, it’s beautiful and great for hiking. Attenborough Nature Reserve, as an avid birdwatcher I love visiting here and seeing the birds but other insects. It’s generally a very peaceful place to be.

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

I love promoting the outdoors to my readers so why not take my own advice.

Find Becky at the following channels:

Becky the Traveller Blog

Becky the Traveller Facebook

Becky the Traveller Instagram

Life in Rose Tinted Glasses: 30 Days Wild (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is by George from Gloucestershire, who is completing the 30 Days Wild challenge for the first time. They write over at Life in Rose Tinted Glasses. Read on…

30 Days Wild guest post - life in rose tinted glasses

What is your favourite nature activity?

We love walking the dog up the local hills. They’re easy to access, free to park at and have a play area as well so we all have fun. We love the fact that you can go to them all year round and the views from the top are worth the effort.

Where is your favourite wild place?

Wenchford in the Forest of Dean. It has a little stream that you can paddle in, lovely trails to walk along and a great picnic area. It’s beautiful there, even with the crowds in summer it always feels peaceful and relaxing. We’ve spent hours there and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody moan they are bored!

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

We need to get outdoors more. We’ve not got out of the habit of staying in since winter and we need to get out and enjoy the little bit of summer England gets.

Anca’s Lifestyle – 30 Days Wild Guest Post

Sorry, I have been super quiet regarding 30 Days Wild – I haven’t got very far with my alphabet, or any other posts I intended to write for this! It has been a challenging week though to be honest. Onwards and upwards…

Anyway, here is a brief guest post from Anca in Liverpool. Do check out her blog ancaslifestyle.co.uk It’s a lovely blog, she writes about some really cool stuff. We seem to share similar tastes!

30 Days Wild guest post. Image of steel man sculpture at Liverpool beach.

What is your favourite nature activity?

I love walking and exploring. There are so many wonderful things to see in nature and I think the slower pace of walking makes it great for admiring it.

Where is your favourite wild place?

As I love discovering new places, I don’t have a place where I go again and again. I like a local farm though, that has a lovely nature walk besides the farm shop, there are peacocks too.

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

I want to go out more, hence taking part in this year’s challenge.

Kelly Allen – Home Education Guest Post Series

You may remember last year I ran a guest post series for fellow home educators. Well, incase you missed it, here is another one! This Q&A guest post is written by Kelly, who has home educated her two children for the past 2.5 years…

Home education guest post series

Introduction

My name is Kelly, I’m married to Warren and we have two home educating children called George and Molly. We live in Cardiff and we enjoy going on long dog walks, movies, arts and crafts.

How long have you home educated for and why did you decide to do it?

2 and a half years. My children were really unhappy, medical reasons and a lack of faith in the school system.

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

We’re probably semi structured, with days out and groups as well as little projects at home focused on their passions.

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

Having the realisation that they’ve suddenly grown up, and being able to spend those precious long days with them that will soon be memories of childhood. I’m glad I can be there during it all.

What is your favourite thing about home edding your child/ren?

Freedom without the influence of school life or the pressure to pass standardised exams during childhood.

What do you find most difficult and why?

Other people’s opinions and the infamous socialisation question. I just find it incredibly judgemental and exhausting to answer time and time again.

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Reach out to the community, whether online or at groups. They’ll be your network of support and you’ll probably need it.

You can find Kelly Allen over at her blog and social media channels…

www.kellyallenwriter.com www.facebook.com/kallenwriter www.twitter.com/kallenwriter www.instagram.com/kallenwriter

Hannah Elizabeth – 30 Days Wild – Guest Post

Today’s 30 Days Wild guest post is from Hannah Elizabeth, aged 21. She is currently studying at university and shares her time between Nottingham, Leeds and London. You can find her over at Hannah Elizabeth.

30 days wild guest post

What is your favourite nature activity?

My favourite nature activity is walking the dogs around new parks, especially ones with wildlife and art because I also love taking photos and it’s the perfect opportunity.

Duck and ducklings in a lake

Where is your favourite wild place?

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of my favourite wild places. I love the art and the mixture of wildlife. Now that I’ve been so many times, I feel comfortable going off the path a little and into the woods for the slightly more wilderness side of things.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Hannah at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

Honestly, I’d never heard of the challenge before but now that I have, I’m definitely going to do a post about it. It’s such a great and meaningful challenge to be involved in so thank you!

Sheep in a field around a picnic bench

What has been your favourite random act of wildness so far? Tell me in comments!

The Dozy Owl – 30 Days Wild (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is from Kieran, aged 24, from Glasgow. He really loves sleep! (Don’t we all?!) You can find him blogging over at The Dozy Owl.

30 Days Wild Guest Post text, Scottish Highlands image

What is your favourite nature activity?

Walking around the local park, it gets tough in a big city trying to keep in touch with nature so it’s important to do it when you can!

Where is your favourite wild place?

The river where I grew up in the Scottish highlands, a long winding river with a great natural pool for swimming in. You can see fish swimming around if your lucky!

Who or what inspired you to take part in the challenge?

I’m always trying to improve my sleep and wanted to find out what effect going outside would have on it. It helped massively! Slept like a baby after getting into nature for a day.

I agree getting outside in nature helps with sleep, and overall wellbeing? Do you agree? Let me know in comments!