Container Gardening Basics For Success

Container Gardening is becoming more and more popular as the population of cities and suburbs increases. Your "garden" is movable and so it is easier to manage pests and garden environments. It also brings the time that you need to tend to your plants because you can place them where they are easier for you to reach. This is especially good for people who are handicapped but still want a garden.

There are some things that are necessary in order to have a successful container garden.

First, you must have a container. You can find them in almost every size, shape and they can be made of many different materials. And, they can be very inexpensive, especially when you create them from "found" objects. You must make sure that the container that you choose has adequate drainage.

Make sure that your container is appropriate for your plant's full-grown size. You do not want to have to keep changing pots as your garden grows.

Soil is the next thing you have to have for your garden. I'm sorry, but you can not go outside and dig up some dirt. It will be much too heavy and will probably contain lots of bugs and pests that you do not need. The soil must be of good quality to keep your plants healthy and growing well. Buy potting mix that drains well but still is able to retain adequate moisture. The mix should not be so light that it will not hold the plant and root system in the container without propping the plant up.

You can mix your own potting soil by using one part compost; one part perlite and one part garden loam. Be sure that you inspect the loam for pests before using it.

Choose plants that do not have very large root systems. Those plants will soon get too large for the pot that you have planted them in, even to the point of breaking it. As I mentioned before, not sizing the plant to the pot (or the pot to the plant), can cause plants to be spindly and root-bound.

Tomatoes are a good choice for a new gardener because they are easy to grow and have a strong, but small, root system. Other vegetables that are appropriate are peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes and eggplant.

Herbs are also an excellent choice for container gardens. Herb gardens do not require much space and they are extremely easy to grow, even for the novice gardener. Like most plants, they do require adequate drain to grow them successfully.

Some people use container gardens as decorating accents as well as growing vegetables for the dinner table. Choosing containers that fit with the style of the area you want them in terms of its ambiance. You might even want to use them in a specific area inside your home. Sunrooms come to mind as a great place to grow plants. Do make sure there is adequate sun and shade for your plants.

Preparing Your Motorcycle For the Winter

So here we are in October, and the overnight and morning hours are a little chilly here in the Northeast of the US. What does this mean? Winter is coming of course, and seems to be coming fast. Most days are now starting out in the low 40's, getting up to maybe the high 50's / low 60's, and then dropping down again into the low 40's overnight.

So, what are you to do if you're not planning on riding through the cold, winter months? You need to prepare your motorcycle and winterize it. There are a few steps you should definitely do to keep your motorcycle safe and warm through those frigid months.

  1. Get the gasoline out of your engine – How do you do that? Start up your motorcycle with the petcock to 'on' and let your bike run for a few minutes. After your motorcycle is idling just fine, flip the petcock to off and let the engine do it's thing by cycling through any fuel that is left in the lines. You'll know as soon as the fuel is out of the engine, as the motorcycle will just stop running (like it stalled). It's OK if you leave some fuel in the tank as it should not cause any damage. But leaving it in your engine could cause serious damage to your motorcycle.
  2. Get a battery tender - A battery tender will keep your motorcycle battery charged throughout the winter so that when you're ready to fire her up, you will not be left with a dead battery. Battery tenders are fairly inexpensive and can be picked up at your local motorcycle shop or order one online.
  3. Clean your motorcycle – you do not want to store your motorcycle for long periods of time with dirt, grime, tar, grease, bugs, etc. all over your bike. Not only is this bad for the paint and chrome, but it's just not right to treat your baby so badly. Clean her up before she takes that long winter's nap. My motorcycle is actually cleaned after every ride. It's only right that my girl be taken care of and treated well through the year.
  4. Find a good spot – Your motorcycle is going to be resting for the next few months, so make sure you find a good location for the winter. The best location would be an attached garage, the next would be an outdoor storage building, and the least favorite would be outside in the elements. The winter elements can do some serious damage if not carefully watched, so I'd recommend making sure your motorcycle is stored in an area that is enclosed. My motorcycle is always stored in my attached garage, and kept in a prime location so as not to get bumped or something dropped on her.
  5. Get a motorcycle cover – just because your motorcycle may be stored in an enclosed area, does not mean you should not further protect her. You can get a cover for as little as $ 20 or as much as $ 100. A motorcycle cover will make sure no additional dirt or dust gets on your bike, and will also help protect any unfortunate bumps or dings. I can not speak for bugs, as they'll find their way into any warm place during the colder months.
  6. Start her up when you can – If there's a decent winter day, sun shinning, and not terribly cold, go ahead and fire up your motorcycle. Let her run for a while, she'll thank you in the spring. Just remember to follow all the steps above to ensure you put your motocycle back to rest properly.

What is Resveratrol and Does it Work?

There's been a lot of hype about this antioxidant laately, but what is resveratrol and why is it suddenly getting so much attention?

Resveratrol is a phytoestrogen chemical compound that is found in a few plants but the main source is the skins on red grapes. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant. Until recently red wine was the best way to get Resveratrol in your diet.

It was back in the 1940's that this nutrient was isolated as a constituent in white hellebore roots. Plants produce Resveratrol to protect them against fungi and bacteria that is a result of environmental stressors. Its mother nature's natural plant antibiotic.

It was in November of 2006 that Resveratrol first made headlines after scientists demonstrated that when it was fed to mice that were overfed they did not gain wait. In fact they actually became the mice version of marathon racers. One other important thing was noticed and that was the aging process seemed to be slowed down a great deal.

Translated to humans, this grape skin supplement has reduced, even preceded the negative effects a high calorie diet can have on humans. Because it is such a powerful antioxidant it stops plateslets from sticking together, and it has anti inflammatory, anti cancer, and anti aging qualities.

Resveratrol prevents free radicals from remaining in the body and causing damage. It rides the body of these free radicals. It also protects the blood vessels especially those with blood glucose levels that are elevated.

If there are high levels of glucose in the body it causes damage at the cellular level and there are increased risks associated with those levels such as heart disease, kidney disease, and retinopathy. Heart disease can lead to stroke or heart attack. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, and retinopathy can cause blindness.

Recent research also indicates that if you are at risk for Alzheimers you can benefit from Resveratrol. Even those that already have Alzheimers can benefit.

The main reason why we've heard so much about 'red wine pills' recently is all the excitement over its ability to slow down, even stop the aging process. It's no wonder it's been getting such great coverage. After all that's very exciting news.

Red wine can provide 1.5 milligrams to 3 milligrams of Resveratrol per quart of wine. Studies have shown wine in moderation has several health benefits. But for those of you that want to enjoy the advantages of a little higher dose of this red wine extract or do not wish to drink wine, there are quality supplements now available on the market.

These Resveratrol supplements are tested in the laboratory to ensure you are getting the correct of Resveratrol to enjoy the full benefits of its anti aging abilities. Now do not confuse Resveratrol with being an anti aging drug – it is not.

It is an anti aging supplement that provides the ability to slow or stop the aging process from the inside out. You'll feel years younger and look years younger too.

But I Don’t Feel Like Working Out!

Do most people actually feel like exercising? Think about it. Who do you know actually loves to work-out as often as they can? Probably not many because if most people felt that way there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic.

As I write this, even I’m putting off the inevitable. I have to work-out. I’m a Personal Trainer. Shouldn’t I be counting down the seconds until I get to hurt and sweat to the classic rock channel and my dumbbells? Nope. I have spent the last hour or so lollygagging around the couple of sites I tend to frequent, posting a few status updates and commenting “great pic” here and there while working up the motivation to get moving! I have a holiday party to attend tonight and I can promise you…the food will probably be pretty good. So how can I take my love of fabulous cuisine and my obvious Sunday morning laziness and somehow use this combo to get me up off the sofa and into the work-out room? Well I’ll tell ya….

I’ve been fat and I’ve been fit and I promise you that fit feels better! I just typed a paragraph or so about my own vulnerabilities above to let you know that I relate to your lack of desire to exercise. We aren’t that different from each other. I live in the same fast world with the same fast food and email vs. snail mail and instant gratification benefits as everyone else. The only problem with this is that permanent and healthy weight-loss and weight-management take time, perseverance and yep, hard work.

I know what happens when we put important tasks off. They either never get done or if they eventually do, there is usually a hefty late penalty. It’s no different with our bodies. To develop and keep a fit physique, consistency is the key. To stay consistent, we have to change our minds.

The truth is that the next hour or so WILL go by regardless of what I choose to do within that time. The last hour is over and I chose to sit on the computer. Now even though I really did more productive things other than post silly stuff online, the fact remains that there is still a work-out to be done. I will have calories to burn off for later. I have a metabolism to speed up for the indulgences I will partake in tonight. I can choose to sit here for the rest of the afternoon and not get my strength training session in and I probably still won’t put on any significant weight from tonight’s foods. The reason for this is that while most often I would prefer not to work-out, I do it anyway because I ALWAYS feel a sense of pride, joy and power by the end of that hour of exercise than I would feel by not doing it. I feel AMAZING when I finish an exercise session. Did it happen overnight? NO! I had to make myself continue to experience it for a good long time until I realized the power behind a regular fitness routine. The result is a faster metabolism which burns my calories for me while I do nothing at all. In real estate, they would call this cash flow from a rental property. The investing, rehabs and negotiations are done yet the pay goes on. Brilliant!

Think about where you are right now. Do you have any regrets over the things you didn’t do? Have you noticed any negative circumstances in your life that could have been kept small and insignificant if only you had tackled them sooner? What about any goals you would have accomplished had you acted sooner (or at all)? When you take a moment and honestly think about any of these regrets, are you convinced that if you only had the chance to make a different decision you would have done it and then you would have everything you’ve ever wanted by now? How much would you give to change the outcome of any of the scenarios I just mentioned?

It’s been 2 hours since my last paragraph. In that time, I worked-out AND prepared all the vegetables needed for my few days worth of healthy salads. I’ll be honest here. I absolutely didn’t feel like doing ANY of that. It’s time consuming and labor intensive as far as I’m concerned. Given that thought process, here’s another one which is equally true. I just finished my work-out and prepared my lean and nutrient dense post exercise replenishment not just for today, but for the next several days to come. It was labor intensive, but I FEEL AMAZING! The hard work is done and I’ll reap the benefits of 2 hours worth of work for the next few days! The technical term for this is delayed gratification. Let’s say it together. DELAYED GRATIFICATION. It’s a way of life we don’t experience much of these days and I believe it’s why our bodies suffer from malnutrition and limited physical capabilities.

You see, most of us don’t feel like doing a lot of the things we need to do and I’m no different. The only way to experience the other side of this particular coin is to just do it. Whatever it is. With exercise, the more often you muster up the strength to get it done, the more you’ll understand the rewards. Don’t get me wrong, you still may want to put it off, however, you’ll have a valid sense of what you’re missing out on if you do. You’ll get how powerful it feels to spend that hour or so doing what you’ll feel proud of rather than nothing at all, which you could easily regret much longer than a measly hour, possibly the rest of your life. This way of thinking creates pride and a healthy self-esteem. It also helps to abolish any feelings of restriction since when we take care of ourselves the majority of the time, we can enjoy our indulgences without guilt.

Well, now that I’ve done the hard work, I’m gonna relax. As I had mentioned earlier, it’s Sunday. The only day of the week that I don’t have to be something to someone. The day that’s reserved all for me. Rather than spending all of it vegging, I gave myself the best gift I could….peace of mind from good work well done. I took that hour, doubled it and now I feel free!

So what about you? What did you get from this?

Wishing you a lifetime of smart choices and self-pride!