Yard & Garden Prep: March 2015

It’s still a little chilly out there but my 2015 garden plans are already underway. I told myself this year I wouldn’t take on so much. I have a lot of home and DIY projects that need to be completed so I’m not planting as many plant varieties as in years past. I am planning a small vegetable garden and hoping to better maintain what I already have going on in the yard.

I learned everything I was doing wrong when I started Master Gardener certification training back in the Fall. So now I’m taking a step back and trying to slow down and focus on a strong, quality garden and yard.

vegetable-seeds

That being said I do have a few fun things planned! I am using some leftover seeds from last year and ordered a handful of new seeds (about 10 varieties) for this year. Among those picks… baby’s breath, bush cucumbers, basil and parsley! I started my mini greenhouses about 10 days ago and have a few more to plant this week.

liquid-fence

I also started spraying aggressively for deer. Because I am establishing a mostly edible landscape, deer love my yard! I am also searching for a few barrier plants to block the corners of the property to help keep the Bambi out. I also planted garlic around the edges of my raised beds last fall. Garlic helps deter deer.

I’m so glad I prepped my raised garden beds last year (double digging, adding compost and top dressing). This means I can plant my seedlings directly as soon as the danger of frost has passed. I will be planting some kale and lettuce in my cold frame box soon, too.

mini-greenhouses

Lastly, I did some raking two weeks ago to remove snow mold and pick up leaves and sticks. I also pruned my grape plants and dwarf fruit trees. I am spraying the fruit trees with dormant oil which should help keep pests at bay. Whew! That’s a lot for March and here I am saying I’m taking it easy.

How’s your spring yard and garden prep going? 

Top 5 Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress is a constant in my life, but as I get older I realize I can’t avoid certain situations and there will always be “drama” in my life. But how I react is within my control. I’m not sure about you, but most of the time when I’m stressed, it’s easy to panic. However, I’ve developed a few coping mechanisms. As you know green and natural living are very important to me so my tips below are all natural-oriented. Here are my top five ways to relieve stress:

1) Take a Break. When my mind is racing I find a short break often helps me focus. When the weather is nice this means I take Lulu out for a walk. We might only go around the block, but it’s usually enough time and sunshine to clear my mind and help me focus again. If taking a walk isn’t option I’ll stop and do some stretches. Spinal twists, hip openers and forward folds are my favorites.

bath

2) Take a Bath. I used to think baths were for children. I hadn’t taken one in years myself. I changed that this winter. When the temps outside were cold I decided to try something different. I drew a warm bath. It was wonderfully relaxing! Taking a warm bath at the end of a long day is an easy way to relieve stress. I like to add epsom salt to the water along with a few drops of lavender oil, which is a calming scent.

3) Incorporate Daily Exercise. Depending on my mood, I might take a hot powerful flow yoga class to really get my sweat on and challenge my body. Other times, if I’m really exhausted from a long day I’ll take a slow flow or yoga nidra class. These classes are more gentle on my mind and body, yet provide healthy movement. Of course there are many other ways to exercise outside of yoga. Find “your” exercise and make a longer 30 to 60-minute workout part of your daily routine to aid with stress relief!

sleepytime

4) Drink Chamomile Tea. Another one of my favorite bedtime routines is drinking chamomile tea. Made from chamomile flowers, which naturally promote relaxation, this tea is mild and calming. It’s a great bedtime routine to start and I especially enjoy the tea in the winter.

rescue-sleep-liquid-melts

5) Aid Sleep Naturally. Sometimes your body is tired but your mind won’t shut down. Isn’t that the worst? I recently tried RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts. The melts look like tiny pills. You just take one before bed and it melts on your tongue in seconds. The melts are 100% natural, homeopathic and non-habit forming. RESCUE products have been helping people stress less, stay in control and stay calm since 1930.

What do you do to manage stress?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Ready to Get Back to Blogging

Time and time again, when I take a blogging break I come back wanting more. I’ve been blogging for almost five years now and from time to time burnout sets in. I am asked often in business circles for tips on blogging. I tell people consistency is key. I’m not always the best example of this (my recent hiatus) but if you have to leave your blog, leave it for a few weeks or a month. Whatever you do, just don’t leave it untouched for a year!

I have five drafted posts ready and I should be hitting the ground running again soon. While I still love blogging, it often takes the back burner when business ramps up. Blogging provides a great outlet for writing… when I’m not writing for others. My work is very ebb and flow. It’s the reality of self-employment (at least for me right now). I’m learning to embrace the busy times along with the slow. In the meantime, I appreciate you coming back here every now and then to see what’s new.

If you are looking for more tips on blogging, in particular blogging for business, please visit my freelance writing website and check out the sidebar on the right hand side. I have a FREE “Business Blogging Best Practices” tip sheet you will receive just for signing up for my email newsletter.