home & living

Raised Garden Beds and Greenhouses – The Benefits

Raised garden bed

An avid gardener should always have many essential items in their collection – useful tools, proper fertilizers, a sturdy wheelbarrow, and more – but nothing will delight you more than having these two items: a raised garden bed, and a greenhouse.

Outdoor Living Today says the benefits of growing your garden, especially for veggies, are plentiful with these two items, and you will often see bigger crops with larger yields at the end of the season.

Benefits of Raised Garden Beds

  1. Weed control: When you place soil in your raised bed, you can put down weed barriers such as garden paper or sheeting – this prevents the weeds from penetrating. Also, because a raised garden bed is built above existing soil, the weeds will have a hard time getting in there. Ensure you put a high-quality weed-free soil into the bed in the first place, and you’ll be weed free!
  2. Portability: If you happen to move away from your house, you can often take your raised bed with you! Even further, if you find the spot where you’ve built your raised bed isn’t working in your yard (too much or little sun), you can often move it elsewhere.
  3. Longer growing season: Because the soil in a garden box is raised, it warms up and stays warm more quickly than soil in the ground. As a result, the crops that you plant will stay healthy for longer – but don’t forget to water!
  4. Easy access: If you have several garden beds side by side, not only does it look tidy, but it is easy to access the rows. You can reach the beds easily to weed and water, and even to plant new seeds.

Benefits of Greenhouses

  1. Protection from the elements: A greenhouse warms up and stays warmer than the outside, so it is an ideal environment to start seedlings. These plants will be protected from inclement weather, high winds and even dust storms, thus making them more resilient. As a gardener, it is a relief to know that you don’t have to race home during a hail storm to protect your delicate plants from being destroyed.
  2. Longer growing season: As mentioned above, plants stay warmer in a greenhouse, and thus tend to thrive in that environment. You can start your plants earlier and watch them grow all season long
  3. Multipurpose gardening: A greenhouse is truly a multi-use space, as it can be used to plant just about anything, anytime. You may be a veggie garden lover, but also a bonsai enthusiast – well, with a greenhouse you can go ahead and have both! You also don’t have to worry about mixing plants into different types of soil, as the greenhouse allows you to pot certain soils into separate receptacles. Finally, you can store all your gardening supplies, such as trowels, shovels and watering cans, inside the greenhouse, making gardening easy and accessible.
  4. Ease of setup: installing a greenhouse is often easier than coming up with a comprehensive plan for landscaping your garden. In fact, some retailers offer a pre-fab greenhouse shipped right to your home, ready to be erected on the spot of your choice in your yard. All you have to do is set if up for use, and you’ll be ready to go for planting.
  5. Garden all year long! Imagine growing your very own poinsettias at Christmas time or a succulent garden perfect to suit a trendy framed arrangement! Perhaps the greatest benefit of all around having a greenhouse is the ability to garden all year long. The temperature in the greenhouse stays quite static, and as a result, provides an excellent opportunity to grow veggies and flowers to be enjoyed even in the winter.

Things That Can Affect your Home Insurance Premiums

condo insurance ontario
There are a number of factors related to your home that affect your ability to secure coverage and they extent of the coverage that you can secure. These are things that you should consider when you’re planning to purchase a home or are in the hunt for a home.

An area that is prone to natural disasters, can make it difficult to secure coverage. According to squareoneinsurance.ca, natural disasters have become so costly that many large insurers now refuse to provide homeowners with coverage for homes in high-risk areas. So, if you live in an area that has a regular wildfire season, or hurricanes, or seasonal flooding, then you may fall into this particular category.

Believe it or not, your roof can be a major issue if it does not meet certain standards. Is it wind or hail resistant? If the roof is new and it’s constructed of impact-resistant material, you may even get some discounts. Plumbing is another area of concern. Since water is one of the main causes of damage to homes, the idea of an old pipe rusting away or bursting would certainly cause one concern or a provider to question whether coverage would be available. And don’t forget, with water damage, comes mold damage. This could turn into a very expensive proposition.

The electrical system is another area where insurance providers may draw a line in the sand regarding your coverage. Circuit breakers and panels have to meet existing codes. And if you happen to be interested in a heritage home, beware of knob and tube units…they will need to be replaced. Generally speaking, the older your home is, the higher your premium will be.

Proximity to a fire department is also a consideration, for obvious reasons. And your deductible affects your insurance premium. The more financial responsibility you, the homeowner, are willing to accept in terms of a higher deductible, the more the insurance company will be willing to reward you with lower rates.

Too many claims on your policy will negatively impact your insurance cost. Before making a claim, be sure that the premium impact is worth the return. People make unwise decisions when they choose to make claims for only a couple hundred dollars.

And finally, the security of the home will impact your home insurance premiums. A burglar or fire alarm that automatically generates a call to a security company or fire station can mean a discount on your premium. If it’s in a gated community or in one with its own security measures, additional discounts may be available.