How to Build a Vegetable Garden at Your House

woman gardening

As we are all spending more time at home this summer, it may be the perfect time to start your first at-home vegetable garden. Gardening can bring a sense of order and calmness to the chaos of the year 2020. It is a fun activity that the whole family can get involved in to make the long days at home go by just a little bit faster. Plus, the end result is yummy home grown vegetables that will help boost your immune system!

Select and clear the area for your garden. The goal is to select enough garden space to meet your needs without taking away from your ability to enjoy your backyard with your family. You also need to take into consideration which vegetables you plan on growing as some plants take up more space. And don’t forget to check for sunlight. Most vegetables and herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Once you have selected your spot, make sure the area is free of grass, debris, and leaves. Dig or till up the soil before planting to freshen it up as well as allow roots to penetrate the soil more easily. Another popular idea is to use raised planting beds. They allow for a longer growing season with better drainage and fewer weeds.

Fertilize your soil. The more fertile the soil, the better your vegetables will grow. Unless you are purchasing pre-fertilized soil, most soil will not contain the nutrients that your garden needs to thrive. The only way to truly determine the level of nutrients in your soil is to test it. These are usually available for free or at a low-cost from your local cooperative extension.

Choose your plants. You want to select plants that will grow well in the area where you live and in the space that you have available. Of course, if you won’t eat it and you don’t have anyone to gift it to, there is no reason to grow it in your vegetable garden! When you are planting, make sure to give each plant room to grow.

Add some mulch. Applying a layer of mulch that is 2-3 inches deep around each plant will reduce weeds and reduce moisture loss through evaporation. If you use an organic mulch, such as bark, compost, or cocoa bean shells, it will nourish the soil as it decomposes.

Keep your garden watered. A rule of thumb for watering is that plants need around one inch of water per week during the growing season. Sunny, windy conditions dry out soil more quickly than cool, cloudy weather. If you are still not sure, feel the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Attract the birds. For some natural pest control, incorporate birdbaths or birdhouses into your yard. Birds will help control the pests that frequently attack gardens, all while leaving friendly insects such as spiders or ladybugs alone.

We’d love to hear from you! Stop by our Facebook page and share with our Zippy Shell community what you and your family are growing this summer.

Organizing Hacks Make Great Stay-At-Home Projects

organization

Many of us around the country are spending more time at home than usual right now. So, now may be the perfect time to open up your space and increase your productivity by getting organized. And we have just the hacks to help make organizing in the time of coronavirus quarantines less of a chore and more like a welcomed distraction. Check out these tips, create a plan, and get organized!

  • The organizational options are endless with pegboards. Save counter space by organizing kitchen, garage, office, or craft supplies. The best part about a pegboard is you can add and rearrange hooks and rods as your organizational needs change.
  • Magazine holders are inexpensive and provide so many ways to organize your home. Use these multi-functional organizing wonders for a gift wrap station, toilet paper storage, stacking items in your freezer or pantry, to hide your router, arrange flip flops or water bottles, and so much more.
  • Instead of digging around in the back of your refrigerator or pantry to find the ingredient you need, use a lazy Susan to bring the ingredient to you! Simply place a lazy Susan on the shelf and stock it with spices, jams, condiments, or other small containers then give it a spin to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • One of the best organizational hacks is knowing that shoe organizers don’t have to be used just for shoes! Cut them to size and use them for all your organizing tasks. Toys, pantry items, cleaning items, beauty supplies, baby clothes, gardening tools, school supplies – the possibilities truly are endless for what you can organize with these space savers.
  • There are so many different smart ways to get organized using a silverware tray. Use the compartments of these handy little trays to organize jewelry, toothbrushes/toothpastes, hair accessories, the junk drawer, batteries, art supplies, and more.
  • Paper towel holders are next on the home organizing hack list. Use standing paper towel holders to stack rolls of tape, ribbon, cookie cutters, or bangles. A side hanging paper towel holder can organize necklaces, scarves, belts, and can make a roll of garbage bags easily accessible.
  • PVC pipes are as accessible and affordable as they are great for organization projects. Cut, paint, attach and use them to store items like hair tools, power tools, shoes, headbands, craft supplies, garden tools, and many other items.
  • Add a handy magnetic strip to your bathroom for bobby pins, nail clippers, and tweezers. Unclutter the toy box a little by hanging matchbox cars on the wall using magnetic strips. You can also use a magnetic strip near your power tools in the garage to hold on to your drill bits and small metal tools.

While increasing your organization’s efforts during the pandemic, you might find that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell provides simple, climate-controlled storage solutions and our contact-free delivery will give you one less thing to worry about. Learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today! 

Tips to Keep From Going Stir Crazy at Home

yoga

With more and more people transitioning to a “work from home” lifestyle right now, the thought of getting a little stir crazy might enter your mind. We want to help keep you from getting antsy as many of us will be home a lot more often for the foreseeable future. We have compiled a list of things you can do and activities you can try to maintain a grounded lifestyle at home!

Keep a regular routine

One of the most important ways to keep from going stir crazy is to maintain a consistent routine at home. Keeping a daily schedule at home will give you a reason to change out of those lazy pants and into something more regular. If you are working from home, try incorporating some of the things you do at work at home. If the first thing you do when you get to work is to grab a cup of coffee or water, do that at home. Do you take a mid-day stroll or go to a gym for a quick power workout? If so, make it a similar part to your routine at home. Keep yourself engaged and busy with a routine!

Finish that project you’ve started/always wanted to do

We all have that one room in the house we’ve meant to clean or that piece of furniture that needs some TLC. Well, there is no better time to start on those projects than when you are stuck at home! Try to identify something that allows the entire family to participate. It can be an excellent way to get your children involved with picking out paint colors, or learning how to use tools, etc. Also, try to complete little bits of your project at a time over several days rather than all at one time. You don’t want to burn yourself out after only working on something for two days! If you need on-site storage at home for your project, give us a call to see how we can help!

Stay in (virtual) contact with others

Use this time at home to stay connected with those you care about. Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to lose contact with people. Take advantage of apps like Facetime, social media, or just a phone call and check in on your friends and family. Maintaining contact with those close to you will also help you keep a sense of normalcy during these interesting times. Also, take time to find out how those around you are doing and be there for each other if you need to talk things out or express how you are feeling!

Take a break when you can

If you are working from home, staring at your computer screen for 8+ hours a day can make you feel very burned out by the evening. Combined with sitting down for almost the same amount of time, and anyone would start to get a little stir crazy. Take some time to walk around, even if it is just around your home. Taking a brief walk outside would be a big way to manage stir craziness. Please be sure you adhere to all local, state, and federal guidelines for your area before doing so. But any sort of break away from the screens or from sitting can help you feel more settled later in the day.

Stay physically active

With many states forcing gyms and the like to close, staying physically active while being at home may seem like a big challenge, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are home workout routines you can do even if you don’t have weights. Here are a few resources you can check out for some at-home workout routines so that you can stay physically active and cut down on the stir craziness. Yoga is also a great way of staying active, and there are many free how-to videos online that you can try out while at home. Zippy Shell hopes that these tips will help you and your family stave off the stir craziness while you stay sheltered at home during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

If you find yourself in need of on-site storage for a home renovation or decluttering project, give us a call! Our portable storage containers are perfect for your needs, and we have locations across the United States that you can also have your container stored at if needed.