Top 6 Construction Site Hazards!

Construction sites are considered the most potentially hazardous and accident-prone parts of any working environment. Excessive exposure to these construction site hazards exposes workers to injury and possible death. To prevent this, a company should know how to identify and be aware of all possible dangers that can be encountered during normal business operations. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) wants every employee to have sound knowledge of their susceptibility to harm or injury in the workplace.

Listed below are the top six construction site hazards identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  1. Electrical- Electricity is one of the greatest hazards to people either at home or at work. Power line workers, electricians and electrical engineers work continuously with electricity and can face exposure to this hazard on a daily basis. At the construction site, the best way to prevent this kind of hazard is for the power line workers to be a safe working distance away from the power lines. Other precautionary measures includes guarding and insulating of the vehicle from which they might work. This would help prevent electrical hazards from injuring them while working.
  2. Excavation and Trenching – OSHA has recognized excavation and trenching as the most hazardous construction site operation. From the year 2000 to 2006, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (USBLS) recorded 271 worker fatalities in trenching and cave-ins. These hazards are preventable yet injuries related to these hazards are still happening. Both employer and employee must follow safety standards and use protective equipment to minimize hazards while trenching and excavating.
  3. Falls – Falling from scaffolding over six feet or a fixed ladder over twenty feet is the most dangerous and common construction site hazard. Falling from high places such as a ladder, scaffolding and roofs account for more than fifty percent of the accidents that happen at the workplace. The usual cause of this incident is slipping, tripping and using unstable ladders. There are thousands of reasons for fall hazards and to eliminate such risks, employers must have a fall protection program as part of any overall workplace safety and health program. Workers should be trained to identify and evaluate fall hazards and be fully aware of how to control exposure to such risks as well as know how to use fall protection equipment properly.
  4. Stairways and Ladder – According to OSHA’s construction safety and health standards, stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among construction workers. These recorded injuries are serious enough to put a worker out on sick leave. OSHA registered approximately 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities yearly that are related to falling from stairways and ladders used at the construction site. To prevent such accidents and injuries, employers and employee must comply with OSHA’s general rule for the safe use of ladders and stairways.
  5. Scaffolding – Every year, approximately 60 workers die by falling from scaffolding; one out of five construction site falls are fatal. The most potential risk of scaffolding is due to moving scaffold components; scaffold failure related to damage to its components; loss of the load; being struck by suspended materials; electrical shock; and improper set-up. Construction workers who assemble and dismantle scaffolding and work platforms at construction sites face the risk of serious injuries due to falls. The scaffolding hazard is addressed by stated OSHA standards. They give specific requirements for the maximum load, when to use scaffolding, bracing and the use of guardrails.
  6. Heavy Construction Equipment – Approximately 100 construction site workers die each year due to heavy construction equipment. The main causes of such accidents includes: ground workers struck when a vehicle is backing up or changing direction; equipment rollovers that injure the operator; mechanics run over when brakes are not properly set; and ground workers crushed by falling equipment from backhoes, buckets, and other moving construction vehicles. To prevent this kind of risk, workers should follow all construction safety guidelines necessary to eliminate the exposure to such injuries and accidents.

Safety risks on construction site are unavoidable; however, these can be prevented if workers are instructed on how to identify the hazards that might be present at the work-site. The employer must establish proper safety standards that meet the maximum requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This will ensure that workers will have a safe working environment during normal operation.

This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of construction site risks; however, these top six items are certainly important ones that all construction site employers should be aware of and continually working to eliminate them from happening.

How to Use the Space Under Your Stairs

When home owners think about updating their stairs and hallway, they tend to focus only on tasks such as replacing the stair balustrade, handrails, spindles and newels for a fresh new look. But there is so much more that can be done to improve this area, especially if you are short of storage.

One possible solution could be staring us right in the face – the space under the stairs. Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of this all-too-often neglected resource:

Play den

How often have your kids complained that they have nowhere to play? Children love hidden nooks and crannies, so converting the cupboard under the stairs can be a great alternative to an outdoor play house – especially in winter.

If possible, cut windows and a doorway into the side panels of the staircase. This will allow light in and stop the den feeling claustrophobic. Strips of leftover curtain material stapled to the windows make a nice homely touch.

Use a beanbag or some large cushions to create a comfy seating area. Finally, encourage your little ones to personalise their new hideaway with some books, toys and, if there is room, a small desk for drawing or writing.

Cloakroom

If you’re tired of having to pick your way over discarded bags and coats in the hallway when you get home, think about converting the area under your staircase into a cloakroom.

Even if there’s only a shallow nook, it’s usually sufficient for a few cubby holes with hooks for hats, umbrellas and coats. Try adding some wicker baskets underneath for small items such as scarves, gloves and key rings – you’ll find it so much easier to keep everything tidy.

If the whole area under the stairs is accessible, consider turning it into a clothes cupboard. Just fit some shelves and hanging rails round the edge to provide useful storage for seasonal clothing, and free up space in your bedroom wardrobe at the same time. This is also a great place to store boots, trainers, gym kits, golf clubs, tennis racquets and ski equipment.

Office

As the modern trend for open plan living grows ever more popular, many people have removed the cupboard under the stairs and replaced it with an office or study area.

The neatest way of doing this is to have custom-made shelves and a desk unit fitted. However, if your budget is modest, or you don’t want to commit to a permanent office, you can simply install a free-standing desk and some shelving units.

Bathroom

Fitting an additional toilet or shower will ease pressure on the family bathroom and is particularly useful if you have small children or elderly relatives living with you. If done well, it should also increase the resale value of your property.

Headroom can be problem, so take accurate measurements to ensure people will have enough room to stand upright. You may also want to consider installing a special sanitary pump if the pipes cannot be connected directly to the main waste system.

Shelving space

The great thing about shelves is their versatility – you can find ones to fit into almost type of space. Fitting a tailor-made shelving unit under the stairs will allow you to make the most of the space. You will be able to display all your best photos, ornaments, CDs and books that might otherwise be boxed away – and to show off your favourite items, you could even fit some strategically placed backlights.

If you have too many books you could make a miniature library by fitting some shelves under the stairs. Just add an armchair, reading lamp and coffee table, and you’re all set for some quality ‘me’ time.

Ladders Review: The Youngman Transforma

Whether you’re a homeowner or work in a trade or industrial setting, chances are you’re going to need to use a ladder at one time or another. Depending on the task, to do the job safely, a specialised type of ladder may be required. Which is why more than a few of us have a variety of ladders on hand. From the sectioned extension ladder to the simple step ladder, we often need a specialised ladder when beginning a task or project, whether at home or at work. Wouldn’t it be more efficient, though, to have a ladder that’s capable of multitasking safely and efficiently? Read on to learn about a great ladder from industry leader Youngman, the versatile Transforma.

About the Youngman Transforma Ladder

The Transforma is a durable and well-designed ladder that’s capable of 19 varied working heights and 4 distinct modes of operation. This professional quality ladder will give years, if not decades, of reliable service. It’s priced at about £170.00. The Transforma will function as an extension ladder with 8 different heights, an extending step ladder with 4 different heights, a closed step ladder, and a stairway ladder with 5 different heights. In addition, the ladder can act as a trestle with staging mode and 2 different heights. Do understand, however, that the trestle mode is not EN131 certified, and that the staging must be bought separately. Theladder’s other modes are EN131 compliant, which means that the Transforma is certified for commercial use.

Features of the Youngman Transforma Ladder

With a safe, triple locking hinge mechanism, Transforma ladders can be deployed in the most awkward and challenging locations. The stiles are telescopic, and are locked in position by 4 robust and strong lock tab assemblies. The splayed legs have slip resistant feet for added safety. The Transforma has tip-and-glide wheels that operate smoothly. Both the outer and inner stiles are made from the same type of aluminium that’s used in aircraft. The aluminium also is fully anodised. Anodisation is an electrolytic process that thickens aluminium’s normally thin surface layer of oxide, with the result that the metal is harder and more resistant to corrosion.

A Few Specifications of the Youngman Transforma Ladder

The Transforma is suitable for use indoors and outdoors. It’s compact and easy to store, being only 1.4 metres long x 0.61metres wide x 2 metres deep when closed. The Transforma weighs just 17.5kg. The ladder has 4 sections, each having 4 rungs. It will support a maximum static load of 150kg. According to wisegeek website, maximum static load is the amount of “tension or compression a material can tolerate before yielding or permanently deforming.” It’s important to understand that the maximum static load comprises the total weight of the user, along with any tools and/or materials being transported up or down the ladder. When this value is exceeded, the ladder can develop microscopic fractures that compromise its integrity.

Ladders like the Youngman Transforma help to expedite work at height applications in home, trade and industrial settings.

What’s Hanging? Why It’s Considered Bad Luck to Walk Under a Ladder

Black cats, Friday the 13th, sidewalk cracks and ladders all have something in common. They are part of a long tradition of superstitions. Superstitions are plentiful in every culture, tradition, industry and career. Baseball teams are full of rituals and superstitions. Theatre has lively and entertaining superstitions. Common superstitions include bad luck the follows cracking a mirror or walking under a ladder. Whether bad luck follows when walking under a scaffold or scissor lift is still somewhat unclear. The origins of superstitions are fascinating bits of historical fact and speculation.

Walking under a ladder is discouraged and said to be bad luck. If someone is working with a chain saw, welding torch or hydrochloric acid the bad luck could be immediate. Practical considerations aside, there is a long history of superstition attached to walking under a ladder. There are several theories as to where this belief originates. One theory holds that the ladder forms a triangle either on it’s own with the ground as the bottom section, or with the wall it is leaning against. In ancient Egypt the shape of a triangle was considered a powerful form. Just consider the shape of the pyramids. Walking through the shape was thought to bring bad luck. This may dishearten all the people that spent years trying to work the spell of pyramid power. The Christian tradition holds the same concept in the idea of the Trinity. Walking under a ladder was seen as breaking the trinity and aligning with the devil.

Other beliefs concerning bad luck and walking under a ladder come from the fates of medieval fighters walking under ladders when trying to take a castle. Hot oil was often poured on those climbing up a ladder and those underneath would be showered with scalding liquid. Gallows weren’t always available or used for hangings. Ladders would be used for executions. The superstition suggests that ghosts live beneath ladders and walking through would disturb them.

Theatre’s and theatre life is filled with superstitions. In a theatre Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is always referred to as “That Scottish Play”. Mentioning or quoting lines from the play, especially in a dressing room is said to invoke the curse. Some of the more famous incidents include; a world war II production of the play with John Geilgud in which four actors died, an 1849 riot that broke out at a performance at Astor Place in New York where 31 people died, in 1947 a young actor playing Macbeth crawled off stage and died of a stab wound. It is reported that he failed to stop reciting lines in the dressing room.

The list of tragedies is lengthy and provocative. Laurence Olivier was nearly killed when he played Macbeth. A weight came tumbling down an crashed inches from him. On opening night of that production, the owner of the theatre had a heart attack and died. During the production the tip of Oliver’s sword broke off and hit an audience member who had a heart attack and died. Some believe that Shakespeare used an actual witch’s spell when writing the part of the witches. Others say he used real witches in the opening play. Others believe it is a play with a lot of fight scenes in dim light, making it a hazardous play to perform. Whatever the origin, superstitions exist and have taken on a life of their own.

Acoustic Guitars – Laminated Wood Versus Solid Wood

A lot has transpired through the years in the debate over acoustic guitars in the area of laminate versus solid wood construction. It is not a secret that the type of materials and craftsmanship affect the quality, durability, sound and price of acoustic guitars. However, there is probably no other discussion bigger than this.

The question that many players ask themselves is whether a solid body is worth the price? Despite the better sound, they require care and regular maintenance to prevent cracking. When using laminated you run the risk that it will separate over time. There is no clear answer to this question and as long as there is a discussion about acoustic guitars, it will always be at the forefront.

The Debate – Uncut

Laminated is several pieces of wood glued together and solid body is exactly that, one piece. There are pros and cons to both kinds. It is a fact that laminate is known to produce a ‘dead’ sound that does not sustain or project sound very well and the one-piece body is known for its richer tone. Laminate is more used because it is more durable and less sensitive to humidity and change in temperature. A body that is made from one-piece timber is very sensitive to humidity and climate change. The top is like a sponge that you can’t let dry out.

A Bit Of History

Years ago the debate was not about sound quality or durability, it was about price. The one piece timber body guitars were very expensive so many musicians did not have a choice but to buy one made of laminate. A one piece is coveted because of its rich and beautiful tone that only seems to become better over time. However, times have changed quite a bit in the world of laminate including the craftsmanship. Better quality laminate is being used and more detailed craftsmanship has been applied so they are sounding better and better everyday.

It is evident why this debate is becoming less spectacular, but the fact will always remain the same that a laminate will never be able to sound as good.

The Main Problem

When building a guitar you want the soundboard, better known as the top, to be as lightweight and strong as possible. Creating this ratio with laminate is often difficult because in order to make it strong it ends up too heavy. The wet glue used to secure the pieces of timber together can become to heavy when too much is used. Unfortunately, when too little of the glue is used, the timber pulls apart. Recently new adhesives have been introduced that have helped to solve this problem and ensure lightness. This is one of the ways that laminated construction is becoming more popular and competitive.

Necks, Sides & Backs

Acoustic laminate necks are very common and widely accepted. This has become a popular way to make the neck stronger. Hybrid guitars are also extremely common. Many models are made with one piece body tops and laminate sides and backs. The sound quality is 90% dependent on what the top is made of, so as long as the soundboard is one piece the rich sound will be present. This is also a great way to make solid body tops affordable.

How Do You Tell The Difference?

Depending on how dark the timber or stain is, telling the difference between them can be a difficult task. First, you need to look at the inside edge of the sound hole on the top of the body. If the edge has a natural finish it is a one piece body and if it has two or more layers it is made of laminate. To determine what the back and sides are constructed with you need to first look at the back of the guitar. Next, look inside the sound hole at the same spot on the back and see if the wood grains are the same. If they are the same it is a whole body. You can do this same technique with the sides.

It’s a Wrap

Everyone’s opinion is different. Many believe that there is no need to buy an acoustic made of laminated timber when solid bodies are so affordable now. Others believe that the sound quality of laminate bodies on their own and in a hybrid model is comparable. Each individual needs to evaluate the pros and cons of both, and decide what makes sense for them. For example if you travel often, perhaps it makes sense to purchase a laminate model for its durability. When buying there are always a lot of questions that need to be answered, this is just another one.

Applying Imitation Gold Leaf And Creating An Antique Glaze

To create a convincing antique gold finish it is essential to use a metal leaf, none of the gold paints or waxes manage to achieve a convincing facsimile. Fortunately imitation gold metal leaf is cheap and easy to apply.

This metal leaf comes in books of 25 leaves, 5 inches square. It is thicker than genuine gold and can be handled with the fingers if clean and grease free.

We will need:

1. The article to be gilded, the wood should be clean and dust free.

2. Imitation gold metal leaf.

3. Blonde de waxed shellac flakes, this acts as an adhesive for the leaf and as a final coat to the work.

4. Methylated spirit.denatured alcohol; this is used to make the shellac lacquer.

5. A little burnt umber oil paint, this is used to create the antique effect, it is called an antique glaze.

6. Suitable paint brushes.

The shellac lacquer is prepared by mixing 1 part shellac flakes to 4 parts denatured alcohol/methylated spirits. Allow to stand in a warm room for 24 hours stirring occasionally until all the flakes have dissolved. The lacquer is now ready to use.

Apply a coat of lacquer to the wooden surface; I suggest working with a small area at a time as the lacquer dries quickly.

Then pick up a piece of gold metal leaf… you may cut the leaf up into smaller pieces… and lay it down onto the lacquer, don’t worry abut the leaf overlapping.

When you have finished applying the leaf, allow to dry for an hour, then using a soft cloth brush off the surplus gold.

Now apply a thin coat of lacquer over the leaf, the lacquer will tint the gold a little, which is all part of the process.

Now we are going to apply the antique glaze. Using a pad of cotton wool and a little of the brown oil paint, rub the paint all over the surface of the leaf, a little goes a long way so don’t use too much, you want a thin film of paint.

Then using a clean soft rag, wipe of the surplus antique glaze and polish.

Leave the work to dry overnight, the next morning polish the work again.

You will find that the antique glaze has altered the colour of the gold leaf and it now has a lovely antique gold finish.

Lastly apply a coat of lacquer over the glaze and allow to dry.

And that’s it, a simple method of laying imitation gold leaf and how to apply an antique glaze.

By Richard Norman

How to Start a Haul-Away Business For Just $400

There is a pressing need for haul-away services all across the United States. As people dispose of unwanted items, a new house is built or renovated and homes are foreclosed, people are needed to haul away the debris. The current national average for haul-away services is $53 an hour. But won’t a haul-away business be expensive to start? Not really. Do you already have a truck or van? Okay good, there are only a few other things you’ll need. In fact, you can start your own haul-away business for just $400. Here’s what you’ll need:

You might need a special kind of insurance, because you’re using your vehicle for business purposes. Check with your insurance agent to find out more. Also inquire about any other insurance you might need.

Chances are you probably already have a computer. You’ll need that to take care of billing, record keeping and other things. If you don’t have one, get one! This will help you immensely.

A cell phone is another thing you might already have that you’ll definitely need. It’s the best way to keep in contact with your customers.

A reliable GPS system is something you should consider. This is not a must, but can greatly ease stress when you’re trying to find a dump site and where you are supposed to pick up the discarded items. It’s not only safer and easier than using a map, it could greatly speed up your time in traffic, which can mean more money for you.

Business cards are a great way to advertise your business. Make sure you have your business’s name and your contact information on the card. Get in the habit of handing these out to prospective customers. After awhile people will start to be familiar with your junk-hauling service and what you have to offer.

You’ll need a day planner or other reliable way to keep track of your schedule. An organized haul-away service is a successful one. There are many schedulers available for computers and cell phones too.

Many items might be too heavy for you to pick up. That’s where a hand truck can come in handy. Many hand trucks can lift as much as 500 pounds. Get one that is capable of that. And don’t forget about moving blankets. These are the best way to transport fragile items, such as a computer or television.

There is also a variety of hand tools you’ll need, such as a shovel, rake, broom and screwdriver. You might need to clean up a site you just removed debris from, or take apart a box or other item to move it. You might also need some more heavy-duty tools, such as a sledgehammer, bolt cutters, a saw and more. Play it safe and be prepared. You don’t want to arrive to the job and not have the appropriate tools.

It might sound like a lot, but it’s really not. Make a simple to-do list and you could have these items all checked off before you know it. It shouldn’t cost you a lot of money either. Do a full day of work and you’ll have paid off your supply costs. It’s really quite possible to start a successful haul-away service for just $400. To learn more about this lucrative business, read Haul It Away, available at: http://haulawaycash.com

The Difference Between Asphalt Shingles and a Composition Roof

Back in 1989 when I installed my first asphalt shingle there was many changes in the roofing manufacture sector. The end result was down-sizing the weight to accommodate a more flexible shingle. The old shingles in the USA were known as Asphalt roofing shingles or a standard strip 3-tab shingles. At that time there were other shingles on the market known as Standard strip asphalt composition shingles or Architectural shingles called Timberline or heavy weight shingles known as random tab, and three tabs or standard were becoming composition shingles.

The older organic shingles were just simply called asphalt shingles made with number five crude oil with the advent of the fiberglass standard strip composition shingle was born. Owens Corning helped innovate this process. Since they are the largest fiberglass manufacture in America today.

Many of the other shingles manufactures by fiberglass mats from Owens Corning. This was told to me directly from Owens Corning as a result of a factory tour on the anatomy of the shingle required by Owens Corning Certification. Most of the old asphalt shingles have been torn off and they are in land fills now in the US.

The new fiberglass composition shingles are the norm in today’s society. I know this because I am a Professional Contractor, not somebody hoping I am right in marketing, although marketing takes precedence more than any other thing for any business model.

Referrals are Always the Best just to let you know my feelings on the subject. I have personally installed many shingles in my life and I have always know the newer shingle to be considered composition because of the composite make up of the materials that have been blended by the various manufacturers today in the US.

If you find true asphalt shingles today chances are they manufactured in a third world country where the resources are limited, the standard strip shingle was the first of this innovation followed by a multitude of several shingle brands. Any and all fiberglass shingles are considered composition shingles by most roofing professionals.

These composition asphalt shingles have fire ratings, wind resistance warranties and failure warranty’s based on the fiber glass mat and asphalt fiberglass thickness, granules and algae resistant ratios. The asphalt composition shingle is made to last longer than the old asphalt shingles not to put more weight than the asphalt roof structure can hold according to ICC specification on weight load limitations of roof framing and spans. The asphalt composition is lighter, more flexible and durable than the old asphalt shingle in1989 and previous years.

GAF Elk happens to be largest asphalt roofing manufacturer in the USA and has any brands in the asphalt roofing shingle world. Owens Corning and CertainTeed have a multitude of designer, architectural and standard strip roofing products. The same can hold true with Atlas and Tamco of which all manufacture asphalt composition roofing shingles in the United States today.

GAF/Elk carries the strongest warranties on their roofing materials for their Certified and Master Elite Roofing Contractors. I welcome any and all comments from CARE (Center for Advancement for Roofing Excellence) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association of America (ARMA)as well as any National Roofing Contractors Association of America (NRCA), members of affiliates to correct my definition on the difference between asphalt roofing shingles and asphalt composition roofing shingles.

There are roofing shingles that I have seen come and go, such as the masonite shingle, which is a composite material that requires flashing between each joint to seal it off. There are also concrete tiles which I would consider composite since it does not have the slate or clay tile attributes, known as concrete tiles. There is also another material called Mira Vista of which was a fake slate the Owens Corning made that would fall under the composite material that was made of a plastic or a plasticiser type composite material.

At any rate it is up to you to decide what type of roof you would like to put on your home. Every shingle manufacturer in the USA is an asphalt composition roofing shingle. All Asphalt fiberglass composition shingles come with a 20 year to lifetime warranty and anything in between.

The Deeper Meaning Of Aquamarine Blue, The Color Of Ice And Water

Whilst mountain climbing, I had an intensive experience with the color, aquamarine, as I found myself hanging in a crevasse of ice.

When I was younger, I was an enthusiastic mountain climber and also loved to go on tours over glaciers. Sometimes it could be fairly dangerous, so I decided to go through a training on how to deal with critical situations when trekking over glaciers.

As part of the training, each of us had to climb into a crevasse, so that we could be pulled out again from one of the group members, and thus train for a real rescue operation. So as my turn arrived, I found myself hanging in what seemed to be an almost endlessly deep, glacial crevasse. I was well secured with various safety ropes, but despite this, spasms of fear would have me shaking all over as I hung there totally alone in this world of ice.

However, as I eventually adapted to this strange situation and managed to calm down, I suddenly became intensively aware of the color of the ice. The walls of the crevasse were of a magnificent aquamarine color. This was the first time that I had studied one color for some considerable time, and I noticed how it started to change my feelings. I began to feel a deep sense of vulnerability and at the same time an even deeper sense of trust. In this tranquil world of ice, for a short time totally at loss, I experienced a profound sensation of peace, something that happens when we give up our resistance and accept and submit to a given situation. My experience with the serene world of ice, and its exquisite, delicate shade of aquamarine remained with me all my life. It always comes back to mind whenever I accidentally meet up with the color in different situations.

Later on, when I studied color psychology, I encountered aquamarine from another perspective and was able to understand the experience I had previously made with this color. It is only when we really spend time to experience a color that we are able to penetrate through to its true symbolic meaning. Superficially, our experience of a color will be subjective. We like it, or not; experience it as cold or warm. Our perception of the color will depend on our own feelings. It then acts as a mirror of our internal frame of mind.

Objectively, aquamarine is the color of water and ice. It has something secretive about it. Even though it is very similar to pale blue, it has a totally different quality. Pale blue is the color of the early morning sky which brings with it a fresh and promising new day. It has an almost childish naivety about it. Aquamarine, on the other hand, seems secretive, apart, as though it is hiding something. It is the color of ice and of water. They too hide another form of life that we rarely can see on the surface. Aquamarine shares this aura of mystery.

Water is constantly in a flux of change from fluid to gas, or to ice. Aquamarine, as the color of this element, shares the same transformational quality, giving the impression of not being truly part of this life. It is emotionally somewhat aloof, as though concealing its true nature. People who have this color as their favorite often share these qualities too, in that they are capable of hiding their true feelings, even if having to cope with hard blows. As aquamarine is the color of water, which is constantly taking on new forms, the lovers of this color often have a free spirit and guard it safely. They do not like working in any kind of fixed scheme, and this is why they often have such originality.

For me, since my experience with that world of ice, aquamarine will always be a color that reminds me to let go of my fear, accept the moment as it is, and submit to the changes that are always taking place.

How To Paint Your Snowboard

If you are a typical snowboarder, you want to be a bit unique and stand out on the slopes. One way to do this is with your choice of snowboard apparel. However, another very popular ways to do this is to custom paint your snowboard.

You can do this yourself, if you have the time and patience. Basically, to do a good job, you have to follow four steps – preparing the board, priming the board, painting it, and sealing it.

However, to start with, you will need a good work area. There are advantages to painting both indoors or outdoors. If you have an indoor work area, make sure that the ventilation system is good enough to exhaust the paint fumes from the area. If your work area is located outdoors, your main concern will be finding a non-windy area where the air currents are small or non-existent so they won’t interfere with your paint job.

To ensure that the board is clean, wipe the dirt off the surface to be painted with a clean damp rag. You also want to remove any wax build up. Any good wax remover from your local hardware or grocery store should do the job. Then, you want to scuff the surface of the board with fine sandpaper. This will prepare it to receive the primer coat. And, finally, plug up the binding holes with q-tips to prevent paint or primer from clogging them.

Once the prep work is done, priming is relatively easy. simply spray it on according to the directions on the spray can. Basically, however, you want to avoid over priming the board. So, rather than trying to do everything with one pass, if necessary, do multiple light passes until you have covered the board well. The important thing is to keep the spray can moving so you don’t have primer build-up in spots. Then let the primer dry.

When painting the snowboard, first lay down the background colors – again using multiple light layers, if necessary instead of one heavy layer. When you are satisfied with the density and colors of the background, then you can use stencils to apply any designs or logos on the board.

The next to last step is to seal the board by clear coating it. This is usually a multi-phase process as you will want to apply three to four coats on the board.

Finally, to give your board that nice glossy finish, get some rubbing compound from your local auto supply shop and give the surface a nice buffing.

The Difference Between Buying Cranes And Crane Rental Services

The construction business is one of the pillars of the world’s economy. But despite being such a lucrative job, a contractor’s work and responsibilities are not easy. They oversee everything that’s going on – from the biggest to smallest detail of every project. And to add more complications to their tasks, they also need to decide on how they spend money on equipment. Do they go for buying machines like cranes or just get a crane rental? If you’re hoping to join their ranks soon, you should know the highs and lows of the business.

The advantages of buying equipment

Regardless of the nature, businesses all share the same goal: profits. And as a contractor, your job is to make money by finishing a project on time and within the budget set by clients. Therefore it makes sense to invest in every piece of machinery that you’re going to use.

And so we shed light on whether buying equipment is more profitable than going to crane rental companies. Here are the advantages of owning your own machines:

1. Unlike selling products, the price of services depends on the amount of work to be done and how fast it’s finished. Contractors who have their own equipment can do work faster thus they get paid immediately.

2. No lining up for available machine rentals. There are many contractors out there and chances are most of them rely on crane rentals which means you can’t accept rush jobs.

3. Work instantly. To cut down overhead costs, most if not all contractors want to speed up the pace of workers but they won’t be able to do that without the necessary tools.

Disadvantages of owning equipment

Machines need to be taken care of in order to extend its life and its potential for earning more money. If you want to own machines and equipment you have to be ready to spend on maintenance. And it’s one of the biggest drawbacks of having your own machinery. Even without projects, you need to keep them in good condition and it will cost you money you haven’t earned yet.

Machines used for crane rental require special skills and you need to hire somebody to operate yours if you decide to buy them. And just like investing on maintenance, you also need to have a crew ready to go once you get a project.

Why Getting Crane Rental is Better

Getting a crane rental eliminates the need for expensive machine maintenance and you don’t have to pay salaries to workers to operate them. Rental companies can provide you with professional machine operators and drivers that you don’t have to pay because it comes with the rent. It’s certainly a better way to make more profits and getting the job done right.

"Work-Workout" – Digging Holes

The workout hat can be obtained by digging holes with good old fashioned pick and shovel, I would place at the level of splitting wood. This is an incredible whole body workout that is about as intense as it gets. It utilizes the arms, legs, entire core region in a major way. If done with the right intensity, It can be both aerobic and anaerobic at the same time.

Now I’m not encouraging anyone to be like an army recruit and go and dig a hole just to fill it in again. As a matter of fact even digging a hole may not be required. Sometimes just handling a shovel to move a pile of loam can give you the same effect. Figure that a human machine, in good condition can move about one cubic yard per hour. If you utilize a wheel barrow, that is shovel from the pile into the barrow, and then move the load to another part of the yard…say for a vegetable garden, now you are getting a good shoulder and upper back workout too.

Remember the theory behind the work-workout is that some sort of productive, valuable spin-off must come about the general activity along with the fitness benefit. So, that being said, here are some other ideas that can put that shovel, pick and wheel barrow to good use…along with that muscle power!

Dig a hole to bury a tank or drum for a gray water collection system. Grey water is waste water that does not contain any sewerage. Examples of sources of gray water are washing machines, showers -even if you are one of many people who tend to pee in the shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks. What is great about this water is that the soap in it is generally very good for watering plants and grass. But, experiment or do research to find out what products to avoid. That is the value behind this system. It save resources, and makes double use of the water. First as potable, then as irrigation water.

You will also have to dig a trench to run the piping to the tank from the sources. If you really want to go all out, trench for a sprinkler system from the gray water storage tank.If it works out well maybe you can bury some more, and tie in a rainwater collection system from the gutter off the house in addition to the gray water.

If there are restraints on these types of systems in your area, then here is an alternate plan. Dig for a drywell. This is a system that will let your gray water be absorbed into the ground. This can take the load off your septic system somewhat, or even the waste treatment facility if you are connected to municipal sewerage systems. All a drywell is composed of, is a good sized hole, filled with stone. This facilitates the water being absorbed into the ground. Do some research, it’s not “rocket surgery”, but it is labor intensive…just what the physical trainer ordered.

Remember to use both sides of your body when shoveling. It may feel awkward, but with enough practice you will get ambidextrous. It’s always important to practice muscle balance, and to stretch before and after this kind of strenuous exercise. If our hands are not toughened up from this sort of work, be sure to wear gloves to prevent blisters.

How to Stop a Divorce: The 3 Things You Should Never Do and the 3 Things You Need to Do

How to stop a divorce? Tough question considering that almost 50% of marriages in this country end up in divorce. If your marriage is on shaky ground, if you’re constantly arguing and fighting with your spouse, how to stop a divorce is probably on your mind daily and you want some answers.

But what can you do? You’ve tried to patch things up. You’ve tried being nice, loving, and supportive. You’ve tried just about everything you can think of, but nothing seems to work, and you’re afraid a divorce is imminent.

Sadly, you might have been pushing your husband or wife further away with some of the strategies you’ve been employing in an effort to get them back and stop your divorce.

If you want to discover how to stop a divorce, here are the 3 things you should never do!

No. 1 Never Ever Become Desperate.

I love you! I love you! I need you! I want you! I can’t live without you! Do these words sound familiar? These are all cries from desperate people trying to tell their spouse how much they want them and need them in an effort to stop their spouse from leaving them. These people don’t know how to stop a divorce.

These desperate husbands and wives want their spouse to know how much they mean to them. Unfortunately, their spouse sees these endeavors as final acts of desperation. They see these emanating from a man or woman that they don’t want or even know any more. This fraught man or woman is not the same person they fell in love with. They are totally lacking in confidence and are willing to beg and prostrate themselves in a last ditch effort to stop a divorce. But all they’re really doing is driving their loved one further and further away.

No. 2 Never Promise That You’ll Change.

Let’s face facts: people rarely if ever change! So begging and pleading with your husband or wife that you’ll change and that things will be different if they take you back, just does not work. All you’re really doing is debasing yourself and driving your spouse further away. How to stop a divorce never involves acting powerless.

No. 3 Never Focus on the Negative Aspects of Your Relationship.

When a marriage is in serious trouble, we sometimes want to analyze what went wrong, where me made mistakes, and what we should have done different… if only I would have done this, or if only I wouldn’t have said that etc. Spending hours talking and arguing with your spouse about what you should have done and what you’re sorry for will not repair your broken marriage.

This will do nothing but reinforce to your spouse that divorce is unavoidable. Think about it. Do you want to continue to spend time with someone who does nothing but focus on the negative aspects of your marriage and why it failed? Of course not.

Now that you know what never to do to stop a divorce, you need to learn what exactly you need to do.

If you want to learn how to stop a divorce, here are the 3 things you need to do.

No. 1 Examine Your Relationship Objectively.

Take a step or two backwards and look at your marriage from a whole new objective perspective. Remove all negative emotions from your mind and analyze exactly what it was that attracted you to your spouse initially. Was it their physical appearance, the way they laughed, the way they made you feel? What was it exactly that bonded the two of you together?. What was the initial connection?

No. 2 Go Back in Time to Your First Meeting or Date.

Remember when you first met? Think about how happy and exuberant your partner made you feel. I know when I started dating my future husband, all I wanted was to be with him. It didn’t matter what we did or where we went, I was just elated to be with him. He made me feel so special that I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

No. 3 Become the Same Person Your Spouse in Fell Love With.

To get your marriage back in order, you need to become that same person that you spouse fell in love with when you started dating. You need to become that happy loving person that your partner found so attractive.

Now this doesn’t mean getting a face lift, liposuction, or losing your beer gut, not that that wouldn’t help. But you need to understand that it’s not your physical appearance that’s going to alter your spouse’s feelings towards you.

What you need to do is forget about all the negatives of your marriage, and center your attention on becoming the happy, confident, loving person you once were. If you focus on your inner beauty and happiness, you’ll soon become the person your spouse once loved and revered.

Once again, you need to become the kind of person your spouse wants to spend time with. That’s the kind of man or woman your spouse will be attracted to. This is how to stop a divorce.

Four Ways A Contract Can Be Discharged

There are four ways in which a contract can be discharged. They are by performance, agreement, repudiation and frustration. When a contract is deemed to be discharged by performance what it means is that the parties to the contract have fulfilled their legal obligation and there is no further need to continue the contract. For instance, Ben offered his expensive watch to Sam for $5000. Sam accepted the offer and Ben delivered the watch to Sam and in return Sam paid him the agreed amount of money. In this case the contract has been concluded as both parties have performed their contractual obligation. Unfortunately, life is not as simple as this as there are circumstances where the parties to the contract might have difficulty fulfilling their contractual obligations. In such situation there may be partial performance only and the question is whether this is acceptable.

Let’s say that Simon is a math tutor and he agrees with Mary to teach her math tuition for 10 lessons at $100 per lesson. Simon completes 6 lessons and is unable to continue teaching Mary as he has some personal problems that he needs to settle. The question is whether Mary has to pay for the 6 lessons that Simon already conducted. At one time, the court were of the view that if a party to a contract has not completely fulfilled his/her obligation there is no need to compensate them. However, over a period of time the court have reconsidered this and now there is a possibility that Simon might be able to claim for the 6 lessons on what is called a ‘quantum meruit’ basis. This is a Latin phrase which means ‘payment for work done’. But Simon’s ability to claim the partial payment is based on whether Mary has in anyway benefited from the contract. In this case Mary may have benefited from the contract and might have to pay. However, if Simon only conducted one lesson and gave up teaching her, perhaps Mary might refuse to pay as she can claim that she has not benefited from the contract. This is relatively subjective and something the court might have to decide based on the merits of the case, if ever such a case goes to court.

There are circumstances however where part performance need not be compensated. What if you were to order a chicken chop in a restaurant and it turned out to be half cooked. Can you pay half price for this? Obviously not!

Another way a contract is discharged is by agreement. This is when both parties agree before the contract is made that when a certain event occurs that the contract will be discharged or that if either party wants to terminate the contract they should give the other party a period of notice. Discharge by agreement is a common feature in employment contract where the parties might agree before hand that if the employee wants to resign, he/she must give a period of notice and vice versa for the employer as well. Another example is the pre-nuptial agreement that couples enter into before marriage.

The third way in which a contract is discharged is by Repudiation. This is where one party deliberately breach the agreement. For instance, Michael agreed to sell his piano to Susie for $3000. Susie agrees to buy the piano and tells Michael that she will pay him the money the following the day. Afterwards, Brad comes along and agrees to buy the piano from Michael for $5000. Michael sells the piano to Brad. By doing this he is in breach of his agreement with Susie as the contract has already been decided between Michael and Susie. Susie is within her right to sue Michael for the breach of contract. There is a possibility that the court might order Michael to buy the piano back from Brad and sell it to Susie at the price agreed or to give some form of compensation to Susie.

The last method of a contract being discharged in by frustration. This means that one or both parties cannot fulfill their contractual obligation owing to some unforeseen event that prevents them from continuing with the contractual relationship. You bought a ticket to watch a famous pop group concert. Before the concert the lead singer of the pop group members died of a drug overdose. Therefore the concert is cancelled as it would be impossible to continue the concert. Therefore the contract is deemed to be frustrated. So you can get a refund on the ticket that you bought. It is possible too for a contract to be discharged when the contract becomes illegal to perform. For instance if there is a product on sale and subsequently the government passes a legislation that ban the product then further sales of the product is considered as illegal.

Once the contract is discharged it brings the contract to an end.

How to Establish Your Container Garden

Vegetable production is not only applicable in the countryside or in the gardens but can be grown now within the heart of the city or just in your home even with only a limited space.

If your home has an area with ample sunlight – a requirement for growing vegetables, you can grow them successfully. What are the locations that can be used for container gardening? You can use your patio, balcony, terrace, rooftop, deck, window sill, pathways, etc.

Be aware of the sunlight requirement for each kind of crop. For leafy vegetables, the required sunlight should be about four hours the whole day, for fruit vegetables, at least 7-8 hours sunlight is needed daily, and root vegetables requires around 6 hours of sunlight a day.

And besides of producing your own vegetables in a safer way, the attack of common pests and diseases can be greatly minimized. You can also improve the soil conditions by adding some soil amendments; like manure, compost, and other essential food nutrients needed by the plants.

Everything in your home that are considered as garbage can be utilized to the maximum by making them into compost. Even your household waste water can be used to irrigate your plants.

In other words, container gardening is considered to be the practice that makes use of useless things.

What Containers Are Ideal For Container Gardening?

Growing vegetables can be executed in any type of containers such as; cans, plastics, pails, split vehicle tires, cement bags, feed bags, bottle water plastics, gallon cans, cylinder blocks, milk container, bamboo cuts or any containers that have been thrown away. Even coco shells, banana bracts, leaves of coconut is ideal as potting materials especially for short season vegetables, like, pechay, lettuce, mustard, etc.

Good growing containers should possess the three important characteristics as suggested by Relf (1996);

1. They must be large enough to support fully grown plants.

2. They must have adequate drainage.

3. They must not have held products that are toxic to plants and persons.

Containers that drain poorly can affect the success of a container garden. It is therefore vital to have your containers above ground or any support that would raise the containers such as; slats, hollow blocks or anything to provide space below them to allow excess water to drain freely.

For bigger plants, you should use big containers and for small containers use small plants.

Small containers (1-2 gallons) are suited for lettuce, spinach, mustard, pepper, radish, green onions, carrots, beans, and dwarf tomatoes. Medium size containers (3-10 gallons) are best for eggplants while for larger ones (bigger than 10 gallons) are good for cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.

For most plants, containers should be at least 15 cm deep minimum especially for shot season vegetables.

Recommended Container Size and Type/Crop

5 gal. window box – Bush beans, Lima beans

1 plant/5gal.pot, 3plants/15 gal. pot -Cabbage, Chinese cabbage

5 gal. window box at least 30 cm deep – carrot

1 plant/gal. pot – cucumber

5 gal. pot – Eggplant, tomato, okra

5 gal. window pot – Lettuce

1 plant/2gal. pot; 5 plants/15 gal. pot – Onion

5 gal. window box – Pepper, spinach

Soil Media Composition

Plants grown in containers will depend on the kind of soil mixture to provide a maximum growth development. It is a must that you should provide the best soil media composition to give the possible return of your toil. Failure to give the plants with the necessary food nutrients in their growing period would results to poor growth, lanky, and stunted plants that will results to your failure.

The ideal soil mixture for container-grown vegetables crops are as follows:

1. It should be light in weight and porous.

2. It should easily drain excess water.

3. It should have high water holding capacity.

4. It should be free from soil borne disease, nematodes and insect pests.

5. It should supply the right and balance amount of nutrients for the plants.

The best mixture of soil media should compose the following; synthetic mix of horticultural-grade vermiculite, peat moss, limestone, superphosphate and complete fertilizer.

Compost can also serve as an excellent growing medium.

In your country where the above media are not available, you can make your own potting media by mixing 1 part loam soil or compost manure, 1 part fine river sand, and coconut coir dust.

If your country is producing rice you can replace coconut coir dust with the rice hull charcoal (carbonized). But this should be thoroughly sterilized to kill some deadly microbes that are detrimental to the plants.

Sawdust is another medium that could be used in preparing your growing medium in the absence of coco coir dust and should also be sterilized.

Sowing Seed and Transplanting

Before going into the sowing procedure, give your utmost attention to the selection of seed you’ll use as planting materials. Good quality seeds should be your first concern.

Good quality seeds possesses the following characteristics:

1. damage free

2. free from other mixture with other varieties

3. free from seed borne diseases

4. and with good vigor and germinating capacity.

To get a quality and reliable seeds, you should buy from certified seed producers or seed suppliers.

All vegetables that undergoes transplanting are excellent for container gardening. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or other successful gardeners in your locality.

Before transplanting, fill plastic or germinating tray with the growing media preparation using the following ratio: 60% rice hull charcoal(carbonized), 30 % coconut coir dust, 10% chicken manure (60-30-10 ratio).

In the absence of the above materials in your country, you can use the old soil media preparation – 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part garden soil (1-1-1 ratio). Make sure to sterilize them before the seed are sown. This is to kill some microorganisms that may cause damage to the seedlings.

You can also purchase a prepared growell medium sold in local agriculture stores in your respective country. Inquire from your agriculture experts available in your area.

Once the growing media is ready, fill the holes of the germinating or potting containers. Press the soil medium lightly with your fingers in every hole filled with the medium. Then follows the sowing of seeds.

In sowing seeds some techniques should be followed to insure germination:

Watermelon (Seeded) (Citrulis lunatus). Soak seed 30 min.- 1hour in top water. Incubate by using moist cotton cloth. Spread the seeds and cover. Place in an improvised cartoon for 24-36 hours. After this period, sow the seeds at I seed per hill. Seed must be level in the soil guided by a finger or stick at 1 cm deep. For the seedless type the procedure is the same as the seeded but the tip near the embryo should be cut with the use of a nail cutter before inserting to the soil. Cutting the end portion of the seed hastens germination.

Bitter Gourd/Ampalaya (Momordica charantia). Soak seeds for 30 min.-1 hour. Cut the tip near the embryo and sow with the seed deep of ¾ of the soil at 1 seed per hole.

Upo ( Lagenaria siceraria ) and Patola ( Luffa cylindrica ). Cut the tip covering only near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.

Squash (Cucurbita spp). Soak seeds 30 min.-1 hour. Then pinch the tip near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.

Pepper (Capsicum annum L.), Eggplant (Solanum melongena), and Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1-2 seeds per hole.

Pechai /Pechay (Brassica pechai), Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis ), and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica ). Sow seed directly to the germinating at 1-2 seeds per hole.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Honey Dew / Muskmelon (Cucumis melo). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.

Carrot (Daucus carota) and Raddish (Rafanus sativus). Directly sow the seed to the field at 2-3 seeds per hill.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis ) and Beans (Phaseolus limensis ). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.

Corn (zea mays). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.

Papaya (Carica papaya). Soak the seeds for 30 min.-1 hour then sow to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus ). Directly sow the seed in the field at 1-2 seeds per hill.

Container size for specific crops.

o Medium – Beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, broccoli

o Large – Cuccumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, okra, squash, papaya

o Small – Onions, parsley, radish

Light Requirements

o Sun – Beans, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, carrots, okra, squash, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli papaya

o Partial shade – Lettuce, onions, parsley, radish

Fertilizer Requirements

To get the right amount of fertilizer for your vegetables, you should analyze your soil media mixture. And if you can do it, organic or inorganic fertilizer should be used.

Fertilizer combination of organic and inorganic would be much better with the correct proportion depending on the plant requirement.

When using inorganic fertilizer you should prepare a base nutrient solution by dissolving 2 cups of complete fertilizer in 1 gallon of warm water.

A growing solution is prepared by diluting 2 tablespoons of the base solution in 1 gallon of water.

Application starts by pouring 2-3 tablespoons of the growing solution on the soil media around the plants at the time of transplanting.

The frequency of application may vary from one crop to another, but one application per day is adequate. It is advisable to leach all unused fertilizer out of the soil mix once a week by watering tap water to cause free drainage through the holes in the bottom of the container.

This practice will prevent buildup of injurious materials in the soil media. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you should use pure or 2/3 compost in the growing media.

If both the organic and inorganic fertilizer will be used, at least one part of the growing media should be compost and one tablespoon of the growing solution applied at least once a day.

If you’ll use synthetic mix growing medium, which is already enriched with superphosphate and complete fertilizer subsequent fertilization may not be necessary for early maturing crops.

For late maturing crops, daily application of the growing solution is necessary until maturity or shortly before harvesting.

Water Management

Water is the life for container garden plant. It’s important that you should not neglect this requirement. Proper water management is vital for a successful container gardening.

Basically, one watering a day is enough for container-grown crops. But for vegetables grown in small containers may require 2 times of watering a day.

Plants grown in clay pots needs more frequent watering since pots are more porous and extra water is allowed to drain out from their sides.

If the growing medium appears to be excessively dry and as the plant shows signs of wilting, the containers should be grouped together so that the foliage creates a canopy to help shade the soil and keep it cool.

Poor drainage of the growing media or container can lead to water-logged condition that may results to plant death due to lack of oxygen.

To make sure you have a vigorous plants, always check the containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry, or windy days and to feel the soil to determine whether it is dump.

To reduce water evaporation for container plants, you should apply mulching materials such as plastic mulch or putting windbreaks.

You can also install trickle or drip irrigation system to the plants base if you think you can’s attend to your plants daily.

Pests and Diseases Control

Control of pests and diseases in containers needs your careful assessment because wrong use of pesticides may cause damage to the environment, especially children who may often come closer to your container plants.

To be safe, you should implement the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This approach is focused on the so called systematic pest management which means to prevent problems before the pests and diseases appears.

How you can do this?

It is done by monitoring pest population, identifying pests, and choosing a combination of control methods to keep pests population at a minimal level. These methods includes cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods.

Recommended Practices…

o Select insect and disease-resistant varieties of vegetables. Avoid insect attracting plants in the garden or those that are susceptible to pests. Beans, peas, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce and squash are more resistant to insect pests.

o Water the plants adequately to keep them healthy. Fertilize and thin plants to reduce competition for moisture and nutrients.

o Remove weeds to conserve soil moisture and eliminate hiding places of pests.

o Encourage natural enemies of insect pests, such as predators and parasites. Attract beneficial insects like; Western Damsel Bug, Lady Beetle, Green Lace Wing, and Minute Pirate Bug into your garden by planting small flowered plants such as; daisies, cosmos, marigold, and clover. Be sure they are in flower bloom throughout the growing season.

o Avoid growing the same types of vegetables in the same spot year after year. A 4-year rotation cycle is recommended.

o Exclude pests from plants by using fiber materials, row cover, and other barriers such as plastic bottles and plant collars.

o Remove infested part of the plant right away. Remove all plant residues from the containers after harvesting all the crops.

o Use traps to disrupt mating cycles of insects. Yellow sticky boards catch winged aphids, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.

o Handpick pests or knock them off plants with a stream of water from a garden hose. Kill the insects by putting them a soapy water.

o If all other control methods fails, the least toxic insecticides includes botanical control such as neem and pyrethrin. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil may also be used for insect control. Always identify the pests before choosing a pesticide and use according to label directions.

Harvesting

Harvesting varies with vegetables. Leafy vegetables may be harvested when the desired leaf size is required for every use they are intended. Others harvest leafy vegetables after the required age is meet. For fruit vegetables such as, Luffa, Cucumber, Eggplant, beans, Okra, and Upo they are harvested when their size are big but tender. For squash varieties, they are harvested either matured or big but tender depending on the preference of users.

Cabbage, cauliflowers, and broccoli should be harvested when their heads are already compact. Peppers and tomatoes may be harvested when their fruits have started to ripen.

If you’re growing container-grown vegetables just for home consumption, you can harvest only some part of the plant and retain the rest for future use. But if you think you have more than enough for family use, you can harvest them all and sell or give them to your neighbors.

Never allow your vegetables to bear flower before harvesting them except when your purpose is to collect the seeds for future planting.

Maturity Indices of some Vegetables

o White potato, onion, garlic – Tops begins to dry and topple down

o Cowpea, sitao, snap beans, batao, sweet pea, winged bean – Well-filled pods that really snap

o Okra – Full-sized fruits with the tips that can be snapped readily

o Lima beans, pigeon pea – Well-filled pods that are starting to lose their greenness

o Upo, luffa – Immature (if thumb nail can penetrate easily)

o Tomato – Seeds slip when fruit is cut, or green color turning pink

o Sweet pepper – Deep green color turning dull

o Musk melon – Color of lower part turns creamy yellow, produces dull hallow sound when thumped

o Cauliflower – Curd compact (over mature if flower clusters elongates and begin to loosen)

o Broccoli – Bud cluster compact (over mature if loose)

o Cabbage – Heads compact s (over mature if heads cracks)

o Sweet corn – Exudes milk sap when thumbnail penetrates kernel

o Eggplant, ampalaya – Desirable size is reached out but still tender

o Honey dew – White color cream with aroma

o Squash – Big enough with dried leaves

o Watermelon – Dull hollow sound when thumped and lower color part turns yellow

o Water spinach – Leaves at their broadest and longest

Problems Encountered in Container Gardening

In container gardening you’ll meet some problems that may hinder your daily operations. This is sometimes discernible when you’ll not attend the plants due to negligence.

However, you can prevent these problems if you’ll religiously observe your plants closely. Small pests and diseases can’t be seen visibly if you’ll not see the plant appearance closely. You’ll only see the affected plants once you come closer and actually touch them.

Some symptoms, causes, and corrective measures you should observe…

o Tall, spindly and not productive. The plants receives insufficient sunlight and excessive supply of Nitrogen. To correct them, you should transfer the containers to a place where there is sufficient sunlight.

o Yellowing from bottom, poor color, and lack vigor. The plants receives too much water and low fertility. To correct this, you have to reduce watering intervals and check the pots for good drainage.

o Plants wilt even with sufficient water. The plants has poor drainage and aeration. To correct, you should use a potting mix with high percentage of organic matter. Increase the number of holes of the container for good drainage.

o Burning or firing of the leaves. The soil medium is high in salt. To correct this problem, you have to leach the container with tap water at regular intervals.

o Stunted growth, sickly, and purplish color of leaves. The temperature is low and low phosphate. To correct, you should relocate the containers to a warmer area. Increase phosphate level in base solution.

o Holes in leaves and distorted in shape. The plants are pests infested. To correct, you should use non-chemical insecticides or other biological control for insects.

o Spots on the leaves, dead dried areas or powdery or rust occurrence. The plants are affected with a disease. To correct them, you should remove the disease affected parts or the whole plant in serious condition. You can use non-chemical pesticides if the disease is in the early stage of infestation.