Green Monday: LTD’s Top 12 Deals of the Day

It’s Green Monday, and LTD is getting into the giving spirit by offering up to 50% off on select products. Get a great shipping deal as well, with $5.95 on ANY order you place today. Start exploring our best offers with surprise deals behind each present below. Unwrap great gifts for everyone in your family at big discounts!

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7 Ways to Get Your Garden Ready For Spring Now

gardenFor many of us, blizzards and snow days abound, with what seems like no end in site. It may feel like the longest winter of all time, but spring is just around the corner! Look at this as a few extra weeks to add a few garden accessories, and make sure your garden is in order for spring. Here are seven tips to prepare your garden for the season of growth!

1) Start a Compost Bin

If you don?t already have one, now is the perfect time to get a compost bin started. You want a balanced mix between yard waste and food scraps. If your yard is barren right now, just get a bin going with food scraps and twigs, and ask for a little hay from a farmer nearby. Be sure to follow the best practices for composting to ensure you have the proper balance.

2) Check Soil Quality

Compost is always a beneficial addition to your garden, but it?s also important to test the quality of your soil to make sure you can grow a garden. Give it a little tilling to add some oxygen to the soil, and check for rocks and hard clay. You can even toss some small vegetables scraps in the actual garden.. Make sure you till it regularly to ensure the decomposition of the pieces, and consider adding a few worms to speed up the process.

3) List and Research Preferred Plants

Whether you?re a pro or a beginner, you probably know that not all plants grow in all climates, so before starting the garden each year or incorporating any new plants, it?s always a good idea to do a little research. Make a list of all the plants you want to grow, and turn it into a chart with sizes, plant spacing, potential pests, amount of sunlight, and times to plant and harvest. It?s never a good idea to just throw a few seeds around an already established garden without at least doing a little research.

4) Make A Blueprint

Now that you know what you want to grow, it?s time to really organize how your garden will look. Sure, last year?s haphazard garden was probably beautiful and great, but that doesn?t mean it was perfectly organized or reasonably spaced. Since you still have a few weeks to go, you?ve got plenty of time to make sure your garden is organized efficiently. Find out which vegetables will fight, and which will grow harmoniously; then space them accordingly. There are lots of amazing tricks for pairing flowers with vegetables to control pests. Got aphids eating your broccoli? Maybe you should plant some dill, marigolds, or calendula. These plants attract aphids to their natural predators, keeping them away from your dinner!

5) Modify and Renovate

If you found that last year?s garden had a few mistakes, adjust them now before the season starts! Build a raised bed for better drainage, add a fence to keep animals out, or buy a beautiful trellis for tomatoes and other vine-like plants. Add a few aesthetic or practical touches that will make this year?s garden the most beautiful yet.

6) Plant a Few Seeds

Yep, you might actually be able to plant a few seeds right now, depending on your climate. It?s February, which means many types of wintry leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, and lettuces will do very well in moderate climates. Pay attention to your average temperature, then to a little research on your area and zones to figure out what you can plant now.

7) Start Plants Indoors

If you?re living in a frozen tundra and still scraping ice off your car every morning, planting a few seeds outside right now might be jumping the gun a bit. Instead, start a few favorite plants indoors. It?s always a good idea to have a portable herb garden to ensure you have fresh herbs year-round. Start with something small that fits 3-5 herbs, and just move the entire box outside when it?s warm, or transport the roots when it?s planting time. You can normally start several plants indoors as well, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant. You?ll be ready for salad season in no time!

Image Source: Care2

Safety for Children in the Backyard

Backyard-safetyA backyard can be a great place to spend the afternoons and evenings, a little slice of paradise right outside of our own home, but if you have children it’s important that you’re taking proper steps to ensure your backyard is safe for them. Some of these ideas may seem kind of obvious, but others may be things you haven’t even considered. It’s all about taking action to prevent injuries before they happen and before it’s too late.

Communication is very important. Talk to your kids and explain what’s dangerous in the yard and what to avoid, but don’t expect communication to be enough on its own.

Keep Tools And Gardening Equipment Out Of Reach

A lot of tools, both power tools and garden equipment, can look like toys at first glance. Many kids have plastic versions of real tools that really are toys, so when they see the real thing they may want to grab it and start playing with it. Well, there’s a big difference between a fake plastic drill and a real drill. Don’t leave any types of tools lying around your yard or within reach of your children, and take time to explain to them that these things are not toys and that they are not for kids to use until they’re older.

Dangerous Bugs and Insects

Depending on where you live, this may not be much of a threat, but it’s always a good idea to give your kids a basic understanding that certain types of insects and bugs can cause them serious harm. The same goes for snakes and small animals that may pop up in your backyard, and even some plants may be harmful.

Taking the time to educate your kids on what to avoid is also an excellent opportunity to teach them that there are certain types of people that can be harmful, but that doesn’t mean all people are bad.

Keep Tabs On Your Garden Aids

Your garden may have plants in it that are very dangerous if eaten. Now, most people wouldn’t just walk up to a random plant in a garden and start eating it, but kids will put anything in their mouths! If you look away for even a minute, that’s all the time it would take. Aside from things like this that most people don’t think of, there are more common dangers in most backyards than you would think.

For example, chemicals to kill weeds and other various chemicals for the garden may seem right at home being stored in the shed or near your garden itself, but you’ve got to keep them out of reach. You need to keep these in a safe place where children cannot gain access to them. If you’re doing some gardening, make sure you clean up afterwards and don’t leave anything dangerous lying around.

Install A Pool Fence And Keep It Up to Code

It is important to educate your kids about pool safety and to not let them swim in the pool (if you have one) without proper supervision until they’re old enough and have a keen understanding of water safety. Keep in mind that just an inch of water is enough for a child to drown.

It’s mandatory by law in Australia to have a pool fence because it’s a huge step towards ensuring your backyard is safe, not just for your kids but for grown-ups and wild life as well. Having a properly installed pool fence will help a great deal in preventing accidents and tragedies such as drowning.

On a similar note, if you have a foundation or a pond in your yard, make sure you either have a small fence around it to that you educate your kids to be careful while playing near it. It only takes a small amount of water to drown somebody, especially if they hit their head and fall into it. That’s a grim situation to imagine, but it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.

There’s no substitute for proper adult supervision when your kids are playing in the yard, but if you pay attention to the advice in this article, you’ll be making your backyard much safer.

Image Credit: hofstetterlandscaping.com