How Tilling A Garden Causes More Problems Than Benefits

Garden tilling, also called cultivating, is often done with a gas-powered rototiller that goes down perhaps 6 or so inches, but soil can be “tilled” with a tool such as a pitch fork, too.

As you know, tilling a garden is when you turn the soil over so that some of the lower soil comes up and some of the upper soil goes down. It’s kind of like a food processor for your soil, just not as fast.

You may think it is more necessary in organic gardening because we don’t use pesticides like the no-till farmers, but that isn’t the case.

Garden tilling is an often-recommended practice, but this article tells you why you should stop the practice right now.

Reasons For Garden Tilling

The main reasons organic gardeners may till the soil are to:

* Reduce weeds
* Relieve compaction
* Make the soil look fluffy and nice
* Allow more air and water into the soil
* Loosen and warm up the soil in spring for planting/seeding
* Cause organic matter to break down faster and give more nutrients

Does Tilling A Garden Accomplish The Above Goals?

In the short term the above organic gardening goals are often satisfied, but right from the start, garden tilling can cause more problems than benefits. If there are plants in or near the garden, their vital surface roots are damaged, giving easy access for root-feeding organisms and decreasing water and nutrient uptake.

But the main disadvantage is the effect on beneficial microorganisms and earthworms, both of which are absolutely essential to the health of your soil.

Garden Tilling Problems

Upon tilling a garden, the microbes that need oxygen are buried, killing many of them. The microbes that can’t live with too much oxygen are brought to the surface, killing many of them.

Garden tilling causes the miles and miles of beneficial fungi to be sliced into pieces. Those fungi provided important nutrients to the plants, so that is no longer happening. Earthworms are also killed and their tunnels destroyed.

All of these critters had taken a long time to find the perfect spot for them in the soil. They worked day and night to build themselves little homes and cities. It takes years for this to happen and garden tilling destroys that all very quickly.

Does Garden Tilling Help In The Long Term?

Tilling your organic garden when it is wet causes long term structural damage to the soil, but even when the soil is dry, there are several serious long term consequences.

While annual weeds will have been killed, many perennial weeds have been cut into pieces that all come back as new weeds. While your vegetable seeds now have perfect conditions in which to germinate, so do all of the weed seeds that were lying dormant lower down in the soil.

While the initial influx of air and water broke down the organic matter more quickly, and released nutrients to allow microbes and plants to flourish for a short time, that organic matter is oxidized (basically burned) faster than it is replenished. Annual garden tilling causes a gradual decrease in organic matter in the soil.

This loss of organic matter decreases soil fertility, nutrient-holding capacity, water-holding capacity and hurts soil structure. If the soil is left bare, it can crust over so that water runs off and causes erosion instead of infiltrating.

The damage of larger plant roots can result in permanent and severe damage of the canopy (especially in trees).

Home Improvements In Missouri – Upgrade Your Home with Siding

As the second major snowstorm of the season covers the state of Missouri in a blanket of snow, you cant help but wonder if it will ever end. The rolling meadows and grassy fields are far from sight beneath layer upon layer of snow. Dont give up hope. In just a few months, the beautiful weather will return. It will then be time to revisit that list of home improvement projects from last year. One of the most cost-effective upgrades to any home is replacing the siding. Your home is your largest investment. Why not improve its look and value simultaneously with new siding?

There are many businesses that offer this service. The best place to begin is to get referrals from trusted friends. Talk to your neighbors and find out who installed their siding. Additionally, you could perform a search online to find reputable contractors in your area. After you choose the company, obtain an estimate including all costs and labor. Make sure you get this in writing, so they are not able to make any changes later on during the job. It is customary to pay fifty percent of the cost up front and then the remaining amount when the installation is complete. That way, should there be any complications, you will have the upper hand.

When choosing the style of your new siding, be aware of the many options available on the market nowadays. Vinyl siding is very popular due to the array of colors and styles. It is, for the most part, maintenance-free and will last for years to come. Additionally, when a layer of insulation is added, your vinyl siding becomes an energy-efficient choice. Missouri residents can also benefit from polymer seamless siding. One piece can extend the entire length of the home, thus eliminating unsightly cracks and seams. Manufactured in Missouri, this material looks beautiful after installation is complete.

Other product choices include:

Log cabin siding
Shingle siding
Shake siding
Vinyl stone or rock siding
Vinyl brick siding

No matter which look is chosen, it is sure to increase your homes curb appeal. Log cabin vinyl siding is the perfect selection for those who prefer the outdoors. Shingle siding is beautifully crafted from cedar and will give your home a look of sophistication. If you prefer stone, then vinyl stone looks magnificent. Whichever vinyl siding you choose, it will maintain its beauty for many years.

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

Bathroom or Kitchen facelift- Im not talking about a major remodel here just a simple facelift can totally change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new paint and wallpaper, replacing a toilet, or maybe even replacing that old bathroom or kitchen facet can greatly improve and update the look of any home.

Install new lighting- Installing new lighting can not only brighten your home but give a room a totally different look. Whether installing a light kit on a ceiling fan or replacing that old outdated fluorescent light in the kitchen with some of the new kitchen lighting on the market, installing new lighting is a weekend project thats relatively easy and comes with a big return.

Install tile- whether a kitchen floor or backsplash or new tile in the bathroom, installing ceramic tile is easier than you think and is a great weekend project for weekend warriors. Most home improvement stores have everything you need for professional looking results, one tip: Be sure to rent a tile saw, it will save you a lot of time and is well worth the cost.

Changing the color of a room- Color is in! You will be surprised how a splash of color can totally change the look of any room. Many homes have either white or off-white walls but many homeowners have found adding color to a room can brighten and warm up a room and is a great weekend home improvement project for anyone. As with any painting project the time you spend in preparing before actually painting will speak volumes as to the results.

Staining Garage Floor or Patio- This is a great project for weekend warriors. Perhaps you have a garage with oil spots, old paint, and other unidentifiable stains on the floor. Staining your garage floor can bring new life to any garage and look great! Some of the new epoxy products on the market offer numerous color choices and colored flakes that you wont find in most home improvement superstores and will give your garage a unique and customized look.

Being a weekend warrior when it comes to home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding. Be sure to do your research about the best products and techniques before starting any home improvement project, but dont be scared to try something you have never done before. There is an abundance of information and how-to books on just about any project you decide to tackle, so go ahead and conquer that weekend project.

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Terraces and paved Gardens.

One of the aims of garden planning is to associate the garden with the house so that one unit is created. The garden, viewed through a window, should be a natural extension of the house. The eye should sweep freely across an open lawn to the perimeters, to the prospect of hidden surprises behind curves, or be drawn to an apparently distant focal point.

The uniting link between house and garden is the terrace, usually leading from the living room into the garden. The shape and size of the terrace are usually determined by the garden area and by aspect. Where a new terrace is being built, it should ideally harmonise in shape with the garden.

A garden design based on curved lines should be repeated in a rounded terrace, and a formal rectilinear garden outline should be echoed by a square or rectangular terrace. Existing terraces can be made to conform to a curved garden design by hiding sharp corners with low-growing shrubs, or by adding to the front a curved strip of contrasting stone material as a standing area for planters.

Rounded terraces can be straightened out to some extent by means of additional stones of different material and colour, or by planting slender pyramidal trees at either end of the terrace.

A sunny or lightly shaded terrace will be used as a living and entertaining area in summer. It must, therefore, be large enough to accommodate garden furniture, such as tables and chairs, and to give easy access to both house and garden. Even where the rear of the house faces north or east, and a sunny sitting-out area is better sited somewhere else in the garden, a terrace against the house still provides a natural link between house and garden. It pushes the garden away from the immediate house walls, creating a feeling of space and opening vistas.

Older houses are often raised well above the garden area, and an existing terrace may be an elevated platform shut off from the garden by a low stone balustrade. Here, ornate planters are perfectly at home, and formal planters placed along the balustrade, or pots containing trailing plants, enhance the mellowed brickwork.

The outline of the steps leading from the terrace to the garden can be softened with planters or with plantings of low, graceful shrubs on either side. The bed at the foot of a balustrade can be treated as for a retaining wall and planted with shrubs, perennials, annuals and bulbs.

Most modern houses are built with the ground floor raised only a few inches above ground level. The terrace is on the same level as the garden, and steps are therefore unnecessary. On any type of terrace, leave small planting pockets between the stonework for cushion-forming plants, such as artemisia, armeria, dianthus, thyme and small-leaved mint or even the tiny rock rose (helianthe-mum). Reserve these planting pockets for those parts of the terrace that are not used for furniture or frequent walking.

Small beds can be made at the rear of the terrace next to the house wall. Climbers – for example, roses intermingled with clematis – can then be trained up the wall and above the windows. This is not feasible on walls with large picture windows; these are better embellished with a slender pillar rose or a camellia on either side.

Dark corners near doors or on the shady side of the terrace are ideal for shade-loving perennials such as hosta, primula and lily-of-the-valley, and for shrubs like mahonia and skimmia.

In very small gardens, the paved terrace may cover the entire area. If a high wall surrounds the garden it can be decoratively covered with climbers growing in planters. Shrubs and other flowering plants can be grown in more planters, window-boxes, troughs and hanging baskets.

‘Where space allows, a small, low pool, set off-centre, makes an attractive feature, planted with one or two water lilies.

Designing A Suburban Garden – A Brief Introduction

Some people relish the thought of designing a garden whereas others will go running straight to the yellow pages. If you have just purchased your new home and the garden needs some attention, there are a few basic design principles that should help whether you choose to do the work yourself or to engage a professional.

Most people who decide to redesign their garden have a general idea as to what they want it to do and how they want it to look when finished. What they don’t necessarily have is the experience to produce a detailed drawing or to do the actual work. Often the initial design is quite simple and a lot of people stop there however with the help of a professional designer and a little bit of imagination it is amazing how easily you can transform your garden into your own personal idea of paradise.

Your garden’s function

The first stage in designing any garden is to decide what its function will be when finished. If you have children then you might want a large lawn where they can play in safety or a patio area where they can have a playhouse. Pets, and in particular dogs will also need somewhere to run and so again a lawn may be beneficial. If you have an adult-only household however then there are many more options available and you can turn your garden into the perfect place for entertaining or into a tranquil haven depending on your tastes, simply by adding decking, a seating area, ornamental structures, a small pond and a water feature or perhaps gravel walkways that wind throughout the garden.

Choosing the plants and structures

Once you have decided exactly what general layout you want in your finished garden, then you can actually start to design it. You will need to consider the amount of space you have available and try to make the most of it by planning what structures you want and where they will be placed. It is at this stage that a professional designer could well be an advantage as they will be able to make suggestions that you would never have thought of and the little details they bring to the design might make all the difference.

You will also need to choose a colour scheme for the plants and flowers and which varieties to include. This will depend in no small measure on the type of soil in the garden, where the sun falls during the day and how good the drainage is. In addition it will also be determined by how enthusiastic you are for the ongoing exigencies of gardening. If you like a nice tidy garden but don’t really enjoy or have the time needed to tend it in detail, then it will be worth choosing plants and flowers that that require minimal attention. Some simple research in this area will be beneficial as, again, may the services of a professional designer: they will be able to suggest unusual plant species that will set your new garden apart from others — and they will also know where best to buy them.

Larger suburban gardens may need additional trees and shrubs to fill out the borders or break up an expanse of lawn. Alternatively you can add extra flower beds or perhaps another seating area. It is important that you don’t leave large portions of the garden looking bare in the longer term but it is equally important that you don’t overstock the garden. When purchasing plants and shrubs, ensure that you understand their likely size at maturity. You may need to accept a somewhat sparse impression for a while as the plants grow. On this basis, it is sometimes worth the additional expense of acquiring larger, more mature plant stock as part of the mix.

Conclusion

Designing your own garden can be time consuming however it can also be very rewarding, especially when you are sitting out on a warm summer’s evening knowing that the ideas and inspiration were originally yours. Suburban and larger gardens are quite easy to redesign because of their size and you can consider including those features that you have dreamed about for so many years. To get started, all you need to do is put your ideas on paper and go from there.

N-tier Architecture In Asp.net

Architecture is an important feature and the very first step in the development of an application. n-Tier the term is used for multiple tier or multiple layers. n-Tier Architecture splits the solution process into different projects based on the business requirements. The main advantage of using n-Tier is that the complexity associated with the business and the process is reduced and it is easy to work with. The elements of performance, scalability and future development issues need to be considered when deciding on the architecture of the application depending on the priorities required.
The n-Tier application has three tiers or layers, they are called the presentation tier, the business tier and the data tier. Each layer interacts with the layer directly below, and has specific function to perform. Presentation Layer is responsible for displaying user interface to either programmer or end user. Programmer uses this layer for designing purpose and to get the data back and forth. In ASP.NET it includes ASPX pages, user controls, server controls and sometimes security related classes and objects.
The Business layer works as a mediator to transfer the data from presentation layer. In the three tier architecture the data access layer is not made to interact with the presentation layer. The architecture in ASP.NET includes using SqlClient or OleDb objects to retrieve, update and delete data from SQL Server or Access databases and passing the data retrieved to the presentation layer in a DataReader or DataSet object, or a custom collection object. The Data layer gets the data from the business layer and sends it to the database or vice versa. This layer is further divided into two sub layers Business Logic Layer (BLL) and Data Access Layer (DAL). DAL is responsible for accessing data and forwarding it to BLL. In ASP.NET it uses SqlClient or OleDb to retrieve the data and send it to BLL in the form of a DataSet or DataReader. BLL (Business Logic Layer) is responsible for preparing or processing the data retrieved and sends it to the presentation layer.
The Data layer gets the data from the business layer and sends it to the database or gets the data from the database and sends it to the business layer. In ASP .NET it is an SQL Server or Access database. It can also be Oracle, mySQL or even XML.
In an ASP.NET n-tiered architecture web pages do not make direct calls to the database. A given layer only communicates with its neighboring layers. ASP.NET Web pages should reference custom objects defined in the business object layer. These objects provide database information in a class structure.
The partitioning of ASP.NET applications into front-end, middle tier and back-end layers, the n-Tier architecture supports a more uniform, building block approach to application designs. Hardware and software for presentation, application and database functions can be scaled separately, and included more easily into complex e-Business environments.

TCPIP architecture model

Unlike the ISO/OSI reference model, TCP/IP architecture is only divided into 4 layers. The exchange of information between the layers is again exactly defined and again, each service uses the services of a lower level and provides its services to a higher layer.
Network interface(Data link) layer
Network layer
Transport layer
Application layer Network interface layer
The lowest layer of the TCP/IP model. Its task is to provide access to the transmission physical medium and it differs according to the implementation of the medium.
Network layer
The network layer provides network addressing, routing and datagram transmission. Used protocols that will be of interest further regarding DHCP are IP and ARP.
IP protocol
It is the basic protocol of the network layer and in general the internet as a whole. It sends datagrams, which are independent units that contain information about the destination, source and the sequence number of the datagram. The sequence number is used for message reconstruction, since the delivery order of the datagrams might not be the same as their order in the message and delivery reliability isnt guaranteed at all. IP protocol versions:
IP v4 32 bit addresses. Provides approximately 4 billion unique addresses which arent sufficient at present times.
IP v6 128 bit addresses. The transition to v6 will bring (is bringing) higher security, QoS, packet segmentation and many more IP addresses. (the transition from IP v4 to IP v6 must be supported by the system provider) ARP protocol
The ARP abbreviation stands for Address Resolution Protocol. This protocol is used to find the physical address (MAC) based on a known IP address. If required ARP sends information concerning the wanted address to all the stations in the network Broadcast. The stations consequently answer with a message containing their MAC. If the wanted device/station is outside the node/segment, the appropriate router will answer instead of it.
Transport layer
The transport layer is implemented only in terminal devices and it adjusts the behavior of the network according to the requirements of the device/application.

Application layer
The application layer is composed of programs that use net services to fulfill the needs of users. Examples of specific protocols are for instance FTP, DNS and DHCP. Application protocols use TCP, UDP or both services at the same time. So called ports are used to differentiate between application protocols, they represent a type of label of the application. It is possible to change the ports in the settings of the service, but each service has a default port that isnt changed for most services and is used as an unwritten standard.
FTP = 21
DNS = 53
DHCP = 67 + 68

Chinese Architecture – Past And Present

When we think of Chinese antique shops our mind tends to think of delicate and precious items. If you are in a traditional Chinese building then it likely has, or had a red tiled roof with curves tending upward at each of the four corners of the structure. Today in modern Chinese architecture there are many high towers, and some are mocked that such a classic old China roof has been placed on the peak of a tower. This is disparagingly mocked at Big Hat or Tall Hat. Yet modern Chinese feel pride in Chinese architects.

Yet there is also local pride in the acknowledgement of the greatness of the foreign name architects who have won contests for prestigious major projects. With exceptions like the amazing Bird Cage Stadium, much of Beijing was torn down and rebuild from designs by world famous, not Chinese architects. But many amazing new works of art in buildings exist now as never before. The reach of the human imagination seems to have no bounds and buildings continue to transform in their shape and purpose.

Of any city in China, because of the very successful Olympics, Beijing has had itself torn apart and reborn and in this sense it is as modern as any city on earth. Small enclaves of farmers markets and local product markets are being kept between modern towers as custom and honoring the way China was. In Shanghai there is an elevated street car out to the airport and freeways ring the city now. The freeways are being built around the four or five major cities in China, and while there is not a lot of traffic on some freeways.

However, many are packed with traffic all day long. There is progress on some fronts. Some of the new buildings do not result in the positive response; all firms are keenly trying to curry favor from local authorities. One building was built to look like an ancient Shang vessel from the period BC 3500. However it has been built to look like a modern toilet and is a source of shame to those who created it. It does not help that this is the new headquarters of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s headquarters, not a company noted for self humor and being the butt of jokes from rivals.

Locals can only shrug and go along with the massive changes. Millions are being removed from their traditional homes for large new factories or power plants. Not all benefit equally at the present, but China will be a super power and these plans will go ahead. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people are richer and live secure lives. Gone are the ways of the Chinese antiques shop thinking. Many are confident that the new dawn will bring more benefits. Some dare speak out for a cleaner environment and there are examples of progress in some clean up projects.

After The Fire Chicago’s Leading Role In Modern American Architecture

The Great Fire of 1871 reduced the vast majority of the city of Chicago to a ruined heap of brick and ash. The devastation at the time could not possibly have been seen as an opportunity, but in truth the fire created a blank slate with which the great architects of the day could experiment.

The result over the next 50 years was a transformation of a regular Midwestern city into a world-class jewel of modern architectural beauty. Although New York can lay some claim to wonders of architecture, it is Chicago that most prides itself on its innovative accomplishments. Here is a brief overview of the changes that came After The Fire.

How it used to be

In the 40 or so years before the fire, Chicago grew by leaps and bounds both in the number of buildings and in the vast number of new residents, many of which were immigrants. However, very little planning went into the growth of the city; it consisted mainly of brick and mortar office buildings, factories, and a vast sea of wood shanties that were virtually thrown up overnight to accommodate the influx of people.

Streets were made of wood and sidewalks were made of wood: when the city received very little rainfall in the summer of 1871, conditions were ripe for disaster. On October 8, a full quarter of the city’s residential areas and nearly its entire business district went up in flames and 300 lives were lost.

What happened next

Chicago was (and still is) a city with a lot of heart and a lot of spunk. Nearly immediately, 50 million dollars was pumped into rebuilding efforts: this time with plenty of planning, foresight, and ingenuity. Only the best architects and engineers were hired to do the job, and the newest techniques in steel and other construction methods were used: this city was going to be not only a showpiece, it was also going to last.

The results

The great architect Louis Sullivan coined the famous phrase: “Form follows function,” and these words would come to define the city’s new sense of style during the rebuilding. The modern skyscraper was born in the Windy City, and although the initial one is long gone, many remain to be both used and admired as architectural marvels. The modern technology of steel framework made these skyscrapers possible and they are what give Chicago its distinctive and unique skyline. Other styles of architecture thrived as well, and many Art Deco buildings grace the downtown area.

Chicago is proud of its architecture and every important building is marked with a plaque, a date, and an attached history or interesting anecdote. Chicago boat tours are a popular way to easily view and learn about these buildings, as are walking tours. No one could have predicted over 170 years ago that The Great Fire would result in an even more beautiful city that would literally rise out of the ashes: but Chicago did just that.