Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Cleaning Your Terrazzo Tiles

Of course, some of the most enticing benefits of terrazzo tiles are durable and easy to clean and maintain. If well cared for, your terrazzo tiles can remain in their best-looking state for over a century. Well, I know that might sound quite incredible, but it is the whole truth. 

The first reason that affirms the above fact is that terrazzo tiles come with a shining surface. As a result, no stain can glue to them for long. Once you apply water and soft detergent without much muzzle, you will comfortably wipe away all the dirt on the surface, leaving it sparkling clean and looking brand new again.  Click here to read more information about terrazzo tiles.

Another reason is that terrazzo tiles are made with high-quality materials which habitually fight against dirt dust. So, you can maintain always-clean, healthy loo0king terrazzo tiles for a lifetime. Does that sound fascinating? Absolutely yes.  

floor tile cleaning

However, as much as terrazzo tiles are easy to maintain, you will still find out that some people cannot keep up the radiant look for even a decade. You might have seen some terrazzo tiles looking weak, old, and dull if you look carefully. When you see something like that, know that something is wrong with the cleaning. 

The Adverse Effect of the Wrong Cleaning Method 

Terrazzo tiles and other similar flooring surfaces have a good level of sustainability and are easy to clean and maintain. However, When mopping and the regular sweeping are not done correctly or seem to be enough, things go the other way round.  

Worse still, some people, out of the effort to make the terrazzo tiles shiner and brighter, tend to apply harsh chemicals that will further damage the tiles. Indeed, using drastic cleaning methods will not in any way make your terrazzo tiles look better. Instead, it will only cause discoloration, which will later result in the unappealing appearance of the surfaces. 

One important note in this matter is that if the practice continues for a long time, the inappropriate cleaning methods and the harsh cleaning solutions will eventually cause permanent damage to the tiles. That is why you need to be extra careful of how you clean your terrazzo tiles if you want them to stay gorgeous for a long time. 

So what are the things you should avoid doing when it comes to proper cleaning and maintaining your terrazzo tiles properly? Here is the list of the most common mistakes that make cleaning go wrong.

1. Incorrect Mopping

Do you know that there’s a proper way of mopping? If you have never heard that before, now you know. The style and method of mopping you apply when cleaning your terrazzo tiles will determine whether it will continue to look attractive or it will look odd in the next couple of months. 

The most appropriate way to clean your terrazzo tiles is using the damp mopping system. Damp mopping means making a slightly wet on your floor with a non-saturated mop that doesn’t need rinsing or drying. Using this method, you will have to apply little water that can dry quickly without soap/. 

Meanwhile, when you are damp mopping, make sure you use clean water. The most common mistake people make while cleaning terrazzo tiles is using the wet mopping method instead of damp mopping. When dirty water seeps into the tiles’ porous surface, it may cause an unexpected build-up of moisture, which will eventually cause other problems to the flooring and the health of the people living in the space. 

terrazzo tiles design

2. Use of Coloured Cleansers 

The beauty of terrazzo tiles is in retaining the actual color that comes from the manufacturer. Using some unrecommended chemicals will do no good to the tiles other than affect the beautiful; color of the tiles, thereby reducing its beauty.

To avoid discoloration, make sure you stay away from some strange colored tile cleaners. It is not acceptable to use colored cleaners to clean terrazzo tiles; otherwise, you will damage the tiles.  

Terrazzo tiles have a certain level of porosity. So, they can absorb the destructive dye on the colored cleaning solutions. Also, you need to avoid using dirty water when cleaning your tiles as it may leave dirt on the porous surface of your tiles and become a threat to their durability. 

3. Use of harsh chemicals 

I understand how much you want your tiles to be looking attractive. But, you need to be careful not to use harsh chemicals on your terrazzo tiles. It will damage your nice-looking tiles over time.

Ensure that you avoid substances like muriatic acid bleach and other harsh chemicals for the routine cleaning and care of your terrazzo tiles. Aside from that, it can pose serious health risks to the occupants; splashes or spills from these harsh chemicals can damage your furniture, electronic appliances, and other fixtures in the area. Not only that, using cleaning solutions containing punitive substances can bring discoloration and premature deterioration on the tiles, which can lead to eventual damage in the long run. 

4. Use of Abrasive Materials 

Another common mistake that people make when cleaning terrazzo tiles is using abrasive material for fact cleaning actions.  

As much as you want to eliminate harming your terrazzo tiles, you need to carefully avoid the use of steel wool or metal scouring pads when cleaning your tiles as these harmful substances can cause a whole lot of problems, including scratching, staining, and ultimately damage the glossy finish of your porcelain terrazzo tiles. This also includes the use of abrasive tools and harmful cleaning agents.

5. Use of Oil and Wax Based Cleaners


The Use of oil and wax-based cleaners on terrazzo tiles is a huge mistake. While wax itself and other wax-based cleaning solutions have their advantage as they provide some temporary protection for tiles against stains and odors, they can also pose more harmful risks on your valuable flooring investment far more than the good. As you continue to use them, they can cause many problems and increase your routine maintenance costs. You can get information about Low Maintenance Landscape Design Ideas by visiting

Final Words 

Proper cleaning and management of terrazzo tiles can be a little bit dicey for the average homeowner. Except you have the appropriate knowledge and experience about the right cleaning methods, your nice-looking terrazzo tiles might not last as long as expected. Avoiding the above-listed mistakes will save your delicate terrazzo wall and floor tiles flooring from unwanted damage and discoloration, making them shine for as long as you are using them.

Top 8 Practical Solutions of Terrazzo Tiles with Great Aesthetics

So you are planning to use terrazzo tiles for your next home construction project?  You have made a very great choice. Terrazzo tiles have become one of the top-rated flooring options for both residential and commercial spaces. So, I believe you would already know how much of a benefit it could be to beautify your residential or commercial establishment with these classic tiles. 

Suppose you are looking for a durable and versatile interior décor material for flooring, pavements, benchtops, and other crucial parts of your next building or renovation project. In that case, I recommend that you explore the versatility and creative abilities of terrazzo Tiles. You will get great value from this incredible interior décor material if you know how to go about it. That is why it stands out from other types of tiles. 

Classic Tiles

What are Terrazzo Tiles?

This home design material is made up of Portland Cement. This cement is combined with other essential components such as sand, marble chips, and other mineral pigments. This fantastic composition gives you gorgeous textures and durability, which is not common to other interior design materials such as wood, ceramic, and more. 

Terrazzo tiles have been a self-leveling floor mosaic for a long time. This classic material comes with a glossy surface to give your space a smooth, attractive look and a wide range of beautiful colors to widen your design options. 

The granite and marble chips or pieces of glass and other essential additives found in terrazzo tiles make it possible for users to get a perfectly smooth floor in their residential and commercial spaces. It also enables you to imitate marble or granite.

Terrazzo flooring is a much more practical solution for interior design for residential and commercial spaces. Here are the top 8 reasons you should choose terrazzo tiles for your next construction project.

1. It Perfectly Resists Abrasion

You cannot compare the abrasion resistance of terrazzo tiles with other flooring options. It ranks far above other natural stone flooring materials, like black granite, considered the hardest to use. It is also known as “Nerro Absoluto.” As expected, the abrasion resistance of the terrazzo tile surface stands between that of white cement mortar and Carrara marble – the two primary components of the tile’s surface. 

Once you install terrazzo tilers in place, you can rely on their long-term durability. While other types of tiles are affected mainly by the destructive effect of abrasion,  terrazzo tiles stand firm. What about its surface water absorption characteristics?  You can always be rest assured that terrazzo tiles will serve you longer than you can ever imagine. 

2. It Is Non-Flammable

Most homeowners prefer to use terrazzo tiles for both wall and floor covering because it is noninflammable. That is why many building experts recommend using terrazzo tiles for both the wall and floor of your kitchen. 

The composition of terrazzo tiles is less likely to catch fire. Like ceramics, the materials used to make terrazzo tiles are not combustible.  However, wooden flooring can look beautiful but can catch fire easily. A few things that can cause this sudden fire may include faulty electrical wiring or immediate lightening of other combustible materials.

It is a brilliant idea to use terrazzo tiles in your residential or commercial as an effort to protect the building against fire damage. 

3. It Is Water Resistant

Some tiles become weak and start to pull off after they experience a few times of water spillage. That is one of the unique areas where terrazzo tiles stand out. These classic tiles are perfect for both bathroom walls and the floor. 

Terrazzo tiles are commonly used in most water-prone areas in the home because they can withstand water pressure for a long time. No other tiles match its excellent water resistance capacity.

excellent water resistance tiles

4. It Can Be Used Everywhere

We discussed earlier that you could use terrazzo tiles in the kitchen because it is noninflammable and the bathroom due to its high-water resistance capacity. But, in reality, you can use terrazzo tiles anywhere in residential and commercial spaces. 

Terrazzo tiles work well in the bedroom, living room, lobby, dining, toilet, and any other area in the interior part. You can also use terrazzo tiles to create magic anywhere on the exterior part of the building.  These tiles provide limitless creativity options for home designers. 

5. It is Durable

Terrazzo tiles are solid and durable. If you compare it with other flooring materials like ceramics, it is much sturdier. The cement and marble chips mixed in terrazzo ties makes it as tough as concrete. More so, you can use terrazzo tiles as pavers for outdoor requirements such as walkways, gardens, and more. These classic tiles feel good in any weather (whether extremely warm or cold).

6. Easy to Maintain

Compared to other types of flooring materials, terrazzo tiles is extremely easy to maintain. For instance, you will find it easy to clean out any stains on the surface. Unlike wooden flooring that requires you to apply varnish and paint, terrazzo tiles make the cleaning easy.  You can mop your terrazzo floors. It will retain the same glossy look. Your guests will think you just newly installed the tiles. 

7. Exquisite Colors and Textures

Terrazzo tiles come in different colors. You can have it in black, white, neutral, or other colorful textures. The perfect combination of marble chips and mineral pigments in terrazzo tiles offers a better texture when compared to ceramics or wood.  I recommend that you explore the color options of these incredible tiles 

8. Flexibility in Design

With a wide range of attractive colors, you can fit the phenomenal terrazzo tiles to any theme of your choice. If you are learning how to create a modern home interior design, terrazzo tiles can be of great help. You can choose from beautiful colors, including black, white, and neutral. If you want to create an urban design, you can choose neutral and black for the perfect combination. Visit to read about You Can Do Your Own Landscape Design – It Is Easy!

phenomenal terrazzo tiles

Final Words

Terrazzo tiles offer a wide range of finishes to suit your design taste and preferences. You can have a Sealed Polished Finish to give your home a complete exquisite look. You can utilize the protective sealer that comes with the tiles to make it shiny and glamorous it all depends on what you really want.

Top Terrazzo Tiles Trend You Should Look Out for In 2021

Terrazzo tiles were first manufactured by some Venetian mosaic workers sometime around the 15th century. As you might have before, these classic tiles comprise a perfect blend of mixed marble, glass, granite, quartz, and other material chips. These materials are all embedded in terrazzo tiles using either cement or epoxy.  

I believe you might hear many stories of terrazzo floor tiles in the past, but what you should know from the many assertions is that terrazzo tiles are cured on the ground and then smoothly polished to achieve an elegant textured surface. Building contractors and homeowners begin to tilt in the direction of terrazzo tiles majorly during the mid-20th century; most architects always like to refer to the tiles as an essential element of contemporary design during that time.

Recently, terrazzo tile has become a favorite of many building experts. It is one of the most commonly used tiles in the construction world today. In reality, most newer homes (especially luxury ones) have terrazzo tiles either on their wall or floor or both. So, it is not a gainsaying that terrazzo tiles are gaining traction in construction projects presently. 

Kitchen Terrazzo tiles

While some people love this classic material because of the beautiful designs it helps create, others, on the other hand, like to use terrazzo tiles for their exceptional durability. If you ask most building experts around, you will discover that terrazzo tiles are considered one of the most long-lasting tiles in the present market. Beyond the expected margin, It has beaten other rivals such as stone, marble, and the likes. 

In this article, I want to introduce an entirely new texture for terrazzo tiles that will make a unique impression on you. Most importantly, these new textures are something you should look out for in 2021 and the coming year. Without a doubt, they will make the interior décor world with a storm.  

Are you looking for new ways to exercise your creative abilities with terrazzo tiles? You can get new interior and exterior design inspirations from this

Marvel Gems

Marvel Gems is a new trend that came out of Atlas Concorde in Italy. This whole new trend is a collection of ceramic tiles to achieve the perfect combination of Venetian Terrazzo tiles with the gleaming look of porcelain and white wall tiles. This unique texture design provides an ideal blend of terrazzo floor and wall tiles.  

If you get it right, the terrazzo tiles will give your home a unique impression that is extravagant through inserts, shards, and fragments. Now, have you ever wondered how this would look at the end of the day? Well, it is a perfect replica of marble. This new Marvel Gems texture creates an atmosphere of fascination in your home that even your guest will appreciate. If you use this texture design in your residential or commercial place, those dwelling or using the building will always want to be there due to its comfortable feel. 

This texture design is something everybody would like to see in a home. No matter your taste and preference, you will love it too. Here are the areas you can use this texture design to create magic. 

1. Luxury Showroom

When you combine the classic porcelain look with terrazzo tiles, what do you think about it? The blend is fantastic. If you want to use the right words, I would say that the combination means nothing other than luxury and sophistication. 

The durability of terrazzo tiles is enough for you to ensure that this setup will last for several decades. Mind you; durability is not the only advantage of this design. It will require lesser cleaning efforts, and the glow will continue to brighten your home regardless of the time of the day. 

This design features cement grey as a neutral color, and a smooth finish makes an excellent background for a perfect look. You can use contrasting colors on the tabletop, shelves, and floor if you want to make this design yourself. Also, you can use a gold finish to trim lampshades and many other accessories in the home 

Floor terrazzo tiles design

2. Hotel Bathroom

This texture design is perfect for a hotel bathroom. If you have used any bathrooms in five start hotels, you will love what it offers.  Meanwhile, Marvel Gems is meant for hotel bathrooms; it is the only standard in that area because a typical bathroom hotel is intended for different kinds of people with different tastes and preferences.

You will love the outcome if you use terrazzo tiles to create Marvel Gems texture to design your bathroom. It applies a white mirror effect on the wall giving it a gorgeous, luxurious effect.  If you use lamps and gold finish in the space, it will make the ambiance look more serene. You also apply this terrazzo tiles design in high-end salons.

3. Lounge Bar

Are you looking for an elegant inspiration to bring wonders out of your lounge bar? Check this new texture out! In the case of a lunge bar, I recommend using 75 x 150 cm and 8.5mm thick extra-large terrazzo tiles. You, your family members and including your friends will love it. 

It will produce a fusion of Marvel Gems Pearl and Marvel Stone Bianco Dolomite. You can also use polished brass as accessories to blend well with the terrazzo tiles.

4. Residential Bathroom

If you want your bathroom to look fresh, this new, trendy bathroom design will meet your demands. Let’s use blue terrazzo tiles in the shower room wall to create a sense of calmness and luxurious feel. 

Then, you can use wood as the flooring of the shower room as well as the furniture. Then, use white Marvel Gems as flooring for the rest of the bathroom. You find your bathroom more accommodating and comfortable afterward. If you combine natural elements with terrazzo tiles, you will get a modern look like no other.

5. Hotel Hall

Hotel halls need to look stunning. It is a place where people of higher caliber will meet to hold talks, seminars, and the like, sitting down for hours. Hence, you need something trending to make the space more elegant and comfortable.

Hotel lobby terrazzo tiles designs

You can start by beautifying the hotel lobby with Marvel Gems’ design. You can also complete the interior space with some 3D art décor made of black and porcelain white terrazzo tiles. That way, the terrazzo tiles’ texture will give a more modern look and visual depth to the space.  You can read about Inspiration For Your Dream Home by visiting

Final Words 

Using terrazzo tiles in the places listed above is the latest trend and is also what you should expect in several years to come. Terrazzo tiles are already a trending interior and exterior design material. Creating the trending Marvel Gems texture design will add more glamour to your space and give it a more modern look. 

The Wonders Of Japanese Cherry Blossom

Japanese cherry blossom pervades Japanese art and literature. It forms an annual celebration that dates back to Nara and Heian Periods from between 710 and 1185 AD. It has now become a popular practice for people to picnic under the cherry blossom in springtime in a festival called Hanami, a festival which started in the royal courts and then spread first to the samurai clans and then to the general public afterward.

Cherry blossoms are very short-lived in nature. Trees of the popular sakura variety only blossom for one week, but during the time the blossom covers the entire tree to produce a cloud effect.

The cherry blossom represents the rebirth of life, hope, and also mortality. The idea of living fast and dying young is symbolized by some in cherry blossom because of its very short-lived nature – it is this that attracted the samurai philosophy and continued to exist in the Japanese military during the Second World War when kamikaze pilots would often paint cherry blossoms on their plans and carry small branches with them on flights. In fact, the very first kamikaze squadron was called Yamazakura, Japanese for wild cherry blossom.

Much of Japanese culture and literature speaks of the search for the perfect cherry blossom. It has come to represent not only the changing of the seasons from winter into spring, but it holds a mystical and magical power.
Cherry Blossom in the Arts.

The Wonders Of Japanese Cherry Blossom

Possibly one of the finest portrayals of cherry blossom in cinematic history is that from The Last Samurai, the movie which featured Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. Ken Watanabe played a Samurai leader, Katsumoto, who was forever in search of the perfect cherry blossom.

“The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.”

But cherry blossom extends beyond the world of Japanese fiction. In H.M. Brown’s science fiction novel, The Impossible Man, a story of a store owner in New Jersey who is fascinated with Japanese pop culture. In the book he says;

“Such a special feeling these petals give to the human heart. Where one story ends, another begins. Such is the way of the Sakura tree. A tale spoke with each bloom.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, now the most famous of Japanese authors who is was educated in England, often brings to the imagination wonderful images of cherry blossom in his works, such as in A Pale View of Hills and An Artist of the Floating World.

If you find yourself reading a novel or watching a movie set in Japan and there are scenes of cherry blossoms, you now know its significance. The Japanese cherry blossom symbolizes life, energy, passion, and death.

It is something to celebrate and rejoice in and for this reason, it has become an important feature of Japanese art and literature.

Katsumoto finally saw his perfect cherry blossom while laying fatally wounded on the battlefield, his final words were “Perfect. They are all perfect”.

Jake Roberts has studied Martial Arts for many years. It was here he discovered his passion for Japanese gardening after a former instructor advised him on the positive effect it can have on your chi. Justin currently works for Black Eagle Martial Arts Shop.

Inspiration For Your Dream Home

Very few of us ever get the chance to see our dream home become a reality, and very few of us ever have the privilege to live in the kinds of homes we imagined when we were younger. This is a true mark of success, and one of the best ways to ensure we are genuinely happy in our own environment and have everything we could want.

As such, if you are in that position, and you are having your home built, then it’s very important for the sake of those living vicariously through you that you don’t squander it and that you create something you will be sure to be happy with.

When you can have anything you want though, suddenly it becomes quite hard to know what that is. To that end then, here we will look at where you can find your inspiration to help you design that perfect home for you.

Show Homes: Of course looking around show homes and department stores is a great way to get ideas for your own rooms. Here you will be able to find rooms that have been decorated with all the newest furniture and appliances and that are designed specifically to be eye-catching and desirable. At the same time, these are perfect examples of how things can be used together to maximum effect and how they should be laid out.

Childhood: Do you remember being young and imagining what your dream home would look like? Most of us had ideas for what we wanted to be when we were older, and what our property would look like. In many cases, these desires are still relevant and still buried deep down as things we want.

Inspiration For Your Dream Home

Read: In general it is a good idea to read on the topic of properties and what is possible. Read around kitchen designs for instance and you will learn about the L, U, and island layouts, or if you read about pools then you can learn about things like infinity pools and sloping beach entries. In short by learning what’s possible you can come up with many things you otherwise might not even have considered.

Watch: There are loads of great programs on TV about designing properties and that simply showcase desirable homes. For instance, there are shows that take camera crews around celebrity homes, and shows that oversee renovations to existing properties. This is a great way to get some more ambitious ideas for your property than what you might find in a catalog. You might even get some inspiration from fiction – if you want a Bruce Wayne manor or a Tony Stark-style penthouse for instance.

Visit: Try looking around the homes that your friends and family have and seeing if there is anything you would like that they have. At the same time look around some properties as though you were going to buy them. The estate agents will be happy to take you around and this way you can find a few different sources of inspiration.

Reflect: Finally, think about your own property – what’s missing? What aren’t you satisfied with? What would you do differently? This is highly relevant research that is tailored to you and it will ensure that your next home is a step up from your current one.

Rex Dooley is an expert in the home improvement field and a part-time writer who often shares various tips on building custom homes at affordable rates. In their professional life he works for a known home builder firm.

Snails And The Damage They Do To A Garden

 They’re times when gardeners truly believe snails are alive simply to destroy their gardens. Snails and other small critters can do a lot of damage to a garden, but if you know more about them, you can lessen their impact with organic snail repellents. Part of the mollusk family these creatures produce a thin slim trail in order to get around. This makes it easier to identify them as your garden pest. Typically mild climates suffer the most damage to plants on a year-round basis.

First, snails are very picky about what they decide to destroy and graze on. Most of the time snails will only eat fallen debris, and leaves of your plants that are mature. It’s rare that they will actually feast on a vegetable. If you find leaves with holes in them, then you likely have a snail or slug infestation. One of the best times to try and discover them, and rid your garden of these pests, is during the night and days when the ground is wet or moist.

You should be able to see the trail of slime they leave behind and this will identify that you do indeed have snails in your garden and not some other creature. These trails look like lines of silver or can be reflective in nature. Look for these trails around pots and leaves of plants in your garden.

Adult snails can cause an amazing amount of damage to low-hanging leaves, and immature ones cause damage to the surface by rasping away the tissue. This is usually done while the mature snails are destroying leaves and shoots that are tender. Snails have been known to completely shred leaves or split them lengthwise, as seen in corn and grass.  Snails are known to be one of the most destructive pests for farmers and usually cause a lot of damage during May and June. At this time, plants are trying to establish themselves and are vulnerable to damage from these critters.

Crops and plants that are most susceptible include broccoli, cabbage and in the flower family zinnias, petunias and lily of the valley are known to be favorites. It’s important to identify the type of snails you have in your garden. Different methods may be used to control certain species.

Lawns are often susceptible to damage from snails, although the grass is not usually their first choice. Flat snails can do a lot of damage to lawns by gnawing on healthy blades of grass and can leave the grass open to viral and bacterial infections. Lawns with damage from snails are easy to spot as they’ll have numerous bare spots or the grass looks completely dead.

Another aspect that’s important to understand is the lifecycle of these animals. They are both male and female at the same time, also known as hermaphrodite and each one is capable of laying batches of eggs that can be as high as 50 at a time. These eggs will look white and be translucent and spherical. Look for these eggs in compost heaps, dark and damp places and compost heaps. These are favored breeding grounds for snails. Gestation can be anywhere from three weeks to five months, depending on the time of year. Identifying and starting early to rid your garden of these pests is the best approach.

Ray C is an expert in animal control for lawns & gardens and part-time writer who often shares various tips on various organic snail repellents.

Top 5 Mobile Apps related to Landscaping

When you’re outside working in your yard, it’s kind of a pain to go back inside to consult lawn care websites or gardening books. With a smartphone in your pocket and the right mobile app installed, you can get information with the press of a button, and even layout a complex landscaping plan.

Mobile App Landscape

iScape Free (iOS, free): Take a picture of your property and insert stock images of trees, shrubs, patio furniture, and other yard decorations. You can resize objects and recolor areas with the pen tool. Although the end result wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking it’s a real photo, it’s a useful tool for visualizing how changes to your landscape would look. Save and share the pictures you make by e-mail, Facebook or print right from the app.

Upgrade to the full version of iScape for $4.99 for a much larger selection of trees, flowers, shrubs, vines, walls, furniture, arbors, fences, cacti, and pools.

Landscaping Ideas! (Android, free): It’s basic and more of an e-book than a proper app, but hey, it’s free, and it’s enthusiastic. It includes chapters on planning, materials, plant placement, terracing, and other landscaping topics.  There are even links to landscaping videos and podcasts by “Garden Guys.” If you like this app, the same company makes Lawn Care! and Vegetable Gardening!, also free. 

Lawn Envy (iOS, $1.99): To get your lawn looking its best, Lawn Envy advises you on weather, grass seeding, and even threats like weeds, insects, rodents, and diseases. It includes a calendar, how-to guides, tips, and a photo guide to common problems. You can even ask an expert if you’re still stumped on an issue. (Full disclosure: although developed by my company, Lawn Envy is independently distributed.)

Landscape & Garden Calculators (Android, $7.99): Yes, that name is plural, because there’s a total of 35 calculators and estimators included in this app. They include generic area, volume, and angle calculators as well as landscaping-specific tools for estimating mulch or rock aggregate, lawn fertilizer, grass seed, sod, plant spacing, drainage, ponds, and other features. Most calculators give results in the area, volume, and weight when applicable, and numbers can be copied and e-mailed easily.

mpengo LawnCare (iOS, $9.99): If you’re dealing with lots of lawns as a business, mpengo LawnCare wants to be the app you use to manage your customers. Its logs and reports include fields for lawn/turf maintenance, fertilizer, trimming, irrigation, seasonal items, and your own custom comments. You can also record weather conditions and photos and share lists of properties and clients with other iPhones and iPads in your company. There’s a complementary mpengo Snow app, also $9.99, if you do winter snow removal.

Whether you’re already an expert or just starting to maintain the lawn at your first home, there’s an app made just for you.

Make Your Own Compost

Compost can make an excellent fertilizer for your home’s garden, but this readily available and simple option is often overlooked. Yes, watering your garden and using store-bought fertilizers and plant food is a great way to get started, but if you want to grow healthy, natural, and tasty vegetables inexpensively, composting is the way to go.

Chances are that there is already a compost pile somewhere in your community. These places take organic waste and allow it to break down into a form that can be used to fertilize anything from small gardens to large fields of crops. Most community compost heaps allow residents to take as much compost as they need. Available and accessible as these may be, however, creating and maintaining your own personal compost pile is both more fulfilling and easier; doing so may sound difficult to the inexperienced gardener, but it’s much easier than you think.

Make Your Own Compost

Backyard Composting

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, backyard composting is actually quite simple. It requires three major ingredients:

  1. “Brown waste,” such as dead leaves and tree branches
  2. “Green waste,” such as grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps and coffee grounds
  3. Water

Your compost pile should contain equal amounts of all three ingredients. The brown waste will provide carbon, while the green waste will provide nitrogen, both of which are essential to keeping a garden healthy. The water will help break down the organic matter.

To make your compost pile, find a cool, dry, shady spot near a water source and add both types of waste as they are collected. Chop up the larger pieces and moisten anything that looks too dry. Once your compost pile has grown to a decent size, bury more green waste—from sources such as grass clippings or fruit and vegetable scraps—under about ten inches of extant compost. You can cover your compost pile under a tarp to keep it from drying out if you wish, but as long as you are near a water source your pile should remain sufficiently moist. The compost is ready once it has the look, consistency, and smell of rich, dark soil. This normally takes between two months and two years.

You can continue to add waste to your compost pile until it is ready. Most organic waste can be added to a compost pile, but the following materials should be avoided:

  • Black walnut leaves and twigs
  • Meat scraps
  • Bones
  • Animal droppings
  • Dairy products
  • Diseased plants
  • Any plants treated with pesticides

There are a number of reasons why these materials should be avoided, but the primary one is that they all contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the plants they are used to fertilize, making your home-grown fruit and vegetables potentially harmful to you and your family.

Indoor Compost Bins

Most composting is done outdoors for obvious reasons, but not everybody has the space to make and maintain a large pile of compost. Fortunately, composting can just as easily be done indoors with a compost bin. These bins can be purchased at most hardware or home and garden stores, but one can also be made just as easily by following these easy steps:

  1. Drill holes ½ inch in diameter in the bottom and sides of a plastic garbage can.
  2. Place a brick surrounded by wood chips or soil at the bottom of a larger garbage can.
  3. Place the plastic can with the holes inside the larger can on top of the brick. Insulate the outer can to keep the unit warm, and keep it covered with a lid.

As with an outdoor compost pile, most organic wastes and shredded paper products can be kept in a compost bin. Remember to avoid the wastes listed above for outdoor composting, and avoid the smell by keeping the compost bin covered with a lid at all times.

As you can see, composting can be a great way to turn most of your waste into something useful. It does take some time and effort, but before long you will have a renewable source of nutrient-rich plant food for your garden.

Jennifer Carrigan is a freelance writer who uses her compost daily to make her planet healthy. To ensure she stays healthy, she can get a quote for life and critical illness cover and learn what is covered under critical illness policies.

Low Maintenance Landscape Design Ideas

With so many great things in this world, who has the time to maintain a yard or driveway? When you’re out having fun with friends, partying the night away, or having a romantic picnic, the last thing on your mind is taking care of the weeds in your backyard.

With low-maintenance landscape design, you won’t have to worry as much about pruning, mowing, planting, or cleaning, giving you more time to enjoy yourself. San Diego landscape design experts can personally help you with all your landscaping needs.

Low Maintenance Landscape Design Ideas

Rethinking Focal Points

In San Diego, outdoor kitchens are pretty common. They are a means of taking advantage of the great weather all year round. After all, there aren’t many people who dislike a good barbecue. However, barbecues and outdoor kitchens act as a focal point, giving you and visitors something to focus on aside from the grass, trees, and other elements of the yard.

There are numerous ways to develop focal points, including:

  • Pathways: Pathways are functionally a means of getting into a space, but visually, they lead eyes into, through, and around the landscape. Pathways act as a good transition between the street and your home. They can be the first impression a visitor has of a homeowner’s personality.
  • Outdoor water fountains: Water fountains and bird baths create a naturally welcoming ambiance, making an elegant statement about a person’s home. Many times, water fountains add to the architecture of a home. Outdoor water fountains often mask the hum of traffic and lawnmowers with the gentle sounds of trickling water.
  • Lighting: Like any film or photo, lighting in a landscape is very important. Landscape lighting gives you complete control of your yard, allowing you to highlight your trees and garden while leaving other, less-attractive elements in the dark. Lighting is an inexpensive way to add value to your property while also providing practical safety and security.

When It Comes to Plants

In landscape design, plants tend to take up the most maintenance time. While you can’t usually do away with plants completely, you can make decisions on the types of plants you want in your backyard.

When choosing foliage, go with drought-resistant plants like succulents, which require less water to thrive. Avoid plants that need frequent pruning and are susceptible to diseases and insect problems. Instead of mulching, consider using gravel, which cuts down on weeds and helps to retain soil.

Sam is an avid follower of San Diego landscape design and writes about low-maintenance landscape design regularly. He’s been working on his and his friends’ houses and designs for the past 25 years and loves sharing information with people who are looking to improve their plantslandscape design ideaslandscape lighting , lawnmowerslow maintenancemaintenance landscapeoutdoor water fountainsphoto lighting

The Practicality of Having a Raised Flower Bed

The raised flower bed can be aesthetically pleasing in virtually any environment. Nearly anything can be planted within it giving the area a great deal of functionality. Whether you are planting trees, bushes, or flowers, these beds can be versatile for your specific landscaping ideas. While raised flower beds can be very attractive, have you ever stopped to think of the practicality they provide aside from just aesthetics? There is more to one of these constructs than what you may be realizing.

1. Cleanliness – A raised flowerbed has less chance of collecting tidbits of garbage that could blow into your yard. While these bits of trash may collect to the side of the bed, you have less trash to physically pluck out of your flowers and bushes unless someone places an object and forgets to remove the trash. Businesses that have raised flower beds outside of their establishment could actually see an increase of random trash – until a trash can is placed nearby.

2. Easier to Weed – Instead of being hunched over your flowers on all fours, you could sit on the edge of your raised garden and pluck intruding weeds. This is aside from the fact that a raised bed is less likely to accumulate weeds due to the lack of ability that the seeds have to invade the soil. While it’s not impossible to have a few unwanted guests taking up root in your garden, the odds are significantly reduced that they will.

3. Animal Invasion – It’s not often you’ll see a dog jump into a three-foot-high raised flower bed to relieve him or herself. Raised beds help to prevent the invading animal kingdom from destroying your hard work. Female dogs have a way of killing plant life with urine and keeping her away from the gardens can help them live longer. While cats are still able to reach even the tallest of beds, there are many ways you can thwart their efforts as well.

4. Children – A raised flower bed has less of a chance of being trampled by children. Flowers that are ground-level are subjected to all kinds of violence from various elements. Playing children can demolish a beautiful bed of marigolds if they are able to walk through them. Although they may be innocent of malicious behavior, children are well known to not pay attention to what they are doing. While it may be an accident to ride a bike through the garden as they learn how to ride, the risks are still high.

The Practicality of Having a Raised Flower Bed

5. Flooding – It is quite easy for a ground-level flower bed to experience flooding whether it is from nature or human design. Raised flower gardens can be designed to spill off extra water when there is too much. Although flowers require some water, they can still drown and die.

There are many ways to design a flower garden for your home. When developing your plans of how to organize your yard, keep in mind the surrounding elements. While building for aesthetics is the primary goal, you should have a plan for being practical as well. Otherwise, you could be spending a great deal of time repairing your garden from the ravages of life. In what ways do you protect your garden from being subjected to damage?

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to liznelson17 @