Vegetable Container Garden

Growing vegies in pots and containers

Do you want to grow vegetables but your property lacks space? One way of adding life to a backyard, balcony, patio or rooftop is to grow vegetables in pots or containers. Container gardening is not as difficult as you might imagine.

Containers give you the freedom to control the environment in which your plants are growing.

IDEAS FOR CONTAINER GARDENING

Vegetable container gardening

Start with pots. The bigger the pot the better

  • Larger pots will need a little space and will have room for the roots to grow. Also, the advantage of a large pot over a smaller pot is that they will hold water better. And with a bigger container, you can grow more varieties.
  • If you can use barrels, tubs, buckets, boxes and other tubs and troughs then this is the preferred method. Make sure you have holes in the bottom so the water can runoff.

Maintenance Tips for Container Gardening with Vegetables

  • While clay pots may look more attractive than plastic pots, plastic pots retain moisture better. And they won’t dry out as fast as unglazed terra-cotta ones. If you are determined to use clay pots then why not put a plastic pot inside.
  • Black pots are a good idea as they attract and absorb heat from the sun.
  • The majority of plants will need watering two times a day. During summer insert the smaller pot into a larger pot and fill in space with moss or newspaper. When you water the plant include the space between the pots.
  • Hanging baskets make an effective decoration and are great space savers. You can grow herbs, cherry tomatoes and strawberries at eye level.
  • To improve draining add about 25mm of gravel at the base of the pot.
  • Every fortnight give the plants some liquid fertilizer.
  • Apply some compost to add trace elements to container soil.
  • Putting plants where they will receive the best sunlight is ideal. Also, make sure the area has good ventilation. Keep an eye out for insects that can cause harm to your plant.
  • Prepare yourself a calendar and circle the dates for routine tasks.

WINDOW BOX CONTAINERS

Window boxes are great for growing edible flowers. If you choose a window box fill it with a soilless mix. Don’t take soil from your garden as it is likely to contain unwanted insects and the soil is very heavy. You can grow marigolds and other related edible flowers. Most vegetables and plants need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Keep up the moisture and add organic ingredients like fish emulsion or manure. Even liquid seaweed is a good option.

SUPPORTING YOUR PLANTS

If you are growing vegetables that climb then adding supports is a must. Climbing plants can have a variety of supports such as stakes, netting, trellis or cages.

Insert your supports at the same time as you plant.

Plan your vegetable layout first. Plants that climb are ideal for plants that grow low. The climbers can climb up a trellis, whilst the low growers spread at the base. This is a good arrangement as you will reduce the space for weeds to grow.

Mix quick-maturing plants, such as lettuce or radishes, with longer-growing ones, like tomatoes or broccoli.

Group plants with similar needs for sun and water, such as pole beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and beets, tomatoes, basil, and onions, and peas and carrots.

Here is a list of 10 herbs to grow together in a container.

WHAT ARE THE BEST CONTAINERS FOR VEGETABLES

Below is a shortlist of vegetables that are container friendly and which container types are most suitable for each vegie.

Beans, snap
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Bush Blue Lake, Bush Romano, Tender Crop

Broccoli
Container: 1 plant =20-litre pot, 3 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: DeCicco, Green Comet

Carrots
Container: 20-litre window box at least 30cm deep
Varieties: Danvers Half Long, Short ‘n Sweet, Tiny Sweet

Cucumbers
Container: 1 plant = 4-litre pot
Varieties: ‘Patio Pik’, ‘Pot Luck’, ‘Spacemaster’

Eggplant
Container: 20-litre pot
Varieties: Black Beauty, Ichiban, Slim Jim

Lettuce
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Ruby, Salad Bowl

Onions
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: ‘White Sweet Spanish’, ‘Yellow Sweet Spanish’

Peppers
Container: 1 plant = 7-litre pot, 5 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: Cayenne, Long Red, Sweet Banana, Wonder, Yolo

Radishes
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Cherry Belle, Icicle

Tomatoes
Container: Bushel basket
Varieties: Early Girl, Patio, Small Fry, Sweet 100, Tiny Tim

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Is your vegetable garden prepared for summer

Michelle Stephen’s one of Australia’s best.

The Real Estate Business (REB) last week unveiled it’s top agents of Australia, and OBrien Real Estate’s own Michelle Stephens was awarded with a number of acknowledgements from the list of Australia’s best agents according to REB:

  • 4th within Australia for the number of listing and sales made.
  • 1st within Victoria for the number of listing made.

Michelle is a multiple award winning agent, last year Michelle also won the coveted 2019 Residential Sales Agent Of The Year for the Real Estate Institute Of Victoria (REIV).

Michelle works from our the Carrum Downs office at 4/121 Hall Rd, Carrum Downs VIC 3201.  Michelle can be contacted on 0417 352 644 or michelle.stephens@obre.com.au.

To view Michelle’s latest listings and results please click here

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 6

Garden home value

Part 6 – Invest Some Time In Gardening

Landscaping and gardening can add tens of thousands of dollars to your property. Unlike other kinds of home improvements, it not only adds instant value, but it is also the gift that keeps on giving. A carefully thought-out garden will literally add more value year on year as trees mature and provide those much sought after qualities like shade, privacy and screening. Spend some time on simple things like weeding, planting new flowers and shrubs, and if need be, new turf.
A neglected garden can lower your home’s value by somewhere between 5-15%. While taking your gardening efforts from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ can add up to 6-7% in value to your home.

Growing veggies in pots and containers

Do you want to grow vegetables but your property lacks space? One way of adding life to a backyard, balcony, patio or rooftop is to grow vegetables in pots or containers. Container gardening is not as difficult as you might imagine.

Containers give you the freedom to control the environment in which your plants are growing.

IDEAS FOR CONTAINER GARDENING

Vegetable container gardening

Start with pots. The bigger the pot the better

  • Larger pots will need a little space and will have room for the roots to grow. Also, the advantage of a large pot over a smaller pot is that they will hold water better. And with a bigger container, you can grow more varieties.
  • If you can use barrels, tubs, buckets, boxes and other tubs and troughs then this is the preferred method. Make sure you have holes in the bottom so the water can runoff.

Maintenance Tips for Container Gardening with Vegetables

  • While clay pots may look more attractive than plastic pots, plastic pots retain moisture better. And they won’t dry out as fast as unglazed terra-cotta ones. If you are determined to use clay pots then why not put a plastic pot inside.
  • Black pots are a good idea as they attract and absorb heat from the sun.
  • The majority of plants will need watering two times a day. During summer insert the smaller pot into a larger pot and fill in space with moss or newspaper. When you water the plant include the space between the pots.
  • Hanging baskets make an effective decoration and are great space savers. You can grow herbs, cherry tomatoes and strawberries at eye level.
  • To improve draining add about 25mm of gravel at the base of the pot.
  • Every fortnight give the plants some liquid fertilizer.
  • Apply some compost to add trace elements to container soil.
  • Putting plants where they will receive the best sunlight is ideal. Also, make sure the area has good ventilation. Keep an eye out for insects that can cause harm to your plant.
  • Prepare yourself a calendar and circle the dates for routine tasks.

WINDOW BOX CONTAINERS

Window boxes are great for growing edible flowers. If you choose a window box fill it with a soilless mix. Don’t take soil from your garden as it is likely to contain unwanted insects and the soil is very heavy. You can grow marigolds and other related edible flowers. Most vegetables and plants need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Keep up the moisture and add organic ingredients like fish emulsion or manure. Even liquid seaweed is a good option.

SUPPORTING YOUR PLANTS

If you are growing vegetables that climb then adding supports is a must. Climbing plants can have a variety of supports such as stakes, netting, trellis or cages.

Insert your supports at the same time as you plant.

Plan your vegetable layout first. Plants that climb are ideal for plants that grow low. The climbers can climb up a trellis, whilst the low growers spread at the base. This is a good arrangement as you will reduce the space for weeds to grow.

Mix quick-maturing plants, such as lettuce or radishes, with longer-growing ones, like tomatoes or broccoli.

Group plants with similar needs for sun and water, such as pole beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and beets, tomatoes, basil, and onions, and peas and carrots.

Here is a list of 10 herbs to grow together in a container.

WHAT ARE THE BEST CONTAINERS FOR VEGETABLES

Below is a shortlist of vegetables that are container friendly and which container types are most suitable for each vegie.

Beans, snap
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Bush Blue Lake, Bush Romano, Tender Crop

Broccoli
Container: 1 plant =20-litre pot, 3 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: DeCicco, Green Comet

Carrots
Container: 20-litre window box at least 30cm deep
Varieties: Danvers Half Long, Short ‘n Sweet, Tiny Sweet

Cucumbers
Container: 1 plant = 4-litre pot
Varieties: ‘Patio Pik’, ‘Pot Luck’, ‘Spacemaster’

Eggplant
Container: 20-litre pot
Varieties: Black Beauty, Ichiban, Slim Jim

Lettuce
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Ruby, Salad Bowl

Onions
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: ‘White Sweet Spanish’, ‘Yellow Sweet Spanish’

Peppers
Container: 1 plant = 7-litre pot, 5 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: Cayenne, Long Red, Sweet Banana, Wonder, Yolo

Radishes
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Cherry Belle, Icicle

Tomatoes
Container: Bushel basket
Varieties: Early Girl, Patio, Small Fry, Sweet 100, Tiny Tim

RELATED ARTICLES

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 5

High pressure cleaning

Part 5. High Pressure Clean Old Surfaces

Clean surfaces that look as good as new is important because nothing says neglect like a dirty looking house. No matter what kind of home you have, it will always look cared for if it is kept clean. Pressure cleaners are a great way to remove things like dirt, mildew, and oil from a variety of surfaces to make them look clean and like new again. Over a weekend it’s perfectly achievable to hire a high-pressure water cleaner and tackle surfaces like:

  • Courtyard pavers
  • Outdoor decks
  • Driveways and garage floors
  • The grout in between bricks and outdoor tiles

Make sure you do plenty of research so you know exactly what attachments, water pressure and detergents you will need for different surfaces. This is important as you don’t want to end up causing any damage to your home. Of course, if your budget allows, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. An average cost is around $150-$250 for anywhere up to 40 square metres.

A neglected garden lowers your home’s value by somewhere between 5-15%.

Browse our other blogs on cleaning –

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 4

Renew outdoor living areas

Part 4. Renew your outdoor living areas

Each space in your home should be comfortable, easy on the eye and functional. Yes, even your outdoor spaces. Whether you’re selling or not, a beautiful outdoor space that functions as an extended living area or room will add instant value to your home.

You can:

  • Stain and polish tired outdoor furniture
  • Use decorative accents like outdoor cushions, colourful pots and lanterns
  • Plant trees that provide shade, screening, privacy and calm
  • Install windsails
  • Install a budget deck – if you’re really handy on the tools, you can even do this yourself
  • Refinish an existing deck

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 3

Creating an illusion of space

Part 3 – Focus on areas that increase ‘perceived value’

A big part of adding value to a home when you’re selling is increasing the ‘perceived value’ of a space. This includes things like home styling and creating the look of a lifestyle that people want to be a part of. That’s why when you do decide to sell your property, the approach should be more like a business proposition than an emotional one. If you’re not quite ready to sell, but want to plant the seeds for building this kind of value when you do sell, there are a few things you can do.

Create the illusion of space
This means lighter walls, lighter flooring colours, mirrors, plenty of light, and arranging furniture in a way that doesn’t overpower a room.

Tackle your home’s curb appeal
There’s no denying the fact that curb appeal is important when you’re trying to get buyers through the door. It’s just as important to homeowners when you are happy to stay put. How your home looks on the outside impacts how people perceive the inside, so it’s a good idea to make a great first impression. You can:

  • Paint fencing, railings or your front door
  • Replace letter boxes or hardware
  • Utilise garden lighting around paths, against fencing or tall trees and shrubs
  • Install container or window boxes and fill with colourful perennials
  • Clean, paint or replace guttering

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 2

Updating to a modern kitchen

Part 2 – Update your kitchen

It goes without saying that the kitchen is the hub and heart of the home. There is plenty of truth to the saying that a great kitchen will sell a home, so updating it will undoubtedly add the most value to your property. But what if you don’t have the time nor budget for a complete kitchen overhaul? Luckily you breathe new life into this space without sacrificing your sanity or your bank account. Here are some ideas and options:

Vinyl flooring: For an easy update, you can consider budget flooring materials such as vinyl. It is stain and scratch-resistant, and also has a cushiony feeling underfoot. Because of this, it is widely touted as being a safer option for families with young children. Even though vinyl can be bought and installed on a budget, it doesn’t need to look cheap. Thankfully technology has gifted us with vinyl sheets and tiles that look convincingly like more expensive materials such as wood and stone – and at the fraction of the price.

Update tired benchtops: If your benchtops look a little worse for wear, an easy and budget-friendly option is laminate. It is still one of the most popular materials across the country due to its wide range of colours, patterns and finishes that mimic more ‘luxury’ materials.

Paint wooden cabinetry: If your cabinetry needs an update it might be a candidate for painting. If you’re not sure whether your cabinetry is okay to paint, you can remove one of the doors and take it down to your local hardware store or paint shop and consult someone who has more expertise.

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 1

Family painting improvement projects

Part 1 of our 6 part series on easy ways to add instant value to your home in one weekend

For sellers getting ready to put their property on the market, the extra time spent at home due to COVID-19 is ensuring that home improvements and repairs become their sole focus. This will become even more apparent over the upcoming weeks where sellers will be working on jobs that present their property in the best light.
In the next 6 part series OBrien Real Estate will show you which home improvements you should focus on in order to avoid over-capitalising, especially in the current market. Provided your property has good bones, you can forego major renovations and stick to these options alone. These simple updates don’t just deliver a high rate of return, they can also typically be achieved over a few days.

Step 1: Get an estimate of what your home is worth right now by contacting your OBrien Real Estate Agent

  1. Refresh your walls with a coat of paint

Paint is a great way to add value to any kind of property and is also one of the easiest and fastest ways to do so. The good news is that this is one home improvement that’s friendly on the hip pocket. If you have a bit of spare time and a bucket load of patience, you can easily paint your home yourself. And yes, Bunnings & Mitre10 are open, so you can head on down to get your supplies.

A lick of fresh paint in a modern and widely appealing colour palette can net you a return of tens of thousands of dollars. Just make sure you get the colours right. If you pick loud, overly unique and garish colours, you could decrease your home’s value and turn buyers off. For a small price, most popular paint brands and their stores will offer a colour consultation service. For the unsure, this is a wise investment.

If you’d rather hire a professional, you can still do that too. Painters are still working, and you can expect to pay a rate between $10 – $40 per square metre, including the ceiling. On average, interior painters charge between $18 and $20 per square metre in Australia. Prices will vary depending on where you live, and it’s also good to keep in mind that extra finishes, feature walls or the finicky painting of detailed art deco features could cost you more.

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

What Is The Right Carpet For Your Home

Carpet for a home

How to select the right carpet for your house

Interior design is always a tough decision when selecting furniture and fittings for your home. Everyone has a different taste, therefore, everyone will have a different perspective on what is appealing. Then you have to have an imagination on how all these furnishings will look once you have finished decorating. Carpet is no different.
What type of carpet for a house
The first thing you need to do is determine which quality of carpet you want. Typically there are 2 types of carpet. Wool and SDN which is solution dyed nylon. What is the difference between these 2 types of carpet?

WOOL versus SDN
Both of these carpets feel good under your feet. Both are long-wearing and have stain retardant qualities. The one advantage SDN carpet has is its ability to hold its colour over a longer period of time when exposed to sunlight. However, wool is what they scientifically call hypoallergenic. This means it is resistant to fire and call also regulate moisture. Therefore creating a warm, dry and healthy environment.

CARPET SHOWROOMS
There are carpet showrooms that stage different rooms of a house that can give you a good idea of what styles and colours will suit your home. Or, you can visit mega stores like IKEA and see how they have staged their showrooms.
Once you choose the carpet make you want then by default you will eliminate half of the carpets when you go to a showroom.

When choosing a carpet you need to imagine the following.

    • Will the carpet texture and colour match the colour of your walls.
    • Will the carpet blend in with the furnishings.
    • What type of traffic is going to be walking on the carpet

When you are picking out your carpet see how it looks under natural and artificial lighting. Darker colours will give the appearance of the room appearing smaller. Lighter colours will make the room feel more spacious.

MARRIAGE OF TASTES
Finally, you have to be flexible when making a joint decision. Remember everyone sees things differently. Neither is right or wrong. This is why it helps to visit showrooms.

ORDER CARPET SAMPLES
If you want to see some samples of carpet then there are a number of carpet sellers that will send to you samples.
Cavalier Bremworth

Novel Ideas For The Home

Looking for things you can use around the home?

Here are 9 novel ideas that you can easily use with household items you already have.

1. Vegetable Peelers

There’s only one way to use a vegetable peeler, but it does more than just peeling the outside of a vegetable. You can use it to peel vegetables in just about any way imaginable, which can really come in handy when you have a meal to prepare.

Try using your vegetable peeler to slice onions. Chopping onions with a knife works well enough, but sometimes you want thinner strips and you don’t have the patience to slice everything up nice and thin.

2. Saucepan Handles

Eating is something we all do every day, and there’s very little eating that doesn’t start as cooking. The upside of cooking is it inevitably leads to eating, but the downside is it inevitably leads to cleaning up afterward.

If you’ve ever made a mess by dipping a spoon in a saucepan of food and then leaving the spoon out on the countertop, then this handy trick will be a lifesaver. Almost every saucepan has a hole in the handle, and you can use this to balance the spoon and save yourself the clean up after.

3. Pasta Measuring Ladle

This has happened to everyone who ever cooked pasta: you think you’ve picked the perfect serving size, only to find you’ve got too much pasta. Pasta always grows when you cook it, and you can end up with way too much — or worse, with just a little bit extra, but not quite enough to save for later.

The little hole in a pasta ladle can help save the day. You can use it to measure out how much pasta you should cook, and it tends to give you just the right amount for a meal for one.

4. Frozen Sponges

Keeping your food fresh and your cold meals cold can be a challenge. There’s a simple way to create an impromptu ice pack whenever you need it, though, just by grabbing an everyday item like a sponge. Just fill a fresh sponge with water, place it in a plastic bag, and stick it in the freezer.

The frozen sponge will stay cold for a long time. Just make sure you’re using a fresh, clean sponge — and make sure the bag you use is watertight!

5. Coca Cola Toilet Cleanser

Coca Cola is everywhere, and there’s no denying it’s delicious. There’s a reason it’s one of the world’s most popular sodas. There are a lot of other uses for the beverage, though — some people use it to settle an upset stomach, but the acidity of Coca Cola can also make it useful for other things.

Some people will use it to clean tiles, porcelain, and to remove rust. It may seem strange, but plenty of people swear by it.

6. Bread Tag Labels

Once you’re done with your bread, you’re probably done with your bread tags. Most people don’t think twice before throwing the tags out with the bread bag (and usually, the crusts, too.) There’s more that they can do than hold a bread bag closed, though.

You can use your bread tags to keep your cords organized, by clipping them together — or by writing notes on the tags, and keeping them as reminders.

7. Drink Cartons

Pouring yourself a glass of milk or filling up a bowl of cereal sometimes leads to accidents. There’s no use crying of spilled milk and that’s because it happens all the time. There’s something about all that liquid sloshing around that makes it harder to keep control.

Unless that is, you try this simple trick. If you pour milk from the other side of the carton there’s less milk sloshing around and it’s easier to hold it steady. It may seem weird, but give it a try and see how it works.

8. Measuring Tape Diamonds Stud Finder

Another little detail that’s easy to miss is on a tool we all have, but which we might not use all that often, our tape measure. Everyone’s seen a tape measure and most of us have used one, but there’s more to it than just stretching it out and counting the numbers.

There are tiny markings on tape measures that are there to help you find the right position for wall studs. These black diamonds are known as “stud finders,” and they can help mark the center point between two studs.

9. Peeling Oranges

An orange is a delicious snack, it’s good for you, and it’s lots of fun to eat as well. Except once you’re done, there’s juice everywhere, and you’re all sticky. There’s a better way to do it that avoids all the mess, and makes the whole experience easier too.

Cut the orange on both ends, top and bottom, and then you can just pull it open. The orange will unwrap conveniently and you can use the skin to keep it all together. Very handy.