How to get started with deep bedsWritten by Frann Leach
The use of deep beds as a method of growing crops has become very popular with organic gardeners for several reasons, including:
- once set up, amount of work you have to do every year (digging and so on) is much reduced
- there is an improvement in soil structure because of reduced compaction from being walked on
- you can cut down on amount of compost or fertiliser you use, because you don't waste it on areas that aren't going to be used for growing.
The basic idea of deep bed is that you divide your plot into sections about 2-3m (6-10') long by about 40cm (4') wide, separated by pathways about 500cm (2') wide. The dimensions are important: width should be no more than is comfortable to reach across (for weeding, planting, harvesting and like) from either pathway. The length should be long enough to be usable, but not so long that you are tempted to take a shortcut across middle. If you do find yourself doing this, cut bed in half with another path. When planning layout of deep beds, try to align them so that length of beds is on a north-south axis, to give crops maximum benefit from sunshine, and when planning cropping of beds remember to site tall crops on northern side so that they do not overshadow lower growing crops.
Many people use wooden or plastic supporting 'walls' around beds. You can make a frame out of planks of wood, if you wish. However, if you have any trouble with slugs or snails (and who doesn't?), you will quickly find that these provide a lovely little haven for them. You may prefer to go without, or you may work on principal that, if you know where culprits are, they are easier to deal with.
Guidelines for Printing Great Photos at HomeWritten by Kelly Paal
So you have this great digital camera and youíve taken lots of great photos. Now what? Well you could go to a store and have them print your images for you, but isnít that what you did with film? The point of all this great digital technology is that you can print your own photos at home without having to pay someone else to do it. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Itíll seem like a lot of money at first but spend money to get a good printer. Six color at least. Ink jets are wonderful for printing snapshots. You wonít need more than that. Also look around at computer brands that sell computer packages for digital printing, printer that they recommend is perfect for printing photos at home.
2. Buy some photo editing software. There are lots of brands out there many of them for pros but you can easily find software under one hundred dollars that will have lots more options than you will ever use. Look for software that has automatic settings so that computer can automatically color correct, auto focus, brighten, or darken, etc. At least until you learn number 3.
3. Learn your equipment. Take time play with settings. Donít try to print perfect photos right away. Most people with a little time and practice can learn to do basic photo special effects. Give yourself time to learn.