How Vegetables and Fruits Can Affect the Health of Your Teeth

It’s a well known fact that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is good for your weight but did you know that they are good for your teeth too? With the popularity of gardens increasing and people wanting to grow their own fruits and vegetables, it can pay off to know the right kinds of veggies and fruits to add to your garden. Healthy teeth and gums are definitely a result of what you put into your body in the way of food and drink.

Consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks and your teeth will show the poor results. Cakes and sweets, a lot of friend foods and refined white flour has very little in the way of nutritional value, so if your diet mainly consists of these types of food, the teeth and gums are not getting the boost they need to remain strong. As a result, you may notice weaker teeth, cavities cropping up and plaque buildup, none of which make for a strong, long lasting set of teeth.

Eat a lot of fresh, raw veggies and fresh fruits, drink milk and water and add whole grains and lean protein and you’ve got the recipe for a beautiful, long lasting smile that will improve your whole appearance. The best way for the body to get these nutrients is through food although due to the common diet, this is becoming more and more difficult.

Having your own garden means that you have the ability to grow the types of vegetables that can really make a difference in your health. Along with healthy teeth and gums, you’re body will be mire fit too because having a garden can be a lot of physical work that is also good for your heart and lungs.

Vegetables That Will Make Your Teeth Healthy and Strong

Fresh, raw vegetables are packed with nutrients that help teeth and gums stay healthy. There are so many choices, that it’s possible to find at least one or two that you like, even if vegetables aren’t your favorite thing to eat.

Raw vegetables are better for many reasons:

  • Crunching on the raw veggies stimulates the gums
  • All of the nutrients in the vegetable remain intact because it hasn’t been cooked out
  • Fiber rich vegetables work like a detergent, cleaning your mouth of harmful bacteria
  • Vegetables do not cause tooth decay

If you’d like to add some great teeth building vegetables to your garden be sure to include things like carrots, celery, radishes, cauliflower (raw), fresh from the garden green beans and other similar types. The crunchier the vegetables are and the more natural you eat them (not cooked or even steamed) the better health benefits you’ll reap.

The darker, leafy vegetables also improve the health and condition of your teeth and gums. Choices that would be great additions to your garden plots include such important vitamins as vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients are all extremely important to oral health. Phosphorus is an important nutrient due to the fact that it is a crucial mineral that is instrumental to helping your body absorb calcium and magnesium. Both of which are important for strong teeth and gums.

Another couple of vegetables that are very beneficial to your oral health are Shiitake Mushrooms and Onions. Both of these vegetables have amazing preventative capabilities. Shiitake mushrooms have a natural sugar in them called lentinan that can help prevent gingivitis. This all too common gum disease can cause swelling, and even bleeding.

Onions, especially raw onions have cited to completely eliminate four strains of bacteria in the mouth that are known to cause cavities and other gum disease. You don’t have to eat a lot of them; just a few slices on a sandwich or on your salad are just right.

Fruits That Are Great Tooth and Gum Protectors

One of the most important vitamins that fruits can bring to oral health is Vitamin C. This is crucial for the overall health of gum tissue and helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen. Without this collagen you will notice that the gums can become extremely sensitive and more prone to gum disease. Some of the best fruits to add to your diet are strawberries and kiwi which contrary to what many think; actually have the highest concentrations of Vitamin C.

Citrus has great numbers too and are dual purpose due to the astringent properties they have. This can reverse tooth discoloration that can be caused by coffee and wine. You do need to be aware that consuming a lot of citrus can breakdown tooth enamel due to the acidity and can cause breakage, discoloration and cracking of the teeth. It doesn’t mean NOT to eat them because in limited quantities they provide much needed benefits, but if you can get the bulk of your Vitamin C through the other sources, your teeth will be better for it.

Another great fruit to eat to improve oral health are cranberries. There have been recent studies that indicate that they block the bonding of bacteria in the mouth stopping it from becoming plaque which can cause all kinds of problems.

Last but certainly not least are apples. There are so many different varieties of apples that getting bored with eating them is kind of difficult. The old adage “an apple a day can keep the doctor away’ could also apply to dentists. The water packed fruit helps wash away the bacteria that can settle on the teeth and gums and cause gum disease and cavities.

It can be a good habit to get into to eat an apple slice or two first thing in the morning if you don’t have access to a toothbrush for some reason. It can work as a natural breath freshener and helps to wash away any bacteria that have settled on the teeth and around them overnight. No matter what fruits and vegetables you decide to grow, one thing remains true; eating them every day at least in some form can do a lot to help you have healthy, strong and attractive teeth that last well into old age.

The Different Types of Metal Garden Edging

Using the correct metal garden edging will save the smart gardener hours of work removing grass, weeds, and other annoyances that can creep into your flower beds.

In the gardening world today you can find many types of edging, from plastic, wood, stone, and even cement.

I won’t be talking about any of them, no sir indeed, instead I will offer you the low down on three different types of metal lawn edging, with pros and cons given for each type of edging.

Aluminium Edging

Aluminium Lawn Edging

Out of three metal edgings on review today, aluminium is by far the most flexible and easiest to install given my own personal experience.

Aluminium garden edging is mostly used by gardeners who prefer to let their plants and flowers grow naturally, but like to set divides between each species of plant or flower. Aluminium edging works best for these types of situations, as the metal can be easily manipulated to form asymmetrical shapes.

For the fancy gardener who loves sophisticated designs, aluminium edging is the best option out the three due its flexibility.

Compared to the other two metal garden edgings, aluminium is also the cheapest and often used by landscapers who work in big gardens, due to its low cost.

Pros:

  • The cheapest metal edging material
  • Easy to install
  • Very flexible and perfect for complex designs
  • Perfect for softer soil types

Cons:

  • Not so durable compared to steel or iron
  • The most expensive metal edging
  • Not very flexible

Steel Edging

Steel Lawn Edging

Steel garden edging is the strongest metal edging of the three, but has the drawback of not being as flexible as aluminium edging. Steel edgings are perfect to use when separating flower beds by their color or species, using steel edging to create straight lined boundaries to separate one bed from the next, gives your garden a very clean look.

Steel is awesome if you’re a neat and tidy gardener who likes everything to look nice and uniformed, I wouldn’t suggest using steal for curvy or more advanced designs though.

Pros:

  • Very strong and durable
  • Perfect to horizontal boundaries
  • Provides a clean finish
  • Perfect for heavier soil types

Cons:

  • Not very flexible

Iron Edging

Iron Lawn Edging

Compared against aluminium and steel, iron garden edgings is not as commonly used due to its lack of flexibility in comparison aluminium, and not being as strong as steel.

Metal properties in iron garden edgings are also prone to rust quicker than other metals, as a result they have to be more commonly replaced. Iron is a quite a heavy metal as well, installing and transporting iron edgings will end up taking a bit more time and end up costing more money.

Iron edging is not all bad, if you’re an old school gardener who is looking for a rusty or an old school beaten up feel, iron edging is the metal of choice, once rusted it provides you a look that the two other metals fall short of.

Pros:

  • Can provide your garden with an old rustic feel
  • Perfect for heavier soil types

Cons:

  • Heavier than steel or aluminium

So which metal edging should I use?

Well that depends on a number of factors, picking the right metal edging doesn’t just rely on what design you’re after, but the type of soil you have as well. Softer soil types are perfect for aluminium edging, it can easily be dug into the ground into any shape you wish. Tougher or firmer soil that contain bits of rocks or chippings, you’re going to need to go with either steel or iron.

Pro tip – All metal is prone to rust, I like to paint my metal edging before I install them in the garden, paint along with making my garden look more aesthetically pleasing, also minimizes rust.

3 Tips to lay metal lawn edging correctly

Here are some basic tips to correctly lay metal garden edging.

Watch out!

Metal edging doesn’t come without it risks, they are really sharp and can do some damaged to your hands or thighs if not handled correctly. I would first suggest buying metal edging that comes with a plastic coating or rolled rims, if you can’t find that, then always wear gloves and be carful not to clip the edges against your skin.

Clean your soil and make some markings

Once you’ve found the spot to lay your metal edging, smooth out the soil by removing any debris such as rocks, chippings, and other rubbish. With a piece of chalk, create a line where you would like to place the edging, then proceed to dig a small trench around the perimeter, ensuring that the trench is big enough to firmly place in the edging.

Once you’ve cleared the area of debris etc, it is important to create a border between the grass and the soil. A manual lawn edger is an extremely useful tool for this task, allowing you greater control. You can find more info about edgers on bestweedeaters.com and determine which one is best for your needs, or read how to use them on www.wikihow.com

Next you should place metal stakes in the ground to ensure the metal edging says firmly in the ground when fitted. Make sure to fill up any areas that have gaps between your edging and the trench. This is vital, as it will prevent weeds and other grasses from coming into contact with your sectioned-off plants.

How to measure how much edging you require

This is simple but I figured I should explain it anyway, you first need to decide what area of the garden you want for your new flowerbed. Once you’ve decided I suggest using a chalk and a ruler to mark out the boundary of the flowerbed, using only straight lines chalk the boundary. Finally measure all the lines to figure out how much metal edging you need, in many shops edging is sold in lengths of 10 feet per piece, so maybe factor that in when you’re deciding on the size of your new flower bed to minimize waste.

You should now be fairly educated on the basics of metal edging, the benefits each one edging provides, and some insider tips on how to install metal garden edging correctly.

Please remember to do your research first on the soil type your garden has, and what type of look you’re going for, so you can pick the right type of edging for your needs.

The Ultimate Guide to Bottle Brush Tree

Bottlebrushes which are also known as Callistemon, are a garden tree which belong to the Myrtaceae family. Currently there’s about 40 different species of this tree that have been discovered worldwide.

They’re named a bottlebrush, well because they look like a bottlebrush, duh.

Bottle Brush Tree

Most commonly found on the Australian coastline, around Perth, and all up the East Coast. Bottlebrushes thrive on mostly wet or moist conditions (tropical climates), in areas that are prone to flooding. Being a very adaptable tree, they can grow in almost any country that’s not too cold, and are now common in gardens around Europe and the United States.

4 common types of Bottlebrushes

I won’t mention all 40 species of bottlebrushes, because well I can’t name them off the top of my head, but I’ll talk about the ones I do know or plant myself.

Crimson Bottlebrush

Crimson Bottlebrush Tree

Crimson Bottlebrush – this is the George Clooney of bottlebrushes, it’s the most famous and well known of all species. The Crimson is a hardy shrub, and during summer and autumn, the tree blossoms and displays beautiful red flowers, really bringing to life your garden.

Crimson Bottlebrushes will grow as high as 4 meters if they’ve received enough sunlight and water, they prefer damper soils for optimal growth.

I’d advise you to prune and fertilize them just after flowering, to ensure better growth as well as making it the tree more aesthetically pleasing.

Weeping Bottlebrush

Weeping Bottlebrush

Weeping Bottlebrush – is a large tree that is commonly grown by lot gardeners including myself. The flowers are bright red and the sharp spikes will attract bees, wasps, and even birds due to the nectar content inside.

Weeping Bottlebrushes have the ability to grow in a range of soil environments, ideally preferring boggy soil, which works very well for my trees. Weeping Bottlebrushes can grow as high as 7 meters if conditions are optimal, and if you’ve done everything right.

Pro tip – they don’t like the cold and are very frost tender, most susceptible when young.

Willow Bottlebrush

Willow Brushtree

Willow Bottlebrush – can grow pretty tall with some growing as high as 12 meters in optimal conditions. The Willow doesn’t require too much water compared to other bottlebrushes but can be affected by colder weather, the flower and spike colours usually ranging from white, green and pink.

Lemon Bottlebrush

Lemon Bottlebrush

Lemon Bottlebrush – a much more versatile bottlebrush, it won’t be affected by the cold weather and can grow in most soil types with little problems.

For best results I like to plant Lemon Bottlebrushes in the garden where it can gain maximum sunlight, mine always grow around 2-4 meters in height.

How to grow a Bottlebrush Tree in your garden

Many garden connoisseurs including myself love to grow bottlebrushes, they’re pretty easy to maintain, can live as long as 20 to 40 years if cared for correctly, and they look great.

Here is what you need to do in order to grown your own.

Planting – whenever you’re planting bottlebrushes, ideally you’d want to plant them in an area which receives maximum sunlight. So that’s not against a wall or hidden behind a tall structure that will offer it shade. Pick a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

As far as soil goes, I always advise using well-drained soil when planting bottlebrushes. Even though this type of tree can grow in many different varieties, it doesn’t react to well to alkaline surroundings, so do keep that in mind when planting.

Make sure never to plant any other flowers or trees within a 6-7 foot radius of the bottlebrush, they’re very fast growers and require a lot of nutriments. By planting other life in such a short distance, could affect the growth quality of all the plants in the nearby area.

Fertilizer – my tip would be to use a low-phosphorus fertilizer, which you should add ideally in spring or fall if possible.

Mulch – add a decent amount of mulch around the plant, this can help the tree grow. Mulch does wonders for bottlebrushes as it reduces weeds, keeps in moisture while improving fertility, and ensures the health quality of the soil.

Pruning – when you start pruning, how much you cut off totally depends on the style you want, there is not right or wrong amount. It’s ideal to cut just before the flowers have fully bloomed or just after they’re finishing. Sometimes you might be required to cut a few extra flowers to get the shape you’re looking for, so don’t be too worried about that. Every gardener should know that pruning is necessary, as it promotes the growth of new flowers blossom period, and if you didn’t, you do now!

Water – as I’ve mentioned earlier the bottlebrush is an easy to maintain tree, you only need to manually water when it’s extremely hot or when very dry. Applying appropriate mulch should protect the plant from the heat quite nicely, other than that the natural rainfall should be all the water it needs.

Growing your own bottlebrush is as easy as that, once you’ve had one for a year, you should be able to grow several of these bad boys quite easily. It’s not as hard or as hair pulling as raising children, so don’t worry too much.

Pests and diseases

Bottlebrushes are a strong plant and can fight off a lot of things, but that doesn’t make them bullet proof. They’re still open to certain diseases including, root rot and cylindrocladium.

Root rot – this occurs when the plant receives too much water. The excess water becomes a nice little breeding ground for oocytes, bacteria, and fungi to grow and eat the plant. Common ways to spot a root rot is when the foliage turns yellow and starts to drop off, or the plant loses its colour. If unnoticed and untreated, the plant will end up dying.

Cylindrocladium – similar to root rot, this is a fungus that will attack the root before moving up to the stem of the plant. Cylindrocladium can also latch onto other plants nearby and infect them, so stay on guard. It’s easy to spot this type of root rot, as cylindrocladium leaves a white form residue around the infected areas. You’ll get this type of root rot usually around the dry humid periods, or when it’s been raining quite a lot.

Well that’s all for today folks, I’ve listed the 4 most common types of bottlebrushes, and how you need to grown your own bottlebrushes. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will do what I can to help.

How to Choose the Best Weed Grinder

If you’ve ever looked into purchasing an herb grinder you know that there are a vast number of products on the market with only subtle differences separating them.

The types include acrylic, plastic, metal, and wood in either electric or hand crank styles.

We’ve devised this guide to help you select the best weed grinder for your specific uses, ranking the products in a number of categories.

Quality

You want the weed grinder to stand up to the test when preparing your herb so quality is a big ingredient. A well made grinder with numerous teeth in strategic placement will produce the best results.

Results

Quality and results kind of go hand in hand but when choosing the best grinder you want one that actually produces results. A durable and well made weed grinder is basically worthless if it doesn’t shred the weed down.

Price

Price is a big factor in finding the best grinder on the market. A person could legitimately spend upwards of $50 to $80 on a unit but may actually find better quality and results from a $10 piece. Bang for the buck is a key component in selecting the perfect herb grinder.

Material

It’s hard for a wood or even a metal grinder to top the list of best product because people have been known to get sick from using them. Wood grinders may have stain on them and the wood can start flaking with age, infiltrating the herb. A number of metal weed grinders actually have aluminum in them which can also have adverse effects on users.

Using a safe material is a high priority in ranking the best week grinders.

Features

To really sweeten the pot and win our weed grinder ratings a product should have extra features. Magnets will help hold the grinder together and a compartment for storage of surplus weed is a nice bonus. Kief catchers are also nice but for the most part ineffective because it takes so long to actually accumulate enough of the resin.

Rating the Grinders

We’ve tested out some weed grinders so you can be the judge on which factors of price, material, quality and so forth are most important to you.

Aluminum – Aluminum grinders are sleek, cost effective, and efficient but the risks of flaking that could be attributed to Alzheimer’s and other diseases is just too much of a risk. It’s important to enjoy your weed in peace and that’s hard to do with the thought of smoking toxic aluminum in the back of your mind.

It only takes a little bit of ingested aluminum over a short time to start to feel adverse health effects. If there aren’t enough pins in your aluminum grinder you’ll notice that the product leaves chunks of herb in its wake, effectively failing to do the one thing it’s designed to – grind weed. Still for the herb lover on a budget it’s hard to beat the $10 to $20 average cost for the aluminum grinder.

Acrylic – Acrylic grinders are fairly common and can be found for as little as $4 or $5. To get maximum effectiveness from an acrylic piece though it’s probably better to spend upwards of $20 or more on a product. Some problems that could arise with the cheaper models include having a large number of teeth but not having them spaced properly which leaves the weed chunky and full. Other acrylic herb grinders could have a lack of pins without an adequate surface area for proper grinding. Pieces of plastic have also been known to break off and could become discreetly tucked into your weed, presenting a chance of health problems or just a bad smoke session. An acrylic grinder with magnets in the center could cause a majority of the weed to get lodged in the middle and remain chunky. Extra features like magnets shouldn’t come at the expense of good grinding results.

Wood Grinders

Wood Grinder

Wood – Perhaps the coolest thing about the wood weed grinder is that the covers can be burned with unique insignias or painted for customization. The outside of wood grinders are also heavy duty but the grinding surface is apt to flake apart under heavy use. If the metal teeth actually break off you’re probably grinding wrong but that is a common sentiment with plastic acrylic grinders. Often times though the thicker wood teeth that are so durable also prevent enough space for proper grinding and the weed remains chunky.

Metal Grinders

Metal Herb Grinder

Metal – The metal herb grinders are also very durable and can be engraved with a name, logo, or special message. The product is also relatively inexpensive at $10-15. If the teeth inside are too long the metal on metal grinding could produce shavings in your herb but the picks rarely break off. The metal grinders are long lasting and work well and are probably our 2nd favorite product behind the…

Diamond Grinder – The best weed grinder we could find was one made of pharmaceutical grade polycarbonite polymer, known as the diamond grinder. The teeth were shaped like a rhomboid so that they cut the herb instead of shredding and pulling it apart. The diamond grinder has a durable feel to it and you can just tell it will last a long time. The herb is more evenly ground and fluffy with the diamond grinder and the medical grade material doesn’t flake or give off gases like acrylic and plastic units. The diamond grinder also features two magnets but on the inside of the storage compartments so that it doesn’t interfere with the grinding process or take up valuable space on the surface area. This grinder also features two storage compartments that hold 3-1/2 grams of weed each.

You might be tempted to pick up a $3 gas station grinder but be prepared to get what you’ve paid for. It really is a better investment to pick up a pricier grinder that produces great results, is safe, and lasts a lot longer. When you factor in getting your name or initials engraved on one and having a storage compartment built in to carry your weed you’ll have a product you can really enjoy and be fond of.