List of Garden Vegetables to Grow for Beginner and Intermediate Gardeners

Growing fruits and vegetables in your garden can be a rewarding experience for the whole family. However, not all fruits and veggies are equally easy to master and a few can be downright difficult. Continue on for a list of garden vegetables to grow for all levels.

Some crops are considered cool season crops, while others are warm season crops. Cool season crops such as peas, broccoli and potatoes tend to grow better in the spring and fall, while warm season crops do best when planted in late spring and mature throughout the summer. Utilizing succession planting can be a huge benefit to bolster your crops.

Tomato, Cherry Baby Hybrid

Beginner Veggies

We’ll start with a few vegetables that just about anyone can grow — even on a porch or patio! These plants are hardy, versatile and produce an abundance of crops you can share with friends and family.

Peas

Peas love cool temperatures and do best when planted in spring or fall. These climbing plants use their tendrils to wrap around whatever they can to hold their thin vines steadfast while they grow upward. As they mature, peas produce flowers and pods relatively quickly. Because of their quick growth, they can be planted in close proximity to other garden vegetables and along fence lines. Plant cultivars such as ‘Easy Peasy’ for first picking in about 60 days and for an extended harvest, plant three rounds of seeds in one-week intervals.

Lettuce

When discussing vegetable gardening for beginners, you can’t pass up lettuces. These fast-growing plants can be sown directly in the garden and harvested in as little as 50 days. For variety, try a leafy mix such as the ‘Looseleaf Blend’ and enjoy different leaf shapes, colors and textures. While lettuce has a tendency to bolt (go to flower), keeping your plants well-watered and shielded from extreme heat can help extend the harvest of crisp leaves. You can also extend your harvest by planting successive crops every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Hybrid Tomatoes

Homegrown tomatoes can hardly be compared to store-bought fruit with their vine-ripened sweetness, juicy texture and bright colors. Hybrid cherry tomatoes such as ‘Cherry Baby’ are easy-to-grow warm season crops and will produce fruit 70 days from planting. Cherry tomatoes are particularly easy to grow because they produce many smaller fruits that ripen quickly and take less energy from the plant. Most cherry tomatoes are also indeterminate growers, meaning they continue to grow and set fruit throughout the season, ensuring a steady crop.

Squash

No list of garden vegetables to grow would be complete without summer squash. Given full sun and plenty of water, these warm season growers reach maturity in about 40 to 50 days after planting and will continue to produce until late summer. Cultivars such as ‘Burpee’s Best’ zucchini can be started outdoors in late spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Broccoli, Sun King Hybrid

Intermediate Veggies

The next five vegetables take the experience level up a notch. Although perfectly doable in the home garden, they require more planning and patience to be successful. Given a little extra attention, they’re sure to be nutritious additions to the annual vegetable garden.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a staple food item in most homes, but few people realize they take a bit more care to grow in the home garden. As with most vegetables in the cabbage family, broccoli is a cool season crop and does best when planted in spring, fall or even during the winter months in warmer climates. Also like their cabbage relatives, when stressed by heat, drought or crowded roots, they’ll “bolt” and go to flower, so you’ll have to take care to keep these plants happy. Bolt-resistant cultivars such as ‘Sun King’ should be planted in well-composted, moist soil in full sun and reach maturity at 70 to 80 days after planting. For successive plantings, sow seeds indoors before the last frost and continue for three to four weeks thereafter.

Potatoes

Native to the Andes mountains in South America, potatoes are another cool season crop that prefers rich soil and plenty of room to spread their roots. What makes potatoes a little more difficult is that they’re best grown in raised mounds above the soil line for ease of eventual harvest. Potatoes are started as “seed potatoes” — basically sliced up potatoes, each with its own “eye” or growth point — and sown in the soil as soon as it can be worked in early spring. Cultivars such as ‘Yukon Gold’ are medium-sized spuds and ready for harvest about 100 days after planting. To harvest, remove soil from around the base of the plant and gently tug at the plant, allowing for the soil to fall away. Then, gently dig out the remainder of the potato.

Winter Squash

Winter squash grows in much the same way as summer squash and can be started outdoors after the last frost. What makes winter squash more difficult to grow is that it tends to require more time to mature its thick outer skin and grows on longer sprawling vines. Selections such as ‘Burpee’s Butterbush’ can be stored for months in a cool, dark place within the home and make excellent soups long into the winter season! Be sure to choose a location within your yard where the vines can have plenty of space and full sun throughout the growing season.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is another crop that requires a lot of square footage for mass planting and plenty of sun, but it deserves a place on our intermediate list of garden vegetables to grow. For those with the space, plant these crops en masse for proper pollination and give them as much full sun as possible throughout the summer. While corn is drought tolerant, the ears will fill out much better when given ample moisture — especially as ears begin to appear. Because sweet corn is wind pollinated, plant cultivars such as ‘Early Sunglow’ at two- to three-week intervals with other types of corn to avoid cross-pollination.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are a sight to see in the summer garden. Bursting with flavor and with a classic old-school tomato look, cultivars such as ‘Brandywine Pink’ are the epitome of garden Americana. What sets heirlooms apart from hybrid tomatoes, however, is these plants are more difficult to grow. If you’re new to gardening, they can also be somewhat underwhelming: Heirlooms lack the vigor of hybrids and produce far fewer fruits on large, rambling vines. You’ll need to take care with their placement in the garden and keep moisture at a constant to avoid cracked tomato skins. When you meet these requirements, they’re sure to be the talk of the table and enjoyed by tomato lovers!

Written by Derek Carwood, Greenwood Horticulture

Source: List of Garden Vegetables to Grow for Beginners – Burpee

NCIS Franchise Fans Just Got The Best Possible News

If you’re a fan of criminal investigations, the United States Navy, or criminal investigations specifically related to the United States Navy, life is about as good as it gets these days, television-wise.

Currently, the flagship series, “NCIS,” has been on the air since 2003, and is in the middle of its nineteenth overall season. “NCIS: Los Angeles” made its debut voyage in 2009 and the Season 13 finale will be airing in May. “NCIS: Hawai’i” is the youngest show of the three, debuting in September 2021.

Typically, each of the spinoffs follows the same production cycle as “NCIS” has. In most previous years, CBS makes the decision whether to renew “NCIS” about a month or two before the season finale, which has come in May every year except 2020. Usually, the renewal decision comes in at the end of March or beginning of April.

Sure enough, with spring just kicking off recently, CBS has just made its decision.

© Sonja Flemming/CBS

As reported by “The Hollywood Reporter,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and “NCIS: Hawai’i” have all been renewed for new seasons. Assuming CBS follows the same schedule, that means Season 20 of “NCIS,” Season 14 of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and Season 2 of “NCIS: Hawai’i” will all premiere in September 2022, and continue until May 2023.

For the main “NCIS” series, losing lead actor Mark Harmon, who plays Leroy Jethro Gibbs, didn’t stop it from retaining its spot as the most-watched TV show on broadcast TV. Season 19 of “NCIS” averaged 11.1 million viewers. “NCIS: Hawai’i” ranks second at 8.29 million viewers per episode, but it’s also virtually tied with “FBI: International” as the most-watched new series on broadcast TV. Finally, “NCIS: Los Angeles” brings in a respectable 7.27 million per.

As if that wasn’t enough, 2023 will also see the premiere of a third “NCIS” spinoff, “NCIS: Sydney,” which will be set in Australia. That series will be available only on Paramount+, giving “NCIS” fans a big incentive to sign up for the streaming service that launched in March 2021 (via The Hollywood Reporter). The series is created by “NCIS: Los Angeles” creator Shane Brennan, who hails from Down Under. It will be produced in Australia and will feature local actors and producers. “NCIS: Sydney” doesn’t yet have an announced release date.

All in all, there will be plenty more navy-related crimes in the near future. 

By Jim Rowley for Looper©

Source: NCIS Franchise Fans Just Got The Best Possible News (msn.com)

Understanding aphasia, the condition ending Bruce Willis’ acting career

Legendary actor Bruce Willis announced Wednesday his departure from the big screen following his diagnosis with aphasia, which is “impacting his cognitive abilities,” his family said in a statement.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

While details of what led to Willis’ aphasia diagnosis are unknown at this time, medical experts stress the importance of the brain condition and how its specifically treated — depending on its severity.

Aphasia is defined as a condition that affects the ability to speak, write and understand language, according to the Mayo Clinic. The brain disorder can occur after strokes or head injuries — and can even lead in some cases to dementia.

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” his daughter, Rumer Willis, said on Instagram. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.”

It impacts the way a person can communicate

Medical experts say the impacts of aphasia can vary, depending on the person’s diagnosis. But mainly, the condition affects a person’s ability to communicate — whether it’s written, spoken or both.

People living with aphasia can experience changes in their ability to communicate; as they may find difficulty finding words, using words out of order or will even speak in a short manner, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Aphasia diagnoses are more common than you think

According to the National Aphasia Association, the communication disorder affects roughly two million people in the U.S., as it’s more common than Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

Nearly 180,000 people in the U.S. acquire the condition each year. Most people living with aphasia are middle-aged or older, as the average age of those living with the condition is 70 years old. But anyone, including young children, can acquire it.

Treatment for aphasia focuses on the symptoms

Fortunately, treatment options for aphasia are indeed possible.

Traditionally, most people undergo a form of speech and language therapy to restore their communicative skills. Kiran said this form of therapy is a big part of what medical experts can do to help someone recover.

“The road to rehabilitation or therapy can be long and hard, but it’s possible for people to improve,” she said.

Additionally, there are ongoing clinical trials that use brain stimulation and may help improve one’s ability to regain skills, Kiran says. However, no long-term research has been conducted yet.

By JONATHAN FRANKLIN for NPR©

Source: Bruce Willis: What is aphasia and how does it impact communication : NPR

‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Series ‘House of the Dragon’ to Debut in August

The Targaryens are returning to HBO.

“House of the Dragon,” HBO’s first spin-off series of its record-breaking juggernaut “Game of Thrones,” will premiere on Aug. 21, the network announced Wednesday. HBO also revealed a new poster for the series and additional images from the show, which you can view below.

© HBO

Set two centuries before the events of “Game of Thrones,” the ten-episode prequel series will depict how the House of Targaryen fell into a bitter and brutal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons — presaging the beginning of the end of the ruling family of Westeros.

Much like the original series, “House of the Dragon” boasts a sprawling cast, with a smaller core set of characters including Paddy Considine (as King Viserys I), Emmy D’Arcy (as Princess Rhaenrya, Viserys’ first child and his heir apparent), Matt Smith (as Prince Daemon, Viserys’ younger brother), Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King), Olivia Cooke (as Lady Alicent Hightower, Otto’s daughter) and Fabien Frankel (as Ser Criston Cole, a knight with eyes for Rhaenrya).

The show will also costar Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Graham McTavish, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson and Gavin Spokes.

The premiere date means “House of the Dragon” has a bit of a head start on the year’s other massive fantasy series that serves as a prequel to a widely popular and acclaimed original adaptation: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” Amazon Prime Video announced in August 2021 that “The Rings of Power” will debut on the streamer on Sept. 2.

In February, Martin announced on his personal blog that shooting on Season 1 of “House of the Dragon” had wrapped. “I have seen rough cuts of a few of them, and I’m loving them,” Martin wrote. “Of course, a lot more work needs to be done. Special effects, color timing, score, all the post production work. But the writing, the directing, the acting all look terrific. I hope you will like them as much as I do.”

The same month, HBO and HBO Max chief Casey Bloys told Variety that “it’s probably a pretty good bet” that the network will order a second season of the show. “Generally speaking, we usually let something air and see how it does, but obviously, we’ll make preparations ahead of time to make sure we’re ahead of the game,” he said.

By Adam B. Vary for Variety©

Source: ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Series ‘House of the Dragon’ to Debut in August (msn.com)

How to optimize your bedroom for better sleep

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, your bedroom could be (partly) to blame. There are certain Feng Shui rules that we should apparently all be following to ensure our best chance at a great night’s sleep. 

Let’s say you’ve already tried these tricks to fall asleep quickly, invested in the best mattress you can afford, and are sleeping in the right position, and your sleep tracker stats are still looking sub-optimal, perhaps it’s time to think about the state of your immediate environment. Here’s how to Feng Shui your bedroom for the best sleep. 

© Provided by T3

1. Face your bed towards the door

Let’s start with the position of the bed – it should be facing the door, with the headboard against a wall. “Feng shui dictates that sleeping with your head towards the door is bad luck as the door will drain positive energy away from you as you sleep,” explains Thomas Goodman, interiors expert at MyJobQuote. 

This arrangement will also help you feel safe overnight. “The bed facing the door ensures that you can see anyone that enters the bedroom space,” he continues. “Securing the headboard to the wall lets the mind know that no object can enter from where you cannot see. 

2. Clear out under your bed

“Feng Shui dictates that there should be nothing stored under the bed for energy and oxygen to flow freely around the space,” explains Thomas. If you’re really short on space and need to use the space under the bed for storage, use it for sleep-related items like spare bedding and pillows.

3. Try a symmetrical layout

This one might not be possible for everyone, but a symmetrical layout can help you feel calmer, which is conducive to better sleep. “The brain favours symmetry as it interprets it as safe, stable, and calm,” says Thomas. “Ensuring your room is as symmetrical as possible promotes calm as soon as you enter the space, putting you in the best stead for optimal sleep.”

4. Tidy up

Perhaps you don’t have space to try a new bedroom layout, but here’s a tip everyone can implement: tidy up your room and get rid of clutter. “Studies have found that those who sleep in cluttered rooms are likely to experience disrupted sleep,” explains Thomas. Again, it’s all to do with promoting a feeling of calm. “If your mind is racing, or you are thinking of a to do list etc., a cluttered room can fuel anxiety and inflict a sense of chaos. When surrounded by mess, the brain produces chemicals that enable it to stay on alert, making it difficult to fall asleep,” he adds.

By Ruth Hamilton for T3©

Source: How to optimize your bedroom for better sleep: 4 easy Feng Shui changes to make tonight (msn.com)

Popular in Easter Eggs & Easter Baskets

Painted Easter Eggs

The whole family will love making these vibrant painted Easter eggs. For this Easter egg painting project, simply find several colors of washable tempera paint and ½-inch-wide flat paintbrushes, then go wild with designs!

Jewel Easter Eggs

Colorful rows of faux gemstones transform this Easter egg painting idea into a runway-inspired decoration. To make, paint papier-mâché eggs and let dry. Press with preassembled self-adhesive jewel sheets, such as self-stick gems.

Tattoo Easter Eggs

Think outside the box while decorating your Easter eggs this year. Temporary tattoos stick to eggs just like they would to your skin. With a steady hand, use a damp sponge to press and hold the image on the eggshell for 30 seconds.

More eggstravaganza to view by clicking the link below.

Source: 35 Pretty No-Dye Easter Eggs | Better Homes & Gardens (bhg.com)

Never Forget to Do This After Your Flight Lands, Flight Attendant Warns

Whether it’s a quick regional trip or an international long-haul, stepping off a plane always feels like an incredible relief. Once you’ve collected your bags and made your way back up the jetway, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of your new destination or the routine of settling back in at home. But according to flight attendants, there’s one thing that should always be on your post-arrival to-do list.

©© Provided by Best Life

Note: I was thinking like saying a prayer or shaking the pilot’s hand, but read on and you will find out what this flight attendant suggests.

Get some sunlight and spend time in a green space outdoors after you land.

Once you arrive at your destination and settle in, your first instinct may be to grab your camera see the sights. On the other hand, you could also feel exhausted, groggy, and desperate for a cup of coffee. Instead of lying down for a nap, try spending time outdoors to refresh your senses and shake off the effects of hours spent inside a confined space, flight attendants tell lifestyle website The Travel.

If you’re staying in a city, your hotel’s rooftop, balcony, or outdoor patio can provide the fresh air you need to clear your head. But if you’re feeling up for it, a brisk walk to a nearby beach or park can reinvigorate your body—and allow you to soak up some much-needed vitamin D from the sunshine.

Exposure to natural sunlight can help you overcome any jet lag and feel more alert.

If you’ve spent enough time traveling to need some outdoor refreshment, there’s also a good chance your trip has caused you to change time zones. Adjusting your internal clock when you land—or even just making yourself feel more alert—can be a lot easier if you spend some time outdoors in the sun at your destination to help shift your body’s circadian rhythm (the scientific term for natural sleep cycles).

This advice was written by Zachary Mack for Travelicious©

Source: Never Forget to Do This After Your Flight Lands, Flight Attendant Warns (msn.com)

8 reasons why people decide to divorce

Why couples split

Brides and grooms typically go into a marriage thinking until death do us part. Still, for every 1,000 marriages in the U.S. in 2019, 14.9 ended in divorce, which was a 50-year low.

If you’re going through a divorce and aren’t financially prepared, there are resources that may be able to help. And though the road ahead will be difficult, it might help to consider what life could look like after the divorce.

The following are only contributing factors and not legal grounds for divorce, though there is some overlap.

©Liountmila Korelidou / iStock

1. Money

Perhaps unsurprisingly, finances are one of the most common reasons for divorce proceedings and is a top reason why couples argue. In fact, a survey conducted by Finder in 2020 found that about a third (33.78%) of American adults would reconsider a romantic partnership due to a partner’s debt. In short: It’s a good idea to balance that checkbook.

Ironically, the average cost of a divorce with an attorney is about $10,000. If finances were the reason for your nuptial negation, consider some alternative options for ending it. There are less expensive online divorce services that can save you money if you have an uncontested divorce.

2. Addictions

According to Health Street, 7.3% of divorces are a result of drug or alcohol addiction. Whether it’s prescription drugs, sex, alcohol or illegal narcotics, addictions can become a strain on relationships. Also, addiction can sometimes lead to other behaviors that are the catalyst for divorce, such as money mismanagement, infidelity and abuse.

©DepositPhotos.com

3. Commitment issues

A study by Couple Family Psychol found a “lack of commitment” to be the number one reason couples got divorced, with 75% of couples citing this as the reason for their relationship breakdown. In this context, “commitment” has two references: the first being intimacy and romantic feelings, the second involving willingness to build the relationship together.

4. Infidelity

In a 2020 study conducted by Finder, it was found that Americans were about four times more likely to cheat on their significant other than on their taxes. Roughly 8.8 million Americans admitted to cheating on their taxes versus the 34.1 million who admitted to cheating on their partner.

5. Abuse

Domestic abuse can take many forms, from financial to emotional to physical to beyond. With the pandemic, domestic violence has been a rising global concern. For example, Google reported a 75% increase in searches related to domestic abuse support in Australia. 

With resources limited due to social distancing and people being required to be confined or quarantined together for long periods, tensions can run high.

The abuse might not always be directed at the partner. Abuse toward children might also be a reason couples split. If you struggle with abuse, or have and believe you may relapse, call 800-662-4357 to reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline.

©DepositPhotos.com

6. Getting married too young

Getting married too young is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. However, it will be interesting to see whether this continues to be one of the top reasons going forward, with the average age of marriage in the US continuing to increase. The average age of those getting married reached an all-time high in 2018 for both men (29.8 years old) and women (27.8 years old).

7. Health issues

When a spouse becomes their partner’s primary caregiver due to an illness, it can create a stressful environment for all. Beyond the financial demands, the time commitment for care and other sacrifices can wear down a relationship. 

In a 2009 study on gender, illness and partner abandonment, it showed women are more likely to experience separation and divorce after experiencing a serious illness.

8. Lack of communication

While we have more ways of communicating now more than ever, it seems we still can’t get it right sometimes. Frustration and anger can reach a boiling point when constructive communication isn’t present in a relationship.

A 2013 survey claimed communication problems as a top reason leading to divorces, according to over 60% of 100 mental health experts. While counseling and mediation could be used to work through it, reconciliation isn’t guaranteed.

What role has the coronavirus pandemic played in the reasons couples are divorcing?

“2020 has been a universally difficult year for everyone,” attorney Lisa Bustos said. “New challenges, such as online learning decisions, spending an inordinate amount of time with family or unexpected unemployment.” 

“However, almost every single new client who has come to me has been thinking of this prior to the pandemic. The problems in people’s marriages have often existed for years, but now people are inspired to make a change in their lives. 

By Richard Laycock,Allan Givens for Mediafeed©

Source: 8 reasons why people decide to divorce (msn.com)

Some Simple Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

One great idea for front yard landscaping is a shade tree. A shade tree can provide needed shade from the bright sunshine by taking away the sunlight. Since trees typically have left throughout the year, you won’t have too much problem changing the color of your leaves every fall.

When you plant a shade tree, you must remember that they usually take root in the fall, so you can expect to have them sitting pretty even in the middle of winter. If you have a nice-sized shade tree, it may not be a problem to keep them shaded without having to prune them every few years.

Another popular landscaping idea for yards is perennials such as shrubs, grass, and turf. Perennial plants are less maintenance than annuals and they offer many benefits.

For example, you won’t have to worry about fertilizing and pest control like you would with annuals, and you won’t have to worry about the weeds growing around your perennials either. Shrubbery and turf are ideal options if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on annuals.

Another one of the top front yard landscaping ideas is a garden bed. A garden bed provides some visual interest as well as a place for the plants to grow and spread out.

You can choose whether to plant shrubs, grass, or turf. It is important that the grass is not planted too deep because that will mean that the turf could end up going to seed if it is not mowed properly, which could be a problem.

One of the best front yard landscaping ideas is to create a curb appeal. Curb appeal is all about making your property look nice. Think about the things that other people will think of when they drive by your house.

You wouldn’t want to have a very ugly garden bed in your front yard because that would ruin the look. If you have a nice-looking yard though, you can enhance its curb appeal by putting flowers along the edges or by putting some landscaping edgings or stones in the ground.

A final front yard landscaping idea for you is to plant some sort of ground cover. A lot of people choose grass because that is the most durable grass that you can plant, however, there are also some other options that you can choose.

One good option is to use something like Shutterstock as a ground cover. This way you will be able to create a nice grassy look without the worry of having to water it throughout the entire year.

In addition to using turf for your landscaping, another idea is to use the flower bed around the perimeter of your yard. The flower beds around the edge of your driveway also provide a nice contrast against the walkway.

Another idea is to put mulch in the ground between your flower bed and your driveway. Mulch will help to keep the soil moist and weed-free, which will prevent problems with weeds.

Of course, one of the most common front yard landscaping ideas is to simply shade your yard. There are many different ways that you can do this.

One way to shade your yard is by laying out a piece of shade cloth or any flat material under your tree. You can then put that under your shrubs, as well as plants that you want to block sunlight from hitting them.

Another option is to use a large net hanging from your roof. This will help to shade your trees and shrubs, while still giving them enough sun exposure.

By Ashley from Yard Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Home – Landscaping Expert Tips