Food for the Family Table: There's nothing like the earthy crunch of a just-picked carrot or the sweetness of a juicy tomato still warm from the sun. And the taste is even sweeter when it's one you've grown on your own. For parents like Phil Nolan and Michele Rast, backyard vegetable gardening has intangible benefits, too. "We want our kids to appreciate the way things grow and to understand the value of food," Nolan says when asked why he dug up part of the family's New Jersey lawn to put in a formal 18-by-32-foot veggie garden.
Shown: The 576-square-foot plot produces veggies all summer for a family of four, with plenty left over to share. Tidy raised beds and gravel paths make it easy to care for, and evoke an English country garden.
DON'T MISS ALL OUR ADVICE ON GROWING A VEGETABLE GARDEN ON THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
1. Start Small
Why do some fail where others succeed? At least one aspect of soil preparation, plant selection, or growing wasn't right."Often, just a few tips can make all
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
- This Old House Magazine | Shine Food – Thu, Jun 2, 2011 8:30 PM EDT
Food for the Family Table: There's nothing like the earthy crunch of a just-picked carrot or the sweetness of a juicy tomato still warm from the sun. And the taste is even sweeter when it's one you've grown on your own. For parents like Phil Nolan and Michele Rast, backyard vegetable gardening has intangible benefits, too. "We want our kids to appreciate the way things grow and to understand the value of food," Nolan says when asked why he dug up part of the family's New Jersey lawn to put in a formal 18-by-32-foot veggie garden.Read More »from 4 Expert Tips on Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden
- This Old House Magazine | Parenting – Wed, Jun 1, 2011 8:40 PM EDT
Think Like a Kid: In a world made by the point-of-view of grown-ups, there are inadvertent hazards to small children all over the place. Home is no exception. According to Safe Kids USA (an organization that educates parents, policy makers, and the general public in creating safe environments for children) a child dies every 101 minutes as a result of an unintentional injury, making it the leading cause of accidental death and permanent disability for America's kids.Read More »from Child-Proofing Tips to Protect Your Kids in Home Danger Zones
Best we try, we can't have both eyes fixed on little busy bodies all the time, but there are things that can be done reduce risk throughout the home. Familiarize yourself with what is dangerous in these 4 rooms and the upgrades you can make to keep things safe. -Tabitha Sukhai
See ALL of our child safety tips at thisoldhouse.com
1. Room: Kitchen and Dining Area
Why it is dangerous: Respondents to the Home Safety Council's (HSC) Safe Haven research named the kitchen the most dangerous room of the house, possibly because
What's New is Old Again: Original details. Some houses have 'em, some don't.Read More »from 6 DIY Projects to Add Old-House Charm
If yours is among the latter-meaning that it wasn't born with architectural elements like carved wood balustrades or embossed metal window latches, or if some of those enhancements were lost over the years to misguided remodeling-take heart. With a little sweat equity, you can add your own. See these 6 ways to add some classic character and find other advice to give old-home charm to your house at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
1. Coffer a Ceiling
Ceiling coffers came into vogue during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when American architecture went retro with a revival of classical house styles. The hollow wood-panel grid was originally used during the Renaissance to dress up beams. Today, a handy homeowner can easily create coffers. The trick, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, is to build U-shaped beams on the floor to minimize overhead work.
MORE: Brighten a Room by Building a Pier Mirror
House Parts Defined: Do you find yourself describing an architectural detail like, "You know, that thingamajig"? This is especially embarrassing when talking to a contractor! Don't worry, it's happened to all us. So to help you out the next time you need to identify a part of a structure or a design element, here's 5 definitions that even some of our TOH editors weren't familiar with. Check out even more of these house parts at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.Read More »from 5 House Parts You Didn't Know Had a Name
A series of doors to connecting rooms arranged so that there is one uninterrupted sight line.
MORE: The Best Family-Friendly Old House Neighborhoods
The curving part of an arch that's bookended by the peak of the arch and either a capital or molding abutment.
MORE: Quick 1-Hour Home Improvements
A nook, usually for seating, found beside a fireplace.
MORE: World's Wildest Houses
4. Kite Winder
The middle of a set of three wedge-shaped stair steps, or winders, that together make a 90-degree turn.
Bet you're getting your grill ready for Memorial Day weekend, right? Cookouts are fun, sure, but like so many other things in life, your grill could be out to get you. From exploding propane tanks to cancer-laden briskets, we've researched the many ways that unassuming Hibachi in your backyard can lead to your untimely demise. Know the risks before you go and you'll be on your way to a safe BBQ party--if not a little paranoid.Read More »from 5 Ways Your Backyard Barbecue Can Kill You
SEE OUR FULL LIST OF BBQ RISKS AT THISOLDHOUSE.COM
1. Lighter Fluid Reflux
We know it's fun and all, but never squirt lighter fluid into an already healthy grill fire. The flames can flashback into the container and explode right in your hands.
MORE: CREATE AN OUTDOOR KITCHEN
2. Food Poisoning
Wash your hands, buy your meat from a reputable butcher, and make sure you cook it all the way through. That's the best advice we can give you on how not to be among the 87 million Americans who get food poisoning each year. Those poisonings result in around 5,700 deaths,
Are you in the market for your first home? It is a HUGE responsibility! Why doesn't that thing come with an owners manual? Well, that's what we're here for-to provide fast fix-it advice when it's time for you to do your homeowning duty. Because at some point, you're going to have to know how to change out a light fixture without zapping yourself! Or stem the flood when the toilet overflows. And you're going to want to do things right. The first time.Read More »from 5 Skills You Need to Survive Homeownership
You're going to have questions and lucky for you we've got some answers! Check out these 5 tips and also even more homeowner must-know skills on Thisoldhouse.com!
MORE: DEALING WITH HOME DISASTERS
1. Skill: Know Which Breaker to Turn Off
When you finally get around to putting in that dimmer switch, you won't want to be stumped by a poorly labeled breaker box. Write directly on the metal next to each switch with a fine indelible marker. Have a friend plug lamps into all the sockets in a room and tell you via cell phone which ones go dark
Pro Versus Con: Each spring, along with the forsythia and snow crocuses, comes a more disturbing rite of the season. That's when thousands of homeowners are conned by contractors into paying for improvement projects that never see the light of day-or are so slipshod that they never should. As the mercury rises, so do complaints to consumer-affairs offices and attorneys general nationwide. In Illinois, for example, more than 3,000 cases of home-repair fraud are reported annually; Louisiana fields 500 complaints a month.Read More »from Is your pro handyman or contractor a con?
In the belief that the forewarned is the forearmed, we asked consumer advocates, home inspectors, and trusted builders to tell us about the most common come-ons they see and share their advice on how to avoid falling victim to one of these scams. -Jeffrey Rothfeder
SEE ALL OF TOH'S ADVICE TO AVOID GETTING CONNED BY A CONTRACTOR
1. The Scam: A Neighborly Deal
A workman knocks on the door and tells you he's just finished coating a driveway down the street and that he's
Read More »from Easy First Aid for 3 Common Household Injuries
Let's face it: we all get a little dinged up as we hammer and saw our way toward finishing that latest project. Nadine Saubers, a registered nurse and author of The Everything First Aid Book, helped us create this cheat sheet of fast fixes for cuts, bumps, and bruises. Keep it handy so you'll know exactly what to do the next time a tool plays target practice with your extremities.
SEE ALL OF TOH'S FIRST AID TIPS FOR COMMON HOUSEHOLD INJURIES
1. Hammered Thumb First Aid
Ice the area with a towel-covered ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day to combat swelling. Take a painkiller containing ibuprofen, like Advil or Motrin, as needed. Ibuprofen helps reduce inflammation, unlike acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, which is most useful for general aches and pains. For any bruise or internal injury that swells, avoid taking aspirin, which thins blood and can worsen bleeding.
MORE: 6 LADDER SAFETY ACCESSORIES
2. Blister First Aid
Don't pop the blister, which can slow
- This Old House Magazine | Healthy Living – Mon, May 9, 2011 10:21 PM EDT
Before you turn to harsh chemicals to solve your garden woes, consider planting these flowers and herbs. They make great bedfellows that'll improve your soil, increase propagation, and keep harmful insects at bay. Here are our top 3 clever companions for your garden. --JENNIFER STIMPSONRead More »from Keep an Organic Garden With These Pest-Repellent, Soil-Improving Plants
SEE EVEN MORE PLANTS FOR A HEALTHY, ORGANIC GARDEN
Plant with: Everything!
Get these benefits: In dense clusters, this flower emits a substance that drives away harmful root-feeding nematodes. Near tomatoes, it can deter whiteflies.
USE OUR PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP TO PICK THE RIGHT PLANTS FOR YOUR REGION
Plant with: Tomatoes and cabbage.
Get these benefits: This quick-growing herb deters ants, fleas, aphids, cabbage moths, even rodents-plus it attracts earthworms, which help condition soil.
USE OUR PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP TO PICK THE RIGHT PLANTS FOR YOUR REGION
Plant with: Roses, alliums, and fruit trees.
Get these benefits: Discourage fleas and moths while
While many of us were eagerly awaiting spring, for the 60 million Americans suffering from allergies, now-with its mold-friendly moisture and pollen-bearing blossoms-is one of the toughest times of the year. Experiencing sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy, watery eyes? Follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to allergens outdoors and to avoid bringing them home. --Danielle BlundellRead More »from Easy Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home
MORE: 13 Essential Home Tips for Allergy-Sufferers
Garden Smart. Pollen levels peak between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., so save yard work for later in the day. Keep grass cut short, and consider wearing an air-filtering mask, goggles, and gloves while mowing the lawn. Avoid planting high-pollen-producing flowers such as amaranthus, juniper, and peonies, especially near windows or doors.
MORE: Entry Upgrades to Keep Pollen Out
Clean Your Gear. Don't hang fresh laundry out to dry, and shake out clothes after they've been worn outside. Shower as soon as possible after spending time outdoors. Pets can bring