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If you’ve just moved into your dream home and don’t plan on moving for a while, then growing a fruit tree in your backyard is a great way to get started with renovating. Not only do fruit trees let you enjoy delicious produce once they’re fully grown, but they can add equity to your home, therefore increasing its value.

Choose Grafted Trees

If you intend to grow a fruit tree for tasty produce, I recommend that you buy a grafted tree rather than growing one from seed. If you intend to grow an apple, pear, peach or plum tree, grafted trees will work best because it takes out the uncertainty associated with growing from the seed. This tree is grown from a part of a fully grown tree, so you can be sure about how the fruit will turn out.

If you choose to order your tree, make sure to plant it as soon as it arrives if it’s a bare rooted tree. If it’s a potted tree, make sure to plant it when it’s dormant. On the other hand, it’s encouraged that you purchase one from a local nursery because they’ll have trees that are likely to grow well in your area.

Select a Spot

Choosing a place to plant your fruit tree is a tricky process because it requires you to take various factors into consideration. Firstly, you need to plant it in a place that allows it to get a good amount of sunlight because fruit trees need 6 hours of full sun to grow healthy fruit. Wherever you intend to grow your fruit tree, make sure that you aren’t growing any other plants or bushes nearby; otherwise, your young tree will have to compete with other plants for water.

Furthermore, consider the size of a fully grown tree before planting your young tree. This is because its size can cause a hindrance if it’s growing in the wrong place; its roots can spread as far as the branches so don’t plant it near the road.

Prep Your Soil

Fruit trees require good drainage because their roots are prone to rotting in soil that holds a lot of water. If your soil type has a lot of clay, you can till it and add organic matter like compost to increase its drainage.

Planting and Care

Plant your fruit tree in spring because this is favorable for most trees. During year one, water your tree on a weekly basis but make sure to water them frequently during hot weather. Choose a good fertilizer that’s specifically made for fruit trees, and apply it in the spring so that fruit can set right.

Prevent Pests

Pests become more of a problem during spring so spray dormant oil on your fruit tree in the last weeks of winter when it starts to get warm. In the spring, stay on the lookout for an infestation and use organic sprays whenever you see any sign of an infestation.

Prune Them

It’s important that you prune your trees often so that it produces healthy and sweet-tasting fruit. You can do so after harvest season by trimming the branches so that your tree has a good form. You may even need to thin out the produce growing on your tree to improve the size and taste of your fruit.

Most importantly, is that you remember to enjoy the process, you’re not only adding value to your property but growing the best-tasting fruit. Happy Farming!

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Perfect For End Of Summer: 5 DIY Face Masks To Try

by Kim Wong Shing

There’s something inherently satisfying about spending some time at home, relaxing while you wait for your face mask to dry. Face masks rejuvenate your skin and restore your glow, but store-bought face masks can be steep in price. Luckily, there are many common kitchen ingredients that can be whipped into a quick mask.

Masks for the summer should focus on cleansing, hydrating and brightening the skin. Heavy moisture isn’t needed. Instead, aim for some light hydration and exfoliation.

These 5 DIY face mask recipes use easy-to-find ingredients, many of which you probably have around your kitchen. They’re a cinch to make, and they’re a great summer treat for your skin.

Hydrating Oatmeal & Honey Face Mask

Honey gently nourishes and hydrates the skin, while oatmeal soothes the skin and provides some gentle exfoliation.

1/2 cup raw ground oatmeal
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk or yogurt
1 tbsp honey

You can substitute the milk for a non-dairy milk if you prefer. Combine the ingredients in a pan, heat for 5 minutes, and let cool. Apply to a clean face for 15 minutes for best results.

Brightening Strawberry & Lemon Face Mask

Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, which is commonly found in acne-targeting skin products. Lemon juice cleanses and tightens pores.

1/4 cup mashed strawberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp honey

Mash ingredients together until the consistency is creamy. Apply for 8-10 minutes.

Antioxidant-rich Papaya & Honey Face Mask

If you’ve got sun spots, an uneven skin tone, or signs of aging, papaya is a lovely antioxidant-rich fruit to add to your masks.

2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup mashed ripe papaya
1/4 cup lemon/lime juice (optional)

Blend the ingredients together by hand until smooth. Apply for 15-20 minutes.

Soothing Green Tea & Coconut Oil

Green tea is just as powerful on your skin as it is inside of your body. Rich in antioxidants, it reduces redness and adds a subtle glow to the skin. Coconut oil adds moisture and is an antiseptic.

1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp water

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Apply for 15 minutes.

Exfoliating Banana, Egg & Avocado Face Mask

Both banana and avocado are super gentle exfoliants, while egg tightens the skin. Avocado also adds a burst of hydration.

1 egg
1/2 avocado
1 banana

Mash the avocado and banana together, then add the egg. Mix until smooth. Apply for 15 minutes.

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