September 2012

Saving Garden Favorites

Planning for the Seed Harvest

My summer flowers are blooming their last. Most of my neighbors have rushed out to cut down the fading perennials and rip up the wilting annuals. Some are sticking fall mums into the holes, while others are putting the garden to bed for the season. Me? My garden is filled with echinacea and black-eyed susans going to seed, formerly pretty petunias and wilting snap dragons. While it may not be conductive to the pristine look my neighbors are striving for, it suits me.

Sunflower planting tips

Sunflower seed selection and ground preparation are essential.

Sunflowers are a plant that many people like to look at, but some people have never thought about how to grow. Here are three tips that people can use to help them in growing these plants properly and to the heights they want to have. Without these tips, it can be hard to grow your plants to the heights you want them to reach.

The first tip people can use is to select the proper seeds. Sunflower plants are susceptible to seed rot and even different fungal diseases. However, people can find the proper seeds that can resist these ailments in their search for sunflowers. Then they can have a higher level of germination and help the seeds grow properly. 

Warding off burnout

Every caregiver needs regular breaks.

Several social work courses in college and multiple experiences have left me convinced that every instructor I had was right—well, at least about this one thing: every caregiver needs regular breaks. I don’t just mean a regular annual vacation—though that is important, too—but steady, weekly breaks. If these aren’t daily, they should be at least weekly—bi-weekly at the very least.

When you don’t give yourself a break, lots of things can happen. In some cases, the burnout may affect the patient—whether he or she is an invalid, an elderly person, or a child or adult with developmental delays. He or she will pick up on your distress, and in extreme circumstances, the caregiver may even become harsh or violent.

But in most cases, this burnout heavily wears on the caregiver. Exhaustion and depression can result. Some people may even end up needing hospitalization themselves after such a lengthy time caring for another individual so one-sidedly—whether it’s complete round the clock care or even daily living assistance. As with caring with children, caregivers must be always “on,” and living like you’re walking on eggshells every day will eventually cause you to crack.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent burnout. Here are just a few of them.