Organic Gardening – Watermelons Are a Summertime Favorite

Sweet, succulent watermelon grown in your own home garden are a summertime favorite. There is nothing better than there sweet, cool, refreshing and delicious taste on a hot summer day. This warm climate crop thrills with the growing growing seasons in warm climates, but there are varieties for cooler areas that will preform just fine and as tasty.

When planting, choose a location that will get full sunlight and with a good air circulation. They can grow in many different types of soil, but prefer a good healthy soil structure that is light, loose, fertile and well drained. Working in a generous amount of compost, composted manure or composed leaves into the soil will greatly benefit the soils structure for your watermelons to thrive. A soil that keeps moisture well is very important when growing watermelons, they like a steady supply of water.

Sow seeds directly into the garden once all dangers of frost have passed, soak the seeds for a half hour before planting in compost tea will help the seeds germinate. Plant on hills with 4 seeds per hill and space the hills 8 to 10 feet apart for vine type or 3 to 4 feet apart for bush type. Once the seeds have germinated remove 2 of the seedlings leaving the 2 best plants.

Watermelons are heavy feeders and need a steady supply of water, giving them a feeding of compost tea every two weeks will add the nutrients needed for your plants to thrive. Do not overdue it with nitrogen, especially once the flowers form.

Harvesting your watermelons can be a tricky task. There are three methods that can be used in figuring out if a watermelon is ripe. Look, listen and feel are what it takes to check for ripeness in a watermelon.

First sign is visual, the underside of the fruit that rests on the ground will turn a gold color or yellow straw color. Next look for the curly tendril that is attached to the vine closest to the fruit, it will be dry and brittle when a watermelon is ripe.

Second is the thump test, tap the watermelon with your knuckles and it should make a hollow sound when ripe. This method will take some practice, but once you get the feel for it you will most likely you this method the most.

Third is feel, if you run your fingers around the center of the watermelon you should feel ridges on the rind when it is ripe. This is done around the center and not from end to end or from stem to blossom. A watermelon that is not mature will be smooth.

Health Conscious Cooking Schools

Cookery school is a relatively modern concept that proves to be an exciting holiday option. Though the classes revolve around culinary art, they do not offer graduate degrees and are not accredited institutions. They are usually restaurants, hotels or snack bars. Cooking school tours are perfect vacation options, as they help tourists to acquire a local experience and try their hands at cooking local dishes, while traveling and shopping. Health conscious cooking schools tours provide details regarding various cooking styles that help retain food value and nutrition.

Many people follow diet plans that may be self created, recommended or decided upon by their physicians. They are planned, keeping in mind the nutrition needs and food preferences. Health conscious cooking school tours revolve around cooking classes that are meant to teach people about the food options that safeguard the interests of health conscious people.

Established hoteliers and restaurants often make health conscious cooking school tours available. It is important to make reservations in advance, as these classes are not walk-ins. Most of these classes have a minimum number of attendees to enable the in- house chefs and nutritionists to concentrate and interact with all the participants, individually.

These classes teach the tourists to prepare easy, healthy and delicious meals. Such classes are available for amateurs and professionals, separately. This allows enthusiastic visitors to learn to prepare basic health conscious dishes, whereas professionals can opt for the gourmet preparations. In case these tours are a part of overseas vacations, rather than a weekend activity, people need to enquire about availability of English speaking staff. Tourists need to be attentive to their visa terms and should carry all relevant documents. Tourists may book a health conscious cooking school tour or ask travel agents to include such activities, as part of their vacation plan.

10 Marketing & Social Media Tactics to Boost Holiday Sales

Tis the season for holiday sales!

Shoppers are flocking online in search of gift giving ideas. According to Mashable, "65% of shoppers tap social media looking for the perfect gift … and two out of three shoppers purchased a gift they found via social media."

So what are the best ways to cash in on seasonal sales with your business?

Whether you are a service-based business or sell products, here's some suggestions to get in the spirit with holiday sales.

1) Learn from the Ghost of Christmas Past

Look at metrics from last year's holiday sales. What products were bestsellers? Which promotions created the largest lift in sales? What special offers were a total bomb?

Discover what worked and did not so you can capitalize on it when you plan this year's promotions.

2) Make a Holiday Social Media Cover Image

Decorate your social media business pages with a specially designed cover image. It's the perfect place to announce special holidays promotions and deals.

Be sure to create one for all of your social media accounts.

3) Use Holiday Hashtags

Twitter shoppers may use hashtags to find their next purchase. So take advantage of hashtags to get discovered.

Some popular hashtags include: #blackFriday, #DIY, #holidaysssavings, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #Christmas, #Hannukah, #Kwanzaa, #NewYears

4) Create Social Media Graphics for Promos and Deals

Everyone loves getting a great deal when holiday shopping. Make festive graphics promoting special promotions that make purchasing the perfect item irresistible.

Deals can include:

• one day only,

• limited quantity sales,

• buy-one-get-one free,

• special discounts or holiday coupons.

Consider offering a "12 days of Christmas" promotion with a special deal each day!

Canva makes it easy to make custom holiday social media graphics.

5) Boost Sales with Free Shipping

Consider offering free shipping for holidays gifts. Create highly visible buttons or banners promoting it on your website.

Or you can boost the order size by offering free shipping on orders over a bigger dollar amount such as $ 100.

Studies show that shipping costs are one of the largest detracts to making a purchase online so this one tactic could result in big returns for you.

6) Offer Gift Ideas

Holiday shopping can be frustrating when you do not know what to buy for the person who has everything. You'll want to promote your bestselling gifts.

Make gift buying easy by sharing gift suggestions like:

• 5 gifts for mom,

• 10 gifts grandparents love,

• 5 gift ideas for tech savvy teens etc.

Then offer links to purchase each of the items you mention on your blog and on social media.

Better yet, if you have a blog, write articles based on these topics and refer to your products within the article with links back to the purchase page.

7) Write Reviews

If you offer one of the hot new products of the season, consider writing and reviewing a review about it on your blog. In this review you could mention your own offers that would be a great gift accompaniment.

As an example, do a review of the top three smart phone accessories for Mom this Christmas and share pictures of them with a red bow on them along with a side-by-side features comparison. Then mention how your offer go great with these gift ideas while including links to purchase.

You could also incorporate your Amazon affiliate link for those products

8) Suggest Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Help idea stumped shoppers by offering suggestions for small items for everyone on their shopping list!

Write a blog post with the hottest stocking stuffers for the season. Share daily stocking stuffer ideas on social media using hashtags like: # beststockingstuffers2016 #cheapstockingstuffers #stockingstuffersforwomen

9) Reward Loyal Customers

Offer to give a $ 100 Gift Card to a randomly selected customer cutting posting a picture or video with your product on social media. Set up a campaign having them use a special hash tag like #christmascountdown.

This can help your promotional campaigns to go viral as customers share on their timeline and family / friends see their post.

10) Share Holiday Spirit

Connect to the spirit of the holidays in your customer's hearts. Engage your customers by asking them their favorite holiday tradition.

Get people to interact with your brand by asking them to share:

a. Their most-loved family recipes from Thanksgiving or another holiday event.

b. What their most loved Christmas song is.

c. DIY Christmas decorating tips.

d. Easy gift wrapping suggestions.

The iPhone 4 – New Features, New Design, Brand New All in One Gadget

The new iPhone is finally here. More technology packed then ever before, it sets new benchmarks for other mobile phones manufacturers that have been overwhelmed by the success of Apple's iPhone.

But I guess you're more interested in the features of then new phone rather than the impact it has on the business world so let me share with you the novelties it brings along.

Design:

The new iPhone is thinner, sleeker and better looking then its predecessors. The stainless steel looks good and refined giving it a more futuristic look. The metal buttons add to the overall feel of sturdiness without dramatically increasing the weight. It is heavier then the iPhone 3GS by only 0.1 ounces and it feels great in the hand.

Technology:

But the most obvious improvement is by far the new screen. The "Retina" is a 3.5 inch display which looks absolutely superb, mainly because its pixels are only 78 micrometers wide. It has four times more pixels then the previous version and it is by far the best display I have ever seen on a handheld device. The zoom is flawless and not a single bit of detail is lost in the process.

The "camera system" (as Steve Jobs called it) is comprised of a 5MP capturing device on the back and a VGA one on the front. The image can be shifted between cameras at any time during a video call. Apple calls this "Face Time" and although it has been praised by company officials it is pretty hard to believe it will revolutionize mobile communications or set a trend for other manufacturers to follow. It is undetected a clever feature but it is overshadowed by other technological marvels such as the flawless screen.

iMovie:

iMovie is an app that allows complex video editing like nothing I have seen before on a mobile phone. You can trim out a section of a movie, add a musical soundtrack to any clip, insert pictures in movies and many more. It costs $ 4.99 in the Apple applications store but it is really worth the money.

Conclusion:

The iPhone 4 is a great device with major improvements from the previous versions. Technology packed but also a looker it will unduly become a favorite among geeks and fashion savvy teens alike. A true all in one that certainly describes your attention.