Lewis Maclean June 2018

Lay Some Shade on Me

Tips to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

THE BEST VEGETABLES TO PLANT IN SHADY SPOTS

One of the biggest players in the health of your home is something you rarely see. Hidden in your HVAC system is your air filter, a simple device that helps remove unsavory pollutants from the air your family breathes. Your air filter is working 24 hours a day, and there are some things you can do to help the efficiency of your air filter and keep breathing easy at home. Practice Proper Ventilation Properly ventilating your home can reduce moisture levels and decrease the chances of mold growth. But we don’t suggest just opening your windows and letting outdoor pollutants into your home. Turn on the exhaust fan in your bathroom after showering to get rid of the steam, make sure your kitchen is correctly ventilated so you don’t experience a buildup of air pollutants while cooking, and consider installing trickle vents. Go High-Tech In addition to your air filter and HVAC system, there are devices that can help improve the quality of your air. Air purifiers can do wonders to clean the air inside your home, but you should make sure they are good quality and use a HEPA filter. Vacuuming carpets and mattresses regularly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can also help improve air quality. Bring in Some Houseplants Plants are natural air filters. A single tree is able to absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, while simultaneously producing nearly 260 pounds of oxygen. In 1989, NASA conducted the Clean Air Study and released a list of indoor plants they found were able to “play a major role in removal of organic chemicals from indoor air.” NASA identified around 20 plants that were most effective for air filtering, including English ivy, peace lily, and Boston fern. If you suffer from dry eyes, coughing, or bad allergies while at home, your air filter or HVAC system may be to blame. Give your air filter experts a call at 604-532-9625 and find out what you need to do to enjoy a breath of fresh air when you walk in the door.

There’s nothing quite like growing your own vegetables, but if your home doesn’t get the best sunlight, what can you do? It’s a problem many gardeners face. Even if you live in a sunny area, you may have a shady corner of the garden or side of the house going to waste. Fortunately, there are plenty of plants that do well in partial and full shade. As a general rule, leafy greens do better in shade and milder temperatures than other vegetables. Flowering plants and vines, such as cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, need more hours of sunlight per day in order to thrive — about six hours or more.

Herbs. While many herbs, such as basil, are better suited for sunnier conditions, there are a few that will do great in shade. These

include chives, cilantro, golden marjoram, mint, oregano, and parsley. (Hours of sun per day: 3)

Kale. Typically, kale does well in partial shade. When kale is grown in full shade, the leaves tend to be slightly smaller, but this can be offset by growing additional plants.

(Hours of sun per day: 3–4)

Peas. Like kale, when grown in shade, peas and beans won’t grow quite as full, and plants may take longer to mature, but with proper planning, you’ll still reap a plentiful harvest. Bush and dwarf varieties are recommended over their pole counterparts. (Hours of sun per day: 4–5) Potatoes. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and beets, will grow in partial shade, but they may take a few more weeks to mature, and they may produce fewer vegetables. However, as most gardeners agree, the results are still worth the effort. (Hours of sun per day: 4–5)

Spinach. Like most leafy greens, spinach does very well in shade, particularly baby spinach. The plant will continue to produce leaves for an extended period of time if you regularly harvest the outer leaves. (Hours of sun per day: 3–4)

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