Santa Monica Movers

Looking for a reliable, safe and professional moving company in Los Angeles at an affordable cost? There are numerous movers that are located all over Los Angeles including Santa Monica Movers that have been around for years with proven track records.

Finding the right mover is essential to avoid having personal items damaged or pilfered and the move is swift, timely and stress free especially for the owner. The moving cost should be affordable without compromising on the professionalism and there are low cost movers santa monica that provide all inclusive charges with absolutely no hidden charges or fees.

If you need your items to be packed to save you the hassle and time, the movers santa monica ca will be able to provide an experienced team to do the work as well. This moving service is provided for both residential and commercial units. For residential, the moving services do cover condos, walk up apartments and houses so its very convenient for all. Long distance moves are also provided so to find out how much the cost just get a free quotation online . You can compare prices with just a click of the mouse and be able to find the one that suits your precise requirements within a short time.

Experienced movers will ensure that your items will arrive at the destination safe, intact and on time. As such, care should be taken to select a mover that has proven to be reliable and professional. Select movers that are familiar with the roads in your area to minimize the chances of delay while moving your items. A mover will be able to assist you with navigating through building restrictions, traffic jams and parking rules. By following a few guidelines, this will ensure that your move will be smooth and stress free from packing right up to arrival to your destination.

Hops Supplement

hops supplement

Enjoy better sleep using natural hops supplement when you don’t feel like growing hops flowers yourself.


The herbs Hops, Valerian Root and Scullcap are longtime used in folklore as gentle, calming and soothing herbs. Especially hops + valerian supplements or tea is still the best natural sleep aid in my personal experience.



Scullcap normally grows at the side of little forests, don’t experiment making your own herbal tea from scullcap.


valerian root

Valerian root is known for giving people a better sleep, when making herbal tea, you need to get used to the bitter taste of valerian root. Therefore some people do prefer to take Valerian supplements.


Hops benefits


The female flowers of the hop plant have long been used as a preservative and a flavoring agent in beer.


Hops flowers belong to the Cannabacea family and benefit conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Unfortunately medical research is little since it’s not something the pharmaceutical industry can make much money out. In fact, you can make your own hops tea and enjoy the hops benefits.


Hops combined with valerian are ideal for a better sleep or relaxing effects.


Hops are also said to have anti-inflammation effects and could benefit arthritis.


Hops compounds may have potential chemopreventive activity against breast and ovarian cancers. Of course hops are no miracle cure for cancer, but most logically: the more natural food you eat, the more you boost your body’s immune system against anything “alien” like cancers.


Japanese researchers suggest the anti-cancer activities of hop extracts are related to the inhibition of the production of nitric oxide. It is known that nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in many inflammatory responses and is also involved in carcinogenesis (the birth of a cancer).


Hops side effects


Because of its sedative action, hops should not be used together with other central nervous system depressors like:


  • barbiturates (phenobarbital – Luminal, pentobarbital – Nembutal, seconobarbital – Seconal)
  • benzodiazepines (Diazepam, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin),
  • narcotics and
  • some herbal sedatives.


As hops and hops supplements contain phyto-estrogen, users should avoid hops products if they are on hormone replacement therapy or related medications.


As usual, always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.


Hops supplement summarized


Hops have been used for ages for its relaxing and soothing qualities. You will especially sleep better using a combination of Valerian and Hops in herbal teas or supplements.

Beer hops

beer hopsBeer hops make attractive vines and… but are an even more important ingredient for home beer brewing.

Not to mention that hops flowers are quite attractive as well once you are fed up with colourful roses or other flowers 🙂

Main thing is that beer brewing supplies are getting more and more expensive these days, so one way to save costs is to grow your hops at home. On top of that: nothing beats a home grown organic hop. And: the best ingredients make the best beer.

Having brewed lots of wine and also a little beer, let me tell you my experience in brewing but most of all in growing hops.

Being a native Belgian from Poperingen “hops country”, we will teach you all about growing beer hops at home in our next posts!

How to grow hops

how to grow hops

Enjoy your home grown hops following these easy step by step instructions on how to grow hops. Clear instructions for finding good female roots, to planting, cultivating, harvesting and using your home grown hops.


Make sure you grow female hops!


The biggest challenge may be finding a source of organic hop rhizomes of the preferred varieties. Local brewing clubs may know of a source. A company that offers female hop rhizomes on the Internet is Brew Organic, of Santa Cruz, California


Hops are vegetatively propagated from root cuttings.


There are both male and female plants but only female flowers are used in brewing.


Hop seeds are a problem for brewers, so make sure to obtain only female rhizomes for planting.


Where can you grow hops


Hops can be planted almost anywhere where there are 4 months or 120 frost-free days to produce fully-ripe flowers.


Urban growers need to make sure their hops are not close by a strong 24-hour light source, as this will prevent flowering.


If drainage is a problem, you may need to build mounds using the surrounding topsoil mixed with organic matter.


Under good conditions, you now have a rhizome that will produce 1 kg or 2 pounds of hops per vine. 


5 steps for planting hops


The hop of commerce is the female flower, commonly called a cone. Hops are produced on climbing vines from female rhizomes planted one to a hill, with four to six vines per plant.


Keep rhizomes refrigerated until the soil is ready for planting. Do not let rhizomes get completely dry, and do not keep them too wet. To keep rhizomes moist, mist them regularly.


Hops are planted at about the same time as early peas and can tolerate freezing weather.


  1. Plant hop rhizomes in early spring once the soil is workable. Hops survive a frost as long as the ground doesn’t freeze solid. Ideally, your hop vines should break ground with the first spring flowers.
  2. Choose a good location for growing the hops. Hops prefer a southern exposure, with as much sunlight as possible. Hops thrive in light-textured, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-8.0.
  3. Dig a hole about 30cm – one foot deep. To fertilize, mix the soil with manure and other slow release organic fertilizers such as cottonseed meal, bone meal or rock phosphate. Return the fertilized soil to the hole.
  4. Plant the rhizome horizontally about 1-inch below the surface of the soil. Or plant the rhizomes vertically with the buds pointing up.
  5. Separate different hop varieties by 1.5 m – 5 feet to prevent tangling. You can plant hops of the same variety as close as 1m – 3 feet.


Preventing your hops from diseases


Many growers of hops experience difficulties with fungal diseases : downy mildew and Verticillium wilt. As with grapes, this can be kept in check with sulfur-based fungicides.


Monitor your hop plants regularly all season long. Cut off any infected parts, and place the cuttings in a tightly closed plastic bag for off-site disposal. Do not use for compose!


Prune off the lower 50cm- 2 feet of leaves to impede mildew infections by improving ventilation near the soil.


Wide spacing of the hop hills also reduces the chances of serious infection, because the better ventilation reduces humidity levels in the immediate plant environment.


Aphids and mites


Aphids are probably the most common insect pest. These are usually controlled by natural predators, but if aphids get out of hand, the population can be set back with an insecticidal soap spray.


Applications of neem will also control aphids, as well as spider mites.


Mites may be a problem, especially in hot, dry weather. There are some natural enemies of mites, but the most effective non-chemical control is a good cold rain or a heavy hosing with cold water.


Adequate irrigation in dry periods will also reduce mite damage by decreasing water stress on the plants.


Which and how many hops do you need to plant?


To produce hops in the proportions common for brewing beer, hop growers should plan on growing:


  • roughly twice as many hills of aromatic hops (3 to 5% bitterness)
  • compared to bittering hops (above 11% bitterness).


We repeat that when planting hops, you need to make sure to leave enough space between varieties so that it is easy to keep the different types of hops separate at harvest.


About four hills (plants, rhizomes) of aromatic hops and two hills of bittering hops are needed for every hundred gallons of beer.


Each of the four to six vines arising from a hill produces about 150 g or 4 to 6 ounces of dried hops.


Growing hops for the first year


First year hops have a minimal root system. Therefore you need to make sure that the soil never remains dry for prolonged periods:


  • frequent, short watering is best or
  • mulch the soil surface with organic matter to conserve moisture (and control weeds for free).


When the hop vines grow 30 cm – 1 foot long: select the heartiest 2-3 vines and wrap them clockwise around a trellis or support.


Prune all subsequent vines from the base of the hop.


How to support your hops


For the first year, the support system can be a thin 2.5m -8 foot stake.


In subsequent years, you will need a taller support system:


  • commercial trellis are 6m – 18 feet tall.
  • home growers can use shorter trellis of 3-4m 10-12 feet.
  • home growers can also drop twine from a tree, pole, or house roof. Ensure the twine is taut and strong, as mature hop vines are quite heavy.


Vines are trained on almost vertical strings to a flat overhead trellis.


Trellis pole supports need to be at least 4m – 12 feet above the ground and no more than 8m – 25 feet apart.


Hop hills should be about 60cm – 2 feet apart, allowing 10 hills (of the same variety) per set of poles.


Careful choice of location of the hops vineyard will shelter vines from prevailing winds.


Fertilizing hops


Hops can generally be well nourished with abundant applications of composted manure, accompanied by roughly one handful each of bone-meal and wood ash per hill.


Unlike many crops, hops tend to produce better in soil with a relatively high proportion of phosphorus and potassium to nitrogen. This means that boosting nitrogen fertility does not tend to increase yields.


Hops respond well to small amounts of boron—a small pinch of borax per hill should be enough.



How to grow hops older than 1 year


Hops will die back to the permanent root stock (crown) each fall.


The crown is hearty, and relatively unaffected by even the deepest winter freeze.


Hop vines break ground at about the same time the earliest spring flowers appear. Hops grow back much stronger after they have developed a good root system.


Prune the earliest hop shoots back to the ground to encourage a heartier second growth.


Harvesting and drying hops


Hops should be harvested before the first frost. The actual date will vary depending on your location, but mid-August to mid-September is most common.


Hops are ready to harvest when the aroma is strongest. Test the aroma by smelling a crushed hop cone.


As you squeeze a mature hop between your fingers, you should notice a yellow powder from the lupulin glands. Ripe cones will feel dry and papery. With some varieties the color will be lighter. Slight browning of the lower bracts of the cone is normal, and a good sign of maturity.


Lower the hop vine to the ground to begin the harvest. Pick only the cones, not the leaf material.


Dry hops before usage or storage. In dry weather, air-drying is preferable:


  • Spread them shallowly onto a window screen, and keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Every day you should “fluff” the hops to bring moist hops to the outside of the pile.
  • The hops are dry when the inner stem of the hops is brittle. It should break rather than bend.


You can also dry hops with a food dehydrator or in the oven. Make sure to keep the temperature under 60 degrees C – 140 degrees F.


Store hops away from oxygen.


Most home growers don’t have access to oxygen-barrier bags and vacuum sealers, so your best compromise is to pack as many hops as possible into a ziplock-style freezer bag. Squeeze them tight to remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.


Store hops frozen until used.


How to use hops


Homegrown hops are typically used for aroma, flavor or dry hopping.


Since precise alpha acids are not known, it is a challenge to use them for bittering. A few test batches may be necessary to get the feel for the potency of the hop.


Use homegrown hops in the same quantity (by weight) as commercial hops. Leaf hop utilization is about 15% less than pellets.


How to grow hops summarized


  1. growing hops requires lots of sun, sandy soil and room to grow vertical
  2. rhizomes can be bought or acquired from other hop growers
  3. plant hops in spring when ground is no more frozen
  4. always make sure that when you are growing hops, they have enough water
  5. wait for the bines to come up and train them on something to get them off the ground
  6. pick hops when they are ready to harvest in the late summer or early fall (usually you won’t be able to harvest much hops in your first year)
  7. cut hops back for next year.


Please leave a comment if you have more tips or better techniques on how to grow hops!

Tulip Festival Istanbul

Tulip Festival Istanbul

Did you know that Turkish tulips are the oldest in the world? That explains the amazing tulip festival in Istanbul that’s on show now.

Every early April Istanbul showcases more than 16 million tulips blooming not only in famous places like Sultanahmet square, Gulhane park, Topkapi palace or Emirgan park but also on many home balconies.

Sultan SuleymanAlthough made famous by Dutch, tulips originate from Central Asia and reached Holland from Turkey via Austria in the 16th century. The word tulip originates from the Turkish word tulbend that translates to turban. Just look at the turban worn by 16th century Sultan Suleyman, and the resemblance between a tulip and his turban is striking.

Today the Turkish tulip tradition lingers on, apart from having it’s name in places and hotels, even the Istanbul Film Festival gives out their Golden Tulip Award.

Tulip Tree Picture

Tulip Tree: or Liriodendron is actually a magnolia (Magnoliaceae family : Liriodendron tulipifera). The tulip tree can grow in the wild up to about 200 feet (60m) and is an excellent lumber tree. Early settlers used the tulip tree for making dugout canoes.

A picture of the tulip tree

tulip treetulip tree leafThe tulip tree is not a tulip bulb: bulbs are there to storage nutritions so the plant can stand a cold period. The next season thanks to the available nutritions in the bulb, these bulbs will be the first to grow leaves and flowers, much faster than plants without a nutrition reservoir.

A tulip tree is a tree: it keeps on growing to become taller and taller each year, with or without having a seasonal rest.

The leaves of the tulip tree are kind of "cut off" at the top, which makes the tulip tree easy to distinguish from others.

Pictures of the tulip tree flower

tulip tree flowers

tulip tree flowerDepending on how you look at it, you could get the impression that the flower of the tulip tree looks very similar to a normal tulip flower: both have 6 petals, yet the amount of stamen is quite different.

Also in the tulip tree flower seen on the angle in the picture on the right, shows less ressemblance with the tulip flower. Yet the name tulip tree mostly refers to the greenish-yellow, tulip-shaped flowers that like normal tulip flowers also bloom in spring.

Growing rhubarb

growing rhubarb

Growing rhubarb end of January

Just have a look at our growing rhubarb: and it’s only January!

Rhubarb transplanting

If you are thinking about rhubarb transplanting, now is the ideal time. “Now” means: as soon as your soil is workable in early spring and you can dig deep to get a large portion of the rhubarb root.

Make sure you transplant rhubarb before the growth begins, so whenever you see your rhubarb sprouting, it’s time to transplant if needed.

Large rhubarb plants can be divided with a sharp spade or butcher knife. Each division should have at least 1 or 2 rhubarb buds and of course a portion of the root system.

Replant your rhubarb as soon as possible. The roots must not be allowed to dry out prior to planting.

Myself I have my rhubarb on 2 spots: one a bit in the shade and one in full sun, depending on the season at least 1 of the 2 spots will harvest ideal rhubarb without having to worry about it. Yet rhubarb is so easy to grow that once you have rhubarb, it keeps forever. Which is great because I love to eat rhubarb pie and drink rhubarb ice tea 🙂

How to change color of flowers

How to change color of flowers

Be in charge of the color of cut flowers from your florist: learn how to change the color of flowers.

The easiest way to become creative in coloring flowers is to get some white carnations like in the picture above and add some food color in their water. Let them suck a bit, take them out of the die and see what happens. If you let them to long into a green color, the flowers does turn out looking like celery leaves:

How to color flowers

How to color flowers green


You don’t have to start with white carnations though, any long stemmed white flower that you put in a food or aniline dye will become more colorful afterwards.

If you are a bit more adventurous, place your flowers – choose flowers with colors this time – over a basin of water which contains a very small amount of ammonia in a bell glass. The flower petals will usually change color:

  • many violet-colored petals will change to green,
  • red colors will become green,
  • white will turn yellow and
  • dark carmine will turn black.

Violet-colored asters can be moistened with a very mild solution of nitric acid. The ray florets will not only turn red but will also
acquire a pleasant scent.

Especially if you need to keep your kids entertained indoors these winter days, teach them how to change the color of flowers using food dye.

Gardening in October

dahlia bulbsOctober is actually still quite an active month when it comes to gardening, so it’s quite a nuisance that I am having back pain. Never mind, putting on more cream makes me feel as hot as in summer. Anyway, I feel better than yesterday, so that’s a good sign I find.

Meanwhile October is a month of getting bulbs and roots out of the soil so they don’t freeze and putting new bulbs into the soil so they can get their period of cold before they start blooming again. yes, you get that right: thanks to the cold of winter you will be able to have tulips in spring!

Add to that : you cannot leave your land uncovered, so keep on throwing lots of seeds on your land in October. Since seedlings won’t grow big in autumn nor winter, you better add an excess amount of seeds so the little sprouts will still manage to cover the soil. Better late than never! Saves you a lot of work in spring and keeps your soil in good condition.

Picture of white tulips

picture of white tulips

Picture of white Tulips in Holland

White spring bulb flowers garden

If you love to create an impression of snow in your spring garden, you could try to only plant white spring bulbs. Below I listed some white tulip varieties according to their blooming period.

Other varieties of white spring you might consider in your snow garden could be:

  • white flower varieties of daffodils
  • white flower varieties of lilies
  • white flower varieties of irises
  • Ivory Bell fritillaries and
  • White Star Ipheions

More white tulips

Personally I like to plant one hell red tulip amongst a big bunch of white tulips. But this has only a nice contrasting effect if your tulips are blooming at the same time, so use the list below as a guidance of when your white tulips could be flowering. Be aware it’s only a guidance, as nature can be unpredictable 🙂

Early Spring White Tulips

  • Purissima Jumbo White Tulips

Mid-Spring White Tulips

  • Ice Princess White Tulips
  • Mt. Tacoma White Tulips

Late Spring White Tulips

  • Skagit Valley White Tulips
  • Super Bowl White Tulips