Category: Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney Provides The Best Vegetables to Grow in the Summer

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

The dog days of summer have arrived, but that won’t stop those with a green thumb from tending to their garden. A lot of crops can’t standup to the summer heat, but some will actually thrive in the summer months. Today, Uniqueka Davis-McKinney will provide some insight into the vegetables that grow the best during the hottest months of the year.  

Sweet Potatoes

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney recommends sweet potatoes as the perfect summer vegetable to plant. The best time to plant sweet potatoes is during the summer months as they thrive in the heat. In less than three months, a garden can be full of ripe sweet potatoes. This is perfect for anyone who loves sweet potato fries during football season!

Hot Peppers

A lot of gardeners avoid planting peppers in the summer as larger peppers are notorious for drying up in the summer sun. However, smaller peppers, which usually come with increased heat, will actually produce rather well in the heat. Anyone who likes a bit of heat with their dishes would be wise to plant some extra hot peppers this July.

Green Beans

Green beans can be a rather satisfying vegetable to plant because bushels can produce big returns in a short amount of time. Because green beans are amongst the easiest vegetables to grow, they are a great vegetable to plant with children. Seeing green beans produce is a great way to instill a lifelong love of green beans. The summer months produce green beans just as well as the spring and summer months, so it’s a great crop for summertime.

Eggplant

Eggplant grows extremely well in the heat, but they need to be monitored regularly. Eggplants often attract flea beetles and other insects. There are safe insecticides that can be used to keep insects away, but gardeners can often monitor the freshness of their eggplant by inspecting their crop for tiny pinholes.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers provide great bang for your gardening buck as they can be served as is in most delicious summer salads or they can turn into homemade pickles, which are often a family favorite. Cucumbers do require a bit of gardening expertise as they must grow from fertile soil that is getting plenty of water.

The above are just a few of the vegetables that grow really well throughout the summer. Do you have a favorite crop to grow in the summer heat? Let Uniqueka know in the comments as she’s always looking for new crops to plant!

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney on Ways to Improve as a Cook

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney believes one of the best parts about being a cooking enthusiast is enjoying something you prepared with the people you care about most. The challenge of constantly improving can be extremely rewarding. However, cooking is like anything else, there comes a point where plateaus are reached and something new must be tried to push past the barrier of complacency. If you are looking to up your cooking game, consider these tips from Uniqueka Davis MicKinney

Use More Salt

Any fan of food cooking competition programming can tell you that judges point to lack of salt about as quickly as any flaw in a cook’s arsenal. The problem most amateur cooks have with salt is that they either season their food before cooking or immediately after. Top chefs instruct their peers to season throughout the preparation of the meal. It is believed that steady seasoning is the best way to extract the most flavor out of the ingredients.

Expand Your Cooking Horizons

New cooks are encouraged to take advantage of the countless cooking books and recipes that flood the pages of the Internet, but as skills grow, recipes can be restraining. Everyone has different tastes and veering off from a recipe can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Uniqueka Davis-McKinney encourages fellow cooking enthusiasts to trust their instincts. If food is tasted and it feels like it needs something else, but the recipe does not call for it – go for it anyway!

Make Sure Your Knives Are Sharp

A sharp knife will actually help reduce accidents in the kitchen as most cooks cut themselves because dull blades slip off of food more frequently. Sharp knives also allow cooks to improve their cutting skills and prepare ingredients that are equally sized. Improving knife skills helps the look of a dish as well as all of the ingredients are uniformed and more appealing to the diner. People first eat with their eyes, so attention-to-detail is important.

Go Fresh!

So much of cooking is about the quality of the ingredients. Just like the coach of a sports team relies on quality players, a good cook must make the most out of their ingredients. When the quality of ingredients improves, the results improve as well. One of the best ways to ensure the freshness of the ingredients you are cooking with is to look up local farmer markets. There is nothing quite like fresh produce from local farmers. You will taste the difference between fresh produce and frozen store-bought products.

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney Provides 9 Tips for Professional-Looking Gardening Design

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

When it comes to planning a flower garden or landscaping a new area of your yard, there are so many choices to make. Most gardeners do not know where to start, but not to worry, Uniqueka Davis-McKinney has a wide range of experience in gardening, she provides helpful tips that will make garden design easy.

Garden Design: Getting Started

These are some things to consider before you begin planting your plants.

  1. How big is the area to be planted? How many plants will fit nicely without it turning into a jungle?
  2. What are light levels and growing conditions? Make sure your plants are well suited for the condition in which you live in.
  3. Where is it in relation to your house and other plants? How close to a water supply? Is there root competition from other shrubs and trees in the yard?
  4. What type of soil do you have?
  5. How much rainfall and moisture do you expect? Are the plants on a slope or in a low spot that collects lots of water?
  6. What USDA hardiness zone are you in? What type of climate do you live in?

These things will help you understand your own personal growing conditions.

The following are 9 tips for a professional-looking garden design:

  1. Use a variety of flower types, textures, and visual interest. If you plant a variety of flowers, it will create a resilient garden.
  2. Always mix in shrubs and grasses for texture and movement. Grasses and shrubs are habitat friendly.
  3. Plant for a long-lasting color. Choose perennials that bloom in the early spring, late spring, summer, and fall. It will look beautiful during all four seasons and it will provide a steady food source for the birds.
  4. Always use each plant in odd number groups, (3, 5, 7, 9, and so on).
  5. Use larger grouping of plants to create a more cohesive design.
  6. Choose plants with a variety of heights, short, medium, and tall to add a variety and avoid monotony.
  7. Space plants according to their mature sizes. This will help the plants naturalize and spread, keeping them more controlled.
  8. Use lots of groundcovers. They look better and provide fragrance and color to your garden.
  9. Use some evergreen plants. Grasses and shrubs and other plants with an interesting seed head to keep the garden interesting in dormant seasons.

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney designs by experience. She approaches her designs from the grower’s side of the equation.

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney Discusses DIY Landscaping 2021 Trends

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

Since the beginning of COVID-19, many Americans have taken the additional time spent at home as an opportunity to complete DIY projects and home renovations. Now that summer is almost here; homeowners are now turning their eye outdoors and looking to complete DIY projects within their gardens and outdoor spaces. Uniqueka Davis-McKinney has many years of experience as a gardener and landscaper and has helped numerous neighbors, friends, and family members complete outdoor DIY projects over the years. Today, Uniqueka Davis-McKinney hopes to use her knowledge of DIY landscaping trends to inspire homeowners to elevate their outdoor spaces this summer.

Build a Garden Walkway

Garden walkways serve both a functional and esthetic purpose in any home garden. Garden walkways can give any yard an added flair of sophistication for a minimal price. Whether it be stone, wood, or gravel, homeowners looking to elevate their outdoor area can choose from a number of different materials that complement their unique aesthetic. Installation of a garden walkway can be relatively easy depending on the chosen walkway material and can potentially be completed within an afternoon.

Adding Lighting to Your Yard

Adding lighting to any outdoor space can quickly elevate your landscaping and add drama to your homes. There are a number of ways to add DIY outdoor lights to a yard; from line lanterns, flush lighting, or garden lamps, it is now more affordable than ever to install outdoor lighting. Solar lights and spotlights are an excellent option for homeowners looking to illuminate trees, flowers, or shrubs for a fraction of the price. Those looking to add an extra element to their water features are encouraged to purchase underwater lighting to make their fountains and ponds really stand out.

Design a FirePit

With the social distancing orders put in place by COVID-19, many families are now searching for new ways to see family and friends from a safe distance this summer. Fire pits are an excellent focal point for any yard while also providing a safe, outdoor seating area to visit with friends and family. Store-bought fire pits can range anywhere from $200- $1000; however, any homeowner can create their own fire pit for a fraction of the cost with minimal materials. Simply dig a small pit, line the base with gravel, and stack stones or brakes around the area for a finished look!

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney Discusses the Process of Purchasing a Tree For Your Garden

Uniqueka Davis-McKinney

When choosing the right tree for your home, it is essential to take one’s time while researching different tree varieties. Some trees can be enjoyed for many generations, while others can be a source of regret for some families. Whether it be beautiful foliage, privacy, or the future location of a treehouse, tree buyers must ask themselves what they want from a tree, and what types of trees will best suit this decision. Uniqueka Davis McKinney, gardener and landscaper, understands not all trees are well suited for every family’s unique needs. Today, Uniqueka Davis McKinney hopes to share her knowledge of gardening and tree selection in hopes of helping others purchase the appropriate tree for their home and family.

Climate and Environment

Certain trees are more well suited to environments than others. When it comes to urban environments and their atmospheric pollutants, poor soil quality, night lighting, snow plows’ salt sprays, and poor drainage, only specific trees will be able to thrive in such a harsh environment. Some of the trees well suited for urban living include oak, ginkgo, honey locust, sweetgum, crabapple, zelkova, Washington hawthorn, and Norway maple.

Types of Foliage

While there are many benefits of planting a tree in your garden, it is important to recognize that trees come with their own liabilities. Trees can be messy, and certain trees will drop seeds, twigs, petals, and fruits in certain seasons. Homeowners with small children or dogs should be aware of these challenges. Those looking to purchase a tree for their home are encouraged to research a wide variety of trees to fully understand each tree’s pros and cons.

Trees Native to the United States

When looking to purchase a tree, it is always a good idea to research trees native to your area. Trees that are native to a location are more adapted to the climate and will often be healthier and will require less care. For gardeners living in the United States, the following are trees native to the different regions in the US:

Northwest

·       Douglas Fir

·       Oregon Crabapple

·       Red Adler

Southeast

·       Henry’s Cyprus

·       Magnolia

·       Flowering dogwood

Southwest

·       Feather Bush

·       Ironwood

Midwest

·       Sugar Maple

·       American Elm

·       Honey Locust

Northwest

·       Willow

·       Western Red Cedar

·       Big Leaf Maple