Nannette Richford

Nannette Richford

Nannette Richford is an established freelance writer with over 7 years’ experience. With over 4,000 published articles ranging from gardening and education to new age and paranormal, Richford’s work covers a variety of topics. Her work is published on a variety of sites, including the SF Gate section of the San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic and the Walden College ConnectEd program.
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BS Secondary Education/certified 7-12, K-8, birth to age 5.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristot

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  • Five Last Days of School Activities
    Keeping kids engaged in learning during those final days of the year can be a challenge. With these five activities for the last days of school your students will have so much fun they won't know they are learning.
  • Harvest Spinach All Summer with Climbing Malabar Spinach
    Unlike regular spinach ( Spinacia oleracea) that bolts in the hot weather, Malabar spinach (Basella alba) actually performs best when the mercury soars. That means fresh spinach all summer long when you grow Malabar spinach in your home garden.
  • Cucamelons Look like Miniature Watermelons, but Taste like Sour Pickles
    You’ve probably already seen the images of cucamelons on social media sites and wondered if they were for real. The truth is, these miniature watermelons do exist, but they are not exactly a sweet summer treat.
  • Five Unusual Vegetables for the Garden
    Gardening should be more than just growing fresh fruits and veggies for your family. It should be fun, too. Add some pizzazz to your garden with these unusual vegetables and put more joy into your gardening experience.
  • Tips for Seating and Entertaining Guests at Family Gatherings
    How you seat your guests makes a big difference in how the group interacts. Learn how to seat guests to encourage communication or to avoid conflict at your next family gathering.
  • Tips for Setting Up a Home Office
    Setting up your home office can be a lot of fun, but there are practical issues to consider too. Follow these tips to set up a home office that is comfortable and efficient, too.
  • Five Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
    Millions of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation that can lead to many physical and psychological conditions. Learning how to get a good night's sleep improves your health and sense of well being.
  • Healthy Skin Means More Than Just Looking Good
    Keeping your skin healthy does more than enhance your appearance. That's because skin plays a bigger role in your health than how you look. Learn how to care for your skin and improve overall health.
  • How to Choose the Right Space Heater for Your Home
    Many people turn to space heaters during the winter to heat cool areas of the home. Choosing the right space heater for the job makes your life more comfortable while keeping your family safe.
  • Families of Children with Memories of Past Lives Sought for ‘Ghost Inside My Child’ Series
    Does your child demonstrate knowledge of past events or people that he has no way of knowing? Does he insist that he used to be or do a certain thing in another lifetime? He may be experiencing past life memories.
  • Side Effects of Amlodipine: Joint Pain, Fatigue and Mental Confusion
    The side effects of Amlodipine (Norvasc) may creep up on you slowly, leaving you fatigued, with muscle and joint pain and mental confusion. Because the symptoms do not occur right away, many people overlook the cause of their discomfort.
  • Five Easy-to-Grow Veggies Anyone Can Grow
    Choosing the right vegetables for that first garden may make the difference between success and failure. These easy-to-grow veggies practically guarantee success.
  • Five Must-Have Holiday Plants that Are Easy to Care For
    These easy-to-care for holiday plants bring bright color and cheer to the holidays, and don't require a lot of effort on your part. So, go ahead and fill your home with the cheer of fresh flowers this year.
  • Elemental Spirits: What Are They Anyway?
    Elemental spirits include fairies, gnomes and brownies - but they are only fictional, aren't they? Find out what leading paranormal experts have to say about elementals.
  • Four Must-Do Garden Tasks for Fall
    Saying goodbye to the summer garden is never easy, but you can ease the transition by showing your garden some loving care and paving the way for a gorgeous new garden next year.
  • Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs for Midwinter Blooms
    Forcing amaryllis blooms for the holidays is easier that you may think. With some healthy bulbs, soil and plant pots you are on your way to a brilliant display of color in midwinter.
  • 5 steps to moving plants inside for the winter
    Moving your flowering plants inside for the winter allows you to enjoy them all year long. Follow these steps to successfully bring plants inside in the fall.
  • Fall vegetables to plant right now
    If you think only southern gardeners can grow fresh veggies in the fall, think again. Check out the vegetables you can grow this fall regardless of your planting zone.
  • Six Ways to Add Life and Color to Fall Gardens
    Keep your garden alive with color until well into the fall with these easy tips for adding both color and style.
  • Tips for reviving petunias
    Sometimes petunias get scraggly or even begin to die off in the heat of summer. Learn how to revive them and keep them blooming until fall.
  • Five Ways to Add Height to a Raised Flowerbed
    Adding height to a raised flowerbed is easier that you might think. Check out these simple solutions to add depth and height to your bed.
  • How to Grow a Cucumber in a Bottle
    This project is sure to thrill the kids in the family and just might entertain the adults, as well. Follow these simple steps to grow a cucumber in a bottle.
  • 5 Ways to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger
    Making a small garden look larger is a matter or tricking the eye into seeing what you want it to see. Try these five techniques for expanding the view of your flower garden.
  • Gardeners urged to 'grow up' this summer
    Urging you to grow up isn't an insult on your maturity - its a workable alternative for gardening in small spaces. Learn how to make quick trellises for your garden for mere pennies.
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  • Give Your Plants the Boot - Unique Planter Ideas
    Gardening is as much creativity as it is skill. Take your flower displays to a new level this year by giving your plants the boot and adding setting the mood for some garden fun.
  • Propagating Plants with Stem Cuttings
    Stem cuttings produce new plants identical to the parent plant. Learn how to take cutting and root your own by following a few simple steps.
  • Why Don't My Cucumber Blossoms Produce Cucumbers?
    Many new gardeners express concerns when they see plenty of blossoms on their cucumber plants, but they fail to set fruit. Find out why waiting a week may be the best thing you can do.
  • Methods of Propagating Gardenias
    How you propagate gardenias depends in part of your skill level as a gardener - but there are several options available.
  • How to Test Seeds for Germination
    Parting with old garden seeds is never easy - but if hold onto them for too long you risk poor germination. Find out how to test the germination rate the easy way.
  • What's the Difference Between Partial Shade and Partial Sun, Anyway?
    Plant labels indicate the amount of light your plants need to thrive - but deciphering labels referring to light isn't always easy. Find out what the label really means.
  • Misconceptions Prevent Many from Seeking Help for Depression
    Many of us think we know what depression is and are all too eager to overlook the symptoms - because we don't 'feel' depressed. Sometimes what we don't feel may be the most telling symptom of all.
  • Grow These 5 Kid-Pleasing Veggies High in Vitamin C
    Getting kids to eat veggies doesn't need to be difficult. Try growing these fun veggies to eat raw and watch their interest grow.
  • Preparing bulbs for spring blooming
    Spring blooming bulbs return each year creating a showy display of color - but they do require some care from you. Learn how to get the biggest and brightest blooms.
  • Preparation is key to garden success
    Getting your perennial bed ready for summer isn't difficult - but it does require good timing. Find out what you should do now before your plants begin to grow.
  • Six Household Uses for Aluminum Foil
    Aluminum foil isn't just for baking. Check out these tips for using aluminum for ordinary household chores.
  • Six Tips for Using Color in Your Flower Garden
    Your choice of color in your flower garden design does more than brighten the landscape. Learn how to set the mood or alter the appearance of space with color.
  • Tips for gardening with limited mobility
    When limited mobility strikes, many gardeners fear that they must give up their lifelong hobby. This simply isn't true. With a few adjustments, nearly anyone can enjoy gardening. Try these tips to make gardening accessible.
  • 7 space-saving tips for small gardens
    You can grow a surprising amount of vegetables in a small area, if you plan wisely. Check out these tips for saving space in your garden.
  • Six Easy Ways to Remove Gum from Hair
    Your mother's solution may have been to cut the gum from you hair with scissors - but that doesn't give you an excuse. Try these natural methods for removing gum from hair first.
  • Five Quick Fixes for Squeaky Door Hinges
    Squeaky doors are a common problem in most homes, but that doesn't mean you need to put up with them. Try these quick fixes using household items until you get to the hardware store.
  • Four Things You Should Know About Your Garden
    If you are new to gardening, you maybe wondering where to begin. Check out these four things you should know about your garden before you begin planning or planting.
  • 5 reasons flowers fail to bloom
    There are a number of reasons why flowers fail to bloom. Fortunately, most of them can be controlled. Find out how to promote healthy blooming on your flowers
  • 5 tricky ways to keep your cat out of your plants
    You don't need to sacrifice your love for houseplants just because your cat loves to nibble. Try these tricks for growing the plants you love without risking harm to your cat.
  • Guide to growing nasturtiums, an old-fashioned favorite
    Nasturtiums adorned colonials gardens and were prized for their beauty and their fragrance. Try planting these shimmering flowers in window boxes and containers or adorn a garden wall with climbing nasturtiums to brighten your garden this summer.
  • Tips for growing snapdragons, an old-fashioned favorite
    Snapdragons produce blooms of every color except true blue. Try these old-fashioned flowers at the back of gardens or as borders to delight the children in your life, who will soon discover the dragons mouth and spend hours snapping it shut.
  • Growing Stevia in the Home Garden
    Stevia is a popular herbal sweetener that does not increase blood sugar levels or add calories to food. Growing stevia plants in the home garden is practical and cost effective too.
  • Growing Lupines
    Lupines adorn the roadsides in late spring with their spires of blue, purple and pink. But you can grow lupines a variety of brightly colored lupines in the home garden.
  • Growing Snap Peas in the Home Garden
    If you've never grown your own snap peas, its time to give them a try. These easy-to-grow vegetables make a quick snack right from the vine or can be used in stir-fries.
  • How to Grow Microgreens
    Microgreens, or baby greens, are a combination of several types of vegetable seedlings harvested and eaten shortly after the sprout stage. These greens add flavor and nutrients to salads and sandwiches.
  • Growing Coreopsis in the Home Garden
    Coreopsis, also known as golden glow, returns each year with its brilliant yellow blooms. Plant this perennial in a sunny location where it will thrive for years with proper care.
  • How to Plant Seeds in Egg Cartons
    Starting seeds in the spring gives you a head start on the garden, but you don't need expensive supplies. With a bag of seed starter and some recycled egg cartons you are on your way to growing healthy seedlings.
  • How to Grow Sweet Basil
    Sweet basil is one of my favorite herbs. Its easy to grow and adds big flavor to tomatoes and omelets - but what I really love about basil is its heavenly fragrance and rich green leaves.
  • Guide to Growing Morning Glories
    Morning glories are an old-fashioned favorite prized for their attractive vines and colorful blooms. When planted on a trellis or allowed to climb a fence these flowers create a striking display by midsummer.
  • Make your kitty happy with this tasty grass
    Cats love to nibble on fresh grass, but aren't above munching on your houseplants when grass isn't available. Do yourself and kitty a favor and grow a pot of cat grass on the windowsill.
  • Five Household Uses for Coffee Filters
    Coffee filters are inexpensive and come in handy with everyday household chores. Check out five of my favorite ways to use coffee filters - besides brewing a steaming pot of coffee, that is.
  • How to test soil drainage in your garden
    Well-drained soil is necessary for plant growth - but most of us only have a vague idea of exactly what well-drained means. Perform this simple test to find out how well your soil drains.
  • Assessing your garden's microclimate
    Knowing your plant hardiness zone is only the first step in determining which plants to grow in your garden. The microclimate in each area may make the difference between success and failure.
  • Finding containers and garden art for your garden
    Who said creating a container garden was expensive. Check out these idea for finding free containers and garden art to liven your container garden.
  • How to grow an avocado seed
    Kids aren't the only ones who enjoy watching an avocado pit transform into a plant. Grow these on your windowsill to add this plant to your collection.
  • Honoring Whitney Houston: Thank you for the Life You Shared
    Whitney Houston touched the lives of untold millions in ways that can hardly articulate.
  • How to Grow Sweet Peas
    Sweet peas are an old fashioned favorite grown in home gardens. These highly fragrant flowers range in color from pale pastel pinks and yellows to brilliant reds.
  • Growing Pole Beans in the Garden
    Pole beans - like Jack's magical beans - are vigorous climbers that produce an abundance of tender green beans. Plant these beans on poles of trellises for a delicious beans in midsummer.
  • What Is Deadheading?
    Deadheading may sound ominous, but gardeners know that deadheading flowers prolongs the blooming period and promotes health.
  • Growing Cherry Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets
    Fill a hanging basket with bright cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums and an herb or two to create an attractive planter overflowing with ripe tomatoes by mid summer.
  • How to Make Compost Tea
    Compost improves its texture while releasing nutrients. For those occasions when working it into the soil is not practical - make compost tea. Tea won't change the texture, of course, but it will provide nutrients.
  • How to Grow Spinach in the Home Garden
    Spinach is an easy-to-grow vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals. Although you aren't likely to become as strong as Popeye from a single serving, you will provide your family with fresh salad fixings.
  • Growing Scallop Sunburst Squash in the Home Garden
    Scallop sunburst squash are simply gorgeous with their scalloped edges and bright yellow skin. Flavor is mild, sweet and nutty making these summer squash a must for every garden.
  • How to grow vegetables in plastic bags
    By growing your vegetables in plastic bags, you can enjoy the fruit of your labor without “all the labor.”
    Also published on:
  • Balcony Gardens Add Color and Style
    Living in an apartment or condo is no excuse to give up gardening. Try these tips for creating an attractive and functional balcony garden.
  • Five Easy Flowers for Kids
    Kids love growing their own garden, but don't always have the skills or patience needed to wait for seeds to germinate and flowers to bloom. These easy-to-grow flowers grow rapidly and produce kid-friendly blooms.
  • Five Fun Vegetables for Kids to Grow
    Most kids love gardening - if they are allowed to grow their own vegetables. Give your a child his own plot of land and the seeds he needs to grow these five fun vegetables and watch his enthusiasm grow.
  • Growing Leaf Lettuce in the Home Garden
    Leaf lettuce grows quickly producing few greens for garden salads within a few weeks, making this one of the earliest vegetables in the spring.
  • Growing garlic in the home garden
    Growing garlic in your home garden provides you with fresh garlic for Italian recipes or fresh salsa -- but that's not all. This powerful antioxidant may improve your health, as well.
  • Growing Swiss chard in the home garden
    Growing Swiss chard in the home garden provides you with fresh greens all summer, but I secretly grow 'bright lights' because these plants adds color and beauty to the garden.
  • How to Grow Carrots in the Home Garden
    Carrots grown it the home garden are sweet and crisp making them a favorite with kids - but they aren't the only ones who enjoy carrots. Grow extra carrots and store them for winter use.
  • Growing Beets in the Home Garden
    Beets provide on of the first green vegetables in the spring as their delicate leaves are harvested and steamed for nutritious beet greens or added to fresh salads for both color and flavor.
  • Growing Radishes in the Home Garden
    Radishes grow quickly, maturing in as few as 30 days, making them the perfect addition to children's gardens.
  • Growing a herbal tea garden
    Growing your own herbal tea garden provides you with the ingredients for that relaxing tea at bedtime or an invigorating pick-me-up in the middle of the day.
  • Grow a pickle garden for easy pickle making
    A pickle garden may be a bit unusual - but it provides you with everything you need for making homemade pickles - minus the vinegar and sugar, of course.
  • Using thrillers, spillers and fillers to create dramatic style in planters
    Using thriller, spillers and fillers to design your planters is easier than you may think. By following a few basic guidelines, you can customize your containers to make a dramatic statement in your front yard..
  • Frugal gardening: Window boxes from seed
    Creating attractive window boxes and hanging baskets doesn't need to break the bank. Try these tricks to filling containers with bright flowers for a fraction of the cost.
  • Growing Zucchini in the Home Garden
    Growing zucchini in the home garden provides you with the makings for fresh garden salads, vegetable stir-fries and tasty vegetable lasagna.
  • Growing Corn in the Home Garden
    Golden ears of corn straight from the grill adds flavor and color to your meals. Growing it yourself in your home garden keeps it at your fingertips when company calls or you decide on that last minute BBQ.
  • How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas
    Growing sugar snap peas in the garden requires little work and rewards you with plump pods bursting with flavor. Eat snap peas raw with dip for a healthy snack or add them to stir-fries to enhance flavor and add color.
  • Growing Onions in the Home Garden
    Growing onions in the home garden gives you the flexibility to choose the onion you prefer, instead of relying on those commonly available in your area. Learn how to plant and care for onions in your garden.
  • Causes and Remedies for Chapped, Cracked, or Splitting Lips
    Occasional chapped lips is normal and can typically be treated with lip balm - but cracked and split lips take are a little more difficult to take care of. Find out what's causes your chapped lips and how to prevent them.
  • Growing Beans in the Home Garden
    Growing beans in the home garden provides an abundance of tender young pods ready for cooking. Learn how to plant and care for bean plants in the home garden.
  • Attracting Birds to Your Backyard
    Birds add color and movement to the yard, but it takes more than a bird feeder to keep them coming back. Learn how to create a safe and inviting area for birds.
  • Growing cucumbers in the home garden
    Cucumbers are a warm season crop that must be planted once the soil has warmed to 50 degrees and all danger of frost had passed in your area. Learn how to plant and grow an abundant crop of cucumbers.
  • Growing peas in the home garden
    There is nothing quite like the flavor of peas straight from the vine -- unless, of course, it is tender peas cooked with tiny new potatoes. Learn how to grow and care for peas in the home garden.
  • Planting by the Moon
    Ancient civilizations practiced planting crops according to the phase of the moon - but the practice continues today. It is thought to produce abundant crops with enhances colors and flavors. Let's start with the basics.
  • Growing Chives: Perennial Herbs for Beauty and Flavor
    Perennial chives adorn the garden with grass-like foliage topped with lavender pompom blooms. These easy-to-grow herbs add both delicate onion flavor to foods and beauty to the garden.
  • How to make natural borders for raised plant beds
    Using natural materials to border your raised beds creates the illusion your flowers sprung from nature. Try these easy-to-use ideas for making your next raised bed.
  • Tips for Growing Belleezza D Autuno Sunflowers
    Written descriptions really can't do justice to this amazing sunflower a the range of color and variation must be seen to be appreciated.
  • Growing Petunias in Maine
    There is something about petunias cascading over the side of hanging baskets or container gardens that gives me a sense of home. Try these striking flowers in your garden for a rewarding gardening experience.
  • Choosing Healthy Houseplants
    Knowing what to look for when choosing new houseplants is an important part of growing lush green plants inside all year.
  • How to Grow Potatoes in Containers
    Growing potatoes in containers saves space in the garden and produces tender young tubers for "new potatoes." Try these tips for the best results.
  • Sweet alyssum brightens window boxes and containers
    Delicate alyssum trailing over the sides of hanging baskets and container gardens adds beauty and fragrance to your yard.
  • Growing a Poinsettia Tree
    Most of us think of poinsettias as potted plants for Christmas, but with proper care you can keep you poinsettia alive for years. If you are lucky, it may even develop into a small tree.
  • Don't let rocky soil stop you from gardening
    Rocky soil may be a gardener's nightmare, but I didn't let that stop me. Think outside the box to transform your yard into a garden oasis.
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