How to Grow Organic Vegetables

Growing your own fresh, organic produce is satisfying on so many levels. Flavor; the convenience of walking out to your garden to select fresh vegetables to prepare for a family meal; reduction of food costs; and knowing the origin of your food source, are just a few. Gardening can be both an art and a science, and it can take some trial and error to get to the point where you can rely on your own green thumb to provide an adequate food source for your family. Here are a few primary tips that can help you get started with your own organic backyard garden.

Location

Choosing an area for your garden is the first step, and should be considered one of the most important. Vegetables require a fair amount of sunlight, so choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sun per day. If you need to clear an area of vegetation before working the soil, wet down the area and cover it with a layer of black plastic for 3-4 weeks prior to digging up the area. This will rid the plot of existing grass and weeds, and will also sterilize the soil, killing any dormant weed seeds. To ensure a truly organic garden, you’ll also want to make sure that your garden is not located in an area that was recently treated with lawn chemicals or pesticides. If you have difficulty meeting any of these requirements, a raised garden bed is an excellent and easy solution to existing soil or location problems, as it can be located anywhere on your property, including a sunny patio. 

Soil

The soil needs to be well-drained, and have a rich organic consistency. Add peat moss, and a variety of composted materials to build up your soil. If you are using a raised bed garden, you can create your own soil mix by combining peat moss, vermiculite, and compost in equal portions. All of these materials can be purchased at your local garden center.
You’ll also want to start your own compost pile for ongoing inexpensive soil amendments.

Planting

When selecting what to grow, it is best to start small, and choose plants that your family likes to eat or that can be added to dishes that appeal to your family. Be sure to choose seeds that are organic or open pollinated, and if purchasing seedlings, choose the organic varieties. Garden centers and online seeds shops are a good source of organic seeds and seedlings, however if you are unable to find them commercially, starting your own seeds indoors in a greenhouse is a cost-effective way to ensure that your plants are organic. First-time gardeners may want to start with plants such as beans, peas, carrots, onions, squash, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and pumpkins as they are all easy to grow and need little care. Be sure to water transplanted seedlings and newly planted seeds well to encourage germination.

Weed Control

If you sterilized the soil prior to planting your garden or you’re using the raised bed garden technique and created your own mix of soil, weed growth should be minimal. Sowing seeds in close proximity, and companion planting (such as growing marigolds next to tomatoes) results in very little room for weeds to grow between plants. Once the vegetables are established, mulching around the plants and on garden paths is a very effective method of maintaining a weed free garden, and also builds up your soil as the mulch decomposes. When using mulch, be sure that it contains only organic materials (not grass clippings that have been treated with lawn chemicals). Keep any new weeds at bay by hoeing and weeding by hand regularly. When hand weeding, be sure to pull the weed from the base of the plant to ensure that you get the entire root. Pouring boiling water over the entire plant is also an effective way to kill established weeds.

Insects and Pests

Many insects are beneficial to your garden, and organic gardening encourages bees, butterflies, earth worms, and frogs to make themselves at home. Earth worms can be purchased and added to your soil. Lady bugs are also a welcome friend to organic gardeners as they feed on aphids which love to chew on leafy greens. Remove any uninvited pests by hand. Slugs, which can do a great deal of damage in very little time, can be deterred by using beer traps (shallow containers such as jar lids, filled with beer). Rabbits, deer, and other four legged creatures can be kept out of your garden by installing a fence around the circumference of the plot. Fencing is easily installed by using steel fence posts and 4′ high wire mesh. Secure the bottom of the fence to the ground with stakes, and make sure the openings at the bottom of the mesh are small enough to keep the baby rabbits out too, as they can be very destructive all by themselves.  If you need more deterrent, tried used kitty litter or a commercial prepared product such as Liquid Fence.

Water

Watering your garden until plants are well established, and during dry spells, will keep them healthy and better able to ward off diseases and pests.
Watering in the morning will reduce problems with pests that like dark, moist places to hide (slugs). It also gives the plants extra energy to get through the hot, sultry days of summer.

Journal

Keeping a garden journal that includes dates, plant names, and photos will help you track what works and what, if any modifications you need to make for planning your garden next year. The photos will help with crop rotation, by helping you track where things were planted so you can move them around every year.

Don’t forget to get the whole family involved. Teaching your children to garden is educational and they’ll learn lifelong skills that are healthy, enjoyable, and useful. Gardening is a hobby that can bring your family closer together, while creating memories and healthy eating habits that each of you can benefit from and cherish for years to come.

 

Caring for Plants

Caring for plants involves more than simply fertilizing, hydrating and tending to them. Investing in a plant encyclopedia gives you an rewarding resource that willallows you to learn all you need to ensure that you have the knowledge you need to keep a broad range of plants alive, including medicinal herbs, common flowers and exotic plants.

A good plant encyclopedia should contain multiple categories of information on each type of plant it documents. One important aspect is how the plants are named. Depending on region, may be addressed differently. A excellent encyclopedia will provide the most common names for each plant, so you can use that book to purchase your plants as seeds from the internet, and ensure that you are buying the correct type of plant.

In addition to that, the plant encyclopedia should have care data for each plantcare information should be present for every plant, as well as whether or not it is suitable for indoor or outdoor growth. Included within plant encyclopedias legends showing the grow zones of plants, the temperature ranges that they survive in, and how the plants react to changes in the temperature. Hydrating data, required exposure to sun, tolerance, scale of hardiness, as well as difficulty of keeping should also be included. This is all data that is needed to protect the long life of your plants.

Referencing a plant encyclopedia will not be enough to guarantee the longevitysurvival of your plant. Knowing how to use the information once you have it is key. Many people use these plant encyclopedias after they have received the plant. However, their proper usage is in referencing before you buy. There are plants, like uncommon varieties orchids, that are only suitable for those who are who are willing to tolerate and tend to fickle plants prone to wilting.

Additional information that is useful in a plant encyclopedia is the history and breeding characteristics of the plants. As there are quite a few hobbyists interested in the breeding of plants, as well as the possible discovery of new varieties, having this information at your fingertips is particularly valuable. For those curious about experimentationIf you are interested in experimentation, the references that cover this data should provide information on what types of plants can be bred against your plant, and the process of breeding.

In the case of medicinal plants, a plant encyclopedia should include their uses, information on the safe use of the herbs, and any risks that may be linked with improper usage of the herb. If there are plants that are poisonous listed in the plant encyclopedia, data on the toxicity of the plant should be referenced.

How to Grow Beans

The life cycle of the bean plant is vital for those who are planning on sprouting or harvesting beans for food. As beans are a low-cost food source, a few people who are interested in healthy living have invested time and hard work in the growing of beans. An excellent way to get a complete view of the life cycle of the bean plant is through a picture displaying all phases of life. For those who are considering sprouting, you will already have the seeds, so the germination and seedling stage is what you should keep your attention on. For those who are taking fully grown beans for food, the full cycle is key. When you harvest beans, you will be seeing the species through to almost the end of its life cycle. The seed is the start of the life cycle of the bean plant. The seed is generated after the successful reproduction of the specimen. If your speciesspecimen has successfully bred, the seed will be viable and sprout upon introduction to water. The time between exposure to water and sprouting is dependent on the species of bean. However, many beans sprout within three or four days. There is a short period of time where the sprouts can be consumed in salads. Sprouts are also commonly eaten in chinese dishes such as chow mein. Tending to a bean in order to eat it as a sprout is done in a different manner than tending to beans for consumption after they have turned to full beans. Bean sprouting is normally done in buckets or containers specifically assigned to that process. As you do not want contaminants on your sprouts, and sprouts do not require dirt to thrive, this is a much more clean method of caring for your sprouts. This is why information the life cycle of the bean plant is so vital. Without it, you will not knowledge of when your sprouts will be ready. Once they have matured into full seedlings, the sprouts are no longer consumable as food, and your time will have been wasted. Growing beans for the full plant needs an indoor or outdoor garden, space, and steady access to water. As bean plants can grow a few feet tall, it is best suited for outdoors. Unlike sprouting which can be done year round indoors, you will be restrained to the regular growing seasons of beans. This makes having access to the life cycle of the bean plant irreplaceable, as a good cycle will also include at what times of year beans are best tended to.

Steps to a Perfect Pool

6 Steps to the perfect pool

Something I will never forget is the look on my father’s face the day I asked for an inground pool. I must have been 10 or 11 years old, and he looked at me as if I’d asked for a helipad or another brother.  “Go outside and run around the house,” he barked.  Not even close to the response I was hoping for.

Back then, above ground watery pools were popular, but “dug-in” pools were rather rare. In fact, there was only one in our entire neighbourhood. times sure have changed:  According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, there are about 5 million existing in ground pools in the U.S., and 175,000 to 200,000 new pools are reinforced each year.

About two years ago I decided to take the plunge, so to verbalize, and began calling pool contractors to get approximate construction costs.  Next, I spoke with the bank to discuss financing options.

When the contractor came out to scrutinize the proposed pool site, he walked around the yard, stopping from time to time to kick at the dirt and tremble his head.  Not a good sign. “Well, we could put the pool here,” he said with little enthusiasm, “but it ain’t going to be easy.”

Apparently there’s a vein of rock roughly the size of Mount Rushmore running through my yard. There was no way to dig the pool without blasting first. I immediately called two pool owners who live nearby and discovered that they both had to blast to get their pools in. As I was bemoaning the expense of dynamite, one neighbour casually mentioned the high cost of fencing. I had completely disoriented that you’re required by law to instal a protective barrier around an in ground pool.

“It cost us nearly $12,000 for the fence and two gates,” my neighbour said. And her yard isn’t much bigger than mine. “It would’ve cost less than $10,000, but the contractor had to charge extra for digging the postholes, you know, because of all the rock.” My dream was in jeopardy–and severely underfunded. I abruptly felt like running around the house. I was also told about a new chlorinator that that would substitute for a salt water chlorinator, allowing you to swim in mellifluous clean water.

Later on several weeks of crunching numbers, it became apparent that I had only one row of action: I convinced my neighbour Bob to put in a swimming pool. And since I had instigated this whole mess, I felt it was my duty to help Bob get the pool of his–and my–dreams. It was woth the effort when we had the first party. Here’s what we learned along the way.

Stay attuned for the next articles that contain the 6 steps.

Hydroponics and You

Whether you’re new to hydroponic gardening or you just want to switch brands, General hydroponics is the prime source for all of your hydroponic gardening needs. With nearly three decades of experience under their belt, they are sincerely yours dedicated to providing you with all of the information and help that you need to get your hydroponics garden started.

Why choose General hydroponics? For one, their selection of hydroponics gardening supplies is top notch. They provide customers with a variety of different plant answers, from those that are ideal solely for flowers to those that are great for fruits and vegetables. This diverse selection of high quality, fast acting solutions will allow you to buy the best solutions for everything in your garden. In addition to this, you can also find an assortment of tools used for testing pH levels along with solutions that can increase or step-down the acidity in your plants.

General hydroponics has more than just solutions, however. They also have a variety of different devices for growing your plants in as well. Determining which one is best for you depends on which sort of hydroponics gardening you prefer. If you would or else immerse your plants in containers, their drip hydroponic systems will be sure to keep your plants fed and hydrated with minimal take the field by you. For hydroponics gardening that involves misting the plants with the solution, their aeroponics selection will provide you with everything you need to ensure your plants thrive, regardless of their size or type. General hydroponics also has a variety of growing devices ideal for beginners and expert growers alike.

The advantages to using General hydroponics products are tenfold. You will never have to worry about weeding or spraying pesticides on your plants ever again. If you live in an area with rocky soil, this method will allow you to enjoy flowers, vegetables and fruit all year long. Studies have also shown that hydroponics results in plants growing faster and healthier due to the constant direct access to the nutrients and minerals they need. 

When you combine General hydroponics growers and solutions with their innovative growth enhancers and quality root containers, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you are investing in hydroponics products that will not only yield fantastic results, but last for years to come. Learn more today and see for yourself how these amazing, high quality products can completely inspire the way you garden.

Mulching

Garden Mulch is a protective covering placed on top of the soil . It is preferable to use various organic materials for garden mulching, but you can also use plastic film, they are a important tool for the organic gardener.

Applying Mulch is well worth the time and effort it takes as it both conserves moisture in your soil by slowing evaporation and also helps stop weed seed from germinating. It will additionally protect the soil surface from the damaging effects of heavy rain and compressing . Another benefit of using organic mulch is that it will encourage the worm population who will generally help improve and maintain a good soil structure.

A variety of materials can be used for mulching , however the texture is very crucial , they need to be fairly compact but also allow water and air to filter through to the surface of the soil . Home made compost , wood chippings, bark, leaf mould, dried lawn mowing , well rotted manure and straw will all make good garden mulch. They will give you a choice of finishing’s bark mulch and wood mulch giving a more pleasing effect and they will also last longer .

Mulch can be applied up to four inches thick provided it does not completely swamp your plants. It should not be heaped up around the base of any plants because as it rots down it will also rot the plant to. Depending on the type and depth of mulch used it will last from two months to three years and as it breaks up and rots it will improve your soil too.

The best time to apply garden mulch is when the soil is moist and warm . You should never mulch when the soil is dry, very wet or very cold as it will simply remain in that condition, affecting the growing conditions of your plants. The best time to mulch is either after planting or for plants sown in situ when they are a few inches tall . Always water the ground well in advance but do not completely saturate it and remove any existing weeds that may be already growing.

You can also purchase plastic mulches which can be useful in the short term , although best for summer crops, like tomatoes and cucumbers. You can either lay the firm over the area you intend to plant and cut cross slits and plant in between, or plant first and then gardually roll the film over, making slits and pulling the plants through. Anchor the edges of the film with a covering of soil to secure . Plants can be watered, when required, through the gap between the stem ot the plant and the foil .

Black films are better at preventing weeds from geminating , clear or transparent and white films will help warm up the soil , great for early planting and white films will also reflect light up onto your crop .  Which ever mulch you choose it will aid you to make your organic garden that much more rewarding.

Storing Seeds for Organic Home Gardening

Storing plant seeds that you got from other plants is a technique for gardening at home organicly. Save and keep your plant seeds for growing at a later time for when you decide to plant.Although there is no guarantee that the seed products would grow from storing them, you can take the additional steps to save them that will enable them to grow like they would of within their own environment

Before you begin saving your seed products, you need to clean and dry them in an effort to protect the seeds from any kind of molds, mildewing or moisture. If your taking your seeds from the organic plant, you will need to clear away the additional matter, like the cob, shell or gel coating from tomato seed. You can save most seeds without any extra needed work, just wipe them dry and separate them from the husk or core. If you wish to plant and save your own seeds, save something that you want to enjoy growing and eating. Growing your own food is an enjoyable experience.  The most popular seeds to save are tomato, cantelope, watermelon and pumpkin.  Even if you didn’t get your seed from vegetables or fruits, storing seed that you got from the garden store will have the same effect.

Seed storage is one the many issues that you face when doing organic home gardening because you want to have useable seeds for next season – store the seed you do not use. When creating your storage area you want to take into consideration the hot and cold temperature and moisture because you want to store them in an area which has a continual low temperature and low levels of moisture. Any high levels of temp imbalances will decrease the amount of time that the seeds will be good for. You can even use your deep freeze or refridgerator because you might not require a lot of space. If you decide to put them in the refridgerator or freezer, the be sure you put them into the back put away from the fan. You want a consistent temperature and when the fan kicks on it will disburse cooler air, just like whenever you open up the door, warmer air will rush in. Preferably whenever you put them inside these appliances, your almost inducing hibernation in the seeds. If you need to store them for long-term, try a freezer, shorter durations I’d use a refridgerator. Do not forget any humidity may harm them and shorten their life cycle or cause them to never germinate.

When you store them, organize them into small packages and place the small packages inside a larger container. This also insulates them and protects them from any fluctuations in temps or any abnormally cold that could harm the seeds. By storing them in smaller packages, it enables you to use what you want the next time you need them. You can use plastic baggies or envelopes – be sure to mark the date and type of seeds they are if you discarded the originally packing.

When its time to grow, it may be best to take the seeds you need to use and put them into a different container, then into a place that is slightly warmer then the place they were initially stored a few days. This is also a good time to prepare the seed starter pots. If you had them in the deep freeze, put them into the refridgerator – if they were in the fridge, put them in a cool place like a cellar or cooler room in the house. This is the most difficult part because you still want to avoid the humidity issue. Not every place is exact and its hard to judge temperatures and how the seeds will react. You just want to have them stablized and provide them a few days to thaw before you plant. Many seeds may do better after freezing or refridgerating, since it copies the normal winter season.

Landscape Gardening – Meet Your own Style And Produce A Concpet

Landscape gardening represents the special decoration of the outdoor area around the house so as to meet certain style characteristics. It was during the 19th century that the concept became popular. People know landscaping under the name of English Gardens, because the English were the first to impose the trend. Most home owners will try do-it-yourself options, while others will hire professional designers to create some fanciful decoration.

The hedge and lawn cut make the basics of landscape gardening. Then, the flower arrangements, the presence of fountains with water statues or rocks, small bridges and special lighting systems contribute to the artistic effect specific to landscape gardening. With a bit of effort and some investments you can even preserve the same colors all year round by planting new flowers every season.

The flowers, bushes and trees are incredibly important for landscape gardening. The most daring of effects can be achieved by working on these elements. The flower arrangements in the beds often follow complementing color lines, while occasionally, mono-color designs are preferred. Landscape gardening is not possible with plenty of work, time and effort. River rocks, gravel, sand and carved wood make great matches in landscape gardening too, but every artistic detail has to be exploited at the maximum.

Normally, landscape gardening is different depending on the alternation night-day. And the outdoor lighting system contributes to the modifications and the look of the garden immensely. At night, the trees, bushes and plants only offer you shadows that you can play with and make more or less appealing with the careful location of light fixtures in the most unexpected of places. For instance, use small lights to show the way along the alleys, and create a touch of mystery by hiding the lights in the background.

Last but not least, the presence of a porch or a gazebo is very important for landscape gardening, together with the choice of the specific wooden garden furniture. It is important to adapt all these elements to the features of the house, the size of the garden and the overall decor. The main objective of landscape gardening should not be that of showing off but rather of creating an atmosphere that you love. Personal satisfaction and comfort definitely come first here!

Hydroponics Lab

Are you looking for an exciting new way to grow plants? Are you dejected because the soil in your area is too rocky or hard to produce anything? If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time you set up a home hydroponics lab.

How does hydroponics work? Essentially, it’s where you grow plants without the addition of soil. This may seem like a strange idea, but plants are utterly capable of growing without soil. Instead, their roots are immersed in a nutrient rich, heavily oxygenated solution that nourishes and waters them all at once. There are several ways to do this. Some gardeners prefer to use containers, such as tanks, buckets, or jars. Others keep the roots in a constantly running stream, while some gardeners even prefer to mist their plants instead.

The events are amazing. Studies show that plants grown in home hydroponics centers grow faster and yield more produce than most plants grown in soil. It’s also generally better for the environment, as it helps in preventing topsoil issues and pesticide contamination, as most of the pests that plague plants are found in the earth.

What makes a good home hydroponics center? Picking a good solution is very important, as there are a variety to choose from, each tailor-made to a specific plant. Grow lights are essential for helping the plants to grow. Many newer gardeners don’t realize this, but fans and dehumidifiers are also important for stabilising the air. The combination of so many liquids plus the heat of the lamp can get your hydroponics area very humid indeed, which is dangerous for your plants. Not only can it result in the growth of algae and bacteria, but it can also cause your plants to rot and wilt.

In addition to these home hydroponics supplies, you will need to invest in a good pH testing kit as well. While most nutrient solution products are balanced enough that it’s improbable they’ll raise your plant’s acidity level by any significant degree, accidents can still happen. There are additional solutions for restoring the acidity balance to your plants, however.

That aside, there are a wide assortment of other home hydroponics products to choose from. Some gardeners, rather than plant with strictly water, prefer to use a different medium wholly, such as brick shavings, sand, clay pellets, foam root pads, and more. This allows the plant to stay a bit more grounded while still maintaining all of the benefits from hydroponics gardening.

There are also a variety of devices designed especially to grow your plants in. These devices are great if you don’t wish to come up with the containers to grow your plants in yourself. They are oft fitted with pumps that will keep your plants hydrated and fed throughout the day.

While it may seem like a lot of work, home hydroponics gardening is a fun, effective way to grow plants all year round. Learn more today about how this amazing system can benefit you!

The World of Hydroponics

Whether you’re new to the world of hydroponics or you simply want to save a bit of money, setting up a homemade hydroponics system is a great way to garden well and teach others just how amazing this technique is. What is hydroponics? It is simply the art of gardening without soil.

The idea of growing anything without soil may seem a bit absurd, but when you think about it, soil only serves two purposes: to keep the plant rooted down and to preserve and provide food. However, what many don’t realize is that plants are perfectly capable of flourishing by simply immersing their roots in highly specialized, nutritious solutions. 

Of course, there are many ways to set up your homemade hydroponics system. While some growers like to use containers of solutions, others like to grow their plates by allowing them to take root in foam pads or containers filled with sand, gravel, clay pellets, or other alternatives to soil. You can create your own hydroponics devices simply by placing seedlings in everyday containers, such as tupperware, jars, buckets, and more.

You will also need to make sure your plants get enough light, especially if you’re growing them indoors. This can be achieved by keeping them in ordinary sunlight, or you can create the same effect by purchasing a set of grow lamps. Once you have your plants soaking up their solutions and flourishing under your grow lamps, there’s little else you need to do to ensure they grow.

However, there are still other responsibilities you must take for your homemade hydroponics system. All that standing water combined with the hot lamps creates a lot of humidity, which is a breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and even insect infestation, such as mosquito larvae.  You can keep this from happening by simply installing some fans or an air conditioning unit to circulate the air. By dispelling the humidity, you are also helping to prevent your plants from wilting or rotting as well.

Every so often, you may wish to test your plant’s pH levels. This can be achieved by using simple pH strips. If you find your plants are becoming too acidic due to one reason or another, there are a variety of places you can find a high quality pH stabilizer that will keep your plants looking their best.

Best of all, a homemade hydroponics system allows you to teach children just how beneficial this method is. You can even allow them to set up their own hydroponic gardens so that they can learn for themselves how wonderful this process is. Learn more today about how a homemade hydroponics system can help you!