Category Archives: Gardening

Should You Plant Seeds or Seedlings?

Should you start your own garden from seeds or seedlings? As for me, I started planting vegetables from seeds. However it’s still up to you since there are things that you need to consider when you start planting them.

Several years ago, I interviewed many esteemed gardening experts for advice on how beginners should approach their first attempts to grow food. The major takeaway was that novice gardeners should be especially wary of biting off more than they could chew—or more precisely, what they could reasonably manage to get planted, weeded, watered and harvested. It’s so easy to imagine a bountiful garden in winter, and then find out that you can’t keep up with the demands of a truly productive garden all summer long. That adds up to more hassle, work and stress, and less bountiful crops. Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, summed it up perfectly with this simple tip: “Start small and scale up as you encounter success. Start by planting things you like to eat.”

So, for beginner gardeners trying out a new hobby, it can certainly be helpful to spend a few bucks on established seedlings, also known as transplants, from garden centers and farmers markets instead of trying to grow all of your plants from seed. But not all plants actually work best as transplants; some seeds should be planted directly where they will grow. And when it comes to transplants, we recommend that more experienced gardeners make the leap to start growing some of your own seedlings.

(C) shawnacoronado.com

(C) shawnacoronado.com

Reasons to Choose Seeds

There are many, many, many good reasons to start food plants from seed rather than buying transplants. First, consider the obvious cost savings—seedlings often cost $4 or more each, whereas premium seeds cost around $2 a pack and can last two years or more. Another important reason is that seeds can offer more control over your food supply—when you grow your own seedlings, you know what kind of soil they grew in, what kind of fertilizer they’ve received, and if any chemicals were used. It’s not easy to find completely organic plants everywhere.

Read more: http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/vegetable-gardening/seeds-or-seedlings-zmgz16jfzhou

Which Are The Best Patio Umbrellas – What To Look For When Buying?

Summer is coming and it’s the time where we can enjoy the great outdoors in our backyard. With the variety of styles available they’re equally well suited to protect you on a patio, garden, or even around the pool.This article will share information and tips in selecting and buying the right patio umbrella.

An important accessory for the garden and balcony, something that we all need during hot summer days – that is the patio umbrella. Which are the best patio umbrellas and what to look for when buying? We shall give you some tips on how to choose the right umbrella because there are so many different models, which are suitable for the very different ways of use. There are huge differences in manufacturing, UV protection, the stand, the cleaning and protection options differ so you may find this article quite useful.

Best patio umbrellas: design options, cleaning and UV protection

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Buyers are faced at an enormous choice as nowadays a wide variety of models have conquered the umbrella market. There is almost everything: from classic patio umbrellas with central pole, innovative off set parasols or weatherproof gastronomy umbrellas. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages that you have to take into account when choosing your patio umbrella. For example, a sunshade is particularly suitable to shade tables and gastronomy umbrellas offer a reliable protection against the weather. Patio umbrellas are not meant to only look good. They must be functional and more importantly – to provide protection against the harmful UV rays and provide shade. Therefore, you should pay a particular attention to the UV protection when you buy your patio umbrella!

Patio umbrellas for balconies or gardens

Patio umbrellas are offered in two main types – standing and off set. The classic umbrella is often seen on balconies as it is offered in smaller versions. The umbrella can be installed in different ways – centered in tables, with bases that are filled with water or sand, or fixed to the house wall or the balcony railing. Cantilevered patio umbrellas are getting very popular as the pole is set aside of the canopy. The popularity is due to the great convenience of these models as the umbrella casts a shadow over a table, for example, without the pole being in the way.

Read more: https://www.minimalisti.com/best-patio-umbrellas-garden-shade.html

Save Water in Your Garden

One of the most important ways to saving water in the garden would be to choose the best plants. Consider the rain in your area nowadays and the forecasts for the future also. You’d like plants that can prosper with the amount rain you’re to anticipate in your geographical location.

(C) Kellysthoughtsonthings.com

(C) Kellysthoughtsonthings.com

Give Consideration to Drip Irrigation

In regards to garden water conservation, drip irrigation happens to be an advised method. This kind of irrigation utilizes water more efficiently by delivering water (in drip form) on to the roots of plants. As compared with other watering techniques, it will require far less water than other watering methods like flood irrigation and surface irrigation. Drip water irrigation or drip watering approach is an efficient choice for home garden because it is not only economic but in addition hassle-free, time-saving, and cost-effective.

Timers for Irrigation

Having irrigation timers can also help you to save water while ensuring that you garden receives a good watering. Use the timer to run your irrigation system for half the time you typically do. Then about a half hour later run it again. It will aid you to avoid runoff, which wastes water.

The Best Time to Water

It is necessary that you water at the best time of day to take advantage use of the water for the garden. It usually is best to water the garden around sunset or about sunrise. By doing this it’s not necessary to bother about water evaporation which makes watering less efficient for your garden.

Make Sure Your Equipment isn’t Leaking

You should ensure that your equipment is in working order with no leaks. Leaking equipment can use lots of water that merely gets wasted instead of actually using it on the garden. Look into the hose, your connections, and sprinkler heads to be sure they are in good condition.

Making Use of Mulch

Mulching your plants can help you to reduce your garden watering. With mulch the soil can retain the water instead of making it possible for the sun to evaporate the water in the soil. You could lessen the water you’ll need for your garden by 50% if you utilize mulch. Furthermore, it will help to keep pests away and will help keep weeds at bay also.

These are simply a couple of things you can keep in mind to decrease the water you utilize in your garden. In this manner you keep the garden eco-friendly by conserving water.

 

Grow A Succulent Garden

Planting a succulent garden is a fun and easy activity. I will share with you some tips based from this article on how to start growing succulents in your own garden. The process is pretty simple for those who have done this before and have got some experience.

Step by step: How to grow succulents from cuttings

Remove the lower leaves

(C) OfferUp

(C) OfferUp

  • Chop the remaining rosette from the stem
  • Let all the parts dry out and create a callous where they’ve been removed
  • Place on top of soil until roots and baby plants start forming
  • Remove the original leaf and plant the new offspring, as well as the original rosette – tada!

Propagating succulents: it sounds like a euphemism for hormone replacement therapy or the code name for a guerrilla gardening raid. It reality it’s far more straightforward than either. In fact, it’s so easy you can’t fail. You hear that? CANNOT FAIL. Just follow these directions and you’ll be living in a thriving urban succulent jungle before you know it.

Step One

If you have a succulent that is starting to look leggy, now is the time to propagate. What’s a leggy succulent, you ask? Sadly, it’s not a plant that looks like Heidi Klum. It happens when a succulent isn’t getting enough light and starts to stretch out, with a woody stem and widely spaced leaves. Your first step is removing the lower leaves of the plant. Carefully, though! Grab and wiggle a leaf until it snaps off, making sure you get the whole leaf so it can grow roots of its own. Remember: A partial leaf will not a succulent make.

Starting seeds indoors

I started planted herbal seeds just the other day. But instead of doing it outdoors, I decided to have it indoors since I like the idea of having herbs inside my kitchen.  It’s not really that difficult but there are some steps we need to consider compared when we plant it outside. Here’s what I learned from this article.

(C) Farmviewmarket.com

(C) Farmviewmarket.com

Starting garden plants from seeds indoors can be an enjoyable project for any gardener. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to grow a wide variety of plants. Many garden favorites are found in a greater variety of colors, sizes and growth habits as seeds, rather than as started plants.

When selecting vegetable varieties, check packets for the number of days until harvest to be sure your choices will ripen before frost. Many long-season vegetables must be started indoors in early spring. Similarly, many annual flowers need an indoor start if they are to bloom during the summer.

Buying seed

Seeds are available from many sources, ranging from your local building supply store to garden centers and mail order catalogs. Their prices can vary greatly. The newest hybrids command higher prices, as do seeds of rare or unusual plants, as well as certified organic seed.

Planting and care information is often more complete on name-brand seed packets. If name brand and “off brand” seed varieties are the same for a given flower or vegetable, there shouldn’t be any difference in the plants’ ultimate quality. The percentage of germination and seed purity is governed by law.

Many companies sell different sizes of seed packets, from mini-packs of as few as ten seeds to seeds by the pound. Although smaller quantities cost more per seed, don’t buy more seed than you will use in two or three years. Each seed contains a plant embryo that must stay alive until it can germinate. The fresher the seed, the greater the chances that all the seeds will still be viable. Fewer and fewer seeds from a packet will germinate as time passes.

Read more:  https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/starting-seeds-indoors

How to Plant out a Herb Garden

I’m planning to start my own herbal garden and already bought some seeds yesterday. I did some research on how to plant them the right way. Check out this article and its helpful tips on herbal planting.

Have you ever ended up with ‘dried herb arrangements’ (those that died of thirst or sunburn)? Or herbs that rotted and drowned due to waterlogged roots?  Whether you want to plant herbs in a pot, garden bed or a herb spiral, my 5 Step Guide to Planting Herbs can help you successfully choose the best position and maintain your herb garden.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

In this article I also share key tips on where to plant herbs so they thrive. Understanding the kind of microclimate each herb prefers, can make all the difference to growing them successfully! So ‘dig in’!

Are you a sun worshipper? Or do you prefer sitting outdoors in the shade instead? Do you love rainy days or hate them? …

Understanding the likes and dislikes of your herbs saves  you time and money (less ‘dried arrangements’ too)!

Choose the Right Position for your Herb Garden

The herb spiral design provides different microclimates you can plant into. Or think about the spots you have at your place that might be suitable. e.g. If you struggle to grow fruiting crops because you have a shady garden, then don’t fight nature. Choose herbs that LOVE shade (moist or dry) and they’ll thank you for it.

Planting Guidelines for Common Herbs

Positions may vary in your climate, but these general guidelines should help you plant your herbs in the best location.

  • Sunny Dry (top of herb spiral – or a well-drained position) – Bay tree (centre top position); rosemary and lavender (deep roots – centre top position); thyme; aloe vera; sage; oregano; tarragon; marjoram; garlic chives.

Read more: https://themicrogardener.com/how-to-plant-out-a-herb-garden/

Flea beetle

Flea beetles are one of the most troublesome pests that can wreak havoc in your garden. They can kill your young plants, although bigger and well grounded plants are immune to their threats. They can jump around and devour one side of your garden one day, and transfer to another area the next day.

 

Click for larger image

Small round holes in leaves and insects that jump like fleas are two signs that a plant is infested with flea beetles. These shiny oval beetles may be black, brown, bronze, or striped and are only 1/10 inch long. They quickly leap out of sight when disturbed. There are several species of flea beetle and while some feed on only a few closely related plants, others feed on a wide variety of crop plants. Many vegetable crops are affected including tomatoes, potatoes, cole crops (cabbage family), turnips, radishes, corn, beans, and beets. Flea beetles are especially attracted to eggplants and plants may be almost totally defoliated. Flea beetles may also be vectors for transmission of disease such as bacterial wilt in corn.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Since flea beetles are so small and active, it is easy to miss them. Watch for a sudden burst of jumping black spots among the leaves. Disturbing the foliage of the affected plant or of nearby plants may cause them to jump again. Commonly found in newly planted vegetable gardens, flea beetles are most harmful to seedlings. Larger plants are usually able to withstand damage. A light infestation of flea beetles is characterized by tiny round pits or holes in leaves, creating a shot hole pattern. Heavier infestations may cause bleached or pitted areas, ragged holes, or even total loss of leaves resulting in wilted or stunted plants. Although the larvae feed on roots of the same plants, they usually do not cause injury. Larval tunneling may sometimes cause scarring on potato tubers.

Life Cycle

Adults overwinter in the soil and plant debris, emerging in spring to feed. They lay eggs in the soil and die by early July. The legless white or gray larvae hatch in a week and eat plant roots for 2–3 weeks. The larvae pupate in the soil and mature into adults in 2–3 weeks. There may be more than one generation a year.

Integrated Pest Management Strategies

1. Transplant large sturdy seedlings. Large transplants will be most able to tolerate damage. Monitor plants closely so that pests may be controlled before damage is severe. When planting seeds directly into the garden, sow extra seeds to allow for loss. Growing susceptible plants interspersed with less susceptible plants may help.

2. Use row covers on susceptible plants, especially seedlings and eggplant.

3. Avoid flea beetles.Plant susceptible crops as late as possible to avoid flea beetles …

 

Read more: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/insects/beetles/flea-beetle.aspx

How To Save Water in Gardening

Probably the most fundamental ideas to saving water in your garden is to pick the best plants. Consider the rainfall in the area at present and the forecasts for the future as well. You want plants that could do well considering the variety of rainfall you are to anticipate in your location.

Image result for collect water gardeb

(C) Dreamstime.com

Give consideration to Collecting Rainwater

One of the most effective strategies to providing water for the gardening year is utilizing a water butt and collecting water run-off from home roofs, garages and sheds. Through easy attachments to existing gutter downpipes water is siphoned off into a water butt with a tap for quick filling of watering cans.
Consider Drip Irrigation

One alternative you need to help you save water whilst still watering your garden is drip irrigation. This procedure is a huge contributor to water conservation. By using drip irrigation, valved pipes drip the water right where it must go. Since delivery is targeted, you won’t use the maximum amount of water. When your irrigation is complete you can simply turn the valves off. It really is fairly cost effective, durable, and a fantastic way to water your garden without having over watering.

The Best Time to Water

The lawn need to be given water at the most ideal time of the day. The optimum time to dip the yard is in the morning. Early morning watering implies a lot less chance of the evaporation resulting from heat or fungal growth. An early watering must guarantee the water can soak into the soil prior to the temperature can begin to increase.

Ensure Your Equipment isn’t Leaking

Just like in any equipment at home, you must keep track of your water consumption. You might suddenly observe an increase in your usage without significant modifications in your activities or garden. This might be a sign of leaks. See whether your hose, sprinklers heads and any other watering systems are still in good condition.

Utilizing Mulch

Applying organic mulch to the top layer of the soil will certainly let the soil to have a cooler temperature. This could stop the water from evaporating fast and consistent soil moisture is attained. Mulching will prevent soil erosion too. A protective mulch layer on top of your soil is amongst the best and easiest moisture retaining strategies that one could put into use.

These are just a few points you can keep in mind to reduce the water you utilize in the garden. In this way you keep the garden eco-friendly by conserving water.

Why You Need To Have Soil Testing

Image result for soil testing

(C) www.sportsturfintl.com

The quantity and quality of what you can develop in your garden is dependent upon the quality of its soil. Plants are only as healthy as the soil they are grown in. If you wish to plant a healthy garden filled with beautiful flowers and good things to eat, then you may need fertile, well-drained soil. You will have to determine what your soil needs and perhaps perform some work to help it along.

The main nutrients that are tested include phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Supplementary nutrients include magnesium, sulfur and calcium, whilst minor nutrients include aluminum, zinc, manganese, boron, iron and molybdenum. The testing won’t end there, for the reason that soil properties also needs to be tested. Physical properties including soil moisture, electrical conductivity, soil acidity or alkalinity, and organic soil matter all need to be observed.

One of the major issues of obtaining a garden are over-fertilization and abnormal plant growth. This can cause to dreadful diseases. While soil testing helps reduce water pollution, when nutrients are put through by plants (that they don’t require) the tendency is it is scattered through groundwater which frequently takes place during thunderstorms and torrential rain typhoons.

Based on the test, you may assess the nutritional level the test shows. In the event the test result indicated that the nutrient levels are below what they should be, then you need to fertilize your grasses. Try not to over fertilize your lawn as excessive fertilizing may cause your lawn to be burnt. Incorporating compost will help increase the nutrient level yet the release of nutrients is rather slow. You can also utilize inorganic fertilizers to boost the nutrients level.

The soil testing kit can be used to test the PH level present in the agricultural land. It’s important to be aware of the PH level within the land to present some types of crops. The PH level should neither be too low nor too high non-absorption of nutrients by the soil.

Moreover, the existence of harmful weeds as well as the emergence of pathogen is being traced in soil testing. A couple of testing kits may find out these damaging elements in order that it might help cease crop cultivation and multiplication of harmful weeds.

Testing kits to evaluate the level of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, moisture, saline content and PH level can be purchased today. The sample of the land ought to be collected six inches beneath the surface. It is very important never to touch the sample with your bare hands as results can vary as a result of presence of external factors. Several testing kits have a variety of accessories for conducting the tests.

Efficient Fertilizer Use Guide Soil ph

Good soil quality is vital to the success of any planting endeavor. Aside from that, having healthy soil can give better air quality and clean water.

 

Soil pH is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity in soils. pH levels range from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, below 7 acidic and above 7 alkaline. The optimal pH range for most plants is between 5.5 and 7.0; however, many plants have adapted to thrive at pH values outside this range. Because pH levels control many chemical processes that take place in the soil – specifically, plant nutrient availability – it is vital to maintain proper levels for your plants to reach their full yield potential.

 

Soil Acidity

An acid is defined as a substance that tends to release hydrogen ions (H+). Conversely, a base is defined as a substance that releases hydroxyl ions (OH). All acids contain hydrogen ions, and the strength of the acid depends upon the degrees of ionization (release of hydrogen ions) of the acid. The more hydrogen ions held by the exchange complex of a soil in relation to the basic ions (Ca, Mg, K) held, the greater the acidity of the soil.

NOTE: Aluminum (Al) also contributes to soil acidity, but for simplicity, further discussion of soil acidity will be limited to H as the cause of soil acidity.


Source: IPNI

Desirable Soil pH for Optimum Crop Production pH Range

The desirable pH range for optimum plant growth varies among crops. While some crops grow best in the 6.0 to 7.0 range, others grow well under slightly acidic conditions. Soil properties that influence the need for and response to lime vary by region. A knowledge of the soil and the crop is important in managing soil pH for the best crop performance.

Soils become acidic when basic elements such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium held by soil colloids are replaced by hydrogen ions. Soils formed under conditions of high annual rainfall are more acidic than are soils formed under more arid conditions. Thus, most southeastern soils are inherently more acidic than soils of the Midwest and far West.

Soils formed under low rainfall conditions tend to …

 

Read more: http://www.cropnutrition.com/efu-soil-ph