Category Archives: Gardening

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

5 TIPS FOR GERMINATING OLD SEEDS

If you gardened before, chances are you have some seeds laying around that you never planted. You might wonder if they’re worth planting this year, or if you should just buy new seeds.

 

Here are some good tips for germinating seeds that are hard to start or are having trouble germinating. Have some patience though as it could take anywhere from three days to three weeks for a seed to germinate. Some of these tricks I would only use if the seed has not sprouted after two to three weeks or if you have a few seeds in reserve from a batch that haven’t germinated.

Seeds are comprised of an outer hard layer and an embryo which is inside the hard shell. The reason that older seeds don’t germinatem well is that the shell has become to hard and water is unable to penetrate, this process of imbibition is the start of the germination process. The seed will swell with water and eventually the shell will pop open and a small tap root will erupt.

One thing i wouldn’t do is to germinate your seeds on a paper towel. White paper is filled with bleach and other chemicals and is not a good thing for your plants. Use small jiffy starter blocks or a light soil:

1. Dilute 10ml (roughly one tsp) of Fulvic acid per litre (33 oz) of water. 

2. Scuff the outer shell of the seed with some sand paper. Roll up a small cigar or sand paper or line a match box and gently shake the seeds over it. This will create micro abrasions letting in more water.

 

 

Read more: http://hightimes.com/grow/5-tips-for-germinating-old-seeds/

Tips in Growing Indoor Orchids

Orchids are perfect flowers and enjoyed by many people from around the globe. They have a certain charm which is not usually seen from other flowers. Despite the fact that orchids do not have interesting scents like roses, lilies or lavenders, they flourish in a wide array of colors that attracts anybody who sees them.

If you’re taking into consideration growing orchids in the homes utilizing artificial light, there are particular things which you must do to guarantee your success in growing healthy and exquisite orchids. The process you’ll face is worthwhile once you see your beautiful home-grown orchids in full bloom. Here are several tips which can be done to raise healthy orchids in your house.

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• Cautiously select the type of orchids to plant and grow. There are lots of places to find the orchids. However, it is advisable that you ought to shop for the orchids at a good nursery. This is because at the nursery you’ll be provided with ample information regarding the different types of orchids available. Choose the plants with bright green, beautiful looking leaves, because they indicate healthy orchid plants.

• When you grow orchids, devote some time read on the right means of lighting, watering, fertilizations, and proper potting.

• Acquire help in raising your orchids. These are very sensitive plants that require a lot of care. Being familiar with every facet of the plant will allow you to in making them grow fully bloom. You may enlist the help of a friend who’s got prior experience of orchid planting. You may also ask a local nursery or garden center since they can help you on this, and also at the same time they can teach you about the key growing steps that you have to know.

• Providing humidity for your orchids is yet another think to keep in mind when caring for orchids indoors. This can be accomplished by placing a humidifier in the area or putting the pots on a wide container with moist gravel. Just make sure the pots are not left standing in water, as it can cause fungus, diseases and root rot.

• An orchid doesn’t need watering daily, once every five days might be sufficient, and they could survive for up to 2 weeks without water. Different orchids will however have unique necessities, so ensure you know as much as possible regarding your plant.

20 Creative DIY Plant Labels & Markers

Garden markers are small marking planted into your nursery to remind you of the seeds that you planted at a particular point. These markers are ideal in nurseries or home gardens where a mixture of seeds are planted.

 

Looking for some inspiration for DIY plant labels? Plant markers are quick and easy to make. Try repurposing everyday items like pebbles, bamboo skewers, corks, containers, shells, cans and even broken terracotta pots. There are loads of creative ideas and I’ve rounded up 20 low cost and decorative options to inspire you to make your own DIY plant labels.

 

20 Creative DIY ideas for DIY plant labels and markers | The Micro Gardener

I use labels regularly even though I can identify most plants in my patch.

 

My husband, however … let’s just say (kindly) that he gets somewhat ‘confused’ when so many plants look similar in the garden!

 

Basil & rosemary | The Micro Gardener

This must be the explanation for why he brings in rosemary when I ask for basil (are these remotely similar??)

 

Plant labels are a must if you:

  • are growing food (and are reliant on family members to pick your produce!);
  • have UFOs (Unidentified Food Objects) in your garden;
  • are learning to identify plants or save seeds;
  • share an allotment; or
  • want to avoid losing your bulbs every year!

Plant Labelling Tips & Techniques

 

1) What do you want the plant label to look like?

  • Do you prefer a decorative marker for a special plant that doubles as garden art?
  • Or just something functional and cheap? No fuss + no frills!

 

See more: https://themicrogardener.com/20-creative-diy-plant-labels-markers/

6 Gardening Habits You’re Probably Doing Wrong

Gardening errors are common even amongst the prolific gardeners. Once into a certain habit it’s a bit hard to break that habit.

 

“Gardening is so easy!” said no one with a black thumb ever. Regardless of where your thumb falls on the green to black spectrum, it’s possible you’ve picked up some bad gardening habits over the years. Don’t worry, though. It’s not your fault. There is a ton of bad and/or outdated gardening advice floating around in the Google-sphere. So make sure you are avoiding these mistakes, and then sit back and watch your beautiful garden bloom.

 

1. Rocks and Pebbles a Well-Drained Pot Does Not Make

Broken plant pot pieces

You can’t throw a rock without hitting this piece of gardening pot advice: Rocks, pebbles, or broken crockery at the bottom of a pot encourages proper drainage.

However, this is not true. If you’re putting rocks or pebbles or broken crockery at the bottom of your pots, stop! It turns out not only does adding drainage material not work, but it’s probably having the opposite effect.Actual scientists discovered “water does not move easily from layers of finer textured materials to layers of more coarse textured.”

In plain English, what ends up happening is the water won’t easily drain because of the stuff you added and your plant’s roots end up sitting in soggy soil. Your best bet is to get a good potting soil. That way water has a better chance of draining.

2. Gardeners Who Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Every wannabe gardener has at one point or another wandered through the nearby nursery and whipped out a credit card to buy all the pretty flowers in sight. But did you know you shouldn’t go buying just any old plant willy-nilly without a plan? Before you jump the gun and buy whatever strikes your fancy, you need to consider some things first. In short, you need to plan before you plant! And this goes for any type of garden, whether it’s your yard or a container garden for your kitchen window sill.

There are many things to consider like the …

 

Read more: http://garden.lovetoknow.com/6-gardening-habits-youre-probably-doing-wrong

4 Types of Sprinklers

Watering your lawn, plants, or garden is essential when it doesn’t get enough rain. There are various different ways to water or irrigate these areas and it’s important to choose the right way, so that the process is simple and easy to do. Sprinklers are one of the most common methods that individuals make use of to water their lawns and gardens because it’s affordable and easy to setup. There are several many sprinklers on the market; therefore you want to make sure that you understand how each one of these works to get the right one to suit your needs.

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Oscillating sprinklers typically have 17 holes that water is disbursed out of. It waters the lawn or garden very delicately and moves to and fro to cover a substantial area. It’s very economical, which means that anyone’s budget can afford it and it’s also very easy to put in anywhere that you choose. Oscillating sprinklers hold up well to weather and can work for a very long time.

Drip Sprinkler is yet another thing to consider for watering the plants. The benefits of have a drip sprinkler is that it’s more economic on water – it is an particularly significant point if you live in an area with really low rainfall. It is said that efficiency is over 90% as long as it’s been installed and set up the right way. Drip irrigations happen to be utilized commercially for quite some time by farmers growing vegetables etc.

Single stream lawn sprinklers are an excellent choice for big or mid-sized yards. The 360-degree arc which they travel to water your lawn will cover a wide area, to ensure that there is not any place missed. They rotate around in order that all of the lawn or garden is covered. When they are not in use, they just collapse down, so that you can easily mow the lawn, be in the lawn, or do anything you wish with no worry of tripping over the mechanism.

• An impact or impulse sprinkler is a superb choice for big fields or lawns. The sprinkler pivots on a bearing to make sure that no area is left dry. The circular motion covers a huge area and the spring-loaded arm moves it back to allow it to circle repeatedly. The long throw radius that it has ensures that it can reach an extremely large area for crop watering or lawn watering. These are resistant to sand and dirt and will last for a long time, which is why they are quite commonly used to water crops in an gardening setting.

These sprinklers are usually used in residential areas; however they can be used commercially in agriculture and more. By determining the right sprinkler for your specific area and requirements, you’ll allow your lawn or garden to withstand the harsh sun of summer with great health. Sprinklers could make watering any area much simpler on you and more efficient for your lawn or garden.