Archives for : July 2013

Potato: Excellent Choice for Organic Garden  2

gardeningDue to the high prices of organic vegetables in the market, many homeowners choose to grow their own organic garden at their backyard. One of the popular choices is potato. Potatoes grow easily and they are also nutritious.

It would be a great feeling to harvest your own vegetables. You don’t have to spend time and money going to the market. You can just pick potatoes from your backyard and you have fresh and healthy supply for your dish.

Another great thing about potatoes is that you can make them grown anywhere. You can use big terracotta pots, unused barrels and old dustbins. If you start to plant your crop in spring, then you can have an abundant supply as fall arrives.

Set the Garden

Before you plant your potato, you must first check the soil if it’s too cold or moist because potatoes will not grow in this condition. Spring or early summer is the best time to start growing your crops.

They need enough sunlight in order to grow healthy. There are three different methods to plant your potatoes – container method, trench method and scatter method.

  • Container method–This method makes use of container large enough to support potato plants. However, this will limit the nutrients your plants will get from the soil.
  • Trench method–This method involves shallow channel where you will put your potatoes and fill it up with soil. Keep nurturing your potatoes until they grow.
  • Scatter method – This method requires you to scatter your potatoes around your garden. Also it involves mulching.

The best way for your potatoes to grow healthy is to water them regularly. This will give them enough nutrients in order to expand their roots and grow strong. Also make sure your soil is fertile.

When you have chosen the location of your potato garden, mix the soil with organic matter in order to condition it. Avoid using chemical fertilizer since you are aiming for healthy food.garden

Keep the “Eyes”

Potatoes are way different from other organic vegetables because they do not have seeds. They are planted as a whole potato with 2-3 eyes. The eyes will serve as opening for new potatoes to grow.

You can bury the crop as a whole or chop it into large pieces. Scatter them around the ground but make sure each has eyes. If you follow these steps properly, you can have supply of potatoes in just 2-3 months.

With potatoes growing in your backyard, you can have your own fried or mashed potatoes for your family. If you produce tasty and fresh potatoes, you can even sell them in the local market.

You can research more about improving the supply of you potatoes if you continue to sell it. This could be a great way to earn money.

Organic garden is beneficial these days as the preserved foods have been a popular choice of many but impose threat to the body. Organic foods are still beneficial not only to your health but also to your budget. Following the tips above will grant you with fresh and healthy supply of potatoes all-year round.

Color your Garden with Flowering Shrubs  157

gardeningShrubs are not just mere greenery in your landscape.They are additional asset to your garden. Shrubs such as blueberd, lilac and roses bring color, beauty and texture making your garden alive. Here are some reasons why you should have shrubs in your garden:

  • They bring color and beauty to you garden every season of the year
  • Maintenance is not time consuming
  • They are easy to tend
  • There is a large selection of shrubs you can choose from

There are some shrubs that do not need much effort to maintain or care for. They are easy to grow without much attention from you. Here are some best shrub choices to get you started with your garden.

  1. Rock Rose –It effortlessly adds color to your garden. They come in beautiful colors such as purple, pink, white and lavender. It easily grows and needs a little attention from you. It can grow up to 5 feet and can resist drought so this is perfect for the summer season
  2. Blueberd Shrub–This blue blossom is perfect for late summer. Like rock rose, it can tolerate drought and heat and it grows easily. It has really beautiful bushes that can even attract butterflies and birds.
    You can use it as a décor to beautify your home. Make sure to place it in an area where it receives full sunlight and a well-drained soil so you can have healthy growing Blueberd shrub.
  3. Spirea–It is most popular in city homes, commercial buildings and restaurants. This flowering blossom offers raspberry-red color and golden foliage. With little maintenance, it brings beauty and color to your garden and home.
  4. Hydrangea Shrub – This shrub is perfect for autumn and summer. It blooms with different colors of flowers depending on the pH level of the soil.
    Basic soil produces pink flowers while acidic results to blue flowers. White flowers means they are not affected by pH level but they are still beautiful flowering shrubs. Like Blueberd shrub, it should receive full sunlight and well-drained soil. It can grow up to 10 feet.
  5. Forsythia Shrub–It is one of the favorite shrubs and it grows easily. It can be planted in different soil types but it grows best in loose soil. You may have to prune it occasionally after it has flowered. It can grow up to 8-12 feet with arching or upright branches. During early spring, it blossoms with yellow flowers.

Make sure you survey your whole yard to determine where is the perfect spot you can grow your shrubs. Some shrubs love the sunshine so you must place them in an area where they receive the morning sun while some love the shade so placing them under the trees or inside your house is ideal.

You must do a thorough research on each one of your shrubs so you can determine the condition, season and type of soil it needs to flourish healthy and beautiful flowers all-year round. With the right knowledge, you can incorporate the beauty of shrubs to your garden.

Bulb Garden: Bring Interest to your Yard  10

gardeningBulbs are beautiful addition to your garden. Spring-flowering bulbs such as alliums, lilies, crocus and tulips are planted in late fall or before the ground freezes.

This is for the bulbs to establish their root system and be ready for spring. On the other hand, summer-flowering shrubs are planted in early spring to replace the other bulbs once summer arrives.

Planning your Garden

First, you have to determine where you will plant your bulbs and how wide the area would be. This is to identify how many bulbs you should buy in the local nursery. Fortunately, most bulb packages have set of instructions on the proper spacing of the bulbs.

Shop for your Bulbs

It is essential that you know what you will buy when you go to a local nursery or garden center. Research more on each of your bulbs.

However, most gardeners prefer larger bulbs since they are high quality and have great flowers at the first year. Also you will have a bulb garden that will last for years.

Prepare the Soil

It is important your soil have good drainage in order for your bulbs to grow healthy. Make sure it is fertile and tilt.

If your soil has high clay content, then make sure you mix it with organic matter or compost. Whatever the size of your bulb garden is, it would be ideal to have a tilled and loose soil.

Positioning them Properly

It is important that your bulbs are flat at the bottom while pointy at the top part. As for the space, large bulbs such as Daffodil bulbs need at least 4-6 inches apart while tulips need 3-6 inches apart. On the other hand, small bulbs such as crocus bulb need to be two inches apart.

If you choose bulbs that vary in heights, then make sure to plant the taller ones at the back of your garden and the shorter ones at the front. It would bring more appeal if your bulbs are in clump position.garden

Cover it Up!

When you have positioned you bulbs correctly, then it is time to cover the roots with soil. Halfway on covering a bulb, add fertilizer and enough water. Make sure not to overdo it to avoid damaging your plants.

Then place the remainder of the soil and water it again. This is to settle the soil. Add mulch so the soil can retain moisture even in low temperature and also to prevent weeds.

With knowledge on growing bulbs, you can have a bulb garden until spring arrives. Just make sure to follow the tips above in order to enjoy the beauty of the flowering bulbs.

In a simple way, they bring beauty to your garden. They can even last for years depending on how much you take care of them.

Make sure to pay attention to the needs of your bulbs in order to have blooming flowers for the next season. Whether you just newly discovered your green thumb abilities or you are a gardening expert, bulb garden add interest to your garden.

Aquaponics: An Easy Way to Gardening  7

gardeningAquaponic gardening is one of the trending type of gardening these days. It might be a bit of different than the traditional garden but this is easy to prepare and you have a supply of fresh vegetables and even have different fishes. One reason why it is popular is you can grow up to 10 times the amount of plants than ordinary gardening.

Features of Aquaponic Garden

Aquaponic gardening is unlike hydroponics that produces water-tasting crops. Vegetables you grow in this garden are rich and tasty. What most gardeners love about this garden is you don’t need an expensive fertilizer in order to make your crops grow because the fishes will do the trick for you.

The fish will produce waste and this goes through ammonia process and turns to nitrate which combines with water. The water then goes to the garden bed and the plant gets the nutrients and finally, clean water is drained back to the fishing pond.

The two living organisms are dependent to each other and the process is entirely natural. There is balance since the fish provides nutrients the plants need, while the plants give clean water for the fish to survive. So completely, there are no chemicals involve that could harm the fish and your plants.

Aquaponic can be done any season of the year and you can even have it inside the comfort ofyour home. So you can surely have fresh supply of organic foodseven in the middle of winter days while your yard is covered with thick snow.

You can have different designs of garden that are suitable for your preferences. With aquaponics, you don’t have to supply it with water regularly but you will need to replenish the amount of water lost due to evaporation. Another benefit is you can easily eliminate the diseases and insects that could harm your plants.

Types of Fish

Homeowners can choose different species of fishes to grow in their garden. The popular choices are goldfish and Koi.

However, if you want your fish to be part of your dining menu, then the ideal choice would be tilapia. You can also have silver perch, Murray cod, largemouth, smallmouth bass and crappie.

Preparation of the Garden

gardenYou need two tanks to get started with this type of garden. If you plan to place it inside, then you may opt to choose beautifully-designed tanks.

Once you have put them in a suitable place, then you need PVC and submersible pump. Once everything is set, you need to add water, your fishes and the bacteria.

First you have to start the ammonia cycle in order for the water to support plant life. You only need to add bacteria and the rest will be up to the fish.

Make sure the process gets completed before you place your plants. The entire cycle usually takes three weeks.

Aquaponics gardening is easy and you can choose from a wide variety of vegetables to grow. Everything is organic in this system – water, fertilizer, process and your vegetables. It is healthy, eco-friendly and supplies you with fresh crops all-year round.

How your Plants can survive the Cold Days?  40

Winter months are the most difficult time of the year for gardeners. Preparing the garden is very essential so your plants can still bloom on the arrival of spring.

gardeningGardening habits should also change as the season turns colder. Most importantly, you should have the skills in order to protect your garden from extreme climate.

One primary problem during winter is that the liquid inside your plants could freeze in this below-zero condition. It can damage the plant cells, leading to death of your plants. It might not have the chance to grow for the next season.

There are a few things you can do in order to maintain your garden healthy even in cold temperature:

      1. If you have banana plants in your garden, then it would be ideal to place it near wall facing north. At this position, your plant will have enough heat in order to survive. Placing banana plants on gentle slopes can also help to expand the life expectancy of the plants.
      2. Grow your own plants from the Brassica family. Vegetables in the family are high in salt so they are capable of resisting cold temperature. Cauliflowers came from the same Brassica family as well but they do not have the same ability.
        But there is a solution. To prevent frost in the leaves, tie the leaves together with the use of twine. Make sure to remove the twine so they can receive sunlight early in the morning.
      3. Create mounds around the garden bed. During winter, heaving in your yard is common. This is the time when the ground freezes and warms up when exposed to the sun and then it gradually pushes the plant out of the ground.
        This could cause uprooting of your plants. Garden beds facing the east experience this problem the most since they are the ones which receive the first sunlight. So it would be ideal to place a mound around your garden bed in order to reduce heaving.garden
      4. Use old pots to protect your plants. During the night, you can use these pots in order to cover your crops against the cold temperature. Make sure to remove it the next day so your plants can receive sunlight for survival.
      5. Placing your potted plants inside the shelter of your home. There are plants that are very fragile during the winter. You can place it inside your home or your garage in order to prevent them from freezing in the cold weather.

It is essential that you have prepared your garden during fall and have a thorough research on the subject on how to take care of your plants during winter days. You must have knowledge on which of your plants can survive the cold and will still bloom for the next season. As a gardener, it is your duty to maintain the health of your plants.

These are just few tips on how to approach your plants for the season. Make sure to give extra attention to your plants and give them their necessities in order to survive the winter season.

Beat the Heat: Tend your Garden this Summer  2

gardeningSummer is surely another gardening time. After the flowers have bloomed in spring after long months of winter, this hot season will surely be another busy time for gardening. The heat might cause drought in your garden which is why it is very important that you always check on your plants if there is insufficient water supply or if they have been receiving too much heat.

So here are some helpful tips for your garden to make it survive the hot season and still bloom until the next season arrives:

Get Rid of the Weeds

Weeds compete with your plants for water and nutrition. This is the reason why getting rid of them is the very first step. Make sure to check your plants very carefully if weeds are starting to grow in their roots.

Make a List of the Crops

Crop rotation is a healthy practice for many gardeners to avoid plant diseases and pests. You can also take a good picture or list down all the crops you have used for the year. This could help you make improvements for your garden especially with the location and crowding.

Water it Regularly

Evaporation is fast in extreme heat so soil sometimes loses most of its water during this season. So make sure that your soil and plants have enough water to withstand the heat. Also make sure to install timed sprinkles in your yard so it can water your lawn and plants in specific times of the day.

Harvest your Crops

Crops such as beans and squash should be harvested before they become too large. Instead of storing the excess for the next season supply, you can sell them in the local market or have them donated to the community or churches. It would be great if you help people who need food the most.

Make Compost

If you already prepared your compost during the spring, then you can use it to treat your soil for the summer. Plants would definitely need a lot of nutrients from the soil this hot season and this will aerate your soil for better moisture.

Start collecting dried leaves and weeds in your garden and keep them dry for fast rotting. Make sure to put them all in a bin where they can decompose naturally. This compost might ready for the next season or as preparation for gardening in late summer.

Avoid Pruning

Pruning your trees and plants before the season changes should be avoided. But you can cut down the branches that might break when strong wind blows. If the tender branches are exposed to harsh conditions after you have pruned it, it could damage the whole tree or plant.

Tending your Lawn

gardeningThe heat might greatly damage your lawn which is why it is essential that you water it regularly and sprinkle it with fertilizer. Aerate it 6 weeks before the growing season so that it can still grow and recover before the cold season arrives.

Continue Tending your Soil

Mixing mulch in your soil for your vegetables and flower beds is essential for growth and development of the garden. Mulch is important for your garden to suppress the growing weeds and for the soil to maintain its moisture. When this organic matter decomposes, your soil will be fertile and healthy to support plant life.

Clean up your Garden

This is very important especially after you have done some gardening work in your yard. Grass cutting and dried leaves left in the garden can attract insects and pests that could damage your garden. This is also an ideal preparation for the next season

Give your Plants Enough Nutrients

Due to heat and insufficient nutrients, leaves of the plants tend to go yellow so you must tend to its needs. Make sure the soil have proper iron content that your plants need in order to survive. As a gardener, you should be able to give all the nutrients that your plants need in order for them to bloom even in hot weather.

Most importantly, your garden needs all your love and care in order to grow and be healthy until the season changes. Aside from winter, summer is also the season you should pay attention to your plants and yard. Brown parts in your lush garden are definitely an eyesore so make sure to follow the steps above to have a green and blooming garden even in summer.

Exercise your Green Thumb even Indoors  1

gardeningPeople who live in urban cities dream of having their own backyard but they have limited space in their apartment. Gardening has been one of the favorite hobbies of many people these days. Not only it could enhance the interiors of your place, but also it has that relaxing effect after a busy day at work. If you are think gardening is impossible indoors, then you are wrong.

One solution to your dilemma is container gardening. This is ideal if you arejust a newbie in the gardening world or for people who have experience but does not have enough space in their place.

Using a container, you can create your own garden and you can place it anywhere you want – windowsill, rooftop, doorstep, balcony and even in the stairs. If you long for the clean air and calmness plants give, then container gardening is the answer.

Before we talk about the important tips on setting up your garden container, you should know about the amazing benefits of this type of gardening.

  • Fantastic Décor

You have full control of the container you want to use and the design of each one. This could enhance the interior design of your apartment and a lovely addition to your decors. If you have the skills, you can design your containers to make it blend in with the overall design.

  • Containers are Flexible

There are a lot of different sizes of containers you can choose from to fit them anywhere in the house. There are numerous ways you can incorporate your container garden in your limited space. So setting up does not take much of your time and effort but still it looks great.

  • You have Fresh Supply of Vegetables All-Year Long

Since you placed them indoors, you can protect them from harsh conditions. So even winter or summer, you can have a fresh supply of vegetables and herbs for your cooking and even have blooming flowers.

  • You have Total Control of the Environment

In indoor gardening, you have full control of the temperature, soil types, water quantity and even sunlight. Also you protect them from pests and diseases.

Now that you know the importance of having this garden inside your house, it is time for some tips on how to choose the best container for your garden. This is essential since this container will be the home of your plants for the coming years and this where they get the nutrients they need for survival.

1.    Size really does matter

There should be enough space for the roots of your plants to grow so you should consider the size when choosing your container. If you plan to have herbs or just one vegetable, then choose small containers.

However, if you have enough space for larger container for your fruits and vegetables, then choose one that fits enough in that space. You can visit a local garden store to look for good quality of containers for your garden.

2.    Drill it with Holes

gardeningIt is essential that your container have drainage holes to avoid water to accumulate in your container and drown your plants or damage the soil. Recycling some household items such as glass container would not be a good idea. Make sure you choose the materials depending on its durability when drilled.

3.    Choose Lightweight Materials

One must choose containers made from synthetic materials. They are light, cheap, easy to clean and portable.

These materials can be molded to anything you want to and you can even design and color them to look like expensive ones. Make sure to choose the right design for the interiors of your house.

4.    Seal your Wooden Container

If you choose wooden containers, then you must remember to seal it or it will easily rot. There are woods such as walnut redwood, cedar that are rot-resistant. You can even make your own wooden container if you have the skill.

Container gardening is not that difficult if you have the right knowledge and tools in setting it up. From herbs to fruits, one can have endless choices of plants to put in your container so make sure to choose well. Just make sure they receive enough necessities such as water, air and nutrients from the soil.

Even if you have a limited space in your home, you can still do your hobby and make use of green thumb abilities. Remember to be creative in creating your own container garden.