Archive for January, 2010

Gardening in Our Backyard Is Growing On Us

Snowdrops at Heale House in WiltshireImage by Anguskirk via Flickr

My wife, Jenny and I haven’t been gardening for long but the desire has been there for many years. We have been married for 27 years and now we finally have our very own backyard big enough for both flowers, trees, shrubs and as of 2009, a vegetable garden as well.

It’s about -27 here today and the wind is pretty strong making it bitter cold so I am staying in my office and planning my garden season for 2010. Nice and toasty in here with my coffee and music.

We started gardening here the year we purchased the property. We even purchased the lot next door so we could have room for a vegetable garden. We didn’t start with a vegetable garden because my health was pretty poor when we bought this home. So we started with a few flowers and then moved on to a few containers for strawberries and tomatoes.

After that we were hooked and I managed to dig up a vegetable garden plot, 4×16 feet and started square foot gardening in 2009. We had a great experience, learned a bunch of things NOT to repeat and some things that will help us do better in 2010.

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Tools And Techniques For Hydroponic Herb Growing

Hydroponic Herb growing has become a very sought after endeavor for people who want to enjoy fresh herbs all year long. The great thing is that you won’t have to spend a lot of time and energy maintaining it once you have it put together. When you think about how much money you would spend on herbs from the store you will realize that it is worth your while.

Although many people have not heard about this type of growing system, the truth of the matter is that it has been around since ancient times when the herbs were used to treat injuries and illness. In more recent years the idea caught on with everyone from the common household to larger corporations who supply many people with fresh produce during the winter months.

Getting started

Like anything else, there are several methods for getting your garden set up. However, no matter which way you choose to set it up you will need the same types of materials to get started. The central items that you need to get started are a couple of pans with one being a little bit bigger than the other, herb plants, plant food, water, small scaled plumbing pipes, and some sort of sterile medium.

The first thing that needs to be done is to punch small holes into the smaller of the two pans. Make the holes small enough to fit the pipes in tightly. Once you do this put the pans together and insert a pipe into each opening. Put your medium on top leaving each hole open for the plants. If you can’t find this type of planting surface you can use such things as small garden rocks or even plant moss. Just make sure that they are sterile.

Take a container and mix up the recommended amounts of plant food and water. Be careful to break up any lumps if you are using a powder treatment. Cover the entire pan with the mixture being careful to get it down into all of the holes. All that needs to be done now is the planting.

You will need to take great care in rinsing all of the soil that is on the roots of your plants. It may be better to soak them in a small tub as opposed to rinsing them off with running water. Take some type of cloth and blot all the water away or simply tap them lightly on the side of your tub. Place each plant into its own tube and all that will be left is to tend to their daily care.

How to care for your herbs

After you have your garden set up find a bright area in your home to place the container in. If your house is not lit up enough you can always find a plant light to put over your pans. The ideal environment for your herbs would be cool and moist and there are many cooled air humidity machines that will provide the perfect solution for homes where the air is dry.

The best thing about hydroponic herb growing is that you can add a fresh taste to all of your dishes all year long. They will add a wonderful aroma to your home and it is an effort that your family is bound to appreciate.

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Tips for Lawn Care

The spring is coming and everyone who has a garden has to think about lawn care.

Springtime lawn care and maintenance varies depending on your region, but there are some things that are common whether you live in a warm or cold climate. These standard jobs are the following:

Pulling weeds out
Applying some compost tea
Trimming with low blade
Aerating and de thatching.

These simple jobs play an important role in lawn care, so be sure to take your time.

With summer comes our favourite lawn care and maintenance job – regular lawn trimming!
Many people remove the lawn clippings after mowing. It is better to leave them – lawn clippings are a great source of nutrients for your soil. Instead of bagging grass clippings when you mow, recycle clippings back into the soil.

There is no perfect advice of what type of lawnmower to use – a rotary mower, a riding mower, a reel mower, or a walk behind. And it is up to you to decide whether to use a petrol lawnmower, gas, electric, battery, or manual powered. The choice depends of your financial situation and the amount of comfort you want to have during a lawn mowing. I know that very popular choice is bosch rotak lawnmower because it is easy to use.

Another summer lawn care and maintenance job is watering. Now, watering is a tricky task. You have to avoid over or under watering your lawn. The perfect solution is a slow steady water once a week. Grass lawns require a minimum of 1 inch per week of water (or as much as your local water restrictions allow). It can be achieved in about 30 minutes of watering. Don’t water your lawn in the heat of the day as you will just waste water to evaporation. Water early in the morning instead, to maximize the moisture on your lawn.

Also you have to do jobs such as monitoring the insects (some good, some bad), attentive weed control, watching for lawn disease, and applying a calcium rich fertilizer.

Another tip to finish a lawn off is to use a cordless strimmer to trim the borders of the lawn. Visit cordlessstrimmerguide.com for more information on using cordless strimmers.

I wish I could be read better in Spanish, but I found a great site that will be of help with my veggies. Most tutoring net companies just sell netting and have no real expertise in agriculture. Hortomallas has a great library available to farmers as tutora means tutor as referred to a plant. I ran into this site by mere chance as I was trying to find the ideal product to tutor my backyard vegetables, and did not know that using netting reduces viruses and fungi. I will try now to go 100% organic!