Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

A guide to the best natural pest controls

Anybody who has attempted to grow something in their garden will be all too aware that
pests have a way of rearing their ugly little heads very quickly indeed! Sadly, the first
response for many gardeners is to head to their garden shed and reach for the pesticides in
order to get rid of their problem as quickly as possible. While this may be the quickest way
to solve the problem, it is most certainly not the greenest! Pesticides can have an adverse
effect on the environment, meaning that a quick-fix is not always the best remedy.

This is now finally being understood by those who make their living from the land; with
nature in mind, many farmers are now employing integrated pest management techniques
in order to protect their livelihood for the long-term – in essence, people are now making
much more of an effort to strike a balance between protecting their crops and protecting
the environment!

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and organic methods that gardeners can employ
when attempting to rid themselves of would-be garden invaders! Below are some of the
methods of saving both crops and the planet:

Smells like trouble – many common garden nuisances (such as foxes) can be deterred with
the employment of strong smelling substances. The most commonly used substances that
can be turned into a stinky “keep out” sign are garlic, fish, rhubarb and tobacco.

Hot hot heat – would-be garden invaders can be sent packing with the use of a little heat;
this can include chillies, kerosene, methylated spirits and even table salt!

Odour eaters – many readily available garden plants give off natural odours that can be
extremely uninviting to bugs and other pests. This is nature’s way of informing the bug that
the plant probably carries some form of natural insecticide; it also lets it know to keep well
away!

Get slick – commonly found oils can be a great way of controlling certain kinds of garden
pests. Some tried and tested oils include mineral oil, vegetable oils and proprietary oils.
These can kill soft-bodied invaders by clinging to them and eventually causing suffocation.

Clean up your act – a little-known pest controller comes in the form of soap. Ensuring that
the soap is natural and vegetable-based is the best way to make sure that it will not harm
the plants as opposed to the pests!

How to grow bigger garlic cloves

Back in 2009 I wrote the article about growing garlic.  One quy sent me a question about growing bigger garlic cloves.

If you want to grow bigger garlic cloves you need to do the following:

Be sure you are starting with the biggest cloves in the bulb only. Remember, in this case the size DOES matter! 😉
Garlic loves sun. So plant it in the sunny areas.
Make sure the soil is well drained. Otherwise garlic will root.
Fertilize it. Garlic loves manure. Some people say that chicken manure giver great results but I didn’t try it yet.
Don’t forget to weed garlic.
Remove scapes or garlic false seedheads. Otherwise they will take energy and power from your garlic cloves. By the way, garlic seedheads are delicious when young! You can cook them in oil and enjoy their great taste!
Harvest garlic in the right time! The right time to harvest garlic is when the bottom three leaves are brown.

Read also:
Growing and planting onions
Growing watermelons
Growing Morel mushrooms

Help the world! Use paper pot maker!

Growing blueberries in containers

Today I will write about growing blueberries.  You can grow them outside and in containers – excellent chose for your balcony garden! I will write about growing blueberries in containers.

First of all you have to prepare a soil: mix 1/3 acid based potting soil, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 medium sized bark. You can also add some organic fertilisers such as cotton seed meal, father meal, fish meal or soil sulfer.  Soil sulfer is a great to use for maintaining PH level in your container though the years. Add just a small amount of fertilisers – just 1-2 table spoons for 10-12 inch containers.  Now you are ready to plant. :)

Planting blueberries
Chose a container size to suit your plant (1 inch plants n 2-5 gallon containers)
Make sure your container has holes in the bottom for drainage.
Add some prepared soil first, then put a blueberry plant in the container and cover it by the rest of the soil. Press the soil firmly.

Care
Don’t let the container to dry out.
Place pots or containers in sunny location.
Don’t use fertiliser with nitrogen in nitrate form. It can kill blueberry plant.


Read also:
Growing morel mushrooms
How to grow garlic

Growing and planting pumpkins

Pumpkins have been in cultivation for over 5000 years, there are hundreds of varieties and sizes available. From small ones which can be crown in container, to giants (the biggest pumpkin weighted 667 kilos and was grown in USA).

Growing pumpkins is almost the same as growing watermelons. They require a sunny location, a lot of compost, leaves or manure, well drained soil and protection from cold winds. In frost-free areas (tropics or subtropics) pumpkins can grow all year round.

Growing pumpkins

Pumpkins require temperature of 20˚C for growing. I recommend to plant pumpkins in exactly the same way as watermelons: use individual pots for each garden seed. It’s better to use paper pots (I sell next generation paper pot maker for the lowest price on the Web) as they can be planted directly in the garden. Plant pumpkins indoors about 3 weeks before the last frost. After the last frost plant them outside in the sunny location.

PumpkinsImage via Wikipedia

Pumpkins take 70-160 days to mature depending on their variety. Miniature pumpkins mature within 90-100 days and giant ones within 130-160 days.

Plant pumpkins in hills or rows. Follow the spacing instructions on the sachet as pumpkins can spread very far. Allow at least 5 feet between plants in each direction.

Pumpkins require a lot of water especially in the blooming period. Make sure the plants get 1 to 2 inches of water a week. They are a big feeders too so fertilize them on a regular basis.

Carefully rotate pumpkins from time to time to keep them symmetrical.

Harvest comes when the pumpkins are bright-yellow after the vines have died.

You can save garden seeds 1 month after harvesting pumpkins. Just scoop seeds from flesh, wash, dry and keep in a cool, dry place away from sun.


Read also:
Growing Thyme
How to plant wild strawberries

Growing tomatoes in Pots

Raised Pot Tomatoes

Many people today are interested in growing tomatoes in pots. It is very simple way to get nice fresh tomatoes on your table. If you want to grow tomatoes in pots you don’t need a lot of space. Just a few square inches for the pot.  Big sorts of tomatoes need 5-gallon pot and cherry tomatoes will grow fine in a small hanging baskets. You need to find pot with a good drainage.

Ok, you have got a pot, what else? You need a good soil. I strongly recommend to use organic potting soil as it has all the nutrients etc. Also you can add some gravel in the bottom of the pot, and install a few stakes for support when you plant.

If you want to grow tomatoes in pots you need to plant them deep leaving only the top two-three sets of leaves above the soil. Don’t worry, the plant will not die – the part of the stem that is buried will sprout roots and it will help to support the tomatoe plant.

Growing tomatoes in pots requires two things: furtulizing and watering.
I recomend you to use special soil moister. Put just a little bit in the soil and mix it. Don’t add a big ammount as soil moister gets bigger after watering.
If you have a small baby in the house you can put one or two baby diapers at the bottom of the pot. It will do exactly the same job as a soil moister.

If you don’t add soil moister or baby diapers you’ll have to water your plants daily as tomatoes like wet soil.

That’s all about growing tomatoes in pots, really. I hope you’ll enjoy this easy method! :)
Read also:
Garden Zombie|Garden gnomes for nowadays
How to plant vegetables upside down
DIY – Upside down tomato planter
A Few Words About Container Gardening
How to grow herbs indoors

Help the world! Use paper pot maker!
Have a look on my home garden seeds for sale!
(c)Home Garden Seeds

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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!