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Having a little lawn location does not avoid you from having a lovely area that you will delight in. It does, nevertheless, need preparation and a bit more resourcefulness than the typical Garden. There are a variety of alternatives for little areas that will assist you utilize the shapes and size as a benefit. The technique is to deal with the area that you have.

The first consideration in landscaping a small space is the shape and size. Many small yard areas are made up of straight lines that highlight the negative features of the space. Consider using curving lines that will give a sense of flow and movement to the space. You can integrate curves into your garden by creating a brick or gravel walkway that curves through the space. You can also incorporate curving lines when you form your garden beds.

Another way of making the most of a small space in the planning stages is to consider that you are dividing the space into different compartments. By creating raised beds on different levels, you can give a feeling of depth and space in a previously cramped area.

It is a good idea at this point to start mapping out your space using grid paper. Be sure to include features like trees and make space for patio furniture if you will be using it. As you work through your planning, add to your map. This simple step can save you from making costly mistakes.

Once you have a general idea of what your space is going to be laid out like, you can start thinking about what is going to go into it. For a small space, having a theme is very important. Especially if you are using raised beds, you can have more than one theme; just make sure to consider how they will relate to one another. For smaller spaces, tabletop fountains are a good choice: http://www.garden-fountains.com/Categories.bok?category=Tabletop+Fountains

In selecting a theme, consider if you are looking for a romantic classic garden or a more modern outdoor space. There are a number of possibilities. You may want to focus on a specific element, and use the rest of the space to highlight that. Oftentimes, a feature can help you determine what your entire space will look like. For example, investigate a wood barrel fountain like those seen in crafty cottages where theme is called for.

The plants you will use need to be carefully selected so that they will grow properly with limited room and be suited the light exposure and drainage of your space. Also, remember that the larger your elements, the smaller your space will appear. Limit yourself to one small tree to provide shade, or go without a tree entirely. If you do have a tree, make sure it not one that drops a lot of twigs or seeds. Otherwise, you could find yourself saddled with daily yard cleaning.

A good technique to use in a limited space is to choose plants that will look good year round and provide interesting groundcover. Avoid any plants that tend to ‘take over?. In a small space, these can end up becoming the entire garden.

There are a number of tricks that professional landscapers use to create the illusion of more room. These are not difficult to emulate. You don’t need to use all of these ideas, either. One or two tricks of illusion will dramatically affect the appearance of your small space.

Remember to utilize walls and fences with climbing vines and trellises. These are especially effective in a corner where they can soften hard right angles. Any element that works with the walls or fence around your space is a great way to make the space appear larger than it is. Mirrors are often used indoors to create an illusion of space and mirrors can be used outdoors as well.

Container plants can be a beautiful addition to your small space. The planters act as a unique decorative element and whatever you grow in them will appear different than it would if planted in the soil. Planters come in a wide range of styles that can suit any garden theme. Have a look at garden planters ranging from classical motifs to simple and modern art.

In addition to plant life, your small space can be enhanced with a water feature. Pools and running water of any kind will give a feeling of depth. Running water will bring movement and energy into the garden, in addition to its peaceful relaxing sound. If space is running tight, have a look at some of the wall fountains. These require only a minimum of space, but will give you all of the benefits of a free-standing fountain.

A small space can be more difficult to design than a large one. However, with a bit of creativity and time, you can transform a cramped yard into an outdoor retreat.

 

Posted by in Best Lawn Mower, blog on Jan 21, 2020

Lawn Care Before, During and After a Drought

Water limitations develop some difficulties for homeowner keeping lawn locations or wishing to lay brand-new sod, however history has actually revealed us that for the most part these obstacles have actually been workable.

Like any plant, understanding how to look after it under specific conditions matters. “. “if you are seeding a lawn in an area susceptible to dry spell, picking the best types of grass makes all the distinction,” mann describes.

” you can plant grass that needs less water or is more tolerant of dry spell, however when you’re looking after a recognized lawn, there are still cultural things you can do to lower your water usage.

In extended durations of dry spell, or dry seasons in which the lawn is not well looked after, then the lawns can end up being weakened and their roots weaker.

You can reduce any damage it sustains into the next season if you take care of your lawn the ideal method throughout a dry spell.

Watering lawn throughout Drought

Not remarkably, remaining off the lawn is the greatest assistance. Dry spell conditions are very demanding to a lawn so preventing additional tension is crucial.

Summertime is here– therefore is a greater possibility of a dry spell. Have you ever discovered that even when confronted with warm weather and watering limitations, some next-door neighbors’ yards fare much better than others? it is not by chance. Watering, there are other methods to increase grass’s health in a dry spell:. Trimming: taller blades establish a much deeper root system, so enable yards to grow taller as a dry spell methods. A dry spell will likely leave yards more thirsty than normal, there are methods to assist guarantee survival, even with little (or no) watering.

Prevent standing water for any amount of time. When keeping:. When water is more readily available, think about letting the lawn go inactive in dry spell conditions; centipede, zoysia and bermudagrass yards will regrow. In dry spell conditions, cut at a greater cutting height with a sharp blade. When fertilizing:. Fertilize lawn at correct rate for your area and grass choice, to prevent run-off of excess fertilizer.

How to Water Your Lawn Wisely?

You desire to make sure you’re utilizing water sensibly when watering is a problem.

Water early in the early morning for about 15 minutes so the lawn can soak up the wetness better.

Kinds Of Drought Resistant Grass

Pick grass ranges with higher dry spell resistance. Zoysiagrass, buffalo grass, fescue are amongst the very best yards for low-water conditions.

In addition to varying water use, lawn turfs differ in dry spell resistance and dry spell tolerance. Some turfs prevent dry spell by keeping more water or growing much deeper root systems, others get away dry spell by going inactive, and still other types withstand dry spell results by enduring dehydration well.

When the dry spell ends, the majority of kinds of grass gradually recuperate by themselves.

Dry Spell Tolerant Grass that Grows Almost Anywhere

When there’s less water readily available, grass grows more gradually. You’ll generally cut less throughout a dry spell or water lack.

Develop concerns. Water them initially if you have drought-sensitive and high-maintenance plants. Grass must be a lower top priority– it can be trained to be relatively drought-tolerant. (particularly bahiagrass and centipedegrass), and is less expensive to change than shrubs and trees. Think about changing drought-sensitive plants with more drought-tolerant types.

Zoysia is a warm-season grass more tolerant to heat and dry spell, and high fescue is a more deeply rooted cool-season grass.

Correct watering while restricting water

Instead of watering areas of your lawn for a couple of minutes every day, hollow recommends watering 2 or 3 times a week for 15 minutes to make sure the water gets and fills the soil into the roots.

Watering your lawn under water constraints typically indicates watering on defined days or watering a set variety of days weekly. When it’s windy, do not water. When it’s windy just guarantees that you will be watering walkways and driveways as much as your lawn, watering. It will green up once again with the cooler temperature levels in the fall. When confronted with water limitations we should find out to believe in a different way about watering our yards.

Have you ever discovered that even when faced with warm weather condition conditions and watering limitations, some next-door neighbors’ yards fare much better than others? Think about letting the lawn go inactive in dry spell conditions; bermudagrass, zoysia and centipede yards will restore as soon as water is more readily available. Watering your lawn under water limitations generally implies watering on defined days or watering a set number of days per week. Watering when it’s windy just guarantees that you will be watering walkways and driveways as much as your lawn. When faced with water limitations we need to discover to believe in a different way about watering our yards.

 

Posted by in Best Lawn Mower, blog on Dec 30, 2019

How To Clean Your Lawn Mower?

how to clean your lawn mower?Now that spring has actually sprung, it’s time to clean or replace your lawn mower spark plugs. throughout the country, lawnmowers are emerging from garages and garden sheds after months of being saved away. much like a car that’s been sitting for a while, your lawn mower, whether it’s a riding mower or push mower, requires a yearly tune up too. to clean your spark plug you will need a socket wrench, brake cleaner and a soft fabric. first, find the plug and after that brush off the real estate surrounding it. remove the black plug wire by lifting the spark plug cap that covers the end of the plug. use the socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug by turning it counterclockwise. once removed, check the electrode tip and ceramic insulator for build up or wear.

Depending upon the last time you cleaned the mower you might just need to do this step. you will wish to move the mower to an area you do not mind getting dirty. your driveway is an ideal location. the hose needs to likewise have the ability to reach the lawn mower. when the mower is where you desire it you turn it over to its side. this will allow debris to fall out of the lawn mower instead of deciding on the underside. drag the hose over to the mower and turn it on. make sure you have a spray nozzle geared up as any other will refrain from doing the job. objective the stream of water at the edges of the underside to remove the grass and dirt.

cleaning the underside of your  lawn mower is a maintenance step that some of us might disregard. however, keeping the underside of your mower clean plays a role in the efficiency of the machine. grass clippings and other debris hold on to the underside of the lawn mower each time you mow. cleaning the clippings keeps optimal air flow under the mower deck and avoids rust with time. remember to clean your lawn mower deck right after you’re done mowing. if you wait and the grass clippings dry, they will be difficult to remove.

rust prevention is key also, as damp grass will trap moisture in the underside of your mower and produce prime conditions for rust buildup on your mower deck (the blade real estate on the underside of your mower), blades and blade shaft, reducing efficiency.
cleaning your lawnmower is most convenient when done simply after cutting your lawn, when the grass hasn’t yet dried on your mower. the longer you wait to clean a lawn mower, the harder it will be due to matted grass buildup.

it’s exceptionally crucial to disconnect the engine’s spark plug lead prior to doing any power cleaning. you must also remove your mower’s blade( s) for included safety.
prop up push mowers or use a lift for riding mowers to start cleaning the underside of the deck.

Clean The Deck Of The Lawn Mower

To clean the deck of a lawn mower, follow these actions:
empty the gas tank (or run the mower till the tank is empty), then disconnect the spark plug wire.
stand the mower up on its side.
take a garden hose and spray the deck at full blast.

this will loosen some of the dirt and caked-on grass clippings.
scrub off the rest of the soil, utilizing a brush, soap, and hot water.
rinse, then dry the metal deck of your mower.
pointer: to reduce future occurrences of grass clippings staying with the mower’s underside, gently spray some grease onto the deck after cleaning it.

Clean The Carburetor of the lawn mower

Very first thing initially, ensure that you are 100% specific about cleaning the carburetor up. we suggest, if the mower engine stops working, the carburetor can be one of the suspects. unless you make it 100% certain, your entire cleaning effort can go in vain.
take a brief burst of aerosol lube and apply on the carburetor. you can likewise utilize any cleaner that is specified for utilizing or carburetors.
now, attempt to start the mower appropriately. if it starts without any problem, then the source of the issue is something else than the carburetor. if it does not start yet, relocate to the next step.

If you do exempt your mower to regular check ups, then you may wind up sustaining extra costs in replacing the worn parts of the mower. cleaning a mower carburetor is for that reason really crucial for proper functioning of the lawn.
however, the cleaning ought to not just be done when the lawn stops working but rather on a frequent basis when the mower is been cleaned. cleaning the carburetor will not only enhance the fuel efficiency however also increase the mower’s lifespan.

Clean Your Spark Plug

to clean your spark plug you will need a socket wrench, brake cleaner and a soft fabric. first, find the plug and after that brush off the real estate surrounding it. remove the black plug wire by lifting the spark plug cap that covers the end of the plug. use the socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug by turning it counterclockwise. once removed, check the electrode tip and ceramic insulator for build up or wear.

to stop grass buildup under a lawn mower deck, spray the underside with non-stick cooking spray or rub vegetable oil on it. when you can get to a shop, purchase a graphite, silicone, or teflon spray, and use it to the underside. make certain you begin with a clean, dry deck prior to utilizing these products! attempt to mow regularly and when the lawn is dry, since long or damp grass can clump and stick to your mower. finally, run your mower at complete throttle so it’s most effective at tossing the grass clippings far from the mower.

The manufacturer will always inform you not to wash your mower as it increases the possibilities of rusty parts. they will tell you to blow it out with your blower after each mow.
i, however, take mine down to the car wash and power wash the underside in addition to the top. there are a couple things to always keep in mind here. never spray cold water on a hot engine. that goes across the board for all types of engines. if it’s hot and you’ve got to do it, then leave it running while you wash the top. never leave it running when you tip it over to wash the underside.

Posted by in Best Lawn Mower, blog on Dec 30, 2019

Who does not wish to see a gorgeous lawn first thing in the early morning, without insects and ideal for the kids to play securely? picture a gorgeous lawn where you can set up summer season celebrations, barbecue breakfasts or relax and have afternoon tea. many individuals consider keeping the yard tidy and cool as an individual pastime; for others, a lovely yard that represents your dream refers to pride, a prize that can be flaunted around in the neighborhood. hence, lawnmowers are essential for keeping your lawn pristine and tidy.

lawnmowers assist remove undesirable lengths of lawn and weeds, which later on assist fertilize the soil, keeping the backyard healthy. they likewise remove any undesirable compounds collecting in the turf. Prior to purchasing a lawnmower, you would require to understand more about the various types of lawnmowers, their pros, and cons and which would be the most ideal option for you. keep reading to understand precisely how.

How To select a mower?

searching for a mower? whether you are thinking about changing your old mower, or getting your very first one, it is necessary to make certain that you select one that is finest for your yard. How do you select one? the kind of mower you pick will depend upon the kind of your yard. below are some pointers you can think about:

Ask yourself, how frequently am i going to utilize my lawn mower? if you understand you’ll be putting your lawn mower to excellent usage, ensure you buy a device you’ll understand how to preserve and tune appropriately.

what elements do we require to take a look at when picking a mower?

Today, there are lots of kinds of mower readily available on the marketplace, each with particular attributes that distinguish them from each other.

You have 4 choices to select from:  handbook, electrical (corded), battery and gas.
gas lawn mowers offer you optimal movement and lower in advance expense however need greater upkeep and have a bigger influence on the environment.
electrical corded lawn mowers are low upkeep and restricted however effective in movement: you can just reach the extension cable enables.
battery-powered lawn mowers provide you the movement, low upkeep, and no gas emissions, however, you require to inspect that you do not lack battery power all of a sudden.
manual push reel lawn mowers come without motors and you do not require cables or fuel. push reel lawn mowers appropriate for little yards of as much as 1/4 acres just.

cylinder lawn mowers have a rotary blade at the front of the maker which cuts the lawn in a scissor movement. these work best on often cut yards, and battle more on damp/longer yard or unequal surface areas. they tend to be the most costly. hover lawn mowers can be reliable on irregular surface areas, on smaller sized or in some cases medium-sized gardens along with irregularly shaped yards.
you can get ones that either gather the yard or simply rearrange the clippings on the yard for you to rake later on. they are extremely reliable for ones with overhanging shrubs, they are likewise generally less expensive than the electrical cylinder and rotary designs. much heavier makers can, nevertheless, make your arms hurt if you have a big yard. rotary makers have a blade that turns below the lawn mower. the device is on wheels and frequently has a rear roller, leaving the stripe result seen on lots of football pitches. you require to have a flat yard for the stripes to look excellent. a device with a roller is likewise beneficial since you can go to the extreme limitations of the yard, cutting the edges.”.

Longer turf tends to slow down an electrical motor vs a gas powered engine, so you might require to make numerous passes for lawn that is thick and long. the cable requires to be enough time to reach locations where the lawn mower is required. The suggested optimum extension cable length is 100-ft in addition to the of cable on the lawn mower. this restricts the “reach” of your electrical lawn mower to your outside power outlet areas. you likewise require to be continuously knowledgeable about your power cable place so that you do not trip over the cable or run over it, which can harm your blades, motor, slice the cable or even worse. best for lawns of 10,000 sq ft or less.

The mower can be categorized according to their energy, in which case we identify 3 types: handbook, thermal and electrical mower. apart from this requirement, we discover 2 other classifications, represented by robotic lawnmowers (with an electrical motor) and mower (with a thermal engine).

 electrical corded mower

GREENWORKS 25022 ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER

GREENWORKS 25022 ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER

A battery-powered lawn mower might be ideal if you do not have a big yard. cordless lawn mowers are quieter, need less upkeep, and obviously, run without gas or oil. Finest of all, you’ll never ever have to begin a gas engine– you simply press a button or lever and you’re cutting.
as lithium-ion battery innovation has actually enhanced, a lot of makers have actually consisted of cordless lawn mowers in their lineup, so you’ll have lots of options. a number of these lawn mowers can cut a typical rural lawn (about one-fifth of an acre) on a single charge. rates for battery-powered lawn mowers resemble those of their gas-powered competitors, and you’ll discover the majority of the very same functions, too.

there are different sizes of a mower battery, 6 v; 12 v; 36 v and 40 v. the most frequently utilized is the 6v and 12v battery. the 6v battery is smaller sized rectangle-shaped with an approximate location of 4 by 6 inches. the 12v batteries are larger and bigger rectangle-shaped with an approximate location of 8 by 10 inches.

Press rotary power lawn mowers

Remington RM3100 18-Inch Reel Push Mower

Remington RM3100 18-Inch Reel Push Mower

push rotary power lawn mowers might include side- or rear-bagging systems to capture clippings. side-baggers might be cheaper than rear-baggers. most more recent designs are really simple to begin. don’t buy any walk-behind lawn mower, push or self-propelled system, that does not consist of a blade break system, colorfully described as a dead man switch. this gadget makes the spinning blade stop within seconds after the operator launches a lever on the deal with. the blade break system makes power lawn mowers more complex (and costly) however has actually decreased the variety of injuries triggered by reckless use of mower.
mulching and self-propelled rotary lawn mowers: a mulching lawn mower essentially is the same as a common rotary lawn mower. The clippings distribute in the blade real estate and get cut and recut till extremely little. if you do not like getting turf clippings however can’t stand the sight of them resting on your yard, mulching lawn mowers are for.

Riding lawn mowers

Husqvarna YTH24V54 Riding Mower

Husqvarna YTH24V54 Riding Mower

Riding lawn mowers been available in a range of sizes. from compact riders to big backyard tractors, there is a best alternative for everybody. the factor that size is so essential is that it connects to the width of the lawn mower’s cutting deck. compact riders can have cutting decks as little as 30″ broad. this measurement is comparable to a few of the bigger walk-behind gas lawn mowers that are offered on the marketplace. on the other side of the spectrum, there are big riding lawn mowers that use cutting decks that determine 50″ broad or more.
When figuring out the size of the lawn mower that you must acquire is your yard, the most crucial thing to believe about. you desire the lawn mower to be fit to both the size and design of your yard due to the fact that dealing with the incorrect lawn mower for your lawn can be inadequate and in fact increase the time you invest cutting your lawn.

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10 Things You Need To Know Before You Purchase A Lawn Mower

 

GREENWORKS 2500502 CORDLESS LAWN MOWER 

GREENWORKS 2500502 CORDLESS LAWN MOWER

By jacklin in home and garden the lawn mower is the most important lawn care equipment which every homeowner should have. with the right lawn mower, you can make your lawn care experience even better and easier. you might hardly get some time for lawn care in a week from your busy schedule. it is important to utilize the time properly. if you use the right and quality lawn care equipment, your work will be easier.

According to Consumer Reports, the best time to buy a lawn mower is at the start or end of the mowing season. In other words, start shopping for your next commercial lawn mower in April, May, August, September, or October. In general, we recommend that contractors start looking for the commercial lawn mowers they want in the spring so theyll be ready for the upcoming mowing season.

1-It’s essential to make sure you have a lawnmower with enough power to plow through what you put in front of it; while that may seem pretty obvious, unfortunately there are quite a few lawnmowers that simply aren’t up to the task. before purchasing a mower be sure to check out how much horsepower it has if it’s a gasoline powered mower, or if it’s powered by batteries or electric power consider the voltage and the amps.

2-Before you buy a lawnmower, there are a few things you need to know. first, you need to think about how large your lawn is so you can determine the size of the lawnmower that you need. do you need a basic push mower, or a large, expensive ride-on lawnmower? getting the right size and type of mower makes mowing much easier.

There are several factors you should think about when purchasing a lawn mower. these include: lawn size: as a general rule of thumb, push lawn mowers are only recommended for those with yards of ½ acre or less. any bigger than this and you’ll likely have trouble mustering up the energy to mow the whole area, as you have to push the mower around. even with a self-propelled mower, this is a tiring task, especially during the summer!

3-A robot mower isn’t cheap, but it makes mowing hassle free. once installed, it will mow your lawn with little input from you, cutting regularly and mulching clippings back into the lawn so there are no clippings to deal with. mowers some models are capable of cutting lawns that are 5,500sq m and more, making them a great alternative to a ride-on or petrol lawn mower. robot lawn mowers start at around £600 and go into the thousands.

4-Buying lawn mowers for small lawns if you buy an electric lawn mower you are likely to find that they are smaller, lightweight and easier to move around than heavier petrol lawn mowers. an advantage of electric lawn mowers is that they require less maintenance than a petrol lawn mower. consider how long you need the power lead to stretch before buying your electric lawn mower.

Pros: Most battery mowers cut a 20- or 21-inch swath, and their batteries are interchangeable with other outdoor power tools from the same brand. They also start with push-button ease, produce no exhaust emissions, and run more quietly than gas models. They don’t require oil changes or frequent tuneups. Cons: They have a limited runtime usually enough to cut 13 acres.

5-Cylinder lawn mowers have cylindrical blades that rotate vertically at the front of the mower. they cut against a fixed blade at the bottom. the cylinder should have multiple blades – three or more is best. cylinder lawnmowers are best for flat lawns that you want to keep short and well-manicured. they can be electric, petrol-powered and push mowers.

6-One of the most important considerations when choosing the best mower is the size of the job itself. small and moderate sized lawns may be better candidates for a walk behind mower. the general rule of thumb is, if you can complete the job in under 40 minutes, a self-propelled walk behind is every bit as efficient as a zero turn and often more so.Along with robotic lawn mowers, zero-turn mowers are one of the most rapidly growing segments of the mower industry. these mowers offer an excellent blend of power and extreme maneuverability. you can find great zero-turn mowers for hills, open fields, small commercial properties and everything in between. plus, they’re a lot of fun to operate!

7-How the machine is powered will make a difference to its portability and how much effort it takes to use it. a hand push mower will mean you are doing a lot of the work. a corded electric mower will be a better bet on a garden with a medium sized lawn, while a cordless electric one gets rid of concerns about how far the cable will reach. petrol mowers are the most powerful but can be heavy. “cordless mowers tend to be £200-£300 more expensive than corded machines,” says speake, “and electric mowers are cheaper to run than petrol.” when it comes to the grass, if you don’t fancy a rake you could opt for a mower that collects the clippings – if you have a medium/large lawn you may want to invest in a machine with a collection bag/box – or one that mulches (chops up the cuttings, pushing them into the turf, where they decompose, feeding the soil). “with mulching you are putting the nutrients back into the grass. over the course of the season the quality of your lawn will improve. you can get a mulch facility on a mower, or some allow you to add a mulching plug; check before you buy,” speake says. mulching works most effectively after the grass has been cut a few times at the beginning of the season.

8-Walk behind lawn mower engines range from 140-cc to 190-cc. Choose a larger engine for tough cutting conditions, such as tall and wet grass, bagging, leaf mulching, or maintenance mowing in which you’re cutting down weeds. There are currently four types of engines manufactured for walk mowers. The most basic and least expensive is a traditional side-valve (meaning the valves are on the side of the engine block). This engine is being replaced in the market by those with overhead valves or even overhead cams, where the cam and valves are in the cylinder head, as in a car engine. Engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton has recently introduced still another variation known as direct-overhead-valve. You pay more for an overhead-valve engine, but in return, you get better fuel consumption, reduced emissions, less vibration, and quieter mowing.

9-Grass can get caked in the undercarriage potentially clogging the mowers discharge chute. Use a wire brush to scrape grass clippings and dirt from the undercarriage and spray the remaining debris away with a hose. As a safety precaution, always disconnect the spark plug before working around the undercarriage. Use a wire brush and hose to clean the undercarriage of your mower.

10-If you are not much skilled in fixing up the power tools, you should look for the warranties of the lawn mower properly. Warranty can protect your power devices from unwanted damage which might cost you to fix for a few hundreds of dollars. Different manufacturers provide different years of service warranty for the lawn mower.So, these are the basic things you can consider while buying a lawn mower.

 

Posted by in Best Lawn Mower, blog on Dec 24, 2019

Ways to Sharpen a Mower Blade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Numerous ways exist to sharpen a lawnmower blade. a few of the most convenient (and quickest) include utilizing a grinder.
the blades don’t, in fact, need to attain razor sharpness– they simply need to have a decisive cutting edge. it’s this edge that slices through, instead of chops, the grass at high speed.

Ip: always use gloves and long sleeves when dealing with mills and blades.
mower blade sharpening can be done either by hand with files, chisels, and punches or with a machine like a bench grinder.
if you are sharpening by hand
sharpen the edge of the mower blade using a file or grindstone, keeping the blade at approximately a 45-degree angle.

From benchtop grinders to portable accessories, there are a number of ways you can sharpen your lawnmower blades. obviously, the very best mower blade sharpener for your requirements is the one that you’ll be willing to utilize on a regular basis. by sharpening your own blades, you will save a lot of money with time. plus, a sharp lawnmower blade keeps your lawn healthy and provides it a manicured appearance.

One of the best ways to motivate a greener, fuller and much healthier lawn is lawn mower blade sharpening.

Detaching the spark plug is the initial step you need to require to sharpen your lawnmower’s blade. this is a precaution to prevent the motor from accidentally turning on while you are dealing with it. there is always a possibility that there is compressed gas in the cylinder, and one unintentional spark might send out the blade spinning with enough force to chop a finger off. it’s a gruesome image, and it’s not a risk worth taking.

How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Your local hardware store might use blade sharpening services; you likewise might find blade sharpeners at such gatherings as farmers markets. having another person sharpen your blade can be a valuable option:
blades will be properly balanced
tools and equipment are readily available
potentially a cost-efficient alternative
one advantage of using a blade sharpening service is that you understand your blade will be properly balanced.

an unbalanced mower blade can trigger vibrations and jolts that make using your lawn mower harmful. if this is a concern, bring your blade to a professional who can sharpen it smoothly and evenly.

The best lawn mower blade sharpener will be available in convenient when sharpening your lawn mower blades. ensure that you get a resilient product that is affordable. also, get your tool from a trusted company in order to guarantee that you get a premium product.

Removing the blade requires a little bit of torque and a great deal of caution to prevent injury.
a significant mistake many people make when removing mower blades to sharpen them is installing them upside down when they put them back on. a basic way to avoid this concern is by marking the bottom side of the blade with a paint stick, irreversible marker or a fast dab of spray paint. find a put on the blade that is without debris, so your mark stays after you clean the blade.

the benefit of sharpening your mower blades regularly

The obvious benefit of sharpening your mower blades regularly is that your grass will look nicer. a dull blade doesn’t cut grass properly and can leave it looking ragged and torn.
however, it’s also important to keep in mind that when you mow with dull mower blades and as a result destroy the grass blades, your lawn becomes most likely to be impacted by illness.

After you’re ended up sharpening your blade( s), check that it’s balanced prior to reattaching it. an unbalanced blade can cause vibrations while you mow, which makes for an unpleasant trip. if a blade is seriously out of balance, it can even trigger tension cracks in your mower deck.
blade balancers are affordable and commonly readily available in lawn mower maintenance shops. place your balancer on a level surface area, then place your blade onto it, lining up the blade’s center hole over the balancer’s point. if the blade leans to one side, that side needs extra sharpening to remove excess product. so, put it back in the vice, and make more passes on that side with your hand grinder. then re-check the balance.

After sharpening both ends of the blade, it is essential to make sure that the blade is balanced. an unbalanced blade spinning at high speeds can damage the mower’s motor and threatens to the operator.
to figure out if the blade is balanced properly, simply hang the blade on the wall from a nail, supporting it in the middle. a balanced blade will sit level to the ground or workbench. i used a small triangular block to check the lawn mower blade in the photo for proper balance. if the blade is unbalanced and tips to one side, make a few light passes with the file on the side of the blade that is tipping downward and try once again.

Unlike sharpening a kitchen area knife, there is no particular angle that you require on your mower blade, simply as long as it is smooth and sharp. there are 2 methods to getting this done- hand file or power grinder. flat blades have short cutting edges and are not curved. these can easily be sharpened with a file. if you have big nicks in the blade, then you will most likely want to carry on to the power method, as it can take a while to work a nick out of the blade by hand. the grinder method uses a hand-held 90-degree grinder with a grinding wheel or flap disc mounted. i prefer a flap wheel as it cuts quickly without gouging the metal or leaving a rough surface. the more smooth the edge is, the much better it will cut.

How frequently you sharpen your mower blades depends on your frequency of use. if your mower is just utilized in the house, you probably only require to sharpen your blades when a year. if you are a professional, you will require to sharpen your blades more often. as soon as you discover a decrease in cutting performance, it’s time to sharpen your mower blades. harmed blades ought to be replaced instantly.

Having a sharp blade to mow the grass is very important. a dull blade will tear and chew at the turfgrass, resulting in a whitish cast to the lawn. with a sharp blade, the mower is more efficient and uses less power. this segment shows detailed how to sharpen a mower blade.

It’s advised that you sharpen the blade of your lawnmower at least once a year. to some homeowners, nevertheless, that might seem unnecessary. after all, even if the blade is a little dull, they’ll still cut grass, right? well, yes, however that’s not the point.
dull blades will approximately rip through grass, leaving raggedly torn tips on the ends of the individual grass blades. and that can trigger the grass to turn brown and leave your lawn more vulnerable to illness and pests. sharp blades, on the other hand, cut grass rapidly and easily, resulting in a nicely trimmed, healthier lawn.

remove the blade from the mower

Step 1
disconnect spark plug ignition wire from spark plug. turn mower onto its side, ensuring that the air filter and the carburetor are dealing with up.
step 2
remove the bolt and the blade bell support which hold the blade and blade adapter to the engine crankshaft.
step 3
remove the blade and adapter from the crankshaft.

Disconnect the spark plug. utilizing a wrench, remove the blade from the mower. if it’s too tight, spray some lubricant on it.

Protect your eyes from sparks and debris by wearing safety goggles if utilizing a grinder.
apply some permeating oil to the nut and bolt of the mower blade. this can help make the removal of the blade much easier.
wear safety gloves when performing lawn mower maintenance.
while you have the blade got rid of and the mower tipped on its side, it’s an excellent chance to clean any old grass clippings and other debris from the deck of the mower prior to reattaching the blade.

Make damn sure the lawnmower can not launch while you are removing the blade. i have a relative who is missing out on a couple of fingers after he bump-started the motor while attempting to remove the nut. modern machines have much better interlocks preventing this sort of thing, but pulling the spark plug and blocking the blade with something thick are also excellent preventative measures.

If you’re not knowledgeable about using a blade balancer, let a professional sharpen your blades for you. simply bring your mower into your local Westlake and we’ll have the job carried out in no time at all. if you are familiar with blade balancers:
remove the spark plug wire to disengage the engine and prevent injury.

Wedge a 1-foot-long piece of 2-by-4 in between the within the mower deck and the blade. loosen and remove the spindle bolt from the center of the blade with a socket wrench and socket. remove the blade from below the mower deck.

1. disconnect the spark-plug wire from the spark plug to prevent unexpected starting.
2. tip up the lawnmower with its spark plug pointing vertically.
3. put on a leather work glove and grab hold of lawnmower blade.
4. usage ratcheting socket wrench to remove the nuts holding the blade to the mower.
5. remove the blade from the mower.

Reel Mower Sharpening Compound

Another way to sharpen your reel mower, and among the simplest, is to utilize a back lapping sharpening kit. these sets include a handle and sharpening compound. sharpening compound is a gritty substance that is applied to the blades and hones the diagonal edges of the blades as they scrape versus each other. to sharpen your tool with a lapping kit, connect the handle to the driving equipment of your reel mower and use a paint brush to use the sharpening compound to all of the blades.

Step 1: Remove Blade from Mower

Step 1: placed on safety equipment & remove the mower’s spark plug
prior to you begin dealing with sharpening your lawn mower blades, taking proper safety preventative measures is an absolute must. start by wearing thick safety gloves that can help keep your hands clean as you work and prevent nicks, cuts, and scrapes.

An unbalanced blade can vibrate and damage the engine. check your blade prior to reinstalling using a blade balancing tool. or, hang the blade on a nail. if it’s dipping to one side, sharpen from the back edge of the heavier side till it’s balanced.

To avoid an awful, unhealthy lawn, you ought to sharpen your blades regularly and replace them as needed. when you sharpen them really depends upon your specific usage. most manufacturers offer suggestions in their product handbooks, specifying how thick the cutting edge must be prior to changing. they likewise usually consist of instructions for sharpening.

While just one side of the blade is sharp, you want to make sure that the chiseled part of both parts of the blade is honed to an equal amount, so that your blade is balanced. if your blade is not balanced, the mower will start to vibrate.

When you’re sharpening your lawn mower blade, the goal is to make the blade as sharp as a butter knife. it does not require to be razor-blade sharp to be effective given that it rotates at a high speed.

Now that you understand why it is very important to sharpen lawn mower blades when they are dull, let’s find out the best method to do the job. you have a variety of sharpening tools from which to choose, consisting of both manual tools and power tools. knowing which is the right one for you depends on how much you mow and on your landscaping budget.

So if you think of it this way, the sharper the cutting edge on your lawn mower’s blades, the less damage the blade cases to your precious turf as it is spinning and tearing your lawn shorter. now for the great highlight.
how frequently do you actually require to sharpen your lawn mower blades? our research suggests after ballot over 1000 professional lawn care services on how typically they sharpen their blades over 75% responded that they sharpen your blades once a week. now i know what you may be believing that sounds a bit extreme, and if you are a homeowner simply mowing your own yard one time a week it probably is, however consider it another way they sharpen their blades once a week or every 25 hours of yard mowing. this implies that you can follow the very same advice and sharpen your blades every 25 hours of cutting your yard.so how can you use this to determine how to best make sure that your sharpening your blades simply the right amount?

 

 

organic gardening-Learn to create a beautiful organic garden – The Complete Guide-step by step.

DO YOU WANT TO EAT A HEALTHY FOOD?

d0d95622f6670ac1d18862.L._V372424593_SX200_[1]in this organic Gardening Beginner’s Manual-i will teach you step by step and with clear and simple explanations how to create an organic garden, even if you know nothing about gardening.

If you want to eat healthy vegetables. If you are concerned with you and your family’s health and don’t want vegetables filled with poisons and chemicals to enter your body, then this is the book for you.
“ A very well written informative book full of helpful information! ” Cindy
“ A great book for the beginner gardener, or someone wanting to become more organic with their garden. ” Noemi Buttler

Growing vegetables, spices and fruits allows you to avoid using chemical composts, insecticides, hormones, and antibiotics. All of which have been found in non-organic crops.

you are going to learn many simple tips and techniques which will help you start your own organic garden 
In this step by step guide,I will teach you: 

  • What the best place is to start your organic garden
  • Which vegetables are good for organic gardening during each season
  • Setting the ground for an organic garden- learn how to do it right
  • Tips and techniques for the right composting for an organic soil
  • Why is it important to use organic fertilizer?
  • What nutrients are needed by the soil?
  • A lot of Essential Tips for Planting And more…

In this manual I gathered tips and techniques from over 20 years of experience , to help you in your organic garden with simple explanations and illustrations.

so,in this guide i will teach you…

 are you ready?so lets go…

Chapter 1

Benefits of having your own Organic Garden

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Are you worried about what your family eats? Are you worried about what will happen in the future if there will be continuous depletion of the earth’s natural resources because of the conventional way of producing your foods? There may be a solution for that, organic gardening! Organic gardening is done by many environment enthusiasts and people who simply love gardening nowadays; there are many benefits of having one especially if you want to help mother earth in regaining its natural resources.

  • What is an organic gardening?

Organic garden is almost the same with your typical garden. However, in having your own organic garden, you will not use chemical based substances such as pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers for your plants to grow healthy and strong. You need to meticulously check that you won’t be using chemical based products. Instead, you will only be using fertilizers and pesticides that were made up from organic materials. Don’t worry, you can easily make some or you can even buy from your local gardening shops, they will surely have some of these stuffs for you.

  • What is organic garden for?

Organic garden has many benefits for you and your family; you will surely love to have one! The following are the benefits you can get from having your own organic garden.

 Benefits of having your own organic garden:

  • Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables will make your salad pleasurable.

Yes! By having your own organic garden, you can have fresh fruits and vegetables. Going to the supermarket or to your local grocer doesn’t mean that what they sell you is fresh. Sometimes, those fruits and vegetables were stocked on their shelves long enough that you can visibly see the yellowing leaves. Through having your own organic garden, you can have your favorite mainstay for homemade veggie salad readily available! Try to picture yourself harvesting your vegetables in your yard, the taste will surely be a lot better. So, what are you waiting for? Start digging up!

  • Fetch, dig and harvesting? It’s exercise!

Exercise is important in having a healthy body. It will help in strengthening your body against diseases. So what do you think about organic gardening? It may be true that having your own organic garden is taxing. With the constant need of checking your plants one by one for worms and grubs, watering your plants, making an organic pesticide, doing compost as your fertilizer and many other tiresome chores. However, think about this, with all of these menial tasks, you are assured that you will not be easily toppled down by illnesses. Organic gardening can be a form of exercise. It is a weapon that will surely help you in preventing high blood pressure, stroke and obesity.

  • Saving mother earth.

The frequent use of chemicals in the soil will surely strip the nature of its natural nutrients. Imagine the nutrients in the soil that are being removed just because of the continuous use of chemicals in growing your plants. Where would the next generations plant their sources of food if all of our lands will be stripped with nutrients? There will be none. Organic plants will use the nutrients from the soil, while organic fertilizer will serve to replenish the nutrients, in this way, you are assured that your plants will grow healthy and fully. If you want to start saving mother earth, then, you might as well start with having your own organic garden.

  • Save money!

Saving money is probably one of the best benefits of  organic gardening! How can you save money? Simple, instead of buying vegetables and fruits from your local shops, you can easily handpick them from your garden. You can surely save money from this. Aside from that, you don’t need to go to the grocery or supermarket to buy vegetables and fruits. Think about the money that you will save from not using fuel for your car. You can breathe easier just by knowing that you can save a lot for your other house bills.

  • Tastier and healthier meals!

Researches revealed that organic fruits and vegetables are tastier compared to those which were conventionally made. The chemicals from the soil will not alter the composition producing now a tastier harvest. It is said that having natural or organic materials as fertilizer can make your crops scrumptious. You might also want to know that through eating foods that were conventionally planted; your family might ingest the toxins present from the soil.

  • Healthy hobby.

Organic gardening can be your hobby. Not only that, you can include your spouse and even your children. By including your husband or wife in your gardening activities, surely he/she will not turn to other unhealthy hobbies. As for your children, at a young age, they will already know the importance of helping the environment. Aside from that, if they have gardening as a hobby, they will not be tempted to do hobbies that children nowadays are addicted too. No too much partying or even substance abuse. Organic gardening can help in maintaining a solid family foundation. It can help as you can consider this as a family bonding.

  • Safe food!

The substances from chemical based products are proven to be harmful to humans and pets. Are you not worried that your kids might just accidentally ingest some of your pesticides residues? These residues are proven to be dangerous. Aside from that, your pets who are innocently strolling along your garden might accidentally inhale some of your pesticide dregs. Would you make them suffer just because of a preventable occurrence? Do not wait for these unfortunate events to happen. Switch to a chemical free gardening. Switch to organic gardening.

With organic gardening, you can eat fresher fruits and vegetables. You are assured that you are providing your family healthier and tastier food. You help in saving mother earth. You are saving money. You are decreasing your health problem risks by exercising. You and your family can have a great hobby. Don’t you think it’s time for you to start one? With organic gardening, you live a healthier and fuller life!

Chapter 2

what are the plants that you can grow on your organic garden?

A patch of garden or even a pot of soil in your backyard can provide you and your family a source of fresh vegetables and fruits. It is a simple job to do but a great opportunity to bring hale and hearty foods on your table. Organic gardening will help you achieve this. It is a simple and yet an innovative way towards a healthy living.

You can grow different plants on your garden. However, certain plants and vegetables prefer a certain season where they can grow fuller and healthier. If you plant your favorite vegetables on the wrong season, surely, the seeds will not grow. Sometimes, if the seed will grow, it will eventually wilt. Therefore, there is a need for you to choose the right vegetables or herbs or even fruits to plants in different seasons.

  • Summer

Summer is the season of the year which is marked with hot and sweaty days. It is between spring and autumn. As the days are hot, you must plant vegetables and fruits that can survive the humid days or can grow abundantly under the warm rays of sun.

Organic tomatoes

qweTomatoes can grow up to six feet tall! What is the secret? It’s the warms rays of the sun. This fruit needs the heat to develop fully. You can consider that tomatoes are sun lovers. You can buy seedlings from your local gardening shops or greenhouses that sell them and transplant it to your garden. Tomatoes needs direct sunlight so avoid putting them under a shady place. With proper spacing, water and lots of sunlight you will surely harvest tasty and delectable organic tomatoes.

 

Organic corn

eDreaming of sweet corns? Hmm   m. That dream is not impossible. With a sunny disposition, you can see your corn stalks shooting up in no time. Researches revealed that corns survives and grow more fully under the sun. Aside from that, do not forget that corns need space to grow, water and a lot of time to ripen. Once your corns are ripe, go straight to your stove and boil them. You’ll definitely enjoy a hearty snack!

 

 

Organic cucumber

araraThe fleshy and succulent flavor of cucumber would never fail to amaze your taste buds. Just like your tomatoes, cucumbers are most delicious when grown to direct sunlight! Either the slicing or the pickling type of cucumber, both needs enough sunlight, lots of water and nutrients from the soil. Enjoy a crisp taste of your very own organic cucumbers.

 

Organic eggplants

q34tq3434What about eggplants? Do you hate the taste of these vegetables? You’ll surely change your mind once you grow your own. The taste of organic eggplant is very far from what you’ve bought from the supermarket. You just need a patch of moist soil and a lot of sunshine then you’re good to plant.

 

 

 

Organic summer squash or zucchini

segewtwetDo you think all of the zucchinis in the world taste as bland as what you’ve always bought in the supermarket? Have you tasted home grown ones? Zucchinis love sandy loam soil and up to eight hours of sunlight. It is the perfect vegetable to grow during summer. Try eating them raw or harvesting them when they are still immature, you’ll surely taste the difference!

 

 

Organic bush beans
we5t456456Bush beans are super easy to grow on your organic garden! You can just sow them on your garden patches and let them grow. They just need full sunlight and continuous watering system. You don’t even need fertilizers and pesticides. They can grow with enough nutrients from the soil and have continuous harvests!

 

 

 

Organic okra

4y346346This native plant from Africa is great for soups and gumbos. It is a sturdy plant which grows steadily during the hot summer. These plants love it when the soil is slightly damp and if they receive uninhibited sunshine.

 

 

 

  • Spring

Spring is the season between winter and summer. It is the season of rebirth from the quiescent months of winter. There are many plants that are best grown during spring, especially if the ground is still frosted from the winter days.

 

 

Organic beets

rttyeryeyuThe root and even the leaves of beets can be eaten. The root can be sliced and cooked with a bit of oil and salt while the leafy part can be boiled or eaten raw. Beets need to grow in a cool climate that is why spring is the perfect weather for them. They can grow in raised beds or even in pots. And with just enough compost for a nutrient enriched soil, full sunlight and shade, they will grow robust and ready to be handpicked.

 

 

Organic broccoli and cabbage                

rtrty46y36yWho can resist the rich taste of broccoli? Broccoli is easily grown even if you’re new to organic gardening. It grows fast aside from the fact that it is overly nutritious.  They are best grown during the not so hot weather during the spring season. They are both from the same Brassica family of vegetables. One of the noticeable characteristics of these vegetables is their great need for soil nutrients. They will literally rob your soil for their much needed nutrients that is why it is better for you to enrich the soil where you will plant these as much as you can. These vegetables also prefer well drained soil and a proper spacing so that they can spread their roots uninhibited. You can enjoy a delicious meal especially if you cook these two avoiding sogginess which will alter the taste!

 

 

Organic carrots
q3455So what do you know about this orange root crop? Aside from the fact that nobody will mistake this for another root crop because of its distinctive color, carrots are sturdy crops. However, there are varieties of carrots; they come in different colors such as yellow red and purple. They love cool weather and they can even survive light frosts. They definitely need loose soil, damp soil and you can enrich the soil by putting fish emulsion.

 

 

Organic English peas

rtyEnglish peas are charming plants. These types of peas definitely loves water however, bear in mind that they do not like their soil to be too steeped with water. They prefer mist and well tilled soil. They need cool weather to prevent them from rotting especially during the time when you’ve just finished planting the seeds. They are vines that gives a palatable taste of its oh so nourishing peas!

 

 

 

 

 

Organic onions

rye5u5uWhether you prefer the onion leaves or the onion bulbs, both are widely used as an essential ingredient to recipes. Onions prefer living on cool weather to avoid rotting of the crop. However, they prefer a well-drained soil to grow fuller.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Knowing about the Perfect place for your Organic Garden

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After learning what to grow in your organic garden the next thing that you should learn about is the most strategic place to have your organic garden

Where should I place my organic garden?

It is important for you to know where to place your organic garden. There are certain factors that you should consider to be able to have a fruitful harvest. Remember that the health of your plants do not depend just on your fertilizers and pesticides and watering. It also depends on the place where you built your garden.

Factors to consider when choosing the right spot for your organic garden:

  • sun

What will happen to my plants if they don’t receive enough rays from the sun?

Think about this example. What about if you placed your organic garden in your backyard under a shady spot? What will happen to your plants? Remember that plants depend on the sun to be able to produce their own food. If you put them in a shady place, you’ll have a sickly patch of plants and a bland harvest. It is important to consider the most appropriate place for your organic garden.

Why is the sun important to the growth of my plants?

The warm rays of the sun are very important to your plants. Remember that the energy that was gathered by your plants from the sun will be converted into food. Plants like humans need food to grow and develop. Many plant especially your vegetables needs up to 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to grow. Aside from that, even cool weather crops such as your lettuce and cabbages still need the sun to mature. That is why; you should consider a spot where your garden will receive direct rays from the sun.

What can be done about it?

You can place your garden on a spot where it is not covered by bushes or tall trees. This is to avoid having a shade for your plants during the day.

  • Accessibility
  • What will happen to my plants if I don’t have an easy access to it?

Picture yourself looking out the window and you’ve seen some of your neighbor’s chicken scurrying on your garden? What about your dog carelessly running over your garden patches? How can you decrease the damage that these animals will cause if your garden is far from where you are?

 

Why is it important that I have an easy access to my garden?

Your accessibility to your organic garden is very important. Build your organic garden in a place where you will have an easy access. Aside from that, having an easy access of your organic garden from your kitchen would be lovely! If you need an additional tomato, you can just go to your garden and pick the ripest ones. That would be very easy and fast.

What can be done about it?

It is better to place your garden in your backyard, front yard or in anywhere that you can have an easy access. It is preferable to place your organic garden near your home.

 

  • water

What will happen to my plants if they don’t have access to water?

Think about yourself running to and fro fetching water to water your plants. Aside from the unnecessary exhaustion, you should be worried that your plants might not be getting enough water for its sustenance.

Why is it important for my plants to have a good access to water?

Water is very important in your plants. Easy access to water is essential. That is why you need to choose a spot where your plants can have an access to water. Water is important for your plants to develop. When your plants receive too little water, they are more susceptible to damages from pests. The best thing to do is to have just enough water for your plants. Too much can cause your plants to rot.

What can be done about it?

You can place your garden beds on a place where water is abundant. If not, you can install sprinklers over your organic garden. You can also have a long hose installed near your garden so that whenever you need to bathe your plants with water, then you can reach every crevices on your garden.

  • soil

What will happen to my plants if they don’t have the appropriate soil?

Plants will have difficulty to grow in inappropriate type of soil. Can you imagine you lettuce growing in a sandy soil? Can you imagine your favorite cabbage grow in a clay soil? Plants need the appropriate soil to grow. Plants need soil which are rich with nutrients and well drained.

Why is it important for my plants to have the appropriate soil?

The soil is the most important factor in choosing the right spot for your organic garden.  Plants are hefty feeders of nutrients from a nutrient enriched soil. A rich soil will help in the growth and development of your plants. Aside from that, it can help in preventing destruction from pests and plant diseases. For your organic garden, it is important to apply organic matters regularly as a start. It will help in enriching and replenishing the nutrients from your soil. There are different types of soil texture namely: sand, silt and clay. However, the best soil for your organic garden would be the sandy loam. Sandy loam is the mixture of the three soil texture. This type of soil texture is very important in your plants since sandy loam is crumbly, it will help the root of the plants to have proper aeration and it allows the drainage of water.

What can be done about it?

If your backyard soil is sandy or just plain clay clumps then the best thing that you could do is buy a premixed soil. You could also buy the three basic soil textures and mix it yourself however, it is not recommended because there is a must to produce just the exact texture.

  • wind

What will happen to my plants with too much wind?

Envision the young cucumbers and squash scattered under your trellises which is caused by the wind. Your effort will be wasted as well as the money you spent if your garden is placed in a windy location.

Why do I need to choose a non-windy location?

Your plants need wind. However, a windy location is not that good for your plants. Trellised plants such as cucumber or squash and your tomatoes and eggplants which in time will be top heavy cannot survive in a windy location. That is why, in placing your organic garden strategically, you must consider the wind. It is a very important factor to prevent hazards for your plants.

What can be done about it?

There is not much that you can do. You need wind as much as you don’t want it to destroy your plants. However, you can still place your trellises and top heavy plants in a location where there can be a barrier such as a tree or even a wall.

In building your own organic garden, the location is very essential. The location is one of the most important factors for your plants growth and maturity.

chapter4

Preparing the Area for Your Organic Garden

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Preparing the Area for Your Organic Garden

Now that you’ve finished finding the perfect location for your garden, it is time for you to prepare the soil. It is essential to learn the basics and start with enough knowledge on organic gardening. One of the essential things that you should learn is preparing the ground or area where you chose to place your garden.

Why is it important to prepare the area?

Other people may think that digging up the soil, planting up the seeds or seedlings and watering the newly planted seeds would ensure their growth. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. There’s more than just carelessly digging up a hole and plopping up your seedlings. You need to prepare the area. There are certain procedures that you must do to be able to have the perfect beds for your plants. Preparing the area is very important because a well primed area will ensure not only the greenest foliage but also the palatable taste of your yields.

Problems that comes from an unprepared area for your organic garden:

Picture yourself in a garden that was unprepared. Can you see the ghastly look of your organic garden? Can you imagine the weeds towering over your plants? Can you imagine tilling the ground and yet you’re efforts are being blocked by numerous rocks? These are some of the problems that you might encounter without preparing the soil. Would you like these to happen? Undoubtedly, NO! If you don’t want then, take a look on how you can prepare the area.

Preparing the area

  • Making a layout of your garden

Get a pencil and a paper and draw a layout of your garden. Now that you’ve chosen the appropriate plants to sow on your garden, you must estimate the space each variety will use. Some plants require a lot of space to grow while some do not. Consider the space so that you will be able to plant all your target vegetables and other plant varieties. Aside from that, consider where you will put your sprinklers or other tools that you might need on your garden. These tools are very important to be placed strategically so that there will be no need for you to exhaust yourself in doing your garden chores when you will already start planting.

  • Cleaning

After finding the finest spot for your organic garden, the next thing to do is to clean the area from any dirt or debris. Also, remove the rocks and weeds that are scattered. It is important to remove the rocks since it can block up the nutrient absorption ability of your plants. Weeds should be eliminated too because it will surely compete with your plants for nutrients. Remember that weeds are opportunistic and will always try to gather all the nutrients from the soil for themselves. If this will happen, then, expect to see weeds growing healthier while your plants are withering as time passes by. To ensure that no further weeds will grow on your garden before planting, place black weed paper. Make sure that you do this a week before planting

  • Evaluating the soil

You must also consider the texture of your soil. There are three basic types of soil namely: sandy, clayey and silt. To be able to determine if the type of the soil on your area is sandy, grab a handful and let it slip from your fingers, sandy soil easily slips. If your soil is clayey, then try to grab a handful and clomp it together, if that handful will turn into a clump, then you have a clayey soil. However, as was mentioned before, the most suitable soil texture for your garden is sandy loam. It is the mixture of 20 percent of sandy soil, 40 percent of silt soil and another 40 percent of clayey soil. Nevertheless, some areas are most fortunate for having the perfect and nutrient enriched soil without the need of buying other materials to have the perfect mixture.

Consider also the pH of the soil. You can check the pH of the soil by buying kits on your local gardening shops. The pH of the soil is very important since some plants prefer alkaline soil while some prefers an acidic environment. If your soil is too acidic, you can place sulfur to make it less acidic. If you want your soil to be at least alkaline, apply lime.

  • Tilling the soil

After evaluating the soil, the next thing to do is to mulch or till it. Mulching or tilling the soil is very important to be able to integrate oxygen. You can use a tiller or a shovel to dig, however, if the area is bigger, there are mechanical tiller that you can try. Dig until you can for better aeration of your garden beds, some organic enthusiasts recommends that you till for at least 16 inches deep, this will be enough for your plants to live on.

  • Adding organic matter

Organic matter came from a living organism and is now on the process of decaying. It is important to add organic matter. This is perfect for those who don’t have the appropriate soil for their organic gardens. Organic matter can help in preparing the structure of the soil. It can help in making your soil drain better or hold an increased amount of water.  However, always remember that you should only put decaying organic matter and not the fresh ones. There isa chance that the fresh organic matter may still contain organisms that can be absorbed by your plants which will induce diseases.

Planning and knowledge about organic gardening is very important especially if you are a novice in the world of organic enthusiasts. Doing all the above mentioned things is very essential to have a well prepared garden. A well prepared garden would ensure a productive and healthy harvest. Organic garden is a fun and healthy hobby!

  • Raking the soil

After improving the soil, it is a must that you turn over the soil again to spread the added organic matter. Then rake the soil with a bow rake to remove the clumps and to level the surface of your garden.

Chapter 5

Fertilizing the Soil of your Organic Garden

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Fertilizing the Soil of your Organic Garden

After preparing the ground for your organic garden, then you must know more about fertilizing the soil. The use of fertilizers in growing your plants is important, aside from that; the use of organic fertilizer makes the general difference in organic gardening and your typical gardening. That is why, it is important for you to learn more about fertilizing the soil of your organic garden using organic fertilizers.

  • What is fertilizer?

Fertilizers are substances that are added to the soil to supplement the lacking or absent nutrient on your soil that is needed for the growth of your plants. It can be categorized into organic and inorganic. Inorganic fertilizer is made from chemical based resources while organic fertilizer came from resources that usually from a living organism.

  • Why is it important to use organic fertilizer?

It is important for you to use organic fertilizer because your plants cannot survive various problems associated with growing your plants. Your plants need nutrients from the soil. Nutrients will ensure the proper growth and development of your plants. Aside from that, organic fertilizer can help in increasing the resistance of your plants against diseases. It will also help fight pests that will surely leave nothing behind if no fertilizer is used.

  • What problems will arise if you do not use organic fertilizer?

There are many problems that will arise if you do not use organic fertilizer. Use of organic fertilizer is advocated nowadays because chemical based fertilizers can cause:

Contamination of the underground water

  • Chemical based fertilizer can cause contamination of the underground water because the soil will absorb the chemicals. If this will happen, these chemicals will go to the underground resources of water. Eventually, it can even lead to the springs, rivers and other body of water. Therefore, you can say that not only the underground water will be affected but also the nearby sources of water.

Hazard to you, your family’s health and your pets

  • The chemicals from your inorganic fertilizers are proven to be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Inhalation and even bodily contact of these chemicals may cause severe reactions. Aside from that, these chemicals are not good for your pets too. There is a chance that your cute little dog may inhale the chemical residues which may cause unforeseen reactions.
  • What nutrients are needed by the soil?

Before learning about how to fertilize the soil, it is important for you to learn about the nutrients that are needed by the soil.  Generally, the soil needs 20 nutrients; oxygen, hydrogen and carbon are the most essential since they are required in the functioning as well as the growth of your plants. These three are being supplied by the air and water. As for the remaining nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium is the most important of all the remaining 17 nutrients. These three should be present in greater quantities.

  • How can I fertilize the soil?

In fertilizing the soil, it is important for you to know first about the different organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are divided into three categories namely: plant organic fertilizers, animal organic fertilizers and mineral organic fertilizers.

Plant organic fertilizers

The organic fertilizers that can be derived from plants primarily have low and some has moderate amounts of nitrogen phosphorous and potassium. However, this type of fertilizer is commonly used because these nutrients are easily obtainable. Aside from that, many of the plant organic fertilizers contain other needed nutrients which will further increase the nutrients available for your plants. The most common plant organic fertilizers are derived from alfalfa, corn, cottonseed, seaweed or kelp, soybean, humus and compost.

Animal organic fertilizers

Animal organic fertilizers are potassium enriched. That is why it can be used with plant organic fertilizers. Products from land, air and even aquatic animals can give you organic fertilizers. The most commonly used animal products that are turned into organic fertilizers are manure from cows, chickens and even pigs however, in using animal manure, make sure that you will only use the composted ones. It is important to use the composted ones because fresh manure may still contain organisms that can cause diseases, aside from that; it can also burn the roots of your plants. Fish by products such as fish emulsion, powders and meals were also used because of its high nitrogen content. Blood meal (powdered blood from animals) and bone meal (powdered bones) are also commonly used. The excrements of bats and seabirds were also used as fertilizers.

Mineral organic fertilizers

Mineral organic fertilizers are also used however; it is not the most common. It is used because the effects take months and even years to be evident. The nutrients are released slowly. However, many gardeners are discovering the effects of minerals on the growth of their plants nowadays so why won’t you try one? The most common used mineral organic fertilizer is the lime. Lime will help you raise the pH of your garden. Other minerals such as Epsom, gypsum, greensand, Chilean nitrate of soda and phosphate are also used.

  • Making your own compost

Now that you have basic knowledge about fertilizing your soil, it is imperative for you to learn more about making your own compost. It may be true that you can buy compost from your local garden shops however; doing your own is more fun and its free! Compost adds organic material to your soil, so expect a greater yield for free!

In making your own compost, you need three basic ingredients namely the:

Greens

  • Greens are mostly those which came from your fruit peelings, fruit leftovers, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, manure (from cows, pigs and chickens) and even weeds you pulled from your backyard.

Browns

  • Browns are mostly dried leaves, branches, twigs, papers and sawdust too.

Water

  • Moisture and not exactly water is the most important ingredient as this will hasten the composting process. However, you should remember that you should not put too much water. Just make sure that the greens and browns are damp enough. Too much water can cause bad bacteria to multiply which may cause more damage than benefit.
  1. Consider the place where you will place your compost. You may create, buy or recycle a bin or you could also dig a pit. Whichever you choose, just make sure that you have a proper covering.
  2. Place the greens and browns on your bin or pit and mix the two. Just make sure that the ingredients are shredded in small sizes.
  3. After mixing the browns and greens, add water just enough to make the compost moist.
  4. Cover the bin or pit to ensure that the moisture will not evaporate which may cause drying of the compost.
  5. Turn the compost every week placing the composted materials above while placing the above materials below for its turn to decompose.

Learning about organic gardening is truly fun and rewarding!

 

Chapter 6

Essential Tips for Planting

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Essential Tips for Planting

Planting organic plants is a non-expensive, fun and healthy hobby. It is a way to cut cost on your household needs and a way to keep healthy foods available on your table all year round. Now that you have finished learning about the benefits, preparing the area and the soil and learning how to do compost, it is time for you to learn about how to plant.

Many people are hesitating to start their own organic garden. It maybe because they think it is too taxing because of the activities needed to be done. They may think that it is a very expensive hobby because the price of organic vegetables in the supermarket is a dollar or two more expensive than those which were commercially grown. Unfortunately, they are wrong in this aspect. Starting an organic garden is not expensive and not exhausting if you just know how to properly plant.

  • Why is it important to learn on how to properly plant?

Knowledge on how to plant is a crucial need for you to learn in organic gardening. It is very important because failure can be the result of having no knowledge about this. Even the greatest inventors and those who were bestowed with prestigious awards know what they are doing. They have the knowledge about what they do and they do not just rely on their instincts. Knowledge is a weapon. Knowledge about gardening will ensure you the most delicious and healthiest yields.

  • How do I plant?

Seeds and Seedlings

Seedlings grow from seeds. In order to know how to plant seedling, you must first learn about how to plant seeds. Seeds are usually grown indoor.

  1. In planting seeds, you must first gather all the materials that you need. You need to have containers (egg cartons, pots, plastic cups), soil (garden soil or premixed soil from your local garden shop), seeds of your choice, covers (plastic bags), water and a source of light
  2. Put the soil on a large container and mix it with water. Make sure that the soil is not too wet or too dry. Loosen the soil making sure that there will be no large clamps.
  3. Place the loosened soil on your containers (egg cartons, pots, plastic cups). You can fill the containers for at least ¾ full. Then gently level the soil with your hands.
  4.  You can now start planting the seeds on the containers. Read the label of the seeds and follow the instructions. Generally, you can place 2 to 3 seeds in one container to ensure that one will at least grow into a seedling.
  5. Cover again the seeds with your leftover soil following the instructions on the seed’s label.
  6. Sprinkle the planted container with water.
  7. Cover the container with a plastic bag to trap heat and moisture.
  8. Place the container on a warm spot inside your home or you can buy heating pads which are specifically made for seed germination.
  9. If you already see a newly sprouted leaves, it’s time for you to remove the plastic covering. And put the seedlings to your light source.
  10. This time, you can place organic fertilizer such as compost or fish emulsion to your seedlings.

 

Tips:

  • Seedlings need up 14 to 16 hours of light that is why you need to have a constant source of light. If you have a windowsill which can hold your container, you can expose your seedlings their however the light is not constant and your seeds may not grow as planned without enough sunlight. You can buy a fluorescent light or any plant lights that are usually bought from garden shops.
  • Seedlings prefer 60 to 70 F. It’s better for you to choose a spot with this temperature in the germination of your seeds.
  • Follow the instructions written about the seeds that you bought. Certain seeds have different preparations. It is best to follow those instructions.

The best time to apply fertilizer is after the appearance of true leaves on your seedlings

 

Transferring the seedlings:

Seedlings are the newly sprouted plants from seeds. They are very delicate that is why there is a need for vigilant care. Seedlings which are grown indoors should be accustomed to the different environment before transplanting them to the garden. Here’s what you need to do:

Hardening off – Gradually expose the seedlings for 2 to 3 hours in a shady spot on your garden beds then get them back inside. Do this activity for a few days then gradually increase the time you expose the seedlings outside. After a week, you may place the seedlings on direct sunlight for a few hours and increase the time the seedlings are exposed until you are sure that your seedlings already adapted to the environment of your garden.

Tips:

  • Transplant your seedlings to the garden but ensure that the climate is not too hot when you transfer the plants.
  • You can also cover your plants to protect them from wind and heavy rain.

 

Building raised beds

Building raised beds for your plants are one of the activities for your organic garden. You can choose to buy pre made ones but isn’t doing it yourself is more fun? It will make your gardening chores a lot easier. And there are benefits of having raised garden beds namely:

  • Decrease back strain.

Having raised garden beds will decrease the need for you to bend over while watering or weeding your plants, hence, the decrease of having a painful back after an hour or two of tending your organic garden.

  • A better drainage.

There is better drainage of water. Aside from that, there is a larger space for your plants roots to spread and absorb nutrients.

  • Prevents your soil and nutrients to be washed away by heavy rain.

The sides of the bed will serve as a barrier to avoid the soil and nutrients to be washed away when it rains.

  • It gives your garden an organized appearance.

Do it your own raised garden beds:

  1. Choose the right spot in your garden area.

You can choose different spots on your garden to place your garden beds. You can place the beds in the middle or inclined in a wall or fence.

  1. Decide on the size and design of the area.

You can choose any design or shape. Just make sure that you can reach the middle area of your garden. For the size, any size that your beds can occupy is okay as long as you see fit that you can easily reach all the parts of your garden.

  1. Prepare the materials needed.

Once you’ve decided on making your own garden beds, gather all the needed materials. You can use wood or cement as the barrier. You can use screws and drills or another piece of wood to connect the joints. Prepare a shovel for digging and a saw for cutting the wood if you prefer to use woods.

  1. Mark the site.

You can mark the site by digging the sides where you will put the barriers. You can also use flour, straw, ties and stones as a marker.

  1. Prepare the site.

Dig the parts where you will bury some part of the woods or cement. You should have a depth of at least 6 inches to make sure that the frame (which will serve as the barrier) will not fall easily.

  1. Bury the frame.

After digging, bury the frame up to the depth you made and finish by connecting the joints of the frame. Make sure that the frame is secured and the height of the sides of the frame is level with each other.

  1. Fill the frame with soil.

Fill the frame with premix soil or garden soil. Make sure that every crevice is filled with soil. It is better for you put loosened oil mixed with organic fertilizer already. After filling the frame, you can now level the surface.

Every now and then, apply organic fertilizer on your garden beds. Also, don’t forget to mulch or turn over the soil every time you plant. This is very important because a garden bed easily drains leaving now your soil dry. With all of these in mind, you can now enjoy a neat and organized way of planting on your very own garden beds!

Chapter 7

Irrigation Systems for your Organic Garden

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Irrigation Systems for your Organic Garden

 What is irrigation system?

An irrigation system is a method to provide water to your plants. As mentioned before, water is a crucial need of your plants. It contains two of the basic needs for functioning and development of your plants namely oxygen and hydrogen.

Why is it important to have a proper irrigation system?

Envision your garden on mid-summer; try not to water your plants for a week. You will surely see the importance of an irrigation system. Fertilizers, sunshine and good soil does not ensure a thriving harvest. Proper irrigation is one of the main ingredients in having a healthy and alive organic garden.

There are different types of irrigation system. You can have a well or a pond or even an automatic garden irrigation. You can use the irrigation systems that you prefer however, there are certain factors that you must first consider such as the size, budget and your time in choosing the most efficient irrigation system.

Tips in choosing the proper irrigation system:

  1. Consider the size of your organic garden

The size of your organic garden is very important. If you have a large garden area or even a small farm, then you must have an automatic garden irrigation. A twist of the controller would give your plants the water that they need. If you have a tiny space, then you can use a soaker hose irrigation system or even the more traditional ones.

  1. Consider the budget for your irrigation system

The budget you are saving for your irrigation system is very important. If you can afford to buy for the more sophisticated ones then there’s no problem about it. However, if you plan to spend more on buying certified organic seedlings, then you can opt to buy those which are not costly or you can just grab a pail of water and a dipper and start watering your plants.

  1. Consider the time you plan to spend on your organic garden

If you are building an organic garden for a hobby while working, you must consider having an automatic type of garden irrigation such as the use of sprinklers or a drip irrigation system. With the use of this type, you can just switch your controller and water will immediately be disseminated to your plants. However, if you have all the time in the world and you can visit your garden for an hour or two, then you can use the more traditional ones such as a bucket or your worn kettle

Types of irrigation system:                          

There are certain types of irrigation system ranging from the old-fashioned ones up to the more sophisticated ones. Whatever you choose to use, the most important thing is to be able to have a proper water supply for your plants.

  1.  Bucket and dipper

The use of bucket and dipper is probably the most traditional way of water irrigation. Although it is traditional, you cannot fault the efficiency of its use.  It is affordable and more importantly, you can control the amount of water you provide your plant. Remember that not all plants require a lot of water; some prefers a well-drained soil. Aside from that, the bucket and dipper is considered as a low pressure type of irrigation system. Low pressure types are good for the plants and will not cause any damage to your plants especially to seedlings.

  1. Soaker hose irrigation system

Soaker hose irrigation system is traditional but a bit advanced than the use of bucket and dippers. As long as the length of the hose is long, you can reach or cover a wide area. This system is not expensive and you don’t need an expert to install this for you. It is a do it yourself method. If you have the basic knowledge, you’re good to go. However, it also has disadvantages. It can again cause disease to your plants because of the risk of having water on your plant’s foliage. Aside from that, if the water pressure is too high, it may cause damage to your plants especially to the delicate seedlings.

Tips:

  • Place a rain nozzle to the end of the hose to decrease the pressure of the water.
  • Water your plants with soaker hose irrigation in the morning.

 Sprinkler system

Sprinkler system is a more advanced way of irrigation. It is widely used because gardeners tend not to work manually in providing a supply of water. A controller can be used to open the system. There are also automatic controllers that are set in a certain time of the day to automatically sprinkle water. There are also types of sprinkler system namely: overhead sprinkler and oscillating sprinklers. Overhead sprinklers are good for those plants which do not require too much water. Oscillating sprinklers are favorable because it can cover a larger area.

Tip:

In using a sprinkler system, try to operate these sprinklers early in the morning. Avoid using your sprinkler system in the afternoon because retained water in the foliage can cause plant diseases. You would not want that to happen on your garden right?

  1. Drip irrigation system

The drip irrigation system is probably one of the most efficient methods of water irrigation. There are various benefits from using this type of irrigation. You can save time and effort by letting the system run itself. This system gives the exact amount of water that plants need reducing now wasting of water. Aside from that, there is reduced chance of acquiring plant diseases since it operates under the surface. However, this type of irrigation system is more expensive and more complex to do. You can try to make your own drip irrigation system on your garden; however, you may need detailed instructions. If you really want to have a drip irrigation system, you can go and ask a professional about guidelines. You can also pay some expert to install a drip irrigation system for you.

A drip irrigation system works by permitting water to drip gently and consistently to the soil. This will allow equal dissemination of water along the roots of your plants. This method would decrease the amount of damage that the typical irrigation systems cause.

Water is important to our life as well as keeping your organic garden flourishing. You can say that irrigation is the lifeline of your garden. That is why take heed of the important tips on irrigating and enjoy an afternoon stroll to your buzzing garden!

 

Chapter 8

Recycling Water for your Organic Garden

 Water is life. You certainly cannot live without water. And that fact is also true to your organic garden. You have recently learned about the proper irrigation system. Now, is the best time to learn on how to recycle water for your organic garden.

What is recycling of water?

Have you ever heard of the government programs about recycling? What about your papers with a label “recycled”? Recycling means using a certain thing or idea or just using that thing again. You maximize the potential use of those things so that you won’t need to throw it or just waste it. In recycling water, it is of no difference. You can recycle your used water for your organic garden.

What is the importance of recycling water?

Recycling water is very important especially nowadays. It may be true that a larger portion of the earth is composed of water, however, water resources even the underground ones are gradually drying up. In US alone, 25.6 billion liters of drinkable water is wasted on garden irrigations in a day. So, what about if you sum up every droplet of water that is wasted on the whole world in just a day? Surely, you will be surprised! Are you going to wait for all these resources to be totally depleted? If not, then start recycling your water now!

There are various ways to recycle water. You can help Mother Nature. You can educate your family about recycling water while serving healthy foods to your family. You can save money by decreasing your water bill. Recycling water for your organic garden is both rewarding and pleasurable!

How can I recycle water?

There are certain ways that you can do to recycle water.

  1. Use of grey water

Grey water are water that are derived from your kitchen sink, bath tubs and washing machines. You can also use any water as long as it does not have any fecal particles or chemicals. Fecal matters and water which may contain chemicals is not recommended because it may cause diseases to your plants and is equally dangerous to you and your family’s health. Water with fecal particles and with chemicals is known as “black water.”

  • You can use water that are derived from your kitchen sink such as the water you have used after rinsing rice and the water you have used after washing the dishes (take note: you must use environment friendly dishwashing liquids).
  • After taking a bath, you can use the water in your tub. It would be better for you to ask the cooperation of your family members, in this way, you and your family are building ways to reduce your water bill and are helping the ecosystem. You can use a bucket to fetch the water from your tub. It is better for you to use this bucket for this purpose only.
  • If you are using a washing machine, you can place a drum nearby and connect the hose and drain the used water in. However, you should always remember that you should use environment friendly detergents. These types of detergents are already gaining fame and are widely used by environment conscious people.
  1. Use of rain water

Rain water is also a good source of water for your organic garden. There are even “rain gardens” where they primarily use rain water for their plants. These rain gardens are also known as rain runoffs. You can gain benefits from the rain water that runs off the roof of your homes. This is a type of irrigation system that produces a flood type of irrigation. It is used for gardens in low lying areas. This can help in providing water for your organic garden. Aside from that, you can actually save rain water by catching the water from the spout of your home. You can save this rain water in a barrel or drum and use it to water your plants.

Tips in using grey water:

  • It is recommended to use grey water for your flowers and shrubs only. It is still better to use fresh water for your organic vegetables to decrease the risk of contamination from unknown microorganisms on grey water.
  • If you still want to use grey water for your vegetables, use it on vegetables that grow above the surface. Do not use it on root crops and green leafy vegetables.
  • Never use grey water in drip irrigation systems.
  • It would be better if you water your organic garden simultaneously with fresh water and grey water.
  • Grey water are alkaline, you can add sulfur in the soil of the plants that prefers to live in an acidic environment.
  • Always use cooled grey water in watering your plants.
  • Never use grey water that is used to bath your pets.
  • You should also never use grey water that is used to wash clothes soiled with fecal matters (e.g. reusable diapers)
  • Use filters. If you use a watering can, put a rain nozzle on the spout to filter large particles.
  • Always check the labels of your detergents, make sure that it does not contain harmful chemicals for your plants such as salt, chloride, sodium and boron. It is recommended that you use detergents labeled as “environmental friendly.”
  • Have a dram or barrel where you can contain the used water from your tub. In this way, you can also cool the tub water.

Recycling water is a simple but innovative way of helping the environment. You don’t need to go rallying with environment enthusiasts in front of a city hall to prove that you want to help the environment. In your own little ways, you help the environment

 

Chapter 9

Removing Harmful Pests in your Organic Garden

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 Removing Harmful Pests in your Organic Garden

 Are those harmful pests kept eating their way through your organic garden? These pests will leave holes on the leaves and on the fruits of your plants. You may have a thriving organic garden but it will never be pests free if you do not take any actions against them. There are pesticides available but remember, you can never use chemically based products on your organic garden.

Grubs, worms and earwigs are pests that can cause a substantial damage to you garden. That is why you need to do various methods in removing pests from your garden. There are many ways that you can eliminate these harmful pests without using chemical based products. There are also ways on preventing pests on amassing on your garden.

Ways on how to prevent pests from your garden:

  1. Bird baths

Birds are natural pesticide. They can help in eliminating the pests from your garden. Building a bird bath near your irrigation system would help. Birds help by eating the pests thereby, getting rid of them.

  1. Pond

Artificial ponds can provide an attractive highlight to your organic garden. Looking at it provides relief from a stressful day’s work. Aside from that, it can be used to have a healthy ecosystem of aquatic animals. Lizards as well as frogs can help in getting rid of pests. They eat slugs, aphids and other varieties of insects. Animal eating insects will help in reducing the population of pests from your garden.

  1. Plant nasturtium, marigold and mint

Nasturtium, marigold and mint are natural pesticides. Nasturtium repels beetles from beans and cucumbers. The smell of mint will also keep white flies at bay. Marigolds will also help in keeping animals away as well as insects. Aside from that, marigolds are conducive for the growth of beneficial insects such as lacewings, centipedes and ladybugs. Lacewings and their larvae and ladybugs eat a significant number of aphids from your garden.

  1. Healthy plants

This is one of the best prevention of pest controlling techniques. Healthy plants are more resistant to insects and pests. Insects and pests usually targets sickly looking plants that is why you better take care of your organic garden!

  1. Handpicking

Handpicking is probably the most traditional way of removing harmful pests on your garden. You can do this by manually checking your plants every day. In this way, whenever you see a tiny pest or an insect behind one of the leaves of your plant, you can just pick them and kill them right away! However, this method is tedious and time consuming.

Also, you don’t need to use expensive sprays as pesticides. There are many organic substances that you can use as sprays.

  1. Tobacco mixture

You can use tobacco to kill a respective number of pests including root lice, fungus gnats, flies, worms, spider mites, aphids and thrips. It can be prepared by mixing tobacco and water or doused tobacco. However, it can be hazardous to other plants and to you as well, that is why you need to take caution in using tobacco.

  1. Hot pepper spray

You can crush peppers and dust it on the foliage of your plants. You can also use hot sauce as a spray. With the use of any hot pepper preparation, animals and foliage eating insects will leave your plants alone.

  1. Neem oil

Neem oil is a very effective solution for your pest problems. It works not by eating other pests. It works in an entirely different way. Neem oil actually modifies the way insects think. Because of this modification, the insects will not eat nor mate which will reduce their lifespan.

  1. Spearmint spray

A mixture of spearmint, water, hot pepper and green onions is proven to be a good insecticide. With this mixture, insects and pests will literally run away from your plants. You can bath or spray your plants with your own spearmint spray.

  1. Spinosad

Spinosad is an all-natural pesticide. It can be fatal to insects which ingests leaves or crops treated with spinosad. That is why it is one of the most efficient ways in getting rid of pests. Because of these characteristics, spinosad is said to affect a wide variety of insects. It is best to read the directions and follow them. Spraying spinosad in sunrise or sunset is proven to be very effective.

  1. Beauvaria Bassiana

It is a natural growing fungus in the soil. It causes a disease to insects called “white muscadine disease.” When the insects’ skin comes in contact with the spores of this fungus, Beauvaria Bassiana will cover the entire skin until the inner body of the insect. This would then cause the insect to die. It works differently than spinosad because unlike the latter, Beauvaria Bassiana is fatal in contact!

  1. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a sedimentary rock that is milled and refined to produce a powder. This powder is then dusted to the foliage of your plants. The dust is coarse causing cuts on the body of an insect especially of worms. If this will happen, the dust will surely get inside the cuts causing dehydration to the insect and eventually, killing these pests. It surely is an agonizing way to die!

  1. Bacillus thuringiensis (BT)

Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological pesticide. It is now being incorporated to other pesticides to potentiate its effect. It is an all-natural pesticide and is very popular to organic gardeners. Aside from that, it has no harmful effects on your pets and children and even with beneficial insects. It works when insects eat leaves and crops that are cured with BT.

With all of these alternatives in mind, are you regretting doing an organic garden? Of course you don’t. Organic gardening is a step towards healthy living and removal of harmful pests is a part of this step. Making do it yourself insecticides and pesticides as well as building or making a way to prevent amassing of pests in your garden is truly a worthwhile experience!

 

Chapter 10

Picking of your Organic Garden Yields

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 You’ve prepared the area for your organic garden. You’ve raised garden beds for your plants. You’ve chosen the appropriate plants for the season. You’ve decided on the type of water irrigation. You’ve fertilized the soil with organic fertilizers. You’ve finished planting your crops. You are done dealing with pests. Now, what will you do next? The answer is simple, HARVEST!

Months of digging, toiling, mulching, weeding and watering your plants are not very easy.  In all fairness, for the sake of your organic garden you have endured all of these. That is why, your efforts deserves to be awarded. You will be awarded by harvesting your own plants and vegetables! There is nothing more fulfilling than a taste of the harvests you’ve tended with your own sweat and blood! That is why; it is time for you to learn on when and how to pick your yields!

What is the importance of knowing how and when to harvest? 

It is very important for you to have knowledge because an improper way of harvesting would lead to decrease yields. Aside from that, it can cause your plants to wither.

How to pick summer vegetables:

Picking tomatoes

Pick tomatoes when the color is red wherein it is truly ripe. Pinch a tomato slightly and check if they are slightly soft. This would mean that your tomatoes are prepared to be eaten!  In picking, gently twist the tomatoes from the stalk.

Picking sweet corns

Harvest corn after the silks turns dry and brown. Then check for the maturity of your kernels, slightly open the top and squeeze one kernel and if a milky white liquid came out, it is ready to be gathered. Encircle the top of an ear with your hands and gently pull it up. It is better to cook freshly harvested sweet corns because they exude the sweetest taste at this time.  Enjoy the sweet taste of your corns with melted butter or milk!

Picking cucumber

Gather cucumbers when they are still young. Gathering cucumber when they ripens or when they turn long is not good. They may taste bitter and curt at this time. Pinch the base of the cucumber vine using your thumb away from the vine body. You can now use these cucumbers on your salads or just eat them as they were. Enjoy a crisp and healthy veggie salad!

Picking eggplants

Eggplants taste best when they are still young and shiny. Reap eggplants by cutting them instead of pulling. Avoid reaping eggplants that are already brown or have lost their gleam. Relish your eggplant with glee!

Picking summer squash or zucchini

You can harvest zucchinis while they are still young. Avoid harvesting them when they have grown to behemoth size. To harvest, have a nice grip on the fattest part and gently twist that part. Enjoy the behemoth taste of your zucchinis then!

Picking bush beans

Gather your bush beans while the seeds are still immature and slender. It is better to gather bush beans while they are young to ensure crispness of your yields. Gather bush beans every now and then because this will encourage further production of crops.

Picking okra

It is best to gather okras when the pods are about 2 to 3 inches. Make sure that you gather okras where the seeds are still half mature. Use a knife in cutting and cover your hands with gloves while cutting because the skin of okras is prickly and may cause itchiness. Appreciate the sweet, slimy taste of your home grown okras!

How to pick spring and autumn vegetables:

Picking beets

You can pick beet greens whenever you want and you can pick beet root crops when you see a part of the beet slightly bulging from the soil.  Pull or you can also dig up the root crops. As for the greens, you can just snap them from the body. It is better for you to use the greens upon harvesting.

Picking broccoli

Pick the first sprouting offshoots as this encourage thicker and more broccoli tops for the next harvests. You can harvest by cutting the heads. Enjoy the taste of your broccoli in soups or you can just plainly steam them!

Picking cabbage

Gather the heads of cabbages when you think they are already ready to be picked. Remove by cutting them from their body while avoiding the destruction of leaves. If you do this, more heads will surely shoot up from those leaves. Have fun gathering cabbages!

 

Picking carrots

Carrots are an all healthy root crops. You can reap them if you see a protuberance from the soil. Reap them when they are 1 – 2” thick to ensure the appropriateness.  Just dig up the root and you are ready. You will surely adore the healthy taste of fresh carrot juice!

Picking English peas

In picking English peas, choose those that are 2” long. You can pick the peas by pinching the between your fingers, twist gently and pull away from the vine in a swift motion. You can also use scissors to be able to pick peas. Hmmm. You’ll surely revel on a pea flavored soup!

Picking onions

Gathering onions? Hmmm. In gathering the bulbs, you must first wait until the onion leaves turns brown and shriveled. When the leaves turn brown, it means that the onions stopped growing and they are ready to be picked! Pickled onions are just perfect for the winter days to come!

Picking potatoes

What about potatoes?  You can already harvest new potatoes after 60 to 90 days. You can harvest up to two potatoes in each plant. In harvesting, dig or mulch the potatoes from your raised beds carefully as not to destroy the other potatoes.

Picking turnips

Do you love the taste of turnips? After months of toiling your garden, you can now enjoy your organically grown turnips! Gather turnips while their diameter is still 1”. The taste of turnips are much sweeter in a light frosted environment, however, do not let them stay under the ground too long. Turnips might turn woody if you will let that happen. As it is a root crop, carefully dig them.

Picking spinach

Spinach is the legendary veggie that gives Popeye his invincible strength. It turned out that he was all correct! In gathering spinach, cut the stem making sure that it is near the base. Avoid cutting leaves from the center to encourage more growth of leaves. Take pleasure from your new found source of strength, spinach!

Picking lettuce

Lettuce anyone? Lettuce is the mainstay of veggie salad. That is why it is fitting to grow them first on your organic garden! In gathering lettuce, just cut off the leaves. When you see a lettuce leaf seeding, remove it fast because it can trigger other leaves to seed. You can never resist the palatability of fresh lettuce!

Picking celery

The crisp flavor of celery on soups and salads made this a favorite on organic gardens. You can already pick your celery after 85 to 120 days from planting. Celery will taste sweeter and crisper when you blanch them!

There is nothing more fulfilling than eating your home grown veggies! These veggies are all nutritious, scrumptious and delicious! You can now enjoy a hearty salad or soup or just even eat these vegetables raw!

Summary

Summary

Alas! The time of harvesting is already finished. You need to prepare your garden again for another year of planting.  Preparation is very important. This is the time where you can correct the mistakes you’ve committed in the past months of planting. This is also the time to try other techniques in planting and decide on which methods to use. However, don’t be afraid of committing mistakes. Organic gardening is not just about producing the best harvest; it is also about learning and healthy living.

Important tips to remember

  • Sit back, think and decide

Now is the time for you to assess your previous performance. Grab a pen and a paper and list all of the activities you’ve done which produced a good result while listing down the activities which produced bad results. Doing this, you would be able to evaluate everything. You can now retain the activities that produced worthy outcomes and you can do an alternative for those which brought bad outcomes. Then, decide on things that you can do for your organic garden.

  • Garden Clean-up!

Cleaning up your garden is also important. You need to remove the stumps and left over from your garden. Eliminate the weeds. You can use spades and shovels to remove weeds and old root crops. Chickens are also helpful in removing perennial weeds. They will keep scurrying around your garden leaving your garden toiled in no time! Use rakes to remove masses of dead weeds and grasses.

  • Composting

Collect the dead weeds and vegetables and place them on your compost pit or bin so that you have something to use during planting. While doing this, don’t forget to place the newly collected dead weeds and vegetables on the bottom of the compost. This way, the bottom compost will be at the top which will be effective for better access when needed.

  • Toiling the soil

After removing all the dead weeds and plants from your organic garden, it is time for you to toil the soil. Turn over the soil so as to make the soil at the bottom go over the top. This way, the nutrient enriched soil will be maximized by the next rotation of plants for the next season of planting. Toiling the soil will help in aeration of the beds. With proper air circulation, there will be proper drainage and proper absorption of nutrients from the soil.

  • Amending the soil

After toiling the soil, you can now add amendments. Apply compost to your garden beds from your compost bin. Make sure that the compost is well mixed with the soil. This is to provide adjustments for the type of soil you have and to be able to add nutrients.

  • Mulching the soil

You can also start mulching the soil. Put some dead weeds and leaves on your garden beds. Do this especially if you are planting during the cold months. Do this a week before planting as this will also help in preventing growth of weeds. Mulching the soil will help in trapping the heat on your soil which will encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms from your soil.

  • Securing your garden beds

Now that you are done with the soil, you should check for the durability and security of your garden frames. Make sure that the garden frames are still standing firmly. Make sure that there are no rotting frames, if there are, you may need to change it now so that there will be no need for tedious work after you’ve already planted on your garden beds. You must also secure the joints of the garden frame. Make sure that the joints are fastened tightly.

  • Building trellis

If you are planning to plant vines, then you might as well start building trellises. Make sure that the trellises are strong and sturdy so that it can carry the heavy fruits of your vegetables. You can maximize your trees which can act as trellises however; you must consider that plants need sunlight. If you use a tree as an alternative for trellis, your vines might not receive the sunlight that they needed so much.

  • Checking water irrigation system

Do not forget to check your water irrigation system. If you have a drip irrigation system, check for faulty pipes and clogs. Also, if you have an automatic controller, change the timer in accordance to the needs of the plants you are going to plant. If you are using a bucket and a dipper or even a watering can, check if these tools have holes.

  • Keeping garden tools

Also, it is important for you to assess your garden tools. Check for any nicks and cuts. If needed, buy new ones. You may as well oil and sharpen your tolls every now and then and keep your tools in a dry and neat area so that you won’t have any difficulties with regards to rust and finding them. Your tools are considered as your weapons in the battlefield of organic gardening that is why it is very important for you to take care of them!

  • Crop rotation

Crop rotation is used in acres of farm. It is a type of planting wherein they use different crops each season to plant. For example, farmers will plant corns for this season, on the next season, they will grow rice. This type of planting will encourage soil nutrient enriching. Growing the same crop every season will deplete the soil from nutrients. Applying crop rotation method would help in replenishing these depleted nutrients. Crop rotation is good for your garden too. You can utilize this type of planting to enrich the nutrients in the soil of your organic garden ensuring now healthy and productive yields.

Preparing for the next season of planting is important for your plants to maximize their full potential. Preparation is the pillar of the next season’s productive yields that is why it is very important. Give your best all throughout the season and your harvests will surely be the greatest!

All the best.

denny hemlin-doctor gardening

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Posted by in blog, Uncategorized on Aug 22, 2016

BASIC PRINCIPALS; Plant foliage requires light, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Plant root systems require water, nutrients and oxygen. When plants are grown normally water leeches nutrients from the soil and carries them to the roots. The water and nutrients are taken up by the roots to feed plant growth. Soil drainage then allows water to be replaced by air in the gaps between soil grains. This supplies the roots with oxygen.

In hydroponics the nutrients are dissolved in the water. Soil is replaced with a growing medium to supply the roots with water, nutrients and oxygen. Hydro juice (nutrient solution) can be drip fed to each plant, it can also be used to regularly flood the root chamber, then drain out. Both methods require a pump and timer to circulate the nutrients through the roots and are covered by these diagrams and notes. Roots can also be grown in the air by spraying roots with a fine mist of hydro juice, or grown in the hydro juice and the solution aerated under each root mass with an air pump. With both of the second two methods the plants must secured at the base of the stem or something.
The hydroponic system described does work and is suitable for any plant with stringy roots. I have not tried it with any bulb plants or plants such as orchids that require fungus or mold in the soil to grow. This method is similar to Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) the thin Rockwool slice acting as a capillary mat. This eliminates the need to have flat bottom the root chamber and to level the bottom of root chamber, making easier and cheaper to set up.

This method will get the most vigorous growth if each plant has it’s own continuos drip feed. The dripper is positioned drip on roots growing from the base of the seedling block, the roots will grow thick, hairy and compact under the dripper. 4L per hour dripper are used however their drip rate depends pressure, this is effected by height and size of the drip feed tank. The drip rate will slow as the tank empties.

Feeding can also be achieved with faster dripper at the top of each top end of each side of the root chamber. The plants grown like this had a large root mass, the roots of three plant taking up about a third of the root chamber. With the timer I had could only flood the root chamber every 4 hours, the growth rate was similar to the last. The growth rate will improve by flooding every hour or even less. After the root chamber is flooded it should drain to a trickle in a few minutes.

STARTING PLANTS; Soak seeds in damp paper or cotton wool, cover seed with damp paper or 2016-08-25_1759cloth, drian off excess water and don’t allow to dry out. When the seed root is 2 – 5mm. long place the seed root first in the small hole with tweezers (fig.3). Make sure the root is protected by the open jaws of the tweezers and that the seed or root isn’t squashed. Then place seedling block hole up on a plate and wet Rockwool until it won’t take any more water. Keep the plate on an angle for drainage, but the seedling blocks shouldn’t dry out too much and seedling should come up in a few days. Seedlings can stay on the plate until roots grow from the bottom or sides of the seedling block (fig.4).When this happens seedling are ready to transplanted on to the Rockwool mat in the root chamber. (Before the seedling blocks go into the root chamber the rookwool is soaked in water 24 hours then with hydro juice at half strength.) Roots will grow from seedling block, through and along the under side of the Rockwool mats. Place three to eight plants per side, evenly spaced along the slot, and it will soon grow into mass of green. When the system is operational and plants are growing, the inside of the root chamber should have a rich earthy smell. Three or four plants if your growing them big (outdoors ), eight if your growing fast and flowering early ( under lights ).

When the roots grow from the bottem or sides of the Rockwool block it’s ready to transplant into the 2016-08-25_1759_001grow tube. Once the roots have grown into the mat tou can hit them with full stength hydro juice. Light proof plastic should be used to cover the top of the root chamber white side up, this is to stop green slime growing on the rockwool. This can only be done when the plant is tall enough, take care not strain or damage the plant.

 

 

 

 

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Many seeds require special conditions to germinate. For example, most garden vegetables and herb seeds need to remain damp or wet for some time.

Seeds can be germinated in a hydroponic grower, and often they germinate even better than in soil.

Planting Seeds
Most seeds are placed below the surface of the media. A suggested placement is from ½ to 1 inch below the surface. This keeps the seed very moist and will give it some feel for when the light is and where the dark is. The root of the plant will grow down towards the dark and the water, and the plant stem and leaves will go towards the light.

Many seed packets include instructions for soil and mention how deep to bury the seeds. They can be planted at the same depth in hydroponics.

Some seeds, like beans and corn, will germinate in just a few days. Some others, such as tomato, bell pepper and herbs may take as long as two weeks until they appear. Growers with seeds should be watered each day although no plants are showing. If you do not see any sign of life after two weeks, it is best to replant the grower.

Occasionally the grower root area will be so cold or so dry, the seeds will not germinate.

To germinate very small seeds like many herbs, a special form of germination may be required. One way is to start the seeds between two pieces of paper or a towel soaked with water. The towel is kept moist each day.

Germinating some types of seeds is more complicated than just soaking in water. Some seeds need to be damaged in some way to germinate, and others are specialized to respond to periods of temperature or light. If there something you would like to grow, it might help to learn what the seed requirements are to germinate.

Other Methods of Reproducing
Some plants can reproduce from cuttings. This means cutting a small part of the growing tip of a plant, pulling off the bottom leaves and sticking the cut end into the growing media. Some of the plants that can be reproduced from cuttings are basils and many of the herbs.

Garlic reproduces from individual garlic cloves. Some of the garlic in the grocery store is treated and will not sprout. An organic garlic is more likely to sprout.

Potatoes are grown from a planted potato. The potato can be cut into pieces or planted whole.

ROOT CHAMBER.
ROOT CHAMBER; The Root Chamber is made from 90mm. PVC storm water pipe. This type is 2016-08-25_1806used for all new building constructions so off cut are about. A selection of 90mm. PVC storm water pipe and 90mm. fittings are available at large hardware stores. Fittings include right angles, tee junctions, end caps and others. These can be used to make the root camber suit any room. The root camber show in Diagrams (fig.5,6,7) is made with two lengths about 1 miter for the sides, 2 lengths about of 600mm. for the ends and 4 right angles for the corners. PVC pipe glue is used to make all joins water tight. A slot is cut in the top of each side providing access to change growing medium and remove root mass. Holes instead of a slot may be used for each plant but another way of access must be used. A drain hole or holes are drilled in the bottom of one end of the root chamber and a flood hole is drilled in the top of the other end. The root chamber is mounted on an angle with drain end below then the flood end. This is to ensure that the roots don’t get water logged. Too much of an angle will cause the Rockwell and roots to dry out at the high end.

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FLOOD AND DRAIN.
A flood and drain system requires a timer, a pump and a drain tank to catch the hydro juice. Hose is run from the bottom of the drain tank to the pump inlet. Hose is run from pump outlet to the hole in the top of the flood (high) end of the root chamber. The pump inlet is below the bottom the drain tank. As the drain tank is filling hydro juice flows through to the pump inlet through the pump and up the flood hose till level with the hydro juice in the tank. This is to prime the pump as the pump can’t suck air, it can only push out what flows in the inlet. The timer runs the pump for 1 minute and the hydro juice fills about half the root chamber. If chamber over flows increase size of drain holes. If a hose is used at the drain end, it must not cause hydro juice to stand at the drain end. A recycling type bin is ideal for the drain tank (see end of Drip Feed section to attach hose to drain tank). Putting the pump on the floor and the drain tank on bricks should raise it enough prime the pump.
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EBB AND FLOW (FLOOD AND DRAIN)
The Ebb and Flow system works by temporarily flooding the grow tray with nutrient solution and 2016-08-25_1811then draining the solution back into the reservoir. This action is normally done with a submerged pump that is connected to a timer. When the timer turns the pump on nutrient solution is pumped into the grow tray. When the timer shuts the pump off the nutrient solution flows back into the reservoir. The Timer is set to come on several times a day, depending on the size and type of plants, temperature and humidity and the type of growing medium used. The Ebb and Flow is a versatile system that can be used with a variety of growing mediums. The entire grow tray can be filled with Grow Rocks, gravel or granular Rockwool. Many people like to use individual pots filled with growing medium, this makes it easier to move plants around or even move them in or out of the system. The main disadvantage of this type of system is that with some types of growing medium (Gravel, Growrocks, Perlite), there is a vulnerability to power outages as well as pump and timer failures. The roots can dry out quickly when the watering cycles are interrupted. This problem can be relieved somewhat by using growing media that retains more water (Rockwool, Vermiculite, coconut fiber or a good soiless mix like Pro-mix or Faffard’s).

Drip Feed System.

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This feed system has a dripper for each plant. Dripping the hydro juice directly on the top of the root mass should stop the plant from sending out long roots in search of food. Resulting in more growth on top or so the theory goes. The drip system uses a drip feed tank about one meter above the drippers and reticulation system.

Reticulation is via 13mm. poly tube to just above the root chamber. A hole is punched in the 13mm. tube. A 4mm. adapter is screwed into the hole. Then 4mm. poly tube is attached to the 4mm. adapter. A dripper is attached to the other end of the 4mm. tube. The 4mm poly tube should be kept as short as possible so there is enough pressure to start the drippers. Barbed right angles and tee’s are used to route the 13mm. poly tube close to each plant. The top of the 13 mm. poly tube is about 50mm. below the bottom of the drip feed tank. A 13mm. to snap-on adapter is fitted to the top of the 13mm. poly tube. If the 13 mm. poly tube is positioned at right angles to the slot and the 4mm. adapter, 4 mm. poly tube and the dripper positioned over the slot. Any leakage at the joins in the poly tube will drip into the slot preventing loss of hydro juice.

A 42 liter plastic garbage bin and lid is used for the drip feed tank. Snap-on fittings and 13mm. garden hose connect the bottom of the drip feed tank to the to 13mm. poly tube. They also connect the pump outlet hose to the top of the drip feed tank. A Stop Snap-on is used where the garden hose connects to the Snap-on adapter on the 13mm. poly tube. This prevents the hydro juice flowing from when the Snap-on is removed from the 13mm. poly tube. To convert from flood and drain to drip feed. Move the pump outlet hose from the flood inlet on top of the root chamber, to the top of the drip feed tank.

Snap-on universal sprinkler adapter are used to connect hoses to the side of the drip feed tank . These are a Snap-on to 13mm. thread adapter. There is also a 20mm. thread that screws onto a 13mm. thread. A hole no larger than the 13mm. thread is drilled in the side of the tank. The 13mm. thread is pushed through the hole from the outside of the tank. Now the 20mm. thread is screwed on to the 13mm. thread inside the tank creating a water tight seal. Make sure the hole is away from obstructions inside the tank that would prevent the 20mm. thread from attaching to the 13mm. thread. This method is used for all tanks and also for the pump outlet hose connection to the top of the flood end of the root chamber.

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Drip systems are probably the most widely used type of hydroponic system in the world. Operation is simple, a timer controls a submersed pump. The timer turns the pump on and nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. In a Recovery Drip System the excess nutrient solution that runs off is collected back in the reservoir for re-use. The Non-Recovery System does not collect the run off.

A recovery system uses nutrient solution a bit more efficiently, as excess solution is reused, this also allows for the use of a more inexpensive timer because a recovery system doesn’t require precise control of the watering cycles. The non-recovery system needs to have a more precise timer so that watering cycles can be adjusted to insure that the plants get enough nutrient solution and the runoff is kept to a minimum.

The non-recovery system requires less maintenance due to the fact that the excess nutrient solution isn’t recycled back into the reservoir, so the nutrient strength and pH of the reservoir will not vary. This means that you can fill the reservoir with pH adjusted nutrient solution and then forget it until you need to mix more. A recovery system can have large shifts in the pH and nutrient strength levels that require periodic checking and adjusting.

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12 Plant Patio Table Garden System.

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Drill the 12 holes for the bottles and two in the center for the overflow pipe. Make sure you drill between the braces under the table.

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The 1/2 inch PVC pipe is hidden under the table where it isn’t seen from the top.

 

 

How Growing Vegetables Can Save You Money

10221442_m_1_-300x200If you are like most people, you are looking for a way to cut corners and save some money.  There are a few things that you can do to save money today.  You can travel less and use less gasoline.  You can cut down on utility expenses by not using so much electricity and heat.  You can eliminate eating out and eat at home.  Perhaps you are already doing this but need to save more money.  One way that you can save a lot of money is with your food bill.  And with food prices going up, this may end up being a necessity.  Not only can you save money on your food bill, but you can also start eating healthier.

You have probably heard about organic foods.  These are foods that are all natural and do not contain any chemicals or preservatives.  Organic vegetables are in your local supermarket and usually cost a lot more than the other vegetables that are grown using chemical pesticides and other toxins.  You have probably heard that organic vegetables are better for you, but do not want to spend the extra money.  After all, the idea is to save money – right?  So spending extra money on organic vegetables, that are usually smaller than other vegetables can seem like a bad financial deal.  And if you are like most of us, you are looking to get more bang out of your buck.  Especially at the supermarket.

The way to really save money and eat healthy at the same time is to grow your own vegetables.  This can trim your food bill substantially, depending on the amount of vegetables that you grow.  If you have a patch of ground, you can save money by growing your own vegetables in the soil and wind up with vegetables and fruits that are healthier than those that you buy in the store.   You can save at least  $100 a month by growing your own vegetables and this savings, if you take the tips in this book, can be used after the harvest time if you learn how to preserve the various vegetables and fruits.

Think of what you can do with $100 a month.  It can pay a couple of bills for you or just ease the burden for you a bit.  And this savings can continue to blossom.  You will see savings in your food bills every month when you start to grow your own vegetables.  Of course, you will have to wait until harvest time to start to really start saving the money, but after your first harvest, you can save money all year long using the tips in this book.  There are also tips that I will give you that will enable you to start saving money relatively soon  with herbs.

It takes work to plant and harvest a vegetable garden, but it is good work.  Working in a garden and planting vegetables or fruits is actually therapeutic. Many people enjoy being outdoors and gardening just for the heck of it.  When you are saving money because of your endeavors, it makes the experience even better.  The hard work is getting your garden started and harvesting as well as preserving the foods.  Breaking this down, this consists of about 4 days out of the year.  The rest is just maintenance.  Four days is not much to ask when it comes to saving $100 a month on your grocery bills.

And best of all, you can start right now.  Spring is the perfect planting time for a vegetable garden.  By harvest time, which will be in July or August, you will be well on your way to start saving money.

If you are ready to start saving $100 a month in your food bill by growing your own vegetables, take the tips in this book and put them to use.  Eat healthy foods and stop wasting your money at the grocery store.

Vegetables Gardens – An Old Idea

Most of us today do not remember victory gardens.  These were gardens that people planted during WWII to supplement rations during the war.  During WWII, just about everything was rationed, including food.  So people began to supplement that rationing with food from their own garden.  Because the country was at war, the gardens that people used to supplement their war rations were dubbed Victory Gardens.

The country is currently at war with a recession.  A war that requires a victory.  Isn’t it about time for Victory Gardens again?  Just as our grandparents and great grandparents created victory gardens during WWII, we can do the same today.  We aren’t on food rations, although some of us might as well be.  With an increasing number of people losing their jobs and facing home foreclosures, some of us may be rationing ourselves.

We don’t have to feel helpless in the face of recession.  We can do something about it.  We can declare victory against the recession by planting our own victory gardens.  All you need is a plot of soil and plants.  The cost to prepare a garden is minimal, especially when you consider that it can save you $100 a month or more by growing your own vegetables.

Growing Vegetables From Seeds Or Plants

If you are planning on starting a vegetable garden to save money the first thing that you need to consider is whether you are going to start from seeds or plants.  Seeds are much less expensive, but take longer to grow.  You need to grow plants from seeds in an indoor environment if you live in a four season climate.   If you are planning on planting your garden soon for a late summer harvest, then you need to use plants.  You can buy vegetable plants at any gardening center.  They are much sturdier to put into the ground and have a better chance of taking root and producing vegetables.  There are pros and cons to using both seeds and plants when it comes to growing your own vegetables.

Seeds – Pros and Cons

Seed come in packets and you can purchase them at most gardening and big box stores.   The best aspects about using seeds is that you can grow them yourself into plants in your own home and make sure that the soil you use as well as any plant food used is organic.  The seeds are also much less expensive than plants.  There is also the satisfaction that you will gain when you are growing your own seeds for your plants.

The negative aspects about seeds is that you need more time to grow them so that they can take root.  If you live in a four season climate, you need to grow the seeds indoors so that they can grow into sturdy plants before you can put them in the ground.

If you live in a climate that is warm, you can put down seeds and get them to grow into plants after sowing them in the ground.  Seeds are also used for larger garden areas as it would be impractical to use plants.

Plants – Pros and Cons

You can find plants that can be used for your vegetable garden in any garden store.  They are ready to plant and will produce fruit or vegetables.  Plants are easy to use and if this is your first garden, they can be easier to space.  Plant are already sturdy enough to be transferred to the ground and will bear fruit or vegetables.

The negative aspect of using plants is the cost.  They tend to cost more than seeds.  They are also often grown in soil that is filled with pesticides.  If you decide to use plants instead of seeds, look for those that have been grown organically.

If you are a first time gardener, you may prefer to use plants over seeds.  What many gardeners do, and what I did, is to use plants in your first garden so that you can get the garden seasoned and become familiar with planting and harvesting.  Then the next year, you can cultivate your own plants from seeds.

Remember that if you live in a four season climate, you will want to use plants for your first garden as they have already taken root and are easier to grow.  As you become more adept at gardening, you an start to easily grow vegetables from seeds.

What To Grow

After you have figured out the concept of planting with seeds or plants, you can then decide what you want to grow.  Naturally, for your first project you will want to make it easy on yourself.  Some of the easiest fruits and vegetables that you can grow include the following:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Squash (including pumpkins)
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Lima beans
  • Corn
  • Broccoli

These are all easy fruits and vegetables to grow.  As we all have been told hundreds of times since childhood, tomatoes are a fruit and not a vegetable, so we will call them what they are, although  for all intent purposes, they are treated and eaten as vegetables.

Tomatoes are the easiest of all of the fruits/vegetables to grow.  Not only that, but they are also easy to can.  We will talk about preserving vegetables for use throughout the year in later chapters.  Suffice to say, that tomatoes, because they are fruits, are easy to can using a hot water bath.

You can find a garden store close to home or one that is online.  If you live in a four season climate, chances are that you will be able to grow all of the above and more  These are the vegetables that you want to get started with.

Of course, if you plan to grow all of these vegetables, you will need a sizeable garden.  You can choose the vegetables that your family eats most of all of the time and grow them.  You should also consider storage.  Growing lettuce, for example, is great for salads and relatively easy to do, but it does not freeze or preserve.  Turnips, carrots, onions and potatoes will keep well in a root cellar and will store for the winter.  If you do not have a root cellar, you can make one when you follow the instructions that are in this book.  It’s not hard and just takes a bid of digging and keeping an area water proof.  If you have your own cellar, you can save the trouble.

The worst thing that you can do when you are starting your own garden, is to get overwhelmed by planting too many vegetables.  Think of those that you buy often, or would like to buy often, and go with them.  As for me, I chose the root vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli.  This year, I will grow squash and corn along with the vegetables I grew last year.  I am also growing several vegetables from seeds.

Start out with a few vegetables that you eat often and each year, add a new vegetable to your garden.  By growing the vegetables that you use often, you can save a lot of money every month on your food bill. The amount of money that you save each month will depend on how large the garden and how many vegetables you consume.  Remember that you will be saving some of them, in various ways, to use for the winter months spring before the next harvest.

Space is a factor when you are planning your vegetable garden.  Some vegetables or fruits, such as tomatoes and peppers, do not require a lot of room for growth.  Root vegetables are also easy to grow as they grow down into the ground and do not take up a lot of room.  Corn and squash take a lot more space so you may have to clear more room for them.

Another factor that you have to consider when you are growing vegetables to save money is that they may not look like those you see in the store.  Many vegetables that are grown for mass production are aided with food dyes and waxed so that they look more attractive in the store.  Your home grown vegetables are not likely to be as large, or as colorful, as the vegetables that you grow in the store.  But they will be organic and healthier.  And when it comes to taste, they will also taste just as good if not better than those that you purchase in the store.

Once you have established the vegetables that you are planning on growing, you must then learn the planting and harvesting times for these vegetables.  Most vegetables are planted in the early to late spring, after the weather breaks and it is not likely to have a frost.  Harvest time for most vegetables comes in early to late summer to early fall, depending on the vegetables.  Tomatoes, for example, will be harvested early.  As will peppers and cucumbers and some squash, as zucchini.  Other vegetables are harvested a bit later such as the root vegetables.  Usually, the longer you can keep them in the ground, the better. When the leaves start to get brittle, it is time to dig them up.  Corn and squash are autumn harvest, such as pumpkins and butternut squash.  Lettuce and eggplants are harvested in late summer and early autumn.

Much depends on the region where you live.  In some areas of the country, you can get corn in August.  Tomatoes are usually harvested from July to August, but can be later in some parts of the country, especially in the warmer weather.   There are different rules for harvesting on the East Coast than there are in the Midwest regions of the country.  Here is a list of when you can (roughly) expect to harvest the above mentioned vegetables:

  • Tomatoes – Harvest in early summer to late summer (July and August).
  • Peppers – Harvest in mid summer to early autumn (Late July to September)
  • Cucumbers – Harvest in mid summer to early autumn (Late July to September)
  • Onions – Harvest in mid to late summer (August to early September)
  • Eggplant – Harvest in mid summer to late summer (Late July to August)
  • Potatoes – Harvest in early autumn to late autumn (September to early October)
  • Lettuce – Harvest in Late summer (August to early September)
  • Squash – Harvest in early to late autumn (late September to mid October)
  • Turnips – Harvest in mid autumn (September)
  • Carrots – Harvest in mid autumn (September)
  • Lima Beans – Harvest in mid summer (August)
  • Corn – Harvest in late August (in some areas) to September
  • Broccoli – Harvest in mid to late summer (August to early September)

Once you have an idea of what you want to grow and when you can expect the vegetables (or fruits) to be ready for harvest, you can then start getting your garden ready to grow.
Measuring the Garden Area

The amount of garden area that you need depends on what you plan to grow in your garden as well as the amount of space that you have in which to create a garden.  While some people make do with a  small patch of land, you have most likely seen others who have an entire back yard devoted to gardening.   My advice to you  is this – use up as much space as you can spare.  The tips given in this book will not only help you save money because you are growing fresh vegetables instead of buying them, but it will also save money when it comes to storing them.

A friend of mine decide one year to have a tomato garden.  This was a long time ago, before I knew anything about gardening or how to preserve certain foods.  She and her husband planted 40 tomato plants in their garden.  The entire garden consisted of tomatoes.

If you have never grown anything, you should know that tomatoes are the easiest of all of the garden vegetables (even though it’s a fruit) to grow.  Her tomatoes came out in full bloom and then started producing fruit.  Pretty soon, my friend was giving tomatoes to just about everyone she knew, including the mailman.  The entire neighborhood was tomatoes out and she vowed not to do this again.  A great many tomatoes went to waste and a great deal of bunnies were happy.  But this didn’t have to be the case.

Had my friend known that canning tomatoes is one of the simplest of all garden fruit and vegetables preservation, she could have had tomatoes, sauce, salsa and just about anything for the entire year.

IF YOU HAVE THE GROUND – PLANT THE VEGETABLES

If you have the ground, plant the vegetables.  Always consider that some plants may not do well.  Despite your best efforts, some crops will be eaten by sneaky critters like rabbits (although I will give you tips on how to deal with that) and some will just not work out.  Every garden has duds.

While you do not want to start out with a garden that is overwhelming and takes up your entire backyard, you do not want to have a small garden that only produces a few fruits and vegetables and does not really save you any money.  Remember, your victory garden should be one that will save you money not only in the months of the harvest, but for the year afterward.  So you need to have plenty of room.

Section off a piece of land in your yard where the garden will grow.  Bear in mind that certain vegetables, like corn and potatoes, take more room in which to grow.  Tomatoes grow up and can be confined to a smaller space.  Others, especially the root vegetables, need a foot between them to grow properly and not get entangled in the ground.

Also keep in mind that you need to have space between the rows of crops in order to maintain the garden. A friend of mine had a great idea to build a tomato garden in a small patch of ground on the side of the house.  She figured she could get 10 tomato plants in their easily.  She planted them, watered them, made sure they climbed their cages, but had no where to walk.  Once the tomatoes had grown, she couldn’t get into the garden without stepping all over the plants.  Do not let this happen to you.  You need to have rows between the crops where you can work so that you can properly maintain the growing crops and, when harvest time comes, harvest them as well.

After you have marked off the area where you are going to plan your garden, you need to then start to prepare the supplies you will need to get the garden going.  You can get the following supplies from the garden store, or borrow them from a neighbor:

  • Garden gloves. You will need these throughout your gardening, so be sure to get a good pair.
  • Garden Hoe
  • Garden Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden rake
  • Chicken wire or some fencing material to keep the garden contained and the animals out.

These are the materials that you will need to dig up the garden and get it ready for planting.  Some people rent a rototiller to turn over the soil in the garden.  This does the job quickly in a large vegetable garden, but costs money to rent.   It is also a heavy piece of machinery and can be difficult to maneuver.  I always preferred using the old fashioned garden tools, but if you are strong enough to use this battery operated or electrical power device, then you might want to go for it. You are going to need to turn the soil over in order to get it prepared for gardening.

Also, take a look at the dirt that you have under your lawn.  Chances are it is black dirt, like clay.  This is difficult soil in which to grow crops.  You need to have good soil and may want to pick up some bags of potting soil for your crops.  If the dirt is hard and seems like clay, then you need to mix in some good top so that your vegetables will grow.  As you continue to grow the garden, the more nutrient rich the soil will become. As years go on, the garden soil takes on a life of its own so that you will not need top soil.

It is a good idea to stake off where you want to have your garden with some stakes and string. This way you know where you plan to dig and will have an even looking garden.   After you have prepared the area by sectioning it off and getting the necessary supplies that you need to prepare the garden, you can then start digging.

Preparing The Soil

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This is the hardest part of growing your own vegetables.  It is hard labor to dig up the soil and turn it.  It is even more difficult if you have grass or rocks in the place where you want to have your garden.  If you have grass, for example, you will want to dig up the grass and put it in the wheelbarrow, taking it to a compost heap in your yard and getting rid of it.  You are going to need a lot more soil in the area as you will have several inches dug into the ground when you are finished.

Use the wheelbarrow to transport the grass or weeds that you did up and get rid of them.  The soil for your garden should be as pure as possible and devoid of any weeds, rocks or clay.  If you are stuck with clay under the grass, you can turn it over with the spade and mix in some good top soil.

START BY DIGGING

Start by digging out a small section of the ground and continue going until you have dug up the entire garden.  It is best to do this a day after a rain.  Not just after a rain, otherwise it will be very muddy.  But if you do this after it has rained within a few days, the ground will be a lot softer and easier to manage.

Once you get rid of all of the rocks, weeds and grass, you can then start to turn over the soil.  You do this by using the spade to dig up the soil and then flipping it over.  You should do this throughout the entire garden.  You can use the end of the spade to chop up any clumps in the soil.  The soil needs to be as smooth as possible before you plant.

After you have turned over all of the soil, use the garden hoe to chop up the soil even more. You can make the soil have a fine consistency if you so choose, but you have to work at it.  You have to keep chopping and tilling the soil.

If you want to have the best results with your vegetable garden, you need to get the soil to the point where it falls easily between your hands when you pick it up.  The two ways to do this is to dig out the garden a half a foot down and fill it with top soil, or use the soil that you have, chopping it up as much as you can before you plant.  The latter is the least expensive option and, despite the fact that it sounds difficult, is just as hard as digging into the ground and pulling up clay.

USE TOP SOIL

Once you have the soil to the point where it has all been turned over and chopped up,  is rid of clumps of dirt, rocks and weeds or grass, you can then add several bags of top soil to the mix.  Top soil is a fine grain of soil that will enable your plants grow even better.  You can also choose fertilizer soil.  This will also allow your plants to grow well.  You want to give your plants a boost by adding in a store bought soil as this will make it easier for them to adjust to their new home.  Fertilizer may not seem like something that you want to handle, but it is organic and does work very well to allow for plants to grow to their maximum potential.

After you have added bags of top soil or fertilizer, take the garden rake and then smooth the ground over.  You should use the rake to mix in all of the soil and make sure that the soil is flat and easy for planting.  It should be loose but even.

CREATE ROWS FOR WALKING

Once you have done this, you can make rows between the areas where you want to plant the crops.  The crops should sit up higher than these rows that will allow you to walk between the crops for maintenance, and also allow any rain to fall off into the rows.  Creating mini-drainage ditches in your garden is not absolutely necessary, but can help you if you live in an area where there is a lot of rain.  While water is naturally important for crops to grow, too much can end up flooding out your garden.  In most areas, there is not a lot of rain in the summer months, so this is not crucial.  Be sure, however, to visualize a row between the planting rows where you will be able to walk and take care of the plants as well as harvest the vegetables that grow in the garden.

PROTECT YOUR GARDEN FROM ANIMALS

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Once you have properly tilled the soil and prepared it for planting, you need to use chicken wire or some sort of fencing around the garden area.  This will keep the rabbits and other critters out of your garden.  Rabbits will have a field day with your crops if you do not protect them.  If you are growing vegetables to save money, it hardly makes sense to give away half of your crops to the rabbits.

Chicken wire will keep out any animals such as rabbits, raccoons or possum in the area.  It may not look attractive, but you can always back it up with a more attractive looking picket fence if you feel the need.  Just remember that the wooden fences are useless when it comes to keeping out rabbits and other creatures as they gnaw right through.   Chicken wire will protect your garden from animals.

After you have quartered off the garden with your wire and the soil is ready for planting, you are ready to start planting your vegetables.

Proper Planting

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Proper planting for your garden  is needed for your vegetables to take root and thrive.  You must space them apart the proper distance in the soil and also take any other precautions that are needed to get them to grow.  You should have a foot between each of the plants that you are planting in your garden, and a foot and half between corn and pumpkins.  It may look silly at first, when you plant your garden, to see the plants so far apart.  But as the plants grow from tiny plants to large plants, you will start to see the difference.

Before you start planting your vegetables in your vegetable garden, make sure that you have the following:

  • Garden gloves
  • Hand spade
  • Potting soil
  • Wheelbarrow

If you are borrowing a wheelbarrow from a neighbor, you are going to want to borrow it again for planting.  You can transport all of your plants at once to the garden area and then plant them.  A wheelbarrow is not a very expensive investment for a gardener and can help you even when it comes time for harvest.  Assuming that you have a place to keep the wheelbarrow, you will have many uses for this product.

If at all possible, you should schedule your planting for before a rain. You want to make sure that the weather is on an even keel and that there should not be any more frosts.  Ideally, the ground should be dewy when you get up in the morning so that the crops will get plenty of moisture.  As the weather gets warmer, you will most likely not have this dew in the morning and you will have to pay close attention to hydrating the crops.

When you are planting from plants, you will need to dig a hole in the ground with a hand spade that is deep enough for the plant. You want to leave as much of the original soil around the plant in which it grew so it can get used to the new earth.  Planting takes time and patience and you want to be sure that you are spacing the plants properly.  Use potting soil around the plant to make it even more fine and inviting for the plant.

Depending on the size of the garden, planting the garden can take you a day, or at least the better part of the sunlight.  For the most part, the preparation and planting of the garden can be done in one nice weekend.  Once you have planted the plants into the ground, you will then want to water them and also feed them.

FEEDING THE PLANTS

You can buy plant feeder for vegetables at your local gardening store.  You put it in a container and then squirt it onto the plants.  Look for all natural, organic products that will help your plants grow even stronger.  For the most part, however, the vegetables will grow as long as they get sunlight and water.  These are the two main components to healthy plants.  And each year, the soil will become even more enriched with vitamins and minerals and easier for plants to grow.

You can also use spikes in the ground that can add as plant feeders.  Spikes can be a bit more costly, but they can add the necessary nutrients to the soil that your plants need to get the most growth.  You can add spikes to the plants once a week to keep them growing strong.

Some plants, such as tomato plants, need to have sticks or cages around them so that they can grow up.  While most vegetables grow close to the ground, tomatoes are  a fruit that grows on a vine.  You need to put special cages or sticks to get the tomato plants off of the ground and growing up.  This will enable the plants to blossom and them form the fruit.

TOMATO CAGES

Get some cheap tomato cages at the gardening store.  These are made of wire and will last for years.  Place each of these cages around each tomato plant.  As the tomato plants continue to grow, you can use twist ties to fasten the plant to the cages, forcing it to grow upright instead of laying on the ground.  While you can use sticks for the same purpose, cages are easy to use, easy to put into the ground and work better. Sticks only offer one way up, but cages allow the plant to flourish.  Put the tomato cages in the ground, surrounding the plant, after you plant them.  It will then be easier to start to get the vine to creep up the cages as the plant continues to grow.

Once you have completed your planting, water your garden.  You want to water it so that the water puddles a bit in the garden, but not so that it is drenched.  You should also look for the weather report to see if you expect rain.  If rain is expected, water the garden a little bit and then let Mother Nature take its course and water the garden for you.  Once the garden has been planted, you need to make sure that it remains hydrated, fed and secure from animals.

Caring For Growing Plants

Caring for growing plants require that you look after them on a daily basis.  Not only do you have to make sure that they are watered, but you also have to remove any weeds that grow in the garden that will choke the nutrients from your plants.  In order to care for growing plants, you need the following equipment:

  • Plant feeder
  • Watering can or hose with gentle spray
  • Hand hoe
  • Gardening gloves

Each day, you will want to take a look at your garden to see how your plants are doing.  You should pull any weeds that are in the ground as well as water the garden.  While you will not need to water the garden after rain, obviously, you will still want to look at the garden after a rainfall to see if the plants are stable and to pull any weeds.  Remember that weeds will grow just as much if not more in the setting you have created.

If you look at your garden every day and tend to it, you will have less of a problem with maintenance.  Your routine should be to take a look at the garden each night, just as the sun goes down and it is settling into dusk.  It is best to water the garden at this time, rather than in the hot sun as the plants can burn.  The plants should always be hydrated, but not soaking.  While there is nothing that you can do about rainstorms, you do not want to always be soaking your plants.

Feed the plants regularly with plant food that is organic.  You can get a plant food spreader that looks like a plastic bottle with a hose attached to it to spray your plants.  This will give them additional nutrients and provide you with better vegetables.  Feed the plants once a week for best results.

GET RID OF INSECTS!

Insects can play havoc around your plants and rabbits are very ornery creatures that tend to go through great extremes to get at those vegetables.   One way that you can scare off rabbits is to trick the creatures into thinking that their natural predators are around.  Rabbits are afraid of cats and dogs, two animals that prey on them.  You can buy a spray that smells like the scent of dog or cat urine and put it around the area surrounding the garden.  This should keep rabbits and other animals at bay.

Insects can be more problematic and many people resort to using pesticides to get rid of insects that will eat the leaves and can harm the plants.    Pesticides are usually a bad idea.  While commercial farmers dust crops using pesticides, they contain benzene, a carcinogen, and are not something that you want to have around.  You are better off to use either a natural spray to get rid of bugs such as a citronella.  Some bugs, like the hornworm, a bug that attacks tomato bushes, are hard to get rid of even with pesticides.  Natural sprays will help get rid of some bugs and keep others from doing too much damage.    While you naturally want to grow as many crops as you can and save as much money as you can when it comes to buying vegetables for your grocery bill, you do not want to do it at the expense of your own health or that of your family.  Accept the fact that some crops will get attacked, but not many if you are out there diligently using all natural products to rid the plants of bugs and remove weeds.

GET RID OF WEEDS!

Remember to pull weeds as soon as you see them. If it is too difficult for you to pull weeds every night when you get home from work, you should make it a habit to pull them once a week.  Again, it is better to pull weeds after the rain as they will come up easily. The weeds must be pulled by the roots in order for it to make any difference.  Use garden gloves and a garden hoe to pull up weeds and get rid of them.  Put all weeds into a compost pile.

If you see earthworms while you are tending to your garden, do not kill them.  They are actually a gardener’s best friend, despite the fact that they are slimy and not much to look at.  They do not harm the crops.  In fact, they turn the soil so that the crops aerate even better.  Earthworms are often found in bags of top soil.

MAKE SURE SOIL DOES NOT ERODE

Speaking of soil, check the soil around the plants to see if some of it has eroded.  In some cases, rains will erode some of the soil around your plants, making it difficult for them to grow.  You should always have a bag of top soil or potting soil on hand to put around the plants, especially after the rain, so that they can continue to grow.

If you tend to your garden on a regular basis, you can expect good results.  One of the problems that most people have with gardens is that they plant them and then forget about them.  Or they see bugs and think that the entire garden is infested.  Or they don’t want to pull weeds.  Despite neglect, some vegetables will still grow, but you will not get the results that you need and certainly not be able to save substantial amounts of money on your food bill if you do not maintain your garden regularly.  You will find that this not only allows you to save money for your family on the grocery bill, but it will also give you a sense of peace.

FIND PEACE IN THE GARDEN

 One of the things that the bad economy has brought out in people is anxiety and stress over money.  An increasing number of people are going to the doctor for anxiety and stress and are worried over money.   Most people who find themselves sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office will end up walking out of that office with some sort of prescription.  Instead of taking drugs because you are worried about the economy, you can actually do something about it and start gardening. 

 Gardening is more than just a useful hobby that can help you save money on your food bill by growing vegetables.  It is actually a way to relieve stress and find peace.  Most people who garden report that they lose themselves in the gardening process and find peace.  This is not only a way to grow vegetables, but also a way to get outside, do something physical and get relief from stress.  You cannot lose when it comes to gardening in your own vegetable garden. 

Take care of your garden regularly and it will take care of you.  By looking after it, watering it, making sure that the weeds are pulled and that it remains insect and bunny free, you can look forward to a nice harvest.

How To Harvest Plants

All of your hard work has paid off and you actually have a bunch of vegetables grown in your garden.  You can look to the chart written earlier as to when you can expect them to come in, although you will know when they are ready simply by looking at them.  Root vegetables are a bit more difficult to tell when they are ready, although you can usually tell by the maturity of the leaves and vines on the ground.  Onions, for example, will have very firm stalks.

Tomatoes will continue to keep coming.  They are different than other vegetables in that they tend to produce more rapidly.  You can start removing tomatoes from the vines as soon as you see them grow a bit red.  One way that you can allow them to get red is to pick them when they are slightly orange and then leave them in the sun.  They will grow a nice shade of red.

Start looking towards your early to mid summer harvest vegetables right away and taking them out of the garden and into your home.  If you are like most people, you will have an abundance of tomatoes.   The early summer vegetables need to be preserved quickly as they will not sit around for months on end.  You should use bushel baskets to collect your vegetable harvest and plan how you want to preserve them.

Harvest time entails a lot more work than planting time.  While preparing a garden and planting can easily be accomplished in a weekend, a proper harvest takes more than just pulling vegetables off of the vines and out of the ground and cooking them.  It means preserving them for the winter.  Remember, the purpose of your “victory garden” is to gain a victory over the bad economy and save $100 a month on your food bill.  You may even save more if you plant more.

As soon as the vegetables start coming in, start to use them in meals.  In order to save as much money on your food bill as possible, you should incorporate as many vegetables as you can in every meal.  You can prepare them in a number of different ways in order to provide your family with treats that are good for them, totally organic and filling.   In the next chapter we will deal with how you can preserve these vegetables for later use.  For now, we will talk about the harvest.

WHAT IS A HARVEST LIKE?

The harvest of the vegetables is not like you see on TV.  The crops come in at different times and you will most likely always be pulling something from the garden.   You will have a ball coming up with exciting summer recipes that incorporate the use of these crops.  But despite the fact that you and your family are eating more vegetables and you are saving on your food bill, you are still going to have some left over.

Keep the harvested vegetables in a cool, dry place until you are ready to preserve them for future use.  Many people choose to use weekend time to “put up” vegetables so that they can be used throughout the year.  Until you are ready to deal with the vegetables, you should be sure to harvest them as they grow so that you can continue to reap the harvest and more vegetables will grow in their place.  When you are cooking vegetables to eat, be sure to use the first picked so that you keep the freshest vegetables for canning, freezing or pickling.

Tomatoes are the fastest growing and are the most versatile when it comes to meals.  You can make spaghetti sauce, salsa or salads – just to name a few things – with tomatoes.  As time wears on and you continue to garden, you can even learn to make your own ketchup and tomato paste using the tomatoes from your garden.

Green tomatoes can be a tasty treat if you fry them.  Wash a green tomato and cut it in round slices.  Dip each  slice into a beaten egg and then coat it with bread crumbs mixed with shredded Parmesan cheese.  Fry in olive oil  until brown on each side.  This is a tasty treat and filling.

You can also do the same thing with eggplant that you grow from your garden, although  you will want to peal the eggplant first.  Eggplant can be used as a meat as it is so thick and filling.  You can make an eggplant veggie burger for a meal.

Use the vegetables that you harvest from your garden and store those that are not in use in a cool dry place.   On weekends, you can start to can or preserve vegetables so that they are ready for the upcoming months.  Two of the earliest vegetables that you will be canning or preserving will be tomatoes and cucumbers.  Others early vegetables that will need to be preserved early, while you are still harvesting the later summer vegetables are peppers and onions.   You will most likely be working to preserve each weekend in the months of August and September.  This is all part of the harvest and will allow you to make the most of your vegetable garden and save money on future food bills.  Once you get used to doing this, you will be able to save even more money as you will most likely branch out and grow more vegetables and fruits.

The harvest time is a time for much work, but it is all worth it.  Preserving vegetables and fruits may seem daunting at first, but is really easy once you get the hang of it.  You can also just freeze vegetables as well, making it very simple to preserve them.

One of the reasons why people had parties after a harvest was to celebrate the crops they harvested that year as well as treat themselves for a job well done.  Once your harvest is over, you will have plenty of vegetables to last you until next year and you and your family can not only save money each month on your food bill, but will also be eating healthier.

Preserving Vegetables And Fruits

There are many ways that you can preserve vegetables and fruits.  Fruits are often cooked and then canned, such as jellies, jams and preserves.   Fruits are easy to can and only need to undergo a hot water process that seals the wax on the ring of the canning jar.  This is easy to do.  Tomatoes can be canned in this manner.

Preserving vegetables, however, is another matter.  Canning vegetables requires a pressure cooker and a lot of knowledge.  You can get Botulism from not canning vegetables properly.  Unless you have experience with using a pressure cooker, you are better off to preserve vegetables in different ways such as pickling or freezing.  Each vegetable and fruit has different ways that are ideal for preservation.  Here is a run down on all of the different ways that you can preserve vegetables that you have grown in your garden and save money:

Canning

This process works best with tomatoes.  You need to use sterilized canning jars with wax rings and lids.  Wash the jars in the dishwasher  before adding the tomatoes.  The tomatoes should be washed and peeled.  To peel a tomato, put it in hot water and it will easily peel in your hands.  You should put the tomatoes in the jars and fill up with sterile water.  Put on the rings and lids and boil the jars in a canning pot for 20 minutes.  After you remove them from the canning pot, you should hear the lids making a slight pop noise that means they are sealed.

You can also cook the tomatoes and add spices to make salsa or spaghetti sauces, or just cooked tomatoes, and also use the same process.  The main concern is to make sure all instruments and jars are sterile. You can buy canning jars and pots at your grocery store.  Once sealed, the jars should be stored in a cool, dark place and can be used throughout the year.

Pickling 

Pickling is used for cucumbers and onions and involves using sea salts and vinegar to preserve the vegetables for a period of time.  Pickling can also be accomplished using alcohol, although this is rarely done with vegetables.  In order to pickle any vegetables, you need to follow the same process as in canning with regard to sterilization, and then do the hot water bath.  Because they are preserved in alcohol, you do not have to worry about bacteria forming.  Use the hot water bath to make sure the jars are sealed and then sore in a cool, dry place.

Freezing

Freezing is one of the easiest ways that you can preserve vegetables.  Many people who want to save money on their grocery bills invest in a deep freezer.  This can store all of the vegetables for you.  You need to use containers or freezer bags that will lock out air and preserve the vegetables.  Place cleaned vegetables in the freezer bags or containers and stick them in the freezer after sealing.  This only takes a few minute and works well with corn, peppers, eggplant, broccoli and carrots.  It does not work for lettuce or potatoes.  Lettuce will turn to mush in the freezer and potatoes will get black.

Root Cellar

Root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, turnips and carrots can be stored in a root cellar for the entire year.  If you do not have a root cellar, read the next chapter and you can learn how you can create your own root cellar to store your vegetables.  You can also store them in a basement, provided it is cool and unheated.  Root vegetables can last a year if properly stores, but it has to be in a cool and dark place.

By preserving as many as the vegetables as you can, you will be able to continue to save money throughout the year with the vegetables that you have grown in your own garden.

Creating A Root Cellar

A root cellar was used to store vegetables as well as other food supplies long before electricity came along.  Today, because so many people are looking for a way to save money and eat healthier, organic foods by growing their own vegetables, many people are creating their own root cellars.  This requires a parcel of ground where you can dig down and line with rocks. Many people create roots cellars in their back yards under a shed.  You would have a latch door in the floor of the shed that opens and allows you to step down a small ladder into the root cellar.

The root cellar has to be covered to avoid any type of accidents or any animal getting into the cellar.  You should line the walls and floor of the root cellar with stones to prevent bugs from getting into the cellar.  Products that are stored in the root cellar should be stored in brown sacks to further protect them from rain or insects.  The root cellar should be covered at all times when not in use.

Before you start digging on your property, call out your local utility companies so that they can mark out where your utilities are located.  You never want to dig on your property unless you know where the utilities are located so that you do not uproot a wire or cable.

A root cellar will enable you to store turnips, carrots, potatoes, onions and squash for longer periods of time.  If you live in a house where you have a cellar, you can usually use this as your root cellar.  You can even create your own root cellar indoors by using a wood container that you make yourself to store the vegetables.  This container can be kept in a cool, dark place (preferably the basement) to store your vegetables.  There are “build your own root cellar” kits online that you can use for this purpose.  You will probably find this easier than digging your own root cellar on your property.

If you do not have room for a root cellar, you can cook potatoes and freeze them instead of storing them in a root cellar.  Turnips and carrots can be frozen uncooked and will be fine. Be sure to peel them before freezing.

A root cellar is the ideal place to store all of your preserved foods as it is cool and dark.  Whether you decide to quarter off part of the basement to build a root cellar for your vegetables or build your on, you will find that all of your root vegetables have much more staying power when you store them in a cool, dark place.

Indoor Gardens For Herbs

Pixabay Image 780736

While you’re saving a ton of money by growing your own vegetables, you can even save more money by growing your own herbs.  The beauty about growing herbs is that you can grow them indoors and all year long. Most herbs just need a little bit of sunlight and water and will grow just fine.

Herbs will flavor your foods in a totally natural way and can also be dried or frozen for later use.  Fresh herbs, when mixed with the vegetables from your garden, can make for delicious and healthy meals for your family.  Not only will you save money at the grocery store, but you will find that fresh herbs taste better than the freeze dried variety that you find in the store.  And they are completely natural, organic and have no preservatives.

You can grow herbs from seeds in your own indoor herb garden.  You just need to find a place where you will keep your garden and where it will be safe from spilling due to children and pets.  You can purchase a kit to grow herbs or just grow them yourself.  You just need potting containers, soil and seeds.  Plant the seeds deep into the soil, or as directed on the seed packet, and water.  Put the container in an area where it can get the most sunlight and water every day.  As the herbs begin to mature, you can harvest the leaves from these plants and use them in different foods.  They contain no pesticides and are completely natural.  You do not have to preserve them as they can grow all year long.  If you would like, you can always put them in a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer.  Fresh herbs taste best and cost only pennies to grow.

GROW VEGETABLES FROM SEEDS

In addition to growing your fresh herbs indoors, you can also grow vegetables from seeds using the same concept.  Growing vegetables from seeds can be done in the winter months so that the plants are ready to be transplanted into the garden in the spring.  Every vegetable has a different growth time period, so follow the directions on the package of seeds as to when you plant.  If you set aside an area in your home that gets an adequate amount of sunlight and is safe from children and pets, you can have an indoor garden for growing vegetable plants from seeds to save you even more money.  Furthermore, because you grew them yourself, you know that they are free from any pesticides or toxins.

Growing vegetables from seeds is not difficult.  Just make sure that you follow directions as to how much sunlight they need as well as the amount of water that they require.  If you take care of the plants every day, chances are that you will have quite a few healthy, sturdy plants for your garden when it comes planting time.

GROW HERBS OUTDOORS, TOO! 

While we talked earlier in this chapter about growing herbs indoors, they are not only for the indoors.  You can grow herbs outdoors in the warm months as well.  Many people enjoy growing herbs out of doors because they will grow larger and yield more benefits.  It is always a good idea to plant a few herbs in your garden that you can harvest when you  harvest the rest of the vegetables.  If you are the type of person who dislikes growing any type of plant indoors, has small children and pets or just does not have adequate sunlight in your home, you can grow herbs outdoors and harvest them in the same way you would vegetables.  Fresh herbs can be dried or frozen for preservation and use later on.

How Much Can You Save?

Once you get into vegetable gardening, you will find that you are not only having a good time, but saving money.  Last year, I ended up saving $100 a month off of my food bill, but this year I plan to save even more.

After discussing my savings and techniques with friends who also like to garden, I found that they are saving even more money.  One thing that all gardeners have told me is that the soil continues to get richer with each passing year, yielding better crops.  You also get to know what your family will eat and won’t eat when you are vegetable gardening  and can skip some vegetables that are not very popular with the family.

Another thing that you learn as you go on with vegetable gardening is how much each crop yields.  This is something that you have to see for yourself.  I was unprepared as to how many tomatoes and cucumbers I was going to get last year, but this year, I know to plant less plants and more broccoli, as those plants did not yield as many vegetables.  This will enable me to save even more money.

By growing my vegetable plants from seeds, I will also save more money.  I discussed my techniques with those who have been growing their own vegetables for years and they laughed when I told them of my idea for a book – as they have known these secrets to gardening their entire lives and have always saved money.   It amazes many who were brought up in the country to know that there are people out there like you and me who do not know that you can save money by growing your own vegetables.

The tips that you read in this book have been practiced not only by me, but by my mentors.  They are easy enough for anyone to follow, but they do take work.   The work will pay off for you when you see how healthy your family is eating as well as how much money you are saving.

While I saved $100 a month growing my own vegetables, I spoke to a friend who said she saves about $300 a month growing her own vegetables.  Her family tends to eat a lot of vegetables because she has been growing them for a few years and they prefer to eat home grown products.

DECLARE VICTORY WITH YOUR OWN VICTORY GARDEN!

If you are fed up with the ever rising cost of food and the constant worry about the economy and job security, it is time that you do something about it.  Instead of worrying, take action and declare victory against the recession with your own victory garden.  Just like your grandparents or great grandparents did during WWII, you can supplement your food budget by growing your own vegetables at home and save at least $100 a month off of your food bill!

Hydroponic gardening can be VERY complicated, with computers and sensors controlling everything from watering cycles to nutrient strength and the amount of light that the plants receive.
On the other hand, hydroponics can also be incredibly simple, a hand watered bucket of sand with a single plant is also a method of hydroponic gardening. Most hobby oriented hydroponics systems are somewhere between the two extremes mentioned above.
The “average” home hydroponic system usually consists of a few basic parts: a growing tray, a reservoir, a simple timer controlled submersible pump to water the plants and an air pump and air stone to oxygenate the nutrient solution. Of course, light (either natural or artificial) is also required.

2016-08-25_1137Hydroponic gardening can be VERY complicated, with computers and sensors controlling everything from watering cycles to nutrient strength and the amount of light that the plants receive.
On the other hand, hydroponics can also be incredibly simple, a hand watered bucket of sand with a single plant is also a method of hydroponic gardening. Most hobby oriented hydroponics systems are somewhere between the two extremes mentioned above.

The “average” home hydroponic system usually consists of a few basic parts: a growing tray, a reservoir, a simple timer controlled submersible pump to water the plants and an air pump and air stone to oxygenate the nutrient solution. Of course, light (either natural or artificial) is also required.

History of Hydroponics.
Hydroponics basically means working water (“hydro” means “water” and “ponos” means “labor”). Many different civilizations have utilized hydroponic growing techniques throughout history. As noted in Hydroponic Food Production (Fifth Edition, Woodbridge Press, 1997, page 23) by Howard M. Resh: “The hanging gardens of Babylon, the floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico and those of the Chinese are examples of ‘Hydroponic’ culture. Egyptian hieroglyphic records dating back several hundred years B.C. describe the growing of plants in water.” Hydroponics is hardly a new method of growing plants. However, giant strides have been made over the years in this innovative area of agriculture.

Throughout the last century, scientists and horticulturists experimented with different methods of hydroponics. One of the potential applications of hydroponics that drove research was for growing fresh produce in nonarable areas of the world. It is a simple fact that some people cannot grow in the soil in their area (if there is even any soil at all). This application of hydroponics was tested during World War II. Troops stationed on nonarable islands in the Pacific were supplied with fresh produce grown in locally established hydroponic systems. Later in the century, hydroponics was integrated into the space program. As NASA considered the practicalities of locating a society on another plant or the Earth’s moon, hydroponics easily fit into their sustainability plans. This research is ongoing.

But by the 1970s, it wasn’t just scientists and analysts who were involved in hydroponics. Traditional farmers and eager hobbyists began to be attracted to the virtues of hydroponic growing. A few of the positive aspects of hydroponics include:.

● The ability to produce higher yields than traditional, soil-based agriculture

● Allowing food to be grown and consumed in areas of the world that cannot support crops in the soil

● Eliminating the need for massive pesticide use (considering most pests live in the soil), effectively making our air, water, soil, and food cleaner

Commercial growers are flocking to hydroponics like never before. The ideals surrounding these growing techniques touch on subjects that most people care about, such as helping end world hunger and making the world cleaner. In addition to the extensive research that is going on, everyday people from all over the world have been building (or purchasing) their own systems to grow great-tasting, fresh food for their family and friends. Educators are realizing the amazing applications that hydroponics can have in the classroom. And ambitious individuals are striving to make their dreams come true by making their living in their backyard greenhouse, selling their produce to local markets and restaurants.

General Hydroponics.
Crops
Crops produced in today’s modern greenhouse ranges are many and varied. They can be loosely categorized as follows:

● vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, fancy lettuces, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and a host of minor ones such as radish, melon and strawberry

● cut flowers e.g. roses, mums, carnations

● potted flowers e.g. geraniums, azalea, poinsettia, tulip

● numerous bedding plants

Growing Media
Porous, well aerated substrate are used as anchorage for the plants root system and feeding area. Rockwool and Heydite are the most popular as they are most readily available, and easiest to use and transport. There are various other mediums which are not as widely used.
Growing Techniques
There are different ways to bring water to the plants.

● Nutrient Film Technique,

● Drip-Irrigation or Micro-Irrigation,

● Aeroponics / Deep Water Culture,

● Flood & Drain,

● Home Hobbyist Systems,

● Passive Planters / Hydroculture.

Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
In an outdoor garden the CO2 level in the air is about 300 parts per million (ppm). Plants thrive when they are able to take in a higher level of CO2. Growers today monitor their greenhouse CO2 levels with special purpose control monitors which in turn operate CO2 burners or generators to replenish CO2 consumed by the plants.

HAF (Horizontal Air Flow)
Working with CO2 enrichment and indeed an important part of the greenhouse environment is horizontal air flow. Conceived in the late seventies following research involving finer aspects of greenhouse air circulation, horizontal air flow, or HAF as it is now referred to, is widely used.

Security
Commercial growers end up with very sizeable portions of their yearly turnover as work-in-process. The closer the crop gets to harvest, the higher the risk of catastrophic loss, should a key part of the greenhouse’s climate control system fail. Accordingly, growers go to great lengths to protect themselves. Early warning is a vital part of their security. Most now employ automatic phone dialers with electronic voice simulation to alert them of impending problems long before serious crop damage can occur.

Biologicals
Environmental concerns are uppermost in the minds of today’s consuming public. The horticultural industry has been working for many years to reduce its dependence on chemical pesticides, many of which have been linked to cancers. Numbers of key pesticides have been deregistered for particular crops, others have been removed from the market altogether. Promising advances have been made in the use of predator insects in greenhouse ranges as natural biological control against pest insects. While much work remains to be done to educate the grower in their use, progressive members of the industry are now well on their way to 100% biological insect control.

Bumble Bees

300by300-01Until recently, pollination of greenhouse tomato crops was accomplished with a labourious method of fruit truss vibration utilizing battery operated hand-held vibrators (“electric bees”) manually touched against mature flower sets. It was a strictly artificial way of simulating natural pollination in the absence of a natural outdoor environment where wind and insects are the vectors. In today’s modern tomato ranges, hives of bumble bees are placed strategically amongst the crop and left to accomplish naturally what has been, until now a monotonous and tedious task for greenhouse staff.

Lighting
In order to get the best possible results from a Controlled Environment Agriculture System, we will need to bring the spectrum and intensity of sunlight indoors. This is accomplished using High Intensity Discharge lamps. These lamps, in conjunction with specially designed luminaries, will reflect light downwards to plants, where it may be utilized to the maximum.

Climate Controls
Modern greenhouses employ advanced environment control aids such as relays, humidistats, thermostats, CO2 injection systems and fans which are often controlled by a central computer. Smaller systems employ various individual control units.

Bioponics
The organic hydroponic display or Bioponics, we believe, is of significant interest to both commercial and hobby growers. This method employs an organic tea based nutrient solution with added microbial agents to facilitate their breakdown into mineral elements which plants are able to take in.

Controlled Environment Agriculture Systems

Commercial Structures
Today’s commercial greenhouses are constructed of galvanized steel, extruded aluminum, fibreglass, polycarbonate, acrylic, polyethylene and glass. The percentage of each, comprising a typical structure, varies by type of design.
Loosely categorized, the following basic shapes and styles are prevalent:

● freestanding grade to grade hoop houses (quonset) clad in polyethylene, double polyethylene, corrugated fibreglass sheet, or plastic composite structured panels

● linked or gutter-connected straight-wall hoop houses clad in polyethylene, double polyethylene and so on as above

● linked or gutter-connected straight-wall hoop houses clad in curved automotive glass

● linked or gutter-connected straight-wall peaked houses clad in flat tempered glass. This style of range breaks down into three further subcategories:

– single peak gutter-to-gutter

– double peak with floating gutter

– triple peak with two floating gutters

All of the above styles or designs of greenhouses are popular, the grower selecting which he will build based on crop to be grown, usage pattern, seasonal pattern, as well as economic considerations.

● Nutrient control insures that the plants get the minerals they need at the right pH and temperature.

● Faster growth then soil grown plants.

● No weeds. The medium is mostly inert and unless it is out doors, there is no way for weed seeds to get into the growing medium.

● No guess work about what nutrients are going to the plant.

● Easy to correct for plant deficiencies.

● No backbreaking soil conditioning.

● The water has all the nutrients that is required by the plants. The roots don’t have to grow bigger looking for food. The growth of the plant goes mostly to the upper plant.

● Plants can be spaced closer together then in soil. Spacing is dependent only on the space needed to supply adequate light to the plant.

● Garden can be at a good working height.

● Up to twenty times the amount of plants can be grown in the same space in hydroponics then in soil.

● No soil to harbor bugs.

● Healthy plants have better taste.

● Healthy plants resist insect infestations. Less insecticide is needed.

● Educational for children of all ages learning about plant growth.

● Faster growth so that more then one crop can be raised in a season.

● Can be made portable so that you can move it from classroom to classroom or take it with you when you move.

● Ground is left undisturbed on rented property.

● Condensed growing methods make better use of greenhouse space.

● Consumes 1/10 the water that field crops do.

● Conversation piece.

● Good past time for those that likes to tinker.

● It’s something the Jones’ don’t have. 🙂

Some disadvantages to growing plants in hydroponics are;

● Higher cost to get started then soil culture.

● System failure could result in a lost crop if not caught right away. Some systems can go days before damage occurs.

Watering Methods
All the plants needs are supplied by water. The roots are placed in an inert growing medium. Water, enriched with all the nutrients the plants need, is supplied to the roots by several different methods.

1. Aeroponics; the roots are sprayed with the nutrient solution. This method ensures that the roots get plenty of oxygen to the root system. It has not been proven that this method helps to make plants grow any faster then in other methods. It has some inherent problems such as nozzles getting plugged up. One of the more expensive methods of hydroponics.
2. Ebb and flow; also called flood and drain. Periodically floods the medium. As the water drains out new air comes in. Not as hard to maintain as an aeroponics system. Roots can plug up waterways however.
3. NFT; the Nutrient Film Technique is one of the methods most often used by commercial growers. Plant roots are contained in a channel through which a thin “film” of nutrient solution passes. The nutrient solution is aerated and recycled with the addition of makeup water.
4. Run to waste; in this method the nutrient is fed to the plants at near the same rate as the plants use the water. In all the other methods, the nutrient solution returns to a tank to be recycled. This system is the cheapest to get started, however, it requires a lot of monitoring to insure the plants are getting enough nutrient but at the same time not getting too much nutrient. Plants will only take up the nutrients it needs. On sunny days they take up mostly water and leave the nutrients behind to build up. The built up salts must be purged from the system one or two times a week. This system wastes the most nutrients.

Systems
Plants most generally have to be stared in a small amount of medium before they can be placed in the growing area. Seeds are started with no nutrients in the water. Seeds have their own food and don’t require any additional nutrients until the first set of leaves appear. Nutrient is added at half strength to encourage root development until it’s transplanted. Then full strength nutrients are used for the rest of the plants growth. There are two kinds of formulas for plants. One promotes the vegetative growth and the other promotes Fruiting. A system that has both types of plants will have to have one or the other formulas depending on which crop is more important. There are two methods of growing systems, horizontal and vertical. The following are systems:

● Bag culture; used commercially in run to waste systems. The hobbyiest can also use this inexpensive method in a recirculating system. Bags are filled with a lightweight medium and nutrient is fed to each bag by inexpensive spaghetti tubes. Has the advantage of being able to space the plants as they mature.

● Tomatoes in bag culture.

● Gutter/NFT; A lot of hobbyiests have tried just about everything with this type system.

1. Manufactured channels; Square corners help to prevent damming.
2. Rain gutter; Metal gutter can oxidize and add undesirable materials to the nutrient
solution. Line with plastic sheet. Plastic gutters require total support to keep it strait.
3. PVC pipe; most hobbyiests use PVC pipes with holes drilled for plants. This system is usually more expensive then bag culture. Too often the roots clog up the waterways and dam the water causing root rot. Aeration in the root zone may become a problem.

● Beds; are extra wide channels. Beds can be filled with a growing medium or pots can be placed in the bed so that they will pick up the water from the bed through a wicking action. Pots are the most versatile. Plants can be spaced to meet the plants needs. I use this method for houseplants and for starting seeds. A 1/4 inch of water can be maintained in beds with pots. Water must be drained well in filled beds. Beds can be made from any material that will hold the weight of the plants and the medium. A plastic film can be used to line construction. Nutrient solution is usually aerated and returned to the bed.

 

2016-08-25_1202Although there is no soil in a hydroponic garden, the plants must still be anchored. There is a wide range of inert materials which can be used to support plant roots and we call them “growing mediums”. Heydite, clay pellets, Perlite, vermiculite, and Rockwool are the most popular media. The hydroponic media that work best are pH neutral, provide ample support for plants, retain moisture, and allow space for good air exchange. The type of media you choose will depend on the size and type of plants you wish to grow, and the type of hydroponic system being used. For continuous drip systems, course media such as Heydite (a porous shale) or Hydrocorn (clay pellets) are best. The 1/4 ” to3/4 ” pebbles provide enough free drainage and air space to take advantage of continuous feeding. These media also provide good anchorage for larger plants, and are easy to clean and re-use indefinitely.

 

2016-08-25_1203Rockwool is also another popular medium. Made from rock which has been melted and spun into fibrous cubes and growing slabs with the texture of insulation, Rockwool provides roots with a good balance of water/oxygen. Small cubes are used for starting seeds and cuttings, 3″ or 4″ cubes for small plants or intermediate growth, and slabs for larger plants. Rockwool can be used with continuous drip or flood and drain systems. Although it is possible to sterilize and re-use Rockwool, most often it is used only once.
Perlite, made from volcanic rock, is a white, light weight material often used as a soil additive. The 1/8″ to 1/4″ pellets can be used alone as growing medium, but don’t provide enough anchorage for large plants. Perlite is often used to start seed and cuttings, which can easily transplanted after rooting. Vermiculite is use the same way as Perlite, and the two are sometimes mixed together. It is made from heat expanded mica and has a flaky, shiny appearance. Soilless mix such as Pro-mix BX, and Pro-mix lite has the appearance and texture of light soil. Mainly peatmoss, mixed with Perlite, it contains very little nutrient, and is used a a soil additive, or alone as a hydroponic medium.

2016-08-25_1204Some hydroponic systems do not require any growing medium at all. Various methods are used to support the plants while the roots are directly fed nutrient solution. Some examples of these are, aeroponic, N.F.T., or “Nutrient Film Technique” and deep water culture.

 

 

Growing Techniques
Nutrient Film Technique.
The purist form of today’s highly developed hydroponic growing systems is Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.). It is also the form of hydroponics most intriguing to the public because of its futuristic nature and appearance.
The nutrient is fed into growtubes where the roots draw it up. The excess drains by gravity back to the reservoir. A thin film of nutrient allows the roots to have constant contact with the nutrient and the air layer above at the same time.

Drip-Irrigation or Micro-Irrigation
300by300-01Today’s greenhouse irrigation systems employ, to an ever-increasing extent, the concept of drip or microirrigation. It entails a principle of minimized water consumption with maximized plant benefit. There are literally hundreds of emitting/dripping/trickling/micro-spraying/etc. devices on the market today for the commercial/hobbyist grower to choose from.
A submersed pump feeds nutrients solution through header tubes to secondary feed lines connected to drip emitters.
A controlled amount of solution is continuously drip-fed over the medium and root system. Another tube is connected to the lower part of the garden system to recover the solution.

Aeroponics / Deep Water Culture
Plant roots are suspended in highly oxygenated nutrient solution allowing easy inspection and pruning of roots. Air pumps, compressors or Oz injectors provide oxygen which is crucial to healthy plant growth. The simplicity and affordability of these very active systems make them popular with home hobbyists and commercial growers alike.
In an Aeroponic system the roots are misted within a chamber. A pump pushes the water with nutrient solution through sprayers, keeping the roots wet while providing a maximum amount of oxygen.
This technique is an excellent way to propagate cuttings.
Deep Water Culture is another form of aeroponics. The root system of a plant grown in Deep Water
Culture is immersed in water with a bubbling aerator keeping the roots oxygenated.
This technique is very good to use with plants that are heavy feeders.

Flood & Drain
Flood & Drain systems are similar to N.F.T. systems. They are ideal for multiple plant per square foot growing where individual plant inspection is difficult. They are also very popular as propagation tables.
A plastic growing tray is flooded periodically by a submersed pump connected to a digital timer (or the ControlFreak!). Medium and root system are soaked, then drained (via gravity back through the pump) at specific intervals.
Various mediums can be used, Rockwool is the most popular with Flood & Drain systems.
The Ebb & Flow trays are examples of the Flood & Drain system.

Home Hobbyist Systems
There are a number of compact hydroponic systems and kits most popular with home hobbyists, researchers and teachers. These are made to be especially attractive to children in order to get their attention and interest. Hobby systems include deep water and aeroponic systems which are scaled down versions of commercial systems.

Passive Planters / Hydroculture
This is probably the most commonly know form of hydroponics. These systems do not require a water or air pump and are therefore called passive systems. Passive Planters have been used in office buildings and restaurants for many years.
Hydroculture planters utilize a clean, porous growing medium to support plant roots. A nutrient reservoir in the base of the growing container allows the plants to take as much or as little water as they require. Water level indicators show exactly when and how much to water. Clean, odourless and non-allergenic, hydroculture or passive planters are ideal for every environment.

Beginner’s Growing Tips.
This page has been designed to help answer the important questions beginning growers might have when just getting started in hydroponics. A lot of these concepts are connected to each other. Follow the links and put the pieces of this growing puzzle together.
The more you know, the easier it is to grow!

Carbon Dioxide
During photosynthesis, plants use carbon dioxide (CO2), light, and hydrogen (usually water) to produce carbohydrates, which is a source of food. Oxygen is given off in this process as a by-product. Light is a key variable in photosynthesis.

Conductivity

Measuring nutrient solution strength is a relatively simple process. However, the electronic devices manufactured to achieve this task are quite sophisticated and use the latest microprocessor technology. To understand how these devices work, you have to know that pure water doesn’t conduct electricity. But as salts are dissolved into the pure water, electricity begins to be conducted. An electrical current will begin to flow when live electrodes are placed into the solution. The more salts that are dissolved, the stronger the salt solution and, correspondingly, the more electrical current that will flow. This current flow is connected to special electronic circuitry that allows the grower to determine the resultant strength of the nutrient solution.
The scale used to measure nutrient strength is electrical conductivity (EC) or conductivity factor (CF). The CF scale is most commonly used in hydroponics. It spans from 0 to more than 100 CF units. The part of the scale generally used by home hydroponic gardeners spans 0-100 CF units. The part of the scale generally used by commercial or large-scale hydroponic growers is from 2 to 4 CF. (strength for growing watercress and some fancy lettuce) to as high as approximately 35 CF for fruits, berries, and ornamental trees. Higher CF values are used by experienced commercial growers to obtain special plant responses and for many of the modern hybrid crops, such as tomatoes and some peppers. Most other plant types fall between these two figures and the majority is grown at 13-25 CF. –Rob Smith

Germination
When a seed first begins to grow, it is germinating. Seeds are germinated in a growing medium, such as perlite. Several factors are involved in this process. First, the seed must be active–and alive–and not in dormancy. Most seeds have a specific temperature range that must be achieved. Moisture and oxygen must be present. And, for some seeds, specified levels of light or darkness must be met. Check the specifications of seeds to see their germination requirements.
The first two leaves that sprout from a seed are called the seed leaves, or cotyledons. These are not the true leaves of a plant. The seed develops these first leaves to serve as a starting food source for the young, developing plant.

Growing Medium
Soil is never used in hydroponic growing. Some systems have the ability to support the growing plants, allowing the bare roots to have maximum exposure to the nutrient solution. In other systems, the roots are supported by a growing medium. Some types of media also aid in moisture and nutrient retention. Different media are better suited to specific plants and systems. It is best to research all of your options and to get some recommendations for systems and media before making investing in or building an operation. Popular growing media include:

● Composted bark. It is usually organic and can be used for seed germination.

● Expanded clay. Pellets are baked in a very hot oven, which causes them to expand, creating a porous end product.

● Gravel. Any type can be used. However, gravel can add minerals to nutrient. Always make sure it is clean.

● Oasis. This artificial, foam-based material is commonly known from its use as an arrangement base in the floral industry.

● Peat moss. This medium is carbonized and compressed vegetable matter that has been partially decomposed.

● Perlite. Volcanic glass is mined from lava flows and heated in furnaces to a high temperature, causing the small amount of moisture inside to expand. This converts the hard glass into small, sponge-like kernels.

● Pumice. This is a glassy material that is formed by volcanic activity. Pumice is lightweight due to its large number of cavities produced by the expulsion of water vapor at a high temperature as lava surfaces.

● Rockwool. This is created by melting rock at a high temperature and then spinning it into fibers.

● Sand. This medium varies in composition and is usually used in conjunction with another medium.

● Vermiculite. Similar to perlite except that it has a relatively high cation exchange capacity-meaning it can hold nutrients for later use.

There are a number of other materials that can (and are) used as growing media. Hydroponic gardeners tend to be an innovative and experimental group.

Hydroponic Systems
The apparatuses used in hydroponic growing are many and varied. There are two basic divisions between systems: media-based and water culture. Also, systems can be either active or passive. Active systems use pumps and usually timers and other electronic gadgets to run and monitor the operation. Passive systems may also incorporate any number of gadgets. However, they to not use pumps and may rely on the use of a wicking agent to draw nutrient to the roots.
Media-based systems–as their name implies–use some form of growing medium. Some popular mediabased systems include ebb-and-flow (also called flood-and-drain), run-to-waste, drip-feed (or top-feed), and bottom-feed.
Water culture systems do not use media. Some popular water culture systems are raft (also called floating and raceway), nutrient film technique (NFT), and aeroponics.

Light
Think of a plant as a well-run factory that takes delivery of raw materials and manufactures the most wondrous products. Just as a factory requires a reliable energy source to turn the wheels of its machinery, plants need an energy source in order to grow.

Artificial Light
Usually, natural sunlight is used for this important job. However, during the shorter and darker days of winter, many growers use artificial lights to increase the intensity of light (for photosynthesis) or to expand the daylight length. While the sun radiates the full spectrum (wavelength or color of light) suitable for plant life, different types of artificial lighting are selected for specific plant varieties and optimum plant growth characteristics. Different groups of plants respond in physically different ways to various wavelengths of radiation. Light plays an extremely important role in the production of plant material. The lack of light is the main inhibiting factor in plant growth. If you reduce the light by 10 percent, you also reduce crop performance by 10 percent.

Light transmission should be your major consideration when purchasing a growing structure for a protected crop. Glass is still the preferred material for covering greenhouses because, unlike plastic films and sheeting, its light transmission ability is indefinitely maintained.

No gardener can achieve good results without adequate light. If you intend to grow indoors, avail yourself of some of the reading material that has been published on this subject. If you are having trouble growing good plants, then light is the first factor to question. –Rob Smith

Natural Light
A large part of the success in growing hydroponically is planning where to place the plants. Grow plants that have similar growing requirements in the same system. Placing your system 1-2 feet away from a sunny window will give the best results for most herbs and vegetables. Even your regular house lights help the plants to grow. Make sure that all of the lights are out in your growing area during the night. Plants need to rest a minimum of 4 hours every night. If your plants start to get leggy (too tall and not very full), move the system to a spot that has more sun. Once you find a good growing area, stick to it. Plants get used to their home location. It may take some time to get used to a new place. –Charles E. Musgrove

Macronutrients
Plants need around 16 mineral nutrients for optimal growth. However, not all these nutrients are equally important for the plant. Three major minerals–nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)–are used by plants in large amounts. These three minerals are usually displayed as hyphenated numbers, like “15-30-15,” on commercial fertilizers. These numbers correspond to the relative percentage by weight of each of the major nutrients–known as macronutrients–N, P, and K. Macronutrients are present in large concentrations in plants. All nutrients combine in numerous ways to help produce healthy plants. Usually, sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) are also considered macronutrients.
These nutrients play many different roles in plants. Here are some of their dominant functions:

● Nitrogen (N)–promotes development of new leaves

● Phosphorus (P)–aids in root growth and blooming

● Potassium (K)–important for disease resistance and aids growth in extreme temperatures

● Sulfur (S)–contributes to healthy, dark green color in leaves

● Calcium (Ca)–promotes new root and shoot growth

● Magnesium (Mg)–chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color and absorbs sunlight to make food, contains a Mg ion –Jessica Hankinson

Micronutrients
Boron (B), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), iron (Fe) manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn) are only present in minute quantities in plants and are known as micronutrients. Plants can usually acquire adequate amounts of these elements from the soil, so most commercial fertilizers don’t contain all of the micronutrients. Hydroponic growers, however, don’t have any soil to provide nutrients for their plants. Therefore, nutrient solution that is marketed for hydroponic gardening
contain all the micronutrients. –Jessica Hankinson

Nutrient Solution
In hydroponics, nutrient solution–sometimes just referred to as “nutrient”–is used to feed plants instead of plain water. This is due to the fact that the plants aren’t grown in soil. Traditionally, plants acquire most of their nutrition from the soil. When growing hydroponically, you need to add all of the nutrients a plant needs to water. Distilled water works best for making nutrient. Hydroponic supply stores have a variety of nutrient mixes for specific crops and growth cycles. Always store solutions out of direct sunlight to prevent any algae growth. See also conductivity, macronutrients, and micronutrients.
Disposal Unlike regular water, you need to be careful where you dispose of nutrient. Even organic nutrients and fertilizers can cause serious imbalances in aquatic ecosystems. If you do not live near a stream, river, lake or other water source, it is fine to use old nutrient on outdoor plants and lawn. Another possibility is to use it on houseplants. However, if you live within 1,000 feet of a viable water source, do not use your spent nutrient in the ground.

Osmosis
The ends of a plant’s roots aren’t open-ended like a drinking straw and they definitely doesn’t suck up a drink of water or nutrients. Science is still seeking a complete understanding of osmosis, so to attempt a full and satisfactory description of all that’s involved in this process would be impossible. However, we can understand the basic osmotic principle as it relates to plants.

First, consider a piece of ordinary blotting paper, such as the commonly used filter for home coffee machines. The paper might appear to be solid. However, if you apply water to one side of it, you’ll soon see signs of the water appearing on the opposite side. The walls of a feeding root act in much the same way. If you pour water onto the top of the filter paper, gravity allows the water to eventually drip through to the bottom side. Add the process of osmosis and water that’s applied to the bottom side drips through to the top.

With plants, this action allows water and nutrients to pass through the root walls from the top, sides, and bottom. Osmosis is the natural energy force that moves elemental ions through what appears to be solid material. A simplistic explanation for how osmosis works, although not 100 percent accurate, is that the stronger ion attracts the weaker through a semipermeable material. So, the elements within the cells that make up plant roots attract water and nutrients through the root walls when these compounds are stronger than the water and nutrients applied to the outside of the roots.

It then follows that if you apply a strong nutrient to the plant roots–one that’s stronger than the
compounds inside of the root–that the reverse action is likely to occur! This process is called reverse osmosis. Many gardeners have at some time committed the sin of killing their plants by applying too strong a fertilizer to their plants, which causes reverse osmosis. Instead of feeding the plant, they have actually been dragging the life force out of it.

Understanding how osmosis works, the successful grower can wisely use this knowledge to promote maximum uptake of nutrients into the plants without causing plant stress–or worse, plant death–from over fertilizing. All plants have a different osmotic requirement or an optimum nutrient strength. –Rob Smith

Oxygen
As a result of the process of photosynthesis, oxygen (O) is given off by plants. Then, at night, when light isn’t available for photosynthesis, this process is reversed. At night, plants take in oxygen and consume the energy they have stored during the day.

Pests and Diseases
Even though hydroponic gardeners dodge a large number of plant problems by eschewing soil (which is a home to any number of plant enemies), pests and diseases still manage to wreak havoc from time to time. Botrytis, Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Verticillium cover most of the genera of bacteria that can threaten your plants. The insects that can prove annoying include aphids, caterpillars, cutworms, fungus gnats, leaf miners, nematodes, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies.
A few good ways to prevent infestation and infection are to:

● Always maintain a sanitary growing environment

● Grow naturally selected disease- and pest-resistant plant varieties

● Keep your growing area properly ventilated and at the correct temperatures for your plants

● Keep a close eye on your plants so if a problem does occur, you can act quickly

With insects, sometimes you can pick off and crush any large ones. Or you can try to wash the infected plants with water or a mild soap solution (such as Safer Soap).

If a problem gets out of control, it may be necessary to apply a biological control in the form of a spray. Research which product will work best in your situation. Always follow the instructions on pesticides very closely.

Alternatively, there are a number of control products on the market today that feature a botanical compound or an ingredient that has been synthesized from a plant material.

On botanical compounds as controlling agents:

Over the last few years, researchers from all around the world have started to take a much closer look at any compounds present in the plant kingdom that might hold the answer to our pest and disease control problems. Many companies have even switched from producing synthetic pesticides to copying nature by synthesizing naturally occurring compounds in a laboratory setting. Extracts of willow, cinnamon, grapefruit, garlic, neem, bittersweet, lemon grass, derris, eucalyptus, and tomato have been helpful in controlling diseases and pests. –Dr. Lynette Morgan

pH

The pH of a nutrient solution is a measurement of its relative concentration of positive hydrogen ions. Negative hydroxyl ions are produced by the way systems filter and mix air into the nutrient solution feeding plants. Plants feed by an exchange of ions. As ions are removed from the nutrient solution, pH rises. Therefore, the more ions that are taken up by the plants, the greater the growth. A solution with a pH value of 7.0 contains relatively equal concentrations of hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions. When the pH is below 7.0, there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ion. Such a solution “acidic.” When the pH is above 7.0, there are fewer hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions. This means that the solution is “alkaline.”

Test the pH level of your nutrient with a kit consisting of vials and liquid reagents. These kits are available at local chemistry, hydroponic, nursery, garden supplier, or swimming pool supply stores. It is also a good idea to test the pH level of your water before adding any nutrients. If your solution is too alkaline add some acid. Although such conditions rarely occur, sometimes you may have to reduce the level of acidity by making the solution more alkaline. This can be achieved by adding potassium hydroxide (or potash) to the solution in small amounts until it is balanced once again. –Charles E. Musgrove

Photosynthesis
Plants need to absorb many necessary nutrients from the nutrient solution or–in the case of traditional agriculture–the soil. However, plants can create some of their own food. Plants use the process of photosynthesis to create food for energy. Carbohydrates are produced from carbon dioxide (CO2) and a source of hydrogen (H)–such as water–in chlorophyll-containing plant cells when they are exposed to light. This process results in the production of oxygen (O).

Plant Problems
Every now and again, you are sure to run into a problem with your plants. This is just a simple fact of any type of gardening. The key is to act quickly, armed with quality knowledge.

Mineral Deficiency Symptoms

Nitrogen deficiency will cause yellowing of the leaves, especially in the older leaves. The growth of new roots and shoots is stunted. In tomatoes, the stems may take on a purple hue.

A phosphorous deficiency is usually associated with dark green foliage and stunted growth. As in nitrogen deficiency, the stems may appear purple. But since the leaves don’t yellow as they do in nitrogen deficiency, the whole plant can take on a purplish green color.

Iron deficiency results in yellowing between the leaf veins. In contrast to nitrogen deficiency, the yellowing first appears in the younger leaves. After a prolonged absence of iron, the leaves can turn completely white. –Jessica Hankinson

Wilting
This condition can be caused by environmental factors or disease (usually caused by Fusarium). Nutrient and media temperature can be adjusted to remedy wilt. However, if Fusarium have taken hold, the chances that your plants will survive are slim.

If wilting is due to environmental causes:

Try to spray the plants and roots with cool, clean water to rejuvenate them. If this hasn’t helped them by the next day, try it again. If the plants respond, top-off the nutrient solution and check the pH. If the plants don’t respond to the misting, empty the tank, move it to a shadier spot, and refill with cool, fresh nutrient solution. Don’t reuse the old solution–start with fresh water and nutrients. –Charles E. Musgrove

If wilting is due to a system blockage of nutrient:

I have seen tomato plants that have been so dehydrated due to a nutrient supply blockage that they were lying flat and for all the world looked stone-cold dead. When the nutrient flow resumed and the plants were given the less stressful environment of nighttime, they rebounded so well that I wondered if I had dreamed the previous day’s “disaster.” The moral of this story is to always give plants a chance to revive, even when the situation looks hopeless. –Rob Smith

Propagation
300by300-01Plants can be propagated by a number of methods. Growers can let a plant go to seed, collect the seeds, and then start the cycle over again (see germination). Another method is to take stem cuttings, which is also known as cloning (because you are creating an exact copy of the parent plant).
Although this process won’t work with all plants, it is a highly effective technique. Simply cut off a side shoot or the top of the main shoot just below a growth node. Make sure that there are at least two growth nodes above the cut. Remove any of the lower leaves near the base of the new plant. This cutting can then be rooted by placing it in water or in a propagation medium (perlite works well) that is kept moist. The use of some rooting hormone can help your chances of success.

Pruning
Remove any discolored, insect-eaten, or otherwise sick-looking leaves from plants. Picking off some outer leaves or cutting the top off a plant can help it grow fuller. Use sharp scissors to prune your plants. Sometimes you will want to prune a plant to focus its energy on the remaining shoots. Pruning is an art and should be performed with care. Damaged or dying roots may also need to be pruned from time to time.

Soil
Never use soil during any aspect of hydroponics. If you ever move a plant from a soil-based situation to hydroponics, remove all traces of soil or potting mix from the roots. Soil holds lots of microbes and other organisms and materials that love to grow in and contaminate your hydroponic system. Some of these will actually parasitize your plant and slow its growth. This is another advantage of hydroponic growing: The plant can get on with growing without having to support a myriad of other organisms as happens in conventional soil growing. –Rob Smith

Temperature
Different plants have different germination and growing temperatures. Always make sure that you check each plant’s growing requirements–especially minimum and maximum temperature levels. Keep in mind that specific varieties of plants may have different requirements.

Water

Because the water supply is the source of life for your plants, quality is important. All plants rely on their ability to uptake water freely. Between 80 and 98 percent of this uptake is required for transpiration (loosely compared to perspiration in animals), which allows the plant to produce and somewhat control its immediate microclimate. Plants also need clean, uncontaminated water to
produce their own healthy food supply. –Rob Smith

The water you use in your hydroponic system needs to be pure. It is always a good idea to test your water source before adding nutrients so you aren’t adding an element that is already present. In small systems, it would be wise to use distilled water.

If you are starting a larger hydroponic operation, it would be a good idea to have a water analysis completed. Factors such as sodium chloride (NaCl, or salt) content and hardness will be of great use to growers. Also, groundwater can have elements normally not present in conditioned water. A key piece of advice: Get to know your water!

Growing Tips From the Experts
Rooting a Cutting:

● have everything ready first then take your cuttings and plant them right away

● for best results, take cuttings first thing in the morning

● use only healthy actively growing stock plants with soft green stems (woody stem cuttings do not root fast!!!)

● for green stem (softwood) cuttings use a straight clean cut; for yellow or brown stem cuttings use a slanted cut

● remove any leaves or branches that would be below the soil line (snip off leaf stem, leaving a 1/4″ stub)

● dip cutting into “Roots” or other hormone products

● after planting, trickle a few drop of water down the stem to settle the soil mix around the stem

To Root in Potting Soil or Soiless Mixes:

● fill containers with potting mix

● water well with room temperature water with “Nutri-Boost” added (“Nutri-Boost” is a vitamin mix; add 7 drops per litre or quart of water)

● it is always a good idea to have “No-Damp” nearby in case you notice any signs of wilting; if this occurs, use the recommended application rate of l0m. “No-Damp” to 1 litre of water and spray generously

● now take your cuttings, dip them into a rooting hormone and plant them right away
To Root in Rockwool Cubes:
● rinse cubes in lukewarm pH balanced water

● water cubes with “Nutri-Boost” solution as described above

● plant the cutting 3/4″ of the way into the cube

More Helpful Hints:

● root cuttings under moderate light (flourescent light) at 70 – 75°F

● if you use a clear cover, remove twice a day and wipe any condensation off the cover and replace ● use only water and “Nutri-boost” solution until cuttings show signs of new growth at tips then feed with 1/2 strength fertilizer

Hydroponic Nutrient Manipulation and Modification Techniques or “Playing with your food”
Some gardeners are ignoring their mother’s advice and modifying their fertilizer mixes. The fact is, the soil-less mixes, lava rock, rockwool, etc. hold little or no food compared to garden dirt, so any change in fertilizer strength or quality is noticed by the plant almost immediately.
This is why gardeners use different fertilizers for different stages of growth, giving the plant just what it needs for today’s “Work”. Here are some other tips on changing your fertilizer mix for special circumstances.

Food Strength
We match food strength to growing conditions in the garden, and to the health and activity of the plant.
Weak fertilizer for:

● newly rooted cuttings

● plants in low light conditions

● plants in hot gardens (over 90°F or 33°C)

● plants under stress – disease, bugs, etc.

● plants in transition between stages of growth

● plants in poor growing conditions – crowded, root-bound, poor air movement, etc.

Regular Strength Fertilizer for:

● healthy plants in active growth

● good light levels, temperature and air movement

Strong Fertilizers for:

● natural spurts of growth in crop plants

● plants in very good growing conditions – very high light levels; precise, consistent temperatures; major air movement through plants; excellent exhaust and intake fans; huge quantities of C02 delivered efficiently to the garden; regular growth hormone treatments (to help the plant take up stronger foods)

Note: Increase food strength gradually – watch for black leaf tips!

Food Formulas – We modify fertilizers by changing the quantity of individual nutrients for special circumstances.

Low Nitrogen Fertilizers:

● to avoid “stretching” (long thin stems) of plants between stages of growth.

● a good example would be a chrysanthemum grower who has shortened the day length to make the plants start their flower cycle; he would use a full strength fertilizer with Nitrogen only (1/2 strength or less) to keep the plants compact until the flower buds form.

● return to regular Nitrogen levels once your plants have actually begun their next growth stage.

● this trick works especially well with our “B” and “C” fertilizers.

You can see that gardeners start by examining the conditions in the garden and the “job” of their plant, then decide what strength and quality to mix their fertilizers.

So What’s the Deal with Pesticides?
Well, they suck! However, sometimes they are necessary to save your valuable crop. The “new” trend is to use pesticides only as a last resort. Your object is to control your pests and you might even get lucky and wipe them out.

Start with a healthy plant! It’s much less likely to develop problems than a plant under stress. Bugs seem to sense a hurting plant, much like a pack of wolves will prey on an injured or tired animal. That’s where our Predators come In. Just wonderful little things. They are moderately priced and they do all the work for you. When the bad guys are all gone, (ie. no more food), they either pack their bags and leave, or eat each other down to the last one. Predators are carnivores (eat meat) not herbivores (vegetarians), therefore no worries about damage from them.

Predators have been used since before the “Dead Sea” was even sick. It’s only since First World War France, where pesticides and rodenticides were first used in the trenches to relieve troops of overwhelming infestations that we have changed our thinking. We’ve been poisoning our land, our water, and ourselves ever since. Some treatments are much safer than others. Pokon and Safers Soap are a good organic way to go, plus we can get you Predators within a day or two. This old/new topic is called “Integrated Pest Management”, or I.P.M. for short.

Avoiding Plant Diseases
Watching healthy plants get sick and die is a very depressing sight to a gardener. Plant diseases are always out there, waiting to attack your garden. While sonic diseases are easily treated, other more serious diseases will require repeat treatments to handle. Some diseases are so serious (tobacco mosaic virus for example), that the plant is doomed. Plant diseases can seriously lower crop production, even if the sick plants recover. Lets keep diseases out of our gardens! Here’s how:

Good Growing Conditions and Practices:
The best defence against plant disease is to keep your plants healthy and actively growing, by creating good conditions in your garden.

Attention to temperature, air movement and air change, proper spacing of plants, consistent growing conditions – all these practices ensure healthy, stress-free plants that can resist bugs and disease well. Often, bugs and disease will attack a weak plant in your garden and build up armies to invade the rest of your healthy plants!

Sanitization:
Use Healthy Plant Stock

● a cutting from a sick plant will carry on the disease in the new plant.

● some varieties of a plant will have greater natural resistance to disease than their “weak sisters”; if possible, grow only varieties that have known disease resistance.

Keep Tools, Hands and Clothing Clean

● diseases, pests and insect eggs can travel to new host plants

● during pruning, transplanting and handling; wash your hands after handling diseased plants before you touch a healthy one

● clean tools and knives well after use

● keep garden clear of dead leaves

Sterilize Garden or other Grow Mediums (a Medium is what your roots are growing in)

● this is especially important when using garden dirt from the backyard in a container indoors or when using recycled rockwool or lava rock for new crops

● the soil-less potting mixes and new rockwool are considered clean already – no further treatment is needed

Use R/O Water or Distilled
● if you are concerned about the possibility of disease in your water, there are a couple of simple methods to treat water and kill disease before you infect your garden:

Chlorine Bleach (1/4 cup for 30 gallons)

❍ add to water and stir well

❍ add fertilizer to water after treating with bleach

❍ use air pump and air stone to drive off bleach and keep water bubbly

Hydrogen Peroxide (35%) (1 tablespoon for 10 gallons)

❍ this product is actually water with extra oxygen, and the active oxygen will kill disease in the water

❍ add to water

❍ stir well, then add fertilizer

Note: Peroxide helps plants to take up food easier and quicker, so this treatment has an extra benefit to the garden.

Watch your garden for problems and treat them promptly! You may eliminate the disease entirely, before it gains a foothold in your garden.

Treating Fungus and Bacteria in Your Garden

Seedlings and Newly Rooted Cuttings

● treat with No-Damp or other mild fungicide

● be sure roots are already wet before root-drench treatment: No-Damp contains alcohol that could damage dry roots or unrooted cuttings

● treat plants once a week until plants recover

Vigorous Plants – Green Growth (no flowers or crop on plant)

● spray top-growth well with Safers Garden Fungicide

● wet all leaves until liquid runs off leaves

” Caution ” – Do not spray plants with flowers or crop on them; you will definitely burn your crop!

● treat your plants once a week – the best time to spray is late in the day, so the plants can dry in the dark; avoid spraying in strong light.

Flowering or Crop Plants

● treat plants by hand-watering Benomyl fungicide into the roots

” Caution ” – Never spray a flowering plant with fungicide; it could damage the flower or crop!

● water enough Benomyl solution into the roots to drench the entire root system

● treat the plants when the roots are already wet from feeding or watering, and when they won’t be watered again for at least a few hours

● treat once a week

Hints on Treating Plants for Disease
● avoid high temperature and strong fertilizers until plants recover

● disease can become tolerant of a fungicide if used many times; after you have used one product three or four times in a row, switch to another suitable product and attack the disease with a new weapon.
Safers Garden Fungicide is a sulphur based product only for spraying Green Growth.
Do not use Safers Garden Fungicide for crop plants!

Lighting Tips Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use light energy to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to chemical energy in the form of sugar. The products of photosynthesis serve to nourish the plant and enable it to release free oxygen. Plants use only the spectrum of light that is visible to the human eye. Although the light appears white, it is actually a mixture of all the colours of the rainbow. Pigments, which are the light harvesting units of the plants, absorb certain colours of the spectrum and reflect the rest. Chlorophyll, the main pigment used in photosynthesis, absorbs light in the violet and blue wavelengths as well as in the red, leaving green the colour it reflects, and the plant colour we see. Photosynthesis can also occur indoors, providing the artificial light source used supplies the necessary spectrum and intensity.

Wide spectrum fluorescent, metal halide, and high pressure sodium are the types of lights most widely used for indoor growing. All of these lights require a ballast to operate and come in a variety of sizes and wattage’s.

Homegrown provides a wide range of grow lights that provide the necessary spectrum and intensity to suit plants’ needs.

Sunmaster line of Metal Halide Lamps was developed specifically for plant growth by closely matching the spectrum of natural sunlight.

Light is the most growth influencing factor!

Lighting Tips

● mylar reflects with up to 95% efficiency

● flat white paint reflects with up to 80% efficiency

● never use tinfoil for reflection it creates “hot Spots”

● use air cooled reflectors when heat build-up is a problem

● 15 minute time delays for halides prevent “hot starts”

● low pressure sodium lights greatly increase intensity for pennies a day

● light movers increase growth by up to 40%

● halide “super”bulbs increase intensity but not your hydro bill

● 430 watt Son Agro sodiums supply 30 extra watts of blue light

● wear sunglasses when working close to an H.I.D. bulb

● if your light fails, don’t try to fix it yourself, contact a qualified expert

Lighting Types.
Fluorescent
Before high intensity discharge light came along, indoor growers depended mainly on fluorescent lights for best results. They are inexpensive, reasonably energy efficient, and most emit a wide enough spectrum of light for plant growth. There is a wide range of fluorescent bulbs or “tubes” available, and are categorized by wattage, length, and colour of spectrum range. Indoor growers should look for the type specifically made for plants such as the vita-Lite* or Ultralume 5000*.

The fixtures for these lamps are usually complete with lamp holders, reflector, and built-in ballast. Since the introduction of H.I.D. lights, fluorescent now are mainly used for propagation and early vegetative growth. The 20 watt,24 INCH, and 40 watt, 48 inch, are the most common. The more intense and energy efficient H.I.D.’s are now the choice for maturing high-light plants and vegetables indoors.
High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D.) Grow Lights
2016-08-25_1249Metal halide lights were created to provide a spectrum as close as possible to that of the natural sunlight. This coupled with their intensity and energy efficiency, makes them ideal for indoor gardening. The bulbs range in size from 100 watt to 1000 watt with 400 watt and 1000 watt most popular.

An abundance of blue light emitted by metal halide makes them the best light for propagation and vegetative growth, promoting short internodal length High Pressure Sodium lights do not emit as broad a spectrum as Metal Halides lights, but have many advantages, especially when used in conjunction with halide. Sodiums last longer, and burn brighter, but are still more energy efficient.

More yellow/red colour in the spectrum and less blue promotes a higher flower-to-leaf ratio in flowering plants. H.P.S. lights are widely used in commercial greenhouses, where natural sunlight provides sufficient blue. A combination of the two lights provides the best balanced for indoor growroom, especially when used with a light mover. 430 Watt Son Agro H.P.S. bulbs which supply 30 extra watts than regular ones are now available. This extra light in the blue end of the spectrum is great news for indoor growers. If you are planing a “single lamp” growroom, you can still get the benefits of both halide and sodium light. High pressure sodium “conversion bulbs”, specially made to operate with M.H. ballasts, are available in 400 watt and 1000 watt models. The bulbs can easily be interchanged as needed, using the same ballast and fixture. The size of the light you will need will depend on the size of the growing area, and the type of plants you wish to grow.

High-light plants such as herbs and vegetables will require between 20 and 60 watts of light per square foot of growing space. A 400 watt metal halide in a three foot by three foot area will provide 45 watts per square foot, compared to 25 watts per square foot in five foot by five foot growroom. A 1000 watt metal halide in a five foot by five foot area will provide 40 watts per sq.ft., compared to 20 watts per square foot in a seven by seven foot growroom.

Proper reflectors, light movers, and reflective material on walls greatly increases intensity and efficiency of these lights.

Most high intensity lights can be run with either 120 volt (standard house current), or 240 volt (e.g. used for electric dryer).

2016-08-25_1251Electricity cost would be the same but the latter would draw half the amps allowing the grower to run twice as many lamps on the same electrical circuit.
Light timers are available for either voltage but always check to see that the amperage rating on the timer exceeds that of the light or lights.
Care should always be taken when installing and using H.I.D. lights. Remote ballasts should be placed safely out of the way where they can’t be knocked over or splashed with water. Never keep your ballast on the floor in case it gets wet. Installing the fixture and reflector is simple. Locate a stud in the ceiling near the centre of the grow area. Screw a metal hook capable of holding 40 to 50 pounds into the stud and test it’s strength. Attach a 4′ to 6′ length of lightweight link chain to the hook or hooks on top of the fixture and hang the fixture from the ceiling hook at the desired height. The link chain allows you to easily raise and lower the light when necessary. Hold the lamp near the base and firmly, but gently, screw the bulb into the socket. Connect the timer to the power source, plug the power cord from the ballast into the timer which should be set in the “on” position. It may take up to 30 seconds for the bulb to ignite and up to five minutes to reach full brightness. As the lamp ignite, they tend to flicker and change colour for several minutes. This is quite normal, especially with halide bulbs, which may appear to change colour slightly during normal use. If the lamp does not ignite after 30 or 40 seconds, unplug it. After the power has been disconnected, check

● that the bulb is screwed in all the way

● that the timer is set on the “on” position

● that all plugs or electrical connections are O.K.

NOTE: Do Not Open The Ballast Enclosure To Check Wiring Yourself! H.I.D. capacitors can hold a charge even after the ballast is unplugged! Once these points have been checked, try the light again.

Once a metal halide lamp is turned off it requires a 15 to 20 minute “cool down” period before it can be re-started. If ample cooling time is not allowed, a “hot start” occurs, and too many “hot starts” can seriously affect the intensity and longevity of the bulb. For best results, replace halide bulbs after one year of steady use. High pressure sodium lamps require only 2 to 3 minute “cool down” period and need only be replaced every two to three years.

LIGHT MOVERS
2016-08-25_1253The most efficient way to use high intensity lights is to have them moving within the growroom.
There are many advantages to this, and a number of different ways it can be done. Moving the lights will eliminate plants tendency to grow toward the light source and provide light to areas which otherwise may be shaded. Since the light is moving, it can pass quite close to the plants without burning the leaves. Moving lights cover more area than stationary ones, reducing electricity costs and ensuring more even growth.

More intensity also allows plants to be placed much closer together, greatly increasing yield and quality. The size and shape of your room will determine the type of light mover that will best suite your needs.

Lineal movers carry the light fixture slowly along a track and back again during the light cycle. Most are six feet long,support a single lamp, and are recommended when the growing area is long and narrow.

Circular movers are best when the length and width of the room are similar. They are designed to carry either one,two,or three lights, in a 360 degree circle,ideally lighting a ten by ten foot area. This diameter can be reduced but rarely extended.

Two arm and three arm movers are most popular,with the latter supplying much more light per square foot. More intensity means plants can be placed much closer together,greatly increasing yields.

Advantages of using light movers:

● more even growth over a larger area

● lamps may be placed closer to crop

● increase growth by 40%

● stronger plant stems

● counteract leaf shading

● circular movers can move up to 3 lamps

● 1 or 2 meter linear track support single lamps, extension kits are used for additional lamps

Benefits of Hydroponic food production.
Hydroponics and Environmental & Health issues

● Pesticide free products through biological pest control

● Nutrient solutions may be re-used in other areas such as potted plants and turf management.

● Growing mediums can be re-used and recycled.

● Hydroponic systems use little or no growing medium.

● More intense cropping technique requires less space.

● Non-arable land may easily be facilitated.

● Year round crop production in Canada reduces transportation of imports and therefore associated solution e.g. fossil fuels.

● Promotes an overall awareness of our environment.

● Closed recirculating systems allow the grower control of the nutrient solution and therefore exactly what nutrients the plants receive.

● Varying nutrient formulas to suit different plants at different stages.

● Regular nutrient testing ensures all elements are present in their desired concentrations. Unwanted build ups of undesirable nutrient concentrations, such as nitrites, can be avoided.

● Hydroponic plants are more pest resistant.

● Control over environmental factors translates to a nutritionally superior, vegetable product.

● Vine ripened, Canadian grown produce eliminates consumption of artificial ripening agents and pesticides used on imported produce.

● Vine ripened, Canadian grown produce tastes superior and is nutritionally sound.

Hydroponics and Economical and Social issues

● Canadian business stimulates Canadian economy for growers, manufacturers of their supplies, as well as distribution, wholesale and retail outlets.

● Opens up positions for job training and employment.

● Satisfies consumer demand.

click to the next article-Benefits of Hydroponic food production   Pixabay Image 146368 

 

organic pesticides

Your Resident Detrimental Pests

Are you having problems on your organic garden regarding the pests that are continuously chewing on your precious organic herbs, vegetables and fruits? These pests will surely give you a throbbing headache. They will eat your yields nonstop eventually killing your organic plants. This is a very serious problem. If you want to get rid of these unwanted pests, you need to learn more about them. Information about these pests is very important. Knowledge about them will serve as your weapon against them. If you would like to learn more about these destructive pests, then, continue to read on….

The Hard Working Aphids

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Describing aphids:

Aphids are minute, soft and pear shaped pests. They are 1/16 or 3/8 inches long and even with this length, they can cause a huge problem. They have these antennae which are long and two tube like projection from their abdomen. There are different species of aphids and they come in various colors such as powdery gray, pinkish, greenish, yellowish and black.

Host / Range of aphids:

Aphids are widespread in North America. They just love having their way and feeding on most of your vegetables, fruits, flowers, ornamentals and even your shady trees! How thick could these aphids get?

The lifecycle of aphids:

These aphids have a very active reproduction. They reproduce nonstop causing now their large population. Imagine, females can reproduce even without mating. Female aphids will continuously produce baby aphids called nymphs. At a span of 1 to 2 weeks, these newborn aphids will develop and grow into mature aphids. They themselves can reproduce more aphids.

During the fall, male and female aphids will mate. After mating, the female will leave the eggs on the crevices of barks of trees and plants and also to the stems. During the winter, the eggs will lie still and during the spring, those who survived the harsh winter will emerge. However, in places where it is conducive for aphids to reproduce, such as those with mild climates, aphids tend to reproduce all year.

How do aphids damage your organic garden?

Both the adult aphids and the baby aphids known as nymphs suck the sap of the plants. That is why they are truly hard working.  Sucking the sap of the plants would cause the distorted appearance of the buds, flowers, stems and leaves of your organic plants. It also makes your organic plants yellowish, a sign that your plants are dying. This activity would leave the plant deprived from the needed nutrients. Aside from that, they produce a sticky fluid that would immediately be stuck on the leaves. This fluid will allow the growth of mold which resembles the color of soot. This will block the rays of the sun and may cause the wilting of your organic plants. Remember that the sun is essential for your plants. Aside from that, aphids are known to host microorganisms that can be transferred to your plants and may cause plant diseases.

The Gooey Caterpillar

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Describing Caterpillar:

Caterpillars are usually dark colored with some yellow or brown stripes. Some may also have bluish dots on the body.  Some are even green in color. Generally, caterpillars are 2 to 2.5 inches long. They have this capsule hard head which is the hardest part in their fleshy and gooey body. They have 6 legs in front and 4 more legs on their rear parts. Caterpillars have different species.

Host / Range of Caterpillars:

Some caterpillars usually feed on fruits such as the codling moth and budworms. This type is a bit difficult to get rid of than the other species who feeds on leaves. The species which feeds on foliage are typically seen in your garden.  Caterpillars mostly feed on your shady trees, leafy vegetables and plants as well as your ornamentals.

The Lifecycle of Caterpillars:

The spring is a mark for the eggs containing caterpillars to hatch. The nest two months will be the time where the larva will eat its way through your garden. They will continue eating to develop and mature and at night, they will go back to the tree where they live in and continue to spin their “tent.” Making a larger tent is important to have a place where it can house their emerging body size.

At late June or early July, the caterpillars will have reached their maximum growth and will leave their tents behind. They will then go to a comfortable place like your home and start spinning their cocoons. After having a safe refuge, they will undergo metamorphosis for 2 to 4 weeks. Then, they will emerge as adults; they will find a mate and reproduce. The female will find the best spot to lay her eggs. After finding the best spot, she will lay approximately 200 to 300 eggs. Adults will die on the middle of summer time. The next spring would mark again the start of the lifecycle of caterpillars.

How do caterpillars damage your garden?

Most caterpillars work by eating the foliage of your plants. There will be no immediate damage seen but as time passes by, you will observe that your plants are getting bare. The foliage of your plants is very important for photosynthesis and will not live and continue to grow without having leaves. Aside from that, your plants need the nutrients and strength to build new leaves, making it very vulnerable to plant diseases. It is then imperative for you to get rid of these caterpillars. Some species of caterpillars also feed from the fruits of your plants such as tomatoes and other fruit bearing plants. This will surely leave holes and make your crops inedible.

The Icky Cabbage Maggots

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Describing cabbage maggots:

Cabbage maggots are white tapering unsightly maggots.They have bristly hairs covering them. They are approximately 1/3 inch long. Cabbage maggots are good at burrowing in the soil and eating through the roots of the affected plants.The adult cabbage maggots known as cabbage loopers are ¼ inch in size usually grayish or brownish in color and looks like your typical housefly.

Host / Range of cabbage maggots:

Cabbage maggots live off from the roots of cabbage and mustard family such as cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish. Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kale, turnips and broccoli. Cabbage maggots are found throughout North America, Europe and Canada.

The lifecycle of cabbage maggots:

Cabbage maggots loves cold climate. Over the winter, the pupa will remain cocooned 1 to 5 inches deep in the soil. In late March, adult cabbage maggots will lay eggs on plant stems and cracks and crevices on your garden soil line.These eggs will hatch in 3 to 7 days into tiny, whitish and legless maggots which burrows into the soil to feed on the roots of your plants. Then, after again another 3 weeks of growth and development, the maggot will form a puparium coming from its skin. It will again take another 12 to 18 days to produce another fly. The generations can be indefinite but it is said that maggots produces three to four times a year.

How do cabbage maggots damage your garden?

Cabbage maggots live off the roots of your plants. The effects of this will go on unnoticed however; your plants will surely have a stunted growth. On some occasions, your plants will wilt in the middle of a hot day. This will happen because the roots is used to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, and since cabbage maggots feed off the roots of your plants, your plants may eventually die. Aside from that, your plants will turn sickly and the leaves will turn yellow.It is rare that the plants will survive because cabbage maggots boring on roots will also cause wounds. Viruses can enter through this wounds and cause diseases to your plants. The effects of cabbage maggots are clearly devastating.

The Voracious Colorado Potato Beetle

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Describing Colorado potato beetle:

Colorado potato beetle is considered as the biggest cause of pest problems in potato growers in potato farms and organic gardens. The adults are generally yellow orange in color and have that signature 10 black stripes on their wings. These adult Colorado potato beetle are generally 1/3 inch in length while the larvae are usually 1/16 to ½ inch in length. The larvae are orange in color grubs with black dots on its rear parts. The eggs are yellowish to orange in color and are laid in clusters and upright position.

Host / Range Colorado potato beetles:

Colorado potato beetles generally favor potatoes, but they would also love to have a taste of your tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tobacco, ground cherry, cabbage crops and petunias. Colorado potato beetles can be found throughout Northern America except in some parts of Nevada, Florida, Eastern Canada and California.

The Life cycle of Colorado potato beetles:

The life cycle of Colorado potato beetles depends on where these pests are located. In farther south of Maine, these pests completes up to three generations in a year. While in north Maine, these pests complete one generation in a year. The adult Colorado potato beetles will burrow and seem to hibernate 12 to 18 inches on the soil over the winter months. Then, the adults will go up to the ground and launch themselves on a plant and they will mate. Crowds of eggs will be laid by female eggs on the undersides of leaves. Females lay their eggs in batches laying up to 25 eggs in a batch. Female Colorado potato beetles can lay up to 500 eggs each, because of this, these pests are known to be extraordinarily great in reproducing.
How do Colorado potato beetles damage your garden?

Colorado potato beetles are especially fond of leaves and stems. Larvae are especially voracious. These pests will defoliate your plants leaving you with bare garden. They will also chew the yields of your tomatoes and eggplants. The younger plants rarely survive while the older plants are extremely defoliated. The yield of your plants will be severely reduced because of Colorado potato beetles.

 

the Decapitating Cutworms

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Describing Cutworms:

Cutworms are generally 1 inch to 2 inches in length. Some are brownish while others are grayish in color. Some have stripes while other has dots on their bodies. They also have that shiny little head. These caterpillars are nocturnal, meaning they are rarely seen in daylight and prefers the dark during night time. When you disturb them, they will instantly curl into a spherical shape. The adult counterpart of these cutworms are the “Miller’s moth” which is generally not dangerous.

Host / Range of Cutworms:

Cutworms favor your seedlings. They are widespread all throughout Northern America. They are considered as eating machines since they can destroy a field. These cutworms will surely leave holes on the leaves of your plants as well as your vine fruits and even buds.

The Life cycle of Cutworms:

Some cutworms spend their winter as pupae. They also have the ability to overwinter in their partly developed larval stage. In this stage, they are especially destructive from being hungry over their hibernation.

Some other species of cutworms will emerge from their hibernation during the spring. They will then lay their eggs on the ground, particularly on grasses. The eggs will hatch after 7 to 8 days and will feed on the plants growing near their temporary nest. After several weeks of continuous feedings, the larvae will penetrate the soil and hibernate. This cycle will repeat again on the next spring to come.

Some other species of cutworms can survive the harsh winter months and will be able to hatch during the spring. Again, these larvae will feed on the nearby plants especially the seedlings. Then again, they will pupate and will emerge as adults. Generally, all of the species of cutworms only produce one generation of cutworms in a year.

How do cutworms damage your garden?

Cutworms are nocturnal in nature. They will hide under crop debris, clumps of dead grass and weeds. They will find a place where they will be hidden from your reach. They favor the young seedlings and literally decapitate young plants.

 

The Bristly Mexican Bean Beetle

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Describing Mexican bean beetle:

Mexican bean beetle is usually mistaken for the lady bug. You should know what a Mexican bean beetle looks like since you may accidentally get rid of lady bugs. Bear in mind that lady bugs are beneficial for your organic garden. The adult Mexican bean beetles are oval in shape and yellowish or brownish in color. Some have that coppery gleam on them. Generally, these beetles are 1/16 inch in length and they have those signature 16 black spots in three rows seen across their wing covers.  The larvae are fleshy fat and oval shaped grubs that are yellowish to brownish in color. Larvae are generally 1/8 inch in length with no legs but they have those spiky and bristly branches covering their bodies in segments. The eggs of Mexican bean beetle are also yellowish in color and oval shaped too.

Host / Range of Mexican bean beetles:

Mexican bean beetles love to eat the foliage, pods and stems of snap beans, green beans, Cowpeas, string beans, bush beans, lima beans, soy beans, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans and pole beans. The bush varieties are more commonly attacked by these beetles compared to the pole beans variety. These beetles are one of the most common enemies of gardeners in the eastern part of US and some parts of Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Utah. It is also found all throughout North America.

The Lifecycle of Mexican bean beetles:

Mexican bean beetles have one up to four generation reproduction each year.  Adults hibernate in the debris found on your garden or in any other safe place over the winter months. They will then emerge from their hibernation when the weather is warmer such as in the middle or in the late spring. These adults will feed for a few weeks. After feeding, the females will lay their oval and yellowish eggs on the undersides of leaves. They will lay their eggs in clusters of 40 to 60 eggs. These eggs will hatch after 1 to 2 weeks. The larvae will feed for the next 14 to 35 days. After the continuous eating of these larvae, they will start to pupate again in the underside of leaves. The adults will emerge from their cases after 7 days and continue the cycle again. The population of Mexican bean beetle is especially abundant in late summer.

How do Mexican bean beetles damage your garden?

Mexican bean beetles especially love the foliage of your plants. These beetles will eat at the underside parts of the leaves. After finishing one leaf, the skeletons and fibers of the leaf will be left having now a lacy like appearance. Since these beetles eat the foliage of your plants, expect that your organic bean garden will be bared with green foliage after their attack. They can also decrease the yields of your organic beans since they also feed on your pods. Aside from that, they eat the stems. The effects of Mexican bean beetles can really be disturbing!

The Poisonous Tarnished Plant Bugs

 

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Describing Tarnished Plant Bugs:

Knowing what the tarnished plant bugs look like is the first step you should know in getting rid of these bugs with organic pesticides. The eggs of these bugs are oval in shape and are positioned as such in the tissues of plants as well as grasses. It is 1 mm long and has that creamy color. It flourishes in fruits and can hatch in 7 days. The nymph looks a lot like its adult counterpart. The nymphs are greenish in color; it has black dots on thorax and in between its wing pads and abdomen. The only thing is that, it lacks wings. The adult are flat and oval. They are ¼ inch in length and they are greenish and brownish in color.

Host / Range of Tarnished Plant Bugs:

Tarnished plant bugs are known to be a major pest in Canada, North America, Europe and Asia. These bugs particularly love strawberries, raspberries, peaches, legumes, apples, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, snap beans, alfalfa, tobacco and cucumbers. They suck on fruits and leaves while injecting poisonous serum on these plants. They also affect many flowers such as aster, calendula, chrysanthemum, cosmos,dahlia,daisy, gladiolus, poppy, salvia, sunflower, verbena, zinnia, and many more.

The Life Cycle of Tarnished Plant Bugs:

Adult tarnished plant bugs will overwinter on garden debris such as leaf litter and plant debris. Female adults will lay their eggs on grasses, weeds with broad leaves and in strawberries too. Female lays up to 10 eggs a day in approximately 10 to 31 days. They lay their eggs in the early or middle May where their much preferred temperature is reached. The eggs are inserted into the stems, on petioles and even on the ribs of leaves. Some are also laid into buds or in the florets of flowers. The eggs will then hatch into nymphs within 7 to 10 days. The nymphs will undergo 5 stages of development. After 13 to 41 days these nymphs will turn into adults. The rate of their maturity develops depending on the temperature. They will mature rapidly on hot temperature.

How do Tarnished Plant Bugs damage my garden?

Tarnished Plant bugs has those piercing-sucking mouthparts which are used to pierce the leaves and fruits of your plants. These bugs are considered to be a “true bug.” It will inject poisonous saliva into your plants and leaves. The injected part will be distorted because this toxic serum kills the cells near the injected site.The “sting marks” cause yellowing and wilting of the sucked parts. The fruits will also be left deformed. The damage caused by these bugs is great. It can decrease the yields of your plants and can kill many of your vegetables and plants. Some of the signs that your organic garden is being infested by these terrible bugs are the abortion or dropped flower buds. These bugs can also cause the blooms to be distorted and are not able to open appropriately. The injury it inflicts to your plants includes deformity of leaves, scarring of stems, discoloration of stems and leaf petioles. The most severe effects happen during the middle or in late summer.

Knowledge about these pests is very important in eliminating your resident garden pests. By having knowledge about them, you will know when, where, what and how you can attack them. This knowledge will serve as your weapon in eliminating them. If you want to learn more on how to eliminate or get rid of these pests, continue to read on the next chapter!

How to Get Rid of Your Resident Detrimental Pests

 After learning about the characteristics, life cycle and the damages caused by the pests on your organic garden, you are now armed with knowledge. Now that you have your weapon against your resident pests, it is high time to know about the actions that you can do to eliminate these ghastly pests. There are many ways that you can get rid of these pests without the use of chemical based commercial products. The following are the common pests found on your garden and the most effective ways of getting rid of them.

 

Getting rid of APHIDS with organic pesticides organic pesticides

Knowing about aphids is a great advantage for you. You should attack when they are vulnerable. Aside from that, aphids also have their natural enemies.

  • Beneficial bugs against aphids

There are bugs that are considered the natural enemies of aphids. These bugs are known to be one of the most effective methods of getting rid of aphids with organic pesticides. You can try to indulge and look after these beneficial bugs. Aphid midges, lacewings,  and ladybugs are known to eliminate aphids. Learn to love these bugs as they can kill those pesky aphids.

  • Plants against aphids

There are also certain plants that can drive away aphids namely onions and garlic. The smell of onion and garlic is irritating for aphids, that is why these pests goes their way to avoid going to places planted with these. You can also try to plant onion and garlic on parts of your garden that is infested by aphids. If you do this, these pests will surely scurry away from your garden. You can also make an organic spray made from garlic.

  • Plants that aphids love

You may also want to grow plants that aphids love. These plants will lure aphids away. It is better if you grow these plants far from your organic garden to have a aphids free garden. Examples of such plants are aster, cosmos, dahlia, hollyhock, larkspur, mum, nasturtium, tuberous begonia, verbena and zinnia.

  • Pressurized water

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing these aphids literally run away and leave your cherished garden behind. You can do this by washing aphids away. You can wash aphids away by applying pressurized water. A strong spray of water from a hose will surely do the trick.

  • Lemon magic

You can also try a recipe where lemon is the main ingredient. Lemon is an effective way to kill aphids. You just need to peel at least five lemons and squeeze the juice in a container. Simmer the lemon peelings on a 300 ml of boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Place the lemon juice on a spray bottle and drench the stems of your affected plants with this. Water the soil of your plants from the boiled lemon peelings. The smell from this boiled water will ward off aphids.

 

Getting rid of CATTERPILLARS with organic pesticides with organic pesticides

There are many organic ways that you can maximize to get rid of caterpillars from your garden. Here are some ways that you can utilize to get rid of these gooey creatures.

  • Handpicking the sticky caterpillars

This is one of the best ways you can do. Just put on a gloves and check for caterpillars around your garden. It is easy to spot places where caterpillars are reigning in. Check for places where the foliage of your plants getting bare. Surely, there will be a caterpillar lurking around the corner. Handpick the caterpillars making sure that you use gloves since their sting is highly irritating. You can crush the caterpillars by stomping over them or you can drown them on a pail of soapy water.

  • Tent and egg destruction

Aside from getting rid of the caterpillar the traditional way, you can also destroy their tents. This way you can get lots of them. Again, it is easy to look for their tents. The tell-tale sign of bare plants and the white colored tents in contrast to the green and brown environment will give them away. Wear your gloves and prune the caterpillar infested parts. Crush the tents and eggs to the ground or you can again drown them on a pail of water with soap.

  • Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) blast

The use of BT against caterpillars was already utilized long ago. It is still very effective nowadays. BT is a type of bacteria that when ingested by caterpillars will immediately kill them off. BT is available in two preparations: powder and liquid form. You can spray the liquid form on the foliage of your plants and you can dust the powder form over your plants. A mouthful of foliage treated with BT will take effect for at least 20 minutes. BT is available on your local garden shops and is considered as an organic pesticide. According to BT users, one application of BT is enough for a long time. However, you can still apply BT once in a while since it is not harmful to your pets, children and other beneficial creatures on your garden such as bees and earthworms.

  • Predatory animals against caterpillars

As you can see, the fleshy body aside from the fact that the diet of caterpillars is leaves make them high in protein. Caterpillars are considered as one of the basic food of animals such as birds and frogs. You can lure occasional birds to your garden by simply having a bird bath. You can also have frogs on your garden by building an artificial pond. Frogs feed in caterpillar and they can be very useful in getting rid of caterpillars.

  • Garlic and chili combo

You can also try to make your own organic pesticide. Just mix minced garlic and chili on a spray bottle with water and spray them on your infested plants. However, this garlic and chili combo is effective or low populations of caterpillar on your garden.

 

Getting rid of CABBAGE MAGGOT with organic pesticides

Getting rid of cabbage maggots is nearly impossible. The next best thing that you can do is to use prevent them from going to your garden.

  • Alkaline prevention

Cabbage maggots absolutely hate an alkaline environment. You can prevent the proliferation of cabbage maggots by mixing wood ashes and lime and place it around your plants especially your cabbage and mustard family plants. This will help in warding off these pests. Also, you can use diatomaceous earth if you prefer. However, you must know that constant application of alkaline mixture can raise the pH of your soil and it is not good for your plants. Keep cabbage maggot at bay with the use of alkaline mixture!

  • Floating row covering prevention

The adult counterpart of cabbage maggots is the adult fly. To be able to prevent cabbage maggots from proliferating you should first prevent the adult fly from laying their eggs in your garden. To be able to prevent this, you can place floating row coverings on your plants during the spring. Spring is the time where adult flies lay their egg on the stems of your plants near the soil line.

  • Cleaning as prevention

One of the things that you can do is to keep the surrounding of your plants clean. Make sure that there is no dead weed around your plants. Keeping the surrounding clean will help your discourage adult fly from laying eggs to your garden thereby preventing the emergence of cabbage maggots. Aside from that, you should not leave your recently harvested plants from your garden. Put those away quickly, however, if you see cabbage maggots, immediately burn these plants and do not compost these.

  • Bug prevention

Just like the aphids, cabbage maggots are predators to some beneficial bugs. Bugs that look similarly like earwigs which have pinchers on their tail called rove beetles are natural predators of cabbage maggots. You should nurture these bugs. These bugs are a great help in eliminating these annoying cabbage maggots.

  • Red pepper and ginger prevention

You can also use powdered red pepper and ginger around the stems near the soil line of your plants. Red pepper and ginger is proven to be irritating for cabbage a maggot that is why it is used as an organic way in preventing the multiplication of the said pests.

 

Getting rid of COLORADO POTATO BEETLES with organic pesticides

Colorado potato beetles are considered to be the most important defoliator of potatoes. It also affects other plant leaves and stems as well as yields. It is best to get rid and prevent their proliferation.

  • Handpicking Colorado potato beetles

If you’re organic garden’s size is not that big, handpicking these pests can be done. Just put on your gloves and pick the overwintered adults as well as the masses of eggs early in the season. Since the larvae causes most of the damage, you must take care first of getting rid of the adults and eggs. Do your handpicking for a few weeks to ensure that you can get rid of these pests.

  • Deep Straw Mulching

Mulching with straw can be very beneficial for your organic garden. Mulching heavily will keep the tubers out of reach from the rays of the sun. It will also help in creating a nurturing ecosystem for the natural predators of Colorado potato beetles namely lady bugs, green lacewings and ground beetles. It will also help in confusing these pests. These beetles will have a hard time in finding your plant amidst the straws. Mulching with straw is truly beneficial!

  • Plants against Colorado potato beetle

You should also consider growing plants that can inhibit the proliferation of these beetles in your organic garden. You can grow sage, catnip and tansy alongside your potatoes and other plants that are eaten by these beetles.

  • Bacillus thuringiensis var. San Diego (BTSD)

BTSD is a variation of BT. It is also effective in killing your resident Colorado potato beetle. It is a type of bacteria that can kill these beetles once ingested. These bacteria will multiply in the gut of the Colorado potato beetle instantly killing these irritating beetles.

  • Neem oil solution

Applying neem oil can also be beneficial against Colorado potato beetles. However, you must follow the directions on the label since neem oil can harm other insects that are considered to be natural predators of these beetles.

Getting rid of CUTWORMS with organic pesticides

Cutworms can be truly devastating. Aside from the fact that they look grisly, they can literally decapitate your innocent seedlings and young plants. To be able to get rid of these pests, prevention and some action is a must.

  • Plant collar

You can protect your seedlings and young plants from cutworms by using plant collars. This is a traditional method but it is one of the most effective methods of organically getting rid of cutworms. You can use collars made up from papers, PVC’s, cardboards and even your usually useless toilet tube papers. You can also utilize paper cups and metal cans. These collars will serve as barrier from these pests. Cutworms will not be able to go through these barriers leaving your plants safe and sound.

  • Crushed eggshells and diatomaceous earth

You can use your empty eggshells in eliminating cutworms. You just have to crush these eggshells and apply it on the soil around your plants. You can also use diatomaceous earth for this. This type of method is a bit grim. The crushed eggshells and the diatomaceous earth will inflict wounds to the fleshy body of cutworms. Cutworms will die from dehydration because of this.

  • Toiling your organic garden

Dip toiling and digging your garden at the last weeks of fall and once again on the first weeks of spring can absolutely help. The soil laid eggs and larvae will be unearthed from their hibernation. You can simply crush them thus, eliminating a large population of cutworms. You can also have the aid of chickens. Chickens will surely help you in getting rid of these pests.

  • Bug zappers

You can also use bug zappers. Bug zappers can kill the adult cutworms. If the adult cutworms are killed, there will be nothing to lay eggs thereby eliminating the cutworms from your garden.

  • Pineapple weed or sage brush extracts

A student from University of British Columbia claimed that cutworms will let themselves starve than eat plants and seedlings treated with extracts from pineapple weed or sage brush. It wouldn’t be bad if you try these extracts yourself.

 

Getting rid of MEXICAN BEAN BEETLES with organic pesticides

Mexican bean beetles have overwhelming effects on your organic garden as well as your yields. It is imperative for you to take actions. You can absolutely get rid of these annoying beetles by applying organic methods.

  • Handpicking Mexican bean beetles

Once again, the power of this traditional handpicking method can be applied to your organic garden.  You can start handpicking these beetles on their larval stage. Make sure that you crush these beetles and their eggs. If you are too busy or you don’t have the courage to crush these irritating beetles, you can drown them on a pail of soapy water. To be able to have fun, you can enlist the help of your children or other family members. Just make sure that you are wearing gloves to avoid irritation from the bristly bodies of larvae.

  • Mexican bean beetles eliminator

There are also certain Mexican bean beetle eliminator that is available. These eliminators are the parasitic wasps. These parasitic wasps Pediobiusfoveolatus, was used successfully on organic gardens and farms. These wasps will lay their eggs on the larvae of Mexican bean beetles, when these eggs hatch and become adults, they will kill the beetles. Don’t worry; these parasitic wasps will not destroy your plants. These wasps feed off the nectar of flowers near your bean garden beds. However, there is one drawback in having these parasitic wasps as Mexican bean beetle eliminator, they have short life span and they cannot survive the harsh winter months. Thereby, you need to reintroduce these wasps.

  • Foil prevention

University of California suggests that gardeners should use foil mulch in their garden to ward off insects including Mexican been beetle. The aluminum mulch will reflect the rays of the sun and repel insects. This is one innovative and chemical free way of getting rid of these beetles. It will not hurt if your try this method.

  • Beetle traps

One of the best things that you can do is to trap the Mexican bean beetles. Simply plant one of their preferred bean plants such as soybean. Let the soybean be infested with the beetles and then destroy the larvae and the eggs. This is a very effective way in decreasing the population of Mexican bean beetles.

  • Early planting

What better way can you do but prevent Mexican bean beetle infestation? You can definitely prevent these beetles from taking over your garden by planting early. These beetles are especially active during the mid and late spring particularly on July and August. One of the things that you can do is plant as early as possible. You can plant as early as possible so that you can harvest the beans before July and August. This way, they will not have the time to eat their way in your beans ‘leaves, stems and pods.

 

Getting rid of TARNISHED PLANT BUGS with organic pesticides

These tarnished plant bugs should be eliminated from your organic garden. Aside from the fact that it kills your plants, it also deforms your plants and flowers causing an unsightly appearance for your organic garden. Surely, you wouldn’t want these bugs to deform your precious organic garden right? Surely not!

 

  • PeristenusdigoneutsiParasitic wasp

Researches are being done about  Peristenusdigoneutsi. Peristenusdigoneutsiis a parasitic wasp that is said to help in eliminating these tarnished plant bugs. These wasps kill the bugs on their nymph stage. Killing the nymphs will help in decreasing the population of these bugs. It was already introduced in New Jersey and some parts of New York.

  •  Natural tarnished plant bugs predators

You can also enlist the use of natural predators of tarnished plant bugs. Birds and lizards prey on these bugs. You can nurture birds on your organic garden by placing a bird bath near your irrigation system. Birds are very useful in eliminating other insects too. You can also nurture the growth of big eyed bugs, damsel bugs and the tiny pirate bugs by growing diverse plants on your garden. Grow plants that will lure these beneficial bugs on your garden. These bugs will kill those bothersome tarnished plant bugs.

  • Weed controlling prevention

Controlling the growth of weeds will also help in decreasing the population of the tarnished plant bugs. The clumps of weeds especially those weeds which have broad leaves is  where these troublesome bugs lay their eggs and this is also the place where they hibernate during the winter months. It is important to remove these weeds so that these bugs will have no place to lay their eggs. It will also help in greatly decreasing their population. Remove chickweed, creeping Charlie, dandelion, goldenrod and wild mint from your garden as these weeds host the tarnished plant bugs. Aside from this benefit, it will also help in maintaining the cleanliness and will make your organic garden organized and neat.

  • Use of sticky boards

Many organic ways are not effective in eliminating tarnished plant bugs. The use of sticky boards can be really effective in these bugs infestation. This method is effective since adult tarnished plant bugs fly. You can place your sticky boards in strategic places such as on trees and shrubs. This is to catch these bugs on their flight. Eliminating the adult bugs will decrease their population greatly as there will be no more bugs to reproduce if the adults will die.

  • Organic sprays

You can use some organic sprays such as sprays made from garlic oil, kaolin clay and other plant oils that are irritating to tarnished plant bugs. You can also use this method in large area infestation of these bugs. Organic sprays are best used in congruence with other known effective methods.

Summary

Learning about these methods can be very helpful for you and your organic garden. Feel free to try some of these methods on your garden and reap the benefits of pest free and healthy garden! Bear in mind that organic gardening can be very beneficial. In order to receive all the benefits of having a healthy garden, it is a must to take care of your plants, beneficial animals and insects and everything that is connected with your organic garden! A healthy garden means healthy yield. A healthy yield would mean a strong and healthy family!

All the best

 

 

 

growing herbs

Starting growing herbs can be very physically taxing and time-consuming. You might even wonder why you’d want to go through all the trouble and hard work herbal gardening entails when , you can just buy the spices you want from the commercial stores. Really, why choose to do gardening when you can save yourself from all the dirt and perspiration you will get covered in ? The truth is that growing herbs are rewarding. In fact, having an herbal garden can do wonders for your life and your health. It’s also refreshing and fun! There’s much more to it than just the anticipated time and hard work you need to devote to it.

Initially, an herbal garden requires some investment: time, effort, money, and a little space in your backyard. This may seem like a lot initially, but it really isn’t as bad as you are probably thinking, especially if compared to the results it will give you in the future. The beauty alone can balance the work, herbs can really beautify your surroundings. Just imagine all the refreshing colors and aromatic blend – what a delight to your senses! Having a scenic garden to walk out into definitely revitalizes a person . Tending your garden will never be considered a difficult task when you really consider the benefits you’re gaining.

On top of being beautiful, a herbal garden helps you keep a well-exercised body. All that planting, digging, bending to weed and tend the garden, and even just walking around, work together to help your body benefit. It is an excellent exercise which helps you maintain a fit and trim body while ensuring healthy-looking and radiant skin.

Gardening is also a great way to take a break from stress. Being out in nature has a truly relaxing effect on the mind. Everyday life is full of stressors that you cannot avoid, a big part of it is finding a way to deal with that stress. Gardening is a nice and natural way to release your pent-up stress; the wonderful blend of colors and scents would surely help any person to relieve their stress.

Have I already mentioned that with growing herbs, fresh herbs are always available to you on top of the other benefits? It definitely saves you a lot of time hunting for spices in stores, herbs will be freely available in your garden. Hard to find spices in stores will be easily found if you choose to grow them. Spices in the market can also be expensive, growing your own saves you a considerable amount of money. The only time you would spend money is on your initial investment of buying seeds, seedlings, and the tools and equipment you need for gardening. Purchasing pesticides and insecticides wouldn’t be a problem because herbs are best grown organically and it would definitely give our environment a whole lot of goodness without these chemicals sprayed around. On top of this, you don’t have to buy new tools every year, so this is an initial expense only.

Using spices from your garden also would most certainly add to the delicious flavor and nutritional value of every meal you prepare. These are ingredients that can be grown which are a treat to any recipe. Spices bring magic to every dish because of the aroma and the exotic and unique taste it gives. What’s more? Spices are a good source of vitamins and minerals – more healthy benefit for your body! These benefits even include a good deal of prevention in terms of and different illnesses and diseases. Using your herb garden to spice up your meals is another great advantage of having a herb garden, and another way of saving you money.

The final benefit we’re going to discuss is social. You can make a lot of new friends, and strengthen your bond with family, neighbors, and acquaintances, by sharing your harvests from your herb garden. If you plan your garden well, there will be enough for you and then some. So go on, fill your basket with your spices and offer them as a surprise to your neighbors and friends. You will see for yourself the delight and gratitude this brings from all, it can be quite fun. You can also give special personalized gifts (around the holidays or special occasions) by creatively putting different dried herbs in small bottles or jars as a display or adornment for their homes. Cultivate relationships with other people as you would cultivate your garden, let them feel that you care for them with these simple gifts. It would be an especially great pleasure on their part to learn that you, yourself, have grown these spices. It’s sharing a part of yourself, you have put a lot of labor in for those spices that you are now able to share.

Hopefully by now you’re seeing for yourself what a great idea a herb garden is. But how do you start one? For starters, let us provide you with a list of commonly used spices that you could initially plant to your garden.

 

Ginger

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Ginger is a herbal plant whose rhizomes can be used as a spice or a medicine. Ginger can be in different forms: raw/fresh roots, powdered, dried, pickled, liquid (e.g. ginger ale, ginger tea), oil, or even preserved in a sugar syrup or crystallized into candy. Ginger can also be an effective food preservative. This spice is usually used in Asian, Indian, and Oriental recipes because of its warm and pungent flavor and distinctive aroma. In the West, dried ginger roots are often used in breads, biscuits, jams, and puddings.

Ginger is also a very effective medicinal plant. It has been known to help relieve digestive problems like diarrhea, indigestion, gastric pains, and stomach cramps by helping increase the production levels of fluids which aid in digestion. It helps with other issues of the body as well. Nausea, vomiting, motion and morning sicknesses can also be cured by ginger roots. It even has some chemical properties which help relieve inflammations and pains related to rheumatism, arthritis, soreness, and cramping of muscles and menstrual cramps. The final medical use of ginger roots is for respiratory problems like bronchitis, coughs, chest pains, and asthma. Because of its therapeutic effects, it can help in cleansing the body and kidneys of toxins and aids in blood circulation. Ginger warms the body, increasing perspiration to help cure fever while the juice squeezed from fresh ginger roots can also treat minor burns. All of these uses from one herb make it a valuable addition to any garden.

How to grow:

  1. Ginger is a tropical plant, so prepare a suitable spot in your herbal garden. This should be an area with filtered sunlight and rich, moist and well-drained soil. You can choose to plant them in pots/containers that can drain water well or just plant them directly to the ground. Prepare the soil by mixing compost or organic materials.
  2. Choose some pieces of fresh and plump rhizomes/tubers. Before planting, soak the rhizomes overnight.
  3. In the pot, plant the soaked tubers below the soil’s surface. If in the ground, plant the tubers below the surface area and make sure to leave even spaces between them.
  4. Water the freshly planted rhizomes lightly and when buds appear, you can water it more heavily (2-3 times a week) to keep the moisture level.
  • After about 8-10 months, your ginger is ready for harvesting!

 

Saffron

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As the most expensive spice in the world, it would be wiser to plant saffron crocus yourself if you plan to use it in your cooking. Its actually expensive because it takes more than 70,000 blossoms to produce only a pound of saffron threads! These blossoms are beautiful in appearance. They are purple, and best contrasted in thin and grass-like foliage. The most important part of this plant is the red stigmas which can be seen in the center of the flower. These three stigmas are plucked and dried, and it is these which finally become the valued spice.

As a spice, saffron is used for smell extraction, flavor enhancement, and food coloring for different cuisines (and even for sweet dishes), as well as medicine. The medicinal uses of saffron can’t be discounted because this spice is widely known for its numerous health benefits. When applied topically it can cure, or aid in the treatment of, kidney problems, arthritis, insomnia, digestion problems, gas, and acidity problems, fever, eye problems (like cataracts), headache, asthma, painful menstruation, cough and colds, baldness, and dry skin. In addition to this it actually has anti-cancer properties in it. This is all aside from bringing out flavor in regular meals, and helping to color some food. Aside from these culinary and medicinal benefits, saffron can be a good dye for clothes with its vibrant golden-yellow color. These numerous benefits, on top of saving you money, make it a great choice for your garden.

How to grow:

It is best to plant the saffron bulbs/corms in December to January if located in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, June is the recommended planting time.

  1. Choose a suitable spot in your garden, one with full sunlight.
  2. Prepare the soil. It must be a rich soil, mixed with composite or other organic materials like fallen leaves. The soil must be loose, rich, and well-drained so it would be advisable to prepare a raised bed.
  3. Plant the saffron crocus corms 4-5 cm. deep and sufficiently spaced apart to maximize production, saffron crocus multiplies rapidly when grown successfully.
  4. Saffron crocus should be kept dry during summer because it remains dormant during this time. During the fall, keep the soil from drying up by watering them from time to time.
  5. When the blossoms are at its peak number, you can now harvest them.

  

Garlic

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 With its aroma and unique flavor, garlic is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. It can be used in different recipes, be it baked, sautéed, roasted, or added to different preparations like marinades, soups, and others. Its use in the culinary arts is limitless!

As a medicinal plant, garlic is an all-natural antibiotic rich in antioxidants – it strengthen our body’s immune system against cancer, helps prevent cold and various heart diseases, helps control blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, prevents atherosclerosis, and can reduce Candida yeast infections.

How to grow:

In areas with cold weather, garlic cloves should be planted during the fall. For other areas, its best to plant the cloves during months of September to November, or during the months where days are at their shortest.

  1. Choose an area in your garden where there is a direct stream of sunlight.
  2. Prepare the soil. The soil must be well-drained, and contain a mixture of organic matters like manure.
  3. Garlic is grown from its cloves so you better choose garlic bulbs with large cloves. Separate the cloves from the bulb and individually plant them 1 ½ in. deep and 6-8 in. apart.
  4. An inch of water is needed by the plants (to be deposited once a week). Stop watering when the leaves start to turn yellow, this is done so that the bulbs will firm up.
  5. When the plant’s tops are already ripe and falling over, your garlic is ready to harvest.

 

Sage

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Sage is a woody shrub with a bluish to purplish flower and grayish-green leaves. Sage is a perennial plant, and is perfect as a landscape ornament or an addition to your herbal garden because of its beautiful flowers. With its strong aroma and woody flavor, the plant’s leaves are often used as seasoning for pork, poultry, and other types of meat. As a medicinal plant, sage can aid in digestion, is rich in calcium, Vitamin A and potassium, and has antiseptic properties to treat minor cuts, can help regulate menstrual problems, and can help cure mouth infections (like sore throats and bad breath).

How to grow:

Sage thrives in different climates. But in places with extreme winter, it’s best to propagate your plant indoors, applying heavy mulch to protect the plant from the cold. In areas with too much wet climate, it is better plant the sage in a raised bed to ensure a well-drained soil.

  1. Choose a spot in your herbal garden with full sunlight exposure. Sage loves sunlight but dislikes extreme heat.
  2. Sage isn’t specific in the type of soil to be used, but it definitely doesn’t thrive in soggy or always moist soil. Keep this in mind when selecting a soil type, you will need one which is well-drained; consider mixing compost with the soil for better draining.
  3. Growing sage can either start from seeds or cuttings.

Seeds – Sow the seeds 1/4 in. deep from the soil surface, 8-10 in. apart, and 18-   24 in. apart in rows.

Cuttings – Take a cutting from the plant’s new growth, plant in a pot with a good   draining soil, and leave in a warm dry place. After more than 3 weeks, when the roots have already grown, you can transfer the plant outside.

  1. Supply enough water to the small sage plants, but afterwards, water the plants around 2 times a week or whenever you see that the soil is dry.
  2. It would be best to harvest before the plant starts to flower.

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Dill

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Dill is best known to be used in pickling and its leaves can also be used in different salad, soup, dips, and fish recipes. The seeds can enhance the flavor of breads and pastries, stews, vegetable dishes, and even roasts. The seeds and flower head can be made as oil or vinegar. Dill can also aid in the treatment of digestion problems like gas, colic, and indigestion.

How to grow:

  1. Choose an area in your garden which receives sufficient sunlight yet at the same time is protected from strong winds. Dill plants tend to grow in tall but hollow stalks.
  2. Prepare the soil. It must be rich in organic matter and should be well-drained.
  3. Sow the seeds either on March or April, or even as early as just before the last frost occurs. Plant the seed ¼ in. from the soil surface. Sow the seeds relatively close to each other so that the plants can support one another against strong winds.
  4. Water the plants to keep it moderately moist.Harvesting can be done during the summer or fall.

 

Parsley

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Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American culinary. It has a bright green, hairless texture, and contains the characteristics of herbaceous plants that only grows in a certain temperate climate. It is also an annual herb that grows in tropical and subtropical areas. Moist, well drained soil and a place of direct sunlight are the best fit for the parsley to grow. Parsley usually grows from seed and is best grown with a temperature of 22-30 °C. The leaf, seed, and roots of this herbal plant can be used as a medicine. Oil that can be extracted from the seed of this herbal plant is use to make soaps, cosmetics, and even perfume. The most common use of this plant, as mentioned earlier, is in its use for food garnish, condiments, and flavoring.

How to grow:

Growing parsley is a bit challenging compare to other herb plants but it is worth a try. Parsley requires a germination period of about 3-4 weeks. Room temperature is best for planting the parsley because it promotes germination.

  1. Sow a number of seeds in a 4 inch If you plan to transfer it outside wait for about to 6-8 weeks before doing so.
  2. Have a good place for planting parsley. It requires 6 hours of great sun light a day, and tolerates it with enough shade, but too much sunlight won’t make any better.
  3. Have a moist and well drained soil. If you plant it in a planter make sure that it has good draining holes.
  4. Parsley is a bit sensitive in soil requirement. It requires its soil to be made of a rotten organic material to have a best grown parsley plant.
  5. To harvest parsley, simply cut the sprigs. Leaves and stalks can be eaten when   harvested.

 

Rosemary

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“Sea dew”, more commonly referred to as Rosemary, is native to the Mediterranean, but because it is widely used in culinary and medical purposes, many parts of the world have begun to cultivate it. It is best suited for a warm and sunny climate. It is a shrub that can grow in length up to 6 ½ inches tall. Rosemary characteristics are bitter, possessing a distinct smell that is highly aromatic, particularly when combined with complimentary foods. Rosemary contains iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. Volatile oil can be extracted through the leaves and flowers of rosemary. Laboratory experiments have shown that rosemary contains antioxidants which can neutralize harmful elements in the body, particularly ones that might affect cell membranes and basically may cause cell death. During summer and spring is the time where the plant begins to flower.

How to grow:

  1. In propagating rosemary, cut and layer the seed because it takes time to germinate it.
  2. During late spring or autumn, cut a long 10 cm from the bush of rosemary.
  3. In a small pot, filled with two third coarse of sand and one third pit moss, put the cut bush of rosemary. Soiling that drain well will help the plant to get its required nutrients, even if planted outside. Tips to have a more fragrant rosemary? Plant it in a soil rich in alkaline.
  4. Supply an adequate amount of water and keep it in enough sunlight until the roots begin to grow. Do not put too much water because this plant prefers a drier soil.
  5. Make sure that the soil contains enough lime in order for the plant to not take too much fertilizer.
  6. In a cool and dry lace, put the sprigs of the rosemary. Store in an airtight container after stripping the leaves from the stem.
  7. The bush will still be available for rosemary cultivation.

 Thym

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 The word “thyme” was originally derived from the Greek word which means “to fumigate”. This plant is native to the mountains of Spain, and other European countries near the Mediterranean. It has broad leaves and a weak odor. It contains numerous stems that are round and hard and approximately 4-8 inches in diameter. Its leaves contain a fragrant odor that can produce an essential oil which is how it helps in flavoring purposes (for culinary use). This plant begins to flower in the months of May to August. Well drained soil and tropical climate help the plant to grow healthy. It is a perennial plant which can be propagated by its seeds, roots, and stem cutting. Fresh and dried thyme are both utilized in culinary to add flavor and enhance fragrance. In medicinal purposes, oil that can be extracted in thyme contains 20-54% thymol.

How to grow:

Plant this herb in a dry soil with adequate sunlight. Bushes of thymes propagate itself, that’s why cultivation is not that difficult.

  1. When the flower begins to bloom, cut the top half.
  2. Dry the leaves through the use of direct sunlight.
  3. Strip the dried leaves from the stem and store in a dark place.

Oregano

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Oregano was derived from the Greek word Origanum vulgare which means “joy of the mountains”. This is because it literally grows in the mountains of Greece and some part of the Mediterranean counties. Oregano is a perennial plants that grows best in tropical areas. It is popular for its aroma and balsamic flavor, which is widely used in culinary and medicinal purposes. In Egypt, oregano is usually used as a cure for colds, asthma, sore throat, coughs, and flu. It was first cultivated in the Philippines and some places in Asia. With the length of about 20-80 cm, it has a heart shape leaves that are 3-8cm in long.

Oregano is a good source of calcium, iron, and manganese, as well as Vitamin A, C, and K depending on how one consumes it. There is some confusion when it comes to the oregano’s relationship with marjoram, because they are most likely alike, but when closely examined, the flavor is really different. This is because oregano is much sweeter compare to marjoram and its aroma is more pungent.

How to grow:

  1. Plant oregano with a pH between 6.5 and 0 in well drained soil. No need for fertilizing because most herbs do not require it, especially if not necessarily needed.
  2. Oregano spread easily throughout the season, especially during spring. In late spring, cut the bushes of it for about 1/3 of its size to have more chance of having newly grown bushes.
  3. If winter falls, take oregano that is planted in containers indoors, covering it to protect it.
  4. Trim the dead leaves and stems in order to give the growing ones a chance.

Mint

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The word mint is derived from the Greek word “mintha”. This is not a distinct herbal plant and only has approximately 13-18 known varieties of species. It is also a perennial plant that only grows annually. Its leaves are oblong in shape and are arranged in opposite pairings. It is best grown in directions that allow for some sunlight and can tolerate any climate conditions. Though it can tolerate direct sunlight, it generally prefers moist and cool areas.

Mint is a fast growing herbal plant, largely due to the fact that having only one mint planted in you backyard is usually enough for home use purposes. Mint, though it can be propagated by seeds, seems to be unreliable because they are highly variable in appearance, which may cause you to harvest a wrong one. Fresh or dried leaves of mint are used in the culinary arts. Its characteristics give an additional compliment for food, especially because of its unique characteristic of having a cool after taste. Not only is it great for culinary purposes, but it also provides help in medicinal practices. It provides tea which really helps our body heal from sickness.

How to grow:

  1. The months of February and June are the best time to grow this herbal plant. Germination takes a long time when planted outside, that’s why it is advisable to plant it inside.
  2. With a container, with healthy soil and a good draining hole, plant the seed about 5 cm deep. Cover it with composite and provide it with an adequate supply of water, keeping it moist but not too wet.
  3. When the plants complete the germination process, remove the cover.
  4. Place the container in partial shade, avoiding contact with direct heat of the sun.
  5. When it reaches the length of 5cm, transfer the plant outside where it can be exposed to warm temperatures.
  6. Have a 30cm interval for each plant, and remember to not place it in direct sunlight until the roots fully develop.
  7. Trim, if necessary, to have continuous mint bushes.

 

Cilantro

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Cilantro, or coriander, is an annually grown herb. Every part of this plant is edible. It is a very popular addition to any herbal garden.The leaves can be used in cooking, either dry or fresh. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. Interestingly cilantro and coriander are different in flavor, even though they come from the same plant. Growing this herb is not difficult because it is available any time of the month. Cilantro is relative to parsley as it has noticeably alike leaves. It is also known as Chinese or Mexican parsley as it originally comes from said places.

It grows to about 2 feet in height. The seeds are used as flavorings for some cases while the leaves are usually used for sandwiches, salads, or even salsas. Though available for planting at any time of the year, planting of it is sensitive because once planted, replanting is not an option. It requires a warm temperature for its germination process and it takes 2 weeks to complete the cycle.

Perfumes of ancient Greeks use the oil which is extracted form the cilantro. Romans use it to remove the smell of the rotten meat. Nowadays, this plant is being used continually in culinary arts for its fantastic flavor and for medicinal purposes (specifically its ability to heal some sicknesses). This herb contains an antioxidant and has a great ability to cleanse the body by removing the toxins that can be found in body tissue.

How to grow:

  1. Sow the soil about 1 cm deep and provide composite to cover it.
  2. Provide a 35cm interval between each seed.
  3. If planted in a container, have a depth of 15cm to help its roots develop well.
  4. Direct heat of sunlight is not advisable. 4 hours of it is enough for the growing stage.
  5. Adequate amount of water is necessary, but too much of it won’t help because its roots can’t stand in water. If it is planted in a container, make sure the pot has a good drainage hole.
  6. Have the soil sown every week to ensure enough nutrients are being absorbed, and make sure the soil is always in a moist condition.

 

Tarragon

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The term tarragon is derived from the Latin word “Dracunculus”, which means little dragon. Tarragon is a perennial herb that usually grows for about 2 feet in heights. It is usually best harvested during the month of August. For approximately 120-150 cm tall, this plant requires relatively little water supply. Its flavor is like a combination of aniseed that is sweet and tastes of vanilla all in one herb.

Store the dried leaves in an airtight container to prevent the loss of quality. Tarragon also produces oil. Tarragon is the main ingredient in making Béarnaise sauce. It is also used for poultry which perfectly enhances its flavor and can also be used in making wines and oils. Having a set of its dried leaves is better to be used in cooking compared to the fresh one. But when compared to its flavor, dishes that use the fresh one actually receive the compliment of having a stronger flavor. One good fact about this plant is that pests hate its smell which helps nearby plants be protected.

How to grow:

  1. Make sure that you carefully select a place that is best suited for planting this herb. The climate may be cool or warm and there must be an adequate supply of water and enough shade from the sun.
  2. Sandy type of soil is best for the growing of this plant. It cannot stand in water so make sure that the soil provides good drainage.
  3. Water it regularly, but when its winter time, just provide enough water but not too much.During winter, tarragon seems to die but it’s actually just dormant. All you need to do is to cover it until spring comes.
  4. The best time for harvesting the herb is during the summer. Collect the best leaves, and by that you may decide whether you want it to use as fresh or dry.

Onion

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Onion, or bulb onion, is one of the most essential and widely used herbs. Way back in Egypt, it took 2000 years to finally cultivate it as well as leek and garlic. Onion comes from different colors like red, yellow and white. As the onion varies in color, so do they vary in taste. Yellow onions provide a hot and pungent feeling to your eyes, which is the best known cause behind onions making your eyes watery. White onions are best used as pizza toppings because it provides a sweet taste among the three. And the red one creates a strong flavor when being cooked.

When onions are being chopped and heated they release a very good smell, especially when combined with garlic. They are also used (even uncooked) as toppings for pizza or salad mixes.

In chopping onions, our eyes become watery. This is because of the cell being broken that result in enzymes triggering amino acids to produce sulfenic acids and trigger the lachrymal gland (found in our eyes) which results in the production of tears.

Growing this can be done by seed as the fruit grows under the soil. It is easy to grow but unfortunately results in a short lived life.

How to grow:

  1. A windy place with a partial sunlight is best in growing this herb. It should also be planted in a muddy type of soil.
  2. Dig the soil and free the area of weeds or any objects that may affect the growing process.
  3. Provide a hole for each bulb and then cover it with soil. Harden it with your feet to make the soil harder, it will benefit the growing process.
  4. Make sure there is at least a 10 cm interval between each bulb, and allow 20-30 cm of space.
  5. Supply an adequate amount of water during spring, but the plant does not require it during autumn and winter.
  6. The best time to harvest it is during late spring.

 

Basil

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Basil is derived from the Greek word “basileus” which means “king”. Basil is native to India. It is an annual plant which is normally used in Italian cuisine and by Asian countries in their culinary purposes. Its leaves have a 3-11cm length and a 1-6cm width, ultimately reaching a height of 30-130cm. It has a white small flower.

Basil consists of different essential oils which can be found as a result of using basil’s different varieties. Basil is usually used when fresh. It is also the main ingredients in making pesto. It can be added to cocktail drinks. Direct encounter with heat when cooking will easily destroy the flavor. It must be stored in an airtight container to keep it fresh. Since too much heat will destroy its flavor, using a dry one only provides a weak flavor (like hay’s flavor).

Some research that has been done on basil has said that it contains flavonoids that protect cell structure of the human body. It also contains antioxidant and phytochemicals that help our body to avoid illness and disease. Essential oils are often made of basil extract which have been used as a resistance aid that is commonly found in an antibiotic drugs. It also exhibits great use in healing anti inflammatory problems. Basil also provides vitamins, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium, all of which are essential for our cardio vascular heath.

How to grow:

  1. If you want to plant seeds of basil indoors, put one to two seeds in each pot.
  2. Make sure that the container contains a good drainage hole, then provide good sunlight. Supply an adequate amount of water daily.
  3. When two leaves grow, it should be safe to decide to transfer it outdoors. When grown outdoors, make sure that the plant acquires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  4. Sow it to allow the soil provide a good air condition for its roots.
  5. Keep the soil moist and avoid watering its leaves and stems.
  6. When the flower begins to bloom, pinch it. This will help the plant to maintain a good flavor and will give more chances of having good leaves.
  7. Basil planted indoors will be available throughout the year, but when planted outdoors it is better to harvest it before winter because it cannot tolerate frost.

Marjoram

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Another perennial herb from the Mediterranean is marjoram. It is often mistaken as oregano because they belong in the same herb family. As an herb, it is also used in the usual popular ways, for flavor, health, and beauty purposes. It has a mild spice and a bittersweet flavor. Marjoram grows to about 30-70cm. Its light green oval shape leaves contains a sweet flavor that is good for culinary. Its flower usually blooms during summer and comes in three colors, white, pink, and purple.

Marjoram is not only being cultivated for culinary uses but also for utilization in health and beauty purposes. Essential oils which contain marjoram extract are being used in aroma therapy. It is known for giving a particularly soothing effect, especially when applied directly to the body. It is also used in ‘love potions’. It is often used in treating mood swings of women, like menstrual periods or even symptoms of menopause. It is only helpful in the remedy of bronchitis and sinusitis.

Marjoram cannot hold cold temperature so it is best cultivated in warm places. It requires a long germination process. The best month to sow the plant is either April or May. It also grows in a sandy type of soil. When the plant begins to flower, the tops should be cut and are able to be dried. It can propagate through seed, stem cutting, or even by roots division.

How to grow:

  1. Provide a soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. You may put composite to have a good harvest.
  2. Make sure that there’s good drainage, the plant is provided with adequate water and either full or partial sunlight.
  3. Germination process takes approximately 10-14 days. The plant can be harvested in approximately 3 and ½ months.
  4. Harvest the leaves when grown to 6cm. You should do it before the plant start to flower, because if this happens and you haven’t harvested the leaves, the flavor will be bitter. But you may still collect the seeds which can be planted for the next spring.

 

Fennel

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Fennel comes from the family of apiaceae with a genus and species of foeniculum vulgare. It is a perennial herb that grows to about 2.5 meters in height. It has feathery leaves with 40cm long and 0.5 mm wide. Its flower is yellow and usually blooms in the month of July and August. Its seed is oval and brown in shape.

It provides a fragrant odor that is helpful for enhancing one’s appetite. You may prefer to use ground seeds and or raw or cooked stalks. It is used commonly in making sausages and absinthe.

Recent research has found that fennel has the ability to remove phlegm and destroy bacteria that negatively affects our body. Many enchanting features are being provided with this amazing herbal plant. It can treat bronchitis, coughs, and even digestion problems. Both the roots and the fruits are generally used as medicine. Some therapeutic uses of fennel include its uses as a mouthwash for individuals who have gum disease and sore throats.

How to grow:

  1. Germination process of fennel takes 1-2 weeks.
  2. Plant it in a place where there is direct sunlight.
  3. Prepare a loose and type of soil with adequate drainage. You may add composite if you prefer.
  4. Cover the seeds until new leaves begin to grow.
  5. Have an interval of 10 inches between each seed.
  6. Growing it may be similar to celery because it grows in stalks, not underground, so once it has started to develop its bulb, make the soil a hill-like image.
  7. If you want to, you can harvest bulb water it regularly, but if you want only the seed it is not necessary because a dry soil will help to propagate more seeds.
  8. It took 2 ½ to 3 months to be ready for harvesting.

 

Celery

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Celery is native to Greece, but the name itself derives its name from the French word “celeri”, it was only later that it was spelled as celery. It was first used by the Romans and Greeks for medicinal purposes, they believed it was a holy plant. In ancient times, without a prior knowledge of using it in cooking, they used it as medicine for various illnesses and diseases like flu, coughs, digestion problems, and many others. Nowadays, it is primarily used for its benefits in cooking.

Celery only has usable stalks and leaves. Its leaves are dark green with 3-6 cm long and a wide of 2-4cm. Its grey-white flower is 2-3 mm in diameter. It has a great flavor and aroma which can enhance the taste and smell of your stew, soups, and even sauces. The growing season of celery begins in the month of September and the blooming season happens from July to November.

Though low in calorie content, celery still supports our health through its ability to treat illnesses and diseases. Calcium, potassium, folic acid, phosphorous, dietary fibers, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins are just a few of the compounds that can be found in this plant.

How to grow:

  1. Plant the celery in a place where there’s direct sunlight. Ideally the temperature should be at least 70° to 75°F during the day, and 60°F at night.
  2. Set the plant up with an adequate drainage system, plentiful supply of water, and good air circulation. These conditions are a must if you want your celery growth to be successful.
  3. Have an interval of 6-8 inches between seeds and 2-3 feet row distances.
  4. Give at least an inch of water per week.
  5. In harvesting, cut it, but be careful not to reach the soil line.

Bay leaf

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Bay leaf is derived from the Latin word “lauraceae” which means praise and nobilis. This plant is a tree that can grow tall, as high as 30 feet. It has a yellow or green flower. Its leaves are dark green and funnel shaped, usually measuring at about 3-4 inches long. It has a pungent and bitter taste. It is usually used in a dried form as it is in this form that it best enhances the flavor of stews, soups, meat, and vegetables. Unlike any other herbs, the dried leaves of it are actually removed from the dish before serving because it might be poisonous if it stays too long on your dish. In the Filipino culture, it is best used in their famous adobo. While in Indian and Pakistan cuisine, they use it as an accompaniment to their rice, in dishes like biryani and garam masala.

Having a strong aroma helps bay leaf be useful in killing insects. Mountain laurel and cherry laurel are types of laurel that are poisonous, so be sure that you have adequate knowledge of these varieties before using it in cooking. Though it has a bad reputation because of the potentially poisonous aspect in some varieties, it still has huge benefits in the medical community. This great herb contains copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, all of which are substances that our body needs. It also contains an essential oil and has a stimulant to increase appetite.

How to grow:

  1. Direct sunlight is needed by this plant.
  2. This plant is not fussy. It can thrive in any climate. Fertilizing it is not necessary either, although if you prefer using it, you may.
  3. Summer time is good for its propagation, cut the stem for about 4 to 5 inches, and then plant again.
  4. It doesn’t require too much care; all you need to provide is a healthy soil and good sunlight with a good drainage system for its water.
  5. Harvest it in a couple of years, fresh leaves should be dried because it has a bitter flavor compare to the dried ones.

 

Allspice

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With a total height of 10-18 meters, allspice is a shrub. It is called allspice because it shares similarity of taste with four different spices; cloves, juniper berries, and pepper. It grows best in a tropical and sub tropical climate. Historically, it is said that Christopher Columbus was the first to introduce allspice to Mediterranean and European cuisine. He was said to bein search of a different spice when he found allspice. Nowadays it plays a big role in Caribbean cuisine. This can also be made as a tea by drying the leaves and berries. The taste of allspice and cloves are very much alike, that’s why it can act as an alternative in some dishes. Though this plant requires patience before getting the benefits, it is worth the wait.

In the months of June, July, and August, its flowers begin to bloom and will provide you berries. When berries ripen, it will lose its aroma. This means that berries should be harvested before the aroma is gone, this is when it is most ripe.

It contains a stimulant that helps our body in physical and mental functions. It also helps our body to solve digestion problems. Though its oil has less of a role in aromatherapy, it can still provide (or can help) in other ways, including some respiratory problems.

How to grow:

  1. It is recommended that you grow it in an area where the temperature remains at a constant of approximately 26 degree Celsius.
  2. It doesn’t require direct sun light so just provide a place with partial shade.
  3. Loose soil and good drainage should be considered a must, this is to help the roots acquire good air circulation.
  4. Keep up an adequate supply of water available, and do not let it have a dry soil for any extended period of time as it will negatively effect the growing process.
  5. It is best to plant it between spring and summer time. Then when the tree is fully grown, at about 40 feet in height, you can harvest its berries.
  6. Propagation is primarily done by its seeds.

 

Catnip

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Catnip is a perennial plant that belongs to the family laicize, with the species of genus Napata. It is native to Europe and Southwestern to Central Asian. The reason why it is called catnip is that its smell has always attracted cats, and for that reason, people derived the name fromthe word Catania, a Latin word meaning cats. The odor is most likely enjoyed by cats because it smells like pheromones of an opposite sex cat. In relation to this, rats hate it because it tends to represent the smell of cats. I think we all know that cats and rats are mortal enemies. For this reason, catnip can actually help you to protect your plants from rats and other pests.

It can grow to about 2 feet with grey greenish foliage. It has a white to pale purple flower that grows in a variety of shapes (from triangular to oval). It also has a mint odor in its leaves and stems. Each reddish brown flower produces 4 seeds. The leaves are triangular and sometimes come in heart-shapes. Its roots grow horizontally and it has a hairy stem.

Catnip has historically been used as a home remedy for pregnant women and people with fevers and pneumonia. It can cause you to perspire a lot when you make it as a tea, this is because your body heat increases in response to the temperature of the drink. That’s why it has been used to treat people with fever.

How to grow catnip:

  1. During spring season, catnip propagation is most effective.
  2. Provide a moist soil with an adequate amount of sunlight in an area with good airflow.
  3. Have an interval of 12 to 15 inches between the seeds.
  4. If growing indoors, provide at least 6 hours of daily sunlight. Pinch each flower to acquire more leaves.
  5. Let the leaves reach 8 inches in size before harvesting.
  6. Dry the leaves during summer.

You can also propagate them by regularly cutting their stems.

 

Anise

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Anise is an annual plant that can grow as high as 1 meter or more. It comes from the family of apiaceae, with a genus species of pimpernels animus. Its leaves are feathery and its seeds are brown that provide an aromatic odor. The parts being used in this plant are the fruits and seeds that are being dried. It is native in Egypt and Mediterranean. Though it is a slow growing plant, it is still distinguished by its unique and strong flavor.

Anise has a strong taste of licorice that has been used in baking cakes during ancient times. It can also be used in beverages, especially in liquid cough medicines. Using its seeds also enhances the flavor of fruits, vegetables, and meat in cooking. It goes along with the flavor of cinnamon and bay leaves if combined. The essential oil produced by this plant can be an alternative for those that are commercially used.

Oil of anise has a compound used in the cleaning of teeth. The tea should be brewed first before drinking. It can also be used as a eucalyptus which is a good help in respiratory problems. It can also increase your appetite stimulant. It can also be added in manufacturing soaps, perfumes, and any cosmetic products, but also to improve aroma.

How to grow:

  1. Its flowering period is in the months of July to August.
  2. It requires full sunlight with an adequate supply of water.
  3. Sow the seed in a moist type of soil. Measurement should be ½ inch apart with rows of 2.5 to 3 feet.
  4. TIPS: To have a fast germination process, plant it near coriander, because research has shown that coriander helps in the formation process of anise seeds.
  5. You may add fertilizer if you think that the soil cannot sustain enough nutrients for the plant.
  6. Cut the head of the flower that is already brown before it falls.
  7. Dry it in direct sunlight and store it in an airtight container once you fully achieve its dryness and crispiness.

 

Ginkgo Biloba

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Over 270 years back, ginkgo biloba was recognized as a living fossil. It is native from China and widely used in various cooking and treatments. It can reach the height of 20 to 35 meters. It is triangular in shape and has a strong root that can fight against damage from snow and wind. The leaves turn to bright yellow during autumn season. It is best grown in a place where there is a good water and adequate drainage. As the tree ages, it will become broader. Leaves are usually unlobed and short. And this tree is the national tree of China.

Ginkgo produced a nut that is used in making congee. Taking a large amount of it may cause poisoning because it contains a neurotoxin called 4′-O-methylpyridoxine (MPN), which is not being destroyed when heated. But aside from this, ginkgo biloba is well known for its ability in helping one with memory enhancement. But the effect of this on individuals who have blood circulation problems is not recommended because taking ginkgo biloba can trigger more side effects in those with this condition.

Chemicals found in this plant are flavonoids and terpenoids, which are believed to have antioxidant properties that are good for humans’ body. Having this planted in our backyard will benefit us with shade(and not only us humans but also animals can be benefited too).

How to grow:

  1. Growing this plant with a seed is a good way of propagation. Start it in the month of January when the embryo starts to develop.
  2. When the seeds turn to leaves and the plant begins developing its roots, water it regularly.
  3. Provide with full sunlight and keep them away from weeds that compete for nutrients.
  4. Keep the soil moist.
  5. Maintain its environment until the roots are firmly attached in the soil.

 

Lovage

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Lovage is a perennial herb that belongs to the family of apiaceae. Its name is derived from the word “love” because during ancient time it was the main ingredients in love potions. Its leaves are dark green, with a greenish yellow flower. It grows to approximately 1.8-2.5 meters. This herb has both culinary and medical purposes. It helps our body with respiratory and digestive problems. It is abundant in Southern Europe and Western Asia. It is propagated by seeds. Its leaves can be used freshly in making salads, while its seeds can be use as spice (like fennel). The flower usually blooms during spring time. It has a warming and therapeutic effect on human bodies.

It normally grows in a place where there is an adequate amount of sunlight. The aromatic and stimulant functions of this plant can be found in its roots and seeds. The seed’s purposes are more powerful than its roots. It is widely spread in Great Britain but is native to the Mediterranean’s mountain.

How to grow:

  1. Provide a lot of space for growing this plant, it will ultimately grow to 6 feet.
  2. You can provide any type of soil, including sands, but make sure that there is good sunlight.
  3. If you decide to have it planted first in the container, have at least 4 seeds planted per container. Supply enough water in the first two weeks and you will be fine. You may provide fertilizer if you wish.
  4. When the roots can seem to be carrying enough nutrients, you may now transfer it outdoors.
  5. During the first year it will not be seen growing. When it does begin growing, it will grow to be 2 feet in height, this growth will be fast and you can now harvest it.
  6. During the autumn season, you may cut the stem, leaving some marks to have good grown stems in the coming season.

 

Borage

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It is an annual plant that is also native to the Mediterranean. The United Kingdom climate is good in growing this plant. It is also known as “starflower”; it grows to about 60 to 100 cm. Its leaves and stems are hairy. The flower is usually blue, but sometimes comes with a pink one, its shape is triangular.

The taste of borage has been likened to cucumber. It is also used as garnish and may also use in salads. The flower provides a sweet taste like honey. It is also said that it is a good companion plant, especially with tomato, because it removes or otherwise confuses moths, which prevents them from interfering with the plants growth. It helps the tomato to grow to a fully developed, healthy fruit and makes the taste better.

Borage also helps individuals with hormonal problems. When taken properly it can also make one to perspire and it also helps to produce more milk for women. It also has anti oxidants and fatty acids, specifically called gramma-linolenic acid. Borage can also be found in skin care products like soaps and lotion.

How to grow:

 Lacing with direct sunlight is best for growing borage. Sandy types of soil best suit it.

  1. If you want to have flowers during summer, you may sow it in spring for preparation. But if you want it flowering in spring, you sow it in the autumn season.
  2. Provide 60cm interval for each when planting.
  3. When done, always provide adequate amount of water.
  4. It will begin to mature after 6 weeks. You may harvest it when the flower is already open.

 

Chamomile

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Chamomile can be an annual or perennial plant. It is derived from the Greek word chamaimelon, meaning “earth apple”. Its height is 6 to 24 inches. Its flower is daisy-like and usually grows best in moonlight. It can release a delicate aroma when being rubbed. The smell that is being produced was like that of bees and butterflies. Flowers are season-long. Chamomile may be used fresh or dried, and enhances the taste of butter, sauces, and sour cream. It is considered a safe plant, but when combined with other plants its safety may be at risk. Suggested and recommended intake of this is between 400 and 1600 milligrams. Too much doses might result to vomiting. It can be made as a tea, which give a relaxing and refreshing feeling because of the mild taste.

In Europe and the United States, chamomile is used as a main ingredient in making beverages. It can also benefit your muscle because it acts as a muscle relaxant. It has antiseptic and anti inflammatory abilities. It may also help to control insomnia.

How to grow:

  1. The germination process of chamomile takes for 7 to 14 days, and ultimately takes 1 month to be harvested.
  2. First grow it in a pot and then place it under full sunlight.
  3. Sprinkle only the seeds on the surface of the soil. Then water it regularly.
  4. Provide fertilizers if you have a very poor soil. Keep it moist.
  5. Plant it with 12 to 18 inches intervals in transplanting.
  6. Best time to harvest is during summer season.

summary

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “If you plant, you can harvest”. This is easily applied to planting herbs in our own backyard. Having a little patience in planting herbs will yield great benefits in oneself and will be a very rewarding activity. Growing herbs can become a hobby once you have a passion in gardening this will seem like the most natural thing in the world. Herbs are very useful, not only in culinary purposes but also in medicinal ability, which can help us to have a healthy body.

Wouldn’t it be good to imagine having fresh harvested herbs planted in your backyards? Having herbs will provide you availability of these herbs, saving and even potentially making you money. If you invest time in getting good at gardening, you will have the opportunity to sell some of your herbs. This lets you earn while you enjoy propagating these plants. You can also think of better uses of this without wasting money buying in the store.

This is definitely not the cleanest way of learning, it does require you to put some dirt in your hands and nails, it may cause some perspiration, may cause you to get tired. But the truth is that it will ultimately cause you to have a lot of new experiences, whether good bad. The benefits it will provide you with in the end, seeing all your hardship in planting, seeing healthy grown herbal plants with a beautiful rewarding flowers and fruits…significantly outweigh the downsides.

Nature loving is very healthy. Being surrounded with healthy herbal plants can reduce stress and boredom. So there, with this knowledge in planting herbs in our backyard hoping, I hope I have helped contribute to giving everybody a healthy living.

All the best

 

growing seeds-tips and techniques for saving vegetable seeds

d0d95622f6670ac1d18862.L._V372424593_SX200_[1] For those growing an organic garden, there is nothing more enjoyable than picking and saving seeds in order to plant them at the appropriate season.

In this manual I gathered tips and techniques from over 20 years of experience, simple explanations, and illustrations.

so , in this guide i will teach you:

 

  • Structure of a Seed.
  • Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms
  • seed Growth and Development
  • Seed Dormancy.
  • Seed Germination
  • Factors Affecting Seed Germination
  • Internal Factors
  • External Factors
  • steps in Seed Germination

You have surely seen and maybe you’ve also planted or have eaten some of it before, but how much do you know about these tiny but complex living things known as seeds? Just imagine how this little seeds can grow up and develop to be some great, tall trees or even become the smallest shrub or plant which produces flowers and fruits and other edible food for our consumption. Wonderful isn’t it?

Seeds are tiny, matured ovule of a plant and encased in a seed coat for its protection. It contains an embryo and has some stored food inside. The development of seeds in seed plants completes the reproduction process. Seeds are capable of propagation that’s why these are usually sown for the purpose of growing new crops.

The importance of seeds is evident not just on how it helps crop cultivation, but also on the spread of seed plants in different biological niches like grasslands, forests, jungles, savannas, etc. Apart from this, some seed species can be eaten. Examples of edible seeds are: grains, beans and nuts. These seeds form part of healthy diet for humans. Seeds can also be made as oil or vinegars.

This guide will focus on seeds and its development and more importantly, on the different tips or techniques in ensuring development of the seeds to seedlings. For this chapter, the focus will be on the basics regarding seed and its propagation.

 Structure of a Seed

For better understanding of a seed and its development, its different parts must be discussed.

There are three parts of a seed:

(1) Seed coat;

(2) Endosperm and;

(3) Embryo which contains the cotyledon, radicle, hypocotyl, epicotyl and the plumule.

The seed coat is the protective cover of the seed from possible attacks of insects, fungi or bacteria. The endosperm is the stored nutrients and food supply needed for the growth of the embryo to a seedling. The embryo is the immature plant which will grow to a seedling; it’s different parts are:

(1) Cotyledon – the seed leaf, it will become the first leaves of the seedling;

(2) Radicle – the root of the embryo which would later develop as the roots of the plant;

(3) Hypocotyl and epicotyl – the stem of the embryo;

(4) Plumule – the shoot of the embryo.

 Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms

Gymnosperms are vascular plants which produces seeds protected by woody cones instead of fruits. Gymnosperms is the Greek term of “naked seed”, relevant to the cone-containing seeds. Gymnosperms are usually represented by coniferous trees like pines, firs, ginkgoes, spruces, cedars, and redwoods. Gymnosperms do not have flowers and their leaves are retained throughout the year.

On the other hand, angiosperms are plants which produce flowers and therefore fruits. The seeds are contained in the fruit. Angiosperms have two types: monocots and dicots. Monocots have only one cotyledons with flowers in multiples of three (e.g. grasses, corns) while dicots have two cotyledons with flowers in multiples of 4-5 (e.g. oak, roses).

seed Growth and Development

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Seed Dormancy

Before entering the germination phase, seeds undergo the state of dormancy. Dormancy is the state wherein the germination process is suspended because of various conditions within or outside the seeds. Seed dormancy is an important phase because it provides time for the dispersal of seeds before germination. Dormancy also protects the seeds and seedling from possible harm or death during unfavorable weather or from transient herbivores. Aside from these, dormancy happens to prevent the seed in germinating in unfavorable external environment like when the climate is too hot or too cold. Actually, in many species of seeds, dormancy may take up to months and even years.

There are two major types of seed dormancy: the endogenous and exogenous dormancy.

Endogenous dormancy is the effect of the conditions within the embryo and this type of dormancy includes:

(1) Physiological dormancy – wherein there wouldn’t be any seed germination which will occur until the required chemical changes occurs, the factors that usually affects this type of dormancy are temperature, light and drying;

(2) Morphological dormancy – happens when the embryo of the seed is underdeveloped, this immature embryo undergoes dormancy to give the embryo the time to further grow and be fully-developed;

(3) Combined dormancy – also known as morpho-physiological dormancy, this type of dormancy is the combination of the preceding types of dormancy

Exogenous dormancy is the effect of the conditions outside the embryo; this would include:

(1) Physical dormancy – happens when the seeds unable to absorb water or prevented from exchanging gases.

(2) Mechanical dormancy – when the protective covering or the seed coat of the seed is too hard to allow growth and expansion during germination

(3) Chemical dormancy – these may involve leaching out of chemical growth inhibitors by natural factors like rain or snow and other means like washing or soaking the seeds

Seed Germination

Germination is the process wherein the embryo within the seed grows and develops forming a seedling. After the state of dormancy wherein growth of the embryonic plant within the seed is prevented, growth resumes with the germination stage. Only with favorable conditions within and outside the seed will the seed undergo germination and resumes growth to become a seedling.

So what are the factors affecting seed germination? It might seem impossible, but within this tiny seeds are different processes which happen.

Factors Affecting Seed Germination

 There are certain factors which could affect the germination of seeds, these factors could be from the external environment of the seed or it could be innate for the seed. External environment factors would include: water or moisture level, oxygen, temperature and light; while internal factors may include: genotype, seed vitality, dormancy and seed maturation.

Internal Factors

  •  Genotype – The genetic or hereditary factors of a seed affects seed germination, it controls the size of the seed and its growth rate. Several studies have confirmed that a seed with a larger size produces a faster germination and emergence of shoots and roots because it contains a larger reserve of nutrients.
  • Seed viability – Viability is the capability of a seed to germinate. The issue in this factor is how long will a seed remain dormant and so retain their ability to germinate. Usually, a period of dormancy characterizes different seeds and there is a specific time frame for these seeds to germinate after ripening. Thus, if these seed doesn’t fails to germinate within the time frame, it means the seeds can now be considered as not viable.
  • Seed dormancy – How long the seed remains dormant affects seed germination because the seeds will not germinate unless it passes the stage of dormancy.
  • Seed maturation – Immature seeds will fail to germinate that’s why seeds need to be matured.

External Factors

  •  Moisture – Water is very important in the germination of seeds. Seeds are particularly dry and they would need to absorb enough water to resume metabolism and growth. Absorption of water is called as “imbibition” which leads to the softening and breaking of the protective covering or seed coat. The embryo then awakes and resumes growth which would be evident when the seedling comes out of the seed coat and the leaves and roots starts developing.
  • Oxygen – Oxygen is essential for the seeds’ aerobic respiration. Respiration is needed to enable metabolic process within the germinating seeds since this will be their main source of energy while they don’t still have the leaves to aid them in photosynthesis.
  • Temperature – Different species of seeds germinate at different ranges of temperature. Since temperature affect growth rates and even cellular metabolic processes within a seed, various seeds will likely germinate on favorable conditions which include temperature. Many seeds are dependent on temperature for germination and they will only germinate when the right range of temperature is achieved. Some seeds require cool temperatures while others require warm to hot temperatures for germination.
  • Light – Most seeds is not really affected by light or darkness but it some cases, light can trigger germination. An example would be various species of seeds common in jungles and forests – they will remain dormant until enough light reaches them.

 

steps in Seed Germination

 In seed germination, several stages occur before an established seedling is produced.

  1. The imbibition of water involving respiration
  • In this stage, two steps are involved: water absorption and respiration. The seed rapidly absorbs water because of the transfer of water molecules to the extremely dry seed. When the seed is already saturated with water, it will now only absorb lesser water and starts breaking down stored nutrients to transfer to the embryo are growing points. The next step would be the respiration wherein uptake of oxygen and conversion to carbon dioxide occurs for production of energy. Respiration also involves formation of enzymes.
  1. Enzyme systems activation
  • There will be an increase in activity of the newly formed enzymes while protein synthesis increases for the preparation of the next stage.
  1. Metabolism of stored nutrients
  • Synthesis of enzymes and proteins lead to metabolism of nutrients for the food of the embryo within the seed, for example, the conversion of starch to sugars for the growth of the embryo.
  1. Emergence of radicle and growth of seedling

The emergence of the radicle or the embryonic root will be the first sign of seed germination. From this step, the other parts of the embryo like the embryonic leaf will emerge. Continuously, it grows leaves, stems and root systems and is now a seedling.
Saving Seeds

Tired of all the technical jargons encountered in the preceding chapter? Now, this chapter would be on the tips or techniques for the best ways of saving your seed to become a successful crop and a healthy growing plant. This chapter is the highlight of the whole discussion, so brace yourself for more, there’s still a lot to learn regarding seeds!

Saving seeds is a process wherein you yourself will produce the seeds you need for your garden. Seed saving involves the selection of the best plant where you could gather its best fruit. From

these chosen fruit will be the seeds you will save and then preparing these seeds to store them properly.

You might be wondering why you should choose to save seeds on your own when in fact you can just buy them from any local stores offering agricultural supplies. Why indeed? One reason is to save money because you wouldn’t need to buy the seeds anymore, saving seeds is very inexpensive, and in fact, it can be totally free! What’s more? Plant propagation from sowing these seeds will be ultimately dependent on your will – of what conditions are needed and which variety of that seed do you want to save. The process is entirely in your control. Aside from these, heirloom seeds’ genetic diversity is well-preserved by saving seeds. Whoever said that seed saving is difficult? Nah, it’s definitely very easy and a fun activity to do! And of course, saving seed is an educational activity and it can also make you feel empowered and more satisfied.

With the advantages of saving seeds on your own, the seeds you’d want to grow in your garden are best gathered from heirloom seeds. But what are these heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants, this type of seeds are capable of producing crops which are the same as the parent plant. In contrast with heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds come from cross-pollination with other varieties of the plant. Hybrids are meant to cross-pollinate two plant varieties in order to combining the features of the parent plants. The problem with hybrid seeds is that these will not produce plants consistent with the qualities of the parents. So between heirloom and hybrid seeds, heirloom seeds are preferred because of its consistency in producing plants with features same as the parent.

There are a lot of seeds out there, and proper propagation and techniques vary from seed to seed. So for your convenience, we’ve come up with a list of seeds together with the tips on properly saving their seeds.
Tips on Saving Seeds of different organic plants

 

Tomatoes

dgshsfCertainly, it’s much easier to just buy tomato seeds or seedlings in farmer’s market or any agricultural supply stores than to manually save seeds from tomato fruits. Well, where’s the fun? Saving your own tomato seed is definitely a fun thing to do aside from the fact that you can ensure that the tomato fruits is of high quality

Prepare the things you would need in saving the tomato seeds: spoon, knife, container or a jar with a wide mouth.

 

Tip No. 1. Choose an heirloom tomato fruit rather than a hybrid one. Heirloom tomato seeds will “breed true” unlike hybrid tomato seeds wherein you are not sure of what you’ll end up with. For better results of choosing an heirloom tomato fruit, you can ask a tomato fruit from a local gardener in your area.

  • Choose a fully ripe tomato, not an over-ripe one. Tomatoes which are over ripe may contain seeds which are already germinating or it is starting to rot.
  • Save tomato fruit from the plant which produces the best-tasting tomato and choose the best-looking fruit amongst them. The seeds from the chosen fruit will likely result to tomato plants producing the same excellent quality of fruits.

Tip No. 2. After choosing the right tomato, slice it in halves across the equator.

Tip No. 3. Scoop out the insides of the fruit including the seeds, gel, or liquid. Add some water.

Tip No. 4.  Loosely cover the mouth of the container. You can use a plastic wrap and poke some holes in it.

Tip No. 5. Set the container aside within 3-5 days. What we’re trying to achieve here is a fermentation process for the gooey gel surrounding the seeds to mold.

  • Make sure that you set aside the container in a warm place and away from direct sunlight.

Tip No. 6. When the molds can be seen on the water surface, this proves that the gel has already      broken down. Remove as much of the mold as possible by scooping it down and throwing it away.

Tip No. 7. Rinse the seeds with water, throwing away any debris and seeds that float.

Floating seeds are bad seeds which wouldn’t germinate.

Tip No. 8: Get a coffee filter or a paper plate where you can put the seeds to allow them to dry completely.

Tip No. 9. Put the dried seeds on plastic envelopes or small paper bags or envelopes. Store the packet of seeds in a cool and dry place and keeping it away from direct sunlight. Properly label the packet for you not to forget the seed type or kind.

When you properly store the tomato seeds, it will be able to germinate even after years of dormancy

Beans

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Beans have different varieties, but the most common among them would be the string beans, dry beans, lima beans and the wax beans. Beans are included in the legume family which forms part of a healthy diet for us. Beans are a healthy inclusion in our diet, and as much as possible, you’d certainly want to organically produce your beans most especially that the primary purpose of growing them is for your own consumption. Organic seeds are much more expensive than the regular ones, so it surely will help your pocket a lot if you save your own seeds for the next planting season.

It might seem that saving bean seeds are extremely difficult. You will surely be surprised to know that the activity is not just relatively easy, actually, it’s very, I mean VERY easy! Try for yourself.

Materials to be used: container (jar or paper envelope), paper towel

Tip No. 1. When the harvesting season draws close, start selecting the vines wherein you could get the seeds from. Remember to choose plants which are non-hybrid for you to be sure that you get the same produce like from the parent plant.

Tip No. 2. Allow the beans to mature and completely dry out. This would be evident when the color is already brown and the seeds inside the pod rattle when you shake it.

Tip No. 3. Pick and collect all the bean pods now. Just get all the seeds from the pod removing any part or piece of the pod. Choose the best seeds among the collection, remove wrinkled or broken seeds.

Tip No. 4. You can directly store the seeds but for precautionary purposes, it’s better to lay them first in any paper or towel and let them completely dry out for a few days. Damp or moist seeds have a risk of developing molds or signs of rotting.

Tip No. 5. After ensuring that the seeds are really dry, put them in any container like on envelopes, plastic packets and even jars. Label the container with the name or variety of the bean and the month and year when you stored the bean seeds. Also, make sure that you store the seed in a dry and cool place.

So how did you find the difficulty level in saving the bean seeds? It’s really easy!

Pepper


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The best way to ensure that you’ll be having seeds you can plant on the next planting season in your garden is to save your own seed. Aside from that, it’s also a nice way to save some money because you won’t need to buy seeds from the farmer’s store anymore. Anyway, why would you choose to make these business owners richer when in fact you can do seed saving on yourself? You can also ensure that the plant you’ll be planting will produce the same quality and yield like the one you have now.

There are a lot of variety of pepper which can range from sweet to hot ones, for example, the bell pepper variety and the chili pepper variety. With the differences, the ways of saving the seeds is relatively the same save some precautions and protection needed for handling the chili variety.

Materials needed: knife; hand gloves, mask and/or goggles; a jar or container with a tight lid, small sealable bags or paper bags

Tip No. 1. Choose a healthy-looking and vigorous plant with the most delicious peppers on it. Again, don’t forget to note if it is a hybrid or an heirloom one. What we want and need is to collect heirloom seeds.

Tip No. 2. Let the peppers mature and ripen in the plant. Upon seeing that the peppers start to wrinkle, you can now pick them. A good precaution in handling chili peppers is to use gloves, mask and/or goggles to protect your eyes, nose and skin because chili can prove to be an irritant to these body parts.

Tip No. 3. – For bell pepper variety, you can cut the bottom and the top of the fruit. Slice it then remove the seeds inside. Separate the seeds from the fleshy part of the fruit then place it in a fine mesh. Subject the seeds under light running water and rinse it removing any residue or other debris from the white fleshy membrane of the bell pepper. Look out for the floating seeds and remove them because these are immature or bad seeds.

– For chili pepper variety, simply tear open the pepper then rub and shake the seeds from it and put the seeds in a fine mesh. Rinse the seeds, remove residues and floating seeds. Again, better use some protection in handling the chili variety like usage of gloves.

Tip No. 4.  Now that the seeds are cleaned, you can place the seeds on the paper towel, spread the seeds and allow it to dry. After a few days, you can check whether the seeds are fully dry by testing if a seed breaks with the pressure from your fingernails or when it breaks by simply bending it between your fingers.

Tip No. 5.  After the seeds are completely dried out, put them in a tightly lidded container or paper bag or a re-sealable bag to prevent moisture from developing inside. Moisture may cause the seeds to germinate or it may start to mold. Label the container with the pepper variety and store it in a dark, dry and cool place.

Squash

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A nice way to save money and preserve heirloom seeds is to save your own seeds. Saving squash seeds would be a great way to do this heirloom preservation, but then the problem with this is that squashes are famous cross-pollinators.

So read further and check out our tips and techniques to help ensure “pure” squash seeds!

Before we get on the saving seed tips, it is first and foremost important to ensure that you are to save seeds from heirloom plants. This is because squashes are known for its notoriety when it comes to cross-pollination, and you wouldn’t want to produce squashes which aren’t consistent or the same as the parent plant. First of all, you have to look for a local gardener which could provide you with an heirloom squash seeds. If you can’t find any, then you would need to buy them from agricultural stores. For least chances of cross-pollination and to be able to produce heirloom seeds from these pure squash plants, plant only one variety of squash in your garden.

So you’ve already sown those seeds which grew and bore fruits, now you’re set to save your heirloom squash seeds!

Get the following materials ready: knife, colander, spoon (or anything which can be used to effectively scooping out the seeds), paper plate or old newspaper, a jar or an envelope

Tip No. 1. Let the squash mature. Make sure the squash is fully ripe when you pick it. It would be preferable if you wait around 6-8 weeks after the supposed date of harvest when you pick the squash. If the seeds are given more time to mature and ripen within the fruit, it will surely gain more robustness.

Tip No. 2. Scoop the seeds out to remove them from the squash; you can use your hand or a spoon in doing this. Separate flesh from the seed.

Tip No. 3. Rinse the seeds completely free of other debris or residue from the flesh and pulp under running water using a colander.

Tip No. 4. Let the seeds dry by spreading these to a newspaper or a paper plate. The seeds would surely be completely dry within several days up to a week.

Tip No. 5. Protect the heirloom seeds by storing them in an envelope or a jar and place it in a cool and dry place. Your heirloom seeds will last for several years if properly stored.

Cucumber

 aertwetwet

 Aside from being a healthy food, cucumbers is also a beauty food. You can use it to reduce the puffiness around the eyes and lighten dark circles around it. Saving cucumber seeds will save money because you won’t need to buy your seeds, you will also have a continuous supply of cucumbers that will save you a lot of money from buying beauty products for your eyes (e.g. concealers, lightening creams, etc.)

 

In choosing the right cucumber for its seeds, taste one from the vine. This is important especially that some cucumbers have a bitter taste, and you wouldn’t want to choose that. After you’ve tasted some, determine which vine produces the best tasting cucumber and mark it. Save the fruit in the said vine for seed saving.

So what are you waiting for? Experience the beauty of saving seeds!

Prepare the following materials: knife, spoon, deep bowl, colander, container

Tip No. 1. Of course we don’t wait for the cucumber to ripen when we eat it, we wait until it’s mature enough to be eaten. But in picking the right cucumber, don’t pick it when it can already be eaten. Instead, pick it when the cucumber is already soft, big, and yellowish.

Tip No. 2. Cut the cucumber open in halves, but do it carefully to avoid destroying and cutting the seeds.

Tip No. 3. Scoop the seeds from the fruit and put it in a bowl. Add some water in it.

Tip No. 4. Set it aside for a few days. If molds develop on the surface, don’t worry. The mixture is undergoing a fermentation process for the seed and its gel covering to separate.

Tip No. 5. Remove the mold and then rinse the seed a few times. To shake off the few remaining water droplets, use a fine mesh colander.

Tip No. 6. Spread the seeds on a piece of paper or any paper plate then let it dry for a few days.

Tip No. 7. If you try to bend the seed and it snaps instead of bending, the seeds are now dry enough and ready to be stored away. Put them in a container like a jar or a ziplock then store them in a dry place but cool enough to avoid moisture on developing inside the container. Moisture can trigger germination or it may also destroy the seeds because of rotting.

 

Lettuce

 rtywrtywrty

Lettuce plants is easy to grow and very easy to save seeds from. It is an ideal plant for saving seeds because it does not cross pollinate, instead, its flowers self-pollinates which would entail that the seeds will retain the characteristics from the parent plant. A possible problem would be saving lettuce seed is that the parent plant is a hybrid one. The cross-pollination would be attributed to human interventions like when seed companies or local gardeners do the cross pollination instead of the plant doing it by themselves. Saving seeds from hybrid plants, will likely result to different issues like: the lettuce may flower but it won’t produce seeds; the lettuce plant may produce seeds but it fails to germinate; the lettuce may produce seeds that germinate but the plants which will be produced which is not the same to any of the parent plants; or it may produce seeds which germinates and has the same characteristic like the parent plant. So you see, saving seeds from hybrid plants would be a gamble, you won’t be sure if the result would be good or bad, there’s no way of knowing what is the exact outcome. So be sure to save seeds from self-pollinated lettuce plants.

Saving lettuce seeds is very easy, it doesn’t require much energy and effort in doing the activity and instead it requires time and much patience.

Here is the list of the things which would be needed: knife, a ribbon or a stake for identifying the plant, a big bowl, and a container.

Tip No. 1. Choose the plant from which to save your seeds from. Select the healthiest plant among your lettuces. While it would be alright to choose only one plant for your seeds because it could generate many seeds, it would be best to save from more than one plant to have more reserve seeds that you could use for the upcoming years. Aside from that, lettuce may produce slight differences through time so it would be advisable to save from more than one lettuce plant.

Tip No. 2. After choosing the plants, label them. You can simply put a stake or any identifying mark to be able to identify them later on.

Tip No. 3. Now here comes the waiting part. The lettuce plants will eventually bolt or it is now going to produce seeds. This would be evident when a stalk grows from the top of the plant and later on flowers. The flowers will now self-pollinate and then grow seed heads which would look like some white puff balls.

Tip No. 4. Let the seed heads mature until it nears to shedding its seeds. Seeds close to shedding get darker while the plant dries out. Be careful in harvesting because if you pick the seeds to early it would not be mature enough. Immature seeds are characterized by being greenish in color and flatter than matured seeds. Another precaution is that leaving your seed heads too long, the seeds will start to shed and strong winds could easily blow away the seeds. So for best results, pick the seed heads when the seeds are matured enough and the heads are not completely dried out. And don’t forget to harvest the seeds by carefully cutting the stems below the heads.

Tip No. 5. Separate the seeds by holding the stalks and shaking it onto a sheet, basket, but its best to use a big bowl for separating small pieces of dried plant that may have been mixed with the seeds. Not all seeds will shake free but others would not so you must manually separate the left ones. Large and small pieces of the dried plant may be left together with the seeds. Pick the large pieces, at the same time, tilt the bowl at an angle where one side is higher than the other side. Now continually blow on the mixture of seeds and small pieces of the dry plant. The pieces of dry plant are lighter than the seeds so it would be easy to blow the dried plant parts away. Continue to do this until most or all of the dry plant parts are gone.

Tip No. 6. Let the seeds completely dry out by spreading it out on a sheet of paper on sunny days. Dry them for 1-2 days. Be cautious during damp nights; cover the seeds so that formation of molds or mildew will be avoided.

Tip No. 7. When the seeds are completely dried out, you can now store them in a container jar. Put them away in a cool and dry place.

Okra

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Okra, also known as “Lady’s Fingers” is popular in India and the southern parts of America. The okra is characterized as a green with a somewhat fuzzy and ribbed skin. Its insides have a gooey and sticky texture and it is also full of seeds. In culinary, okras are should be picked while it’s not too matured and doesn’t exceed a length of 3 inches. It’s best eaten young because as they get bigger than 3 inches and matures, the woody flavor and unpalatable texture would be unpleasant.

In saving the okra seeds, do not store it for more than a year. Okra seeds doesn’t store well for a long time that’s why only save enough of what will be used for your garden. Again, choose to plant heirloom seeds only. For best chances of producing heirloom seeds, plant only one variety of okra because it easily cross pollinates with other varieties. Hybrid plants won’t produce true seeds, so you better be careful in planting varieties.

Thing’s you will need: gloves (optional), bowl, jar

Tip No. 1. Choose the healthiest okra pods and reserve it for seeding. Allow the reserved okra pods to mature in the plant until it gets brown. Allow it to dry in the stalk naturally until the pods start to split. When this happens, start removing the pods from the plant. Be careful in handling the plant, you can use a pair of gloves to avoid being irritated by the tiny and spiny mechanism which covers the okra stalks because these can irritate your skin.

Tip No. 2. Use the bowl as the container of the pods picked. Break or pry the pods lengthwise and the seeds will readily fall down.

Tip No. 3. Let the seeds completely dry out for a few days by spreading it in a sheet of paper. After complete drying, put the seeds in a tightly closed jar and store in a dry but cool area.

Tip No. 4. Again, only save seeds which are enough for the next planting season not exceeding a year because the seeds will not remain viable after the year. Another thing before planting the seeds, soak the okra seeds in water for a couple of hours.

watermelon

 ethsrtywrty

 Watermelon is a great treat during the summer. This sweet and delicious fruit is also full of juices, making it a perfect thirst-quencher. Save money by growing your own watermelon, and save more by saving some seeds without needing to buy the seeds from stores. Besides, planting watermelon is a fun activity. What more but because of the joy of seeing a seed grow to a plant and then produce large fruits like these watermelons. It’s definitely a mouthwatering treat for the whole family! Aside from that, saving the seeds is very simple.

What you will need: large knife, spoon, bowl, strainer, paper towel, small paper bag

Tip No. 1. Select a ripe watermelon for your heirloom seeds. Slice it with a large knife and then use the spoon to scoop out the seeds inside.

Tip No. 2. Put the scooped seeds in a strainer then rinse it by holding the strainer under running water. Continue to rinse it until all of the flesh or fiber tissue from the watermelon is gone. Afterwards, transfer the seeds in a deep bowl.

Tip No. 3. Fill the bowl with water, the water should cover all the watermelon seeds completely.

Tip No. 4. Use the spoon to stir the seeds. Separate the bad seeds from the bowl by removing and throwing away all the seeds that float.

Tip No. 5. Continue stirring the seeds until no seeds are floating in the water surface.

Tip No. 6. After ensuring that all the bad seeds are gone, use the strainer to drain the water from the bowl.

Tip No. 7. Prepare the paper towel and spread a single layer of the watermelon seeds on it for the seeds to dry.

Tip No. 8. Place the paper towel in a dry but sunny area to allow the watermelon seeds to completely dry.

Tip No. 9. Ensure even drying among the seeds by stirring the seeds daily. The seeds will dry completely within a period 1-3 weeks.

Tip No. 10. Put the dried seeds in a small paper envelope or paper bag and then store it in a cool and dry place.

sunflower

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Sunflowers are a good addition to your garden. Its glorious beauty and color will surely brighten up your garden! When you wake up in the morning and you open your windows to let the fresh morning air in, upon seeing those sun-kissed flowers, it surely brings delight to one’s heart and a nice smile on the lips – it definitely gives you a cheery feeling making you start the day just as better. Yeah, just imagine those big and yellow sunflowers lining up your garden, its exquisitely wonderful! Aside from beautifying your garden, sunflower seeds can be eaten, and it can also be a food for birds. It definitely serves different purposes that’s why saving seeds from this beautiful flower is a must.

Materials needed for the activity: scissors, brush, paper packet

Tip No. 1. Wait until the sunflowers are dry on the stalks or when it begins to die before you cut the head. Drying is evident when the back of the head turns yellow from the usual green color.

Tip No. 2. The head would still be covered by tiny yellow buds so it’s better to set it aside for a few until all the yellow buds become brown. Brush the brown buds aside until the seeds are revealed.

Tip No. 3. Now, be patient to pry the seeds out. There are many of these seeds thus it may take time before you finish it.

Tip No. 4. You can put the seeds on a paper envelope or bag and then store it in a cool dry place. Don’t forget to label the paper packet with the sunflower variety and date of harvest.

Summary

Seeds are important in food production because it is used in cultivating plants. Seeds are sown to grow as a crop or any plant that’s why there is a need of saving seeds.

Saving seeds definitely varies from seed to seed and even with variety. An important factor which should be considered in saving seeds is selecting heirloom seeds over hybrid seeds. Now that we’ve given you some tips on saving seeds and thus saving money, you can now start saving seeds on your own. Saving seeds can be very easy and could give one lots of fun!

 

All the best.

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Posted by in blog on Aug 20, 2016

SHOWING THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT FOR ALL PLANTS
CULTIVATED IN THE GREENHOUSE, CONSERVATORY, STOVE, PIT,
ORCHID, AND FORCING-HOUSE.
.

INDOOR GARDENING FOR THE MANY.

JANUARY

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
CINERARIAS.—The plants intended for large specimens must receive their final shift, and be allowed sufficient space to expand their foliage without interfering with or injuring each other. The side-shoots to be tied out.
EPACRISES.—As some of them will be preparing to burst into flower, a little arrangement may be necessary in tying them out to display their spikes of bloom more advantageously.
FUCHSIAS.—If wanted early, the plants that were first put to rest should be selected, and be fresh potted, cutting back the roots, beginning with a small-sized pot; to be shifted into larger when the roots have extended to the outside of the ball. Place them in a nice moist temperature of 50° by day and 40° by night.
HEATHS.—To be looked over, and the dead and decaying leaves removed. The most forward in bud—such as the Vestitas, Vernix, Vasciflora, Aristata, Beaumontia, and many others, to be tied out, and arranged for the season.
PELARGONIUMS.—When large specimens are wanted, tie out the branches at equal distances, and down as near to the rim of the pot as possible. Air to be given at all favourable opportunities. Water to be given but sparingly, and not overhead.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Be careful that the night temperature is not raised too high: if kept at 50° in severe weather no ill consequences will result. The atmosphere to be kept rather moist, especially if the weather is bright; and all plants indicating an appearance of starting into bloom to be removed to the warmest part of the house.
CLERODENDRONS.—To be shaken out of their pots; their roots reduced and repotted into small pots in a light sandy loamy compost. Sow seeds, and also of any hard-wooded stove plants.
Water to be given very cautiously to the Orchids, merely sufficient to prevent the plants from shrivelling; and to do this effectually it is necessary to look over them every day. The air of the house to be kept moist by sprinkling the pathways, floors, tables, &c., daily. If any plant is found not to have ripened off its bulbs it should be placed in the warmest part of the house, and the ripening process encouraged. The Brassias, Cyanoches, Cœlogynes, Miltonias, and other such plants, when they are beginning to grow, to be repotted. The compost to consist of turfy peat mixed with a portion of charcoal or broken potsherds, and the pots to be at least half full of very open drainage.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—Very gentle excitement to be given by fire or artificial heat, with kindly humidity, and abundance of air.
FIGS.—Although they will bear a higher degree of temperature without injury than either Cherries or Peaches, it is advisable to begin cautiously, as it frequently happens that the more haste with fire the less speed with fruit, and that favourable opportunities of sun and light must be embraced for making sure progress with them.
PEACHES.—Where the trees are coming into bloom it is necessary to be cautious in the application of humidity, and when they have expanded their flowers to withhold it altogether for a time. Fire or other artificial heat to be applied moderately—that is, from 45° by night to 55° by day, particularly when dark and gloomy weather prevails. The houses now commencing to force to be kept moderately moist, and in a sweet healthy state, syringing the trees pretty freely once or twice a-day with tepid water. Shut up early on sunny days, and sprinkle the paths, floors, flues, or pipes frequently.
VINES.—When they have all broken, the superfluous buds must be rubbed off, and the young shoots stopped as soon as they are long enough to admit the points of the shoots at one bud above the bunch being broken out. In vineries now commencing to force, adopt the practice of producing, where it can be applied, a kindly humidity by means of dung and leaves, or other such fermenting materials. If they are to be broken principally by fire heat, either by flues or hot-water pipes, copious syringings must be resorted to with tepid water once or twice a-day. Fire heat to be applied principally by day, with air at the same time, and very moderately at night.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants will now require particular attention and a nice discrimination in the application of water: it may be comprehended by all persons interested in gardening operations, that when the soil on the surface of the pot looks damp it will not require water until it gets thoroughly dry at this season, and then it is to be given before the plant droops or flags for want of it. But when the plant droops and the soil on the surface appears damp, the cause is then to be discovered by turning the ball out of the pot, when it will be seen whether the whole or only a portion of the soil is wet; as it sometimes happens, when fresh potted with light soil, it shrinks from the sides of the pot when dry, and when water is given it runs down and moistens the outside, without penetrating the ball. The evil is corrected by holding it for a short space of time in a tub of water of the same temperature as the house. If the soil of any plant is sodden with water it should be turned out of the pot, and the drainage examined, and no water to be given until it becomes thoroughly dry.
VERBENAS.—They require to be kept tolerably dry, as they are more susceptible of injury from damp than from cold; a top shelf near the glass in the greenhouse is a very suitable place for them. If mildew appears, to be dusted with flowers of sulphur.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Although all plants now at rest should be kept comparatively dry, they will require to be looked over daily to see that they do not suffer for want of water. The temperature not to exceed 60° by fire heat, and a fall of 10° may be allowed at night in very cold weather. Many of the stove plants—such as Aphelandras, Justicias, Poinsettias, &c.—may now be cut down altogether, and kept dry for a few weeks, which will cause them to make an early growth, and to come into flower a few weeks sooner next winter.
GESNERAS.—Select a few roots of them and a few of the Gloxinias to start into growth to produce a succession of flowers.
FORCING-HOUSES.
ASPARAGUS.—If the soil in the bed is dry, give it a liberal supply of water, so that it may descend to the roots, as unproductiveness is sometimes caused by the soil at the roots being very dry when the top is kept moist by gentle waterings.
BEANS (Dwarf Kidney).—Sow every three weeks, if a constant supply is wanted. Keep the early crops well supplied with water, and give them frequent sprinklings overhead, to prevent the attacks of red spider.
MUSHROOMS.—An abundance of water to be thrown about the floors. If the beds are dry, to be syringed with lukewarm water, applying it like dew at intervals for a few hours. Temperature from 50° to 60°, with air occasionally in favourable weather.
PEACHES.—Continue previous directions. The trees in bloom to be artificially impregnated, and the foreright shoots to be rubbed off a few at a time before they become too large. Currents of air to be carefully avoided, especially when the trees are in bloom, as they have been sometimes observed to sustain injury from the two end doors being left open for a short time. Air to be given at the top daily in favourable weather.
PINES.—As the days lengthen and the light increases the plants that are swelling their fruit should be supplied with a gradual increase of heat (from 65° at night to 75° or 80° in the middle of the day in clear weather), water, and atmospheric moisture; while others that are in bloom and starting into fruit require more air or more moderate temperature, care in watering and less atmospheric humidity. Some of the strongest succession plants that are grown in pots to receive their final shift, that they may make their growth for fruiting in May or June. In old-fashioned pits or houses, where the flues run near the tan-bed, the plants should be closely examined, as they are apt to be injured by fire heat in such a situation.
STRAWBERRIES.—A few dozens more pots may be placed in a frame where there is a gentle heat and an atmosphere more congenial to their healthy growth than in a house.
VINES.—When they have made shoots two or three inches long, the night temperature to range from 60° to 65°, with an increase of from 5° to 10° during the day.
PITS AND FRAMES.
Keep the plants in these structures as hardy as possible by fully exposing them in mild weather, but do not give any more water than is absolutely necessary. Remove all decayed and decaying leaves, and keep the atmosphere in as healthy a state as possible.
Make small hotbeds for sowing Cucumbers and Melons, Radishes and Early Horn Carrots, Cauliflower and Walcheren Broccoli, Lettuce, and various other things, which will be found useful where the late severe weather, or other cause, may have diminished the autumn sowings.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
VENTILATION is requisite in mild weather, as stagnant air is always unfavourable, especially to the plants blooming in the conservatory. Water sparingly, and damp the house as moderately as possible, as water settling on the flowers will soon destroy them. When the plants, bulbs, or shrubs in the forcing-pit have developed their blossoms, let them be removed to the conservatory, where they can be preserved much longer in perfection. The plants to be looked over every morning, and every dead or decaying leaf and flower to be removed.
HEATHS.—Fire heat should only be given when mats or other such coverings are not sufficient to exclude frost, as nothing so much injures the constitution of the Cape Heaths as a close, damp atmosphere. Air should be allowed to circulate freely amongst them at all opportunities.
PELARGONIUMS.—The plants intended for specimens should be finally shifted. Air to be admitted at all favourable opportunities, and a slight increase of temperature given. To be kept near the glass, and free from green fly. If they have made no winter growth they will now be the better prepared to progress in a robust, healthy state.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
AMARYLLIS.—Attend to the shifting of them as soon as they show signs of growth. Let them be placed in the stove, and give a little water, increasing it gradually as the leaves unfold.
ORCHIDS.—If other departments of gardening are likely to occupy more time than can be very well spared as spring operations accumulate very fast, it is advisable to proceed with the potting of Orchids from this time forward, beginning with those that are showing signs of growth. Peat cut into from one to two-inch cubes, fresh sphagnum to be soaked in boiling water, to destroy insects, and charcoal lumps, with an abundance of crocks, are the materials to be used. Any plants that had become very dry should be immersed in tepid water for an hour the day previous to shifting. The climate of the countries and the localities from whence the species come are the best guides to their successful cultivation; as the treatment required for Oncidium Carthaginense would kill O. bifolium, and Cattleya Forbesii will thrive where C. Skinneri will die, and in like manner with many others.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CAPSICUM.—Sow seeds of the large sort in pans or pots, to be placed in heat. When the seedlings are an inch or two high pot them singly into small pots, and replace them in heat; to be afterwards shifted when necessary until the end of May, when they may be planted out on a south border.
CHERRIES.—Plenty of air, atmospheric moisture, and a very moderate temperature, are the requisites for them. If the buds are beginning to swell, 45° will be enough to maintain by fire heat, lowering the temperature down to 40° at night, with a moist atmosphere.
CUCUMBERS.—The plants in bearing to get a top dressing of fresh, rich soil. Keep a sharp look out for the destruction of insects. When the plants in the seed-bed have made one rough leaf pinch off the leading shoot above it, so as to cause the plants to throw out two shoots from the axil of the leaves. Cuttings put in and struck in the seed-bed will come into bearing quicker than seedling plants.
PEACHES.—If the weather is very dull and unfavourable for giving air where the trees are in bloom, it is advisable to shake the trellis towards noon for dispersing the pollen.
PINES.—Proceed with the routine as advised in last Calendar.
STRAWBERRIES.—Keep them close to the glass, and remember that they are impatient of heat: let 45° be about the maximum, with a very free circulation of air. If they are plunged in a pit or dung-bed, let the bottom heat be about 70° maximum, with an atmospheric warmth of 55° to 60°.
In such a situation they will want scarcely any water until they begin to throw up their blossomspikes.
TOMATOES.—Sow seed of the large. To be treated as advised for Capsicums.
VINES.—To be looked over carefully, and as soon as they are sufficiently forward to distinguish the embryo fruit all useless shoots to be removed—that is, all that do not show fruit, and are not required for wood next season. It may also be necessary to take off some of the shoots that show fruit where they are very thick. If two shoots grow from one joint one of them should be removed.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The compost intended for the plants in these houses should be prepared and sweetened by several turnings; and a sufficient supply for immediate use should be stored in an open shed.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—To be potted into larger pots as they require them; compost equal parts of turfy loam, peat, and leaf mould, with a sprinkling of silver sand. To be kept in a moderately-moist atmospheric temperature of from 45° at night to 55° in the day. To be slightly syringed with tepid water on sunny days, and to be kept free from insects.
FUCHSIAS.—After the old plants are shaken out of their pots, and their roots reduced and fresh potted in a compost of turfy loam and peat, with a little leaf mould and some sand added, to be introduced to a temperature of 60°. When some of the young shoots are an inch long they may be taken off, and inserted in pans of sand kept damp, where they will soon take root, and will require to be pushed on in heat to make fine large specimens for the conservatory or flower garden.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Water them with care and moderation. Air to be given freely night and day in mild weather. Fire heat to be applied only, and then merely sufficiently, to exclude frost. The strong shoots of the vigorous young stock to be stopped in due time as the best foundation for future good specimens.
Sow seeds of Thunbergias, Phlox Drummondi, Mignonette, Ten-week and other Stocks, in pots, to be placed upon a slight hotbed.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
ACHIMENES.—Place the tubers thickly in pans, to be potted singly as they appear, in equal portions of leaf mould and sandy loam; to be started into growth in a moderate bottom heat.
GLOXINIAS.—Select a few varieties. To be shaken out, and fresh potted in equal parts of turfy loam and heath soil and a little sand. To be excited in bottom heat.
GESNERA ZEBRINA.—Those which were first in flower should be dried off for early work next season. This is to be done by withholding water gradually, and by keeping their foliage still exposed to the light.
Sow seeds of Egg Plants, Cockscombs, Amaranths, and other such tender annuals in heat, to grow them in good time into fine specimens for the adornment of the conservatory in summer.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—The plants preparing for ridging out early in February will require attention in airing, and watering with tepid water occasionally when dry, and to be kept close to the glass to produce sturdy growth. The plants on dung-beds require great attention at this season. To be kept within eight or nine inches of the glass; to be stopped regularly; and to maintain a heat of not less than 70° by day; to be able to give air to dry the plants. The fermenting materials to be always prepared ready to receive the linings when the heat declines. For those who are fortunate enough to be provided with pits heated by hot-water pipes, such constant labour and attention will not be necessary.
MELONS.—To be treated as advised for Cucumbers.
PEACHES.—When the blossoms are beginning to expand, discontinue syringing, but sprinkle the pathways, to produce a moist, but not too damp, and consequently a healthy, state of the atmosphere. Fresh air is indispensable and should be admitted at every favourable opportunity; and if the cold external air could be made to pass over the flues, or hot-water pipes, so as to get warmed before coming in contact with the blossoms, a gentle circulation would be constantly kept up until the fruit is fairly set.
PINES.—Great care is necessary when syringing, more especially those that are about throwing up their flower-stems, that no more water may lodge in the hearts of the plants than will evaporate during the day. But if, from any cause, a portion remain until evening, it should be drawn away by means of a syringe having a long and narrow tube at the end of it, or by a piece of sponge tied to the point of a small stick.
STRAWBERRIES.—When these are throwing up their blossom-spikes a little liquid manure may be given, but it should be very weak, and perfectly clear. A succession of plants to be introduced where there is a gentle heat. The decayed leaves to be trimmed off, the surface of the soil to be stirred, and the pots to be placed on shelves near the glass.
VINES.—Continue the treatment as advised last week.
Keep up a succession of Kidney Beans, Asparagus, Sea-kale, and Rhubarb.
PITS AND FRAMES.
Cuttings of Anagallis, Heliotropes, Geraniums, Lobelias, Salvias, and Verbenas may now be struck in a gentle bottom heat, and pushed forward to make good sized plants for bedding out when all danger from frost is over.

FEBRUARY.

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Proceed with the potting of the young plants in the greenhouse, and the small specimens of all kinds, using the soil tolerably rough, with a liberal sprinkling of sand, and good drainage. To be kept rather close until they make fresh roots.
AZALEAS (Indian).—Introduce a few into heat; to be fresh potted before starting them, giving a rather liberal shift into good peat and sand, with thorough drainage. A moist-growing temperature between 60° and 70° to be maintained, with plenty of air in favourable weather. Sow seed, as likewise Rhododendron, in a gentle bottom heat.
KALOSANTHES.—To be started into growth, potting them in a compost of half turfy loam, onefourth turfy peat, and one-fourth decomposed leaf mould, with plenty of coarse gritty sand, and an admixture of charcoal and pebbles or potsherds broken small. A liberal shift to be given, and to be kept in a temperature of from 45° to 50°.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Select young plants of the Boronias and other such families, and give them a liberal shift; they delight in good fibrous heath soil, with a good portion of sharp sand, and plenty of drainage. It is advisable to pick off the flowers, and to pinch off the tops of the young shoots during their growth, to form handsome specimens.
ORANGE TREES.—Be vigilant that scale and all insects are removed from them and from Neriums, and other such plants before they begin to grow, as young wood and foliage are more difficult to clean without injury.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Stove plants in general will now require an increase in the amount of atmospheric moisture, and a slight advance in heat; such an advance to be made, more especially on bright afternoons, when solar heat can be enclosed in good time, and with it a moist and congenial atmosphere.
CRINUMS.—Pot them if they require it, but without disturbing the ball of earth about their roots; to be favoured with an increase of heat to start them afresh, and during their active growth to be liberally supplied with water.
GLORIOSA SUPERBA.—Shake out the roots, and repot in good fibrous loam, with a sprinkling of sand, and place them in bottom heat. No water to be applied to the tubers until they have commenced their growth.
FORCING-PIT.
Continue to introduce for succession bulbs, Lilacs, Roses, Sweet Brier, and the many other plants previously recommended as suitable and useful for that purpose. A temperature of from 65° to 70° to be maintained, with plenty of moisture in clear weather.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—Trees in pots to have their shoots stopped when they have made three or four joints, and to be supplied occasionally with liquid manure.
MELONS.—The fruiting-beds to be prepared and in readiness for the reception of the young plants as soon as they have nearly filled their pots with roots.
PEACHES.—If a house were started, as advised at the beginning of the year, a second should now be set to work. Syringe the trees several times a-day in clear weather, and once or twice in all weathers until the flowers begin to expand. Attention to be given to the early house, when the fruit is set, to thin it partially, but to leave one-third more on the trees than will be required to ripen off. If Peaches are intended to be grown in pots for next season, the maiden plants should now be procured, and potted in nine or ten inch pots. The Royal George Peach and Violette Hâtive Nectarine are the most eligible for that purpose.
PINES.—If any indications of the presence of worms appear on the surface of the pots a watering with clear lime water will remove them. The same steady temperature to be kept up in the fruiting-house or pit as lately advised. Although it is sometimes recommended we would not advise to withhold water at the roots for the purpose of starting them into fruit; for if, by proper management, they are good, healthy plants, they will have formed their fructiferous parts before this time, and therefore should not be allowed to get dry, but be watered when they require it with tepid water.
VINES.—The successional houses to be treated nearly in all respects the same as the early houses; the temperature may now be increased in accordance with the increase of light rather more rapidly at an early stage of their growth than that of the house in which forcing was commenced in December. When Vines for the early crops are grown in pots, put the eyes in 60sized pots, and plunge them in a dung-frame or pit, with a bottom heat between 70° and 80°. The Hamburghs, Black Prince, Muscadine, and Sweetwater are the kinds to be preferred for that purpose.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As plants naturally, after their season of rest during the winter, now begin to grow, it is advisable to shift the young stock, and all others that require it, into fresh soil, by which they will be the better enabled to progress to a healthy-blooming state without check or hindrance. Although from this time to the middle of March is to be considered the most favourable season for a
general shift, nevertheless it may be necessary to shift some plants more than once or twice during their season of growth.
CLIMBERS.—To be attended to, removing weak and dead wood, and cutting back to three or four eyes where an increase of young shoots is desirable. To be frequently syringed, to keep down red spider, as they are more liable than other plants to be infested by them.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The advice given for the shifting of the general stock of greenhouse plants will also be applicable to the fresh potting of the stove plants.
BEGONIAS.—Being of free growth they delight in fresh soil, consisting of equal parts of sandy loam and leaf mould. As a general rule they are repotted in February and August; but exceptions are sometimes made, and a shift is given whenever the roots become cramped or matted in the pot. The knife to be used cautiously, unless with the tall-growing sorts.
GLOXINIAS.—To be now started, if not done as advised a fortnight ago. When planted press the roots gently on the surface of the soil, and give them no water for some time; as the moisture in the soil will be sufficient at first until they begin to grow, when a little may be given, and the supply to be gradually increased as they advance in growth. When potted to be removed to a frame or pit where the temperature is about 60°.
LUCULIA GRATISSIMA.—To be potted in a compost consisting of half turfy loam, one-fourth turfy peat, and one-fourth leaf mould, with good drainage.
MUSA CAVENDISHII.—To be repotted in a compost of turfy loam, vegetable soil, or well-rotted manure, and a small portion of sand, with plenty of drainage. To be plunged in a brisk heat in a bark-bed, and to keep the roots moist.
Many of the ORCHIDS may now be potted, and then placed in the warmest part of the house. The plants that are not shifted to be supplied with a little fresh material, taking care that the embryo buds are not covered. Look over the fastenings of all that are on blocks, or in baskets, and renew the wires where necessary. The temperature to be about 65° by day, allowing it to range to 70° or 75° by sun-heat.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—Keep up the temperature from 50° to 55° while the trees are in bloom, with as little variation as possible. The trees not in flower to be frequently syringed.
CUCUMBERS.—The greatest attention should be paid to the state of the bed for the first fortnight after the plants are turned out; the heat-stick (a stick stuck into the bed) should be examined, being, as it is, a much better criterion to judge by than a thermometer, which is generally used to indicate the heat of the atmosphere in the frame; cover up according to the heat of the bed. If it will allow it, a small portion of air should be left on every night, which may be given in the
evening after the frame has been closed for two or three hours. Keep up the heat by stirring, renewing, or topping-up the linings; and attend to the stopping of the plants, and the earthing-up of the hills, as the roots make their appearance on the surface.
MELONS.—Pot off the plants when the seed-leaves are fully expanded.
PEACHES.—When the trees have set their fruit, give the roots, if growing inside the house, a good watering with liquid manure, mixed with soft hot water, so as to be of the temperature of the house, or a little above it. The syringe to be used several times a-day in clear, mild weather as soon as the fruit is set.
PINES.—Pot the succession plants. If the pots are full of strong, healthy roots, pick out the crocks carefully without injuring them, leaving the ball entire, and giving them a good shift. But if unfortunately many of the roots are dead, shake the ball entirely away, and cut out all that are dead, preserving such as are alive and healthy, and potting them in fresh soil.
STRAWBERRIES.—Keep up a succession by placing a few dozen pots in a gentle heat once every fortnight or three weeks.
VINES.—All laterals to be stopped in due time, and all useless buds and branches to be removed; the leading shoots to be tied in regularly, and the bunches to be thinned. No more bunches to be left on each Vine than it is likely to bring to perfect maturity. About one dozen bunches are a good average crop for each rod. The temperature to range from 55° to 60° at night, with an increase of 5° to 10° during the day, and even higher during sunshine.

THIRD WEEK
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants occupying the beds in the conservatory to be arranged, cleaned, and pruned. If the health or habit of a plant, or other considerations, should render it desirable to prolong the season of blooming, the pruning may be postponed for a week or two longer. Continue to pot Cinerarias, Calceolarias, Pelargoniums, and all other such plants when they fill their pots with roots. To be then kept close for some days until fresh root-action begins. Green fly to be kept down.
VERBENAS.—Put them in heat, to get cuttings; as also Heliotropes, and all other such plants, of which there is a scarcity, for bedding-out purposes.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Increase the moisture and temperature gradually as the days lengthen. Start old and young plants of Clerodendrons, Dipladenias, and Stephanotis, in a sweet bottom heat. Rondeletias to be cut in, and started in the same manner.
Shift all Orchids that are starting into growth. As a high temperature causes a premature and unhealthy growth it is advisable to keep up a healthy atmosphere of from 55° to 65°, with an
increase of a few degrees in sunshiny weather, when a little air, if only for a very short time, should be admitted; but be careful to avoid draughts at this early period of the year. All growing plants to be watered at the roots only, being careful not to allow any water to lodge in the axils of the leaves to cause decay. To preserve the roots of some Orchids in a healthy state it is necessary to grow them on blocks of wood; the blocks to be made proportionate to the specimens they are intended to bear; and the heel of the plant to be placed close to the end of the log, to give as much space as possible for the plant to grow upon. The following thrive well on blocks without moss:—Barkeria spectabilis, Leptotes bicolor, Phalænopsis amabilis, and Sophronitis cernua, the Brassavolas, the Cattleyas, nearly all the dwarf Epidendrums, all the Lælias, and nearly all the dwarf Maxillarias and Oncidiums, and all the Schombergias.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Attend to the thinning and stopping, and impregnate the fruit blossom when open.
FIGS.—Care to be taken that cold currents and sudden changes of air are excluded from the trees. The roots to be well supplied with water, and the trees to be occasionally syringed overhead.
PEACHES.—When set, thin the fruit and shoots as required; to be done gradually, a little at one time, to prevent any sudden and injurious change in the system of the tree. A liberal supply of moisture to be kept up, with a temperature ranging from 55° to 65° and 70° by sunheat. A drier atmosphere is advised for trees in bloom; the bloom to be thinned if the trees are weak; and if shy setters, to be artificially impregnated, using a camel-hair pencil for that purpose.
PINES.—Be watchful about the bottom heat, and lose no time in raising the pots nearer to the surface if an approach to a burning temperature is apprehended. To be thoroughly watered when they require it, and to be syringed overhead in the morning and evening of every clear day unless the plants are in bloom, or ripening their fruit. Any crowns, suckers, or small plants not well established will do well in a pit or frame on a bed of leaves, or well sweetened dung, where they will make a rapid and vigorous growth during the summer.
VINES.—Attend to last week’s instructions as to stopping all laterals, &c., and thinning the bunches in good time; and tie up all the principal shoulders with soft strands of matting. Never allow the head or hand to touch the berries. Give them plenty of air-moisture during their swelling season; to be discontinued when they begin to colour. Shy-setting sorts—such as the Black Damascus, Cannon Hall Muscat, &c.—will set better by thinning the blossom-buds before expansion, by which a more regular and compact bunch will be produced. Late Vines should be pruned and dressed; and if not frosty the lights to be removed, which will retard their breaking, and benefit the trees.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
During continued frosty weather fires must be kept up in these houses, and then particular attention must be given to the New Holland plants, Heaths, and such like, which are impatient of heat, that they do not suffer from want of water. Be sure that the ball is thoroughly moistened at least once a-week.
PITS AND FRAMES.
Amongst climbers, Calampelises, Cobœas, Lophospermums, Maurandyas, Rodochitons, and Tropæolums, deserve attention at this time, increasing them by cuttings or by seeds. Some annuals are also worthy of attention, such as Brachycomas, Phloxes, Portulaccas, Schizanthuses, with others which may all be forwarded in heat. Whoever has not yet attended to the propagation of plants for bedding out, should now begin, without further delay, to put in cuttings of Fuchsias, Verbenas, Heliotropes, Petunias, Salvias, Scarlet Geraniums, &c., to have good plants in May and June. All straggling and weak shoots to be topped back to form robust, bushy plants.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Some of the stove plants that have done blooming should be cut back, such as the Eranthemum pulchellum, Euphorbia jacquiniæflora, Geissomeria longiflora, Gesnera lateritia, Justicias, Linum trigynum, Poinsettia pulcherrima, and others. A bottom heat will be necessary when they are repotted, which may be done in about three weeks or a month. Such of the most forward plants, as they require shifting, to be attended to. The condition or fitness for this must, in a great measure, be determined by the progress the shoots and roots have made.
FORCING-PIT.
Continue to introduce plants of Azaleas, Hyacinths, Heliotropes, Hydrangeas, Kalmias, Sedums, Lilacs, Narcissus, Pelargoniums, Pinks, Rhododendrons, and Roses in varieties. A batch of last year’s young Fuchsias, Erythrinas, and Salvia patens, to be shaken out, repotted, and placed in bottom heat. Sow Balsams, Cockscombs, Globe Amaranths, &c.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Attend as previously advised to thinning and stopping, set the fruit blossom when open, keep the inside of the frames watered with warm water, and apply some occasionally to the roots. Water overhead on fine days, shutting up with 75° or 80° of heat.
CHERRIES.—They will be benefited by frequent syringings at all times except when in bloom. Air to be given on all favourable occasions, shutting up with as much solar heat as possible. Keep down the green fly and look well after caterpillars.
FIGS.—Maintain a kindly humidity, but do not syringe overhead, except on very fine days, as too much moisture is apt to cause the fruit to drop off or to turn yellow.
PEACHES.—Tie in the forwardest shoots in the early-house as they advance; gradually disbud and thin out all the shoots that are not wanted; thin the fruit but not too much at once, and, with water
of the temperature of the house, syringe the trees that have set their fruit. Remove large shoots cautiously, and reserve, in tying and disbudding, merely sufficient wood for next spring.
PINES.—The atmospheric heat to be gradually increased in the fruiting-house, and the plants to be frequently syringed, taking care that no water is allowed to lodge in the hearts of the plants. The plants swelling their fruit to be watered occasionally with clean soot water, air to be admitted on every favourable opportunity, but cold draughts to be avoided. A good heat to be kept up in succession-pits worked with linings.
STRAWBERRIES.—To be placed near the glass with plenty of air, and in favourable weather to be liberally supplied with warm manure water, and the surface of the pots to be frequently stirred.
VINES.—As soon as the first swelling is completed, and the stoning process commences, allow a little more liberty to the laterals to induce a corresponding increase of root action. All shoots to be properly trained up; but none to be allowed to touch the glass. All small bunches to be removed when in flower. When the fruit is set, the heat by day may be allowed to rise from 70° to 80°. See to the border coverings, if out-doors, as also border waterings, if in-doors. Be careful when admitting air to the early Vines, to avoid cold currents and changes, for in the space of an hour we have sometimes strong sunshine, sleet or snow, and cutting winds. Vines in pots to be supplied with plenty of manure water in all stages of growth, but especially when swelling off their fruit.

MARCH

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Frequent attention is now necessary in the giving and taking away of air as the alternations of bright sunshine and clouds occur, and also to temper cold winds by the admission of air on the south side. If severe weather has been now experienced, and extra fire heat used in consequence, many plants that may appear all right may, nevertheless, be very dry, and if they are not examined, and when very dry, well soaked with water, they will soon show unmistakeable signs of approaching death.
AZALEAS (Indian).—Young plants that have commenced their growth to be repotted. Shift Achimenes, Begonias, Gesneras, &c., and keep them in a warm, moist situation.
BULBS.—Pot Cape and other bulbs in a compost of loam, leaf mould, with a good sprinkling of sand, as soon as they begin to make growth in foliage.
HEATHS.—Continue to shift as they may require, using sandy heath-soil full of fibres, with an abundance of drainage. Be sure that the ball is thoroughly moist before shifting; for if perfectly dry when that operation is performed the waterings afterwards given will pass freely through the fresh soil without penetrating the old ball. Give them all the air possible, avoiding north or northeast winds.
POTTING must be in progress, and include a good proportion of the occupants of these houses.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Push Allamandas, Clerodendrons, Stephanotises, &c., forward as briskly as possible; but be in no hurry to train them, as freedom in growth is advantageous to a certain extent. Use all means to check the increase of insects.
ORCHIDS.—The general collection to be favoured with a good steaming every clear morning for about half an hour: this to be done by sprinkling the flues or pipes when warm. Plants in a growing state to be slightly shaded, to prevent flagging from too copious a perspiration during a sudden mid-day bright sunshine. Orchids are generally increased by passing a sharp knife between the pseudo-bulbs (taking care to leave at least two or three undisturbed next the growing shoots) so as to sever one or more of the dormant bulbs from the parent plant, which should remain until it shows signs of growth, when it may be taken off and potted.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—The syringe to be used freely except when in bloom, plenty of air to be given, and the green fly kept down; shutting up with a little extra solar heat in the afternoons of bright days.
FIGS.—Abundance of syringing and good waterings with liquid manure may now be given them. Sudden changes in their treatment will cause the fruit to drop, all the shoots when six or eight inches long to be stopped to encourage the formation of a second crop.
MELONS.—Use strongish maiden loam by itself to grow them. See to the linings, attend well to setting, and maintain an airy and dry atmosphere when in blossom. Keep the shoots at all times thin.
PEACHES.—Frequent attention to be given in arranging the young shoots, disbudding and thinning. A knowledge of the state of the border is necessary, whether retentive or porous, that no serious errors may be made by withholding a sufficient supply of water, or by giving too much. The temperature of the early house to be from 55° to 60° by night, ranging from 75° to 80° by sun heat, and allowing 65° by artificial heat, on dull days.
PINES.—A day temperature of 75° to 80° to be maintained during the progress of the fruit to maturity, accompanied by atmospheric moisture. Succession plants to be supplied with a steady moist heat, and to be carefully sustained after potting, to induce a healthy action of the roots. Shading is sometimes necessary during bright sunshine.
VINES.—As the lower parts of the stems are generally close to the heating apparatus, it is advisable to bind them up with moss or haybands, neatly clipped, as far as the parching heat extends. The moss or haybands being damped morning and evening with the syringe, will keep the bark and stems in a healthy state, and will frequently induce a mass of roots to be produced there. That by watering occasionally with liquid manure will contribute to sustain the vigour of the trees.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As the boisterous gales and violent showers that frequently occur at this season, succeeded by intervals of mild weather and brilliant sunshine, are frequently difficult to deal with, constant attention is necessary that a free admission of air, when in a genial state, may be given, and the cold, cutting east or north-east winds excluded. Frequent watering will also be necessary, and fires to be dispensed with, or only used occasionally, merely to ward off the rigour of sharp nights. The plants in good health, and well rooted, to receive a liberal shift. All plants when shifted to be accommodated with a little extra heat and moisture in the atmosphere until they begin to make fresh roots, when they will require to be more freely exposed, to produce a sturdy, vigorous growth.
CAMELLIAS.—The plants that have finished flowering to be removed to a higher temperature, where a moist atmosphere is kept up by frequent syringings.
CINERARIAS.—Tie out the principal shoots of the most forward, to form handsome plants. Manure water of the temperature of the house to be given occasionally. The more backward to be shifted into larger pots as they may require them, and all to receive plenty of air, light, and room.
FUCHSIAS.—They require to be accommodated with a warm, moist temperature, both at top and bottom, and the free use of the syringe, to make them large pyramidal specimens.
PELARGONIUMS.—Attention to be paid to their training, to watering, and to the admission of air. Shift on young plants, and stop all that may be wanted for late blooming.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Finish the shifting of all specimen plants in the stove as soon as possible. A brisk, growing, moist temperature to be kept up during the day, and to shut up early. They delight in a tan-bed where the bottom heat ranges from 70° to 80°.
ORCHIDS will now require a regular looking over. Those on blocks of wood with moss should have the moss renewed, and fresh turf to be supplied to those in pots in a growing state.
FORCING-HOUSES.
The general routine in these structures will comprise disbudding, tying-in advancing shoots, thinning the fruit, watering, syringing morning and evening, airing, and shutting up early with plenty of solar heat; and to be each and all attended to in good time to obtain satisfactory results.
CHERRIES.—Caution in the application of water is now necessary, as either too much or too little will cause the fruit to drop.
CUCUMBERS.—The heat of the beds, which will be found to decline rapidly during cold winds, should be kept up by fresh linings; and air to be given daily, to allow the superfluous moisture to escape, taking care to prevent the wind from entering the frames by placing a mat or canvass before the openings.
FIGS.—A free supply of water, with liquid manure occasionally, to be given to the most forward crop. Where there is the convenience, the trees in pots are generally placed in a pit of rotten leaves into which they root, and where they are allowed to remain until they have borne their crops and ripened their wood, when the roots are cut back to the pot. Trees planted out succeed best when confined in brick pits, where short-jointed fruitful wood is produced without root pruning, which is necessary when the roots are allowed to ramble without control.
MELONS.—This is a good time to ridge-out plants, as the sun will have a powerful and beneficial influence at the time when it will be most wanted to ripen off the fruit. Pot off young plants, and sow seed for a succession.
PINES.—Continue to keep up a regular and moist heat; to be supplied with soot or other manure water occasionally during the whole time they are swelling the fruit until they attain their full size; watering and syringing overhead should be withheld when they begin to change colour, to give flavour to the fruit. The succession-plants recently potted to be very moderately supplied with manure water, and in a very diluted state until their roots reach the sides of the pots.
STRAWBERRIES.—Introduce succession-plants under glass, according to the demand. Keep the atmosphere dry when the plants are in bloom and near the glass; admitting at all opportunities a good supply of fresh air without currents.
VINES.—Persevere in thinning the bunches, as it is a mistake to leave more on the Vine than it is likely to finish off to perfection. The borders to be examined that a gentle warmth may be maintained at the roots. When the Vines are planted inside, apply good soakings of manure water occasionally. Thin the shoots of the late Vines as soon as the bunches are perceptible.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Proceed as diligently as possible with the repotting of such of the hardwooded greenhouse plants as require it, so as to start them in good time to acquire a vigorous growth.
CACTI.—The chief point in managing these plants is to allow them an alternate period of rest and growth. To be grown in a mixture of lime rubbish and loam, with a little cowdung, and in welldrained pots. In summer to be fully exposed to the sun, and well watered; and from October to March to be kept perfectly dry.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—To be shifted into larger pots in a compost of equal quantities of decayed turf, leaf mould, good sandy peat, old cowdung, and silver sand, with plenty of drainage
and moss on the crocks. To be kept close for a week, after which air may be freely given, avoiding currents of cold air.
HEATHS.—Every vigorous shoot that is taking the lead to be stopped, to produce a more uniform and compact plant.
LILIUM LANCIFOLIUM.—To be potted either in a good peat, with a little silver sand, or in a light sandy loam, using also some silver sand. The bulb to be placed two or three inches deep from the top of the pot to allow room for the stem-fibres to penetrate the soil.
PELARGONIUMS.—The plants potted last month to be stopped back. The house to be kept rather close for a week or ten days, to assist them to push out their eyes. Those intended to bloom in May, that have not been stopped since cutting down, will be putting up their trusses, on sunny days syringe them lightly, and shut the house up warm, with the sun upon it, about three or four o’clock in the afternoon.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Keep a lively growing temperature here during the day, with a plentiful supply of moisture. Syringe, and shut up early, with 80° or more, allowing a fall of 20° during the night. Shake out and repot in succession the stove plants that have been previously recommended to be headed back, and encourage a free growth by plunging them, if possible, in bottom heat. Smaller pots to be used until they have filled them with roots, they may then receive one bold shift that might probably be sufficient for the season.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—These may now want thinning if too thickly set; but the operation must be influenced by the energies of the tree and the action of the roots. Endeavour to keep the atmosphere like fine mild weather in May. During the period of the stoning of the fruit, give the trees no water at the roots, as this is generally one of the chief causes of so much of it falling off at that time.
FIGS.—When the fruit is swelling off, the trees to be liberally supplied with water. The young shoots to be stopped to four or five eyes, with the exception of those that are required to fill up vacancies.
MELONS.—Continue the thinning, stopping, training, &c., as required. Set the early crops when in blossom, keeping a dry and lively atmosphere during that period. Air to be given freely in favourable weather, but cautiously, with some contrivance to break cold winds. Do not allow a plant to swell a fruit until sufficiently strong to sustain it.
PEACHES.—Be moderate in the application of fire heat to those that are stoning (they make little or no progress in swelling during the period)—say 65° by day and 60° by night; but when they commence their second swell increase the heat moderately. Stop all luxuriant shoots, and thin out in the second house all clusters of fruit when about the size of Peas.
PINES.—The fruiting plants will be benefited by a watering with manure water as soon as the bloom is set. Succession plants, if recently shifted, to be shaded in the middle of the day if the sun is powerful; to be kept rather close and dry, except slight sprinklings over the tops, until they have taken root, when they may be watered freely, and will generally require no more to be given for a week or ten days.
VINES.—The atmosphere in the early house, where the bunches have been thinned, to be kept pure by a gradual increase of air and moisture. The night temperature to be kept up to 65°, with an increase of 10° by day, and even more in bright sunshine. The second house may now be in bloom, and will require attention in tying the shoots and keeping up the necessary amount of heat, with less moisture. Where the fruit is set, give the Vines a good syringing, to wash off the flowers; after which the leaves and fruit should not be again wetted, but to be supplied with atmospheric moisture by watering the floor of the house, and sprinkling the flues or pipes, or from evaporating-troughs or pans. Give plenty of tepid manure water to the Vines fruiting in pots.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As the great proportion of greenhouse plants are now commencing, or are in active growth, constant attention will be required for the judicious regulation of temperature, and for the admission of fresh air during fickle and ungenial weather, and in the supply of water to the roots, and atmospheric moisture.
When settled fine spring weather has arrived, every plant which inhabits a pot should be brought at once under review, and put in proper condition for the growing season. No fear need then be apprehended from potting. Keep up a moist atmosphere by sprinkling, &c., and admit plenty of air, bearing in mind former directions as to draughts, &c. If the plants in the borders, or any of the climbers, are dry, give them a good soaking of weak, tepid manure water. Trellis climbers to be frequently attended to—stopping, training, and arranging their shoots.
BALSAMS.—Encourage the growth of them and other such tender annuals by potting them when the roots begin to cluster round the side of the pot.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—Shift on the young stock, keeping the plants well down in the pots, so as to bring the earth in the pots up to the lowermost leaves, to induce the plants to throw out fresh rootlets from the stem. Keep a sharp look out for green fly.
CLIMBERS.—Prune off superfluous shoots; stop or pinch out the tops of gross leaders, and keep them neatly tied and trained.
COCKSCOMBS.—To remain in small pots until they begin to show flower.
DAHLIAS.—Pot off cuttings as soon as struck.
FUCHSIAS.—Continue to shift young plants into larger-sized pots, according to their height and strength; to be kept growing by placing them in a brisk, moist heat. Cuttings to be potted off as soon as they are sufficiently rooted; to be placed in a temperature similar to that in which they were struck.
Sow in heat seeds of stove and greenhouse plants.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Attend to regular shifting, watering, and a free and healthy circulation of air, without draught, early in the morning to stove plants. Continue to cut down, disroot, and repot, as advised last week, those which have been flowering through the winter. To be then favoured with a bottom heat of from 75° to 80°, and slightly shaded during bright sunshine.
Some of the young plants in the stove which are growing on for specimens will probably require a second shift, see to them in time; and if they are in good health treat them liberally by giving a large shift, especially to plants of free growth. Give plenty of air at all favourable opportunities, and saturate the atmosphere with moisture. The surface of the tan to be stirred once or twice aweek, and sprinkle it occasionally with manure water, to produce a moist, congenial atmosphere about the plants. Shut up with plenty of sun heat. Look sharply after mealy-bug and thrips.
ACHIMENES.—The plants established in small pots may be removed into the flowering-pans, putting six plants into a pan.
ORCHIDS.—Increase the temperature, and ply the syringe among them, as they will now grow rapidly. Be careful not to throw too much water over those sending out succulent flower-stalks, for they may damp off. Ferret out and destroy cockroaches, woodlice, and snails. Calantha veratifolia, Neottia picta, N. elata, Phaius of sorts, some varieties of Stanhopea, Zygopetaltum Mackayii, and other such Orchids that are now making their growth, would be benefited by an application of clear, diluted manure water occasionally; a kindly humidity to be kept up, and the shading to be in readiness for use during bright mid-day sun.
PITS AND FRAMES.
Sow tender and half-hardy annuals; pot off those already up; give air daily, and never allow the plants to flag for want of water. Pot off cuttings of Dahlias, and continue the propagation of Fuchsias, Heliotropes, Petunias, Verbenas, and bedding-plants generally.
FORCING-HOUSES.
BEANS (French).—Give them, when in a bearing state, a liberal supply of manure water, and see to keeping up a succession of them.
CHERRIES.—When you are sure that the fruit is finally stoned, the temperature may be raised a few degrees; air and water overhead to be liberally supplied.
CUCUMBERS.—As soon as the frames are uncovered in the morning give a little air for an hour, to let the stagnant and foul air pass off, when they may be closed again till the day is further advanced. As soon as the principal shoots have reached the side of the frame, never allow any of the laterals to grow more than two joints before being stopped. Stop frequently, and thin liberally; where two fruit show at a joint pinch one away.
FIGS.—If red spider should be observed, wash the flues or the walls exposed to the sun with lime and sulphur.
MELONS.—Those lately planted out to be encouraged with a close, moist heat, to get them into free growth as quickly as possible. The plants that are fairly established to be kept cooler, admitting air at every favourable opportunity, to produce short-jointed fruitful wood. The shoots to be kept thin and regular, pinching out any that are not wanted. The night temperature not to exceed 65°, and air to be admitted as soon as the thermometer rises to 75°; but to be given very cautiously during cold winds. Prepare for raising plenty of young plants for succession crops, and endeavour to have them strong and vigorous by keeping them near the glass; to be provided, when they require it, with plenty of pot-room. Keep up the heat in the beds by renewing the linings; the coverings at night to be regulated in accordance with the heat of the beds, taking care that the mats do not hang over either the front or back of the frames.
MUSHROOMS.—Collect materials for fresh beds, and give those that have been some time in bearing good soakings of manure water; sprinkle the floor and heating apparatus occasionally. The conditions of success are to have the materials for making the beds well prepared and sweet—that is, free from rank steam, and the spawn to be put in whilst the heat keeps regular and moderate, and the beds are coated over to keep it so until the spawn is well established.
PEACHES.—Remove all superfluous shoots, and tie in neatly those that are left; thin the fruit that is swelling off before stoning, leaving more than may be ultimately required, as, in stoning, it is liable to drop off. Syringe the trees daily in fine weather. Where it is intended to force Peaches, Cherries, &c., in pots next season, and some suitable trees have to be provided, it should be no longer postponed. It is a good plan to pot some maiden plants every year, to succeed any that may become useless.
PINES.—Give plants swelling their fruit plenty of manure water, and a humid atmosphere. The fruiting-house may range from 80° to 85° during the day, and as near 70° as possible at night; the succession-pits from 75° to 80° during day, and 60° to 65° at night. These particulars to be modified by the state of the weather, whether sunny or dull.
STRAWBERRIES.—They require plenty of light and air to set their fruit, when they may be removed without fear of injury to a stove, or any other house or pit possessing a higher temperature. The plants swelling their fruit require a liberal supply of water, and a sprinkling overhead daily. When the fruit begins to change colour the sprinkling to be dispensed with, and the supply of water at the roots to be given sparingly.
VINES.—If the Grapes are colouring, a free circulation of air, accompanied with a high temperature, will be advantageous. Attention to be given, where fermenting materials have been
used for warming the borders, that the heat is not allowed to decline at present under the influence of the March winds. Attend to last week’s advice as to tying, disbudding, &c., and proceed with the thinning the fruit in the succession-house as soon as the berries are fairly set. When thinning be as careful as possible of the bunches—neither pull them about with the hand, by which rust on the berries is frequently produced, nor with whatever the shoulders may be held up by at the time of thinning, as, by the twisting of the stalks, shanking is not unfrequently produced. Attention to be given in stopping all laterals, and breaking off all useless shoots for the more free admission of light, which is most beneficial in every stage of their growth. Look over houses where the fruit is swelling, and see if any of the bunches would be improved by tying up the shoulders. Any healthy Vines, but not of good kinds, should be inarched before the wood gets too old.

APRIL

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The shifting and repotting of all specimen plants in these houses have been completed, I hope, before this time; but if not, the sooner they are done the better. Keep up a moist atmosphere, sprinkling the plants with tepid water twice or thrice a week; and pay attention to the destruction of insects the moment you can perceive them.
CAMELLIAS.—As the plants go out of bloom, it is advisable to syringe them freely, shutting up early with solar heat, and maintaining a kindly humidity during the time they are making their growth.
FUCHSIAS.—Supply them liberally with water when in full growth, and shade slightly during bright sunshine.
HEATHS.—To be kept free from strong currents of dry air; rambling growth to be stopped.
LILIUMS.—Give them a liberal supply of water, and a top dressing of turfy peat, sand, and welldecomposed cowdung.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Give such plants as young Boronias, Dillwynias, Dracophyllums, Eriostemons, Leschenaultias, Pimeleas, Polygalas, &c., a tolerably-close corner of the house; stop the young growth as it may require it; keep them clean, and repot them when necessary.
PELARGONIUMS.—Tie and stake the larger plants neatly, without loss of time, and shift the smaller ones into larger pots. The roots will feed greedily on oyster-shells, broken very fine at the bottom of the pot. Put in cuttings for flowering in September and October.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Keep up a sweet, moist atmosphere with a regular circulation of air, using an abundance of water about the floors; and syringe frequently air plants and others suspended. Shut up a solar heat, if possible, of 80° towards three or four o’clock.
ACHIMENES.—Shift them, and also Gesneras, and pot others for succession.
BEGONIAS.—When the flowers begin to decline, the plants may be reduced, and potted into smaller pots, and be kept close for some time afterwards. Put in cuttings of them, if not attended to before; and also cuttings of Eranthemums, Euphorbias, Gesneras, Justicias, Linums, &c.
CLERODENDRONS.—Give them plenty of room and encouragement to grow.
ORCHIDS.—They should have a mild, but regularly moist, atmosphere for a few weeks until they begin to grow; no water to be applied until that period, and then with moderation.
FORCING-PIT.
Get in Balsams, Cockscombs, Globe Amaranthuses, and other such plants from the dung-frame, that will be useful for the summer and autumn decoration of the greenhouse and conservatory.
FORCING-HOUSE.
CHERRIES.—If all the petals have dropped, and the fruit is set, the temperature may be raised to 60° by day and 50° by night, and syringed in the evening three or four times during the week. A sharp look out should be kept for curled leaves, and the grubs that nestle in them destroyed.
FIGS.—If the fruit is swelling off, supply the trees liberally with water; stop the young shoots at the fourth or fifth eye. Temperature, 65° by day and 55° by night.
MELONS.—The supply of air and water must be regulated by the state of the weather and the temperature of the bed. The plants sometimes show one or two fruit at an early period of their growth, which should be picked off, as they would prevent the swelling off of others. The vines, or shoots, after being frequently stopped, and when they have nearly filled the frame, or other allotted space, several fruit should be impregnated at one time. Sow for successional crop.
PEACHES and NECTARINES.—Pinch off laterals, and tie in the shoots as they advance in growth. If green fly makes its appearance, fumigate the house; but if only a few shoots are infested, dip them in tobacco water. When the fruit in the early house are stoned, thin them to the number you wish to retain, and use a pair of scissors, which is better than pulling them off.
PINE APPLES.—The plants should now be making rapid growth, and, therefore, will require a liberal supply of water. Fruiting plants may now be turned out of their pots into prepared beds, selecting those that are not very forward. The fruiting-house may range from 80° to 85° during day, and from 65° to 70° at night. The successions from 75° to 80° by day, and from 65° to 70° at night.
STRAWBERRIES.—When out of bloom, give them a liberal supply of water, syringe freely, and keep down insects by fumigation.
VINES.—If forcing were begun early in December, whether with Vines in pots or established vines, the colouring process will have now commenced. When such is the case, admit air freely on all favourable opportunities; but avoid draughts, or cutting winds, which frequently cause rust and other imperfections in the bunches. In the later houses, attend to thinning, tying, and stopping laterals. The last house to be closed early in the afternoon. As the buds, in most cases, will be considerably advanced, it is advisable to syringe frequently; to apply plenty of moisture to the floors and paths; and to postpone the application of fire-heat as long as possible.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Some of the most hardy and woody plants may be removed from the greenhouse to a cold pit, where they can be protected from frost. It will make more room for the Cinerarias, Pelargoniums, and other such plants.
AZALEAS.—Such as have done blooming to be repotted, and their fresh growth to be gently promoted in a higher temperature for a short time.
CAMELLIAS.—Continue to keep a moist atmosphere about the plants making wood, with a temperature of about 65° by day and 55° by night. Air to be given at all opportunities, to produce sturdy, short-jointed wood. The plants in flower to be shaded during bright sunshine.
CINERARIAS.—Regular attention to be given to them, that they may not suffer by want of water.
CLIMBERS.—Regulate them as they grow, more particularly those in pots which are intended to cover a wire trellis. Kennedyas, Thunbergias, Nierembergias, Tropæolums, and other such plants of a slender and tender habit, delight in a soil the greater proportion being composed of leaf mould.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Strike cuttings, and pot off rooted suckers.
HEATHS.—Any requiring repotting, should receive that attention without delay, apportioning the size of the pot to the vigour of their growth; as the free-growing kinds will require more room than the less vigorous ones.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—As many of them are now either in flower, or approaching that state, they will, consequently, require a larger quantity of water,—more especially large specimens not shifted since last season. Continue to pinch off the tops of the leading shoots, to produce bushy plants.
PELARGONIUMS.—Attention to be given in tying up, watering, and fumigating, if the green fly appears.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
As the soft-wooded stove plants will now be making rapid growth, the free admission of light is necessary to prevent them from drawing; using shade only during scorching sunshine. When a plant is shifted, give less water to the roots; as the fresh soil, after the first watering will be moist enough for some time. Some of the free-growing kinds of Cattleyas, Calanthes, Phaiuses, Saccolabiums, Stanhopeas, and Zygopetalums, should be encouraged to make kindly growth by frequent syringings about their pots, blocks, or baskets.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—The principal objects to be attended to are—abundance of air, with due precaution against cold draughts, a moist atmosphere, and the free application of the syringe. The temperature the same as last week. Particular attention in watering to be paid to the trees in pots,—as too much is as bad as, if not worse than, too little.
FIGS.—Continue stopping the young shoots at the fourth or fifth eye. Keep the syringe in frequent use until the fruits begin to change for ripening. Plenty of water, and occasionally a little weak tepid liquid manure, to be given at the roots, more especially when they are confined in pots or tubs.
MELONS.—As soon as a sufficient number of fruit blossoms for a crop are expanded, or are likely to expand within a day or two of each other, they should be impregnated. As prevention is better than cure, keep the plants in a healthy-growing state by frequent syringings in fine weather, and closing early; insects will but rarely, if ever, attack thriving plants.
PEACHES and NECTARINES.—As soon as the stoning of the fruit in the early house is completed, give them a good watering with clear, weak liquid manure; keep the shoots tied in regularly, and pinch off all laterals. If the fruits in the late house are set, partially thin them; as more dependence may now be placed on a crop than at an earlier period of the season.
PINE APPLES.—Fruiting plants will be greatly benefited by strong solar heat, as, under its influence, evaporation will be rapid; therefore, water must be applied to both roots and leaves. Succession plants to be shaded during sudden bright sunshine or sunbursts; and be guided in the application of water by the active or inactive state of the roots.
VINES.—Thinning the fruit is an operation of primary importance. The first thinning to be performed when the berries are the size of Peas; the second when they begin to be crowded; and the third after the berries are stoned. A piece of strong wire, eight or ten inches long, crooked at one end, is useful to draw the bunches backward and forward, as the operator may require. The Vines in the late house to be tied up as soon as they begin to break. Syringe them every fine afternoon, and close the house early. Give air early in the morning, that the leaves may become gradually dry before the sun acts powerfully upon them.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Keep the conservatory as cool by day as is consistent with the health of the plants. By such means they will remain longer in bloom, and will be more enjoyable for parties inspecting them.
CAMELLIAS.—Continue to encourage the growth of those that have done flowering by increasing the temperature, by frequent syringings, and by a liberal supply of water at the roots. If any have made their growth, and have formed their blossom-buds, they will require more light and less moisture for the future.
CINERARIAS.—To continue them in a healthy blooming state it is necessary to attend to them carefully, that they may not droop for want of water, nor be saturated with it. When the sun is powerful, slight shading is necessary for a few hours in the middle of the day, to prevent the blooms from losing their brilliancy; and plenty of air to be given when the weather is mild.
FUCHSIAS.—Having been treated with plenty of heat and moisture, they will now be making rapid growth, and will be fit to shift into their blooming-pots, using a light, rich soil for the purpose.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Top and syringe frequently all such plants as are growing freely. Stake and tie them as they may require.
PELARGONIUMS.—Continue to stake and tie the shoots that require it in due time. Some clear liquid manure (cowdung water, for instance) may be given to plants that are well established with roots and showing their trusses of bloom; and sufficient space to be given for each plant to develope its natural beauty. We would advise shading only when there is a fear of scorching from the usual sudden sunbursts of April weather. Ply the syringe every fine evening to refresh the plants, and to keep down insects, until the flowers expand, when syringing should be discontinued.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The stove plants recently potted will now be making fresh growth. Allow no diminution of bottom heat, and keep up a warm, moist atmosphere. Give air when the thermometer indicates 90°. Continue to shift Gesneras, Clerodendrons, and other such free-growing plants, as they require it. The Brassias, Cattleyas, some of the Dendrobiums, Gongoras, Peristerias, Phaiuses, Sobralias, Zygopetalums, and other such Orchids, will now be growing freely, and will therefore require a considerable amount of atmospheric moisture. If the roof is covered with climbers, a little management in trimming them will obviate the necessity of outside shading, and will give an additional feature of interest to the house. The plants on blocks, or suspended in baskets, will require very frequent syringings to keep them in a healthy-growing state. Plants in bloom may be removed to the conservatory, or any other house with a drier atmosphere, to prolong their period of blooming.
FORCING-HOUSE.
CHERRIES.—When they begin to change they will require free exposure to light, and abundance of air, to bring out their colour; and, at the same time, a diminution in the supply of water. Carefully examine all curled leaves, and destroy the grubs they contain. If the trees are very luxuriant, and are making strong foreright shoots, stop them to within a few buds of the main branch.
FIGS.—Give the trees in pots some clear liquid manure when they are swelling off. Stop the shoots at about six or eight inches, and thin out any useless shoots. Syringe and water freely.
MELONS.—Keep the vines thin, and stop regularly. Shade only in very hot weather. Water sparingly overhead. Plant out succession crops.
PEACHES and NECTARINES.—When the fruit in the early house has gone through the critical process of stoning, the final thinning should take place; the borders—if inside, or out, or both— should be copiously supplied with water; using liquid manure whenever a weak habit, from poor soil or over-exhaustion, shows it to be necessary. Syringings to be given twice a-day—early in the morning and at shutting-up time. The night temperature to be no more than 50°; but during the day it may range to 85°, if accompanied with air in liberal quantities.
PINE APPLES.—Lessen the moisture amongst the fruiting plants when they approach maturity. Shift and grow on the young stock in a moist atmosphere; admit air freely in fine weather; prepare beds, and turn out the plants, if preferred.
STRAWBERRIES.—They should be kept near the glass: temperature, 65° to 70° by day, and 55° to 60° by night; succession crops rather cooler. Reduce the water to those ripening. Support the stems, and thin the fruit where superior produce is wanted. Keep them clear of runners and decayed leaves, and give an abundance of air.
VINES.—Continue to thin the Grapes in the early houses: a few berries may require to be taken out of some of the bunches up to the time of their changing colour. Keep up a high temperature—about 75° by day and 60° by night: in later houses, where the bunches are in course of formation, it is a great object to bring them out well. In later houses, where the bunches are formed, or in bloom, let the heat be moderately increased, and admit an abundance of air at all favourable opportunities. Shift pot Vines often, and keep them near the light.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants that are introduced to the conservatory from the stove, forcing-pit, or any other such structures, merely for the blooming season, will require particular care to be taken in the application of water that they may not become sodden and diseased. Continue to stop, prune, or pinch back all rambling and luxuriant shoots in due time. Stir the surface of the bed in the conservatory, and apply fresh soil, to maintain the plants in good health.
AZALEAS, CHINESE.—Supply them liberally with water at their roots during their blooming season, and prevent damp and drip from injuring the bloom.
CALCEOLARIAS.—The herbaceous sorts that have been pushed along in a gentle heat will now be showing bloom, and will require to be grown in a cool, airy place, to prevent the flower-stems from being too much drawn. Keep down green fly. Shift on young stock, keeping the plants well down in the pots as they throw out fresh rootlets from the stem. Cuttings taken off now will root readily in a gentle bottom heat.
CAMELLIAS.—Apply shading the moment it is necessary, to protect the young leaves.
FUCHSIAS.—Grow them steadily on in a moist, warm temperature. Use the syringe freely. Stop any that have a tendency to be long-jointed, to produce uniform and bushy plants.
HEATHS.—Admit air liberally to them, and such other hard-wooded plants that are now in bloom, or approaching that state.
PELARGONIUMS.—Shift on young plants. Any that are wanted for late blooming should now be stopped.
RHODODENDRONS, HYBRID INDIAN.—Treat as advised for Azaleas.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Continue a kindly moistness amongst the Orchids, and slightly increase the temperature. Shade with tiffany, or close-meshed netting, in bright sunny weather; removing it early in the afternoon. Water liberally all that are making free growth. Repot any that may require it as soon as they have fairly commenced their growth. Continue to give liberal shifts to the free-growing young stock of stove plants, slightly shading for a few hours in hot weather, shutting up early in the afternoon, and producing a kindly humid atmosphere by damping the walls, floors, pots, &c.
BEGONIAS.—Repot and propagate. This is one of the most useful tribe of plants that can be grown, both for the stove and the adornment of the conservatory.
CLERODENDRONS.—Encourage by a moist heat.
CLIMBERS.—Keep them neatly tied up, and give them liberal supplies of water, if in pots.
GARDENIAS.—They delight in a close atmosphere; a pit with dung linings is most congenial to them.
GESNERA ZEBRINA.—Pot bulbs for late flowering.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—Thin out the fruit where in large clusters; admit plenty of air at favourable opportunities, and never allow the trees in tubs, or pots, to become dry.
FIGS.—The same as last week.
PEACHES and NECTARINES.—Keep the leading shoots regularly tied in, and pinch out the points of some of the stronger ones.
PINE APPLES.—It is advisable to keep all that are starting, or have already started, into fruit, at one end of the house, or pit, that more air may be admitted to them than to the others more advanced, to produce a more robust growth, and to avoid the necessity of using stakes to support the fruit. Air to be admitted freely to the succession plants at every favourable opportunity.
STRAWBERRIES (in pots).—Where fruit are colouring, keep a rather dry atmosphere, with a liberal supply of air, in order to secure flavour. When the plants are in bloom, keep them near the glass, and the atmosphere dry, with a good supply of fresh air; but avoid currents of frosty air. Introduce succession plants under glass according to the demand. Do not expose those from which fruit has been picked to the open air till well hardened off. Give them the protection of a cold pit for a time, as they are invaluable in open-air plantations.
VINES.—Where the fruit is on the change to colouring admit air on every favourable opportunity, not forgetting to give it in the morning before the sun shines on the house, to prevent the condensed vapour, which would affect them injuriously, from settling on the bunches. Attend to stopping the laterals, thinning the young shoots, tying in leaders, &c., in the later houses. Remove the top dressing from the outside border, to allow the increasing power of the sun to act beneficially upon it.

MAY

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Attend in due time to all plants that require potting into larger pots; and pinch off the tops of all that are of a rambling or loose habit of growth, to make them compact and bushy.
AZALEAS.—As soon as they are out of bloom, take them into heat to make their growth, syringing them frequently and supplying them occasionally with manure water, and shade for a short time in the middle of the day when the sun is powerful.
CALCEOLARIAS.—Give them weak liquid manure occasionally, and shade those in bloom.
CINERARIAS.—When done flowering, cut the stems down, to favour the development of suckers, and remove them to a cold pit or frame.
CLIMBERS.—Keep all neatly trained.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—The late-flowering sorts, or such as have already flowered, and the young stock intended for another season, may be removed to cold pits or frames. Such plants as require it must be shifted, stopped, and shaded; particular attention being paid that they do not get dry at the root.
PELARGONIUMS.—Shade such as are in flower; and shift and stop such as are wanted to flower late.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Keep up a kind humidity and a gradual increase of temperature in correspondence with the increase of solar light, and shut up early in the afternoon with sun heat. Continue to propagate the choice stove plants, and keep all free from insects.
ACHIMENES.—Pot off.
BEGONIAS.—Continue to repot as they go out of bloom, pruning in any straggling shoots, and propagate as advised last week. Keep them close, and syringe frequently, when they will soon commence growing. Keep them some distance apart, to allow their fine foliage to expand. The following are good sorts:—Prestoniensis, Cinnabarina, Fuchsioides, Martiana, Zebrina, Barkeri, Rubra, and Argyrostigma.
GLOXINIAS.—Repot where necessary.
SUCCULENTS.—Opuntias, Melocacti, and Epiphyllum, to be excited into vigorous growth by intense light and abundance of heat and moisture.
FORCING-HOUSE.
CHERRIES.—Temperature 65° to 70° by day and 50° at night, and give plenty of air; but guard against wet and cold.
FIGS.—Stop and thin the shoots. Keep a damp atmosphere, and use the syringe over the foliage, when the house, or pit, is shut up in the afternoon, to keep down red spider. When the fruit is ripening, the syringe must be dispensed with, and the atmosphere kept drier; but, as there is generally a succession of fruit on the trees, water must not be wholly withheld at the time of the first crop ripening, as it would endanger the succeeding one; but it may be given more sparingly.
MELONS.—Stop and keep the shoots very thin. When the crop is safely set, give the soil a good soaking of clear, tepid manure water. Let swelling fruit be exposed as much as possible to the light.
PEACHES.—Continue to stop all gross shoots, which will both increase the size of the fruit and the smaller shoots at the bottom of the tree. The syringe, when used frequently, is useful for the same purpose, and to keep down insects. Air and light to be admitted, to give flavour and colouring to the ripening fruit.
PINES.—The fruiting plants now swelling, and in pots, may be treated with a little clear liquid manure. Guano water, or soot water, or both combined, will produce a perceptible improvement in foliage and growth, with the caution that it be given in a warm, clear state, and not too strong. Ply the syringe freely on warm afternoons, and close up with a temperature of 85° or 90°; giving air again towards evening. When indications of ripening by changing colour appear, desist from the use of the syringe, and give them no further supplies at the root.
STRAWBERRIES.—When ripening their fruit they may be placed in a frame where a free admission of air can be given.
VINES.—Encourage the young stock intended for growing in pots next year, to make healthy, luxuriant growth, by giving them plenty of pot room and manure water, to set them in a light situation in some of the forcing-houses, and to pay early attention to the leaders as they advance in growth. Where Muscats are growing with Hamburghs and other such free-setting varieties, it is advisable to keep up a brisk day-temperature for the Muscats during their season of blooming, and until their berries are fairly set, with a reduction to a night-temperature of 65° or 68°, to suit the other varieties.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
A free ventilation is of importance, and by closing with a humid atmosphere early in the evening a vigorous growth will be promoted. Liberal shifts to be given to such plants as may now require them, before their roots become matted. Remove all plants intended for bedding out, and let them remain for a short time under the protection of a cold frame, or in beds hooped over, and covered at night with mats, or other such protecting materials. This gradually-hardening-off will better enable them to withstand unfavourable weather, if it should occur after they are planted out.
AZALEAS.—All irregularities of growth should be corrected by pruning. We have lately seen the beneficial effects of close pruning on such plants; they had been cut in severely last season by removing strong, straggling branches of old wood, to give some a spherical and others a pyramidal form. When pruned, the ball was reduced, the plant fresh potted in a smaller-sized pot, and the peat soil rammed as hard as it was possible to make it; then watered, and introduced to heat. The plants treated in that manner are now covered with bloom, and in a high state of vigour.
HEATHS.—Keep the tops pinched off, to form bushy plants.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Some of them of weak growth, and which naturally make long, straggling shoots, are much improved by bending down the branches, and fixing them to a wire hoop, or string attached to the rim of the pot. By such means the nakedness of the plant at its base is hidden, and the check imposed on the ascent of the sap will induce an increased supply of shoots. Pick off the seed-pods as the plants go out of bloom. Cut back and arrange the shoots in the best manner, to produce compact growth.
PELARGONIUMS.—All that are showing bloom, unless of very gross habit, will receive benefit from a supply of a little weak manure water. For that purpose put cow, horse, or sheepdung into a tub, and to one peck add five gallons of rain or other soft water. When taking it for use draw it off clear, and give the plants a watering twice a week. Give air freely, shut up early, and syringe the plants overhead till the flowers expand, when syringing should be discontinued. As the petals are apt to drop very soon in hot weather, it is recommended to touch the centre of the flower with a camel-hair pencil, or small feather, dipped in gum water, which will stick the petals together and prolong the blooming. Such is the general practice at our metropolitan exhibitions.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
As the stove plants grow, allow them more space, especially such plants as are prized for the beauty of their foliage. Give frequent attention to stopping and training. Look to the climbers frequently, to regulate their growth and to prevent entanglement, and a world of trouble and confusion. Put in cuttings of such plants as Brugmansias, Clerodendrons, Eranthemums, Erythrinas, Poinsettias, and those winter-flowering plants Euphorbia jaquiniflora and the Gesnera bulbosa. Where there is only one house in which to grow Orchids, a compromise as to temperature must be made to suit the natives of the hot and moist valleys or shady woods of the East, and those which inhabit high and airy regions in the Western hemisphere. To accomplish this it is advisable to allow a free circulation of air during the early part of the day, with an abundance of atmospheric moisture, and to shut up early in the afternoon with a high degree of temperature.
ACHIMENES.—They delight in a moist heat, and a partially-shaded situation. More air to be given as they advance in growth. The shoots to be staked out neatly.
GESNERAS to be treated similarly, with the addition of more light.
GLOXINIAS.—The same as Achimenes.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—Give more air, and keep a drier atmosphere when the fruit is ripening. Give plenty of water to the trees swelling their fruit. Keep them free from insects, or the fruit will be of little value.
FIGS.—Air freely, to give flavour to the fruit now ripening. Avoid wetting the fruit when it begins to soften.
MELONS.—Keep up the heat of the beds by renewing or turning the linings. Slightly shade the plants when the sun is powerful, to keep the foliage in a healthy state, without which good fruit cannot be produced. When the frames are at liberty, Melons may be grown in them with a little assistance from dung heat at bottom.
PEACHES.—Give a liberal supply of air, with less water, to trees, the fruit of which are ripening.
PINES.—Continue the previous instructions in the management of the plants in the different stages of growth.
VINES.—Thin and stop the shoots, and thin the berries in good time. Attend to the late crops, and set, by hand, the blossoms of Muscats, West’s St. Peter’s, and other shy setters. Be sure that inside borders are properly supplied with water, giving sufficient quantities to thoroughly moisten the whole mass of soil.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Attend carefully to the stock of plants for summer and autumn decoration, and do not allow them to suffer for want of pot room and water.
AZALEAS.—Continue to encourage all that have flowered by timely potting, syringings, and applications of weak liquid manure.
CAMELLIAS.—Introduce a gradual declension of artificial heat amongst all that have completed their growth. A curtailment in the supply of water, giving merely sufficient to keep them from flagging, will induce the production of blossom-buds.
EPACRIS.—Repot with a pretty large shift the early-flowering sorts that have freely commenced their growth. Use good fibrous heath soil, rejecting any of a spongy or greasy nature. Such plants, for some time after being newly shifted, require particular attention in watering, that the soil may not become soddened. Let the plants be placed in a cold pit, and be slightly shaded during bright sunshine. The stopping or pinching out the points of strong shoots must be regularly attended to during their growing season, to establish a uniformity of sturdy growth.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—All that have flowered, and have made their season’s growth, may be removed to cold pits, or frames, to allow those that remain, and are promising to flower, more air, sun and light.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Keep up a liberal supply of humidity, with ventilation, at favourable opportunities. The plants here should now be growing very freely, and should, therefore, receive frequent attention as to stopping, training, &c. Keep them properly accommodated with pot room, and allow them all the sunshine they will bear without scorching; also, allow them sufficient space for the development of their foliage. Plenty of moisture is now requisite to encourage a free growth in Orchids, to get their pseudo-bulbs firm, well nourished, and ripened in good time. Free ventilation in favourable weather and a slight shading in bright sunshine are also requisites for their healthy growth.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—When the fruit is ripening, air to be given freely, even to the drawing the lights off completely in favourable weather. Fires may be discontinued altogether, unless the nights are very cold.
FIGS.—Give them plenty of water in all their stages of growth; discontinue the use of the syringe during the ripening process. They frequently require attention in stopping all long young shoots.
MELONS.—If there is a sufficient depth of soil for the plants, they will not require any large supplies of water after the fruit is swelling off; but it will be necessary to sprinkle the plants overhead, and to shut up early every fine afternoon with a good heat. Lay the fruit on a tile or piece of slate.
PEACHES.—When the fruit is swelling off, or beginning to ripen, admit air freely in favourable weather, even to the drawing off the lights entirely, so as to admit a free circulation and the direct influence of the sun, by which flavour and colour are best attained. Continue to stop all veryluxuriant shoots, and thin out the young wood. Some persons lay in plenty of young wood to select from in winter pruning; but fruit-bearing wood, regularly disposed all over the tree, is best attained by the judicious and successive thinning of useless shoots during their growing season. Continue to tie in the shoots of the late houses.
PINERIES.—When the repotting of the plants has recently taken place it will be necessary to shade for several hours, during bright sunshine, for a few days; but for the general stock shading should be dispensed with as much as possible—as short, stiff leaves and sturdy growth are best attained by judicious airings and humidity. Do not water much at the root immediately after repotting. Maintain a brisk bottom heat to the succession plants. Admit plenty of air during favourable weather.
VINERIES.—As the fruit in the early houses become coloured, it is advisable to remove all superfluous or rambling shoots; but to retain and to preserve with the greatest care the principal leaves—as the good quality of the fruit and the healthy condition of the tree for the ensuing season will depend upon the number and healthy state of the principal leaves.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As most plants here are now in active growth, they will require a liberal supply of water. If the sun shines very brightly, a slight shading would be of benefit for a few hours on very hot days.
AZALEAS, CHINESE.—When done blooming, they succeed best in a close pit, kept moderately moist and slightly shaded in the middle of the day. If they are too large for a pit, they will do well in a vinery, or in any other large house where they can stand at a distance from the glass without shading.
BALSAMS and COCKSCOMBS.—Promote their growth by shifting them into larger pots, in rich soil, with an abundance of light near the glass, and heat.
CAMELLIAS to be treated as advised for Azaleas.
GERANIUMS.—If any remain after the flower-garden masses are furnished, they should be potted and treated with every attention as to watering, &c. When they have made fresh roots, and begin to grow freely, to be stopped, to make bushy plants. Calceolarias, Fuchsias, Petunias, Verbenas, &c., treated in a similar manner, will be useful as a reserve to succeed the greenhouse plants that are now in bloom, and to fill up vacancies as they occur in the beds and borders.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Many being now in full growth will require an abundance of water, more especially in bright weather. Many fine specimens are frequently lost through imperfect watering; for if the ball is once allowed to get thoroughly dry, all endeavours to restore the plant to health and vigour are generally unsuccessful.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Ornamental stove plants—such as Brugmansias, Centradenias, Clerodendrons, Eranthemums, Euphorbias, Geissomerias, Gesneras, Justicias, Poinsettias, &c., to be supplied with clear liquid manure, and to have their rambling shoots stopped. Many of the free-growing plants will require shifting occasionally. The great object should be to get rapid growth when light abounds, and thus to secure luxuriant foliage at the right season, when there will be more time for the wood to be properly matured for winter. The syringings to be given early in the afternoon, that the plants may get dry before night.
ACHIMENES.—When grown in large seed-pans they produce a fine effect.
FORCING-HOUSE.
CHERRIES.—Give more air, and keep a drier atmosphere when the fruit is ripening. Give plenty of water to the trees now swelling their fruit. Syringe frequently, and keep the foliage and fruit free from insects.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Pot off as soon as rooted. If not already struck, the cuttings should be put in at once.
CUCUMBERS.—Stop them, and water freely. All that are intended for ridges, if hardened off, should now be planted out. See that the ball of earth is well soaked with water before planting.
FIGS.—Give them plenty of air during the day in fine weather, with abundance of water. Use the syringe freely, except when fruit is ripening.
PEACHES.—Although a dry atmosphere is necessary to give flavour to the ripening fruit, it is not advisable to withhold water altogether from the roots while the trees are making their growth. Water the inside borders in the morning in clear weather, so that any vapour that arises may pass off during the day. The outside borders, if dry, should also be watered as far as the roots extend, and then mulched, to prevent evaporation during hot, dry weather. If the early-forced trees have naked branches, some of the earliest-made wood may be taken from the trees, and buds inserted
from it in the barren parts. Buds inserted now may start into growth in July, and be stopped when about six inches long, to get the wood well ripened.
PINES.—A bottom heat from 80° to 85° must be kept up to the plants intended for fruiting in the autumn. It is advisable, where practicable, to allow the stools from which fruit has been cut to remain in the house for some time; to supply them liberally with water, and occasionally with liquid manure; to encourage the growth of the suckers.
VINES.—In the houses where Grapes are ripening, the temperature may be allowed to rise to 90°, with sun heat, and to decline to 60° at night. In the succession-houses thin the bunches, and do not be covetous to over-crop the Vines, as it is the cause of many bad effects. Stop laterals, and use the syringe freely in the afternoons.

JUNE

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
AZALEA INDICA.—Encourage free growth, as soon as possible after they have done blooming, by placing them in heat, supplying an abundance of water, and syringing freely.
CALCEOLARIAS.—Water carefully; cut down when out of bloom, and remove them to a cold frame.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—The young stock will now succeed best in a pit, or frame, placing the lights to the north. The glass to be well washed, and the pots to be placed on tiles, or ashes, above the ground level.
PELARGONIUMS.—Give air freely, avoid cold draughts, and shade from scorching sun. Shift and stop the succession stock for late flowering.
PETUNIAS.—Do not neglect to pot off from the store propagating pots some of those, as advised last week, as also Scarlet Geraniums, Verbenas, Heliotropes, &c., to afford a variety of sorts and colours for the conservatory.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Let rambling shoots of ordinary stove plants have frequent stopping. The Aërides, Dendrobiums, Phalænopses, Saccolabiums, Sarcanthuses, Sobralias, Vandas, and others of the eastern genera of Orchids, will now require most liberal and frequent waterings and syringings. Gongoras, Peristerias, Stanhopeas, &c., when full of roots in baskets, require a thorough soaking. Now is a good time to pot Cymbidiums, Peristerias, &c., starting into growth. Aërides, Vandas, and plants of a similar habit, do best when shifted after they have done blooming.
ACHIMENES.—Continue to shift them, as also Begonias, Clerodendrons, Gesneras, &c., as requisite. Remove those in bloom to the greenhouse or conservatory.
CLIMBERS.—Keep them thin and tied in, so as not to shade the rest of the plants to an injurious extent.
SUCCULENTS.—Shift Melocacti, &c., and keep them growing, and near the glass.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—The trees in large pots or tubs, from which the crop has been lately gathered, should have abundance of air, and an occasional supply of liquid manure. Give them, also, a good washing overhead with the syringe, or engine, dashing it on with considerable force. They will also require to have their wood matured early.
FIGS.—Continue the practice of stopping when the shoots are four or five eyes long. Give a liberal supply of water, and thin out the second crop where too thick.
MELONS.—Keep the shoots thin, and remove all useless laterals. When the fruit is swelling, the soil should be kept in a properly moist state, and the foliage in a healthy condition. The bottom heat should not be allowed to sink below 75°.
PEACHES.—Keep up a growing temperature with plenty of air and moisture, and frequently syringe the trees, to keep them clean and healthy. The ripening fruit will require plenty of air.
PINES.—Repot as they may require; for if they are allowed to remain in a pot-bound state at this season they are very apt to start prematurely into fruit. It is also particularly requisite that the balls are thoroughly moist at the time of repotting. To give strength to the growing stock, it is advisable to admit abundance of air in the morning part of the day; and in the afternoon, to encourage a high degree of heat with an abundance of atmospheric moisture. The plants growing in open beds to be supplied with a steady bottom heat of from 80° to 85°, and sufficient water to the roots.
VINES.—Proceed diligently with thinning the berries, as they swell rapidly at this season. The late houses in which the Vines are in bloom to be kept warmer and closer than they have been, until the fruit is set. Stop the shoots and laterals, and never allow a mass of useless wood to remain on them.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The principal part of the greenhouse plants may now be removed to an out-of-door situation, open to the morning sun, and protected from high winds, and be placed on some hard bottom through which the worms cannot get into the pots. The specimen plants that remain should be turned round from time to time, that they may not get one-sided; and allow them to have plenty
of room on all sides. Also, the young plants intended for specimens should have their flowerbuds picked off, to encourage their growth.
BALSAMS.—Encourage them by frequent shifts, and keep them in bottom heat, and near the glass. The prematurely-formed flower-buds to be picked off, as the plants should attain a considerable size before they are allowed to bloom.
CALCEOLARIAS.—The most critical time is after the plants have flowered; if allowed to produce seed, they generally die off—Nature having completed her task. When the bloom begins to fall, cut the plants down, and repot into a larger size; place them in a cold frame facing the east, the lights on during the day, with air, and entirely off during the night, unless in rainy weather, as the night dews are highly beneficial. Treated thus the plants will soon produce new shoots, which must be taken off and pricked out into small pots in a very open soil, and placed in a very gentle bottom heat to strike. When rooted, to be shifted into pots of a larger size.
CINERARIAS.—The plants that have bloomed through the season to be cut down, turned out of their pots, and to have at least half the old soil removed from their roots. Prepare a piece of ground, in a sheltered situation, with leaf mould or rotten dung and sand, in which the Cinerarias are to be planted, one inch below the level of the soil, in rows fifteen inches apart and one foot apart in the row. When planted, to be well watered.
CLIMBERS.—The Passifloras, Mandevilla suaveolens, Tecoma jasminoides, and other such climbers in the conservatory, will now be growing very freely, and will therefore require frequent attention to keep them in order. The young shoots may be allowed to grow in a natural manner, merely preventing them from getting too much entangled, or growing into masses.
FUCHSIAS.—When in a healthy-growing state they require an abundance of water and frequent syringings. Train them in the desired form, and pinch back all weak and straggling shoots.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Examine them very carefully, and be sure that they are in a proper state as to moisture. The young plants which are not blooming will do best if placed in a pit where they can be exposed or not, as may appear necessary. To lay a proper foundation for a good specimen it is necessary to stop and to train the shoots into form.
KALOSANTHES.—Train them neatly, increase the supply of water, and give them liquid manure occasionally.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Continue to shift the young and growing stock of stove plants. To harden the wood of the earlygrown plants, or autumn or winter flowering, it is advisable to remove them to some cooler place, such as the shelves of the greenhouse. The baskets, in which the Stanhopeas will now be blooming, should be carefully examined to see that the buds, as they protrude, may not be injured by contact with the side. Many stove plants and Orchids in flower, if taken to a late vinery, or such intermediate house, will thus be prepared, in a short time, for removal to the conservatory during the summer.
CLIMBERS.—When the shrubby plants are large, the climbers hanging loosely give a sort of tropical character to the house; but, either hanging, or trained in wreaths or festoons, they require pruning and regulating, to prevent them becoming entangled, and, therefore, a confused mass of wood and foliage.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—Give air night and day in fine weather.
FIGS.—When the ripest of the fruit is gathered, give the trees a good syringing overhead, to cleanse and refresh the leaves, and to keep down insects.
MELONS.—To be slightly shaded with a net, or a few pea-sticks, during bright sunshine in the middle of the day, to prevent the scorching of the leaves; for if such occurs, the fruit ripens prematurely, and is, in consequence, without flavour.
PEACHES.—When the fruit is ripening, give as much air as possible during the day, and when the nights are mild and warm leave the lights open. When the fruit in the succession-house is stoned, give a good watering to the roots, and syringe the trees frequently, as previously advised.
PINES.—Apply an abundance of moisture to the pathways of the fruiting-house during bright weather. Give plenty of air, but allow at the same time the thermometer to range from 90° to 95°. Shut up when the rays of the sun are getting partially off the house, and ply the syringe freely about the leaves and stems of the plants, and the surface of the plunging material. Air to be given an hour or two afterwards for the night.
VINES.—Keep thinning the berries and stopping the laterals as they advance, which, with syringing and giving air, is the principal work to be done.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The stock of plants out of doors to be carefully looked over in showery weather that they may not suffer from imperfect drainage. The more delicate sorts to be returned to the houses, or protected by some means during heavy rains.
CAMELLIAS.—When they are kept in-doors give an abundance of air night and day, with an occasional application of the syringe, keeping the paths and floors damp. When they have ceased growing, and have formed their flower-buds, discontinue to syringe the plants overhead, as it sometimes starts them into a fresh growth that will be the destruction of the flower-buds.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Plant them out eighteen or twenty inches apart in an open piece of ground. Some to be left to grow as standards on one stem, and others to be topped, to make them bushy.
CINERARIAS.—In raising seedlings it is advisable to select each parent plant, distinguished for its dwarf habit and decided colour, and to place them by themselves in a pit or frame. The seed should be carefully gathered as it ripens. It should be sown in shallow pots, or pans, well drained with crocks; then some siftings, and over that some light soil, with some finer and more sandy on the surface, covering the seeds very lightly with the same; and slightly sprinkling, or watering, through a very fine rose, and the surface covered with a little moss, to prevent evaporation. In a few days the seedlings will be up; then remove the moss, and let them remain in the pots, or pans, until they are large enough to be handled with safety; then pot them in small pots, and keep close for a day or two.
LILIUM LANCIFOLIUM.—Give attention to them; as also to tree Carnations, Salvia splendens, Scarlet Geraniums, &c., for autumn and early winter flowering.
ORANGES.—The same as advised for Camellias.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
ACHIMENES.—Repot, as also Begonias and Gesneras, for succession of late bloom.
LUCULIA GRATISSIMA.—Propagate by cuttings.
Some of the Orchids will now require to be topped up a little with fresh soil. The Barkeria spectabilis, Epidendrum Skinneri, the Lycastes, Odontoglossum grande, &c., will now enjoy the temperature of the conservatory.
FORCING-HOUSE.
FIGS.—Continue to stop all shoots when five or six joints long. Never allow the trees in tubs, or pots, to want water; they now require daily attention.
MELONS.—Shade them during bright sunshine for a few hours in the middle of the day. If the red spider appears, rub sulphur vivum, mixed with water, on slates or tiles, and place them in the pit, or frame, where the sun’s rays may fall upon them.
PEACHES.—Admit plenty of air when the fruit is ripe, or nearly so. When the crop is gathered, give them a good washing with the syringe. Those changing for ripening, if the trees are young and vigorous, to have a general stopping of the strong shoots all over the higher parts of the tree. To keep down red spider, it is advisable to wash the walls, pipes, or flues, with sulphur vivum reduced to the consistency of paint; or to paint some slates, tiles, or common saucers, with the mixture, and to place them in different parts of the house, where the sun can shine upon them.
PINES.—If the pot plants in fruit are in a healthy condition, well furnished with roots, an occasional supply of clear manure water, in a warm state, may be given with advantage to them.
STRAWBERRIES.—As it is necessary, by early attention, to ensure a healthy, vigorous growth, therefore, as soon as the runners have emitted the least portion of root, take them off, and prick
them out on a rich piece of ground, or on an old hotbed where Radishes or early Potatoes have been grown under hoops, where, when the weather is hot, they are more convenient to shade, and require less water.
VINES.—When the fruit is cut in the early houses, ripen the wood by exposing it night and day, except during heavy rains. Water to be gradually withheld as the growth of the plants declines, and somewhat in the proportion in which you would have vegetation stop, not all at once, but gradually. The Vines with fruit now stoning may be allowed to produce a few redundant shoots if there is sufficient room to lay them in without crowding, or overlapping the old wood, or shading the old leaves. The late Grapes to be finally thinned, their shoulders to be tied out, and every useless shoot to be removed. Keep the Vines in pots trained, and exposed to light, and apply weak liquid manure frequently.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Many of the finer kinds of hard-wooded plants—such as Boronias, Epacrises, &c.—will now be out of bloom, and will require cutting in rather closely, to form neat bushy plants. Some of the greenhouse plants will most probably require shifting, and should receive that attention now, or, at latest, by the middle of next month. Keep a sharp look out for insects of all kinds, and also for mildew; and give the plants, if the weather is dry, a sprinkling once or twice a-week from the syringe or garden engine.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—If any are retained in the house, let them be placed where they can have a sufficiency of light and fresh air, and at the same time in a place where the sun has no power on the pots; but if such cannot be avoided, place the pot containing the plant in another two sizes larger, and fill the intervening space with moss.
PELARGONIUMS.—When out of bloom, they should be placed in the open ground for a fortnight or three weeks to ripen the wood before they are cut down.
SCARLET GERANIUMS.—To prepare them for winter blooming it is advisable to place the pots during the summer on a hard bottom out of doors and in the full sun, and to pinch out the flowerstems as they appear. To be carefully attended with water.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Keep up a kindly humidity by frequent syringings, and keeping the floors, paths, &c., damp. Many of the stove plants—viz., Clerodendrons, Erythrinas, Gardenias, Ixoras, Jasmines, Liliums, Pergularias, Stephanotises, &c.—may be removed to the conservatory, where the flowers will attain a deeper colour and retain it for a longer period than if they had remained in the stove.
EUPHORBIAS.—Propagate jacquiniæflora and fulgens, and grow them on a successional system of culture for furnishing the conservatory and stove throughout the autumn, winter, and spring.
GESNERA ZEBRINA.—Keep up a succession in various stages of growth, and place another batch of tubers in a pan.
FORCING-HOUSES.
Give particular attention to the preservation of the foliage in houses where the fruit has been gathered, keeping the atmosphere cool and moist; and give the trees an occasional washing with the engine, to keep down red spider and the leaves clean and healthy.
CHERRIES.—When the trees are planted in the house, and the fruit has been gathered, give all the air possible by throwing it entirely open. Give them a good washing occasionally with the garden engine. When the plants are in pots, it is advisable to place them on a hard bottom on the north side of a wall or fence.
MELONS.—Bottom heat is necessary for their healthy growth; without it a check would be given that would be sure to produce a most injurious effect on the swelling fruit. Water to be given to the plants overhead occasionally.
PEACHES.—Continue to maintain a moist, healthy atmosphere while the fruit is swelling. Give air sufficiently early in the morning, to prevent the sun scorching the foliage. Syringe and shut up early in the afternoon.
PINES.—Continue to provide proper bottom and surface heat, and give attention to airing, watering, syringing, and shifting in due time. By such means a large amount of healthy growth may now be secured for the fruit-swelling and succession plants. The plants swelling their fruit to be also favoured with a high temperature, a moist atmosphere, and plenty of water, and occasionally manure water at the root. If worm-casts appear in any of the pots, water with limewater in a clear state.
VINES.—As the dry atmosphere necessary for the preservation of the ripe bunches is conducive to the increase of red spider, the sulphur must be immediately applied as advised last week. Discontinue the use of the syringe as soon as the succession crops begin to ripen. Check the growth of laterals by timely pinching. Give the final thinnings to the latest Grapes; and as they are frequently required for winter use, a good thinning should be given, as crowded bunches and berries will not keep late in the season.

JULY

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants permanently planted out in the borders of the conservatory should have a thorough soaking of weak liquid manure. Give all the air possible at this season, both night and day, and keep the house as neat and clean as possible. If it contains many tender stove plants, shut it up
for an hour while the sun is on it in the evening, so as to produce a more genial atmosphere for them.
ACHIMENES.—Encourage them, as also Clerodendrons, &c., to grow and to prolong their beauty in the conservatory by supplying them with liquid manure, taking particular care not to give it too strong, especially at first.
CINERARIAS.—Sow seed immediately. Plants for early blooming should also be potted and started at once, choosing the strongest suckers for the purpose, and placing them in a cool, shady frame until they have made fresh growth.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Propagate some for blooming in small pots.
HEATHS.—Pluck off the flowers and seed-pods as soon as they become unsightly, and prune straggling growth. The softwooded kinds—such as the ventricosa, &c.—do best in a sheltered situation in the open air, with means to protect them during heavy rains; while the woollyleaved—such as Masonii, &c.—and hardwooded varieties delight in cold pits where the glass can be shaded or used for protection as necessary. Examine the plants which were not shifted in the spring, and, if necessary, pot them without delay; but if they require to be cut in, to make them bushy, it will be best to let them break afresh before they are repotted.
LESCHENAULTIAS.—If they have done blooming, and are pot-bound, to be repotted and placed in a shady place to make their growth.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Give abundance of air to the stove plants at all favourable times, and abundance of moisture by all means. Examine young specimens that were potted early in the season, and shift at once such as require more pot room.
IXORAS.—Encourage the young plants by giving them plenty of air both night and day, to make short, sturdy growth; and discontinue stopping them for the season.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CHERRIES.—When the fruit has been gathered from the trees grown in tubs, or pots, it is advisable to place them in some open, airy quarter, to make their wood for next season’s bearing.
FIGS.—Give liberal supplies of water to the trees now throwing up their second crop. A top dressing of old cowdung would now be useful. Pinch out the top buds, if the shoots are growing very long. It should be a practice to manage the trees during the summer that nothing more than a slight thinning out should be wanted at the winter pruning.
MELONS.—Give attention to the crops now growing, in thinning out the shoots, stopping, &c.
PEACHES and NECTARINES.—When all the fruit is gathered, and the wood seems well ripened, it will be best to take the lights quite off, and place them under cover until wanted again. Plenty of air to be given to the trees that are swelling off their fruit. Also, stop in succession many of the strong shoots about the period the last swelling commences. Use the syringe freely over the leaves early in the morning and again in the evening.
PINES.—Give abundance of air to the fruiting and succession plants, and during dry, hot weather, saturate the paths and every open space with moisture, to prevent the leaves of the plants becoming brown. If such a practice be regularly adopted during hot, bright sunny weather, shading will seldom or never be necessary. Be at the same time particular in maintaining a mild, genial bottom heat.
VINES.—The houses containing ripe fruit will require to be kept dry and well ventilated; those swelling will still require attention to keep a regular steady temperature with regular supplies of air. Muscats very frequently require fires during the night and on wet, cold days.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
ACHIMENES.—They delight in a steady, moist heat; to be shaded in the middle of hot days, to prevent the sun from scorching the foliage; and never to be watered overhead.
CACTI.—Remove them to a dry, airy place as soon as they have finished their growth.
COCKSCOMBS.—They can be grown with strong, short stems, and very large heads, if they are allowed to remain in small pots until the flowers are formed, then potted in large pots in a compost of one-half rich loam, one-fourth leaf mould, and one-fourth sand, and supplied with as much liquid manure and moist heat as possible.
FUCHSIAS.—As the plants progress in growth give them plenty of air and moisture, occasionally moistening the paths, walls, and stages with clear manure water, and syringe the plants both morning and evening overhead.
GLOBE AMARANTHUS.—To be potted into 48-sized pots, in which they will flower in a soil composed of peat, loam, and leaf mould, or rotten dung. They should be allowed to stand near the glass, and be subjected to a moist heat of not less than 75°.
HEATHS.—If mildew appears, dust them with flowers of sulphur. When watering, give them a good soaking, so that every part of the ball is thoroughly wet, and then withhold further supply until it is again completely dry.
JAPAN LILIES.—As they are succulent in growth, keep them well and liberally supplied with water. The flower-stems to be properly sticked, so as to keep them in due bounds, and also to assist in presenting a large mass of flowers to the eye at once.
PELARGONIUMS.—If the plants have been exposed to the open air, as advised in a previous calendar, they will now be fit to cut down. After the plants are cut down, place them in a shady place until the most forward young shoots are one inch long; then shake them out, and repot into small pots, using sandy loam and peat only, and placing them in a close, cold frame until they begin to grow again; after which freely expose them to the weather until heavy rains in autumn, or the approach of frost, renders it necessary to house them for the winter.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Cleanliness is indispensable amongst the Orchids, use a sponge to remove filth from the leaves. See that no plants are neglected in standing in corners or behind large plants; arrange and rearrange frequently, as it tends both to promote the healthy growth of the plants and a pleasing variety in the house.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Although bright hot weather may prevail, it is advisable to keep up a brisk, regular bottom as well as top heat. Strike cuttings of choice sorts for winter bearing.
MELONS.—The same as advised for Cucumbers, as they both delight in plenty of heat to keep them healthy and in regular bearing. Give them good soakings of weak manure water occasionally, and shut up early on all fine days, sprinkling the sides of the pits or frames, and the plants at times overhead. When watering the plants never allow any to fall on the main stem. If gum, or canker, appears, apply lime to the parts affected. Old plants cut back should be stimulated to grow freely.
PEACHES.—Any tendency to premature decay in the leaves of those from which the fruit has been all gathered to be arrested by liberal waterings at the roots and by syringings.
PINES.—Keep up the temperature from 90° to 95° by day and from 70° to 75° by night, with plenty of moisture among the growing plants and swelling fruit. Shift the successions as the roots fill the pots.
VINES.—Uncover the house, or give all the air possible night and day as soon as the Grapes are gathered, unless the wood is not fully ripened, in that case the house should be closed in the afternoon at a good heat. Stop the laterals on the later Vines, thin and tie up the bunches, and maintain a steady, moist temperature, with plenty of air, but do not syringe the bunches.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
If any of the stove plants, as lately recommended, have been brought into the conservatory, they will require a free admission of air at every favourable opportunity to keep the atmosphere of the house dry. The plants must be kept clear of decaying leaves and flowers. Some judgment is also
required in watering recently repotted plants, that they may not be injured by saturation in cloudy weather, nor by drought in hot sunny days.
The growth of twiners should be carefully regulated, allowing them sufficient freedom to develope their natural habits as far as other considerations will permit.
Continue to shift the hardwooded plants as they require it. A turfy compost of three-parts sandy heath soil of a fibrous and rather lumpy character, and one-part loam, will suit the majority. Particular attention should be paid to the drainage, more especially to the crock at the bottom; for if that is flat, and not hollow, it matters but little how much depth of drainage material rests upon it, the soil will soon become saturated and sour. Remember that the final shift should be given in good time to those intended to flower in the autumn.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—Sow seeds; the compost to be equal parts of peat or leaf mould, loam, and rotten dung, with a small portion of sand. Place a layer of broken crocks two inches thick at the bottom of the pot; then fill up within half an inch of the rim with the compost, passed through a fine seive. After the pot has been gently struck on the potting-bench to settle the soil, the surface must then be made level with a flat piece of wood, or the bottom of a small garden pan or saucer. Sprinkle the seeds regularly over the surface, do not cover with soil, and water with a fine rose; then to be placed in a cold frame, and be kept shaded from the sun.
CHOROZEMA.—The beauty of this genus for early spring display is generally appreciated, and, therefore, requires no commendation from me. They delight, like most other New Holland plants, in sandy peat containing plenty of fibre, and require plenty of air at all times, and also to be kept constantly moist, but never very wet. A large pot and frequent stopping will soon produce a fine specimen.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Continue to top the plants that have been planted out in the open ground.
EPACRIS.—The varieties of this genus are most useful for the adornment of the conservatory in early spring. They delight in fibrous peat, broken rough, mixed with fine white sand. The young plants to be frequently stopped by pinching off the points of the shoots while growing, to induce them to throw out laterals; those again to be stopped until the plants have attained a size sufficient to warrant their blooming.
GARDENIAS.—If any have been removed to the conservatory while in bloom they should be returned to heat as soon as the bloom is over, to encourage growth and to allow them sufficient time to mature their growth.
EUTAXIA MYRTIFOLIA.—It is a profuse and early bloomer. During the summer and autumn every new shoot should be stopped as soon as it has attained two or, at most, three joints: by such treatment it can be easily formed into a neat, compact specimen.
WINTER FLOWERS.—The Cinerarias, Chinese Primroses, Heliotropes, Perpetual, Tea, and other Roses, will require frequent and diligent attention as to watering, shifting, &c.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Give immediate and regular attention to the young stock of stove plants intended for winter blooming. Keep up a moist temperature at all times; with air during the day. When a few days of gloom occur, the humidity that sometimes becomes stagnant and injurious should be dissipated by a free circulation of air when bright weather returns. Keep a free circulation of air amongst the Orchids by day; endeavour to supply an abundance of atmospheric moisture during the latter part of the day; and dispense with shading as much as possible by using it only during a few hours of the hottest part of the day.
Pay every attention to specimen plants in the stove. Keep them neatly tied to sticks, or trellises, as the case may require. Give them a plentiful supply of water, and, if not in flower, syringe them frequently overhead.
STANHOPEAS.—About the end of this or the beginning of next month is the most proper time to remove and repot them. Persons who wish to grow fine specimens ought to put them in large baskets, or pots, so that they may not require to be shifted for several years, as then the plants grow much finer and flower better than when annually shifted. Now, as soon as they have done flowering they commence growing, when they should have plenty of heat and moisture until they have completed their pseudo-bulbs, when they should be reduced to a comparative state of rest by gradually withholding water until they show flower; then to be supplied with atmospheric moisture, but should have no water at the root, or at least but a small portion, until they begin to grow. As all the plants belonging to this genus push their flowers downwards, it is advisable to have them elevated, or put in baskets, where the flowers can get through and show themselves to advantage.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—Supply with plenty of water the roots of the trees that are swelling their second crop; ply the syringe frequently amongst the foliage, and sprinkle the paths, &c., to keep the atmosphere moist. Shut up early in the afternoon. As the fruit of the first crop ripens, curtail the supply of atmospheric moisture—otherwise before they reach maturity they are apt to turn mouldy. The roots to be regularly supplied with water, and some liquid manure added about once a week to assist the second crop. Keep down red spider by the application of sulphur in the manner so frequently advised of late. Give the fruit that is ripening the benefit of the sun, by fastening on one side the leaves that shade it.
PEACHES.—The fruit will be all the more delicious for a comparatively cool temperature while ripening. Examine the fruit daily, and gather before it is overripe and loses its flavour.
PINES.—Maintain a good bottom heat, and encourage the growth of the advancing crop by kindly humidity and allowing them plenty of air and sufficient space from plant to plant. Give air, also, freely to the young stock in dungpits, to secure strong stocky growth; but a circulation should not be allowed by giving back and front air at the same time during hot drying winds. Attend to former directions to afford the plants swelling their fruit a moist atmosphere by frequent syringings and by sprinkling the paths and every other available surface until the fruit begins to
change colour, when the atmosphere and soil should be kept rather dry, to improve the fruit’s flavour. See to the stools from which fruit have been cut. Earth them up, so as to cause suckers to strike root. Give them a brisk bottom heat, and proper supplies of water. You will thus gain time and assistance for the suckers from the declining strength of the parent plant as long as possible. It is now a good time to start a lot into fruit, as they will have two or three most favourable months for swelling, and will come in at a season when they are in very general request. Keep the bark-bed moderately moist, as in that state it will retain its heat much longer than if it is allowed to get dry.
VINES.—Keep up a brisk heat to the late Grapes during the day, as it is advisable to get them well ripened before the season gets too far advanced. By such means they will be of better quality and keep longer than if the ripening process be delayed to a later period. Do not allow plants in pots to remain in the house to cause damp, which, despite every care in ventilating, is apt to settle on the berries and spoil them. The outside borders of the late houses should be watered and mulched, if the weather continue dry.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The conservatory should now be gay with Balsams, Cockscombs, Fuchsias, Globe Amaranths, Heliotropes, and the varieties of Japan Lilies. Strict attention must be paid to all plants in these structures that they do not suffer from the want of water. Continue to stop over-luxuriant growth, to obtain compact, sturdy specimens. On the evenings of hot, dry days, after the plants have been watered, give them a slight syringing, or sprinkling, over the leaves, and also the ground upon which they are standing.
AOTUS GRACILLIMUS.—When done blooming, to be cut down close to the pot.
APHELEXIS and HELICHRYSUMS.—When past their best state, cut the flower-stems close into the old wood; to be set in a cool shady place until they begin to grow, when any that require it may be repotted.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Propagate by cuttings, or layers, to obtain dwarf stocky plants. Continue to top the plants that have been planted out in rows in the open ground, as advised some time ago.
CINERARIAS.—Pot off the first batch of seedlings and offsets. Sow seed.
FUCHSIAS.—Shift in the last batch, and put in cuttings.
LESCHENAULTIAS.—When they are going out of bloom, or past their best, remove the flowers and flower-buds, and put them in a cool place to start again.
KALOSANTHES.—When done blooming, the flower-stems and all straggling growth to be cut in closely, to form compact specimens for another season.
PELARGONIUMS.—Cut back the principal stock, and treat them as advised lately.
PIMELEA SPECTABILIS.—When that and the other kinds have done blooming, to be freely cut in, and to be set in a cool shady place to break.
POLYGALAS to be treated in the same manner as the Pimeleas.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Look out for insects in the stove, and destroy them as soon as visible. The Gishurst Compound is worthy of a trial. Follow former instructions as to moisture and air.
IXORAS.—When done blooming to be cut in rather closely, to be started in a gentle heat to make fresh growth. The Orchids suspended on baskets, or on blocks of wood, require a soaking of water at the roots, and frequent, but slight, syringings overhead. A little fire-heat applied in the afternoon will be of service to them.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—If the second crop on the earliest trees is advancing towards maturity, as soon as the fruit begins to ripen the atmosphere should be kept dry and rather cool, giving air freely every fine day. Keep the foliage clean and healthy, and clear from insects, and do not allow the young shoots to get crowded.
MELONS.—Keep up a good bottom heat when the fruit is setting. Keep the plants on which the fruit is ripening rather dry at the root, with an abundance of air in fine weather.
PINES.—Air to be admitted freely during hot weather to fruiting and succession plants. Particular care will be necessary in the application of water that they may not suffer for want of it, or by saturation. The walls, paths, and surface of the bed to be kept constantly moist, and frequent syringings to be given to the young stock. Continue all other routine operations according to former directions.
STRAWBERRIES.—Some lay the runners at once into pots of strong, rich loam, cutting them away from the parent plants when they have made roots enough for their own support. Some prefer to lay them in small pots, to be shifted into larger by-and-by, and others prefer to lay them in their fruiting-pots. The principal object should be, to attain plants of a moderate growth, well matured and rested before forcing time.
VINES.—The early houses, when they have been cleared of their fruit, and the wood is properly ripened may have the sashes removed and repaired, if required; indeed, every house is purified by free exposure to the atmosphere for some time. The late crops to be encouraged to swell by giving the borders good soakings of manure water, and by being carefully thinned, more especially if they are wanted to keep late. A little fire-heat will be necessary in unfavourable weather, with an abundance of air day and night.

AUGUST

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The conservatory borders will now require liberal supplies of water. Faded blossoms to be constantly removed; straggling growth and exhausted stock to be cut previous to making a new growth. As the autumn is fast approaching, the sooner the new growths are encouraged the better, that they may have sufficient time to mature them. All greenhouse plants will now be benefited by exposure to the natural atmosphere: the dews are more refreshing and invigorating than artificial moisture or the application of the syringe.
Finish potting all specimen plants; for if left until later in the season they will not have sufficient time to fill their pots with roots, and, therefore, will be liable to suffer from stagnation of water at the roots. No position can be worse for a plant than that of surrounding it with fresh soil for months when the roots should be in a comparatively dormant state.
PELARGONIUMS.—Continue to head them down, and to propagate the cuttings, which will now strike freely in a sunny situation in the open ground.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Much moisture and free ventilation will be necessary here during warm weather. The young plants of Euphorbias, Ixoras, Poinsettias, and other such stove plants, to be rendered bushy by stopping them betimes. The Æschynanthus grandiflorus, Aphelandra cristata, Eranthemum pulchellum, Justicias, and any others that are intended for the decoration of the conservatory in the autumn and early part of winter, should be carefully looked over, and shifted without delay if they want more pot-room; the shoots to be tied out thinly, and to be exposed to as much sun as they will bear without scorching the foliage, to induce stocky growth. Nothing is more injurious to stove plants than to keep them growing late in the season, and thus to prevent the ripening of the wood, which will render them more liable to injuries in winter and more unproductive of flowers the following season.
FORCING-HOUSES.
MELONS.—The plants on which the fruit is ripening to be kept rather dry at the roots, with free exposure to the air in favourable weather. A steady bottom heat to be kept up to the late crops.
PEACHES.—If the lights have not been taken off the early-forced houses, it would be advisable to remove them as soon as possible, that the air, rain, and dews may have free access to act both beneficially on the trees and to keep down red spider. In those houses which have been treated as advised in former Calendars, the principal object now should be to get the wood properly ripened. The late houses to be treated in a similar manner when the fruit is gathered. Where the trees in peach-houses have been recently planted, and are not yet in a bearing state, the shoots will require to be trained carefully, and insects to be kept down.
PINES.—The plants growing in beds of soil to be carefully attended to with water, giving at each application sufficient to penetrate the whole body of soil, as it frequently happens that the surface is moist while the bottom is quite dry. Pot a portion of the strongest successions for early forcing next season.
STRAWBERRIES.—Continue to lay the runners of the kinds you wish to force in pots until you have a sufficient number.
VINES.—Muscats, now beginning to ripen, will generally require a little fire heat to push them on; when ripened in good time they are better flavoured and keep longer than when the ripening process is delayed to a late period of the season. Continue to remove the stray laterals that begin to shade the larger leaves; to be done a little at a time, as disbudding on an extensive scale is prejudicial to fruit trees. The young Vines in pots to have every attention, to secure as much growth and healthy vigour as possible while the growing season lasts. Allow all young planted Vines to ramble freely without stopping them so closely, as is frequently practised. Before wasps and flies do much mischief to ripe Grapes, coarse canvass should be fixed over the top lights and front lights that are opened for the admission of air. Remove decayed berries as soon as observed, and keep the house containing ripe fruit dry and free from dust.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
BULBS.—The selections for winter and spring flowering to be made as soon as possible, choosing the most suitable varieties for each season; to be potted at two or three intervals for succession. To be potted in light fibrous turfy loam of a sandy quality, and placed in a dry situation; to be covered with three or four inches of old tan or coal ashes.
CAMELLIAS.—The large, old specimens that have set their flower-buds to be carefully supplied with water; for if they are allowed to get too dry at the roots they are apt to drop their buds. Young vigorous plants, on the contrary, will require to be watered rather sparingly, to prevent them making a second growth.
CINERARIAS.—Shift as they require it, and let no neglect as to watering, &c., cause a check to their growth.
CLIMBERS.—To have a succession late in the season when flowers become scarce, it is advisable to cut them back for that purpose, more especially the climbers on rafters or ornamental trellises.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—If any have been standing out of doors for some time, it is advisable to remove the best and most tender varieties to the cold pits, or other secure situations, to avoid the danger and risk of exposure to wet or windy weather.
SOILS.—Now is a favourable time to collect soils of different sorts for future use. The advantages of forethought for such matters will become evident when the time for use arrives. Leaf mould, decomposed sheep, deer, and cowdung, road and river sand, old Cucumber, Melon, and other
such soils, to be put in separate heaps in a shed, or any other dry place, protected from drenching rains. Each sort to be numbered, or named, that no mistake may occur when wanted.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
All plants intended to flower this autumn to be regularly supplied with water and occasionally with liquid manure; but all the other stove plants to be watered more sparingly after this time, and the water to be given early in the morning. The house to be shut up early in the afternoon with a strong sun heat. Slight fires to be made in the daytime, if the weather is dull, so that plenty of air may be given to the plants.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—If the nights are cold, the house or pit should be closed early, for the benefit of the second crop of fruit.
MELONS.—Withhold water when the fruit is ripening, as a sudden supply at that time very frequently causes the fruit to crack and become worthless. Keep the shoots so thin that every leaf may receive the benefit of the light. Do not expose the fruit to the sun’s rays till it is fully swelled. Give a supply of manure water to the late crops, and thin out useless laterals. It is advisable to paint the interior of the frame, or pit, with sulphur: this, with slight syringings and shutting up early while the sun shines upon it, will keep down insects.
MUSHROOMS.—Collect some very short stable-litter and horse-droppings, and turn them over frequently with the addition of a small portion of turfy loam until they are well incorporated. When moderately dry, to be packed on shelves or in boxes, and be well-beaten down in layers four or five inches thick, till the bed is the required thickness—from a foot to eighteen inches; for success will depend in a great measure upon the solidity of the bed. To be spawned when there is a brisk heat.
PINES.—If a strong body of fresh materials have recently been added, the watch-sticks should be frequently examined, and any approach to a burning heat to be counteracted by lifting the pots, &c. Fruit recently started and swelling off to have every encouragement for the next two months. Shut up early, to secure a strong amount of solar heat. Keep all the growing stock warm and moist, syringing them lightly twice a-day.
VINES.—The early-forced houses, where the wood is nearly ripe, would be benefited by free exposure to the air; but if the lights are required to remain on, cleanliness should be observed, and all laterals kept down. When the fruit is swelling or colouring, and when the weather is wet or cloudy, a gentle fire, if then applied, will expel damps, and be in other respects very beneficial to them. Stop all useless growths in the late houses; do not remove the leaves to expose the fruit to the sun, unless they are very thick indeed, as they are the principal agents by which nutriment is carried to the berries.
VINES IN POTS.—When the leaves begin to fade, to be removed to the north side of a wall, and the pots to be laid on their sides, to keep the roots dry. A little litter thrown over the pots will protect them from sudden changes.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As the majority of greenhouse plants are out in the open air, or in pits, where they have either set, or are setting, their blooms, preparations should be made for their return, by scrubbing and washing all the shelves of the greenhouse, and clearing out all crevices and corners, to banish all insects that may be secreting there. When by scrubbing, brushing, &c., you have brought everything to the ground, let no time be lost in clearing the insects, rubbish, &c., off the ground, and also out of the house. If painting and glazing are necessary, the sooner they are done the better, leaving the house entirely open for three weeks or a month, that the effluvium from white lead, which is prejudicial to plants, may pass off before the lights are put on again.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Shift into pots a size larger any small plants, or indeed any plants that you are desirous to grow fast, or to make specimen plants, as soon as they have filled their pots with roots.
CUTTINGS inserted in pots of light, sandy soil, well drained at the bottom, will readily strike when plunged in the tan-bed, where there is a little bottom heat, and covered with bell-glasses, that will allow of the edge being pressed into the soil inside the pot.
Henceforward a certain degree of care and consideration will be necessary to have the summer growth of plants generally—and especially that of all those whose period of excitement is continued over a certain portion of the autumn—so arranged and circumstanced as to secure its perfect maturity, or, in gardening terms, to have it “well ripened.” For that purpose it is necessary to avoid the application of moisture beyond what is necessary to prevent a decided check in the growth of the plants, to expose them to the influence of light, by not suffering them to crowd or overhang each other, and to prevent from what cause soever the too sudden declension of the average temperature to which they are exposed.
THE ORCHIDACEOUS PLANTS that are growing to have plenty of moisture and heat, it will be easily seen when their growth is completed, and then it is proper to let them go to rest by gradually lessening the supply of water, and removing them to a cooler part of the house.
Any ORCHIDS that you are desirous of increasing may be separated or potted into small pots, or fastened to blocks, or placed in baskets. Fill pots with pieces of turfy peat the size of Walnuts, and peg them altogether until they form a cone above the pot. On the summit place your plant, which is, in fact, a piece cut off another plant, and with four pegs or wires make it fast. Let the roots go where they please in the pot, or outside it. Orchids depend more for sustenance upon the atmosphere and moisture, than upon the soil.
FORCING-HOUSES.
PEACHES.—It is advisable, when practicable, to get the lights off the early houses, presuming that the trees are fast advancing towards a state of rest. The practice is certainly not absolutely indispensable, but it is of much benefit to the trees. Whether the lights are off or on, attention may now be given to the repairs of glass or woodwork where necessary, and to finish with a coat of paint and whitewashing, if possible.
PINES.—The plants swelling their fruit to be carefully looked over in hot weather that they may receive no check for want of water. Continue to pot or plant suckers as soon as they are taken off the parent plants, as they are apt to shrivel much at this season, if left out of the ground. Attend to the state of the linings to dung pits, as all Pine plants, in whatever situation, will require a lively bottom heat of 90°.
VINES.—The houses containing late Grapes to be shut up warm and rather early (about four o’clock), in order to dispense, if possible, with fires, giving air by seven o’clock in the morning, and increasing it abundantly towards noon, and to be then diminished at intervals, in accordance with the state of the weather.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants in these houses should receive particular attention that they do not suffer from want of water or fresh potting; the water to be given in the morning or forenoon, that the plants and houses may be dry towards night, to prevent the ill effects arising from damps.
CAMELLIAS.—Look over them, and disbud where too many are set in a cluster. Resurface the soil, and see that the drainage is efficient.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Heaths and other such hardwooded plants that have been placed out of doors will now do best in a cold pit or frame, where they can be protected from heavy rains.
PELARGONIUMS.—When the shoots of the plants that have been cut down are about an inch long, the old soil must be shaken away, the roots slightly trimmed, and then repotted into small pots, &c., as advised early in July. Some of the cuttings may now be fit for potting off; when potted, to be placed in a pit or frame, kept close, and shaded until they have made fresh roots, when they should be placed out in an open situation to grow firm and stocky, pinching out the leading shoots; and to be placed on coal ashes, slates, or boards, to prevent the admission of worms. Sow the seed immediately it is gathered, and also that of Fuchsias, or of any other perennial plant, if ripe before the middle of September.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The stove plants of strong and early growth may be allowed a gradual increase of ventilation and more sunlight. Plenty of moisture is still essential for the general stock. Shading may now be
dispensed with, except during bright sunbursts. Careful attention to be given to the Allamandas, Echites, Euphorbias, Luculias, Stephanotises, Dipladenias, and other such valuable stove plants. The surface soil of large specimens to be stirred, and weeds and moss removed.
GESNERA ZEBRINA.—Shift them for winter flowering; they delight in a mixture composed of equal parts of fibrous loam, heath soil, and leaf mould. All plants after shifting do best when placed in a gentle bottom heat; to be syringed occasionally, and shaded during bright sunshine.
Shift on all ORCHIDS that now require it, and are making their growth. Top dress others, if they require it. All that are growing freely in pots or baskets, or on blocks, to be syringed with clear, tepid, soft water in the afternoons of fine days, and to be shut up early.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—If any are growing against the back wall of a vinery, or other such structure, it may be advisable to give them a good soaking of water, and but very little, if any, after—as a dry atmosphere is necessary to ripen the fruit.
MELONS.—Continue to supply them with bottom heat. If they are growing in pits or frames, keep the linings well topped up or renewed, to produce a comfortable heat inside; for without it canker is apt to set in and destroy the plants.
MUSHROOMS.—In making beds for these on shelves, or in boxes, as recommended a fortnight ago, or on the floor, let the whole mass be made very firm by well-beating it as it is put on in layers. It is advisable when the spawn is put in to cover it with good, strong, fresh loam at least from two to three inches thick, and to make it as firm as possible. The Mushrooms will come stronger and of much better quality than if partly-exhausted soil is used.
PINES.—If the winter fruit have finished blossoming, supply them occasionally with clear liquid manure when they want water. The growth of the crown to be checked, and all useless suckers, gills, &c., to be removed. When a house or pit is devoted to late Pines alone, an abundance of moisture should be supplied. Give abundance of air to the young stock in dungpits, and increase the dryness of the atmosphere, to induce maturity of growth and a hardy constitution against winter. Shift, if not already done, succession plants into larger pots. Any plants recently potted to be shaded during bright sunshine, sprinkled overhead every afternoon, and the house closed early. The sprinkling will be sufficient without watering at the root until the plants begin to grow.
VINERIES.—Continue to secure a dry state of the atmosphere when the ripe fruit is intended to hang for any length of time, using a little fire heat when necessary to dispel damp. To ripen the fruit in late vineries, it is frequently necessary to use fire heat, but more especially when the external temperature ranges below 50°.

SEPTEMBER

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
BALSAMS.—Give them a good watering when they show indications of drooping; but be cautious in watering when the least stagnation appears, as saturation will be death to them.
BULBS.—Pot Hyacinths and other such bulbs for forcing. When potted, to be placed in a dry, cool situation, as advised in the early part of the month, and covered with some porous material—such as coal ashes, old spent tanner’s bark, coarse sand, or any other material that will serve to keep the roots not only cool and un-acted on by atmospheric changes, but which, from being moderately damp, will not abstract moisture from the roots, but keep them uniformly and evenly moistened. The Cape bulbs, if obtained now, may be had in flower at various periods throughout the winter and early spring. Amaryllis Johnsoni, vittata, and many other varieties, are splendid. Ornithogalum, both the white and orange-flowered species, the free-growing species of Ixia, and the varieties of Sparaxis tricolor, are desirable plants that may be easily bloomed by gentle forcing.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—Pot off seedlings into small pots, and keep them close in a frame for some days. Put in cuttings of the best kinds; they will strike readily in a common frame.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—They should now be stopped for the last time, to produce a late succession of bloom.
CLIMBERS.—Be careful to train the shoots, that the trellis or stakes may be furnished and clothed with foliage and flowers from the rim of the pot upwards.
FUCHSIAS.—To have a late bloom, cut back about half of the young wood, trimming the plants to handsome shapes. If placed or plunged in a little bottom heat they will break again, and continue blooming till Christmas.
LILIUM LANCIFOLIUM.—Supply them cautiously with water, as advised for Balsams, and shade the flowers from bright sunshine, to prolong their beauty. When they have done blooming, to be removed to the foot of a south wall or fence to ripen their growth. Water to be given sparingly until their tops show signs of decay, when they may be laid on their sides till potting time. The same treatment is recommended for Gladioli and plants of like habit.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Some judgment will now be necessary to arrange the plants that are finishing or have completed their season’s growth in the coolest part of the house, where they should be freely supplied with air, and rather cautiously and sparingly with water. While others in free growth should be encouraged with warmth and moisture by giving but very little air and a liberal supply of water during very fine sunshiny weather.
FORCING-HOUSES.
When the fruit in the early houses is gathered, the great object should be to ripen the wood. A certain degree of attention is necessary to be given by exposing them to light and air, and preserving the leaves from injury, as it is upon their healthy action that the future crop depends.
CHERRIES.—Trees in tubs, or large pots, if intended for early forcing, to be removed to a cool, and plunged in an open airy, situation, to continue the regular root action, upon which much of their future success will depend.
FIGS.—Withhold water from the borders where the second crop of fruit is ripening. Trees in tubs, or large pots, intended for early forcing, to be treated as advised for Cherries.
PEACHES.—If mildew attack the trees before the leaves have performed their necessary functions, dust the affected shoots with sulphur. Trees in pots to be treated as recommended for Cherries.
PINES.—Take advantage of fine weather to encourage free growth where it is desirable. Plants swelling their fruit to be supplied occasionally with clear liquid manure. The succession plants to be supplied with water at the roots, as inattention to that particular during hot weather is very likely to cause some of the plants to fruit prematurely.
STRAWBERRIES.—The stock intended for forcing to be carefully attended to; to be kept free from runners and weeds; and, when necessary, to be liberally watered. Free exposure to sun and air, and a little weak liquid manure, will assist to produce stout healthy plants for forcing.
VINES.—When the fruit is ripe, give air freely, and keep the house as cool and dry as possible. Stop laterals in the late houses, and expose the foliage to light, to make it as healthy and vigorous as possible. Vines in pots to be treated as advised for Cherries.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As boisterous winds, heavy rains, and other atmospheric changes occur about this time, it is advisable to draft the choicest out-door greenhouse plants to their winter quarters. Each plant to be carefully examined, dead leaves removed, and any defects in the soil or drainage of the pots to be remedied. If worm-casts, or other indications of the presence of worms, appear on the surface of the soil, by carefully turning the ball of soil out of the pot they can generally be picked out. If they are not visible on the outside of the ball, a small peg stuck in will direct particular attention to it until the intruder is removed. When staging the plants, a pleasing variety may be introduced by placing a few on inverted pots. Sufficient space to be given to each plant to allow the air to circulate freely around. If there is not sufficient room for all, the oldest or mis-shapen plants may be rejected, or wintered in a pit or vinery. When housed, all the air possible should be given in fine weather by the entire withdrawal of the lights, and only reducing the ventilation when unfavourable changes in the weather take place.
HELIOTROPES.—Pay attention to keep them in a growing, healthy state for winter flowering.
MIGNONETTE.—Sow now and a month hence, for winter and spring blooming.
PINKS.—Pot Anne Boleyne and other sorts, to be well established before they are wanted for forcing.
ROSES.—Some of the Tea-scented and China kinds, being placed under glass, and to be repotted if requisite, will promote immediate growth and early blooming.
VIOLETS.—Take up with good balls, to be potted in rotten turf, or leaf mould and road-scrapings, in 48 or 32-sized pots, placed in a pit or frame near the glass, for flowers in the winter and early spring.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
As the season of active growth is now getting to a close, it is advisable to ripen off gradually the pseudo-bulbs and strong healthy shoots by keeping up a genial atmosphere, ranging from 70° to 80°, with abundance of air in favourable weather. Cattleyas, Epidendrum Skinneri, Lælias, Lycaste Skinneri, and Odontoglossum grande, to be kept rather cool, and to be slightly syringed occasionally. Water to be given more sparingly to all the plants except such as are growing freely. Shading to be now dispensed with as much as possible, that the plants may have the benefit of the ripening influence of the sun.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—Continue to pay strict attention to the state of the atmosphere. Where the fruit is still swelling and ripening, slight fires will be useful in dull, cold weather, to assist in ripening the fruit; and but little syringing and watering will be required from this time forward.
MELONS.—Take advantage of fine weather by giving plenty of air, shutting up early, and keeping the shoots regularly thinned. In whatever structure they may be growing, it is advisable to keep up the bottom heat by a gentle fire, or by linings.
PEACHES.—We will suppose the trees to be now fully exposed to the air night and day, and will, therefore, require but little attention, except an occasional washing with the engine, to remove insects and to allow the foliage to perform its functions to a natural decay. If a blank in the house is to be filled up, it may be done as soon as the crop is gathered from the open wall; and the crop to be expected from the same tree next season will depend upon the care with which it is removed, as there will be sufficient time for the wood to be ripened and the tree to make fresh roots, and to get sufficiently established before winter.
PINES.—Where young stock is grown in dung-pits, care to be taken by giving air freely in favourable weather, to avoid growing the plants weakly in a close and warm temperature, and by a sufficient command of heat from the linings to allow a little air to be given at night and on cloudy days.
VINES.—All long growths, whether bearing or not, to be stopped, as it is getting too late for them to be benefited by the foliage made after this period of the year. A gentle fire in damp weather is useful to keep the atmosphere dry when the fruit is ripe. The bunches to be frequently and carefully looked over and all tainted berries removed, and the foliage kept free from insects. Fire heat is also necessary where the fruit is not yet ripe, and where the fruit is cut it is sometimes necessary to keep the atmosphere dry and rather warm, to ripen the wood.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Finish housing the greenhouse plants, and give them as much air as possible; for if air is too sparingly admitted at this season, when many of the plants have not finished their growth, it will cause them to produce weak and tender shoots, which will be very liable to damp off at a more advanced period when the inclemency of the external air will cause them to be kept close. Water to be liberally supplied when they are first taken into the house, as the dry boards on which they may stand, or the elevated situation and free circulation of air will occasion a more frequent want of that element than when they stood on the moist earth. However, by no means go to the extreme, but give it only when evidently necessary.
AZALEAS.—Plants that have set their blooms to be removed to the greenhouse; but the late kinds to remain in heat until their growth is matured and the bloom set. If a few are required to bloom at Christmas, or a little after, they should be kept in heat until the bloom-buds have swelled to a good size, when they will require but very little forcing to start them into bloom.
BULBS.—Procure and pot them as soon as possible, as much of the success of early forcing depends upon early potting.
CAMELLIAS.—Treat them as advised for Azaleas.
HEATHS.—Look sharply after mildew, as plants that have been growing freely in a shady situation in the open air, and are in a rather succulent state when taken indoors, are liable to be attacked by this pest, which should be removed on its first appearance by an application of sulphur.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Commence a gradual reduction of the temperature in correspondence with the decline of external heat; by such means the plants will be better prepared to withstand the gloom and other vicissitudes of the winter season.
BEGONIAS.—Encourage the different kinds for winter flowering by shifting them, if necessary, into larger pots. They succeed best in a compost of half leaf mould and half loam. They grow luxuriantly in a soil composed entirely of decayed vegetable matter; but in that they are liable to rot off at the base of the stem.
FORCING-HOUSES.
FIGS.—Trees in tubs or pots still bearing to be assisted with a little liquid manure when dry. Withhold water gradually from the borders, to induce an early, but not a too premature, ripeness of the wood and an early rest.
PEACHES.—The flues of the early house may now be cleaned, and, if not yet done, the lights washed and painted, if necessary.
PINES.—If there are some of the spring fruiting plants still remaining in the fruiting-house, they should either be placed at one end of the pit, or removed to a small house by themselves; the house should then be prepared for the best of the succession plants for the second crop next summer. Plants showing fruit after this time, although they cannot be expected to produce as fine fruit as if earlier in the season, will, nevertheless, be found very useful, and should have every attention given to them while the season continues favourable. To be placed in the warmest corner of the house, and to be supplied when dry with a little liquid manure. Continue to grow on the young stock while the weather continues favourable; for fine sunny days and moist growing nights are all that we can desire. A good portion of solar heat to be secured by shutting up early. On cold nights gentle fires will be necessary to keep up the temperature to 70° towards morning.
VINES.—The Vines that are to be forced early, if the wood is well ripened and all the leaves nearly off, may be pruned without much fear of bleeding, keeping the house as cool as possible; but if, from appearances, the sap is not considered to be sufficiently at rest, the pruning should be postponed. Continue to forward the Grapes not yet ripe by giving a little fire heat during the day. Air to be given to the house as soon as the sun shines upon it, as the vapour that ascends, if not allowed to pass off by ventilation, will cause the Grapes to become mouldy and worthless.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants that have been in the open borders during the summer to be taken up, the roots carefully cut back, and repotted; to be placed in a gentle bottom heat, or in some close place, until they have made fresh roots, the better to resist the vicissitudes of the dull, dreary months of the approaching winter.
AMERICAN PLANTS.—If a rich display of bloom is desired in early spring, the plants should be now potted in rather small pots, to be plunged in the warmest part of the garden, and introduced to the forcing-house from November until February, as they may be required. The most suitable for such a purpose are the Azaleas of the nudiflora class with various hybrids, Andromeda pulverulenta, Daphne cneorum, Kalmias, of sorts, Ledum latifolium and L. thymifolium, Polygala Chamœbuxus, Rhododendrons, and Rhodora Canadense.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—Remove them to a shelf as near the glass as possible, with plenty of air at all favourable opportunities. To be duly supplied with water.
CAMELLIAS.—Water to be given carefully, to prevent the dropping of the buds. The lateflowering plants to be thinned of their buds, leaving not more than two buds on each shoot, and retaining the largest and smallest to get a long succession of bloom. The leaves, if necessary, to be washed clean.
CHINESE PRIMROSES.—Place them as advised for Calceolarias.
CINERARIAS.—Protect them from the ravages of green fly by the application of the Gishurst infallible compound.
FUCHSIAS.—Continue to encourage the late stock for bloom. Seeds may be sown at once, where there is a greenhouse or other means of sheltering them from frost and damp; but if you have no such convenience, it is advisable to postpone the sowing until spring. The seed is separated most easily from the pulp by bruising the berries amongst dry sand, and allowing it to stand in the sun, or in a warm place, until the moisture has evaporated, when the seed and sand will be intermixed, and in a fit state to be sown.
HEATHS.—On fine mornings syringe them, and Epacrises and Pimeleas, and give all possible ventilation, both night and day, while the weather continues favourable.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Place them in situations to enjoy a considerable share of air and light. All luxuriant shoots to be stopped, to maintain symmetry and uniformity of growth. A vigilant eye should be kept upon them almost daily, to see that neither mildew, green fly, nor other such enemies be allowed to injure them.
ORANGE TREES.—If they have been standing out during the summer, the sooner they are returned to their winter quarters the better. Clean the leaves, if necessary, and fresh surface the soil in which they are growing.
SUCCULENTS.—Cacti, Euphorbiæ, and other such plants to be gradually curtailed in the supply of water as they approach the winter and their season of rest.
TROPÆOLUMS.—If any of this beautiful tribe, particularly T. tricolorum or T. Brachyseras that have flowered early in the season, begin to grow, they should not be checked, but allowed to grow slowly through the winter; but if there is no appearance of growth—which is best for their future success—the roots should be kept dormant, in a cool place, with the soil about them quite dry, and protected from mice.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Stove plants cannot be too cautiously watered late in the autumn. Nothing is now wanted but to keep the soil from getting quite dry. Slight fires to be made in the forenoons of dull and rainy days, not so much for the purpose of raising the temperature as for drying the house. Air to be given at all favourable opportunities, to maintain a healthy atmosphere. Several of the Orchids— viz., Aërides, Dendrobiums, Saccolabiums, Vandas, &c., may be encouraged by the application
of a high temperature, with much moisture and less shading, to make further and sometimes considerable growth.
CATTLEYAS.—Young plants may also be encouraged to grow for some time longer; but older specimens should be reduced to a comparatively dormant state by a gradual diminution in the supply of water, and a decrease in temperature, with less shading.
STANHOPEAS.—To be treated as advised for Cattleyas.
FORCING-HOUSES.
Continue to make fresh beds as formerly directed, and prepare fresh material for successional ones. To ensure success it is advisable never to allow the manure to be put together in a dry state, nor to get too far exhausted, but in that medium state when the strong fermentation has passed off, and a moderate heat is likely to remain in it for some time. The temperature to be kept from 60° to 65°, with the admission of air for several hours daily.
CHERRIES.—Whether they are in pots or in borders, and have arrived at, or are only approaching, a comparatively dormant state when but little attention will be necessary, still that little will be required to keep them clear of insects and of the leaves as they become sufficiently ripe, when they come readily off with a touch. The old surface of the soil of those grown in pots to be removed, and the same quantity of fresh, in a rough state, put in its place. Remove them without further delay, if not already done, as advised in the early part of the month, to the north side of a wall or hedge until wanted; or if not wanted until a sharp frost sets in, they should be protected from its icy grasp.
FIGS.—Trees in pots to be treated as advised for Cherries.
MELONS.—Although the weather may have been favourable for ripening the late fruit, they will in some places still require the assistance of a good top and bottom heat, and a large portion of air in the middle of the day.
PEACHES.—Trees in pots to be pruned, and treated as recommended for Cherries. No time should be lost if fresh trees are to be planted in the place of any that may be worn out. The choice should be made of young trees that are in a bearing state, and all the better if they had been moved last autumn. In pruning the trees, after the leaves have dropped, be sure not to leave them too crowded; but if the summer pruning, as frequently advised, have been properly done, but very little, if any, will be required now. To remove the leaves from the trees in the early houses it is advisable to shake them daily, and sometimes to brush them gently with a few pieces of birchspray tied in a bundle. All foreright shoots to be removed, and the trees in the late houses kept free from insects.
PINES.—Persevere in former directions as to general routine management. Whilst fine weather continues air may be given liberally; and shut up earlier in the afternoon to secure as much sun heat as possible. Plants swelling their fruit to be assisted with a brisk temperature, both at top and bottom, from 65° to 70° at night, allowing it to rise to 80° on sunny days with a steady bottom
heat of about 80°. When watering is necessary let it be given in sufficient quantity to moisten the whole of the soil. The suckers and crowns that were potted in the summer months should now be shifted, if they have grown freely; they should then be plunged in a brisk bottom heat in the succession-house or pit, from which the plants have been removed, to the fruiting-house. Any remaining suckers on the old stools to be taken off, potted, and plunged in a brisk heat in the nursing pit.
VINES.—The early house, or the first lot of Vines in pots, if it is intended to start them in November or December, to be pruned, that sufficient time may be allowed to heal up the wounds, and the buds to become more plump and prominent. The border of the early house to be thatched with straw, or covered with any other such material, to protect it from heavy rains. It is also advisable in some situations to cover the borders of the houses in which it is intended to keep Grapes late, to prevent the soil getting saturated about the roots. Continue to look over ripe fruit, cutting out the mouldy or tainted berries; applying gentle fires only when necessary to expel damps, with a free circulation of air—as a warm, close atmosphere is as injurious as damp. Where the long-rod system is adopted, the old shoots should be cut down as soon as the fruit is gathered; and, whatever system is adopted, if there are any shoots to remove they should be taken out as soon as they can be spared; the ends of the remaining shoots, if green, to be cut off. Continue to pay strict attention to late Grapes, look over them daily, and cut out every decayed berry.

OCTOBER

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants when newly set in the house are very liable to lose a portion of their leaves: these should be removed, and the plants kept supplied with water, so as to preserve the soil moderately moist throughout. Air to be given every day, and also a portion at night, if the weather continue mild.
BULBS (Dutch).—All kinds to be immediately potted and plunged in a convenient situation ready to be removed, when wanted, to the forcing-house or pit. If potted and treated as advised some time ago, a few of them may now be excited into growth.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Take up the plants from the open ground; choose a showery day for the purpose. After potting to be well watered and shaded for a few days, then placed in a cold pit, or removed to the greenhouse, and neatly tied to stakes. The buds to be thinned for a fine display.
GLADIOLI.—Pot them, and Ixias, Sparaxis, &c.; and to be watered sparingly until they begin to grow.
LILY OF THE VALLEY.—Pot some, to be treated as advised for Bulbs, that a regular supply of this favourite flower may be had during winter.
SHRUBS.—Get in, if not already done. A supply of American plants to be potted, as advised a fortnight ago, and plunged in old tan until wanted for forcing.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Continue to act in unison with the season, allowing the temperature to decline slightly as light decreases. Although the Aërides, Dendrobiums, &c., will continue to enjoy a temperature of 80° by day and 70° by night, the Cattleyas will require 10° or 15° less to bring them to a healthy state of rest; for if kept in constant excitement they will continue to sprout buds from their pseudobulbs, which generally adds to the size of the plant at the expense of the blooms.
ACHIMENES PICTA.—Promote their growth by every attention, also Gesnera zebrina, which adds much to the beauty of the stove during winter.
BEGONIAS.—Encourage the different kinds for winter flowering by giving them larger pots if required.
EUPHORBIA FULGENS and SPLENDENS.—These are also worthy of especial attention, as they contribute to enliven the house at the dullest season of the year when flowers are scarce.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—To prolong the season of fine crisp fruit it is necessary to keep the plants clean and healthy by giving them plenty of top and bottom heat.
FIGS.—The trees having no fruit likely to come to perfection, and whose leaves are fading, to be kept cool and dry, to induce an early rest. A seasonal rest should also be given by the same means to trees in pots, that they may be in a fit state for forcing early.
MELONS.—Continue to maintain a warm, dry atmosphere, to give flavour to the fruit. They will require little or no water after this.
PEACHES.—Vacancies to be filled with trees from the walls on the open ground. This is a plan preferable to having young trees from the nursery, which are usually some years in covering the space allotted to them. Where the lights have been wholly removed, after being repaired and painted, they should be put upon the houses to protect the trees and borders from unfavourable weather.
PINES.—Ripening fruit to be kept in a dry, warm atmosphere, to give it flavour. The swelling fruit to have a warm, moist atmosphere. Water to be given to the plants cautiously; every one to be examined before it receives any, and manure water to be dispensed with altogether. The heat of the dung-pits to be kept up by renewing the linings. The crowns and suckers that are planted in the tan to have no water; all they require is attention in giving air and keeping up the heat.
VINES.—Attention to be given to the young Vines in pots that are intended for forcing, that they may not become soddened, which would injure the young roots considerably. Where netting or
any other such material had been used over the lights that open in houses containing fruit, to prevent the ingress of wasps, it may be taken down as little mischief will now be apprehended from their attacks. Mice are sometimes very troublesome in vineries at this season, and will spoil a whole house of Grapes in a short time if not prevented. Traps should, therefore, be kept set, and every means used to prevent their ingress from the garden. Cover the border when the trees are planted outside, with a good coat of fern or any other such material before they become saturated and chilled by the autumnal rains, to be laid on thickly in layers, beginning at the front of the border, the whole to be covered with a thin layer of good straw, and fastened down as a thatcher does the straw on stacks.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The plants being cleaned, surfaced, staked, and arranged, they will require but little beyond the ordinary attentions of watering and regulating the admission of air. Plants, when fresh surfaced, sometimes droop without any apparent cause, which generally arises from the roots being very dry; the fresh soil absorbing most of the moisture, and the water escaping between the pot and ball of earth. This is usually brought on by surfacing the plants when dry: as soon, therefore, as the consequences are observed, the plants should be examined, and sufficient water given to wet the ball of earth thoroughly.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—Treat them without further delay as advised in a late Calendar. An occasional and moderate supply of clear liquid manure will assist to develope their flowers to greater perfection. If any indication of mildew appear an application of the flowers of sulphur, when the foliage is damp, will banish it.
FUCHSIAS.—Encourage the young stock to continue their blooming by the application of a little weak liquid manure. When the flowering is over, and they have lost most of their leaves, they may then be set aside in any corner free from frost for the winter. To be kept moderately dry.
MYRTLES.—These and other such evergreen plants requiring protection to be placed in pits or frames, or in any other structure, as near the glass as possible. To be watered regularly; but, like all other plants, care must be taken that they do not get too much at any time during the winter.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The plants that have taken their rest should be shaken out, and repotted; pruning back such as require it, and placing them in a gentle bottom heat. The Orchids showing bloom—such as the Cypripediums, Phajus grandifolius and Stenorhynchus speciosus—to be supplied with plenty of heat and moisture. Some of the other sorts—such as the Catasetums, the Cycnoches, Lycastes, &c., that are approaching their dormant state—to be accommodated, if possible, with a drier and cooler atmosphere. All fast-growing plants—such as Clerodendrums, Vincas, &c.—that require large pots in summer, to be now turned out of their pots, the soil to be shaken from them, and repotted into the smallest sized pots that will contain them, without pruning the roots much at this time.
CLIMBERS.—Some of the most rambling will now want some pruning, more especially where they obstruct the light in any material degree. The Combretums, Echites, Ipomsæas, Mandevillas, late-blooming Passifloras, Pergularias, Stephanotises, Thunbergias, &c., which are still growing, to be regulated with a more gentle hand, cutting out but little more than barren shoots, and drawing the remainder into somewhat closer festoons, to allow the more free admission of sunlight into the interior of the house.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—The plants for a winter supply of fruit should now be making progress. Keep the vines thin and use every means to keep up a good heat, with liberal admissions of air at all favourable opportunities, to get them strong and vigorous against the winter months. Stop mildew by dusting the leaves with sulphur.
MUSHROOMS.—Succession-beds to be made according to previous directions. Give a good sprinkling to those in bearing, to produce a genial humidity; and turn the covering material occasionally, to keep them sweet and free from mouldiness.
PEACHES.—When the trees in the early house are pruned, it is advisable to cover the cuts, when dry, with white lead, to prevent the admission of air and water to the wound. Wash the trellis, whitewash the flues and walls, and make every part of the house clean. Dress the trees with a mixture of soft soap and sulphur in hot water; to be well rubbed in with a brush or sponge.
VINES.—Continue to look over the ripe Grapes, cutting out any decaying berries. If the fruit is to be kept for any length of time, and if any plants, through want of other accommodation, must be kept under the Vines, they should be watered in the morning, using a little fire heat in the day, with air, to expel damp before night. Whatever system of pruning is adopted, whether the longrod or spur, it is advisable, when the brown scale is visible, to take off the loose bark, to wash them, and the wires and rafters, with soft soap dissolved in hot water, using a hard brush, being careful not to injure the buds; afterwards to apply hot lime, made to the consistency of thick paint.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The decline of temperature and less watering must go on progressively, more especially in dull weather, with free ventilation at all favourable opportunities. If the weather be cold, use a little fire-heat occasionally during the day, especially where there are many plants in bloom, that ventilation may be given to expel damp and stagnant air.
CINERARIAS.—Plants that have filled their small pots with roots to be shifted, according to their size and strength, into larger pots. The compost to be one part turfy loam, one part peat or leaf mould, and one part rotten horsedung. They delight on a cool bottom, and will thrive tolerably well in a cold pit, protected from frost during the winter. They should be placed on a dry bottom of coal ashes, and kept as near to the glass as possible.
HEATHS.—They may, if there is no room for them in the greenhouse, be kept in a cold pit, or frame, during the winter. Water to be given carefully on the forenoon of a fine day. Frost to be excluded by mats, or other covering; but they can be grown sufficiently hardy by free exposure to bear a few degrees of frost without injury if they are shaded from the sun’s rays until gradually thawed.
MIGNONETTE.—Sow, to come into bloom about the end of February. The soil to be rich, light, and the pots to have a good supply of crocks at the bottom, as the success of growing this favourite plant through the winter will depend in a great measure upon the drainage and keeping the plants dry and untouched by frosts. Those who have a hotbed frame will find it useful to start the seeds by moderate heat. Others who have no such convenience may place their pots in a cold frame in a sheltered situation, and upon a floor of rough stones overlaid with ashes.
PELARGONIUMS.—The more dormant they can be kept during the winter the better. Therefore, only a very moderate supply of water should be given to keep them from flagging, and a liberal supply of air at all favourable opportunities.
VERBENAS.—To be placed on swing or other shelves as near to the glass as possible. They require plenty of air, the extirpation of green fly, and a moderate supply of water to preserve them in a healthy condition.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
FERNS.—Sow the seeds, or spores, when ripe. A convenient sized pot to be filled with sandy peat, finishing with a few rough lumpy pieces to form an uneven surface. The seeds to be shaken over the tops and sides of these pieces of soil, by which there is more probability of some of them vegetating than if they had been sown on a level surface where the whole of the seed would be subjected to the same kind of treatment, which might with ordinary care be either too wet or too dry. The pot to be set in a saucer that contains a little water, which will feed the whole mass with sufficient moisture without a drop being required on the surface of the pot. The seedlings succeed best in a cool part of the stove where evaporation can be most effectually prevented; but they do not like to be continually kept close under a bell-glass.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Top dress the plants in pots or boxes with leaf mould, supplying those that are rooting freely with an abundance of atmospheric moisture, and free circulation of air, stopping at every second joint, and setting the fruit as the blossom expands.
STRAWBERRIES.—It is usual, when the stock of plants in pots is large, to lay them on their sides on the south side of a wall or fence, packed in dry coal ashes, and topped with boards, or any other such covering, to protect them from heavy falls of rain until they are wanted for forcing.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As fresh air is indispensable for the health of plants, and as fogs occur about this time, it is essential to apply a little fire-heat during the day, to expel damps, and to cause a desirable activity in the circulation of the air. Attend to cleanliness, picking off dead leaves, and the destruction of insects.
BULBS.—Pot Hyacinths, Narcissi, Tulips, &c., to flower late in the spring; also the Ixiæ and Gladioli, and various other Irideæ; and also Oxalis, Lachenalia, &c. They delight in light open soil composed of peat, loam, and sand, and rotten leaf mould as an addition to, or substitute for, the peat.
CINERARIAS.—Give the final shift to the plants intended to flower as specimens in early spring.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS to be treated with manure water occasionally. All suckers and spindly shoots to be removed, and the flowers to be thinned.
PELARGONIUMS.—A little fire-heat by day, with plenty of air, will be of service to drive off the damp and stagnant atmosphere caused by heavy rains. Watering, if necessary, to be given in the morning; the principal shoots to be tied into a regular form, and the weakly and useless ones removed; to be placed near the glass, to encourage a sturdy, short-jointed growth. Two ounces of the Gishurst compound, dissolved in one gallon of soft water, will speedily banish the green fly.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Keep them tied in as they grow; stop the side-shoots at the second joint; allow the leader to grow to the required length before stopping it; and pinch off the young fruit if you think they are not sufficiently strong to carry a crop.
PEACHES.—Prune and dress the trees as soon as they lose their leaves. If the lights are still off any of the early houses the sooner they are put on the better. An abundance of air to be given.
PINES.—The temperature of the fruit-swelling plants to range from 60° to 65° at night, with an increase during the day in accordance with the state of the weather, whether bright and sunny, or rainy, foggy, or frosty; and the succession plants a few degrees less. Humidity to be considerably reduced, as it tends at this season to produce weak and immature growth. The bark-beds of strong succession plants that are required to start into fruit early, to be renewed by having a small quantity added to the surface of the bed. Pits heated by dung will require covering with mats at night: when covered let every other light be slightly raised, to allow the steam to pass off. When the covering is off it will escape through the laps of the glass. Take advantage of all opportunities for giving a little air. If it can be done every day, so much the better for the health of the plants.
VINES.—The Vines in late houses that will not require to be pruned for some time should have the tops or other portions of the immature wood cut off, to give strength and plumpness to the back eyes. If the houses are dry, kept free from drip, and the scissors employed amongst decaying berries, the fruit that now remains will be in a good condition for holding on for a long time.

NOVEMBER

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Now that the dull, foggy days and sharp frosty nights have arrived, it is necessary to keep all plants that have finished their growth free from excitement, and rather dry at their roots. A gentle fire to be applied during the day, which will allow the advantage of a free circulation of fresh air, and, by closing up early in the afternoon, will retain sufficient heat to resist the encroachments of ordinary frosts during the night. But if the frost should set in severely, night coverings, if possible, should be applied in preference to fire-heat.
AMERICAN PLANTS, &c.—Pot, if not done, Rhododendrons, Kalmias, hardy Azaleas, Lily of the Valley, and other plants usually required for winter forcing.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—They will require an abundance of air to prevent the flowers expanding weakly. Keep them well supplied with water, and the leaves in a healthy state; for a great portion of their beauty depends upon so doing. They may sometimes be seen almost entirely denuded of leaves when in flower, which considerably detracts from what should be their ornamental appearance in the greenhouse or conservatory.
PRIMROSES (Chinese).—Give a few of the strongest and most forward a shift into larger pots. The double varieties are very useful for cutting where bouquets are much in request, as they do not drop the flowers like the single varieties.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Great caution will now be necessary in the application of atmospheric heat and humidity, as an excess of either will cause a premature and unseasonable growth which no after-care could thoroughly rectify. The thermometer for the majority of stove plants need not at any time of the day exceed 60°, with a fall of 8° or 10° during the night.
BEGONIAS.—They deserve a place in every stove, as they are plants of easy cultivation, and bloom at a season when flowers are scarce; they can also be introduced to the conservatory or sitting-room when in bloom.
FORCING-HOUSES.
HOTBEDS.—Keep up the heat of dungbeds by adding leaves and dung to the linings; but not sufficient of the latter to cause a rank steam in the frames.
PEACHES.—If any vacancies occur in the late houses they should now be filled up. We have before recommended trees of large size to be taken from the walls for this purpose, but in so doing care should be taken to select such sorts as the Murray, Elruge, and Violette Hâtive Nectarines; Noblesse, Royal George, Grosse Mignonne, and Chancellor Peaches, being the best
adapted for forcing. Some sorts are of little value as forced fruit, although they may bear abundantly.
PINES.—Coverings to be used, and as little fire-heat as possible, to keep up the required heat during the night. The heat of the spring-fruiting and succession-houses to be gradually decreased, so that it may range from 60° to 65°. The winter-fruiting plants to range 10° higher.
VINES.—The Grapes will require unremitting attention to keep the house dry, and to cut out the decayed berries. It will, we suppose, be generally observed that the fruit that was ripe before wet weather sets in will keep better than the more backward ones, which may be a useful hint “to make hay while the sun shines,” or, in other words, to ripen the fruit in good time. Prune and dress the Vines in the succession-houses as recommended for the early ones. When Vines have been taken out of the house they should be protected from the vicissitudes of the weather, as they are sometimes greatly injured by being exposed to excessive wet and severe frosts.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Continue to admit air in favourable weather, but not in currents; shut up early; use water sparingly, and always tepid—giving little or none to succulents and plants in a state of rest.
FLOWERS.—Where there is a pit at liberty it may now be prepared for forcing flowers. The glass must be thoroughly cleaned, as light is of importance at this season. The tree leaves when gathered to be mixed with a portion of well-prepared dung, to produce an early action, and about nine inches of tan or sawdust placed over them in which to plunge the pots. The plants, if in proper condition, may be introduced immediately—viz. Azaleas, Camellias, Persian Lilacs, Gardenias, Moss and Provence Roses, Rhododendrons, Sweet Briars, Honeysuckles, &c. The Hyacinths, Narcissi, Tulips, and other bulbs that have been potted early, as advised in due season, may be introduced successively in small quantities when the buds are an inch or two long, plunging them in any out-of-the-way part of the pit, covering them for a time with four or five inches of old tan.
HEATHS and NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—Water them sparingly. Dry the atmosphere if necessary by lighting a slight fire on fine days. Give air freely.
PELARGONIUMS.—Shift and tie out as they may require. A few of the most forward may be accelerated by a little heat.
PRIMROSES (Chinese).—Water with caution. Two or three small pegs to be stuck into the soil around each, to keep the stem and plant erect in the pot. Thin out weak and deformed bloombuds.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The resting section of Orchids should now be allowed to settle down gently to their annual repose by withholding water at the root, by diminishing the amount of atmospheric moisture, and by giving a more liberal ventilation than in the growing season. The more evergreen kinds—such as some of the Aërides, Dendrobiums, Saccolabiums, Vandas, &c., to be favoured with the warmest situation.
FORCING-HOUSES.
ASPARAGUS.—Where it is wanted early, preparations should now be made for forcing it. Any old Cucumber or Melon-bed that still retains a gentle heat may be used for the purpose. The plants to be placed as closely as possible, and covered with three or four inches of any light soil. The application of linings will supply any deficiency of heat that may be caused by severe weather. When the heads come up, to be supplied with an abundance of light and air.
CHERRIES.—Look over the plants in pots, and if they require shifting into larger pots it may be done at once. The pots to be plunged in coal ashes, or any other loose material, to protect the roots from frost, and where they will commence rooting immediately.
FIGS.—If the summer and autumn attention has been given to them, as advised, very little, if any, winter pruning will now be required; but if such is necessary it may be done as soon as the leaves fade. The trees to be carefully washed clean all over with soap and water, and then painted over with a mixture composed of one ounce of soft soap and one ounce of sulphur to a quart of water. Trees in pots to be shifted, or top-dressed, as may be necessary. Shifting is only recommended when it is desirable to increase the size of the trees. To be afterwards placed in a shed with the pots plunged in leaves.
PINES.—The plants on which the fruit has recently appeared to be encouraged with heat and moderate moisture; but those that are likely to “show” for the next two months to be supplied with a temperature to keep them progressing slowly that they may be just beginning to swell their fruit when the days and sun are lengthening and strengthening. The state of temperature of the beds recently renewed with tan to be examined frequently, as they sometimes become suddenly too hot. Now, when Oak and other tree leaves can be collected, it is advisable to use half leaves and half dung for lining the pits heated by fermenting materials; the leaves contribute to make the heat more regular and lasting. Give no water to the succession plants during dull weather except to such plants as are near the flues and pipes, and are apt to get over-dry in consequence.
SEA-KALE.—If this delicious vegetable is wanted early, a small hotbed should be made in some convenient place; the roots to be taken up and placed upon it, covered with a little light soil, and protected by boards or any other contrivance most convenient and suitable to exclude light and the inclemency of the weather.
RHUBARB.—The same as advised for Sea-kale. Where a Mushroom-house is at work is the best place for both.
VINES.—All fading leaves to be removed from the Vines on which fruit is hanging, and the house to be kept dry, light, and airy, and free from anything likely to create mould or damp.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Careful attention should now be given to the picking off mouldy and dead leaves, decaying flower-stems, &c., as they spread contagion wherever they touch. Drip to be prevented, and atmospheric humidity to be disposed of by a gentle day fire occasionally, and the free admission of air.
AZALEAS (Chinese).—Introduce a few into heat for early bloom. The A. Indica alba and Phœnicea are best to begin with; to be succeeded by Smith’s coccinea, and after it any of the other varieties. As decorations for the conservatory or drawing-room they are invaluable where they continue for six weeks or two months in perfect beauty.
CAMELLIAS.—Water, when necessary, to be given in a slightly tepid state, and plenty of air, that the buds may be allowed to swell full and prominent by a slow but sure process. If bloom is required early, to be forwarded by introducing them into a situation where heat is applied.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Withhold moisture entirely from the roots of deciduous Orchids, and such as are sinking into a state of repose. Any late specimens, or importations, making late growths to be favoured with the best light situations in the house and a little water, to keep up the vitality sufficient to produce the secretions necessary to carry them safely through the dull days of winter. Look over all growing plants, and see that they do not suffer for want of water. Look to every Orchid, even the smallest growing on blocks or in baskets, they all require attention. Repot or surface dress any that require it. A favourable day to be chosen to wash the lights for the more free admission of that agent most indispensable for their health. The whole to be kept neat, and free from insects; and the plants on stages, tables, or suspended from blocks, baskets, &c., to be arranged in a manner the most suitable for a picturesque and pleasing effect.
FORCING-HOUSES.
Where early forcing is intended it is advisable to give a thorough cleansing to the houses by limewashing and dressing the wood of Cherries, Figs, Peaches, Vines, &c., as frequently directed.
BEANS (Dwarf Kidney).—Sow in six-inch pots; when crocked to be filled within three inches of the rim with a compost consisting of old Cucumber or Melon mould, rotten dung and leaf mould in about equal proportions. To be placed in any convenient part of the forcing-house for a few days until the soil is warm. The Beans are then sown about ten or twelve in each pot, and pressed by the finger about an inch below the soil. In a week they will be up; to be then thinned out, according to the strength of the plants, to six or eight in each, and to receive a gentle watering.
When the two first leaves are fully developed the plants to be earthed up as high as the cotyledons. To be regularly syringed and watered at the roots, taking especial care that they do not become too wet, or they will damp off. When they have made two joints to be stopped, to cause them to produce laterals and bearing branches. The plants to be placed as close to the glass as possible. The Chinese Dwarf and Fulmer are good sorts for forcing.
FIGS.—A temperature of about 40° will suit them at present; if allowed to get lower they are very apt to suffer. Trees in pots to be removed to any house where that degree of temperature is kept up.
PEACHES.—Where the roots are inside, and have been kept dry, an application of weak, clear liquid manure, at the temperature of summer heat (76°), will act as a stimulant to the roots, whose services are required before much excitement takes place at top.
PINES.—Now, at the dullest season of the year, it is necessary to be very cautious in regulating the bottom and surface temperatures, more especially in the succession-houses or pits; a bottom heat of about 70°, with a steady top temperature of about 60° during the day, and about 55° during the night, will keep the plants in a comparatively comfortable state of rest, neither allowing the temperature to decline so low as to reduce their vitality to such a degree as to endanger their restoration to vigour in proper season, nor to rise so high as to excite them into a growth that would be immature for want of solar light and heat. A moderate application of water will also be necessary.
VINES.—When the Grapes are all cut, prune the Vines without loss of time, that the wounds may have sufficient time to get perfectly healed before they are excited into growth. If delayed until early spring, bleeding will be sure to follow. Vines in pots intended for forcing should either be placed within the protection of the house appropriated to them, or secured from the effects of severe weather.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
The great object should now be to keep them moderately dry; water, when necessary, to be given in the forenoon. Gentle fires to be applied in the daytime, with a sufficiency of air to allow the vapour to pass off. All decaying leaves, flower-stalks, &c., to be carefully picked off. All weeds, moss on the surface of pots, or anything else that would tend to cause dampness, mildew, or decomposition, to be cleared away. Pinch off the tops of any of the half-hardy plants that are growing too rapidly.
CLIMBERS.—To be closely tied, that they may interfere as little as possible with the admission of light.
FORCING PIT.—The various plants described in former Calendars, and recommended to be forwarded here for furnishing the drawing-room, conservatory, or mixed greenhouse, will require careful and skilful attention. Moderate syringings with tepid water to be given on suitable
occasions. Fire heat to be applied, more especially in the daytime, with air at every favourable opportunity. The pit to be shut up early, and the heat to be husbanded by external coverings in preference to night heat. Syringings with the Gishurst Compound, or frequent and moderate fumigations of tobacco smoke, to be given to destroy green fly. The water to be always tepid when applied to the roots or branches when they require it.
NEW HOLLAND PLANTS.—As they are very apt to suffer when exposed to cold draughts of air, and as they are generally wintered in the same house with the more hardy sorts of greenhouse plants, they should occupy a part of the house where air can be admitted, when necessary, from the top lights only.
ORANGE TREES.—Advantage to be taken of unfavourable weather for out-door work, to clean the foliage of Orange trees and Camellias. It is as essential to the health of such things that the foliage be kept clean, and, therefore, in a fit state to perform its functions, as that their roots be kept in a healthy, active state.
FORCING-HOUSES.
ASPARAGUS.—Make a slight hotbed of tree leaves, if they can be procured, of size or substance sufficient only to cause a gentle heat. The roots may be taken up from the open ground, and planted at once in the bed. Mice and slugs to be looked after. Any vacant pits, or frames, may be made available for the purpose of forcing Asparagus.
CHERRIES.—To be treated as advised for Peaches.
CUCUMBERS.—If the plants are strong, and you have a full command of bottom and atmospheric heat, you may calculate, with a little attention, upon ultimate success. Air to be admitted when it is safe to do so, to get the leaves dry, if possible, daily. Light is indispensable, and steep-roofed houses, or pits, are preferred for that object in winter. The early nursing-box for young plants should be well supplied with linings, the glass washed clean and kept in good repair.
MUSHROOMS.—Continue to prepare succession-beds as formerly directed. The beds that have been in bearing some time, if the surface is dry, to be watered with clear, weak liquid manure, a few degrees warmer than the temperature of the house.
PEACHES.—The early house should now be set in order, by being thoroughly cleansed, whitewashed, and the trees pruned, dressed, and tied. Air to be given during the day, and the house to be shut up at night for a fortnight or three weeks, preparatory to the commencement of forcing.
PINES.—The principal objects of attention during this dull season should comprise a moderate declension of heat and moisture, and a moderate supply of air at all times when it can be admitted with safety. When heat is supplied by fermenting materials the linings will require some sort of covering—as straw, fern, boards, or shutters—to protect them from cold winds, frosts, or rains; only a gentle bottom heat is now required at this, that should be, their season of rest, as a dry and moderately warm atmosphere is nearly all they will require. If the young plants
are growing in pits heated solely by dung linings, be careful to exclude the steam from the dung, as excess of damp will rot the hearts of the plants.
VINES.—If early Grapes are required, it is advisable to adopt the old-fashioned plan of placing some sweet hot dung inside the house, to produce an atmosphere that is most congenial for softening the wood, and for “breaking” the buds. The roots, if outside, to be covered with a good depth of litter, to produce an increase of heat by fermentation, and to prevent the escape of terrestrial heat. All Vines casting their leaves to be pruned immediately.

DECEMBER

FIRST WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Every endeavour should now be made to keep these houses as gay as possible. Fire-heat to be applied occasionally during dull, dark, or rainy weather, taking care not to raise the temperature too high—say greenhouse from 50° to 55° by day and from 40° to 45° by night; conservatory 60° by day and 50° by night. Chrysanthemums to be removed as soon as they get shabby, to be succeeded by early Camellias. The Euphorbia jacquiniflora is well worthy of attention now; it requires but a very moderate allowance of water at this season, as the least saturation or interference with the root action will cause the leaves to turn yellow while the plant is in flower. Poinsettia pulcherrima is also worthy of particular attention as a noble ornamental flower at this season. The old Plumbago Capensis and rosea still retain their places amongst our best plants at this season. Acacias and Cytisuses, being yellow and showy, give, with the other flowers, a variety of colours to beautify the whole. Gesnera zebrina should not be forgotten; the elegant markings of the leaves contribute to enhance the beauty of this beautiful winter flower.
HEATHS.—As fire-heat is generally injurious to this tribe of plants it is advisable to be very cautious in its application. They can bear a good deal of cold and some degrees of frost without sustaining any very serious injury; but they cannot bear the drying influence of fire-heat without serious damage to their foliage, and which is very frequently death to the plants. They will require but very little water, especially the large specimens, which should be very particularly examined as to their state of dryness or otherwise, as a guide to the application or withholding of water. An abundance of air to be given on fine days, to keep the plants from growing.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
A cautious application of fire-heat to be still observed here. The temperature to be kept rather low than otherwise, for fear of exciting premature growth. A small portion of air to be admitted on fine days, to purify the atmosphere of the house. Keep the surface of the soil in the pots free from weeds, as also from moss and lichen; but when doing so do not loosen the soil so as to injure the roots near the surface. Keep every plant free from dead leaves, and all climbing plants neatly tied up. The Achimenes, Clerodendrons, Erythrinas, Gloxinias, and the various bulbs will now be approaching a state of repose, and therefore will require but little or no water. To prevent confusion or mistakes it is advisable to place them on a shelf, or some other part of the house, by
themselves. Although dormant, or nearly so, they require a stove temperature to keep them safe and sound.

FORCING-HOUSES.
ASPARAGUS and SEA-KALE.—Make up beds as wanted.
MUSHROOMS.—Keep a moist atmosphere in the house, and the temperature steadily at or near 60°. A fresh bed to be made and spawned every three or four weeks, to produce successional crops.
PINES.—The fruit now swelling will require the temperature and moisture of the house or pit to be kept up. Those intended for the main crop to be kept in a regular state, allowing them air at every favourable opportunity, with a day temperature from 70° to 75° and from 55° to 60° at night. Plants in bloom to receive careful attention. Keep the atmosphere dry with a brisk temperature, admitting a little fresh air at favourable opportunities, to prevent them from being injured by damp. When the heat is kept up by dung linings, constant watching will be necessary to prevent any fluctuation of temperature, having materials at hand to assist in case of frost.
VINES.—Where forcing has commenced attend to the breaking of the Vines by the application of fermenting manure inside the house, as advised last week, which will be found the best means of keeping the atmosphere regularly moist; but if such cannot be used, the wood should be syringed frequently, and evaporating-pans, or troughs, kept full of water. The roots, if outside, to be protected, and afforded a steady, gentle warmth until the buds are fairly swelled. As it is advisable to proceed very slowly with early Vines, the temperature to range from 55° to 60° by day and from 45° to 50° by night, and even rather under than over the above scale. Late Grapes will require great care to preserve them from damp. Look over them frequently, and dry the house by fire during the day.

SECOND WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Every dead, decaying, and mouldy leaf, and flowerstalk, to be removed as soon as they are seen. Mildew to be banished by an application of flowers of sulphur, and afterwards to be prevented from making its appearance by a free ventilation on clear, mild mornings, using a little fire heat at the same time. Great caution is now necessary in giving water to the plants, more especially to such as have not well matured their growth, and are in a rather soft state. It is also advisable to look over them every morning, that the flagging of a leaf may be noticed, and the necessary supply of water be given. All pots to be turned around occasionally to keep the plants uniform.
CALCEOLARIAS.—Remove all decayed leaves, and be careful to give no more water than is really required. Keep down green fly.
CINERARIAS.—No more fire heat to be given than is necessary to keep out frost. The plants intended for large specimens to receive their final shift; air to be given on all occasions in
favourable weather. Every one that is getting pot-bound to be shifted. Green fly to be kept down by fumigating. The most forward to have the lightest place in the house, close to the glass, with sufficient space for the air to circulate freely around the foliage of each.
PELARGONIUMS.—To be kept rather cool and dry; fire heat to be avoided, except when necessary to prevent the temperature falling below 40°, or to dispel damp. Every plant intended for early bloom to be arranged in the best form. The system of arranging a piece of twisted bass under the rim of the pot, to which loops are fastened to secure the shoots and the better formation of the plant, obviates the too-extensive use of sticks, a superfluity of which is at all times objectionable.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Continue to act as advised lately. Care and caution in the application of water are more especially required, as there is not a single feature in the cultivation of plants during the winter in which the amateur is more likely to err, and by reason of which a greater amount of injury is sustained, than in the application of water either in its fluid or vaporous state. If applied to the soil in superabundance, the roots, being inactive, are certain to sustain some degree of injury; and if it is applied in excess to the atmosphere in the form of vapour, the exhalations from the leaves of the plants will be checked in consequence of the density of the medium that surrounds them when they will be sure to suffer.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—Sow some good variety for planting out next month. A one-light frame on a wellworked bed of dung and leaves is most suitable for the purpose, as producing an atmosphere moist and congenial for their healthy vegetation and growth.
PEACHES.—Syringe the trees that are just started and swelling the buds, and keep every plant clean and neat.
PINES.—When the application of fire heat is necessary during severe weather, it is advisable to pay particular attention to those that have done blooming and swelling off in various stages, that they may not receive a check from being over-dry at the roots.
VINES.—Leaves, or dung, or both mixed together, when used to produce fermentation, and a sweet vaporous atmosphere to “break” the early Vines, should be turned and watered at least once a-week. Keep the wood generally moist, and proceed in forcing with caution as before advised. As the most essential point in early forcing is to secure a healthy and vigorous root action, it is advisable, if the Vines are planted inside, to excite the roots by an occasional application of water at a temperature from 85° to 90°. It the Vines are planted outside, a steady heat of about 60° should be maintained by the fermenting matter placed on the border to be frequently turned over, and protected with dry litter from the frost or other unfavourable weather. Houses intended to commence forcing the early part of next month, to have some fermenting materials placed on the borders to excite the roots a little before the Vines are started, which will be of some assistance to make the buds push strongly and without much loss of time. To induce the buds to break regularly throughout the whole length of the Vine, it is frequently necessary to
bend the rod so as to incline the most forward buds to the lowest level, and to elevate the most backward.

THIRD WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
As many of the hard-wooded plants are impatient of fire heat and a confined atmosphere, it is advisable to use no more artificial heat than is absolutely necessary. The drying effects of fire heat must be counteracted by a supply of moisture; the moisture becomes condensed on the glass and falls in drips, that are apt to spoil the beauty of the flowers, and to injure the foliage of the plants. The best corrective for such unfavourable results is to be found in keeping the temperature as low as may be consistent with the safety of the plants, and in withholding moisture as much as possible whenever the glass is affected by frost. See that the young stock of Heliotropes, Scarlet Geraniums, Persian Cyclamens, and other such flowers, that are grown especially for winter, are accommodated with a light, airy situation, and receive regular attention as regards watering. Avoid watering the Pelargoniums until they are thoroughly dry, and keep down insects.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
The plants in the stove should be kept as quiet as possible, and only just sufficient water given to keep them from flagging, to be accompanied with a moderately low temperature; about 60° by day, and 50° by night, the object being to prevent them from growing before the spring of the year. Admit air when it can be done safely, but do not expose the plants to cold, frosty winds at any time. As our collections of Orchids are from countries with different seasons of growth, and various kinds of temperature and climate, it is difficult to cultivate in one house a miscellaneous collection of them so satisfactorily as where there are two divisions, the one commanding a higher temperature, with more moisture, than the other. Where there is no such division, advantage may be taken of a forcing-pit, or other such house, to which any of them now in a growing state may be removed, and thus their growth may be promoted without injury to the general collection. For the general collection a drier atmosphere and lower temperature are now desirable, as no plants are more benefited by a season of rest than Orchids.
FORCING-HOUSES.
All VINES, PEACHES, and FIGS in POTS, or TUBS, to be secured from frost and wet. A fermenting body in a forcing vinery is an excellent plunging medium for such of these as are wanted very early. Keep up a succession of Asparagus, French Beans, Rhubarb, Sea-kale, &c., according to the demand.
CUCUMBERS.—Thin out the fruit occasionally, more especially if too many appear at one time. If any plants have been bearing some time, and now appear nearly exhausted, they may be rallied into vigour again by a judicious pruning and thinning, and by the application of a top dressing of leaf mould or other such rich, light soil, and of liquid manure occasionally.
PEACHES.—A moist heat, arising from dung or leaves, is as beneficial to Peach trees as to Vines before they break, but as it can but rarely be made use of, in consequence of the difference in the structure of the interior, moisture must be supplied by other means, such as syringing and sprinkling the flues, or pipes, when warm. A few trees, in pots, are useful for early forcing, as they can be easily plunged in a pit or any other convenient place where a mild regular bottom heat can be supplied. The trees for this purpose must have been grown and established for some time in pots.
PINES.—A regular heat, both bottom and atmospheric, to be kept up to carry the general stock of fruiting plants safely through the winter. A high and close temperature to be avoided in the management of the succession plants.
STRAWBERRIES.—If ripe fruit is wanted very early, some of the strongest plants, if treated as advised, should now be selected, and placed in a pit where they can get a gentle bottom heat, or on the back or front shelf of a vinery or Peach-house, just started for forcing, to be placed near the glass with a free admission of air on fine days.
VINES.—It is advisable, when beginning to force, to commence with a low temperature—say, 55° by day and 50° by night, to be increased 5° more until they break, when it may be raised to 60° at night, and 65° in the day, or thereabouts, allowing a rise of a few degrees by sun heat. The Vines to be syringed evening and morning until they break, and the walls and floor kept damp. If the stems of the Vines are near the flues, or pipes, wrap moss over that part, and keep it constantly moist. The Vines in the late houses to be pruned, the loose bark to be removed, and the scale, if visible, to be banished by an application of the Gishurst Compound, or by the more ancient composition of sulphur, soft soap, and tobacco water. Where the fruit is ripe, a little fire heat will be necessary in frosty weather to prevent the vapour that adheres to the glass on the inside being frozen, for the moisture on thawing is apt to drop upon the bunches causing injury to the bloom, and decay to the berries.

FOURTH WEEK.
GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Continue to keep the supply of heat and moisture at the lowest degree compatible with the safety of the plants from frosts. In damp, foggy weather, a gentle fire to be applied occasionally during the day to expel moist, stagnant air. During severe winterly weather it is advisable to be cautious in the application of heat, more especially at night. From 45° by night to 50° by day will be sufficient for the conservatory, and 40° for the mixed greenhouse. To give a pleasing variety to the appearance of these houses it is advisable to rearrange the plants occasionally; those going out of flower to be removed, and a fresh supply introduced from the forcing-pit. All plants in these and other departments to be regularly looked over, removing the dead leaves and tying in straggling branches. The surface soil to be stirred a little, and some fresh added. As all compostheaps are benefited by exposure to frosts, it is advisable to turn over the caked or frozen surface every morning, until the whole is turned over and penetrated by the frost, by which grubs and all such kinds of vermin are destroyed, and the soil considerably ameliorated.
CALCEOLARIAS (Herbaceous).—To be shifted into larger pots if they require them, to be kept near the glass, to be watered moderately through a fine rose, and on no account to be allowed to get thoroughly dry. To be careful when removing decayed leaves, not to pull or to cut them off too close to the stem, by which the flower-shoots would be very likely to get injured.
CAMELLIAS.—Great care is necessary that they may not be exposed to great alternations of temperature, which are sure to cause them to drop their flower-buds. The great reason why flower-buds very often fall off without properly coming into bloom, is the too sudden changes in the temperature to which they are exposed. For instance: when the buds are nearly ready to expand, a sudden heat causes them to push too rapidly; and, on the contrary, a decrease of warmth at the time checks their growth, and in other cases causes them to fall. The heat required to expand the blossom-buds is about 60° by day, and 50° by night. If this be attended to, the plants will continue in flower for a great length of time, as the plants in that heat are not excited to grow. A little weak manure water to be given occasionally to the blooming plants.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS.—When they begin to fade, to be removed to the north side of a wall or fence, the pots to be plunged in old tan, leaves, or sawdust, to protect them from the severity of winter.
CYTISUSES.—Place them and other such early-flowering plants in the coldest part of the house, where they may receive plenty of air at all favourable opportunities.
ORANGE TREES.—These, or other such plants that have not been recently potted, to be surfaced by removing a little of the top soil and supplying its place with fresh. Attention to be paid to keeping the leaves clean and healthy.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
As it would be improper to attempt to maintain the same degree of heat in any structure, when the external temperature is below the freezing-point as may be permitted if it were 10° or 15° above freezing, we would advise from 50° by night to 60° by day, for the stove and Orchidhouse. As many plants, especially Orchids, suffer from drip at this season, a careful look-out should be kept, and either the cause remedied or the plants removed. The decoration of the hothouse would now depend in a great measure upon Begonias, Euphorbias, Luculias, &c. Such plants should be carefully tied up and placed in the most conspicuous situations, or some of them may be removed to the conservatory so as to prolong their season of blooming.
ALLAMANDAS.—Continue the temperature and treatment as lately advised. To be potted, as also Stephanotis, &c., and trained preparatory to starting them into growth, about the beginning of the new year.
FORCING-PIT.—Introduce such plants as are generally used for forcing, especially the sweetscented sorts, Lily of the Valley, Sweet Briar, Lilacs, some of the Tea, Bourbon, or Hybrid Perpetual Roses, and bulbous plants.
IXORAS.—To be elevated near the glass to set their bloom, and to have plenty of air at favourable opportunities.
FORCING-HOUSES.
CUCUMBERS.—No diminution of heat to be allowed after the plants are ridged out and in action.
PEACHES.—It is becoming very much the fashion to have Peach and some other sorts of fruit trees which are wanted for early forcing in pots, and the plan is so far good, that it affords the advantage of being able to give the roots a mild, regular bottom heat, which is of the greatest importance in early forcing. Those who have good established trees, in pots, may now start them in a moderate heat. Air to be given liberally in favourable weather, and the syringe to be used freely over them morning and evening. The surface soil to be stirred up and kept open, and a supply of manure water to be given previous to starting them. The trees in the late houses to receive whatever pruning is necessary, and to be cleansed of every particle of scale, and afterwards washed with a composition of soft soap and sulphur. All bast ties and insect-haunts to be carefully removed.
PINES.—During the continuance of severe weather, dry fern, straw, &c., will be necessary, in addition to mats; such coverings will be of more service than maintaining strong fires to keep up the temperature. When a supply of fruit is required throughout the year, it is sometimes necessary, at this season, to subject some of the plants to a high temperature to start them into fruit. A few of such as are most likely to fruit soon, to be put into a pit, or house, by themselves, where a temperature of from 60° to 65° by night, and from 70° to 75° by day, with about 80° of bottom heat, will be the most certain treatment for starting them into fruit. The other plants can then be supplied with a moderate temperature until the beginning of February; by such treatment a succession of fruit will be prolonged. Do not suffer the linings of dung-beds to decline, keep up, if possible, a temperature of 50° at night, and 60° by day, with a little air at every favourable opportunity.
POTATOES.—Plant some sound, whole sets, singly, in three-and-a-half-inch pots, to be placed at the back of a Pine-pit, or in any other place where there is some heat, they will, in due time, be useful for planting out in the exhausted Asparagus-frames or pits.
RASPBERRIES.—When a few early dishes would be considered a treat, if some canes are taken up and planted in any vacant spot in the Peach-house, they will be found to bear fruit abundantly with common care. It is a more certain method of obtaining fruit than by potting them.
VINES.—When started and until the buds are fairly broken, endeavour to keep the points of the shoots nearly on a level with the lowest part of the Vine, and if that should not be found sufficient to induce the buds to start regularly throughout the whole length of the Vine, the rod should be bent so as to bring the most forward buds to the lowest level, and elevating those that are backward. A moist atmosphere to be kept up by sprinkling the floor and paths, and by syringing the Vines lightly every morning and evening until the leaves begin to appear, when the supply of moisture will not be so much required. Introduce a lot in pots to some house, pit, or frame prepared with leaves or manure, if not done as advised last week. At first, Vines in pots
are most useful for early work, as they, in many places, save the established Vines in houses, from the hazardous operation of early excitement. Increase the temperature slightly when the buds are beginning to swell, or are starting a little. The fermenting material in the house to be stirred up occasionally. This fermenting material should, if possible, consist of a large proportion of leaves mixed with the dung, to prevent the steam from the latter discolouring the rafters and sashes; and if the vapour is likely to be too strong, a thin covering of sawdust or old tan will prevent any injurious effects. If the roots are outside the house, and had been covered before the commencement of frost, as advised, some more dung and leaves should be added to keep up a genial heat in the border, the good effects of which will be soon evident in the progress of the Vines inside. When the Grapes are all cut in the late houses, the Vines to be pruned immediately, and the cuts to be covered with white lead.

Posted by in blog on Aug 20, 2016

Container gardening ideas

Growing Vegetables In Containers For Beginners
If you have a small garden or no garden at all then you can grow your own vegetables in containers. This is a great, low maintenance way for you to grow your own food at home without the expense and trouble of maintaining a full sized garden. For anyone who is pushed for space or who lives in a city, container gardens are absolutely ideal. The same if you rent or move a lot, containers can come with you wherever you go.

Growing your own food at home is a great way to get your own fresh produce that is very tasty and good for you. Home grown produce does not have any of the chemicals in that produce from the supermarket has. It is grown and ripened naturally (unlike store bought vegetables) which means your own home grown produce is packed full of nutrients and flavor.

You will find that many children who refuse to eat their vegetables will happily eat those you grow at home because they taste so much better. Plus if you have children then a container garden is great for them because it is easy to maintain and fun to look after.
What Can I Grow In A Container Garden?

You can grow pretty much any vegetable you want in a container garden, depending on the size container that you use. For larger plants such as potatoes which have deep roots then you need deeper containers. Most people who grow potatoes at home do not use containers but instead use large plastic bags full of compost or specialist potato planters.

Many of the plants you will grow at home are relatively shallow rooted such as lettuce, radish, spring onions, tomatoes and strawberries. You can grow them in almost any container that you want, even making your own from recycled materials including old drainpipes (great for strawberries and radishes) and more.

Tomatoes do extremely well in hanging baskets if you grow the tumbling varieties. These are ideal for people who are very low on space and they make for a particularly beautiful display. Tumbling tomatoes do come in a variety of different colors which have a wonderful taste and can really enhance the visual beauty.

Normal tomatoes will grow well in containers but will need support. Other larger vegetables like squashes and pumpkins can be grown in containers but you need to be aware that they are going to grow very larger and trail everywhere. In these cases you are going to want to grow them vertically which means good supports need to be in place. Most people will grow these larger vegetables vertically up a trellis fixed to the wall.

For the larger fruits you may need to provide hammocks to support them if you are growing vertically. Larger squashes and pumpkins can become very heavy which could end up breaking the vine of your plant and killing it. Hammocks can support these vegetables though most people will grow smaller varieties which do not need this extra support in their containers.

Cucumbers do very well in containers if they are grown vertically. Give them good support and they will happily climb upwards, though you may need to occasionally give them a helping hand so they grow where you want them to. The big advantage of this type of growing is that the cucumbers tend to be straighter and have thinner skins, making them easier to eat.

Pretty much anything you want can be grown in containers; it is entirely up to you what you want to grow. All you need to do is ensure that you have a container that is big enough to support its growth! Don’t feel that because you are growing vegetables in containers you cannot enjoy a wide variety of different, delicious fresh produce.
What Soil Mix Should I Use For Containers?

The soil mix to be used on containers is a subject of hot debate with most container gardening experts having their secret favorite soil mix. To be honest it really does depend on the time you have to make a soil mix, your budget and what you are growing.

Different plants have different requirements and some require free draining soil whereas others prefer damper conditions. You need to ensure you understand the needs of your plants so that you can put plants that need the same conditions in the same containers. If you put a dry soil loving plant in with one that loves moist soil then one is going to die.

You can use store bought soil mixes and they will do the job and your plants are going to grow well in them with regular feeding.

For people who really want to maximize the productivity of their containers and grow a large amount of vegetables in containers you need a very special soil mix that is free draining but retains water and is highly nutritious. This soil mix consists of a third each of:

  1.  Compost
  2.  Peat Moss
  3.  Vermiculite

Ideally you want the compost to come from five different sources, i.e. five different brands of compost. The reason being that this ensures the soil is highly nutritious and contains all the micro-nutrients your plants need to thrive.

This mixture does not need to be compacted hard in your pots. Just pushing down firmly but not hard will be enough and will make it much easier for you to plant your containers.

With this particular soil mix you can plant more densely than you would in other soil mixes, meaning more vegetables for you! Unless you are growing particularly greedy plants like pumpkins you will not need to feed your plants during the growing season because the soil is so nutritious.

As you have planted your containers more densely than usual you will find that weeds struggle to take hold in your containers because there is simply no room for them to grow!
Choosing the right soil mix is very important if you want your plants to thrive, be healthy and produce a good crop of delicious vegetables for you to enjoy.
What Containers Can I Use?

You can use virtually any type of container you want and it is an opportunity for you to be inventive and reuse materials that would otherwise be discarded.

Your local garden store will sell a huge variety of containers of all different shapes, sizes and materials and you can certainly use these if you want to, though be prepared to pay for the more ornate and beautiful pots; they do not come cheap.

Be aware that with a container garden drainage is absolutely vital and that you need to ensure that any containers you purchase has suitable drainage otherwise your plants could end up suffering. If necessary you can drill more drainage holes in the containers, though this does depend upon the material the container is made from.

Clay and containers made from similar porous materials will dry out much quicker than metal or plastic containers, so consider that when choosing a container. Clay containers will also start to break after a few years as moisture gets in to the pores and then freezes. Wooden containers will have a finite lifetime depending on the type of wood used.

You can make your own containers out of wood or you can reuse materials that would otherwise be thrown away. This latter method is by far the cheapest way for you to get a container garden up and running. You can very easily find suitable containers that people will give you for free!

Old tyres can be painted vivid colours and arranged into gorgeous planters; old guttering can be fixed to a wall and used to grow shallow rooted plants; catering sized tin cans make for excellent wall mounted planters and even plastic milk bottles can be cut in half and mounted on a fence to grow vegetables in.

You are really limited here only by your imagination. There is so much you can do to make an interesting container garden using the space that is available to you. Remember if you are mounting containers on walls or fences that the wall or fence is strong enough to support it and that the containers are strong enough to hold the soil mix.

How Do I Water A Container Garden?

Watering a container garden is vital if you want your plants to survive, so it is important that you think about access to your containers and how far they are from your water source. If they are too far then carrying the water becomes a burden and you may end up finding excuses not to water your plants.

Your plants will need watering whenever they become dry and you can check this by pushing your finger in to the soil up to the second knuckle. If it feels dry at your finger tip then it needs watering. If it feels wet then do not water it.

Do not think that just because it rains your containers do not need watering. Because there is a limited soil area in a container and much of this is covered by plants you will be surprised how little rain actually gets in to a container! This means that even in the rain you will need to go out and water your containers.

Plants prefer watering in the morning which is when they are sucking up water to prepare for their growth during the day. However, if this is not possible then feel free to water them in the evening as they will not complain too much.

Just be very careful that you water at the roots of the plant, directly on to the soil rather than on the leaves. This prevents the water from running off the plants and completely missing the roots of your plants. It will also prevent many of the diseases and problems that plants have.

If you water the leaves in the morning then the water droplets on the leaves can act like magnifying glasses and magnify the rays of the sun so that the leaves get burnt and damaged. If you water them in the evening then you risk introducing mildew or other fungal diseases because the leaves do not get chance to dry out well enough.

You will want to water your plants daily during the growing season if they need it and whilst you do, check the plants for any pests or diseases too.

What About Fertilizing My Containers?

If you have used the soil mix that was mentioned earlier in this report then you will not need to fertilize your containers at all in the first year. If you have not then you are likely to have to start fertilizing them when the fruit appears.

A liquid feed is best as it easy to apply and goes straight to the roots where it is needed. You can get specific feeds for specific plants, i.e. a tomato food. It is best to use this where you can as it gives the plants the exact balance of nutrients that they need to promote healthy growth. If you use a fertilizer high in nitrogen with tomato plants then they will concentrate on producing leaves and not fruit. Therefore you need to use the right type of food for your plants.

Follow the directions on the fertilizer for how to best use it with your vegetable plants. You will want to feed them once every week or two, depending on how greedy the plants are. A pumpkin will need a lot more food than something like a radish or beet.

How Can I Minimize The Risk Of Pests?

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Pests are a big problem for any gardener and hopefully you will avoid many of the problems that come from growing directly in soil. When you water your plants, give them a quick visual inspection and check for pests and other problems.

You may encounter aphids, which gather on the tender tips of your plants and the new growth. If you catch these early enough then you can pick them off by
hand and crush them between your fingers. If they have taken hold then you are probably going to have to use a spray to get rid of them. Use organic if you can as this is going to be much better for the environment. Always check the label though and make sure that the spray is suitable for edible crops. If it does not explicitly state this then avoid the spray as it could introduce potential toxins in to your vegetables and so in to your body.

Slugs and snails are other problematical pests that you are likely to encounter and these can be tricky to get rid of. There are lots of gimmicks that supposedly deter them but sadly none of them are particularly effective. Your best bet is to go out at dusk and pick them off your plants by hand and destroy them. Do not think that throwing them over the wall will deter them; they will be back! Therefore you have to destroy them to stop them destroying your crop. During the day time, check around your pots for their slimy trails; you may find them hiding underneath or behind your pots during the day!

There are other pests that can affect particular plants though just look out for any problems, holes, discoloration and the like on your vegetables. If you do spot anything then look in to it carefully and see what is causing it. It is better to take action sooner rather than later as you are more likely to be able to save your crop.

What About Diseases In Container Gardens?

Diseases tend to be less of a problem in containers because you are using a clean soil. Many of the common plant diseases are found in the soil and by not growing in the ground you can avoid these problems.

Some diseases are air born and you can find diseases such as potato or tomato blight affecting your plants where it has blown in. This can be noticed by the
leaves and stems starting to turn brown and curl up. If you notice the blight then you need to treat it immediately in order to prevent it from taking hold and killing your plants. If it is late enough in the season then you can cut the foliage off potatoes and the potatoes themselves will be okay under the ground. You can remove fruit from tomato plants and ripen it on a windowsill though the fruit can still be affected.

Fungal diseases can be introduced if there is not sufficient air circulation around your plants and you water the leaves of the plant. These problems can be mostly avoided by ensuring that air can circulate around your plants and prevent moisture gathering.

Mostly you are not going to have problems with diseases but if you check your plants regularly and then look more closely at any possible issues you are going to prevent any diseases from taking hold and damaging your plants.

Endnote

Container gardening is a great way to start growing your own vegetables at home. It does not require a lot of time or space and avoids many of the problems (and much of the hard work) involved with growing directly in the ground.

For anyone who has limited space or just wants to try growing a few herbs, fruits or vegetables at home this is an ideal way to get started. Even for someone with limited mobility the containers are ideal because they do not involve heavy digging.

Container gardening is a great way to grow your own vegetables at home and even if you have just a small space, you can still grow an abundant crop of delicious fresh produce.

Posted by in blog on Aug 20, 2016

Growing vegetable gardens can be very rewarding. This ebook will give you some tips on growing some common fruits and vegetables.

SETTING UP YOUR GARDEN

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1. Size
The first thing that you need to do is decide how much space you need to plant your garden. Depending on this space, figure out how many plants to plant.
2. Light
Vegetable gardens need plenty of sunlight. Generally speaking, the more sun the better. Don’t plant your garden too close to trees or anything else that will shade it too much.
3. Raised Beds
Vegetables need good drainage when they grow, so it’s a good idea to plant them in raised beds. You can make these out of cement blocks or wood. If you don’t have these resources, you can plant on raised mounds of dirt.

TOMATOES


4. Preparation
There are so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from. It’s a good idea to plant tomatoes when the soil is warm, after danger of frost is over.
5. Planting
If you’re planting dwarf plants, place them 12 inches apart in the row. If you’re planting staked plants, place them 15 to 24 inches apart.
6. Watering
Tomatoes need plenty of water, especially during dry summers. Water them thoroughly every couple of days. Tomatoes in containers may need daily or even more frequent watering.
7. Harvesting
You’ll know when your tomatoes are ready when they’re firm and fully colored. In hot summer weather, pick your tomatoes every day or two. Even after they’re picked, they’ll continue to ripen slowly over the next several weeks.

SWEET CORN


8. Preparation
Like tomatoes, there are lots of different varieties or corn. Sweet corn needs warm soil. You should plant corn just before the frost-free date.
9. Planting
Place the seeds 1/2 inch deep in cool, moist soil. Space the kernels 9 to 12 inches apart in the row. It’s a good idea to plant two or more rows side by side to ensure good development. Allow 30 to 36 inches between rows.
10. Fertilizing
Fertilize around the tomato seeds right when you plant them. When your corn reaches almost 10 inches, fertilize aga1in. Corn will be ready to harvest 3 weeks after the first silk appears.1. 11.Harvesting
Your corn will be ready to harvest in 60-85 days. To pick them, break the ear from the stalk close to the base so as not to damage the ear or the stalk.

RADISHES


12. Preparation
Radishes need a fine, well-prepared seed bed. It’s a good idea to apply animal manure or compost about 6 weeks before planting. This helps build up the water-holding capacity of the soil, and it balances the nutrient supply.
13. Planting
Plant small radishes 1-2 inches apart, and larger varieties 6 inches apart. You can grow several rows of radishes in a bed as long as you keep your beds at least 2 feet apart.
14. Watering
Radishes need consistent moisture. If they dry out during their growth, they’ll become bitter. Keep your radishes plenty moist throughout the growing season. You can use straw mulch to help retain moisture in your soil.
15. Harvesting
Most radish varieties mature in 25 to 35 days. They’re only mature for a short time, so if left in the ground too long, they can become pithy and mealy. It’s a good idea to watch them closely, and pick a radish every so often to determine their maturity.

CARROTS


16. Preparation
Carrots grow well in well drained, sandy soil. Make sure the soil is nice and loose down to 12 inches or more to allow for good root development. Make sure your soil doesn’t have any rocks and twigs.
17. Planting
Carrots don’t require much space. It all depends on how big the roots are at harvest time. If you’re growing baby carrots, spacing them between ¾ of an inch and 2 inches. If you want bigger carrots, thinning to a final spacing of 2 inches-4 inches is about right.
18. Watering
Carrots need a good moisture supply to become well established and to produce good root development. Carrots need at least 1 inch of water each week during the growing season. Remember to soak the soil thoroughly when watering.
19. Harvesting
Carrots are very easy to harvest. Simply pull up the plant by the tops (the green leafy part). You can basically harvest them any time, depending on the size you want. For baby carrots, harvest them at 4 to 5 inches. For bigger carrots, harvest them at ¾ to 1 ½ inches.

PEAS


20. Preparation
Peas need nutrient rich soil produce a good crop. Peas planted in early spring do well in raised beds that have good drainage. They can be started as soon as the soil can be worked.
21. Planting
Peas need to be planted 1 to 1 ½ inches apart in all directions. The rows should be 12 to 18 inches apart. If you are planting a large bed of peas, you can plant them in a zig-zag pattern with 12 to 18 inches between the plants.
22. Watering
Peas need lots of even moisture throughout the growing season. They like soil with good drainage and if they stay too wet, they will get root rot.
23. Harvesting
You know your peas are ready to harvest when their pods are plump but not bursting. Harvest them every 2-4 days to encourage them to keep growing.

GREEN BEANS


24. Preparation
Green beans are easy to grow, and will thrive in almost any soil. They need to have good drainage though, or the seeds will rot. To prepare the soil, break up large clods of dirt and rake the area smooth.
25. Planting
Plant your beans 1 to 1 ½ inches deep, and 2 inches apart within rows. Space the rows about 24 to 36 inches. If you want lots of beans, plant beans every two weeks, until a good month and a half before first expected frost date.
26. Watering
Peas need lots of moisture during germination. Water them deeply once a week, making sure the soil drains well. Once your peas have started to sprout, you don’t need to irrigate them as much.
27. Harvesting
Fresh beans are usually ready for harvest about 8 to 10 days after flowering. They will be pencil thin, and the beans will be bright green. The bean pods will snap easily when bent. Pinch or cut the beans off rather than pulling them.

POTATOES

 

28. Preparation
Potatoes need well-drained soil. It’s a good idea to mix compost into your bed to make sure there are plenty of nutrients in the soil.
29. Planting
Plant your potato seeds in early spring, about 3 weeks before the last frost. Space your potatoes between 6 and 12 inches apart, in shallow holes (about 3 inches deep). Make the rows between 30 and 36 inches.
30. Watering
Keep your potatoes evenly moist and water them deeply during dry spells. If you plant your potatoes in a hill, they will dry out quicker so watch the soil moisture carefully.
31. Harvesting
You’ll know your potatoes are ready to harvest when their leaves die back. Some people prefer “new potatoes.” These are immature potatoes that are picked several months after planting, but before the potato plants reach maturity. You can find these new potatoes when the potato plants blossom.

BELL PEPPERS

 


32. Preparation
Bell peppers need nutrient rich soil. They do best in well drained soil, and lots of sun. Raised beds are great for bell peppers, with good topsoil, compost, and rotted manure mixed in.
33. Planting
Your bell peppers grow into small bushes, and need lots of air circulation. Give them enough room by spacing them between 12 and 18 inches apart, and in rows at least 24 to 36 inches apart.
34. Watering
Bell peppers need lots of water during germination. You’ll need to keep them moist but not soggy. If they don’t get enough water, they’ll have a bitter taste. You can use mulches to help keep the soil moist.
35. Harvesting
You’ll know that your bell peppers are ready to harvest when they turn their final color. They can be red, orange, yellow, green, or purple depending on the variety. The more you harvest, the more will grow, so pick them regularly.

WATERMELON


36. Preparation
Plant your watermelon after the soil is warm and there’s no danger of frost. Watermelons grow best on a sandy soil, and it’s important to plant them on raised mounds.
37. Planting
Watermelon vines need lots of space. Plant seeds one inch deep in hills spaced 6 feet apart. Make your rows 7 to 10 feet apart. After the seedlings start sprouting, it’s a good idea to thin them to about three plants per hill.
38. Watering
Watermelons have deep roots, so you seldom need to water them. In cooler areas, you can get floating row covers, drip irrigation and black plastic mulch to help produce a great crop in a short season.
39. Harvesting
Watermelons can be hard to tell when they’re ripe. Here’s a list of things to look for: • Light green, curly tendrils on the stem • Surface color of the fruit turns dull • the skin is tough and resist the thumbnail • The bottom turns a yellowish color.

PUMPKINS


40. Preparation
Pumpkins are sensitive to grow. The seeds need warm soil, and frost can really injure the seedlings. If you want pumpkins for Halloween, plant the seeds from late May in northern locations to early July in southern places.
41. Planting
Pumpkins need a minimum of 50 to 100 square feet per hill. Plant seeds one inch deep, and four or five seeds per hill. Allow 5 to 6 feet between hills, spaced in rows 10 to 15 feet apart. Once they have sprouted, thin each hill to the best two or three plants.
42. Watering
Pumpkin plants need to be kept weed-free by hoeing and shallow cultivation. They do okay with short periods of hot, dry weather.
43. Harvesting
You’ll know when your pumpkins are ready to be harvested when they are a deep, solid orange, and the rind is hard. This will usually be in late September or early October, before heavy frosts. Cut the pumpkins carefully, using pruning shears or a sharp knife, and leave 3 to 4 inches of stem attached.

SUMMER SQUASH

 

 

 

 

 

 

44.Preparation
Summer squash needs warm, fertile, and aerated soil. They do well with soil that has compost or well-rotted manure added to it.

45. Planting
One way to grow summer squash is to plant them in a corner of the garden and train the vines to grow outside of the garden. Plant them about 2 feet apart and in rows that are 2 feet apart.
46. Watering
Summer squash need lots of water throughout the growing season. Water them deeply during dry spells. Only water the roots; not the foliage. Watering them early morning helps prevent mildew.
47. Harvesting
Summer squash are ready to harvest when they turn their mature color (usually green or yellow). Straightneck, crookneck, and zucchini summer squash are ready when they reach 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter, while scallop summer squash are ideal at 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

STRAWBERRIES


48. Preparation
Plant your strawberries in the spring. If you’re planting young plants, be sure that they’re certified and disease frees. Select plants with large crowns with healthy, lightcolored roots. Prepare your soil with 1-2 inches of organic matter (like compost, or well rotted manure).
49. Planting
To plant your strawberry plants, make a hole big enough to spread the roots. Make the center of the hole into a hill, and place the crown at soil level. Spread the roots downward, and bury the strawberry plant so that the soil goes half way up the crown.
50. Watering
Your strawberries will need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. This is especially important during the formation of the strawberry, from early bloom until it’s time to pick them.
51. Harvesting
Pick your strawberries when they’re fully ripened. This means leaving the berries on the plant for a day or two after they are fully colored. To pick them, snap the stem directly above the berry, rather than pulling on the berry itself.