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How to Choose an Orchid Pot?

How to Choose an Orchid Pot?

One of the most beautiful pot plants is the Orchid. And, many people will agree with us. Especially when the orchid is flowering.

However, one thing that you need to make sure about when you are purchasing your Orchid, is that you are purchasing the right Orchid pot as well. These plants can be purchased in pots, but this doesn’t mean that this is the right pot for them to grow and flourish in.

This is everything you need to know about how to choose an Orchid pot, why the right pot is important and other things that you should consider.

Does an Orchid Need a Special Pot?

When you are purchasing an Orchid plant, most of the time it comes in pots. Already flowering. So, most of the people think that the pots are correct and that they don’t need to worry about replanting the Orchid.

After a couple of weeks, the orchid starts to fade and isn’t flourishing anymore. The main reason is that the pot isn’t correct. Any orchids need special pots with special features to grow and to flower on a regular basis. If your orchids don’t stay healthy and die on a regular basis, this is where you need to start.

Things to Look for When Choosing an Orchid Pot

Now that you know that Orchids do need to have a special pot, you might be wondering what should you look for when you are choosing an orchid pot. With these features, you will get to know orchid pots better and will know what to look for, when you are purchasing the right pots.

Orchid Pot with Holes

There is one secret to purchasing the right Orchid pot. Drainage holes. The more the better. You will see that the pots that you buy the orchids in, doesn’t even have drainage holes, because this is display pots.

Making sure that people like what they see and to make the plant look beautiful. However, this is why your plant dies after a couple of weeks. You do need drainage holes in the pot. At least between 4 and 12 drainage holes.

Some Pots that will be Great for Your Orchid

Finding pots that have enough drainage holes isn’t hard. But, are there any other things that you should consider when purchasing your orchid plant?

There are different types of pots with drainage holes. Which ones are going to be best for your plant to flourish and to grow successfully? These are some samples of pots that you can consider purchasing.

  • Plastic pots. These pots are great. They keep the roots warmer in cold climates and can retain more moisture. However, they are lightweight and can tip over a lot easier.
  • Clay or terra cotta pots. Heavier pots that won’t tip over. Great to keep roots cool, if you have a hot climate. It breaks easily and most of the terra cotta pots only have one hole. That isn’t recommended for an orchid plant.

Buying Orchid Pot Guide

With this buying guide, you will know for sure that you are purchasing the right orchid pot. Making sure that your expensive, but beautiful plant stays healthy and flowering in-season. These are the things that you need to consider when purchasing the right orchid pot.

1. Ventilation for the roots is essential. The more holes the pot has, the healthier your orchid will be. When buying a pot without the right amount of holes, you can always make more holes if needed.

2. Smaller holes are better than medium and larger holes. This is because you want ventilation and not water and soil to fall from the holes.

3. The transparent pots are better options because the roots love sunlight. With the transparent pots, the roots will get more exposure to the sun. You can also place the orchid in a sunny place, where it can get some sunlight throughout the day.

4. Larger pots are always best. Even, if you have a small plant. The roots need space, but you need to be careful not to purchase too large. You can always replant the orchid if the pot is getting too small.

An orchid needs a special pot to grow and to thrive. With this guide, you are getting all the information about the right pot for an orchid. Then, you will know what type of pot to purchase when you are replanting your orchid again. Whatever pot you decide on, one thing is important. Ventilation holes. The more, the better.

How to Care for Gardenias in Pots?

Gardenias or Cape Jasmine are fragrant shrub plants that come with pure white flowers and green shiny foliage that people love.

How to Care for Gardenias in Pots?

Gardenias tend to be tricky plants to grow, especially when you live in cooler zones and you want to keep them as house plants. Therefore, there is a need for proper planning so that you can end up creating the right conditions for caring for your gardenias in pots.

Picking the Right Pot for Your Plants

Considering you are going to grow the plants in pots, the first thing you should do is get the right size of the pot. It is advisable that you get a pot larger than the plant.

Always keep the pot four inches bigger than the pot in which the plant was initially in. It is still crucial that you retain the original soil as much as possible.

Having a larger pot ensures that the Gardenia plant has enough room to grow in the future.

As part of making sure the plant grows better, you should consider filling the pot with the soil type that drains well. The last thing you want is to end up with soil that holds onto water for too long that it leads to puddles.

There are some gardeners that recommend mixing the soil with peat moss, potting compost, and coarse sand to make it better at drainage.

As much as the soil should be good at drainage, you will still need to include drainage holes in your pot. Another reason why the pot should be large is to prevent the plant roots from growing until they clog the drain holes.

To ensure there is better drainage, do not stand the pot on a saucer or in a trough. This would make the soil to retain a lot more water than what is necessary, making the roots remain wet for longer.

Give the Plant the Right Humidity

The humidity that you keep your plant in matters a lot to its growth. Gardenias need the right amount of humidity to survive. As a result, it is best if you provide a humid atmosphere for the plant to grow. You can do this by laying pebbles or stones under your plant pot. What follows is to spray water onto the stones every morning.

The water sprayed on the stones will evaporate slowly during the whole day and thus creating enough humidity for the plants.

Another option is to get a shallow tray wider than the plant pot. Add stones or gravel to the tray and then pour some water to them. Keep the water level below the top of the stones. Setup your pot in the tray once the water is added to the stone. The water will keep moisture in the air as it slowly evaporates from the stones. As a result, you should have enough humidity needed by the plants.

Keeping it Indoors or Outdoors

As part of caring for gardenias in pots, you would have to consider whether to keep it indoors or outdoors.

For those who want to keep them outdoors, you need to understand the zones where the plant would thrive. Gardenias can grow well outdoors if you are in the US zones 8 to 11. These zones are known to have stable temperatures that do not drop below 10 degrees F.

In case you live in warmer zones, then it is necessary to shade these plants from the sun’s main heat. Watering outdoor plants is necessary to maintain the best humidity.

Keeping the plant indoors comes with some considerations too. You might have to keep the room temperature above 60 degrees F and place the pot on a window ledge where it would get the most sunshine it needs to grow better.

Watering and Fertilizing

Watering is an important part of caring for your gardenia plants in pots. As much as it is important, the last thing you want to do is overdo it. Do not overwater your plants. Only water them when you notice the soil is dry below its surface.

Still, on watering, make sure to water the soil and not the plant foliage.

Conclusion

If you take upon the challenge of growing gardenias, then you need to do it properly. Make sure that you have all the important supplies and follow the tips mentioned above. If you do it right, you will end up with several good-looking gardenia plants in pots around your home.

What is the Best Fertilizer for Strawberries?

Strawberries are delicate fruit that needs special fertilizers in order to grow large and to taste sweet. There are many different fertilizers available, but there are only a couple that will be great for strawberries. And, then you need to make sure that you are giving it correctly as well.

What is the Best Fertilizer for Strawberries?

The more information that you have about the best fertilizers for strawberries is, the better the change that your strawberries will be growing large and tasting great. This is everything you need to know about the fertilizers for strawberries.

Before you start fertilizing the strawberries

Before you can start fertilizing the strawberries, you need to make sure that you are testing the soil first. This is really important. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people are making when they are growing strawberries. They just start fertilizing the strawberries without doing a soil test beforehand.

With the soil test, you will see what type of fertilizer you will need to add to the soil. The moment that you have tested the soil, you can take the results to an expert, and they will make sure that you are going to get the right fertilizer for your type of soil.

When to fertilize the strawberry plants

Now, the question is when should you start to fertilize the strawberry plants. Should you start to fertilize the plant after the plant starts to flower, or before it starts flowering? This is another big mistake that people are making. If you are fertilizing the plants and soil incorrectly, the plants will not grow successfully.

When to fertilize strawberry plants?

Two weeks before you plant your strawberries, you need to fertilize the soil for the first time after you have done the soil test. And, you need to do the soil test again, just before you plant the strawberries.

Then, after six to eight weeks after you have planted the strawberries, you should add more fertilizer. You should just be careful that you don’t get any fertilizer on the plant, leave or flowers. You should add the fertilizer to the soil directly.

Different type of fertilizers that you can use on strawberries

Because of the different types of fertilizers that you can use on strawberries, it is hard to just name a couple of them. And, it will depend on the result of your soil test.

This is why it is recommended that if you don’t know the exact type of soil needed for strawberries that you should take the results to an expert. They will tell you what type of fertilizer you will need in order to have healthy growing plants.

There is a huge selection of high-quality fertilizers, all equally necessary for the strawberries. And, to just give you a couple of names aren’t going to be correct. You might end up inserting the wrong fertilizer, and make the soil incorrect for growing strawberries.

Organic fertilizers are always the better option

There are so many debates these days about organic products. Some are saying that this is a great alternative to normal fertilizers. While others are saying that you should never make use of organic fertilizers because they don’t contain the right amount of nutrients that the plant needs to grow.

However, with strawberries where the plant is so delicate, it is best to make use of organic fertilizers that aren’t as a hash on the plants as normal fertilizers. With organic fertilizers, you might pay more, but the results will be so much better.

When it comes to strawberries, there are a couple of things about their fertilizers that you need to know. This is to make sure that you are giving them the right type of fertilizer that will let the plants grow healthy and make the fruit sweet and delicious. With this information, you will have all the knowledge to start growing your own strawberries, making sure that the fruit is delicious and large.

What Kind of Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?

Hydrangea is a beautiful plant and flower. However, it is important to make sure that you are going to give the right kind of fertilizer.

What Kind of Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?

This is the one thing that many people are doing wrong. They don’t give the right fertilizer and then they don’t understand why their Hydrangeas don’t bloom correctly.

With this guide, you will be able to know exactly what type of fertilizer you should give your Hydrangeas and other essential information about your Hydrangea fertilizer.

Why is this such a popular flower all over the world?

There aren’t many countries around the world that don’t have the Hydrangeas as a flower. This is a really popular flower, because of how beautiful the flowers can be. But, why is this such a popular flower, and why are many people planting this plant in their garden.

Besides the fact that you need to fertilize the plant, the plant and flowers don’t need much care in order to grow and to become a huge plant full of beautiful flowers. It is easy to maintain and doesn’t need daily water. And, one plant can give two different color flowers.

Why is it essential to give the right kind of fertilizer?

Every plant and flower in your home and garden needs to be fertilized at least once a year. This is their food to ensure that they are growing healthy and to ensure that they are blooming beautiful flowers. If you don’t give the right fertilizer, or you aren’t giving enough fertilizer, the plant can die.

However, it is also important to make sure that you don’t overfeed the plant. This can also cause serious damage. This is why you should make sure that you are aware of all the information around fertilizing Hydrangeas.

Time of year that the Hydrangeas should be fertilized

It is known that you should not fertilize the Hydrangeas after August. However, this is when August is in the fall. You should consider your country’s season when you want to fertilize Hydrangeas.

The first application should be applied during May or June. Most people say that you should fertilize every month, but this is debatable.

Myths about Hydrangeas fertilization that many people belief

There are a couple of myths around hydrangeas and their fertilization that many people believe. And so many of these beliefs aren’t true. These are a couple of the myths around fertilization of these plants that you might need to know.

Any color Hydrangeas can change color if you are changing the type of fertilizer. This isn’t the truth. The white Hydrangeas can’t change color. No matter what. Only the pink and blue ones can change color. And, this has to do with the amount of sulfur that is in the ground. However, this can be adjusted by the type of fertilizer that you are using

Guide in choosing the fertilizer for your Hydrangeas

The first thing that you need to know is that you can give your hydrangeas organic fertilizer. In fact, many experts only belief in organic fertilizer. The right type of fertilizer that you are choosing for your hydrangeas should be good all-purpose 12-4-8 to 10-10-10 composition. This will provide all the fertilizing hydrangeas need to bloom beautifully.

Choosing the fertilizer for your Hydrangeas

If you have used these fertilizers and the hydrangeas don’t flower, it might mean that you waited too long to fertilized the plant. Or, you have fertilized the plant too much. You can use the powder fertilizers or the liquid fertilizers. Most prefer the liquid fertilizers because you can’t measure it incorrectly that can cause damage to the plant.

Fertilize Hydrangeas to change color

If you want your hydrangeas to turn or flower pink, you should add some lime to the fertilizer. This is the best way to turn your blue hydrangeas blue. In order to turn the pink hydrangeas back to blue, you should add some sulfur with the fertilizer. Remember that the white hydrangeas won’t ever change color.

It is important to know what you can fertilize your hydrangeas. Especially, if you want to make sure that it blooms and flowers beautifully each year. There are a couple of things about fertilizing these plants that you need to know before you just start fertilizing it. This is easy to maintain plants, but it will die if you don’t fertilize it correctly, or if you don’t fertilize it at all. If the plant doesn’t flower once a year, there is something wrong with the health of the plant, for sure.

How to Make Potting Soil for Indoor Plants?

It is important to make sure that you are using the right potting soil for indoor plants. This is the only way to make sure that your plants are staying healthy and growing correctly.

The problem is that there are many people that don’t know how to make potting soil correctly for indoor plants.

How to Make Potting Soil for Indoor Plants?

With this guide, you are going to get everything needed to make the right potting soil and to have healthy, growing plants that you can enjoy.

What is potting soil?

The first thing that you need to know is what is potting soil. This isn’t just normal soil that you are adding to your pots for planting plants and flowers.

These plants have different compartments and are is essential for the health and growth of indoor plants and pot plants and flowers. Plants that don’t have this soil, have a higher chance of dying, or not growing and flowering as needed.

Different types of plants require different potting soil

Something that you need to know is that different plants require different potting soil. Meaning that you need to make sure about the type of plant that you are going to replant into a pot. Especially, when it comes to indoor plants.

Some plants need to have soil that is draining water faster, while other plants need a slower water drain. This is why it is essential to make sure about the type of plant, and the type of drainage requirements a plant needs before you start making your own potting soil or purchasing your potting soil.

Talk a professional when purchasing potting soil

It is important to talk to a professional when you are purchasing potting soil for your indoor pot plants. This is especially important if you don’t have much information about the different plants and their potting soil needs.

Even, if you consider making your own potting soil. You still need to know the type of potting soil and the ratio that the soil needs to be. With talking to an experienced person, you will know for sure that your plants will grow and become healthy.

Benefits about making your own potting soil

There are many reasons why you should consider making your own potting soil. Reasons that will let you reconsider when you are on the verge of purchasing ready-made potting soil

The first benefit is that this is a lot cheaper to make your own potting soil than to purchasing potting soil. Yes, you might need to purchase different soil, but this is cheaper and easier to find.

You will know for sure that the potting soil is correct for the type of indoor plant that you are considering planting. Many might think that there is no difference in potting soil, but this isn’t correct. With making your own, you will be able to know that your plants are getting the best possible soil to grow.

Different ways that you can make your own potting soil

There are different ways and different recipes for making your own potting soil. It is recommended that you know as many recipes as possible, in order for you to find the right recipe for your type of indoor plants.

Make your own potting soil

The first type of potting soil is a compost-potting soil mixture. Making sure that the soil is nutrients rich and healthy enough for indoor plants. This is also the most common homemade potting soil that most people are making.

The other type of potting soil that you can make at home is the normal homemade potting soil. For this soil, you will need to have these ingredients:

  • Garden soil
  • Spaghnum peat moss
  • Perlite, vermiculite, or sand

With the third one, you are using the ingredients mentioned above, but you are adding fertilizer or the homemade compost to the mixture. Making sure that your potting soil is just perfect for healthy plants and flowers.

Consider when making potting soil for indoor plants

It is important to remember these things when you are making potting soil for indoor plants. Every type of soil that you are making should still be disease free.

The only way that you can ensure this, is to make sure that you are purchasing it from a nursery. Don’t ever just use soil and sand from your own garden.

You should make sure that the potting soil is great for the type of plant you want to plant. Some might need more garden soil, while others might need to have more perlite or peat moss. This is why you should know your plants before you can start mixing your own potting soil.

With this guide, you are able to make your own potting soil correctly. You can’t just mix a couple of different soil together and say that now you have potting soil. This isn’t how it works.

The more information you are going to get, the better you will understand what soil is needed. And, you will have a lot more success with your plants indoors. If you are unsure about the potting soil, you should talk to a professional and get the right assistance.

Perfect Tips To Take Care of Your Houseplants

Perfect Tips To Take Care of Your HouseplantsAs the summer season progresses in you need to shift your houseplants indoors from the outside. Not doing this could infect your houseplants with flying insects or aphids and other small pests.

Aphids are tiny little sapsuckers live and feed in groups on the stems of plants. They can be different colors including white, green, brown or even orange. To treat aphids indoors, add a teaspoon of dishwashing soap to a gallon of water and wash the whole plant with the solution. You can help the process along by rubbing the stems with your fingers or a cotton ball. Let it set for a few minutes, then rinse well.

Mites are very small insects and can form a thin web over the plant. Affected plants’ leaves may appear spotted and, if there are flowers, they may start to look unhealthy. Try blasting off the mites with water. You can do this by setting the plant in the sink and using the sprayer. You can also use the same method we talked about for aphids.

Scales appear as sticky areas on leaves and stems. If there are tiny dots you can remove with your fingers, the plant may have scales. Remove them by hand and carefully monitor the plant for more outbreaks.

Mealybugs may be identified as mealybug by its white, fluffy, wax coating. They typically appear on the underside of leaves. Try using a little alcohol on a cotton ball and applying it to the mealy bugs. The alcohol will penetrate the wax and eventually kill the pests.

You can also make your own kitchen insect spray that was developed by the editors of Organic Gardening magazine. If you would like to try this natural insect control on your houseplants, here is the recipe: Combine 1 garlic bulb, 1 small onion, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a food processor or blender and process into a paste. Mix into 1 quart of water and steep for 1 hour. Strain through a cheesecloth and add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Mix well. The mixture can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

If your spot that your plants are getting affected with pests an even after treating them two or three times these pests persist you need to discard these plants otherwise it will also infect your other houseplants. Scrub the flowerpot and disinfect it before using it again.

Gardeners know that the houseplants have a dormant period just as outdoor plants do. In case of such dormancy waterless and do not add fertilizer. Quite periodically set your houseplants with a shower, and rinse off the dust on the foliage and wash the soil thoroughly. Drain well before putting the plant back on its shelf. You may also need to move plants around the house to give them as much sunlight as possible. Prune off any dead stems and leaves, and keep the soil clean. Adding an attractive mulch, such as pebbles, glass beads, or cocoa shells would be even better.

Perfect Tips For Garden Protection From Winters

Perfect Tips For Garden Protection From WintersIn the garden, you may begin with covering all water faucets and wrapping exposed pipes. This will protect sprinkler valves from freezing as well. Better keep wrapped and covered anything that could possibly be damaged by freezing temperatures.

During winters gardens go dormant, plants in containers, as well as hanging baskets, still need moisture periodically. Depending upon the size of your garden you must prepare months in advance and save approximately half of the grass clippings for the compost pile and half set aside for use as winter mulch.

Use this grass in conjunction with fallen tree leaves as primary mulch material. Add a bit of mushroom compost to the blend to sweeten the mix. This mulch/compost recipe is piled liberally around the base of all our Esperanzas, Jatrophas, Lantanas, Plumbago and Vitex.

For those of you with gardens with fewer plants to protect, sheets and blankets work fairly well to protect from killing frost and offer a few degrees of temperature improvement which may prove the difference in the life or death of the plant.

They say to never use plastic to cover your plants and this is for good reason. The plastic cover could cause a hothouse effect and with direct sunlight end up burning your plants rather than preventing freeze damage. If your option is paper or plastic, always go for the natural material for plant freeze protection.

Using the right fertilizer is crucial in winters. If the fertilizer is of a chemical blend, better avoid that using as a winter lawn fertilizer The soil temperature may be too low to breakdown the chemical blend for the grass to use and could just sit there until such time that the soil temperature rises enough.

If on the other hand an organic fertilizer is used, soil temperature will have little effect on absorption. Even if the grass has gone dormant the nutritional value of the organic materials will improve the soil and prepare your lawn for a flush of growth come spring.

A little protection of your garden in winter will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars next year in purchasing replacement plants. Take care of your outdoor living space and it will reward you in the spring and for years to come.

Our gardens cycle like us – young when we are young, grow old as we grow old and will die as we die. Think about this for a moment. When we began our gardens at whatever age, most everything is new. For the most part, the plants we use are new except for the pass-along planting materials/gifts from gardening friends or relatives.

The hardscape material we use for edging, seating, or paving, etc are usually new. Our garden experience is new and we have yet to kill a single plant. Just think of the destruction that awaits us but also the joy in getting there. As we age, so also do our gardens in ways that we never imagined in our youth. The clipped hedges and crisp grass edging are not quite as tidy as in the past.

Perfect Soil Preparation Tips for Your Garden

Perfect Soil Preparation Tips for Your GardenFirst thing you need to do with your garden soil is to get a soil test. Results of the soil analysis will guide you for what you need to add to correct the pH and boost deficient nutrients.

A soil rich with organic matter is considered to be best for plant growth. It is a good gardening practice to mix compost into the soil at the start of the gardening year. It enhances the soil’s physical condition, resulting in improved drainage, increased moisture retention and better aeration. Compost compliments soil with organic matter that contains plant nutrients and act as a fertilizer.

Based on specific plant requirements you should add extra nutrients, fertilizers, and additives. For indoor as well as outdoor plants bat and seabird guano provide fast- and slow-release nutrients. It is a nematocide. Bone meal is high in phosphate and good for bulbs and root crops. A blood meal is nitrogen-rich dried powdered animal blood and builds leafy green plants. It also helps in controlling moles, squirrels, and deer. Cottonseed meal is a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer that also adds organic material to the soil.

As topsoil dressing, you may also apply corn gluten meal-a pre-emergent herbicide. It helps control crabgrass and small weeds. You should apply it when seeds are germinating. It will release nitrogen by decomposing. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate – magnesium and sulfur in a highly soluble form. Magnesium is essential for chlorophyll production which makes plants bushy and green. It helps seeds germinate and improves phosphorous and nitrogen uptake.

Fish emulsion, powder, and meal contain many slow release micronutrients. Kelp and seaweed products are rich with sea minerals including trace elements, amino acids, vitamins, and hormones. These are good for indoor plants, houseplants, outdoor plants, seedlings, and transplants.

Milorganite is a biosolid made from composted dried sewer sludge. It provides nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If used as topsoil dressing it repels rabbits, voles, squirrels and deer. You should not apply this to the on root vegetables as it may contain heavy metals, pathogens, and salts.

Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi in the soil that work together with plant roots. Mycorrhizae are critical to providing nutrients and moisture to plants. Miracle-Gro offers several highly soluble quick-release fertilizers that fill different plants’ needs. Osmocote acts as a slow-release resin-coated fertilizer.

Many gardeners prefer using sawdust and wood chips in their gardens but only decomposed sawdust should be applied to the lawn and garden. Wood ashes contain phosphorous and potassium but are alkaline and therefore avoid it using around acid-loving plants like azaleas.

Red worms produce worm castings and it has excellent water holding capability. The water when released is full of rich nutrients. It is good for landscape and houseplants.

You must note that the soil in your garden must be fixed prior to growing anything and it is always better to prepare in advance.

Customize Garden Fertilizer To Grow Vegetables

Customize Garden Fertilizer To Grow VegetablesIt is easier and better to use organic stuff to make fertilizer. You should buy all the ingredients separately so it is easy to customize. Things you might require to customize the fertilizer include canola seed meal, bone meal, kelp meal, and lime and one cubic yard of steer manure.

All these items along with your home compost should provide all the nutrition for vegetables to grow in your garden. If you follow the procedure everything will grow just fine with about one gallon of the mix on a bed three meters by three meters.

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK, which are expressed numerically on labels, such as 5-15-1. Each number represents the percentage of the total mix by weight.

The individual items procured by you would have the following composition for a customized fertilizer for your garden;

Canola meal -Slow release nitrogen and phosphorus with a trace of potassium, roughly 6-2-1.

Bone meal -Moderately slow release nitrogen and phosphorus for root development with the bonus of calcium, roughly 3-15-0.

Kelp meal: Relatively quick to release nitrogen but higher in potassium than seed meals and contains lots of trace minerals, about 1-1-2.

Compost: Improves aeration and moisture retention, about 1-1-1.

Blood meal: I don’t put it in my general purpose mix, but it can provide a  quick hit of nitrogen when slow-release isn’t doing the job, 14-0-0.

Basic customized garden fertilizer to grow vegetables will be mixed up in the combination and specified quantity of 10 parts canola seed meal +1 part lime + 1 part bone meal + 1 part kelp meal.

It is good to keep all the above the components of your fertilizer separate so that you can mix on the fly for each bed of vegetables you plant.

If you are growing potatoes in your garden remember not to include lime in your customized fertilizer. Similarly, tomatoes like phosphorus for fruit growth but prefer slow-release nitrogen.

(Adapted from Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, by Steve Solomon)

Growing Vegetables With Raised Beds in Your Garden

Growing Vegetables With Raised Beds in Your GardenRaised bed gardening is gaining popularity among the gardeners across the globe. Even the first time gardeners and homeowners with smaller yards, senior citizens, and novice gardeners are now understanding the importance of compact and easy-to-maintain gardens.

The gardening times are now changing and now you have raised beds in various sizes available in garden centers, catalogs and online. Interlocking corners make it possible to build one in a short period of time. Price varies with materials — plastic or cedar.

A 3-foot-by-6-foot, 10-inch deep bed will hold a variety of vegetables, both above ground and root plants such as tomatoes, herbs, onions, and carrots.

In case the raised bed is only 10 inches deep then you need to ensure that the soil on which it rests is cleared of all debris, grass removed and soil tilled to allow roots to extend into the soil beneath the bed. Fill the space with a mixture of hummus and garden soil. Fill the area to the top edge, dampen the soil and let the bed rest for a day or two, as the soil will settle. Add more soil if necessary.

When using a soaker hose or customized soaker system, lay it in a circular or serpentine pattern before planting. Both systems deliver water directly to the roots without wasting water. After planting, add a layer of mulch to trap moisture and to keep weeds at a minimum.

With raised beds in your garden, you may select any particular theme. Edible plants that are required for a type of food. One garden bed can grow enough produce provided you follow a little research before selecting the plants.

You can easily grow varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and garlic may also be grown with raised beds. Onion sets may be planted two-inches apart around the edge.

Experienced gardeners suggest that a maintenance schedule involving weeding, watering, insect inspection, and harvesting is required.

Flowers grow well in raised beds. Plan a layout with taller plants in the center and graduate the plant sizes to the edge where cascading flowers provide an attractive border. Flower beds also should have the same maintenance schedule, but substitute deadheading for harvesting.

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