Dried Kelp Benefits

Sea kelp is a fast growing aquatic ocean plant or seaweed. It is high in plant nutrients, but doesn’t burn plants like fresh manure nor does it cause plants to bolt like high nitrogen based chemical fertilizers. Gardeners along the coasts around the world have used sea kelp in their gardens for centuries. Those of us who do not have access to the sea can take advantage of kelp by buying its dried form.

Kelp is including iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium minerals that are often lacking in farm and garden soils around the United States. I always buy my kelp certified organic so that I know that I am getting the best and safest product.

Kelp contains two natural plant growth hormones auxin and cytokines. This is why I feel that kelp is especially important to add to every seed row and transplant hole in the vegetable garden.

When I dig the hole for the transplants, I dust the bottom of that hole with kelp, add water, and then plant the transplants and sprinkle more on the soil surface above the plants roots and add more water. As the plant grows, these nutrients filter down and become available to the plant when it needs them.

When planting seeds in rows, I sprinkle kelp in the row, and place the seeds at a proper distance for optimal growth, then water. I then cover the seeds, tamp them down and sprinkle more kelp down the row and water again. Because it is readily used by the plants, kelp will not leach out and pollute the environment like chemical fertilizers can.

I have found that adding a dusting of kelp when planting not only enhances better early growth, but improves the health of the plants over the entire growing season. Here is one example. Where I live, blossom end rot is a common disease in tomatoes. I identify blossom end rot when I find a dry sunken decay that develops on the blossom end a tomato particularly the first tomatoes of the growing season. This problem is not caused by pest, parasite or disease damage, but from a lack of calcium and supporting trace minerals available to the tomato fruit. When I plant my tomatoes using kelp, my tomatoes never suffer from blossom end rot.

By using dried kelp powder in my garden, using kelp insures that not only do my plants stay healthy, but the vegetables that come from my garden will produce more and offer better nutrition for me and my family.

About Aquaponics Indoor Gardening

Beginners often start their first project in the home. Do you have an aquarium in storage or want to do more with your current fish tank? People enjoy the living art and the décor which this system introduces into living quarters. The beauty of the colorful fish and the greenery adds nature to the indoors while also growing foods. If there is no interest in growing foods many flowering plants may be considered.

Many gardeners enjoy traditional gardening. Some people like to use both methods.

Traditional Versus Aquaponics:

  1. Land vs water
  2. Large space vs small space
  3. Seasonal vs year-round
  4. Gardening tools vs some tools
  5. Seeds or plants are used in both systems
  6. Fertilizers vs organic fish wastes
  7. Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides vs none required for indoors
  8. Hours of maintenance vs one hour a day
  9. Manual labor vs automatic operating equipment
  10. Natural weather conditions vs controlled indoor environment
  11. Eat produce vs eat produce and fish

Growing plants with water and fish is much easier. This is a more pleasant way of obtaining organic vegetables and fresh fish raised on the homeland with minimum of effort and costs.

Fish has become very expensive at grocery stores. If you enjoy eating fish this becomes more affordable than shopping at your local store.

Why are home gardeners and commercial farmers using this method of growing crops or fish or the combination of crops and fish?

  1. Requires less water than traditional farming
  2. No waste water is produced
  3. No soil eroding conditions
  4. No requirements for harsh insecticides
  5. Toxin free fish

This type of farming coupled with fish farming has been done for thousands of years. Home growers have made great strides and the more ambitious gardeners are using abandoned buildings, such as warehouses, to build a commercial business. Once again, a hobby has become an entrepreneurs career.

How is this gardening accomplished?

  1. Select ornamental or edible fish
  2. A floating platform of containers with a plant or seed is placed on top of the water
  3. The roots are attracted to their nutritional needs with fish wastes
  4. The fish are placed below the plants.
  5. Feed your fish as their waste matter is the essential fertilizer for the plants
  6. The roots of the plants keep the fish tank clean

Gold fish are popular in the home because of their beautiful coloring. Edible fish will grow larger and when they reach the size which is just right for the dinner plate; go fishing by removing them from the tank.

Growing Mint

Mint is one of the oldest herbs and comes from around the Mediterranean area, however the plant has been found everywhere expect the Poles. As far as I know there are well over 30 varieties of Mint.

The herb is very easy to grow and does well in cool, damp places, however Mints will also grow in the full sun quite well.

The plant was first written about in English by one John Ray in the year 1696.

There is something about Mint that not many people realize and that is the plant is a very hungry feeder. Before you plant, make sure that you put some well rotten manure or good vegetable compost at the bottom of the hole. If you grow mint in pots; do renew the compost every two or three years

I know many people think that mint is a bit of a rouge, in so far as it will spread and take over you whole garden. This is true up to a point. The reason is that, like many other plants (Mares tail) the roots spread under ground and spring up where you least want it.

Not many pests or disease trouble Mint. Every now and then my Mint will get Mint Rust and as I grow all my Mints in pots; I just discard the plant and the compost and start again in a fresh pot.

Whichever Mint you decide to grow in your garden, it is a good idea to taste the leaf from the stock you are thinking of planting. They are quite different and not all make a great cup of mint tea.

I have several, but the ones I like best are: Apple Mint and Spearmint.

Apple Mint is a vigorous growing perennial with long underground runners. The mint grows up to 18 inches high with leaves that are light in color. Apple Mint has reddish stem which is also hairy with flowers of dense spikes of pale lilac. This Mint gives off an aroma of apple and spearmint. The distinctive apple and mint flavor of this Mint adds a delicious taste to fruit salads, water ices, and cider cups as well as other fruit drinks. I use it to make Apple Mint Tea.

Spearmint is the common or garden Mint that everybody knows about, even to the extent of people forgetting that it is a growing plant! As such, it is also the oldest culinary herb to be used.

Like Apple mint, this grows to a height of 18 inches and as the same flower color.

Spearmint is mentioned in all the early writings of doctors and naturalists. The mint is used in food as well as medicine because of its value as a digestive.

Spearmint is most often used to make mint sauce or to cook with new potatoes. I also use it with other vegetables like carrots, green beans and roots.

A handful of chopped mint goes well with minces beef, giving a wonderful flavor to your meal.

Be a Great Gardener

Design

Form and texture are more important than the color. The atmosphere and space are also very important. If you notice that the shrubs have no space below, you may need some pruning. You need to think about the design of your space and decide on what you should plant there and in what quantities.

Sowing

This is a very important part of growing a garden. When you sow your seeds, you need to water them using some warm water. Avoid using the ice-cold water as it ends up delaying the germination. After they germinate, it is important that you only handle the seedlings using the leaves since they are tougher than stems at this point.

Planting

When you are planting, then you need to think about every aspect of the process so as not to affect your plants negatively. Make sure you plant in the correct soil combination.

If you have the funds for it, then a greenhouse is definitely an amazing idea and definitely worth a try. Even a greenhouse that is not heated extends your season for growing your own good and increasing the summers. A greenhouse can be an invaluable addition to the garden as it can help you extend the range in the most incredible ways.

For real gardeners, it is important to listen to your own mood and do what you think should be done to improve the garden. You should choose the ideal time to move the plants as long as there is enough soil, shade, and a water source. This is what allows the plants to establish even more quickly.

It is important to act early. For example, if you feel young tree is not located in the ideal point, and then you need to move it early. Do not wait until such a tree has already matured so as to start thinking of ways to deal with it.

Vegetables

If you chose to grow your vegetables in pots, it is important to have a shade so as to slow down the bolting. You can use mulch to stop weeds from invading the vegetable area and this works well too. You need to consider which vegetables grow together. Doing this helps you make the most of the gardening experience by easing processes like pollination and so on.

Pests

Understanding pests is also a part of good gardening. There are some pests that will play dead if they are disturbed. It is important to stay alert and notice any changes in your plants. A good gardener always finds a way to deal with pest and diseases at all times so as to improve yield.

Way to Eradicate Lily Pads

Manual Extraction

Manually pulling out the lilies is one option to curb their growth rate. You could also find extremely dense patches, for this it is advised that you cut the lilies with secateurs or pruning shears. One should wear tall boots, waterproof clothes or swimsuits while removing lilies, this will prevent you from getting wet or from being slung in mud in case you fall in. Clear all the lilies on a regular basis from shallower areas so that their rate of growth is controlled on a timely basis.

Mowing or Raking

Cutting removes the lilies only from the surface and did not totally uproot its growth from the base level or roots from far beneath the water. In case of swimming pools or large ponds where recreational activities such as boating are undertaken, it’s advisable to purchase a Weed Cutter. Cutting is a brilliant technique for controlling lilies that you are removing, especially when you’re covering a large area.

Pond Control

It’s very important that you clean your pond or drain water from it from time-to-time basis. This is a very cost effective ecological solution to kill lily pads. While construction of the pond, these slight details help in controlling the growth of lilies, add a slight grading of the slope towards the edges, it will help minimizing the root growth at the edges. It has been witnessed that lilies grow rapidly in old filthy ponds vis-à-vis to fresh clean pond, hence regularly cleaning the pond is very crucial in order to control plants.

Containment

This is yet another step in order to retain the lilies as well as maintain its growth rate. It will keep the beauty of the pond intact while restricting the growth of lilies. Preserve the lilies that remain in your pond in anchored or sunken hidden pots, the same can be camouflaged with pebbles, stones or organic matter which adds to the look of the pond. You can select a dark colored pot preferably green or black as it will become invisible under the water surface.

Grow Hotter Peppers

Understand the planting conditions needed to learn how to grow hot peppers. Moist soil, fertilizer and a full sun make hot pepper plants thrive. Adding compost to the soil at the time of planting will give hot pepper plants a boost to help them grow. Seaweed is also a very good fertilizer for them to become big and spicy. The reason being is its antioxidants are absorbed into the soil and is helping the plant and the peppers grow. Kelp is good, but buy it from the store so it isn’t salty but some seaweed from a freshwater lake or pond will do the trick.

You additionally need to get the pepper off of a decent stem. In the event that it is from a weak stem, it might not have gotten enough supplements from the plant itself. A decent time to pick a pepper is around three weeks after the bloom is no more. It relies on upon what sort of soil you have as well. In the event that you have sandy soil at your home, it is somewhat harder to pick the peppers at the perfect time, however in places where the dirt is richer, it may take less, yet it all relies on upon what soil you have. Be mindful of your soil and the way you pick the peppers.

Plant hot peppers at the best time of year for your region to help guarantee the best results. Pepper seeds take quite a while to grow and need to be planted 6 to 10 weeks before the last expected frost. Unless you live in a warm atmosphere, most zones are excessively chilly, making it impossible to begin seeds in the ground and ought to be started in containers indoors. Space the seeds or youthful hot pepper plants 18 to 24 crawls (45.7 to 61.0 cm) separated.

Garden Shed Plans

Most of the beginners and even experienced builders fail to outline a step by step guide before initiating the construction process which ultimately results in wastage of bucks, sweat and a heck lot of time without getting the desired result. Let us dig some miles deeper. Consider a situation in which you are trying to prepare a chocolate cake with ingredients provided but not a single hint of procedure.

In best cases you will end up preparing something that looks like a cake but doesn’t taste like one and the worst cases will lead you to mix everything randomly in indefinite proportions and make a chocolate “soup” rather than a cake. Even though you have been provided with the ingredients but still you can’t produce a cake without knowing the step by step procedure. In layman’s terms, lack of plan leaves you with an undesirable result.

By this time, you may be wondering what a perfect plan may look like or what are the steps one may follow to create a perfect plan? As mentioned in the title of this write up, unique garden shed plans allow your shed to “build itself” that is, its simplicity leaves you with no work to do than just pick up the material and fix it on its respective place just like the block building games you used to play with in your childhood. I am using the word “plans” instead of “plan” because their can be more than one unique design to help your shed look superior than the others. The more number of plans means more options to select from.

Most of the people who use the planned way of construction get limited options to choose. As a result, they are forced to build a shed on which they can regret everyday. This can easily be avoided if you have lots of ways for your garden shed to look.

Perfect garden shed plans have the following characteristics:

  • It must suit your purpose- One can build a shed to satisfy different purposes such as organize house parties, storage or chilling during the weekends. Each case requires a suitable design as you can’t plan a party in the storage shed.
  • Each design must have an associated step by step guide – Having the design is not sufficient. Your plan must consist of an associated guide which makes construction a child’s play. The guide must be so simple that anyone with zero woodworking experience may also be able to build a perfect shed like an expert.
  • Plan must contain material list for no wastage: A beginner usually purchases a lot of construction materials, some or most of which are wasted after the completion of the task. Think if you could prepare a precise and accurate list of materials provided so that the extra money can be saved and invested in painting or decorating purposes. Well, perfect garden shed plans consists of such kind of a list.

Myths About Grow Lights

Summer-to-Winter Kelvin Shift

A well-respected garden writer recently wrote this in one of the most popular indoor gardening magazines: “The [high-pressure] sodium light is very red and mimics the fall sun to induce flowering.” HID lamp salesmen and hydro shop owners also claim that MH lamps are best for vegetative growth because they are “blue” like spring sunlight while HPS lamps are best for flowering because they resemble “red” fall light.

This is the second most widely held gardening myth: that the color of sunlight changes dramatically between seasons and that this color shift induces flowering. Ask yourself this: at midday, does a spring day look blue to you or a fall day look red? In a word, No.

Light “color” is measured according to the Kelvin (K) scale with blue having higher values and red lower ones. The world would look very strange indeed if the light temperature of sunlight changed from season to season by anything even close to the 2000-2500K difference between MH and HPS lamps. Don’t misunderstand: There is a seasonal shift in daylight color due to the depth of the atmosphere the sun’s light has to penetrate before reaching the earth. But this shift is small, 300-500K depending where you live, which is a difference that’s barely perceptible to the human eye.

On the other hand, daylight color definitely shifts across the duration of a single day. Sunlight starts out in the morning at approximately 2000K (orange), climbs above 5000K (white) at midday, then drops back to 2000K or lower at sunset. Daylight-sky color temp can climb as high as 8,000-10,000K (blue) on a sunny summer afternoon.

Why does this matter? Because indoor gardeners have been taught that changing from “spring blue” to”fall red” will induce flowering-in other words, will cause plants to shift from their vegetative growth phase to their flowering phase. This belief is likely the downstream effect of how HID lights found their way into indoor gardens. Initially, only MH lamps were available, and growers using them experienced results that were… OK. Then HPS lamps were introduced, and the gardeners who tried them found that these new lights significantly improved the weight of their harvests. Someone postulated that MH was better for vegetative growth and HPS better for flowering, and the myth was born. It’s become a mainstream “fact”: pick up any of the magazines distributed in hydroponics shops and you’ll find it. That doesn’t make it true.

Many gardeners use only one type of HID light for their entire grow, and that includes MH, HPS, and CMH lamps. None of these gardeners has any trouble “flipping” their gardens from vegetative to fruiting/flowering. They simply changed the photoperiod-the length of time the lights are turned on. Plants that are sensitive to day length flower when their photoperiod changes, not when the color of the light they receive changes.

90 LED Watts Can Replace 400-600 HID Watts

Oh, how you missed out on the fun of the early days of LED grow lights! When LED grow lights were first introduced, many manufacturers boldly proclaimed that a single 90-watt LED grow light would out-produce a 400- or 600-watt HID. These claims were laughable then, and they’re still laughable now. LED grow light manufacturers have typically been overzealous with their claims, which they”prove” by growing wheatgrass or lettuce instead of the light-hungry crops (e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, or flowers) that indoor gardeners generally prefer.Testing revealed that these early “90-watt” units actually drew only 54-56 watts of power at the wall, on average. With a few watts going to power onboard cooling fans, these lights actually produced less usable light than 75-100 watts of HPS-not anywhere near the 400- or 600-watt HID performance claimed by their manufacturers.

At least the industry seems to have learned its lesson. These days, most LED grow light manufacturers provide realistic power ratings and coverage area recommendations for their lights. This combined with better, more powerful LEDs and more effective light designs are helping to end this myth. It would be ideal for LED grow light manufacturers to publish the power of their lights in micromoles at set height intervals so that we, their customers, could decide for ourselves how much HID these lights could replace in the actual conditions we face in our gardens.

This Could be the Last Grow Light You’ll Ever Buy

Because LED emitters have a 50,000-hour-plus life-span, which is about 10 years if used 12 hours a day, a common sales pitch is: “This could be the last grow light you’ll buy.” This pitch is intended to help the buyer overcome the high cost of an LED grow light. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

Even though LED emitters have very long useful lives, continuing innovation in light design, such as secondary optics, better heat management, and still-better LED emitters on the horizon, will cause most growers to upgrade to a newer, better-performing light well before they’ve put 10 years on their first LED grow light. So while “the last light you’ll ever buy” makes a great sales pitch, don’t believe it. It’s not true.

LEDs Produce Little to No Heat

The next-most-common sales pitch for LED grow lights is that they produce little to no heat. When a manufacturer claims that an LED grow light produces almost no heat, it makes the experienced gardener wonder whether the manufacturer has ever used one for anything more than a photo shoot.

Sure, LED grow lights produce less heat than HID grow lights, but there is still heat, and that heat needs to be managed. See for yourself: garden temperature will drop immediately after an LED grow light switches off, just like in an HID garden. No heat-no way!

Controlling Watermeal Weeds

  • Restrict its feed– Eliminate or restrict the diet/ nutrients on which watermeal is fed. Microorganisms such as AquaClear Pellets will consume the nutrients. Insert aquatic creatures to feed upon the weed itself. In case your pond is flooded with watermeal weeds, the best way is to drain the pond and wipe it off completely.
  • Remove debris: It’s important to ensure impurities that settle at the bottom of your pond becomes the meal for watermeal. It’s important to manage the build-up to prevent the rise of watermeal in the pond that grazes on this sludge. Prevent any kind of fertilizer or agricultural run-off settling into your pond, try to restrict falling of leaves from the tree, and use a surface netting that can help trap leaves, or remove all leaves from the pond, daily with a pool net.
  • Aeration: Another important step in this direction is to add a bubble aerator. Proper aeration will not let the water stagnant or accumulate. This method De-stratifies the water layers and provide uniformity to temperature, provide oxygen from top to bottom for the fish and natural bacteria to consume the organic waste, muck and improve water quality. It’s advised to add bacteria in the pond, proper aeration will speed up the cleaning process and remove foul smells and muck in turn controlling the watermeal.
  • Introduce Koi: With the above stated methods, you will largely be able to control watermeal. In order to completely get rid of watermeal, you can also introduce fish that eat this plant, like koi or grass carp. Koi will eat watermeal willingly, while grass carp may eat other plants first and steadily kill watermeal. You can also add few ducks in the pond, these ducks will eat up watermeal and add to the beauty of your pond.

Elderberry

Elderberry or Sambucus is a big shrub native to Europe and to the United States. The plant is member of honeysuckle family. Its white and delicate flowers turn into berries – black or dark blue. Their flavour is sharp sweet and a little bitter but it is preferred in many recipes. I will tell you more about that later. Its leaves are pinnate with 5 to 9 leaflets with length 5 to 30 cm. You can see the whole beauty of Elderberry in late Spring when it blooms.

Elderberry contains tannin, amino acids, organic pigments, carotenoids, flavonoids, rutin and large amounts of vitamins C, A, B. Many studies have proven that some of the ingredients in the shrub are strong antioxidants and can protect the cells against damage. In a Oncology laboratory in Israel doctors have found that the plant stimulates the better function of the immune system and they have treated patients with AIDS and cancer with it. From colds and flu to fight against asthma, weight loss and diabetes, everyone can discover the benefits of elder, depending on his personal needs and individual condition of the immune system. Other positive side of using the shrub in your menu for healthier life is that it is good for the cardiovascular protection. The levels of fibre in it are really high and can help with the elimination of the “bad” cholesterol which automatically makes some space for the “good” one, that every human body needs. When you need to clear your throat, or have bronchitis that has bad influence on your respiratory system the juice from elder is the best choice for you.