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Invite Spring Early - Grow in Your Basement
Now's the time to get ready to grow your own seedlings! It's not really difficult, and can extend your growing season by many weeks. For example, by planting brassica's (cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) in February in your basement under grow-lights, you can put large, sturdy transplants into your garden by the end of March or early April, and be eating them when others are just seeing them come up! However, remembering that photosynthesis, using light, heat and moisture causes plant growth, you must follow a few key natural principles very carefully, or you will be disappointed.
First, seeds must have moisture to germinate and grow. And the soil mix must be moist, but not soggy, or you'll drown the new plant, since it must also have oxygen!
Second, while heat is essential, temperatures must be maintained in a narrow range for ideal germination to occur. Most vegetable seeds germinate quickly between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. After plants are up, many of them will grow in cooler temperatures, but most all will become dormant (stop growing) at temperatures below 50 degrees.
Third, light is not necessary for seed germination, but as soon as your seedlings begin to emerge from the soil, maximum light is required immediately for proper development. Therefore, to grow in your house, make sure your plants have a strong (but not hot!) light source directly on the plants, for up to 16 hours per day. Pictures of two grow-light shelves can be seen in the Photos section of the free gardening group at MittleiderMethodGardening@yahoogroups.com. The metal one is 6-shelf Commercial Chrome Shelving, from Sam's Club costing only $70, and will hold 20 flats of plants. Suspend shop lights with 2 cool and 2 warm 40-watt tubes 2 to 4" above the plants.
The fourth principle relates to feeding. A balanced nutrient mix of 13 minerals is essential to plants immediately after germination. Those nutrients are mineral salts and must be very dilute in the soil moisture, otherwise osmosis will cause the salt to draw the life-giving moisture out of the plants, and they will die. To ensure you never burn your plants, water seedlings daily using the "Constant Feed Solution" of one ounce (2 level tablespoons) of Weekly Feed dissolved in 3 gallons of water. For the free Weekly Feed formula, go to the Gardening Techniques section at www.foodforeveryone.org, and look on the Fertilizer page.
Next, it is important to separate your small plants before their leaves begin to overlap with others', or the tiny stems will become very weak and spindly as the plants all stretch - looking for more light. By the time the plants have their first or second true leaf, this step should be completed. Failure to wait even a few hours can result in spindly, weak plants, which never recover. Transplanting seedlings into 2" 6-paks or pots will provide adequate space for them to grow an additional 2-3 weeks, depending on variety. If it's still too early to put them out into the garden by the time plant leaves are again beginning to overlap, prune the leaves, transplant again into larger pots, or separate pots, so the plant leaves always have maximum light.
Before transplanting into the garden, "harden-off" your plants outside, off the ground for 2 to 3 days, to acclimate them to direct sunlight, temperature, wind, etc. This is important so the plant doesn't have the shock of a new environment added to the shock to its root system caused by transplanting. If the weather turns cold at night, bring the plants back in the house. The temperature adjustment needs to be gradual.
For many of your plants, the pruning process does double duty. In addition to assuring maximum light, it shocks the plant mildly, causing it to pause in its growth and produce a thicker, sturdier stem. This process makes the plant much better able to endure the vicissitudes of the outside environment, such as cutworms, ants, etc. that often quickly decimate plants with weak, spindly stems.
For tall-growing plants, like tomatoes, by the time they are 12" tall, provide small stakes tied to the plant stem to prevent them from falling over. And with tomatoes, begin immediately to remove all sucker stems as soon as they appear, to assure a single, strong stem and maximum production from your plant.
Jim Kennard, President Food For Everyone Foundation "Teaching the world to grow food one family at a time." www.foodforeveryone.org,
Jim Kennard is the President of Food For Everyone Foundation. He teaches gardening classes and trains people throughout the world in family-based food production.
The Foundation provides free materials on its website including a gardening ebook, greenhouse plans, automated watering plans, garden calendar, and a valuable free chapter from every one of the world-renowned Dr. Jacob Mittleider's vegetable gardening books. All of Dr. Mittleider's gardening books, software, and CD's are also available to purchase. And you can share knowledge with others and be taught personally by Jim Kennard in the free MittleiderMethodGardening@yahoogroups.com.
Visit the website at http://www.foodforeveryone.org
Create and Furnish Your Outdoor Room
More and more people are enjoying their time spent outdoors by creating outdoor rooms. Whether your plans for outdoor living involve a grand plan or a more modest one, the many choices available are sure to allow you to furnish your outdoor room just the way you want it.
How to Grow a Pineapple
The first thing you need to grow a pineapple is a pineapple. The pineapple (ananas comosus) is a bromeliad; in fact, one of the few in its family that is edible.
A Teak Bench: The Perfect Complement To Any Outdoor Space
Are you searching for that perfect bench to set off your garden or outdoor space? Do you desire furnishings that can be both exquisite and durable? Do you want something unique, a spectacular piece of furniture that the neighbors will brag about? If so, you might find exactly what you are looking for in a teak bench.Teak benches are highly sought after due to the beauty and durability of each piece.
Pressure Washing Decks
A beautiful wooden deck, properly maintained, can add greatly to the aesthetic and resale values of a home.Just look around, decks are almost everywhere.
Fertilizers - What you Need to Feed Your Lawn
Just like humans need food, water and shelter to survive, lawns depend on certain elements to live, sixteen to be exact. Most of these elements are already found naturally in the environment, but several others need to be added to your lawn.
Garden Room Boundaries
The areas of your landscape can be divided into several sections and areas, which are also known as garden rooms. Garden rooms are spaces where you plant, grow, and display different ideas in gardening in various creative methods.
Laying Out Your Landscape Part Two
Part Two in a SeriesOnce you have your landscape design on paper, now it's time to transfer it to the actual location where you will be planting your plants. You will need a couple of tools in order to accomplish this.
Make Your Fresh Cut Roses Last Longer!
Women adore getting flowers, most especially roses, as it is a symbol of love and affection. Price of roses vary from state to state and flower shop to flower shop.
Feng Shui in the Garden
"The Ancient Art of Placement" called Feng Shui (pronounced phung schway) literally means 'wind' and 'water.' The Chinese believe this cosmic energy, called Chi or 'the green dragon's cosmic breath,' is the life force energy that pervades human existence.
Ultra Violet Pond Filter
Having an ultra violet pond filter will give you a much better chance at keeping your pond water clear. When used in conjunction with your regular pond filter, it's more than likely that you will have nice clear pond water.
Koi Pond Aeration
To achieve Koi pond aeration, there are some things you can do. One, you can go to your local hobby store or pet supply store and purchase one of those small air pumps, hook some tubing to it, along with an air diffuser or sometimes called an air stone, and place it in your pond.
Plan Before Buying Rose Bushes
So, you have decided to plant rose bushes in your yard or on your patio, porch or balcony. Now all you have to do is go out and buy some bushes and plant them.
Imagine a beautiful pattern of paving stones as the central focus of your new patio. Stone circle kits are one of the most popular new products offered by suppliers of flagstones and pavers for patios.
Ship Ahoy! The Nautical Touch in Your Outdoor Living Space
Would you rather be sailing or are you strictly a shore bird? Whether you're land-locked or seaside, you can create a nautical look in your outdoor living space by following a few easy principles. You'll find that even landlubbers can answer the siren song of the sea.
Tranquility in Your Own Back Yard
A garden fountain can add beauty and serenity to you yard or garden. It's long been known that running water can aid in relaxation.
Garden Delights For Midsummer
We have once again reached the wonderful magical time of midsummer, when the garden is aglow with sensational blooms and a fantastic array of colors. Many of these wonderful blooms fill the air with their tantalising perfume.
How to Create a Wildflower Garden
In today's gardens often populated by geraniums, roses, and zinnias, wildflowers can provide a simple and graceful flair. Almost any garden or landscape can be beautified by their presence.
How to Build a Shed
The easiest way to build a shed in the backyard is to make a trip to the local Lowe's or other hardware shop to purchase a shed-building kit.Never choose one from a picture in a brochure or from the Internet.
Garden Statuary - Time for a Fresh New Look
Spring is coming, and now is the time to get out and whip those outdoor spaces into shape. With new growth appearing on trees, bulbs popping up and birds and butterflies coming out of hiding, your patio, garden or backyard is ripe for a fresh new look with decorative accents that put a delightful finishing touch on your own little corner of nature.
Plants To Grow Old With or The Constant Battle
Following are a few paragraphs about the on going battle I had with some of my plants!Way back when I was just starting to garden I excitedly gathered starts from here and there, and several times, when I asked people for a particular start, they, with raised eyebrow, would ask me if I was sure I wanted that plant as it could be invasive.Naively, and just so thrilled to get a new start (I had garden fever bad Ha!), I said that wasn't a problem.
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