Organic Gardening In The 21st Century

Over the course of the past decade, a significant number of men and women from different parts of the world have taken up gardening. In this regard, these people have found themselves interested both in creating magnificent flower gardens as well as in cultivating thriving vegetable gardens.

A majority of gardeners still rely on what might be considered “mainstream methods” when it comes to the care and maintenance of either their flower or vegetable gardens. In other words, these gardeners tend to rely upon various commercially availabable chemical treatments and products to care for their gardens. Various types of garden-related chemicals — from pesticides to fertilizers — are available readily at garden supply shops and discount retail stores. More often than not, these basic products can be obtained for a fairly reasonable cost.

As a person becomes more involved in the care and maintenance of his or her garden, such an individual tends to become more conscious and aware of how the materials he or she utilizes to tend a garden space actually effects the environment and the plants being grown (particularly vegetables). Consequently, many experienced gardeners (and, in reality, an ever growing number of novices) have turned to organic gardening practices.

Organic gardening practices actually have been around and utilized by people since certain ancient tribes gave up hunting and gathering and settled down to grow their own crops and to maintain their own domesticated animals. In their most basic form, organic gardening practices consists of the use of naturally occuring materials (organic materials) in the care and treatment of a garden patch — vegetable or floral. No man made chemicals or any type are utilized in true organic gardening regimens.

For example, when it comes to providing nutrients for an organic gardening, two resources normally are relied upon: compost and manure. Likewise, when it comes to the issue of pest control, natural steps are taken to rid a garden of offensive bugs and insects. In this regard, benign insects that do not damage plants but who prey upon bugs that harm foilage are placed in a garden or patch to deal with a harmful infestation problem or situation.

In the final analysis, people who espouse organic gardening practices and techniques maintain that the goal or such natural programs is to nourish and protect the soil well into the future rather than providing a quick, seasonal fix for one planting period. Through organic gardening, soil and water contamination is reduced significantly. Additionally, when it comes to the production of vegetables, the food generated from an organic garden is free of harmful chemicals and deemed to be far healthier for human consumption.

How To Set Up A Mittleider Method Soil-bed Garden

First off, you MUST have direct sunlight all day long for vegetables to thrive. Therefore, use only the space that has no shade. And don’t worry if it seems small! You’ll grow twice the food in one fourth the space others are using, so just do it right in the space you have. And actually, starting small is a good idea anyway! It’s easier, more fun, and won’t wear you out!

Level ground, or something with a slight Southern slope is best, in order to catch the sun’s strongest rays, and to avoid rapid water run-off that will wash out your soil, seeds, and seedlings.

Begin by clearing your ground of EVERYTHING! No weeds, rocks, or anything else is allowed. “Cleanliness is next to godliness” certainly applies here, and you surely want your garden to be a thing of beauty, as well as being productive!

Measure and stake the perimeter of your garden. This gives you an important starting point for figuring out how many soil-beds you can have, and then placing them properly. Let’s use 25′ X 35′ as an example of what your garden area might be.

It doesn’t really matter what direction your beds face, so far as sun exposure is concerned. What does matter, though, is that the beds be level, and that you plant taller plants to the North or East of shorter plants. This is to assure that taller plants don’t shade shorter plants, and rob them of essential sunlight. So, align your beds to maximize those factors as much as possible.

I’ll assume we are able to run the beds lengthwise along the 35′ dimension. Your soil-beds should be 18″ wide and any length you choose. When you become experienced in this method of growing, and want to specialize in growing certain crops all the time, you may want to begin using 4′-wide beds, but let’s stick to the best family garden layout for now.

The ideal size for aisles is 3.5′, and since we have 25′ width in our example garden, this will give us 5 – 18″ beds with 3 ‘ aisles. If you have only 23′ you could get by with aisles a little narrower. But don’t squeeze those aisles! You will be growing plants that need all of that space, and reducing the aisle space only leads to problems of not enough light and air for your growing plants!

We’ll make our beds 30′ long. This leaves us 2.5′ on each end of the garden for walking, and 30′ is a good length, because it makes caring for the garden easy. More about that later.

Using 18″-long stakes, stake your 5 – 18″ X 30’ beds, with 4 stakes per bed.

Apply 32 ounces of the Mittleider Pre-Plant Mix, and 16 ounces of Weekly Feed Mix to the soil under your strings. This amounts to about 1 ounce and half ounce per running foot of those VERY important natural mineral nutrients. Dig or till the soil of your soil-bed to a depth of at least 8″.

Then, using nylon string, tie strings between the stakes, to outline your soil-beds.

Begin making raised, ridged beds by pulling about 2+ inches of dirt from the aisles into the 18″-wide bed area under your strings. Smooth and level that dirt, and then check the level of your bed area. It must be level to make watering easy and efficient, so don’t ignore this step! Move dirt from the high spots in your bed to the low spots, until your bed is no more than one inch higher at the water-source end than the other end.

Make 4″-high ridges all around your bed by pulling soil from the center of the bed to just beneath the strings. When you’re finished you should have a planting area that is about 12″ wide and between 1 and 2″ above the level of the aisles, with 4″ ridges, the top of which are 18″ apart. Re-check the level of your planting area, and move soil as necessary to keep the bed level from end to end.

Your Mittleider “Best of Organic” garden is now ready to plant!

What Is The Hydroponics Gardening And How Does It Work

The history of hydroponics is quite interesting as the initial idea was first formulated by Woodward way back in 1699. The theory remained to its books until the 1840’s from which point some Botanists tried to develop the basic system.

The biggest advantage of hydroponics is that it requires little or no land space as does regular farming. Hydroponics water is usually re-circulated saving energy and nutrients needed by the system. This ensures that energy and efficiency is optimum.

Although the history of hydroponics goes back in centuries, hydroponics was known to the wider world during the 70s and 80s. Since the world economy started constant warnings about food crisis around the world, more studies were directed towards producing more crops out of less space and cost. As solutions, there have been number of concepts introduced and hydroponics was chosen as one of the best solution to be implemented commercially.

The arrangements of stacks and the layout of the hydroponics greenhouse play key roles when it comes to reducing the cost. When more vertical stacks are used, the space requirement lowers. This produces the more amount of crop per square meter. When it comes to layouts, the design should adhere to the basic principles of physics.

First of all, the layout should support maximum sunlight intake, so the need of artificial lights can be reduced. Next, the layout should support proper liquid flow, where water based solution is used for giving the required nutrition to the plants. If the flow is designed for the maximum efficiency, the liquid solution can be reused a number of times before it expires.

In hydroponics greenhouses, lighting plays a major role. The plants should be supported with adequate amount of lighting for proper growth of crops. In addition to the sunlight, there should be a mechanism for artificial lighting. Usually, glow lights are used for lighting hydroponics greenhouses artificially. These glow lights are available in different sizes and types. If you have a specific or personalized hydroponics greenhouse, then you can get the lights customized to your requirements as well.

Once the routine of a hydroponics greenhouse is automated, there is no requirement for human intervention. Usually, almost all the commercial hydroponics greenhouses are fully automated, making sure the human labor is only required for supervision purposes. Although the capital investment is quite high for automating a greenhouse, it has a high ROI (Return on Investment) during the years to come.

How a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor Can Save Time and Money

Many would-be amateur bathroom remodelers find out the hard way that this can be one of the most challenging types of home renovations. When dealing with a washroom or bathroom, not only does the plumbing need to be addressed, but so does wiring, fixtures and flooring come into play. This is especially true if the room has sustained water damage, has outdated plumbing or even worse, outdated wiring. Few amateur renovators are up to this type of challenge, which is why so many people choose to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor.

The bathroom is one of the most important areas of the home. Not only is it the one room that gets used daily by everyone who lives there, but it is also one of the rooms that adds the most equity value to a property as well. When these factors are taken into account, it really does illuminate the need for a properly updated and functional powder room. Unfortunately, the external appearance of a room may look fantastic, but it can still have wretched wiring or plumbing and few homeowners are aware of this fact until a renovation project has been started.

Before adding a dent into a home department store credit card and launching on an ambitious solo project to completely renovate a bathroom, first sit down and decide what the finished results need to be. Next, decide the actual amount of materials needed, the hours it will take to complete the job and the potential setbacks that might occur during renovation. This will give a clearer idea as to the level of commitment involved in a remodeling project of this nature. This also gives a reason to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor; they will be the ones to deal with all of these aspects and will have the tools, knowledge and contacts to get the job done.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks on your next home renovations project and think it costs too much to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor, first look into the option of getting free estimates from local contractors in the area. This will help place an average cost of the materials, labor and construction when done professionally. Next, add up your personal potential costs and labor if you do the renovating yourself and compare the two. Once the saved time and labor is factored in, it may be far more affordable than initially thought to get professional services to speed up a renovation project.

Choosing The Right Door Hardware Is Important

Many people overlook the importance of choosing the right door hardware. I know you might think that a door lock is just a door lock, or a dead bolts is just a dead bolt. Are things ever this simple?

Before you run right out and buy just any old door lockset its important that you read every word on this page because what I am about to reveal to you is going to save you a great deal of money, and help to increase the security.

Lets take a look at door locks. You can buy any door lockset, and go based solely on the price of the door lockset, but this is not going to ensure the protection of your door. If you select a door lock based just on the cheapest price, or even the most expensive price this does not mean that it is going to with stand someone having the ability to easily force it open.

There are a few different quality door locksets that you can purchase; some of the best ones are made by Corbin Russwin. Russwin locksets come in many different styles, and different grades of protection. I suggest that you look around the different Corbin Russwin locksets before you buy one, this will ensure that you make the best selection based on your needs.

Now lets take a look at dead bolts. Dead bolts are an added protection that will definitely increase the protection of your home, office or store. There are different types of deadbolts, and they offer different levels of protection, so its important that you know what they are before making your selection.

Deadbolts come in single and double cylinders. A single cylinder deadbolt is going to have a keyhole only on the outside, and a double cylinder deadbolt is going to have a key for both sides. If you want to ensure that you are getting the best protection from your deadbolt than you want to pay close attention to the thickness of the throw bolt, the thicker it is than the harder it is going to be for someone to break it.

These are just a few of the important things that you must be aware of when you are looking at the different door hardware for your home, other than just the design of it.

How To Fail At Csa Market Gardening

CSA market gardening is a great way to connect farmers and consumers. The farmer receives a good income and guaranteed cashflow, and the consumer gets a steady supply of fresh, local food. But your CSA can fail if you don’t avoid the following mistakes.

CSA market gardening mistake 1: Marketing. Community Supported Agriculture programs typically experience high turnover of customers, especially in the early years. You may lose as many as 40% of your customers each year. This means you need to be continuously marketing to find new customers to replace the losses, and even more if you expect to grow.

Marketing your garden doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; the first thing to invest in is some good business cards. Cards are a cheap way to promote your market garden. You can print both sides of the card, perhaps using the back of the card as a coupon for new customers.

Mail-out flyers are also an effective marketing tool. Flyers let you target a particular geographic area, and a 1-page 2-sided flyer gives you lots of room to get your message across.

You should also consider creating a website for your market garden; having a web presence is expected of businesses these days. And a well-designed, keyword-focused, content-driven website is your marketing magic weapon, bringing in customers even while you sleep.

CSA market gardening mistake 2: Not growing enough produce. When customers join your CSA, they often pay you in advance for the season. You have to make sure you deliver great value for that payment. This starts with planning.

Since you know how many customers you have, you can plan your garden to make sure you have ample produce for everyone. For example, if you have 50 customers who each want one head of lettuce each week, you need to be able to harvest at least 50 heads. However, not all lettuce seeds germinate. And not all plants successfully grow to produce a harvestable crop. You can lose plants to insects, or disease, or bad weather. So to make sure you will have sufficient produce available, you need to build in a safety factor; that is, plant more than you think you will need. So to get 50 harvestable head of lettuce, you might start by planting 75 seeds; this will give you some allowance for losses.

And you have to take all reasonable means to protect your crop from the perils mentioned above. You need protection against insects, disease, flooding, predatory animals, drought, and storms. It does you no good to grow beautiful vegetables if you lose them before harvest.

CSA market gardening mistake 3: Not growing enough variety. Successful CSA’s grow lots of vegetables, and a large variety of vegetables. There are some good reasons for this: first, your customers will appreciate receiving something different in their delivery boxes each week. The more types of vegetables you grow, the more people you will appeal to.

The second reason to grow a large variety is for security of production. To give an extreme example, if you grew only two vegetables, and you lose one, your garden has lost 50%. On the other hand, if you grow 20 different vegetables and you lose one, you garden is still at 95%.

And finally, you need to grow a large variety of crops to stretch out your season. Different vegetables, and even different types of the same vegetable, mature at different times. The more you grow, the longer your potential season.

CSA market gardening can bring a great benefit to both farmers and consumers, if you avoid these mistakes.

Miniature Gardening All About Its Types

Miniature gardens and fairy gardens represent a scenic picture comprised of accessories, furniture, structures, gnomes, etc., making it a beautiful space in your home. If you are a beginner and want to know more about miniature gardening and its types then read the article.

Types of miniature gardens

Indoor miniature gardens: This type of garden has plants that can survive extreme conditions such as low light and indoor conditions.

Terrarium: Terrarium is a miniature plant or garden enclosed in glass container. It can tolerate low light and high humidity.

Pots and containers: For indoor miniature gardens, pots and containers with drainage holes help to drain out excess water from the bottom.

Place saucers or plates underneath the pot to protect surfaces from excess water draining from the container and to keep the surroundings clean.

Outdoor miniature gardens: For outdoor miniature gardens, it is important to consider the weather zones while planting in any climate.

Accessories made of terra cotta, wood, glass, etc., can be used in outdoor miniature gardens. Based on the materials the accessories are made of, remove the accessories from the landscape during adverse weather conditions to protect them and make sure to store them properly so that their life can be prolonged and can be used in the future.

Landscapes: Miniature landscapes are a congregation of soil, plants and imaginative theme that are put together for creating a scene.

For example, in case of miniature pond landscape ensure to keep it in a sunny location outdoors.

Pots and containers: Pots or containers used for outdoor miniature gardens should have proper drainage system. Using containers made of clay which are usually porous helps in leaking out excess water.

Requirements to develop indoor and outdoor miniature gardens

Plants: The one thing that differentiates indoor miniature garden from outdoor miniature garden is the type of plants that survive in varied conditions.

Indoor miniature plants grow well in indoor conditions like low sunlight, etc., whereas outdoor miniature plants require heat and more sunlight.

Plants that can survive in dry conditions can be used in indoor miniature gardens.

Location: Location of the garden determines the life and growth of the plants. Based on the plants you choose for indoor or outdoor miniature gardens choose a location with adequate temperature and light.

Pots and containers: Various containers made of materials like metal, glass, wood and plastic that come up different colors, sizes, shapes and styles can be used for indoor and outdoor gardens.

Accessories: Select the right accessories by keeping the theme of the garden in mind. Ensure that the accessories used in outdoor gardens should be resistant to extreme weather conditions, corrosion and rust.

Maintenance for the survival of miniature gardens: Maintaining the miniature garden is important for its survival. Following are a few maintenance tips for indoor and outdoor miniature gardens:

Check the plants frequently for pest invasions.

Potting soil with a blend of perlite, compost and other essential nutrients is preferred for containers to feed plants.

Under watering, over watering or using too much of a fertilizer is not good for miniature plants.

Use potting soil and drill holes into the bottom of the container for proper draining system and to keep your plants healthy.

Regardless of the type of miniature garden (indoor or outdoor) give them the care they deserve to grow.

Azalea Hybrid Bushes And Native American Fiery (flame) Azaleas

Buying the best azalea shrub offers a gardener many choices for various landscapes. The Southern indica azalea hybrids are the most popular flowering shrubs for warm climates that includes the Formosa azaleas of white, pink, red, purple, magenta, violet, and lavender. Other outstanding Formosa azaleas are Duc DeRohan, Dutchess of Cypress, G.G. Gerbing, George L. Tabor, Madonna White, and South.

Kurume azaleas are evergreen azaleas with considerable cold hardiness and were introduced into the United States around 1915 from Japan. Japan has a climate much like mid-Atlantic and Southern States, and Kurume azalea plants thrive in these similar climates. Kurume azalea shrubs grow small waxy leaves and are considered to be dwarf azalea plants, growing 4 feet tall, but rarely some cultivars reach 6 feet in height. The flowers of Kurume azaleas bloom in colors of pink, purple, white, red, orange, and lavender, and some produce double flowers (double rows of petals). Coral bells is important as a pink azalea to plant underneath windows, and the intense flowering habit is also notable in the pink ruffles azalea and the red ruffles highlights any garden landscape planting. Snow is a pure white Kurume flowering azalea cultivar.

Satsuki azalea plants were developed in Japan as a bonsai specimen (dwarf), however, some cultivars can grow 6 feet tall. The flowers can exceed 5 inches, the size of a coffeecup saucer, and the late blooming characteristic of Satsuka azaleas offers the landscape gardener a flower that blooms after May 15 and continues flowering through June.

Compact azaleas are generally preferred for small gardens like the Satsuki hybrid cultivars that includes the Gumpo pink, Gumpo white, Gumpo red, Higasa rose-pink, and Wakebishu dark pink azalea. Satsuki azalea shrubs will flower abundantly.

The USDA began a hybridization program of azalea shrubs at Glenn Dale, Maryland to introduce landscape, cold hardy plants of flowering azalea cultivars that would extend the season for azalea bloom and offer Northern landscape gardeners new colorful cultivars of flowering azaleas. Many of these Glenn Dale azalea shrubs grow flowers similar to the Formosa hybrids. Glenn Dale azaleas bloom with the diversity of Japanese hybrids. Glenn Dale flowering azalea cultivars introduced by the USDA hybridizers have produced over 400 kinds of azalea shrubs, many available to buy through an internet nursery site. Two sensational Glenn Dale azalea hybrids are the salmon-pink Fashion azalea. The Fashion azalea can grow 6 feet tall and is covered with medium sized flowers. A pure white azalea, the H.H. Hume, is an excellent Glenn Dale azalea shrub that blooms in late April. Many Glenn Dale azalea landscape shrubs flower in May and June.

Not all azalea shrubs are evergreen, but American native azalea shrubs drop the leaves during winter and are called deciduous azaleas. In the South, these native azaleas are called fragrant bush honeysuckle or the Florida azalea (Rhododendrun austrinum) with colors of yellow, red, pink, white, yellow-orange, purple, and bicolor light up the forests or garden landscape when domesticated. The wild bush honeysuckle (Rhododendrun austrinum) is an early blooming native azalea shrub, with fragrant flowers appearing before the leaves.

Modernizing Your Home With Wainscoting

Wainscoting or panelling, as it is more commonly known, is a type of finish carpentry. Instead of covering walls with wallpaper or paint, you can choose to wainscot instead. Beautiful wainscoting can serve as a great decorative accent to any room and add additional insulation if you live in a cold area. It is also a great way to cover up unsightly parts of the wall.

Wainscoting refers to panelling only the lower section, about 3 to 5 feet of the wall, right below molding or a dado rail. The great thing about this nifty type of home improvement is that you can do it to any part of the house and you can find a type of wainscoting that suits your lifestyle and budget.

Traditionally, hard wood or soft wood is used for wainscoting. A cut of wood known as the tongue and groove (so named because they can be joined to make a flat surface) is normally used for most wainscoting projects. The groove is a slot cut into one edge and the tongue fits right into these grooves, creating a seamless look. This allows for a close fit that gives the impression of a flat surface. If you’re into DIY home improvement projects, this is definitely one of the best materials around for wainscoting.

One of the lovely things about modern technology is that there are a variety of materials available for any homeowner looking to improve their home. Plastic, vinyl and other materials can be used for wainscoting as well. Bamboo is also a great alternative if you are looking to use environmentally friendly materials in your home.

You can even think out of the box and use upholstery or cloth when wainscoting. Budget friendly, pre-made wainscoting can be found in most hardware stores. It really depends on what type of look you are going for.

For those with higher budgets, you can also think of decorative wood panelling, known as boiserie, where carvings or other decorations are placed directly on the wainscot to add an ornamental touch. For the more traditional minded, this can give you a lot of design opportunities.

If you are just looking to make some visual improvements, then faux wainscoting may be the solution for you. This type of wainscoting involves using only paint or wallpaper for minimal work and maximum impact.

You can even wainscot areas of your bathroom with tile or bead board. If you use wood, keep in mind that the wood must be sealed to prevent future mold build up and water damage. Caulking, or sealing the joints of the wood, comes in handy and prevents future problems.

Taking a few precautions now will no doubt save you a lot of money in the long run. You do not want to have to reinstall the wainscoting in a few years just because of problems that can easily be prevented! This is true for any part of the house you wish to panel, especially if you live in rainy areas or experience long winters.

Just How Do You Grow An Elm Bonsai

Elm Bonsai is a amazing tiny tree, and novices in bonsai development can nurture this due to the fact it can adapt effortlessly. It could be developed in varied soil mixtures and also different sun conditions. You can find various species that belong to elm yet you’ll find species commonly brought up as bonsai. Allow me to share a few of the widespread species that may be cultivated as elm bonsai:

1) Scotch Elm is also referred to as Wych Elm or perhaps Witch Elm, which has a botanical name of Ulmus glabra. It’s typically found in Europe and also western Asia.

2) Rock Elm also is named as cork elm having a botanical name of Ulmus thomasii. Rock elm is regularly found in Eastern part of United States.

3) Swamp Elm is usually known as as American Elm, White Elm, or perhaps Water Elm. It has a botanical name of Ulmus americana. Swamp elm is a hardy tree that’s frequently noticed on the rocky mountains of North America, and probably the most prevalent elm variety in Usa. It can be easily infected with Dutch elm disease.

4) Red Elm which can be also called Slippery Elm or even Indian Elm. It has a botanical name of Ulmus rubra. Red elm is typically identified in the Eastern United states of america and various parts of Canada.

5) English Elm can be named as Ulmus procera. It really is a local tree from England to central as well as south Europe.

6) Chinese Elm is also referred to as Ulmus parvifolia. It truly is one of the best varieties of elm since it can easily accommodate different growth conditions. Chinese elm is really a indigenous tree to China, Taiwan, and also Korea. This elm bonsai typically grows following a distributing broom style.

You’ll be able to raise an elm bonsai even if you’re simply a novice in bonsai propagation. You are able to flourish your elm bonsai indoors or outside your houses. Whenever you are preparing to grow and maintain it indoors, you need to simply position it on a properly lighted and also cool aspect of the home where the sun’s rays can shine through the windows. But you’ve got to put your elm bonsai outdoors from May until the fall months ends, as well as you have to let the leaves to drop off naturally prior to you carry it inside your property. Even so, when you would like to grow up your elm bonsai outdoors, you just need to do not forget that they cannot take very cold winds. It may cause drying up of foliage and fine branches of the elm small tree, which can result in their death whenever you left it exposed for long periods.

With regard to indoor elm bonsai, you must not let the soil to obtain dry. Thus, you have to water it just before it runs dry due to the fact the soil must be well misted at all times. Yet you’ve got to ensure that you usually do not water it an excessive amount of since it leads to root rotting. For outdoor elm bonsai, you might have to water whenever required. Yet you might have to discover the soil much more oftenly throughout summer and also spring season.

Feeding your elm bonsai is quite essential so that you are able to give vital nutritional requirements that may help the increase and also advancement of your small tree. For indoor elm bonsai, you need to give fertilizer every week in the course of the summer season of spring and also summer time. Give fertilizer each and every month throughout winter period and you must in no way give fertilizer when you will find no foliage. For outdoor elm bonsai, you must fertilize throughout spring right after the buds have exposed. The fertilizer you ought to utilize need to include high quantities of nitrogen, as well as this need to be given each week for the first month, then every fourteen days till the late part of summer time period.