Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seed Trays and Propagators for Winter

Seed trays and propagators seem to peer their lonely heads out of their storage spaces during the colder months when we prepare for winter vegetables and move and plant what we can indoors.  For those that can continue gardening outside are fortunate enough to be able to directly plant their seeds of lettuce, spinach and herbs into the earth and have them grow outdoors.  For those that do not live in the milder regions, indoor or covered gardening my be a viable option.  Green houses, cold frames and cloches may become your best friends during those long, bitter cold months.

Seed trays provide a portable and convenient way of moving your seedlings around to achieve the right growing conditions.  It's easy to move them from indoors to outdoors or from a dark area to a lighted area, such as window, to maximize their growth.  Propagators are a fantastic way to controlling the temperature and preventing insects and pests away from the fragile seedlings.  They can keep your seedlings moist and most have a watering system to prevent over-watering.

With the rise of indoor growing, whether it's through grow lights or growing from your window, more people are using seed starter kits to start their gardens.  Because it's convenient and easy to grow indoors, you can literally grow 365 days a year and start and stop whenever you like.  You don't need to worry so much about planting your seeds on time to maximize your harvest.  With something like led grow lights you can literally grow herbs and leafy vegetables whenever you please and not only will they continually grow, but they may grow better than outdoors.

Seed starting kits are a very economical and simple way of starting your garden whether it's small or big.  Seeds will always be more affordable than buying plants from Home Depot or your nursery.  It doesn't take much to grow seedlings.  The hardest thing will be waiting for those seeds to sprout.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preparing For Fall With Row Covers

We're not too far away from the falling leaves and cool winds of fall.  With the relief from the hot summer sun that fall brings, frost and freezing temperature will surely follow.  It's time to start thinking and planning how you will be able to keep your plants nice and cozy during those cold blustery days and nights.  Row covers and fabric covers are always good methods.  A solid barrier will block the cold and insult your plants.  One thing most people try to do is simply extend their growing season as long as they can.  Frost can put a sudden stop to your season.  So it's important to take the appropriate measures to keep your garden safe from those nights and early mornings that can put the death freeze on your garden.  Of course it's always good to have those winter vegetables plants, like lettuce and spinach, so you don't have to worry too much about the frost.  With the availability of fabric coverings and garden cloches, it's so easy to just place those protective devices on top and leave them.

I hope we're all prepared for what this fall brings us.  Soon we'll see those white snow flakes falling from the sky, so get out there and enjoy your garden while it's still warm.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Couple Interesting Sites

I've been thinking a lot about conservation and the many ways people are coming up with to preserve our environment. Here are a couple examples of how people are coming up with great and novel ideas.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why A Plant Cover Works So Well In Spring

Spring is officially here. I know for some of you it may not feel like Spring. You may still have snow on the ground or like here in Texas it's already in the 80s! I've already planted most of my garden. For me this is always a time of worry because my young plants are vulnerable and in transition. It's a critical time for roots to develop and simple survival can be the most important thing.

Last weekend as I was looking at my eggplants, I noticed they were getting blown around pretty good with the wind. Texas can get some serious wind and powerful wind isn't what small developing plants need. I did notice that my plants covered with my garden cloches were safe and protected. They seemed so calm inside their protective covering. A plant cover is truly multi-functional. When you have a plant covering over your plants you don't need to worry about the wind battering your seedlings and smaller plants. It's really interesting that the natural elements can be so harmful to a garden that's really meant to be outside. I guess that's the reason why we have regional foods.

Spring is such an exciting time. There's much more color and gardens begin to show signs of life. There's a lot of satisfaction in starting a garden and watching it thrive. There's lots of tips and tricks to help your garden grow well. One thing that has helped me get a head start is using a plant cover during spring. It's a worry free organic method of protecting your plants. We've all heard or even experienced the late frost that caught us off guard, or chickens and other animals trampling or eating the barely started garden. Maybe it's strong winds braking weak stems. Or maybe it's a terenchal down pour of rain that beats up your plants. All of these things happen all the time and end up setting us back weeks and months of garden growth. Plant covers are all you need to avoid all of those problems. Don't stress about it. Just cover your plant.

If you're growing indoors (perhaps orchids or other indoor plants), you won't have to worry as much about wind as you would when you grow outdoors.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Best Way To Eat More Healthy

When I think about the best way to eat more healthy, I think about eating fresh.  When you're eating fresh foods you eliminate eating all the preservatives that go into canned and packaged foods.  Fresh foods are so much more flavorful and so easy to prepare.  What's easier than washing fruit or vegetables and eating it?  One reason why Americans are fat is because they don't eat fresh foods.  So how can you have complete access to fresh foods, thus allowing you to eat more healthy foods? 

Answer: Start your own garden.

Starting a garden doesn't mean you have to convert your entire yard into a full blown local farm.  Start small.  If your space is limited, square foot gardening is a great option.  Raised bed gardens is a excellent method for starting a garden at home as well.  There's options for all different circumstances.

If you take some time to grow some of the food you eat, you'll learn to eat more healthy and have a greater appreciation for food.  Eat what you grow in your garden.  There's no need to cook it or cover it with rich sauces.  Just eat it that way it is and enjoy the fresh flavors. 

The diets of the most healthy countries in the world are mainly fresh foods.  In South Korea, you'll notice their diet includes a lot of fresh peppers, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers and a ton of other vegetables.  If you've ever had Vietnamese food, you'll notice that they incorporate tons of fresh vegetables and herbs that provide tons of awesome flavors and textures. 

There's usually a reason why one starts a garden.  Maybe it's because you want to eat better food.  Maybe it's because you had a garden growing up.  Maybe because you want to teach your family something from gardening.  If you don't have a reason, I'm going to give you one.  I'm going to urge you to watch Food Inc and I guarantee you'll have a good reason and motivation to start your own garden after watching it.  I highly recommend watching it.  It will change your persepctive on what and how you eat.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Preparing For Early Spring Gardening

With March a week away and weather in the 70s, it's hard not to think about preparing for early spring gardening.  The last day of frost is about a month away, so it's right around now this time that I need to plan and prepare for this years garden.  I plan on possibly building a 4'x4' raised bed specifically for herbs.  This year I'm going to be utilizing trellis'.  I actually have the the space to not use a trellis, however, I don't really want my lawn to be overtaken by cucumbers and cantalopes.  If you have used any trellis' that have worked well for you, I'd love to hear from you.  I'll most likely build my own, but have not yet researched building plans. 

I really hope to focus on plants that are a part of our current diets.  For example, we don't eat okra in our home.  Not that okra is bad, it's just not something we eat in our family and probably wouldn't even know how to prepare it.  Whereas cucumbers is something we eat several times a week.  My focus will be on those foods we know what to do with and are excited to eat. 

This year I'm interested in trying some different irrigation and drip watering methods.  I know my plant covers will do a good job in retaining moisture, but I'm looking for a effective way of summer watering.  I'm up against some serious triple digit temperature in the summer, so simply dousing my garden isn't always the most effective method of watering.  I have some ideas in mind that I'm curious to see how well will work.  Once again, I'd love to hear from any of you that have found a way to keep your plants well watered during the hot and dry summer days.

I feel fortunate to be able to start preparing for early spring gardening.  I know there are many of you still covered in snow.  Hang in there.  Spring is quickly approaching and before you know it you'll be dirty and sweaty from working in your garden. 

Friday, February 11, 2011 Friends: are great plant covers and they do an awesome job in protecting your plants.  Because gardening is so much more than just protecting your plant, we've now partnered with our friends at to help your plants and gardens thrive even more.  GrowHomeOrganics offers organic fertilizers to provide your garden with those essential nutrients they need.  They also sell an indoor LED grow light that will make your dream of 365 day gardening a reality.

My goal is to offer useful gardening information and great functional gardening products.  I think plant covers are under utilized.  They offer critical benefits to your plants.  However, I'm always interested in products outside of plant covers that work well.  I like sharing information, products and ideas that other have.  So, if you have something you'd like to share, please let me know.

Our GrowHomeOrangics friends are a great additional to our friends and I know they have great things to share with everyone.