Sunday, August 29, 2010

Try Fall Gardening

If you have had a successful summer growing season, you can continue growing vegetables with fall gardening. You shouldn’t have to stop growing because of a frost. There are many different types of vegetables that can be grown up until early winter. Fall gardening is a great way to get more from your garden area and increase your over all harvest. You will be able to enjoy fresh greens into the winter months and more importantly, you will save money on groceries.


The vegetables used during fall gardening are considered cold weather vegetables. This means that they have a higher tolerance for cooler temperatures and can live and thrive even after the first frost. These vegetables include most types of lettuce, spinach, mustard leaves and cabbage. If your pre winter temperatures do not go below 40 to 35 degrees, you can also grow broccoli and cauliflower. For cooler climates, you can include rutabagas, turnips and carrots. Fall gardening is basically the same as summer gardening. But there are a few tips that can make it a bit easier, so that you can have a bigger harvest.


You will never want to place seeds in the garden in the late summer. The temperatures are too hot and rain is usually scarce during this time. Garden pests can be another problem when the weather is hot and the newer plants will not do well under any of these conditions. It is a good idea to start the seeds indoors and start with a stronger, healthier plant to place in the garden.


Place your seeds in small cups of soil. You can use Dixie cups or yogurt cups but make sure that there are holes in the bottom of these containers for water drainage. Place a few seeds in every cup and cover lightly with a bit of soil. Keep these plants watered and in an area that has sunlight. A windowsill is a perfect place for your starter plants. The best time to do this is exactly 12 weeks back from your first predicted frost. But this also depends on how fast the plants grow. For example, lettuce grows at a fast rate, so always read the directions on the seed package to know exactly when to place them in your garden.


When the plants are 4 to 5 inches tall, they are ready for your garden space. Choose a cloudy cooler day to plant them and make sure that the debris from your summer garden is gone. Remove any dead or dying plants and give your new plants fresh soil to grow in. Completely saturate the soil a few times a week, while your new plants are growing.


You should make sure that the types of vegetables you are using are specifically used for fall gardening. Some brands of all of the winter vegetables are made for different climates or to be grown in milder temperatures. You can ask when purchasing these plants, if they are supposed to be used for cold weather crops.


Don’t forget your onions, garlic and asparagus. They should be planted between September and October and they should be even spaced apart to produce healthier plants in the spring. This way, as soon as spring starts, you can begin to harvest your freshly grown vegetables.


If you would like to take it one step further with your fall gardening, you can add an organic fertilizer to the soil. Manure, fish emulsion or compost is a great way to improve the soil and this helps to produce larger, healthier vegetables. Due to the cooler temperatures, you will not have to worry about pests and insecticides. This means that your vegetables will be considered organic and this will save you even more at the grocery store.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Your Own Survival Seed Bank

Now you can grow all the survival food you will ever need anywhere in the country with a kit that contains a special seed bank of hard to find, open pollinated... super seeds, grown by small, fiercely independent farmers.


Let's face it. If the stories coming out on the world's food supply are even half right, we've got real problems and they aren't going to go away quickly. Here are a couple stories that I ran across recently:


• WorldNet Daily cites strong evidence that some government agencies are stockpiling huge amounts of canned food.


• Jim Randas, former U.S. Intelligence officer, appeared on ABC telling Americans to start stockpiling food.


• Grocery store prices are rising faster than any time in U.S. history.


• Worldwide grain stocks are dropping precipitously as bio-fuels consume inventories... and on and on and on.


You don't have to be an Old Testament prophet to see what's going on all around us. A desperate lower class demanding handouts. A rapidly diminishing middle class crippled by police state bureaucracy. An aloof, ruling elite that has introduced us to an emerging totalitarianism which seeks control over every aspect of our lives.


As the meltdown progresses, one of the first things to be affected will be our nation's food supply. Expect soaring prices along with moderate to severe shortages by spring. If you don't have the ability to grow your own food next year, your life may be in danger. Supply lines for food distribution in this country are about three days, meaning a dependence on "just in time" distribution systems, which will leave store shelves empty in the event of even the smallest crisis.


Click Here for you Survival Seed Bank

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Get your Garden ready for next year

Give some thought to the size and location of your garden. Whatever your choices are, it’s wise to make them ahead of time. Plan for paths where you want to walk. Consider the type of plants you want, the conditions under which they thrive, and place your beds where the best combination of light, shade, moisture and drainage. Choose the right plant for each location.

The amount of shade cast by each plant in your garden should be considered when you plan your garden. Trees are most versatile, permitting plenty of light during the cool weather of early spring and fall, and providing shade in the summer. Evergreen trees and shrubs will provide year-round shade.


Low walls and evergreen hedges provide a pattern of part day shade and part day sun, except to the south side where sun falls all day. Buildings and high walls are opaque to light, providing dense shade to the north and very hot, bright conditions to the south. A building may provide protection for the tender plants in winter.


Remember the sun rises about 30 degrees higher in summer than winter. Observe how light falls in your yard over the course of a year, and plan your garden area to use this to your advantage in each season.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Starting your own Seeds


Starting seeds is actually an easy process, but success only comes through many years of trial and error. The obvious advantages are the cost savings and the variety as opposed to purchasing seedlings at the garden center.


Most vegetable and annual flower seeds need to be started 6-8 weeks prior to your last expected frost. The exact timing can be found on the seed packets, but 6 weeks is usually a good rule of thumb. Never sow seeds deeper than twice their diameter. For small seeds, place them on the surface of the growing medium, and then lightly sprinkle the mix over the seed until it is barely covered. Water from the bottom to avoid disrupting the seed germination process.


Seedlings need to be in simulated sunshine for at least 14 hours per day. They also need 8 hours of dormancy for good growth. You either need to invest in fluorescent bulbs called grow-lights which are as close to natural light as anything sold on the market, or substitute these with less expensive bulbs. By using one cool and one warm white fluorescent in combination, you will achieve the same effect.


If given the correct conditions, namely adequate moisture, strong light, and healthy soil, the seeds will germinate and grow to maturity with few or any problems. I grow my seedlings in seed trays with individual cell packs. After sowing the seeds, I cover them with a pre-fitted plastic dome. This is critical to keep the soil moist and the humidity high. But once the first seedlings sprout, it is important to remove the cover to avoid damping-off disease. This is a fatal fungus disease which only attacks young seedlings, and is caused by inadequate air circulation and non-sterile soil. That is why I advise all those who start seeds indoors to only use sterile, soilless mixes composed of vermiculite, perlite, and sphagnum moss. These mixes can be purchased at any reputable garden center.


Once the seedlings develop their second set of leaves, you can begin supplementing the plants with a diluted solution of fertilizer. Since you want to keep the nitrogen and salt levels low at this stage of growth, I highly recommend staying away from the chemical mixes. Rather, use a seaweed/fish emulsion formula at ¼ the recommended level. This will help the plants’ development and also help ward off disease. You can purchase these organic formulas at most garden centers or through online websites.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I love Green Onions

Growing green onions is fun and very good for your health. When I was growing up and my grandfather show me that onions are a great part of our diet. It has fiber and nutrients that are essential to our natural well being. I remember as a kid my grandfather would make bacon and eggs for breakfast and have sliced tomatoes with green onions. He ate these most every day and he was a very healthy man. But I always got caught up in his enthusiasm to grow his garden. Growing green onions in your garden is not only fun but it is beneficial to your health, and best of all it enhances the flavor of most foods.