Gardening Supplies – 5 Amazing Ways To Gather Information!

Gardening Supplies – 5 Amazing Ways To Gather Information!

You have shown that you are a proven green thumb and have happily immersed yourself in your favorite pastimes all these years. Now, you think the time is right to enter into a commercial gardening venture.


For this, you would like to know what sort of gardening materials is required. First, you will have to have a few questions answered.


Where And What Do You Wish To Grow?


Have you acquired a farm by now? If you are not proposing to purchase farmland, do you wish to grow the plants indoors? Are orchids or mushrooms what you have decided on growing? Do you plan to grow a wide range of plants? Alternatively, do you intend to simply set up a hothouse and begin your commercial practice on a small scale?


In order to give your dreams a solid foundation, you should have the answers to several questions. In case you have grown plants earlier as a leisure pursuit and now you wish to build on that, then the options are very clear. Then again, if you are inclined to increase your options, there are quite a few means by which such information can be collected.


Ways to gather information on commercial gardening resources:


Literature and books


Online browsing


Farmers’ bazaars


Commercial growers


Agricultural Cooperatives


Books


Several books are available in print, which deal with small-scale gardening and hydroponics. These would an excellent guide in settling on the right kind of commercial growing technique that you must adopt. If you are dwelling on growing plants that you have never attempted to grow before, then some quiet reading is the order of the day.


Online browsing


On the Department of Agriculture’s (US) website, there are several segments devoted to hobbyists and farmers. A complete section is dedicated entirely to sustainable agriculture and organic gardening. Besides, most websites dealing in commercial gardening materials provide appropriate instructions and display images online.


Farmers’ Bazaars


There is no better source of such information barring the growers. They can provide you with all the details you require. Visit the local farmers’ bazaar and let them know that you are keen on starting your own gardening venture, and what would be fine for using in your neighborhood. They could help you out with sourcing commercial garden resources locally and direct you towards suppliers who offer the best deals.


Commercial growers


They may not be very helpful in providing you with the required information regarding starting commercial operations. All things considered, you represent the competition. However, you could always ask them in a general way about the various hothouses and the diverse kinds of growing methods and the growers may be only too willing to flaunt their knowledge.


Agricultural Cooperatives


You can always become a member of the agricultural supply cooperatives, which not only lowers the cost but you also can get the information from the members. The Southern States Cooperative in the US supplies commercial gardening materials and fertilizers, besides other supplies.

Abhishek is a self-confessed Gardening addict! Visit his website http://www. Gardening-Master.com and download his FREE Gardening Report “Indoor Gardening Secrets” and learn some amazing Gardening tips for FREE! Create the perfect Garden on a shoe-string budget. And yes, you get to keep all the accolades! But hurry, only limited Free copies available!. http://www. Gardening-Master.com

Apartment Garden Update 4

The Cayenne Uprising! Even though my jalapenos flowered first it was too hot and they dropped their flowers (almost 100 °F or 38 °C) Now that its a little cooler the ones that survived are showing off. Aphids are a constant battle. Always checking under the leaves for them. Finaly got my first tomato flower but still no fruit. Cilantro and dill all but died. Rosemary is slow but actually growing. After the video I topped the basil and gave it a trim. I want to encourage it to bush out, not up. I don’t need it being to top heavy. I’ll have another update when we harvest our first pepper!
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Why Is Organic Farming Bad – If It Is?

Why Is Organic Farming Bad – If It Is?

Why is organic farming bad, if it is? We have been told that organic farming is good for our health. Proponents have trumpeted the message that organic farming is good for the environment. How could it possibly be bad?

It seems that, increasingly, life is being divided into traditional and alternative. Each side claims their methods to be better than the other’s. Each tries to win people to their side. Traditional schooling fights alternative schooling. Conventional medicine fights alternative medicine. Mainstream culture fights alternative subcultures.

Farming, too, is involved in a battle, conventional farming against organic farming. Environmentalists and those concerned with their health assure us that organic farming is preferable in many ways. But others argue that organic farming is bad.

Why is organic farming bad?

Research Results

In 2002, Swiss scientists at the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture published in “Scientist” a highly publicized study. Their study, which covered 21 years, compared four types of farming. Two of those types were organic farming. The other two types were conventional farming.

Reporters quickly stated that the study proved organic farming was more efficient. Organic farming’s advocates said the study showed that organic farming uses 50% less energy. The facts?

1. Conventional farming is 20 percent more productive than organic farming.

2. Crop yields were significantly lower in organic farming.

3. The above two facts meant energy savings in organic farming were actually only about 19 percent per unit of crop produced, not 50 percent.

4. The study did not test organic farming against the most current methods of conventional farming. If it had, experts say, the 19 percent advantage of organic farming would disappear.

5. Current conventional farming matches organic farming when it comes to environmental advantages. Both have beneficial insects, produce less pesticide and fertilizer runoff, and reduce soil erosion.

6. Food quality was almost identical in conventional and organic farming. Advocates of organic farming had long claimed their food was far superior.

7. Current conventional farming methods produce the same or greater yields mentioned in number 1 above.

This research does not, of course, conclude that organic farming is bad. On the face of it, the conclusion is more that organic farming is not very different from current conventional farming. There most be other reasons for people believing organic farming is bad.

Organic Farming Can Kill

Many took from the Swiss study a realization that, as Cambridge chemist John Emsley said, “the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’- [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”

Organic farming may supply food for small markets, but how can it feed starving nations? Its adversaries claim that current conventional farming is the only hope for these people. If we turn entirely to organic farming, they say, we will doom billions to die of starvation.

Challenging Organic Farming

Alex Avery, Director of Research and Education for the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues, recently published a new book, “The Truth About Organic Foods.” (2006) In this book, Avery offers an unemotional look at the odd origins and unscientific basis for organic farming.

Nobel Peace Prize Winning Agricultural Scientist, Dr. Norman Borlaug, says about this book, “The Truth About Organic Foods gives consumers a thorough and straight-forward explanation of why organic foods offer no real health or safety benefits. More importantly, Avery communicates why organic farming’s lower yields and reliance on scarce organic fertilizers represents a potential threat to the world’s forests, wetlands and grasslands. The book offers scientifically sound evidence that more-affordable conventional foods are healthy for families and also good stewardship of nature.”

Skimming Mr. Avery’s book, one finds statements that indicate:

1. Organic farming started in the 1920s when a German mystic advised use of only animal manure because synthetic fertilizers had no cosmic energy.

2. Soon, the wealthy decided manure-fertilized produce was better.

3. J.I. Rodale first published his “Organic Gardening Magazine” in 1942, and the organic farming / organic gardening movement was named.

4. In 2007, organic farming advocates still have no credible science to support their beliefs.

5. Organic farming does not avoid pesticides. About 5 percent a vegetable’s weight is natural pesticides, some of which are cancer-causing.

6. Foods from organic farming have more illness-causing bacteria. (The January 2007 issue of “Consumer Reports” showed that chicken from organic farming has 300% more Salmonella than that from conventional farming. University studies have found more bacteria in vegetables from organic farming than in vegetables from conventional farming.

7. If organic farming, which decries synthetic fertilizer, was chosen over conventional farming, we would have a choice. We could kill millions of people to reduce global food needs, or we could sacrifice wildlife habitat in the amount of millions of square miles so we could produce more manure.

Why is organic farming bad? Mr. Avery believes he has the answer.

Notwithstanding Mr. Avery’s new book, I am not sure whether organic farming is bad or not. It is often difficult to sort through rhetoric and find fact. I do know that my forefathers had large organic farms. The produce was good and it was nourishing. Before I can turn my back completely on organic farming and organic gardening, I need clearer evidence. You probably want to do more research, too.

© 2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about organic farming on a small scale at http://www.organicspringtime.com. Anna is posting new articles regularly, each one dealing with some facet of organic gardening. If you want to know how to make your own organic fertilizer, you will want to read Anna’s article on the subject.

Effective Way To Deal With Garden Pests

Effective Way To Deal With Garden Pests

We all know that one of the most disgusting things that can happen in gardening is to deal with garden pests. Sometimes, we are always guarding every petal of our flowering plants just to make it sure that they will be safe from attacks. Too often, we fail on this and we just see out plants having holes made by these pests. Slugs, worms, caterpillars, snails, are some pests that we have to deal with. Though, we can not make our garden to be totally pest-free, still it is better that you do something to even just minimize their damage.


One of the worst things that your garden may have are insects; they can live beneath the soil, piles of leaves or old weeds or in any other area. To be able to eliminate garden pests, or even just lessen them, on thing that you must do is to put out all things that can be used by these insects as their shelter. You need to remove old leaves, weeds and any other foreign matter. This garden pest control is effective for your garden improvement.


Another garden pest control strategy is, by using dormant way to keep under control destructive insects. It is best effective to use dormant spray for your dormant plants, this is usually on, between February and March. Dormant spray can make wonder for your garden. However, it needs to follow correctly all the instructions to wipe-out insects effectively.


Another pest problem, aside from insects, are birds. Sometimes, I found my self chasing them away but then, they are still returning. One thing you can do to deal with birds is to put bird feeder somewhere in your garden to divert there attention from destroying your garden because they eat what is in the bird feeder instead. Not only can bird feeder keep birds outside your garden but they can also add attraction.


If you see mount of dirt within your yard and your plants are slowly dieing, then gopher can be expected to have hit your garden. One effective method to get deal with this insect is to set traps. By locating their locations, their tunnel, you can set-up you gopher trapping device. Another way to control this kind of insect is to utilize smoke bombs, place them in the gopher tunnel to spread smoke in their hide-outs. You can also make an organic garden pest control.


If you think that your garden is being attacked with garden pests, do your best to establish a garden pest control strategy to make your garden free from this problem and achieve your goal.

Bercle George is an expert gardener and has published an excellent greenhouse gardening resource at http://www.greenhousemanagement101.com/

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden : How to Grow Squash in a Vegetable Garden

Learn how to grow squash in your vegetable garden in this free online video guide to vegetable gardening. Expert: Scott Reil Contact: www.safelawns.org Bio: Scott Reil is an accredited nurseryman and longtime horticulturalist with over two decades of experience in the field. Scott is now working for www.safelawns.org. Filmmaker: Christian Munoz-Donoso

Dealing With Caterpillars And Your Garden

Dealing With Caterpillars And Your Garden

Butterflies, especially the colourfully marked types are very pretty to watch as the undulate through the summer breezes but there are certain varieties that can cause losses in your vegetable garden.

The cabbage white butterfly

The main culprit is the cabbage white butterfly which is mostly attracted to a chemical emitted from the leaves of brassicas. The brassica group covers such vegetables as cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. The butterfly lands on these plants and in itself is harmless but the eggs it deposits are the problem, or what eventually emerges from these eggs. Emerging quite soon after are the dreaded caterpillars which are hairy and about 3 to 4 cm long.

Caterpillars

Caterpillars are the larvae or the young of the butterfly; this is the main feeding and growth stage of the butterflies’ life cycle. As most vegetable growers know caterpillars are very hungry and a small handful can turn a head of cabbage into a skeleton within a day or two. Infested leaves are quite toxic to animals and humans even if washed thoroughly.

Control methods

So how can you battle against the caterpillars, well there are various chemical and organic methods. The chemical methods are available in all good garden centres in the form of sprays, dusts and bug guns with names too numerous to mention. With cabbage, broccoli etc being food crops that you may grow at home organically to avoid chemicals you should try to tackle the menace organically. Cover your plants with sheer netting whilst the butterflies are around, if they cannot touch the plants then they cannot lay their eggs on them. Ensure the netting allows sufficient sunlight through to enable growth.

Companion plants

Try planting tomatoes and celery as companion plants close by as their scents tend to cancel out the scent emitted by brassicas therefore deterring cabbage white butterflies. Finally if all else fails try sending your cat or cats on holiday during the summer, you’ll be surprised how many songbirds start to visit your garden. Songbirds just love caterpillars.

For tips on garden snails and how to plant a garden, visit the Starting A Garden website.

Gardening Supplies – Ways To Become A Master Gardener!

Gardening Supplies – Ways To Become A Master Gardener!

Well, you have turned your leisure pursuit into a passion and you are at present considering turning into a master gardener and thus pursue your interest more intensely. But what exactly does this entail?


Most people make up their minds to upgrade their gardening skills and enroll for master gardener courses that extension agents and universities in Canada and America offer. These gardening programs provide the necessary information and practical experience in return for putting in volunteer hours. In that case, what sort of gardening supplies would a master gardener require for joining such a course?


Well, it will comprise of supplies for instruction purposes as well as gardening.


A few activities that need to be carried out are:


1. Addressing gatherings


2. Be present at or hold events


3. Carry out community projects or demonstrations


4. Convey information to students, peers or others


On top of the volunteer activities cited above, one will also have the opportunity to participate in training programs conducted by the University or the extension agent. The training provided can extend from vegetable and organic gardening, lawns, to the various means of getting rid of pests and weeds.


Consequently, one may wind up with a substantial quantity of gardening supplies of a master gardener, in the garden shed, due to extensive range of material dealt with.


Gardening Supplies of a Mater Gardener for Instructing

Evidently, displaying exhibits calls for some degree of resourcefulness and scheduling. Photocopying and paper costs are involved. If a community project is on the cards, then one needs to find out and purchase adequate plant material. Moreover, the transfer of the equipment and plant material has to be taken into account.


These days, a master gardener may also require a computer and software such as landscaping software or PowerPoint, in order to train students in the classroom environment. Turning into a master gardener does not indicate you just have to spend time in the grime and sunlight, but you have the responsibility of communicating the necessary information to other persons in the community.


Gardening Supplies of a Master Gardener Required for Gardening


If you are a master gardener, you need to spend many hours in the garden. Therefore, you need to be properly equipped with kneepads, garden shoes, hats, and gloves. As the season advances, you will also require insect repellents and sunscreen lotion. Gardening project supplies such as soil, plants, pesticides, mulching and fertilizers will have to be purchased during various periods.


In due course, a master gardener even acquires a car with ample storage space for moving these garden materials from one location to another. A pick up truck having a sizeable base is the ideal choice.


To make gardening simple and easy a variety of gardening implements need to purchased such as picks, hoes, spades, rakes and shovels together with garden power tools. In case more specific and detailed work such as planting bulbs needs to be done, then a bulb planter becomes an indispensable tool in the master gardener’s equipment collection. Everything hinges the location they are working on and the kind of projects being executed. But, a master gardener, for sure, will be engaged in a wide range of projects and will therefore require an extensive collection of gardening supplies.

Abhishek is a self-confessed Gardening addict! Visit his website http://www. Gardening-Master.com and download his FREE Gardening Report “Indoor Gardening Secrets” and learn some amazing Gardening tips for FREE! Create the perfect Garden on a shoe-string budget. And yes, you get to keep all the accolades! But hurry, only limited Free copies available!. http://www. Gardening-Master.com

Kitchen Garden magazine: Cucumber harvesting

In this clip, Kitchen Garden magazine editor Steve Ott gives some useful tips on harvesting cucumbers. The importance of regular harvesting to ensure continued fruit production is explained. See more on www.kitchengarden.co.uk

Planning on Growing Your Own Vegetables – Where to Start?

Planning on Growing Your Own Vegetables – Where to Start?

These days with large sites hard to come by and allotments much in demand, old gardeners or gardening junkies are no longer the sole exponents of GIY. No, many new entrants are young professionals, nature enthusiasts, people who are genuinely interested in getting closer to nature or reducing their dependency on mass market produce. Whilst others are experimenting by growing their own vegetables, almost like self sufficent micro farmers or even environmentalists, taking positive steps to reduce carbon footprint or better still growing for their own organic consumption and self satisfaction. Not surprising therefore to read in Press reports that the sale of vegetable seed has overtaken the sale of flower seed.

So if you are a potential GIYer and do intend starting a programme or project of growing your own vegetables, you might be interested in the following advice . So whether your motivation is to reduce air miles or taste organic food, there are some important points to consider when planning to start a vegetable garden.

Does size matter? No – not really, whether you have a pot, an old kitchen sink, a window sill or a sprawling site, growing your own vegetables is not only easy and exciting, it is also very rewarding.

Location – unless of course you enjoy longer walks through your garden, for practical reasons, the vegetable plot or kitchen garden should ideally be positioned nearer the house.
More importantly best to choose a position which permits the vegetable plot to enjoy a sunny aspect for much of the day. Although some vegetable produce will tolerate some shade (for example lettuce, runner beans etc), most won’t, so pick the site very carefully, pick a sunny and a sheltered position, avoid exposed windy sites. Other site aspects worth considering include picking a site where the prevailing ground conditions are level and free draining. Finally do bear in mind that good soil conditions will also be required, whether you prepare the ground by digging or mix in new soil or soil conditioners, most vegetables will require a growing depth of at least 300mm.

What to grow? Some might have favourites, some might stick with old reliable:
Potatoes are good, and probably one of the easiest to grow, they are also great at breaking down heavy soils. But do remember to give them plenty of water.
Leeks – easy to grow from seed and young leek tastes wonderful
Broad beans – very tasty when young but are very easy to grow
Sweetcorn – harvest when tassels are brown and boil in salted water
Radishes – many different varieties to choose from, but an ideal and fast growing crop from which to teach the children GIY
Runner Beans – quick growing, plentiful and pick and with lots of pick’n’grow fun

Deciding on the Layout – is important especially where space might be limited. For example you can grow some varieties at ground level whilst others such as French and Runner Beans can be trained to grow very effectively up trellising or bamboo canes. In larger sites, plan a series of long narrow beds which are easily accessible from both sides, but do remember to leave plenty of space between the growing beds, for example you should be able to move along pathways between beds with a wheelbarrow or more importantly if you like to get down on your hand and knees and get dirty, you’ll need at least 900mm – 1200mm spacing between the beds. Growing beds can be ground level on larger sites or raised on smaller sites or where soil conditions are poor. Raised beds can be developed using soil from other sites and mixing with compost, manures, soil conditioners etc. Also because they are raised you can ensure that drainage is good. As stated earlier, most vegetables prefer to grow in sunny areas, therefore it make sense to orientate beds on a north south axis, this ensures that all vegetable get sun each day. Be generous on spacing between beds, and consider a surface material so that all weather access is possible.

Ground Preparation – the better the soil, the better the performance, it is not impossible to provide good growing conditions. Vegetables require nutrients, water and oxygen. Soil plays a vital role in providing nutrients to plants. So it is important to prepare ground by digging to improve plants take up of nutrients. Alternatively if ground conditions are poor, you can use raised beds to provide better growing conditions for plants. In contrast to the ‘dig system’ the concept of using Raised Beds is sometimes referred to as the ‘No dig system’. Raised beds can be constructed from a variety of boards/timbers, recycled pallet boards, railway sleepers, pressure treated new sleepers, builder’s scaffolding boards all being popular choices.

Using crop rotation wisely – rotating the planting and growing of vegetables yields many benefits in terms of efficiency, bounty and disease/pest control. For example, Broccoli grows well in soils containing good levels of nitrogen, on the other hand, beans put nitrogen into the soil. Potatoes with the large canopy of foliage are very effective at suppressing weeds, whereas onions grow particularly very well in weed free soils. So from a crop rotational perspective, one would plant beans before of broccoli and potatoes before of onions.

Starting a rotation cycle – you should plan for at least three years, meaning the same vegetable will grow in the same spot every third year. However if you wish to also grow potatoes, better to use a four year rotation. The RHS has a very simple way to remember where each vegetable comes within the cycle: British Rail Late, where:

B = brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, turnips etc) was
R = roots (beetroot, parsnips, carrots)
L = legumes (peas, Broad bean, French bean, Runner bean, onions, garlic, chives)

How it works in practice is in area 1, you plant brassicas first year, roots in second year and legumes in third year. In area 2, you plant roots first year, legumes second year and brassicas third year. In area 3, you plant legumes first followed by brassicas and roots.

Maintenance – providing you have done good ground preparation, maintenance of the area shouldn’t be much more than adding a good fertiliser (Fish Bone & Blood) before planting or manure in Autumn. Watering is important especially during the early vulnerable stage, again bets done early in morning or late in evening and always check to make sure water is getting down to plant roots. Weed regularly to avoid unwanted competition for nutrients and water.

If at first you don’t succeed – try again. Sometimes it is only as a result of trial and error that you will discover what grows best for you in your area and conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask other local gardeners for tips or advice with particular problems, most of all, have fun in growing your own vegetables and join the burgeoning legion of GIY enthusiasts..

For more information, visit: http://www.owenchubblandscapers.com/news/entry/grow-it-yourself-where-to-start/

Professional garden designer and owner/manager of Dublin based landscaping company: ‘Owen Chubb Garden Landscapes Limited’.


Owen Chubb Garden Landscapes is an established and award winning garden landscaping company offering clients a complete landscaping service including Garden Design, Construction and Planting.


Owen Chubb Garden Landscapes Limited is a Full Member of the Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland (ALCI), the only professional body for landscape contractors. We are proud winners in 2005 and 2006 of the prestigious ALCI Awards for BEST PRIVATE GARDEN Design and Construction.


For more information: www.owenchubblandscapers.com

Types of Organic Fertilizers and Compost

Types of Organic Fertilizers and Compost

Fertilizing your plants may not be quite as simple as it would be if you used chemicals in your garden. Chemical fertilizers are certainly convenient. Most of them come in a form that only needs to be mixed with water and sprayed onto plants. But organic gardeners need a good, organic way of fertilizing their plants.


You need to pay careful attention to the package if you are going to purchase a pre-made organic fertilizer. Some of them are high in one of the major plant nutrients, but low in the other two. Plants generally need nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash. You should research which of these nutrients your particular plants need, so you can purchase the correct type.


Some common types of organic fertilizers include blood meal, fish emulsion, cottonseed meal, compost, manure, and seaweed fertilizer. Many of these can be purchased, but a lot of them can also be made at home.


You must be careful to fertilize when the ground is warm enough. Organic fertilizers need organisms in the soil to break them down and release the nutrients they contain. So the soil needs to be warm and moist so the organisms in the soil will be active.


1.Cottonseed Meal – Cottonseed meal is one common organic fertilizer. It is a byproduct of the cotton manufacturing process. It is great for acid-loving plants, because it has an acidic reaction in the soil. It generally contains about 7% nitrogen, 3% phosphorous, and 2% potash. Cottonseed meal is usually used for flowering plants like azaleas and rhododendrons.


2.Fish Emulsion – Fish emulsion is a very popular organic fertilizer. It is made of a blend of decomposed fish. It is a high-nitrogen fertilizer, and also contains a lot of trace elements than can be very beneficial for plants. Fish emulsion is a nice, balanced fertilizer.


3.Blood Meal – Blood meal is the blood of cattle that is collected from slaughterhouses and then dried and powdered. It is high in nitrogen, and care must be taken to ensure it does not burn plants. You should be very careful not to exceed the recommended dose, because this could really harm your plants. Blood meal is also high in several trace elements like iron.


4.Seaweed Fertilizer – Seaweed fertilizer in the form of a seaweed tea is often used by organic gardeners. Dried seaweed is added to water and steeped like tea, then applied to plants like other liquid fertilizers. This can be a very good fertilizer, and will not burn plants. It is very high in nutrients. Use a dried seaweed, and be sure it is not roasted or seasoned.


5.Sewer Sludge – Some people use sewer sludge for their fertilizer. It is made from recycled material from sewage treatment plants. You can purchase activated sludge, which is higher in nutrients, and you can buy composted sludge, which is not quite as good. It is generally found in a granular form. There is some concern over the safety of sewage sludge, because it can contain buildups of heavy metals like cadmium. This can build up in the soil in potentially harmful levels.


6.Manure – Manure is a well-balanced fertilizer, but it is relatively low in the nutrients it contains. It is a very popular fertilizer, but it just is not high enough in these important nutrients to make it a viable choice for home gardeners.

Paul Hata is active in various social and community programs aimed at providing equal access to education,health and jobs to all.Paul has over 10 years experience in managing a multi-million dollar advertising company.Paul can be reached at – EarlyPlanet.com

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