How to grow your own food

How to Grow Your Own Food: A Step-by-Step Guide Got a big enough garden or by any chance a fruit tree farm? Great, you are fortunate enough to grow your own, healthy food. Growing food yourself is pretty enjoyable. It helps you spend some time in nature and saves a lot of bucks on daily […]

our selection of garden tools

Easi Grip Garden Tools Set of 3 Price: $49.95 Easi Grip Long Reach Garden Tools Set of 4 Price: $189.95 Touch ‘N Flow Pro Watering Wand 36 inch Price: $27.95 Dramm Colormark 30 inch Rain Wand Price: $38.95 Men’s Bionic Reliefgrip Gardening Gloves Price: $29.95 Easi Grip Long Reach Garden Tools Fork Price: $49.95 Easi […]

Caterpillar with red horn

The caterpillar with red horn is also known as the tomato hornworm, and if you are growing Tomatoes its almost a sure thing that you have to meet them.   If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, chances are good that you’ve dealt with these green caterpillar pests. There are two main garden pest species, tomato hornworms and tobacco hornworms. which […]

Tomato Seed Saving Tips and Tricks

Originally from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanOrganicGardener/~3/hI9SJjQA5v0/

Saving tomato seeds is a popular tradition amongst most gardeners. They take their most prolific plants, and favorite varieties and pay special attention to harvesting seed for the following year.

Hybrid vs. Heirloom and why it matters: Hybrid plants are a combination of two different sets of genetic material. If a hybrid tries to mate with another plant, even another plant of the same hybrid type, it may not be able to produce any fruit at all and will usually fail to show the desired characteristics of the mother plants. For example, if a large-fruited, disease-resistant tomato plant were allowed to mate with another similar plant, the offspring might have small fruits and lack disease resistance – the benefits of creating the hybrid, to begin with, would have disappeared in producing the next generation.

Heirloom varieties have been passed down from generation to generation and have stabilized over time. They will produce fruit true-to-type, like that of that plant it came from. Repeat variety and quality can be expected as long as you avoid any cross-pollination. Learn MORE About Hybrid vs. Heirloom Plants

There are several ways that you can save your heirloom tomato seeds, but here are two of the most popular techniques. 

Fermentation Method:

  1. Choose a beautiful, healthy fruit that is slightly over-ripe.
  2. Slice open.
  3. Gently squeeze seeds into a cup.
  4. Add a small amount of water, just enough to cover the seeds.
  5. Cover the cup with a kitchen towel and make sure they don’t dry out. Let ferment for 3-7 days. (Mold will begin to grow, this is normal and expected.)
  6. Rinse well, and allow to fully dry on a paper towel.
  7. Store in a cool, dry place such as an airtight bag or seed vault.

Non-Fermentation Method:

  1. Choose a beautiful, healthy fruit that is slightly over-ripe.
  2. Slice open.
  3. Gently squeeze seeds onto a paper towel.
  4. Let fully dry for about 1 week.
  5. Store in a cool, dry place such as an airtight bag or seed vault.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Tomato Hornworms

Hi, as an organic gardener I grow organically, for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. It’s summertime and the garden is in full swing but doesn’t rest on your laurels it’s time to check for pests such as the tomato hornworm. Tomato hornworm […]

Propagation and Transplanting: How to Avoid Transplant Shock

I want to talk to you about the transplant shop. It’s, not that dramatic, but transplant shock is a gardening term for bummed out plants, specifically during the days following a move from one container to another. Growth slows to a crawl and your plants, just mope around, like moody teenagers, faking an illness to […]

Opuntia mesacantha

article source is plants.ces.ncsu.edu Common Name(s): Barbary Fig Cochineal Prickly Pear Drooping Prickly Pear Drooping Tree Pear Prickly-pear Spreading Prickly Pear Prickly-pear is a native evergreen succulent found in coastal dunes, sandy riverbeds, and pine forests. It is a fast-growing, shrubby cactus with heights of up to 20 feet (ca. 6 m). Its short trunk […]

10 Helpful Gardening Tips That Actually Helped This Former Plant Killer

Originally from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanOrganicGardener/~3/IUrcfMpfzLg/

If you’ve ever failed at something, we know it can be hard to want to try again. Don’t give up! Even the best of the best have killed a plant or two in their days. Read on to learn from this one gardener’s mistakes!

“One of my go-to fantasies when life is tough is that I’ll run away to start a vegetable farm. I’ll spend long days covered in sweat, soil caked underneath my fingernails, satisfied with the knowledge that I was able to feed myself through hard work and a deep understanding of the natural world. Given our current circumstances—living in an unprecedented global pandemic resulting in much more time spent at home and much more stress when we have to venture to the grocery store—this fantasy is seeming particularly appealing.

The problem with that fantasy is that I am an absolutely rubbish gardener. Name an indestructible plant and I have probably watched it shrivel. Zucchini and mint, for example, which I remember being warned would “take over my garden” if I wasn’t careful—didn’t last a week in my Arizona soil. It became a bit of a running joke. Every summer I’d try again, and every summer I’d fail.

Then I moved to Washington State, where the weather was friendlier and the foliage was lush. I managed to eat a few tomatoes from my potted plant last year and suddenly felt like a new woman. Maybe I could do this gardening thing.”

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.self.com/story/gardening-tips

What Do Praying Mantis Eat: Are They Good For Your Garden

Originally from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanOrganicGardener/~3/M7ZbdC-OM38/

You walk onto your front porch. A praying mantis perches on a porch rail or table.

It appears something like an odd-looking animated baby string bean, propped up with green toothpicks.

As you move, it turns its triangular head toward you.

You shift first one way, then another, and the gaze from its large compound eyes follows you with ease.

You become slightly alarmed. This creature appears almost human, you think.

An insect closely allied to the grasshopper family and known scientifically as an orthopterous insect of the family Mantidae, order mantodea.

This bug is not poisonous and will cause you no harm, but to other members of the insect world, it is a deadly killer.

It is the only known bug that can direct its gaze wherever it wishes, moving the head freely in all directions.

Look for it in your vegetable garden, among your flowers, or wherever insects are attracted.

The Praying Mantis are very beneficial insects that make a career of eating large numbers of pest insects.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://plantcaretoday.com/praying-mantis.html?fbclid=IwAR3atYi2iKieLm0AJsDxEaM0CevctglPx8khW7uJc7Va2Pseg4GDgZmEsaQ

Horticultural Therapy Cultivates Healing and Hope for Seniors

Originally from http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2020/01/14/horticultural-therapy-cultivates-healing-and-hope-for-seniors/

horticultural_therapy_for_seniors_b_v_stael_urbangardensweb

This post is contributed by Canadian horticultural therapist, Bianca van der Stoel. Horticultural therapists are educated in plant science, human science, horticultural therapy principles and have experience in the application of horticultural therapy practices. 

The first time Luella and I Read More…

The post Horticultural Therapy Cultivates Healing and Hope for Seniors appeared first on Urban Gardens.

How to Grow Competition-Sized Pumpkins!

Originally from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UrbanOrganicGardener/~3/3a3rAifRjoU/

Do you want to grow MASSIVE pumpkins? Are you interested in making this a new hobby or perhaps you’re wanting to take it to the “next level” and start entering competitions? Either way, we’ve gathered some of the best tips and tricks to help you start growing MASSIVELY large, competition-size pumpkins right in your own backyard!

First, you want to make sure you’re starting with the correct type of pumpkin. Sure, you can always bend genetics, slightly, but you’ll have better success if you choose an heirloom pumpkin that organically grows larger than most varieties. We highly recommend if you’re just getting started to try the BIG MAX or ATLANTIC GIANT variety.

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin – The Atlantic Giant pumpkin has been known to grow over 1,500 pounds!  Without special treatment, the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin can grow up to 200 to 300 pounds – easily.

Big Max Pumpkin – The Big Max pumpkin produces an extremely large (60″+ diameter and weighs 100+ lbs.) bright orange pumpkin.

Once you have chosen your variety of pumpkin, you’ll need ideal growing conditions. Depending on your location, garden type, and grow zone many factors will come into play but let’s start off with the basics:

Temperature:

  • In order to germinate properly, pumpkin seeds generally need temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.
  • Ideal soil temperatures should fall into the 70-90 degrees F. range.

Sunlight: 

  • Pumpkins need A LOT of sunlight to grow and develop. Pick a location with FULL SUN, and stay away from anything that gets partial shade.

Soil Quality:

  • Not only is the type of pumpkin you choose to grow, and the location important, but let’s not skip over one of the MOST important factors to growing a successfully LARGE pumpkin…the soil! Your pumpkins will do best if you choose a location that has either a slightly acidic or neutral soil. Make sure the ground is loose and drains well. Loam soil is best.

Spacing:

  • If you’re planning on growing a LARGE pumpkin, keep in mind that you’ll need up to 1200 sq. feet for just ONE pumpkin! Spacing is everything, so don’t crowd them together. The larger you want to grow, the further apart the spacing should be.

Watering

  • The larger the pumpkin gets, the more water it will need! It’s not uncommon for competition-sized pumpkins to use up to 500 gallons of water per week! After watering, the ground should be evenly moist, but never soggy. Like many fruits, try to keep the water off the foliage of the plants. This will discourage disease.

Feeding / Fertilizing:

  • Early in spring, you’ll want to add something like aged manure or compost into your soil. In the fall, lime can help bring the soil back to neutral if it’s more on the acidic side. During your growing season, apply aged compost or manure to fertilize.
  • Fertilize with fish emulsion early on, and then as the pumpkin starts to develop, switch to phosphorus or bone meal. Near the end of the growing season move onto potassium or greensand.

Growing/ Harvesting:

  • Pinch off all flowers in the beginning to encourage growth. Until your plant reaches about 10 feet long, there should be no flowers left on the plant. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch.
  • Once your vine is 10 feet long, allow it to start setting fruit. Remove ALL but the largest pumpkins for the next few weeks.
  • Try placing your “strongest/largest” pumpkin on a piece of cardboard to help repel any insects that live in the soil.
  • Stake down any large vines or bury them to help keep them from rolling.
  • Keep the area you’re growing in “weed-free” so your pumpkin plant won’t have to compete for nutrients in the soil.
  • As the pumpkin matures, keep it shaded to help prevent it from overheating or being scalded by the sun. This also will help prevent splitting or cracking.
  • Harvest your pumpkin RIGHT before your first frost, and if you’re planning on entering any competitions be careful to harvest before any cracks appear as this might disqualify you and your pumpkin.

Ready to start growing MASSIVE PUMPKINS? SHOP the BEST SEEDS HERE!

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