Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to Plant Garlic From ClovesGarlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment. It is a member of the onion family. Widely used as a flavor in cooking, alternatively garlic can be eaten raw and proven to have multiple health benefits.

It has a rich source of Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Garlic has long been proven to boost the immune system by prevent or reducing the severity of common illnesses such as the flu and cold. There are further medical studies that also prove that garlic reduces blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.

Sowing garlic is easy and rewarding experience. By growing your own garlic you will be eating fresh organic produce that hasn't been imported. Garlic is propagated by planting the individual cloves in the ground.

Here's a step by step guide for sowing garlic:

Step 1: Prepare soil for planting

Garlic grows best in loose, well drained soil. Typically a pH of 6.0 to 7.5 is ideal for growing garlic. Garlic needs plenty of nitrogen, adding organic fertilizers such as manure is ideal. So turn over your soil to aerate it, add your fertilizer, I recommend using horse manure and a slight amount of blood and bone meal.

Step 2: Sowing the garlic

Split the garlic bulb into cloves, plant the garlic in a sunny, well drained spot with spacing about 10-12cm. Plant cloves approximately 5cm deep with root (flat part of the clove) facing down

Step 3: Water

Water well and fertilizer throughout. Grass clippings lightly sprinkled following sowing to maintain moisture in the soil and reduce the potential for weeds to grow.

Pests:

Garlic suffers from very few pests or diseases. Some of the common problems associated with growing garlic are (but not limited to) White Rot, Nematodes and Thrips. The symptoms of White Rot cause yellowing and eventual die back of leaves which leads to fungal growth at the bulb base. Nematodes live and reproduce inside the garlic plant eating parts of the stems, leaves and bulbs. Subsequently, this will lead to stunted growth and a poorly established root system. Thrips suck the leaf sap leading to discolored and distorted tissue that slow growth and bulb production.

Harvesting:

Garlic is typically harvested from 17 to 25 weeks from sowing. The leaves will typically turn brown, and the flower stems (if present) will begin to soften. One bulb can be inspected by removing the soil around it while looking for clearly defined cloves and bulbs should be full size. Any bulbs that have split are still fine to eat but won't be able to be stored for long.

Storage:

Allow garlic to dry by hanging in a dark and dry room for approximately one week. Once dry, remove all leaves and stems leaving a remaining length of approximately 2cm from the bulb. Do not wash off dirt or separate cloves as this reduces the life of the clove. Store bulbs in any way that allows air circulation around each bulb at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Enjoy!

How to Care for Orchids IndoorsIt is commonly known that orchid flowers are very beautiful and extremely various. Tropical orchids are cultivated as home plants all over the world, and their popularity is growing constantly.

Orchid biology is often wonderful and tricky in some places. The orchids are so responsive to the care that they may be compared with animals. As only careful parents can manage to grow good children, good plant growing requires careful grower. At the same time looking after orchids such as Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Cymbidium and some other species does not require a lot of specific care compared to other flowers growing indoors.

If you are wandering how to care for orchids, firstly you should pay attention to a biology of a particular orchid genus you will grow. All orchids have some similarities, but also there are a lot of differences among different species. For example, many orchids have a rest period, when they should be watered much rarely and kept at lower temperature. Dendrochilums have a rest period from April to September, while other species are resting in autumn or winter. At the same time there are orchid species which don't have any rest period. All of them require uniform watering through all year. Also different indoor orchids grow best at different temperatures. There are "warm", "moderate" and "cool" orchids.

By applying some techniques you can, for example, get an orchid to bloom again. At the same time there are orchids which will be reblooming naturally every season.

Different orchid species have different ways of propagation. Usually orchids can be easily propagated by division, when they are large enough. Other methods of propagation are not so common, and usually require additional care and sometimes even lab equipment.

First people trying to grow orchids had a lot of trouble, because they usually tried to cultivate orchids in pots with a soil. Most of the orchids with beautiful flowers are epiphytic, this means they grow at trees, but they are not parasitic. They only use a tree as a support to grow on it. That is way most house orchids have to be grown not in pots with a soil. They should be grown in pots filled with substances such as a bark and a moss. Different substances have different amount of nutrients, and different capability of water retention, so how often an orchid should be watered and fed depends on a substance.

5 Awesome Gardening Tips for InspirationGardening for some is a hobby, for others it's a passion. Either ways, gardening demands patience, carefulness and a positive attitude. But knowing some tips and tricks always comes in handy. If you are a beginner looking for some guidelines or if you're an expert who is trying to figure out where have you been going wrong, this article is for you. We have gathered some expert gardening tips that will help you take your gardening experience to a whole new level.

Prepare the Soil well

Plants grow in soil, the soil is what nourishes and nurtures them and provides support to the roots to grow. Therefore, it is very important that you carefully prepare the soil before planting anything in it. Take into account the demands of your plant and the soil type that it tends to do well in. if your soil is not up to the standard, treat it. Divide the soil among different kind of plants that you are planning to grow according to their requirements. The best kind of compost to feed your soil is leaves. Leaves make for the best fertilizer and are totally natural. Also, they are abundant in any garden, so use them to your advantage.

Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead of your plants. Take note of their growth period and the maximum size that they can achieve once mature. This is because a plant, planted without planning can lead to size constraints and no one wants to go through the hassle of relocating their plants. Moreover, plan the location of your plants in your garden according to their life cycles. If you are growing vines, plan what you want them to climb; this will increase the symmetry and will add to the beauty of your garden.

Tool cleaning is important

Sharp and clean tools make gardening easier and faster as compared to blunt and dirty ones. Always keep your tools in shape so that they may come in handy in case of a garden emergency. Allocate some time from your gardening time to clean and sharpen your tools regularly.

Regularly check for pest infestations

Pest infestations are always easier to avoid if a gardener is able to identify harmful pests before they have reproduced tremendously in his garden. Therefore, it is important that you schedule regular inspections of your garden. If you notice any signs like wilting plants or eaten leaves, take them into account immediately. Look out for pests that may be causing them and do your research on finding and controlling them.

Keep evolving

You just cannot keep growing the same thing over and over again forever, as a gardener. It will not only bore you out of your socks but will make any extraordinary garden seem dull after a little while. Find new varieties that may interest you. When a plant dies, look out for a replacement that you have never planted before. Try new techniques of planting like grafting. Experiment with your garden. This will not only polish your skills but will keep you motivated to put in more and more effort into gardening.

How To Grow And Care For A Papaya TreeA perennial tree, papaya grows best in tropical, as well as subtropical regions, which do not experience freezing temperatures and frost. The fruits of the papaya tree tend to take several different kinds of shapes. Irrespective of the shape that they take, one thing that is certain is that they will always be delicious, so much so that you will find yourself becoming hooked on them.

Generally, growing a papaya tree, or any tree for that matter, tends to come naturally to a number of people. If you are one of these lucky few who can grow this tree where you live. Therefore, you must run down to the store and buy some papaya seeds for yourself.

If you are thinking of growing a tree, then read on to learn more about how to grow a papaya tree.

Growing Papaya Trees

Generally, these trees are cultivated from seeds, which are found inside the fruit. Any papaya fruit bought or otherwise, will do the trick. You can scoop out the seeds and use them.

When sowing these seeds, put in more than a few, to ensure germination. Ensure that the seeds receive sufficient sunlight and, in a matter of a couple of weeks, you will be able to see tiny seedlings emerging. Once these seedlings turn into fully fledged papaya trees, in five or six months, they will begin to flower.

The planting location of the tree is an extremely important factor to consider. Place the tree in your garden where it is protected from the wind, as well as the cold weather. When learning how to grow papaya trees, people tend to forget that they need a great deal of sunlight.

Well-drained soil too is extremely important, since wet conditions cannot be tolerated by them.

Seeds bought from a papaya store will also help in this regard.

Caring for the Papaya Trees

When considering growing a papaya tree, you will need to pay close attention to caring for the tree as well. Learning how to grow papaya trees is just half the battle; the other half is dealing with how to care for them, and making sure that they grow well.

In order to ensure that the young plants thrive in the soil, you should add a fertiliser, once every 14 days. The older ones require less maintenance, with fertiliser needing to be added just once a month.

A papaya store, bought or otherwise, should help satiate your craving for papayas, until delicious ones start growing on your tree. However, nothing will beat the sweet taste of the papayas that you have grown yourself.