May
07
2014

Drip System Problems and Maintenance

Drip systems are one of the biggest time savers in any garden. They are also easy to design and install and are relatively inexpensive. Once set up, plants are fed regularly and precisely on the schedule you choose. In my own gardens I have found that not only do drip systems save me a whole lot of time but they have also saved my garden from sure death when life gets busy and I don’t have time to spend with … Continue Reading

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Mar
31
2014

How to Prevent Early Spring Flowering

Growing outdoors successfully hinges on how happy your plants are. Giving them a good start from day one makes a big difference, as well as the timing of when you decide to put your plants outside. But when is too early to plant your garden? This depends greatly on your geographic location and sun exposure of your garden location. The general consensus in planting zones north of Central California is to put your plants outside around memorial day weekend or … Continue Reading

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Sep
10
2013

How to Prevent Plant Diseases

Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and he may have been referring to plant health and disease prevention. Rather than discussing the vast array of grey black fuzzy brown wilting diseases lets focus on prevention. It’s far easier. Light, air, and water are the most important factors to plant health. A healthy plant in prime conditions will be far less likely to fall victim to disease. Plant health depends on good light and … Continue Reading

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Jul
12
2013

Am I Over Watering My Plants?

Watering potted plants during the summer months can definitely be tricky. In high light and high temperature situations, with transpiration, evaporation, and water utilized during the photosynthetic processes taken into consideration, most plants need a healthy dose of fresh water daily. Although the leading cause of death among potted plants is under watering, symptoms of over watering can be similar and hard to distinguish as times. In both instances,  leaves curl, can yellow, and drop from the plant.  Usually an … Continue Reading

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Jun
09
2013

Caring for Transplanted Plants

This is a continuation of How to Transplant Cuttings and Seedlings. Once your plants have been placed in their new home it is not uncommon, during the first week, for your plants to show signs of stress. After about a week you should start to see them take to their new environment with thriving new growth. A healthy vigorous vegetative growth phase is key to having a bountiful, successful harvest. Here are a couple things that will assist in boosting your … Continue Reading

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Jun
04
2013

Vitamin B1 and Your Garden

Anyone can improve upon nature by providing their garden with specific plant vitamins that assist in steady, healthy, and (most importantly) rapid growth rates. Researchers have demonstrated that plants naturally produce Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B-1, in the foliage and transport it to the root zone. There it is utilized by root tissues to assist in new growth or cell generation. Additionally, symbiotic organisms such as beneficial bacteria and fungi use Vitamin B-1 to regulate their metabolism. In this … Continue Reading

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May
02
2013

What Is the Difference Between Organic and Mineral Based Fertilizers?

There is much debate around the issue of organic fertilizer vs. mineral based (inorganic, all natural) fertilizers and the preference of one or the other. Some folks will argue that inputs sourced from living things (organic) are better for the land while rock sourced (inorganic) counterparts are better for large scale commercial food production, but there are many conflicting opinions as to the proper route and both seem to have their faults, and both have their merits. Which one is … Continue Reading

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May
01
2013

How to Transplant Cuttings and Seedlings

Spring is here which means anyone with a garden is bound to do some type of transplanting.  A well executed transplant is one key to having a bountiful harvest.  Whether you garden in soil, soilless, or hydroponics, there are a few helpful hints that will make this transition nice and easy for you and your garden.  The number one goal when transplanting any full grown plant or newly rooted cutting or seedling is to reduce or eliminate “transplant shock”.  We … Continue Reading

Apr
25
2013

How to Organically Control Caterpillars in Your Garden

A common pest to most outdoor and greenhouse gardens are caterpillars. These are ravenous feeders that, when left unchecked, do lots damage. There are a few precautions that you can take that will defeat these quickly and safely. First step is knowing what to look for to identify caterpillar activity. One sure way to tell is when you see your flowers partially eaten and small black specks are left around the area. Those are the droppings of the caterpillar and … Continue Reading

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Apr
01
2013

Cold Frames for a Head Start To Spring Gardening

Cold Frame Basics The term “cold frame” typically refers to a low profile covered structure used to protect plants from the elements. Often cold weather, and excessive wetness or moisture can hinder the growth of small plants – so a cold frame can be a viable solution to nurture the plants to a size where they can withstand the elements. As far as greenhouses go, the term cold frame actually has more than one meaning. Basically, the different groups that … Continue Reading

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Mar
04
2013

Managing Spider Mites in your garden

Spider mites are one of the most common garden pests and can be found feeding on the leaves and stems of vegetables, plants, fruit trees, and vines.  Spider mite control becomes increasingly difficult once the pest has been well established in the garden so early detection is very important.  Although related to insects, mites are not insects but members of the arachnid class along with spiders and ticks.  The spider mite also known as “web-spinning mite” is the most common … Continue Reading

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