On many occasions, we've been tempted to grow our own potatoes. They're fairly low maintenance, can be grown in a pot or in the ground, last a fairly long time if stored properly, and can be very nutritious (high in potassium and vitamin C). Here's more incentive: according to this article, you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 sq. feet. Learn how after the jump...
Despite what many people think, gardening is a year round activity. Planting, fertilizing, and pruning are best done at different times of the year depending on the zone in which you live and whether you're dealing with annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs, trees, or bulbs. The gardening calendar breaks up the year into 6 parts: spring, early summer, late summer, fall, early winter, and late winter. If you want to skip all the verbiage, you can go straight to the download now . Within each of these seasons you'll get tips on how to care for: annuals, perennials, vines, bulbs, shrubs, trees, lawns and groundcovers.
To help you select the plants that prefer your climate, use the "Zones of Hardiness Map" published by the United States Department of Agriculture. This map divides the United States and Canada into 11 zones. Because winter cold is, in most regions, the single greatest threat to plant survival, the zones are divided according to the average monthly temperature they experience locally. Plant descriptions in catalogs and labels typically refer to these hardiness zones to specify the areas in which any given plant will thrive. Once you have identified the zone in which your garden is located, purchase only plants recommended as reliably hardy there.
Studies show that magnesium and sulfur, two major components of Epsom salt, may help plants grow greener with higher yields and more blooms. Magnesium creates an environment conducive to growth by helping seeds to germinate, increasing chlorophyll production and improving phosphorus and nitrogen uptake. Why Epsom Salt Works Magnesium and sulfur are two major components of Epsom salt. Magnesium is a critical mineral for seed germination.
*Why I Use Epsom Salt in the Garden* By: LL4e 14 June 2004 I wanted to show everyone what a difference it makes with and without with only water being added all of these plants was planted on the same day and time. I am showing you ones I am growing with the sq. ft. method. All of these photo's were just taken today. I do have several baby tomatoes now.
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Forcing will take about 12 weeks for the early blooming bulbs (snowdrop, crocus, daffodil) and about 16 weeks for the tulips. Longer cold storage will result in taller flowers, while storage time shorter than 13 weeks will result in smaller plants and sometimes aborted flowers. A good rule of thumb: when you see the shoots 2 to 3 inches above the soil and fine white roots emerging from the drainage holes, it’s time to bring the pots out of cold storage. At this stage of development, move the bulbs to a cool location, such as an unheated entryway or closed off back bedroom, where the temperatures are in the ’50s. Bulbs should be placed in indirect lighting and should not be allowed to dry out.
Soil is often viewed as the boring part of gardening. While garden soil will never be glamorous or even as interesting as choosing plants, there is a whole world under our Wellingtons that literally and figuratively is the foundation for our gardens. New gardeners are cautioned to put money and effort into improving their soil before they even consider planting, but few appreciate the wisdom in what they are hearing until they watch their new plants struggling for survival and demanding more and more food and water. In organic gardening, you learn to feed the soil and let the soil feed the plants. The soil found in a typical yard will be about 90% mineral residue and only about 10% decayed organic matter . Yet it sustains a community of insects and microorganisms.