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Basic Tips: Ten Vegetables Urban Gardeners Can Grow With Limited Space

Cultivating vegetables on a balcony garden is exciting and fun. It is good for your health and your wallet. For those who have limited space, there are a number of do-it-yourself vertical garden solutions. Using a little ingenuity you can transform your terrace in a beautiful and productive urban garden. But what to grow? Here’s a list of ten easy to grow vegetables for beginners. Put down your beer and dig in.


1) Tomatoes

Native to South America, the tomato is a plant creeping vine and that is why we need, for most varieties, the installation of a support, such as a trellis or cage. It is rich in nutrients such as niacin, potassium and phosphorus as well as antioxidants such as lycopene, carotene and anthocyanins. They also are good sources of vitamins A, C and E. Thanks to their juicy pulp, tomatoes add a charge of taste and flavor to a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta, and sandwiches.

After the final winter frost, choose location with good exposure to sunlight and make sure that the acidity of the soil pH is between six and seven. To increase the pH level, add lime to the soil. To decrease the pH level, add sulfur. Get yourself some good compost (or better yet make it yourself) and mix it with the soil. Dig a hole for each seed, distancing them from one by about one foot to allow room for the plants to grow. Cover the seeds with soil and press lightly. Spray your plants a couple of times a week with a spray bottle.


2) Radishes

A native to parts of China and Japan, radishes are mainly cultivated for their roots, the edible part, which can be various colors (red, white, green, purple), shapes, and sizes. Radishes are a great source of potassium, folic acid, magnesium and calcium, and are commonly used in salads, both as a condiment and as a simple seal.

The best time to plant is from April to July and to prosper require a soil with a pH of six or seven. The seeds should be planted about half an inch deep, taking care to leave enough space between them to allow a full growth of the plants. The radish is an annual plant with a very fast growing cycle.


3) Zucchini

This elongated vegetable, similar to a cucumber, made its appearance in Europe around 1800. It has a low calorie content and is rich in potassium, folic acid and manganese. Zucchini can be boiled, fried, steamed or cooked left to dry in the sun. They can be an excellent side dish, a savory stuffing, or delicious appetizer.

Zucchini should be planted from March to May, laying two or three seeds per hole. The holes will be larger or smaller depending on the variety selected. The holes for winter varieties should be slightly larger than summer varieties. Holes should be spaced from each other by at least 40 inches and filled with compost. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil about eight inches deep. If you water abundantly every day, you will see your plants germinate in a couple of weeks.


4) Beets

The beet is a biennial plant and has a fleshy root which can be boiled, eaten in salad, or alone. Betaine, one of the major nutrients in this vegetable, which gives it an intense red or purple color, is known to improve cardiovascular health.

The first thing to do is prepare the seeds by soaking them in water at room temperature for one day. Prepare the soil and plant the seeds individually, leaving some spacing between them. Water them at least once a day.


5) Carrots

Carrots originate from the temperate regions of Europe and is a biennial herbaceous species rich in vitamin A (beta-carotene, which is responsible the characteristic orange color), B, C, PP (niacin), D and E, as well as minerals, starches, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Carrots are a delicious and healthy snack. They can be steamed, baked or boiled and are a great ingredient for cakes.

Sowing can be done from January to October, according to the varieties and your location. The holes in loose soil should be about half an inch deep, one or two feet apart, and contain a couple of seeds each. The soil should always be quite moist but the amount of water required will decrease as the plants reach maturity.

We’re halfway through. Now is a good time for a beer break.


6) Spinach

Spinach, native to southwestern Asia, was introduced to Europe around 1000 C.E., although it only became increasingly important as a food during the nineteenth century. This plant will produce thick green leaves, rich in iron and calcium.

Prepare the soil for planting using the compost and bury the seeds to a couple of three quarters of an inch in depth. Nitrogen rich soil will yield tender leaves. Space plants twelve inches apart. This gives leaves room to reach full size. Water abundantly.


7) Peas

Peas, natives of the Mediterranean and Near East, is an annual herbaceous plant of the Fabaceae family and is a good source of vitamins A, B, and C.

Mix soil with compost rich in nutrients. Space the seeds of a few inches apart and plant them at a depth of one or two inches. Watering abundantly will yield thriving peas.


8) Peppers

The pepper is an annual plant in the Mediterranean climate and perennial in warm countries of South America where it originated. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients such as thiamine, folic acid, and manganese and can be eaten both cooked and raw.

Fertilize the soil with compost with the addition of Epsom salts, which will make it richer in magnesium and help the peppers to grow healthily. Since peppers grow best where it is warm, place the seeds on the surface. Water frequently, keeping the soil moist, otherwise your peppers will have a bitter taste after harvest.


9) Lettuce

Lettuce is an annual plant with more or less broad leaves, ovoid or elongated shape, and depending on the variety, has different shades of color ranging from green to yellowish to red.

In ancient Egypt it was considered an aphrodisiac. Lettuce is a good source of folic acid and vitamin A. It is used as the main ingredient in most salads. This leafy vegetable, of which there are dozens of common varieties, can also be stuffed with various ingredients.

Before cultivating, fertilize the soil with nutrients and work it by removing any stones or debris. Make sure that the seeds are planted at a depth of between three to six inches and water every morning.


10) Onions

The first traces of this vegetable date back to the Bronze Age. It is a biennial herbaceous plant with a fibrous root system. They are rich in fiber, folic acid, and vitamin C. These bulb vegetables add flavor to a wide variety of food products, such as sauces, soups, salads and much more.

The soil must be very loose and without debris in order to allow the growth of the bulb. Enrich your soil with compost prior to planting. Plant an inch deep in the soil and approximately half an inch or more apart. If planting rows, allow at least one and a half to two feet of space between plants. Keep the soil moist until seedlings come up or until plants take hold. In well-drained soil, onions need a thorough soaking of one inch of water per week for best results.

Happy Gardening! (if you can stay sober for a bit)

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Potato Tips

Pretty Potatoes
Pretty Potatoes

Potatoes need rather loose, or sandy, soil. Compacted soil will hinder tuber growth.

Potatoes need plenty of water. For each pound of potatoes produced about 130 gallons of water is required. Potatoes have a root system which goes deep which might cause the plant not to get a lot of water. Frequent irrigation is essential, especially in summer (“frequent irrigation” is not a reference to your outlandish, yet legendary, drinking habit – you lush – we’re talking about the potatoes. Try to focus.).

One of the easiest methods is to bury tubers cut into two or three parts, checking that there are least three to four buds per piece. You can also use pre-sprouting tubers. This way, you can easily discard those that have not germinated have a harvest earlier.

They have “sympathy” for beans and possibly sympathy for the devil. If planted near beans, potatoes grow lush and it seems that they are attacked less by Colorado beetles.

Potatoes need at least four to five months to develop. If you vigorously rub the peel on some potatoes and it does not come off the tubers are ripe for the picking.

Once harvested the tubers should be stored for several months in a cool, ventilated and dry. Moisture may cause them to bud.

The green parts of the potato are poisonous, much like your relationship with your boss, similar to tomato. You should not consume stems, leaves, or buds. The same thing also applies to any green parts on the tuber itself.

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How To Grow White Onions

Wonderful White Onions
Wonderful White Onions

Cultivating onions can give great satisfaction whether you have vegetable garden or you wish to try planting onions in a pot on the balcony.

Once you put your beer down, you can plant onions all year long, but the best time is in spring to ensure they grow more vigorously and avoid the risk of frost.

Starting from scrap parts or a sprouted onion, you can begin cultivation without having to buy seeds or cloves.

Here’s how:

From the scrap parts.
Have you ever thought of being able to cultivate onions starting from residues of the same? In this regard it is necessary to keep aside the lower portion of the onion, separating it with a knife. This makes it possible to cultivate new onions without ever having to buy seeds or cloves.

The onion must be left to dry in the open air for four or five days. At this point it may be transferred directly into the garden, or in a pot filled with potting soil, simply by putting it on the surface with its bottom towards the ground and covering it with a layer of soil of one or two inches.

When the first leaves form, the bottom of the onion should be removed from the ground, the different plants that have started to develop must be separated from each other. Proceed with care so as not to damage the roots and ensure you plant the seedlings well spaced out in the garden or in larger vessels, so that the new onions can develop.

Once you sober up, here’s the various options you can try.


From sprouted onions.
If onions stored in a cellar or pantry started developing buds, you may want to use them to get new seedlings and plant them a in a pot or in the garden. How to proceed? It is necessary to separate with the help of a knife, but gently, the inner part of the onion from the remaining part of the vegetable. You will get a small bulb, ready to be planted in pots, with the green sprout facing upwards and the part of the roots to be planted. The vessels must be arranged in a sunny area and watered so the soil surface is wet.

From bulbs.
It is of course possible to cultivate onions from purchased bulbs, in a manner similar to garlic. The cloves are nothing but onions in miniature, to be transplanted in the spring, from which in a short time you will get real onions. The ideal solution to start would to be able to have at one’s disposal
organic onion cloves for the first cultivation and later use one of the methods described above, so you can continue to cultivate onions at no cost. The onion bulbs may also be self-produced from seeds, so you can have them on hand for the next spring.

From seeds.
Onions can be grown from seeds. Their cultivation requires fertile soil and prefers a seeding that occurs as colder months approach. Sowing should therefore take place in late summer, so as to allow an enlargement of the bulbs with the arrival of spring. In the spring, the onion seedlings will thin and in late spring you can collect the finished product. The harvest of onions should occur when the leaves of the seedlings are dry – and onions themselves must be left to dry before being consumed. To counter weeds, it is helpful to use mulch. The sowing and harvesting times may vary depending on the seed available (for winter or spring onions).

From whole onions.
From whole onions which are dried and small you can get new seedlings. It is preferable that the top of the onion already has at least partially a green bud, but it will not be necessary to separate it from the onion. The onion is simply be buried in the ground or chosen vessel to shallow depth and covered with a layer of earth, making sure that the bud is flush with the ground. If the onion seedling bloom, the flowers can be made to use the seeds for subsequent crops.

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How To Grow Cabbage

Amazing Cabbage
Amazing Cabbage

It isn’t difficult to learn how to grow cabbage and it just might make you a better person. Cabbage is a fairly uncomplicated plant to develop due to the fact it is a hardy vegetable. It grows quite well in fertile soil. Cabbage is available in a plethora of hues. Most cabbage varieties have clean leaves but the Savoy cabbage leaves are crinkly.

Growing cabbage is easy as long as you pick out suitable varieties for your location. Working towards proper subculture and managing bugs will assist your crop do nicely.

When Should I Plant Cabbage?

The planting season for cabbage is quite long. Early cabbage must be transplanted as quickly as possible in order for it to mature before summertime warmth sets in. If you have been thinking about planting cabbage, you must recognise that several sorts are available at various stages so you will have a harvest all summer long.

When considering when to plant cabbage flowers, be aware that hardened flowers are very tolerant of frosts. Therefore, you can plant these in the early spring with other cool season vegetables. Other cabbages can be planted in the mid-summer season, but remember that they will not sprout a head until fall.

How To Grow Cabbage

Whilst growing cabbage, make certain to allow thirteen to twentyfive inches between plants. The closer you space your cabbages, the smaller the head of the cabbage will be. Early varieties of cabbage may be planted 12 inches apart and could grow one to three pound heads. The later types can produce heads upwards of eight pounds.

After you learn how to manage your cabbage, you will have a first rate cabbage crop. Ensure you sow the cabbage seeds one quarter to one half inch deep.

Make certain you fertilize your vegetation during its growing phase, specifically after transplanting. Then you should apply nitrogen when the plant reaches half its growth. Also, put your beer down and take time to make sure the soil is wet in the course of the growing season so your cabbage produces the biggest, grandest, most wonderful heads.

To Harvest Cabbage

Whenever you see cabbage heads, the cabbage is ready to harvest. When growing cabbage, the highest yield can be had if you bear in mind to harvest the cabbage heads before they begin to break up. You could nevertheless harvest the cabbage afterward, but do so quickly as these over mature cabbage plants will attract diseases, pests, and possibly demons. Demons love cabbage too.

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How To Grow Cucumbers

Lovely Cucumbers
Lovely Cucumbers


Even though the cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are thought to have originated in northwest India, where theyhave been cultivated for over three thousand years, their wild ancestors have been consumed by humanity since long before your grandpa was born. Excavations in and around Thailand revealed cucumbers were eaten as early as 9700 BC. Pickling came along shortly thereafter. By the era of the Pharaohs, Egyptians ate brined cucumbers at almost every meal. According to the Bible, the Israelites in the wasteland complained to Moses that they were really missing the cucumbers they had loved in Egypt.

Cucumbers reached Europe early in its history as well. They were a favorite of the ancient Greeks and Romans. According to Pliny, Emperor Tiberius demanded cucumbers every day at his meals. It is reported Columbus brought the cucumber to the new world and that cucumbers were in high demand with early settlers. Through the 18th century, cucumbers had typically been grown all around the globe.


No summertime garden should ever lack cucumbers. They may be the easiest vegetable to grow and are very prolific. Planted in an area of the garden which receives full sunlight and has an evenly moist, fertile soil, your cucumber growing prowess will be without doubt and achievement in this endeavor is almost assured.

Like different summer time vine plants, cucumbers are heavy feeders and demand a regular supply of water. Supply lots of organic matter (compost, nicely-rotted manure) into the soil before planting to help it hold moisture. It is essential to provide the nutrients the cucumbers will need as they grow. A soil pH of 6.8 or higher is desired.

If your planting area is small, cucumber plants will do just fantastic on a patio or deck – if they receive plenty of sunshine. Bush cucumber sorts like ‘Picklebush,’ ‘Salad Bush‘,’ and ‘Bush Champion‘ may be grown in bins. A five-gallon or larger pot can accept one or two plants without problem and offers fresh cucumbers during the entire summer season.


Like various cucurbitaceae, cucumbers dislike having their roots disturbed and may be problematic to transplant. But, if you require early planting, it’s often worth the risk to begin a few cucumber plants indoors in peat pots approximately two or three weeks before the season kicks off. Due to the fact cucumbers are easily injured through frost, planting ought to lag behind schedule until the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees fahrenheit and all possibility of frost is past. This is often at least two weeks after the final frost date.

The desired approach of cucumber planting is direct seeding within the garden after the soil has warmed; as the seeds will no longer germinate in a soil chillier than 60 degrees. Simply push two or three cucumber seeds an inch into the soil, spacing the plantings 18 to 36 inches apart. (Bush types will tolerate a closer spacing.) If the soil is moist and warm, the seedlings will pop out of the ground almost immediately, so stand well back or you could lose an eye! – Actually, you can expect them to sprout in two or three days.


Cucumbers do not require much attention once planted so they are the perfect crop for ne’er-do-well drunkards and the uninitiated gardener alike. There are three guidelines to make sure an amazing harvest is forthcoming:

  1. Cucumbers crave warmth, they can abide with cool spring plants such as peas, spinach, and lettuce.
  2. Offer constant moisture. A continuous water supply is essential for the best fruits. An drip irrigation device should be placed right in the cucumber patch. If this isn’t possible, water deeply once every week, applying at the least one inch of water. Frequent but shallow watering will reduce yields.
  3. Feed cucumbers well. Cucumbers, like other cucurbits (squash, melons, and pumpkins), are heavy feeders, much like we are at a buffet. Fertilize soil prior to planting, but fertilizer is not critical early in the season. However, when the cucumber plants begin to blossom and set fruit, it is advisable to provide a liquid fertilizer which will help maintain the plant’s production and increase yields.


To improve cucumber yields, don’t forget to utilize the following two techniques:

  1. Use black or brown mulch. Because a hot, moist soil is crucial for best results, use darkish mulch on the cucumber bed. This can accelerate growth and increase yields by maintaining soil moisture and maintaining a high soil temperature. The mulch may also keep weeds at bay.
  2. Always account for the vertical aspect while making plans for your garden. Consider planting vining cucumber types like ‘candy achievement’ and ‘Tasty green’ vertically on a trellis, fence, or other supporting structure (an old set of crutches from when you overindulged and broke a leg  while celebrating a family member’s wedding, for instance). This enables you to maximize use of your available garden area and aids in containing the vines and preventing them from sprawling all over your finely coiffed garden. Researchers have verified that growing cucumbers vertically dramatically increases yields when the vines are exposed to higher air flow and extra sunlight versus vines on the ground.


Insect pests that assault cucumbers are: cucumber beetles, aphids, and spider mites. Cucumber beetles can cause the maximum harm, especially to seedlings, and carry wilt disease from plant to plant. A floating row cowl positioned immediately over rising or transplanted seedlings will decrease cucumber beetle infestations by keeping moths from laying eggs on the vegetation. Make certain to get rid of the quilt once cucumber plants blossom to allow pollination. Application of pyrethrum or rotenone may substantially lessen pest damage.

Cucumbers are vulnerable to vine crop diseases such as anthracnose, bacterial wilt, downy and powdery mildews, mosaic, and scab sickness. Many hybrids today have superb disease tolerance. If you do have issues with diseases in your cucumber patch, pick out only disease-resistant sorts. Additionally, be sure to rid the cucumber bed of debris and remove detritus from the growing area.


Like most vegetables, cucumbers are tender and tastiest when harvested younger. Cucumbers  are usually ready for harvest when approximately six to eight inches in length; pickling types at three to five inches. Do not allow fruit to over ripen on the vine as this signals  the plant it is time to go to seed. Pick the fruits to encourage further production. Harvest your cucumbers in the early morning hours before the sun hits them (it is easier to sneak up on them as they will still be dozing).  Cucumbers harvested in this manner will possess an excellent taste and texture.

About 31-41 days earlier than the first expected frost in your part of the world, pinch off all of the blossoms on the cucumber plant.


Cucumbers are at their optimum served raw, sliced, or grated into salads, dressed with yogurt or sour cream, or eaten whole (with large quantities of cheap beer). Wash and trim them, then slice into spears or grate them (but mind your fingers, especially if you have been drinking). There’s no need to peel homegrown cucumbers (flavor and dietary value actually suffer from this arcane practice) unless the recipe calls for peeling, of course. On a warm summer day there may be nothing like a cold cucumber salad – whether it is German with sour cream, chopped chives, and a sprinkling of paprika or Oriental with black olives, raisins, and chopped water chestnuts.

You can cook cucumbers as well if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen.  Add diced cucumbers to soups or sauté slices in butter and serve with a sprig of dill or mint.

Unfortunately, cucumbers don’t store well due to their high water content. They will generally hold for up for one week inside the vegetable crisper of the fridge. If you have gone crazy during planting and end up with a caboodle of cucumbers, pickling those rascals is the only way to preserve them. Get out your favorite pickling recipes (sweet, sour, sweet and bitter) and pickle as many jars as you are humanly able. That way, you will be able to revel in homegrown cucumbers during the long, cold, depressing, bitter, lonely winter and in all likelihood into the next spring – if you survive.

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The Way To Plant And Care For Tomatoes

Beautiful red tomatoes
Beautiful red tomatoes

Tomatoes run on warm temperature; plant them in late spring and early summer time except in sector 10, where they’re a fall and wintertime crop.

Locate them on a high, sunny spot to grow best. Tomatoes need at least six to eight hours of sun to bring out their nicest flavors.

You’ll need to stake, trellis, or cage your tomato plants to prevent them from touching the ground. Decide on a guide plan before you set out your plants.

Supply every plant enough room to develop. Space robust, lengthy-vined, indeterminate varieties far enough apart. Stockier determinate plants may be grown 2 ft between each plant.

If you wish to use containers, you’ll need as a minimum a 24-inch pot for indeterminate varieties, or an 18″ pot for a determinate variety.

Tomatoes absorb vitamins great whilst the soil pH ranges from 6.2 to 6.8, and they need a steady delivery of major and minor plant vitamins. To provide the major nutrients, blend a continuous-release fertilizer, for example Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed, into the soil as you prepare the planting holes, following the instructions on the fertilizer label.

Meanwhile, mix in three to four inches of compost, if you want to offer vitamins, and help keep moisture and fertilizer inside the soil till it is needed with the aid of other flora.

A soaker hose waters a tomato plant well and without waste. Cover with mulch as soon as it’s in place.

To grow sturdy tomato plants, you should bury part of the stem when planting. This essential step will permit the plant to sprout roots alongside the buried stem, so your plant will be more potent and better able to locate water in a drought (or if you get frunk often and forget to water them as you should). Please observe that this deep-planting method works best with tomatoes (and tomatillos), not different greens.

Right after planting, water seedlings and add a liquid plant food,  to offer them a very good start. Feed with liquid plant meals every couple of weeks in the course of the developing season.

You may combine speedy-maturing varieties with unique season-stretching strategies to develop an early crop, however wait till the final frost has occurred before planting primary-season tomatoes.

Cover the soil with two to four inches of mulch to limit weeds and help hold moisture in the soil. Straw and shredded leaves also make brilliant mulches for tomatoes.

Get off the couch and water your tomatoes often, aiming to maintain  at least an inch of moisture around the plants. Water more often in  the summertime.

Experience the soil. Really get down in there with it. Become the dirt! If the first inch is dry, it’s time to water. If summertime droughts are common on your area, or you have a tendency to neglect to water (due to laziness or the aforementioned drunkenness), use soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or some other drought-busting strategies to help maintain even soil moisture – this is vitally important to prevent cracked fruits and blossom losing rot.

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Old Farmer’s Almanac 2014 Everyday Calendar

What is February missing this year? How is switchel made? Why do we get “goose bumps” when we’re cold? The answers to these and hundreds of other questions are found in this cleverly illustrated box calendar filled with curious facts, folklore, tips, quotes, proverbs, and puzzles. Every page, every day is “useful, with a pleasant degree of humor.”

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The Old Farmers Almanac

Recognized for generations by its familiar yellow cover, The Old Farmers Almanac is back for 2014 with its signature mix of timeless wisdom and timely predictions. Chock-full of useful information and classic wit, this edition features home hints, garden advice, fascinating facts, tips for outdoors enthusiasts, and recipes, plus its famous 80 percent accurate weather forecasts. (Using a secret formula based on sunspots, weather patterns and meteorology, the almanac points to a milder-than-normal winter in the southwestern half of the country, with a warmer-than-normal summer in most areas, except the heartland and the Southeast.) The Old Farmers Almanac is one of America’s favorite traditions!

   Since 1792, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has published useful information for people in all walks of life: tide tables for those who live near the ocean; sunrise tables and planting charts for those who live on the farm; recipes for those who live in the kitchen; and forecasts for those who need weather Forcasts.The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a reference book that contains weather forecasts, tide tables, planting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles on a number of topics including gardening, sports, astronomy and farming. The book also features anecdotes and a section that predicts trends in fashion, food, home décor, technology and living for the coming year.Released the second Tuesday in September of the year prior to the year printed on its cover, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been published continuously since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America.


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