Friday, February 17, 2017

An Indoor Greens Garden for COLD climate February harvest! (video)

MIgardener shows you that you can grow an indoor garden in a colder climate and harvest in February.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Indoor Starter Plants with LED grow lights (Mid-February 2017)

Below are updated pictures of the indoor starter plant garden. I have LED 4 foot lights attached to two rubbermaid shelves. Growing on the top shelf is Swiss chard germinating in recycled strawberry/blueberry/kiwi containers. I buy a seed starting mix, or will mix my own potting soil with vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss. On the second shelf is Cherry tomatoes and Beefsteak tomatoes growing almost directly under the grow lights.  The tomatoes were sown 6 days before they sprouted, and now they are at least an inch tall. Beside the trays of tomatoes are a Goji berry in the orange pot and a Pineapple plant to the right. Below on the 3rd shelf is another goji plant in the orange pot with a tray of onion seed germinating, then Beets, lettuce, Artichoke, Brussels, Broccoli, and Cauliflower growing in the second (middle) tray. To the right is a tray of Radish growing. The radish are becoming quite leggy despite putting them directly under the grow light like with the tomatoes.

Cherry Tomatoes

Radish (right)

Goji berry

Goji berry

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Indoor Growlight Starter Plants & Greenhouse in Early February (Winter)

In the Indoor garden, there are LED grow lights above the starter plants (seen above). Some of the plants sprouting are radish, lettuce, broccoli, and beets (seen below). Those that I sowed are Onions, Beefsteak and Red Cherry Tomatoes, Artichoke, and Cauliflower.

Basically I turned the porch into a greenhouse to keep the outside animals warm in the winter. And of course it works as a place to start cold weather crops in the late winter and early Spring. Below I took pictures of the greenhouse I assembled using materials I had on hand. Because it was warm for the last two days in Kentucky, I put the tropical plants outside in the greenhouse. You may have seen in the past that I have Pineapples growing, as well as Snake plant, Aloe, and Cactus. The tropical container garden is dwindling considering the inside and outside cats tore up many of them or "fertilized" the plants to the point that they killed many of my indoor plants. But of course I am collecting and growing more.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What's growing on in the Winter Garden 2017

Now that Spring is closer upon us in the US, I'm cleaning up the garden mounds to be mulched soon. Today I'm starting some seeds indoors in my mini greenhouse with grow lights. Some of the plants I will be starting is a Artichoke, Lettuce, Brussels, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and I want to pick up some Radish seed to start growing them early indoors. Then towards mid-March or early April I will transplant these in the garden. Before I transplant though I want to have composted and mulched the mounds and made polytunnels to protect the plants. Afterward that point, I will start Tomato and Pepper plants indoors to be transplanted in May. I hope to have mulched and composted the mounds for these plants, then in May I will directly sow Squash, Melons, Gourds, and other things in the garden.

As of now, I have been growing a couple of rows of Arugula, Collard greens, lettuce, and carrots in the Hugelkultur garden. There is some cilantro and Red Russian kale growing among the greens as well. Because here in Kentucky the winter has been mild, the greens have been growing with little protection from now in the beginning of February from September. All I have used to protect the greens from the cold and snow is cloth row covers like garden canvas. I have been able to have greens to eat in salads or eaten fried. I also harvested a couple of carrots that I noticed were a decent size to pull up. Today I had a surprisingly long carrot that was growing in one of the garden mounds. Below are photos of the winter garden and the carrot harvested today.



carrot harvested
row of Carrots

row of Arugula & Collards

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

20 Little known garden facts

(1) black walnuts put off a neurotoxin known as juglone which inhibits growth for surrounding plants.

(2) tomatoes are perennials, however they are short lived perennials. Most farmers/gardeners cultivate tomatoes as an annual.

(3) bananas which contain potassium act as a nutrient & fertilizer when mixed with mulch around plants/trees.

(4) Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world; it can grow 35 inches in a single day--which makes bamboo a great resource for garden projects such as trellises. also commercial use of bamboo would ease the destruction of the old and living trees.

(5) During the 1600s, tulips were so valuable in Holland that their bulbs were worth more than gold. The craze was called tulip mania, or tulipomania, and caused the crash of the Dutch economy. Tulips can continue to grow as much as an inch per day after being cut.

(6) Small pockets of air inside cranberries cause them to bounce and float in water.

(7) Peaches, Pears, apricots, quinces, strawberries, and apples are members of the rose family. So are ornamental species such as spirea, mountain ash, goatsbeard, and ninebark.

(8) Peanuts are not nuts, but legumes related to beans and lentils. They have more protein, niacin, folate, and phytosterols than any nut, according to the National Peanut Board.

(9) Nectarines are actually peaches that have a recessive gene that makes them grow without the fuzzy skin. They are not actually a different kind of fruit.

(10) There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.

(11)  Plants respond to sound and in fact react by growing better when listening to soothing music and other sounds, but reacts and grows slowly or stunted when plants "listen" to hard, loud, and chaotic music.

(12) A sunflower consists of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers where the fuzzy brown center and the classic yellow petals are the individual flowers held together on a single stalk.

(13) Baking soda sprinkled regularly around tomatoes in the garden can reduce the acidity and make the tomatoes much sweeter in taste.

(14) Hydrangea flowers color can be altered by the pH level of the soil. For example, a more alkaline soil will result in pinker blooms, while a acidic soil will produce blue blooms. To facilitate a blue color, add more organic matter to your soil, like coffee grounds (though the acidity in used coffee grounds can vary greatly, so you might try a high-acid fertilizer, too). The change won't happen overnight, but eventually you should succeed in manipulating your soil's pH level.

(15) Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that grapes were grown to make wine about 8,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today's Iraq), although the ancient Egyptians were the first to record the process of making wine about 5,000 years ago.

(16) The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.

(17) The average strawberry has 200 seeds. It's the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside.

(18) Trees are perhaps the longest living organism on Earth. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is one of the oldest living tree species; it dates back to about 250 million years ago. Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is another ancient species; it dates back about 150 million years. Both were known in the fossil record before they were found alive. The world's tallest-growing tree is the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which grows along the Pacific Coast of the United States, mainly in California. Interestingly enough, it's not the world's oldest-growing tree; that award goes to a bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata).

(19) Figs were the first domesticated crop in the Near East about 11,400 years ago!
Archaeologists found carbonized figs in a village north of ancient Jericho, and compared the fruits to modern specimens. Through this comparison, they determined that the fruits had been intentionally propagated.

(20) Earth worms have the power to move stones that weigh 50 times their own weight. They love coffee grounds. They ingest soil and organic matter equal to the amount of their body weight each day. They also help with your compost pile; when you turn your compost pile and find a lot of earth worms, you know that your compost pile is working and that you will have great top soil for plants.