The Importance of Soil PH

Photo: Pinterest

The pH of the soil has a direct impact on the fertility of the soil. If you’re serious about your garden or vegetables and fruits which you are growing in your garden, it is important to know about the pH of the soil. Depending on the pH, your soil can be acidic or alkaline. Each of these has its own pros and cons. Also, the pH level of the soil has a direct impact on the nutrients which are available in the soil. Owing to this very factor, you have to always be aware of the pH levels of the soil.

Before you bring out your pH scale, you have to understand the levels on it. The pH scale can go from 1 to 14. 7 is considered neutral. If the pH level is below 7, it is considered as acidic. On the other hand, if the pH level is above 7, it is considered as alkaline. If you’re looking for the optimumpresence of nutrients in the soil, you have to ensure that the pH level is around 6 to 7. Even thoughthis is the ideal level but anything between 3.5 to 10 will provide you with the conducive environment for growing your plants.

One thing which you have to keep in mind is that a slight variation in pH can result in drastic variation in nutrients. This is because each number on the pH scale is to a factor of 10. That is whyyou have to be very careful when you’re looking to maintain the pH level of your soil.

You will now look at both the soil options in order to help you better understand which one is suitable for your garden.

 

Acidic soil

Acidic soil is often found in areas which has a significant amount of rainfall. The main problem with acidic soil is that the nutrients will be absorbed by the soil at a much slower pace. In many of the cases, the amountof nutrients which are found are pretty low. Also, when you’re using fertilizers on acidic soil, they will yield a little result because absorption will not take place.

Solution:

When you’re looking to increase the pH level of the soil so that it is not acidic, a good option is to add agricultural limestone. When you’re adding limestone, it will replace calcium as well as magnesium. This will help you in increasing the pH level of the soil.

 

Alkaline soil

If the pH level of the soil is pretty high because it is alkaline you can easily add organic matter in order to reduce the pH levels. It is much easier to manage the alkaline soil as compared to the acidic soil. You need to test the soil and in order to find out about the sodium contents. Oftentimes, in the alkalinesoil,the sodium content is on the higher side. If it is so, it will hamper the growth of your plants. That is whyit is important to solve the problem of high pH levels when you’re having an alkalinesoil.

Solution:

As we stated above, you can easily add decomposed organic matter. In addition to that, you can use foliarspray or liquid seaweed.

 

All in all, when you’re planning on starting some new plants, it is important to know about the pH level of the soil. Only once you are able to do that will it become easier for you to choose the right kind of plants for your perfect garden.

How To Grow Turmeric Indoors

Here is a quick video I made about how I get my turmeric plants started!

For those who prefer it in text, the process is as follows:

  1. Soak turmeric root in water for 24 hours and leave in a warm, dark location until green spots or “eyes” have formed.
  2. Plant 1 inch deep in good potting soil (I use cactus soil)
  3. In 7-14 days you should have visible shoots coming off of your plant
  4. Transplant into an 18″ pot before the plant becomes root bound as this will prevent a good harvest.
  5. In 10 months,  harvest and enjoy your fresh turmeric!

Thanks for reading,

OOCH

Photo Source

Video: 53 Day Old Dragon Fruit Plants/ Pitaya From Seed!

Here is a quick video I have put together showing off some of my dragon fruit/ pitaya babies that I grew from seed on July 7! These guys are growing fast!

ALSO, I show off my baby Yellow Pitaya plants that I grew from seed as well.

 

If you missed my first how-to, you can watch here:

Ebb and Flow Hydroponics

Photo: The Organic Garden Centre on WordPress

Ebb And Flow Hydroponics Systems are becoming more and more popular. Among the many hydroponics systems which are available these days, this is the most popular system. We will today help you understand what exactly the system is and what the components of the system are.

What is Ebb And Flow Hydroponics System?

An Ebb And Flow Hydroponics System consists of a plant tray, reservoir and pump. With the help of the pump, you will be able to always maintain an adequate level of water in the plant tray. This will mean that you do not have to worry about the presence of water while growing your plants. We will now go into the details of each and every one of these components so that you are able to understand them easily.

The plant tray

The plant tray isnothing but the large container. You have to place your plant in it. A good option to plant will be the half gallon pots. You need to make sure that the pots are perforated. The size of the pots ideally should be double that of the plant. The plant tray will consist of water which is dense with nutrients. It is directly connected to a reservoir. The pump, as well as the drain tube, connects the reservoir and the plant tray.

Reservoir

The reservoiris a large container which is directly placed below the plant tray. It is connected with the help of a submersible pump which contains a timer. This pump controls the flow of water to the plant tray at all points in time. With the help of the drain tube, the water can be drained from the plant tray back into the reservoir. You can then reuse that water by pumping it up to the plant tray. You have to just make sure that you are refilling nutrients on a weekly basis.

With the help of this, you will be able to precisely control the water access to your plants. That is why this water system is much more versatile as compared to any other.

Many of the people think that this water system is actually a bit complicated to create. The truth is that all the components of this water system are readily available. Thus, creating this water system is not a problem at all.

The next time you’re looking for a suitable hydroponics system; do make sure that you consider the Ebb and Flow Hydroponics System as it is one of the most versatile hydroponics systems which you can use.

What is “True To Seed” and Why All Gardeners Need To Know

When you’re taking up gardening, it is important to choose the plants that you cultivate from seed carefully. You need to always keep in mind that the seeds of the plants don’t always grow fruit like the fruit the seed was taken from . That is why you have to always know if the variety you are trying to grow is worth attempting to start from seed. Today, we will speak about a specific type of seeds which are called True to Seed. We will go into the details of what exactly are these seeds.

 

What are true to seed plants?

True to seed plants grow in the exact same way as the original plant. An example is that when you’re taking the seed of a Brandywine tomato in order to plant another plant, the exact same plant will be growing. This will ensure that the plants which grow from the seeds are not hybrid at all.

These are the plants which are not impacted by cross-pollination. A squash grows the same kind of plant from seed, but the product can be swayed by pollination with a similar variety. That is why you will be able to get the exact same plant only if you are diligent with pollen. These days many of the seeds which are available in the market are actually hybrid seeds. They are deliberately cross-pollinatedin order to inculcate some of the useful features of another species of plants. These might include disease resistance or faster growth.

On the other hand, when you’re looking at the fruit trees as well, you will realize that they are often grafted. That is why, when you’re using the fruit seeds, they are also not true to seed. Thus, when you’re looking to plant the seeds, it is important to realize whether it is a hybrid seed or whether it is true to seed. Hybrid plants might have some unique characteristics but they often do not produce fruits and vegetables with the original features.

If you’re looking for organic gardening options, it is a much better idea to go with the true to seed options. With the help of these options, it will become easier for you to grow natural plants without any kind of cross-pollination. Even though, these plants might be a bit difficult to grow and you would have to take great care of these plants but still, these are the natural variants of their specieswhich is whyyou should opt for these seeds rather than any other.

The next time you’re obtaining seeds for your garden, do make sure that you keep these factors in mind.

Photo source

 

Growing Betel Nuts In and Outdoors

Betel Nuts are a very popular plant grown in Asia as well as the tropical Pacific. At the peak, this plant can grow to a height of 20 m. The leaves are up to 2 m long. However, betel nut requires a very specific cultivation pattern which needs to be followed at all points in time. We will today share with you the steps which you need to undertake in order to grow betel nut.

Opting for the mature betel nuts

In order to plant the betel nut seeds, you have to choose the betel nuts carefully. You have to opt for the well-matured ones. Ideally, you should opt for the Orange betel nuts. When you are able to do that, it will become easier for you to have a high growth rate.

 Submerge the betel nuts into the ground

You have to submerge the betel nuts into the ground and keep them in a significant quantity of water. You have to let them be for at least 10 days to 15 days. Only when they have turned black can you proceed to the next step.

Getting the soil right

You need to understand that betel nuts require the perfect composition of the soil. You have to mix certain elements like gold dust, carbon crash, and coconut husk mix in order to create the right composition of the soil.

Getting the pot right:

You have to ensure that you are selecting proper pots. The pots should be at least 6 inches in diameter. Additionally, you have to make sure that these can last for at least one year so don’t buy a shitty pot.

Water and Fertilizing

Water your baby betel nut on a daily basis along with adding fertilizers and pesticides once the plant is over 6 inches tall.

Spacing

Space the plants at least 6 feet apart outdoors or one seed per pot indoors.

These plants will often reach their peak after a period of 3 years. In order to achieve this, however, you must take care to nurture this plant. They are picky when grown indoors.

-GUEST POST

Indoor Flower and Plant Care

Image: Gardening Know How

Indoor Flower Care

Indoor plants help to improve the quality of air inside the home besides providing a warm and colorful décor to the rooms. Growing house plants indoors is easy as well as exciting. However, it is very important to take adequate care of the plants and to ensure their growth as well as safety. Unlike keeping the plants in a greenhouse, keeping them inside the house requires a lot of adjustments and a lot of skills are also necessary for indoor flower care. Adequate watering and sufficient lighting are very important for indoor plant care. The temperature and humidity inside the home also have great impact on the plants. It is not possible to make the indoors 100% ideal for all types of plants to grow. However, when you select the indoor plants for your house, you can identify the basic needs of the plants and by making some changes or adjustments in indoors, you can provide the plants a healthy environment to grow.

Watering

The potting soil should not go dry but need not keep it too wet. When the soil is dry the roots go weak and will affect the growth of the plant. When the potting soil appears very light in color or with cracks on it, watering is essential. Just by sticking a finger on the soil we can determine how moist the soil is. The plants should not wilt and there should be no signs of dehydration. Formation of translucent leaves, slow growth of leaves, curling of leaf edges, formation of brown or yellow colored leaves and premature falling down of leaves and flowers indicate insufficient watering.

Overwatering is also equally harmful. As a result of over-watering roots will be destroyed by bacteria. Appearance of brown rotten patches on leaves, young leaves and old leaves falling off, water standing in the bottom of the pot, appearance of brown, stinky roots at the bottom and formation of fungus on the surface of the soil indicate over watering.

The plants that grow very fast, plants that receive direct sunlight, plants that grow in smaller pots, plants which are potted in clay pots and plants that have started flowering require more water. When the plant is kept in a cool room or in non-porous containers they require less water. Also, resting or dormant plants require very little water. The plants which were repotted very recently and those plants which grow in high humidity also require less water.

Plants prefer rain water as well as melted snow. Tap water at room temperature is also good for the indoor plants. Softened water contains sodium and hence should be avoided. Plants may be watered from top to bottom without wetting the foliage. The entire potting soil must be moistened. Ensure that water flows out of the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Drainage

Proper drainage of water is very important to keep the plant healthy. Specially made organic potting soil is ideal for the indoor plants. The plant should never stand in water. Hence either the container should have drainage holes or there must be a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the container. Check the holes at regular intervals to ensure that they are not clogged. Standing water must be discarded.

Light

Light requirements may vary from plant to plant. Though many plants prefer direct sunlight, the indoor plants may not be able to get it. By way of keeping the plant in a window they will receive sufficient light. If required, indoor plants may be provided supplemented light from grow light. For flowering plants, moderately bright light is good. Hence they may be kept in windows located towards east, west or south of the house.

Temperature and Humidity

Though temperature preferences vary from plant to plant, the ideal temperature for most of the indoor houseplants is 65 – 75 degrees during daytime and 55 – 60 degrees during night. Most plants prefer humidity around 80%. Humidity may drop in the winter. This problem can be solved by using a humidifier. A small tray with pebbles and water in it can also provide more humidity.

Fertilizer

During watering, plants are likely to drop the nutrients in the soil. Indoor plants have no way for nutrient replenishment other than fertilizing. Organic fertilizers ensure sufficient nutrition to the indoor plants. When plants are flowering and growing, fertilizer must be provided once in a month. During winter, fertilizing can be avoided. When the plant is found slow in growing or turns to yellow-green color more fertilizer should be added. Sometimes, the indication may be for less water or more light. Hence action may be taken only after analyzing all conditions.

Repotting the Houseplants

As a result of steady growth as well as thriving, the indoor plants will require bigger pots as well as fresh potting mix. Spring is the ideal time for repotting plants. The new pot should not be too big but it must be bigger than the first pot. Ensure that the root system is not damaged during repotting. There must be sufficient space at the top of the new pot for watering.

-Guest Post