Common Types Of Microgreens

With the cooler weather of fall upon us, it is time to conder moving our gardening efforts indoors, which make growing microgreens an appealing option.

But what to grow as microgreens?

Considering most garden vegetables and herbs can be grown as Microgreens, the options are many. So, which microgreens to grow for your family depends on what your family eats regularly, and Your family’s taste preferences. 

Most Common Types oF Microgreens

The broad type of microgreens (listed below in family groups)  Should provide the basics of what kind of taste the microgreens will have, and the growing conditions the type of microgreens prefer:

Amaranthaceae family:

  • The Amaranthaceae family includes amaranth, beets, chard, quinoa, and spinach.

Amaryllidaceae family

  • Amaryllidaceae family includes chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.

Apiaceae family

  • The Apiaceae family includes carrot, celery, dill, cilantro, and fennel.

Asteraceae family

  • The Asteraceae family includes chicory, endive, lettuce, and radicchio.

Brassicaceae family

  • The Brassicaceae family includes arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and watercress.

Cucurbitaceae family

The Cucurbitaceae family includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squashes.

Lamiaceae family

  • The Lamiaceae family includes the most common herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano.

Poaceae family

  • The Poaceae family includes grasses and cereals like barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheatgrass.
  • The Poaceae family also includes in legumes, including beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

Related References

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

Growing Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard (Beta Vulgaris) , also known as, Beet Swiss Chard, or Seakale beet, is a leaf vegetable which will crop from mid summer to late fall. In areas with mild winters Swiss Chard will re-emerge to produce an early spring crops and in some areas can be grown as a fall/winter garden crop. Swiss Chard produces huge, multicolored leaves, with a mild flavor. Generally eaten as a cooked green, but can be eaten fresh.

Maturity

  • 45 or more days after planting

Frost Tolerance

  • Swiss Chard will tolerate light frosts

Heat Tolerance

  • Swiss Chard will tolerate some summer heat especially in northern areas

Substitutions

  • Swiss Chard may be substituted in recipes for spinach or seakale.

Preparing The Soil

Swiss chard is not finicky about the soil or position in which it is grown. It will grow in light sandy soil, as well as, in heavy clay. Similar to other beets, although this is one grown for its leaves, Swiss chard needs lyme and a soil pH 6.5 to 6.8. Swiss chard can be sown in partial shade or in the sun, but any late sewing under close cloches, to get a winter crop, should be in a sunny warm part of the garden.

Sow outdoors

Plant Swiss chard outdoor as soon the ground can be worked. Place one seed every 3 inches and cover firmly with about half to three quarters of an inch of soil. when plants get about 3 inches tall, thin Swiss chard plant to about 6 inches apart. The Fed Swiss chard plants can be eaten as fresh greens. Swiss chard plan should be He plans well mulched and the soil kept moist.

Approximate outdoor planting ranges

  • Garden hardiness zone three and four – May through June
  • Garden hardiness zone five and six – April through July
  • Garden hardiness zone seven and eight – spring: March through May and fall: August
  • Garden hardiness zone nine, ten, and eleven– spring: February through May and fall: August through september

Days to germination

  • 7 to 10 days

Days to harvest

  • 50 to 60 days

Planting depth

  • 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch

Spacing

  • Rows approximately 20 inches apart with approximately 6 inches between plants in each row.

Harvesting

While twisting leaves off is usually recommended, I personally choose to use a good sharp knife to make a controlled clean cut. Either way swiss chard harvested
from the outside edges of the plant working inward regularly once several leaves are large enough to use. Swiss chard plants will regrow when cut back to no lower than 3 inches and a few leaves are remain to help the plant generate energy.

Making A Compost Bin From Wooden Pallets

Wooden pallets can be a quick, cost effective, and easy do-it-yourself way of building a compost bin made of pallets. Also, reusing wooden pallets is an environmental friendly way to put wooden pallets to use in and around your home.

Advantages of making a compost bin of wooden pallets

  • Wooden pallets are low cost, generally free given a little research and sweet talking. You may even have a couple laying around from your last couple of projects.
  • Wooden pallets which are in good condition, they can last for years, even without any sealer treatment.
  • A large capacity compost bin can be created in very little time, once the pallets and required supplies have been gathered.

Where to get wooden pallets?

  • If you don’t already have some wooden pallets available, local small businesses are the best place to look. Smaller companies occasionally get a few pallets and then have to figure out how to dispose of them and, therefore are often willing to let someone have the pallets if nicely asked.
  • Larger companies tend to have arrangements for the pickup of their pallets already, but there is no harm in asking.
  • Also, construction sites, usually, have a few stray pallets laying around which they generally happy to be rid of.

How to choose your Pallets?

  • Pallets should be undamaged, not overly weathered, and free of rot.
  • Pallets should be of the same length, width, and height.

What supplies will you need?


Four pallets will be needed for a single stand-alone compost bin. If you are going to make addition bins, which will share a wall with a previous bin, you will need three pallets for each additional compost bin. For example, two bin requires seven pallets; three compost bins requires ten pallets.
Enough heavy duty zip ties or enough heavy duty wire (e.g., baling wire) to bind the pallets. Approximately 15, 12 inches or longer heavy duty zip ties for a stand-alone compost bin and each additional compost bin.
A cleared, level spot for large enough the compost bins and to permit access to the compost bins to check, repair, fill, turn, and empty the bins. Be sure to consider the size of any equipment you may desire to have access to your compost bins; things like a yard tractor or a wheelbarrow.
Fence posts to provide additional support (optional). For a stand-alone compost bin, four sturdy metal posts, at least as tall as the pallet once driven into the ground. Three more fence posts for each additional compost bin. Over the years, I have found fence posts keep the pallets straight and upright.

How to Assemble you Compost Bin

  • If using fence posts for support, place you first corner post,
  • then attach the pallet securely with sturdy wire (like bailing wire) or zip ties to the fence post.
  • Proceed to the other end of the pallet and repeat the process adding the second pallet.
  • Then repeat the process the process to attach the third pallet.
  • While you are doing this you will want to make sure that each pallet is maintaining a 90 degree angle, so, your compost be in finishes as a proper square.
  • When you mount the the fourth pallet you will want to make it more like a gate, so, you have easy access to turn your compost pile and, eventually, to empty the compost bin. So, you can either secure in a way that you can easily open it or add hinges on one end and some form of a lock on the final end.

Working with wooden posts

  • If you would prefer to make your compost bin using wooden posts you will want to plant you wooden posts and secure your pallets with either nails or screws (which I strongly recommend) rather than tying the pallets in place. Nails have a habit of working loose.
  • Otherwise the process is essentially the same.

To Make a Multi-bin system

  • You can by using either side of the compost bin, as you face the gate and add three more pallets for the new bin.
  • Don’t forget to make the last pallet a gate, just like the first compost bin, and you will want it on the same side as your existing gate.
  • You simply, repeat the process for each additional bin you wish to add starting with the side of the existing compost bins, where you which to add the new compost bin.

Your compost bin is built, what now?

  • Once constructed, line the bottom with permeable a protective barrier to prevent grass and weeds from taking over your compost bins.
  • This permeable protective barrier can be a commercial landscape cloth or couple of layers of flattened cardboard boxes or several layers of newspaper work well for this purpose.
  • And begin adding your compost materials in layers, being sure to water to each layer.
  • Be sure to mix your ingredients and turn your compost bin regularly.

Related References

How To Grow Sweet And Hot Chili Peppers

The chili pepper was developed in the Assam region of northeastern India. People around the world love the intense pleasure that this novelty pepper brings, and many Chile heads want to know how to grow the chili peppers in their own homes or gardens. With your homegrown peppers, you can enjoy them in recipes, or try your hand at making the next world’s hottest hot sauce or even brag to your friends that you grow one of the peppers on Earth. Learn more about how to grow chili peppers and General Growing Culture or requirements for chili peppers

Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill
Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill

Growing Seedlings

It’s great to grow your own chilies, but for many, the struggle is with germination – getting all those wholesome crops to shoot in the first place!

Luckily the answer is a simple one.

For the majority of seed varieties, you will require two main ingredients, which are warmth and moisture. Let’s take chili seeds; for example, The main reason for unsuccessful or poor germination rates of chili seeds is down to the warmth factor. You see, although you may sow your chili seeds in good soil, and keep that soil moist (but not soggy), the seed trays may be left on a windowsill or in the kitchen, where the temperature is warm during the day, but fresh at night time.

Chilli seeds need a relatively warm and consistent temperature range to germinate properly (between 27-32 degrees C), and the low nighttime temperatures caused by the heating going off means that the average temperature is low, sending mixed signals to your germinating chili seeds!

The answer is, therefore, to use a heated propagator for propagating your seeds for best results, ideally with a thermostat to allow you to control the temperature more accurately. If you don’t have a heated propagator, then the next best thing is to use your airing cupboard where the average temperature is much higher, and once seedlings start to emerge, then you can transfer your seedlings to a sunny window sill so that they get lots of light, which is essential to growing healthy and robust plants.

If you can get a heated propagator with a lid that is ideal, as many seed varieties also like a bit of humidity to germinate successfully, this means you can also water your seed trays less often as more moisture is retained.

So, now all you have to do is to follow these simple tips to start getting better results germinating your chili seeds and solve any poor germination problems you may be getting.

And if you want a headstart and are looking for an easy and consistent way to germinate your seeds, then a propagation kit can also be ideal as they contain special growing media that optimizes the moisture/air ratio, which is another factor that can affect germination, thus eliminating guesswork.

Grasshopper
Grasshopper

Insect And Pest Control

Using insecticides and pesticides does work on the chili garden, but it’s not the only way to do it. Natural garden pest control is another option to be considered. One of the main benefits is that once set up; there is a system there that can take of pest problems.

The first step is prevention. Don’t have conditions in the garden that will attract pests in the first place. You don’t want wet leaves and plants. It’s better to water the soil for most plants than the actual plant itself. Get rid of plants that already are sick or insect prone. Leaving this only cause more problems for the other plants around them.

Don’t have conditions like piles of wood next to your garden as it can attract more pests. Use beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are insects that are good for the garden. They prey on the pests that ruin your plants. These would include praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs, and others.

Each of these beneficial insects is attracted to the garden because of individual plants. Even if it’s purely a chili garden, flowers can be planted as well to have a full system of beneficial insects.

There are chili plants that can get rid of certain pests. Mint, for example, is not something most pests enjoy. If you have a pest problem, see if that specific pest doesn’t like a particular crop and use those in the garden as well.

Transplanting Pepper Seedling
Transplanting Pepper Seedling

Transplanting

You should do chili peppers transplanting as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle, from the small pots into bigger pots in which they will remain until they can be transplanted into the garden again.

Although the chili transplanting process is a good option f, it has a more significant effect on other plants. Some seedlings fail to undergo transplantation process, as the process tends to break or bend or their small roots,

Several types of chill peppers do not transplant well from the seed-bed to the garden plot. In some cases, you can use planting pots that can be directly placed in the garden, offering an opportunity to start the plants indoors, without having to transplant them later. Quart berry boxes, Peat pots or pint work well for this use.

Another way is to cut the sod into six” square pieces about two inches thick. Put them, root side up, and plant the chili plant, in hills directly on the loam soil, supported by the grassroots.

Wait for the weather to warms, and “transplant” these seedlings, merely place the berry boxes, sod squares or peat pots into the prepared hole. You can trim the bottom of the tables if so desired.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

You may be faced with many chili gardening problems on your way to set up your own chili garden. These problems may vary from chili diseases and pest attacks to the failure of the plants to bear fruit. We will see some of the common chili gardening problems and its causes.

One of the problems is that after sowing the seedlings don’t come out. This might be because it did not have enough time for germination and you will have to wait for some time for the sprout to emerge. Very cold temperatures, too dry or wet soil may also prevent the seedlings from coming out. The seeds have to be sown at the right temperature, and sufficient water has to be provided to avoid drying or waterlogged. If the birds ate the seeds, you would have to replant and protect the bed with the net. Another reason for the seedling not coming out may be that the seed is too old. Then the only option is replanting.

Dry soil and over-watering may cause most of the chili gardening problems. Seedlings may wilt, and the young plants die because of this. It causes the rotting of stem and roots. The solution is proper and adequate watering. Fertilizer burns, root maggots, and cut-worms may also cause the young plant to die. Fertilizer burns could be avoided by adhering to fertilizer instructions. Cutworms could be avoided by keeping the garden clean. The laying of eggs by flies and moths has to be prevented by using covers.

Plants may wilt because of fungal diseases. The best way to avoid wilt is by using disease-resistant seeds. Too much fertilizer is also not good for plants. This will make plants weak and spindly. Plants won’t grow properly if there is not enough light and if the plants are too crowded. Sometimes the plants may grow slowly, and the leaves will have a light green color. This is because of improper photosynthesis. This is caused by the absence of adequate sunlight or crowding of plants; cool weather, deficiency of fertilizers or over-watering.

Mineral deficiency and improper sunlight will make the leaves yellow, but they won’t wilt. Sometimes the leaves will have yellow and green patches in a mosaic pattern, and the plants get stunted. This is a virus disease, and the infected plants have to be destroyed. Sometimes fertilizer burns may cause symptoms similar to viral diseases. Before destroying the plants make sure that the stunted growth and patches have not resulted from fertilizer burn. Sometimes the leaves will have holes. This can be caused by winds and insects. If it is insects, use organic insecticides, and for wind, barriers have to be provided.

At the end of the plants won’t bear fruit all your efforts will be wasted. Plants won’t bear fruit because of the extreme hot and cold climates; or excess of nitrogen. The seedlings have to be planted in such a way that it bears fruit before the extreme climates.

When are chilies ripe?

Usually, a lot depends on the type of chili. As a general rule chilies turn from green to red while they ripen. Most of the chilies are edible in the green stage and the taste and heat increase as they become redder.

Chopped peppers ready for use
Chopped peppers ready for use


Harvesting


Mature chili peppers are easily plucked from the parent plant, when your peppers are not coming with ease, wait for a little. Harvesting increase the yield because after that the pepper is replaced by month new chili


When collecting the seeds, cut or break the pod, leaving the stem and core intact. Hold the stem; scrape out the seeds with a blunt knife.

Frozen pepper in a plastic bag
Frozen pepper in a plastic bag

Storing

To preserve or store the peppers, keep them in the refrigerator, they can stay for a week. Roast, peel, store in your freezer for not less than six months of use. Finally, ca or pickle your chili to use up to 2 years.

Related References

Lawn Care Basics

If you want to keep a beautiful, tidy looking garden, you need to pay close attention to the lawn with proper lawn care. Most Americans take great pride in their yards and so lawn care is important to them. You will notice when you see the results of a properly cared for lawn, it will give you a sense of pride. Of course, you could always pay a gardener to do it, but then you would get no real satisfaction as you would not have done it yourself.

Knowing Lawn Care Basics

Lawn care can be simple just as long as you at least know the basics. Firstly, the tidiness of the garden needs to be addressed. Is it clean? Is there anything on the lawn which shouldn’t be there? Leaves and rubbish spoil the garden, so you need to get rid of them by raking and picking up all litter before you start. You will notice that once you have removed the rubbish and leaves, your garden will already look so much nicer.

If you have bumps within the garden, they can be removed with a spade and you can either replace the sod or plant new grass seed. As well as boosting the appearance of the garden, by leveling it out, you are also ensuring that it is easier to mow and to keep in pristine condition.

Overall keeping the lawn looking good and keeping it trimmed is all part of primary lawn care. It is something which must be done if you are to have a garden of which can be proud.  A green and healthy lawn is very easy to achieve as long as you know Lawn Care Basics techniques and how to apply them correctly. Read the guidelines below so you can handle your turf properly and get incredible results in no time.

Lawn Mowing

• Find out the recommended cutting height for your grass type and follow it. If you’re unaware or unsure of how much grass to mow, cut only one-third of the total grass length as a general rule.

• Make sure you set your mower high enough. Cutting at a low setting will only damage your grass and prevent its roots from growing deeper.

• Use the appropriate mower for your lawn type. It must be well-tuned, sharpened and in good working condition at all times so you’ll be more efficient at mowing the lawn.

• Never mow over wet grass. Always cut when the turf is dry so you can discourage the presence of weeds and diseases.

• To prevent sunburn, mow your lawn during the coldest part of the day, usually, in the morning after any dew has lifted.

When deciding which lawn mowers is right for you, you need to consider the size of the lawn you are going to be cutting and the type of finish you wish to achieve. If your yard is large, then you will want to look at the petrol lawn mowers are not limited by a power cable and tend to have larger grass collection bins meaning less stopping to empty the bin.  If you have a small area of lawn, you might only need a small electric mower.

Lawn Watering

  • Where lawns are concerned watering more frequently in short durations is better than long soaking, which may cause water to run off and wasted.
  • You don’t have to water your lawn all the time. Feed it only when it’s necessary, or you think it’s a bit dry
  • Be sure to your local communities water restrictions and permissible schedules.  Your local communities water restrictions should be checked regularly as they can change throughout the growing season.
  • Water early in the morning-never late in the afternoon or evening because this promotes pests and diseases to develop.
  • Avoid overwatering your lawn. The advisable amount is around 1-2 inches of water per week, but you may have to adjust depending on the season and the required water supply for your particular grass type.
  • Be sure to spread and sprinkle the water throughout the entire lot. You don’t want one area to be soaked and other parts to become dry due to lack of supply.

It is a known fact that grass will not grow and will die without water which will cause some brown patches to show on the lawn. It is essential to understand what type of soil and grass you have to supply it with only the appropriate amount of water. It is also important not to over-saturate the soil with water as this could cause the grass to die. The ideal time of watering the lawn is during the early morning or at sunset because it is during these times that the water is more likely to soak into the soil than just evaporating.

Weed & Pest Control

  • Weed the turf especially during the fall and spring seasons.
  • Choose organic weed and pest control agents, as a last resort, to get rid of unwanted elements without causing damage to your lawn.  If you must apply chemicals, please use them as directed and apply them only where truly necessary.
  • Take out crabgrass as soon as you see it so you can prevent it from developing roots and spreading throughout the lot.

So, those are the basic techniques that you need to apply if you want to make your lawn more beautiful. Be sure to use them the right way so you can see improvement in your lawn’s overall health and appearance.

The best way to achieve that perfect garden is to start carefully and make small but steady improvements over time. A few basic lawn care tools are necessary, but you can buy lawn care tools at any number of places.

fertilizing your lawn

Fertilizing the soil is also essential. However, you will need to know what type of soil you have before proceeding. Knowing your soil type is important because it will allow you to get the correct fertilizer for your lawn, whether organic or chemical. It is essential to understand that using too much fertilizer can harmful to your yard, to the environment, and your family and pets.

Overfertiliation can leave lawns vunerable to Insect attact.

Most people hardly realize that the roots of the grass need air to This is why people who are in the know aerate their lawn to make it healthier. One good way of checking if your soil needs aerating is by pouring a small amount of water to the soil and see if it soaks down through quickly. If it does not, then it is required for you to aerate your lawn.

If you can stay away from the herbicides and weed killers, Consider interplanting perennial clover or Alfalfa. If you can get an established mix of 30 to 50 percent of clover or alfalfa, your lawn will be healthier and require little or no additional fertilizers, as the grass will get its nitrogen from the clover and alfalfa. Additionally, during hotter weather when your lawn grasses my stall or go dormant, assuming adequate rainfall or irrigation has been applied, the clover and alfalfa will continue to be lively and green. If you live in a location where you can let the clover and alfalfa go to flower, you will be attracting and help the local native and honey bee population.

Related References

Catchment – ​ Water Reuse – What is Rainwater and Greywater

Rainwater capture and storage tank at a local restaurant used to irrigate vegetable garden.
Rainwater capture and storage tank at a local restaurant used to irrigate vegetable garden.

What is catchment?

Catchment is a water reuse strategy which involves collecting water, especially, the collection of rainfall ( also, called rainwater harvesting) over a natural drainage area such as roofs, gutters, drainage ditches…etc., for reuse.  Greywater can be part of a water reuse strategy, but should be outside of the catchment process.

A rain barrel setup to catch rainwater from the roof
A rain barrel setup to catch rainwater from the roof

What is rainwater? 

Rainwater is water that has fallen as rain, rather than water that has come from a a well, reservoir, stream, or municipal water source. Rainwater may be stored for future, but may require algae and pest controls (e.g. mosquitoes).

What is greywater? 

Greywater is waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances, which is the relatively clean and may be reused for landscape waiting, if properly managed and or filtered.  Greywater should be used immediately and not stored for future use.

Non-potable 

Rainwater should be consider non-potable (not drinkable), unless it has been properly sanitized.  This is especially true of runoff water, which have any number of pathogens along the way.  Greywater is definitely non-potable nor should it be allowed to come in contact with the skin, nor is should animals and livestock be allowed to use it as a drinking water source. 

Related References