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.
45 or more days after planting
Swiss Chard will tolerate light frosts
Swiss Chard will tolerate some summer heat especially in northern areas
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.
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
1/2 to 3/4 of an inch
Rows approximately 20 inches apart with approximately 6 inches between plants in each row.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives (Allium tuberosum) are a quick growing, hardy, plant which needs very little maintenance or care. They are a prolific grower, and 1-2 plants are generally enough for a home garden. They are a good choice for a beginner garden and, also, add value to established gardens. They look especially beautiful as a border around a garden with their bountiful blooms. The garlic chive is similar to regular chives, yet, is distinctive for its garlic flavor as opposed to regular chives, which taste like onions. They are also called Chinese chives, Chinese leeks, or allium chives.
Garlic Chives Description
Chive plants grow 10-20″ tall. The plant sports tall grass-like foliage that is flat and narrow. As it grows, the leaves curve downward with their tips pointing to the ground. This creates a fountain of green foliage that remains orderly and pretty all through the growing season. At the base of each leaf, the stem is a small white bulb which is edible, as are all parts of the plant.
In the fall or late summer, they produce beautiful white flowers that bees and insects adore. The flower stalks emerge from the base of the plant and stand tall above the green leaves. A round bulb-like ball forms with dozens of tiny star-shaped flowers. Flower heads should be removed before going to seed since they self-seed easily and can quickly spread and become an invasive if not monitored.
Are Chives Perennial?
Yes! Garlic chives grow in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. They have a long growing season and will grow all year-round in climates where the ground doesn’t freeze. In climates where the ground freezes, they will die back during cold weather and reemerge in the spring.
To begin, choose a space in your garden which will be a good permanent place for them. Since they are perennial, they will need a designated spot. They need between 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. They like rich, well-drained, soil yet are adaptable to growing in a variety of soil types.
Garlic chives can be grown from seed or started from divisions. To start them from seed, plant them 1/4″ deep and 6-8″ apart. Garlic chives grow slowly, just a few inches a year until they reach their mature height of 10-20″.
To start growing chives from a division, carefully dig out a mature plant. Divide the plant into sections and plant each section in its own location with plenty of space. When you plant from divisions, hold off harvesting any leaves for the first year as they establish themselves.
Once they are established, garlic chives need little care. They are very hardy and tolerant of heat, cold, and drought. Sometimes the center of the plant will die when it gets too large. If this happens, pull up the plant and remove the parts that are still good. These can be replanted as divisions.
The leaves can be cut and used as soon as they are 3” tall. Cut down the leaves to the base, leaving just a bit of green showing. Like most greens, the leaves should be cut back on a regular basis to encourage new growth. The flower heads of Garlic chives can be cut off and used in salads. The small bulb roots can be pulled up for use in cooking. They have a strong garlic/onion flavor that can be used for a variety of culinary purposes.
Blackberry season is one of the highlights of summer. The blackberries’ fruit can be eaten freshly picked or baked into pies, cakes, and crumbles or made into jams. Blackberry plants are perennial and quite easy to grow once Blackberries are established. Having blackberries growing in your yard will brighten up the summer days and bring lots of beneficial bees, bugs, and butterflies into your garden.
Blackberry Plant Description
The blackberry plant is a bramble and grows long vines, also called canes, with thorns. Blackberry will grow wild and untamed if blackberries are not pruned back every year. Blackberries vines become loaded with fruit in the middle of the summer.
Blackberries are classified into three categories according to how Blackberry grow: erect, semi-erect, and trailing. The erect varieties stand tall and don’t need support to keep it upright. Erect blackberry varieties have prolific thorns and are the hardiest of the blackberry types. The semi-erect varieties can have few thorns or be thorn-less, and these Blackberries usually produce more fruit than the erect variety. Blackberry often need minimal support. Trailing blackberry varieties need support, which are the least hardy.
The blackberries’ plants need a designated location in full sun and well-drained soil. It is important not to plant them anyplace where potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants have been planted in the previous four years. A disease common to all of them can hide out in the soil and get passed on to the blackberries.
Transplants, called canes, should only be bought from reputable garden supply stores to reduce the possibilities of disease. Most canes are one-year-old, and the variety should be chosen with the climate of your area in mind. Many varieties don’t fare well in cold or harsh climates.
Arranging the canes along a fence or wall makes them easier to maintain and reduce the chances of them sprawling and becoming unmanageable. Planting in a circular patch is also common. Keep in mind how far you will need to reach to access the berries. You should be able to access the middle of the patch with an arm’s reach otherwise you will miss a lot of berries. Once the bramble has matured, it is difficult and prickly to reach over the vines and thorns.
Plant blackberry canes in individual holes. The crown of the cane needs to be 1-2 inches above the ground. Plant the canes 2-3 feet apart in rows that are 6-8 feet apart. Blackberry will benefit from mulching with wood chips or pine needles to keep weeds at bay.
Care and Maintenance
Blackberry plants should be watered every week with 1-2 inches. Each spring, Blackberries need to be cut back to encourage new growth and keep them from getting out of control. Erect varieties should be pruned to 3′ the first year, and then the lateral branches pruned to 12”. Trailing varieties need to be thinned to 6-12 canes per foot of row and trained onto a trellis.
Fertilizer should be applied every spring to provide essential minerals and facilitate healthy growth.
Blackberries do not separate from the core when Blackberries are ripe as raspberries do. The fruit should be pulled gently off the bush and tasted for ripeness. The berries will ripen and need to be harvested throughout the 3-4 week season.