When to harvest Yardlong beans

While (Asparagus) Yardlong beans can grow up to 36 inches long, however, it’s best to harvest Yardlong beans at 18 inches or less when Yardlong beans are at their most tender and flavorful.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

How to Grow Tepary Beans In Your Garden

Tepary beans are native to the Americas and have been planted by the local people for thousands of years. Tepary beans are creamy and nutty in flavor, and they can be used in any dish. They are perfect for soups and stews. Though they are small in size, tepary beans are dense and meaty. They are easily grown in Sunset climate zones. They are rich in nutrients and grow from 1 to 3 feet tall with a foot spread of 3 to 4 foot. They are known as the most heat-tolerant crop in the world. They are mostly planted during summer and monsoon season which produces infrequent rains from July to August. Let’s see how to grow tepary beans?

Advantages Of Growing

Growing is one of the most popular hobbies in America these days. Growing and gardening are considered the best way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Growing gives the gardener, the ability to experiments with new seeds and new varieties. Growing plants at your home can provide you more control over the quality and longevity of the plants. Growing plants is an art; one can use many different techniques.

Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is also known as direct seeding, which means that you directly start planting seeds in the garden than buying plants and transplanting the plants. Sowing seeds directly do not mean that you just plop some seeds in the ground and leave it for the results. You need to take care of some of the factors before sowing, make sure that the area is weed-free, though there is competition for water and nutrients; it’s quite easy to mistake sprouting weed seed for your flower or vegetables and accidentally pulling out them. Make sure you plant seeds 3 times deep as their circumference is. Some seeds require light to germinate. Then, what you need to do is gently press into the damp soil so that they can make good contact with light and air. Always mark the spot first where you want to sow the seed because you may think you remember, but you don’t so it’s better to mark the spot. Don’t wash the seeds away, water gently. It is crucial to keep the soil moist, but not soaking, until the seeds germinate. Once you have had good germination, continue to pamper the seedlings until they become mature plants.

Growing seedlings

A seedling is a young plant which develops from a plant embryo from a seed. Development of a seedling starts with the germination of the seeds.

  • Deciding the best time to plant your seeds: When you start your plants too late, it may not have enough time to get mature so start your plants a little early so that it gets enough time to get mature.
  • Gather all the supplements you need: Germinating healthy seeds require quite a few things. First of all, you need seeds, a seedling tray or a food storage container, a plastic wrap, a small fan, and a timer. If you have used the supplies before make sure to clean them before using them again.
  • Plant your seeds: Before you start planting your seeds, soak the Rockwool cubes for at least half an hour. Make sure to plant the appropriate number of seeds based on their crop types.
  • Ideal Conditions for germination: Once you are done with the planting of seeds, it’s time to provide them with ideal conditions for germination. Green leafy seeds and herbs germinate well in the range of 55-75degree F, whereas fruity crops require upper range. Also, make sure that you cover the seedling tray with a plastic wrap.
  • Keep your seedlings healthy: As soon as you see something green coming out of the seeds, make sure to give them proper light, especially in winter. If it’s too cold outside to place your plant outside, use fluorescent bulbs and keep it inches away from your plants.
  • Strong seeds: Make your seeds strong by performing some tasks such as set a small fan and gently blow on them, make sure they get proper sunlight.

Transplanting seedlings

Transplanting the seedlings should be done with a very gentle hand and not roughly. Use a blunt knife ease the seedlings without disturbing the preceding seedlings in the line or tearing out the seedlings.

To transplant, the seeds, loosen the soil and fill each container with planting mix. Handle seedling by their leaves and make sure that you do not damage the soft stems of the plants. Poke a hole into the planting mix and place the seedling over there. Water it right away and keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days. After 10-11 days the seedlings are ready to be kept outside.

Insect and pest control

Insect and pest control treatment for seeds includes the application of pesticide to the surface to reduce or control the pests. Apply a chemical barrier to the seed so that it can protect the young seedlings from getting damaged by the insects. You may use systematic pesticides.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

Tepary beans, in my experience, don’t have many problems and the few they have can be handled like any other garden bean.  However, there is one really important thing to remember, which is that tepary beans are a desert bean and are water misers, so, they need minimal water and certainly much less than other traditional garden beans.  Actually, tepary beans tends to be more productive and mature earlier if once established and flowering, if they experience some mild lack of water stress.

When are tepary beans ready to harvest ripe?

The days of maturity depends on the cultivator, but can range from 60 – 120 days to harvest as dry beans.  Tepary beans are harvested for their dry bean seeds, so don’t get in a hurry to harvest them and let them dry on the plant, if possible.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting of tepary beans seeds a the bean pods dry out.  Keep in mind that tepary beans are most a wild beans and will shatter and drop their seeds if left too long. Also, the bean pods will be brittle when dry, so, harvest gently to minimize your bean seed loss.  You will want to shuck the bean pods after allowing them to finish drying in a cool try environment to be sure they are completely dry.   The dry tepary bean seeds can be stored in a cool place and saved for cooking until the for food purposes for up to five years.

Related references

How to Grow Runner Beans

How to Grow Runner Beans

Actually, runner beans are very easy to grow. Summer is incomplete without the runner beans for many people. Many people love to garden as a favorite pastime.  

Runner beans are very nutritious and healthy. Runner beans are good to eat and can be used and preserved in all the ways you can use string beans. If you wish to use runner beans as green or string beans the younger you pick them the more tender they will be.

The seeds from the older pods can be harvested and eaten or dried stored for later use. This is an opportunity most American gardeners miss, but will to the store and by Cannellini beans.  Cannellini beans, as it happens, are variety runner beans.

I once had a friend (knowing that I would not mind) who would come over and raid my runner beans when it looked like I was too busy with the day job to keep up with the harvest.  Both our families cook and use runner beans like lima (Butter Beans). 

 It does not need a proper place to grow up. It can grow among flowers and all. It can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also prevent the chance of colon cancer. It can control diabetes. It can boost your immunity. For the good eye health, runner beans are very good. It can also help you to improve the bone health of your body. This vegetable helps you to keep your stomach working properly.

Runner beans can grow in a container. The container can dry out easily. So, you need to water them frequently. According to the size of the container, a very small amount of runner beans can grow in a single container. Pots can also restrict the growth of the plant.

Direct Sowing:

  • Direct sowing is an easy process. It can be done at any time of the whole year. This process means to plant the seeds directly into the soil of the garden. There are actually three main parts of direct sowing such as preparation, sowing the seeds and taking care of it.

Soil Preparation:

  • It is important to set the bed for the seed. It should be done before a couple of weeks of sowing.
  • Amend the soil means to add valuable and vital nutrients to the soil. The soil analysis is very much needed in this stage.
  • After the amending part, you will have to wait for a few days for the weeds to sprout and after that remove them with the use of a small hoe.
  • Then layout your bed.

Sowing the seeds:

  • Before doing the direct sowing, you will have to decide how the vegetables will grow and use for. You should have to give water to the soil before the day of planting. After the sowing procedure, you will have to provide the seeds with enough water to drink. Seeds basically need three valuable things to germinate such as moisture, light, and temperature.

Care:

  • Caring for runner beans after sowing consists of weeding the bed, re-sowing and weather protection for the crops and plants.

Growing seedlings:

  • Seedlings need more micro-climate to grow than older plants. If you are planning to grow seedlings of runner beans, then you will have to take some special care.

Transplanting seedling:

  • To transplant seedlings, you will have to fill each new container with the moist planting mix. You will have to loosen the soil around the seedlings by using a kitchen fork. You will have to take special care of handling the seedlings by their leaves to avoid the damage.

Succession Planting:

  • Succession planting is a very efficient way to grow runner beans and other vegetables. The methods of succession planting increase the availability of crops.
  • Insect and Pest Control: For any kinds of sowing, it is essential to do insect and pest control. By controlling the pest, you can ensure the growth of the crops. You can use many DIY methods to control the pest and insects. You can also hire pest control to remove and kill them.
  • Controlling Diseases and Problems: By using proper medicines, you can control diseases and other problems related to this. Fungi used to take their energy from the growing plant. These fungi are mainly responsible for the damage of the crops and plants. You will have to identify the problem that causes hamper to your plant and solve it accordingly.

When are bush beans ready to harvest ripe?

  • Generally, bush beans should be ready in 50-55 days. The maturity time depends on the variety of its growing.
  • Green beans: Green beans are tender and tasty. Your plants provide a continual production all the seasons.
  • Dry beans:
  • These beans are ready for harvest in 70-120 days. Dry beans are actually growing to full maturity.

Harvesting:

  • Weeding, watering, and mulching are essential until the runner beans are harvested. You will have to apply an occasional liquid to fertilizer feed them. This procedure will begin in the mid-summer and continue to the first frosts. Runner beans actually crop just after the French beans. It is a very productive, beautiful and delicious vegetable to grow. You will have to pick the beans regularly to encourage future production.

Storing Runner Beans:

  • Runner beans are actually prolific. You can store it for a long time depending on the method used.
    • Blanching, then freezing the runner beans as green beans is an easy option. Once frozen runner beans can be safely stored up to nine months in an ordinary freezer, and fourteen months in a deep freeze in a vacuum-packed bag. 
    • You can keep fresh runner beans in the salad drawer of the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. You will have to use the oldest beans at first.
    • It takes a week actually to dry runner bean seeds at home, but once dry and stored the dry beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot, runner beans can be safely kept for up to five years, then cook much like dry lima beans.
    • Young Runner beans can also be dried as leather breeches beans (dry green beans) a heritage method, which is nearly forgotten, then rehydrated and eaten for up to two years.

Related references

Benefits Of Having Birdbaths In Your Yard

Birdbaths are not only meant to create attractive focal points, but also attract a plethora of woodland creatures like birds, butterflies, and insects that are beneficial to your backyard. 

This is undoubtedly the easiest and efficient way to entice wildlife to your garden when compared to building birdhouses or planting beautiful flowers. 

Not convinced yet? Among the benefits of adding a few birdbaths to your backyard garden and landscape.

Benefits Of Adding Birdbaths

1. Provide birds with a source of water

Birds need water for drinking and bathing, especially during the winter season when the natural water supplies have been subjected to freezing points, and there’s limited access to running water. You can help the birds with heated birdbaths, as this type prevents water from freezing.

2.Attracts Other Wildlife

If you are an animal lover, then birdbaths will be your friend because birdbaths will attract other animals such as squirrels and frogs who may be in need of a drink during the summer heat or if you keep your birdbath free of ice in the winter even in the cooler months.

Over the past couple years I have made a couple bird friends, who when I’m cultivating my garden or I’m running with my shovel, will come running and wait nearby on another garden bed or on the fence to swoop in and scarf up any little grubs, bugs, or worms which I might uncover while cultivating my garden beds, which also helps to reduce pests in the garden with the added benefit of some entertainment while you’re working on it.

3. Improve aeration and control pests 

Birdbaths attract different types of birds that feed on various pests, such as slugs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers — which threaten the fruits and vegetables in your garden. This means fewer destructive insects and, of course, less pesticide application. 

Besides the pest control benefit, birds also play an essential role in boosting soil aeration, alleviating compaction through digging the garden in search of worms. When soil is properly aerated, roots will grow deeply for stronger, more vigorous lawn, crops, and flowers. 

You also get to attract wasps, which feed on cabbage worms that destroy crops. 

4. Promote pollination

Birdbaths can attract butterflies and bees — insects known as excellent pollinators. If you grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers, you’ll want to have a few birdbaths placed in inviting locations in your garden.

5. ReduceD Bird Damage In Your Vegetable Garden

One thing that I have noticed, is that when I keep my birdbaths filled and clean, my vegetable garden suffers less bird damage. When they have plenty to drink in hot weather, for example, they don’t raid my ripening tomatoes nearly as much, if at all. Same goes for my fruit trees, however, with fruit trees there’s always some bird loss from birds if you don’t protect your trees. I don’t mind if the birds get a few, because I always have more colorful birds around my backyard and trees, even in winter.

6. Support kids learning

Nature is beautiful, but, unfortunately, the connection kids have with nature isn’t really that strong as past generations before most people lived in cities and technology took over. By attracting different types of birds, you create an entertaining environment that present kids with a new opportunity to learn valuable lessons. For example, they can learn how to identify different types of birds, their habits, as well as migratory routes

Conclusion

There you have it! With the benefits of birdbaths above, it’s fair to say having one or more in your backyard is worth it.

Related References

Quick Guide to Proper Bird Bath Placement

Sometimes birds have a hard time getting fresh and clean water. A birdbath could come in handy in such instances. It could also be great if you love watching birds. Water has been proven to attract more bird species than feeders. However, getting a birdbath is the first step. You need to place the birdbath properly to ensure it serves its purpose perfectly. Here are some quick bird bath placement tips to consider. 

How to place a birdbath

1.      Place near a window or where you can see/watch birds easily

  • Although you may be getting a birdbath solely for providing birds with clean, fresh, water, you’ll definitely enjoy watching the birds. So, place the birdbath near your field of sight, preferably, somewhere you can see from indoors. This will, of course, depend on the design of your house as well as your tastes and preferences. For instance, if you have outdoor space in your home that you frequent when relaxing, consider placing your birdbath in front of such an area.


2. Place on a pedestal away from predators/danger

  • Birdbaths should be away from areas where cats, among other predators, can hide and pounce on the birds. Ideally, the birdbath should be out in the open and placed on a pedestal where birds can see predators approaching. A pedestal is also a safe distance away from the ground where children can’t reach, and you can see the birdbath easily.

3. Have an escape route

  • Since it’s impossible to eliminate predators, among other things that can scare birds away, you should think about an escape route. The birdbath should be placed where there is a clear line of escape into the sky or nearby branches since wet birds have a shorter flying range. 

4. Locate near a clean and fresh source of water

  • Birdbaths should be near a garden hose. Since one of the reasons for having a birdbath is providing clean and fresh water to birds, a location that is far from your house or a water source isn’t ideal. It should be easy for you to change the water after a few days, even daily during hot weather. A nearby water source also makes cleaning easy. 

5. Consider climate

  • Last, but not least, you need to consider the climate in your area. If you live in northern regions which are generally cold, choose a sunny spot so that the sun can keep the water warm during chilly days. Such a location will also ensure the water doesn’t freeze during winter. If you live in southern regions which are usually hot, consider a spot with some shade to keep the water cool during hot days.

GROWING CILANTRO AND CORIANDER OUTDOORS

Coriander is easy to grow and is best used fresh, and therefore is a very good choice for growing your own kitchen herbs. Especially if you like cooking, Asian or Latin food. Coriander finds several uses because both the leaves and seeds are used as food. The leaves of coriander are, called cilantro, can be chopped and used for garnishing or used while cooking in a variety of dishes including, rice, soups, salsa, and more.

To grow coriander, you need to provide the plant with a lot of sunshine as is the case usually when growing kitchen herbs though when the sun is at its peak; it prefers some shade. If the plant is not cared for well, it very often does not grow rich foliage and instead of flowers and produces seeds. So, if you are growing coriander for its leaves, you should keep the conditions right for its growth.

Coriander can be grown directly from its seeds by sowing them in the soil.

Cilantro is really easy to grow, fast growing, and does not require a lot of work. 

Growing Cilantro and Coriander in The Garden

Cilantro was one of the first herbs/spices grown by the early colonists in America. Growing a few feet of Cilantro in the Spring, and areas with milder winters as a fall and winter crop will provide plenty to eat, dry for later use and/or to let go to seed in hot weather to use as Coriander spice.

Cilantro As A Companion Plant

If you are a believer in companion planting Cilantro is said to:

  • be a good companion to anise, tomatoes, and peppers
  • be a bad companion plant for fennel
  • repel aphids, Colorado potato beetle, and spider mites
  • attracts bees when in bloom

When to Plant Cilantro

When to plant cilantro depends on the general climate condition in which you live and the specific average hardiness frost dates.  The general strategies vary somewhat depending upon whether you live in northern or southern regions of the United States.

In The Northern

Plant cilantro a two or three weeks before the last frost. To have a steady harvest throughout the summer, plant cilantro every couple of weeks until late autumn.

In the South

Plant in the beginning in early autumn to have a winter (until a killing frost sets in) and two or three weeks before the last frost for spring harvest.

Days to maturity

Cilantro takes about 30 to 40 days from planting to harvest as green herbs and 40 to 50 days for the seeds to be ready for harvesting as coriander.