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17 June 2021

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17 June 2021

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  • The Growable Calendar is Here (Almost)!
    17 June 2021

    I was asked to take a look at something unique, something new to the market,

    The Growable Calendar 

    photo credit: primoza

    The first calendar on the market with plantable seed paper! 









    Developed by primoza, a young company in Bavaria, Germany, The Growable Calendar launched in 2018 and has been a huge success with gardeners there. 

    photo credit: primoza

    Yes, I was provided free samples in exchange for my thoughts, and I honestly love the idea and The Growable Calendar is a quality wall calendar, from the organic seeds to the beautiful hand-illustrations. 





    There are two versions for release in the US, Canada, the UK and EU for 2022.

    Jack of All Trades is perfect for beginners, with easy to care for flowers and vegetables.  "Easy to care for" does not mean the boring, same old stuff!  From January's curled cress through December's "Ox Heart" carrot, the year is filled with a wonderful mix of varieties.  Wild strawberry.  "German Winter" thyme.  Phacelia (what I know as purple tansy, an annual I grow every year because the bumblebees love it).  The Jack of all Trades calendar is a timeless calendar, meaning you can start at any time.

    Back to the Roots  is the 2022 calendar, with 12 months of rare flower and vegetable seed paper that "help protect our planet's biodiversity." Strawberry spinach "Spikey" starts off the year, followed by wild mallow and "Blue" woodruff... coneflower, and into winter Winter Rocket!  

    Both calendars are stuffed with fun facts and information on the plant of the month!   

    When the month's over, simply tear out the seed tape, rip it into smaller pieces, plant as directed, and watch it grow!

    I can verify the seeds grow really well, I've seen it with my own eyes!  I'm growing a selection from the Back to the Roots, and will keep you posted on the seeds' progress. 

    photo credit: primoza

    How will US gardeners be able to order their own The Growable Calendar?  primoza is launching a crowdfunding campaign this summer to bring it to the US.  Because primoza is just starting to go international, the calendars will only be available to those joining the campaign on Indiegogo.  So... sign up on the pre-launch site and get a special discount!  Official launch is July 13th, so don't delay!   You'll have your calendars before the holiday season, and you know a gardener who would love one for a holiday gift, right?  Use this special link to the pre-launch website for more information and videos about The Growable Calendar.

     As primoza says, 

    "Pot is Like it's Hot!"

    my delivery box


  • Facilities Manager: Spring Flowers!
    17 June 2021
     Howdy! Facilities Manager here. It's time for my semi-annual blog about FM Things around the farm/gardens. While I prepare for the construction of the chicken house, i.e., manufacturing walls, roof panels and nest boxes, I have been taking photos of my favorite flowers around Chickadee Gardens. I am often surprised by these little beauties as I traipse around doing my chores and projects.
    Tamara will add the Latinese nameous to each picture and I will make a comment. And maybe we will find a surprise at the end! Let's take a walk, shall we? In chronological order from photos on my phone over the past 4 months, I give you FM's choice of favorite flowers!

    Anemone 'Black and White'
    One of the first flowers to surface in late winter. This little gem and its budding buddy face the sunshine, and we all know the Pacific Northwest had a little too much sunshine the last three months. However, the last four days have drenched us with more than an inch of lovely, soft and steady rain! We love it! The plants love it! The hens? Well, it makes worms surface, so! The cats? They no love rain!

    Three species of daffodils rose out of the orchard grass in March. The sprinkle of bright yellows and pastel yellows really lifted our spirits as we await the annual greening of our two acres. 

    Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'
    Tulips mean spring is just around the corner. They also mean we remember fondly our Dutch friends and the spectacular tulip farms and gardens in Holland. Walter and Stella? This one is for you!

    This stunning vision was with us far longer than usual because the lack of rain meant the delicate flowers on this ornamental cherry were not knocked away. Just lovely. 

    Tulipa 'Darwin Hybrid Mix'
    How could I just walk by this tulip and not ask it to pose for a pix? 

    Our Spitzenberg apple tree bloomed first. As our orchard grows we look forward to perhaps someday making our own cider. We do not spray for bugs on our fruit, so we may add the word "protein" to our labels and not be accused of false advertising. Hey, now!

    Cornus nuttallii
    Our most visible native dogwood really is a slow bloomer. Takes about a week for the pedals to unfold and then they even more slowly turn white. Soon the center will turn red as the seeds form. We love us some dogwood.

    Cornus florida, unknown cultivar
    Now this dogwood is special. It was planted in memory of my father, who passed in 2006. The tree lived in a wooden tub until we moved here in 2015. It is very happy with its new place in the world. These are the petals early on. 

    . . . and these are the petals after about 10 days of sunshine. I love the color change. 

    Limnanthes douglasii - Douglas' meadowfoam
    These little guys are so earnest in their glory. I look at them most mornings when walking Hobbes, our Bengal boycat. They bloom for several weeks as the plant spreads. I am told that they tend to fold up shop as the summer months come and you'd never know this wonderful display ever happened. I hope that is not true! (it is, FM, sorry)

    Calendula 'Radio'
    Tamara knows I love me some orange. She planted these little devils next to the veggie garden and I love them. They serve as orange safety cones in the garden for when I am mowing nearby. Watch out! Orange means . . . oh, heck, they just vibrate happiness.

    Eriophyllum lanatum, Oregon sunshine
    More colorful fun. This plant is another long-termer in the garden. It brings in the sunshine before June and July make it official. Seems to me Summer starts on June 20, in just a few days. 

    Buddleia globosa
    Orange again! Kind of cheese-puff orange. Not sure what they taste like but they are eye-candy, for sure.

    Eriogonum heracleoides - parsnip flower buckwheat
    Every once in awhile a teeny, tiny flowering plant catches my eye. This reminds me of white-blossoming fireworks. So fragile. And pretty. 

    Carpenteria californica
    Speaking of fragile, the petals on these flowers seem like old paper! The burst of yellow with the white, linen-like skirt is just another of the dozens of examples of delightful surprises in the garden. Thanks, Tamara. (you are welcome, FM. They are all for you!)

    And we have some early fruit. The cherry trees are starting to produce. Not much and the birds will get to them before I will, probably, so I made it eternal with a picture. You go, Bing Cherries!

    My two favorite flowers! Meet Sharon, mother of Facilities Manager, and, of course, Tamara, Mrs. FM! My 85-year-old mother visited from Idaho recently and enjoyed her time in our gardens. And she helped me build rafter-trusses for the new hen house. She is a trouper! Thanks, Mom!
    (thanks for the sweet compliment and also for the no makeup photo, FM! - D'OH!)

    That is for FM this week. Thanks for letting me share my pictures!

    That's a wrap for The Husband's Favorites at Chickadee Gardens. Also, if you are a Hardy Plant Society of Oregon member, we're having an open garden this Saturday the 19th of June. Look us up! It's from 2 - 6pm. We'll have a second and final open garden on Saturday July 10 from 9am - 2pm if you miss this one or prefer mornings.

    As always thank you for reading and commenting, happy gardening! 
  • Is Vegetables Good for Cats Answers Is Surprise You
    17 June 2021

    Joana Que from blog.petcube said that Maybe you’re thinking of adding more vegetables to your cat’s diet, or perhaps you’re vegan and are wondering whether you can apply the same lifestyle to your cat as well. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand the nature of cats and what would be beneficial for their health while being aware of what’s dangerous for them.

    Can cats eat vegetables?

    The fact is that cats have different nutritional needs than humans (and dogs, for that matter). And while a diet that includes lots of various vegetables proves healthy for us, this doesn’t quite hold true for our feline friends. Cats are obligate carnivores, so the meat is necessary for their survival and thus should make up the majority of their meals.

    However, offering them small amounts of certain types of vegetables (to supplement their meals or as a snack) can provide some health benefits for them as well. If you’re thinking of adding vegetables to your feline friend’s diet, you might be wondering what vegetables can cats eat and how much? Which vegetables are toxic, and which ones are safe? Let’s find out more about these veggies and how they may affect our cats.


    The post Is Vegetables Good for Cats Answers Is Surprise You appeared first on GardenHubs.

  • Podcast: The Ecological Gardener with Matt Rees-Warren
    17 June 2021

    Our guest this week is Matt Rees-Warren, author of The Ecological Gardener: How to Create Beauty & Biodiversity from the Soil Up. He chats with Christy from his home in England about how we can reduce plastic, conserve resources, and create ecosystems in our gardens.

    The post Podcast: The Ecological Gardener with Matt Rees-Warren appeared first on Gardenerd.

  • Does Neem Oil Get Rid Of Stink Bug Pests?
    17 June 2021

    They sneak into your home when you least expect it, hanging around on your walls and ceiling, waiting for your cat to eat one. If threatened, they can release the

    The post Does Neem Oil Get Rid Of Stink Bug Pests? appeared first on Plant Care Today.

  • How to Cook the Perfect, Tender, Grass Fed Steak
    17 June 2021

    Treat your tastebuds to an ethical feast: grill up some grass fed! You’ll probably pay a little more for your t-bones, but you’ll be supporting small-scale farmers and those who use the most planet-friendly methods of raising livestock possible. In fact, if you support truly well-managed grass fed beef farmers, you don’t need to feel guilty at all.

    But in the meantime, you probably need some pointers on how to treat your premium, pasture-raised porterhouse cuts or filet mignons. Grass fed beef is a different animal than your bargain-priced grocery store steak. Here to help you cook it to perfection is farmer and cookbook author Shannon Hayes.

    The following is a collection of recipes from cookbooks by Shannon Hayes.

    How to Cook the Perfect, Tender, Grass Fed Steak

    The simplest, most commonly heard distinction made between grassfed and factory-farmed meat is that grassfed is leaner. As we’ve just seen, that is not always the case. The real difference lies in the fact that, by virtue of a beef animal’s active and healthy life, there is true muscle integrity in the meat. This is wildly different from the feedlot animals, which get little or no exercise, resulting in more flaccid (and, hence less flavorful) cuts. This does not mean that grassfed steaks are less tender – on the contrary. Cooked more gently, grassfed meat is wonderfully tender. The healthy muscle texture does, however, mean that grassfed steaks will be more variable than grainfed meats. Taste and texture of steaks will vary based on breed, farming practices, pastures, and individual animal characteristics. Thus, the trick to cooking a delicious steak is to work with the variability and take advantage of that beautiful muscle quality.

    We should be treating this meat as “tenderly” in the kitchen or on the grill as the farmers treated the animals in the fields. When cooking a grassfed steak, we want to achieve a delicious sear that creates a pleasant light crust on the exterior of the meat, then allow it to finish cooking at a much lower temperature; this allows the naturally-occurring sugars to caramelize on the surface, while protecting those muscle fibers from contracting too quickly. Tough grassfed steaks result from over-exposure to high heat, which causes the muscle fibers to contract tightly and become chewy and overly dry.

    Keeping these principles in mind, below are two techniques for cooking a fantastic steak, using the same seasonings. The first technique, taken from The Farmer and the Grill, is for working outdoors with open flames, my preferred method, YEAR ROUND. If you plan on winter grilling, be sure to check out the list of tips for safe winter grilling that appear at the end of this article.

    The second technique is taken from my newest cookbook, Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lovers’ Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously. Much to my surprise, not every family on the North American continent has access to an outdoor grill – hard to believe! Thus, in an effort to include you in the thrill that comes from eating the best-tasting steak available, I’ve included an indoor steak recipe that guarantees your grassfed meat will remain tender and juicy. Enjoy!

    The Best Steak – Outdoors

    Recipe adapted from Farmer and the Grill: A Guide to Grilling, Barbecuing and Spit-Roasting Grassfed Meat…and for saving the planet, one bite at a time, by Shannon Hayes

    (The amount of seasoning you will use will vary based on the size of your steak. If it is close to one pound, use less. If it is closer to 2 pounds, use more.)

    • 1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
    • 1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Either 1 sirloin, sirloin tip, tri-tip, top round or London Broil, rib eye, porterhouse, t-bone, top loin (NY Strip) or tenderloin (filet mignon) steak. Steaks should be at least 1 ¼ – 1 ½ inches thick.
    1. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the steak, then allow the meat to come to room temperature while you prepare the grill.
    2. Start the grill and warm it until it is hot. If you are using a gas grill, turn off all but one of the burners once it has come up to temperature. If you are using charcoal, be sure all the coals have been raked to one side. Use the hand test: the grate will be hot enough when you can hold your palm 3-4 inches above the metal for no more than three seconds.
    3. Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side directly over the flame, with the lid down. Then, move the steaks to the part of grill that is not lit. Set the lid in place and allow the steaks to cook, without flipping them, until they reach 120-135 degrees**, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the steak. Remove the steaks to a platter and allow them to rest a few minutes before serving.
    The Best Steak – Indoors

    Recipe taken from Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lovers’ Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously, by Shannon Hayes

    (The amount of seasoning you will use will vary based on the size of your steak. If it is close to one pound, use less. If it is closer to 2 pounds, use more.)

    • 1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
    • 1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons butter, tallow or rendered lamb fat
    • Either 1 sirloin, sirloin tip, tri-tip, top round or London Broil, rib eye, porterhouse, t-bone, top loin (NY Strip) or tenderloin (filet mignon) steak. Steaks should be at least 1 ¼ – 1 ½ inches thick.
    1. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the steak then allow the meat to come to room temperature.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°, then heat a large cast iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet over a high flame. Once the skillet is so hot that you can see a little smoke rising off of it, add the butter or fat. Sear the steak for two minutes on each side.
    3. Turn off the flame, and insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the boneless edge of the steak – do not insert it into the top, as there is not enough thickness for the thermometer to take an accurate reading.
    4. Leaving the steak in the skillet, place it in the oven and allow it to finish cooking, about 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the cut, until the internal temperature reads 120-135°.  Allow the meat to rest five minutes before carving and serving.

    Weren’t aware that grassfed meats have different internal doneness temps than grainfed? Get a handy magnetic grassfed temperature guide, the Don’t Overdo It Magnet, from They’re inexpensive, and you can feel good about them, because they are made by a small, locally owned factory in my community.

    Winter Grilling Tips

    Yes, the indoor method described above is terrific. The meat is super-tender and juicy. But I prefer to season with a little smoke and flame. Thus, I’ve become one of those hard-core advocates of year-round grilling. If you are new to the idea, here are a few tips to get you started.

    1. Choose a safe place for grilling outdoors. The garage may not be your best bet, since it probably contains a few explosives, such as cans of gas, or lawn mowers, chainsaws or other vehicles that contain gasoline. I actually have a screened-in porch with a brick floor that shelters me for winter grilling. That’s a little more deluxe than most folks have – just try to choose a sheltered spot that isn’t too close to your house.

    2. Keep the path to your grill site, and the area around it, free of snow and ice. It would be deeply annoying to ruin a perfectly good dinner because of a last-minute trip to the emergency room.

    3. Dress wisely. I find that my charcoal throws up a lot more sparks in the winter…or perhaps I’ve just noticed them more, because I’ve made the stupid mistake on occasion of wearing drapey and flammable garments, such as winter scarves, out to the coals. Learn from my experience, and don’t make the same stupid mistake.

    4. Limit your grilling repertoire. It’s cold out. Barbecuing is a culinary tradition from the warm south. Unless you have some pretty sophisticated equipment, and are some kind of BBQ Macho-Man (you know who you are), smoking and barbecuing are best relegated to summertime pleasures. Stick to the steaks, burgers and chops. They minimize the trips out to the grill, keeping the cold out of your house and out of your bones.

    5. Allow extra heat-up and cook times. Extreme outdoor temperatures will affect the warm-up and cooking time of your grill. To accommodate for this, always grill with the lid down, and monitor the internal temperature of your meat with an instant-read meat thermometer. If you are considering buying a gas grill and you plan to use it through the winter, buy the highest BTU rating you can afford. The cold truly slows the heat-up process. Also, high BTUs often accompany higher quality grills, which will do a better job holding in the heat during the winter months. If you are on a budget (like me) or just prefer the flavor (like me), a simple little Weber charcoal kettle will work beautifully for outdoor winter grilling (no, I do not work for them).

    Winter grilling is much easier if you are working with the ecologically responsible charwood (available in many hardware or natural food stores) because it is much easier to light, and it quickly gets a lot hotter than composite briquettes. I find that, with the exception of the most extreme weather conditions, I can keep to my normal cook times by simply using a few more coals in the fire. The bonus is that charwood is better for the planet.

    For more tips on ecologically responsible grilling, check out my book, The Farmer and the Grill: A Guide to Grilling, Barbecuing and Spit-Roasting Grassfed Meat…And for saving the planet, one bite at a time.

    Shannon Hayes is the host of and She is the author of Radical Homemakers, Farmer and the Grill, and The Grassfed Gourmet. Hayes works with her family producing grassfed and pastured meats on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in Upstate New York.

    Recommended Reads

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  • Can Police Detect 600 Watts Light? How To Hide The Heat Signature?
    17 June 2021

    With a 600 watts LED light you can enlighten at least 600×30= 18,000 square feet. In this case, you are enlighting per square feet equally. But usually, people do not use this much energy to cover a large area. Then why you are using it? Actually, you need to grow Marijuana in your grow tent and for this, you need a 600 watts LED light in your grow tent.

    So, let’s come back to the topic, “can police detect 600 Watts Light?”

    Yes! Police can detect or tack the 600 Watts light with their latest technology. The IR technology can detect the heat signature and 600W light emits an enormous amount of heat which can easily be detected by the police.

    How Cops Detect a 600W LED Light?

    To know that you have to understand the MOA (mechanism of action) of the IR. IR (Infrared) can scan 39611.19 square feet area at a time.

    The scanner through selective laser rays which one’s frequency get wavy when it comes to the contact of a certain amount of heat signature. The amount of heat they want to detect can be set by the digital screen. Usually, while circulating they try to detect starting from 300 watts of heat. So easily you can understand how the cops can detect a 600W light’s heat.

    How You Can Hide The Heat Signature of a 600W Light?

    There are certain ways to hide the heat signature of a 600W light. We are going to show you below.

    Use Mylar Fabrics

    Mylar is one kind of reflective fabric that can hide the heat or reduce the release of the heat outside. Most of the grow tents are made of Mylar fabrics. So, already you have protection.

    You can buy extra Mylar fabrics to re-rap the grow tent. However, you have to calculate the amount you need to buy by reading the description of the product.

    Moreover, Mylar can block the IR which usually be used by the cops.

    Use an Aluminium Sheet

    Using an aluminium sheet is a cheaper way to hide the heat signature. But using Mylar fabric is a much better option. However, you can buy an aluminium sheet to re-rap your grow tent.

    Build Underground Bunker

    This is a pretty tough method to hide the heat signature. However, if you are really interested to go through the process you can check the following article – How Can You Grow Marijuana in Grow Tent Without Being Detected by Police?

    We have discussed this in details in the article. So, I am not touching it here.

    Build a Stone Cave To Hide

    We have already discussed the easiest methods to hide the heat signature. Now we are going to the toughest one. Building a stone cave in your garden.

    The benefit of building it is, you have no need to dig the ground. That’s it.

    The image we showed is not the ideal one. But it’s pretty much like that.

    So there are ways you can hide the heat signature of a 600 watts light.

    Can You Grow Cannabis Without 600W Light?

    Yes! you can grow cannabis without a 600W light. In this case, you need to reduce the amount of area coverage and need to use at least 315 watts of light in your grow tent.

    However, there are a lot of ways to grow cannabis without making a suspicious move.

    Use 2×2 Grow Tents

    You can use 2×2 or 3×3 grow tents and can hide them in your basement where you can use low powered LED lights. The number of trees will reduce in that case and you may need to buy multiple grow tents, but I think it’s worth taking the risk.

    Use Green Houses

    Using large greenhouses can be a smart move to grow cannabis if you have a large ground. Definitely, you are not going to have any light in the Greenhouse in summer. But in winter when you are going to use lights it won’t attract the attention much.

    As you have come this far, you are smart enough to know how to hide the tress in the jungle.

    Wrapping Up

    So, we have discussed everything you need to know. An am pretty sure that you got the answer to “Can Police Detect 600 Watts Light? How To Hide The Heat Signature?”

    If you think you have more questions, you can contact us via email or our social networks. We will try to do the experiment to answer your question and will write an article on it.

    Moreover, we never post an article without doing a real experiment on it. So, you can have your faith in us.

    Keep supporting us!

  • Plant Portraits
    17 June 2021

    Check out some of the latest additions to our Plant Portraits area of the website.

    The post Plant Portraits appeared first on Irish Garden Plant Society.

  • How To Strengthen Your Mental Health While Gardening
    17 June 2021

    Any gardener knows just how much dipping your hands into some soil and seeing your garden grow can brighten your mood. It has already been proven that having plants around can improve your physical health through improving air quality, but it will be unsurprising to many that cultivating plants can also strengthen your mental health.  […]

    The post How To Strengthen Your Mental Health While Gardening appeared first on AGreenHand.

  • The Top 11 Sustainability Tips For Your Home
    17 June 2021

    Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all come to realize that it’s important to find a balance between health and wealth. Making your home more sustainable goes a long way in achieving this, and a little house refresh is always nice, especially when it doesn’t cost much. Creating a greener home for you and your family means […]

    The post The Top 11 Sustainability Tips For Your Home appeared first on AGreenHand.

Vegetable Gardening blogs

Vegetable Gardening Blogs

17 June 2021

Vegetable Gardening Blogs Vegetable Gardening Blogs
  • Amazing Hanging Vegetable Garden, Growing Vegetables in Dry Coconut Shell
    17 June 2021

    Amazing hanging vegetable garden, Growing vegetables in dry coconut shell.
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  • How To Kill Weeds With Vinegar – Simple, Effective And Natural!
    17 June 2021

    When it comes to controlling weeds on patios, driveways and walkways, nothing is more simple, easy and effective than making homemade weed killer with vinegar. And best of all, it …

    The post How To Kill Weeds With Vinegar – Simple, Effective And Natural! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

  • 6 Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds
    17 June 2021

    Raised bed gardening is gaining in popularity. If you are thinking of following suit, you may be wondering what are the best vegetables to grow in raised beds? Given that raised beds do not have unlimited room for deep roots,…

    The post 6 Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds appeared first on Producing Your Own Food.

  • Planting in compost – 60 Second Garden Tip
    17 June 2021
  • Dealing with weeds
    16 June 2021


    Galinsoga- a fast-growing, fast-seeding weed of cultivated soil. Photo Wren VileDealing with weeds Why take action against weeds?

    Weeds compete with crops for sunlight, water and nutrients, and can encourage fungal diseases by reducing airflow. Too-frequent cultivation to remove weeds can leave the soil more prone to erosion. Each tilling or deep hoeing stirs air into the soil and speeds combustion of organic matter. Most weeds respond well to nutrients, especially nitrogen. If you give corn too much nitrogen, even as compost, its productivity will max out and the weeds will use the remaining nutrients.

    Remove weeds at their most vulnerable stage, or at the last minute before the seedpods explode —ignore weeds doing little damage.

    Types of Weeds
    •   Annuals and perennials;
    • Stationary perennials (docks) and invasive perennials (Bermuda grass);
    • Cool-weather and warm-weather types;
    •  Quick-maturing and slow-maturing types;
    •   “Big Bang” types (pigweed) versus “Dribblers” (galinsoga).
    Burdock is a large perennial weed with a huge root. Photo Bridget Aleshire Sustainable Weed Management 1.      Prevent weeds from germinating
    •  Grow vigorous crops adapted to the locality,
    •  Switch between spring and summer crops in rotation,
    •  Mulch or tarp to bury short-lived weed seeds
    • Plant promptly after cultivation, so weeds don’t get the head start,
    • Transplant rather than direct sowing, giving your crop a head start on the weeds,
    • Use close spacings, leaving less space for weeds,
    • Use drip irrigation rather than sprinklers, discouraging weed germination between the rows,
    •  Plant cover crops, including no-till systems,
    • Reduce tillage whenever you can, for example, by relay planting, where the new crop is planted while the previous crop is still in place, and prevent new weed seeds coming up to the surface.
    Remove weeds before they set seed. Thistle seeds blow a long way on the wind.
    Photo Wren Vile 2.      Reduce weed seeding
    • Practice timely cultivation, mowing, flaming, grazing by cattle, chickens, ducks, geese. As Margaret Roach says: “No matter what weed you are facing, if it’s flowering or setting seed now, be sure to behead it: mow it down, harvest the blooms for bouquets, or otherwise prevent a successful sexual reproduction cycle.”
    • Reduce weed seed banks to 5% of original levels by preventing weeds from seeding for 5 consecutive years.
    •  Use post-emergence organic weed killers: corn gluten, vinegar, flaming
    Dandelions are another perennial weed with seeds that blow and spread easily. Photo Wren Vile 3.      Reduce weed seed viability
    •  Reckon that most weed emergence happens within two years of the seeds being shed.
    •  Encourage seed-eating birds, insects, worms, mice
    •  Small, short-lived seeds of weeds with no dormancy period, such as galinsoga, will almost all die within a year or two if they are buried a few inches. Till and mulch to bury short-lived weed seeds.
    •  Longer-lived seeds (pigweed, lambsquarters, velvetleaf) if buried, may remain viable and dormant for years – Leave such weed seeds on the soil surface, rather than tilling them in! Delaying tillage if weeds have already seeded generally reduces the number of seeds added to the long-term seed bank. Seeds lying on or near the soil surface are more likely to deteriorate or become food for seed predators than buried seeds,
    •  If they do not get eaten, dry out or rot, seeds on top of the soil are more likely to germinate than buried seeds, and you can take prompt action.
    • Use stale seed-beds – prepare bed a couple of weeks before planting, water as if you had planted. The day before planting your crop, hoe the surface shallowly to kill new weeds,
    •  Solarize weedy soil in hot weather to kill weed seeds – mow the weeds, cover the soil tightly with clear plastic, weighted down or dug in round the edges. Bryan O’Hara in No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture has popularized this technique, which makes a great use for used hoophouse plastic film. Solarizing can produce temperatures of 125˚F (50˚C) whereas temperatures under tarps (see section on perennial weeds) will be more like 110˚F (43˚C). You may need only 1-3 sunny days to kill crop residues with solarization. Cover crops and weeds may take longer to die. The heat will not go deep into the soil in that short time, and so more of the soil life will survive than with tarping.
    Solarizing with clear plastic. Photo Pam Dawling 4.      Reduce the strength of perennial weed roots and rhizomes
    • Understand apical dominance: when a rhizome grows a green shoot, chemicals from that shoot prevent other nearby nodes on the same rhizome from sending up shoots.
    •  Act in a timely way – On long rhizomes, after a certain length, the dominance effect is too weak and another node can grow a shoot.
    •  Reduce the strength of perennial weed roots and rhizomes by frequent tilling or digging out.
    • Beware tilling invasive “traveling” perennial weeds once and thinking you’re done – When rhizomes are cut into pieces during tillage, the apical dominance is lost and each piece can grow a shoot of its own.
    •  Consider tarping: after tarping the plot for two summer weeks, 3-4 weeks in spring and fall, and two months or more in winter, dig out or pull up all the weed roots still alive.
    •  Next comes a counter-intuitive move (from Jesse Frost ): sow or transplant an intensive valuable crop in the areas with the worst perennial weed pressure. Of course this will motivate you to deal effectively with the weeds!
    • Pull out the pieces to dry on the surface – the depleted pieces of root or rhizome may die
    •  Or cultivate again when the new shoots have reduced the plant’s reserves (in the roots), but before they have grown enough to send energy back to the roots – it’s more effective than going almost daily after every sprig. Removing the shoots whenever the weeds reach the three- to four-leaf stage can be most effective.
    •  Late summer and fall turn out to be the best time for getting the upper hand over a wide range of common weeds, including Japanese knotweed, ragweed, Ailanthus, bindweed, curly dock and more. See Some weeds are best tackled late summer and fall Margaret Roach in A Way to Garden
    Biointensive Integrated Pest Management

    The weed strategies above follow the four steps of IPM: prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression.

    1.      Prevention: Focus on restoring and enhancing natural balance and resilience to create healthy plants and soil, better able to withstand attacks. Maintain soil fertility, good drainage and soil structure; plant resistant, pest-tolerant, regionally adapted varieties; grow strong plants; practice good sanitation,

    Hoe the small weeds in this bed of young lettuce soon, and the closing canopy of the lettuce will shade out most weeds after that. Photo Bridget Aleshire

    2.      Avoidance: The next stage includes actions to reduce the chances of a weeds taking over. These actions are also known as physical controls. Physically remove weeds. Use good crop rotations, remove weed habitat, deter weeds. Provide habitat for weed seed predators.

    3.      Monitoring:  regularly inspect your crops, find out when conditions are right for an outbreak of particular weeds. Be prepared. Identify your weeds and choose good strategies for each type. Decide when it is time to act. How to identify your weeds – online guides

    4.      Suppression: When the prevention and avoidance strategies have been exhausted, control measures can be used to reduce damage of crops, while minimizing environmental risks. There are four types of sustainable bio-intensive control measures to choose from, starting with the least damaging to the wider environment:

    • a)      Biological control involves working to boost populations of existing resident weed seed predators. (For a few serious weed pests, like prickly pear, host-specific insect enemies are introduced)
    • b)      Microbial controls (bioherbicides) are plant-pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses to kill weeds. Not common.
    • c)      Botanical control uses plant-based products for pest control. Examples include orange, clove and peppermint oils, and phytotoxic plant residues, such as root exudates from winter rye cover crops, and hay from sorghum, which inhibit germination of small seeds.
    • d)      Biorational controls (aka inorganic, mineral, controls) make use of manufactured products such as herbicidal soaps or strong vinegar.
    Hoe weeds while they are small and you can be rid of those with short-lived seeds in a few years. Galinsoga and Outredgeous lettuce. Photo Pam Dawling Critical weed-free period

    One important factor is to observe the critical period of weed control for each crop. This is the period when crops are most affected by competition, whether from weeds, sister seedlings or those of an intercrop. Seedlings suffer more than transplants from being out-shaded. Transplants are soon past their critical weed-free period, perhaps half of it before you even set them out. As well as the critical period, take note of the severity of drop in yield for the particular crop. A lot of the information below comes from The Living Soil Handbook by Jesse Frost, which I had the pleasure of reviewing recently.

    • Small salad crops like arugula, spinach and baby lettuce mix, really need to be weed-free throughout their growth. Apart from the risk of being smothered and producing poorly, there is the risk of including bits of recognizable weeds in your salads.
    • Bulb onions also benefit from being weed-free throughout growth. Like other narrow-leaved plants, they are poor competitors. Carrots also are very poor competitors – for most of us, the over-abundance of carrot seedlings in the row are as much of a threat as the weeds. Parsnips are similar, with the added challenge that they are slow to emerge.
    • Peas do best with no competition, although, because they grow vertically, they can do OK with a companion crop such as spinach (or weeds!) a short distance away. Hilling potatoes before the weeds get too big will deal with the weeds as well as giving the potatoes more growing space. Photo Wren Vile

      Potatoes, weeds and standing water. Until the soil drains, the potatoes cannot be hilled, and the weeds here are already large. The yield will be reduced by weeds competing with the potatoes.  Photo Bridget Aleshire

    • Potatoes need 1-8 weeks after emergence free from weeds, although small weeds are not a problem and the process of hilling potatoes (needed to provide growing space) effectively deals with weeds.
    • Beets need 2-3 weeks after emergence weed-free from direct-sowing. My experience is that beets are their own worst enemy, and the clusters of seedlings that emerge from each seed-ball should be singled as soon as possible. Yields can easily drop 1-5% with small-average weeds. Turnips also need to be competition-free for the first few weeks after emergence.
    • Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale and most Asian greens need 2-3 weeks after transplanting free of weeds.
    • Sweet potatoes need 2-6 weeks free of competition after planting. Because it gets hard to wade in and pull weeds later, we try to keep them weed-free.
    Garlic beds under a stormy sky. Keep alliums free of weeds.
    Photo Wren Vile
    • Garlic needs 3-7 weeks from emergence free of weeds. If you plant in the fall, start counting in early spring when weeds start to grow again. Like most alliums, the narrow vertical leaves make it a weak competitor.
    • Basil, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, lettuce and many other crops need four weeks from transplanting free of weeds. Be careful not to damage squash roots when removing weeds.
    •  Tomatoes need 5-6 weeks after transplanting free from competition, although they are fairly strong competitors later, and we routinely transplant our hoophouse tomatoes down the center of a bed of salad greens, progressively harvesting the greens over the next month. We have noticed problems only if we leave other crops too close for too long. Always prioritize the well-being of the new crop!
    • Peppers need 5-10 weeks after transplanting free from competition, although the drop in yield is small (5%)
    •  Fava beans need four weeks from emergence free of weeds
    •  Direct sown kale needs 6 weeks from emergence weed-free.
    • Okra requires 6-8 weeks after sowing weed-free. If you transplant okra as we do, half that period will be over by transplanting date.
    • Beans are a crop that can generally out-compete weeds (losing only 3% yield from competition), but keeping the rows clean until the beans flower (about 6 weeks from sowing) will maximize yields.
    • Corn needs about 7 weeks from seeding free of weeds (until there are 6 leaves).
    • Eggplant calls for 8 weeks from transplanting free of competition.
    •  Leeks, another weakly competitive allium, need 12 weeks post emergence weed-free. If, like us, you transplant leeks at about 10 weeks after sowing, this translates to hoeing the beds of transplanted leeks a couple of weeks of transplanting.

    I won’t say more about this here. Click the link to read previous posts.


    Mulches are a big asset in weed control. Organic mulches also add biomass to the soil. Remember not to use organic mulches around warm weather crops for their first month, as they need warm soil to grow well, and insulating mulches keep the soil cold.

    See our experience with Biodegradable plastic mulch

    Read Organic Farming Has A Plastic Problem. One Solution Is Controversial about the controversy surrounding biodegradable plastic in Organic FarmingJune 7, 2019

    Cover crops

    Summer cover crops smother emerging weeds, prevent weed seed germination, between a spring food crop and a summer or fall one. Winter cover crops smother emerging winter annual weeds. Good cover crops for this purpose: sorghum-sudangrass, pearl millet, winter rye, wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, brassicas (beware – rotation, bugs), lupins, red clover, subterranean clover, berseem clover, soybeans, cowpeas.

    Ida Gold mustard (Sinapis alba) contains a gluscosinolate, ‘sinalbin’, a non-volatile compound that has shown the ability to inhibit weed seed germination. Tillage radish has a similar effect. The cover crop needs to be mowed and tilled in. Solarization after incorporating mustard is known as biofumigation.

    Cover crops also improve the soil for crop production.

    Iron and Clay southern peas as cover crop in the hoophouse, smothering weeds.
    Photo Pam Dawling
  • Starting A Vegetable Garden From What You Have At Home
    16 June 2021

    Starting a vegetable garden with the items you have in your kitchen is easy and if I can do it, so can you. Be it hydroponics or rooting an herb stem, or saving ripe seeds from vegetables, you can do it! The best part is that you can grow all of them in pots on your deck or patio even. Once you have tasted the fruits of your labor I promise, you will never look back. The taste of these homegrown veggies is 10 times better than what we buy from stores.
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  • Light and Creamy Tamarillo Cheesecake
    16 June 2021

    This baked tamarillo cheesecake is moist, light and creamy. The tamarillo topping lends a tartness to the cheesecake as well as a deep purple colour. Late autumn and winter is tamarillo time and if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some, from the store or your own tree, here is a great tamarillo...

    Read More

    The post Light and Creamy Tamarillo Cheesecake appeared first on Home Grown Happiness.

  • Hot and Dry
    15 June 2021
    Hot and Dry  The Gardening with Joey and Holly radio show helps gardeners grow food across the country in the 2021 garden season. The show is hosted by husband and wife team Joey and Holly Baird. The show in 2021 is heard on 15 stations in 10 plus markets and in some part of 23 […]
  • The Sombrun Forest Garden Project
    15 June 2021

    In rural south west France Jonathan is establishing the Sombrun Forest Garden Project following principles established over thousands of years in full respect of Nature, the environment and ecology. Here is a link to his most recent post of 1st June 2021 which is – like all his posts – very detailed, informative, interesting and enlightening.

  • Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad – A Summertime Staple Recipe
    15 June 2021

    This classic Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad is a refreshing summertime dish that is commonly served at most picnics and gatherings. And it is definitely a staple refrigerator item in our …

    The post Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad – A Summertime Staple Recipe appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Flower Gardening blogs

Flower Gardening Blogs

17 June 2021

Flower Gardening Blogs Flower Gardening Blogs
  • where i did not look
    17 June 2021

    yesterday the first new seedling of 2021 bloomed. and during the course of the day another new seedling started to open. slowly. by 7 pm it was not quite a trumpet. it should open over night. i guess i should type faster and go get a picture. then again coffee first. i have also seen several flowers where i did not look. flowers that snuck up on me. flowers that peeked out and with their bright colors exclaimed hey i am here ! daylilies do that kind of thing a lot. Shanghai Breeze did that to me yesterday. and a seedling did that to another gardener too. it did something new and in daylily fashion quite unexpected. Linda Ferguson posted this on one of the daylily pages i follow. usually the backs of petals are one color and rather plain. this seedling has an extra ostentatious set. as alice might say curious and curiouser. so without further ado Shanghai Breeze and a seedling from another garden. and do keep looking nature is full of surprises. thanks Linda !

    • Linda Ferguson seedling
    • Shanghai Breeze
  • New addition to the Berberis family
    17 June 2021
    The Berberis 55 self-watering large-volume flower pot is a new addition to the Berberis family. Plastia CZ is delighted to introduce this product for small trees, palms, citrus trees, or large decorative plants. Bush and tree roses perform well, as will hortensias or fig trees. Universal usageThanks to the…
  • NL: Dutch growers caught illegally discharging
    17 June 2021
    In the Nieuwland-Noordland polder near 's-Gravenzande, the Netherlands, two growers were caught illegally discharging last week. Both growers were fined.  The polder Nieuwland-Noordland has left the aftercare phase of the Gebiedsgerichte Aanpak in 2018, in which the Hoogheemraadschap Delfland works together…
  • Cold chain companies explain reasons behind logistics issues in floriculture
    17 June 2021
    "It's all about truck drivers," explains David Armellini, President of Armellini Logistics in a recent live show hosted by NewBloomSolutions, The Bloom Show. "At the moment, we cannot get the amount of truck drivers that we need to meet the demand. The truck driving industry has changed dramatically over…
  • “The first system that can measure photosynthesis without damaging the plant”
    17 June 2021
    By measuring the efficiency of photosynthesis of a plant, production can increase by 5-10%. However, assessing photosynthesis without damaging the plant is a challenge. Therefore, PhenoVation took on the challenge and created the CropObserver. “It can measure the plant’s photosynthesis from 2 meters…
  • Managing whiteflies on poinsettias using biological control agents
    17 June 2021
    Recent research shows the use of biological controls, along with scouting, can be an important part of a grower’s whitefly management program. Whiteflies are a common annual pest of ornamentals,and with the growth of insecticide-resistant species,retailer restrictions on specific insecticides, and…
  • Gardening boom creates “an almost unprecedented plant shortage in America”
    17 June 2021
    The Gardening boom of 2020 continues prominently into 2021,” said Tony Avent, founder and proprietor of Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh. “Last year, the boom really started with the existing gardeners. Then, the longer COVID went on, we began to see more orders from Gen…
  • Study on the role of plant growth regulators in flower crops
    17 June 2021
    Plant growth regulators are an enormously important agent in the integration of developmental activities. Environmental factors often exert inductive effects by evoking changes in hormones in metabolism and distribution within the plant. Apart from it, they also regulate the expression of the intrinsic…
  • US (SD): Zeeb’s Greenhouse opens new, larger facility
    17 June 2021
    This spring, vehicles filled with flowers have been driving along 1st Avenue, in Spearfish. The patrons have likely visited Zeeb’s Retail Greenhouse, which opened a new, permanent greenhouse facility in early May at 3157 Venture Ct.  “We offer a superior product at a superior price. Our customers often buy…
  • CAN: Farming paves the way for better days to come for the entire economy
    17 June 2021
    It’s tempting to talk about Canada’s pandemic recovery, but is it premature? Cases of COVID-19 keep making headlines, and the “new normal” Canadians so desperately want still seems remote and uncertain.  One thing is absolutely clear, though. Agriculture and the agri-food sector have gotten back to near-normal…

Urban Gardening blogs

Urban Gardening Blogs

17 June 2021

Urban Gardening Blogs Urban Gardening Blogs
  • This Stream Will Self-Destruct - Corporate Feudalism through the great awakening / Q&A
    17 June 2021
  • USA: WASHINGTON STATE - Ummah Sustained Agroecology Center - Long Time! We have been Getting Things Started Here on The West Coast. We Opened!
    17 June 2021

    Ummah Sustained Agroecology Center, a unique opportunity for your K-8 child to be creative, and confident while building lasting friendships. Our youth development program nurtures a child’s instinctive curiosity through informal exploration learning experiences

    Ummah Sustained AgroEcology Center - U.S.A.C. features Washington States 1st Certified Jr Master Gardener, Youth Agroecology, and Discover through Hydroponic K8 Farm School programs.

    Our Certified Urban Permaculture center houses three hydroponic systems including Freight Farm, a greenhouse, raised beds, community garden, small session classroom, and Afrocentric resource library.

    We offer volunteer opportunities through WSU Extension Snohomish County 4-H and AmeriCorp.

    Adasha Turner Modest Farming Solutions 425-310-2411 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Vertical Roots Opens Third Indoor Hydroponic Container Farm
    17 June 2021


     By Mary Ellen Shoup

    Vertical Roots, a vertical farming company which grows its leafy greens in repurposed shipping containers year-round, has opened its third indoor farm in Atlanta, Georgia, reducing produce transportation and expanding access to fresh, locally-grown leafy greens.

    To Continue Reading, Please Click Here

    Source Courtesy of Food

  • What Is Aeroponics?
    17 June 2021
    How Aeroponics Works, Types, And Pros, And Cons

    June 14, 2021

    By Katherine Gallagher

    Aeroponics is an advanced variation of hydroponics where plants are suspended in the air; their roots dangle down and are periodically misted with water from a timed sprinkler system connected to the main nutrient reservoir. This soilless growing method is best for plants that need more oxygenation since aeroponic roots aren’t hampered by dense soil or thick growing mediums. Depending on the plant and specific type of aeroponics system, the grower typically uses little to no growing media at all.

    In aeroponics, a specially designed pump and spray system is submerged into the nutrient-water solution and timed to release short mists of water to the plants’ roots throughout the day. Because roots will have more access to oxygen and humidity in an aeroponics system, they often grow two to three times larger and yield far bigger numbers than traditional farming methods. Generally, it also uses less water over time since excess water not absorbed by the roots is drained back into the nutrient tank, and the mist allows for higher concentrations of nutrients with less liquid.

    Most of the plants that work with hydroponics will thrive in an aeroponics system, from leafy greens and herbs to tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries, but with additional perks. Because of the exposed root qualities of aeroponics systems, root vegetables like potatoes that would otherwise be ill-suited for hydroponics systems will flourish as they’ll have more room to grow and be easier to harvest.

    Neznam / Getty Images

    Aeroponics in Space

    NASA began experimenting with aeroponics as early as 1997, planting adzuki beans and seedlings aboard the Mir space station in zero gravity and comparing them to controlled aeroponic gardens on Earth treated with the same nutrients. Amazingly, the zero gravity plants grew more than the plants on Earth. Aeroponics can not only provide long-mission deep-space NASA crews with fresh food, but it also has the potential to provide them with fresh water and oxygen.

    How Does Aeroponics Work?

    The seeds are planted somewhere they’ll stay in place, such as pieces of foam, pipes, or foam rings, which are then wedged into small pots or a perforated panel with a tank full of nutrient solution below. The panel elevates the plants so they’ll be exposed to the natural (or artificial) light and circulating air, providing light on the top and nutrient mist on the bottom, and an enclosure around the roots helps keep the moisture in. A timed pump rests inside the tank or reservoir, pumping solution up and through spray nozzles that mist the roots, with excess liquid draining straight down through an outflow chamber back into the reservoir. At the next timed interval, the entire cycle starts again.

    Neznam / Getty Images

    Nutrients for aeroponics systems, like hydroponics, come packaged in both dry and liquid forms. Depending on the plant and growth stage, primary nutrients may include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while secondary nutrients can range from calcium and magnesium to sulfur. It is also important to consider micro-nutrients, such as iron, zinc, molybdenum, manganese, boron, copper, cobalt, and chlorine.

    In aeroponics systems where the nutrient solution is continuously recycled, the pH measurements need to be taken regularly to ensure that enough nutrients are getting absorbed into the plants.

    Natural Aeroponics

    Aeroponics occurs in nature, specifically in more humid and wet regions like the tropical islands of Hawaii. Near waterfalls, for example, plants will grow vertically on the rocks with their roots openly hanging in the air, the spray from the waterfall moistening the roots under the right conditions.

    Types of Aeroponics

    There are two types of commonly used aeroponics: low pressure and high pressure. Low pressure is the most used by home growers since it is low cost, easy to set up, and its components are easier to find. However, this type of aeroponics often uses a plastic spray nozzle and a typical fountain pump to deliver nutrients, so the droplet sizes are not exact and can sometimes waste more water.

    High-pressure aeroponics, on the other hand, distributes nutrients through a highly pressurized nozzle that can deliver smaller water droplets to create more oxygen in the root zone than low-pressure techniques. It is more efficient, but much more costly to set up, so it tends to be reserved for commercial production rather than hobbyists.

    High-pressure systems typically mist for 15 seconds every 3 to 5 minutes, while low-pressure systems may spray for 5 minutes straight every 12 minutes. Experienced growers will adjust the spraying interval according to the time of day, watering more frequently at night when the plants are less focused on photosynthesis and more focused on taking up nutrients. With both types, the reservoir solution is kept at a temperature range between 60 F and 70 F in order to maximize the absorption rate of the plant. If the water becomes too hot, it is more susceptible to algae and bacteria growth, but if it gets too cold, the plants may start to shut down and not take as many nutrients as they would at a more optimal temperature.

    Aeroponics at Home

    While some growers choose to use horizontal aeroponic systems similar to traditional soil farming, vertical systems can save more space. These vertical systems come in all shapes and sizes, even small enough to be used on a back porch, balcony, or even inside an apartment with the appropriate lighting setup. In these smaller systems, misting devices are placed on top, allowing gravity to evenly distribute the nutrient solution as it spreads downward.

    Neznam / Getty Images

    Aeroponics kits are available to make the setup process easier for beginners, but it is also possible to design and build your own system at home, similar to hydroponics, with tools found at most local gardening stores. Due to the complicated and expensive nature of high-pressure aeroponics, it is always prudent for beginners to start off with a low-pressure system before working their way up to more technical operations.

    Fun Fact

    The first recorded use of aeroponics happened in 1922 when B.T.P. Barker developed a primitive air plant-growing system and used it to research plant root structure in a laboratory setting. By 1940, researchers were frequently using aeroponics in plant root studies, as the dangling roots and lack of soil made it much easier to observe changes.

    Pros and Cons

    One of the most significant advantages of aeroponics systems is the fast and high crop yield and the fact that it uses the least amount of water over time compared to hydroponics and aquaponics. Roots are exposed to more oxygen, helping them absorb more nutrients and grow faster, healthier, and larger. Also, the lack of soil and growing medium means that there are fewer threats of root zone diseases.

    On the flip side, aeroponic system chambers are constantly being sprayed with mist, keeping them wet and prone to bacteria and fungi; this can be remedied by cleaning and sterilizing misters and chambers regularly.

    Affordability Factor

    Studies show that the cost of growing a tuber (such as potatoes, jicama, and yams) using aeroponics is about one-quarter less than the cost of a conventionally grown tuber.

    Due to the circular nature of the watering system and the higher nutrient absorption rate, aeroponics uses considerably less water than similar farming systems. Aeroponic equipment is also easier to move and requires much less space (nurseries can even be stacked on top of each other like a modular system). In a study comparing lettuce growth aeroponics, hydroponics, and substrate culture, results showed that aeroponics significantly improved root growth with greater root biomass, root-shoot ratio, length, area, and volume. The study concluded that aeroponics systems may be better for higher-valued crops.

    surabky / Getty Images

    Because the plants aren’t submerged in water, aeroponics is completely dependent on the misting system. If anything malfunctions (or in the event of power outages), then the plants will quickly dry up and die without water or nutrients. Seasoned growers will think ahead and have some sort of backup power and misting system waiting in storage in case the primary one fails. The system’s pH and nutrient density ratio is sensitive, and will require plenty of hands-on experience to understand how to properly balance them; as there is no soil or media to absorb the excess nutrients, proper knowledge about the perfect amount of nutrients is essential to aeroponics systems.

    Lead photo: surabky / Getty Images

  • Eco-Friendly Smart Farms Based On Nutrient Solution Recirculation
    17 June 2021


    UV sterilization and microbial stability analysis used to recycle nutrient solution; proposed method minimizes the use of fertilizers and water by hydroponic farms


    The development of new urban agriculture technologies, such as vertical and smart farms, has accelerated rapidly in recent years. These technologies are based on hydroponic cultivation in which plants are grown using nutrient-rich solutions rather than soil. Approximately 20-30% of the nutrient solutions used during hydroponic cultivation are discharged without being absorbed by the crops, and because most farmers in South Korea do not treat the discharged solutions, hydroponic farms contribute significantly to environmental pollution.

    This problem can be reduced if hydroponic farms use a recirculating hydroponic cultivation method that reuses the nutrient solutions after sterilizing them with ultraviolet (UV) light, instead of discharging them. However, two main issues complicate the implantation of such recirculation systems. First, the potential for diseases and nutrient imbalances to develop owing to microbial growth in the recycled nutrient solutions must be eliminated. Second, the initial investment required to set up a recirculating hydroponic cultivation system is often prohibitive, costing hundreds of millions of Korean won per hectare.

    However, a new study conducted by researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) proposes a method that can stably manage the microbial population in recirculating hydroponic cultivation systems. The research team, led by Drs. Ju Young Lee and Tae In Ahn of the Smart Farm Research Center, KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products, conducted an integrated analysis of the microbial growth characteristics by constructing a model that simulates the flow of water and nutrients, and the inflow, growth, and discharge of microorganisms in recirculating and non-circulating hydroponic cultivation systems. Their simulations revealed that the microbial population in recirculating hydroponic cultivation systems can be controlled by adjusting the UV output and the water supply. On the contrary, in non-circulating hydroponic cultivation, the microbial population fluctuates considerably depending on the amount of water used, increasing sharply if there is too little water.

    KIST researchers are experimenting with a circulating hydroponic cultivation system. Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)

    High cost has restricted the use of UV sterilization systems in hydroponic farming in Korea And prompted the research team to develop their own UV sterilization system, with further studies underway to commercialize this system as an economical alternative to imported systems.

    The results of the study have already received strong interest: the rights to the operation and management software technology for recirculating hydroponic cultivation has been acquired by Dooinbiotech Co., Ltd. for an advance fee of 80 million won (8.5% of the operating revenue), while an agreement is in place with Shinhan A-Tec Co., Ltd. for the advanced recirculating hydroponic cultivation technology for an advance fee of 200 million won (1.5% of the operating revenue). Commercializing the recirculating hydroponic cultivation system is expected to reduce fertilizer costs by approximately 30~40%, which equates to 30 million won per year based on a 1-hectare farm.

    Commenting on the envisaged impacts of the study, Dr. Ju Young Lee said, "The developed system makes the transition to eco-friendly recirculating hydroponic cultivation systems an affordable option for many more farmers." Dr. Tae In Ahn added, "We are also developing software and operation manuals to guide farmers in managing the nutrient balance in the solutions to increase the number of farms using the recirculating hydroponic cultivation system."




    The study was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry) and the Innovative Smart Farm Technology Development Program of Multi-agency Package. The research results are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production (IF: 7.24, ranked in the top 6.9% by JCR), a highly respected international journal in the field of environmental science.

    Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

  • CANADA: The Value of Hyper-Local Produce
    17 June 2021

    The hyper-local food trend is more than just a fad: there’s a reason that hyper-local food is catching on in a big way. If you’re thinking about growing hyper-local food, it’s important to understand the value of the product and its market position.

    At Yellowknife Co-op, produce is grown steps away from the store in a container farm!


    Where does that ‘local’ head of lettuce you pick up from the grocery store actually come from? The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) defines ‘local food’ as being grown in the province where it’s being sold, or within 50km of the border. But hyper-local food is even more local than being from the same province or being Canadian-grown. It is usually grown within the same town or city, or a short distance from where it’s being sold (sometimes even right behind the store!).


    Hyper-local produce is usually grown within the same town or city, or a short distance from where it’s being sold.

    As consumers are becoming more and more aware of the environmental impact of our food choices, the demand to lower food miles is also growing. A food mile can be thought of as the distance that food travels from the grower to the consumer. As a metric, it helps to assess the environmental impact of the foods we consume. A 2012 study showed that on average, 30% of food is imported in Canada, leading to annual emissions of 3.3 million metric tonnes of CO2.

    Growing food hyper-locally can result in significantly lower food miles (and as few as zero food miles!) in both urban centres and rural communities. This reduces the carbon footprint of what you eat.

    SUSTAINABLY GROWN Growing hyper-locally in a hydroponic farming system has further benefits. Water in a closed hydroponic system is captured and reused, resulting in 90% less water use, and 95% less land than conventional farming. TRACEABLE FOOD CHAIN

    Growing hyper-local is completely traceable. This means you know exactly what’s going into your product. There are no synthetic pest control products, less risk for E.Coli, and a shorter supply chain to manage.


    Growing food hyper-locally also means fresher produce and a longer shelf-life. Instead of wilting in a truck for hundreds of kilometers, hyper-local produce is shelf-ready immediately. This has a marked effect on the quality, as most produce loses 30 percent of nutrients just three days after harvest.

    Life Water Gardens, a container garden project in Norway House Cree Nation, sells locally-grown produce at the Northern Store. Click here to learn more about the project and hear from its growers!

    “When you get your hands on the fresh produce and taste it, you know it’s a good thing for your community in general. It’s really easy to get excited and pumped about [this project].” - Ian Maxwell from Norway House.

    “When you get your hands on the fresh produce and taste it, you know it’s a good thing for your community. It’s really easy to get excited and pumped about [this project].”

    — Ian Maxwell, co-manager of Life Water Gardens


    For growers, it’s important to keep in mind that hyper-local food isn’t competing with foreign produce that you typically find in grocery stores. Between locally-grown vs imported food, the wholesale price for foreign produce is cheaper than local produce.

    Keep in mind that grocery stores buy produce at wholesale prices, which means that they may buy produce from you at a certain cost, and then sell it with a 30% margin added to the price. When you walk into a grocery store and see produce being sold for $4.99, the reality is that the grocery store-bought it for $3.50 and added a mark up to the final price to help cover their costs of operations.

    To find price-compatible products for market research in your area, look for products that will match your future products, such as living lettuce, other hydroponic greens, and other hyper-local, organic produce. Growcer greens belong in the hyper-local, value-added produce category.

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    GETTING STARTED WITH HYPER-LOCAL FOOD Growing hyper-local food has many benefits: not only is it fresher, healthier, and better for the planet, it can also be a profitable investment for growers. When crafting your financial projections, keep in mind the value of hyper-local produce and where it sits in the market.

    Interested in learning more about our hyper-local hydroponic growing systems? Find out more.

  • How to Use Microgreens In Your Salads, Smoothies, Snacks and More
    16 June 2021

    Although they are rising in popularity quickly, microgreens are still somewhat of a novelty for most of us, so you may not be familiar with how to use them in your cooking. This, combined with the fact that they grow relatively quickly (typical harvest times are 5-10 days) means that once you get started you’re not going to have long to figure out how to use them!

    In this blog we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to use microgreens in your salads, smoothies, snacks and more.

    If you’d like to learn more about how to grow them or their many health benefits feel free to check out our separate blogs on these topics and more – linked below. 

    When to harvest microgreens?

    Once microgreens form little leaves (which can be as soon as 3 days with some varieties) you can start to sample them. Microgreens’ flavor and texture will change over time, so every day after they sprout, it’s fun to take a pinch to see when their flavor peaks for you.

    It’s best to harvest microgreens as needed (meaning immediately before you eat them). This is the best way to ensure optimal flavor and nutrition. After taking a partial harvest, return your tray to the windowsill and let it keep growing until you need it next.  

    Also, while it’s not at all essential you might notice that your microgreens are a little bit crisper and sweeter in the morning. This is because they spend the nighttime replenishing their lost moisture and converting the previous day’s starch into sugar. 

    What are the different uses of microgreens?

    With flavors ranging from carrot to wasabi and colors ranging from green to pink, microgreens are nothing if not versatile. The most popular ways to use microgreens are:

    • Mixing into salads
    • Layering in sandwiches
    • Garnishing drinks
    • Seasoning soups
    • Juicing them 
    • Adding to stir frys
    How to Use Microgreens in Food?

    We recommend growing microgreens based on how you’ll cook with them but our sampler comes with the main types (spicy radish, sweet lentil shoots, mild kale, and flavorful mustard) to help you get your footing. Our favorite microgreen forward recipes for this mix are:

    • Mustard dressed summer salad
    • Ava-kale-do toast
    • Radish and Root Salad
    • Hummus, Tomato, and Lentil Shoot Wrap
    Cooking with Microgreens: How to Cook with Microgreens?

    As a general rule, cooking microgreens is not recommended as the high heat reduces their potent nutrient content – and they are so crisp and tender that they don’t need the heat to soften them. There are some exceptions, however, such as tossing in mung bean shoots near the end of your stir fry.

    Can microgreens be frozen?

    Freezing your microgreens is a good way of locking in the nutrition if you’ve grown too many to eat during your harvest – but it will totally destroy their texture, so it’s only a good move if you’re planning on using them in a smoothie. 

    If you’re curious to know more about what microgreens arehow to grow microgreensdifferent types of microgreens, or the benefits of microgreens – then check out our separate blogs on these topics. But if you’re too excited and just can’t wait to start growing your own microgreens, then check out our beginner-friendly Microgreens kits below.

  • How To Set Up A Simple DIY Grow Light For Less Than $40
    16 June 2021

    Getting through winter can be tough; it’s dark when you get to work, dark when you leave, and depending on where you live – there can definitely be a limit to the novelty value of all that snow.

    The good news is that you don’t have to wait until Spring to get started with gardening again. And having something healthy, green, and luscious can be a great way to brighten up your apartment! What’s more, you’ll also be able to grow things that are either very hard to find in winter, or if you do find them they’ll be either insanely expensive or really bad quality. See also our Top 5 Reasons Why Gardening Should Be Your #1 New Years Resolution!

    Below we lay out everything you will need to set up a winter garden, including a simple led grow light setup guide. Read all the way to the end for a special treat that’s guaranteed to cure your winter blues

    DIY Indoor Grow Light/Grow Lamp Setup

    The first and most important part of your grow lamp setup is the light. As Dr. Rob explains here, plants ‘eat’ light and convert it into chemical energy to fuel their growth. Not enough light = slow/weak growth. It’s important that you use a grow lamp specifically for plants – the normal type of light globe that’s screwed into your ceiling probably isn’t going to work. The problem with normal house globes is that they don’t offer the right frequencies of light for photosynthesis. More on that here. The video below will help you understand what to look for when shopping for grow lights.

    Simple Grow Light Setup: Lamp Stand

    There are a ton of different options here, and you should choose one that suits your space. One of the most important features to look for starting your simple grow light setup, however, is the ability to adjust its height. You will want to make sure that the globe is 3-4″ from the plant at all times. Obviously, as the plant grows taller, this means the light needs to move up. For this reason (and also because they’re very affordable) we like desk lamps like the ones below.

    Or for something a bit fancier (available in black and white):

    Simple Grow Light Setup: Timer

    There are a ton of options out there, but we usually endorse the KISS approach when it comes to timers. The only thing this timer needs to be able to do is to turn on and off once per day. The same time every day is fine. Given the simplicity of our requirements, we find that mechanical timers are best. If you’ve already got one lying around, or want to do something a bit fancier with your scheduling, then by all means use a digital one – but they are usually a bit more expensive. You want the light to be on for 12 – 16 hrs per day. Usually, it makes sense to synchronize this with your own waking hours, but if you wanted to do the opposite (and it’s not going to be in your bedroom) then that’s fine too.

    Simple Grow Light Setup: Costs Basic Grow Light Setup

    The total cost for setting up and running a DIY indoor grow light setup like this will vary based on your location. Here in the US Amazon Prime will deliver the grow light, lamp stand, and timer to you for around $40.

    Basic Grow Light Setup Running

    The running costs will depend on the wattage of the grow lamp, and you can calculate the exact cost here. Based on an average US residential electricity cost (of ~13c/kWhr) and 14hrs/day on time, the grow lamps we recommend above will cost:

    • $1.44 per month for the 26W CFL
    • $0.39 per month for the 7W LED

    The video below contains more detail on all of the above, as well as demonstrates how to put everything together for your DIY indoor LED grow light setup. We check comments daily, so if you have any questions feel free to leave them below.


  • Cost effective ways to grow food. New ideas to get you growing.
    16 June 2021

    The cost of living and food in general is set to rise experientially over the next few years as the population is booming and natural resource to grow food are at capacity, not to mention the time it takes, the channels it goes through and the waste it creates.

    We all know the cost of living in general is rising and we now have far more expenses than ever before. One of the biggest ongoing expenses is food. So how do we reduce this cost in our lives and grow food in more of an automated process rather than it being a big hefty task to add to the weekend list of things to do?

    Here are some great ideas to get you started on your growing journey, and even save a dollar or two on food costs.

    Grow your own food using an Aquaponics system:

    Aquaponics is a combination of two methods - aquaculture, which is the process of fish keeping, and hydroponics which is essentially growing plants without soil. Aquaponics uses these two methods in a symbiotic ecosystem, in which plants are fed the waste from the fish. In return, the plants clean the water that circulates back to the fish. Microbes play an important role in the nutrition of the plants, as these beneficial bacteria gather in the spaces between the roots of the plant and convert the fish waste into substances the plants can use to grow food. Pretty cool stuff! Most Aquaponic units are self watering and easy to maintain.

    Some excellent produce to grow in this includes micro greens, herbs or veggies such as salad greens, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, kale, spinach and more.

    1. AquaSprouts - Starting at $299 for the basic kit this amazing product is small, and suitable for all homes, schools and offices. Keep the fish and grow plants and herbs on the grow bed.

    2. Aquaponics Outdoor Kit - For larger areas, this is a great outdoor kit, it includes a tank for the fish and larger grow beds that can be utilised to grow lots of food. You can add more garden beds are you go!

    See more at

    Grow your own food using a Hydroponic system or Vertical garden:

    Hydroponics is simply described as growing plants without soil. Hydroponics allows you to control more of the variables including pH levels, lighting and nutrients for optimal plant growth and produce yields all year round. Water is the main method of delivering the nutrients to the plant’s roots, combined with growing media to help support the plant. Hydroponically grown plants dip their roots directly into nutrient-rich solutions, so plants get more of what they need much faster and easier. Hydroponic farming can be used in locations where soil conditions are too poor to support farming, or where space is limited. It can be done anytime and anywhere. Most hydroponic and vertical gardens are self watering and easy to set up and use. You can set up a timer and watch you seedlings come to life.

    Another great way to grow food using this method of hydroponics is through Vertical Farming. The only difference being that you're growing up in stacked layers. This is great for those homes or places where space is limited. Some great examples of this is a tower style garden which used hydroponics in a vertical format.

    1. Vertical Self Watering Grow Tower 1.5M - Starting at $429.00 it's a great intro to vertical farming. Easy to use and set up is comes with everything you need to kick start your journey.

    2. Mini Farm - More of a smaller bench top style unit to grow all you greens at home! At $329 it's a great way to get started without a lot of commitment.

    3. Urban Vertical Hydroponic - A bigger unit with tray like design, it's great for larger scale produce and is an investment for the long term. Easy to set up and use.

    See more at

    Grow your own bench top micro greens and herbs:

    There are so many wonderful micro greens and herbs that can be grown in the kitchen or on a bench top unit if the space is small and you love to add a little fresh zest to your cooking. Think along the lines of basil, oregano, mint, coriander and more.

    1. UrbiPod - Easy to assemble, operate and clean. Simply set up the UrbiPod and be amazed at how easy and effortless it is to grow herbs, salad greens, and micro greens in it.

    2. Windowsill Gardens Herbs & Microgreens - at only $49 it's a great little windowsill herb planter that is cute and easy to use.

    See more at

    Start a garden or patio patch with planters:

    For those with a smaller dwelling or don't want to get into a full blown veggie patch just yet, a simple and easy way is to use a planter. Planters are small and some types are even self watering! Another great way to grow greens and get started on your growing journey.

    1. Self Watering Planters - Easy to use, set up and get growing. You can hang them on walls, or railings and they look great. Starting at only $199.
    2. Urban Cafe Planter - Ideal for commercial environments like cafes, restaurants and stores to provide the ultimate flexibility. It even doubles as a great room divider. It can also be used at home, the backyard, patios and more.

    Whatever you budget or needs, it's easy to grow food and get started at any level. Visit and check out the awesome products, and more information on each.

  • Growing Lettuce & Leafy Salad Greens Indoors
    16 June 2021

    If there’s any plant that will convince you that there’s no substitute for fresh-picked, it’s this. Even farmers market’s greens start to wilt and lose their crisp, sweet freshness in hours.  From a gardening standpoint, leafy greens are the most rewarding plants to grow – they are fast, easy, and productive. In this intro, we’ll cover the different types of leafy greens suitable for indoor gardening, their lighting needs, and the planters we use to provide each type with perfect growing conditions.

    What Leafy Salad Greens Can I Grow Indoors?

    Leafy greens grow well indoors – in fact, most lettuce is already grown indoors. Outdoors, they have a very short growing season, and even during the “good” months they’re a target for bugs, so most growers opt for inside. We’ll cover the best varieties for indoor gardening and also highlight some leafy greens that you are better off getting at the store.

    Growing Lettuce and Spinach Indoors

    Growing lettuce and spinach indoors is not impossible at all! No matter what type of lettuce you like – there’s a good indoor option. You can grow head lettuce (like Romaine, Butterhead, & Summer Crisp), loose-leaf lettuce (like Oak Leaf & Salad Bowl). However, we don’t recommend crisphead types (like iceberg), as they take a long time to grow and are quite big.  Lettuces are a shorter-lived crop, as they become bitter once the plant “bolts,” or sends up flowers, but there are some tricks to extend their harvest.

    Like most vegetables, spinach can be grown indoors as well. To start growing spinach indoors, you will need water, potting soil or hydroponics, containers, and seeds of course. While it’s possible to grow spinach indoors, it needs brighter light and grows slower, so we don’t recommend it.

    Growing Greens Indoors: Other Options

    Growing greens indoors is not an impossible task, especially salad greens such as kale and arugula. Growing greens indoors such as kale and arugula is a better option, too if you prefer heartier greens.

    Indoor Lettuce & Leafy Greens Growing: Setup and Supplies  Indoor Greens Growing: How much light do you need in planting leafy greens and lettuce?

    You need at least 5 hours of direct sunlight to plant leafy greens, though they’ll grow faster with more. While a bright window might work fine, we prefer using grow lights for a couple of reasons. The plants thrive in their consistent light conditions and can be “tricked” into having longer harvest by keeping them in a sort of perpetual spring. They’re also an essential tool for the indoor edible gardener and open up tons of options once you know how to use them. Whether you’re just starting out with a window, curious about grow lights, or unsure – our lighting for leafy greens section will guide you to an effective setup.

    Indoor Greens Growing: What type of planters & soil should you use?

    Leafy greens love consistent moisture and nutrient-dense soil, making a regularly fertilized, self-watering planter a fantastic option. However, if you can’t get enough lettuce, in particular, you might consider trying out hydroponics in your indoor greens growing – for whatever reason lettuces grow nearly twice as fast hydroponically. 

    Self Watering Planters

    Self-watering planters are an excellent match for leafy greens. They have a separate reservoir that you fill about once a week that slowly delivers water to the soil – keeping it consistently moist. As leafy greens are producing a lot of foliage, the soil will need to be rejuvenated regularly.  We provide recommendations for potting mix, watering, and fertilizer scheduling in our self-watering planters for lettuce & leafy greens blog.


    Hydroponics is when the roots grow in a mixture of air, water, and nutrients – and all leafy greens will grow well like this. It tends to be a bit more complicated and expensive, but there are a few reasons you might choose it, the most compelling is that it can grow lettuce twice as fast. If you’re unsure, we’ll help you understand if it makes sense for you and how to set up the simplest effective system

    Growing your Salad Greens and Lettuce Indoors Growing Greens Indoors: Continual Harvests from your Leafy Greens

    In the skills section for Leafy Greens, you’ll learn about how to get a constant supply of fresh greens from growing your own greens indoors or from a small garden. You’ll learn to thin your seedlings, maximize your plant through pruning, harvest the best-tasting leaves, and strategies to keep your plants harvestable for longer. If you haven’t read the Sprouting skills section – you might want to brush up with that first!

    Growing Greens Indoors: Using Fresh Picked Greens in the Kitchen

    You’ll find that leafy greens are so much more than salad! There’s something about having sweet, crisp leaves on hand that makes us want to add it to everything (or just snack on a leaf or two when we walk past). Burgers and sandwiches are clear winners – and our recipe section [coming soon] has loads more ideas in case you’ve got more greens than you know what to do with.

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