soil-thermometerA vegetable gardener must have an inexpensive tool i.e. a soil thermometer.

A good quality soil thermometer helps throwing all guesswork away. As an experienced vegetable gardener knows , soil is the best indicator of when to plant a particular vegetable in the garden. Measuring soil temperature is the best and easiest way to determine timing for planting irrespective of the climatic conditions.

During the early spring season, you can plant cool-season vegetables such as peas and kale. This would not be good time to plant warm season varieties. Better keep them off.

Here is a brief description about the particular crop that will germinate at a particular soil temperature;

1. Below 40 degrees:      arugula, fava beans, kale, lettuce, pak choy, parsnips, peas, radicchio, radishes and spinach seed. Read the rest of this entry

Garden web tool AppMany commercial growers are using laptops, tablets or smartphones to keep costs down and production up. With the upcoming technology in the sector even home gardeners too can use these with great affordability.

Apps may get more attention, but they’re small potatoes compared with the software and online programs already at work or being tested for horticultural use. Simply scanning a monitor or applying a few keystrokes can save water and fuel, redirect a labor force or protect a crop.

“The online-based software is really the heart that drives all this technology,” said Paul Goldberg, director of operations at Bettinelli Vineyards and a director of Napa Valley Grapegrowers.

“A good portion of my day is now spent monitoring vineyards and making decisions to control certain vineyard operations via my phone or tablet in the field.” Read the rest of this entry

Homegrown Crop Vegetables For Your Garden

crop vegetablesSpring season is the best time to plant crop vegetables.  April is a great month to sow pea, lettuce, spinach, carrot and beet seeds.  You can also start with potatoes and onions.  When selecting seeds a good rule of thumb is to choose disease resistant varieties – you’ll just have fewer problems in the garden.

Always plant vegetables you like and ones that your family will eat.  Radishes can be planted now and will mature in about 20 to 30 days.  For a continuous harvest, sow seeds every 7 to 10 days until late spring.  Carrots are similar to radishes in that they can be sown in intervals for a continuous harvest from early spring to early August.

Leafy greens include lettuce, spinach, collards, and kale.  All of these plants tend to become bitter with the onset of hot weather and their quality diminishes quickly.  For lettuce try “Black Seeded Simpson” or “Salad Bowl.” Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Backyard Vegetable Gardening Tips

backyard gardenNothing beats the taste and health advantages of homegrown vegetables.  Backyard farming is not only good for the environment but also good for the community health.

“We want everyone to at least try growing their own food,” said author and longtime organic farming guru Barbara Damrosch. “It’s so wonderful when you do.”

“Gardening opens up a whole new spectrum of things you can eat,” Damrosch said. “You’re expanding your horizons.”

The beginners with backyard gardens should preferably start with a simple “salad garden” that fits into a 3-by-6-foot space. It may include a cherry tomato held upright in a cage-style trellis, plus beds of mixed leaf lettuce, Asian greens and spicy greens such as arugula, scallions, radishes and herbs. Growing l lettuces and greens will enable you trimming what you need and they grow back quickly. Read the rest of this entry

Perfect No-Till Gardening Tips

no till gardeningSpring gardening is never complete without vegetable gardening. It would be a good practice to plant a few vegetables now with a little precaution that you also need to protect young seedlings from just in case frost or light freeze during the early spring time.

This is also the best time to start preparing your garden and explore if you can avoid tilling this year. You also need to be careful of the garden weeds and ways to control it as this would otherwise cause much harm to vegetables. Do not try over-applying the harsh chemicals.

No-till gardening involves seeding or planting directly into the soil, using some type of mulch cover. When tilling a garden, it turns up not only the soil, but also the “seed bank”, those weed seeds that are under the ground and just waiting for a bit of sun, oxygen and a little water to begin growing. If you use no-till, these seeds remain undisturbed for the most part, so the possibility of a less weedy garden is much better. Read the rest of this entry

Winter Plantings in Your Garden

Summer vegetable gardens can provide winter bounty by working a good soil amendment into the planting beds to offset nutrient depletion from earlier plantings. Plant broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, chards, kale, onions and garlic.You can plant garlic in cloves, or sets – the little bulblets.

Winter and early spring-blooming shrubs can be planted. You can also have a beautiful winter-blooming camellia called Yuletide. A new Daphne variety called Eternal Fragrance’ will be available soon. It blooms from January until November with repeated sets of buds and blooms.Ornamental trees and shrubs like ceanothus, Japanese maples, magnolias and forsythia can be planted

Primroses, violas and pansies can be put into the ground and provide the garden with winter color. Gardeners should consider planting perennials.Perennials during winters may appear lifeless and dormant but the plants are amenable to winter planting. Plant them now because they’re dormant. In springtime, they’ll really take off. When caring for established perennials do not cut back tender varieties, but hardy perennials can be cut to the ground. Deciduous vines can be pruned right now

It is also a good time to plant spring-blooming bulbs including dahlias, begonias and gladiolus.

Perfect Time To Order Seeds

It is perfect time to place orders for your seeds.If you don’t have enough seed catalogs, borrow some from a friend or go online and search for “garden seeds and plants.”

You will sure locate few great seed companies that will send you a catalog or take your order online. You can search for “garden seeds” and find a treasure trove of seed companies specializing in organic seeds, heirloom varieties, exotic and unusual seeds, as well as your favorite varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs. Don’t overlook the specialty companies, which feature potatoes, garlic or tomatoes. Read the rest of this entry

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