Gardening

Most people believe that the vegetable gardening season ends in September and starts all over in April or May. While this may certainly be the time with the most agreeable temperatures – where you will spend more time outside – it isn’t true that winter is a “dead season”.

Besides preparing your soil for the coming spring (what we described in this article) you can, in fact, practice winter gardening and continue to grow vegetables. In this article, I will write mainly about two points: To use season extenders for extending the “warmer” season; and which crops you can grow now (in winter) to generate yields in spring.

How can I continue to grow plants even though it gets cold?

You can use so-called “season extenders” for winter gardening to retain some level of warmness for your plants and to protect them from wind and snow damage. This can be:

With this later system, you’re flexible when it comes to size. You can create small row covers just large enough to cover your plants; or you can create a kind of greenhouses, that you’re able to enter and work inside.

The benefits of these systems are, of course, that you use the greenhouse effect to heat up the air under the respective cover. As it will get cold at night nevertheless, best grow cold-resistant plants.

How to grow vegetables in winter?

There are winter gardening vegetables that can be planted even in late fall or in the winter months (also when the ground is frozen). In fact, some plants (so-called cold season plants) are meant to be planted rather and will not grow as well if planted late in the year.

The benefit of planting early is that a.) You get healthy, resistant plants and b.) You get your vegetable yields much more early (in spring instead of in summer).

Before planting any seeds, you should always clear your beds of all dead plant material (also autumn foliage), crack the ground open, add compost and till it in. You can use organic fertilizers if your soil has been grown heavily during the preceding year.

Typical cold-hardy plants are the following:

You should not grow tubers and roots this early during the year, as they will easily rot from wetness. If, however, you combine the two tips I gave you in this article (cold covers & cold season plants), you can even grow potatoes before their time is due and transplant them into your “normal” beds once the weather gets warm again.

I hope this post motivates you to try winter gardening yourself. I recommend taking a bottle of warm tea along if you’re feeling cold icon wink winter gardening – How to grow vegetables in winter?

 

Gardening

Bonsai trees have been around for thousands of years, and continue to be a popular pastime for many reasons. Aside from their beauty and conversation-starting benefits, Bonsai trees are said to be good for your health. Countless Bonsai owners have reveled in the stress-relieving hobby, and insist that taking care of one helps with focus, patience, confidence, establishing a sense of purpose, and even indoor allergies! Also, growing plants indoors can help combat colds, fatigue, coughs, and sore throats. If you are considering adding a Bonsai tree to your home or office, be sure you are suited for the job. These trees are not your typical house plant, as they require a more intensive care on a daily basis, much like a pet would. Continue reading to learn the 5 element of caring for a Bonsai tree, and then determine if this age-old hobby is right for you.

Potted Planter

The first important part of this particular type of tree care starts with the pot. Without the proper size pot, a Bonsai tree cannot survive. The right pot size will allow the root system to grow and thrive comfortably. A pot too small can be restricting, causing plant stress and insufficient root growth. A pot too large can be obtrusive and wasteful. The general rule of thumb is that the width of the pot should be one third the height of the tree, and the depth should be the same as the tree trunk. As the tree grows, you’ll need to re-pot it every year.

Soil

Another important factor is soil. Soil is always a top-priority and one of the most influential elements to plant growth. You must use the right soil conditions for a Bonsai tree to thrive and flourish. The soil you need will depend on the species of Bonsai tree you purchase. There are several species, so be sure you know which one you have so you can pick the proper soil and fertilizer.

Water

As mentioned, Bonsai trees are not your normal house plant. In fact, they are not a plant at all; they are trees and require the same level of care as the trees in your backyard. As for water, they require watering every day. So if you are out of town, you must have someone care for your tree just like you would for your dog. And you don’t water Bonsai trees the same as house plants. You must place them in a bowl of water and allow the soil to soak. Once the bubbles stop in the water, the tree is done.

Temperature

The soil must retain moisture in summer and be able to get rid of it in winter. So when the weather is hot, they will need to be kept in a partly-shaded area of your home or office. When it is cold, they should be placed in a sunny area so that the soil doesn’t stay too wet for too long.

Pruning

The most popular part of owning a Bonsai plant is the artistic pruning you get to do every week. They grow fast, so you will have to keep up with the trimming in order to maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing tree. But it is important to prune it properly so that it remains healthy and grows into the right shape. Cutting the wrong branch or over-pruning can be detrimental. You must learn the proper technique for trimming Bonsai trees.

 

Gardening

Even on the coldest of winter days you can enjoy your favorite strawberry snacks and desserts without having to pay the phenomenal costs at the grocery store. All you have to do is grow strawberries in a pot right in your kitchen! And it’s not as hard as you might think. Growing strawberries in a pot is actually very simple and a great way to ensure that your fruit is all organic and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Here’s how to Grow Strawberries in a Pot at Your House

Necessary supplies:

  • Everbearing Strawberry Plants
  • Organic Soil
  • Self draining hanging pot with water collector

Purchase already started strawberry plants from your local garden center or buy them online from a reputable retailer. When purchasing your strawberry plants, be sure that the plant is an everbearing strawberry, meaning it will continuously produce fruit throughout most of the year.

Fill the hanging pot about 1/2 way with dampened organic soil and place the strawberry plant in the center.

Continue filling the pot with soil until it is full. Be sure to use a large hanging basket with good drainage in the bottom. A self draining pot with a water collector at the bottom is a great choice for strawberries.

Press the soil down gently, but don’t compact the soil. The plant needs room to grow and if the soil is too tight, it will make it harder for the roots to take place.

Lightly water the soil. Don’t soak the soil, or you risk drowning your new plant. Just water until the soil is damp and pliable.

Hang the strawberry plant in bright sunlight for at least six to eight hours each day.

Water as needed. If you are using a self watering planter, follow the guideline on the planter. If not, you’re strawberry plant will likely need to be watered every other day, providing you live in a moderate climate. Drier climates may need to water daily.

Place the plant in a dark or dimly lit area after the sun sets and leave it there until the sun rises the next day. A room that is unused or not often used is a great place to leave the strawberry plants during the night, so you can ensure they do not get damaged.

Pick the strawberries as they ripen and place them into freezer bags for long term storage or make jellies, jams or preserves.

 

Gardening

Today, we are constantly bombarded with information about the pesticides used for growing fruits and vegetables and the negative impact they have on our health. At the same time, supermarkets widely promote organic groceries, but as you know, they are quite expensive. Basically, your health comes at the expense of an empty wallet. If you have a lovely backyard, you must have considered growing your own vegetables. If you are still wondering whether to grow organic vegetables, get to know the benefits you will get:

You save money – we cannot forget to mention the fact that growing vegetables will save you a lot of money. You will not have to invest a huge amount into preparing your garden and buying seeds. However, when you do the math, you will see that the amount of your investment equals the cost of several pounds of organic vegetables.

The health aspect – when you grow your own vegetables, using pesticides is out of question. Well, your production might not be as eye-catching as the vegetables at the grocery store, but at least, it will be safe to eat. After all, you want the best for yourself and your family, and the healthy, nutritional vegetables are a great addition to the menu.

Take care of the crops – many people want to grow their fruits and vegetables but admit that they do not have the gardening skills necessary for getting a healthy, abundant harvest. You don’t have to master a complicated set of skills to grow vegetables. Still, you’d better seek a professional advice. If you use professional lawn mowing or bush trimming services, don’t hesitate to ask the gardeners for recommendations during their next visit. One of the most important questions you should ask is how to protect your crops against common pests without using any hazardous detergents.

Get the whole family involved – growing vegetables can be a fun activity for the entire family. If you are looking for a creative way to make the kids stop staring at their smartphones, ask them to help you in the garden. Various researches suggest that such kind of activities strengthens the bond parent-kid and teaches them to be responsible towards another living creature. So, if you are reluctant to get your kids a pet, you can assign them a gardening task. Tell them how often they should water the vegetables. Teach them how to protect the crops against weeds and pests. The better performer gets an award.

It would be excessive to say that you can have great crops without dedicating time and effort. In fact, many gardeners spend at least several hours per week taking care of their plants. Of course, you can always arrange professional gardeners to look after your vegetables. That means that you need to spend some extra money on their services, but the majority of people say the investment is justified and the pros of growing your organic vegetables outnumber the cons.