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Seasonal Jobs for Unheated Greenhouses, Cloches and Cold Frames

Seasonal Jobs for Unheated Greenhouses, Cloches and Cold Frames

Whether you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse or you simply make do with a cloche or cold frame, there are essential jobs you should be doing to mark each of the seasons.

Spring

Spring is the time for new growth in the garden. Young plants are vulnerable so it is essential that you give your greenhouse a through clean and remove lingering pests and diseases. Once this task is complete, you can sow tomatoes, aubergines and other seasonal produce in seed trays and pots. Now is also the time to sow early flowering annuals such as sweet pea. Prick out seedlings and grow on young plants.

You can also start tomatoes and aubergines in seed trays and pots in a cold frame at this time, as well as early herbs and salad crops. Use your cold frame to harden off plants previously sown indoors.

Use your cloches to warm up the soil for sowing early radish, lettuce and carrots. Cloches can also be used to protect slightly tender plants such as dahlia shoots from late spring frosts and as a cover for strawberries to encourage an earlier crop. Young plants can be hardened off under a cloche.

Summer

Early summer is the time to grow on tender crops such as cucumbers and peppers in your greenhouse. You will also need to decide which plants you intend to grow and crop in your greenhouse. Tomatoes although they will live happily outdoors, often do much better if grown in a greenhouse, as do tender herbs such as basil. It is also a good idea to regularly check your greenhouse plants for pests and diseases. These are spread rapidly in such a small warm environment. In extremely hot weather you will need to provide greenhouse plants with plenty of ventilation and even shade from the heat of the day. There is an excellent gadget on the market for those of us who work during the day, which will automatically open your greenhouse windows for you when the temperature reaches a certain degree.

Use your cold frame and cloche to harden off tender plants such as French and runner beans at this time.

Autumn

When plants start to slow down in the garden, you will often find that those in your greenhouse will keep on going, especially if the weather stays fine. Keep cropping tomatoes and peppers. Once they have finished cropping, make space for those plants you will want to bring into the greenhouse to overwinter. You can also start to sow sweet peas in the greenhouse for an early flowering the following year. Once you greenhouse starts to empty, make sure you clean the glass so as to ensure maximum light once the short winter days set in.

In autumn you can also use a cold frame or cloche to dry off crops of onions and shallots and sow late sowings of lettuce.

Winter

During the winter months your greenhouse, cold frame and cloche all serve as protection for plants that would otherwise not survive the winter cold. Bring outdoor planters into the greenhouse with their tender occupants. Cloches can be useful at this time of year for protecting any winter salad crops left growing outside from severe weather.

Whatever the time of year, make sure that your greenhouse and cold frame are well ventilated, watered and clean.…

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Growing an Organic Herb Garden Indoors

Growing an Organic Herb Garden Indoors

Indoor organic herb gardening can be fun and very rewarding experience, along being way to add your own personal touch to your inside decor and at the same time improve the air quality of your home.

Herb gardening indoors can be an excellent family project and can be done in a minimal amount of space. Small window pots are an excellent choice for planting many types of herbs, along with window boxes that can be easily accessed from the inside of your home.

If you are new to indoor gardening, start out small with just one or two pots and expand your gardens as you get more comfortable with what it takes to grow plants indoors. Herbs like basil, parsley and rosemary are all easy plants to grow and ideal plants for indoors.

Basil doesn’t like cool temperatures, keep them in a warm place and preferably with full sunlight. Cutting the stem from the top of the plant just above where there are four sets of leaves to encourage growth. As the plant grows, harvest or prune often from the top of the plant, even if your not ready to use what you harvest, this will develop a stronger, healthier plant and remove any flowers as they form. This will also improve the growth of the plant and improve the flavor of basil.

Harvesting basil can happen when you don’t have any use for it. It can be frozen simply by placing it in a freezer bag. It doesn’t keep well when directly refrigerated, placing it in a glass of water and in the refrigerate will only keep for a few days.

Rosemary is another herb that requires full sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day, a well drained soil and good air circulation. It is a good practice to re-pot the plant once a year to refresh the soil, and keep the soil moist at all times. A good soil mix that retains moisture, and drains well is very important.

Parsley is another great choice to grow indoors and needs an area that receives full sunlight. Curly and flat leaf are the two varieties of parsley, flat leaf being the preferred choice for cooking or chopping, due to it’s stronger flavor. Once harvested, it can be used fresh for your everyday needs or easily dried for storage to be used at a future date.

Once you get use to growing herbs indoors, you can try different plants and even get creative by growing a garden with a particular theme,or purpose, like an Italian herb garden for cooking. Herbs like basil, chives, fennel, oregano and rosemary are all herbs that are common to the cooking needs in Italian recipes. If you are looking for a garden that is designed for the purpose of a natural air freshener, choose herbs like angelica, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm or mint, there are just so many choices to choose from. When choosing herbs to grow in your own personal organic indoor garden, personal taste or needs is what will determine your choice.…

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A Hot Water Dispenser Saves Time and Effort

A Hot Water Dispenser Saves Time and Effort

One can use hot water for several purposes. Each time when you need water for cooking, drinking, and cleaning or any purpose, it is not always feasible to use a microwave. For a simple glass of H water, it is very cumbersome to even switch on the gas, and take a vessel to heat water in it. One can use electric kettle, but then it consumes electricity. So, if you happen to be someone who needs hot water on a daily basis, it is better you install a hot water dispenser. It provides any time as and when required. You could mount it at the sink’s edge. You could look for a stand-alone unit too. There are also plug-in tops that can dispense water.

Several uses of such dispensers exist. You can polish silver using hot water. If you like having your meals in hot plates, the dispenser comes as a gift to warm up your plates. In your hectic lifestyle, you must be storing many types of foods in your freezer. If you want to thaw them quickly, just use hot water from the dispenser. You can very easily sanitize Baby bottles, calmer, toys and other items using hot water. Even simple tasks like cleaning the grease or fat that is stuck in the grater or corners of devices are possible. You can also remove wax from the candleholders immediately using water.

There are many more uses. Once you fix the dispenser, you will realize how useful it is. It helps in saving time and effort. For instance, you will need for instant sauces, noodles or soups. If you wish to make beverages like coffee and tea, it becomes very easy. Even in your daily cooking if you put hot water in the dish instead of regular water, the cooking time reduces considerably. If you install an in-sink water dispenser for hot water, you will be able to get as many as sixty cups of almost boiling water each hour. The initial investment might seem a little difficult. Trust me, it will pay off completely. They are economical, and if you calculate the actual cost, you will realize it is peanuts. You will find dispensers for available in a variety of styles in the market.

Some of them also have two faucets – one for dispensing and the other for cold water. Such machines are also very useful when installed in offices and commercial establishments. The models available in the market come in various shapes and sizes. Few of them are sleek looking and sturdy. In case you are planning to buy a hot water dispenser for your home, or office, you must do your research well. Find out about the various brands available. Then, compare the models, their features and prices. You must select one that is from a good company. It could be slightly expensive than the others are, but it will be worth spending a few extra bucks. Investing in a quality dispenser is a wise decision.…

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Solar Powered Lights and How They Work

Solar Powered Lights and How They Work

There are now plenty of choices when considering garden and yard lighting. You have numerous styles of lighting and colorful outputs to choose from allowing you to be creative and flexible with your landscape lighting needs. With all of these choices the lighting output options basically boils down to electrical lighting systems, including low voltage outputs, or solar power lighting options.

If you are looking only at light output or illumination intensity and providing that cost is not a real concern for you then lighting using an outside electrical source is your optimum choice. However, if money and environmental conservation are important to you then solar power lighting is a great option for you to choose when adding safety and security to your yard at night. When considering Total Cost of Ownership solar landscape lighting by far outperforms the electrical lighting systems.

If you are going to select solar lighting for your exterior lighting needs, it is important to understand the basic components and the functions of a solar powered accent light. As a totally self-functioning unit, a solar light is a pretty incredible advancement.

These lights function on the most abundant energy source, our sun, they virtually require no maintenance, are simple to install, and last for at least 20,000 hours far outperforming any traditional light.

By day the light soaks up the solar energy emitted by the sun and stores it into a Nicad Battery then the energy is released after the sun sets to power the LED bulb or bulbs emitting light throughout the evening. This cycle repeats itself day in and day out without any help or maintenance from you.

The primary components of a solar light includes a top mounted solar panel to receive energy from the sun throughout the day. Most solar powered lights on the market are constructed from a plastic shell or casing although more expensive models, such as many solar powered lamp posts, may include metal or stainless steel construction. Some premium ground mounted solar garden lights are constructed of stainless steel and feature glass panes emphasizing a more elegant and intense glow.

Other solar light components include a control board and a special Nicad Battery. Some solar lights may use a NiMh rechargeable battery which some claim as being more environmentally friendly. The rechargeable battery is the most likely component of a solar lighting fixture needing replacement. All rechargeable batteries have a life-cycle and it is suggested that the batteries be replaced annually for optimal solar lighting performance. In warmer climates the battery life may be shorter but annual replacement will allow for uninterrupted performance.

Throughout the day the solar energy collected by the sun recharges the battery. The control board receives its energy source from both the battery and the solar cell. At sun set the battery stops charging and the photoresistor, think of it as a switch, is activated and powers the LED or Light Emitting Diode. With a healthy battery charge the LED may remain lit for a 12 hour cycle although the intensity of the light emitted from the LED slowly reduces throughout the night.…

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How to use LED Grow Lights: Tips to Keep Your Plants Warm

Do you want to grow plants indoors? You’re in the right spot as we’ll show you how to grow plants indoors using LED lights. This article will show you how to grow your indoor garden with LED lights. We also discuss the things you need to keep in mind when purchasing growing lights.

How to Use LED Grow Lighting

Your led grow lights should be placed between 14-30 inches and your plants. Grow lights have the great advantage of producing very little heat, so they can be placed close to plants without scalding them or killing them.

How to Avoid Making Mistakes When Using LED Grow Lighting

You may have questions or doubts if you’re new to grow lamps. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when growing plants.

Don’t Water Your Plants Too Much

While plants do require water to grow and survive, overwatering indoor plants can be dangerous. Because LED grow lights do not emit heat, they don’t zap a lot water from the soil so you won’t have to water them as often. You can check the soil’s moisture level by pressing down on it. If the soil feels dry, it’s probably not time to water them.

The Wrong LED Lights

Common misconception is that all LED grow light bulbs work the same. However, this is not true. There are many LED grow lights on the market. You will need to select the right light spectrum for your indoor plants. Some lights are better suited to vegetables, while others emit a red light that supports the growth of buds. A full spectrum LED kit is necessary for most indoor plants. However, it’s important to double-check that the kit matches your indoor plants before you make a purchase.

Opting for low-quality lights

Poor-quality LED grow light bulbs won’t yield great results. We understand that not everyone can afford to spend a lot on grow lights upfront. However, lower-quality versions prioritize quality over cost. Many cheaper brands claim that their lights aren’t up to standard and can only grow one plant at once. If they aren’t made in the same country that you have, poor-quality lights can be dangerous.

Don’t Provide Your Plants with Enough Light

You must provide the right amount of light to your plants in order to allow them to grow. Although it sounds simple, you should do some research before purchasing grow lights. One 300W light may be sufficient for one or two plants, but not enough to cover all the plants.

To accommodate this additional capacity, you will need more powerful lights with 300W+. We recommend reading reviews left by customers of the websites you are considering buying from to get an idea of how many plants the LED grow light could cover.

Hanging your lights too close to your plants

Your lights should be at the correct distance from your plants. This is a common error made by plant owners. The plants may be unable to reach the lights if they are too far from the lights. However, too close lights can cause plants to burn or bleach.

It doesn’t take a skilled plant specialist to notice that indoor plants are looking a bit under the weather. Pay attention to browning. Thinning.

Which Type of LED Grow Light do You Need?

Incandescent

This type of grow light is usually the most affordable and easiest to find. This type of grow light has some additional precautions. The first is to place the LED light at least 24inches from your plants.

Also, keep in mind that the light can heat up quickly so you need to keep it away from your plants. Consider the area where your plants will grow, as it can quickly heat up. This type of light has a lot of advantages. Most of them have a clip that allows you to adjust the angle at different stages of growth.

Fluorescent

Fluorescent lights, while being a cheaper option, don’t have the same temperature range. These lights emit blue light and are simple to install.

LED

LED lights are small and affordable. These lights are easy to install and can provide both red or blue light intensity. This light source is a great choice for indoor gardening.

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The Innovation of Wheel Hoes Through Time

The Innovation of Wheel Hoes Through Time

The Planet Jr. Line is a Philadelphia maker of one-horse farming tools who has undeniably gone beyond the almost insatiable marketplace for small-range farming implements in 1980. S.L. Allen Company continually developed its niche in American Agricultural built-up whose success demonstrated the innate brilliance of Jonathan Robinson and other mid-century creators of tools helpful to farmers.

Beginning in the late 1870s, the firm has focused on the recreational gardeners as well as one-horse farmers, thriving as suburbanization gathered force, but ensued later by serving a large group of farmers. During that time, they somehow failed at getting the attention of government researchers to allow themselves to introduce their tools in a wide realm of agriculture.

For the better part of its history, the firm highlighted its push wheel hoes and automatic seed drills, devices set with all sort of gadgets and practically hard to describe at that time. During then, wheel hoes turn up with one wheel or two: single wheel gear normally ran between rows of foliage and cut off or ripped up weeds on either side.

In 1930, the firm has finally completed its project resolving the horseless one-horse farmers. They made garden tractor which has significantly reduced all needs for horse-powered tools used for land cultivation and also abolished the need for pushed tools as well. The garden tractor, powered by gasoline, has two metal wheels and it snapped iron add-ons when it crashed into buried rocks on the ground. It was not until 1930’s when they felt the need to compete and developed farming tools for the three groups of users: large-scale cultivators, pleasure gardeners, and small-scale farmers.

Government researchers have backed the developing firm and gave emphasis on the advantages of wheel hoes on land cultivation. They broke out into an agricultural sphere not just of one-horse cultivators but also of no-horse farmers, half-horse farmers and wheel hoe farmers. They studied the works of the inventors beyond the notice of trade name agricultural science and technology.…

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Would You Like to Design Your Own Herb Tea Garden?

Would You Like to Design Your Own Herb Tea Garden?

Although the weather is turning cold, the leaves have fallen off the trees, next spring seems a far distant dream, now is the time to plan next year’s herb garden design. Garden centers are selling seeds, equipment and garden decorations at low discounted sale prices clearing the shelves for seasonal items. Take up items to cultivate a “theme” herb tea garden!

For my birthday this year one of my daughters gave me a large ceramic tea cup and saucer planter – about 12″ diameter and 10″ deep. I thought how perfect that would be to set on a short stand in the herb garden, giving the large tea cup planter visibility, and to cultivate one of my favorite tea herbs – German Chamomile. That birthday present began the planning for a section of my herb garden that I would turn into a tea herb garden theme. I did go a little crazy on the theme but it turned out beautiful and a much visited spot in the garden. I also had the added benefit of harvesting the herbs to be used in herbal teas.

Depending on available space, an herb tea garden can be cultivated in a small section of the garden set aside for this purpose. The area could be decorated with items such as old tea pots and cups. The herb plants could be labeled with the names of the herbs painted on saucers. If a larger space is available the herb tea garden could be sectioned off with a small hedge or fencing, trellises added, or define the space with tea cup bride feeders to attract birds. Imagine a tea pot fountain spouting with the soothing sounds of water as a backdrop. An outdoor table and chair set would be a great addition in the herb tea garden for entertaining purposes. Use your imagination and create an herb tea garden space that is pleasing to the senses, a sanctuary away from your busy life that will bring you hours of relaxation and pleasure.

Begin planning the themed herb tea garden now. Take advantage of the sale prices at garden centers, dream and draw up the plans. Make a list of what you will need. During the long winter months sooth your soul and imagine hosting an afternoon tea party in the garden. Picture yourself relaxing in a lounge chair reading a book and drinking a brewed tea from the herbs harvested from the herb tea garden. In the spring, make your plans a reality and plant the herb tea garden!…