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How To Grow Green Peppers In Pots: 10 Easy Steps

Planting green peppers in pots is a good way to have fresh peppers added to your daily meals. They are quite easy to grow, but there are some important things to keep in mind, typically if you are a beginning gardener. So in this article, I have covered the entire process of how to grow green peppers in pots. Follow it to grow a fresh pepper garden at home. 

How to Grow Green Peppers in Pots

In this part, I will give you easy and practical steps on how to grow green peppers in pots or containers at home. I also cover details in each step so that you can understand and apply them to your garden.

  1. Prepare pepper seeds and other supplies

It’s always best to get all the necessary things on the first day before growing green peppers in pots. You will need to buy pepper seeds, containers or pots, soil, fertilizer, and stakes. If you already have any of these at home, that’s great. 

  1. Sow pepper seeds indoors

You can completely sow your pepper seeds indoors. Just make sure to keep it moist and warm so the seeds can start to germinate. 

  1. Provide seeds light when it germinates

When growing green peppers indoors, you can use LED lights. However, you can take advantage of sunlight if you want to turn the lights off.

  1. Start fertilizing

You can add fertilizer to help your young pepper plants to grow faster. Green peppers can handle the full force after around 3 or 4 weeks of growth. Here are some suggested fertilizers you can use. 

  1. Transplant peppers into larger containers after 2-3 weeks
  2. Pluck early flower buds

When green peppers grow, they can start to flower while still being indoors. It’s better to trim early flowers until you put your peppers outdoors in their final growing position for 2-3 weeks. 

  1. Harden the pepper plants

Once the danger of frost is gone, and nocturnal temperatures are always above 55°F, you can start placing your green pepper plants outdoors. Just be sure to gradually adjust them to external factors starting 2-4 weeks before moving them out permanently.

  1. Water regularly 

Green peppers love to be watered evenly but never over-watered! Keep your peppers always moist, but never soak them. More importantly, always let the water drain away from the roots.

  1. Adjust nutrients when plants start producing peppers

When your green peppers start to bear fruit, they don’t need as many nutrients as initially to produce more peppers. So, you should adjust the number of nutrients for a fruitful crop. 

  1. Harvest peppers when they are ripe

You can harvest green peppers when they reach their mature size and ripen. Even when they are still green, you can pick them. 

6 Green Pepper Plant Care Tips

How to grow green peppers in pots and care for them
How to care for green peppers. Image: Unsplash

Gardening tips are always necessary for beginning gardeners. To properly care for your green bell pepper plants, you should follow these tips:

  1. Mulch well. This is because mulch can absorb the sunlight and keep the topsoil of your pepper pots warm. 
  2. Water thoroughly. While green bell peppers love warm weather, they won’t thrive in extreme heat, so gardeners in more heat-prone climates should water around twice a day if necessary.
  3. Provide peppers with sunlight. Green bell peppers require quite many sunlights to grow and ripen in an appropriate way. So, place your pepper pots in a sunny place.
  4. Use appropriate fertilizers. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen compound to help your green bell peppers grow without affecting fruit production.
  5. Pest inspection. Aphids and fleas are the two most popular garden pests that love green peppers. You can use organic pesticides to care for your pepper plants.

6. Consider companion plants. You can grow your green bell peppers with cucumbers, corn, and carrots, but they will not thrive near plants in the cabbage family or fennel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to grow green peppers in pots.

How often should I water my green pepper plants in pots?

You can water the green pepper plants in pots at least one time per day when the temperature is above 18 °C or 65 °F. But when the temperature is above 80 °F, you should water them at least two times per day. 

Do green peppers grow well in containers or pots?

Yes, they do. And you can grow green peppers in any type of pot as long as it is wide enough and drains well. If your pots don’t have holes, you can drill some. Also, don’t forget to cover those drainage holes with a mesh to keep the soil clean and prevent pests.

How many peppers can I put in a 5-gallon pot?

Usually, you can grow one pepper plant in a 5-gallon bucket. However, if you have larger containers, you can completely grow 2-3 plants per pot, depending on the size of the bucket. Besides, it depends on different varieties of peppers since some are bigger in size than others.

How much space does a green pepper plant need?

Almost all varieties of pepper plants should be put 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) apart. Larger types can have a bit more space, but they usually don’t need space more than 18 inches.

How long does it take for green peppers to grow?

You can harvest almost all varieties of green peppers between 60 to 90 days after transplanting them outdoors.

How long does it take for green peppers to grow from seeds?

This all depends on the different types of pepper seeds. In general, green peppers need between 4 and 5 months to be ready to harvest if they are grown from seeds. Some varieties can take quicker or even longer.

Do I have to dry pepper seeds before planting?

It is not required to dry pepper before planting. In fact, peppers can be stored for 2 to 5 years, and when stored, they should be kept dry. However, you do not need to dry them to germinate immediately.

Conclusion

So there you go! I hope this guideline on how to grow green peppers in pots could help you. If you want to know more details about how to grow green peppers from seeds, you can read this article. 

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How To Fill A Raised Garden Bed Cheaply

For novice gardeners, how to fill a garden bed cheaply seems to be a challenging task. However, it is obvious that raised garden beds bring us a lot of benefits. For stance, you can easily control the soil type, the appearance of weeds and also keep the garden beds warm quickly in spring.

In fact, there are various ways to fill the soil in the raised garden that work very effectively. In this reading, you’ll find great ways on how to fill a raised garden bed on a budget while maintaining effectiveness. 

What’s Your Raised Garden Bed Used For?

Before you start filling your raised garden bed, decide its usage. This is because different plants have different root systems. Some plants have shallow roots while others have long roots. For example, drought-tolerant plants usually have long roots and vice versa. If you know the root depth of each pot, you can easily customize what to fill your raised garden bed. 

Calculate the Amount of Soil Needed

This is considered one of the most crucial steps towards filling your raised garden bed. Whether you are purchasing soil bags or digging soil from your yard, you must determine the amount of soil and organic materials needed for your garden bed. By doing this, you can know the estimated amount needed and the costs you’ll need to spend. Here is a simple formula for this.

Volume (cubic ft) = Length (ft) x Height (ft) x Width (ft). 

For example, if your raised garden bed measures 8x4x1 ft, then the volume should be 32 cubic feet. 

How to fill a raised garden bed with proper soil.
Image: Unsplash

Soil Source

With a tight budget, buying filler material bags might be difficult. Therefore, mixing the top layer of your garden soil with an adequate amount of compost is a good way to try. If you are still determined to invest in some, you need to be very careful not to be fooled into buying cheap stuff made from the ground. That won’t be good for your tree.

How to Fill a Raised Garden Bed With a Tight Budget

Here are four methods on how to fill a raised garden bed for those who don’t have too much money to invest in.

1. Core Gardening

This is considered one of the most simple ways to fill a raised garden bed cheaply. The main purpose is to create an internal sponge in the middle of your raised garden bed. The sponge’s responsibility is to hold water and absorb moisture evenly in both directions.

Filling Process:

Here are the details on how to fill a raised garden bed using the core gardening method.

  1. Fill your garden bed with organic matter
  2. Spread evenly to make sure it reaches around 4-5 inch thickness of packing material.
  3. Water it thoroughly, which will form a sponge-like center to provide your plants with during the season.
  4. Fill the rest of the raised bed with soil. You should also create a mound in the middle as it will settle down over time. Don’t be too picky! You can mix the topsoil and compost at the rate of 50/50, which is considered great for raised garden beds. You can also make your own compost to keep costs down, but this might take quite a long time.
  5. Add more nutrients and plants, typically if it is a new raised garden bed. Organic fertilizer will be very helpful.
  6. Cover with mulch and add compost on top of the soil. You should do this at least once per year so that you might not have to buy organic fertilizers in the future.

Maintenance

After one year, the organic matter may have turned into excellent compost for your garden. The core seems to have disappeared and the worms will dig through the garden naturally. So there is no need for plowing the garden.

Core gardening is one of the most effective ways on how to fill a raised garden bed
Image: Unsplash

2. Hugelkultur Raised Bed

Filing process

  1. Put old rotten wood and other debris around 10-12 inches in your raised garden bed.
  2. Fill in all excess gaps between big logs with wood chips, scraps, bush decorations, large leafy logs, and more. This saves a lot when it comes to filling a raised garden bed.
  3. Water thoroughly because these organic materials will be the main source of water for the whole season.
  4. Fill soil in the empty space. With a tight budget, it’s better to use pre-excavated materials initially rather than to buy more. You can mix the topsoil with several bags of compost. This is considered a good way on how to fill a raised garden bed.

3. Ruth Stout Garden Bed

Filing process

  1. Directly add a few inches of compost or manure on top of the soil without eliminating weeds or grass.
  2. If you plan to grow potatoes, simply place the seed potato in the manure or composite layer.
  3. Spread the hay over the potatoes 8-12 inches high and deep.
  4. You can water this garden bed or not and just wait to harvest your potatoes.

4. Eden Raised Garden Bed

Filing Process

  1. Start by coating some organic matter on the cardboard. 
  2. Mix topsoil and compost at the ratio of 50/50, and fill your raised garden bed with that mixture about 6 inches high.
  3. Cover it with mulch by spreading wood chips on the topsoil. You can put as much as you want, but generally, 4 inches is ideal.
  4. Add a few or more organic fertilizers for the first few crops. The wood chips will rot then create good soil for your plants over time.

Pro tips: Adding a few worms if possible for each method above because they can help enhance drainage, moisture retention, and oxygen flow to your plants’ root system. They also provide your plants with more nutrients by breaking down the organic matter in them faster.

Image: Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fill a raised garden bed with a tight budget will not be a difficult task anymore. But here are some frequently asked questions about this topic that you can refer to apply to your garden bed.

What should I fill my raised garden bed with?

Here are some things you can put into your raised garden bed:
1. Organic matter, such as twigs, wood stumps, sticks. 
2. Rocks or gravels for added drainage.
3. Straw and grass clippings
4. Sandy soil
5. Organic compost

How many bags of soil do I need for a 4×8 raised bed?

You will need 4 bags of soil for a 4×8 raised garden bed. Each bag will be 2 cubic feet. You should avoid using topsoil from your yard because it can harbor weeds and pests.

What vegetables grow best in raised garden beds?

Here are the top 5 best vegetables to grow in a raised garden bed: 
1. Onions 
2. Potatoes
3. Tomatoes 
4. Leafy greens
5. Root vegetables 

Can I put cardboard on the bottom of a raised garden bed?

Yes, you can completely put cardboard at the bottom of your raised garden bed, typically when you have a tight budget. Cardboard will ultimately break down over time. Nevertheless, as it’s thicker and tougher than newspaper, it will take longer to break down.

Should I put rocks in the bottom of my raised garden bed?

No, you should not put rocks at the bottom of a raised garden bed. This is because they can prevent water from draining. 

Should I line my raised garden bed with plastic?

Yes, you can. This method can help you prevent toxins from seeping into the soil. It’s advisable to use landscape fabric or cloth fabric for the lining. You should avoid any kind of non-porous plastic because it might hold too much water and weaken beneficial and destructive insects.

Conclusion 

Depending on the free resources you use, any of the four methods above on how to fill a raised garden bed will work effectively for you. Hope you find this reading helpful and don’t forget to ask any questions if you’re still confused somewhere.

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Top 15 Easy Vegetables To Grow In Summer

Summer is the peak of the growing season when the vegetable garden starts to perform well. While some vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower need a cooler climate in spring and fall to thrive, other kinds of vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, prefer hotter temperatures of summer to grow. And here are the top 15 easy vegetables to grow in summer. I also give you some tips to get started with these summer vegetables, so keep reading.

1. Beans

Beans are one of the best sources of plant-based protein. In addition to the once-popular green beans, there are many other varieties to grow, such as black beans, lima, pinto, and fava. How to grow beans from seed is really easy. Just simply sow bean seeds outdoors when the soil temperature is around 60 degrees F and air temperature is ranging between 65 and 85 degrees F. 

The time to harvest beans is different depending on the bean types. For example, from mid-summer to fall is the best time to harvest pole beans. On the other hand, you can sow seeds of bush types every few weeks during the summer for a continuous crop. To maximize production, you can use space-saving pots or containers.

Beans are one of the 15 easy vegetables to grow in summer
Image: Unsplash

2. Berries

Although berries are not really a kind of vegetable, they are considered a must-have addition to any vegetable garden. If you want a longer harvest, then you should choose varieties of berries producing fruit at different times of summer. 

For those who don’t have a large space to grow berries, dwarf varieties are the best type to plant because they can be grown in containers. While other types pollinate by themselves, blueberries require at least two plants for cross-pollination. Make sure you grow your berries under full sunlight, water them fully in the summer, and cover them with bird netting when the fruit begins to ripen.

Choose different types of berries to grow in summer. Image: Unsplash

3. Cucumber

Cucumber is a kind of vegetable that loves hot temperatures to grow. They are a great crunchy addition to salads, and other tasty meals such as snacking or pickling. For best results, you shouldn’t sow the cucumber seeds until the soil warms to 60-70 degrees F. 

You should grow these plants on a fence or trellis, or leave them with plenty of space enough to crawl. Make sure you plant them regularly with lots of water to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter or disfiguring. Harvest regularly to encourage the plant to produce new fruit.

Cucumber is one of the easy vegetables to grow in summer
Cucumber is great to grow in summer. Image: Unsplash

4. Corn

Fresh sweet corn is one of the most favorite vegetables at barbecues and picnics. It is also one of a few easy vegetables to grow in summer. This kind of vegetable grows very fast and it needs lots of fertilizer and water to generate soft and plump kernels. 

Corn requires cross-pollination for a successful crop. To ensure this, you should plant corn in different rows or 4 x 4 foot squares. Harvest just before eating. You can also freeze or store them for the best taste. You can try to eat corn with different toppings such as pesto, aioli, mayonnaise or fresh herbs for unique tastes and twists. 

Image: Unsplash

5. Eggplant

Eggplant is easy to plant and becomes fruitful when grown in hot summer weather. However, you can also grow them in cooler climates. In such a situation, use some heat-intensifying methods, such as a sheet of black plastic mulch, to warm the soil and speed up their growth. 

Make sure you plant eggplants in full sun, provide them with nutrient-rich soil, and water them frequently. For the best taste, you should harvest them when they are young. You can try to coat eggplant slices with olive oil and grill them over the barbecue. This makes a fast and delicious side dish. You can also season with different condiments, such as salt, garnish, pepper, fresh herbs, pesto, cheese, etc., depending on your taste.

Image: Unsplash

6. Greens

While salad greens are often grown in cool climates, you can still enjoy these fresh greens during summer with several ways of planting. Firstly, you should choose varieties that can thrive well in high temperatures, such as Malabar and New Zealand spinach, mustard, Swiss chard, and collards. 

Even common lettuce varieties can also be planted in the high temperatures of the summer if you provide them with plenty of water and grow them in the shade instead of sunlight. It’s best to harvest greens when the leaves are young for the best taste.

Image: Unsplash

7. Lettuce

You can easily sow and plant lettuce right in your vegetable garden bed or sow them indoors for later transplanting. It is one of the few types of vegetables that can be planted year-round. However, you should grow them in the shade and harvest at a smaller size if growing them in the heat of the summer. Lettuce is slow to grow in the shade. It is also slower to get to the seed. In other words, it can be harvested for longer.

Lettuce leaves can be cut when they grow, and you can enjoy some harvests from the same type of lettuce by simply cutting away the ones you want to eat each time.

If you want full heads of lettuce leaves to grow, then cut them thinly. Spacing between plants should be around 8 to 10 inches. When you prune young plants, save the small leaves for salads.

Lettuce can be grown all year round. Image: Unsplash

8. Melons

Biting into a sweet, succulent slice of melon is one of the greatest pleasures during hot summer days. Melons require lots of heat, water, nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer to thrive and produce ripe and succulent fruit. 

It’s best to choose a location facing south to get reflected heat and provide melons with more places to thrive. Wait for seeding until the soil temperature is between 65 and 70 degrees F. You can also start growing melons from the nursery. Heat-enhancing methods, such as black cloth or resin, are also a good way to warm the soil and accelerate growth.

Melon is one of the 15 easy vegetables to grow in summer
Image: Unsplash

9. Okra

Okra is very easy to grow and it can thrive in warmer weather because of its excellent tolerance to heat and drought. You can harvest okra within 50 or 60 days after the germination. Sow seeds directly outdoors in nutrient-rich and well-drained soil. Another important thing to remember is that you only plant okra when soil temperatures reach 65 or 70 degrees F. Although okra is drought-tolerant, it will grow better when watered regularly. After flowering for a few days, you can start harvesting okra.

Image: Unsplash

10. Peas

Although peas are typically grown in cool weather, you can still plant them in mid to late summer and harvest them in the fall. To calculate the best time to grow peas, you should first decide your average first frost date, then subtract the days to maturity listed on the pea seed package. After that, give them an extra week for the seeds to germinate. 

To speed up pea seed germination, you can soak them in water and leave them overnight. Besides, you should shade new seedlings from direct sunlight during the hottest time of the day and cover them with organic mulch to help lower the soil temperature. Keep the peas adequately watered to produce flowers.

Peas are great and easy vegetables to grow in summer
Image: Unsplash

11. Peppers

Due to the long growth period, you should grow peppers indoors or buy them as the nursery starts. Wait for planting outdoors until nighttime temperatures stabilize at 60 degrees F or higher. Peppers grow best in a sunny spot with well-drained and nutrient-rich soil. Initially, add an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer to the soil to keep the peppers evenly moist. They will need to be caged or staked so that it does not bend or break due to the weight of the fruit.

Image: Unsplash

12. Summer squash

Unlike winter squash, summer squash does not store well and it’s best to eat them when they are fresh. Varieties include zucchini, straightneck, crookneck, zephyr and pattypan. Choose a location with lots of sunlight, grow them in nutrient-rich soil, and good drainage. Grow summer squash in rows or hills and sow them directly when the soil temperature are around 70 degrees F. You will need to water these plants 1 to 2 inches of water every week. You can use drip irrigation to lower the risk of foliar diseases.

13. Sweet potatoes

Unlike regular potatoes, this root vegetable is tropical in origin, requiring a few months of heat to grow well. When the soil temperature reaches at least 60 degrees F, the bulbs will slide into a sunny spot with nutrient-rich, loose, and well-drained soil. Moisturize them evenly with 1 inch of water every week. When the foliage starts to turn yellow, you should stop watering 2 to 3 weeks before harvest.

14. Tomatoes

Tomatoes need several months of warm weather in order to produce a bountiful harvest. They are highly edible plants that need nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer to grow best. You should choose a location with full sunlight, water them regularly, and provide them with supplemental fertilizer. Wait for transplanting outdoors until nighttime temperatures reach at least 55 degrees F. To support the fruit, you should grow tomatoes near trellises, stakes, or cages. 

Image: Unsplash

15. Tomatillos

Tomatillos are a kind of small green round fruit of this tomato relative that grows inside a paper rind. This kind of vegetable is typically sensitive to cold. Hence, they grow best in soil temperatures of between 70 and 80 degrees F. You can either start sowing seeds indoors 4 weeks before the last frost date in your region or buy nursery-grown tomatillos. Different varieties need different times to mature, but most will take 75-100 days to be ready to harvest. For successful cross-pollination, you should grow two or more plants. 

Easy Vegetables To Grow In Summer: 6 Tips for Beginners

So now you know some easy vegetables to grow in summer. And in this part, I will give you some tips to get a bountiful harvest with these crops.

  1. Grow by region: Choose varieties that will thrive best in your specific region. If your growing season is shorter, then choose varieties that mature faster and vice versa.
  2. Mulch: You can save water, prevent weeds, and cool down the soil temperatures by spreading a 1-2 inch layer of compost or other organic substances around the vegetables.
  3. Watering: Water the plant in the morning to minimize the possibility of transpiration and prevent foliar disease. You can also try to use drip irrigation to save water and decrease the rate of waterborne diseases. 
  4. Shade: Vegetable varieties such as peas, greens, cauliflower broccoli, etc., will thrive if you provide them with partial shade during the hottest time of the day, typically in hot summers. Plant in a place out of the midday heat or use fabric shade.
  5. Continuous planting: You can re-sow vegetables such as beets, lettuce, etc., every few weeks during the summer so that you can harvest them continuously.
  6. Harvest: It’s better to pick vegetables or fruits early or late in the day, typically during hot days. This way, they will provide a fresher and more flavorul taste.

Conclusion 

So, that’s the 15 easy vegetables to grow in summer. Remember that you can plant more types of vegetables depending on your climate. Just follow the tips above and you will get a bountiful harvest.

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How To Care For Mint Plant: Easy Tips for Beginners

Mint plants are really easy to grow, either in pots or in the garden. However, there are a few important things you should look for when growing mint. Typically, lots of beginning gardeners don’t know how to care for mint plant. So, in this post, I’ll give you the ultimate guide so that you can successfully grow your mint.

What to Look for When Choosing Mint Plants

Growing mint from seed can be an experiment for beginner gardeners. Because mint’s germination period is usually slow and initial growth can even be slower. Hence, it is advisable to sow mint seeds indoors several months before the last frost date. Due to this, most gardeners purchase mint through nurseries that offer pre-planted plants. These rooted mint cuttings are much more straightforward to maintain and will often produce more foliage than seed-started mints within the first year.

Here are some important things you should keep in mind when choosing mint to plant indoors or in the garden:

Variety: Are the mint plants labeled? There is a wide range of mint varieties available to the home gardener, so make sure you know what type of mint you have!

Health: Visually check the mint plants to see if there are any signs of disease. If it has any brown-orange spots on the lower foliage, then you shouldn’t use this plant. Such mottled spots are a common sign of mint rust, a disease needed to be destroyed or burned.

Pests: Inspect for any chewed parts or discoloration on the mint leaves. Large holes in the foliage are usually a sign of fissures, while small colored spots can be a sign of aphids, fleas, or spider mites. Actually, you can control all of these pests with proper care. Keep reading to know how to care for mint plants.

Choosing the right mint type is important
Choosing the right type of mint. Image: Unsplash

How To Care For Mint Plant

Growing mint plants and caring for them is not too difficult if you follow these tips.

  • Minimal care is required for mint. You can use light mulch for outdoor mint plants. This not only keeps the soil humid but also makes the mint leaves cleaner.
  • Remember to water indoor mint plants regularly to keep the soil evenly humid.
  • Once the frost threat passes, you can start growing mint plants in the ground.
  • Water mint plants throughout the season if needed as mint plants prefer completely moist soil. So, depending on the weather condition where you live and the location of the mint plant, you might need to water them on a daily basis.
  • You can and should harvest your mint leaves regularly during the season. By doing this, you are promoting the mint plant to grow bushier. To harvest mint, use your fingers to cut away the new growth on the top of the plant. Pinch the part that grows above the button about 1/3 of the mint stem’s bottom.
  • At the end of the season, aboveground mint can be covered with mulch for wintering. For mints planted in pots, you will need to dig them up and divide the roots. If you don’t, the mint will ultimately become so rooted that it will die on its own.
How to care for mint plant
How to care for mint plant properly. Image: Unsplash

The Do and Don’t of Growing Mint Plant

Like cilantro and basil, mint is considered one of the easiest herbs to plant. Nevertheless, its roots, known as the “jogger tree,” are extremely invasive. You can imagine that they grow fast, quickly sprouting new leaves and new plants. If you are not careful, your mint plant quickly takes the place of a flower bed or garden. Keep reading to know the do’s and don’ts of growing mint:

Do

  • When selecting a place for your mint plant, it is best to look for a location that will receive morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
  • You can grow mint in containers or pots, both indoors and outdoors.
  • When growing mint plants in a flower bed, make sure you submerge a pot (container, mesh bag, or rim at least 5 inches deep). This way, the rim is higher than the ground when potted. The silver’s fast-growing roots, as a result, will be contained there. Otherwise, the mint plants will invade your garden and lawn in a nasty weed fashion.
  • Always harvest mint sprigs before they flower.
  • You can pink flower buds when they appear to prolong the harvest season.
  • If you grow mint in a garden bed, cover it with mulch to prevent it from spreading.
  • Place mint plants 15 cm apart and thin them out often.
  • If you grow mint plants indoors, place your pot in a location that receives good morning light. Also, keep them far away from drying heating items or elements.
Enough sunlight is an essential step on how to care for mint plant
Mint need at least 6 to 7 hours of sunlight each day to grow properly. Image: Unsplash

Don’t 

  • Grow mint plants in an open bed unless you immerse a vessel containing the plant’s wild-growing roots.
  • If you plan to grow mint plants in a bed with a submerged container. Make sure it doesn’t crack. Otherwise, the “runners” can find their way and keep spreading.
  • Grow mint plants in ultra-humid conditions so they don’t dry out.

Conclusion

Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about how to care for mint plant so that you will grow mint indoors and outdoors properly.

How much sun does a mint plant need?

Ideally, growing mint in a sunny place, either indoors or in the ground. Mints usually require at least 6 to 7 hours of sunlight each day to grow properly. 

How often should mint plants be watered?

In fact, mint can grow successfully in different types of soils and light conditions. However, they need to be provided with enough and regular moisture. They also require unsaturated and well-drained oil for normal growth. Mint plants often need around 1 to 2 inches of water per week, depending on conditions.

Why is my mint plant dying?

There are different reasons causing your mint plant to die. If mint dies in a pot, it might be because the pot is too small or because there is a lack of drainage holes in the bottom so excess water cannot drain out. Long-legged plants, few leaves due to lack of sunlight or too much fertilizer are also popular reasons that make your mint plant can’t thrive. 

How do you care for a mint plant indoors?

Mint plants are the kind of plant that prefers being moist but not too wet. If the ground is dry to the touch, it needs to be watered. If not, try to keep it evenly moist. Dampness is another crucial factor. So, make sure you mist the plant between waterings or place the pot on a pebbles or cobblestone tray filled with water.

How do I make my mint plant bushy?

Sprinkle the soil with some time-release fertilizer (optional). Fully water the mint plant. Lastly, pinch two to four leaves on the top of each mint. This way, the mint branch sprouts and becomes bushy.

Why are the leaves on my mint plant turning brown?

There are various reasons why your mint leaves turn brown, such as low dampness, wrong watering, and diseases such as fungal infections. Less probable reasons could be lack of nutrients, sunburn, or root restriction. 

Conclusion

That’s useful tips on how to care for mint plants. I hope that you get some knowledge to take care of your mint. I’d also love to hear about your mint growing and caring experience. Don’t forget to share it with me and other readers in the comment box!

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How to Plant Potatoes At Home: 8 Easy Steps to Start

Home gardeners usually plant vegetables like peas, tomatoes, and peppers. But have you ever tried growing potatoes at home? Potatoes are a kind of starchy root vegetable that is considered one of the most staple foods in American cuisine. But beginning home gardeners might wonder how to plant potatoes at home. Well, in this part I will give you some information about when to plant potatoes, how to plant potatoes at home and in pots, and how to harvest potatoes. So, keep reading to prepare for your potato garden. 

When to Plant Potatoes

The ideal condition to grow potatoes is cool soil, usually between 45-75 degrees F. This means that the growing season for potatoes will be different depending on your climate, such as:

In cool climates: If your area has really cold winters and moderate summers, then you should grow potatoes right after the last frost date. For example, this weather is usually seen in the northern United States. And people there often plant potatoes in early spring, mid to late April.

In warm climates: If the region you live in has extremely hot summers and moderate winters, in late summer as soon as the weather starts to cool is the ideal time to start growing potatoes. For instance, this usually occurs in September in the southern United States.

Choosing the right potatoes for specific climate
Image: Unsplash

How Long Does it Take to Grow Potatoes?

One of the most important factors affecting the time for potatoes to reach their maturity is the variety of potatoes. For example, it will take around 75 to 90 days for early-season varieties of potatoes (such as Yukon gold) to grow and produce. Mid-season varieties (like russet) will take longer to produce, which is around 90 to 135 days. And the late-season varieties (such as French) need more time to grow. Usually, it takes between 135 and 160 days to be ready to harvest. 

It’s better for you to choose a potato variety that’s right for your climate. For instance, if you have fewer days in your living space where soil temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees F, early-season varieties should be your consideration. 

How to Grow Potatoes At Home

Here are the 8 easy and practical steps on how to grow potatoes at home that every home gardener can do. 

  1. Buy seed potatoes. While a lot of garden vegetables are planted from seeds, potatoes are planted vegetatively. In other words, new potato sprouts will germinate from the produce on their own. In order to grow potatoes at home, you will need seed potatoes or potatoes covered in “eyes” – red spots will easily germinate for full growth. Besides, you should not use grocery store potatoes for your seed potatoes. This is because they might be treated with an inhibitor to prevent germination.
Consider when buying seed potatoes from supermarket. Image: Unplash

2. Start your potato seeds. You should put your seed potatoes in a cool, sunny place to stimulate hardy germination around two or three weeks before the time you’d like to grow. 

3. Cut your seed potatoes. Cut each seed potato into several pieces one or two days before growing. Make sure that each section should have at least two sprigs or sprouts. Don’t grow these pieces right away. They will need several days to “heal”, or they will rot in the ground.

4. Select and prepare potato beds. Choose a sunny place (make sure it gets at least six hours of full sunlight each day) in a raised bed, well-drained, a little bit acidic soil (pH level between 4.8 and 5.2), ideally rich in organic matter. Then dig shallow ditches (4 to 6 inches deep). Make sure they are long enough to grow each potato about 8 inches apart.

5. Grow your seed potato pieces. Grow the seed potatoes in the ditch so that the buds are facing up (cross section). Freely cover them with loose soil, which is considered an ideal environment for potatoes to grow. So, do not pack in the ground.

6. Keep it moist. You should water your potatoes one to two inches of water every week. To prevent potatoes from cracking, you should water the bed equally. 

7. “Pile up” potatoes occasionally. When your potatoes grow, leaves will germinate from the soil, while tubers will develop on individual stems below the ground. If the tubers are exposed to too much sunlight, they will turn green and you can’t eat them. So, make sure you bury the tubers simply by “piling” them. All you need to do is to pile several inches of mulch or soil around every plant’s base, except for the top few rows of the leaves. You should do this around 3 to 4 times during the season.

8. Keep potatoes free of pests. Potatoes are considered one of the most popular targets for Colorado potato beetles, aphids, and fleas. So, make sure you remove these pests from your potatoes or spray them off with water. Besides, you can nourish your potatoes with tea compost, ensuring the soil pH is always under 5.2 to prevent some diseases for your potatoes such as scab or blight. Also, don’t forget to maintain healthy crop rotation practices.

Pro tip: You can also grow potatoes with several plants to improve their tastes, such as yarrow, basil, thyme, etc. Learn how to grow basil from seeds indoors.

How to Grow Potatoes At Home from Potatoes

Ideally, you should grow potatoes from typically planted seed potatoes from a certified garden supply store. The potatoes you buy at the grocery store might have been treated with a germination inhibitor to prevent them from germinating in your storeroom. Nevertheless, if you have some potatoes that are starting to germinate, just grow a piece of germinated potato in a container or in the ground. Make sure you cover them with 3 inches of soil. Green sprouts will appear after 2 weeks. They will develop into shrubs and after 3 months or so, new potatoes will develop under the ground.

How to grow potatoes at home from potatoes
How to grow potatoes from potatoes. Image: Unsplash

How to Grow Potatoes in Containers

If you don’t have a large enough space to grow potatoes in the ground, you can completely grow potatoes in pots or containers. You can start with a large and deep container with plenty of drainages. Fill one-third of the pot with soil, then put your seed potatoes in the container. Then place a layer of potting soil on top. Put the potato containers in place full of sun and water them well. Plant the potatoes in the pot as they grow to about 6 inches and repeat until the container is full.

How to Harvest Potatoes

When you see the foliage starting to die, don’t worry! This means it’s almost time to harvest your potatoes. Potatoes are usually ready to harvest two to three weeks after the plants begin to die again. Once the top of the foliage is completely dead, you can start harvesting your potatoes. 

  1. Softly dig up your potatoes. You can use your fingers or a spading fork to softly lift the potatoes out of the ground. Do not dry potatoes in the sun; otherwise, they will turn green and you can’t eat them. If there are any green potatoes, throw them away.
  2. Let the potatoes dry in the air. If your soil is really moist, let the potatoes air dry (out of direct sunlight).
  3. Prepare to store potatoes. Leave your potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark spot for two weeks. This will make their skins harder and make them last longer.
  4. Store your potatoes. Store potatoes in a cool and dark place. If you don’t have a tuber cellar, you can put your potatoes in the bottom rack of the pantry. They can be kept for up to six months.
How to harvest potatoes
It’s time to harvest your potatoes. Image: Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

In this part, you will find out answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how to plant potatoes at home.

What month do you grow potatoes?

This hugely depends on local weather. However, most home gardeners plant potatoes at home in March, April, and May. And the time to harvest is around 4 months later. However, some places can grow potatoes in autumn and winter if it has a mild winter climate.

Do potatoes need full sunlight to grow?

In general, potatoes grow best in place with full sunlight. They are strong rooting plants, and also produce the best harvests when grown in loose, light, and well-drained soil. 

How do I know if my potatoes are ready to harvest?

Usually, potatoes are ready to harvest when the foliage starts to die again. You need to let the top of the potato plants be completely dead before you can start harvesting.

What happens if I don’t harvest my potatoes?

Few things can happen if you don’t harvest your potatoes when they die back. For example, if the soil is too wet, your potatoes will rot. Or they can also die again if the ground starts to freeze. But if you live in a climate that is warm and dry enough, any surviving tubers throughout the winter will germinate again when the spring comes.

How often should I water potatoes?

Potatoes grow best when given 2-3 inches of water per week without completely drying out. They also need to be watered thoroughly, typically when it is really hot and dry. You should also keep the soil moist 8 to 10 inches underground. Another thing to remember is don’t overwater the potatoes for 2 weeks after growing.

What grows good with potatoes?

There are few plants that are considered to boost the flavor of potatoes, including chamomile, yarrow, basil, thyme, and parsley. All legumes, cabbage and corn will also help the potatoes grow better and thus enhance the taste of potatoes.

Conclusion

So, that’s some useful tips on how to plant potatoes at home. I hope that all of you learn something and start to grow your first potato garden, either in the ground or in pots. If there’s anything you are still confused about, don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comment box!

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Body Odor is no longer a problem

What factors contribute to the body odor and perspiration?

Body odor is a very common problem that can have a negative impact on a person’s life. It is primarily caused by bacterial activities in sweat rather than the sweat itself. It is a frequent misunderstanding that body odor is caused by perspiration. Human perspiration, in fact, is nearly odorless. Body odor is caused by bacteria on an individual’s skin breaking down protein molecules in perspiration, resulting in the production of odor. Body odor can be treated by some ways. There is no uniform therapy for it but by taking the following measures may aid in the control of the body odor and perspiration.

Body odor and perspiration preventive measures

The one measure is washing, a person should wash himself or take bath on a regular basis to avoid sweating or body smell. Another method to avoid body odor and sweating is shaving. The last method for preventing sweating is using antiperspirants. Antiperspirants work by reducing the severity of a person’s body odor by modifying sweat quantities and altering sweat chemistry.

What differentiates a deodorant from an antiperspirant?

Antiperspirants are a type of deodorant that is used to keep perspiration and stink at a bay from an individual’s body. Antiperspirant are applied after a shower on a clean and dry skin before going to bed. They then form temporary gel-like plugs in the topmost section of your sweat pores, reducing perspiration production and prevents the human body odor when used appropriately. The main difference between a deodorant and antiperspirant is antiperspirant contains aluminum which helps to decrease sweating. Therefore, it protects against body odor and perspiration on the other hand, deodorant protects against odor only. Both will help you stay fresh but, antiperspirant will help you manage sweat which is ideal if you want to avoid dampness beneath your arms. The aluminum content in antiperspirants help you reduce how much you sweat.

The best Antiperspirants available  

  1. Dove antiperspirant

Dove is one of those brands which makes products that are moisturizing to skin. The antiperspirant by dove is hydrating to skin and also moisturizes it making the skin super soft and smooth.

  • Secret derma + invisible gel antiperspirant

This antiperspirant contains aloe vera gel to make the skin smooth and also to sooth the skin. It does not cause any irritation to skin and even reduces the irritation which occurs after shaving the armpits. The best thing about this antiperspirant is its super light weight and creamy formula which dries quickly and does not stick to the clothes.

  • Maxim antiperspirant

Maxim is famous as being a therapy for people who have the problem of excessive sweating therefore, it should not just be considered as a deodorant. This product is proven to be the best solution for people having the issue of excessive sweating and body odor. This product not just covers up the issue but also attempts to eradicate it completely.

  • Duradry 3-step Protection System Antiperspirant

This product has received many positive reviews from its customers. It is used to address the most severe symptoms of excessive perspiration and body odor. This product is recommended by several dermatologists because of the maximum quantity of active substances to successfully sure the issue of sweating and body odor. This product is effective just after three days of use.

  • Right Guard Xtreme Defense Antiperspirant

With just a single application, Right Guard prevents a person from body odor and perspiration for up to three days, taking freshness to new heights. This product is also suggested by several dermatologists, so the ingredients used in this product are tested and trusted by the dermatologists which does not cause any harm or irritation to the skin. 

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How To Grow Garlic: Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Garlic is really easy to grow either in your garden or containers and pots in the yard. It is pretty low maintenance and typically doesn’t need too much space to thrive. Keep reading to learn how to grow garlic in pots or in the ground, the best time to harvest, and other tips for successful gardening. 

What Type of Garlic Should I Choose?

Basically, there are two types of garlic you can grow either in pots or in the ground: softneck and hardneck, also known as leeks. And here are some basic elements affecting growing garlic in containers you should know.

Hardneck or leeks: As their name implies, is very hard. They are great for planting in cold weather where the frigid temperatures are usually frequent and normal. 

Softneck: On the other hand, is softer than hardneck, and they are usually less hardy during frigid winter. Therefore, they will be best planted and thrive in areas with mild climates. 

Choose suitable types of garlic to grow. Image Unsplash

How Much Garlic Should I Grow?

The quantity of garlic you want to grow depends a lot on your space and needs. Usually, 1 pound of garlic can grow between 15 and 30 feet. But this also depends on the variety of garlic you’re going to plant and the amount of space you want to spend on it. Generally speaking, you will plant garlic in a single row. And to ensure they grow normally, it’s best to leave the row spaced 12 inches apart, no matter if it is in the ground, raised garden beds, or pots. 

Where Should I Grow Garlic?

As mentioned before, garlic is really easy to plant and grow. Therefore, you can grow them anywhere, depending on your available space. If you don’t have enough space in your garden for it, you can consider growing garlic in pots, containers, or raised garden beds. 

In case you grow garlic in the ground, make sure you follow vegetable rotation. This way, you can easily know what garlic placement will be good before planting time. This also gives you the opportunity to ensure that places are well operated, weeded, repaired and prepared.

Where to grow garlic: indoors or outdoors
Growing garlic indoors or in the ground

What You Need to Grow Garlic?

Here are some things you should prepare and consider to start growing garlic in pots or in the ground. It’s best to plan a few weeks in advance of your planting date. They include garlic (of course), the right container, soil, fertilizer, compost (optional), water, and some gardening tools.

How To Grow Garlic In The Ground?

As garlic bulbs love light, nutrient-rich soil and they don’t suffer water saturation or logging, make sure you grow them in the soil with lots of organic substances, such as rotted marune, compost, or reusable green waste. Below are details to follow:

  • Carefully separate the garlic bulbs into each clove.
  • Then grow those cloves right below the soil’s surface (around 2.5cm in depth). Make sure you put the pointed end of the cloves facing up. Also remember to keep the distance between each clove between 10 and 15 cm in a row.
  • For some garlic rows, you should leave the space between rows around 30 cm apart. This way, they have more space to thrive and it’s better for you to get rid of weeds.

If you grow your garlic during winter in heavy clay soil, it’s better to separate the cloves in module trays. Make sure you don’t water the soil too much because it might make your garlic rot. Then put compost into the tray and grow one clove in each model. You should put the clove just right above the surface of the soil, which is roughly 2.5 cm. And cover them with a layer of compost afterwards. You should store the trays in a sheltered place outdoors for the best result. 

Planted this way, the garlic can be grown in the ground in the spring when the garlic cloves have germinated.

How to grow garlic in the ground
How to grow garlic in the ground. Image: theenglishgarden

How To Grow Garlic In Pots?

Actually, you don’t need to have a large garden to plant garlic. It is very simple to grow garlic in pots or containers on your balcony or patio. Here are some steps to follow.

Picking the Right Pot

Firstly, you will need a pot with a depth of at least 8 or 10 inches. This provides enough space for the garlic roots to thrive easily. Besides, you should plant each garlic clove 4 to 6 inches apart. So, keep this in mind when you’re picking pots.

If your area is hot, you should pick a light-colored container because black pots can overheat the soil under the direct sun. 

Lastly, make sure your pots have drainage holes. And don’t forget to put some gravel at the bottom of the container’s bottom. This way, water can easily drain away from the roots.

How to grow garlic in pots.
How to grow garlic in pots. Image: greenhomediy

Preparing Your Pot

  • Fill your container with garden soil and fertilizer. Remember to get rid of pebbles and clumps from the garden soil before putting it into the container. 
  • You can also check if your garden soil has the proper pH for the cloves to grow healthily with a soil test. 
  • Start separating garlic bulbs into each clove and put them in the pot with a depth of 2.5cm and the space between each one should be around 10-15cm. 
  • Keep the compost moist enough, typically during dry periods.
Fill your container with garden soil and fertilizer to grow garlic properly. Image: Unsplash

How And When To Crop Garlic

If you grow garlic in the fall, you can harvest in June or July. Spring-grown garlic, on the other hand, will be ready to harvest a little bit later. Just wait until the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow, then use a trowel to loosen the bulbs from the soil.

Do not use a trowel to cut garlic bulbs because this will decrease their ability to preserve. Besides, do not leave the garlic bulbs in the ground for an extended period after the leaves have wilted, as the bulbs can regrow and may rot in storage.

Place the garlic bulb in a warm and dry place before you store them. Under good conditions, garlic bulbs can be stored for up to three months.

It’s time to harvest your garlic. Image: Unsplash

Common Garlic Problems To Keep In Mind

Garlic is less likely to have diseases, but there are two common diseases you need to watch out for, including white rot and rust.

If garlic is rusty, you will usually notice rusty-colored spots on the leaves. Unfortunately, there is no way to cure this disease. The only helpful thing you can do is to avoid growing garlic in the same area for 3 years. 

White rot is another quite common disease in garlic. It will rot the roots and ultimately the garlic bulb. And crop rotation is the only cure for this. 

Top Tips For Growing Garlic

Growing garlic either in the ground or pots is very easy. But here are some gardening tips you should remember to get a successful harvest.

  • Purchase garlic bulbs from a reliable garden supplier.
  • If possible, plant your garlic before Christmas if you want to harvest soon
  • Don’t grow garlic in the soil that has recently been used to plant alliums.
  • Don’t water garlic too much to prevent waterlog.
  • Weed regularly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some popularly asked questions about how to grow garlic ar home.

Does garlic grow well in pots?

Yes, of course. You can completely grow garlic in pots or containers. However, there are few important things to bear in mind. Garlic is very susceptible to root fungus, so it’s important that the soil you use to plant garlic cloves is well drained.

How long does it take for garlic to grow?

In general, garlic will need around 90 days to grow. 

Can I grow garlic from the grocery store?

Yes, you can. Planting garlic from grocery stores is relatively convenient. But make sure you buy it from reliable stores to make sure your garlic is healthy enough to grow afterwards. For sure, it’s better to buy from a famous garden supplier. 

Is it OK to grow garlic in spring?

Yes, you can completely grow garlic in the spring. You can plant garlic for bulbs or for a harvest of green garlic. Green garlic, also known as spring garlic, is a type of garlic equivalent to spring onion or scallions. The plant has a slender stem with bright green leaves and small bulbs.

How often should I water garlic?

You should water garlic every 3 to 5 days during the bulbing periods (usually from mid-May to June). If that time is very dry in your area, water at a depth of 2 feet every 8 to 10 days.

Conclusion 

So, that’s all about information and tips on how to grow garlic in pots and in the ground. Don’t forget to share your experience and garlic harvest in the comment box. 

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How To Grow Basil From Seed Indoors: Easy Steps for Beginners

Basil is one of the easiest plants to grow. You can grow it almost anywhere, anytime with a very high opportunity of survival. You can easily plant basil right in your home, in containers and put them indoors. They not only look beautiful when growing but also provide you with lots of health benefits, such as boosting digestive health, decreasing inflammation, etc. This ultimate guide will teach you how to grow basil from seed indoors, what you will need to have a successful harvest. 

Can You Grow Basil Indoors?

Yes, of course. You can completely grow basil outdoors. The planting process, except for some main differences, is really the same as growing basil in the ground or your garden. Growing basil indoors is also a good way to start your organic gardening.

Beginners can also find it really simple to grow basil from seed indoors because you don’t need to strictly follow the temperatures when you’re growing basil outdoors. As long as you keep your indoor temperature between 60 and 75 F, your basil can thrive. 

But sunlight is an important factor deciding basil growth. If you want to grow basil during the winter, you can still be successful in doing so if your area has sunny winters. If you don’t, you need to consider alternatives. And fluorescent lights are a great alternative. But you should make sure to expose your basil at least 10 hours a day, which is equivalent to 6 hours of sunlight. 

Another alternative is using a grow light. The plant light should be positioned a few inches above your basil seedling. When the plant grows, raise the light. If the plant starts to look longer, you should move the light closer. If the plant starts to develop white spots on its leaves, move the plant elsewhere.

Grow basil from seed indoors. Image: Unsplash

When Should Basil Be Planted?

If you are growing basil in the ground, you should plant it no earlier than 2 weeks after the last frost. Basil is very sensitive to cold weather and if you expose it to frost, it will die soon.

Nevertheless, if you are growing your basil indoors in a container, you can plant it literally whenever you want to. Let’s say June, September, December, anytime is possible. 

Just bear in mind that it will take 6-8 weeks for your basil to be ready for harvest. So, if you plan to grow a large amount of basil on a certain date, plan accordingly.

What You Will Need?

Here are some items you will need to grow basil from seed indoors. 

How To Grow Basil From Seed Indoors: 7 Simple Steps 

Below are 7 simple and practical steps on how to grow basil from seeds indoors.

Step 1: Prepare For Planting

Choose a place for your basil that will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. If there is no such place in your home, set up a fluorescent or grow light.

Choose the type of basil you want to plant. Whether it’s sweet basil, Thai basil, Genovese basil or something else, the type of basil you choose will have its own appearance, taste, and objective.

Besides, choose your pot or container. Basil grows well in most pots, making it super easy to grow and you don’t need regular maintenance.

If you have too many options and don’t know which container should be opted for, then the “ideal basil pot” should be about 15 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep.

It’ll need 6-8 hours of sunlight to grow basil from seed indoors. Image: Unsplash

Step 2: Start Your Basil Seeds

It is normal that lots of people are wondering, “Should I soak basil seeds before planting?” Yes, you can. However, your basil won’t be affected if you don’t do so. Soaking the basil seeds will help them germinate more quickly, so if you want to harvest faster, go ahead. Nevertheless, there will be no negative results for your basil if you don’t do that.

The question is “how do you soak basil seeds?” On the night before planting, fill the bowl with warm water. Make sure the water is warm because cold water will not affect the seeds, and hot water will damage them.

Pour the seeds in that bowl of warm water and let them soak. After a few hours, take them from the bowl. The next morning they will be ready for planting.

Step 3: Grow Your Seeds

Fill the pot of your choice with a rich and loose potting soil. It is recommended to have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. And make sure you fertilize it with organic fertilizer before you add the basil seeds.

Fill the pot up to 1 inch from its rim. Spread the seeds evenly over the soil. Then cover them with ¼ inch of soil, noting that the basil seeds need enough sunlight to germinate in the right way.

Once you’ve planted the basil seeds, water them thoroughly. It will take the basil seeds from 5 to 10 days to germinate.

Step 4: Take Care of Your Basil Plant

Water your basil plant daily in the morning, watering the base of the plant. The top layer of soil should be kept moist, but not waterlogged.

When leaves begin to sprout, thin the plants so that they are at least 6 inches apart. You can use scissors to cut along the soil line. Rotate the plants as they grow to keep them from leaning too much to one side.

Image: Unsplash

Step 5: Pinch Flowers on the Basil

The flowers that grow on the basil plant surprise some people. However, you need to remove them. This is because they can change the hormones of the basil plant, which can result in flavor loss in the leaves. After you eliminate the flowers, within at least a day, the leaves should regain their full flavor.

When your basil plant is 4 inches tall, you will also need to prune its top branches. This allows more side branches to grow, which will ultimately result in taller plants, encouraging your basil plant to develop stronger stems and leaves.

Step 6: It’s Time to Harvest

Once your basil crosses 7 inches in height, you can harvest its leaves. The more often you harvest basil, the more leaves it will produce then.

To harvest your basil, you gently pluck the leaves by plucking at the stem, right where the pairs of basil leaves grow. When you harvest basil, 2 more leaves will start to grow, resulting in twice as many leaves ready for the next harvest.

Time to harvest your basil grown from seed indoors. Image: Unsplash

Step 8: Enjoy Your Basil

After growing basil from seed indoors to a blossoming plant, you deserve to enjoy your basil. Basil is a great addition to lots of recipes, bringing tasty flavor to lasagna, Caprese salads, pesto, pizza, cocktails, and more.

For the best flavor, harvest the basil 5-10 minutes before serving in the dish. If you have more basil than you can handle, you can use it to make pesto and then store that pesto in a jar for next use. 

Basil is great for meal. Image: Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

In this part, I will give you answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about how to grow basil from seed indoors. 

How long does it take to grow basil from seed?

You basil will start to germinate in 7 to 10 days after you plant it in a pot indoors. 

Should I soak basil seeds before planting?

In fact, it is not necessary to soak basil seeds before planting. But if you do so, the basil seeds can germinate faster. If you don’t, they can still grow normally. You can directly sprinkle the basil seeds over the surface of the pot and follow the above steps. 

Why won’t my basil seeds germinate?

If your seeds are not germinating, it’s either too cold, too wet, or non-viable (old seeds). If that’s the case, you can try to use heat mats and fresh seeds for best results. Also, make sure the soil never gets waterlogged. 

Why is my basil growing so slowly?

There are some reasons why basil plants stop growing. These include the soil that is deficient in nutrients or improperly drained. Another popular reason is too much or too little water. Besides, you should check whether there is enough space between the basil seeds.

Are coffee grounds good for basil plants?

Coffee grounds have a quite important role in the growth of basil as long as you are careful when you use them. As you might know basil prefers neutral to slightly acidic soil. However, it is better to use compost with coffee grounds rather than directly mixing them into the soil.

Conclusion

That’s tips about how to grow basil from seed indoors. This is actually a great project for beginners as well as advanced gardeners.

Basil is really easy to plant. It is also a beautiful ornamental plant, a delicious addition to tons of meals. Besides, it provides you with a powerful source of nutrients. You can also use these tips to grow basil in the ground in your garden.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and learned everything you need to know to fruitfully grow basil from seed indoors. If you liked it, be sure to share and comment with any thoughts or questions in the comment box!

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Gardening Tips for Beginners: 15 Simple Ways to Start

Gardening season is coming. And if this is your first time learning how to start growing your first garden, then you might need to prepare a lot of things before you start. Whether you’re trying to grow your own garden of organic fruits and veggies or add some color to your backyard, these simple and practical gardening tips will be very useful for beginners.

1. Know your “zone”

By understanding the area you live, you won’t plant vegetables, herbs, or fruits that can’t survive in cold winters. You can also know which time is best to expect the last frost date in spring. This way, you can choose suitable veggies and fruits that easily grow in your “zone”.

You can look for what kinds of vegetables grow well in your region online. If possible, you can go to a local nursery. Small plant nurseries tend to start growing veggies and fruits that are proper to the season and local area. The nurseries that are fully priced and prominently displayed might be the suitable ones to buy to start growing. Discounted plants, of course, are usually cheaper. However, they often tend to be outside the main crop and your harvest will not be as good as you expect. So, choose the plants wisely. That’s also the next important step to start your first garden. 

knowing your zone is one of the first and most important gardening tips for beginners.
Knowing your zone is the first step to a sucessful garden. Image: Unsplash

2. Select the right plants for your “fun sun” or “full shade” area

For those who don’t know, lots of fruits and veggies need at least six or eight hours per day to grow. On the other hand, other plants thrive better in spaces with limited light. So, if your garden is in a place full of sunlight, you can consider growing perennial plants, such as chrysanthemums, peonies, dahlias, and lavender. However, plants such as ferns, hydrangeas, and hostas tend to grow better in places with less sunlight. 

Choose the right plants for your area. Image: Unsplash

3. Always test the soil carefully before you start digging

This step is important for you to know if your soil is healthy enough to nourish your vegetables and fruits or not. You can send a sample of your soil to a lab. Or more simply, you can use a home kit to calculate the soil’s pH level. The pH levels will be various for different types of plants. However, anywhere between 6.5 and 7 is suitable (with the exception of melons, eggplants, and potatoes). Besides, you should check for the following three nutrients: potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. If the result is not good, you might need to spend some time correcting insufficiencies. 

Always test the soil before start growing plants. Image: Unsplash

4. Consider using garden raised beds

Almost all beginning gardeners want to succeed. And you know, a raised garden bed can be one of the best ways to achieve that success. Although you might need to invest a little more at first, your result will be better when the harvest comes. This is because you can control the soil better when it is in the raised bed. You can also have a prompt and proper method to deal with weeds and pests. 

5. Plan the details of your garden

So now you know your soil quality, the plants you are going to grow, and the place to plant those vegetables and fruits. But, yuu should remember that one of the most effective gardening tips for beginners is to take some time to map it out before you start digging and planting your veggies. By doing this, you can double-check if you make the most of your space or not. 

6. Ensure that you have the right gardening tools 

To make your gardening as productive as possible, you should equip some gardening tools. But make sure you get the right ones. Here are some of the most basic gardening tools you should have in your kit: a trowel, gauge transplanter, tiller, pruning shears. Durable gloves are also essential to keep your hands safe from thorns. If you miss any of these things, you should buy them to take advantage of those tools for the best gardening season. 

Get yourself the right gardening tools. Image: Unsplash

7. Consider using a seed starter kit

Using a seed starter kit is one of the most simple and almost guaranteed ways to among various gardening tips for beginners. They usually come in one or multiple-use containers or trays. They will provide your seed with ideal conditions to sprout. These trays are perfect if you want to plant your vegetables or fruits but it is too early to grow outside. And you can put them in the soil or ground later when they are big enough. 

8. Always start small

You will need a lot of time and dedication when deciding to grow your own garden. It’s always simple to get excited about planting everything, including fruits and vegetables, under the sun. However, it is much better to start at a small scale so that you can easily take care of each plant in the best possible way.

9. Remember to label every plant in your garden

Even if you are going to grow just three types of seeds, it is best to label all of them, including their names and where they are planted. You never know that you can remember all those seeds. 

Always label your plants. Image: Unsplash

10. Take advantage of companion growing

There are a lot of reasons why you should make the most of companion planting. This can help you maximize your space utilization, providing nutrients for your plants, and also repelling pests. You also know that some vegetables grow best when they are planted close together. On the other hand, several species need to be planted separately; otherwise, they will inhibit each other’s growth. 

For instance, tomatoes are more productive (and keep flies and mosquitoes away) when they are planted closely with basil. Other allies of tomatoes, such as carrots, asparagus, celery, lettuce, marigolds, onions, parsley, and spinach, can also be planted with basil to get the best harvest. However, you should not plant the tomatoes near beets, cabbage, corn, dill, fennel, rosemary, and potatoes. 

11. Use compost

Compost is a type of organic material that you can use to add to your garden. You will be surprised by its effectiveness. You don’t even need to buy compost because it exists in your house already. They can be anything from tea bags, eggshells, ashes, coffee grounds, and even fur. When you add these compost materials to the soil, they can maintain moisture or dampness, fight diseases and pests, and encourage the growth of good bacteria. Besides, you can minimize the carbon footprint when reuse these materials. 

12. Use fertilizer

Even if you find using compost is not your thing, you shouldn’t overlook improving your soil. Fertilizing the soil is one of the most crucial steps to provide your seeds and plants with necessary minerals and nutrients to grow healthily. 

Image: Unsplash

13. Always remember to water your plants properly

Proper watering is also considered on of the most useful gardening tips for beginners. Different plants, including fruits and vegetables, will need different amounts of water and frequency of watering. Therefore, always research this carefully to ensure that your plants are watered properly. 

Water your plants properly. Image: Unsplash

14. Eliminate weeds

Growing veggies and fruits is just your first step in your new gardening journey. You have to get rid of weeds too. This is really important because weeds compete with the plants you’re trying to grow for nutrients and minerals in the soil. They also fight for precious space in your garden. 

15. Consider adding mulch to plant’s base

Mulch is great for providing your soil with nutrients and preventing erosion. Besides, it can help your garden resist weeds. So, you can consider adding mulch to the base of your vegetables and fruits, depending on what types of those plants are.

Conclusion 

So, these are just a few simple and practical gardening tips for beginners you can consider when you start growing your first garden. You just need to follow these steps and your garden will thrive soon. But if you need more specific advice, it is better to look for the help from local nurseries. 

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How to Grow Your First Organic Garden: 10 Easy Steps for Beginners

Although eating organic is considered really healthy for your family and you, it can cost you lots of money to buy organic food (including fruits and vegetables) at the market or supermarket. Have you ever thought about starting to grow your own organic garden and don’t know where to start? Growing an organic garden is not as difficult as you think. In fact, you will find it fun and relaxing!

Besides, growing an organic garden is a good way to create a sustainable, earth-friendly ecosystem. So, follow these steps to start your first organic vegetable gardening.

Step 1: Consider a space with good light

The first thing when it comes to how to grow your first organic garden is the space available to you. As you might know, to grow to its full potential, your organic vegetable garden needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. But you don’t really have to have a huge area to be a successful gardener. Simply find a sunny spot for a container or two on your doorstep or deck. Or you can also build a raised garden bed in the corner of your yard. The other important thing to consider as you’re starting out is how much time you have to care for your garden.

Tips for choosing your first ideal garden space: 

  • Sunlight – your plants will need at least 6-8 hours of sun per day
  • Water source – find a location near a water source so you don’t have to transport water containers
  • Visibility – you’ll be reminded to care of your garden if you can see it easily

Step 2: Think about vegetables you will grow

The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about how to grow your first organic garden is what you and your family like to eat. Besides, you have to be realistic about your area and what plants work best in your region. To know what potential vegetables to the place you live, you can look at The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. Choosing plants that are well adapted to the light, drainage, moisture, and soil quality of your area will help keep your garden healthy. It can also resist  attack or disease, which is really important in organic and natural growth.

Here are some of the easiest plants to grow for those who have a limited time and space when growing their organic gardens:

  • Tall snow peas and sugar snaps
  • Zucchini
  • Pole beans
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
Source: Unsplash

Step 3: Choose soil to grow carefully

The biggest determining factor of a successful organic garden is your soil. Good, nutrient-rich soil makes plants healthier and less susceptible to disease. To get your new garden off to a good start, it’s important to know your soil, and make sure it’s conditioned suitably, before you plant your first seeds.

As you might or might not know, one of the best ways to know your soil is to test it. You can buy a soil test kit online or at your local garden stores. This way, you will know your soil’s current pH level and what nutrients you need to add to the soil to ensure ultimate growth. The fall is considered the best time to test your soil. After finishing this step, you should apply any organic nutrients to the soil before winter.

Composted material is considered healthy and great for your organic garden. It will provide your vegetable garden with the most abundant organic nutrients that you can find naturally. This is a cheap and eco-friendly way to enrich your soil. And more importantly, it’s easy for beginners. 

Besides, you can consider using raised garden beds. They might be a little bit expensive at first, but they will be easier for you to care for your garden in the long run. You can also control your soil and prevent contaminants better. 

After getting all needed things, it’s time to start. Mix compost, manure, or other compost and organic fertilizer with your soil to create an ideal garden space. And now, it’s time for planting. 

Note: Make sure your soil is not too wet for easier tilling. 

Source: Unsplash

Step 4: It’s Time to Get Your Garden Started

Plant wisely. Help your garden thrive as it matures by starting with vigorous, vibrant young plants that you can buy at local garden stores. Or, you can also grow your own seeds if you have them available at home. 

Below are some of the most common veggies you can grow from seed right in your garden bed:

  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Squash

Depending on the area you live and the time of year, it may be better to incubate the seeds from the inside and then gradually transfer the healthy seedlings to your garden within 6-8 weeks. If you live in warmer climates, it is completely possible to sow the seeds directly into the ground in March or April.

Step 5: Start Planting Your First Vegetables

Some tools you will need in this step include a trowel, clippers, garden gloves and a watering can or a garden hose if your garden is near a water source. 

The most important thing you need to remember when planting your vegetables is to know how to organize your garden. Ideally, organize it with taller plants to the north and shortest ones to the south. This way, tall vegetables will not “throw shade” the shorter ones. Learn more about gardening tips for beginners.

Then follow the instructions on your seed packet for further guidance on proper spacing guidelines for each vegetable, as they vary. Placing them with the right distance will help air circulate and flow well, helping to decrease the risk of fungus or other diseases. Avoid growing your plants too far apart because it can make weeds quickly take over.

Step 6: Water Properly

Because moisture is very important for good plant growth, make sure that you plan your watering properly. For those who don’t know, almost all organic vegetables need at least an inch of water per week (and even more when your place is too hot). Easy access to faucets and rainwater tanks is key to keep you free of dragging heavy watering cans and dragging garden hoses around. Remember to water right after you plant!

Source: Unsplash

Step 7: Pull out as many weeds as you can

In fact, there are several easy ways you can do to help reduce your weed situation. The first way is to cover with a layer of mulch about 2 inches deep. If you apply it deeper than 2 inches, it can deprive the soil of oxygen. And the best time to weed is after a rain. This is the time when the soil is moist and the young grass is much easier to pull off than the grown ones.

Step 8: Protecting plants from harmful pesticides

You may have moisture, nutrient, or light problems that leave your plants weak and vulnerable to pests and diseases. After reviewing the overall care of your garden, start looking for signs of damage or symptoms of disease and note common damage features, be it spots or spots on leaves, discoloration or even waste left behind. Also, keep in mind that about 95% of the uninvited guests in your garden are harmless and possibly even helpful (beneficial insects), such as ladybugs, ground beetles, soldier beetles, wasps, bees, and butterflies. 

To better control plant diseases or prevent diseases from starting, you can safely use organic products without harming yourself, your family, your pets, and also the environment. Lots of gardening enthusiasts are concerned about synthetic pesticides and their harmful effects on the vegetables and their health. So, they have turned to using organic pest control methods.

Step 9: It’s Time to Harvest

There’s nothing like the first harvest so you get the great feeling of knowing that your time in your organic vegetable garden has been well spent. If you plant well, your garden can even produce more vegetables and fruits than you think. If so, prepare cans and other storage methods, such as vacuum sealers and freezers. Many of your harvests will come at once, so to avoid waste, prepare ways to save or share with friends and family.

Source: Unsplash

Step 10: It’s Time To Prepare For Next Season

When the fall is coming and the growing season ends, make sure that you clean your garden by taking off all weeds and diseased plants from the beds, roots and all. This is a great way to keep pests and diseases out of your plant growing space. More importantly, it gives you a head start on a clean, healthy planting space for next season.

Conclusion 

So, that’s all about steps when it comes to how to grow your first organic garden. Here are some key things you should remember to have a healthy vegetable garden.

  1. Your garden needs full sun, at least 6-8 hours a day
  2. You can start small even with a limited space
  3. Prepare good soil
  4. Buy plants
  5. Fertilize 
  6. Water is very important 

Of course, some steps might be a little bit different, depending on the climate where you live, but that’s all the basics. 

If you have any questions about growing an organic garden, let me know below.