How To Build A Walipini Greenhouse

Walipini

We use cellars because they maintain a more constant temperature than structures that are built above-ground. We use greenhouses to extend the growing season because they hold in heat. Well what if you combined a greenhouse and a cellar? You’d have a greenhouse that would allow you to grow plants year-round. [Read more…]

Self Sufficient Greenhouse Gardening [Part 1] & [Part 2]

Greenhouse

Self Sufficient Greenhouse

Greenhouse Gardening [Part 1]

With skyrocketing prices at the grocery store and an unstable economy, it’s no surprise people are turning back to the ways of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Self sufficiency is needed now more than ever, and a greenhouse can provide fresh, healthy food for families virtually year round. [Read more…]

Vegetable Diseases An Aid to Identification and Control

Vegetable Diseases

Actually, dozens of diseases may afflict a vegetable garden, but fungus, bacterial,  viral and environmental factors that cause root rot are the most common to vegetable gardens planted across the United States. Diseases caused by fungus are among the most prevalent to plague vegetable garden planters and growers, and can turn a once thriving and flourishing garden into a disaster. [Read more…]

How to Make And Use Liquid Manure Compost

Compost

How to Make And Use Liquid Manure Compost

Manure tea – doesn’t that just sound like something you’d like to have some crumpets with? Well, no.

But your garden will most definitely enjoy a cup, so today we’re going to talk about how to make and use your very own manure tea to get the best out of your crops.

Don’t mistake manure tea with compost tea; they’re two completely different beasts. Compost tea is all about microorganisms that are beneficial to both soil and plants. Manure tea is all about the nutrients in manure. [Read more…]

10 Gardening Tips & Ideas every gardener should know & 10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes and How to avoid them

Gardening

10 Gardening Tips & Ideas every gardener should know & 10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes and How to avoid them

10 tips, ideas and hacks every gardener should know. These gardening tricks might surprise you and help you not only to grow the best plants in your garden, but also save you a lot of money. Here is the set of tips: [Read more…]

How You Can Grow 10 Times The Food In Half The Time -The Benefits of an Aquaponics System –

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How You Can Grow 10 Times The Food In Half The Time -The Benefits of an Aquaponics System –

Benefits Of An Aquaponics SystemYou’ll be amazed with the – that come with DIY aquaponics systems. Aquaponics for the beginners, backyard or in home vertical aquaponics can be easily accomplished.

Why You Should Build A DIY Aquaponics System? Do you know that you can produce up to ten times more food with the aquaponics system compared to conventional gardening? [Read more…]

The Best 5 Gardening System to Grow Food for all Your Family Every Year Even in a Desert

Gardening Sistem

The Best 5 Gardening System to Grow Food for all Your Family Every Year Even in a Desert

Would you like to know how to grow your own organic food in your backyard?

Some Basic Tips

Growing your own vegetables is a rewarding activity. Not only does it give you the joy of working outside with the earth, it provides many nutritious meals for your family. Here is a little advice to get you started and to make your vegetable garden both easier and more productive.

[Read more…]

This is Incredible! The Self Watering Grow Bag Grow System! You got to see this!

Grow Bag

This is Incredible! The Self Watering Grow Bag Grow System! You got to see this!

Why grow in grow bags

Grow bags are made of breathable fabric which means superior drainage and aeration. It is the aeration that makes them superior to other garden containers. If a container has no aeration and the roots reach the walls of the container, they give a signal to the plant to make more roots, resulting in a root bound plant. Eventually the plant just kills itself with a mass of roots going round and round in the container.  [Read more…]

Guerrilla Gardening – Hiding your food production

Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening – Hiding your food production

I would like to introduce the concept of guerrilla gardening to you.   I’m unsure if this is an original concept, but nonetheless, I am here to share knowledge.   Guerrilla gardening is a concept of distributing and hiding your garden patches.  Rather than having one single large garden, guerrilla gardening is about have many small garden patches.   The goal of guerrilla gardening is not relying on a single point of failure.   A great deal of survival topics is simply about not having single points of failure.   When you have redundancies, you have abundance.  When you have just one of something, and that something is no longer available, then you are put into a disaster situation. [Read more…]

20 Perennial Vegetables to Plant Once and Enjoy Forever!

Perennial Vegetables

20 Perennial Vegetables to Plant Once and Enjoy Forever!

Perennial vegetables—crops that you plant just once and harvest year after year—are relatively rare in North American gardens.

With the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are probably unaware of the tasty, extremely low-maintenance bounty that can be harvested when many annual crops aren’t available.

[Read more…]

7 Ways I Would Have Died If The SHTF

Survival-2

To help people realize that Survival Gardening isn’t something you can learn quickly… I thought I’d share with you 7 reasons I would have starved to death if I’d have had to feed my family from the food we grew ourselves.
I also mention how these failures, and many others were the motivation behind our new product, Survival Gardening Secrets… a product for newbie gardeners who are looking for a crash course on gardening for survival.

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Other useful resources:

Backyard Innovator (A Self Sustaining Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness)

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)

Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)

 

SOURCE : www.preppersworldusa.com

Building a Home Garden: A Great Way to Prepare for Emergency Circumstances

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Should disaster ever strike, it’s important to have a number of preparations and plans in place. The last thing you want to do is wander through life aimlessly, completely unprepared in case something horrible were to happen or strike. I’m not trying to be a buzzkill, but it’s quite likely you’ll encounter emergency circumstances in your lifetime and the only way to be prepared for such unfortunate circumstances is to have a plan of action in place.
One area I like to focus much of my disaster planning on is on emergency food. I stock up my outside pantry with canned foods and bottled water every so often, but recently I’ve also started to grow a garden as well. I’ve learned that gardens are quite useful and helpful, especially in the direst of circumstances. If you don’t already have a garden, here are three reasons why it might be a good idea to start cultivating one for emergency situations. [Read more…]

Backyard aquaponics: DIY system to farm fish with vegetables

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It should be said that there is a difference between preparing for the collapse and live there after and just purchasing supplies as to insulate yourself from consequences of collapse. If you dont have a garden in your preps than i dont think you’re really prepping.
The survival podcast, one of the most popular prepper podcast has aquaponics system on all the time. Permaculture and prepping go really well together. That being said many preppers are just hoarders and will someday be desperate when their stockpiles run down.

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Other useful resources:

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness)

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

3 Vegetables You Can Grow All Winter … Even Without A Garden-Video

container-gardening-400x275When it comes to gardening, I have a hard time waiting for spring. In January I start to dream about planting. In February, I’m researching plants, designing my garden, and writing up a cost estimate for my newest growing endeavors. By March, I’m chomping at the bit, eager to get my pots started. But I don’t own a plot of land where I can plant. Rather than resign myself to wistfully admiring other’s gardens, I’ve tackled vegetable container gardening in the past and this year is no different. Small space may require a bit more work to encourage cold-weathervegetables to grow and produce, but it’s certainly an option and one I love!

Containers

Some of the first crops of the season are broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. While these plants respond best when planted directly into the ground, they can manage well in pots if cared for properly. To start out, you’ll need a correct pot size for each plant. Broccoli and cauliflower generally need larger pots (at least five gallons per plant and between 12 to 16 inches deep). Cabbage can manage in a two gallon pot. Ensure there is at least one drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. While water, and plenty of it, is essential to rapidly growing plants, too much stagnant water can smother a plant. Generally, the larger the pot size, the better it is for the plant. Larger containers help quell soil temperature fluctuations, and the more room there is for soil, water and roots, the better the crop will be. When it comes to pot size, don’t skimp!

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Soil

Once you have your containers chosen, you’ll need to think about what you’re going to fill them with. Good vegetable growing soil needs to provide adequate drainage and supply nutrients to your plants. It’s generally recommended to start out your pots with a good quality potting soil mix. These mixes include perlite or sand (for drainage) and peat, or composted bark (for nutrition). If you desire to mix your own soils, do some research online or at your library or bookstore, as there is a lot of good information out there on creating excellent potting soil. Alternatively, you can get by just fine with purchasing a bag of quality potting soil from your local plant nursery.

Fertilizer

While potting soil comes with its own nutrients, it doesn’t tend to last the entire growing season due to tendency of the nutrients to wash out of the soil from the frequent watering. Plan to start fertilizing your plant sometime in the summer, close to the time the plant starts producing. Over-fertilizing is common, but not necessary, so watch your plants and experiment with how much and how often you give them extra food.

Watering

Your broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants will be very dependent on you for adequate water. Container plants go through a lot of water. Some water will drain out the bottom, especially if too much is given at one time, while other water will evaporate out the top. Stack on top of that the intense water needs of growing vegetable plants, and you can expect to water your plants every day.

Ed Smith shares that “There’s no wiggle room here; vegetable plants that don’t get enough water when they need it become stressed, and don’t produce as well. This means that a traditional container gardener has to be available to water the garden once a day – or more than once – every day” (Mother Earth News, April/May 2008). However, there is also another option: self-watering containers. These have a reservoir in the bottom that you fill with water. The soil then takes up enough water for the plant’s satisfaction. While these are available from plant nurseries, they’re also easy enough to construct yourself. Glance around online for instructions on how to make your own. Whether you use traditional pots or self-watering containers, watch your plants and you’ll soon know what they need. Container gardening can be intensive from time to time, but the results are worth it!

Now that you have your containers and soil, it’s time to take a look at the individual cold season crops. When purchasing plants or seeds for container gardens, look for ones that say “dwarf,” “compact” or “fast-maturing” as these are best suited for growing in smaller spaces.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli loves cool weather, lots of water, at least six hours of sunlight and rich soil. Start your seeds indoors about six weeks before the last spring frost. Once the plants are about four weeks old, harden them off (gradually get them used to the outdoors) and move them outside. Broccoli can also be planted in the late summer for a fall crop. You’ll need to start your seeds indoors 12-14 weeks before the first fall frost. Set them outside when they’re between four and six weeks old.

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Check your plants for worms. Water frequently and fertilize often. Adding compost, composted chicken manure or liquid fertilizer are excellent ways to meet broccoli’s high nutrient needs. You can pick your first harvest “when the florets around the edges of the head begin to show slight loosening, but when the beads in most of the crown are still tight” says Barbara Pleasant (Mother Earth News, August/September 2009). Cut the stems at a diagonal to deter water pooling and your plants rotting. If you choose a sprouting broccoli kind, then you’ll see repeat harvests, though each harvest will be smaller. You can eat your broccoli fresh in stir-fries, salads and more, or you can steam it and freeze it for future use.

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2. Cabbage

Cabbage comes in a range of kinds, Green, Red, Savoy, Pointed, and Napa. Look for smaller, fast growing varieties for your container garden. They love fertile soil and lots of sun, so consider adding some compost to your potting soil and feeding throughout their growing season. Set your pots where they can receive direct sunlight for much of the day. You’ll need to start seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before your area’s last spring frost. Once the seedlings are about six weeks old, you can harden them off and set them outside. If you want a fall crop, start seeds 12 to 14 weeks before the first fall frost. You can cut your first harvest when the heads feel firm. Cut high and clean and your plant may produce several smaller heads. Your cabbage will store nicely in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Enjoy fresh coleslaw or blanche and freeze it. Another alternative is to make nutrient and healthy bacteria rich fermented sauerkraut (not heat-treated). Enjoy!

3. Cauliflower

Cauliflower may be one of the most temperamental of the cool weather crops. Generally, it’s recommended to start plants in the summer for a late fall/winter harvest. If cauliflower gets hit with 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures while the heads are forming, small, poorly textured heads result. Look for fast-growing, early maturing plants for container gardens. Cauliflower loves fertile soil, so plan to feed your plants regularly. They also do not handle cramped spaces well (delivering smaller heads), so ensure you have a nice sized pot for each plant (at least five gallons and preferably bigger). In late spring or early summer, start your cauliflower seeds. Watch your plants for insect problems. Drench plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer (like fish emulsion), every couple weeks as they grow. Once the head is formed and a nice size (don’t wait too long or the head will take on an unpleasant texture), use a sharp knife to harvest it. Cauliflower plants only produce one head, so you can pull and discard or compost the rest of the plant once you’ve harvested the head. Cauliflower will keep in the refrigerator for a number of weeks or you can blanch and freeze the florets. Enjoy in stir-fries, soups, and more!

When it comes to gardening in small spaces, cool-weather crops are certainly an option. Choose well-sized pots and containers for your plants, adhere to the seasonal growing recommendations, feed often, provide plenty of water and sun and you’ll be experiencing the joys of your first cool-weather crops this year!

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SOURCE : offthegridnews.com

Vinegar as an All Natural Weed Killer

zap-weeds-with-vinegarWhen I first read that vinegar can actually kill weeds, I was so excited! This wonder liquid that I already use all over the house in my homemade cleaning supplies can also be used in my garden? SCORE!

Will Vinegar Work?

But I was skeptical so checked with gardening guru, Walter Reeves first, to find out his opinion. He recommends 5% white distilled vinegar only if used on young weeds that aren’t well established. Brand name weed killers contain glyphosphate, a chemical that when sprayed onto a weed, is translocated to the roots, killing them, too. So, good ole’ Walter (he’s a Georgia boy) says it won’t be very effective on established weeds. If looking for a natural option that you don’t have to keep pets and children away from (like I am), then he says there is 20% vinegar but it easily burns the skin. I checked prices and it costs about 5 times more than 5% vinegar that I buy at my grocery store.

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So, I decided to try the 5% anyway. It won’t burn my skin, it’s cheap, it’s totally natural and non-toxic and, therefore, eco-friendly. I buy several gallons of vinegar every time I go to the grocery store since I use it as fabric softener and in my homemade cleaners, so I already had a gallon in the garage!

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Vinegar Strikes Again!

I was happily surprised to find that when one gallon of vinegar is combined with one cup of dish soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap since it’s non-toxic, fair-trade and organic) it works pretty well! For the established weeds, I did have to do 2 rounds. The weeds were brown in just two to four hours, and then disappeared underneath mulch and pine straw by the next day. Sweet.

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How To Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds

For a very safe, eco-friendly version, you need:

  • 1 Gallon 5% vinegar
  • 1 cup castile Soap
  • 1 Garden Sprayer

It works best on sunny, warm days with no or very light wind. The dish soap helps the vinegar to stick to the plant and the sun causes the vinegar to burn the weed and kill it. If enough is sprayed, the vinegar will also seep into the soil and temporarily change it’s pH, which will help to kill the roots.

I did find that I had to apply it very generously for it to work. I tried using both a spray bottle and garden sprayer and the garden sprayer was much easier and gave much better coverage.

The only drawback with vinegar is that it is not selective and will kill anything it touches. That’s when it’s helpful to use a spray bottle instead of the garden sprayer to protect your nice plants and grass.

Other Natural Born Killers

According to the Daily Green, you can also go all medieval on those nasty weeds and torch ‘em or even pour boiling water over them. Both sound like they’re for the bitterly angry gardeners, but would be fun to try. Table salt or rock salts (collect them from the end of your driveway during the snowy months) also help to prevent weeds from actually growing.

Have you used vinegar in the garden before? Did it work for you?

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SOURCE : mymerrymessylife.com

How to ‘Grow-a-Row’ for Those in Need

tomatoes-growing-1Editor’s Note: Last summer my nephew, Greg Horner, an avid backyard gardener, organized a “Grow-a-Row” campaign in his community in eastern Massachusetts. He signed up 40 local gardeners willing to grow extra produce for the local Food Pantry. The program contributed fresh produce over a span of four months to benefit those in need, and was also a great way for local gardeners to get to know each other and work with a shared sense of purpose.

I asked Greg if he would offer the benefit of his experience to others who may be inspired to organize a “Grow-a- Row” program in their communities. In response to my interview questions, here are his observations and advice.

1. How did you go about contacting local gardeners to present the ‘Grow a Row’ idea?

I used four methods for getting the idea across to gardeners in the local area: our organization’s e-newsletter, local print media, word of mouth, and local partner groups – including the food pantry which we were supporting, which posted a sign outside and promoted the program to its donors. In year two I hope to do more with partner organizations for recruitment.

The season kicked off with an open-house style event at the library, where people stopped by to pick up seedlings, seeds, tomato cages, and a handout that was part logistics and part growing instructions. It was a key time to connect with people in person to answer questions and make a face-to-face connection.

Every week or two I sent out messages by email to the group: reminders of planting dates, information about pruning, staking, mulching, watering tips, reminders about drop-off times, fertilizing, etc. Mostly this focused on tomatoes; doing this for multiple crops would be nice but also a lot more work. Gardeners often have favorite crops which they can grow successfully without the need for reminders, so this requires less effort on my part.

2. Do participating gardeners provide mixed crops or a single crop?

Donations varied greatly. For year 1 we decided to keep it simple, and focused on the Food Pantry’s greatest needs: tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. Tomatoes were the prime focus, and most of our volunteer gardeners provided those. Some also provided carrots or lettuce, and we got plenty of other donations as well.

3. Do you suggest crops for gardeners to grow for the project? (Do some crops lend themselves to this project more than others?)

We suggested 3 crops: tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots. And we kept it simple so that the produce would be familiar to the food pantry clients – smooth skinned red tomatoes (not funky heirlooms), basic lettuce, and carrots.

This all came about after I spoke to the Food Pantry director about their produce supply and demand – she spoke of very generous local farms donating produce, but told of excess Kohlrabi and other less-familiar vegetables…and not enough of the basics. I said to myself – here’s something we can help with – and that week a friend offered me some surplus fluorescent lights leftover from an office renovation project. I rewired the lights so i could plug them in, then used some lumber in my basement and leftover materials to build a 3-level rack.

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We gave away 50 free tomato seedlings (which I grew in my daughter’s bedroom under lights), plus free packets of lettuce & carrot seeds which were donated by a seed company, and at-cost tomato cages bought cheaply at a discount store. So many people love to grow tomatoes that this was an easy decision. But for general guidance, we take our cue from the Food Pantry since they have the best idea of what garden produce people prefer.

4. Do you pick up the harvested crops and deliver them to the food pantry or do the gardeners provide this service?

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The gardeners are responsible for this, and it is one of the weak points of the program, as the pantry is only open on a limited schedule. Ideally we’d have a way for donations to be dropped off anytime, or possibly regional captains to collect produce from each part of town.

I don’t see us moving toward having a pickup service. Some sort of Google map with all the growers might bring about some collaboration on produce drop-offs.

 

5. Harvest times vary for different crops. Is there a single collection date or are multiple pickups/deliveries needed as crops mature?

Donations were brought in as the produce was ready, from July through October. We kept a notebook that people used to record what they dropped off, which helped us see the patterns and assess our impact.

6. Would you do this again, and if so, what would you do differently?

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Instead of growing seedlings myself, this year we’ll seek donations or spend the $ to buy the seedlings from a local farm; the cost of electricity, soil and pots added up. I will also seek more partner groups; and pursue a small grant. Starting early is key for lining up partners, as spring is a very busy time for everyone, especially local farms and gardeners.

A friend told me – and this was key to keeping costs down – that a researcher at Cornell determined that you don’t gain anything by using grow light bulbs unless you are trying to get a plant to flower under the lights. In other words, I could use the free bulbs on hand.

I was hoping to offer a workshop on home gardening to the food pantry clients, but the director of the pantry discouraged me from this idea, saying that people generally lacked either the time, space or capacity to grow and tend a garden. I’m not convinced but she may be right.

Yes, I will be doing this again and already have plans under way for this upcoming season. I think this is a great project to share; it is easily replicable most anywhere and has been very well received in our town, enabling our ‘green’ group to engage many people not usually interested in our projects. And besides the satisfaction that comes with helping others, this project has been a great experience for my daughters to witness and participate in. And it’s a good way to meet other local gardeners in a sharing experience that brings us all closer together.

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SOURCE : eartheasy.com

About Greg
Greg Horner and his family grow their own garden produce and raise a small flock of chickens in suburban eastern Massachusetts.