Sunday, September 1, 2013

The right way to harvest garlic

First of all, let me start off by saying that there is no perfect way to harvest garlic. However you can avoid common mistakes by following the guidelines in this video.


As you can see in the video above, using a garden fork instead of a spade, you can make sure you are not hurting the garlic bulb when harvesting. A good dose of potassium based fertilizer will help grow strong bulbs. Its also important to follow the instructions in the video for washing and curing garlic. It will help you keep your garlic store for a long time!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend and Happy Gardening!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Growing Ancho Poblano Peppers in your garden

Ancho Poblano peppers are one of the best varieties of peppers you can grow in your home garden. They are a nice spicy and delicious variety of pepper you can grow. They are not too hot (Like Cayenne peppers) but not too sweet as well (like Bell peppers). They are almost the perfect combination of heat and sweetness.

Some stores sell Poblano peppers as "Pasilla Peppers" which is actually the  incorrect name. Pasilla is the dried variety of the Poblano Pepper.

The key to growing good sized Poblano Peppers is to give them a generous bath of Epsom Salt every 2 weeks or so. They will produce nice healthy peppers if done so. The Epsom Salt I use is this one: Epsom Salt for Garden.



Poblano Peppers grow great in the  ground as well as in containers. In the video above you can see growing Poblano Peppers in half Whiskey barrel containers. To organically control insects, I highly recommend buying a Yellow Sticky Trap. Happy gardening!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to check if watermelon is ready for harvest?

Watermelons are easy to grow in your home garden and taste great! One of the challenges which many gardeners find is to know when watermelons are ready for harvest. In today's video, we should you precisely when you can harvest your watermelons:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How to grow Moringa Oleifera

In today's topic, we will discuss how to grow Moringa Oleifera from seed to tree! Before we begin, let's understand how important superfoods like Moringa Oleifera are to our environment. 

A superfood is a food which has a high concentration of nutrients which the human body needs. To give you an idea, you have something made from all-purpose flour, which has no nutritional value and in some time you are hungry. This is because your body craves the nutrients and will keep you hungry till all the vitamins and minerals it needs can be provided. Now you can have a bunch of apples and oranges, maybe a carrot and a potato and get those nutrients. Or you could eat a few superfoods. Moringa is one of them. It has a plethora of vitamins and minerals packed into its fruits. So in places where nutrition is scarce, superfoods hold a tremendous value.

You can start Moringa from seeds or cuttings. However seeds are your best bet because they are easy to work with and the results are more guaranteed.

Here is the video to grow Moringa from seed to tree in your back yard:


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Growing & Harvesting Purple Peppers

This summer, we grew purple peppers. The peppers were a part of the lovely series by Ferry Morse. You can buy these seeds at Amazon and try growing them. They are amazing! We got 100% germination rate and the plants are VERY healthy.

As a general rule for growing peppers, start seeds so that in 6 weeks, you can plant them between Spring and Summer (March thru July). In some warm Zones, you can set established plants out as late as July and still get a nice crop!

Things purple peppers love:
  • Heat - Lots of it!
  • Calcium - The love calcium - also found in Garden Lime so be sure to get some good varieties
  • Epsom Salt - Bathe them with Epsom salt every two weeks
  • A good all-purpose Organic Fertilizer (You can also use a Miracle Grow Inorganic fertilizer for faster results)
  • When using organic fertilizers, be sure to water with Fish Emulsion and Seaweed Extract every three weeks during the growing season. For containers, feed every two weeks.
  • When using Miracle Grow, fertilize every two weeks. Note that chemical fertilizers increase salts in the soil so make sure to discard soil in containers after the growing season.
Here is our harvest video: Happy gardening!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The complete guide to harvesting, washing, curing and storing garlic

Whiskey barrels are a great medium to grow garlic. They provide just the right surface area to maximize the use of your growing space.

Today, we present a video on how to grow the wonder herb - garlic in your home garden!

See this wonderful video on How to harvest, wash, store and cure garlic

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Black beauty Eggplant - Harvest PLUS BIG Double Eggplant!

Summer is a great time to grow veggies like Eggplants and Tomatoes. The Black Beauty Eggplant is a variety of eggplant which grows great in your home garden.Here is a video demonstrating how to harvest eggplants - it also has a bumper double eggplant harvest - Check it out!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to use Spinosad to organically control pests in your garden

Well, we all dream of a beautiful vegetable garden, full of fresh vegetables, rich and healthy, without poisonous chemicals sprayed on them. But most of us eventually realize that reality is all those slugs, pests, insects, worms, caterpillars destroying your plants.

Its of utmost important that you DO NOT use any chemicals to kill garden insects. Not only is this poisonous, it also toxic for beneficial insects and for the environment as a whole.

So what's the solution?

The solution is an organic broad spectrum insecticide called Spinosad. A broad range insecticide kills a wide variety of harmful insects. Spinosad is a great invention from the realms of...rum factories...yes you read that right! Its an amazing way to control pests like aphids, whiteflies, thrips, mites, worms and many other insects in your garden.


Spray Spinosad early morning or late evening as beneficial insects will be less active at these times - however Spinosad doesn't significantly affect beneficial insects as per the product label.

Products used:

1. Spinosad Solution
2. Gallon Sprayer

Here is a great video demonstrating the use of Spinosad:
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ridge Gourd Luffa or Turai or dodka or patola growing and harvesting

Ridge gourd is a universal favorite! Also known as Chinese Okra, Ridge Gourd is a delicious vegetable you can grow in your backyard! It not only makes a great dish, it also has medicinal qualities.

Here is a video describing how to grow this lovely vegetable in your backyard! It can even be grown in a container.





Luffa are best eaten when small (less than 12 cm) and still green.

Other Names:

Luffa - Multiple languages
mướp hương - Vietnam
Tuppadahirekayi - Karnataka, India
Dodka  - Maharashtra, India
Turai - In Northern India as well as Pakistan
Jhinga or Nenua - Eastern India 
Peerkangai - Tamilnadu, India
Sebot - Manipur, India
Ghiraunla - Nepal
Patola - Philippines
Chinese okra -Canada
Estropajo - Spanish

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Convert your existing Sprinklers to Drip Irrigation using the Manifold Technique


So if you are one of those who uses sprinklers to water their rose bushes and shrubs, you are not alone! I have seen many households which use Sprinkler Systems to water bushes and plants without realizing that most of it either evaporates or is scattered around the plant.  Sprinklers are great for watering lawns, but they waste a lot of water on plants and shrubs. So what's a better alternative? Read below to find out!

Disadvantages of using Sprinklers to water bushes/plants:
  • Wastes a lot of water via evaporation and scattering
  • Increased water costs
  • High pressure water means a lot of water delivered quickly, faster than what most plants can absorb so a lot is wasted and drained
  • Scattering of water encourages weed growth

Advantages of Drip Irrigation:
  • Very easy to set up
  • Requires minimal tools and know-how to set up
  • Save water costs
  • Low pressure water is more readily absorbed by plants
  • Watering at the root zone makes sure water is optimally delivered
  • Since surrounding area is dry, drip irrigation discourages weeds

Int his video, we will show you how to convert your existing Sprinkler System and set up a drip irrigation system using the Manifold Technique:

Equipment used (Click for product description & reviews)

(Any brand or ) Rain Bird Drip Irrigation Manifold
1/4 inch tubing
Drip fittings
Drip stakes
Garden Staples
One Dial Faucet timer

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Banana - The wonder plant!


The banana plant is one of the most amazing plants. Did you know that almost every part of the banana plant has a purpose?
 
Banana Leaves


Banana leaves are used as plates. This is as organic as it gets and some say the medicinal properties of the banana leaf enters into the food for good health. Avoid plastic plates and start using banana  leaves as plates and see the difference for yourself and of course you are doing your little part to save our environment as well!

Banana Stem


The inner stem of the banana plant (called valai tand in Southern India, where its a popular dish) makes delicious stir fry and curries.  I will be updating a video soon with how to harvest and use the banana stem.

Banana Flowers



Video showing banana flower harvest: 




Banana flowers are not only delicious but also very healthy. See recipe below which is an South Indian recipe shared by a friend of mine. Most of the ingredients are available in Indian Grocery stores.

Ingredients:

Banana florets (flowers) from 1 bud - cleaned and de-weeded (the pollen stalk - also known as kalan, has to be removed) and cut into small pieces. Its very important to remove this to avoid a bitter taste.
Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons.
Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped
Mustard Seeds (Rai),  Black gram (Urad Dal) -  1 tsp each.
1/2 cup Bengal Gram (Chana Dal), 
1 tbsp shredded coconut (Frozen is OK)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the ground paste:

1/2 cup Split Red Yellow Gram (Tuvar dal) soaked in water for four hours and then ground coarsely with two whole red chillies and salt to taste.

Method -

1. Put cooking oil in  a wok,  add Mustard Seeds and Black gram .
2. Add the Onion, fry and add turmeric powder.
3. Add the ground paste,  fry for 3 minutes.
4. Add the cut banana flowers.
5. Sprinkle shredded coconut and stir
6. Serve with Basmati Rice

Banana Fruit (The Banana!)




Bananas that ripen on the plant taste heavenly. Much different than ethylene-gas ripened bananas that you get at the store.

Hope you enjoyed this article and see you soon!