Sunday, April 13, 2014

Growing & Harvesting Ginger

Tips on Growing & Harvesting Ginger

How to grow ginger
Ginger is a great spice vegetable. It has a lot of medicinal properties and tastes amazing in dishes as well as teas. In this post, we will see some tips on growing Ginger!

Tips

  1. Ginger tubers can be easily started with tubers bought from the farmer's market/grocery store
  2. Ginger easily grows in containers
  3. Use a mix of 60% compost 40% soil for best results
  4. Use a low Nitrogen, low Phosphorus and high Potassium fertilizer for optimum results
Fertilizing:

During the first few weeks, you do need a high Nitrogen or Balanced fertilizer to get a good start. You can use a good organic balanced fertilizer. If your compost is well done and you have good soil activity, add vermi compost and some blood meal to get a rich mix.

During the growing season, optionally you can add a high Potassium fertilizer like Green Sand. This creates a high level of organic potassium in the soil and you will see an immense difference in the tuber size once you start using it.

Pests:

Due to the nature of the spice, this plant does not have any known pests. Fungal diseases may affect the plant, but is rare.

Growing tips and harvest video:

Hope you enjoyed this post! Happy Gardening!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Using Spinosad to organically control insects & pests

After our detailed article and video about How to use Neem Oil in the garden to organically control insects and pests, we now turn our attention towards Spinosad.

Spinosad is another broad range insecticide which helps control a lot of pests like loopers (caterpillars), whiteflies, aphids, leafminers and much more. Because of the broad range action, use Spinosad only when the harmful insects are active (dusk thru night) and avoid spraying in day light.

Why Spinosad?
  • Its organic
  • Its completely safe - you can harvest and consume produce right away, no waiting
  • Great for the environment

Spinosad is an insecticide widely approved for organic gardening. You can safely use Spinosad on all vegetable, fruit and flower plants.They are safe around pets and children.

What's needed?

How to use?

This video demonstrates how to effectively use Spinosad and use it to spray your vegetable garden:


As you might have already understood, chemical insecticides are a bane of progress. There are much better organic options like Neem Oil and Spinosad available, so please choose wisely!

 Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Guide to Growing Eggplants - Tips and Harvest - Black Beauty, Japanese & White Eggplants

Eggplants, Brinjal, Aubergines - No matter what you call it, they are a wonderful vegetable to grow in your garden. In this article, we will see some tips on growing eggplants and also see the harvest of Black Beauty, Japanese & White Eggplant.

Here is a picture of all 3 varieties:

Eggplant Varieties

Left to right - Black Beauty, White and Japanese Eggplant

Here is a video with great tips on growing and harvesting eggplants:

Eggplants  can be started from seeds or plants. If starting from seeds, sow indoors 6 weeks before Spring Arrives. In 6 weeks, the plants will be mature enough to be transplanted in the ground.
 

Black Beauty Eggplant - Full bodied Eggplants, great for Grilling. Easy to grow and thrives in some areas. Very easy to find at local garden centers.

Japanese Eggplant - Smaller and longer, great flavor, used in stir fry dishes. They have a unique flavor, try it out if you haven't!

White Eggplant - Creamy variety, best cooked and served with grains . Can also be grilled!

As you can see in the video, Eggplants can easily be grown in Whisky Barrels. There are 3 eggplant plants growing in the whisky barrel in the picture in the video.

Eggplant Flower

Eggplant on a plant

Fertilizing:

In the first 2-3 weeks of growing, feed eggplants with a well balanced high Nitrogen Fertilizer. Once you see solid green growth and when the plant starts flowering, stop the high Nitrogen fertilizer and switch to a low Nitrogen Fertilizer.

Eggplants love taking a bath of Epsom Salt once every 3 weeks or so. This provides Sulfate, a very essential ingredient for eggplants. Eggplants also need Calcium so make sure you buy a fertilizer which has Calcium in it.

Insects and Pests:

Eggplants, Tomatoes, Peppers - they all have the same problems. Spraying with Neem oil is one of the best ways to get rid of fungal diseases and pests

Happy Gardening!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to use Neem Oil to organically control harmful garden insects

So let's face it: Pests are a part of gardening. Whenever you grow something edible, its not only humans that eat it but there are also a lot of unwanted pests that are after your vegetable garden.

Corn is a great example. The moment corn silks (the nice angel hair like structures) start forming, the harmful insects (pests) start their work. At this stage it is very important to have some sort of pest control.

I am totally against using chemical insecticides for controlling insects in your garden. You are doing all the hard work of getting fresh produce from your garden so that you can provide a nice healthy life t your families. The last thing you want to do is use chemicals.

 So lets turn to the organic alternatives. Neem Oil in my opinion is one of the most amazing discoveries ever made. Neem is very beneficial to humans and at the same time messes with the systems of insects and kills them. The beauty of the composition of neem is that it only affects harmful insects (pests) and not beneficial insects like bees.

Here is a video demonstration of how to use Neem Oil to kill pests on corn, eggplant and almost any other plant in your garden:

In summary, Neem is available as a concentrated oil. You mix the oil according to the directions on the label. Spray it using a gallon sprayer.

We have done a lot of research on which Neem oil is good and what equipment you can use to spray
Neem Oil.

Neem Oil: http://amzn.to/1fYKs56

Gallon Sprayer: http://amzn.to/OgMztv

Use the products above to get the best value for what you buy and do the best for your garden. Happy Gardening!!