I purchased an Artisan Salad Mix Kit online at MIgardener.com. The website is run by a Youtuber named Luke (MIgardener) and his wife. Luke practices Organic Gardening and posts videos on his YouTube channel regularly. I bought organic fertilizer (Trifecta +) from Luke twice but this was the first time I bought his seeds.
The Artisan Salad Mix Kit came with 12 different types of seeds, each in their own packet. The kit included:
(1) Ruby Red Leaf Lettuce (1) Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce (1) Oakleaf Lettuce (1) Slow Bolt Arugula (1) Italian Dandelion (1) Corn Salad Mache (1) Minutina (1) Giant Nobel Spinach (1) Rouge De Verona Radicchio (1) Large Leaf Sorrel (1) Mizuna Red Streaks Mustard (1) Purple Orach
This is how the compressed peat pellets look before they were expanded by the addition of warm water.
This is how the peat pellets looked after warm water was added. I repurposed a cake pan and cover and created a mini greenhouse that held my Jiffy peat pellets.
I labeled and placed the 12 different types of seeds into 2 peat pellets each, totaling a number of 24 seeded peat pellets.
Once all of the pellets were planted with seeds, I placed and locked the dome-shaped cake cover over the pellets and onto the tray. I was told by another Youtuber to keep the indoor grow lights on for 24 hours until they sprouted. So I will have my lights on for 24 hrs until they sprout and, then based on each of the seeds, will give them an average of 6 to 8 hrs of sunlight daily.
Let’s Talk: I’ve started a few weeks late for the growing season in zone 7 but am excited to have finally have started. Did you start planting your seeds for this years growing season yet? If so, what seeds have you planted? and if not, what are you thinking about planting whenever you do start? Let me know in the comment section below.
I’ve found an eco-friendly and economical way to get rid of Fruit Flies using items that I already had in my kitchen/pantry. I was starting a worm bin and have read many times of people having issues with fruit flies. The fruit flies were being attracted to the spoiling fruits/vegetables that were being fed to the worms. I knew how much of a nuisance fruit flies could be and wanted to avoid them as much as possible.
I researched a mixture that would trap and kill fruit flies by mixing some Apple Cider Vinegar with a bit of dish detergent. I personalized the amounts of each ingredient to 4 ozs of Apple Cider Vinegar & 1 Tbsp of Dish Detergent then placed the mixture into a wide-mouth mason jar. I covered the opening of the jar with a piece of Saran wrap and screwed on a band (1 of a 2-piece top) to secure it in place. I punched small holes in the Saran wrap to allow the fruit flies to smell and follow the fermented scent of the vinegar. Once a fruit fly enters through one of the openings in the Saran wrap and land into the mixture, the added detergent prevents the fly from escaping which causes them to drown.
I took extra measures in preventing fruit flies from evading my space by securing a net (Halloween themed spider web) over the lid and openings of my worm bin so there weren’t any eggs being laid in the bedding. I buried the food that I feed the worms so that the spoiling/rotting scents of the food didn’t easily escape into the air drawing anymore flies to the bin.
Let’s Talk: Do you or have you ever dealt with fruit flies? If so, do you have a method of controlling/preventing them? Let me know in the comment section below.
I needed something that would hold my potted plants off of the floor while they grew indoors during the cold weather months. I came across this 3-shelf rack from BJ’s that was on sale at the time for $15; the rack needed no tools to put together so I gave it a try.
The instructions were really easy to understand and it came with everything I needed to put the rack together correctly.
These eight black plastic disks are of no use to the assembly of the rack as they were only used for packaging and should be discarded.
You will need to screw the four bottom poles to the four top poles in order to create the four legs of the rack.
After finding the desired location of where you want your bottom shelf to be, attach two of the plastic tapered locks to the grooves of each of the four legs making sure the arrow is pointing towards the shelf. Tip: This step is easily done with the rack lying on its side.
Once the plastic tapered locks are placed on all four legs, you may now put your rack in the upright position and push down on the shelf until it sits securely in place over the locks.
Continue the previous step for each of the remaining shelves until you are finished and have reached the top of the rack. Your rack is fully assembled and you may use it however you choose.
I used my rack to hold a few of my potted plants while they grew indoors during the cooler weather months.
Let’s Talk: Have you ever repurposed something? What was it? and why? Let me know in the comment section below.
Today’s smoothie of the day contains two ingredients that I’ve never tried before til now which are Wheat Grass and Alfalfa Sprouts. The Wheat Grass and Alfalfa Sprouts were available at my local supermarket and thought it would be a great time to give them a try by adding them into one of my smoothies.
Using the ingredients pictured above I created my smoothie of the day in the amounts as follows:
2 Celery Stalks
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
About 1 Handful of Wheat Grass
About 1 Handful of Alfalfa Sprouts
About 1/3 of a Pineapple
2 Cups of 100% Orange Juice
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until the consistency is smooth and free of lumps.
Once you’re satisfied with the texture, pour your smoothie into a container of your choice and enjoy immediately or after it’s been chilled in the fridge.
Let’s Talk: Do you have a favorite smoothie you like to make? Is there an item you would like to try in a smoothie that you haven’t tried yet? Let me know about it in the comment section below.
My tomato plants were growing too tall to be on my fire escape and the cold weather was approaching. In order for me to continue to grow my tomato plants for as long as I could before they died, I had to create indoor lighting that would mimic the warm sunlight they were used to.
I covered 2 tri-boards with some Mylar film to reflect the light to parts of the plants where the clamp lights couldn’t reach. I used a pair of curtain rod extenders, that I already had, to clip the clamp lights to once they were hot-glued to the back of the boards.
I purchased a pair of reflective clamp lamps and a 4-pack of 100 watt light bulbs to use as my indoor lighting.
This is how everything looked when fully assembled. I also had the option of adding some Mylar film around my setup creating a more reflective environment for my plants.
Let’s Talk: Have you created indoor lighting? If so, what were some of the tools you used to create your setup? Write them in the comment section below.
At one point I was growing sixteen different fruits and vegetables at once. As of today, Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 I’m currently growing nine different varieties of fruits and vegetables. Some of my plants either never sprouted, got eaten by bugs, died from transplant stress, or died from other environmental issues. As sad as I was to lose my plants I knew that it was common in the learning stages of gardening and that I had to keep trying till I grew my plants to harvest.
I’m growing a bunch of Prizehead Lettuces in a wide-mouth bucket for the leaves and not for the actual lettuce heads.
I’ve sowed three Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli plants but am thinking about discarding the two weaker ones.
I have four Dwarf Blue Curled Vates Kale plants that are doing well.
My four White Spine Cucumber plants are growing so fast that I have to re-pot them as soon as possible to avoid losing them.
I want to give my two Early Summer Crookneck Squash plants the best chance possible for producing by potting them each in an eighteen-gallon tote.
I topped/pruned my three Sweet Banana Pepper plants to encourage the side shoots to grow; this process will create a more stable and bushier plant.
I’ve started four Lemon plants from seed using the seeds from my grocery purchase and I don’t know the exact type of Lemon plants I’m growing.
The seed that I planted stated that it was a seed of an Aster plant but after it has grown some, I believe it to be some sort of vining Tomato plant but I’ll wait to see what happens.
I’m not sure of what type of Tomato plants I’ve grown but one of the three plants are definitely of the Cherry Tomato family; another grocery purchase that I took the seeds from and sowed out of pure excitement.
Lets Talk: What vegetables and/or fruits are you growing in your garden? Let me know in the comment section below.
When I first started my container garden I pretty much just planted whatever seed that I could get my hands on. My experiences, both good and challenging, led me to come up with a few things that would be beneficial to know when starting your first container garden.
Find Out Your Planting Hardiness Zone.– “USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree Fahrenheit zones.” On this site, I simply input my zip code and was told that I had a hardiness zone of 7.
Experiment. Figure out which plants thrive in cool weather and which plants thrive in warm weather. If you purchase seeds, read the back of the packets for valuable information. Some packets will tell you how deep to sow your seeds, how far apart the seeds should be from one another, the sun requirements, and an average of how long it will take for your seeds to mature and be ready for harvest.
Do Some Research. You aren’t the only person who has decided to start a container garden and you won’t be the last. I learn best with visuals and have subscribed to many different YouTube channels that offer gardening videos. I’ve noticed that whether others are gardening outdoors directly into the ground, or in containers, all information given can be of some use.
Get A Bang For Your Buck. When starting something new you never want to spend a ton of money upfront especially when you’re in the learning stages; it’ll be money down the drain. Think outside the box and head to your local discount store and purchase items that can be repurposed as something useful in your garden. I personally use large buckets as plant pots. I use 8 and 16-ounce plastic cups to grow my seedlings and to transplant up in. I use food storage containers to hold my transplants in. I have even used 12-inch wooden dowels to stake my tomato plants.
Have Fun! As a beginning gardener you’ll have more challenges than successes but take it in stride and learn from them. I enjoy seeing what works and figuring out why something didn’t. I believe that as long as you have fun gardening, your passion for it will only get stronger turning your thumb a little bit greener.
Lets Talk: What were your challenges in developing your Container Garden/Outdoor Garden? Let me know in the comment section below.