Seed starting soil is used to promote the growth of healthy seedlings. The usual seed starting medium used by most gardeners are bought from gardening supplies stores. However, did you know that you can actually make your own?
You will actually need materials that you may already have in your shed. All you have to do is gather them up, put on your garden gloves, prepare all the materials and tools and you are set to make your own seed starting mix.
Materials and Tools
Mix all the ingredients together until well-blended. Use a trowel for this. Fill your trays with the mixture and use as seed starter soil.
Aphids are some of the most harmful insects to have in your garden. They pierce the stems, especially the tender and new growth, to suck the rich sap which is rich in nutrients. They also carry viruses that can be harmful to crops like potatoes, grains, greens like bok choy and lettuce, and citrus fruits.
An aphid infestation may start out in a small area in your garden where they quickly reproduce. Luckily, there are many methods that you can employ to keep them in check. These methods use organic and natural means to ensure that your family’s health will not be compromised.
This method involves the physical removal of the aphids from the leaves and stems of the affected plant. You can also remove or prune the affected branch and drop these, leaves and all, into a bucketful of soapy water.
If the plants affected are well-established and healthy, you can direct a strong spray of water from your garden hose to it to remove the aphids. However, this method may harm the more fragile and younger plants.
Apply a mixture of dish soap and lukewarm water to the affected plant using a spray bottle. You can also use a small sponge for this. This results in the destruction of the aphid’s protective coating which dehydrates and subsequently kills it.
What better way to get rid of aphids than to use their natural enemies and predators to clean your garden. This is where your friendly ladybug comes in. You can introduce them into your garden, together with hoverflies. You can buy ladybugs in bulk from gardening suppliers. On the other hand, you can entice hoverflies to your garden by planting catnip, pot marigold, garlic, and blue cornflower, to name a few.
Perennials and annuals, these are words that a gardener, especially a newbie, often hear, see, and read. But what do they really mean?
Simply said, annual plants only live for a year and usually die in the winter. If you plant annuals in your garden, you will have to replant them every year. True annuals only have one growing season. Annuals produce a lot of flowers, more than perennials because they have only one growing season to bloom and produce seeds.
On the other hand, you need to plant perennials only once. They are sturdy and can survive throughout the winter. Furthermore, perennials plants usually survive for more than 2 years. They usually take a year to mature and fully establish. It is only when they are mature that their flowers start to bloom.
Examples of perennial plants that are popularly used in gardens are black-eyed Susan, day lilies, bleeding hearts, peonies, and hostas, to name a few. Some examples of annuals are zinnias, sunflowers, petunias, marigolds, and morning glory.
A discussion on annual and perennial plants is not complete without talking about biennials, though. These are plants that only live for two seasons. They are characterized by growing purely foliage or leaves on the first season. It is only in the second growing season that flowers are produced. After which, the biennial plant produces seeds and dies.
However, biennials reseed by themselves so you can expect new plants growing in the spring. Examples of biennials are forget-me-not, foxglove, hollyhock, and dianthus.