Friday, April 15, 2016

Pick the Right Pots to Get Healthy Plants


Guest Author:  Mark Greene

If you started your transplants in small cells or pellets, you may have to "bump them up" into larger plant pots before they are ready to be transplanted into the garden. Large items like pumpkins and squash can be started in pots, then transferred to the garden. Jiffy peat pots or Dillen plastic pots are top choices for your garden needs.


Jiffy peat pots are excellent for starting plants like vegetables, vine crops and large growing annuals. These pots help encourage vigorous plant growth and a strong root system. When you transplant pot and plant into the garden, the roots are not disturbed and therefore the plant's growth is not stunted. Jiffy 3" pots hold enough soil to sustain large, fast growing plants like squash or pumpkins. Jiffy Pots are also extremely versatile, allowing you to sow what seeds you have without leaving unfilled seeding trays. When you only want one or two of any one variety, Jiffy Pots are a convenient choice- and what's more, they're biodegradable!

 


Dillen plastic pots are great for growing a large selection of plants. Some plants, like geraniums and most perennials, take several months to develop to a size appropriate for transplant. For these plants, plastic containers can have an advantage over peat pots. If a plant is going to be in the pot for more than a couple of months before being planted into a
container or your garden, peat pots that can start to break down. Peat pots get soft over time, letting the roots break   through and grow outwards. If you prefer a more durable pot, transplant your perennial seedlings into Dillen plastic pots in spring, and watch them grow into larger, developed plants ready for the garden.

Keep your containers from drying out by adding a few teaspoons of Soil Moist products to your soil mix. The polymers absorb the water and release it back into the soil when needed.
With the right containers for your flowers and vegetables, your deck and patio will be bursting with color and flavor.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Planting a Bee Friendly Garden


Guest Author:  Daniel Roath  


Gardeners are eager to get their plants in the ground as spring approaches. When planning your garden, consider accommodating honeybees and other beneficial pollinators. In return, the bees will pollinate your flowers, increasing your garden's annual yield. 

Here is a helpful guide as you prepare your bee-friendly garden:


Choose plants that attract honey bees based on bloom shape and scent. Bees are drawn to two kinds of flowers. They like to crawl into the shelter of tubular-shaped flowers, and flatter blooms offer easy access. They draw from a variety of pollen and nectar's to satisfy their dietary needs. Plan for season-round blooms, choosing plants with successive blooms to help sustain the bees with a readily available food supply through as many seasons as possible. Grouping bee-friendly plants together will help attract bees.
Provide a fresh water source. Water is used to dilute and dissolve crystallized honey. It can also be evaporated and fanned throughout the hive to cool it during warm weather. Not to mention water is a refreshing drink for bees on a hot day. If you do not have a natural water source to draw from, consider placing a bird bath or shallow dish in your garden.

Plan your garden this year to aid these beneficial pollinators and consider becoming a beekeeper yourself. Brushy Mountain has all the resources to help you get started. Visit BrushyMountainBeeFarm.com for more details.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Farming is Hard Work



I have great respect for the farmers of America. Much like the veterans of our great nation, many Americans take their efforts for granted without second thought. Out of all the livestock, dairy, grain, vegetable, and flower farmers, none of them can acquire success without putting forth a lot of hard work and many times endure disappointment.




Americans today seem to want everything now, without wait or fuss. Grocery chains prepare food and package meats and vegetables together for an easy meal. Garden centers sell full grown tomato plants with ripening fruit for the customer to take home, place it on the deck, and start picking tomatoes within days. In my mind, the more convenient our lifestyles are, the harder it is to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to create and serve the food and products we consume every day. On the other hand, if businesses do not capitalize on the emerging trends, they just might be left behind.

 


With that said, success doesn't come easily for farmers. Dedication and a "roll-up-your-sleeves and get-it-done" attitude is the recipe for success. Perhaps the best and most humbling reward is simply the pride and satisfaction in providing food for American families. Farming is a profession that should be honored with high regard in the USA.