Gardening Info-Canning Vegetables

Most gardeners are the type who raise food for a family of 38 people. Since most families aren’t that large, many gardeners turn towards anyone who has a pulse to take their vegetables. It seems a shame to let them go to waste, but the human body is only capable of ingesting a certain number of cucumbers no matter what type of sauces you dip them into. Fortunately, gardeners have an option for their harvest. They are able to can most of the extra food they brought out from their garden. Canning is a method of preserving food naturally in glass jars so that it can be eaten months down the road. This article serves to give you the basic idea of canning. There are other articles to walk you through the processes of canning.

Proper storage actually begins with the harvest and knowing what the right time is to bring in a crop. Some vegetables are not as crucial, while others have to be picked at just the right time. This is a matter of knowing your crop. If you don’t know, check the Internet, books, or a gardening neighbor. Don’t be afraid to ask and make sure that you are right.

Once you have brought in your boxes, bags, and buckets full of vegetables, it is time to try to preserve them. If it starts to seem like too much work just imagine sitting together in the dead of winter enjoying home grown produce. You have the added benefit of having it on hand and not having to trek to the store. People from Florida may not consider that a great deal, but the North Daktoans would have some great things to say about being able to stay indoors during the month of December.

Canning is a simple process and just about anyone can do it. If you have problems, there is almost always somebody close by who has done at least some canning before. Never be afraid to ask for help. The good news is that you are dealing with gardeners who tend to be nurturers anyway. Most of them live to help people.

There are two ways to can. Both of them work on the same principle. You heat the food enough to kill the bacteria that cause food to spoil. You also force the extra air out of the jar. Once the jar cools, it forms a vacuum seal (airless) and keeps those bacteria from growing again. Food can keep for years with this method, letting you enjoy the fruits – and vegetables – of your labors long after the harvest.

The first method is a boiling water canner. This is an older method where a jar is placed in the boiling water and capped. It was mostly used to make pickles and to can fruit. Fruits contain citric acid – as well as other acids – that prevent the bacteria from growing. However, it is not used to can vegetables now because it does not heat up enough to kill the bacteria.

The second method is a pressure canner where the lid locks tightly onto the jar and high temperatures can be reached quickly. It’s much more “high-tech,” but its also safer for you and your family.

Whichever method you use for canning, as long as you take the proper precautions, you and your family should be able to enjoy your hard-worked garden harvest for years afterwards.


The red palm is the most attractive of the Palmaceae family and favorite for landscaping and potted decorative plant because of its bright red color that adds it attractiveness.

A native of Indonesia red palm is actually growing in lowland areas submerged in water bordering tidal rivers. It only shows that they thrives best when the place is abundant with moisture and humidity.

Red palm grows successfully in acidic soil (pH 5 or less), where it produces an intense bright red color. It has also the clustering habit producing numerous suckers from the base of the plant and developed into a big clump.

The leaf bases which wrap around the stem are an exotic crimson. The red color extends to the leafstalk that bears the leaflets.

How to propagate Red Palm

Propagating red palm needs your skill to do it because it is a delicate plant. Home gardeners usually fails since they don’t know the proper way to separate the suckers from the mother plant.

However, the most practical way of propagating red palm is by division where the plant is grown in a size 12 pot using a very loose growing soil medium.

When you see lot of suckers with roots of their own, you have to take them out from the pot and shake off some loose soil that stick to the roots.

Separate the suckers carefully with sufficient roots then plant individually in pots with a porous soil. Place the newly potted plants in a cool shaded area and keep them moist.

After a couple of weeks from the shade when they are already fully well established you can transfer them to a place where they can be exposed to the sun.

Propagating by Seeds

Growing seeds is done by collecting seeds from a ten year old growing plants. When the seeds are ripe, pick them from the tree. Don’t wait for them to fall to the ground, but others prefer to let the seeds sprout before collecting the growing seedlings from the ground.

But if you want to have a more vigorous seedlings, it is advised to sow the seeds in the germinating tray. Seedlings uprooted from the ground may not survive because some roots may be damaged that may affect the growth of seedlings.

Some experts recommends picking the ripe fruit since fresh seeds are easier to sprout. Palm seeds have short viability period (1 month), so that they should be sown within that period.

However, their viability can be extended by placing the seed in a refrigerated container.

To grow the seeds in germinating or pots, prepare the soil medium with a mixture of coco coir dust and sterilized garden soil.

Don’t bury the seeds too deep, just barely covered. Maintain the moisture content of the soil not to let them dry out. In doing so, the seeds will be delayed in sprouting.

Fresh seeds that are moderately moist throughout will germinate in less than a month. There are instances, however, when the seeds take much longer time to germinate.

Seedlings grow very slowly, that within the first three -year period, they only reach a mere one foot height and the red color will not show up.

Once the plant has developed a good number of roots, that’s the time the growth becomes faster. To make elongation faster, place them in a shady place, and give them ample amount of fertilizer. That’s it!

You have been given the right procedure to propagate Red Palm. Follow the steps correctly, and wow! You’ll get the vigorous growing Red Palm tree. And yes. You can earn lots of money raising Red Palm.Red Palm command a high price. A six inch seedlings cost around $1-$2 dollars.You see, if you have 1000 seedlings, that’s money. And you don’t have to work that hard. Once they are fully established, your only work is watering them to maintain moisture requirements of the plant.

Gardening Info-The Beetle Invasion: Aphids

Very few people truly like insects of any sort. In most cases, gardeners are amongst those who like them the least. Even the most pacifistic of gardeners could second guess his stance when he sees the destruction that some insects can do. A gardener could spend an entire summer pruning his flowers to look just the perfect way or helping his vegetables to grow big and strong. And when that gardener walks into his backyard to see his flowers or his vegetables destroyed by insects, he will seriously reconsider his life choices. Thus is the pattern of the Aphid invasion.

Aphids can be quite annoying to the gardener. They excrete a sweet substance that, like the soda pop left in the mini-van, quickly turns black on the leaves of the plants. And like the soda, ants love this sweet substance and will flock to it. Now your rose looks like a house after a teenager’s parents left him home alone for the first time. There’s the sweet substance from the aphid that makes the flower look dingy. There’s also an entire colony of ants marching across your hard work

Though it is tempting to squash each and every last one of these bugs, to do so would take an annoyingly (not to mention impossibly) long time. Instead, gardeners must cautiously attack the aphid invasion.

There are a number of methods available to the gardener to get rid of his aphid problem. Each one has positive effects and negative drawbacks. For instance, the suggestion to squash ever aphid is safe to the environment, but it may not be an efficient use of resources.

There are a great deal of pesticides out there as well. The key is trying to find one that is good to the environment, doesn’t harm the drinking water, and still takes care of the aphid invasion. The best way to find one of these is to go to a greenhouse and to see what they suggest.

The greenhouse workers will also know that you should not try to kill of all the aphids in your garden. It’s temping when you see them dragging their ant friends everywhere, but you have to remember that nature’s ecosystem is a balance. There are insects that eat those aphids. So if you kill them off, there will not be anything more for the predators to eat. This causes three problems. First, the predators find this arrangement extremely inconvenient. Second, their predators find it inconvenient as well. And thirdly when the next family of aphids comes in for a bit, they’ll most likely stay around. After all, you got rid of their predators.

So if you can put up with the aphid invasion, it’s best to do so. If you do need to do get rid of them, make sure to leave a few around to guard against the return of the predators.

Brown Gardening

Anyone who has tried to keep a garden alive in the midst of a drought learns to detest the color brown. People don’t want their plants to be brown – it’s the sign of an unhealthy plant, one that is dying. Can brown be good though? Obviously if a plant is meant to have another color, then brown is bad. What if that plant was designed to be brown? Can brown actually have a healthy look in a garden?

Why does the color of a garden even matter? Non-gardening types may wonder why gardeners put so much effort into picking out what colors, patterns, heights and a myriad of other factors are used in a garden. But a gardener knows that her garden is an extension of herself. When a gardener plants a flower, that flower represents something – whether in color or in style. The gardener may plant yellow for her happy days and red for the romantic ones. Brown is a transitional color – the color of fall. It’s a backdrop and an accent that can give a solid accent to a brilliant landscape.

The color of emotion is not such a strange concept. For years, psychologists have studied the effects of colors on the human psyche. Blue is a color of tranquility. That’s why many doctor’s offices have it on their walls – to calm nervous patients. Green is a color of growth. A nurturing personality will often times wear green, whether consciously or subconsciously. Colors both reflect our current emotions and elicit certain emotions from us. In this case, browns are the transition stage.

Many people focus on the brightly colored flowers – the reds, yellows, and oranges, but they overlook what a simple brown accent can do for the garden. The next time you go to the greenhouse to pick out flowers for your garden, take a moment and look at the brown plants. There are plenty of ornamental grasses that come in brown. By providing a different color and texture, you bring a living quality to your garden.

There are also several plants that have various shades of brown in them. These work great as a transitional color or on the fringes of the garden. There are varieties of pansies, columbines, and others that have this brownish color. When used properly, they don’t reflect the end of the season as much as they do a transition. Brown can be a beautiful addition to the garden, helping the entire landscape seem to jump to life.

Gardeners put massive amounts of time, effort, and money into their gardens. Just as the color and style of a house reflects the owner, so does a garden. By mixing brown in with a variety of other colors, the gardener shows himself to have depth of character. The use of brown in a garden can bring it to life and make it real – helping to accent the beauty of the other flowers. Don’t be afraid of the transitional brown. It’s all a part of the growth process.

Organic Gardening

It seems these days that everyone is getting on the organic food bandwagon. No longer is organic a buzzword reserved for guilty liberals and college students. With its increasing popularity, organic foods are more available in different types of communities, and with a slightly more affordable price tag. There are many benefits to be had in keeping an organic diet. For one, you can be fairly assured that there are no pesticides or other chemicals or preservatives laced into your food. You also can usually fairly easily track where your money is going and who it is supporting after it exchanges hands between you and the checkout person at your local market. Another great way to be even more sure that you have fresh, organic, and cruelty-free produce is to buy from a local farmers market.

If you want to be completely assured of the freshness, quality, and chemical-freeness of your produce, however, there is really only one way to go. That step is, of course, to do your own organic gardening. With the recent influx of community garden projects, it is easy to get in on this kind of project, even if you do not have your own space for gardening at home, or the startup knowledge to create your own organic garden. A lot of cities have groups, or collectives that all chip in a certain amount of money to secure a plot of land and supplies to begin their garden. Each season, members of the collective chip in their dues and spend time planting and tending to the garden. Each member, in exchange for their dues and hard work, is ensured an entire season of fresh, organic, chemical free fruits and vegetables.

With this system, not only do you get a massive amount of organic produce for a very small amount of money, but you also are given the opportunity to learn about how to successfully create your own garden. If you have space on your own land, this is also a great way to learn about how to create and nurture your own organic garden. Beginning with organic seeds, the process of keeping an organic garden is fairly easy. Stray from chemical based products and compost kitchen waste instead of purchasing manure from a store.

Make sure that your garden has plenty of water and sunlight, and do not resort to pesticides to get rid of pesky bugs. There are lots of other tricks out there that do not compromise the integrity of your final organic product. One of these tricks that works for beetles and other large bugs, is to put a sweet wine in little jars around the garden, with a top that is tapered so that they cannot escape once inside. The beetles are attracted to the sweetness, but once inside drown in the mixture. There are lots of other tricks of the trade that you will pick up the longer that you tend to your own garden. The best part of all, though, is enjoying your final result. A salad just tastes better when you know you made it from scratch.

Gardening Info-Art of Bonsai

Most people have at least a vague knowledge of what a bonsai tree, is but few realize that bonsai is actually a millennia-old art form. A Japanese word, bonsai can literally be translated as “tray planting”, but it is much more than that. Creating and growing bonsai, an art that has changed dramatically over time from is initial origins in Asia, requires not only artistic talent but a solid knowledge of horticulture.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, bonsai began in China, not in Japan. After learning about bonsai from the Chinese, the Japanese then adopted bonsai to their own culture and reformed the art to a form that had not yet been achieved in China. Over the years, Japan elevated the art of bonsai even higher and transformed it into an industry all its own. Bonsai are now popular everywhere and appear in a variety of countries, cultures, and conditions all over the world.

Growing a bonsai tree involves more than just planting a tree in a small tray. Growing bonsai requires knowledge of how to prune and shape the correct species of shrubs or trees in order to achieve the tree shape you desire. To begin growing a bonsai tree, you must first choose a young tree or shrub to start with (good trees to choose from for bonsai are Bottlebrush, Ironwood, Silly Oak, She Oak, Crepe Myrtle, and Fig). When choosing which type of tree to use try to pick a tree that has a lot of branches with which to work and a wide trunk. Also, look for a tree with leaves that are naturally small and branches that start low to the ground.

Choosing the correct pot for planting is also important but when you first plant your tree it should be put into a large pot or into the ground until it has reached maturity. This will give the tree an opportunity to develop strong roots and actually speeds up the growing process. Once the tree has reached maturity you can then transfer it to the pot you want it to remain in. This final pot should be chosen with care, making sure that it has drainage holes and that it is not a glazed pot as this will prevent the tree from breathing. You should also pay attention to the colors and design of the pot so that you are sure that it will complement your bonsai in its final form. Prior to transferring the plant, cover the drainage holes with some type of screen so the soil in the pot does not clog up the holes after you have finished watering.

After you have transplanted the plant into its new pot, decorate the top of the soil with the pebbles or moss that you have picked out for this purpose.
Since a bonsai is not naturally an indoor plant, you should shape your tree before you bring it inside. The trunk of the tree and its branches can be shaped by using wire that has been wrapped around the trunk and the branches so that the tree is made to conform to whatever shape you are trying to create. The wire can be removed once the tree no longer springs back when the wire is taken off. Continuous pruning and trimming will allow you to obtain and maintain the shape you want for your tree and will allow your artistic talents to come into full play.