Plastic tray, plastic bag and a marker to build a mini-greenhouse
Starting your own transplants
By MINNIE MILLER, T&D Garden Columnist
How much money do you spend every spring buying vegetable and flower transplants to fill your garden or make up containers? Make this the year you save a little cash by growing your own starter plants. You will be able to pick and choose the exact varieties you want by selecting your seed. The sense of accomplishment you will gain by growing your own, start to finish, will be priceless.
Now is the time to start gathering the supplies you will need including containers, seed starting mix, liquid fertilizer, labels and seeds. Seeds ordered online take time to be shipped as do related supplies. If you are going to need to set up grow lights you will want to come up with a plan and implement it as a first step to successful transplants.
Be sure you can supply the right conditions for starting seed or you will not be successful. Seeds do not necessarily need light to germinate, but most do need warmth. Once they have sprouted, you will need to supply them with 16 to 18 hours of light daily to grow strong seedlings. Grow lights or regular florescent lighting can be used.
You don’t have to purchase special containers to start seed, but there are some handy ones out there that include trays and “domes” that help keep moisture regulated. Ordinary flats that have drainage holes, used pots and even recycled plastic produce containers (such as greens or berries are packaged in) can be used. The container simply needs to hold soil and provide drainage. You will want saucers or solid trays underneath to catch excess water.
Have on hand a supply of liquid or soluble fertilizer for watering the seedlings as they grow. Regular light doses of liquid fertilizer, along with adequate light, will keep plants strong and stout so they will be more successful transplants.
Get a jump-start on veggie garden with winter sowing
By Susan M. Dollard
For the Times Herald-Record
Winter sowing is an outdoor method of seed germination that requires just two things: Miniature greenhouses (made from recycled milk jugs and various other containers) and Mother Nature. After planting in January-March, these mini greenhouses are placed outside to wait for winter to end.
Here are some suggestions for what to plant and when, based on zone 5b:
I hope your wife is better now after that terrible brain stroke in October 2008.
I lost my job last month and I am back in my village.
After I learned about the significance of container gardening for rural people in the drylands from you, Professor Willem, my life has changed for the better, because in otherwise useless plastic bottles and plastic bags I can now grow vegetables for offering fresh food to my family, as well as for beautifying my home with flowers. At the same time I am keeping the environment around my house totally clean (no more littered bottles or bags).
My fellow villagers in Piyasani village in the outskirts of Lilongwe city are flocking around my house to learn about this new initiative. In November, I started collecting tree seeds from the surrounding remaining forest. Now that the rain has started I am planning to set up a community nursery of tree seedlings using the container gardening method. I hope to be able with this plan to donate tree seedlings to one school, so that they are able to plant a school woodlot. At the same time, this will motivate other schools to start the same initiative as it is one of the cheapest kinds of agriculture and afforestation methods for the poorest countries in Africa, as no financial resources are needed since you can do this prioject around your home with empty plastic bottles and plastic bags.
I have a lot of photos of this project to be send to you, Professor Willem, so that other people can see the importance of container gardening for a poor country like Malawi.
Apart from container gardening, I am also doing vegetable farming at a small scale for sale and for feeding my family with nutritious meals.
However, I am looking for well-wishers and donors who can come forward and assist me in buying a piece of land, which shall become an education centre for container gardening in Malawi. Any one who is interested can either e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +2659028290.
May God bless you, Professor Willem, for introducing this container gardening method to the people of Africa.
Gardening with Plastic Recycling: Help Protect Your Environment
Green concern and environmental issues are gaining important worldwide. More and more people now understand that clean and safe environment is must for healthy living and gardeners around the world have also expressed their concern equally. Every one of us has to contribute in its own way and if you are an active gardener you also can contribute. There are several small steps that you can take to save the environment while gardening. One really important of these is to recycle and reuse plastic. There are so many ways you can do that. Here are just a few tips that would help you think in this direction and you will surely create your own innovative methods to recycle plastic. Continue reading Gardening with Plastic Recycling (Google / Home Gardening Tips)
Author : San
URL : http://www.plasticcontainercity.com
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