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Monthly Archive: June 2018

Gardening With Alice Mcgowan

One of the problems we all face in spring is that we eventually must limit what we can grow”‘”perhaps nowhere is this worse than inside greenhouses, where the space is confined by four walls. Seedlings have a shocking way of increasing exponentially in their needs–that tiny handful of seeds sprouts into a modest seed flat, then move in a fairly orderly fashion into small cells– but all of a sudden– once plants are ready to move into larger pots, space can disappear fast. And when they go outdoors, you may face new space constraints. So, let”‘””s take a look at some of the new space-conscious vegetable introductions available this spring.

Carrot “‘Round Romeo”‘”” forms petite, spherical roots that don”‘””t require deeply cultivated soil “‘”making them great for containers. Don”‘””t forget that root-crops like carrots and radishes are fun to plant with children; they love harvesting them!

Chard “‘Pot of Gold”‘”” Swiss chard has undergone some amazing transformations lately. Featuring lovely bright colors, many are deliciously mild in flavor too. This one stays compact; an excellent candidate for window boxes and smaller gardens, and its plentiful gold-stemmed leaves provide healthy, delicious eating late into fall.

Cucumber “‘Bush Slicer”‘”” bears 6-8″‘ long cucumbers in 55 days on disease resistant, dwarf bushes perfectly sized for small spaces and containers. If you”‘””re really cramped for space, consider growing cucumbers or tomatoes in the Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Planter,”‘ available from the National Gardening Association. (

Eggplant “‘Little Prince”‘”” I grew this eggplant in large pots last year, and was completely charmed. An attractive, relatively compact plant with handsome felted leaves and lavender flowers, its abundant 4″‘ eggplants are a perfect size to split in half and throw on the grill.

Lettuce “‘Garden Babies”‘”” is a butterhead lettuce that forms cute little heads of tender green leaves, making them ideal for containers.

Scallion “‘Delicious Duo”‘”” combines two different scallion varieties, one purple and one green. In a small amount of space”‘”how about a window box?”‘”you can grow scallions to enjoy all summer, thinning as you harvest.

Tomato “‘Tomaccio”‘”” is an exciting new introduction I”‘””m trying in my sunniest window. Its being advertised as early-fruiting, with exceptionally sweet, cherry size tomatoes bred specifically for drying; harvest whole stems and just hand them up to dry ( inside your Hartley Botanic house would be ideal).

And don”‘””t forget that edible flowers, like nasturtiums, and culinary herbs, such as parsley, basil, and thyme can be tucked into small spaces around your vegetables. Just make sure to give them plenty of sun.

Benefits Of Aeroponics As An Indoor Gardening System

Being from the similar background of soil-free rearing of plants, Aeroponics takes one step further by eliminating the need for any medium whatsoever. Aeroponics system often consists of plants supported on channels with their roots dangling midair for the whole time.

So, when in hydroponics, the nutrients are supplied to the plants thorough water acting as a reservoir, Aeroponics just takes out the middleman entirely. The nutrients are directly sprayed onto the roots of the growing plants dangling in form of an atomized mist sprayed with much high pressure.

So, here well discuss the benefits of employing the aeroponics system for gardening, by citing the some basic differences that separate the same from the conventional hydroponics.

Better Results

As the plant roots directly receive the nutrients in atomized form, the uptake for the same certainly is faster. Also, since every spray of nutrients is separated with intermittent time gap, the oxygen intake of the plants is much more. This not only accelerates the growth of the plants, the roots even spread out seeking more air and speeding the vegetative growth altogether.

Aeroponics is the most advanced method of farming, which takes the whole accountability to every input idea to a entirely new level. As with the absence of any growth medium and thus resultant spatial availability issues , the plant are no more deprived from any amount of nutrients and oxygen.

Efficient Resource Management

Three crucial factors are to be considered here. Water, nutrients and air, these are the factors which were primarily targeted in the first place with the advent of aeroponics.
No system of any kind in modern farming provides such efficient use of water. As the nutrients solution is directly sprayed on to the roots, the water requirement is much less. This is in lieu of fact that water is no longer acting as the medium, but instead as to transmit the nutrients to the roots directly. Thus the total water requirement can be maintained up to 1/20th of the amount that is used in conventional methods.

With no medium to dilute the possibility of uptake by roots, the nutrients requirement in an aeroponics system can be tuned much more closely. As the maximum amount of nutrient supplies taken by roots, the total nutrients input in the system decreases even further. Nutrients are can be now supplied evenly throughout the crop, thus eliminating the randomized effect that a growth medium has in this respect.

In hydroponics or any other method, the supply of air is managed thought the medium itself, which in turn leads to uneven distribution. So, now we have dangling roots in constant supply of air i.e. oxygen and CO2, making the equipments such as aerators more or less redundant.

Aeroponics systems are generally built with few commonly found or even recycled materials. A readymade setup is also available if one is looking for an aesthetically pleasant structure. Tubes, buckets are often used in a modular structure to build an efficient system.
Money is also saved in maintenance of the system with a nutrients solution of 700-900 ppm is found to be quite adequate for a typical scenario. A simple water pump giving out 60 psi worth of pressure can be used to provide the required atomized mist.

Disease-Free Conditions
With a constant supply of fresh air and absence of a medium which may act as a shelter, pathogens are less of a problem in any aeroponics system. Not only the excess oxygen keeps the anaerobic bacteria at bay, removal of affected plant part is much easier.

An aeroponics system offers a certain ease when it comes to moving the entire crop from one place to another.

Changes in the Regimen
Any kind of change in the nutrient input is much economical if not easier, as the plants do not need to be flushed altogether. This gives a grower certain freedom so as to manage the crop more efficiently.

The benefits which are listed above presents a better scenario for any grower in order to procure the maximum yield with best of the quality.

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Climbing Plants A Gardening Solution

One glance through a gardening magazine, and we are showered with images of pristine gardens, beautifully appointed with hundreds of varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs. While many of us aspire to have yards as beautiful as those in a magazine, few of us have the time or resources to achieve such perfection. However, with a little work and some good planning, even those of us with the blackest of thumbs will feel good about our efforts in the garden.

When reviewing your outdoor space, try to identify those areas that you’re not very happy with. What do you want to change about them? Do you need some additional flowers or other plants? Perhaps the space doesn’t feel balanced? Climbing plants may be just the answer you are looking for to solve a variety of common problems in outdoor areas.

Many plants, both annual and perennial, fall into the category of climbing plants. The more common climbers are clematis, morning glory, ivy, and honeysuckle. However, many plants that spread along the ground like creeping phlox and periwinkle can provide coverage for unsightly spaces in your outdoor area, as well.

Climbing plants can be used to solve a myriad of problems in your outdoor spaces. For example, do you have something unsightly that you need to cover, such as a garage wall, tree stump, or electrical meter? Use climbing plants to cover it up! They not only change the view you are seeing, but they can also provide color and fragrance to an area. Consider putting up a trellis on the side of your shed to soften it up with a burst of color and fragrance. Climbers can also provide coverage of retaining walls and fences with little effort.

While climbing plants can be trained to climb a trellis or wall, they can also be planted in a pot and allowed to cascade downward, or used as a groundcover. If you have some areas of the garden where bare soil is showing, consider using a vine or other groundcover plant to hide those bare spots.

Lack of privacy is another major issue that homeowners commonly cite when asked why they dislike their yards or gardens. Perhaps you have neighbors that are a little too close? A trellis, arbor, or pergolas is a great solution to this problem. Climbing plants will easily climb and cover these structures, providing privacy and beauty to your yard. Pergolas and arbors can also be used over pathways or gates, or to mark a transition from front yard or side yard into a backyard. In all of these places, consider planting a climbing vine at the base of the structure. Within a few months, you’ll have a stunning focal point for your yard.

Climbing plants are usually pretty self-sufficient and require little care to grow. Of course, there are the basic needs like sun and water. You might also want to be aware of the soil type or soil pH level that the plant requires, though with climbers this is usually a less important consideration. Obviously, the most important thing to consider when planting a climber is providing some support structure upon which it can grow. When allowing climbers to grow near buildings, it’s important to keep a close eye on the plant so it doesn’t get out of control. Some very vigorous climbers can damage homes, garages, or barns when allowed to grow unchecked.

Why do you need to convert your videos

Downloading and uploading files via internet is something anyone can do nowadays, due to the perks of technology. Long gone are the times when people did not have access to music or movies, because there was no easy way to share them. Everyone can see the movie as soon as it has been launched, since there are plenty of online channels where digital files can be uploaded, and many more ways in which you can download a file directly to your computer. In addition to this, the era of smart phones is blooming, and this eases even more data sharing in the virtual environment. However, there are some issues when uploading files on a distribution channel, because the format may not be suitable, so you may have to use an mp4 converter. When it comes to sending a video via email, for example, most of the times this is prevented by the large size the video has, and in order to be able to do it without damaging its quality, it is recommended to use a video converter to compress the video without a change in quality. These can be programs that you install on your computer together with additional codecs, but the simplest thing to do would be to use an online converter.

Most of the times, video files must be converted because the original form is not suitable to the device to which they are transferred, or to the distribution channel. Besides the format, the size is also often a problem, because if the file is too large, this represents an obstacle in sharing, storing or playing it, which is why you should think about resizing it. Using a video converter is necessary whenever you have to send a larger video by email, because the compressed version will take less time to upload, and to download, when it reaches its destination. If you use a smart phone, for example, and you want to play a movie, it often occurs that you cannot do this, because the format of the original file does not fit on the phone. Furthermore, many Chromebook users have experienced difficulties in playing certain video formats, since it still needs some improvements to reach the performance of other devices. For this reason, if you are using a Chromebook, you should also use an mp4 converter, to help you change the format and size of the digital files to one recognized by your device.

At the same time, smart phones are gaining more and more ground in our daily lives, due to their versatility and many benefits. The manufacturers know this and they are constantly adding performance enhancing features, such as sophisticated recording functions. Videos filmed with mobile phones are normally recognized by any modern device, but when you transfer them to your computer and depending on its age, it may not recognize their format. This is why you should use a video converter; to make your movies work on whatever device you want. Moreover, a qualitative converter will not diminish the quality of your files: the sound is not altered, and the image is as clear as the one in the original movie, so you do not have to be worried about this.

If you want to find out more about video converter or mp4 converter, please click on these links.

Echinacea purpurea cultivars Part I

The best Echinacea cultivars for sale today are the E. purpurea cultivars. There are too many to list in a single article so this article series breaks them up alphabetically. E. purpurea are the hardiest and most adaptable of all of the Echinacea, and they are great-as long as you like purple.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Alba’: White flowered form of the purple coneflower (Sun to light shade, Zone 3-8)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Avalanche’ PP 18,597: The best compact, single white-flowered coneflower in our trials. This Arie Bloom hybrid makes a tight clump, adorned in summer with 20″ spikes of large, white, horizontally-held petals…quite nice! (Zone 4-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Bright Star’ (syn: Echinacea purpurea ‘Leuchstern’): This superb seed strain of our native coneflower is a bit taller than most (to 3-4′) and has a slightly larger and more horizontally held rosy purple petals. The small winter rosettes give rise in mid summer to see thru spikes of large pinkish daisies…great for naturalizing! (Zone 3-8)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Cotton Candy’ PPAF: Large, pink, pompon flowers.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Crimson Star’: Crimson-lavender petals.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Cygnet White’: This is a new and outstanding dwarf, white flowered selection of the 1998 Perennial Plant of the Year. In midsummer, the small rosettes of foliage send up flowering stems that are topped with stunning white coneflowers… best when used in a mass planting or blended into a perennial border. (Sun to light shade, Zone 3-8)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Fatal Attraction’ PP 18,429: This new selection of our US native Echinacea purpurea is from Piet Oudolf’s famed garden in Holland. Echinacea ‘Fatal Attraction’ is unique because of the 26″ tall sturdy wine black stems that hold the intense pink flowers…a favorite of garden visitors. Flowering begins in late June…be patient. (Zone 3-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Fragrant Angel’ PP 16,054, PVR: This sturdy new coneflower from Terra Nova Nurseries is the white counterpart of Echinacea ‘Ruby Giant’ and the best white coneflower we have ever grown. The giant 4-5″ heads of pure white petals, around a contrasting orange cone, are also deliciously fragrant. Since these are clonally reproduced, each plant is identical for a more uniform planting. (Zone 3-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Envy’: When Mark Veeder first showed me a photo of his new Echinacea purpurea seedling, I thought for sure this was an April Fool’s Photoshop TM creation. Only after growing and photographing the plant myself, can I say for sure, it is truly this unique. The 20″ tall stems are topped, starting in mid-June, with large 4.5″ wide flowers composed of a dark cone with a green center. Surrounding the cone, are long petals that are pink toward the cone changing to lime-green toward the downward recurving tips. Echinacea ‘Green Envy’ is so weird, gardeners will either love or hate it…we love it! (Zone 4-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Knee High’ PP 12,242: From Tony’s college classmate Kim Hawks, former owner of Niche Gardens, comes a new dwarf selection of the wonderful native purple coneflower. This compact selection is the first coneflower to be vegetatively propagated, ensuring that every plant is identical…no seed-grown variation as long as you remove the old seed heads. Starting in mid-June (NC), each flower head has rigidly reflexed, rosy-pink petals that give a truly unique look to this selection. Purple coneflower is extremely drought-tolerant, although it does favor improved garden conditions. Plant a drift, sit back with drink in hand, and wait for the butterflies! (Zone 3-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Mop Head’ PP 13,560: We are delighted to be able to offer the wonderful white flowered companion to Echinacea ‘Kim’s Knee High’. This mutation of Echinacea ‘Kim’s Knee High’, discovered at Sunny Border Nursery in Connecticut, has the same wonderful compact habit with perfectly symmetrical downward arching heads of fringed-white petals…what a great garden plant. Echinacea ‘Kim’s Mop Head’ looks great when planted in a mass in a flower bed or border. (Zone 3-9)

Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Red Knee High’ PP 20,411: A mutation of Echinacea ‘Kim’s Knee High’, discovered at Connecticut’s Sunny Border Nursery in 2005. Echinacea ‘Kim’s Red Knee High’ has the same vigorous growth, short habit and attractively reflexed petals of its parent. The name red, however, is problematic…another example of male color-blindness and why you never ask men to describe a color. The color is actually a richer, darker pink than the parent, but nothing close to red. (Zone 4-9)

Although they are not the latest and greatest cultivars, Echinacea purpurea cultivars are still the best.