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Do you love a hot bowl of artichoke dip? Or what about some tasty grilled artichoke? If you love all things artichoke, why not consider planting some in your garden this year? Artichokes are easy to grow and can be enjoyed in so many ways, so even if you are not a gardening pro you can still have fresh artichoke at your fingertips. Take a look below at these helpful tips on how to grow artichoke in your garden!

How-to-grow-artichokes

How to Grow Artichokes

How to plant artichoke seedlings:
It is advised that you plant artichoke seedlings to give your artichokes a fast and strong start. When planting your artichoke seedlings, you want to plant them in amended soil that is nutrient rich and drains well. The space should also have at least 6-8 hours of sun. Plant the seedlings so they are about 4 feet apart and at a depth that is twice as deep and wide as the seedling root base.

If you don’t have a great deal of gardening space, you can plant artichokes in containers. Make sure your containers are generous in size and opt to plant 1-2 plants per container. You don’t want to crowd them.

How to care for artichoke seedlings:
Once your artichoke seedlings are in the ground, you will want to provide them with some special care. Fertilize the seedlings once a month using a liquid and food safe fertilizer. In addition to the liquid fertilizer, some like to feed pot ash fertilizer to their artichoke plants as often as every two weeks. This pot ash fertilizer gives the plant the potassium it needs to really thrive.

Artichokes need a moderate amount of water, and about 2 inches per week should do. Apply water to the base as opposed to pouring it over the plant. Mulch can help retain moisture in the roots as well as smother out any weeds in the process.

Artichoke plants can easily succumb to weeds if you are not careful. Apply a thick layer of mulch around the plants (3-4 inches) to keep weeds at bay. Remove any weeds you spot immediately.

How to achieve a strong artichoke crop:
Your artichoke plants will have two major nemeses that wish to do them harm: slugs and weeds. As mentioned above, a thick layer of mulch can help keep weeds under control, as can regular picking. As far as slugs, they love to feed on the foliage of artichokes. Put out slug traps (shallow bowls of beer) near your artichoke plants so the slugs visit those instead. They will quickly crawl in and meet their demise and your plants will be safe!

How-to-Grow-Artichokes-Tips-for-growing-artichokes-from-seedling-to-harvest

How to harvest artichokes:
Don’t allow your artichokes to sit too long. Picking them when they are just beginning to open is the best way to ensure you get them when they are at their most flavorful. The buds on the plant should be starting to open but not fully expanded yet. The buds of the plant should be firm to the touch as well.

Once harvested, artichoke will stay fresh when refrigerated for up to two weeks. Artichoke can be served in dips, both hot and cold, salads, and more.

Give these tips for growing artichokes a try and see what you can achieve in your own garden!

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Have a shady space in your garden? Or you have a shady balcony? Utilize it by growing vegetables and herbs there. Learn about the edible plants that grow in shade.
Edible Plants that Grow in ShadeWhat is a shady position?

Here in this article, by shady we do not mean the position where sun doesn’t reach or a place with no access to direct sunlight. It means there is scattered sunlight or direct sun but only for 2 – 3 hours.

Can you grow tomatoes in shade?

Would you like to experiment? In theory, plants such as tomatoes, peppers, strawberries or those which set fruits need a lot of sun in order to provide juicy fruits. They grow sometimes in less sunny positions but it’s hard for them to bear fruits in shade.

Also Read: How to Make an Urban Vegetable Garden

Edible Plants that Grow in Shade

There are a few edible plants that grow in shade. Of which we have listed some. You can grow them in your shady space without much difficulty.

1. Mint

Mint is probably a best choice for shaded position. If you think to plant it in your shady backyard, just grow it in a confined space. Otherwise it will spread like a weed.

2. Ginger

Most of the root vegetables tolerate lack of sun. Ginger grows well in partial sun. All it needs a warm spot and moisture. You can also use ginger leaves in salads and teas.

3. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a nutritious green leafy vegetable grown in South Asia, it is easy to grow. You can use it in salads, soups and many other recipes.

Also read: How to grow Fenugreek

4. Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach is a climbing spinach grows in tropics. It grows in part shade and moist soil, you can grow this green leafy vegetable in shade year round if your climate is frost free, otherwise grow it as annual.

5. Pak choi

Pak choi or bak choi is also called Chinese cabbage, a diverse plant you can grow from spring to fall. It likes cool weather, you can grow it in shade easily.

6. Chameleon Plant

Where nothing grows chameleon plant thrives. This beautiful ornamental plant is edible and used in Vietnamese cuisines. It grows in wet and shady spots. It is very invasive plant and once grown on ground, it spreads aggressively so it’s better to plant it only in containers.

Edible plants that grow in shade are mostly green leafy vegetables, herbs and root vegetables, such as:masclun 2_mini
  • Salad Greens
  • Mesclun
  • Onion
  • Corn
  • Beetroot
  • Lovage
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Rocket
  • Asian greens

Some herbs that can be grown in shade are:Tarragon
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Cuckoo Flower
  • Cilantro
  • Tarragon
  • Chives
  • Celery
  • Parsley

Tips for Growing Edible Plants in Shade

In the end some tips on how to cultivate plants in the shade.

White walls

If possible white wash your walls and use other light colors around the plants. As a result, the light will reflect back better and your plants will get more indirect light.

Reflective Mulching

Do reflective mulching for the plants grown in part shade. It will reflect the light and heat on plants.

Moisture

In the shade you need to be careful as moisture quickly develops all kinds of diseases. Provide good ventilation and drainage to plants and do not place them too close together.

Patience

Patience is must when you are growing plants in shade. Generally plants grow weaker in shade except those who love shade naturally. It is normal that they will grow little more slowly.

Darker and Bigger Leaves

Plants in shady areas tend to have darker and bigger leaves than those that grow in the sun and there is nothing to worry about this.

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Gorgeous DIY Rain Chain Ideas
Here are some gorgeous rain chains that you must try this summer.
They add the perfect touch to any garden or outdoor area.
8 Gorgeous DIY Rain Chain Ideas
Rain chains are simple to make and you can attach them to your gutters to reduce erosion below or simply enjoy watching them when it rains.

Mini Terra Cotta Pots Rain Chain, Design Sponge

DIY Rain Chain Using Spoons, Birds and Blooms

Rain Chain from Wire-Wrapped Rock, Dollar Store Crafts

DIY Rain Chain with Silverplate Forks and Spoons, Going to Texas
Aluminum Funnel Rain Chain, Mother Earth Living

DIY Copper Rain Chain, Reverberations of Echoes

Bucket Rain Chain, Curbly

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How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Mobile Christmas trees are the easiest way to bring holiday flair to any room in the house. Learn how to turn wooden crates, galvanized tubs or children’s baby doll buggies into beautiful vessels for your Christmas tree.

Materials Needed:
  • galvanized metal wash tub, wooden crate or children’s baby doll buggy
  • casters or vintage wheels (if not using a buggy)
  • 2 strips of 1×2 pine lumber
  • drill
  • metal screws or wood screws
  • 5-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree
  • bag of sand, bag of pebbles or freestanding bricks
  • blanket or tree skirt
  • spray lubricant
Choose Vessel

The most important step in the project is deciding on the proper vessel for your mobile tree. Though galvanized metal washtubs are the most readily available, children’s baby doll buggies add charm and vintage flair. These can be found at toy stores or online through vintage retailers.

Vintage Baby Buggy Used for Mobile Tree Base
Reinforce the Bottom

In order to securely add wheels to your vessel, it’s important to reinforce the bottom. Pick up two 18-inch strips of 1X2 pine lumber from a home improvement store. Next, attach both pieces inside the bottom of your vessel using a drill and metal or wood screws.

Pine Lumber Strips in Metal Tub to Secure Wheels
Attach Casters or Buggy Base

Use the reverse setting of the drill to reverse the metal or wood screws from the 1X2 pine. Next, line up the buggy base with the bottom of the vessel. Using your drill, screw through the hole in the buggy base, then up through the pre-drilled hole in the 1X2 pine.

Mobile Base Attaches to Metal Wash Tub
Add Weight

It’s important to add weight inside the vessel to ensure the artificial tree does not tip over when in use. To do this, place a bag of sand, pebbles or freestanding bricks centered inside.

Bag of Sand Inside Galvanized Metal Wash Tub
Place Tree in Vessel

Once the vessel is properly weighted down, place the Christmas tree base or stand inside carefully. Tip: It’s best to keep the base or stand extra snug inside the vessel by keeping the base or stand up against the vessel’s interior. This will help the tree stand upright.

Tree in Metal Wash Bucket on Wheels
Adjust Branches

With the tree securely fit inside the vessel, adjust and properly shape the branches.

Green Tree Sits in Galvanized Metal Base With Wheels
Lubricate Wheels or Casters

Use spray lubricant to properly lubricate buggy wheels or casters.

Lubricate Vintage Buggy Wheels
Dress the Vessel

Conceal the base and the weighting materials with a tree skirt or a throw blanket. Once properly dressed, take the mobile tree for a test drive by moving it back and forth through different areas of the house.

Accessorize Mobile Vessel With Throw

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How to Grow Grass Fast – The Trick to Growing Grass & Porch Update

If you are a homeowner or ever will be a homeowner in the future there is a good chance that at some point in time you will need to grow grass. We have only lived in our home for a little over 3 years and have already had to grow grass on two separate occasions.

When I mentioned to my husband I was writing a post on growing grass he chuckled. Yes, chuckled! I asked him why he found that funny and he explained that it seemed like a no brainer topic, just read the directions on the bag!

I kindly reminded him of the two bags of grass seed we wasted our time and money on (grass seed is not inexpensive) before finding our successful method and how I would like to help others in a balding lawn situation get the help they need right away instead of fiddling around with unprofitable methods.

Because lets face it, when you plant grass seeds you have to invest time in watering them and there is nothing more frustrating then spending time watering seeds that never grow (believe me I know)!!

The first time we needed to grow grass was right after we moved in.  There was a large dead ash tree that we had to have cut down.

Front of House Before

We decided not to replace it which left us with a nice 4ft. diameter dirt circle smack in the middle of our front lawn. The lawn stayed that way for a few months because of my unsuccessful attempts at growing grass. It was an eye sore and I was tempted to tell visitors coming to see our new house for the first time that a UFO had landed there causing the bald spot and that we were waiting for the tabloids to come photograph it before we fixed it (believable, right?).:-)

Thankfully, on our third purchase of grass seed we found a winner!!! It is Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed (shown below).  We got it from Home Depot but I’m sure Lowes probably has it too.  And just so you know this isn’t a sponsored post in any way just sharing what finally worked for us!

How to Grow Grass

 

As part of the DIY landscaping I’ve been doing this Spring I decided to get rid of the little flower bed right in front of our front door.

curb appeal

The kids always walk through it to get to the neighbors and I’ve decided to pick my battles and just get rid of it.

I, again, used our winner grass seed and here is the week by week progress photos of the new grass!

Scotts Turf Builder Growing Grass

I know what you are thinking–some people mark the progression of their babies growth by weeks, others the growth of their grass!:-)

Looks good though , doesn’t it?? As you can see from the first photo the seed is blue which I liked because you can easily see where you have it and people can see that you are trying to do something about your problem area (and  it reminds the kids not to walk on it).:-)

So here are the 3 Steps:

1.  Level out the area where you are going to grow the grass.

2.  Put the seed down all over the spot you want it to grow.

3.  Water it twice a day for the first couple of weeks.

I can’t stress enough the importance of the 3rd step (well of the 2nd one too, you can’t grow grass without seed)
because unless it rains that day you’ve got to water it.

And here is a recent photo of our home.  You can’t even tell the two areas where there use to be no grass!

How to Grow Grass Tutorial

And for my readers did you notice the new porch planters??  A week after the porch makeover I decided the DIY Large Planters were  bit too large and moved them to the back patio.  I made smaller white ones using the same tutorial as before.  What do you think?

DIY Planters

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial on growing grass!  I can picture my ex-boyfriends reading this and laughing, “Honey, she’s telling them how to grow grass now”!  That’s okay, as long as I’ve helped someone in the process.:-)

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Mason Jar DIY Herb Garden

The weather in California has been absolutely beautiful this month. It’s made me anxious to get started on our backyard garden. We usually plant an assortment of summer vegetables and essentials that I use in our everyday meals. Since we’re in the middle of renovating our backyard, our garden will have to wait a little longer to be planted. However, I found a way to keep some of my favorite herbs planted indoors until then. This mason jar DIY herb garden is perfect for keeping fresh herbs growing right in the kitchen.

Mason-jar-DIY-herb-garden-Crafts-Unleashed-11Supplies needed to make your own DIY herb garden:

supply-list

  • Pint Size Masons Jars.
  • Vintage Style Mason Jar Holder.
  • Plants/Herbs.
  • Soil.

There’s really not a big tutorial here, it’s as simple as potting soil and herbs in pint size mason jars. I used this mason jar holder to display the jars and easily move them if needed. Another great idea is to use this as a centerpiece with fresh flowers.

Mason-jar-DIY-herb-garden-Crafts-Unleashed-3I filled the jars halfway with soil then with the herbs.

Mason-jar-DIY-herb-garden-Crafts-Unleashed-4Now the biggest challenge will be keeping them alive. I tend to lack a green thumb with indoor plants, but I do love the way this DIY herb garden looks in my kitchen.

Mason-jar-DIY-herb-garden-Crafts-Unleashed-22I have my DIY herb garden sitting near a window that has great sunlight throughout the day. And if I can remember to water them regularly, I’ll hopefully have fresh herbs available right in my kitchen for awhile.

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Harvesting And Storage Of Garlic

Garlic bulbs are ready to harvest in late spring or summer, from seven to eight months after they are planted. The outward signs are the green leaves, which will begin to turn brown, and the flower stems – if present – which will begin to soften, although staying green. If you are not sure, just pull back the soil around one of your bulbs, if the clove ridges are clearly defined and the bulbs are a decent size, and some of the leaves have died back, then harvest them.

Don’t leave harvesting until the leaves die back completely as with onions, because by this time the bulbs will have started to split. Once the bulbs have split, they are still fine to eat, but won’t store for long. So eat these ones first.

Some cultivars with curled flower stems, are ready to harvest as the coil in the stem begins to straighten. Most hardneck cultivars though, should have their flower stems removed before this time, because growing a flower stem reduces the nutrients going to the bulb so that bulbs are smaller. But there is also some evidence to show that leaving the flower stem attached until after curing will lengthen storage times. So you may need to choose between bulb size and length of storage!

Garlic that has been planted in light soils can just be pulled out of the ground. If your soil is heavier and/or you have planted them more deeply, then the best way to get the bulbs out is to insert a fork under them and carefully lift the whole plant. Shake or brush off any excess dirt. Don’t bang them against each other or anything else as this will bruise them and shorten storage life. Some books and articles suggest drying the bulbs in the sun for a few days before curing. This may be OK in cool countries and climates, but in Australia our summers get too hot and the bulbs are likely to get sunburnt. The protective skins don’t fully develop until after curing. In dry areas, some growers place freshly dug bulbs in groups on top of the soil, to dry out and start the curing process. They are arranged so that the green leaves from one clump of bulbs, protect the next clump from the sun. However, even then some garlic bulbs can get sunburnt, and the dramatic rise and fall in temperature from day to night can harm the bulb, reducing storage times. If an appropriate space is available they are better cured under cover, where temperatures fluctuate less. Leave plants intact (don’t remove leaves, flower stalks or roots) and hang in bunches or place on racks in a dry airy position that doesn’t get too hot. An old window screen, resting on sawhorses or something similar, makes a good drying tray. Or hang them from the eaves, as long as they are out of the sun. Leave them for a minimum of two to three weeks but if you can leave them for two months then they are likely to store for longer. In more humid areas it is a good idea to cut the roots really short or remove them altogether as they can act as a wick absorbing moisture and carrying it to the bulb thus increasing the chance of fungal diseases. Also, keep an eye on the leaves and if they show any sign of going mouldy, cut them off immediately because this mould will spread to the bulb.

Curing is particularly important if the bulbs are not quite mature, as the bulb continues to absorb moisture and nutrients from the stem and leaves after harvest. If you haven’t already removed the flower stem, then harvest and dry hardneck garlics with the flower head and stem still attached. Bulbs with the leaves attached can also be plaited into strings and hung in a dry airy position.

Storing

Once the bulbs are cured the skins will be papery and dry and the bulbs should feel firm and tightly packed. Check for any diseased, damaged or bruised bulbs and remove them. If the damage is only minor then just eat them. This is also a good time to select the bulbs you want to use for replanting. Choose the best and the healthiest, set them aside and store them separately from the bulbs to be consumed. This way they won’t get eaten by mistake. To allow for replanting,10 to 15 percent of the crop needs to be retained. The optimum storage temperature for bulbs for replanting is 10°C, with limits of 5°C and 18°C.

Unless the bulbs are to be plaited or hung in bunches, all the leaves and stems are now cut off about 2 cm from the bulb. Leave only 1 cm of the roots. Don’t try to wash off dirt or separate the individual cloves as either of these actions will radically shorten the storage life. Store bulbs in shallow cardboard boxes, in slatted wooden boxes, on trays, in net slings, in stockings, or in plaits – in fact in any way that allows air circulation around each bulb. The room where they are stored must be dry, airy and not too cold or hot. Check bulbs every few weeks and remove any diseased ones. Properly stored, some cultivars will last for twelve months or longer.

The optimum temperature for long storage of commercial crops is 0°C. These bulbs are not suitable for planting though, as bulbs grown from cloves kept at very low temperatures tend to be rough, produce side shoots as they mature, or mature too early. For the home grower, storage temperatures around 10°C are ideal, but consistency of temperature is important too. Don’t keep the bulbs in a position where they get very hot or very cold. Enjoy eating your own home grown garlic and if you run out or can’t grow your own then look for Australian grown garlic. I never eat imported garlic as all imported garlic is treated with Methyl bromide before being allowed into Australia. For details on locating locally grown garlic go the Australian Garlic Industry Association website

Article and photographs copyright Penny Woodward

Photographs:
1 Freshly harvested white softneck garlic
2 Garlic left in the ground too long so that the bulbs have split.
3 Freshly harvested Korean Red garlic
4 Garlic hanging to cure in a dry, airy position out of direct sunlight.
5 A garlic crop after curing, and trimming to remove roots and leaves.

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1. Make lye water out of ash. You can boil 2-3 spoons of ash (clean white/grey fluffy ash) with water and then filter it with a coffee filter. Lye water is a great cleaning agent and sanitizer for clothes, floors, windows, silverware, plates, and even rust in marble. You can also make lye by adding the fluffy white ash in a cheesecloth

*This is more or less the idea of the process but it’s best you practice safety and obtain more information on the subject before you carry out the actual lye making process. It’s dangerous and lye is caustic. I will not be held accountable for any injuries caused.

* In a bucket with holes on its base, you add the cheesecloth and ash, and hang it somewhere high. Add the water. Underneath, place another clean bucket to collect the lye. The lye has a brownish colour, so you remove the bucket when clean water starts to sip through. Test the lye by adding a fresh egg in the liquid. If the egg floats, the lye is good to go, if not, repeat the process.-For use in soap making.

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2. A paste made out of ash and water, can remove stains from furniture.

3. If we want to remove a stain from clothes the moment they happen, we add a bit of ash and after about five minutes, we rub it with the crumb of a bread (not the crust, the soft white bit).

4. Ash is a great odour repellent, just add a bit over the area that smells. eg, kitty litter.

5. You can remove odours from a fridge, by adding a plate of charcoal ash inside. Change the charcoal over, until the smell is gone.

6. You can use it to brush your teeth. (recipe here) *Not all woods are suitable. Conifer trees produce ash that is softer on the enamel. Some woods contain harsh minerals that may damage your teeth.

7. You can wash your hair with lye soap  and rinse with vinegar. This is especially good for oily hair.*lye soap must be cured for at least 6 weeks first.

8. Lye water is used in many foods and sweets. Like grape must pudding (moustalevria),  honey cookies (melomakarona), and in bread. It makes bread fluffy and prevents it from crumbling. Lye water is also good for the cleansing of the intestines.

*Lye water differs to the lye you use to make soap. Please DON’T EVER use lye on your foods or skin. Adding lye water to foods is a completely different method all together.

9. Ash was used for many years in farming. It recycles the natural nutrients back into the earth. It can be used as compost but does not include Nitrogen. It aids in the increase of the earths PH level which in return, aids in the growth of the plants. (But because of the ongoing increase of the PH level, not all veg and fruit thrive from it. eg potatoes).

10. It strengthens plants that love calcium, such as tomatoes, vineyards, beans, spinach, peas, avocados, garlic etc. Even rose bushes. You can add 1/4 cup ash before planting.

11. One spoon ash per 1000l of water, strengthens underwater plants.

12.It prevents plants from frost in winter, if you add a layer of ash over them.

13. Animals hate ash. You can rid your garden of insects and various parasites, such as slugs and snails.

14. You can rid yourself of ants. If you throw some ash in their colony, they will be forced to relocate, as they can’t move the ash.

15. Spread some ash in the corners of the house, or dark spots of your cellar etc. For as long as there is ash, no mice/rats, cockroaches or insects approach.

16. It repels lice, ticks and fleas off animals. You make a thick paste of ash and vinegar and spread over the fur. It’s messy, but it works.

17.  It repels clothes moths. You can add some ash on your stored clothes, and simply shake it off when you need to use them. You can leave them for years this way, and nothing will happen to them.

18.  Lye is used to make soap (potassium hydroxide). It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but its worth it.

19. Ash is used for “immortal eggs”. In a recipe used in the Middle East, they preserve eggs in a mix of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice rind for many months.

20. Sodium Carbonate, can be made out of ash. It is known to be an excellent product, used as household cleaner.

21. Ash contains salt, and can therefore melt ice.

22. The charcoal collected within the ash, can be used as a filter.

23. You can use charcoal to filter blurry wine.

24. You can use charcoal to filter water before drinking.

25. Charcoal in metal containers can be used to remove humidity in cellars, cupboards and under sinks.

26. You can put a fire out quickly by throwing ash over it.

27. In the older days, they used to preserve seeds in large clay containers, by adding a thick layer of ash over them. This prevented insects from destroying their produce.

28. It can be used in wounds, to kill bacteria and aid in faster healing. Melting hand made soap in lye water and rinsing a wound with it without rinsing over it with clean water.

29. No fridge? No worries! You can preserve your fruits and vegetables for many days, even years, by digging a hole in the ground and filling it with ash. Add your veg and fruit, ensuring enough space between them, so that they do not touch each other, or the muddy ground. Seal the hole with a piece of wood, and you let it be.

30. In the olden days, to preserve the fresh rennet, they added it in a bone animal horn, filled it with ash, sealed it with mud and hanged it from a tree. This ensured the rennet lasted for many many years.

MORE USES FROM OUR READERS:

Susanne says: In Norway they use lye to preserve cod which is called “lutefisk”. The dried lutefisk has to be soaked and drained before cooking. Another use of lye in food is in “hominy”, here in the US. Hominy is dried corn that has been soaked in lye. In NM, hominy is used in a dish called “posole”.

Spegg says: Ash is also good to clean the window from an oven. dip wet newspaper in ash and scrub the soot off.

Donna says: I have used ash directly on plants such as cabbage to keep cabbage worms away. Works great! Also helps keeps aphids at bay.

Carmen says: If you get stuck in the snow or on ice throw down ashes, your car will walk right out
works better than sand, salt or kitty litter.

Vonnie says:
Wood stove ashes make a great lawn fertilizer. I also use them in my henhouse in a dust bo (cardboard box with ashes and a little sand-they use it for dry baths). It controls the roost mites and adds nutrients to the cleanings that I spread on the garden in the spring. It also works well when spread under my apple trees to help with bug infestations and as fertilizer.

DISCLAIMER:(because I hate repeating myself)

First and foremost, I feel the need to thank everyone who has shared this article in the tens of thousands over the last year, you guys rock!

Secondly, I feel the need to point out a few things, and if you know me, you will already know that the following few lines will not be diplomatic.

Maybe it’s because I share a shameless faith, that humanity generally uses their common sense, but since I am obviously mistaken:

1. Pay careful attention to the article. It states uses for ASHES. If you are an idiot enough to go and eat lye, then you will feel the slow and unmistakably excruciating death, as your insides turn to dust. NOWHERE on this article, does it state to consume LYE.

There is a difference between lye and lye water, and it’s best you educate yourself on the matter before you start dipping your food and bodily parts in it.

ANY MENTIONS OF LYE WATER ON FOOD OR SKIN REQUIRE YOU DISCRETION. THERE IS A VARIETY OF METHODS USED. MAKING LYE FOR SOAP AND ADDING LYE WATER TO FOOD ISENTIRELY DIFFERENT.

I will NOT be held accountable for mere stupidity and lack of initiative to source information on the subjects on your own. This is a LIST on the use of ASHES, ideas, facts etc and NOT on the actual process of attaining some of these uses.

2.Lye is CAUSTIC. There are SEVERAL mentions of this on the comments section. Please, for the love of anything you love and cherish, use your own discretion, read through the comments and then feel free to share your  intellect on the subject with me.

3. I don’t pull information magically out of my behind. If you want to judge some of these mentions on the use of ashes, please go ahead, if you want to state that my article is dangerous, please go ahead.

Chances are, if I am wrong about something, I will apologize, admit it and fix it, and chances are, if you failed to provide adequate information on your argument, I will provide it for you. I have now added short caution notes next to some of the points.

4. I appreciate your feedback, additions and concerns, and I WILL ALWAYS, try to answer you to the best of my abilities. Live long and prosper, blogerverse!

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I love composting all the kitchen scraps I can but when I fill up my compost bin or run low on some vegetables in the garden using kitchen scraps to grow plants is a great activity. I love using kitchen scraps to start new plants as a fun gardening activity with my son, everyday we check and see how the plants are progressing. It’s a great way to come full circle on produce we bout at the market together and cooked together. Starting your own plants from kitchen scraps is really easy and for a gardening nerd like me!

17-Plants-You-Grow-from-Kitchen-Scraps-with-Photos-Featured-563x350 ...

If You are going to attempt this I suggest making sure the scraps you start with are good quality, I like to use organic produce grown locally when I start plants from kitchen scraps.

GROWING SWEET POTATOES

When you plant sweet potatoes you want to use the ‘eyes’ just like you do with a regular potato. You can bury the entire potato or pieces like you did with regular potatoes under a thin layer of topsoil in a damp and sunny place. Soon you will have new shoots beginning to appear from the soil. When the shoots begin to reach a height of four inches you will replant your pieces giving them around 12 inches between one another. Generally it take somewhere around 4 months to grow sweet potatoes like this. Keep a watchful eye out for slugs, they will be trying to eat your crop before you can.images

When your growing your own sweet potatoes you want to be sure and use an organic soil as most commercial growers use chemicals to keep them from shooting.

GROWING MUSHROOMS

For the most part I’ve focused on plants that are pretty easy to grow, propagating mushrooms is not included in that. If you’re going to try to propagate mushrooms you’ll be competing with the other fungi space. Mushroom spores enjoy warm humidity and nutrient rich soil, cooler temperatures will give your mushrooms a higher likelihood of success against other fungi
0ka93jiac8xmd88erenr510a88a25006fTo get your mushrooms to propagate take off the head and place the stalk into your topsoil, making sure to expose the top to the air. If you have the right conditions for your mushroom you will have a new head grow from your base. You should have some very clear feedback if your mushroom has taken or not very quickly.You want to grow mushrooms in a pot, trying to grow them in your garden would have too much competition from other mushrooms. Growing mushrooms inside of a container also allow you to mow the container around and provide different conditions for the mushrooms, which will help them propagate faster. I’ve experience the greatest success by providing a warm filtered light during the day and cool temperatures at night.

AVOCADOS

Rather than tossing your avocado seed when you’re getting the fleshy fruit for your cooking use it to grow your own avocado plant. Warning this one is going to take even longer to fruit then the pineapple if ever. House grown avocado plants rarely fruit and if you can grow it outdoors it could be 5 to 13 years before your eating your own avocados. People who farm avocados grown them off grafts (maybe a good idea for another article?!).

growing avocados from kitchen scraps

Take your seed and wash in the sink, with your cleaned seed stick in three or four toothpicks and suspend it above a glass of water. You want to place the seed broad end down and cover the seed with around an inch of water. Place your container into a warm area in an area with filtered sunlight and add water as needed. Within 2 – 6 weeks you will see roots and a stem begin to sprout. Once your avocado has a stem that is 7 inches long cut it back to 3 inches, this will focus the seeds back in to growing a strong root system. When your roots are thick and the stem has re-leafed take out the toothpicks and place the plant into a rich humus soil. I suggest using a 10 inch diameter pot. Leave the seed half exposed when you plant it into the soil.

growing avocados from kitchen scraps

Now that your plant is in the soil you want to supply it with a continual supply of light watering with an occasional deep soak. Avocados prefer a soil kept moist but you want to avoid saturating it too much and drowning the roots. If your leaves begin to turn yellow you are watering it too much, give the plant a few days of from watering. Now that the plant is established you want to begin to give it as much sunlight as you can. If you notice that your leaves are beginning to brown at the tips you have a salt build up in your soil and you will need to water the soil thoroughly and let it drain. Once your stem reaches 12 inches in height you will want to cut it back to 6 inches to help new shoots grow.

GROWING PINEAPPLE
pineapple root buds

To start growing pineapple you will need to take the leafy green top and remove all the fruit (yellow parts). To harvest a starting piece form a pineapple take a good grip of the leaves and twist the crown off of the fruit. If the brut force tactic isn’t for you can take a good chef’s knife and slice of the top of the pineapple and scrap off the flesh of the fruit with a spoon. Take a sharp knife and begin to slice small horizontal pieces off of the bottom of the crown till you can see root buds (picture left). Peel off a few layers of the leaves from the base of your pineapple cutting.

growing pineapple from kitchen scraps

With your prepped pineapple cutting prepare a container of warm water and place it cut side into the container. When the cutting begins to root replant it into a container with soil and be sure to water once a week. This kitchen scrap recycle is a long game, you won’t have a pineapple worth harvesting for 2-3 years.

GROWING POTATOES

Taking potatoes from produce back to growing is a great way to keep more waste out of the garbage. You can grow any variety of potato you like, it should just make sure the scrap has ‘eyes’ growing on it. With a potato that has a strong presence of eyes you can chop it up into 2 inch square pieces. Make sure each piece has 1 – 2 eyes. After you’ve cut your potato into pieces leave them out in room temperature for a couple of days. Leaving the pieces out allow the cut surface area to dry out and become callous which will prevent the pieces from rotting in the ground.

Potatoes-cut-dried-for-planting-kitchen-scraps

Potatoes need a very nutrient-rich soil, so if you have compost you should be sure to incorporate some into your soil before you plant it. When you are planting your potato cubes make sure they are in the 8 inch depth range with the eyes facing the sky. When you back fill your cube place 4 inches over the potato cube and leave the other 4 inches empty. Over time as your potato grows and roots begin to appear you will want to add more soil.

 

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10 Steps for Fool-Proof Repotting

Ready for a little repotting? It’s not that difficult even if it’s your first try at repotting a plant, and if you’re an old hand at it, you may discover some helpful new techniques. Before you remove a plant from its pot, always make sure that you have enough potting mix on hand, and then follow these steps:

1. A day or two before you plan to repot, give your plants a thorough watering because they’re easier to repot when the growing mix is moist.

2. Pour some potting mix into a bucket or bowl and add an equivalent amount of warm water, then blend thoroughly.

Most soilless potting mixes are somewhat water repellent when dry, so you need to stir them. Aim for a consistency a little drier than muffin batter. If the mix is too dry, add more water; too liquid, add a bit more medium.Adding a drop or two of liquid soap to the water also helps the mix to absorb moisture more readily.

You can seal any leftover mix in a plastic bag or container and save it for your next potting session.

3. To remove the plant from its old pot, slip your hand over the top of the pot, holding the plant’s stem between your fingers, and turn the pot upside down, as shown in Figure 1.fg0-7645-5102-7_1301

4. Tap the rim of the pot firmly against a hard surface, such as a table, and then gently pull the pot upwards to remove the plant (again, see Figure 1).

If the plant refuses to budge, tap the pot against the hard surface a few more times and try again. It may take two pairs of hands (one pair pulling on the pot while the other pair holds the plant) to remove big plants from large pots. You also may have to run a knife blade around the inside of the pot’s rim to remove the plant or first cut away roots extending from the drainage holes. If that doesn’t work, you may actually have to break the pot to remove the plant.

5. Examine the root ball.

If the root ball is less healthy or if the plant has been in the same pot for more than 18 months, you must do some cleaning up before repotting it.

If some of the roots appear dead, damaged, or rotten (or circle the inside of the pot, indicating probable underpotting), you need to prune them off.

6. If thick roots totally encircle the plant, cut away a 1/2- to 1-inch (2- to 3-centimeter) slice of roots and soil with a sharp knife — not only all around the pot, but also from the bottom (see Figure 2).

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Don’t cut away healthy roots of plants that don’t like being repotted, such as the clivia.

If you intend to repot the plant into a pot of the same size or smaller, prune back even more harshly. You can remove up to one-third of the old roots (or one-third of the root ball) without harming the plant.

7. Remove about one-third of the old potting mix from the root ball, loosening it gently with your fingers, a stake, a pencil, or a chopstick inserted straight down into the roots.

It’s no loss — the soil is most likely contaminated with mineral salts.

8. Pour in a layer of the premoistened potting mix made in Step 2.

Use just enough so that the top of the roots are at the same level as the pot’s rim projection.

9. Set the plant in the pot, turning it to make sure it is completely centered, and begin adding soil.

Use your fingers or a chopstick to work the potting mix down among the roots. Press just hard enough to eliminate any large air pockets without compressing the soil.

10. Add the potting medium until the roots are well covered, and then even out the mix with your fingers or a spoon.

11. Water well, let drain, and you’re done!

Try to keep any newly repotted plant out of full sunlight for a week or so, and then reintroduce it to its permanent home. You can begin fertilizing again in about one month.

One important note before you actually repot the plant: Don’t waste the already limited space in an average pot with a layer of useless pot shards. Use a good potting mix from top to bottom. Studies show that so-called drainage layers don’t actually help drainage at all. On the contrary, pots actually drain better when the potting mix is evenly packed in the pot.

GARDENING