How to Raise Organic Vegetables : How to Water Your Garden

May 31, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Organic Gardening

How often should you water your garden, and should you water it by hand or use an irrigation system? Find out in this free organic gardening video lesson. Expert: Gale Gassiot Bio: Gale Gassiot makes her own organic compost or “gardener’s black gold.”

The Secrets of Growing Giant Vegetables

May 30, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Organic Gardening

For Beyond 50′s “Gardening” talks, watch a video interview with Roland Evans of Bountea. He is part of a long line of family gardeners from Ireland, going back to the 1890s. His brother John is famous for earning 9 Guinness Book of World Records for growing the largest vegetables. According to Roland, the secret is in the soil. He will talk about how to prepare your plantings from seeds for growing them organic and very big through revitalizing the soil using a compost tea of lots of micro-organisms. Visit and sign up for our free e-newsletter. Produced and edited by Joy Davis and Barbara Klawitter of Beyond 50 Productions.

How to Raise Organic Vegetables : Gardening Tools Tips & Advice

April 29, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 16

A shovel, turning fork, hoe and gardening gloves are a few of the tools and supplies you can use to grow an organic garden. Learn more about basic gardening tools and how to use them in this free instructional video. Expert: Gale Gassiot Bio: Gale Gassiot makes her own organic compost or “gardener’s black gold.”

Vegetable Gardening & Plant Care : How to Fertilize Vegetables Organically

April 21, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Flower Gardening

If vegetables have a great diet of compost and organic soil, they won’t require any fertilizer, so it’s important to avoid fertilizers when growing vegetables organically. Grow vegetables with an airy mix of soil and good drainage with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on vegetable gardening and plant care.

Gardening Tips : How to Start Vegetables From Seeds Indoors

April 7, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Vegetables can be started from seeds indoors as long as you have a nice container to start them in. Grow your vegetables indoors with tips from a third-generation flower grower in this free video on gardening. Expert: Yolanda Vanveen Contact: Bio: Yolanda Vanveen is sustainable gardener who lives in Kalama, Wash. Filmmaker: Daron Stetner

How to Raise Organic Vegetables : How to Choose Organic Seeds & Plants

March 24, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Organic Gardening

To plant your organic garden, you can use young plants, hybrid seeds, native seeds or seeds that you’ve harvested by yourself. Learn tips for choosing and planting seeds and young plants in your organic garden in this free gardening video lesson. Expert: Gale Gassiot Bio: Gale Gassiot makes her own organic compost or “gardener’s black gold.”

Container Gardening For Vegetables

March 17, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20


Vegetable production is not only applicable in the countryside or in the  gardens but can be grown now within the heart of the city or just in your home even with only a limited space. 

If your home has an area with ample sunlight – a requirement for growing vegetables, you can grow them successfully. What are the locations that can be used for container gardening ? You can use your patio, balcony, terrace, rooftop, deck, window sill, pathways, etc. 

Be aware of the sunlight requirement for each kind of crop. For leafy vegetables, the required sunlight should be about four hours  the whole day, for fruit vegetables, at least 7-8 hours sunlight is needed daily, and root vegetables requires around 6 hours of sunlight a day. 

And besides of producing your own vegetables in a safer way, the attack of common pests and diseases can be greatly minimized. You can also improve the soil conditions  by adding some soil amendments; like manure, compost, and other essential food nutrients needed by the plants. 

Everything in your home that are considered as garbage can be utilized to the maximum by making them into compost. Even your household waste water can be used to irrigate your plants. 

In other words, container gardening is considered to be the practice that makes use of useless things. 

What Containers Are Ideal For Container Gardening? 

Growing vegetables can be executed in any type of containers such as;   cans, plastics, pails, split vehicle tires, cement bags, feed bags, bottle water plastics, gallon cans, cylinder blocks, milk container, bamboo cuts or any containers that have been thrown away. Even coco shells, banana bracts, leaves of coconut is ideal as potting materials especially for short season vegetables, like,  pechay, lettuce, mustard, etc. 

Good growing containers should possess the three important characteristics as suggested by Relf (1996); 

They must be large enough to support fully grown plants.  They must have adequate drainage.  They must not have held products that are toxic to plants and persons. 

Containers that drain poorly can affect the success of a container garden. It is therefore vital to have your containers above ground or any support that would raise the containers such as; slats, hollow blocks or anything to provide space below them to allow excess water to drain freely. 

For bigger plants, you should use big containers and for small containers use small plants. 

Small containers (1-2 gallons) are suited for lettuce, spinach, mustard, pepper, radish, green onions, carrots, beans, and dwarf tomatoes. Medium size containers (3-10 gallons) are best for eggplants while for larger ones (bigger than 10 gallons) are good for cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes. 

 For most plants, containers should be at least 15 cm deep minimum especially for shot season vegetables. 

Recommended Container size and type/crop 

5 gal. window box – Bush beans, Lima beans

1 plant/5gal.pot, 3plants/15 gal. pot –Cabbage, Chinese cabbage

5 gal. window box at least 30 cm deep – carrot

1 plant/gal. pot – cucumber

5 gal. pot – Eggplant, tomato, okra

5 gal. window pot – Lettuce

1 plant/2gal. pot; 5 plants/15 gal. pot – Onion

5 gal. window box – Pepper, spinach

Plants grown in containers will depend on the kind of soil mixture to provide a maximum growth development. It is a must that you should provide the best soil media composition to give the possible return of your toil. Failure to give the plants with the necessary food nutrients in their growing period would results to  poor growth, lanky, and stunted plants that will results to your failure. 

The ideal soil mixture for container-grown vegetables crops are as follows: 

It should be light in weight and porous.  It should easily drain excess water.  It should have high water holding capacity.  It should be free from soil borne disease, nematodes and insect pests.  It should supply the right and balance amount of nutrients for the plants. 

The best mixture of soil media should compose the following; synthetic mix of horticultural-grade vermiculite, peat moss, limestone, superphosphate and complete fertilizer. 

Compost can also serve as an excellent growing medium. 

In your  country where the above media are not available, you can make your own potting media by mixing 1 part loam soil or compost manure,  1 part fine river sand, and coconut coir dust. 

If your country is producing rice you can replace coconut coir dust with the rice hull charcoal (carbonized). But this should be thoroughly sterilized to kill some deadly microbes that are detrimental to the plants. 

Sawdust is another medium that could be used in preparing your growing medium in the absence of coco coir dust and should also be sterilized. 

Sowing Seed and Transplanting 

Before going into the sowing procedure, give your utmost attention to the selection of seed you’ll use as planting materials. Good quality seeds should be your first concern. 

Good quality seeds possesses the following characteristics:  

damage free   free from other mixture with other varieties free from seed borne diseases  and with good vigor and germinating capacity. 

To get a quality and reliable seeds, you should buy from certified seed producers or seed suppliers. 

All vegetables that undergoes transplanting are excellent for container gardening. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or other successful gardeners in your locality. 

Before transplanting, fill plastic or germinating tray with the growing media preparation using the following ratio: 60% rice hull charcoal(carbonized), 30 % coconut coir dust, 10% chicken manure (60-30-10 ratio). 

In the absence of the above materials in your country, you can use the old soil media preparation – 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part garden soil (1-1-1 ratio). Make sure to sterilize them before the seed are sown. This is to kill some microorganisms that may cause damage to the seedlings. 

You can also purchase a prepared growell medium sold in local agriculture stores in your respective country. Inquire from your agriculture experts available in your area. 

Once the growing media is ready, fill the holes of the germinating or potting containers. Press  the soil medium lightly with your fingers in every hole filled with the medium. Then follows the sowing of seeds. 

In sowing seeds some techniques should be followed to insure germination: 

I Watermelon (Seeded) (Citrulis lunatus).  Soak seed 30 min.- 1hour in top water. Incubate by using moist cotton cloth. Spread the seeds and cover. Place in an improvised cartoon for 24-36 hours. After this period, sow the seeds at I seed per hill. Seed must be level in the soil guided by a finger or stick at 1 cm deep. For the seedless type the procedure is the same as the seeded but the tip near the embryo should be cut with the use of a nail cutter before inserting to the soil. Cutting the end portion of the seed hastens germination.

l  Bitter Gourd/Ampalaya  (Momordica charantia). Soak seeds for 30 min.-1 hour. Cut the tip near the embryo and sow  with the seed deep of ¾ of the soil at 1 seed per hole. 

l  Upo (  Lagenaria siceraria   ) and Patola ( Luffa cylindrica ). Cut the tip covering only near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole. 

l  Squash (Cucurbita spp). Soak seeds 30 min.-1 hour. Then pinch the tip near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole. 

l  Pepper (Capsicum annum L.), Eggplant (Solanum melongena), and Tomato (Lycopersicum  esculentum). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1-2 seeds per hole. 

l  Pechai /Pechay (Brassica pechai), Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis ), and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica ). Sow seed directly to the germinating at 1-2 seeds per hole. 

l  Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Honey Dew / Muskmelon (Cucumis melo). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole. 

l  Carrot (Daucus carota) and Raddish (Rafanus sativus).  Directly sow the seed to the field at 2-3 seeds per hill. 

l  Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis ) and Beans (Phaseolus limensis ). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill. 

l  Corn (zea mays). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill. 

l  Papaya (Carica papaya). Soak the seeds for 30 min.-1 hour then sow to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole. 

l  Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus  ). Directly sow the seed in the field at 1-2 seeds per hill. 

Container size for specific crops. 

Medium – Beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, broccoli  Large – Cuccumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, okra, squash, papaya  Small – Onions, parsley, radish 

Light Requirements 

Sun – Beans, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, carrots, okra, squash, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli papaya  Partial shadeLettuce, onions, parsley, radish 

 Fertilizer Requirements 

To get the right amount of fertilizer for your vegetables, you should analyze your soil media mixture. And if you can do it, organic or inorganic fertilizer should be used. 

Fertilizer combination of organic and inorganic would be much better with the correct proportion depending on the plant requirement. 

When using inorganic fertilizer you should prepare a base nutrient solution by dissolving 2 cups of complete fertilizer in 1 gallon of warm water. 

A growing solution is prepared by diluting 2 tablespoons of the base solution in 1 gallon of water. 

Application starts by pouring 2-3 tablespoons of the growing solution on the soil media around the plants at the time of transplanting. 

The frequency of application may vary from one crop to another, but one application per day is adequate. It is advisable to leach all unused fertilizer out of the soil mix once a week by watering tap water to cause free drainage through the holes in the bottom of the container. 

This practice will prevent buildup of injurious materials in the soil media. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you should use pure or 2/3 compost in the growing media. 

If both the organic and inorganic fertilizer will be used, at least one part of the growing media should be compost and one tablespoon of the growing solution applied at least once a day. 

If you’ll use synthetic mix growing medium, which is already enriched with superphosphate and complete fertilizer subsequent fertilization may not be necessary for early maturing crops. 

For late maturing crops, daily application of the growing solution is necessary until maturity or shortly before harvesting. 

Water Management  

Water is the life for container garden plant. It’s important that you should not neglect this requirement. Proper water management is vital for a successful container gardening. 

Basically, one watering a day is enough for container-grown crops. But for vegetables grown in small containers may require 2 times of watering a day. 

Plants grown in clay pots needs more frequent watering since pots are more porous and extra water is allowed to drain out from their sides. 

If the  growing medium appears to be excessively dry and as the plant shows signs of wilting, the containers should be grouped together so that the foliage creates a canopy to help shade the soil and keep it cool. 

Poor drainage of the growing media or container can lead to water-logged condition that may results to plant death due to lack of oxygen. 

To make sure you have a vigorous plants, always check the containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry, or windy days and to feel the soil to determine whether it is dump. 

To reduce water evaporation for container plants, you should apply mulching materials such as plastic mulch or putting windbreaks. 

You can also install trickle or drip irrigation system to the plants base if you think you can’s attend to your plants daily. 

Pests and Diseases Control 

Control of pests and diseases in containers needs your careful assessment because wrong use of pesticides may cause damage to  the environment, especially children who may often come closer to your container plants. 

To be safe, you should implement the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This approach is focused on the so called systematic pest management which means to prevent problems before the pests and diseases appears. 

How you can do this? 

It is done by monitoring pest population, identifying pests, and choosing a combination of control methods to keep pests population at a minimal level. These methods includes cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods (which is the last resort to be applied  when serious condition is discernible). 

l  Select insect and disease-resistant varieties of vegetables. Avoid insect attracting plants in the garden or those that are susceptible to pests. Beans, peas, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce and squash are more resistant to insect pests. 

l  Water the plants adequately to keep them healthy. Fertilize and thin plants to reduce competition for moisture and nutrients. 

l  Remove weeds to conserve soil moisture and eliminate hiding places of pests. 

l  Encourage natural enemies of insect pests, such as predators and parasites. Attract beneficial insects like; Western Damsel Bug, Lady Beetle, Green Lace Wing, and Minute Pirate Bug into your garden by planting small flowered plants such as; daisies, cosmos, marigold, and clover. Be sure they are in flower bloom throughout the growing season. 

l  Avoid growing the same types of vegetables in the same spot year after year. A 4-year rotation cycle is recommended. 

l  Exclude pests from plants by using fiber materials, row cover, and other barriers such as plastic bottles and plant collars. 

l  Remove infested part of the plant right away. Remove all plant residues from the containers after harvesting all the crops. 

l  Use traps to disrupt mating cycles of insects. Yellow sticky boards catch winged aphids, whiteflies, and leafhoppers. 

l  Handpick pests or knock them off plants with a stream of water from a garden hose. Kill the insects by putting them a soapy water. 

l  If all other control methods fails, the least toxic insecticides includes botanical control such as neem and pyrethrin. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil may also be used for insect control. Always identify the pests before choosing a pesticide and use according to label directions. 


Harvesting varies with vegetables. Leafy vegetables may be harvested when the desired leaf size is required for every use they are intended. Others harvest leafy vegetables after the required age is meet. For fruit vegetables such as, Luffa, Cucumber, Eggplant, beans, Okra, and Upo they are harvested when their size are big but tender. For squash varieties, they are harvested either matured or big but tender depending on the preference of users. 

Cabbage, cauliflowers, and broccoli should be harvested when their heads are already compact. Peppers and tomatoes may be harvested when their fruits have started to ripen. 

If you’re growing container-grown vegetables just for home consumption, you can harvest only some part of the plant and retain the rest for future use. But if you think you have more than enough  for family use, you can harvest them all and sell or give them to your neighbors. 

Never allow your vegetables to bear flower before harvesting them except when your purpose is to collect the seeds for future planting.  

Maturity Indices of some Vegetables 

White potato, onion, garlic – Tops begins to dry and topple down   Cowpea, sitao, snap beans, batao, sweet pea, winged bean – Well-filled pods that really snap   Okra – Full-sized fruits with the tips that can be snapped readily   Lima beans, pigeon pea – Well-filled pods that are starting to lose their greenness   Upo, luffa – Immature (if thumb nail can penetrate easily)   Tomato – Seeds slip when fruit is cut, or green color turning pink   Sweet pepper – Deep green color turning dull   Musk melon – Color of lower part turns creamy yellow, produces dull hallow sound when thumped   Cauliflower – Curd compact  (over mature if flower clusters elongates and begin to loosen)   Broccoli – Bud cluster compact (over mature if loose)   Cabbage – Heads compact s (over mature if heads cracks)   Sweet corn – Exudes milk sap when thumbnail penetrates kernel   Eggplant, ampalaya – Desirable size is reached out but still tender   Honey dew – White color cream with aroma   Squash – Big enough with dried leaves   Watermelon – Dull hollow sound when thumped and lower color part turns yellow   Water spinach – Leaves at their broadest and longest  

  Problems Encountered in Container Gardening

 In container gardening you’ll  meet some problems that may hinder your daily operations. This is sometimes discernible when you’ll not attend the plants due to negligence.

 However, you can prevent these problems if you’ll religiously observe your plants closely. Small pests and diseases can’t be seen visibly if you’ll not see the plant appearance  closely. You’ll only see the affected plants once you come closer and actually touch them.

 Some symptoms, causes, and corrective measures you should observe:

 l  Tall, spindly and not productive. The plants receives insufficient sunlight and excessive supply of Nitrogen. To correct them, you should transfer the containers to a place where there is sufficient sunlight.

l  Yellowing from bottom, poor color, and lack vigor.  The plants receives too much water and low fertility. To correct this, you have to reduce watering intervals and check the pots for good drainage.

l  Plants wilt even with sufficient  water. The plants has poor drainage and aeration. To correct, you should use a potting mix with high percentage of organic matter. Increase the number of holes of the container for good drainage.

 l  Burning or firing of the leaves. The soil medium is high in salt. To correct this problem, you have to leach the container with tap water at regular intervals.

 l  Stunted growth, sickly, and purplish color of leaves. The temperature is low and low phosphate. To correct, you should relocate the containers to a warmer area. Increase phosphate level in base solution.

 l  Holes in leaves and distorted in shape.  The plants are pests infested. To correct, you should use non-chemical insecticides or other biological control for insects.

 l  Spots on the leaves, dead dried areas or powdery or rust occurrence. The plants are affected with a disease. To correct them, you should remove the disease affected parts or the whole plant in serious condition. You can use non-chemical pesticides if the disease is in the early stage of infestation.


 Crisologo Ramasasa, Freelance writer, writes articles on home gardening and Internet marketing tips. Get a copy of his latest ebook FREE, titled; “How to get Started in Flower Gardening” and “Vegetable Gardening Made Easy” and Free articles, tools, tips and bonus  at:

Pharmacy In Vegetables.

March 13, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 18

A Unique Report With 140 Tested Home And Beauty Remedies Using Simple Vegetables. Use The Science Behind The Health Benefits Of Vegetables To Improve Your Health, Delay Aging And Cure Major Diseases.
Pharmacy In Vegetables.

Get Started Growing your Own Fruit and Vegetables

February 21, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Ideas

When to start? In the past allotments traditionally changed hands on September 29th which is the set date for paying agricultural rents. Autumn is the ideal period to take over a plot. It gives you the time to prepare for the following year, often in reasonable weather. Many allotment sites use the calendar year, or start at other times- but it’s worth contacting them at any time of the year to see if they have any vacancies, or a waiting list.

The key to long-term success with an allotment is to be realistic about how much you can tackle. Take things slowly planning to do less than the maximum. It will take several years to get things as you would like them. The whole point about allotmenting is that it should be recreational, fun even, for everyone involved. It shouldn’t be a chore- and it doesn’t have to be a competition with your neighbour!

Tools and Equipment. If you don’t already have a collection of gardening tools, take time to choose what you need for the allotment. Always handle a tool before purchase so you know that you are comfortable with it. Handle length is crucial for spades, folks, hoes and rakes. Look out for longer or shorter handles if necessary.

If you are tall, buy a rake or hoe head on its own, then fit a longer handle. Weight is also important- remember that a spade will be loaded with soil when in use, so don’t buy one that feels heavy when you pick it up empty. A boarder spade or folk, which has a smaller head, is often a good choice. You will be able to keep working longer if each spade is not an effort. If possible try out other peoples tools on the ground first. When buying tools children, make sure that they are designed for proper use, nit just as toys.

Second hand tools are often available through ads in the papers or at car boot sales. They will generally work as well as new ones at a fraction of the price.

As many allotment plots are infected with soil Bourne pests and diseases, it can pay to have a separate allotment tools to prevent disease going into your garden soil

Grow your own fruit and vegetables

February 21, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Ideas

My relationship with growing vegetables is a bit varied to say the least. My first attempt at an allotment wasn’t bad albeit I was 11 years old and way too focussed on potatoes but the second attempt failed when in clearing the ground we found a small motor boat buried on the plot and I just didn’t have the energy to pursue my vision of Eden in Merton Park.

But I’ve got the bug again and, unfortunately for me, so has everyone else. Indeed a combination of higher food prices, a demand for organic produce and an aim to reduce food miles have all combined to make allotments hugely in demand. Some local authorities have closed their waiting lists whereas in cities like Edinburgh you have a 10 year wait and I’m told that in one London Borough it’s a 40 year wait. The National Trust have just announced that they are making space available for 1000 community allotments at its historic gardens and there are schemes where budding gardeners can link up with people with too much garden and not enough time to garden.

But what do you do if you can’t get onto an allotment waiting list, live way to far away from a National Trust garden or just don’t want to take on a large allotment? If you desire just to be able to supplement your fruit and veg with some home-grown produce what’s the quickest way to get up and running this year? Here are my top tips.

Find a space
The first decision to make is to find a space in your garden, on your balcony, on your windowsill. Wherever you choose just make sure your plot has some good light and sun through the day. You really can grow in the smallest of areas but you need to make the plants accessible. One of the best ways is to create some raised beds, even some walls made from planks will help because it contains all that great soil and makes for a tidier patch that will keep you interested. I’ve often used old apple crates as planters but find that wooden boxes that once contained wine bottles will only last one season. There are also some great potato planters available at garden centres and even regular planters help contain herbs so that you can adjust their location according to the season.

Get the soil right
Having raised beds means it easier to get the soil right. A good loamy soil is what you are aiming for and in my experience most London gardens have this to start with. Add plenty of good compost and feed your plants regularly (just check the seed packet for advice). Get a compost heap started so that next year you’re recycling all that goodness back into your veg.

Get the kids involved
We constantly hear about children not eating healthily, well growing food is one of the best ways of getting them to have their five a day. If they are actively involved in growing easy things like carrots and lettuce then they are more likely to eat them. Add a few sunflowers for the seeds and plant marigolds and nasturtium that also grow fast and can be added to salads.

Prioritise your planting
If what concerns you most is the price of veg then concentrate on growing the more expensive food items that you like. Just a few large pots for growing your own herbs and a patch to grow things like aubergines, courgettes, cherry tomatoes and salad leaves. You’ll save a fortune! Added to this have you noticed where all your veg comes from? If you plan wisely you can grow your own food and save on all those food miles.

Time-saving fruit trees
If you’re always busy and don’t see much hope of being able to tend a vegetable plot every few days then maybe you should consider putting in some fruit trees and fruit bushes. The smallest garden can benefit from an apple tree and as well as your standard tree there are options for espaliers that grow against a wall and ballerina trees that do not spread their branches widely. There are a few rules when buying apples about fertilisation so ask when you visit the nursery or buy a self-fertile variety. Don’t forget you can also plant those fruit trees that cost a lot in the supermarket such as pears, cherries and even peaches and apricots for really sunny walls. How about a fig tree or set yourself up with a small fruit cage and plant raspberries and gooseberries?

It really is pretty easy to get started growing your own and you’ll get an immense feeling of achievement from your first crop of tomatoes or the first humble leek next winter.

Andrew Fisher Tomlin designs gardens across London. For more information about what he can do for your London garden click here


« Previous PageNext Page »