Azolla, Biofertilisers, Homestead Updates YCH#57

Play
  • I have been doing a lot of reading about bio fertilizers and am very impressed with the many uses of azolla.
  • Azolla is a fresh water fern that is one of the fastest growing plants in the world.
  • Azolla can double it’s biomass in 2 days.
  • It has a symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacterium (blue green algae) called Anabaena.  Oxygen is poisonous to cyanobacteria.  Within it’s leaves cyanobacteria is able to live in an oxygen free environment.  Anabaena in turn sequesters nitrogen from the atmosphere which is then available to Azolla for growth.  It can then live without soil.
  • The oldest fossils are nearly 70 million years old.  This would have been during the time of the dinosaurs. This makes it one of the oldest plants with the longest marriage on earth.
  • Azolla grows in the water and is able to get nitrogen from the air instead of the soil.
  • This means it can produce bio fertilizer, livestock feed, food, biofuel and sequester large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.

 

 

I discuss this in detail on the podcast.

A lot is going on around here:  the garden is finally getting going.

I talk about what I planted in my garden and some things I am trying out in the fields.

Comfrey as fertilizer.  Compost tea.

Rotational grazing is going very well with the sheep and goats.

We have a new male goat and I can hardly wait for him to breed with the girls.

The goats and their antics (who needs tv)

The baby sheep are growing up fast and still look great.

We are bottle feeding the little ram and how we did it.

Timber rattler and “Guard Pig”.

Ideas an things we have done to get more water to the plants; especially the ones way out there in the fields.

Best way we have found for sprouting seed.  We went from 20 to 30% viability to 90 to 100.

Can 3 year old mushroom spawn still be viable?

Ideas and changes for the podcast.

Book review:  “Remind Yourself”  by Jim Samuels

 

5 Bog Plants, Food prices, Rosemary, Permaculture Voices YCH#55

Play

5 More Water Bog Plants:

Water mimosa  (Neptunia oleracea)

Water Mint (Mentha aqautica)

http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2011/water-mint-mentha-aquatica/

Water spinach  (Ipomoea aquatic)

Watercress  (Nasturcium officiale)

Wild rice  (Fritillaria camschatcensis)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritillaria_camschatcensis

http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/2721?itemname=FRITILLARIA+CAMSCHATCENSIS

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-17/15-reasons-why-your-food-prices-are-about-start-soaring

 

Plants for Edible Water Gardens, Spring Fever, Jiaogulan, Beansprouts YCH# 52

Play
  • Edible Water Gardens Can Be:

  • Natural Ponds
  • Artificial Ponds
  • Aquaponics Systems

Natural ponds have the advantage that you could grow colonies op plants.  Be careful not to introduce non native, invasive species into ponds that can spread to greater waterways. Artificial ponds can be anything from a container that holds a few plants in water, to a kiddie pool, to a larger pond with a liner with different heights and waterfalls.  These could be very easy to set up and easy to maintain. Aquaponics Systems grow fish and plants together. The advantage is the fish feed the fish can be harvested for eating.

Aquatic Plants Grow at Different Depths:

Marginal Plants: Don’t have to be in the water; but like wet soil. Good for the ponds edge.

  • Achira (Canna edulis)
  • Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)
  • Belembe, tannier  (Xanthosoma brasilense)
  • Cranebrake bamboo  (Arundinaria gigantean)
  • Chufa  (Cyperus esculentus)
  • Daylily  (Hemerocallis fulva)
  • Fuki ( Petacites japonicaus)
  • Groundnuts  (Apios Americana)
  •  Ostrich Fern  (Matteucia struthiopteris)
  • Ramps  (Allium tricoccum)
  • Skirret  (Sium sisarum)
  • Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Wasabi  (Wasabi japonica)
  • Water celery  (Oenanthe sarmentosa)
  • Water mimosa  (Neptunia oleracea)
  • Water Mint (Mentha aqautica)
  • Water spinach  (Ipomoea aquatic)
  • Watercress  (Nasturcium officiale)
  • Wild rice (fritillaria camshatcenussi)

Emergent Aquatics:  Grow underwater and send leaves up above the surface. For shallow water 3-4 inches deep:

  • Taro   (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Violet stem taro   (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Water chestnut  (Eleocharis dulcis)
  • Licorice flag (Acorus gramineus)  can be grown in bog or shallow water
  • Tsi  (Houttuynia cordata) can be grown in bog or shallow water

For deeper water – 2 ft.

  • Water lotus  (Nelumbo mucifera)
  • Arrowhead  (Saggitaria spp.)
  • Cattails (Typha spp.)
  • Pickerel rush  (Pontederia cordats)

Floating Aquatics: Grow on the surface of the water.  They provide shade and prevent algae from growing.

  • Water mimosa  (Neptunia oleracea)
  • Duckweeds  (Lemma spp.)
  • Water meal  (Wolfia spp.)
  • Asian water meal  (Wolfia globosa)
  • Azola  (Azola spp)

Emergent Floaters:  Grow as floating mats or in partially submerged pots.

  • Water celery  (Oenanthe sarmentosa)
  • Water spinach  (Ipomoea aquatic)
  • Watercress  (Nasturcium officiale)

Submerged Aquatics:  Grow mostly underwater and help prevent algae by using up dissolved nutrients.

  • Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)
  • Whorl leaved water milfoil (Myriophyllum verticillanum)
  • Sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinatus)
  • Eelgrass (Vallisneria Americana)

 

Link for Jiaogulan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5DwcnZ8XYk

Edible Water Gardens, Seed Balls, Blueberries, Motherwort, Getting Ready For Spring YCH # 51

Play

What To Do With All Those Old Seeds – Seed Balls:

A seed ball is also called “earth ball”.  It is a variety of seeds rolled into a ball with clay.  Also humus or compost may be added as microbial inoculants.  Cotton-fibres or liquefied paper may be added to strengthen the outside  to protect the clay ball.  Especially for throwing it or in harsh habitats.

This technique was used in the ancient Middle East, Egypt and Northern Africa.  It was used in Egypt to repair farms after the spring flooding of the Nile.  During World War 2,  a Japanese scientist named Masanobu Fukuoka rediscovered this technique.    He was looking for a way to increase food production without taking away  land allocated for rice farming on the mountainous island of Shikoku.

The basic procedure for making seed balls is 5 parts red clay to 1 part seeds. 1 -3 Parts compost may also be added.  Mix seeds and compost, then add in  clay and enough water to form the balls.

Seed balls have been used all over the world to reseed ecosystems, while avoiding insects and animals and protecting seeds until rain falls.  They can then germinate when the time is right.

Seed balls have become popular with guerilla gardening in urban areas.  And are even available for purchase now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_ball

Here is a link to a cute article on seed bombs. http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ggseedbombs.html

Edible Water Garden

Edible water gardens are:

  1. Sustainable -Once planted, just top the water off
  2. Easy to grow- Very little weeds, no spraying or watering
  3. Beautiful- They add beauty to your yard, balcony or home
  4. Productive- A lot of food can be grown in a small space
  5. Entertaining- You can relax and watch frogs, lizard, birds, dragonflies, fish, etc. interact and listen to water falls or bubbling water.

List of Plant for Edible Water Garden: http://www.ozwatergardens.com.au/edible-aquatic-plants

http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20140209/NEWS01/302090031/Glynn-Barber

Disclaimer:

The following information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Gale nor I take any responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from implementing the herb and supplement information we provide. I (Divinia) am not a medical practitioner, and while Gale is an RN, neither this podcast, nor her blog is an attempt to practice medicine. The information we provide does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care providers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other health care providers before engaging in any complementary medical technique. This includes the use of natural or herbal remedies. You should be aware that many of the natural remedies we talk about have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Also, the use of some herbs and supplements along with certain over the counter or prescription medications may cause adverse reactions.

 

BLUEBERRIES:

…the why, what, where, and how of Blueberries:

The three kinds I will be planting this year:

Dwarf Nothblue: http://www.gurneys.com/product/dwarf_northblue_blueberry/blueberry-plants

Blueray: http://www.burpee.com/fruit-plants/blueberry-plants/blueberry-blueray-prod000513.html?catId=3048

Healthy Rubel: http://www.gurneys.com/product/healthy_rubel_blueberries/blueberry-plants

…the health benifits of blueberries:

Immune System Booster

http://www.blueberry.org/antioxidants.htm

Vision Improvement

http://www.livestrong.com/article/113796-health-benefits-eating-blueberries/

Belly Fat Loss

http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20090419/blueberries-may-banish-belly-fat

Bone Health

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110621.htm

Relief/Prevention of Constipation

http://www.livestrong.com/article/356471-blueberries-constipation/

Brain food

http://www.naturalnews.com/news_000576_blueberries_memory_loss_alzheimers.html

Heart health

http://www.uofmhealth.org/News/1113benefits-of-blueberries

Blood Sugar Stabilizer

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8

Cancer-Fighter

http://www.livestrong.com/article/471692-can-blueberries-shrink-cancer-cells/

Bladder Aid

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306607_3,00.html

Basic blueberry types include:

Lowbush (cold tolerant, less productive),

Northern Highbush (zone 5-7 or colder),

Southern Highbush (zones 7-10),

Rabbiteye (best for southern growers)

Saskatoon (not a true blueberry, but extremely cold tolerant).

Plant at least two, preferably three variates for best production.

Check with your local USDA Extension Office to find out what varieties are best for you to grow:http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Blueberries grow best with an acid soil pH between 4 and 5.5

Decrease soil PH with coffee grinds, peat moss, green pine needles or a soil amendment high in sulfur like Espoma Orcanic Soil Acidifier: http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/pdf/products/Esp_Soil_acidif.pdf

Use acidic soil loving plants for companions. Here’s a link to a great chart of plants divided by their Acid/Alkaline preference:

http://lazycompost.com/pH.shtml (It’s the ONLY one I found that listed strawberries and cranberries, which is what I will be using.

Laurie over at Common Sense Homesteading has more information on growing, watering and how she keeps birds off her bushes:

http://www.commonsensehome.com/blueberries-growing-the-superfruit/

and another great link for growing blueberries and their benefits:

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/blueberries?page=0,1 

  Motherwort – Leonurus cardiaca

The uses of Motherwort, the doses of Motherwort, the precautions you should take with Motherwort, how to grow Motherwort and other Motherwort information can be found at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonurus_cardiaca

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/motherwort-herbal-remedies.htm

http://herbgardens.about.com/od/medicinalherbs/p/How-To-Grow-And-Use-Motherwort-In-The-Herb-Garden.htm

http://www.health-care-tips.org/herbal-medicines/motherwort.htm

Some of you may need to read Wellness Mama’s tutorial “How to make Herbal Tinctures” if you don’t already know how:

http://wellnessmama.com/8168/how-to-make-herbal-tinctures/

Aqauponics, Resistant Starches, Chlorella, Cod Liver Oil YCH # 50

Play

Time Stamp For Podcast:

I have decided to try and add a time stamp for the podcast.  it is a little more work, but I believe this will benefit people in being able to quickly find info they are interested in.  Let me know if this is worthwhile to you.

00-28.30 Aqauponics by Gale  Basic system set up and part.  My plans, the cheap and easy way.

28.33-32.00 Resistant Starch/Prebiotics – Gale & Divinia

32.00 – 32.53 Jerusalem Artichokes

32.53-35.44 Cod Liver Oil and rheumatoid Arthritis – Divinia & Gale

36.50-40.14 Chlorella – Divinia & Gale

40.14-43.53 Pet poisoning from old dairy (mycotoxins)  Divinia & Gale

44.04-45.43  Hardy lentil soup Recipe Divinia

45.43-end farm updates, invading dogs. How effective are electric fences, possible option of livestock guardian dog.

Times may be off a little.  edited 3 times.  Thanks audacity!

Links:

Here is nice link that gives a quick easy to understand detailed explanation on aquaponics:

http://www.gardenfork.tv/hydroponics-plus-fish-farm-equals-aquaponics-a-how-to

Aquaponics the cheap way.  Travis Hughey’s Barrelponics PDF: http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/education/documents/barrel-ponics.pdf

What about food grade grow beds.  An idea for using cheap plastic and making is safer.

Use a food safe liner: http://www.theaquaponicstore.com/6-Wide-Dura-Skrim-s/216.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfrvXtC0Kk0

40 aquaponic growbeds for 13 cents a day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiHVHdlmRL0&list=PL17i08QeSc5UYNTIShlay17YQfE6jPYP3

Travis Hughey’s site  http://www.fastonline.org/

See the mechanical pump.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLIr3naUzK4

http://thegreenfarmacygarden.com/2013/10/06/jim-dukes-songbook-for-the-2013-aceer-legacy-award/

http://www.japan-aquaponics.com/micro-aquaponics-plans.html

HEALTH

~I found an article that one of our listeners might find really interesting at the healthy Home Economist dot com:

Study Shows Cod Liver Oil Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/cod-liver-oil-reduces-rheumatoid-arthritis-pain/

## and I want to thank Maia for reaching out to me and thank you for all your kind words about Gale and me and this podcast.##

~I found an interesting article on Chlorella at natural news dot com

http://www.naturalnews.com/043663_chlorella_superfood_disease_prevention.html#ixzz2rcQGzJB3

and I believe I will give it a try:

Tablet (for starters to see if it’s worth taking)

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-greenfoods-formulas-broken-cell-wall-chlorella-500-mg-360-tabs

Powder (for after I’ve found it’s worth taking and will add it to juice when I start juicing)

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-greenfoods-formulas-certified-organic-chlorella-powder-90-grams-3-17-oz-pwdr?csi=SWR006&csp=SWR064

PET HEALTH

~Someone posted a warning on facebook about dogs getting strychnine poisoning from eating old dairy products. I found this difficult to believe and found the following abstract posted at PupMed dot gov::

Tremorgenic mycotoxin intoxication with penitrem A and roquefortine in two dogs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12523480

RECIPELentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Leg Quarters

1# Sorted and washed Lentils
1.5# Thawed Frozen Tomatoes (any tomatoes will do)
¼ Cup dry minced onions (any onions will do)
1 TBS. Granulated Garlic
1 TBS Parsley
1 TBS Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Fill dutch oven about ¾ of the way with water, a little salt, and leg quarters. Boil until done about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside (I usually put in the fridge) to cool. Add sorted and washed Lentils and seasoning. Bring to boil for about 10 minutes. When cool enough pick chicken from the bone, large pieces should be cut to be spoon/bite size. Add tomatoes and and chicken to the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat. Leave covered for a while to let the seasoning permeate the chicken while it cools a little. Makes about 6 servings.

teresting article on resistant starch: http://freetheanimal.com/2013/12/resistant-primer-newbies.html

 

 

Walipini, Organizing, Edible Indoor Plants, Soapmaking YCH#48

Play

Gale’s Show Notes and Links:

http://money.msn.com/now/post–bacon-costs-rise-as-piglets-pay-the-price

Walipini  http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/build-underground-greenhouse-garden-year-round.html

http://www.bensoninstitute.org/Publication/Manuals/Walipini.pdf

3 kind of organizers:  Perfectionist, Functionalist, Creative

Could edible plant be used as decorative.  Crazy idea for curtains from plants.

How is it going feeding dogs real food.  What works for me.

Dog Slaw, sweet potato, green beans, eggs, meat in the crock pot, coconut oil.

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2008/08/pancetta-easiest-cured-meat-of-all.html

Divinia’s Notes and Links

ORGANIZATON

 

I talk about the Week 4 of “One Year to an Organized Life”

 

FARM UPDATES

 

There hasn’t been much farming going on around Featherly Farm lately

 

I talk about my plans for starting seeds.

 

SOAP

 

Forgot to talk about soap…opps! Oh well, I’ll have something for the WHAT I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT LAST TIME category on next weeks show.

 

WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED LAST WEEK

 

I learned the first 11 Hebrew letters  and the three vowels pretty good.  I found a video of the Alef Bet Song…a children’s song…that has been really helpful for me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21-qxk53PvM

 

I have most of the new soap label design completed, and learned how to shrink wrap.

 

Link To Coal/Ash Sifter I made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jawfvMi32OE&list=HL1390761181&feature=mh_lolz

 

 

PLANS FOR NEXT WEEK

1. Learn the last 11 Hebrew letters and the vowels assigned.

2. Finish soap packaging so I can start making sampler packs and hopefully actually make some.

3. Changed plans on library shelf placement so I can get the 2 other shelf units up and holding books     this week.

4. Install clothes rod and getting my dressing room usable.

5. Do the real work on organizing the kitchen as prescribed in “A Year to an Organized Life”

I’ll be limiting my project lists to 5 projects that I will try to accomplish per week so…The rabbit cages that didn’t get made last week will have to wait…maybe they’ll get on next weeks to do list.

 

We’ve touched on the subject of Fodder Systems recently, and I found this great blogger who share’s her grain sprouting for her chickens experiment with pictures:

 

http://www.workdaychickenpictures.com/workdaychickenpictures/Chickens_And_Gardens_Blog/Entries/2010/12/4_Sprouting_wheat_for_winter_chicken_greens.html

 

http://www.workdaychickenpictures.com/workdaychickenpictures/Chickens_And_Gardens_Blog/Entries/2010/12/18_Update_on_sprouting_wheat.html

 

http://www.workdaychickenpictures.com/workdaychickenpictures/Chickens_And_Gardens_Blog/Entries/2011/1/19_A_feeder_for_the_sprouted_wheat.html

Another link pit type greenhouses with lots of pictures of different examples:

 

http://www.inspirationgreen.com/pit-greenhouses.html

 

 

10 Plants YOU CAN Grow IndoorsYCH #47

Play

What can you grow indoors for food, spice or medicine.

  1. Most any herb
  2. Peppers -turn into little trees
  3. Curry Leaf Tree
  4. Kaffir Lime
  5. Sprouts
  6. Nine Vegetables
  7. Fruits
  8. Grasses for fodder and juicing
  9. Salad greens
  10. Tomatoes  /www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/winter-tomatoes.aspx

Plant of the Week  Elaeagnus x ebbingei – A Plant for all Reasons

ReNeGaDe PiG!  and moving animals from the flood.

Sheep and goats in search of more food.

More reasons to grow fodder in winter.

Home made Deodorant:

  • 5 TBL (tablespoons/ 15cc = 1 TBL; 5 TBL = 75cc )
  • 1 TBL (15cc) Baking Soda  (can use more if it doesn’t burn you.)
  • 2 TBL (30 cc) Bentonite Clay
  • 5-10 drops essential oil of your pleasing
  • Probiotic of your choice
  • Or apple Cider Vinegar
  • And/or Olive leaf extract
  • 6 TBL (90 cc) Arrowroot Powder
  • Some people use cornstarch instead of arrowroot powder.  But Really?  GMO corn in my pitts.  Eeek!

ORGANIZATION

 

Missed talking about the 2nd week of One Year To An Organized Life.

I go back and run though what I missed talking about last week, before I pick back up on it for this week, week #3

 

FARM UPDATES

 

Soap, soap, and more soap.

 

Started online Biblical Hebrew classes last week. (Which is one of my 13 skills from 13skills.com)

 

Warmer Weather!

 

Bumble Foot Chicken – Dottie’s Progress

 

Sick Chicken – Lil Bit’s Progress

 

Coop Chicken Update

 

Rabbitry Update

Link to bottle attachment I use: http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/601430-pet-lodge-earth-friendly-soda-bottle-waterer.html#.Utw1eftMGHs

 

The fans in the floor vents are working beautifully…posted a video on Featherly Farm’s YouTube channel. Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVJvTo2hiK4,

And put a link on the Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Featherly-Farm/346056102119326?ref=hl )

…speaking of…

Featherly Farm’s face book page just passed 100 Likes last night!!!  So excited!

 

PLANS FOR NEXT WEEK

 

  1. Learn required letters for Hebrew Class
  2. Design new soap label, Learn how to shrink wrap soap, and begin getting sampler packs made for friends and family.
  3. Assemble, place, and fill two more library book shelves
  4. Install clothing ‘rod’ shelf in my closet.
  5. Begin making new rabbit cages…ha ha ha…as if!  I’ll be lucky to get part way through the #2 on this list!

 

SOAP MAKING

I explain the difference between Super Fatting, and Lye Discount.

 

Saponification according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification

 

WHAT I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT LAST TIME

 

Why I want to make deodorant as well as soap: This is how we got on the Mammogram subject

 

Great blog post on this topic at:

 

http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/how-to-make-your-own-deodorant/

 

Where the blogger lists dangers of ingredients in store bought antiperspirant/deodorant, and they post a recipe for a baking soda free deodorant.

 

I have created a new board on my pintrest page: http://www.pinterest.com/doodlefeather/ for recipes such as this:http://www.pinterest.com/doodlefeather/health-beauty-recipes/

Open Flow Floor Registers with added Fan
to me

Both SFing and discounting lye results in unsaponified oils or fats in the soap because in both cases you add more oils than the lye will react with. Unless you are making soap for household cleaning and plan on wearing gloves to use it, you need to add more oils than will be saponified. Standard for body use is 5%. (I’ve noticed that different lye calculators show different lye amounts for the same SF/discount, Soap Calc and Bramble Berry for example).

When you do a lye discount you melt/combine all oils at one time and equal amounts of the oils in the recipe are left unsaponified, meaning they did not get converted to soap and are in the soap as oil…however, some oils naturally have unsaponifiables…like Canola and Grapeseed.

When you superfat, you choose which oils/fats/butters are left unconverted in the soap (save those unsaponifiables in any other oils used in the base). This is where I add my luxury oils like cocoa butter, and shea butter and things like that

LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Backyard.Meat.Rabbits/

My favorite book on raising rabbits on forage:

And his first book which is a great introduction:

And now a 3rd book on rabbits in colonies.  I will talk about it next week.  I do whole heartedly recommend the first two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Meat Rabbits on Forage, Fall Gardening, Repairing and Building Computers YCH#34

Play

Some ideas for forage for meat production rabbits.

from Rise and Shine

Know you poisonous and edible plants.

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.echocommunity.org/resource/collection/E66CDFDB-0A0D-4DDE-8AB1-74D9D8C3EDD4/Tropical_Rabbit_Production.pdf

Make sure they get enough protein with foods like alfalfa, comfrey, or sweet potato vine.

http://appenzellfarm.com/apzl/Rabbits.html

Ideas and links for your fall garden.

http://www.thevegetablegarden.info/

My computer graveyard.  Ideas on repairing or building simple system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL3AM0zIdJU

 

Fall Gardening, Tomatoes in Buckets, Comfrey – Beneficial Use and How to Grow It YCH#32

Play

GROW TOMATOES IN BUCKETS FOR A LONGER SEASON AND

HEALTHIER PLANTS

 COMFREY; IT’S MAY BENEFICIAL USES AND HOW TO GROW IT

YCH#32

Why in the world would one grow tomatoes in buckets one may ask.  Well, here’s the thing.  In my area we have had about 40 inches of rain this year and today is only July 27, 2013.  Normally SW GA. is a great place for growing tomatoes (my favorite garden veggie).  This year however; I have beautiful plants with a lot of rotting fruit.  Tomatoes are a desert plant and don’t do well if too wet.  I was thinking about this problem and remembered one year, because of time constraints, I grew a container garden.  I had the best tomatoes and peppers ever that year.  I grew them in five gallon buckets and earth boxes.  Looking at my drowning tomatoes, I thought I will just root some of those healthy looking branches into a bucket and see what happens.  The more I ponder this idea, the more I liked it… and so the research began.

The benefits of growing vegetables in containers are:

  • More control over the plants when the weather is bad.  As mentioned previously my reason is to dry the plants out some.  They could also be put in an area to receive more water.  Maybe a small area with misters.  If plants need shade from the sun it an be more easily accomplished with small screens, or by moving them to a different area.  When the cold weather comes they can be kept warm with a little staking and plastic sheeting.
  • Prevent diseases and pests such as blight, blossom end rot, nematodes, etc.  Plants can also be easily covered with row cover material to keep out pests.
  • Save garden space.  Tomatoes take up a LOT of space.  If grown in pots, that space can grow more veggies.
  • Protect from critters.  Little critters would be less likely to attack when they can’t hide as well.
  • No or minimal weeding.
  • They can be set at a more ergonomic height.  People with bad backs or in wheel chairs would have a much easier time gardening.
  • They can be moved on a patio or close to the house for closer monitoring.
  • More veggies can be grown in a smaller space by arranging pots in a small area such as a patio.
  • Multiple pots can be arranged for beauty. 
  • Kids can have their own  little pots and will more readily eat what they grow.

Procedure For Growing Tomatoes In Buckets

  • First the BIGGER the BETTER.  Tomatoes like a lot of room.  Small “jellybean”   type tomatoes may be grown in a 1ft square area, but a 2 ft square is better and a five gallon bucket is even better.  Other plant of course can be grown in smaller containers.  Grow bags can also be used.  But don’t use a pot so large you are unable to move it.
  • Healthy soil is needed.  Tomatoes are heavy feeders.  Peat moss or organic mulch can help retain moisture.  The soil can be amended with compost, compost tea, manure, fish emulsion, kelp, etc. to feed those hungry tomatoes.
  • Plant deep and stake.  Plants can be buried right up to the first set of leaves.  When you first plant them, go ahead and put in a stake or basket to support them or they will get ahead of you.  The right kind of support system can also be used as a support for a row cover or plastic sheeting.
  • Place in a sunny area.  8 hrs a day is great, 6 hours will do if full sun.  Light can be amended with artificial lighting.
  • Tomatoes will need consistent watering as they can be drowned with too much and perform poorly with too little. 
  • Don’t grow “upside down”.  It is unnatural and doesn’t hold water well.
  • Choose varieties you like.  Don’t worry if they are determinate or indeterminate.  If they start sprawling too much, they can be pruned and even used as starters for new plants.

If a large pot is used, companion plants can be planted alongside the tomatoes.  If a 5 gallon bucket or smaller is used companion plants can still be in other pots.  This could be a good thing to attract beneficial insects or for beauty.

I also talk about all the benefits and how to grow Comfrey.

Here is the link to all the information on comfrey: http://www.coescomfrey.com/comfrey.html

and their free brochre: http://www.coescomfrey.com/downloads.html

Here is where I bought mine:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/111108395866?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

 

 

Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Web Design Company
Visit us on TwitterVisit us on FacebookVisit us on GooglePlusVisit us on PinterestVisit us on YouTubeVisit us on LinkedinCheck our RSS Feed