Starting Vegetable Garden Seeds & Plants Indoors

Written by David Selman,

Continued from page 1
Hardening Plants Plants should be gradually hardened, or toughened, for 2 weeks before planting inrepparttar open garden. This is done by slowing down their rate of growth to prepare them to withstand such conditions as chilling, drying winds, shortage of water, or high temperatures. Cabbage, lettuce, onion, and many other plants can be hardened to withstand frost; others, such as tomatoes and peppers cannot. Withholding water and loweringrepparttar 113423 temperature arerepparttar 113424 best ways to harden a plant. This may be done in a glass or plastic coldframe. About 10 days before being planted inrepparttar 113425 open ground,repparttar 113426 young plants in beds or flats are blocked out with a large knife. Blocking, or cuttingrepparttar 113427 roots, causes new roots to form quickly nearrepparttar 113428 plants, making recovery from transplanting inrepparttar 113429 open easier. Blocking also makes it easier to removerepparttar 113430 plants fromrepparttar 113431 bed or flat with minimum injury. Southern-Grown Plants Vegetable plants grown outdoors inrepparttar 113432 South are shipped to all parts ofrepparttar 113433 country. They are grown cheaply and usually withstand shipment and resetting very well. They may not always be as good as home-grown plants, but they saverepparttar 113434 trouble of starting them inrepparttar 113435 house or in a hot-bed. Plants of beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes are extensively grown and shipped; tomato, cabbage, and onion plants make uprepparttar 113436 bulk ofrepparttar 113437 shipments. The plants are usually wrapped in bundles of 50 each and shipped by either mail or express. Tomato and pepper plants are packed with a little damp moss aroundrepparttar 113438 roots, but onion and cabbage plants are usually packed with bare roots. Shipments involving large numbers of bundles are packed in ventilated hampers or slatted crates and usually are sent by motor-truck or rail express. Shipments by air mail and air express are increasing. The disadvantages of using southern-grown plants arerepparttar 113439 occasional delays in obtaining them andrepparttar 113440 possibility of transmitting such diseases asrepparttar 113441 wilt disease ofrepparttar 113442 tomato, black rot of cabbage, and disorders caused by nematodes. State-certified plants that have been carefully inspected and found as free of these troubles as can be reasonably determined are available. Southern-grown plants are now offered for sale by most northern seedsmen, by mail-order houses, and often by local hardware and supply houses. Transplanting The term "transplanting" means shifting of a plant from one soil or culture medium to another. It may refer torepparttar 113443 shifting of small seedlings fromrepparttar 113444 seedbed to other containers whererepparttar 113445 plants will have more space for growth, or it may meanrepparttar 113446 setting of plants inrepparttar 113447 garden row where they are to develop forrepparttar 113448 crop period. Contrary to general belief, transplanting does not in itself stimulaterepparttar 113449 plant or make it grow better; actually growth is temporarily checked, butrepparttar 113450 plant is usually given more space in which to grow. Every effort should be made during transplanting to interruptrepparttar 113451 growth ofrepparttar 113452 plant as little as possible. Plants started in seed flats, flowerpots, and other containers inrepparttar 113453 house,repparttar 113454 hotbed,repparttar 113455 greenhouse, or elsewhere should be shifted as soon as they can be handled to boxes, flowerpots, plant bands, or other containers where they will have more room to develop. If shifted to flats or similar containers,repparttar 113456 plants should be spaced 2 or more inches apart. This provides room for growth untilrepparttar 113457 plants can be moved to their permanent place inrepparttar 113458 garden. Most gardeners prefer to place seedlings singly in flowerpots, paper cups withrepparttar 113459 bottoms pierced for drainage, plant bands, berry boxes, or other containers. Whenrepparttar 113460 plants are set inrepparttar 113461 garden,repparttar 113462 containers are carefully removed. Soil for transplanting should be fertile, usually a mixture of rich topsoil and garden compost, with a very light addition of a commercial garden fertilizer. Moisteningrepparttar 113463 seedbed before removingrepparttar 113464 seedlings and care in lifting and separatingrepparttar 113465 delicate plants make it possible to shift them with little damage torepparttar 113466 root system and with only minor checks to their growth. Plants grown singly in separate containers can be moved torepparttar 113467 garden with almost no disturbance torepparttar 113468 root system, especially those that are hardened for a week or two before being set outdoors. Plants being hardened should be watered sparingly, but just before they are set out, they should be given a thorough soaking. Plants grown inrepparttar 113469 hotbed or greenhouse without being shifted fromrepparttar 113470 seedbed to provide more room and those shipped fromrepparttar 113471 South usually have very little soil adhering torepparttar 113472 roots when they are set inrepparttar 113473 garden. Such plants may require special care if transplanting conditions are not ideal; otherwise, they will die or at least suffer a severe shock that will greatly retard their development. The roots of these plants should be kept covered and not allowed to dry out. Dippingrepparttar 113474 roots in a mixture of clay and water helps greatly in bridgingrepparttar 113475 critical transplanting period. Planting whenrepparttar 113476 soil is moist also helps. Pouring a half pint to a pint of water, or less for small plants, intorepparttar 113477 hole aroundrepparttar 113478 plant before it is completely filled is usually necessary. A starter solution made by mixing 1/2 pound of a 4-12-4 or 5-10-5 commercial fertilizer in 4 gallons of water may be used instead of plain water. It is usually beneficial. Finally,repparttar 113479 freshly set plants should be shaded for a day or two with newspapers. Plants differ greatly inrepparttar 113480 way they recover fromrepparttar 113481 loss of roots and from exposure to new conditions. Small plants of tomatoes, lettuce, beets, cabbage, and related vegetables are easy to transplant. They withstandrepparttar 113482 treatment better than peppers, eggplant, andrepparttar 113483 vine crops. When started indoors and moved torepparttar 113484 field,repparttar 113485 vine crops should be seeded directly in berry baskets or containers ofrepparttar 113486 same size that can be transferred torepparttar 113487 garden and removed without disturbingrepparttar 113488 root systems. Beans and sweet corn can be handled inrepparttar 113489 same manner, thereby often gaining a week or two in earliness.


Why Grow Organic?

Written by Frann Leach

Continued from page 1

To say I was surprised by this announcement would be an understatement stunned more like, not to say angry. My kids were being subjected to high levels of chemicals, not just from carrots, but presumably from all sorts of other supposedly 'healthy' food. And there was no way to tell: you certainly couldn't distinguish a carrot full of pesticides from one that wasn't, just by looking at it.

I also realised something else: carrots are a root vegetable. And if a root is surrounded by something, it takes it in and absorbs it, like a sponge. So peeling a carrot wasn't going to do much good, ifrepparttar problem was an excessive level of chemicals.

I was living in an area with no organic retail outlets. The only supermarket was K**kS*ve. I had no transport. The only solution was to grow my own. So that is what I did with no previous experience of gardening (apart from my cactus collection). If you've got a good enough reason, you can do anything.

That was 12 years ago now, and I haven't looked back. Not only have I grown lots of really nice food (much tastier thanrepparttar 113422 shop-bought stuff), but I've had fun doing it, too.

So, if you have any experience of gardening, or none, visitrepparttar 113423 GardenZone and I will show you how to get started. Exactly what to do, in English, not garden jargon (you will get to know whatrepparttar 113424 terms mean, but to start with they are too confusing).

Frann lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has her own internet marketing business and is always on the lookout to recruit go-getters like herself. Find out more: here

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