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Tag: hydroponic

Garden: What You Need To Know About Mulching

If you want to take advantage of your summer holidays to take care of your garden and create a vegetable garden you may have considered installing a mulch. You may have noticed by doing some research, the idea blossoms everywhere on forums dedicated to gardening and a question is on everyone’s lips about the garden: mulching or not mulching? The Potager Blog tells you more about this gardening technique.

Mulching: what’s the point?

 

Carried out between the end of April and the beginning of May, mulching makes it possible, above all, to prevent the proliferation of weeds on the straw area: with mulching, the weeding chore is over!

Mulching also helps your soil retain moisture: a real asset when the summer droughts are raging. It is also a very good organic supplement for your land and improves its quality.

To install mulching, wait until the soil has warmed up, hence the interest of waiting for spring. We must weed first (in order not to do it again, or at least, less often) and cover with mulching when the soil is wet.

The materials used for mulching

Mulching can be made from straw, of course, but you can also use the remains of mowing your lawn, fragmented wood or dead leaves: this will save you from having to compost everything! 

If you do not have all these materials, you can also find in the garden, as well as anti-foam or Bordeaux mixture. They can contain clay balls, pine bark … or even coconut extracts!

You should know that it is also possible to use mulching to protect plants in pots or planters. The clay balls mentioned earlier are very well adapted to this use. This will limit the watering of these plants.

Less watering, less maintenance, in short, less effort: you will understand, the benefits of mulching all or part of his garden so many. It’s your turn!

What Are The Essential Tools To Build A kitchen Garden?

Before you start building your kitchen garden, find out about the tools that will be needed for its creation and regular maintenance. Creating a vegetable garden is not difficult in itself, as long as it is done with the method and quality tools. So just set the type of vegetables you want to grow. You can then organize your future kitchen garden, equip you and you will be ready.

 

Steps and tools to make your garden

1 – Prepare the earth: for this, a spade is essential in order to return the earth, to ventilate it and to smooth it. If the soil is particularly hard, a fork will be useful. Its four teeth will push the tool into the ground and crumble it. Finally, a wheelbarrow will not be too much to help you transport green waste and bags of soil. If the land intended for the reception of your kitchen garden is crowded with stumps and troublesome hedges, do not hesitate to equip you with powerful tools of size, of the mark Bosch for example.

2- Plant: you will need to use a sled to trace the furrows needed to plant your seedlings. A transplanter is a tool used to dig small holes. These will be essential for the planting of medium-sized plants.

3- To grow and harvest: to take care of your plants, a watering can and secateurs will also be essential. The shears will be used for the maintenance but also for harvesting some of your products, such as tomatoes or cucumbers. On the other hand, aromatic herbs must be cut with a chisel and salads or cabbages with a knife. Finally, vegetables that grow underground, such as carrots or potatoes, are harvested with a fork.

Choose your garden tools

If you want to invest, you can choose quality tools from Dewalt, for example. It would be a shame to encounter difficulties because of poor quality equipment. So choose tools that are solid and practical to use. With large handles, if you are rather tall or automated if you are prone to joint pain. You can probably find your happiness with major brands, such as Milwaukee.

Did you want a small vegetable garden? It is not necessarily useful in this case to buy directly a large number of tools. A spade, a transplanter and a pruner will suffice at first. You will soon know the satisfaction of being able to eat vegetables grown in your own garden!

How To Protect Naturally Your Garden Against Pests?

If some insects are the best friend of the gardener, other inhabitants of the garden are his sworn enemies! Sometimes your plantations suffer from the presence of certain harmful insects. However, exterminating them with pesticides permanently degrades the quality of your soil. You will find in this article tips for getting rid of pests naturally in the garden.

The insects

A dark green insect on a stalk

 

Small animals that attack your plantations are numerous and can cause serious damage. To get rid of it, we recommend organic products that target harmful species and do not affect the nice garden insects.

For aphids that deform leaves and weaken plants, spray nettle manure or a mixture of water and black soap on infested plants. If your trees are under attack, you can install a strip of glue on the trunk to prevent ants from climbing into the foliage to practice aphid farming.

Bedbugs can be harmful to your crops when they are present in large numbers. Some species are found in tomatoes, others love strawberries, and some have specialized in cabbage. If your garden is not too big, it’s best to pick them up one by one. Otherwise, opt for a natural pyrethrin insecticide.

In the Colorado potato beetle, larvae and adults are to be feared. This insect native to Mexico attacks the potatoes but also aubergines and tomatoes. In case of CPB attack, it is advisable to plant blue flax and garlic between your rows of potatoes.

The caterpillars

A yellow and black caterpillar on a leaf

 

Before little caterpillar turns into a butterfly, he has to feed himself. And his powerful mandibles quickly become the obsession of gardeners. Before you get carried away by your murderous instincts, take the time to identify your opponent. All caterpillars are not dangerous for the garden. Here are the ones to beware of:

  • Ringworm of leeks that yellow leaves of leeks;
  • The attacking caterpillars are rooted in the leaves of the plants;
  • Boxwood borer that can contaminate your garden in the blink of an eye;
  • The larva of codling moth that eats apples and pears.

To get rid of caterpillars, it may be necessary to test several methods before finding the one that works. Many caterpillar species are susceptible to pyrethrin or Bt, two natural active ingredients. Otherwise, a treatment based on essential oils is also possible.

Finally, there is a kind of caterpillar, particularly dangerous, which you must not deal with alone. The processionary caterpillar, which often settles in pines, must be removed by a pest control company in Paris or elsewhere in France.

Rodents

A brown field mouse in a garden

 

Mice, voles, field rats: there are many rodents in the garden. And they are voracious. Stumping your crops and creating galleries that hinder the development of plants, they quickly become invasive. To keep them away, you can adopt a cat or make your garden more welcoming to snakes. Otherwise, some catch traps, placed in strategic places can stem the invasion. Finally, you can create vibrations in the ground that will scare away rodents. For this, install a system of metal rods planted in the ground on which you place plastic bottles that will wiggle with the wind.

Pollinators

Close-up of a wasp sitting on a leaf

 

Pollinators are not pests. On the contrary, as their name suggests, they will help to fertilize the plants. However, it happens that, present in too large numbers, they cause havoc. They can sting fruit and are also dangerous if you are allergic. The hornets, but also the wasps, can build nests in your garden. To make them clear, it will be necessary to call on a professional. Professional insect control in Île-de-France or in the countryside will move the nest without killing it because pollinators are essential to the biodiversity of our gardens.

Horizontal Hydroponics Or Hydroponics Of Our Ancestors

Horizontal hydroponics is the oldest known hydroponic system. It is a floating and passive hydroponics culture that does not consume electricity and uses nature to function. Hydroponics simple and not expensive.

Origin of horizontal hydroponics

It is the Incas who first developed horizontal hydroponics, which then resurfaced when it was discovered by the conquistadors in the 15th century. Without electricity, it is a passive hydroponic system using stagnant water and light.

Operation of horizontal hydroponics

  • The system consists of a flat surface such as a water-repellent board, plastic or polystyrene placed over a water tank that is perforated to accommodate the young shoots.
  • Longer germination is necessary to allow the plant to grow slightly more so that it can be planted in moss or wood (1-2 weeks).
  • The seeds are then placed in its substrate and nature is allowed to do so.

hydro-horizontal

 

Different types of possible cultures:

There are several types of possible winter cultivation in horizontal hydroponics, starting with lettuce, mustard, watercress, mint, mizuna, curly leaf, cabbage, etc.

In summer, however, the choices are more limited, but it is always nice to grow basil, cucumber, chard or flowers such as sunflower and zinnia.

If you are a fan, then you can also try the traditional hydro crops that you are used to working like tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, etc.

In principle, say that floating culture is far from being a simple culture, the elements have trouble growing in it, so it is better to prefer plants with shorter growing cycles that support moisture well.

The Different Types And Systems At Tide Above Ground

There are 2 different types of tidal systems: the tide table & the tide bucket (modular system). They are based on the same basic technique (hydroponics) and vary in their particularity. They each have different advantages, try to present them: 

1. The tide table 

In a tide table system, the plants are planted on a long table which is itself arranged on a long water tank or circulates your nutrient solution. In the bottom of the tank a drainage system connected to 2 pipes of evacuation, one being able to be used for the rinsing (on the water supply) and the other of overflow to avoid the overflows.

When the pump is in operation the water is pumped from the tank to the tide table, when it reaches the level of the overflow it returns there. While when the pump is stopped the water flows through the water supply to go down to the tank to leave room for fresh oxygen. This is connected to a timer that manages the watering frequency.

tide table

Advantages of the tide table

  • The main advantage of the tide table is that it can be used with any substrate: earth, coconut wool, Maputo, clay, etc …
  • Another advantage is to be able to put the substrate in the pot and to be able to move them if necessary on the table as it changes us.
  • On the other hand, it is also possible to fill the clay ball table so that the roots can spread everywhere.
  • Its waterproof container and its dimensions make it an ideal solution for tents or attics.
  • The tide table is the best growth method.

2. The modular system or tide bucket

Like the tide table, the tide bucket works with a timer that limits the flood periods of the plants, however, here on this system, each plant evolves in its own pot. A water supply pipe feeds each pot from the main bucket connected to the main tank.

The tidal bucket or modular tide system uses gravity to convey the water into the pots, the pump for its part is only used to empty and fill the main bucket in which float 2 magnetic floats that are intended to control the water. power of it, which allows controlling exactly how the pots will be flooded.

When the nutrient solution (water) reaches the floatation limit, the magnetic float stops the main feed tank pump and starts the extraction pump in the bucket for water return. in the main tank.

Benefits of the bucket at the tide

  • The modular system makes it possible to space the plants under the grow lamps to allow them to grow at their convenience, without the restriction of size.
  • The modular system is suitable for many growers who see it as a simplified work opportunity with optimal performance in a small space.

The Different Types Of pH Regulators

Whatever type of pH regulator you use, they are always sold in 2 forms: pH plus ( pH up) and pH less ( pH down). Aside from that, there are 2 types of pH regulator:

 

Liquid pH regulators.

In liquid pH regulator you can find 2 varieties:

PH Down Regulator (or pH Buffer) with biological buffers.

In contrast to basic pH regulators, the liquid pH regulator ( pH down) is not simply an acidic solution. These are specially designed solutions based on a balanced mixture of acids and biological buffers to stabilize pH and water while also regulating calcium. It is mainly added to the nutrient solution to lower the pH level and keep it low. At each renewal of the nutrient solution, the pH is stabilized at a constant level.

PH Up regulator with silicate

The liquid pH regulator ( pH Up) is very useful for users of reverse osmosis or who cultivate with demineralized water because it contains silicate which is an element whose deficiency limits the growth of plants in hydroponics. Silicate is very difficult to dissolve, so without going through a liquid pH regulator type ( pH up) your small plants may be missing.

PH regulators in powder form.

In pH regulator powder I know only one range:

PH Down Regulator – Pure, concentrated and harmless

The pH down regulator powder promotes the absorption of mineral salts by the plant as well as nutrients brought by water. It is mainly made of various acids that are found in the industry in different forms of concentrate. That’s why its dry pellet form they are harmless and can be handled by man. Once in the water, however, acids take over and granules become powerful pH reducers. It also offers the advantage of being in the form of crystals that are 100% eliminated by water, so do not cause any waste or pollution.

In addition to regulating the pH, the pH down powder (granule) provides other nutrients ideal for the growth and evolution of the plant:

  • Phosphorus, ideal for the flowering of the plant and healthy roots.
  • Magnesium, sulfur and trace elements ideal for the development of the plant.
  • Nitrate, assimilated slowly so as not to hinder flowering.

Nitrate, in a form that is assimilated only slowly by the plant, and therefore does 
not harm the flowering.

The 3 Main Steps To Create A Vegetable Garden On Your Balcony

Harvest your cherry tomatoes for an appetizer, season pasta with your own basil, pick some radishes for lunch … it’s not an unreachable dream if you only have a balcony. Do you have a balcony and are you ready to roll up your sleeves? It’s perfect: in pots or planters, we explain how to create your kitchen garden on a balcony!

 

  1. Create a dedicated space on the balcony

To create a kitchen garden worthy of the name on your balcony, we advise you to share your balcony in two distinct parts:

  • The first side will be dedicated to the vegetable garden with the cultivation of fruits and vegetables not taking up too much space if you have a small balcony. Choose high crops (such as peas or tomatoes) to save space. There are even now mini leek seeds or mini squash adapted to this type of restricted environment.
  • The second side will be able to welcome a pretty living room of garden decorated with flowery planters. What’s more pleasant on sunny days, than sitting on a chair on the balcony and putting a fresh fruit juice on the garden table? Ideal for relaxing and enjoying the bloom, while watching the tomatoes grow.

The trick: If your balcony is too small to create two separate spaces, you can then install a small bench to allow you to enjoy your space and your garden, you install through special pots on the rail of your balcony. Note that this mode of cultivation is a little riskier since your pots can fall, become ashtrays for your neighbors above or turn into a litter for cats. On the other hand, well fixed, these pots are an excellent compromise to be able to cultivate and to relax on a small balcony.

  1. Choose the exhibition and the material of his balcony kitchen garden

To have a beautiful kitchen garden on its balcony, be sure to plant the fruits or vegetables away from the wind. In addition, space must be sunny to allow optimal growth of your crops. The ideal sunshine duration is 4 hours per day minimum, or 8 hours if you want to start growing tomatoes.

For the cultivation of your vegetable garden on the balcony, two choices are available to you:

  • use conventional garden shoot methods,
  • opt for hydroponic culture.

From this choice comes the material needed for your project.

  • In both cases, you will need pots to plant your seeds as well as fertilizer.
  • With the classic sprouting method, you will only need pots, potting soil, water and especially patience to grow your vegetables and herbs.
  • With hydroponics, you can invest in a connected indoor garden, a high-performance hydroponic device, and design that allows you to grow quickly and easily your vegetables and herbs. The price of these devices is rather high, but the quality is fortunately at the appointment. 

Good to know: Hydroponics can be a good solution if your balcony is not oriented South and does not get enough sun: these small devices will themselves use LED lights to feed the young shoots and grow them.

 

3. Focus on the installation of your vegetable garden

The advantage of having a vegetable garden on your balcony is that you will not have to dig or hoe the garden! A little potting soil special culture in the outside pot, some planters, and a little water are enough.

 

We advise you to plant fruits and vegetables that are simple to grow, such as cherry tomatoes or radishes. You can add herbs such as basil, coriander, mint, chives, parsley, etc. Salads and other aromatic plants are easy plants to grow on a balcony.

Gardener Tip: Water preferably early in the morning or late in the day. This allows, on the one hand, to keep longer the freshness of the earth for your plants and on the other hand, it prevents you from burning the leaves because of the magnifying effect of the sun on drops of water.

Cordyline: How To Plant, Crop, Size And Maintenance

Cordyline: to plant in your garden

Pretty persistent shrub plant, the cordyline reveals a pace of palm. It can be grown very easily in the soil, especially in gardens that do not suffer from heavy frost and can be used alone or in groups. This plant reveals a perfect touch of exoticism. Tolerant rather well the spray, the cordyline also develops in a coastal garden. It is an ideal architectural plant on the terrace or balcony, put in front in a large tank.

 

Origin of the plant

The Latin name of the plant is c ordyline, belonging to the family of Agavaceae. This lovely Cordyline plant blooms between July and August. Its height can vary from 0.60 to 10 meters

Cordyline, also called dracaena, is a perennial arboreal plant. It should be noted that the genus Cordyline contains about 15 species of shrubs and small evergreen trees. The tallest trees reveal the appearance of palm trees. This plant grows naturally in varied habitats, clear woods, open hillsides, river banks in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and New Zealand. She also naturally believes in a dry and hot climate. This exotic chilly could acclimatize to oceanic regions or mild climate.

It should be noted that two species are traded, namely the rare C. indivisa and the widespread Cordyline australis or Dracaena australis. Very many varieties come from the latter species, such as Cordyline australis ‘Red star’ with bronze-red foliage. Namely, the species australis comes from New Zealand, it is one of the most robust.

 

The culture of cordyline

The cordyline plant can be placed in half shade as in the sun, it adapts itself to any type of soil, it must be well-drained, however. Rustic, the plant can withstand temperatures ranging from -5 to -10 degrees. It is a beautiful southern plant that enjoys the sun and a rather cool soil and drained in summer. You will preferably choose a location sheltered from the cold north wind.

Cordyline can be planted everywhere in France, however, it is grown differently from one region to another. It is truly a chilly plant to know that the strongest such as C. australis can withstand short frosts. This plant is easy to grow in regions with mild winters. If you place it in the ground, it will only be in Atlantic or Mediterranean climates. If you are in regions with harsh winters, the plant can be grown in a large pot, to go from the terrace to the veranda during the winter season.

 

Its graphic silhouette is reminiscent of palm trees, offering a very nice touch of exoticism in the heart of the garden. The plant is unavoidable gardens and scenes of summer. In addition, it finds its place in the heart of Mediterranean-inspired gardens. It is true that the cordyline can be planted in the heart of a massif, just like an alignment tree, like a windbreak. You will also be able to admire the perfect colored varieties in isolation. In cold regions, the plant offers a contemporary note in terraces and balconies.

Size and maintenance of the cordyline

Wondering where to plant Cordyline? This exotic plant is perfectly adapted to warm climatesSupporting temperatures below 10 degrees, especially in a harsher climate, this plant can be planted in pots and then returned in winter in a greenhouse or low heated veranda. The cordyline does not like strong frosts reducing its life.

How To Plant, Crop, Size And Maintenance The Glycine?

Glycine, the royal climber

A wonderful climbing plant, glycine is very popular thanks to its generous and fragrant flowering.

Beautiful climbing and woody plant, wisteria is a classic plant in the heart of spectacular flowering gardens. This plant offers clusters of flowers measuring approximately 50 centimeters in length. Very decorative with its touch of romance, it can adorn pergolas, walls, and fences. It will also be possible to drive it on a rod to create an isolated subject in the heart of a lawn.

 

Origin of the plant

The plant whose botanical name is Wisteria belongs to the Fabaceae family. This beautiful climbing plant can measure between 5 and 15 meters high. Taking advantage of a sunny exposure, glycine can easily grow in ordinary soil. Belonging to the Leguminous or Fabaceae family, the genus Wisteria has about 10 species of climbing plants. They are all from the United States and Asia. The plant was brought to France in 1816. It is true that the fragrance of glycine is developed in perfumery, for the composition of different perfumes of large brands.

A little anecdote to emphasize is that the wisteria of Japan wraps easily on the support and also in the direction of clockwise. On the contrary, Chinese wisteria tends to curl in the opposite direction. Regarding the language of flowers, it should be noted that glycine indicates tenderness, and if presented in a bouquet, a friendship.

 

The cultivation of glycine

For planting, it is advisable to plant it in the spring or fall. You will have prepared beforehand a mixture of potting soil, garden soil, and seaweed and manure type amendment. It is also possible to plant during the summer after watering regularly. It is advisable to avoid periods of high heat for planting. It is true that wisteria requires the sun to grow and bloom abundantly. In addition, it is not useful to bring fertilizer because glycine does not require even to facilitate the development of the foliage.

To multiply glycine, it is necessary to know that the cuttings are easily feasible on the glycine, just as the technique of the marcottage. It is also possible to plant the seed of glycine in the heart of pods giving rise to a seedling. In addition, this technique proves to be quite long before seeing the appearance of the first flower, the wait can last between 10 and 15 years …

Size and maintenance of glycine

 

The size of the glycine is relatively easy and can be done every year otherwise you will be quickly invaded. In fact, glycine tends to gain, throughout its growth, and little by little ground. Also, the size will be done during the period of vegetative rest, since the fall of the leaves and this, until the end of the winter.

It is really advisable not to trim wisteria during frosts. Indeed, at that moment, the flowers appear directly on the stems of the past years. Also, you only need to prune the new shoots of the year in order to facilitate the flowering of the next season. During the winter season, you will have to cut the side shoots and leave only one eye or two. Then, leave the main branch and then cut short all the stems starting from this branch. Do not forget to remove all the faded flowers, they have toxic seeds.

A Beautiful Plant In The Garden: Viburnum

The Viburnum is perfect and has it all, a generous kind flower with some decorative berries, and foliage with beautiful hues during the fall, and sometimes even persistent! It is a very interesting plant throughout the year.

Pleasant in any garden, the plant, Viburnum tinus (Laurier tin) is grown both in hedge and pot. It is true that viburnum plicatum can be planted as an isolated subject, and you can choose the Viburnum opulus (snowball or viburnum obier) particularly in massive. Thanks to its winter or spring bloom, Viburnum brighten up and forget the gloom and the gray of the winter! Offering an abundant bloom with soft shades, pink or white, the viburnum is appreciated for its appearance “snowball”.

 

Origin of the viburnum

The Latin name is Viburnum, it belongs to the family of adoxaceae. Its common name is viburnum. Its flowering is winter or spring, and the plant can grow from 1 to 5 m, it particularly likes a sunny or half shaded exposure. As for the soil, it can be cool, well drained, fresh and humus. Resistant, it can tolerate temperatures up to minus 15 or minus 20 degrees for the majority of species and -10 ° C for viburnum tinus.

Viburnums are very decorative because of their delicate blossoms, foliage and colorful berries that take on beautiful hues in autumn. It is true that Viburnum are very popular because of their many assets! During the winter or spring season, they can decorate clumps thanks to their generous pink and white flowers. After flowering, you will see red, blue or black berries bringing a new attraction to the garden and attracting many birds. In autumn, sumptuous orange or red colors cover the deciduous species. For example, Viburnum opulus (Viburnum plicatum or viburnum lantana) are trimmed. For persistent species such as Viburnum tinus (or Laurier tin), Viburnum rhytidophyllum or Viburnum davidii, they keep their foliage and remain decorative during all winter.

The cultivation of Viburnum

Viburnum is very easy to grow and requires little maintenance. The majority of these varieties are relatively hardy and will be able to enjoy half shade and sun. Developing in rich, well-drained and cool soils, viburnum can be adapted to any type of soil. The plant, however, prefers acidic soils. Viburnuopulus, Viburnum davidii, and Viburnum tinus are particularly resistant to pollution, which is why viburnum can be planted in urban and polluted areas.

Size and maintenance of Viburnum 

When planting, it is important to fold viburnum to facilitate new ramifications. Also, the shrub can not be totally bald at the foot. Next year, you will have to renew the operation if needed. You will be able to carry out a maintenance size, you must know that viburnum is very small. This plant is very easy to maintain. At first, you will be able to remove all the oldest rods to facilitate the renewal of the latter. And, in a second time, it will remove all the faded flowers, especially after flowering.  Regarding the species with winter bloom, you will have to intervene in March.