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Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit Review

For every cup of mushroom soup, you get several different nutrients like vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants like selenium, choline, and vitamin C. Mushrooms are very important in the fight against diabetes and are known to help lower hypertension and reduce chances of heart diseases.

Technology has helped improve organic farming techniques and today, you can organically grow mushrooms in your house and save thousands of dollars annually. Today, we review the trending Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit.

What to look for when buying Mushroom growing Kit?

Mushroom farming using growing kits are a new concept that is spreading fast in major markets like the US, the UK, and China. With a choice of over 20 kits to choose from, there are the primary factors you must consider.

Is the kit organic?

People are moving away from food grown using chemicals or GMO foods due to health concerns. The food growing trend is currently moving towards organic farming and this is the kind of mushroom kit you should consider buying.

Is the kit easy to manage?

With your current busy lifestyle, you would love a kit that doesn’t take all your time trying to manage it. Your best kit will be one that is already nutrient fed, it has the spawns ready to germinate and you will spend least time managing.

Is the quality of the mushrooms spawn good?

Finally, you must consider the quality of mushrooms you get because poor quality means you will compromise your health and the health of your entire family.

Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit Review

What is Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit?

To help you grow mushrooms in your house, Back to The Roots, America's number one organic gardening company developed a Gourmet Mushroom Kit. It’s easy to manage because you spray your mushrooms daily and begin your harvests in ten days. The kit provides one of the best ways to do organic farming right in your house.

What is included in each Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit?

For each mushroom growing kit you buy, you get premixed organic soil that already contains all the mushroom seeds you need. The kit will have a spray mister that you will be spraying on your grow kit daily.

You will get a booklet with instructions on how to grow your mushrooms organically, how to harvest them, and various delicacies you can prepare using your harvested mushrooms.  Above that, your kids will get access to a learning kit that will help them understand the science of mushrooms.

How does the Back to The Roots Mushroom Grow Kit work?

It’s very easy to manage this kit because all you need to do is open the kit, and place it close to your house window. Ensure there is no direct sunlight because mushrooms are fungus and grow best in less lit areas. Daily, spray the mist provided and within a few days, your gorgeous mushrooms will begin to grow.

How soon will you start harvesting

Within 10days, you will get your first harvest that is enough for three or four servings. You will harvest a maximum of two crops per box before replacing it with another fresh kit. If you follow the instructions carefully, you will never lack mushrooms in your house for all the health benefits.

Is the Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit worth buying?

From our review, we found several benefits associated with this kit.

  • The kit is 100 percent organic
  • It is non-GMO
  • It contains no toxics
  • Grows in 10 days and saves you money

Is there any disadvantage I can get if I buy the Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit?

Back to the roots gives you a 100% guarantee if the kit fails to work. The only way the kit will not work is if you place it in direct sunlight or a place with a lot of light. If you forget to spray the mist twice daily, you will get negative results too.

Final verdict

After testing and reviewing serval kits, we found the Back to The Roots Mushroom Kit worth buying and it scored 4 stars out of more than 15 thousand ratings. This high number of satisfied customers is proving that the kit will give you value for your money. Due to the great mushroom benefits, we recommend you try out this kit today.

Best Chipper Shredder for Composting

Many homeowners deal with the problem of finding a place to dispose of debris when cleaning the yard. When you can't find such a place, you might feel discouraged and leave your yard unmaintained. Often, organic debris is very bulky, big, and difficult to manage. 

One of the most practical ways to get rid of these materials is to turn them into compost. For this, you need to break down the bulky materials into smaller bits for composting. 

You can do this by using the best chipper shredder for composting. This machine will make your job easier as it shreds wastes down to a fraction of their original size. The best models can process up to 20 bags of organic debris into just a single bag of nutrient-rich mulch that you can use for compost.

How to Choose the Best Chipper Shredder for Composting

The best chipper shredders available out there should last for several seasons and as such, it's important to select the right one. If you aren't sure which one is the best, you need to consider the following factors before you make your choice:

Type

Based on the power source of a chipper shredder, there are 2 main types available: electric or gas. Here are some details about them:

Electric

Although electric chipper shredders are not as powerful as gas chipper shredders, they still deserve a place in your home. The power in most of these electric machines ranges between 1 to 2 horsepower, which is enough to process loose debris like sticks, leaves, light shrubbery, and even food scraps. The bigger models can handle tougher jobs, like tree branches and limbs.

Gasoline

These are significantly bigger than electric chippers and their power ranges between 4to 10 horsepower. This means that they pack a serious punch, which you may need to deal with tricky debris in your yard. The weight of these models can range between 100 lbs to 200 lbs for the biggest models. Power-wise, these chipper shredders follow a similar pattern. The lowest gas models can match the power of the highest models of electric chipper shredders.

There are also gasoline walk-behind vacuum chipper shredders and if you can afford one of these machines, it would make cleaning up your yard a lot easier. This chipper shredder brings efficiency to a whole new level as it combines mulching and raking into a single tool. You only need to push the machine around to get the job done. The process involves sucking up debris through a vacuum into blades that shred the debris into composting material or mulch. 

It's similar to a lawnmower as it captures the mulch into a big bag on the rear of the machine for easier cleanup. The typical power range of this variation of the gasoline chipper shredder ranges between 5 to 10 horsepower. It comes with very practical features including a vacuum tube that you can attach and use for hard-to-reach areas. Some models also come with a branch chute on the side. This means you can use the machine as you would a standard gasoline chipper shredder.

Capacity and Capability

When shopping around for a chipper shredder, you might come across the term "capacity" on the specs of the machine. This indicates the biggest branch diameter that the machine can handle. If you plan to use the chipper shredder just for cleaning small twigs or branches, you can choose a low-capacity model. But if you will use the machine for thick branches and other bulky debris, it's recommended to opt for a professional-grade model.

Opting for a chipper shredder with vacuum capabilities will save you some work. These models function like a lawnmower, where they suck up, chip, and bag leaves, twigs, and other debris as you push it around your yard. But these models cannot handle bigger branches.

Engine and Hopper

The efficiency of the engine of a chipper shredder depends on various factors. For these factors, the higher the numbers, the more powerful the machine is. Therefore, you should check the following:

  • Horsepower refers to the amount of power the chipper shredder has
  • CC Rating refers to the number of cubic centimeters the pistons can displace
  • Torque refers to the amount of spinning power a chipper shredder has.

The size of the hopper is the diameter of the hole where you would push the clippings and leaves into the machine. You must follow the manual of your machine to determine the thickness of branches and leaves that you can feed into the hopper.

Other Factors

Manufacturers of chipper shredders build other features into their products, which can make the machines even more effective. The other factors to look for when choosing the best chipper shredder for composting include:

  • Materials

When choosing which shredder to buy, find out what materials the machine can handle. For instance, bamboo, palm fronds, and leaves are some materials you must check as many models cannot handle these. 

Most brands advertise that their machines can shred almost everything effectively. But this might not always be true. To find out more about the model you're interested in, read the reviews to find out if anyone talks about how well the model operates with the type of debris you have in your yard.

  • Portability

If you intend to move the shredder around a lot, you should consider the machine's weight, the quality of the machine's wheels, and the handle. Aside from these factors, another thing to consider is whether or not you can attach a tow bar to it. If so, you can pull the chipper shredder along behind a tractor or a riding lawnmower.

  • Maintenance

Electric chipper shredders are a lot easier to maintain compared to gas models. For a gas chipper shredder, you must prepare for the winter season as you need to clean it often, they have more moving parts, and you need to either sharpen or replace the blades regularly.

  • Noise levels

Most chipper shredders create a lot of noise, which is why it's recommended to wear some type of hearing protection. This can also be an issue to consider, especially if you live in a neighborhood where houses are right next to each other as you might get a lot of noise complaints.

Top 5 Chipper Shredders for Composting

#1. Snow Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

The Snow Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder is a great choice if you have a small yard or lawn that doesn't generate that much waste. This is a budget-friendly electric chipper shredder that can handle branches and twigs well, reducing their sizes to 1/17th of their original size. Although this machine can also handle a couple of stray leaves, it isn't designed for shredding piles of leaves.

The Snow Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder is also capable of processing green waste although you must practice caution in terms of how much you feed into it. Do this to avoid overloading it accidentally. This is a lightweight machine that's easy to assemble, straightforward to troubleshoot, and safe to use. It also comes with a safety lock that prevents the motor from turning on when you open the hopper. This model also has a reset button in case something gets jammed.

Pros

  • Features a powerful motor that shreds and chips different materials efficiently.
  • Will turn twigs and branches into garden mulch that are nutrient-rich. 
  • Comes with wheels for convenience and portability.
  • Had a locking knob so the motor doesn't work when it's opened. 

Cons

  • Doesn't come with a collection bin.
  • Some issues with this model's longevity.

#2. Patriot Products CSV-2515 Chipper/Shredder


The Patriot Products CSV-2515 Chipper/Shredder is the only one of its kind in the market today. The machine can chip branches up to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It can handle branches almost as big as the ones gas chipper shredders can handle. It's also perfect for shredding leaves. With this model, you won't have issues with oil or gas. You just turn it on with a flip of the switch.

You can use the Patriot Products CSV-2515 Chipper/Shredder inside your basement, hothouse, or garage as it doesn't emit any noxious fumes. Weighing at only 95 lbs, it's considered lightweight, especially when you consider its power. Its big top-loading hopper can handle tons of food debris and leaves. This model also has branch chutes on the sides, which make feeding longer branches into the machine much easier.

Pros

  • Has a smooth and quiet electric motor that's maintenance-free.
  • Can shred piles of leaves by putting them into the big hopper at the top. 
  • Produces small chips out of the branches. 
  • Comes with a collection bag for all of the materials to go into. 

Cons

  • Tends to get jammed.
  • Isn't as effective with wet or damp materials.

#3. Earthwise GS70015 Corded Electric Chipper/Shredder

The Earthwise GS70015 Corded Electric Chipper/Shredder has a slim design that makes it easy to maneuver. You can bring it around your garden effortlessly when you need it. Although lightweight, it's powerful and it doesn't emit toxic fumes that might harm the environment. 

For small gardens, the Earthwise GS70015 Corded Electric Chipper/Shredder makes everything easy as you get rid of yard waste and placing it into your compost pit. You can clean your yard in a convenient and quick way with this versatile machine. It even comes with a collection bin, which is an excellent option if you need a powerful model that's easy to clean up after.

Pros

  • Powerful chipper/shredder with a tamper tool and chute.
  • Easy to clean and it even comes with a collection bit.
  • Features rear wheels for easier portability.
  • Corded electric chipper/shredder made of plastic, metal, and aluminum.

Cons

  • Using the chipper/shredder takes time. 
  • Tends to get jammed.

#4. GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder

The makers of the GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder promise their customers high-quality in their products and at reasonable prices. This California-based company noted for their wood chipper shredders, offers a 3-year warranty on this model and other chipper shredders.

The GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder can handle wood with up to 3 inches diameter without any issues. The machine has multiple functions: wood chipping, volume shredding, and leaf mulching. If you need the last function, you may purchase a leaf vacuum kit separately. The system gets cooled with forced air and it has an automatic fuel shut-off as an added safety feature.

Pros

  • Features multi-function capabilities and has some attachments too (sold separately).
  • Powerful chipper/shredder that can handle wood up to 3' in diameter.
  • Has an efficient design that allows for portability. 
  • Comes with a warranty of 3 years.

Cons

  • Oil isn't included.
  • Not suitable for palm fronds, pine cones, petrified vines or wood, or fresh greens. 

#5. Detail K2 Gas-Powered Chipper/Shredder

The Detail K2 Gas-Powered Chipper/Shredder performs so effectively that it's almost good enough for landscaping purposes. But it's still considered a residential model and its use suits the environmental conditions around gardens. This is the perfect choice for you if live on a huge property like an estate.

The Detail K2 Gas-Powered Chipper/Shredder has a compact design and it's smaller than other gasoline models on the market. You can tow it around behind a ride-along mower. If you have plenty of trees that need pruning, this model would be a great help for processing the waste.

Pros

  • Commercial-grade chipper/shredder with trailer tow hitch and extended axles.
  • Comes with a powerful Kohler engine.
  • Has dual-edge reversible blades for cutting and a dual belt drive drum transmission. 
  • Features auto-adjust cutters for various materials. 

Cons

  • It's quite expensive.
  • It's difficult to close the latch of the chute.

Verdict

Having a chipper shredder to break down waste for composting can be both time-saving and economical. Which machine to choose will depend on various factors. There are 2 main types of chipper shredders: electric and gasoline. Your choice will depend on your own needs. We have shared with you some of the best chipper shredders for composting to narrow down your options and help you make the right choice.

Soil pH for Raspberries

Growing fruits in your home garden is a great idea, and if you’re considering ideas, then raspberries is your best bet. Raspberries are easy to grow and spread through the garden quite quickly, and not to forget the juicy taste and health benefits they bring.

Consider a few essential elements like soil, fertility, required moisture, and the proper care needs to grow the best quality raspberries right in your backyard!

Soil pH for good growth

It is essential to consider the pH balance of the soil before you begin to grow raspberries. Wet or soggy soil may damage the roots of the plant, hampering its growth. The fruit can quickly grow in sand or in clay soil. A pH between 5.5- 6.5 pH is the most suited for their growth.

An easy hack to increase the pH level of the soil is to add lime to it. According to botanists, one must dig a hole that is deep up to 12 inches in order to loosen the soil and make it suitable for growth for raspberries in your home garden.

Prepare soil early on

Preparing the soil and making it ready before you start to grow raspberries will go a long way in determining the growth and its quality. If you are not an expert already, call for help and determine the deficiencies in the soil and take the required measures to make it apt for raspberry growth.

Determination of the soil quality and adding in the missing nutrients will give you an excellent start to growing the fruit. Once the seeds are laid, there is not much that you may be able to do to keep the soil in the best situations.

Clay and slit soil holds moisture well and thus makes it ideal for raspberries’ growth. Another common type of soil is loam soils that are loose but look rich in quality and easily crumble when you hold them. The loam soil type is rich in moisture and is clay-based, and is quite capable of holding the water. 

Sandy soils are light in color and feel coarse when it is dry, and even if you press the soil hard, it will not turn into a ball due to its water content. While this soil kind might absorb water quickly, it does not retain it for a long time and thus may not be the ideal choice for your raspberries.

Ensure proper fertility year-round

Raspberry fruit produces big leaves and thus requires good fertility to be able to grow well. Therefore, it is essential to use high-quality fertilizers to provide them with all the necessary nutrients to grow in their best capacity. As the raspberries start to bloom, you must ensure that an additional amount of fertilizers.

Moisture for raspberry success

The right amount of moisture can make the deal for your raspberries in the backyard. It is also important to note that an excessive amount of humidity can even cause them to rot and hence not produce the fruit as desired. To help you understand, raspberries will need about 1-2 liters of water weekly to retain moisture and grow, and it is all the most important when they start to fruit.

Check the soil, and it will tell you the state of moisture. The ideal scenario would be the soil that is not too dry or not too soggy. It must be wet to touch but not contain excessive water as that is a sign of more water in soil than needed. Spray water or find an alternative so that the water spreads to the soil evenly.

Season care for raspberries

During the summer months, your raspberries will not need extreme care. It is once after the fruits prune that you will have to begin cutting them to the ground. To ensure a larger fruit crop, you can cut the raspberries during the winter months. Raspberries also grow well with solid support, and you can add them to vines or create creepers to provide complete support for the growing fruits.

Sources of Phosphorus for Plants

Plants require some macronutrients and in large amounts to grow in their best capacity. The major of these include phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. All of these provide the required nutrients to plant, and each has a separate role to play.

The use of each of these nutrients is easy and can be mixed into the soil to provide the healthy balance that aids their growth in time. Phosphorus has an important role to play, and the impact cannot be undermined or ignored.

Aids in plant reproduction and growth

To talk of the most crucial benefit of phosphorus, it helps increase reproduction in the plants. It increases the rate at which they mature. Adding frequent doses of phosphorus into the soil helps increase the plant’s strength, the stalk in particular, and that is what helps the roots grow.

The presence of phosphorus in soil naturally is low, which is why one must ensure there is enough phosphorus present in the soil to reap its benefits for plant growth. The use of phosphorus as a fertilizer has proven its benefits time and again. It is precisely the reason why botanists swear by their regular use.

Market fertilizers contain phosphorus

Suppose you are someone that prefers to purchase fertilizers from the market. In that case, you must turn the label around to check the key ingredients, and you’ll find a generous amount of phosphorus in each one of them. The market-made fertilizers also contain the three macronutrients, i.e., phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.

Opt for the complete fertilizers from the product categories, for they contain the highest amount of phosphorus. Finding their most common place in the agricultural field, botanists and farmers understand and prefer phosphorus in generous quantities to get their crops or plants to grow to their best capacity, and most importantly, retain their highest quality.

Phosphorus found in human urine for use

Apart from phosphorus in its natural form- it is also present in great quantities in human urine. It might sound unpleasing to the ear, but it is a natural fertilizer to plants. The cost of transporting urine can get expensive. Still, naturally, human urine is also used to extract the required amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Phosphorus, found in great quantity in nature

Apart from phosphorus found in human urine, it is also substantially present in good amounts in nature. To talk of a few, cucumber waste, bones, crab, and shrimps contain high amounts of phosphorus. Each of these elements contains high doses of phosphorus. It depends on the factors like decomposition rate, age, and the method in which it is applied.

Adding to these factors, the number of microorganisms present in these substances makes the difference. All of the stated materials are highly cost-efficient and come into use for a larger plant or home garden.

Natural phosphorus fertilizers for use at home garden

Apart from the other sources of adding an adequate amount of phosphorus to the soil, other methods can act as natural fertilizers for soil adding more to the soil for better plant or flower growth for your home garden. You can prepare your organic compost with a high content of phosphorus. Apart from that, using manure regularly is also an excellent source of regular content of phosphorus for your plants.

If you are looking to add phosphorus content in high percentage in your soil, introduce clay particles to your home garden and see how the plants change, and see the growth of all your plants. It brings about a great change in your plants or flowers.

Conclusion

As iterated in the sections above, phosphorus is an essential substance that is important for the good growth of healthy plants for your home garden. Use natural compost, cucumber skins, or mushroom waste to add a generous dose of phosphorus to the soil. Apart from making sure to use the general compost, it is also equally important to add a regular dose of it to maintain the health of your plants.

Get hold of a soil test kit to regularly check up on the phosphorus content, for an overdose of the same can also kill the strength of plants, stunting their growth and blossoming.

Are White Led Lights Suitable for Growing

Light plays an essential factor in the growth of plants, and it is during the flowering and vegetation phase that lights deem to be most effective in adding to the growth.

While there is no better substitute than natural sunlight, red and blue lights have also displayed impressive results in the growing of plants.

Full-spectrum white light is further beneficial than red and blue light for effective growth in plants. Contrary to understanding, white LEDs are not white but consist of red, blue, and green LEDs set in one diode.

The function of the White LEDs

As we are aware, light energy comes into use for photosynthesis. In this process, carbon dioxide is turned into organic compounds that further aid the growth of plants. Natural daylight is most organically used and thus the best for the fast growth of plants. The White LEDs are the closest substitute to natural lights and prove beneficial for indoor plants or gardens.

A typical White LED comes in for great use during the germination stage, promoting fast growth and production in a controlled manner. An important thing to note is that while light helps in growth, it is important to note factors such as the weather, altitude of garden or location of plants, and the climate equally responsible for their growth.

Color temperatures make no difference

Plants need all light colors, whether red, blue, white, and even green, for their growth. To talk of the benefits, red and blue light makes the most difference to their quick growth. Specifically, blue light helps to grow foliage, and red light is responsible for the growth of the flowers. It is not the actual ‘color’ of the light but the spectrum that makes the difference.

Different watts bring different results

Knowing that White LEDs do make a majority of the difference is not enough. A factor to consider is that it is the wattage, or better said, the intensity of the light that gets the plant to grow. Therefore, if you are considering purchasing white LED lights for your plants at home, you must consider buying the right lights; proper wattage and spectrum will help your lovely plants proliferate and look vibrant.

Lights closer to natural sunlight help

If you are under the impression that the lights installed in bedrooms or kitchens are what you need for your home garden or plants, then you are highly mistaken. Plants grow from light, and as they are conditioned to produce the best under natural sunlight, you must look for lights that are closest to them to foster fast plant growth without causing any damage.

Pay proper attention to the light demands for your plants. That will make a massive difference in the growth quality of your beloved plants and flowers at home or any other indoor plant space.

Know the proper placement of these LEDs

LED lights emit heat, and when placed close to plants, it could stunt their growth and even damage them over time. Place the light at least six inches away from them. This space allows for the plants to take the heat in the right amounts. If you are using fluorescent bulbs, it is best to place them twelve inches away from your plants.

The placement of the lights will also help decide the decor of your home garden, and as incorrect placement of lights or any of these plants can stunt the growth, look for good quality lights hinted for best quality growth and care of your plants.

Conclusion

White LEDs are considered the best artificial lights for the proper growth of your indoor plants and flowers. If you are new to home gardening and have heard the benefits of these lights, take the time to read and learn more about them before you make the purchase decisions.

You could try the usual white lights and experiment with time to check if it helps with the right kind of growth. Choose the white LEDs with blue and red diodes for they aid growth at most stages.

Is Neem Oil Safe for Tomato Plants?

Neem oil has proven benefits for plants, and of all, the two most important ones are that they act as pesticides and fungicides. Neem oil has a strong odor and properties that keep the bugs away from your plants.

The arthropod pests chew away plants, and it is the neem oil that is an effective and easy-to-use remedy to keep these pests away. Neem oil is an easily available and almost the most economical pesticide for your home plants.

Neem oil is safe to use

Neem oil is a natural pesticide and is free from any synthetic substance that can cause harm to plants. For that matter, spraying neem oil on your tomato plants is natural; it will not cause difficulty for your pets or any wildlife around you. The use of synthetic pesticides is not only expensive; it also stands at a risk of bringing harm to you or the others around you.

Neem oil is safe, organic, and biodegradable. Neem, a leafy substance used for cooking, plantation, and various other purposes, is found in most homes in India, its country of origin. There is no harmful factor about using neem oil. Due to its easy availability and cost-effectiveness, you can use it for planting all year round.

Effective on every bug and pest

Neem oil is a super product when it comes to gardening. You can make use of the versatile oil to treat pests and bugs of all kinds. Adding to that, neem oil is also beneficial to keep tomato plants safe at all stages of growth. Whether the pests are in the egg, larvae, or adult stage, they cannot withstand the power of neem oil. The active ingredient in neem – azadirachtin is essentially the reason behind its strength to kill pests.

Using neem oil on a regular basis also helps prevent the bugs even reach from an egg to an adult stage. Make it a point to purchase neem oil and use it on a regular basis to help prevent bugs from attacking your precious tomato plants at home.

Keeps beneficial worms safe for plants

The best part about using neem oil is that while it kills harmful bugs and pests away from the plants, it does keep earthworms safe. The earthworms are beneficial to the soil and help rainwater reach the plant roots. The earthworms are good for the soil and help fertilize it.

The humble neem oil does not bring any harm to these helpful earthworms, and that adds to the list of reasons why it must find a place in your gardening tools and activities. A large spray bottle of neem oil is perhaps all you need to keep these bugs away from harming the tomato plants that you’ve been nurturing with love and care.

Keeps vegetable garden free from fungus

Common fungi like mildews, rusts, leaf spots, stem rots, and wilts. An added benefit of keeping neem oil in your home garden equipment is that it also keeps fungal growth on vegetable plants at bay. You do not want your home garden to undergo a fungal attack, for its remedial measures are difficult and are most often difficult to reverse if the damage is adverse.

The best time to use neem oil is twice a day and preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. Following the said routine helps keep the harmful fungi away from your plants while causing no harm to the beneficial insects and bugs. Neem oil has no adverse effects on bees that help in pollination.

Conclusion

The above-stated benefits make neem oil the perfect choice for all your home garden needs. Above all, it is a natural and cost-effective remedy to keep all harmful pests away from your beloved tomato plants.

The market offers a choice of neem oil brands that come in spray bottles and various sizes as you may desire. Browse from the different brands and look up the labels for their benefits to start using them to better your home garden.

Is Miracle Grow Safe for Vegetables?

Plant foods have become a very popular product for those who want their vegetable gardens to yield a good harvest. All of these products contain the essential nutrients needed by plants. There are many brands of plant foods available, one of which is Miracle Grow. Plants that receive supplements grow bigger and more beautiful and applying plant food is very simple. But the question remains… is Miracle Grow safe for vegetables?

Is Miracle Grow safe?

Yes, Miracle Grow is completely safe to use in vegetable gardens. It will provide your plants with several nutrients that they need to grow healthily. Vegetable plants must get enough micro and macronutrients for them to grow well and yield a good harvest. Many of these nutrients come from water, air, sunlight, and the soil. Unfortunately, the nutrients in the soil can get depleted over time. When this happens, you must look elsewhere to give your plants the nutrients they need.

The “big three” nutrients

Miracle Grow fertilizers consist of 3 main ingredients, which are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Each of these components will provide your vegetable plants with the macro-nutrients they need to grow. These three essentials come in a ratio called the “NPK ratio.” Some fertilizers have equal ratios while others have more nitrogen, potassium, or phosphorus. The ratio will depend on what your plants need.

Nitrogen

This helps with the foliage of your plant. With nitrogen, your plant’s leaves will grow stronger, healthier, and taller. Foliage is very important in a plant’s life because the surface areas absorb energy from the sun. The healthier and bigger the leaves, the more energy they will capture for the plant will grow bigger. 

Phosphorus

One of the main functions of phosphorus is to help with photosynthesis. It also helps in stem strength, root development, and the yield and quality of a crop when growing vegetables.

Potassium

Potassium is essential for the root system as it helps irrigate and regulate the root system and water intake for the roots to grow stronger. The potassium levels also affect the vegetables plants bear. For instance, a plant with good potassium levels will yield vegetables with fewer abnormalities compared to vegetables that don’t have enough of this nutrient. All in all, if you want to choose a fertilizer that will nourish your plants, make sure that it contains potassium.

Other types of Miracle Grow products

Aside from the different fertilizer and plant food products, Miracle-Grow by the Scotts Company also offers a wide range of products designed to help plants and gardeners of all levels. They offer products that will help you grow and fertilize your vegetables while controlling weeds whether you have a simple garden or a professionally landscaped one. Through the years, there has been a variety of Miracle-Grow products that gardeners have applied to their gardens in the hopes of getting impressive results. Apart from fertilizers, other types of products from Miracle Grow include:

  • Soils

Miracle-Grow has a wide range of in-ground and in-container potting soils that you can choose from. Some soil products are specifically formulated for starting seeds while others contain coarser ingredients for plants that need faster drainage. Many vegetables and plants including trees, citrus, roses, and those used in landscaping would also benefit from Miracle-Grow potting mixes and soils.

  • Weed Control

Miracle-Grow offers several products that claim to stop weeds from growing for up to 3 months. Two of the most popular products in this category are Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed All Purpose Plant Food Plus Weed Preventer and Miracle-Gro Garden Weed Preventer. Both products contain a list of the plants you can treat with them and those which you shouldn’t use them on.

  • Other products

Miracle Grow also has a line of products called Miracle-Gro Kits. These are terrarium and greenhouse kits. They even offer Grow-a-Plant kits for children so they can view their plant’s roots while growing through special see-through containers.

Conclusion

Miracle-Grow provides products that are very effective for growing plants and are also safe when growing vegetables for consumption. You can decide whether your plants will require some assistance from Miracle-Grow products or not depending on how they grow. You can depend on Miracle Grow fertilizers as they consist of different types of naturally occurring elements that plants need to thrive.

Best fertilizer for peppers

Be it sweet or hot, Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. Therefore, spicing up your meal with pepper will offer you significant nutrients when you decide not to eat leafy vegetables. Instead of buying them, you can plant peppers behind your house and make it your kitchen gardening project. However for you to harvest pepper produce bountifully, it depends on the soil fertility besides maintaining other factors constant. These factors include water, light, soil drainage, and pest and disease control. Soil fertility is the primary factor that you should consider because is the source of vital nutrients which is the basic need for successful growth and development.

Essentials for Pepper Growth and Development

Since soil may lack other nutrients that are vital for the pepper to grow and produce as you desire, it would help if you obtain these nutrients from fertilizer. Peppers do well in soil with microbes, slightly acidic {pH ranging from 5.8-6.8} is rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, phosphate, calcium and magnesium, and sulfur. These nutrients work significantly and independently on each or every growth stage until it produces. Therefore, before using any fertilizer to boost pepper growth and harvest you should be aware of the soil’s nutrients content. The soil’s nutrients determine the best choice of a fertilizer that has a friendly nutrients supply with minimal to zero side effects towards boosting pepper growth and harvest.

The primary growth is the first stage after the pepper’s seed roots have grown into a plant. During primary growth, peppers need primary nutrients that are essential for the growth of leaves, and the development of roots and stems. Pepper seeds contain enough nutrients for germination, but these nutrients deplete the moment the roots have established. Therefore, they will need more nutrients from the soil to support their growth. Peppers require a lot of nitrogen after the roots have established which is vital in its early growth stage.

• Nitrogen

Nitrogen is essential because it promotes rapid and healthy growth of the leaves and stems development. If the soil does not have enough nitrogen you should use a fertilizer with a high amount of nitrogen to promote healthy growth of leaves and stem development. Healthy growth of leaves is essential at the primary growth stage because in the leaves is where energy synthesis takes place, thus when they are abundant they will store more energy that will be used later when pepper starts producing the pods {secondary growth}. Secondly, the stems of the pepper are usually feeble, thus providing nitrogen will help the stems to prevent the pods from falling and the produce to mature properly.

• Phosphate

Phosphate is a vital nutrient for the pepper plant because it aids in the uptake of nutrients from the root to the plant. Nevertheless, it also helps in the synthesis of protein for the establishment of strong roots through promoting cell division and the development of new tissues in plants. Insufficient amount of phosphate in the soil, your pepper will have the following symptoms: stunted growth, anthocyanin {reddish or purplish pigments forming on the leaves} and it may produce little or no flower pod. These symptoms are brought by poor root establishment and lack of nutrients due to a lack of phosphorus that aids in the uptake of nutrients and root development.

• Potassium

Potassium is also another macronutrient for peppers because it is responsible for the production of produce. Its significance in promoting abundance in produce is because it increases plants’ protein content through aiding and regulating the photosynthesis process and enzyme activation. Besides, enhancing photosynthesis, it also aids in the transportation of water from the soil to the leaves. If the soil has an insufficient amount of potassium your pepper will likely show the following symptoms: stunted growth, the margin or the edge of the leaves will be yellowish, and poor resistance to ecological changes. Potassium improves plants immunity to ecological changes, thus when it is lacking peppers might show little to no resistance when weather changes thereby interfering with the produce.

• Others

Since nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are the macronutrients for pepper, there are other nutrients such as magnesium and calcium that are also vital despite being micronutrients for pepper. The soil needs calcium to aid in the formation of buds and enhance the health and timely maturation of the produce. While magnesium helps to activate the growth enzymes and hormones in plants thereby promoting rapid growth of the pepper.

Therefore it is worth noting that Nitrogen is essential for the primary growth stage of your peppers for rapid and healthy growth of foliage and food synthesis and energy storage for future secondary growth. Contrarily, both Phosphate and phosphorus are good for both primary and secondary growth of peppers to healthy growth and development of stem and roots to aid in water, minerals and nutrients uptake, and food synthesis. However, both phosphorus and potassium are best applied to the soil when peppers’ flowers start to blossom because they do not need much nitrogen. This is to allow the plant to concentrate on producing flowers, thus phosphorus and potassium significance come in to enhance the yield of healthy peppers in abundance.

How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for pepper

Closeup of ripening peppers in the organic pepper plantation.Fresh Yellow and Red sweet Bell Pepper Plants with Selective Focus in plantation,paprika

Since you know the primary nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and abundant produce of peppers, the best fertilizer for pepper depends on nutrient content in the soil. After testing the soil nutrients, it is best to supply the missing nutrients moderately but not too much because of the side effects. Secondly, the choice of fertilizer also should considerably be determined by the growth stage of pepper and the symptoms observed on the plant growth and leaves and flowering characteristics.

To know the percentage of the nutrient in the fertilizer always check the 3 number codes with the abbreviation N-P-K on the bag of the fertilizer. The three-number codes represent the nutrients contained in the fertilizer which indicates the amount of Nitrogen {N}, Phosphate {P} and Potassium {K} in that respective. For instance, 10-5-5 indicates the fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 5% Phosphate and 5% Phosphorus, while 5-10-5 indicates 5% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphate and 5% phosphorus. The number codes represent the nutrients to feed the pepper plant. Use the three number codes when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers depending on the soil nutrients.

Moreover, when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers you should ensure the fertilizer formula includes beneficial soil microbes. Soil microbes help in the breakdown of the organic matters in the soil to enhance soil fertility thereby providing extra nutrients needed for secondary growth. Below are some of the best fertilizers you might consider for peppers. They include:

• Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Pure Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer {All-purpose}

• Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed {for secondary growth}

• Espoma Garden Tone {organic fertilizer for Primary growth}

• Miracle-Gro Performance {Primary Growth]

• General Hydroponics Flora Combo Fertilizer {Secondary growth}

• Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food {Primary Growth}

• Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules {organic fertilizer for secondary growth}

Points to take

• Apply Nitrogen to the soil after two weeks when the pepper seedlings have established in the soil to enhance their primary growth which only should be focused on producing healthy leaves.

• When the primary growth cycle ends, pepper does not need nitrogen because the leaf is in abundance, let it focus on producing buds. Thus, this would be the best time to apply Phosphates and potassium in plenty to boosts the health yield of produce. The secondary growth of pepper starts with the beginning of pod formation.

• Do not apply nutrients excessively because it may cause leaching which may lead to the formation of a hardpan layer in the soil leading to stunted growth of the plant. Besides, you should take precautions when using nitrogenous fertilizer because excess nitrogen promotes the growth of leafy leaves with delayed flowering or pods may not form entirely.

• If you incorporate pepper with the leguminous plant you should apply a little amount of the nitrogen fertilizer or entirely refrain from using it. This is because leguminous has nitrogen-fixing bacteria which utilizes the lightning energy to fix nitrogen in the soil.

• Confirm first the soil pH and soil nutrients percentage and viability before choosing the right and the best fertilizer for peppers. Unfavorable soil nutrients or pH will make peppers grow slowly because of the poor intake of nutrients in the soil which is also detrimental to the plant health and production.

• Lastly, you should strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s directions on how to apply the fertilizer to the soil for efficiency and avoid risks associated with fertilizer to your health.

With these tips as your thumb rules for pepper farming, I hope you will make the right decision when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers.

Best Insecticide for Vegetable Garden

Insects are an essential part of a healthy garden system, especially the ones that help ensure a good harvest. Some bugs are also beneficial as they feed on plant-damaging insects like aphids, fruit worms, roaches, Japanese beetles, and more. 

Once these pests gain a toehold on your garden, you might as well say goodbye to your vegetables. To combat them, you will need the best insecticide for vegetable garden. One that is both is effective and fast in getting rid of destructive pests without harming your plants or the beneficial insects. 

How to Choose the Best Insecticide for Vegetable Garden

It can be quite tricky to eliminate pests without doing any harm to your plants. You should choose insecticides that don’t contain any toxic components. Also, consider the following factors when choosing the best insecticide for vegetable garden:

Safety

If your vegetable garden is heavily infested and it requires immediate treatment, the best option is for a chemical formula. Usually, these emergency cases will need additional care after applying the insecticide. This ensures that your vegetables remain safe for consumption. 

Of course, insecticides with organic formulations are always the safer choice but you may have to reapply the product frequently. A common mistake among beginner gardeners is applying organic insecticides too frequently. 

They believe that this will boost the effectiveness of the product. However, doing this isn’t recommended as it might do more harm, especially to the beneficial insects in your garden. You might even end up clogging your soil.

Effectiveness

Insecticides will work on the most common types of insects like caterpillars and worms. But there are more challenging pests that need special treatment. In most cases, insecticides can kill pests right after direct contact and you will immediately see the results after the first application.

Another method of eliminating these unwanted pests is through digestion. After applying the insecticide to your plants, you will have to wait for the insects to eat on the vegetables or leaves. 

This might take between 3 to 7 days. Then there are insecticides with a dual effect – aside from eliminating pests, they will also protect your garden for a long time since some of the substances remain on the plants after application.

Targeted insects

Today’s broad-spectrum insecticides can eliminate different insect species although most vegetable plants are only threatened by a few types of pests. Therefore, you can reduce the risk of harming the beneficial insects by identifying and targeting specific pests. 

You know that your tomato plants have fruit worms when your tomatoes have “entry holes.” Mexican bean beetles look like pink-colored ladybugs that chew on the leaves of your plants. Squash bugs feed on the stems of squash plants at the ground level. 

Knowing these signs will make it easier for you to find the best insecticide for vegetable garden. Some broad-spectrum insecticides can kill all of these species, the timing of application and your plant’s location will differ for each pest.

Types

Based on their physical properties, you can insecticides classify insecticides into different types:

  • Liquid 

Whether it’s broad-spectrum or targeted, this type acts fast because it immediately delivers the active ingredients. You can use liquid insecticides by directly spraying them on stems, root zones, and the foliage of plants to get rid of active pests. 

Liquid insecticides come in both ready-to-spray and concentrated formulas. Concentrates in the long run are a less expensive option. But you must first dilute them with water before application. Ready-to-spray insecticides will save you time and effort in mixing, but they are more expensive.

  • Granular

Most granular insecticides are broad-spectrum treatments that are very persistent and effective in the treatment of garden pests in the soil. On the downside, they can also cause harm to beneficial bugs. 

It’s very easy to apply the granules. Simply sprinkle them in the problem area of the soil. When you’re done, you must store the granular insecticide in a sealed canister.

  • Dust 

Most dust insecticides are for broad-spectrum treatments, especially on the lower surfaces of leaves. This type has many advantages including being very easy to store, having a long shelf life, and working quickly after application to stems, foliage, or soil. 

On the downside, applying dust insecticides evenly can be a little tricky. These chemicals can be efficiently and easily applied using a garden duster. This tool mixes the dust insecticide gently in an airstream that dispenses the dust in a cloud. This provides an even coat over your plants.

Top 5 Insecticides for Vegetable Garden

#1. Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Outdoor Insecticide Concentrate

Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Outdoor Insecticide Concentrate is the best insecticide for vegetable garden if you have problems with leafhoppers, beetles, aphids, webworms, and other garden insects. 

It’s effective, fast, and specially designed for use on garden vegetables like beans, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and more along with flowers like geraniums, dogwoods, begonias, azaleas, roses, ornamental shrubs, and trees. 

Pros

  • Gets rid of different kinds of pests.
  • Contains Pyrethrins as an active ingredient, which targets the nervous systems of insects.
  • You can use this on different vegetables without leaving any residue. 
  • It’s very easy to apply this insecticide by following the instructions.

Cons

  • It has a strong smell.
  • It has an oily consistency.

#2. HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food

HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food is one of the most popular organic insect killers for gardens. You can apply this pesticide to your vegetable plants to inhibit different kinds of pests and insects from munching on the fruits and leaves. 

This is a non-toxic product as it contains fossilized remains ad crushed shells of oceanic organisms. The shells are smoothly ground so that they get into the skeletons of the pests then make them too uncomfortable to stay in your garden. 

Pros

  • Keeps different kinds of insects away from your garden. 
  • Doesn’t contain any fillers or additives.
  • Listed with OMRI, which means that it holds up to high organic standards.
  • Includes a powder duster for easier application.

Cons

  • Some claim that it isn’t effective against ants.
  • May contain allergens.

#3. Monterey LG6150 Garden Insecticide

Monterey LG6150 Garden Insecticide was primarily designed for the protection of your vegetables, fruits, and other plants from different types of pests. Its most active ingredient is spinosad – a biological insecticide produced by a special type of bacteria. 

The main advantages of using this product include its efficiency, environmental friendliness, and compatibility with other tools. This product contains the latest agricultural chemistry introduced and approved for organic gardening. It’s also safe for use around pets and people.

Pros

  • Odorless and fast-acting insecticide. 
  • Controls a wide variety of insects to treat your vegetables quickly.
  • You can use it for other kinds of plants too.
  • East to apply using different types of sprayers. 

Cons

  • Some claim that it doesn’t work on aphids.
  • Some claim that it turned their plants brown.

#4. PyGanic Gardening Botanical Insecticide

PyGanic Gardening Botanical Insecticide breaks down in the sunlight. This means it won’t do any harm to beneficial insects that stay in your plants during the daytime. If you spray this insecticide after sunset, it will start working. 

Because of its low toxicity, this insecticide won’t kill earthworms either, which are very important for the soil. Since this is an organic insecticide, it won’t damage your plants. Just make sure to carefully follow the instructions on the label to get all the advantages of this product.

Pros

  • You can use it throughout the growing season no matter what the size of your garden is. 
  • Contains pyrethrins, which is botanically derived making it an excellent choice.
  • You can use this on different types of vegetables. 
  • Kills over 200 types of insects that damage crops.

Cons

  • Some claim that it doesn’t work on root aphids.
  • Some claim that it isn’t safe for pets.

#5. Garden Safe Brand Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer

Garden Safe Brand Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer is an organic insecticide that contains botanical ingredients. It’s great for vegetables, flowering plants,  trees, shrubs, and houseplants. 

The insecticide kills pests immediately after contact making it perfect for eliminating green fruitworms, tomato hornworms, aphids, and other insects. You can use this product for both outdoor and indoor plants and it’s best to apply it every week for up to ten weeks.

Pros

  • Kills different kinds of insects and different types of plants.
  • You can use this both outdoors and indoors. 
  • Ready to apply on the upper and lower surfaces of leaves.
  • You can apply this every week or only as needed to prevent infestations.

Cons

  • Some claim that it isn’t effective on gnats.
  • Some claim that it isn’t potent enough. 

Verdict

Seeing your vegetable garden flourish is enough reason to make this a lifetime hobby. Once understand what your plants need, finding the best insecticide will come easy. All you need to do is to consider all of the factors discussed here, then choose one of the insecticides from our list to protect your plants!

How long does it take for grapes to ripen?

Have you ever picked grapes from the vine, and they were not ready to be eaten? Most grapevines produce grapes that are not ripe; they have to ripen. When a grape is not ripened, it is hard and sour. To ripen the bunch of grapes, you need to leave them on the vine until they are soft and sweet.

This article will tell you how long it takes for a bunch of grapes to ripen.

Grapes are one of the most wonderful things in life. They come in many forms, such as red, green, black, and rosé. They are a natural fruit that is delicious and healthy for you. Grapes also make a great snack food because they do not get soggy when you eat them. They look beautiful, too, because they have seeds that produce an attractive pattern outside the grape when it ripens.

How long does it take for grapes to ripen?

The process of how long it takes for grapes to ripen is a complicated one. One thing that is important to remember is that they do not ripen all at once, they go through a stage of development where they first form tiny green grapes, and then after that, they turn black or grey in color.

After this last stage of development has been reached, the grapes are ready to be picked and processed. This is when the actual process of making wine starts.

On average, most varieties of grapes take 10-20 days from when they are picked until they are entirely ripe, depending on how dry they were when picked.

There are many ways to tell if a grape is ripe or not. One of the ways is by looking at it. The color will tell you if it is ready or not. A green grape would be light green, while a red one would be red, and a black one would have specks of green in it.

Some types of grapes will be yellowish, but this doesn’t mean that they are not ripe yet, which means you should look beyond the color. The seeds inside of the grapes will be a darker color than the rest of the grapes anyway.

The color to look at is not simply black and white because it varies from grape to grape. So what you have to do when you are looking for ripeness is look into details. You mustn’t overlook these details because these small changes can mean a large difference in how your grapes turn out or taste.

Also, when looking at the color of the grape, you should know that it will change throughout the growing season. Some grapes may turn from green to light yellow, while others may stay around as green. The way things will change in growth stages is dependent on the weather. This means that more sunshine will cause the grapes to develop faster, while a lack of sunshine will slow down their growth process or even kill them.

When it comes to the ripeness of a grape, the weather will play many factors in it. The first factor is the temperature of the day. Before grapes are picked, they will be ripened on a shelf in a room that has an average temperature. This means that if it gets very hot in the room or there is no air conditioning, they will not develop right and become too ripe.

Another factor that affects how long it takes for grapes to ripen is moisture. When there is a lot of moisture on the leaves, they will stop growing, which means it could take longer to go from green to ripe. It also depends on how much sunlight the grapes are getting because that will also affect the grape ripening process.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to ripeness is that sometimes grapes turn out sweeter if you pick them early and then heat them to make wine.

The length of time it takes for grapes to ripen depends on where they are grown and how dry the weather was at harvest. If the grape is not fully ripe, the flavor will be more tart than fully ripe.

You can speed the ripening process by putting the grapes in a paper bag and leaving them at room temperature. This is more effective if the grapes are close to ripe because they will begin to soften within two or three days and be ready in 10 days. This method is not very practical if you have to store them for more than a week or so, however.

Here are a few common grape varieties that ripen at different times:

  • Concord: One week to three weeks after harvest – If fully ripe
  • Thompson Seedless: 2-3 weeks after harvest – If fully ripe
  • Blue Seedless: 2-4 weeks after harvest – If fully ripe

What is the shelf life of a grape?

Interestingly, this can vary based on several factors.

Grapes should be stored in a dark place with low humidity to ensure that they last longer. They should also be stored separately from other fruit, which can cause them to spoil faster. Theoretically, they can last up to 2 weeks at the right storage conditions and if they have proper air circulation and are not bruised or smashed in any way.

As expected, temperatures of more than 75 F (24 C) will lead to spoilage.

The type of grape used is also a significant factor. Most table grapes are either called red grapes or white grapes. Red grapes include both the traditional red wine varieties as well as hybrid varieties used to make most juice and frozen foods and are typically stored at a slightly lower temperature than white or specialty varieties.

For example, blueberries are less susceptible to spoilage than black raspberries. But, on the other hand, blueberries are more likely to turn dark if they are not stored properly or are kept in the wrong kind of container.

So when does a grape ripen?

Grapes may ripen while they are still on the vine or get ready to be harvested. Grapes ripening on the vine will become very soft and develop a slight “musty” smell (this is normal). You’ll know for sure that they are ready to harvest when the grapes turn a much darker color than usual.

Some grapes are picked under-ripe and then allowed to ripen off the vine, while others are harvested when fully ripe and then shipped or stored. Both of these methods can be effective in getting grapes to ripen. The fruit may begin to soften slightly during shipping, but it should return to its regular firmness within about a day of being received at its destination.

Either way, the grapes will usually be utterly ripe within a week to 10 days of being picked. That might sound pretty quick, but there is a method to the ripening process so that by the time you are ready to enjoy them, they have had time to develop their best flavor.

To keep your grapes from turning too soon — and changing their taste — store them at room temperature (not in a refrigerator) with 40-45 F degree – 59 F degree room temperature (not cold) temperatures. That’s 68 F degree – 77 F degree (for example, a bureau drawer) if your home is not centrally air-conditioned and the air temperature may vary from room to room.

Once ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the spoilage. However, do not store with apples or pears because this can affect their flavor. Grapes can also be frozen in plastic bags in individual portions. They should retain their flavor for up to three months if stored properly.