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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.

What animal eats pepper plants

You will get see many gardens where the pepper is grown. People love to have it in their garden due to various reasons. First of all, it requires little care and thus is easy to be looked after. Moreover, it can also be used as a spice whenever the need arises. It can also be plucked when to wish to prepare the same. It is used to prepare a variety of dishes as per your choice.

But it is also a fact that pepper can be damaged or eaten by numerous types of pests, insects, and animals. In spite of taking due care, these plants can get spoiled just because of this. Now, let us talk about animals that eat and cause harm to these pepper plants. Below is the list of what animal eats pepper plants.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar is an herbivorous animal and is found in many gardens. The look of this small animal is such that sometimes it is hard to figure out whether it is sitting on the pepper plant or not. It can cause a lot of damage to your pepper plant. It basically eats leaves but it has also been observed that it can even finish the entire pepper plant overnight. Its presence can be known due to its dropping on the leaves of a pepper plant.

Slugs and Snails:

Slugs and Snails can also cause a lot of harm to this plant. So, when you notice any slug or snail in your kitchen garden it is time that you do not ignore it. You need to remove it from your garden so that your pepper plants and other plants are safe. For this, you can easily remove them by picking them with your hands. They can be detected as they leave a trail behind them. So, if you can’t see them but if you see the trail as well you need to be extra cautious.

White files:

These files are dangerous and harm the plant in many ways. You can identify it by its white color and small size. In case if you are not able to figure out the best way to find out whether they are present on the pepper plant is to shake your plant. Once you shake it these files will come out and fly. So, if you think that there is a presence of these whiteflies n in your garden you can get rid of it. This can be done by shaking the plant almost daily so that these files find some other place to settle down.

Thrips:

Thrips are very small in size and it is difficult to spot them. If you see them in your garden should do things to remove them. If you do not take timely action to remove it, it can eat the leaves and flowers of your plant. It is easy to control thrips compared to other animals. You can spray an organic spray to get rid of it.

Pepper Weevils:

These are small insects but their body is hard. With their long proboscis, they can easily eat flowers and leaves of the pepper plant. Adult as well as larvae both cause damage and even eat the pepper plant. The fruits of the pepper plant are mostly damage by the larvae.

Rabbits and Deer:

Rabbits and deer can also destroy the pepper plant completely. The only thing is that it is comparatively easier to notice them. So, if you think that your pepper plants can be damaged by them then you can fix a fence around your plant and save it.

Apart from the above-mentioned insects and animals, there are numerous other animals that can damage the pepper plant. So, you need to monitor your kitchen garden daily so that you come to know if there is an intruder in your garden. To get rid of these intruders you need to water the plants daily and use organic spray to keep them away. You also need to shake the plant a little bit to get rid of flies. Sometimes these animals eat the half leaf and sometimes you see a small hole in the leaf which is an indication that there is the presence of either of these animals in your garden. Take care of your pepper plants by understanding the tips mentioned above.

Best Fertilizer for Sunflowers

Because of their “sunny disposition,” sunflowers have become a very popular choice for many summer gardens. Moreover, they are easy to grow, making them perfect for beginner gardeners. 

The most difficult part in growing sunflowers is to choose what fertilizer to use because there are many varieties to choose from. Before choosing the best fertilizer for sunflowers, you should first learn how to use these products to help your sunflowers grow. 

Fertilizing sunflowers

Sunflowers are quite easy to grow and are only affected by some types of pests. They rarely need further fertilizing during the growing season. You might not even need to give anything more than just water during this season if you have loamy and rich soil.

Easy as sunflowers are to raise, you still have to know how to fertilize these plants correctly. For instance, if you apply too much nitrogen to annual sunflowers, this will make them grow very tall with plenty of foliage but few flowers. 

But there are perennial varieties of sunflowers that will benefit from regular fertilization. This means that you should know the fertility level of your soil and the nutritional needs of the sunflower variety you will grow before applying fertilizer.

If you have a garden bed amended with plenty of organic materials, you might not have to apply fertilizer to raise healthy sunflowers with plenty of blooms. First, you must observe. 

If you see that your sunflower plants lack nutrients, then you should apply a small amount of slow-release granular fertilizer to your plants’ root zones. Water the area around the base of your plants plant soon after applying the fertilizer to bring the nutrients to the roots.

Top 5 Fertilizers for Sunflowers

#1. Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules

Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules will give you a bountiful harvest of organic flowers, herbs, and vegetables. You will already start to see the effects after just a few days. the cap comes with a built-in shaker applicator for more convenience to make feeding your sunflowers a lot easier. For best results, re-apply the fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks, and don’t forget to water your flowers regularly.

Pros

  • Made with all-natural, organic ingredients. 
  • Provides results in a matter of 7 days.
  • Feeding container and in-ground plants is very easy thanks to the shaker jug.
  • Suitable for flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. 

Cons

  • Some issues with molds, especially with indoor plants.
  • Tends to attract flies and other bugs. 

#2. Dr. Earth Fertilizer & Soil

Dr. Earth Fertilizer & Soil has main components like alfalfa meal, fishbone meal,  soft rock phosphate, mined potassium sulfate, and feather meal. It’s made from 100% natural and organic ingredients. This fertilizer works well on different types of flowers. Even if the nutrients in the fertilizer get released quickly, they will continue to supply food to your flowers for several months. This fertilizer is non-GMO and it’s safe for people and your pets.

Pros

  • Feeds all kinds of rhizomes, corms, tubers, and bulbs. 
  • Non-GMO fertilizer that contains sewage sludge or chicken manure.
  • Feeds plants for several months. 
  • Contains 7 different kinds of beneficial soil microbes and pro-biotic components. 

Cons

  • Doesn’t dissolve easily in water.
  • Some customers have complained about the smell.

#3. Burpee Natural Organic All Purpose Granular Plant Food

Burpee Natural Organic All Purpose Granular Plant Food is an organic, all-purpose plant food that guarantees to keep your sunflowers growing and healthy throughout the season. Aside from the major nutrients contained in this fertilizer, it also has minor nutrients, calcium, and beneficial microbes that will keep the soil healthy. All these get released right after application and will continue to feed your plants for up to 3 months. 

Pros

  • All-purpose fertilizer that’s formulated to give long-lasting results. 
  • Suitable for flowers, container gardens, vegetables, trees, and other plants.
  • Listed for organic use on OMRI. 
  • Enriched with beneficial microbes and calcium for outdoor and indoor plants. 

Cons

  • Some issues with consistency.
  • Not as effective on produce.

#4. Miracle Gro Garden Pro Bloom Booster

Miracle Gro Garden Pro Bloom Booster is the perfect choice for perennials, annuals, and plants in window boxes or containers. Its high-phosphorus content promotes big blossoms and big plant growth. The fertilizer features a double-feeding action where it feeds the plant through both the leaves and the roots. It’s safe for your plants and it won’t burn when you use it directly. After application, it will work immediately, feeding your plant through the soil zone and foliage. 

Pros

  • Suitable for sunflowers and other blooming plants.
  • Feeds plants instantly for lovely results.
  • Promotes plant growth and production of big blooms.
  • Prevents burning and overfeeding when used properly. 

Cons

  • It’s relatively expensive.
  • Requires high dosages to use.

#5. Jobe’s Organics Fertilizer

Jobe’s Organics Fertilizer many advantages for organic gardening. It will improve your garden’s soil quality in the long term while increasing root mass. It promotes plant growth while helping your garden resist insects, drought, disease, and other unfavorable conditions. It delivers these long-term benefits without harmful chemicals. This fertilizer contains is a unique blend of beneficial microorganisms.

Pros

  • Contains Archea, a microorganism that breaks nutrients down aggressively for quick results.
  • Improves the condition of the soil and helps reduce disease and insects.
  • Certified organic, which means it doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals.
  • Comes in a convenient re-sealable bag.

Cons

  • It has a strong smell.

Verdict

There are several ways of meeting the needs of sunflower fertilizers and you have the task of choosing the fertilizer which will suit your plants best. The most popular option these days are the slow-release granular fertilizers because you can easily work them into the soil to deliver nutrients to the root zone of your plants. But at the end of the day, the choice lies with you. Any of these products is a great option. All you have to do is to make your choice.

Best Soil for Sunflowers

It is a beautiful scene to see sunflowers in bloom, especially during summer. The bright-yellow blooms are like smiles on stems to make summer days sunnier. Fortunately, growing sunflowers is quite easy as they are pest-resistant, fast-growing, and heat-tolerant. 

You can use sunflower blooms to decorate your home, just leave them on their stalks for a beautiful garden, or harvest them for their seeds, which make for a tasty snack. If you plan to grow your own sunflowers, here are some tips on choosing the best soil.

Planting Sunflower Seeds

Although you can buy starter plants at a home improvement store or a nursery, you can also try growing sunflowers with seeds. Just sow the seeds directly into the soil. If you already have your preferred variety of sunflowers, buy the seeds. Then plant those seeds following these steps:

  • Plant the seed after spring when the soil is at least 60˚F. The best time to plant is between March and May.
  • Plant the seeds in the soil less than 1-inch deep and around 6-inches away from each other. Thin the seedlings when they reach 6-inches in height to leave the healthiest plants with 12-inches of spaces between them.
  • For continuous blooms, keep your planting staggered. Sow a new row of seeds every 2 to 3 weeks. This is a process called succession planting that will give you continuous blooms until winter.
  • It will take between 80 and 120 days for the sunflower seeds to grow from the time you plant the seed in the soil until the flowers bloom. This will depend on the variety too.

Top 5 Soil for Sunflowers

#1. Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is a concentrated planting mix that's an excellent substitute for garden soil that you can use either in the ground or in pots or other containers. Adding water to the mix will allow the compressed plant food and coir to expand and supply the plant with food for up to 6 months. This planting mix can hold up to 50% more water compared to basic potting soil and create up to 90% more air. This will give your plant's root system all the room they need to grow and develop.

Pros

  • An excellent garden soil substitute.

  • You can use this in pots or on the ground.

  • Feeds your plants for up to 6 months.

  • Holds more water compared to basic potting soil.

Cons

  • Some issues with molds.

  • Some claim that there are bits of plastic mixed in the potting soil.

#2. Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix

Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix is ideal for both outdoor and indoor plants. The mix comes enhanced with a Micro-Tone formula that saves water offering good retention of moisture to reduce drought stress. Using this potting soil will promote the growth of roots to grow bigger plants. The potting soil is also organic, which is important if you don't want synthetic substances and chemicals around your seedlings.

Pros

  • Potting soil for outdoor and indoor plants.

  • Features an enhanced micro-tone formula that saves water. 

  • Reduces drought stress and improves moisture retention.

  • Comes in an easy-to-open bag that's resealable.

Cons

  • Some claim that there is a risk of fungus gnats.

  • It's relatively expensive.

#3. Organic Seed Starting Soil Potting Mix

Organic Seed Starting Soil Potting Mix is a professionally formulated soil potting mix with carefully screened forest gold and sphagnum peat plus some organic fertilizer. All these contribute to quicker root development. This is the perfect potting mix for optimum growth of general indoor potting, ornamentals, cuttings, and seedlings. It has a 5.5 pH level. This professional and organic seed starting soil mix is specially formulated for fast root development to grow more vigorous and healthier plants.

Pros

  • Special formulations boost root growth and development.

  • All-natural and organic potting mix that's ideal for germinating different kinds of seedlings.

  • Suitable for indoor plants and it's a great garden starter too.

  • Comes in a reusable sealing bag that keeps the soil fresh.

Cons

  • Some issues with molds.

  • Some claim that it's too clumpy.

#4. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro Potting Mix will make your plants the center of attention in your neighborhood. It will provide the right ingredients for your plants to grow more beautiful and bigger too. The formulated mix will feed your plants for up to 6 months for more color and more blooms. You can use it for both outdoor and indoor plants. The potting mix is a complete in-ground soil suitable for different kinds of flowers and plants.

Pros

  • Contains a special formulation that's fortified with plant food.

  • Produces bigger and more colorful plants.

  • Will feed your plants for up to 6 months.

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor plants.

Cons

  • Some issues with molds.

  • Some claim that the potting mix contains bugs.

#5. Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil

Pros

  • Ideal for growing flowers and other kinds of plants too.

  • Suitable for planting indoor and outdoor plants, mulching, transplanting, and more.

  • Contains organic and all-natural ingredients.

  • Certified safe for people and plants.

Cons

  • Some issues with fungi growth.

  • May contain pebbles and bits of wood.

Verdict

Sunflowers are an attractive breed that is very easy to grow. In fact, they are one of the easiest plants to grow because they thrive well in direct sunlight and they aren't choosy when it comes to soil. The most popular sunflowers are the giant varieties. They grow very tall and have bright yellow blooms. Now that you know the best soil products to grow your sunflowers, you can start planting these flowers in your garden.