C A N T E R B U R Y.   N I C E   C O U N T R Y.

Image soilblockpix1-300x225.jpg

SOIL BLOCK: The Pot-less Way of Seeding

Posted · Add Comment

Photo by: http://bit.ly/1zZz2Yy

What could be better and easier than starting your seedling in soil blocks? It’s a very efficient method of starting seedlings. In Europe, a volume of research where made about soil blocks and has shown superior transplanting results than those in containers.
Soil blocks a basically blocks of soil made using a tool called soil blocker. Unlike seedling containers, soil blocks are delicate at first but becomes sturdy once the plant roots has established itself in the block.
Why grow seedlings in soil blocks? Primarily, the idea is to reduce the shock that seedling plants experience during transplanting. It helps grow strong, healthy transplants for a great start in the garden. It’s less expensive, you do not need to buy plastic containers for individual transplants which usually end up in landfills. The process is much faster. You save time during seeding as the blocks come ready with depression for the seed. Transplanting becomes easier and fun because there’s no pots to be removed.
Your plants will not suffer root shock as most transplants experienced grown in plastic and rough peat containers. In soil blocks, the roots grow to the outer part of the block and turn back inward to avoid the air surface of the soil blocks. In this way plants can gradually adapt to the garden environment with very minimal shock. And since the blocks were pre-wetted, you don’t have to water them for several days.
There is one disadvantage I find with soil blocks though, they lose their moisture quite rapidly because most of the parts are exposed to air. The solution…. Daily watering! And the trick here is to water from the bottom instead from the top. Fill the tray lightly with water, it will move around and up the block without disturbing the plants.
Here’s some simple steps to make your soil blocks. The first thing you need to do is find a good quality soil blocker and if possible in different sizes. (Let Google help you!) The initial cost may be a bit high, but you get your savings in the long run. Next is to make a soil mix recipe. Mix and wet the soil thoroughly until you have the right consistency and the best way of doing it is with your hands, and with gloves of course. Compressed the soil well in the blocker to make sure that they will hold properly and don’t fall apart when you dislodge them from blocker. Line them up in a flat pan or germination tray and start placing the seeds. When the seedlings are ready to transplant, just take the block and placed it in your garden! Really easy, there’s no shaking and cutting out the pots, but more importantly, there’s no transplant shock, and plants are able to adapt more easily to its new surroundings. Try using soil blocks on your next seeding project.
Have fun gardening!

Image fungalpix2-300x194.jpg

PLANT DISEASE- Limiting the Risk in Your Garden

Posted · Add Comment

Photo by: http://bit.ly/1pov5fN

Bacteria, fungi and numerous microscopic creatures are just below the soil where your plants’ roots feed and grow. Although most are helpful and even essential to keeping your plant healthy, there are also some that attack the plants’ root keeping them from taking in water and nutrients, hindering their growth and eventually killing them.
Plant disease usually starts as spores in the soil and at some time in the stems of undeveloped plants and they wait for the right condition to incubate and develop into an organism that will cause havoc to your crops. And once this fungal disease establishes itself, only a few options are left for you to counter it, resort to using fungicide or destroy the whole infected crop.
Regardless of how much time and effort you spend on your garden pruning, you simply cannot protect them against plant diseases. But there is a way to keep bacteria and fungi from assaulting your garden. Not all hope is gone. By studying and being able to recognize the symptoms, knowing what causes them and by practicing some preventive measures, you will be able to avoid the damage it can cause to your garden.

Image Broken-Mirror.jpg

Projecting Sales Success

Posted · Add Comment

One of the most critical concerns a business owner, entrepreneur, or sales manager has is gaining insight into future sales potential.  Given that many businesses are under-capitalized and struggle to manage cash flow and revenue generation, having insight into future sales and when those sales will occur is of paramount importance. The Default Approach In many instances, the […]

Image wateringpix2-300x209.jpg

Watering Your Seedlings

Posted · Add Comment

Photo by: http://bit.ly/1m0vW03

Water is one of the crucial components when you’re starting plants from seeds. Too little of water, the seed will not germinate and much of it will drown the seed. Watering seedlings are a lot different and not as simple as watering matured plants. Extra care is needed as seedlings are very delicate and can easily be damaged or washed out. Water gently to prevent damping of the soil. Dampened soil will crate pathogens that can attack the seeds even before they germinate. Seeds need breathing space for them to grow and it will be difficult if the space they have are always filled with water. Actually, at this tender stage, seeds or seedlings just need to be well moistened and not literally “watered”.
There are three ways to provide water to your seed(ling)s.
The most popular way is watering them from the top. Seeds are usually placed an inch from the soil’s surface and this is where water is needed the most. The top part of the soil dries up quickly because they are very much exposed to air, allowing more evaporation to occur. The best tool to use is a spray bottle and a small watering can. Invest in a good spray bottle and get one with an adjustable nozzle. And remember, never use them for other purposes like for insecticides.
The second way is watering from the bottom also known as “wicking”. This is probably the easiest way, but it takes some time to completely moisten up the soil. In this process, a base tray is used with about a quarter full of water and having the seed container sit on it. Through the bottom hole of the seed container, water is soaked up into the soil mix. Keep just enough water on the tray to avoid growth of fungus or molds.
And the third way is making pre- moistened mix that you will be putting on the growing containers. Potting mixes or garden soil can be quite dry, so they need to be watered just enough to have a consistent moisture level. This process allows you to have a moist potting mix ready for seeding without the need of watering for a day or two. Try to make a good batch estimate that will just be enough for the seeds you will be planting, you don’t want to end up with so much wet dirt.
It’s really a bit trickier when watering seedling and it would be a good idea to use a combination of the mentioned watering systems. Keep in mind that seeds enjoy water that has reached room temperature. Too cold or too hot will surely shock the seedlings. The best time to water them is in the morning where it’s fairly cool and with low winds, keeping evaporation to a minimal.
Good luck and have fun!

Auto Bits: Tips on making smart tire choices

Posted · Add Comment

Tip of the WeekTires certainly look simple – black and round – but they are highly engineered technical wonders designed to work in concert with a vehicle’s braking and steering systems. However, knowing which type of tire to get can be kind of tricky. For instance, there are high-performance (HP) tires, as well as ultra high-performance (UHP). How different are they and how can you tell which one will work better for you?“It’s a good […]