Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grow Your Own Lemon Tree and Make Lemonade

Getting started
Don't know where to get lemon seeds? Buy a lemon, silly. Make some homemade lemonade using this recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 gallon cold water

In a one gallon container, mix the sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and cold water. Garnish with whichever fruits you wish.

Planting and Pollinating
  So now you should have many squished lemons, and consequently many lemon seeds. Carefully remove the seeds you want to plant and let them dry for several days. There is no need to rinse them. Next, plant the seeds about an inch deep in potting soil (acidic soil is better for the plants) and keep the soil damp. I only recommend one seed per pot. Put the pot with your seed in a very sunny, warm area of your home. The plants will do well as long as they are in a 70 degree environment.
   Soon the seeds should germinate and tiny oval-shaped leaves will be visible. Keep the soil moist and mist the leaves weekly, or more often if the humidity in your home is low. Lemon trees are perfect indoor plants, reaching only 3-4 feet in height in most cases. During the winter, white flowers will grow, which smell quite pleasant. During the summer, be sure to let your lemon tree live outdoors if possible, so that insects can pollinate it for you.
  If you cannot leave your lemon tree outdoors for whatever reason, there is a simple way to do it yourself. One option is to lightly shake the tree so that pollen will fall onto the stigmas. After three years of growth, the plant should be mature enough to produce fruit. Citrus plants are self pollinating, so you do not necessarily need to move pollen from tree to tree. However, if you wish to do this, simply use a cotton swab to pick up some pollen from within a flower and rub the pollen you picked up on the tip of another flower. If the plant has not produced blossoms ever, shake it kind of hard and hit the trunk lightly. In theory the plant will respond to being "attacked" by producing blossoms as a last chance to produce more lemon plants.
  Lemon plants are beautiful, whether they are kept indoors or outside. They have glossy leaves and a classic citrus smell. I hope you enjoy your new plant companion.
  My lemonade recipe came from the lovely Paula Deen, and you can find it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemonade-recipe/index.html
  Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

We Have Moved

Hello, We Have moved!
Come visit
The Growing Patch
on our new site.

There is so much more to do and see over there.
Don't be shy, come on over!

Growers Trust Product review P1

Growers Trust Product review Part 1.

 I received a package in the mail today from Growers Trust. In case you missed the first post, you can see it here at Growers Trust review coming soon. When I opened the box, I was very surprised. I know on the Growers Trust website you can buy the 16 fl oz, 32fl oz, 1 gallon, and 1 gallon concentrate bottles . For a review I thought I was going to receive a smaller sample bottle or the 16fl oz, but they sent me a full sized 32fl oz bottle. That was very nice of them, and I am sure I will use every last drop.
So these are the two products that they sent. One of the great things about getting these in the mail was the packaging. I've ordered a few products online before, and they generally come in over sized boxes, and a generous amount of paper. The box was just big enough, with just enough paper to hold and secure the two products. This is always nice, as I do not want to create a bunch of trash, or use a lot of trees.

Both bottles come with their own spray nozzle, and directions on the back. The nice touch on the instructions, is there is an indoor process, and outdoor process.

The first product I am going to talk about is the Powdery Mildew killer. I applied the spray on the plants that had visible powdery mildew on them. I applied a generous amount as the directions said. I have to say that the products smell nice. There are no harsh chemicals, or foul odors. They are primarily plant extract and citrus oil, so there was a nice smell of lemons in the air when I sprayed my plants. I sprayed my plants about three hours ago.
 Checking my plants again, I saw a little bit of powdery mildew left on the worst leaf of my bamboo. I took my thumb and gently rubbed the leaf, and the mildew came right off, whereas before I would be able to rub some off, but a small amount would still visibly remain.
  The bottle says to repeat every 5-7 days as needed. For this leaf, I am going to repeat the process just to make sure. On my other plants and leaves that had the Powdery Mildew, I see no more evidence on the plants. In 5-7 days, I will spray again and apply the product to my bamboo, and I should be set.
  Over all, on the Powdery Mildew Killer, I am very pleased and impressed. Growers Trust has a very good, and organic product. I will suggest this to my friends and family. If you notice that you have any Powdery Mildew on your indoor plants, or you live in a warmer region, Go over to http://www.growerstrust.com and pick up a bottle of Powdery Mildew Killer. I am sure that you will be just like myself, pleased, and delighted with the product that you receive.

 Check back later as I give a review on Growers Trust's Spider Mite Killer.
   Thank you for reading,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Annual or Perennial?

Annual or Perennial?

 Have you ever wondered what the difference was? When you get into gardening these two words are thrown around a lot. So, what is an Annual and what is a Perennial?

Annual-  Annuals only live once a year. They usually germinate, and die off after a year, or when the seasons change, depending on your climate zone. If you prevent an annual from seeding, it may live longer then a year.
  Types of Annuals:
     corn, beans, grains, marigolds, blue eyes, daisies, begonias, and much much more.

Perennial- Perennials are plants that live for more then two years. Some perennials are only grown as annuals depending on the climate they are grown in, and the gardener.
   Types of Perennials:
     Wooded plants, orchids, ferns, aster, baby's breath, and much more.

So there you go, a little less trouble when it comes to deciding between an Annual and a Perennial. I hope you enjoyed this post.
   Thank you for reading,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indoor Lighting: How much is enough?

Indoor Lighting: How much is enough?

  I've been wanting to do more intense growing, and get away from plants that only need indirect lighting. If I want to get a set up that can grow plants that require more light, I'll need to know a few things.

  Space for gardening
  Lighting fixtures

  Precise humidity control

  Space to develop a garden
  First of all, I live in an apartment. I have a stepson and wife as well, so I can not use an entire room. Currently I have a table in front of my sliding glass door. This table holds my plants. The table is a little full, but with some organization I can clear some space.
 Second, I have a 15 gallon fish tank that I have been holding onto. I can clear enough space off the table to hold the tank. So I will use the tank to hold my plants, and it will make sense later why I chose to use an aquarium.

Lighting fixtures
  How much lighting would I need to light up this tank? That all depends on the type of plants I will be growing.

 High Light Plants: around 40 watts of light per square foot.
 Low Light Plants: around 25 to 30 watts of light per square foot.

 Great! So how much square feet do I have? Use this formula:

  Width (in feet) x Depth (in feet) = Square feet

 I have 2 x 1 = 2 square feet of growing space.
For high level plants I will need 80 watts total, and 50-60 watts for low light plants.

Humidity Control
In an aquarium this is rather easy. There are lids to fish tanks, that can hold humidity around 90 to 100% pretty easily. I'll be using an Aqueon Versa Top. They fit very well into a tank. If you do an aquarium garden, and need to control the humidity well, I would pick up a Versa Top. The other reason why I want a fairly tight sealing lid, specifically the one mentioned previously, is that it keeps all the moisture away from the lights. So I do not have to worry about a fire or anything while I go out during the day.

And that is it. The math is pretty easy to figure out how much light you will need. I hope that I helped you answer any questions. If you are looking to start up an indoor garden, let me know. I would love to see or hear about your set up, and what plants you are going to grow.

 Thanks for reading,

Cornucopia Recipe

  • Tear off a 30x18 inch sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Fold it in half to 18x15 inch. Roll diagonally to form a hollow cone, about 18 inches long with a diameter of 5 inches at the widest end (Cornucopia opening). Fasten end with clear tape. Stuff cone with crumpled regular foil until form is rigid. Bend tail of cone up then down at end. Spray the outside of the aluminum cone with non-stick cooking spray. Place on cookie sheet.
  • Beat the egg with the water to make a glaze. Open and unroll the first can of bread stick dough on work surface. Separate bread sticks. Begin by wrapping one bread stick around tip of cone. Brush end of next bread stick with Glaze and press to attach to end of first bread stick. Continue spiral-wrapping cone, slightly overlapping dough until there are 3 bread sticks left.
  • Pinch one end of the 3 breadsticks together, then braid. Brush bread around opening of cornucopia with glaze. Gently press on braid. Brush entire cornucopia with glaze.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until bread is a rich brown. (If parts start to darken too much, cover them with pieces of foil.)
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet on a wire rack. Carefully remove foil when cool. (If freezing, leave foil in bread for support. Remove when thawed.)
  • This Recipe came from http://allrecipes.com/ , and this recipe can be found at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cornucopia/  Check the site out. 

    Do you have any good centerpieces? Send Me an email at growingpatchblog@gmail.com and I'll make a new post out of them.

     Thank you for reading,

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    TGP's second Author..

      A New Author
      The TGP has a new author, Holly. She will be doing a post hopefully next week. She is a little under the weather with the flu. I went to High School, and worked with her at the pet store. I am excited to see her articles on TGP. Here is Holly's profile.

      I am a pet store employee and student at a nearby university. I am majoring in Environmental Studies and Biology, and minoring in Chemistry. I have several associates degrees related to biology. My interest in plant life began when I was approximately five, when my dad enlisted me to help him plant 100 trees on our property where a corn field used to be. I did not understand it then, but I definitely appreciate what he did now. The old field is now a forest of oaks and pines.
       I went on to plant extremely successful vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and wildflower gardens (for the fauna). I am extremely interested in attracting hummingbirds and other rarely seen birds to my area. Recently I decided I wanted a lemon tree, so while making lemonade, I dried some seeds and was able to successfully grow some seedlings, which I am very proud of.
       I am also interested in insectivorous plants, which I have had some success with. Sundews and water pitchers are probably my favorites. I hope to learn a lot from this, and teach a lot in turn. Thanks.

    Look for Holly's posts coming up. Until then, check out these Reusable Foods. 
     Have a great day!