Are You Living Green, Natural, Or Organic?

cleaning organically
cleaning organically, are they really?

As consumers demand healthier options in all areas of their lives, companies go out of their way to promote their products in an appealing manner. Natural, green, and organic products, which were previously limited to distribution in health food and specialty stores, are now widely available in regular grocery and department stores.

Unfortunately

So, when consumers reach for products labeled as, green, natural, or organic, how do they know they are really buying a safe and better health choice? Unfortunately, in many cases, they don’t. Household cleaners are a perfect example of this. “Green” cleaners often contain some naturally derived ingredients as well as toxins consumers wish to avoid.

To further complicate matters, the ingredient list on these types of products is often incomplete. For example, the Green Works line includes some products, which received a grade of F as evaluated by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental and consumer protection agency.

USDA Organic Label

USDA organic seal
USDA organic seal is our protector

Consumers can protect themselves from misleading and incorrect labeling by purchasing products, which carry the USDA organic label. The USDA organic label requires products and distributors to meet stringent guidelines and third-party certification to carry the label. They can also use resources like those provided by the EWG to verify the safety and quality of products.

Get more comprehensive and detailed information about living organically. Your personal manual that covers the most important things you need to know about organic food, organic living and how you can avoid the various chemicals we encounter every day to eat and live clean.

How Do You Know If Something Is Organic?

If you’re a health-conscious consumer in search of organic products, foods, cosmetics, produce or household supplies, locating valid options may sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. Many products carry labels describing them as organic, green, or natural. On face value, you may assume those products are the same as certified organic products. This is not the case.

National Organic Program (NOP)
National Organic Program (NOP)

Only products meeting guidelines defined and implemented by National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the National Organic Program (NOP) can carry the USDA organic label or the seals of USDA organic certifying agencies. USDA certified agencies monitor producers and distributors for compliance with the guidelines.

70 Percent Organic Ingredients

organic seal for Japan
organic seal for Japan

There are also different types of organic labels: 100 Percent Organic, Organic, and Made with Organic. Only products containing up to 70 percent organic ingredients may carry the USDA certified organic label. They are also the only products, which can legally make organic claims on their labeling. When in doubt, look for the green and white USDA organic certified label to ensure your purchase is organic.

European Union Organic Logo
European Union Organic Logo

Or Number 9

Organic produce can be recognized in two ways. They may be labeled with the USDA organic label. If you do not see the green and white label, you can check the item’s distribution code. All fruits and vegetables carry coding labels. Organic produce always carries codes beginning with the number, 9.

What I Will Be Gardening This Year

vegetable harvest
vegetable harvest a result of our garden, maybe

Every spring I get really excited about everything I will be gardening for the year. I like to plant different vegetables because I really like the variety. I am hoping to have a big harvest this year.

raised garden bed - photo from David Hawgood Raised vegetable beds for disabled access
raised garden bed – photo from David Hawgood Raised vegetable beds for disabled access

I decided to build some raised beds this year. I am hoping that it will be easier for me. I won’t have to bend down as far and I can control the soil. I have a good friend who has had a lot of success with them.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a favorite of mine

I will be growing a lot of tomatoes this year. I love to eat them. I will be planting six of them. I will have two cherry tomato and the rest of them will be bigger for sandwiches and to make sauces with. I also plan to give some to my friends as I am hoping to have a large harvest.

colorful bell peppers
colorful bell peppers shows you there are many varities

I will also be growing bell peppers. I plan to have four of these plants. We like to use bell peppers in our salads or when making salsa. It will be nice to have our own in the backyard. We will have fun watching these plants grow.

Carrots
Carrots are good for our eyes

We will be planting carrots this year. We have never done carrots but hear they can bring a wonderful harvest. We will be planting quite a few of them as we are a big carrot eating family. All of my kids love them and we tend to eat them 3-4 times during the week.

peas
peas are used in tuna salad, yum

We will also be planting peas. I love peas and I have always wanted to grow my own. I plan to plant about eight of them as I know we will eat them all. I grew up on home-grown peas and can’t wait to try them myself.

green bean plant and blooms
green bean plant and blooms

We would also like to try green beans and we enjoy eating those throughout the season. We tried those last year and they were a big hit. We are excited about having more this summer. Everyone but my youngest son loves them.

marigolds
marigolds will repel many harmful pests

We will also be trying to grow some flowers to add some color to the garden. We will be planting Sunflowers, Marigolds and Cosmos. I have never grown them before but hopefully they will grow nicely.

kids gardening
kids gardening now is the best time to learn.

Next Saturday we plan to get started on the garden. My kids are going to help. They love gardening as much as I do. It is a lot of fun to garden with them. They get so excited when something new starts to grow.

My Mom always loved to garden and I think that is why I do too. She taught me the basics early on. For a long time I always kept a pretty small garden but this year I plan to grow a lot more.

I just feel so good when I grow my own food. My kids will eat it and I can share with my friends. I enjoy the whole process and will continue to do it year after year.

Why Use Green Manure Cover Crops

cover crop
cover crop is a worthwhile crop to grow

Gardening is not just about having a green thumb. While it looks like a fun hobby, behind this aspect of agriculture is a science that should be dealt with care and knowledge. The soil is, of course, an essential component of gardening. And as well as the plant itself, the soil should get special treatment. We’ve heard of fertilizers doing amazing things to improve soil, but there’s another alternative: green manure cover crops.

What is Green Manure?

First of all, no. it’s not the mental picture you just got. It’s not green poo. Green manure comes from cover crops— temporary crops that are planted during or at the end of the growing season to retain the viability of the soil for the next planting. While green (hence the name), they are incorporated into the soil by plowing, thus not only adding to the biomass (organic matter) of the pre-imposed soil but also increasing the nutrients that can be made available for the next generation of crops.

Used by Ancient Greeks and Chinese

Green manure has been used for centuries. Broad bean plants were used by Ancient Greeks while the agriculturally-inclined Chinese used grasses for improvement of farm soil. It’s not such a very modern thing after all. Today, many alternatives can be used, and remember: take into account the season in which these alternatives can be grown. Winter cover crops, or fall or late-summer green manure crops are typically legumes, such as Fava beans, cowpea, alfalfa, Sunn hemp, and soybean. Non-leguminous crops, like wheat, rye, radish, sunflower, Sorghum, Tyfon (a plant of the genus Brassica; a relative of mustard) and also mustard itself.

What are the Uses and Benefits of Green Manure?

Aside from the apparent increase in organic material in the soil, green manure crops improve the soil’s aeration (letting the air seep into it; basically, letting the soil breathe), its water filtration and retention, granulation, and it also protects the soil from water and wind erosion. All are beneficial for the growth of the plant. Green manure contributes a lot to the improvement of the soil, unlike chemical fertilizers, which only refurbish certain nutrients.

A Macronutrient

Legume crops, from atmospheric nitrogen, can manufacture fertilizing nitrogen. Along with phosphorus and potassium, nitrogen is a macronutrient that is important for the plants that must be consumed in large amounts. Green manure also suppresses the growth of weeds and lessens the need for pesticides and fertilizers.

Acidifies Soil

Green manure also acidifies alkali (basic) soil. A pH that is more than 6.5 to 6.8 disables the plants from absorbing macronutrients. Unlike composting, green manure adds over 40 tons of organic matter per 1 hectare or 2.47105 acres. While composting requires a water supply nearby, rainwater will make do for green manure crops. Moreover, they are used where they planted; compared to compost, which must first be transported onto the plant field.

Don’t Go To Seed

soybean seed sprouts
soybean seed that has sprouted

One thing that the gardener must be cautious about is sowing cover crops. The gardener should not let it go to seed, else the cover crop will be invasive, spreading throughout the field and will cause damage to the field. Mind you, you’d have a hard time raking them out.

A Win-Win Deal

Before resorting immediately to fertilizers and other mainstream solutions in the gardening industries, look for alternatives first. Green manure for the field will, of course, also incur expenses; but the benefits that it yields outweigh that of chemical solutions. Besides, the cover crops that come before green manure can also be used for human consumption, so it’s a win-win deal.

Crimson Clover is a wonderful cover crop video( 2:36 min) by covercropdave

Garden Videos

I thought that videos are easier to learn from and comprehend faster I would post some videos that I made to emphasize the importance of some gardening functions and benefits. I hope these and future videos will be both enjoyable and educational. The following videos are:

  1. What is butterfly gardening?
  2. Wriggly Friends Help Make Compost
  3. 12 Best Garden Weed Control
  4. Shade Garden – Can You Grow a Garden in a Shady Spot?
  5. Common Garden Insect Pests That you Should Watch Out For
  6. Weeds, how to control them in your garden
  7. Companion planting
  8. Organic fertilizers
  9. 12 Garden chores
  10. 6 tips to take care of your plants
  11. Grow Juicy Tasty Tomatoes
  12. 19 Green Acts

Please just scroll down to your preferred video.

**I do get commissions for purchases made through links in these videos.

What is butterfly gardening?


Wriggly Friends Help Make Compost



At Amazon click here worm compost

12 Best Garden Weed Control



At Amazon click here organic weed control

Shade Garden – Can You Grow a Garden in a Shady Spot?



Enjoy and learn more at garden design ideas

Common Garden Insect Pests That you Should Watch Out For



Enjoy and learn more at garden design ideas

Weeds, how to control them in your garden



At Amazon click here organic weed control

Companion planting

At Amazon click here Companion Planting

Organic fertilizers



At Amazon click here organic fertilizer

12 Garden chores



At Amazon click here organic garden chores

6 tips to take care of your plants



At Amazon click here plant care

Gardening When You Have A Chronic Illness

Don’t let chronic illness prevent you from your love of gardening. These tips and tricks will make it easy for you to continue your favorite hobby in spite of your illness.

Container Gardening

container gardening
container gardening is easily accessible

Get some containers and have them on a table or railing. Even if you’re confined to a wheelchair you can reach them to plant seeds or plant starts. Weeding will be simple because container gardening doesn’t leave much room for weeds. Ideal plants for container gardening are strawberries, tomatoes (consider upside down hanging tomato plants), radishes, lettuces, herbs, cucumbers, garlic, celery, bok choy and other similar vegetables.

Raised Gardening Beds

raised garden bed
raised garden bed helps with bending and reaching

Raised gardening beds can be built to any height. These are ideal for arthritis sufferers who find it painful to bend over and weed a garden. If you’re in a wheelchair they can work well as well. Ideal if you’re suffering from back pain, raised gardening beds aren’t new to the circle of gardening. Any plants that are planted in a regular garden can be planted in a raised garden bed. Raised garden beds are similar to container gardening in that they require minimal maintenance for weeding. Build them 2 feet by 2 feed and you have an ideal garden plot that is easy to keep weeded and grow your favorite veggies.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

Dwarf Orange Tree
Dwarf Orange Tree is an example to harvest fruit at any level

Dwarf fruit trees are designed to not grow past a specific height. In most cases, this can be between five and eight feet. If they are kept pruned they can remain at the lower elevation which means it’s easier to harvest the fruit. Ideal for those who have an illness and can’t commit a lot of time to their gardening, the fruit can often be picked while standing flat on the ground. Minimal maintenance makes this an ideal way to garden. Dwarf Fruit Trees

Consider Smaller Gardens

small garden
small garden makes it easy to take care of

If you can’t do raised garden beds and don’t have containers, you can still garden on a smaller scale. Reduce the size of your garden into 2 foot by 2 foot plots and arrange them in a few different areas of the yard. Don’t spend more than one hour per day on your gardening and you can break that up into 4 fifteen minute intervals. If you have 4 different plots you can spend a few minutes throughout the day gardening and still yield a very profitable vegetable crop.

Potatoes

Gardening potatoes when you’re suffering from a chronic illness is easy. Here are two fun ways to plant potatoes.

  • Tires: put an old tire on the ground and throw in some soil. Plant 5 potatoes in the tire. Stack another tire on top and repeat. You can stack this as high as you desire. Water from the top down. At the end of the summer you can simply tip the tires over and harvest potatoes. the following video shows exactly how it is done.
  • Washtub: You can take that old washtub of grandma’s and throw some potting soil inside. Throw in your potato starts and add a bit more of soil. Water as needed. At the end of the season you’ll have huge potatoes.

A quick video to show a potato tower

Gardening doesn’t have to be a chore, these methods make it fun and easy even if you’re suffering from a chronic illness.

20 Ways To Make Your Home Organic And Eco Friendly

Organic homes can give you and your family many benefits—from health benefits, financial benefits, and environmental benefits. Organic homes can help you reduce your electric bill and can decrease your carbon footprint in the world.

Organic homes can also keep you and your family healthier by cleaning up the air and by decreasing the amount of pathogens your family comes in contact with.

Here are some tips to creating a green, organic home:

1. Plant More Trees as they create an ecosystem that provides a habitat for birds and other animals. Trees also reduce the load of carbon dioxide and harmful gasses, including, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide from the air and instead release oxygen. One large tree supplies enough oxygen for four people.

2. Plant bamboo in your yard and gardens, which produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, both of which help to prevent global warming.

3. Keep your home insulated: Insulation can make your home more energy efficient so you don’t lose cold air in the summer or heated air in the winter. To look for areas where you could use more insulation, get access to a thermal radiometer or to an infrared scanner. This will show you the areas where your home is losing heat. You can even purchase a cheap radiometer from Black and Decker to see where you are letting perfectly good air out of your home.

  • Good organic insulation includes blown in cellulose, which is shredded newspaper. There is also a soy-based insulation spray called BioBased that can provide organic insulation for your home. Wool insulation and bonded recycled denim insulation works well, too, but not as well as BioBased and shredded newspaper.

4. Energy Efficient Windows: A lot of heat is lost through the windows. Buy energy efficient windows if you can. They should be double paned if you live in a cold climate but super-insulated windows made from three layers of glass and argon between the pains is the best for super-cold climates.

5. Go Solar: Solar roofs generate their own energy using the power of the sun to provide energy for your home. Most states offer a tax break for solar installation.

6. Start a compost heap in your backyard for all natural organic gardening.

7. Organic Bedding: Organic grown without pesticides 100% cotton bedding and mattresses create a non-toxic sleep environment for you and your family

8. Green Cleaning: Use or make your own organic cleaning products to avoid petroleum-based chemicals found in conventional products like chlorine that harm ecosystems. These chemicals have also been linked to allergies, asthma, cancers, and certain heart problems.

9. Use Energy Star-qualified appliances, they cost more but will save big on electricity bills in the long run.

10. Recycled Glassware and Tableware – Recycled products make less of an impact on the earth and help reduce the burden on landfills

11. Use a thermostat and stick to its guidelines. Ideally, you should have a programmable thermostat that turns down the temperature when you aren’t at home. Try different thermostatic settings in different parts of the house that you don’t have to heat or cool areas of the house that aren’t used as much. You can even use a smartphone app that will make it easier to heat and cool your house from a distance.

12. Conserve water. Install low flow shower heads and toilets that save water with every flush. Conserving water also applies to the water you use in your yard. Instead of forcing lush greenery in dry climates, put in plants that thrive well in your environment without watering or an excessive amount of landscaping. This is known as xeriscaping.

13. Rake or use a battery powered leaf blower instead to cut down on emissions that can harm the air.

14. Consider your roof: If you have to replace your roof, use white, reflective tiles, green tiles or photovoltaic tiles that will help decrease your carbon footprint. White roofs reflect heat and keep cooling costs down. This can save on cooling bills by nearly 40 percent. Green roofs or living roof do the same thing as white roofs and produce oxygen as well. Green roofs can be very heavy so take that into account when deciding what kind of roof to choose from.

15. Use energy-efficient lighting. Lighting can take up a third of your entire electric bill. Use energy efficient LED lights or make headway in using natural lighting so you don’t need to have lights in your home during the day. LED lighting is found to be more energy efficient and doesn’t contain mercury in the bulbs. Put windows or skylights in your home to keep it light during the day. There are solar tubes and fiber optic sunlight transportation systems that can allow natural light to lighten your home and lessen your energy bill.

16. Manage air quality: Use air filters to keep your family from breathing in dust and mites that are ever-present in the air. Have plenty of plants around that can lead to increased oxygen production and decreased carbon dioxide in your home.

17. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead.

18. Swap the paper napkins for cloth napkins to save the trees used to make them and to reduce the burden on landfills.

19. Choose paperless billing for your bills to save trees used to make the paper and reduce the load on landfills.

20. Recycle!

Organic Versus Non-Organic Whole Food

Organic vs Non Organic
Organic vs Non Organic

We will show here organic vs non-organic facts on food and then you can decide for yourself what is best. Organic food is renowned for having lower levels of toxic substances compared to non-organic food, which is why it is so attractive to consumers and is better for your health.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification that is:

  • 100% Organic— Made entirely from organic materials has the organic seal.

    USDA organic seal
    USDA organic seal
  • Organic— At least 95% organic materials, with remaining ingredients that are approved by USDA, can have the organic seal.
  • Made With Organic Ingredients— At least 70% organic ingredients and can display 3 organic ingredients on the label. Cannot use the organic seal.
  • Non-Organic— If less than 70% organic ingredients, cannot be labeled as organic or use the USDA organic seal.

In fact, when walking past the fruit and vegetable aisle, you may notice that the non-organic fruit and vegetables almost look identical and uniform in appearance. However, when you look at the various organic offerings, you may notice that each vegetable or piece of fruit is quirky in their own right, with different imperfections, and this actually comes down to the fact that non organic food is processed and often enhanced with growth substances – subsequently it is a debate that is currently raging in many countries.

Organic food has minimal enhancers present in the food and is strictly regulated which means that you are buying a better quality product compared to the non-organic range on offer.

However, there are other differences, which, include the level of pesticides used on non-organic food compared to the much healthier organic range, although this is heavily regulated and restricted.

The fact that any of these unhealthy substances can be used on the fruit and vegetables that we eat, only serves as a reminder that organic food is much healthier for us thanks to the strict procedures that have to be undertaken in ensuring that we get a quality product.

Not Just Fruit and Vegetables

organic milk
organic milk also is included as organic

Organic food isn’t just restricted to fruit and vegetables – indeed organic dairy, eggs, and meat have exploded in popularity in recent times. Organic meat for example, often means that the animals have to be fed exclusively on organic feed, which usually means none of the growth-enhancing hormones, artificial substances and even antibiotics that are so prevalent in non-organic foods are used.

Organic food, unfortunately, it may not be within the reach of many consumers because of the marked difference in cost, compared to non-organic produce.

One downside to organic produce is that you may not be able to store it as long, which means it is unlikely to retain its freshness for as long as non-organic produce. This is due to the lack of preservative on the food which is found in so much of the non-organic produce that we buy.

What If You Can’t Afford It

Organic food should be applauded, however, those who cannot afford to buy it will still receive the important nutrients that are so fundamental to our well-being from non-organic produce.

There are things that consumers can do to ensure that they are getting the best non-organic food, simply by looking out for a few things when buying and consuming produce.

For example, thoroughly washing fruit and vegetables will help to get rid of bacteria and even some of the pesticides which have been used on the food. While it won’t necessarily get rid of all trace elements, it will certainly help minimize the risk to health.

Provided that you always aim for your five a day, wash and clean vegetables and try to buy non-organic food which is within the season, non-organic food is still healthy and will still provide essential nutrients.

eco friendly
eco friendly helps all of us

However, if you can afford to buy organic produce, not only will you be consuming something that is spared from additives, you will also be helping the environment thanks to the focus on sustainability and stricter farming practices.

My Personal Opinion

In my personal opinion, the healthiest option is organic – the question, however, is whether it will be more accessible to those who presently cannot afford in, in the future.
How do you know if something is organic Video

Is it important to mulch your gardens?

Red cedar mulch
Red cedar mulch

The soil’s health is key to a productive garden. To ensure a healthy soil a good mulch has to be used. The following items can be used as mulch, they decompose and become part of the soil over time.

The ingredients to use as mulch:

  • cardboard
  • old newspapers
  • straw
  • alfalfa
  • sawdust – “not my favorite”
  • chips of wood
  • grass clippings
  • shredded leaves

As soon as the garden space has been prepared, put a layer of mulch of about 2 inches. To plant your crops, seeds, flowers, and seedlings just push the mulch aside and place.

10 key things that mulch performs are:

1. It stops evaporation of the valuable water.

To avoid watering too much and too frequent a good layer of mulch is needed. The conservation of water is something all of us need to start taking heed of. Most of all states have a drought sooner or later and water will be rationed. We are beginning to understand the value of conserving water. Collect rainwater. Mulching is definitely a way of conserving water.

2. It keeps weeds from growing.

weeds
A weed is a plant that is not wanted in our landscape

Mulch will keep weeds to a controllable chore. This chore can be backbreaking. Weeds will challenge our plants for water and nutrients.

3. Mulch is Mother Nature’s blanket for the soil.

That blanket will keep the soil cooler.

Why cool soil? The importance of cool soil from applied mulch allows microscopic plants, bacteria, and earthworms stay active. These microscopic plants, bacteria, and earthworms will not survive in hot dried up soil. Let’s make all these friends to healthy soil live comfortably.

4. Mulch is a regulator of soil temps.

Cold temperatures protect plants with mulch. Cold soil can destroy all your plants.

Remember, during the last heat stress how your plants looked? You will know that the plants are experiencing stress. This is how the plant is trying to survive.

5. Mulch is a provider of nutrients over time.

In a forest of trees, nature is providing those trees with mulch with the branches, twigs, and leaves falling to the ground. All of that will decompose and give food and habitat to grubs, worms, helpful insects, and beneficial microorganisms which will do their job making plenty of organic matter. See the similarity to mulch doing the same thing for your garden? After decomposition, this rich product brings a lot of beneficial insects to the site to improve the soil.

6. Mulch reduces erosion and protects the soil.

soil erosion
soil erosion will take all the good of a garden

Erosion is not anyone’s friend. It prevents the soil from keeping the nutrients that it needs and to keep water. Exposes the subsoil. If your garden is to survive and be healthy it needs your protection as a main priority.

7. Mulch makes the landscape look appealing and groomed.

Look at your garden after applying mulch, does it look more appealing? The garden is now ready to show off to friends and family. A neat and orderly layout of plants is accomplished. The whole garden is untidy if not mulched. Visit a botanical garden and see what a well-mulched garden will look like.

8. Mulch can be used as a garden path.

garden mulch path
garden mulch path makes it easy to visit your garden

You can now walk between the rows of flowers and vegetables with ease. After a good rain try walking thru the garden without mulch.

9. Mulch is eco-friendly and will save your energy, money, and time.

Imagine saving time not having to do a lot of weeding. Cuts back on watering to save money. Cut back on buying products to feed the soil.

10. Mulch is a critical product to help with organic gardening.

Don’t start that garden for flowers or for vegetables without having a good amount of mulch on hand to apply.

mulched vegetable garden-beautiful
mulched vegetable garden-beautiful

Diatomaceous Earth For Garden Use

Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth has the texture of talc.
Diatomaceous Earth is made of diatoms which are smashed fossilized algae from fresh water. Having a talc-like feeling, the sharp blade-like edges cut open and penetrate the pest’s exoskeleton and causes it to dehydrate on the outside. While on inside when the insect eats the powder, which is highly porous and dry, takes the moisture out of the insect. DE must be dry to be effective. In addition, insects will not become immune to DE. A big warning must be given, beneficial insects will be affected as well. So be careful with this powder.

Particles that are microscopic will kill both inside and outside the pest’s body.

Here is a list of pest’s that DE will kill. Place the powder in crevices and cracks around the home and this should catch them at their homes.

  • Grasshoppers
  • Carpet Beetles
  • Ants
  • Centipedes
  • Crickets
  • Bedbugs
  • Roaches
  • Silverfish
  • Earwigs
  • Millipedes
  • Fleas

Living Areas and Kitchens

A slight layer of the powder placed behind and underneath furniture, windowsills, appliances, and doorways should hit them in your home.

Garages, Basements, and Attics

To end their breeding make sure to place it anywhere they may nest.

Mattresses and Beds

Bedbugs can be eliminated if you spread the powder all over the mattress and bed area.

Patios and the Exterior of The House

Lets stop the pest’s before they enter the home by using around windows, outdoor areas, and entryways.

Added Information

  1. Do not heat this DE as it negates the effectiveness. To see how truly small these particles are the size is approximately 0.000472441 inches.
  2. It is also used for the storage of grain as it prevents the grain from caking. The FDA has given it OK to use in this area.
  3. Research cannot verify the rumor that is good for a dewormer in animals. However, farmers do add it to the animal feed to stop caking.
  4. Hydroponic gardens of some gardeners use it as a growing media.
  5. Bonsai growers are known to use it as a media. Some use it in pots at 100% media and some just add it as an additive. Within a garden for growing vegetables the added Diatomaceous Earth is good for water retention, holds nutrients, allows good oxygen circulation, and drains well.

Home Garden Soil Testing

You Need To Test Your Soil, Why?

soil test
soil test done at least twice a year

For healthy growth plants need to be feed with plant food. N, P,and K are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash. Just like protein, vitamins, and minerals that we need, plants require these three elements for growth. Your home garden soil testing will improve your garden production.

How Do I Test The Soil?

Look for a test kit with an easy to read system, maybe color coded. It should be a fast and easy test to help you get the proper ingredients to the garden soil.

There Is A Correct Time To Test Your Soil.

Spring
Spring 1st test of the year.
Test on a regular basis, especially during the growing season. At the least, before the Spring and Fall planting.

Elements Of The Soil

Nitrogen

green leaves
green leaves provided by nitrogen
Plant nutrition starts with nitrogen. It provides food for green leaves and leaf growth. Without this nutrient the leaves are yellow and the plant will not grow well. If you add too much nitrogen you will get an abundant amount of leaves and delay the blooming. You also get poor fruiting and that plant will most likely get some form of disease.

Phosphorus

young plant from seed
young plant from seed
Phosphorus is a must have for the plant. Phosphorus is responsible for seed growth and blooms A lack of this element gets you unhealthy seed growth and if it does grow it will a stunted growth. The good phosphorus does includes good fruit development, wards off disease, and the vitamins will improve.

Potash

root system
root system is healthy because of potash
Potash helps the plant grow stronger. Both protein and carbohydrates are helped. Flavor of the fruit and the color will be improved. Potash aids in stem strength, cold hardiness, early growth. Without potash, you will see your plants under developed and the roots will not form correctly. Also, the leaves have dead ended, curled, and spotted. The fruit production will be low.

  

Acidity and Alkalinity- pH

pH scale
pH scale shows examples
In order for the plants to use correctly the food it receives the soil must have the correct pH. Each variety of plant has their own pH level they do best with. Know that pH. Choose the plants that match the pH preference of your soil or at least gain knowledge of how to supply the plants special needs.

What you have accomplished by testing the soil is coming up with the most effective, accurate, and most economical way to please the soil and plants.

 
 
 

I recommend and Amazon shows this is #1 seller for soil testing kit.
Please click on this link to obtain this amazing soil testing kit.