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Homemade Fertilizer for your Garden- An Easy to Make Natural Fertilizer

Homemade Fertilizer for your Garden- An Easy to Make Natural Fertilizer

Homemade fertilizer … Is that really an option as a gardener?  Don’t I need that expensive store bought natural fertilizer?  You are one of those folks who likes to do it yourself while in your vegetable & flower gardens.  You feel that throwing away food scraps into the landfill is a waste.  Here are a couple easy ways to make your homemade fertilizers that you can either store for later usage or mix with water or compost tea to use as a liquid fertilizer.

Tell me more about homemade fertilizersHomemade Fertilizer for your Garden

Let’s preface this that you already have the knowledge about the basics of fertilizers.  Check out these posts in the links that delve deeper into topics such as slow release fertilizers and water soluble fertilizers.  Basically, your plants need some food in order to thrive and grow abundantly.  Why not be the garden hero and do your part to save the world & grow some kick @ss tomatoes at the same time? (Trying to keep these posts PG, so my girls can read this stuff)  There are a ton of benefits of making your own homemade fertilizer.  We will go over some of those plus give a few easy recipes

Why not be the garden hero and do your part to save the world and grow some kick ass tomatoes at the same time? Click to Tweet

Homemade Fertilizer Benefits

  • These fertilizers are also considered organic.  Yes, you can say you made homemade organic fertilizer to all your earth loving friends.
  • Adding these to your garden will build your garden soil structure thereby increasing water and air movement throughout the soil.  You know that soil is a living organism and building healthy soil should be the goal of every gardener. (More on that later)
  • These fertilizers tend NOT to acidify your soil which will support the earthworms & microorganisms in your soil.
  • Reusing these materials will keep them out of the ever growing landfills.  (Super hero garden power activated)

Natural Fertilizer Recipe Disclaimer

The recipes shared here are what we use in our own gardens.  One of the drawbacks of using homemade fertilizers is that the NPK ratios are not accurate.  You can use these for more of a long term way of building soil. They are safe to use in moderate amounts throughout the growing seasons.  You will still need to use other slow release fertilizers such as bone meal, blood meal, greensand, etc as they are much easier to dial in the correct amounts of NPK.  We also use other water soluble fertilizers such as fish fertilizer and other organic means.  Now that we got that out of the way, let’s see what recipes you garden superheroes can make.  We provided the average NPK ratios with each recipe as a guide.

Homemade Fertilizer Recipe #1Homemade Fertilizer

  • 1 Cup Coffee Grounds (2- 0.5- 0.5)-primary usage is for Nitrogen.
  • 20 Banana Peels (0-3-42)- 1 peel has a ton of Potassium
  • 20 Eggshells (1.2-0.4-.1) – Great source of calcium
  • 0.5 lbs Epsom Salts – Used as a balancer that has magnesium and sulfur

Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons around each plant every few weeks.

Instructions & Prep notes for this recipe

You can source coffee grounds from your own spent coffee grains or from Starbucks.  I would not recommend using unused coffee grounds as it can be acid forming.  We like to source our coffee grounds from star bucks in large amounts.  You can dump bags of it into your compost piles and also use some of the grounds to make our homemade fertilizer.  It is ideal to save about 20 banana peels to have enough.   You can store the peels in the freezer to keep them from spoiling until you are ready to process the. The eggshells are rinsed with water and also stored in a bag in the freezer.

You want to make sure that you dry the banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells in your oven at about 150 degrees.  You are not cooking them, but rather drying up the peels, grains and shells of the water content.  This dried natural fertilizer will keep much longer once the water content has been removed.  The banana peels will take the longest to dry such as 5-6 hours.  You want them to be almost brittle or leathery like so that they  can become a powder when you blend them.  The optimal way would be to use a food dehydrator as you may know some older ovens may not go as low as 140 degrees.

Next, you will need to use a coffee grinder or blender to pulverize all the ingredients to have a powder.  It is ideal to store this powder in a tupperware or some other airtight container.  You can sprinkle this homemade fertilizer directly around your plants in the garden.  Another option is to mix this up with compost tea to use as a water soluble fertilizer.

Homemade Fertilizer Recipe #2

  • 2 parts of Blood Meal
  • 3 parts of Bone Meal
  • 6 parts of greensand

Instructions for this Natural Fertilizer recipe

This homemade fertilizer recipe is a broad recipe that will give you a balanced NPK. We can’t give you a precise NPK ratio, but recommend to look on the packaging to get the manufacturers NPK amounts and adjust accordingly.  This is what we use about a week after we plant as it takes a little time to break down.  We sprinkle a couple of tablespoons around the base of the plant and scratch it in so it doesn’t wash away.

Ready to go

There you have it.  You are now armed with some homemade fertilizer recipes that can incorporated into your garden.  Maybe you have done your part of saving the world one banana peel and eggshell at a time.  Spending the time to make these natural fertilizers will also give you a sense of accomplishment in knowing your plants will get copious amounts of the right nutrition.  Thereby, you will also benefit from what your plants eat as you are what you eat.

Water Soluble Fertilizer – NPK Fertilizers Series Part 2

Water Soluble Fertilizer – NPK Fertilizers Series Part 2

water soluble fertilizerSo wait are you telling me that there are different types of fertilizers.  There’s slow release fertilizers and now you add water soluble fertilizer to the mix.  You have to understand that feeding your plants is just like feeding yourself.  Think of it this way in terms of nutrition & health.  You can either take a mega load of vitamins & minerals, eat raw foods with the same vitamins & minerals or you can get an IV solution intravenously.  All of these ways will ultimately get you the nutrients that your body needs.

Your body will process & absorb the IV solution much faster since it is in a liquid form & already broken down.  Of course, there’s more to it, but you get the idea of how simple the differences are.  In terms of fertilizers, just think of fertilizers as how quickly your plant can absorb their food.  It is important to know this distinction as a gardener.  Deliver the right food at the right time.

Types of Water Soluble Fertilizer

Water soluble fertilizers are basically any type of fertilizer that mixes with water.  It is a liquid form of NPK fertilizers that is readily available for your plant.  These fertilizers can be applied by watering the base of your plants and is absorbed through the roots of the plant.  The fertilizers can also be applied by watering the leaves and absorbed as a foliar feed as well.  Basically, there are many different types, but let’s break down the 2 main groups of water soluble fertilizers: Organic & Inorganic Fertilizers.Water Soluble Fertilizer NPK Fertilizers Series Part 2

Organic Fertilizer – Mother Nature’s food for plants

A water soluble fertilizer that falls into this category will be liquid organic fertilizers such as fish fertilizer, seaweed (kelp) fertilizer, compost tea or some combination of other naturally occurring organic matters.  The organic fertilizer products should have a label on them that highlight how much NPK fertilizer they contain.  This is true for either organic fertilizers or inorganic fertilizers, so go back to the basics when you need to select how much NPK fertilizer you need for each plant.

Some of the benefits of using Organic fertilizers:

  • Organic fertilizers supply the plants with naturally occurring nutrients.  There is an old adage that says you are what you eat.
  • Safe way to build your soil.  There are tiny microbes in your soil that are part of your garden.  It is vital that you have as many of these microbes available.  Generally speaking most organic fertilizers are safe for these microbes and they tend to thrive in environments with organic materials.
  • You plant roots will not burn from applying too much.  This does not mean go out and dump a whole bottle of fish fertilizer on your tomatoes to get bigger.  It is just a distinction between some inorganic fertilizers.
  • Organic fertilizers are biodegradable, sustainable, replenishable, and safe for the environment.

Some disadvantages of Organic fertilizers:

  • The nutrients may not break down as fast as soon as you need them.  There is slight advantage of chemical fertilizers that it is absorbed much faster by the plants.  Most gardeners would not notice the difference, but experiment with your plants if you want to see the differences for yourself.  Its all part of being a gardener to get out there and get dirty & not just take my word.
  • Nutrient ratios are often skewed for commercially available products.  It is safe to assume that you will get the correct ratios in these products, but it is often higher in certain nutrients since organic matters have a range of nutrition.  Really this is an advantage, but still want to give you the full picture.
  • Organic fertilizers tend to be more costly than inorganic fertilizers.

Inorganic Fertilizer – Are they really as evil as most think?

Water soluble fertilizers that fall into this category would be flagstaff products from Miracle-Gro or Scotts brands.  Both have inorganic too, so not knocking either of them.  The biggest distinction is in how it is made and what it is made from.  They are derived from synthetic compounds such as ammonium phosphate.  Usually the sources of some the compounds are found in rocks & petroleum products.  MMMkay..so is this really bad for my plants?  The answer is yes and no (sorry to bust everyone who is all organic).  There are some benefits to using them, but it is a short list.

Good things about Inorganic Fertilizers like Miracle-Gro

  • Nutrients are readily available to the plants much quicker.  (You really need to test this to see)what is miracle grow fertilizer
  • The NPK ratios are exact.  They have sliced and diced these chemicals to be spot on.
  • They cost much less than organic fertilizers.

Inorganic Fertilizer’s Ugly Side

  • Long term usage of them can change your pH of your soil.  This is not good for your beneficial microbes in your soil.  The goal of any gardener is to build your soil over time.
  • You can easily over fertilize your plants and harm the roots or what is know as root burn
  • Chemical fertilizers do nothing to help improve your soil structure and potentially damage it in the long term as the chemicals can build over extended time.
  • The inorganic fertilizers tend to made from nonrenewable sources such as fossil fuels

What is the best liquid fertilizer?

Ok, at this point you now know that water soluble fertilizers will help me grown squash like a boss.  You know the differences between organic and inorganic fertilizers.  Remember, that water soluble fertilizers are best for plants that need the nutrients much faster.  So maybe this may be good for your container plants, or when you just plant your seedlings, or maybe for your supplemental feedings throughout the season.  So what do you do next when deciding.

  1.  Go back to the basics and figure out what ratio of NPK you need for each plant.  Write that down.
  2.  Now decide if you want to go the organic or inorganic route
  3. Choose between the actual liquid form or the powder that your mix with water.

There you have it! You know have a better understanding of what a water soluble fertilizer is.  Now get out there and get dirty.

Garden Fail – How to recover from your Garden Mistakes

a few months ago

Garden Fail – How to recover from your Garden Mistakes

GARDEN FAIL – HOW TO RECOVER FROM YOUR GARDEN MISTAKES

In the video below, Jeremy Starke from Green Thumb Gardener shows his Garden fail.  He goes through what failures he has and shares how to learn from this to turn it into a successful vegetable garden.  You will want to watch this if you had any vegetable garden mistakes.  Who hasn’t killed plants?  You can recover from any garden fail and learn from your mistakes.  Vegetable gardening for beginners can be a worthwhile endeavor, hobby, & skill.  Please don’t get discouraged when (it will happen) you encounter your first failure.

Who hasn't killed plants? You can recover from any garden fail and learn from your mistakes. Click to Tweet

How to learn from your Garden mistakes

You had some vegetable garden failures during your gardening. Garden mistakes happen to even the most successful gardens.  One garden tip is to keep a good record of what works and doesn’t work.    It is important to document all your failures to help you grow from your failures.  It’s good practice use something similar to this: click here  You can use this journal or some notebook to help with the following:

  • Keep records of where you place each plant.  Trust me, you won’t remember each variety of plant after you set out a bunch of tiny plants.  Your vegetables tags may get lost, broken or fade as they grow.  This will help to avoid garden mistakes.   Do a simple sketch of your garden and just put what you plant.
  • Use the gardening journal to track your plant feeding schedule.  Simply jot down the dates you apply your fertilizer.
  • Use it to help plan what worked and what didn’t work.  Say you planted too many cucumbers in 1 spot.  You only really needed 2, but you threw in 3 because you hate killing your plants (We all do this sometimes).  Well make a note, so next year you only plant 2.

The most important advice is to not get discouraged.  We all make mistakes, even us long time gardeners.  I have my fair share of garden problems and failures.  Take a look at the video below if you want to see one of my failures.  Hopefully, you can learn from my garden fail.

Slow Release Fertilizers – NPK Fertilizers Series Part 1

Slow Release Fertilizers – NPK Fertilizers Series Part 1

Have you ever stood in the home & garden aisle only to be faced with a mega load of fertilizers?  Did you think NPK was some hot tech stock? Do I really need this stuff to get big tomatoes or survive on a homestead?  Let’s sort through the different choices to help you use slow release fertilizer like a boss and just get back to the basics in your garden (or “gaarrden” if you could imagine a Boston accent). We are going to discuss all about NPK Fertilizers and dig deeper into the slow release fertilizers or in soluble fertilizers.

Slow Release Fertilizer – What’s the deal yo!!

Slow release fertilizer is simply another way of describing food for plants that takes a much longer time to break down in the soil.  This is in essence what you want for the long term goal of building healthy soil for your garden, or allotment (for all those on the other side of the pond).  This fertilizer or food is not readily available for your plant, but is slowly released in the soil over an extended period of time.  The best sources of slow release fertilizers tend to be organic fertilizers such as compost that is rich & dense in hummus. How does one go about knowing where to get them? Let’s first explore what NPK fertilizers means.NPK Fertilizer Series Slow Release Fertilizer

NPK Fertilizer- What does NPK mean?

NPK Fertilizers is the term that is used to describe the different components in fertilizers.  You will see the numbers displayed is a set of 3s such 11-10-5.  The first number is N, the second number is P, and the third number represents K.  Stick with me here, this will all make sense as you read on.

A Fertilizer example would be NPK of 13-10-5

  • N -stands for nitrogen and is represented by the number of 13 in the fertilizer example above
  • P -stands for phosphate and is represented by the number 10 in the fertilizer example above
  • K- stands for potassium and is represented by the number 5 in the fertilizer example above

Kudos to you for following all this. You’ll be the expert when you see a clueless person standing next to you in the garden aisle next time.

Slow Release Fertilizer Examples

You can simply break down the different sources of slow release or insoluble fertilizers into 2 main groups.  The first group is the more natural materials that are derived from organic materials without refinement.  The second group can also be those made from a refinement process.  This groups can be inorganic or organic.  Let’s see how you can distinguish them.

Nature’s materials- Nature’s way of slow release fertilizersslow release fertilisers

  • Some of examples of this would be cow manure (which is rich in N or nitrogen), leaves & other plant materials.
  • Egg shells, fruit peels, vegetable scraps are all other good examples.  These materials will take some time to break down in the soil.
  • A simple way to get use these materials is to start a compost pile.  You can also start a worm compost bin.  There is a video that we put together to show you a simple way to build worm compost bin. You can click here if you want to see it.  You may also want to check out a previous post here that shows you a live look in on the bin here.

Refined Materials

  • Some of the examples can be organic or inorganic.  These slow release fertilisers are refined in some way outside of their natural decomposition.
  • Some organic examples would be fertilizers that contain blood meal , bone meal, or greensand
  • Probably one of the more prominent examples of inorganic fertilizers would be most of the Miracle Grow products

Which slow fertilizer do I need to choose?

I really can’t make that choice for you.  You really need to decide what your plant needs.  Just keep in mind that the main point is that any of these fertilizers choices will break down slowly, so you really need to set your vegetable plants up ahead of time to get the results of big tomatoes or rocking squash.  You could also supplement your plants with more soluble fertilizers which are more readily available for use by the plant.  Use the knowledge of NPK to help make your choice depending on the actual varieties of the plants.

Check out this video below if you really want to use nature to the core to help build your soil.  It is called back to eden garden method.

Let us know in the comments on this post, what plant you need help with and we can point you in the right direction.  Now get out and get in your garden and get dirty.

Gardening with Kids Tickle Me Plant (Zombie Plant)

Gardening with Kids Tickle Me Plant (Zombie Plant)

In this video, Jeremy Starke from Green Thumb Gardener & his children show a fun gardening with kids project.  They show the Tickle Me Plant (Zombie Plant) or the mimosa pudica plant. Gardening with kids is perfect way to spend quality time with your children.

Growing the Tickle Me Plant is a fun way to introduce gardening with the kids. The Tickle Me Plant would also make a really fun gardening gift for kids. Your child’s face will light up with excitement the first time they see the plant tickle.

This unboxing and gardening gift review will show you what is included with the Tickle Me Plant. This fun garden gift comes with instructions, a packet of mimosa pudica plant seeds, mini flower pots, soil pellets, and a reusable greenhouse. This is such a fun introduction of gardening with kids & family.  This is a tickle me plant review that also shows you how to get started with the Tickleme plant. It goes through the gardening fundamentals of the growing cycle of plants.

This unboxing and gardening gift review will show you what is included with the Tickle Me Plant. This fun garden gift comes with:

? Instructions
? Packet of mimosa pudica plant seeds (Tickle Me Plant)
? Mini flower pots
? Soil pellets
? Reusable greenhouse.

You may be curious as to what is the exact plant.  The Tickle Me Plant is actually the mimosa pudica plant.  It is also called the sensitive plant.  The plant has a reflex that helps scare aware predators of the plant.  This is what gives it the zombie effect or tickle effect.  You can purchase the plants by clicking here.

This is such a fun introduction of gardening with kids & family. Another fun gardening with kids project is a DIY Worm Bin.  Check it out here.  Have a question about Gardening with Kids or the Tickle Me Plant? Post in the comments section of this post!

Zucchini Squash Plants: 3 Tips to Grow like a Boss

a few months ago

Zucchini Plant: 3 Simple Squash Plant tips for an abundant harvest

There are many tips that you can do to grow successful a zucchini squash plant.    The zucchini plant seems to be one of those vegetables that is near and dear to many gardeners.  It also can be the bane of a gardener if you don’t give it the care and attention that it may need throughout its growing cycle.

You will learn to give the right amount of fertilizers to your zucchini plants, How to prune your squash plants like a champ, and how & why to pick your squash plants often.  Your zucchini plant can provide you with a wonderful bounty if you follow these simple tips.

Tip#1: Zucchini Squash Plants are heavy feeders so give them what they need

Zucchini squash requires a massive amount of food.  They are kind of like that growing teenage that devoures all your food in one sitting and is still hungry.  However, this does not mean that you just dump a ton of fertiliser into the plant.  Generally, you want to set it up with a good foundation in your soil prior to planting your zucchini squash plant.  You will also want to give it subsequent feedings periodically throughout the zucchini’s growing cycle.

  • Nutrient Requirements: Nitrogen (N)- High; Phosphorus (P)- balanced; Potassium (K)- balanced
  • Squash plants need to be started with a good soil base that is rich with nitrogen such as aged manure.  It also good to add a balanced fertiliser to your planting hole prior to either seeding your zucchini plant or transplanting your squash in.  This could include organic means such as bone meal, blood meal & greensand or rock dust.  These are insoluble fertilisers so they need time to break down and a perfect to incorporate as you just plant.  You can also use worm castings or black gold in the gardening world.  Check out my video I did on benefits of worm castings here.
  • Zucchini plants also need regular supplemental feedings with either a soluble or insoluble fertilisers
The zucchini plant seems to be one of those vegetables that is near and dear to many gardeners. It also can be the bane of a gardener if you don't give it the care and attention.. Click to Tweet

Tip #2: Squash Plant Leaves need to be pruned

Zucchini plants and most other squash plants may need a a good pruning every once in awhile. It is in your best interest to prune your squash plant leaves as they continue to grow.  Pruning your squash plant leaves has many benefits.

  • Pruning the squash leaves is a good prevention for powdery mildew.  Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects many plants.  It is more prevalent in moist and high humidity environment.  Pruning the zucchini plant leaves will allow for proper air flow circulation.
  • Pruning plant leaves will also help to promote further growth overall of the plant.

Here is a video that shows you the technique of pruning squash zucchini plants:

Tip #3: Squash Plants need to be picked often

Yes, you heard it correctly.  Squash plants need to be picked often.  I remember that I checked my plants before leaving for a long weekend.  The zucchini plants were almost full grown squash ready to be picked after returning four days later.  A few squash suddenly grew into huge zucchini monsters.  Make sure to check your plants often.  They also seem to be better tasting when they are harvested young, so don’t be afraid to pick them earlier.

Picking the zucchini plants will also help to promote further growth and development of other zucchinis.  This will signal the squash plant to start producing more zucchini plant buds.  This is actual a good tip for most of your garden vegetables. Of course, you don’t want to pick them too early.  It is something you can experiment with to see what works best for you.  You want more zucchini, so don’t wait too long to pick them.

There you have 3 simple steps to help boost your zucchini plants.  Tell me in the comments below what you you do to care for your zucchini squash plants.  Feel free to share this article with any gardener who may need a little love with the squash plants.

How to save Lettuce Seeds: Simple Guide to Collecting Seeds

lettuce seed stalksHow to save lettuce seeds: Simple Guide to Collecting Seeds

Have you always wanted to know how to save lettuce seeds?  Did you just harvest romaine lettuce from your garden?  Do you want to continue to grow the lettuce that you just picked?  It is so easy to collect and save lettuce seeds that you will be amazed that you didn’t start sooner.  The summer days are much longer as June & July peaks.  All of a sudden the leaves start to taste a little bitter & the lettuce plant may bolt.  Well, it is time for the lettuce plant to start reproducing itself.

The steps on how to save lettuce seeds could not be any easier.  You need to first look for the seed heads to form.  There will be a long stalk that will extend up from the plant.  It will start to flower after it has formed.  The flower heads will soon start to form white fluffy chaff much like you see dandelion flowers.  This is when you want to look for signs that the lettuce flower head is starting to dry out.  You can pick the heads once they have dried.  You will rub each flower head until it crumbles.  The seeds will be small long pods that you can separate from the chaff using various methods.  You can plant these now or store them for next season.

You are in luck because this guide will share with you how to save lettuce seeds.  We will take you through all the steps so you can harvest and store lettuce seeds for next year or season.  This will help you save money, so you don’t have to purchase another packet of lettuce seeds. (Well..we all know what happens when the seed catalogs come in..)

The summer days are much longer as June & July peaks. All of a sudden the leaves start to taste a little bitter & the lettuce plant may bolt. Well, it is time for the lettuce plant to… Click to Tweet

Benefits of saving lettuce seeds for next year or season:

You might be thinking why would anyone want to save lettuce seeds? Here are a few reason why saving lettuce seeds:

  • You save some green money at the store for your lettuce greens.  Sure, lettuce prices are not exactly crazy high.  You may spend anywhere from $3-$4 for each lettuce head or small package of greens.  Surprisingly though, check out the organic selections.  They can be sometimes as high as $5.  It is not complicated to grow lettuce organically.  Seed packets start at $1-$2 for lettuce seeds.  The savings adds up after that.save lettuce seeds
  • Nutrition is all about color and variety.  Saving lettuce seeds will allow you to make your own blend of the best green for your plate.  You can make your own salad blend and add to it each year.  It couldn’t be any easier to save lettuce seeds for this reason alone.
  • Survival of the seed varieties is paramount these days.  Science has come a long way to make better producing, disease resistant plants.  Saving open pollinated and heirloom varieties of lettuce seeds will ensure that we keep our heritage alive and can pass these on to our future generations.  A legacy of lettuce leaves has a nice ring to it.
  • You begin to assemble a catalog of lettuce seeds.  Wouldn’t it be cool to come out to your porch and look at the different pots of lettuce plants and say.. “Hmm, which kind of lettuce do I want with my steak today?”  One plant can produce quite a bit of lettuce plants that can be saved each time very easily.
  • You do your part for the earth.  Hear me out on this as this sounds a little far fetched.  You are much better as using your resources than some large scale agriculture farms.  Sure, Big ag does their best, but when you scale up any operation there will still be a waste of resources.  You may water your plants with rain barrels or use your grass and leave clippings as compost.  You use less resources bringing from the farm to table.  All of these add up in using our resources wisely.
  • Successful plantings will produce much better off-spring.  This means the seeds can slowly develop resistance to local diseases and insects over time.

Some things to be aware of prior collecting and saving lettuce seeds

  • You want to make sure you are growing heirloom or open pollinated lettuce seeds.  This insures that you won’t get some hybrid pollination.  you may be able to still collect seeds and grow them, but the chances of it being the pure breed lettuce variety you started with is low.  Here is a good example of an open pollinated variety: Parris Island Romaine Lettuce Seeds
  • There may be some cross pollination if you have several different varieties of lettuce located close to each.  The bees and other hairy pollinators can distribute different lettuce plant pollen.  oh..that means Buttercrunch Romaine Lettuce.
  • You can go about planting lettuce in a way that will produce the best offspring.  Trust me it is not that hard.  Lettuce plants are one of those plants that can flourish without much care unlike some other vegetables.
  • The only thing you may want to do is keep the different varieties separated if you want to save them that way.   Most of the head lettuce varieties are best to be grown this way, but the leaf salad bowl varieties are best grown in a mix.
  • Keep in mind that you can always let a few plants go to seeds by not harvesting them.  Experiment with different ways of growing these and see how each plant forms heads.

When is it time to harvest lettuce seeds

This depends on the variety of the lettuce.  Some varieties of lettuce will be less heat tolerant meaning they will start to flower as soon as it gets warmer in the summer months.  Really, it is due to the lengthening of the days which coincides with the warmer summer months in the northern hemisphere.  Lettuce seeds packets may highlight the lettuce varieties that are slow to bolt.  This means that they will stick around a little longer than some plants.  It is good to have a variety of lettuce plants in your garden for this very reason.

There will be a point that the lettuce plant will start to send up a long stalk from the center of the plant.  The lettuce leaves may start to taste a little bitter because the plants energy shifts from producing leaves to forming its offspring.  There are some head lettuce varieties that may need some help to form the stalk by slitting top of the head, so do your research on the particular variety you for more details.

The flower head will begin to flower.  They typically form in heads of 10-25 individual florets with each seeds being encapsulated in one floret.  Usually they all open at the same time in the morning hours for the pollinators.  Check out the video below to see an example of these lettuce florets.

Steps on how to save lettuce seeds:

  1. Look for the lettuce flowers that are white and look nice and fluffy.  (think of the dandelion weeds you may see on lawns). It is ideal to select the lettuce flower heads that are really dry.
  2. Next, you want to pull the actual lettuce flower pods off.  The lettuce flower heads are ready if just the pod comes off and not the stalk.  This means they are ready to store.  Pull them off and put in a bag or some container for the next steps.
  3. Crush and or roll the collection of seeds pods in a bag.  This will separate the seeds from the pods.
  4. Put all the seeds on a plate of some kind.  It helps if you have a dark plate so you can see the seeds much better.
  5. Gently blow the chaff or the seed pod remains.  You can vibrate the plate to help the chaff get airborne while you blow.  You could also use a fan on low setting and put your plate in front of it.  The viable lettuce seeds should remain on the plate and any dead seeds and lettuce pod chaff should blow off.  You are left with lettuce seeds that can be planted right away or stored for future plantings next year.

Here is a video that shows you the exact steps of how to save lettuce seeds:

As you can see, learning how to save lettuce seeds is a simple and easy process.  You can learn to save lettuce seeds with your next batch of lettuce plants.  You may want to start collecting and saving other vegetables seeds if you found this easy to do.

Bolting Lettuce- Saving lettuce seeds (Its a good thing)

Bolting Lettuce- Saving lettuce seeds.

This is a simple way to determine if your lettuce is bolting and getting ready to seed. This is helpful if you want to know how to save lettuce seeds. How to know when your lettuce is bolting or going to seed. Romaine Parris Island Cos seeds can be found here: https://amzn.to/2LI7IyI

QUESTION- Have a question about saving lettuce seeds? Post in the comments section of this blog!

Check out a lettuce seed saving guide here

Grow Carrots In Containers (Best way to grow carrots in a bucket)

a few months ago

Grow Carrots In Containers could not be easier & simple.

We show you the best way to grow carrots in a bucket. We walk you through how to grow carrots from seed in a pots. Scarlet Nantes carrot seed variety used to grow in container: https://amzn.to/2O4BPi6

In this video Jeremy Starke from Green Thumb Gardener (@gardenerthumb) shows how to grow carrots in a container. Grow Carrots In buckets could not be easier & simple. He shows you the best way to grow carrots in a containers whether you are in uk or usa. He walks you through how to grow carrots from seed in a pots with simple easy steps.

You can also grow carrots in 5 gallon buckets using this same method. These practices can also be done to grow carrots in your garden.

50 Subscribers, Shout Out & Garden Update

a few months ago

In this video, I give you a huge thanks for hitting 50 subscribers.  I also love the garden community and wanted to give a HUGE shout out to the following channels for support & inspiration.

Please check them out and support them:

Lastly, I give you a tour of my vegetable garden that is full of tomatoes, peppers, melons, watermelons, sunflowers, cucumbers, squash, corn, herbs. Thanks for all your support!