Spring should be early this year thanks to some solid predictions by a glutton inspired groundhog. What do groundhogs love to eat? Virtually anything that grows. And since Nibbles (Asheville's resident cuddly crop destroyer) did give gardeners a head start, it's only appropriate that we plant some veggie seeds for her future munching. Some of the best veggie seeds to start this weekend indoors (and then transplant outside) are broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, and lettuce. All these seeds are … [Read more...] about The Groundhog Has Spoken Part Two: Buffet Preparation for the Hole Dwellers
The first time I ever came across a hydroponic system, my brain shrieked and ran for the door. At that moment, I couldn't get my mind to move beyond soil. The intricate web of tubes, PVC pipes, and fittings complete with lights and bubbly sounds seemed as easy to grasp as a math placement test for NASA students. Once I talked my brain down off the ledge, I found learning hydroponics to be relatively simple. It basically comes down to gravity, timers, and understanding how water and … [Read more...] about The Hydroponic Chronicles, Act 1: Going Deep with Water Culture
The T-5 Bulb: Friend of Plants and Wallets Everywhere The first glance at a T5 fluorescent bulb will elicit snickers from the unaware. Eyes used to the bulkiness of a T8 or T12 fluorescent grow bulb will look at the slender T5 and ponder if the lighting industry has a cog loose. Ecologically speaking, Al Gore would pin a medal on the lithe grow light. It's constructed with 40% less glass than the T8 as well as 30 % less phosphor. The T5 contains only 3 mg of mercury, which is 70% less … [Read more...] about Indoor Grow Lights: Bringing Couches and Tomatoes Together Part Dos
Inside grow lights can be a daunting thing to the untrained brain. Scary images of astronomical light bills and out of whack feng shui frighten folks unwilling to investigate the potential of indoor growing. Yes, high energy consumption is a valid concern, but smart planning (i.e. mapping out exactly what veggies, herbs, or flowers to grow inside) can deride some of the costs; not to mention the deep well of satisfaction derived when contrasting the grey blahs outside to the floras of reds, … [Read more...] about Indoor Grow Lights: Bringing Couches and Tomatoes Together Part 1
A successful clone can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a grower. Essentially, a gardener-turned-cloner steps into the triad role of surgeon, scientist, and anal retentive clean freak. Preparation is key (consult, "A Cut Above: Act I" for cloning mise en place) as well as a sanitary environment. Ready? 1) Once the prized plant has been selected, take a sharp clean blade and make a 45 degree cut across branches two to four inches long. Before putting the clone into the grow … [Read more...] about A Cut Above: Act Two.