Read these 34 Fruits and Vegetables Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Garden tips and hundreds of other topics.
Fish meal is one of the best, as well as one of the oldest, fertilizers for enriching soil. Fish meal breaks down slowly over a period of four to eight weeks. It is high in phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. You should apply fish meal to your garden soil in the fall so it can replenish your soil during the off season.
To get a fast start on germinating corn seeds, all you need is water and paper towels. Simple wet a paper towel and place the corn seeds on the towel. Cover with another damp paper towel and leave overnight. This will give your corn seeds a good head start on germination.
Planting lettuce seeds directly in the garden in thick, wide rows is not recommended. This causes overcrowding and a poor crop.
Lettuce should be started in a flat. The seedlings should be placed in the garden when they have produced their fifth to sixth leaf. Place seedlings evenly about every 10 inches.
It is important to test your soil so you know what type of soil you have. Some plants will only grow in certain soils.
Soil is tested for acidity and alkalinity. The results are given in pH levels. These pH levels of your soil can range from one to fourteen. Levels below seven means your soil is acid. Levels above seven means your soil is alkaline.
You do not have to send your soil off to a laboratory to have it tested. You can get soil tesing kits at your local garden center and they are fairly easy to use.
Thinning your seedlings is necessary for healthy growth and it prevents overcrowding. Thin out seedlings when they get their second set of leaves.
As you thin out your seedlings, use scissors to remove the spindly leaves. Using scissors instead of your fingers will ensure you don't uproot the whole plant.
After tomato plants have established themselves and are starting to blossom, dig a furrow alongside the plants and lay some bone meal in it. (Be certain that the furrow is at least six inches from the base of the plants to prevent burning.) Cover lightly and water.
The bone meal will add needed nutrients to the soil and your tomato plants will respond by bearing better fruit.
If you have piles of fallen leaves in your yard in the autumn, you should rake them over your garden soil and use them as nature intended. Raking leaves over an existing garden is much easier than bagging the leaves, and by spring the leaves will have decomposed and added much needed nutrients back to your garden soil.
A simple way you can store root vegetables is to use a five or ten-gallon buckets and sand. Simply fill the buckets with sand, adding your root vegetables as you go. Carrots and beets do particularly well when stored this way in a cool, dry and dark area.
Be sure to give your root vegetables a good wash before you cook them.
Pumpkins should be harvested before the first fall/winter frost. You should try to leave a six-inch stem on the pumpkins when cutting them off their vines. Handle pumpkins carefully and wash them thoroughly. Allow them to air dry and then set your pumpkins in a dark, cool place so the rinds cure and harden.
Use ammonium sulfate to fertilize your grape vines. The general recommendation is a half pound for each vine. You should apply the fertilizer when the grapes are at least a quarter-inch big.
You should keep in mind that too much nitrogen can result in more vine growth and fewer grapes. So, be conscious of the nitrogen content in any fertilizers you use on your grape vines.
Fertilize strawberries using a complete 10-10-10 fertilizer twice a year. Apply two pounds per 100 square feet in a new spring bed. Add two more pounds per 100 square feet to your strawberry bed in the late summer. Mulch your strawberries with pine needles or straw. Taking the above steps will increase your strawberry crop.
For small spaces and maximum yields, try planting your corn in a block or grid of four side by side rows. This will help to maximize your small garden area.
You can help speed pollination along by hand pollinating your corn. Just gently bend the young tassels down and shake the pollen loose.
Avocado trees need full sun to grow and like loose or sandy soil. They may need some irrigation also but will fail if they are over irrigated. To check for this dig a hole nine inches into the soil and squeeze the dirt. If it is wet do not irrigate, dry soil will need to be irrigated. If the leaves of the tree are yellow this could mean it's iron deficient. Use these tips to help your tree be healty and bountiful.
To test an old package of seeds for viability, wrap a few of the seeds in a moist paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Keep the bag at room temperature. Within a week, most of the seeds should sprout. If they do, you will know that the rest of the seeds in the package are good. If the seeds in the bag do not sprout, discard the entire pack of seeds.
An easy tip that will protect your tomato plants from frost is to cover them with upside down buckets. After the frost dangers have passed, you can simply lift the buckets away. Using this tip in the early spring when frost still occurs can greatly increase the quality and number of fruits set.
A tip for storing apples is to wrap them individually in tissue paper or in black and white newspaper. This will keep one bad apple from ruining your entire harvest. Apples do best when stored in a dark area that is around 32-35 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should not store your apples beside your potatoes. The gas let off by potatoes can deteriorate the apples.
When planting dark seeds, it is often difficult to see them on the soil. This can lead to uneven rows and lost seeds. To make your dark seeds more visible, simply sprinkle some flour into the seed packs and shake. This will make your dark seeds stand out in the soil.
You can extend your harvest season by extending your planting season. Divide your seeds into halves, thirds, or even fourths. Take into account how long each variety needs to mature and plan accordingly. Plant a portion of your seeds every other week and enjoy a longer harvest time.
Rhubarb plants can be divided early in the spring when they are still dormant.
Dig up your rhubarb plant and cut the crown into several doughnut-size pieces with a sharp knife, making sure each division has at least one bud. Then, replant the divisions in holes amended with well-rotted manure or compost.
To lower your soil's pH level, you will need to mix acidic minerals into your soil. The most popular acidic minerals are sulfur, ferrous sulfate, and aluminum sulfate.
Sulfur can be purchased as a powder in most garden centers. It is thought that sulfur is the most effective of the three minerals listed.
Ferrous sulfate will add iron to your soil. It is not as potent as sulfur, but this mineral can do much to help turn yellowing leaves to a deep green.
Aluminum sulphate will add aluminum to your soil. If you ever switch your garden from an acid-loving plant garden to one that welcomes plants who prefer a higher pH, you will have to add amendments to the soil to keep the plants from acquiring aluminum toxicity.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|