Powdery mildew affects such a wide range of plants but most notably those that are in the broadleaf category such as squash and different varieties of plants in the pea families.
If your plants currently have them, do not worry it is a very common occurrence and even better yet this pesky problem is easily treatable.
If left untreated by doing nothing however, your plants can become weak, look deformed and reduce yields of your harvest.
Here are some steps you can take today that could reduce and/or eliminate powdery mildew from your vegetable garden.
The first step is to avoid planting species of plants, such as phlox or bee balm, anywhere near your vegetable plants. This simply invites trouble into your garden, making it easier for it to infect and spread.
The second step is to use natural and safe sprays that reduces the problem without harming the plant itself or helpful insects within the garden. Neem oil is perfect but you can also make your own spray out of 1.5 tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1.5 gallons of warm water mixed together thoroughly then sprayed on the affected plants.
Finally apply a chamomile tea spray mixture on your plants which act as not only a solution for existing powdery mildew but also a repellent to keep the mildew from coming back. Take 6 dried out chamomile tea leaves and boil them in 3 cups of water. Let the mixture cool, remove the tea leaves, place mixture in a spray bottle and apply to affected areas.
If your garden suffers from powdery mildew then you should be using all three of these methods. They are low cost and very affective. Put an end to your powdery mildew in your vegetable garden today.
How to Grow Vegetable Plant from Seeds
If you're one of the many Americans who will be cultivating a vegetable garden this year, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to grow your plants from seed or purchase transplants from a nursery. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons to both methods, and we'll provide a basic how to guide for starting your own plants from seed.
There are two primary deciding factors in whether to start plants from seed. The first is time. Starting seeds certainly requires a larger investment in time and effort than purchasing transplants. However, the knowledge that you have grown the plants yourself from their very inception is also quite rewarding. The other primary consideration is cost. Seeds are far more economical to purchase than young plants. A packet of 50 or more seeds might cost you a few dollars. Transplants, on the other hand, will cost you that same amount per plant. In short, if you have the time and the inclination, growing your own plants from seed is a very rewarding and economical way to start a vegetable garden.
Most gardening experts will agree that the best method of starting seeds is in a greenhouse. Greenhouses provide optimal conditions for germination and growing: long warm days and ample sunlight during times of year when it is still to cold to even consider planting outside. Many hobby greenhouses also feature auto venting systems that help regulate the inside temperature.
If you're not ready to invest in a large outdoor greenhouse, consider a smaller portable unit that can sit on a deck or patio. There are also small indoor greenhouses available that occupy no more space than a shelf or tabletop, and these are ideal for the urban gardener who is limited on space.
It is possible, though sometimes more challenging, to start seeds indoors without the aid of a greenhouse. A large sunny window facing south is ideal. If you don't have such a location, consider purchasing fluorescent light fixtures with full spectrum grow lights. These can be suspended a few inches over young plants and set on timers to provide the necessary 14 hours of light per day. Ideally, the daytime temperature should be approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the nighttime temperature around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If plants are in warmer temperatures all day and night, they will grow tall and soft, rather than the stock, robust transplants that are hardier for setting outdoors.
Seedlings also need plenty of moisture for germination and early growth. Planting in a mixture that contains plenty of peat moss will aid in moisture retention. In the early stages, before seeds have germinated, fill a spray bottle with water and use this to keep the soil moist. This will prevent overwatering, which can cause seeds to dislodge and wash away.
The last important step in growing your own plants from seed is hardening off before transplanting outdoors. Hardening off refers to the process of preparing plants for the rigors of growing outdoors. Some gardeners harden off their seedlings by placing them outdoors on a deck or patio during favorable weather conditions for a week or so before transplanting is to occur. Other methods of hardening off include lowering the temperature where the plants are located, watering only when plants show signs of wilting, and placing a fan nearby to blow a gentle breeze on the seedlings.
By following these tips, along with a good dose of patience, any gardener can successfully start their own vegetable plants from seed. The process may be time consuming, but it is also very satisfying, and you'll be rewarded with dozens of young plants at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them from a nursery or garden center.
Plants in your vegetable Garden
To provide your home with a continuous supply of organic and fresh vegetables all year round, you need to plan out what particular plants you should include in your lists.
A sort of advice, before going into your home gardening activities - consider the condition of your soil, vegetables that depletes the soil heavily and plants that helps to amend your soil. And importantly, include plants that repel or ward off insect pests and plants that attract beneficial insects.
All these things should be your first order to make your gardening a success.
In order to succeed in your gardening, I would suggest to apply companion cropping with your vegetable plants to maintain the ecological balance in your garden.
1. Asparagus. A good companion crops that are compatible with asparagus are tomatoes, parsley and basil. Some insects that attacks asparagus spares its companion crops.
2. Beets. You can plant together with beets these companion crops like bush beans, lettuce, kohlrabi, and cabbage.
3. Cabbage. This vegetable grows well with the following crops: Celery, Onions, Potatoes, Aromatic Herbs, Beets, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard. But its not compatible with tomatoes, pole beans, strawberries, and dill.
4. Carrots. Carrots is compatible as companion crops with the following: lettuce, radish, onion, tomato, peas, rosemary, and sage, however, it does not like to be with dill.
5. Cucumber. This vegetable grows satisfactorily with the following companion crops: corn, peas, radish, beans, and sunflower, but is not compatible with; aromatic herbs, potatoes, and sage.
6. Lettuce. Lettuce is compatible with the following companion crops: onion, strawberries, carrots, radish, and cucumbers.
7. Tomatoes. Tomatoes grows well together with the following companion crops: carrots, onion, parsley, nasturtium, asparagus, and cucumber, but does not like to grow with cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, and potatoes.
8. Celery. Celery is compatible with the following crops: onion, tomato, cabbage, bush beans, and nasturtium.
9. Onion. Onion and other family like garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives are compatible with lettuce, beets, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, and summer savory. But it does not grow well with peas and beans.
10. Pepper. This crop is compatible with tomato, basil, parsley, petunias, carrots, onions, and okra, but is not compatible with fennel and kohlrabi.
Follow this planting guide for you to have a continuous supply of vegetables in your kitchen and for a complete requirements of nutritional needs for your family.
Tips to grow vegetable plants in your home garden
In order for vegetable garden plants to grow well and provide you with great tasting food there are certain things that one needs to consider before planting them. So you need to make sure that you choose the most appropriate position in your garden where the plants can grow. To select the right site for growing vegetable garden plants there are two factors one needs to take into consideration.
1. You need a site that gets at least six hours of sunlight on it each day. The majority of vegetables we grow in our gardens today actually thrive better if they have plenty of full sunlight.
2. The other thing when determining the best place for planting vegetables in a garden is the soil. Ideally you want soil that is dark in colour because it will contain high levels of nutrients in it that the vegetable plants will feed on to grow. Also the soil must drain well but still allow sufficient moisture to be retained which can then be used by the plants. If you can avoid it don't site your vegetable garden too close to shrubs or trees because the roots of these will actually take away the nutrients and water that your vegetables need to grow.
Once you have selected the most appropriate spot for your vegetable garden keeping the above mentioned in mind, it is time to start preparing the soil. Below we offer a few tips to help you to ensure that you prepare the soil well in which vegetable garden plants can then be sown.
1. After removing any sod, weeds or debris from the space you are using for your vegetable garden you now need to turn the soil over. It is best if you use either a spade or fork to do this and turn the soil over to a depth of between 12 and 14 inches.
2. As you are turning the soil over make sure that you mix into it around 3 or 4 inches of compost or well rotted manure into the top 12 inches. Also be aware that to help the soil improve further you may need to add some specialist fertilizer to the soil as well.
3. Once you have turned the soil over and incorporated into the manure or compost you need to rake the soil over. By doing this not only are you levelling the soil off but also help air to get into it. Soil that is well aerated will allow oxygen to reach the roots of the plants you are growing in it more easily and helps the soil to warm up a lot more quickly.
If however you discover that the soil you have in your garden won't be of a quality that is suitable for growing vegetables in then look at building some raised beds. These are very simple to construct, all you need is four lengths of wood that can be nailed together to construct either a square or oblong. Then fill these with good quality soil and compost and allow to rest for a number of days before you go ahead and put your vegetable garden plants in them. You may actually find looking after the plants in these beds rather than in a traditional garden much easier as well.