Friday, March 8, 2013

How to grow onions in containers.

How to grow onions in containers for a early spring crop.
Few vegetables are of greater important than the onion. Onions are a hardy biennial which is native to western Asia.The botanial name is allium Cepa:which it belongs to the Lily family, Liliaceae. What are onion sets? They are raised from seeds sown in the summer of the previous year;under good cultivation they will yield fair sized bulbs by the end of the season. Growing onion sets are very simple to do and very easily. First of all what you need to do is go to you favorite garden center that sells onion sets which comes in yellow,red or white. Now when you get them home you need to get some clean plastic containers and a bag of potting soil. I usually use containers that are called six packs which haves six
separate compartments that you fill with the potting soil and after you do this. You can take a onion set and stick it
into the soil. you need to cover the onion set completely with the soil. Now after you plant all 8 containers in the flat you are ready to mist the flat with water. If you don't want to do a full flat of onions you can plant one container and grow the onions the same way. You don't need to have a full flat of onions you can grow as many onions that you wish. Soak the flat but don't drown the onion sets just keep them evenly moist. And if you have a greenhouse you can place the flat on the greenhouse bench if not. You can place them in your house under a grow light. It will take about one month for the onions to grow and be ready to eat as green onions. Or you can either plant them outside or transplant into a larger container and let the onions bulbs get larger. How to make your onion bulbs larger is to do this when the plants get 6 to 8 inches tall you can trim each plant back to half their size to 4 to 3 inches.
You can do this twice doing the growing season to maker bigger bulbs.Also don't let your onions go to seed which I mean bloom. What you want is to cut the tops off twice a growing season to make bigger bulbs. This is for onions that you would like to have larger for in the fall when you would pull them for storage. Which you would use in the winter months. Now if you want to have a continues flow of green onions doing the growing season you can plant a few of them every two weeks. Growing onions and other vegetables in containers can be very rewarding because you have a fresh supply of produce during the growing season. Also people that live in the inner city and don't have room to plant a regular garden can plant in containers and have great success with doing what I told them to do in the above article. I hope you try this and let me know how you do.
                                                             Happy Gardening
                                                                Gardener Den 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to grow Large Leaf Sweet Basil from seed.

How to grow Large Leaf Sweet Basil from seed.

Large Leaf Sweet Basil

Hi Gardening Friends

Well if you want to grow Basil from seed? Here is how you can do this from seed. First of all as always you need to have sterilized flats and germinating soil less mixture. Take your sterilized flat that you prepare with the germination mix. Make sure you fill the flat half full of the mixture.
After you do that then you soak the flat with water and let drain overnight until the next day.
The next day get your Basil seed packet and sow your seeds evenly.
Don't cover your Basil seed let them uncovered in the flat. If you want a more even seed germination you can cover your seed flat with saran wrap to make the seeds germinate faster. It takes about 7 to 14 days to germinate after you sow the seed remember to mist the entire flat of seeds. Never let your seed flat dry out. The most popular Basil to grow from seed is Large Leaf Italian Basil,Ocimun Basilicum. This Basil is great for pesto and other Italian food dishes.These plants reach 8 to 24 inches tall, 6 to 18 inches wide.
Here are some more Basil's that you can grow from seed that I have try and liked. Find these varieties to be very easy to grow from seed besides the Large Leaf Italian Basil.
a.Genovese 68 days from seed.
  Classic Italian variety. Authentic flavor and appearance.Tall and relatively slow to bolt with large dark green leaves        about 3 inches long. Ht. 24-30 inches
b.Aroma 2 70 days from seed.
  Disease-resistant Genovese type
  This variety is good for commercial growers in greenhouse and field production. Also good variety for the home gardener.
  Classic basil appearance, with glossy dark green 3 inch long leaves and classic basil aroma. Ht. 20-24 inches 
c. Nufar 77 days from seed.
   Disease resistance Italian large leaf type.
   This is a great variety of basil for the commercial grower   and the home owner. For the commercial grower you can
   grow Nufar in the field,greenhouse and hydroponic production. For the home owner this is a great variety to grow in the     home garden because of its resistance to disease. Ht. 24-30 inches.  

   Citrus  favor type basil
a. Mrs Burns Lemon 60 days from seed. O.basilicum citriodora
   This basil is very unique in that it is sweet, tangy and lemon scented basil. 
   The leaves are very bright in the color of green.
   21/2 inch long leaves with white flowering blooms
   which makes this basil plant both attractive and intensely flavorful. Ht. 20-24 inches
   Fine Leaf
  What are fine leaf basil?
  Use fine leaf or Greek basil the same way you use regular basil-in pesto,soup,stuffing,or any vegetable dish,especially
  in beans,peppers,eggplants, and tomatoes. Greek basil has the advantage over normal basil of having smaller leaves and     other stems. Its flavors is also quite strong.
a.Spicy bush 70 Days from seed. O basilicum minimum
  Spicy bush is a small, dome-shaped plants with tiny leaves.
  Spicy,sweet basil favor packed into 1 inch long leaves.
  Plants can be grown in pots or garden beds. Ht. 8-14 inches.

   Purple leaf basil
a. Purple Ruffles. 85 days from seed.
   This purple basil is a all American award winner AAS winner.
   Its large leaves are greatly used for garnishing.
   Purple Ruffles is great in containers or garden beds as a ornamental plant.
   Small percentage of the plants are green. Ht. 16-20 inches.
b. Amethyst Improved 60 days from seed.
   The only purple Genovese-type basil.
   Large 2-3 inch thick,turned-down leaves.
   This stunning basil is nearly black in color. Ht.16-20 inches.
There are many other different kinds of basil that you can grow from seed. These are just a few that I have tried over the years. Hope you try them and either let me know how they did for you? I hoped I helped you with writing this article for my blog about different kinds of sweet basil to grow in your garden.
                                                                                        Gardener Den