How to Grow Runner Beans from Seed and reap the benefits of your labour.

Grow Runner Beans from seed is one of the easiest vegetables you can possibly grow in your garden plot, which in-turn makes them ideal for beginners, and small children to start with.

Runner Beans are a very hardy plant, but do require a good sunny position in your garden to flourish.

 

runner-bean

Growing Beans in a Temperate climate like Australia.

  • First choose a position in your garden plot that has good sun.
  • Then run a spade through the soil, and turn it over to loosen it.
  • Drag your rake over the ground to remove clumps.
  • Next make a little V shaped groove in a straight line in the soil.

 

  • Plant your seeds along the groove you preprepared earlier, pressing your individual seed into the groove to  depth of approx 25mm and space them 10cm apart to allow for future growth.
  • Your rows should be approximately 60cm apart from each other.
  • Cover your seed with soil, and at down gently to remove air pockets.
  • You can water using a hose or watering can, but don’t over do it.
  • Don’t use any water for at least 2 – 3 days after sowing. (Large seeds require less water because of their volume, than smaller seeds)

Warning: Strong fertilizer for your runner beans is not really necessary, as the beans pull nitrogen out of the surrounding atmosphere, so don’t be too generous with your organic compost and use your fertilizer sparingly.

Tip: You will achieve optimum growing results, when the temperature of your soil is consistently above 20 degrees Celsius.

  • When your runner beans start growing, you can add some fertiliser to them that contain a high potash content, a liquid plant food is ideal for this purpose, as it can be watered in at the same time, if you prefer you can use a granular time feed one if you prefer.

Important: Beans are climbing plants, make sure you have a structure for them to climb up. (Stakes, Wire Mesh,  etc.)

Have fun and enjoy the benefit of growing your own food.

P.S. If you grow too many, you can either freeze them, or give them to friends and family whom I’m sure will appreciate them greatly.

 

How to make a Worm farm compost bin for next to nothing.

A simple and easy way to make an environmentally friendly worm farm recycling plant.

These are of real benefit to anyone who has a garden and wants it to be healthy and productive.

You will need:

  1. Grab a few foam vegetable boxes with lids from you local greengrocer. (You might have to pay a small fee for them)
  2. Cut out the bottom of your box. (So it will sit directly on the ground)
  3. Find a nice shady location in your garden. (If placed in direct sun the box contents will dry out and the worms won’t stay in there.)
  4. Place the box on ground and add any organic kitchen scraps you have, then on top of the scraps, place some newspaper or a piece of Hessian, and wet it, this will aid the decomposition and keep the worms a lot happier doing their thing.
  5. Make sure you replace the lid of the box, and secure it with a brick, or something heavy on top, to stop unwanted vermin from getting to your worms vegetarian feast.

Foam Box

Tip: You can jump-start your worm factory, by buying worms from your local nursery, and adding them to your boxes. This is a lot easier than finding worms in the garden yourself

WebAny naturally occurring worm in your garden will find your worm farm factory and make it their business to clock on, and offer their services for free. Then happily turn everyday kitchen food waste and convert them into vermi-castings – natures finest free soil conditioner which for your garden plants simply love.

Earth worm

Note: A single Worm can eat their own body weight in plant material per day, so remember to keep an eye on your worm farm and top them up with more kitchen food waste, and top with wet newspaper or a piece of wet Hessian as needed to keep the moisture in.

When you have collected enough worm castings you can make use of them in your garden beds.

P.S. Some food waste such as fruit, grains and sugary foods produce acid. Adding a little wood ash or dolomite or lime every few weeks will prevent the worm farm from becoming too acidic. Open the lid and wait until the worms burrow in the bedding before applying the lime or wood ash.

It is Important to add extra water to the box whenever it gets dry. inside the box should be the consistency of a damp sponge.

How to make a Simple Snail Trap that works with Beer.

How to make a simple environmentally friendly snail trap, that also catches slugs using Beer as the bait.
Drunk Snails, Oh No.! I hear you say. hahahahaha.

Seriously, the snails are attracted to the smell the beer, and will enter the trap and fall into the beer and,,, I think you know the outcome.

To make this simple snail trap you will need.

  • Empty plastic bottles. (Empty Drink, Milk Bottles, etc)
  • A Sharp knife. (Craft knife, Cardboard cutter etc.)
  • Beer (Any brand will do, as I’m sure the snails can’t read)

Constructing your snail trap.

  • Grab your empty plastic bottle (this is the to be used as the snail trap), and cut a three sided door opening (Leave it connected to the bottle.)
  • Fold down the flap, so the snails can enter your trap. (Like a draw bridge to a castle)
  • Pour some beer into the bottle, make sure its at least 10mm deep.
  • Place your loaded trap into a good position, normally near your plants that are being attacked by snails and slugs,
  • Make sure the plastic flap is set onto ground level, so the snails and slugs can enter easily and… I’ll leave this bit up to your imagination.
  • Remember to empty your snail trap every now and then, (The trap gets a bit smelly otherwise) and reload it with fresh beer for the next Snail Pub Crawl.

P.S. Do not remove the bottle lid. This will help keep excess water out of your snail trap, and make it work more effectively over a longer period of time.

You can use any brand of leftover beer in these simple to make snail traps, including home brew. (if you have any leftover that is,)

You can also experiment with other sugar based drinks as a substitute for beer, to see if your friendly snail is a pub crawler or a total tea teetotaller. and please pop your results in our comments section below. (I would love to know other baits that can be used)

Example:

  • Try Vegemite in liquid form etc you might be surprised at what else works (Pour water into empty Vegemite jar and use the liquid instead of beer. etc)

Garden Snail

P.S. I would not be looking to make escargot from the snails you catch.

How to Grow your own strawberries in a foam box

Growing your own strawberries in a confined space is quite easy and tasty  to do.

If you have a small confined back yard, then this is a straight forward easy way for you to grow your strawberry plants.

Its easy to do and it’s cheap, Plus, you will be harvesting a fresh crop of strawberries in no time at all.

Growing organic Strawberries in a foam box
First you will need to grab some used vegetable foam packing boxes, the type your greengrocer uses or you might be able to get some from your local produce  market either for free, or quite cheaply.

The main advantage of growing strawberries in these foam boxes: Is that the ripening fruit will hang over the edge of them, and it is less likely to rot, through the Strawberries touching the ground.

You will need:

  1. Vegetable foam boxes. (Any size will do)
  2. Fill with them a good quality premium potting mix.
  3. You can either plant seed,  a strawberry plant, or strawberry plant runners to get things started.

Foam Box

P.S. Remember to Poke 5 or more drainage holes in the bottom of each foam box, to release any excess water that might be in there, otherwise the water will be retained, and cause rotting of the roots and other problems, such as stagnant water smells. (Not Nice at all)


Important: If you spot any aphids on your strawberry plants, remove them immediately, as they can transmit viruses, from plant to plant and you could loose much of your crop. (Use an aphid pyre-thrum base spray, or you can simply use soapy water to control them)

Strawberries also suffer from fungi, so always remove any dead leaves, and fruit you find to reduce this risk.

KEEP the plants covered with some suitable bird netting when the plants start to fruit, as your not the only one who likes fresh ripe strawberries.


Strawberry01

I know once you grow strawberries for the first time, and taste the delicious fruit, you will never go back to a store bought one ever again. (Unless you run out and need to grow more that is)

How to get free seedling mix from store bought potting mix.

A very simple and cost-effective way to get some free seedling mix from any store-bought potting mix.

The very next you open a potting mix bag, run it through a fine sieve, and the soil that falls through the sieve, can be used as a very nice fine grade seedling mix. You of cause use the rest as standard potting mix.

The UN-sieved potting mix can be used as usual, and it is ideal for any Bromeliads or Orchids you might like to plant in it.

How to get seedling mix for free

 

Things you need:

  • A bag of Potting Mix. (Any brand and any sized bag of normal potting mix.)
  • A fine sieve. (You can also use a seedling tray with fine holes in the bottom of it, as your sieve if you don’t have a store-bought one on hand.)
  • A pair of Gardening Gloves (It’s advisable to wear gloves when handling any form of potting and seedling mix)

Seedling, Mix

This handy tip will save you a few dollars by not having to buy separate potting mix bags of seedling mix.

I highly recommend that you wear suitable gardening gloves.

 

NOTE: Potting mixes, mulches, compost and soils, contain many forms of bacteria, that can be harmful to your health, and in some instances, result in death.

 

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