Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gardening For Fun & Food: Growing Indoor Herbs Gardening For Flavor, Aroma, ...

Gardening For Fun & Food: Growing Indoor Herbs Gardening For Flavor, Aroma, ...: Winter is approaching rapidly, soon we'll inter in the new year of 2012, and in many places is already showing its cold face, with fury. No...

Growing Indoor Herbs Gardening For Flavor, Aroma, And Healthy Living

Winter is approaching rapidly, soon we'll inter in the new year of 2012, and in many places is already showing its cold face, with fury. Not to worry too much about it, because as it comes so it goes! Winter has its charm and in many ways it can be pleasant at times, too. If it's not too cold.

But sooner or later the winter nostalgia will hit us, and makes us think of the wonderful activities and time we spent, and the fun we had in our gardens and backyards.

Looking through the window while the snow flakes are falling down in bunches, is a unique experience to have from the warmth of your home in front of your fireplace.

How about moving the garden (in a way) indoors for a while and grow some wonderful vibrant, fragrant, aromatic, tasty and health beneficial herbs.

Herbs gardening in containers, is a lot of fun and it is not hard at all. There are so many choices, but you can choose the ones that you like the most.

Some herbs that you would like to spice your favorite dishes and salads, and enjoy a wonderful difference in in the taste of your cooking.

"The Basil Herb"

A few herbs that comes to mind would be Sweet Basil, Parsley Plain Italian, Arugula, Cilantro, Dill, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, garlic chives, onion chives, and many others that you prefer.

All these herbs can be started in some 4.5 to 6 inch plastic containers, square or round. They don't take much room and can be grown close to a window sill to get at least 8 hours of day light. The more light the better.

For a successful batch of potted herbs indoors, you'll need some good fine potting soil preferable with some micro-nutrients blended in, and rich in peat-moss.

Fill up the pots and leave about 1 to 1.5 inches from the top of the pot, and sow the seed throughout the surface of the soil in the container.

Cover the seeds with a thin layer of the same fine potting soil, and water thoroughly with a fine mist. Set them close to the outside light in the window. Keep them watered but not soggy, until the seeds sprout out.

Once the little herbs are sprouted, water carefully as not to bend them to the soil. Just keep the water flow in a corner of the pot and let it flow slowly until all the surface is wet.

The little pots should be full of little herbs, and as they grow, start pinching as much as you'd like for fresh use. By harvesting the herbs as you need them, you'll encourage growth and thus enjoy them all winter long, and well into the Spring, until you can move them outside.

It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to harvest at will whenever you want from your own kitchen window sill. Don't pinch no more then about one third of the tips of the herbs.

If you prefer, you can plant different kinds of seeds of your choice, in a rectangular box that would fit just right in the limited space you might have.

As long as they receive the adequate light, water and air circulation they will thrive.

For a more abundant herb crop, you can use some organic fertilizers, preferable the slow released kind, that will not be too strong on the little tender herb plants, and thus avoiding to burn them.

As I've explained above, I think that it is better to sow the seeds all over the surface of the potting soil in containers. I had a great deal of success whenever I planted herbs by using this method. If you sow just a few seeds they are not likely to do that well.

Just try it once and you'll understand my theory. The little plants kind of hold each other up, and grow more robust by competing with each other. Not to worry, they'll get along just fine!

So as you can see, indoor herbs growing is easy, and you'll have fine flavor, aroma, and healthy living too. Spice up your favorite dishes and salads and enjoy your food to the maximum.

I hope that this little article about growing herbs indoors is helpful to you, and will give you some useful ideas.

Until next time, Happy indoor gardening,

Mike Borlovan   



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gardening Helpful Ideas: Where And How To Sell Your Own Plant Material To C...

Gardening Helpful Ideas: Where And How To Sell Your Own Plant Material To C...: As I was writing in the previous articles about how to propagate plants by rooted cuttings, and to grow your own plants for a profit in a sm...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How And Where To Sell Your Own Plant Material To Make A Living?

As I was writing in the previous articles about how to propagate plants by rooted cuttings, and to grow your own plants to make a good living from a small space, now you might want to know how and where to sell your own plant material and create that income to make a living.

Some people believe that it is too much trouble and too much work to get started and to put your foot in the door, so to speak, to be successful in this business.

Or that it takes too long and it's too complicated to achieve a level of success. And this gardening and landscaping industry requires a lot of expertise.

Actually that's not really the case. There is not too much trouble and it is not that complicated as some folks want to make it. Considering the vast resources of information available at your finger tips on the web related to the gardening industry, you can access anything you need in a mater of minutes.

If you like gardening and working with nature it is fun and easy. It is relaxing, peaceful, enjoyable, and very rewarding.

So don't hang around with the naysayers that will just hold you back from achieving your dreams! Think positive, dream, and act upon it. That's right, take action and keep going! Believe in yourself and in what you are doing.

If you are reading this article, it means that you are interested in growing plants for a hobby or for profit, so you are at the right place and at the right time.

It is never too late to start. And once you've started to grow your plants, let's find out how and where to sell them. Even if you don't have a large variety as of yet, you can still sell what you already have.

First, make a little home made sign on a piece of plywood or cardboard and write on both sides of it 'Plants For Sale' and nail it on a stake that you drive in the ground in front of your property, so that it can be visible from both directions of the traffic.

Set a table and fill it up with some plant material you have for sale, to create interest from your neighbors and the people that pass by. Or you can set them right on the ground, as long as the plants are visible. You'll be surprised how many will stop! People loves plants!

If you grow some blooming plants, that would be a fantastic way to draw the buyers to your little plant growing and selling operation.

"The Pink Hydrangea"

Another way to sell your plants is to find a spot at an intersection with heavy traffic, preferable at a 4 way stop, or at traffic lights. While people stop they will look, and even if they don't stop right then at your stand, they are likely to come back or tell others about you!

If you can't set up every day, try to be there on certain days of the week, so people will expect to see you at those particular days.

Flea Markets are a great place to sell your plant material, since there are people that go though with the intent to buy. Once you get established and known for the quality and variety of plants you offer, you will build a healthy repeat business, that is priceless!

You can also look to EBay and see for yourself the vast possibilities that they offer to sell your plant material. Of course, you'll have to be prepared to pay some hefty fees, and have the shipping supplies and other requirements in place to operate your business.

Another way to sell your plants is to approach some local business and ask permission to sell in front of their store. This could work well for benefiting both; you and the owner of the business, by attracting some extra traffic to their store, that otherwise would not stop, if they were not attracted to your plants stand.

Now you can see that it is not that hard or too complicated to sell your plant material for a profit. It is okay to have some doubts, but now since you know that it can be done, there is nothing to stand in your way, except you!

This is true. It is not something that I read or heard about. I tried and experimented it myself, and I'm speaking as one who have done it and achieved a great level of success. It requires commitment, determination, and action.

The possibilities of making a serious and steady income from growing plants is incredible! If you want it or not, you will have to grow and expand. Provided that you are taking good care of your plants they are growing while you sleeping, and you must step them up in larger containers, and sell for a higher price.

Now since you have a pretty good idea as how and where to sell your plant material, I will write some articles to give you some ideas about what to grow to be more successful and profitable.

We will talk about growing blooming plants, and specifically bedding plants. It is good to dream, make plans, stay informed and take action!

Until next time,

Mike Borlovan                    

What Shrubs Do You Need To Collect Cuttings For Your Rooting?

The answer to the question of what shrubs do you need to collect your cuttings from, for your rooting, is not that complicated.

As I've suggested in the previous article the way to have a good start is to make cuttings off of some woody shrubs, that are many times readily available around your property, or your neighbors' and your friends' properties.

I recommend the woody shrubs for the simple fact that the finished product does not need too much heating, or any heating at all. But while you root the cuttings, they will need a warm and humid environment to grow roots.

As the little branches that you cut off from the mature shrub does not have any roots to feed through, they must feed somehow in order to live and grow roots on their own.

Well, how do they do it? Very simple: they feed through the leaves, and that's why the cuttings will need to be sprinkled with a fine mist of water, and kept in a humid confinement, the greenhouse. They need water, light and heat.

Provided that you have the source to collect the cuttings from, let's start with the number of cuttings you want, and then we proceed to the way you'll make the cuttings.

But first make sure you have your cell trays filled up with fine potting soil, and sprinkle them until the cells are wet all the way down. And then you can start cutting the little branches from the mature shrubs.

Let's assume you want to make cuttings from a winter green Boxwood shrub, or Korean Boxwood, and you want to fill up 10 trays of 72 cells, to obtain about 700 rooted plugs to start your plant operation business to sell plants for a profit. This is going to be a first step to create a steady income.
"The Boxwood Plug"
That's a pretty good start and 10 trays shouldn't take that much room. The next batch of cuttings can be a different kind of shrub, like Compacta holly, Burford holly, Azalea Formosa, Hilleri Holly, Crape Myrtles, Weeping Willows, Wigelia, Wisteria, or any other shrubs and trees that could sell well in your area.

The possibilities are too vast to mention them all in this article. But let's now just concentrate on the first batch of boxwood cuttings.

To make the cuttings in a proper way, and to obtain the greatest number of rooted plugs, you need a good sharp knife. Do not use any scissors to make cuttings. Use a sharp knife and cut the little branches in a slanted manner at about 45 degrees.

You want to select the tips of the shrub branches that are not too hard nor too soft or too green. Kind of in between. You want to cut them just a little lower from the point where it turned green, in the brown portion of the branch.

In other words they should not be too mature nor too tender green. You will get used to it as you go, and it will produce a greater and faster amount of rooted cuttings.

Once you collected the desired number of cuttings, sit down in the shade, and pinch off the lower leaves at the portion that you'll stick in the dirt, and leave only the upper leaves above the soil. You should also cut off the tips to encourage branching.

Now start sticking the lower part of the cuttings in the soil, and pack gently the dirt around them to eliminate any air pockets and for the steams to contact the soil.

Set them in the shade or your greenhouse and mist the leaves every 1 to 2 hours for several days. Make sure they get enough light and some source of heating to keep them warm.

After several weeks, you will notice the little roots coming out from the bottom of the trays. They are not ready yet! You don't have to water them that often now, but keep them wet, not soggy, and never let them dry out completely.

At this point you can apply some light liquid Miracle growth fertilizer, or some granulated micro-nutrients on top of the soil, and the little plants will turn in a nice vibrant green.

It's a good start! Once they developed a good root ball, they are ready to be stepped up in some 4 to 5 inch plastic round or square containers, and as they grow, when they become a little root bound, you step them up in 1 Gallon containers.

"Boxwood In Container"

At this point they are ready for sale. In order to stimulate bushing and branching, you'll need to trim the tips off. The more you trim the bushier they get.

Every time you step them up in a larger container, apply some slow release fertilizer, like osmocote or other fertilizers available at your local Garden Centers.

That's how you should do with any other woody shrubs cuttings you want to start growing. It is a lot of fun and at the same time you can create a wonderful source of income.

Another easy to start and grow plant that is in a pretty great demand on the market, is the weeping willow tree. These weeping willows love water, and their majestic weeping branches waving in the wind, are creating an awesome accent in any landscape.

These can be rooted in some one gallon plastic containers filled with sand, and watered well and often. Just stick some short branches or switches in the sand and set them in the shade or greenhouse.

If properly watered they are growing fast, and ready for sale in several months.

As you become better on rooting cuttings, and you enjoy doing it, you can sell them by the trays to the gardening people to grow their own finished products.

In the next article I will offer some suggestions as where to sell your finished plant products.

Until next time, for your success, dare to take action!

Mike Borlovan





How To Make Rooted Cuttings To Growing Plants To Sell For A Living

The rooted cuttings to start growing your own plants and selling them to make a good living, is the most economical way to start, and it makes more sense.

Of course for a faster start, if you don't have the time and the means to root the cuttings yourself, or you don't have the stock to harvest your cuttings from, you can purchase rooted cuttings readily available from Wholesale Nurseries locally or on the internet.

That would be a faster process to achieve a finish product for sale to the public. The rooted cuttings usually are grown in cell trays of 36, 50, 72, or other sizes, that are also called plugs.

The prices per tray or per plug varies as there are so many sources available where you have a chance to shop around and compare prices.

This alternative is preferable if you want to save time, because the rooting process could take 6 to 8 weeks or even longer for some varieties of plants.

Another alternative for plant propagation is by seeds, and the little plants obtained by sowing seeds are called seedlings.

If you love blooming bedding plants, you might want to wait until late winter, very close to the spring season, to start them by seeds and have them readily available as a finished product for sale just in time for planting season.

Since a lot of gardeners and nature loving people have been cooped up indoors in a long winter, they are itching to get out in the garden and plant those vibrant color spring bedding plants. Therefore, the bedding plants operations are very profitable and fun.

I will tell you about it in a separate article about how to grow and sell bedding plants. It is going to be awesome!

In any situation you've got to have the right environment to achieve the starter plants in order to have a reasonable number of plants to make any income. But no mater what you choose to do, to start the plant plugs or seedlings, you'll need a greenhouse.

Nevertheless, if you are living in a warm climate, you probably don't even need a greenhouse, and you can start your rooting and sowing process in a shady location under some trees, as long as you have the water source close by.

In other situations where the region you are living in has cold weather and freezing temperatures, the plants will need protection. You will need a good greenhouse to grow them and protect the young plants from the elements.

But the rooting and sowing process should be started in the spring and early summer. You can root the cuttings even in the winter if you heat the greenhouse and create the proper temperature for the plants to catch roots.

That is for the larger professional operations that can afford it and are aiming for large production of plant material. You can achieve that too, if you'll stick with this business long enough and grow as you go.

Once you start it, you will expand, if you want to or not. If you want to increase your income you will have to expand.

I've started with a small humble 10x30 greenhouse, and in about 3 years I've ended up with a 10 Acres vibrant Nursery operation with lots of greenhouses, irrigation systems, two deep commercial submersible pumps, plenty ground covers for the finished plant material, and then after another 3 years I expanded with a nice profitable Landscaping Division.

With hard work and dedication you can become successful in this plant growing business in a relatively short period of time.

As the time will permit I will continue to write these articles relevant to the plants growing and selling for profit business, I will suggest different methods of selling your finished plant material both, wholesale to Garden Centers, Landscapers, and retail to the general public.

In a special article I will try to tell you my story, how I started, what kind of resources I've used, the obstacles I've encountered and how can you avoid them by learning from my mistakes.

But for now lets talk about the subject of how to start with the rooted cuttings: to grow them yourself or to buy them from other sources.

This depends on your possibilities and the time that you have available or if you want to wait until the little cuttings will grow roots.

Once you have build your little greenhouse, and purchased a few cell trays, fine potting soil to fill the cell trays with, then you are ready to harvest some cuttings to start propagating by roots.

For a greater success and a faster rooting process you will need some root hormone to deep the cuttings in, before you stick them in the cell trays. However, you can root the cuttings without the root hormones, so it's not really strictly necessary. Who knows, you might already have a "green thumb".

We joke around here when we talk about my wife that if she sticks a dry stick in the ground it will catch roots. I tell you, does she have a "green thumb" or what!

Before you do that you have to decide what kind of plants you want to propagate and sell. As I've suggested in the previous article, it would be a good idea to start with the woody evergreen shrubs that don't need heating in the winter.

Just have everything ready and in the next article I'll talk about how and where to collect the cuttings from, and how to cut and make them ready to stick them in the rooting cells.

In the meantime just make sure you are working on building your first greenhouse and have it ready. If you do it right, this thing will grow wings and there's no telling where and how far can it take you!

Just stick with me and get your hands dirty for a profit, and a good one, too!

Until the next article,

Mike Borlovan