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Sep 7

Plants That Can Make You Rich

Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Irrigation

Submitted by: Gerald Mason

Here are some plants that people will always buy and can build you a good customer base, that can help make you rich:

Sweet Peas

These fragrant old favorites need to get their first spurt of growth before the weather warms too much.

Colors range from purest white through all shades of pink and lavender. Soak the seeds in warm water over night. Plant one seed to a 2-inch pot of rich soil. February is a good time. Grow them right on in the cool greenhouse or, after the plants have started into good growth, say mid-March, move them to the cold frame.

Cuthbertson’s heat-resistant sweet peas are a good choice for repeat business. These come in all the favorite colors. The Spencer and Zvolanek strains also are well known and thoroughly reliable.

Zinnia

Zinnias have been so improved that now there are forms for every gardening need. There are the baby zinnias, the bedders, the small-flowered sorts (so good in flower arrangements), the improved “giants,” and the cactus types with twisted petal tips.Flowers range from white through yellow, orange, pink, and red, and multicolored.

Sow the seeds in April in flats and grow them in the cool greenhouse. Prick off and plant singly as soon as they are easily handled perhaps in 2 weeks. Grow under strong light. Once potted, they can be removed and placed in the cold frame, thus leaving space for starting another crop for the later buyers

Here are some great and profitable plants for terraces:

Anemone

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These pretty bulbous plants thrive in sun or semishade. Their flowers are like thick-petaled poppies, in red, purple, or white. For summer-flowering plants, start the corms (with “claws” pointing downward) in March in the cold greenhouse. As soon as growth shows, pot up in 3-inch pots of porous soil mixture.

Anemones can be started from seeds sown in July, but the imported corms sold in mixture are so reasonably priced it hardly seems worth while to grow them from seeds.

Astilbe features graceful foliage and feathery flower spires. Large clumps can be divided in the spring and potted in 5- or 6-inch pots of sandy soil. They need plenty of water and should be grown in a warm house. Astilbe forces well for late winter early spring bloom.

Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans)

The lacy appearance of baby’s breath makes it a welcome addition to the terrace. The freshly cut branches are beautiful in flower arrangements. When dried, they become material for winter bouquets.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorum)

Neat growth, handsome flowers in bud or bloom make the balloon flower a favorite with gardeners. It is a hardy perennial with blue, purple, pink, or white flowers. Just before Although you can start them from seed by sowing them in a warm house in the spring, it may be more profitable to pur chase rooted cuttings, or a few large plants and propagate your own cuttings.

As soon as seedlings show true leaves, and cuttings sprout new leaves, give them weekly dosages of diluted liquid ferti lizer. One-fourth the recommended proportion is right for seedlings; dilution for cuttings.

The older plants are rested through the winter by storing in a cool place. Start the plants into growth in February or March. As soon as they show strong growth, take cuttings and insert them in flats of good greenhouse soil. If the cuttings are given bottom heat so the soil temperature is about 60 degrees, they will root and be sturdy enough in 3 weeks to pot into 3-inch pots. Encourage growth by growing them on in a warm green house or by giving them another 2 or 3 weeks of 60-degree bottom heat.

They can be sold directly from the 3-inch pots; or, if you desire larger plants, give them another shift into a 5- or 6-inch pot.

Cuttings taken in September and grown in 60-degree tem peratures without any bottom heat will produce plants for 4-inch pots the following spring.

Passiflora

The passion flower is a wonderful and “different” vine for terrace trellising. The flower range is from creamy white through lavender, blue, and pink to red. Propagate passiflora during the early spring by taking cuttings and inserting them in any rooting media. They grow well at 70 degrees and can be planted directly into 2- or 3-inch pots.

They will flower sparingly in these containers, but they can be sold before flowering because as soon as prospective buyers note the name passiflora, they are eager to purchase.

A Minnesota grower propagates passiflora by the hundreds and still falls short of supplying the demand. My own green house is so crowded with other things that I lack space for a col lection of these vines, much as I would like to have them. Unrooted cuttings sell for 35 cents to a dollar each, depending on the relative scarcity of the particular variety.

Highly unusual varieties can be produced by planting passiflora seed which is somewhat difficult to germinate but can be helped along by an overnight soaking in water. Plant in a light soil and keep in a 70-degree house. Germination takes from 2 to 6 weeks. If you want to grow them on yourself in or der to have material for cuttings, keep shifting until the vine is in a 5- or 6-inch pot.

In the summer they can be transplanted to the garden; and if your greenhouse can accommodate these big plants, you can dig them in the fall and replant into 8- or 10-inch pots. These older plants will provide you with hundreds of cuttings.

opening, the buds become swollen and resemble balloons, thus its common name. There are single and double flowers; plants to 2- and 3-foot heights, or dwarfs. These make especially good terrace material.

Start seeds in late February or early March in shady loam and grow in the cool greenhouse. Pot up in 3-inch pots about 6 weeks after seed planting.

Candytuft (Iberis)

Flower spikes much like hyacinths, in shades of white, pink and orchid, make these low-growing plants favorites for terrace plantings especially as a planting to top a rock wall.

Plant seeds in mid-January and grow them in the cool green house. These will produce flowering plants for sale in May. Sow thinly in flats of soil, transplant to 3-inch pots about March first.

Carpet Phlox (Phlox subulata)

It is not uncommon to see large areas of terrace given over to this richly colored, spring-flowering perennial. Although you can start carpet phlox also widely known as mountain pink from seed, the plants from which you can make divisions are so reasonably priced that it is not practicable for small greenhouse growers to devote space to seed starting. Plant the divisions in small flats of ordinary soil, give them good light and plenty of water. Grow in the cool greenhouse.

Fuchsia

With their drooping, richly colored, bell-shaped flowers, fuchsias make beautiful potted plants for the terrace, for growing in the outdoor planter, or the cool, well-lighted window garden.

Sweet peas should be transplanted to the garden just as soon as danger of frost is passed. They grow best in cooler weather, which is a special sales approach to use on the gardener who just can’t wait as late as May to get his spade in the ground.

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Jul 16

Hydroponic Nutrients And The Autopot System}

Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2017 in Irrigation

Submitted by: Joe Ruth

This article is written to provide the novice gardener with some basic lessons learned in starting a hydroponic garden. Five years ago I wanted to grow a few tomatoes without excavating my backyard. I concluded a hydroponic garden was the answer as it would provide a means to grow tomatoes without a lot of hassle, maintenance and expense. With that as a back drop, here are the issues and lessons learned I confronted.

There are numerous hydroponic systems on the market. Since I was not a commercial operation, I wanted a system that did not require pumps and electricity. I figured those just added additional costs and maintenance. I ultimately decided on the Autopot.

The autopot system does not require any pumps or electricity. The system basically consists of a tank, plant pots, trey that holds the plant pots, a smart valve, and interconnecting plumbing. The system is gravity fed requiring no pumps or electricity. I have five sets of two that grow ten tomato plants, such as Better Boy, Big Boy, Cherry tomatoes to name a few.

The hydroponic nutrients tank I use is a 55-gallon used pickle barrel, I purchased for $12.00 at the local hardware store. The smart valve is the key to the autopot sytem. The smart valve shuts the flow of nutrients off at the high level and dose not open to fill until the nutrient level has almost depleted in the trey. This way optimum growing conditions occur as the valve simulates periods between rain fall, as opposed to maintaining a constant full level. For a brief period, when the nutrients are at a low point, the roots are exposed to air (a good thing).

The hydroponics nutrient tank is connected to the smart valve by plastic tubing and valves. I also have a valve on the bitter end to periodically flush the lines. I use one half inch tubing with a punch in nipple fitting that reduces to a smaller size hose for connection to the smart valve. Even though the nipple is punched into the one half inch tubing, it does not leak and super easy to assemble.

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One of your biggest recurring expenses is the cost of nutrients. When I first started, I was under the mistaken assumption that I had to use some type of nutrient that had the word hydroponic in front of it. Every time I turned around I was buying more nutrients. If you only take away one lesson learned from this article, remember, there is an “inexpensive alternative called water soluble fertilizer.” Emphasis added.

I learned of water soluble fertilizer while visiting the local University Agricultural Extension Service in my area. They did research on hydroponic systems. There tomato plants were like Jack and the Bean Stalk. The agent told me what to buy and what mixture to use.

I purchased for $30.00 a 25-pound bag of water soluble fertilizer made by PRO-SOL in Alabama. Keep in mind there are other manufacturers of water soluble fertilizer. You need to read the ingredients and determine if any supplemental fertilizer is needed, such as Calcium Nitrate, Potassium Nitrate or Epson Salt. With PRO-SOL, I had no loss in production or quality. Twenty pounds makes 3,000 gallons. Since I wanted to make 50-gallons at a time for my nutrient tank, I used 5.3 ounces. Needless to say, I havent had to buy nutrients for the last 3-years and have enough for a couple of more years. A big cost saving.

You need to supplement the 3-15-27 with Calcium Nitrate 15.5-0-0+19CA. You use 4 to 8 ounces during the, grow and start of Flower stages and 8 to 16 ounces during the flower and fruit stages. Using too much Nitrogen in the grow stage causes rapid growth and compromise of the stem joint areas presenting a place for disease to enter the plant. Your tomato plants must grow and develop at the proper rate (not too fast or too slow).

Key Point: Using a one gallon bucket, dissolve the 3-15-27 in warm water. Using a separate one gallon bucket dissolve the Calcium Nitrate in warm water. The point is, do not dissolve in the same bucket. It will turn cloudy, keep separate while dissolving. Once dissolved, dump both mixtures into a 50-gallon tank around the 40-gallon fill point while filling. Top to 50-gallons, stir and the hydroponic nutrient solution is ready for use.

Last, the median that can be used in an autopot varies. I started with a 60% coco husk and 40% perlite mixture. The mixture worked good for tomatoes but a little pricey. The coco husk acts as a wick and the perlite provides space and oxygen for the roots when the nutrient level drops. I have also mixed perlite with peat moss with equal success.

In the autopot system, the plant pots use a disposable coffee like filter in the bottom of the pot to keep the roots in. If the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot they will foul the smart valve. The autopot initially comes with a filter, however, after the first year you need a new filter. As a work around, I use the black plastic landscaper weed control that has little holes. I line the entire pot.

I sincerely hope the information in this article was helpful and provided some tips on cost savings and alternatives in using and purchasing hydroponic supplies and systems.

About the Author: Joe Ruth

This website

is a link to the world wide web for the novice, providing cost saving ideas and lessons learned.

Hydroponic Nutrients

is a link discussing hydroponic nutrient alternatives such as

water soluble fertilizer

.

Autopot

is discussed.

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