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Friday, April 26, 2019

How to Use Peppermint Oil to Mask Scents and Repel Insects in Your Vegetable Garden

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop



How to Use Peppermint Oil to Mask Scents 
and Repel Insects in Your Vegetable Garden


Peppermint oil essentially does two main things to discourage insects from coming into your garden. It masks the scents of your vegetable plants and it is an irritant to many insects. Peppermint oil makes for an extremely good repellent for very small insects like spider mites. You may have heard some oil sprays smother and kill soft bodied insects. That is true; however, peppermint oil is used for its scent. You would need to use a lot more oil to make a smothering oil insect spray. Cheaper unscented oils are better for that purpose.

Insects locate plants visually and by scent. That is why flowers are often scented and colored. Many of your pollinators will still easily find you garden even when you are using peppermint oil sprays.
When you pick vegetables, you break the plant. You may notice three distinct odors when you pick a cucumber, tomato or squash. Problematic insects also notice the scents. Pruning plants releases the same odor or pheromones. Your peppermint spray helps to mask this. Wind and heavy rain can also damage plant leaves just enough to release plant scents.

Not all peppermint oil is the same. I only recommend using Mentha Piperita. This is what I sell on my website and use in my garden. It is a little more expensive but has the strongest scent. Wherever you choose to by your peppermint oil, make sure the label displays Mentha Piperita. You want the strongest scent. 


Peppermint Oil from The Rusted Garden

The key to the successful use of peppermint oil is spraying on a schedule. I recommend spraying every 5-7 days routinely as a masking scent. You can spray around the plants and on the soil. If you are using the spray for the first time, spray a few leaves of each plant variety and wait 48 hours for damage. Only cover an entire plant when you know your spray mix does no harm. This is good practice for any spray formula, you introduce into your garden.

If you are using it as a repellent and irritant for very small insects like spider mites, I recommend spraying every 3-5 days, making sure you get under the leaves.

From The Rusted Garden – Seed & Garden Shop:
https://www.therustedgarden.com/ 

Garden Care Kit with Spray Bottles: Peppermint Oil, Neem Oil, Rosemary Oil and Calcium Nitrate:
https://www.therustedgarden.com/products/copy-of-garden-care-kit-w-spray-bottles-neem-oil-peppermint-oil-rosemary-oil-and-calcium-nitrate

2 Ounces (Dropper Bottle) of Peppermint Oil (Menta Piperita) for Insect Management:
https://www.therustedgarden.com/products/2-ounces-of-peppermint-oil-menta-piperita-for-insect-management


My Peppermint Oil Recipe & Routine

The basic recipe I use is 1 drop of peppermint oil per 2 ounces of water. This is great for small batches. You can use 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil per gallon of water. Use just enough soap in your batches to help disperse the oil through the water when shaken. That is usually a couple drops of soap per quart or a teaspoon per gallon based on the soap you are using.

Shake your peppermint oil spray every few minutes when spraying your garden. Two ounces of oil is about 1200 drops according to conversion websites and it will make 12-24 gallons of spray based on using 1/2 or 1 teaspoon in a gallon of water. A mix batched of peppermint oil spray is good for about 1 week and probably longer. The oil itself has a shelf life of several years.

The key to effectively using peppermint spray and other scented sprays is to stick to a schedule. Schedules vary by Garden Zone as they all have their own insect issues. When in doubt, spray more often. You also want to start spraying several week before the problematic insects arrive to your gardens. The best way to learn this is by keeping a journal of problems in your garden, documenting the date they are first noticed.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)
The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link

Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Over 25 Questions Answered on Starting Herbs, Flowers and Vegetables Indoors Under Grow-lights: Seed Starting Questions

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

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25 Questions Answered on Starting Seed Indoors Under Grow-Lights: The Rusted Garden


How high should my grow-light be place over the trays?
You should set the grow-lights about 2 - 4 inches above the seed starting trays.


When is light the most important to my seed starts?
The first 5 to 7 days from germination are the most important time. Intense light is needed to prevent the seedling from getting thin and 'leggy".


What kind of ratings should my grow-lights have?
Minimum ratings are 2100 lumens for light intensity and 5000K for light color. Great numbers are 2750 lumens or higher and 6500K.


25 Questions Answered on Starting Seed Indoors Under Grow-Lights: The Rusted Garden


How long should I keep the grow-light?
At germination and for first week, the light should be left on 16 hours and off 8 hours. After that you can start decreasing the lights to 14 hours and then 12 hours over a few weeks.


Why do my seedlings get tall and ‘leggy’?
Bottom line is the light is not intense enough and they are stretching to get closer too it.


When should I turn my lights on? Should I have them on before germination?
I turn them on before germination as you want to catch the germinating seedlings immediately with intense light. After planting seeds, I turn my grow light on 3 days later. Nothing really germinates in 3 days.


Can I use a window? Do I need grow-lights?
You really do need a grow light as 99/100 south facing windows don't provide enough light for seedlings.


This is the video that goes over all these questions in more detail. Subscribe to my channel, I will be making real-time garden videos all through 2019.



Do I need direct or indirect sun in a window? 
Sun coming in a window must always be direct. That means the sun can always be seen by your seedlings. Light from the sun directly hits your seed starts.


What is seed flat and seed cell? (Different Shapes & Sizes)
Check the video out for this one. You just have to see them.


Do I need to start my transplants in small cells or can I use large cups?
It is all based on how much room you have to grow indoors and the number of plants you want to start. You can start in large containers or forgo potting them up from the smaller seed cells if that is what you prefer.


Do I need to use seed starting mix? Should I sterilize my starting mix?
I always recommend sterilizing your starting mix and using a seed starting mix. I find it really helps with germination and reduces problems.


Does sterilizing seed starting mix kill of the soil life?
It would, if starting mix had soil life. Seed starting mix doesn't have anything of value for your plants. It is just a seed starting medium. Sterilize it and add what you wish afterwords. 


25 Questions Answered on Starting Seed Indoors Under Grow-Lights: The Rusted Garden

Can I use outdoor soil to start my seeds indoors?
You can but this risk of bringing in insects, insects eggs, fungus and disease is quite high. There is not Nature indoors to combat problems.


Can I use dry seed starting mix to start my seeds or should I pre-moisten the mix?
Always pre-moisten your seed starting mixes. They actually float and absorb water slowly if you don't prepare the growing cells or cups with pre-moistened mix.


How do I set up my seed starting cells or containers for planting?
Check the video out for this one.


How often do I water? When do I water?
Check out the video for this one.


Should I let the top of my seed starting mix dry between watering?
It is a good idea to let the tops of the growing cells or cups dry. The video really explains this through examples.


Did fungus gnats come because I didn’t let the top of the seed starting mix dry?
Nope. Letting the tops dry helps reduce problems but it is not the cause. Fungus gnats lay eggs at the bottom of your starting cells too.


How do I water my transplants in the most efficient way?
Bottom watering in the tray is the most efficient way and the video describes the process.

25 Questions Answered on Starting Seed Indoors Under Grow-Lights: The Rusted Garden


Can I leave water in the bottom of the trays all the time?
You can let it sit for a couple hours while the seed starting mix absorbs it. Really after 30 minutes the mix soaks up all the water it can hold. Dump out the excess water or you can get root rot.


How many grow-lights do I need?
Again the video explains this thoroughly.


Should I use a timer on my grow-lights?
Absolutely 100%


Do I need to put fertilizer in the seed starting mix to start? What kind of fertilizer should I use indoors?
You don't have too. If you are you should use water soluble fertilizers at 1/4 strength or less. The video will explains why.


When should I feed my transplants? How much fertilizer do I use?
Water soluble fertilizer of your choice at 1/4 or less recommend strength. You can feed your plants about 1-2 weeks after germination. The video explains why.


What is the best temperature to start seeds indoors?
About 70 degrees F suits most seeds, if not all of them.


25 Questions Answered on Starting Seed Indoors Under Grow-Lights: The Rusted Garden


Do I need to use a seed starting heat mat? How long do I keep using it?

You don't if your growing area sits around 70 degrees F. Heat mats do speed up germination and can be shut off a couple days after germination if you area stays above 65 degrees F.


Should I label my seed starts? What is the best way to label me flats?

Unless you have a photographic memory... yes. The video describes a couple options.


Shop on Amazon and Support The Rusted Garden for Free: Anything you purchase gives a % return back to TRG.  It is free. Just use The Rusted Garden Amazon Portal http://amzn.to/2ttyray anytime you shop. Thanks for using my link. It helps fund my garden videos!

You can also find gardening products I use in my videos here...

I now have an Amazon Influencer's storefront. I put the products I use, in videos, there. Shopping there is free and The Rusted Garden gets a percentage of sales. Thanks! I have products set up by categories. You can go to my storefront using this secure link: https://www.amazon.com/shop/garypilarchiktherustedgarden

Products in My 2019 YouTube Videos 

Garden Tools: The Rusted Garden

Gardening Books and Resources 

Containers, Pots and Small Green Houses 

Fertilizers and Amendments: Indoor and Outdoor Gardening

Disease and Pest Management 

Seed Starting Supplies and Grow-Light Stations 


Products I Use and Recommend. I have an affiliation with them:

The Seed Company I Recommend is Everwilde Farms: https://www.everwilde.com/. Use the code RUSTEDGARDEN for a free seed pack. No 'THE' in this code.

Worm Castings: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on VermisTerra Products and save 10% at https://vermisterra.com/

GreenStalk Vertical Gardening: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on GreenStalk 'Vertical Tier Systems'.  Use this link and enter my code for the discount http://store.greenstalkgarden.com/?afmc=therustedgarden or this short link http://lddy.no/4eal 


My Social Media Links:

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel (800 Garden Videos) - The Rusted Garden: https://www.youtube.com/user/pilarchik

Follow me on Instagram for Harvest Pictures, Updates and Give-Aways: https://www.instagram.com/therustedgarden/

Visit My Original Blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden: https://therustedgarden.blogspot.com/

Contact Me at therustedgarden@gmail.com for questions or if you are interested in affiliations or advertising

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden

Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Seed Starting Basics: Sterilizing Your Mix, Thumb Packing Cells, Over-Seeding Herbs & Onions: My YouTube Channel

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Seed Starting Basics: Sterilizing Your Mix, Thumb Packing Cells, Over-Seeding Herbs and Onions


Here is the most recent video from my YouTube Channel: The Rusted Garden. Every year I start new videos that capture my entire gardening season. Right now I am starting seeds. Here is the most recent video. Below is what you would find in the video's description. Please enjoy the video and subscribe to my channel if you like it. Thanks!



show you how to sterilize your seed starting mix with boiling water and discuss the reasons. I answer the question... Why do I need to start my seeds indoors? I go over the different cell sizes and how to set them up with starting mix. I show you the over-seeding method I use for herbs and onions. And I cover some flowers and herbs you can start 10-12 weeks indoors.

The Seed Company I Recommend is Everwilde Farms: https://www.everwilde.com/. Use the code RUSTEDGARDEN for a free seed pack. No 'THE' in this code.

Check out my newest Blog: The Rusted Garden. It will have articles tied to each video I make in 2019: https://www.therustedgarden.com/blogs/vegetable-gardening-tips-blog

Please Help Support My Channel: The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed & Garden Shop: https://www.therustedgarden.com/ - Check out my discounted seed collections & my 'Grow as I Grow' collection.

Shop on Amazon and Support The Rusted Garden for Free: Anything you purchase gives a % return back to TRG.  It is free. Just use The Rusted Garden Amazon Portal http://amzn.to/2ttyray anytime you shop. Thanks for using my link. It helps fund my garden videos!

You can also find gardening products I use in my videos here...

I now have an Amazon Influencer's storefront. I put the products I use, in videos, there. Shopping there is free and The Rusted Garden gets a percentage of sales. Thanks! I have products set up by categories. You can go to my storefront using this secure link: https://www.amazon.com/shop/garypilarchiktherustedgarden

Products in My 2019 YouTube Videos 

Garden Tools: The Rusted Garden

Gardening Books and Resources 

Containers, Pots and Small Green Houses 

Fertilizers and Amendments: Indoor and Outdoor Gardening

Disease and Pest Management 

Seed Starting Supplies and Grow-Light Stations 


Products I Use and Recommend. I have an affiliation with them:

Worm Castings: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on VermisTerra Products and save 10% at https://vermisterra.com/

GreenStalk Vertical Gardening: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on GreenStalk 'Vertical Tier Systems'.  Use this link and enter my code for the discount http://store.greenstalkgarden.com/?afmc=therustedgarden or this short link http://lddy.no/4eal 


My Social Media Links:

The Seed Company I Recommend is Everwilde Farms: https://www.everwilde.com/. Use the code RUSTEDGARDEN for a free seed pack. No 'THE' in this code.

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel (800 Garden Videos) - The Rusted Garden: https://www.youtube.com/user/pilarchik

Follow me on Instagram for Harvest Pictures, Updates and Give-Aways: https://www.instagram.com/therustedgarden/

Visit My Original Blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden: https://therustedgarden.blogspot.com/

Contact Me at therustedgarden@gmail.com for questions or if you are interested in affiliations or advertising

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)
The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link

Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
Amazon General Search Page:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Truth About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), Hybrids, Heirlooms and Your Vegetable Seeds - Call Them GEO's!

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop


The Truth About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), 
Hybrids, Heirlooms and Your Vegetable Seeds - Call Them GEO's

All flower and vegetable seeds you buy in seed packs, for a couple of bucks, are not Genetically Modified Organism or GMO's. They never were, currently are not and probably will never be. You have no need to worry when you buy a single pack of seeds. A seed pack stamped Non-GMO is no different than a seed pack not stamped Non-GMO. If you like the reassurance, that is cool, just know what you are paying for via the stamp.


The Rusted Garden: The Truth About GMO's


The term GMO is basically used to define a genetically engineered organism created in a laboratory in a way Nature could not create it.  Why is this important? It is important because hybrids are not GMO's by the above definition. However, genetic material is modified naturally in Nature. The term modified is misleading and confusing, GMO's should really be called GEO's or Genetically Engineered Organisms when a process is done Nature can't do and it is engineered in a laboratory.

Nature can create hybrids because hybridizing is nothing more than taking pollen from one plant variety and crossing it to another variety. The plants must be compatible for hybrids to work. I can, you can, bees or other insects can make hybrids. It is 100% safe and normal and it is Nature at work. Genetic material, again, gets modified by Nature. Genetic modification is not bad.

GMO's (though they should be called GEO's) take DNA or genetic material from any source and in some cases blast it into the DNA of another source. GMO's are made in many different ways, again in laboratories. This isn't good or bad. It is science, you may or may not agree with it but it important to understand laboratory GMO's are not found in the $2 pack of seeds you buy. They are, however, in the food you sometimes eat.

So don't worry.  GMO's are huge money makers and there are only about a dozen or two GMO vegetables out there.  You have to buy them in larger quantities that easily costs thousands  and thousands of dollars, you have to sign contracts to manage the seeds, you can't package and resell the seeds and you have to be a larger scale farm.

So... GMO is a bad term because it confuses people  A hybrid is taking pollen (natural and normal genetic material) from one plant and crossing it with another plant's natural and normal genetic material. Tomato to tomato. Pepper to pepper. Melons to melons. Roses to roses and the most famous reindeer of all is Pea to Pea.  Look up Gregor Mendel as he is the scientist and geneticist that worked on pea hybrids and cross pollination. Taking pollen and crossing it, does genetically modify the plant in a safe and normal way. That is what confuses people.  Plant hybridizers copy the way Nature does it. Hybrids are not the above definition of laboratory GMO's.


The Rusted Garden: The Truth About GMO's


Hybrids work by taking pollen and crossing it, as mentioned. The first generation of seeds, from the initial cross pollination, will have mixed characteristics (genetic material) from both varieties. Those seeds when planted, will give you the 'new' variety with crossed characteristics from both plants. In a sense their genetic material was modified.

In (very) brief, the new variety is not a stable cultivar, so when you save the second generation of seeds you won't get (100% of the time) the plant from which you saved the seeds. Hybridizers spend years continuing generations of the 'crossing' to get a stable cultivar. A stable cultivar means when you save the seeds of a tomato and plant those seeds, you get the same variety of tomato. Seeds after seeds, year after year, you get the same variety and characteristics. The plant is stable and called true to form. You always get the true form of the plant from which you saved the seeds.

Heirlooms are stable vegetables/cultivars. You always get the same type of plant and characteristics when you save and plant the seeds. Heirlooms are basically plant varieties/seeds (depending on what definition you use) that have been around 25, 50, 75 or even 100 years.  They are old and stable plant varieties but the definition on the number of years varies. In some case old original hybrids that were made and stabilized in the 1950's are considered heirlooms today.

The summary... Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) are genetically modified in a lab in a way Nature can not do it. They should be called Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEO's). Hybrids are made by crossing pollen or genetic material in a way that mimics Nature and it is a natural process. People just take the randomness out of it.  Heirlooms are old and stable varieties of vegetables and flowers.


Cheers,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


My 'Grow As I Grow' Collection:



 Sow Perfect Seeder



I just set up a new Amazon Shop that holds many of the products I used in my 2018 YT videos. The shop is a great way to consolidate the items you see in my videos and that I use, in one place. You no longer have to click links all over the place in different videos, you can now go directly to my: The Rusted Garden Amazon Influencer Shop . Products that show up in my 2019 videos, will be placed in this shop.




Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!
Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)

The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link
Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
Amazon General Search Page:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

How to Cheaply and Easily Build an Indoor Grow Light Box for Your Herbs, Flowers and Vegetables

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

How to Cheaply and Easily Build an Indoor Grow-Light Box 
for Your Herbs, Flowers and Vegetables


The Rusted Garden: Grow-Light Box Build

You can start your herbs, flowers and vegetables indoors weeks before the plants are ready to go out into your garden. Growing your own transplants will save you a lot of money and it really isn't that hard to do. On key, when building your own box, is making sure the plants get enough intense light.

A do-it-yourself grow-light box is easy to make and it doesn't have to be expensive. You can get the supplies at just about any big box store. I will also link my Amazon Shop where you can find some of the supplies: The Rusted Garden Amazon Shop.  My video shows you all the steps, parts and costs to build your grow-light box.



Many people think you need to buy expensive grow-lights. There is no real difference between grow-lights and standard LED and CFL bulbs for growing transplants. You just need to know which bulbs to buy. You can pick up standard clamp lights and bulbs to make your basic box. The bulbs should be 1600 lumens or higher and they should have a Kelvin rating between 5000K and 6500K. The lumens value is light intensity and the Kelvin rating is the color of light. You want daylight. You can see in the picture they really aren't that expensive. If you were to buy them as 'grow lights' you can pay 2 and 3 times as much.


The Rusted Garden Basic Bulbs for a Grow-Light Box

Again, my video will show you all the steps. I recommend getting seed seed starting flats and cells. Make sure the storage box you buy for your build can hold a seed flat tray. After all you want to be able to easily drop your seed starts in and out of your self made grow-light box! You can find my seed collection 'Grow as I Grow' and the seed starting flats and cells at my seed shop The Rusted Garden.


The Rusted Garden: Seed Starting Collection, Flats and Cells

Cheers,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)
The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link

Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
Amazon General Search Page:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Find the Products I Use in My Vegetable Garden & Homesteading Videos Here: The Rusted Garden Amazon Influencer Shop

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Find the Products I Use in My Vegetable Garden & Homesteading Videos Here: 


I just set up a new Amazon Shop that holds many of the products I used in my 2018 YT videos. The shop is a great way to consolidate the items you see in my videos and that I use, in one place. You no longer have to click links all over the place in different videos, you can now go directly to my: The Rusted Garden Amazon Influencer Shop . Products that show up in my 2019 videos, will be placed in this shop.

I broke the items down into categories to make it easier to find the items for which you are looking. The Rusted Garden will get a percentage of any item you purchase there or on Amazon when using my links. There is no additional cost to you. It is just like shopping on Amazon. So Thanks! Here are the current categories:

Products in My 2019 YouTube Videos 
Garden Tools: The Rusted Garden
Gardening Books and Resources 
Containers, Pots and Small Green Houses 
Fertilizers & Amendments: Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
Disease and Pest Management 
Seed Starting Supplies and Grow-Light Stations 

Cheers!
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)
The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link

Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
Amazon General Search Page:

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Basic Supplies to Seed Start Your Tomatoes, Peppers, Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers Indoors: Amazon Links to Get You Started or to Compare Prices

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

The Basic Supplies to Seed Start
Your Tomatoes, Peppers, Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers Indoors: 
Amazon Links to Get You Started or to Compare Prices


The supplies needed to start seeds indoors for your homestead gardens do not have to be expensive. You can find them at local hardware stores and on Amazon. You will need 6 basic supplies: lighting, shelving, timers, seed staring mix, seed trays and seeds. It might seem a bit expensive to get started but the cost for growing your own seed starts will be pennies a plant. Seed starting indoors will save you a lot of money each season.  The savings from your first year will realistically offset the start-up costs.  Herb, tomato and pepper transplants, from stores, can easily cost $2, $3 and $4 a plant. Flowers can be even more expensive. If you have been thinking about seed starting indoors, now is the time!

One Set Up for Growing Your Indoor Vegetable Garden Transplants

You can buy all the lighting supplies from Amazon or at a local hardware store. You don't need expensive grow-lights. In fact, you will just pay more by buying something with the words grow-light stamped on the box. I recommend 4 foot tube or LED lighting. The key to buying these lights is to make sure they have a 'lumens rating' of 3000 or higher. I have used 2100 lumens for years and that works but lights have improved over the last several years with inexpensive LEDs.  Lumens is the intensity or amount of light. The other rating you want to check is the 'Kelvin rating' of 5000K or higher. I recommend getting as close as you can to 6500K. Kelvin represents the color of the light. 6500K is daylight. As you go higher in the lumens rating, you can fall toward the lower Kelvin range of 5000K - 6500K.

You can look for these types of numbers on any light fixtures you want to purchase in a standard 4 foot length. This length nicely covers a standard seed starting tray or two. Here is my most recent video on buying the lighting from a hardware store. I actually take you there for a visit. Subscribe to my YT Channel: The Rusted Garden in 2019. I will be doing a complete series on growing vegetable, herb and flower transplants indoors.




Here are some lighting systems you can use on Amazon. These include bulbs and fixtures. They are ready to hang and use. The links are secure and use The Rusted Garden affiliate link,



You can buy shelving, build your own shelving or use containers like in the above picture. The key to successful seed starts is setting the lights 2-4 inches above the starting mix while you wait for germination. The light should be on for 16 hours, at that point, as you want the seedlings to get enough light so they don't become tall, leggy and spindly.  After 7 days, you can cut the light to 12-14 hours a day, from when seedlings first germinated and broke the surface.

My Grow-Light Closet - You Can Also Use Shelving

As your vegetables and flowers grow, you want to be able to adjust your lights to sit 2-4 inches above the leaves. After several weeks of growth, the light can be cut to 10-12 hours a day and the lights can even sit 6-8 inches above the plants based on what you are growing. The bottom line is more light and closer lights when germinating and young. A timer is your best friend. Just set it and let the lights turn and off. Without a timer you will forget to mange them at least 1x a week. Complete darkness for 24 hours will cause your newly germinated seeds to over stretch and become leggy. I mention that twice because that is the biggest mistake made when growing indoor transplants.  

Here are some timers and shelves you can use from Amazon. Shelves should be at least 36 inches wide as the lights and fixtures are normally 48 inches long. A little over hang is okay. Any timer will do. The links are secure and use The Rusted Garden affiliate link.




You will need to use a seed starting mix of your choice. I recommend not bringing in soil from outdoors as it most likely harbors insects and problems. It is fine outdoors as Nature combats Nature. When used indoors, Nature goes unchecked and you can get all kinds of problems from the outdoor soil. You will also need seed starting trays and containers. I sell some of them at my seed shop: The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop. You can find them in stores and on Amazon. I recommend the following to get you going for the first time. The complete seed starting kit below or similar, uses compressed peat pellets and you would not need seed the starting mix.



And finally you can seed start herbs, vegetables and flowers. Just order from you favorite seed shop. I begin indoor seed starting in January, here in Maryland Zone 7. I have a seed and garden shop and sell discounted seeds. For 2019 I have a seed collection called 'Grow as I Grow'. I will be growing those exact seeds, from the 6 different sets, this year. The entire process will videoed and put on my YouTube Channel: The Rusted Garden. It will be a full year (2019) video series showing you how to seed start, plant, tend, manage problems and harvest the seeds found in the 'Grow As I Grow' collection. Here is the link to my seed shop and collections.

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

My 'Grow As I Grow' Collection:



Cheers,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden
Over 800 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Please support The Rusted Garden - Thanks!

By using these Amazon links, any purchase you make returns a % of sales back to TRG. I turn most of that back into the garden and videos. Greatly Appreciated! - Gary (TRG)
The Rusted Garden Amazon Direct Link

Seed Starting Supplies:
Garden Fertilizers:
Amazon General Search Page:

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How to Track the Sun for Placing Your Vegetable Garden Beds: Your Homestead Gardens Need 4-8 Hours of Direct Sun

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

How to Track the Sun for Placing Your Vegetable Garden Beds: 
Your Homestead Gardens Need 4-8 Hours of Direct Sun

Vegetables need 4 to 8 hours of direct sun. It is important to know how much sun falls onto your proposed areas for garden beds. The best way to accomplish this is to track the sun's movement across your homestead.



On a sunny day go out into your yard at 8 A.M., 10 A.M., 12 P.M., 2 P.M. and 4 P.M. and take notes on the parts of your yard that are getting direct sun.  If the sun is hitting your proposed garden spots, jot down the estimated amount of time the direct sun is on the garden bed during those time frames. You don't need continuous sun for 4-8 hours on a specific bed. It can be additive. You just need to accurately total the amount of direct sun that falls on your garden beds over the day. You can watch this video below for full details on how to do this.

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You typically want to pick the part of your homestead that gets southern sun exposure. If that is unavailable due to shade, try the western area of your yard. The sun rises in the east and settles in the west. Use a compass from a smart phone application or purchase a standard compass to help you understand how the sun tracks across your yard.




The sun is lower in the winter, so shadows are longer. You can take into account that the sun will be higher in the spring and summer, if your are planning out your garden in winter. This means you will get more sun. If you are doing this early or late spring, your total sun hours should be pretty accurate. And of course take into account trees don't have leaves in the winter. You want to to make sure you are tracking direct sun, where there are no shadows. Areas that get 4-6 hours are great for many standard vegetables and varieties that need less light. Areas that get 6-8 hours are great for high sun crops like corn, tomatoes, peppers and squash.




Looking at the above space you can see full sun areas and areas with shadows. Count the areas that are shadow free. You can take a look from a higher window to help make your assessment. You can also go online and look at satellite pictures of your homestead address. This often gives you photos from the summer.



Spending a day tracking the sun and identifying how much sun falls on your proposed garden beds is well worth your time. It will allow you to maximize the direct sun that falls on your homestead and plan what crops will go where in your gardens.

Good Luck,

Gary (The Rusted Garden)

If you are interested in more garden videos please check out my YouTube Channel: The Rusted Garden. I have over 800 gardening videos.


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