Archive for May, 2011

Questions And Answers On Organic Home Gardening Vegetables

Kylee asks…

How to recycle different types of garbage? Are there any street trashboxes for metal, plastic, organics, etc?

I live in an appartment in a building, we have the trashboxes for glass, paper/cardboard, and the trashbox for all the other type of garbage
Also, we can get rid off our old batteries and old light-bulbs in most of supermarkets and malls

But can we recycle metal garbage such as steel, iron, aluminium paper, drink cans, etc?

And all those plastic bottles, and other plastic garbage?

And how can I recycle organic garbage (vegetables, fruits, etc ), although I don’t have a garden ( I live in an appartmen)?
Can I make compost at home??

Thank you in advance!!

Home Gardener answers:

Our city has recycle bins for each home and we have trash receptacle’s that are plastic. Cans can be recycled. I use s small waste basket in all our rooms and recycle grocery bags to use a trash bags before putting them in their containers outside. I don’t use the dish washer and I also hang dry all my clothing.

Enveloped and junk mail I recycle whatever can be used for my scrap books since there is a lot of paper waste or I use them to make note paper out of it for short notes to my husband. Instead of sponges I use dish rags that can be washed instead of paper towels and as well we use old T-shirt rags. Hotel shampoo or sample size soaps and stuff I use to hand wash clothing, I do my own dry cleaning w/ Dryell and the list goes on and on. You can get very creative when cooking as well, cook in bulk and freeze so you don’t waste electricity for the same amount of time cook two roasts instead of one in the crock pot. Also, cheaper. Home made cookies is cheaper than purchasing them. Also, if you have a dollar store close to you, you’d be surprised what you can find in there.

Ken asks…

Vegetarians – help me plan a menu please?

I was thinking for a meal for 6 people (everything will be home made, including any breads, pastas and sauces, and all vegetables and fruit are from my garden are organic (PS Everybody is mad on my garlic i grow jumbo sized cloves, that don’t smell on the breath!! )

to start

Cream of Wild Mushroom soup, with garlic croutons

Stuffed baby patty-pan squashes with a filing including wild rice, smoked tofu, shallots and fresh herbs and a little garlic, served with a roasted tomato sauce, wilted spinach courgette and carrot ribbons.

Lemon cheesecake served with raspberries and whipped cream

selection of vegetarian cheeses and biscuits, grapes


port, cognac, liqueurs
hand made chocolates
My question is, is it balanced enough or what other suggestions would you make
Thumbs Down fairy – GO AWAY!!

Home Gardener answers:

Yummmmm……….humus would taste nice too with the crackers

Rachel asks…

What should I be looking for to determine the QUALITY of vitamins?

My husband & I have decided to add vitamins to our diet. He is in his 40′s me my 30′s. We have a very busy lifestyle, with 4 young children & we each work full-time with part-time jobs. We average 6 hrs of sleep.
I would like to think we eat “well” but we do not. All meals are ate at home. Our meat is all home grown & organic or wild.. (beef, pork, lamb, pheasant etc, venison) We eat lots of vegatables esp in the fall with 50% of our veggies being garden raised. (Not that we are health food nuts, but it is cheaper to raise your own if you have the means) Fruit is not ate very often in our home. (except by the kids) Canola oil is used in place of vegetable oil. I am overweight, my husband is a little but does more physically demanding work that I. We both have arthritis (me rhuematory, him osteo) We drink lots of water not much milk… I never drink milk. And sorry we will not be adding chicken or fish to our diets.

My question is how do you determine, by looking at a label, the difference in vitamins. How do I know what is easily and readily used by the body? I do not wish to try to balance vitamins myself by taking several. Can anyone suggest a good colon cleansing product as well? If you know of a good vitamin brand that is affordable please recommend. We are on a tight income so spending $100 per month is crazy to us.
I have heard One a Day’s are not that beneficial & the body does not utilize much of them…basically just flushing it down the toilet.

Ensure? gross…are you kidding me?
Thanks guy in the city, we are carnivores…LOL
Can’t stand the taste of olive oil, tried it.
We do drink V-8 occasionally. Bread is always whole wheat and usually homemade. Our pasta is not whole wheat tho.
Oh, believe me I KNOW we don’t get enuf sleep but there are not enuf hours in the day.

Home Gardener answers:

Hate to break it to you but Vitamins for most people do little to nothing. If your eating lots of veggies your getting a good portion of your vitamins there. If you can afford it the easiest thing to do is to switch to olive oil. Olive oil has a lot of anti-oxidants in it and it has good fats which help reduce your cholesterol level. You can buy big jars of it at a warehouse club. You are eating just red meat which in moderation is Okay. But too much read meat can lead to heart disease and other ailments. Are you getting any complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread? The worst thing you can eat is probably white bread. It gets converted directly to sugar in the body. If you don’t use that sugar for energy then it goes directly to fat. You should really be eating some fruits and that does not include apple juice. There is basically no nutritional value in apple juice it is basically sugar water. The V-8 juice or juice fusion drinks are very good tasting. Since you guys are in your 30′s and 40′s 6 hours of sleep is not good at all. 6 Hours is normal for people in their mid to late 50′s to the later years. You should at least get 7-8 hours most nights.

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Questions And Answers On Horticulture Definition

Mark asks…

What is the simple definition of the difference between a gamete and a haploid?

I am studying horticulture and understand that a gamete is sperm or egg. I also understand that a haploid is half… but……… doesn’t that make it a sperm or egg and isn’t that the same?

Home Gardener answers:

Not quite. A gamete is the actual sex cell, like sperm or egg.

Haploid on the other hand is more of an adjective, describing that the gamete has half the number of chromosomes of a normal cell (which would be diploid, instead.)

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Questions And Answers On Grow Your Own Food Blog

Rachel asks…

Can they put you in jail for growing your own food?

News | August 15, 2010 | 154 comments Senate Bill S510 Makes it illegal to Grow, Share, Trade or Sell Homegrown Food
S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.

“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
11 million Ukraine people staved to death when they removed their food and seeds and farm equipment..most of the seed today will only grow one crop.Monsanto makes it that way.
Raiding organic food stores. A sign of new times?” at:…

“Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water.” at:…

“Why do people in America refuse to take active interest in their future?” at…


S 510

Home Gardener answers:

If that is true then I will be going to jail. Big brother can’t stop me from growing food in my garden and giving fresh produce to my neighbors.

Davina asks…

Why doesn’t the government leave our rights to grow and eat foods alone?

Check out this site and find out why the government wants to eliminate your ability to grow and eat your own food or organic foods grown by others. Are you tired of the oppression of this government yet?

Home Gardener answers:

POWER!!!!…they are stealing our money…they are stealing our rights…and they are stealing our freedoms. They are coming after our health care…and it won’t be long before they come after our guns…they want control of your thermostat in your house…they want to put a GPS in your car so they can tax you for every mile you move and will know every move you make…they are coming after the very businesses that hire many of us if they feel that business is presenting a danger to the economy………so whats left people????….WHATS LEFT???…..OUR FOOD!!!….Next time you go to the local produce market, produce stand, orchard market just stop your shopping and stand and look…LOOK at the bounty of wonderful food we are blessed with…take a real close look because YOUR GOVERNMENT WANTS TO DESTROY IT!!…YOUR president and his willful demons in congress despises YOU!!!….they despise our GREAT NATION!!!…if Americans don’t get some kahunas and stand up to this BLATANT TYRANNY then you DESERVE TO STARVE!!!…THIS crew that has infected the white house and congress will not stop until they control every once of YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!!!….IF we don’t know from history what happens to the population that ALLOWS the government to control everything including the food supply what hope is there for this nation….THANKS libs for the dumbing down of our population!!!…I guess today most people have no idea what Stalin did to his population…here is a hint…HE STARVED TO DEATH MILLIONS OF HIS OWN COUNTRYMEN!!!…WAKE UP AND GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR KEYSTER AMERICA!!!….

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Questions And Answers On Vegetable Garden Mulch

Steve asks…

when is the best time to mulch vegetable garden?

I want to start off a vegetable garden and dont know whether to mulch after sowing the seed or when the seedlings appear.

Home Gardener answers:

Hummm, I would mulch when I have the permanent plants to a height where I could mulch and not cover them or crush them by accident. Most direct seed sowing is for things like lettuce or beets and things like that and then you thin them. After that they take a while to get big enough to surround by mulch. I use straw not hay because it is cheap, not acidic and makes the soil lighter and breaks down well as well as lets the rain in and keeps weeds down. Hay is not good, it has a lot of seeds in it and can be bad for your back lol. Good luck.

Charlie asks…

Can I use dyed black mulch in my vegetable garden?

I’m trying to figure out if the same black triple-shredded mulch I use for the flower beds would have any effects on my vegetable plants. Anyone know if there are harmful chemicals in the dye they use or the process they use to make the mulch?

Home Gardener answers:

I don’t know about any threat from chemicals leaching ito the soil but the black mulch will increase the soil temperature. Right now, that’s a point of concern here in Los Angeles with our heat wave. From fall to spring, that would not be a bad thing. But I can’t help regarding the dye and what it’s made from.

Good luck.

Jemima asks…

are there any dangers with using dyed mulch in your vegetable garden?

i was tired of the soil drying out so i added red mulch ,is ther any danger to my vegetables or me from the dye?

Home Gardener answers:

Nope no danger at all i have it in my garden and everything is growing well i also have the red

Helena asks…

best mulch for vegetable garden?

Vegetables include broccoli, spinach, cabbage, capsicum and tomatoes. All established and growing well.

Home Gardener answers:

I’d have to disagree with both. My experience with both compost and straw has not been good. Many times you find compost with weed seeds in it. Straw often has to sit for several months for all the weed killers to wash out of it, and then it is often full of nutgrass seeds.
My best cheap mulch has been newspapers with a topping of garden soil to hold it down. If you’re not cheap, order the paper mulches from a garden supply outlet. The red ones are supposed to work wonders for Tomatoes.

Mark asks…

What’s the best mulch for a vegetable garden?

I’ll probably have a little bit of the most common stuff–tomatoes, peppers, beans.


Home Gardener answers:

While wood chips, sawdust and pine straw are good for a flower bed, don’t use them in your vegetable patch. They all can harbor insects, are high acid and the main disadvantage is that when they start to break down (rot) the process will rob much needed nitrogen from the soil. Compost, rotted barnyard manure, old hardwood leaves, sphagnum moss, hay and straw all work well for veggies.

Wayne asks…

should I mulch my vegetable garden?

I live in new england. Growing a organic veg garden this summer. should I put down mulch to help with weed control and retain heat and moisture? If so, what should I use? i don’t want to use commercial bark much because of the added chemicals and dyes. What do you use?

Home Gardener answers:

With the exception of clear plastic (which warms the soil), mulch cools the soil but it does preserve moisture. Grass clippings and compost are a good organic mulch. They are relatively high in nitrogen, so they don’t need extra. Wood chips, bark, and leaves are good for mulch, but they tax the decomposition capacity of the soil. Vegetables will not get enough nitrogen as a result of too much organic material. Depending on the decomposition level, add enough nitrogen fertilizer to compensate for the added organic material. Forgive me if I don’t speak strictly organic language. I’m hybrid in my gardening techniques. I use the developments along with the experience of the ages.

I use grass clippings, peat moss,”Nutrimulch” (wood shavings and turkey manure), cow maunure, kitchen-waste compost, wood bark, and chips, depending on availability. I add NPK fertilizer to boost growth and decomposition of organic matter. I till vines and stalks into the soil as early as possible to provide food for microbes and earthworms. And I get big yields of delicious vegetables: peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, herbs of all sorts, flowers, potatoes, and squash. I used a little greenhouse (what I call a hoop house) to warm my garden this year, and in spite of snows and freezing temperatures, my peas are nearly ready to bloom.

Jim asks…

Has anyone ever used moss for mulch in thier vegetable garden?

A friend of mine has a lake in his yard and every year moss grows out of control. This year I picked up a truck load and blended it in my compost pile , which is very healthy. Since then though, I discovered grubbs by the hundreds. I’m wondering if this was a good idea or not. I never saw any grubbs before, could it be that the moss had the larva in it? Or is this just normal for a compost pile?

Home Gardener answers:

Moss harbor critters like red bug and mosquitoes,if you would like to put it to good use wash it in diluted Clorox then rinse well it is good for holding in moisture.

Caroline asks…

home & garden. Is it ok to use lawn grass clippings as mulch in a vegetable garden?

Home Gardener answers:

Grass clippings are all I use in my vegetable garden. I add them throughout the summer and they compost in place. My soil is terrific, with very little effort. Just make sure that you don’t turn green clippings in to your soil as that depletes available nitrogen. Once they’re dry it’s fine. I have a very weedy lawn but haven’t had much trouble with weeds in the garden at all. Straw does work great too but the years that I used hay I was overrun with clover. Between that and the fact that grass clippings are free it was a clear choice for me!

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Questions And Answers On Grow Your Own Vegetables

Mike asks…

Do you grow your own vegetables and herbs or do you buy them from the market?

Home Gardener answers:

Living on a village has its good sides. I have made a a small hot-house and there, herbal plants that need care are growing and so do lettuces, peppers and tomatoes. Out on the open are growing spinach, cabbages, leeks and onions.
Many years ago we grew potatoes too, but moles got the best of the crop. So that was given up. In all, the bought green groceries are limited to fruit, mostly during the summer.

Kirstie asks…

VEGETARIANS… If you had to grow your own vegetables would you still be a veggie?

Home Gardener answers:

Absolutely! They taste a lot better than shop bought veg, no chemicals or artifical colouring. It’s also very satisfying when you’ve grown them yourself. You don’t really need a garden either, a lot of veg can be grown in large pots.

Thomas asks…

Would it be a good idea to grow your own vegetables instead of flowers?

Home Gardener answers:

Yes, if you have a garden or allotment it’s a great way to supplement your diet. I shared a house with a friend for several years and in the garden, which wasn’t very big, we managed to grow runner beans, broad beans, onions, garlic, courgettes, rhubarb, peas, tomatoes and several varieties of herbs.

Home-grown vegetables always taste better and you have the satisfaction of getting something to show for the work you’ve put in. If you’re new to growing there are plenty of books on the subject which you can buy or borrow and when you buy seeds, the planting instructions are printed on the packet.

You need seed trays, a decent set of gardening tools, a greenhouse (or if that isn’t possible, a cold frame), flower pots, watering can, beanpoles, lots of twine, some bird netting (but you don’t want to discourage the birds completely – see below), some kind of insect repellent, a compost bin, a bit of muscle power and some patience.

One good thing to do is set up a bird table with plenty of seeds and vegetable scraps to encourage the birds, especially at this time of year when it’s nesting season and they’re raising their young. Not only will they be less likely to start feasting on your seedlings, they will also gobble up lots of creepy-crawlies that would otherwise attack your plants.

If you’re really lucky you might even find you have a resident hedgehog. These are called the gardener’s friend for a good reason – they eat slugs and other pests. So do slow worms. Slow worms like to hide under rocks – put down a few rocks on a patch of bare earth and who knows, you might find one.

Reward will come when you realise you have produced e.g. A year’s supply of garlic…

Helena asks…

Do you grow your own vegetables, South Africa?

I grow my own tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppadews and chillies.

Home Gardener answers:

Tomatoes, chillies, onions, green beans and leeks.
Rosemary, garlic chives, thyme, parsley and basil.
It is so nice to go and get your vegetables and herbs fresh from the garden.

John asks…

Is it rewarding and fun to grow your own vegetables in your back garden ?

for years now, I’ve had this fascination and desire to do gardening.

Its fun, its relaxing and therapeutic and rewarding.

Its november – what sort of Vegetables might I be able to grow now – thru into Dec,Jan and Feb ?

I’d love to give Potatoes, Carrots and even Onions a go.

no idea if any of them are in season or out of season for this period.

Do you need to do your homework first, to find out the ideal conditions to grow certain vegetables ?

what are the basics – the essential things you MUST do to get off to a safe start that will give me satisfactory results ?

the idea of growing my own potatoes and making chips sounds quite fun.

Or using the onions & carrots grown by myself, in cooking.

Home Gardener answers:

For the first couple of years,

you will spend quite a bit on your tools, pots of different sizes, bags of compost to make your soil good, Insecticide and fungicide spray along with other sprays which you will need, garden canes, cloches, water butts and hose pipe etc.

Its hard work in preparing everything and keeping it that way, but once done you will get great satisfaction when picking them fresh from your ground plus giving a few left overs to your neighbours.

It depends on how serious you want to make it and it can be more expensive than buying from the shops at times, but once you get the bug you wont be able to stop.

As for your information. You can get all this from your own P.C. Just type in…for eg… (growing cabbages) and it will give you all the info you need. ( Or preparing a vegetable garden.)

It will tell you how and when to grow all types of veg.

As for your seeds…Buy them off ebay, there are some good cheap sellers there. Don’t get paying high prices from shops or garden centres when you can buy them for 99p a pack.

You will soon learn what to do and what not to do.

Its not the growing you have to worry about, its all about getting the soil right. Just like I said at the beginning. Buying compost and adding all what you can to the soil to make it a good texture, as your veges wont grow very good just in soil alone.

Happy Gardening.

Marie asks…

Is it more expensive to grow your own vegetables ?

During World War Two, Americans grew their own vegetables in victory gardens . By the same token, in the early 1970s, the United States government recommended Americans grow their own vegetables in “inflation gardens” to deal with inflation . Every so often I’ll read a “How To Save Money” article that says “Grow your own vegetables in a graden . My mom had a garden and she claimed that it was much more expensive to grow your own vegetables . She just had a garden because she enjoyed gardening . I’ve often said “My mom had a garden, and she always said it’s more expensive to grow your own vegetables !” . There have been times when somebody’s said “No, it’s actually cheaper to grow your own vegetables !” .
Now I don’t know wehat to think . Who’s right ? Did my Mom turn a cheap hobby into an expensive one ? Is it cheaper or more expensive to grow your own vegetables ?

Home Gardener answers:

Heck no! I grow my own veggies and just bought red peppers to tide me over until I can harvest the ones on my plant. They were on sale for $1.99 a piece. I only paid $1.99 for each of the three plants I have and they each have about 8 peppers in various growth stages that I am waiting till maturity to harvest. Same goes for my tomato plants. I have romas, grape, beefeaters and Big Berthas. I don’t believe I paid over $3.00 for any of my plants but just paid $2.99 a pound for romas, 2 containers for $3 for grape tomatoes while I’m waiting for them to turn red. Even if I throw in the water and organic fertilizer growing my own veggies, citrus, avocado and herbs is saving me money. Besides nothing beats eating veggies right out of your own garden, sharing your harvest with friends and neighbors and controlling and knowing what chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides WEREN’T used on what you are eating.

David asks…

When growing your own vegetables, do you have to worry about salmonella?

What is the cause of salmonella? My garden-grown vegetables are safe from salmonella, right?

Home Gardener answers:

Salmonella and Escherichia coli (or e.coli) are passed on to edible plants when manure (of any kind) has one or both bacteria and has not been properly composted but is used as fertilizer anyway. The bacterium goes into the soil and is taken up by the plants through vascular absorption (or systemically) and is INSIDE the plant and fruit or vegetable tissue – so the bacteria cannot be washed off.

If you use chemical fertilizers, none at all or properly heated manure compost – and there are any harmful organisms in the manure they will be killed by the heat (during proper heat composting) and using the compost is fine. You still should wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them ;-) . I hope this information was helpful.

Paul asks…

Why is growing your own vegetables good for sustainability?

Why is growing your own vegetables good for sustainability?

Home Gardener answers:

It is not. It is, however, part of “feel-good-ism.” It FEELS good to so it, but lends nothing to the earth’s so-called “sustainability.”

I made that last part up myself. – Thumper

Richard asks…

doesn’t walmart sell seeds to grow your own vegetables or fruit?i want to try to grow bananas?

Home Gardener answers:

I have some banana trees. I do not live in a tropical climate, I live near the Mississippi River in the upper midwest.
You grow them from trees. The trees shoot up new trees when they are about two years old. You can separate the new baby trees from the roots of the bigger trees to grow separately. They do not have seeds.

We take our banana trees outside in April where we plant them in sand and full sun. At about age five, they will drop a long rope with a beautifully sweet-smelling flower on the end of it. Small four inch bananas then form on the top of the plant that grow upward not down like you see them in the stores. After having bananas the big tree dies. By that time it is about ten feet tall or more.

Each fall in mid October, we dig up each tree, cut off all the leaves and wrap the roots in a garbage bag then haul them to the basement. They winter there where we dribble water on each rootball about three times during the winter. In spring we take them back out where they sprout new leaves and grow.

I accidentally killed some of them last year by fertilizing them. So just for reference, do not fertilize. Just let them grow. They are sturdy, hardy plants. And when you get rewarded with a flowering tree you feel wonderful. Their scent is beautiful.

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