What Causes Tomatoes To Split And How To Prevent It

what-causes-tomatoes-to-split

Growing veggies in your garden is a challenging and fulfilling project. If you’re planning on raising vegetables and greens in your backyard, you should consider growing tomatoes. It is one the most popular and practical veggies to grow, especially since it is often used in cooking a variety of dishes.

Tomatoes are a favorite salad ingredient which makes this veggie an asset to your garden. Nonetheless, you should make sure you know how to tend to them the right way because, in some instances, the tomato fruit may have the tendency to crack. In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons what causes tomatoes to split and how you can avoid it.

What Causes A Tomato To Split?

One of the most frustrating things you can experience when raising tomatoes on your own is discovering a crack in the middle of the fruit after you’ve patiently waited for it grow from a seedling into a red, juicy, and plump fruit. This often happens to most home growers. Some tomatoes tend to rip wide open while they are ripening.

So what makes a tomato suddenly crack open? Most often, the cause of a tomato split can be attributed to the inconsistent amount of water they absorb. For example, if you are living in an environment that is mostly dry, and it suddenly rains on your crops, the inside properties of the tomato may develop faster than the exterior skin.

A lack of water can also cause the tomato to crack. Without water supply and moisture, tomatoes will not grow juicy and healthy. A tomato needs the right amount of water nourishment too.

Otherwise, it will crack just like anything that is too dry and lacks moisture. On the other hand, tomatoes with too much water in it can also burst open.

Although green tomatoes may also tend to experience this issue, most often, tomatoes that are about to become ripe are more prone to splitting.

As it starts to ripen, the skin of the tomato becomes fragile. At the same time, a change in temperature can also raise certain issues on a batch of newly bred tomatoes.

How To Prevent Splitting Of Tomatoes

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Via: www.thespruce.com

Why should you be concerned with a cracked tomato? A split tomato is more than a visual problem. Once a tomato cracks open, bacteria and fungus can creep into the fruit. This will cause the fruit to rot and can also aid in spreading disease among your crops. However, you can’t always prevent your tomato from splitting, especially if Mother Nature suddenly decide to rain on your crops. On the other hand, there are still ways to avoid your tomatoes from cracking up.

Water your plants regularly.

The first thing you should do to prevent this from happening is to make it a habit to hydrate your tomato plant with 1 to 2 inches of water at least once a week or 2 to 3 days during the hot summer months. Another way to minimize cracking is to keep your plants watered evenly on a regular basis.

When you are watering your plants, make sure that you do this on a ground level and water it deeply. If you just spray on the leaves, it can possibly cause the spread of certain plant diseases such as septoria or blight.

Watering your vegetation deeply on a regular basis will protect it from the effects of rain. This will help your plants adjust better from dry to wet conditions. Remember that if your veggies get drenched in rain, you can expect the fruit to eventually crack.

If you’re planning to go on a trip for a while, we highly suggest you set up an effective water system and set it on a timer to prevent your plants from thirst and dryness. Most gardeners follow this technique to ensure that their garden is well cared for even if they are away. Otherwise, you might end up coming home to a bunch of cracked tomato.

Use a fertilizer.

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Via: www.gardenersworld.com

It’s always better to address this kind of problem to avoid dealing with tomato split. Another step to prevent this issue is to enrich the plant using a tomato fertilizer. Just follow the instructions indicated on the fertilizer.

A fertilizer will maintain a healthy soil and help your plant grow many tomatoes. Following these steps will not only give you a peace of mind but it will also ensure that your tomato plant will grow abundant and healthy without any cracks.

Mulch your plants.

Gardening experts recommend you to mulch your plants with organic materials such as wood chips or plastic. The compost will help preserve and even out the moisture the plant needs and at the same time, prevents plant disease from spreading among the vegetation. A red plastic mulch is the best type of organic matter to help prevent a tomato from splitting.

Are Split Tomatoes Safe To Eat?

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Generally, cracked tomatoes are safe to consume. Make it a habit of picking up and harvesting split tomatoes as soon as possible to prevent the bacteria from spreading. However, if you notice that the crack is too severe and if the fruit has been left on the vine for too long, you should probably consider disposing of the tomato just to be on the safe side.

Chances are, the fruit may have already been exposed to certain plant diseases. If the fruit appears okay, you can just opt to slice out the cracked portion and eat the rest of the vegetable.

A Healthy Harvest

Now that you are aware of the reasons what causes tomatoes to split, you are now fully equipped to tend and raise your tomato plants the best way possible. Just make sure you follow the recommended steps to prevent your tomatoes from splitting before you harvest it. These instructions will help ensure that you raise healthy tomatoes that are fit to consume.

Did you find this information helpful? Feel free to send us your comments or suggestions. We’d love to hear what you think.

How To Transplant Asparagus: Knowing The Right Way

how-to-transplant-asparagus

When you plant fruits and vegetables, you're mostly going to transplant and transfer them to another location at one point in time. This is especially true for spring vegetables such as asparagus. Transplanting Asparagus is important because it is required of them to be transferred to a different location which is more suitable for their specific stage of growth. In this article, we're going to talk about just that and teach you the right way on how to transplant asparagus.

What You Will Need

1. Asparagus

The first and most obvious thing you're going to need is asparagus. Before you do the actual transplanting, you first need to of course plant it on the ground. When you're still choosing the asparagus seed you're going to plant, see to it that it is fresh and it doesn't have any form of defect of discoloration. When you've already planted it, the perfect time to then transplant it is in early spring. This is the time when your newly planted asparagus has just started waking up.

2. Spade Fork

You need to have a spade fork when transplanting asparagus. This is because a spade fork is the ideal equipment in transplanting plants due to its thin and durable thines. The thines are very useful when it comes to precise gardening because it wouldn't damage the surrounding parts of the plant. It's also an effective tool for loosening up the soil and lifting and turning the soil over to the ground.

3. Shovel

You also need to prepare a shovel, because you're going to use this in digging up a pit where you're going to transfer your asparagus. You don't need to have a huge and heavy duty shovel because you’re only going to dig up loose loam soil. The lighter the shovel, the better it is. It’s because you’ll be faster in digging the soil up. Remember, you’re just going to dig up a shallow pit. You don’t need to put in a serious amount of effort on it.

4. Compost

This is another essential must-have because your asparagus' survivability would surely hang in the balance if you don't put compost on the place where you're going to transplant it to. You can have different kinds of compost, be it synthetic or organic. It could either be manure, fertilizer, or a commercial product. It would also be best if you pair the compost with an anti-molding substance or perhaps a pesticide to avoid mold growth and pest infestations.

5. Water

These asparagus plants need a lot of water because these are spring vegetables. They can easily dry up if they don’t get enough water throughout the day. See to it that the place where you’re going to transplant your asparagus into isn’t directly exposed to sunlight because that will surely lead to your asparagus drying up and eventually dying. It's highly recommended that you water your asparagus three times a day. The first watering session would be before sunrise, then at noon, and then at sunset. It would also be better if you have your sprinkler system or soaker hose installed in your garden. This way, you're making sure that the water would directly go into the roots.

Knowing The Process

  1. Untangle the Roots Using Your Spade Fork
  2. The first thing you need to do in transplanting your asparagus is to locate the place and estimate where most of the roots are. In doing this, you’re going to need a spade form to locate the exact location of its roots. Most probably, the roots are entangled. Use the spade fork in carefully untangling them up.

  3. Lift the Crown and Trim the Roots Gently divide them using your spade fork.
  4. You can also use your hands to make the dividing process more precise. Then slowly start lifting its crown. You then carefully trim the roots with a pruner or gardening scissors. Be sure that you won’t end up cutting its base because it still needs to re-grow some parts later on.

  5. Prepare the Trench
  6. Then start digging a trench that is deep enough to accommodate the asparagus’ complex root system. The depth depends on the complexity of its roots. It can range from three feet deep to even more than three meters deep. Place the compost at the bottom of the pit and mound up a little bit of soil on the compost to solidify it up. Gently position the crown of the asparagus on the mound of soil, having the roots scatter throughout its sides. Evenly spread the roots.

  7. Transplanting and Mounding it Up
  8. Use your shovel in piling up the soil back on your dug up trench. Then water it so that the soil would harden. You can then put mulch on it to act as a protection from the external factors that might cause negative effects on your newly transplanted asparagus. Remember that these are very fragile which is why you need to keep a close eye on them on the first few days after they were transplanted.

You can also check out this video to see the actual process of asparagus transplanting:

Conclusion

With all of these being said, you can see that transplanting an asparagus is not that hard to do. You just need to have the needed technical know-how, the determination, and the right tools and methods.

With the help of this article, there's no doubt that you can do the transplanting process yourself the right way. Asparagus has a lot of nutritional benefits, apart from it being an important food ingredient. For sure, you'll be growing asparagus in your backyard or garden in no time.

If you like this article, feel free to share it with your family and friends to that they'll also learn from it. If you have any opinions or thoughts about the subject matter, you can share them with us by writing in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you guys.

What Does The Curling Leaves On Tomato Plant Mean?

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We want the best for our plants, don't we? It's because our plants are vital to us as they serve as our source of food, as well as a form of decoration for our houses. However, problems are inevitable when it comes to planting growth. One of these are the curling tomato plant leaves. But what does the curling leaves on tomato plant means? In this article, we're going to talk about just that.

Why Tomato Plant Leaves Curl?

There are a lot of reasons as to why the leaves of tomato plants curl. Some of these reasons are caused by the weather conditions, environment, and even how you treat them. However, not all of these causes pose any danger to your tomato plant.

1. Weather Stress

One of the most common reasons why your tomato plant leaves curl is due to the weather stress it experiences. Tomato plants are very sensitive when it comes to the weather and climate conditions. They have a very strong reaction in adapting to the varying temperature differences throughout the day and seasons.

It’s because of this that their leaves curl. During the cold and rainy months, the leaves located in the bottom portion of the tomato plant thicken. This thickening then causes it to roll and curl up because it cannot anymore support its weight. This is due to the abundant supply of water it gets. It is a natural adaptive response of tomato plants to the environmental conditions it is in.

There’s no need to worry if this is the reason why your tomato plant leaves curl because this doesn’t affect the plant’s fruit production or the quality of the tomatoes it would soon bear. You don’t need to do any treatments to your tomato plant if this is the case.

2. Irregular Irrigation

Another probable reason behind your tomato plant's curling leaves is irregular irrigation. Tomato plants need to be regularly irrigated so that stagnant water wouldn't accumulate on the plant's growing stems. The water needs to be flowing regularly to ensure that the plant is oxygenated. When this happens, the tomato plant's leaves will react to it by rolling the leaves inward.

This is the plant’s natural response to protect the leaves from being dampened even more. Remember that if your tomato plant gets too much water or is soaked in water for long periods of time, it would easily get drowned.

3. Improper Pruning

It's important for you to regularly and properly prune your tomato plant. It's through this process that you can remove the dead and overgrown branches on your growing plant. When these are left on your plant, they would be sucking up a lot of the nutrients that the stems and leaves should be taking all of themselves. It's because of this lack of nutrients that your tomato plant's leaves grow abnormally and twist into deformed shapes.

4. Herbicides

Herbicides are also among the leading causes of tomato plant’s curled up leaves. This is because these are substances which are toxic to plants. Herbicides are used to destroy unwanted vegetation such as weeds and fungi. However, if you’re using this, there’s a chance that it might be wind-blown to your garden.

When this happens, your tomato plant’s leaves would have curled edges and be deformed into a cup-shape figure. This does not only cause deformity on the physical look of the leaves, but this can also reduce the quality of the fruits that your tomato plant will bear. Worse is that it can even be hazardous to your health when you consume the tomatoes that you plant bears.

4. Broad Mite Infestation

When growing tomato plants, it is important that you plant them in a place which can receive direct sunlight. This prevents broad mite from infesting on your tomato plants. If you don't follow this, there's a huge tendency that broad mites will use the growing plant as their shelter. These pests thrive in shaded and cold places. They feed on newly-grown leaves and flowers because these are softer and contain more nutrients. As they bite into it, they also inject harmful toxins that cause the tomato plant's leaves to curl.

What Is The Cure For Tomato Leaves Curling?

One of the best ways to refrain your tomato plant's leaves from curling is to check and observe your plant's growth regularly. It is through this that you can see if there are any infected leaves or branches. When you spot these, you can then immediately remove them. This is a simple, yet very effective way to not let your tomato plant's leaves curl.

Before planting, you can also choose a disease and pest-resistance tomato variety. Thanks to today's technological advancements, there are already a lot of tomato varieties that are tolerant of any disease and pest infestations. This also means that they are one hundred percent sure not to have any curled leaves.

You can also use floating row covers on your tomato plants. You can use this by simply putting this on your plants. This protects them from unwanted weed growth. Take note that the number one reason why pests are present is that of the presence of weeds. By stopping weed growth, you are also stopping pest infestation.

Conclusion

The reasons why your tomato plant's leaves are curling might either be because of weather stress, irregular irrigation, improper pruning, herbicide infection, and pest infestation. If the cause is due to weather stress, you don't need to worry about it because it is just a natural response.

However, if the reasons are the remaining four, then it’s best that you do treatments on your plant. You can remove infected leaves, water it regularly, do regular irrigation and pruning, place a floating row cover, choose the disease and pest-resistance tomato variety, and to make sure you plant it in a place which can receive direct sunlight.

If you have any questions, feel free to voice it out in the comment section below. We’ll be more than happy to hear from you.

3 Ways How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes For A Successful Harvest

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If you enjoy gardening and would like to know how to plant tomatoes in your backyard, we’ll show you how. Growing tomatoes in your garden can be both challenging and rewarding, especially if you have a successful harvest. Tomatoes are actually easy to maintain.

The trick is to know how far apart to plant tomatoes so that it develops properly. Tomatoes need plenty of sun exposure. This is why it needs enough space to grow and receive the right nutrients from the sun.

The spacing in between the crops is certainly a significant factor when it comes to the production and development process. It prevents the crops from spreading virus and disease to one another.

Planting Techniques

So, how far from each other should you plant your tomatoes? The right spacing will actually depend on the type of method you use to plant the tomato. Read on.

Staking Indeterminate Tomatoes

Tomatoes, just like any other plant, need a solid support to prevent itself from falling back to the ground. Staking a tomato can help produce a healthier harvest and prevent it from getting infested by insects. It also tends to get more sunlight and is easier to harvest.

Using stakes is more cost-effective and often produces the best results.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Tomato seeds
  • Wooden stakes

Here’s how:

  1. Plant the tomato seed. Maintain a distance of 24 to 30 inches between each seed. Make sure you allow a gap of 30 to 42 inches in each row.
  2. Use a stake. This will help support the tomato as they gradually grow. The stakes should be strong enough to hold the weight of the tomato, specifically once the plant bears the fruit.
  3. Use a wooden stake that is 6 feet long and 2 inches wide. Maintain a 4-inch gap between the stake and the stem of the plant. The plant will only need the stake once it grows long enough to crawl around it.

Caging Indeterminate Tomatoes

Materials you’ll need:

  • Tomato seed
  • Cage

Here’s how:

  1. Plant the tomato seed with a spacing in between 24 to 30 inches from other plants.Maintain a distance of at least 30 inches between each row.
  2. Use a rectangular or a cylindrical cage. Plant the tomato seed in a cage. The enclosure will allow the tomato plant to develop and grow in a natural state. In case the plant extends its growth, you can tie it to the side of the cage. This will help support the weight of the tomatoes.

Sprawling Determinate Tomatoes

Some tomato plants can be sprawled on the soil instead using a stake or cage to support it. This technique is often used for determinate tomatoes.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Tomato seed
  • Mulch

Here’s how:

  1. Use a spacing of 3 to 4 feet in between the plants. Keep a distance of at least 5 feet in between rows.
  2. Add mulch to the soil. This will help protect the tomatoes from falling off or deteriorating.

How to Take Care of your Tomatoes

Here are some simple and easy tips on how to effectively grow your tomatoes.

  • Plant with the right spacing. Make sure you follow the correct spacing we recommended above. This will help prevent your crops from acquiring disease during its growth process.
  • Use a Cardboard. Extend it to one inch above and below the soil and wrap the tomato stems around it. This will protect the plant from becoming infested by cutworms. Use a stapler to attach the cardboard together. After 3 to 4 weeks, the cutworm will no longer be able to affect and damage the plant.
  • Use a fertilizer. Apply a slow-release fertilizer during the planting stage to help provide the tomato with the nutrients it requires.
  • Use a plant protector. During the planting stage, use a plant protector to reduce the transplant shock while keeping the warmth of the plant. This will prevent the plant from drying.
  • Water the plant. Tomatoes require the right amount of water for it to grow properly. Start by watering the plant twice a week and do this early morning so that the plant will dry off before night time. Use a soaker hose irrigation to prevent the leaves from getting wet. This also prevents any disease from spreading among plants.
  • Add mulch. As previously mentioned above, mulching can improve the development of the tomato by protecting it. It also provides enough moisture the plant needs in order to thrive well. Use 5 to 10 sheets of newspaper and insert it between the rows. Water and soak the newspaper first before you lay it down. Then top it off with grass clippings and bark mulch. These ingredients can add warmth to the soil and help increase the production of tomatoes.
  • Use growing tools. Using growth activators or enhancers can help your plants grow healthier and abundant. Some products allow the plant to increase its number of yields and produce bigger fruits.

Why Spacing is Important

Planting, growing, and harvesting tomatoes on your own is already an accomplishment. However, it takes the right technique to be ableto do this successfully. One of the most important factors is to know the right spacing when you’re planting the tomato seeds.

At the same time, you should also consider the planting method you are going to use to grow tomatoes. You can either use staking, caging or sprawling but take note that each technique requires a different amount of spacing. Allowing each plant to grow in its own space can help it develop to its full potential.

So if you think you are ready to plant your own tomatoes in your garden, make sure you follow our instructions above and apply it to the planting method you prefer to use. Personally, I staked my tomatoes and followed the same steps I suggested above. The final result was quite fulfilling and definitely worth the hard work and perseverance.

We hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have you own suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to send us a comment or message. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share this article with your family and friends.

How To Grow Portobello Mushrooms In 3 Ways

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If you enjoy gardening, why not grow Portobello mushrooms in your backyard? Portobello mushrooms are one of the most popular ingredients used in many restaurants. You can sauté, grill or steam them.

I love eating mushrooms because of their flavor and high nutritional value. Since I always buy mushrooms every time I do my weekly grocery, my neighbor suggested that I should probably try growing it in my backyard. I did a little research and found out that Portobello mushrooms are actually easy to grow and decided to go for it.

In this tutorial, I‘ll teach you some steps on how to grow Portobello mushrooms successfully in your home.

Growing Mushrooms In Your Home

There are three ways to grow Portobello mushrooms in your home. You can do it outdoors, indoors or use a growing kit. The key is to utilize the right tools, technique and plant it under the right temperature and environment.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Outdoor

1. Check the temperature.

The first step to planting Portobello mushrooms is to set the right temperature. If you’re growing it outdoors, check the temperature and make sure it doesn’t go over 70 degrees Fahrenheit during day time and it shouldn’t go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

2. Prepare the compost.

Create a raised bed with a dimension of four feet long, four feet wide, and eight inches deep. Then fill the bed with compost and well-seasoned manure. Follow it up by covering the bed with a cardboard and a black plastic. This creates a solar radiation that helps sterilize the soil. Leave it for at least two weeks.

3. Plant your mushroom spores.

After two weeks, remove the cardboard and plastic covering. Scatter a one-inch layer of mushroom spores on the compost and gently mix the spores into the soil.

Let it sit for a few weeks until you notice a white film on the surface. The white film is a clear indication that your spores are indeed growing.

4. Apply a moist peat.

Sprinkle a one-inch layer of moistened peat moss evenly on the surface of the compost. Place a newspaper over the peat moss and use a distilled water to spray it daily. Spray at least twice a day for 10 days.

Remove the newspaper after 10 days. Continue to spray the peat moss for another 10 days. Observe the soil and adjust the peat moss as needed.

Always monitor the temperature. Then you can start to harvest your Portobello mushrooms depending on the size of your preference.

Indoor

1. Gather your materials.

Use a tray, compost, peat moss, newspaper and mushroom spores.

Technically, you’ll follow the same process as the outdoor method. However, you’ll have to look for a tray that is four feet in length and width as well as eight inches deep.

2. Plant your spores.

Fill the tray with six inches of compost, scatter the spores, and mix it gently with the compost and press the surface. Place the tray in a dark place and check until you notice the white film. Apply a layer of damp peat moss over the compost and cover it with a newspaper. Spray it with distiller water for two weeks.

3. Check for growth.

After two weeks take out the newspaper and check if you see white heads developing in the compost. In case there are no white heads visible yet, put back the newspaper.

Continue to mist it every day for at least one more week. Then check again for any signs of development. By this time, you should be able to see the growth of the mushrooms.

Mushroom Growing Kits

Another way to grow your mushroom is using a growing kit. Technically, using a kit is the easiest way to grow Portobello mushrooms.

A mushroom growing kit is quite affordable and you can buy it less than $50. There are a lot of available kits online that range from low, medium, and high-end growers. A growing kit contains pre-inoculated media or you can also do the inoculation on your own. All you need to do is open your kit, mist your box, and leave it in a dark and cool area.

A low-end kit requires you to keep a certain moisture and temperature level during the entire incubation period to allow the mycelium to settle in the substrate. This procedure often develops between seven to ten days. Afterward, you need to keep your kit damp and dark.

Continue to spray the kit regularly. You can use a distilled or tap water but never use water with chlorine. If you prefer to use tap water, leave it overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate from the water.

A kit can usually produce a mushroom in a few weeks. You can expect a harvest of at least two to three for every kit. A Portobello mushroom growing kit can produce a minimum of three pounds in three months. Not bad eh?

Different Growing Methods

If you want to grow your mushrooms with the least possible effort, a mushroom growing kit may just suit you best. This requires less time and energy compared to other growing techniques. However, some gardeners prefer doing it the traditional way.

If you like getting dirty and want a bit of a challenge, you should try planting mushrooms the old-fashioned way. You need to put in more time and effort to check the temperature and development regularly. The old school technique is actually a good way to learn and understand a mushroom’s growth process.

You can either do it outdoors or indoors if it’s more convenient for you. Some prefer doing it indoor because it allows them to control the temperature and environment. Indoor growing is actually more suitable for people who don’t have extra outdoor space.

Whichever method you choose, growing your own Portobello mushrooms is a great way to challenge yourself. It’s a fun and exciting learning process. Once you gather your first successful harvest, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

A Guide On Growing Chinese Cabbage In Simple And Easy Ways

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Do you enjoy planting and harvesting vegetables in your own backyard? You’ll be delighted to know that growing Chinese cabbage can provide you with numerous benefits. At the same time, it will serve as a wonderful addition to your vegetable garden.

Creating your own assortment of vegetables is good way to maximize your gardening and farming skills. It is quite handy, especially when your dinner requires Chinese cabbage. Having your own mini grocery allows you to pluck your choice of veggies anytime without worrying if ingredient is safe.

What Is A Chinese Cabbage?

A Chinese cabbage is also known scientifically known as Brassica Pekinensis. It is a form of oriental vegetable that originated from China. This vegetable is also referred to as white cabbage, celery cabbage, flowering cabbage, Napa cabbage, Michihli or pakchoy.

It is often used in salads and sandwiches. Some people prefer to use Chinese cabbage instead of lettuce in their food. A Chinese cabbagelooksmore similar to a lettuce than an actual cabbage. The leaves are softer and sweet.

It appears in an elongated shape with an outline of long green leaves. The middle part of the leaves look pale and wrinkly while the inner stems appear white. This vegetable grows fast and is usually ready for cutting in just a minimum of six weeks.

A Chinese cabbage also tastes similar to a lettuce. It is often eaten raw and is mixed in salads or sandwiches rather than served cooked.

How To Grow Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage is not difficult to cultivate as long as you know how to take care and properly grow this plant. In this article, we’ll show you how. Here are some of the steps and requirements for a successful harvest.

1. Weather

A Chinese cabbage is requires a cool weather and environmentfor it to successfully grow and thrive. The suggested temperature should not go over 75°F. Otherwise, it will not flourish at all especially during the 70 to 80 day maturation period and will go back to its seed instead of forming a head.

If you live in a cool temperature environment, plant your seeds where it can grow directly under the sun. On the other hand, if you are located in a warmer region, plant your seeds in a shaded area.

2. Harvest period

The best time to plant this vegetable depends on your location and weather condition. Just make sure you do not plant your seed during the summer. In most areas, you can plant your crops during the month of April and will be ready for harvest towards the end of June. Another option is to plant the seeds in mid-July to mid-August and will be harvested until fall.

So how do you know when it’s time to harvest? Observe your crops and check if the heads are fully grown to the size you prefer. Technically, you can harvest it at any period during its growth.

When you harvest your veggies, cut the head high and leave the lower part of the plant since it usually grows back after a while. On the other hand, you can cut the entire head at soil level as soon as they appear compact and firm. Don’t forget to harvest before winter season.

3. Space and quantity

Planting Chinese cabbage in your backyard won’t take up too much space, especially with its slender shape. We highly suggest that you grow at least six to eight plants per person in your home. That’s typically the standard recommended vegetable to human ratio. Each plant usually grows as tall as 15 to 18 inches.

You should sow the seed at least half an inch deep with a 4-inch gap. The rows should be at least 18 inches from each other depending on the variety of Chinese cabbage you are planting.

4. Soil

Keep your veggies planted in a soil that has a good drainage system. Make sure the soil is rich in moisture and organic substance. This allows plants to grow faster while maintaining its tender leaves.

You can add some aged compost to the beds before you plant the seeds. A slow growth process may cause the plant to go back to seed. Always regularly water your plants for a speedy growth.

If you don’t have enough space in your yard, you can opt to grow it in a container. Yes, you read it right. Just make sure you use at least an 8-inch wide and a 10-inch long container.

5. How to prevent diseases

Chinese cabbage is prone to acquiring yellow virus, black rot, and club root. Avoid handling your crops when it is wet. As soon as you see any signs of infected plants, make sure you remove and terminate it immediately to prevent the spread of disease. Use a variety of Chinese cabbage that are resistant to disease and virus.

This type of plant is attracts aphids, flea beetles, cabbage worms, aphids, and other insects. You can pick them off, hose it or spray it with bacillus thuringiensis with an interval of 7 to 10 days.

6. Other plants and varieties

Before planting Chinese cabbage in your vegetable garden, make sure you properly segregate your plants. It will fit well with cabbages, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. Avoid planting beside tomatoes, okra, potatoes, and okra.

As previously mentioned above, a Chinese cabbage grows in various types. Some types, specifically those with heads mature quicker if they are planted straight from seed.

Learning The Ropes

Just like any other task, the success of growing your Chinese cabbage will significantly depend on how you prepare, treat, and condition your plants. This is why it is important for you to research, gather information and follow these simple and easy instructions.

As you can see, Chinese cabbage do not require complicated procedures. So you shouldn’t let growing these veggies intimidate you.

If you find this article useful and entertaining, please share it with your family and friends. We appreciate your comments and feedback. Just drop us a message below and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

How To Grow Garbanzo Beans In Your Own Backyard

growing-garbanzo-beans

My family loves a warm chickpea soup for dinner especially on cold nights. Buying garbanzo beans was what we usually did. When I finally decided to learn how to grow garbanzo beans in my own backyard, there was no turning back.

The process of growing garbanzo beans is not that hard as it does not require tremendous care unlike other plants so you can definitely do this too. Garbanzo beans also known as chickpeas are one of the tastiest sources of protein, fiber, Vitamin B3, potassium and Omega 6 among many other nutrients and vitamins.

1. Planting The Garbanzo Beans

Planting-The-Garbanzo-Beans

What are Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans are annual bushy plants producing tender legumes. Their leaves are dark green and their oblong pods are about one inch in length containing one to two large, creamy colored seeds that resembles peas. They also grow white or violet colored flowers which are dependent on what variety they are. 

Garbanzo beans takes a long growing season that may require up to 100 days starting from the date that they were sowed. As you will be needing more time in growing garbanzo beans, you need to start ahead of the season. It is best to begin sowing earlier in the spring or before the last frost ends.

Handling the Seeds

You have to be gentle with the seeds as they are sensitive to temperature. Do not try to plant them in the cold ground. You can proceed with the sowing indoors four to six weeks before the expected final frost by sowing in a peat or you can use any temporary pots prior to planting it out when it is ready.

The garbanzo beans are ready to be transplanted out in your garden when it is about four to five inches tall as soon as the final frost has ended. Before transplanting, you can gradually expose the plants to the outside environment to achieve better results. This process is called "hardening".

​However, if you would like to directly plant the seeds outdoors, do this around one to two weeks before the last expected frost. As it will get colder at night, make sure that you cover the seeds with old sheets as their insulators.

Laying the Seeds

You will achieve larger yields if you are growing garbanzo beans in subtropical regions. Garbanzo plants usually grow up to 20 inches or shorter. In placing the plants in the soil, make sure that they are six inches apart from each other with around 18-24 inches in between rows.

​If you are planting the seeds in a pot, fill the pot with a little soil then proceed in planting one to two seeds in it. Keep in mind that the seeds must be one to two inches deep into the soil. When you are starting, it is okay to plant a maximum of two seeds per pot. However, when they begin sprouting, you have to decrease them to one per pot. In doing this, choose the weaker seedling and cut it away from the soil level making sure that you avoid digging as this will damage the roots.

Watering the Seedlings

Your seedlings will usually sprout within two weeks that they were sowed.

​Garbanzo beans have a shallow root system so it is best to water them appropriately. You have to make sure that your soil is moist but never drenched by watering your seedling on a daily basis. When the temperature is warmer, water your seedlings twice a day. Your pots should also receive enough sunlight. You can place them outdoors or nearby your windows for direct sun exposure.

​Too much water can cause the seeds to crack so water them in appropriate amounts. Never soak the seeds prior to sowing.

2. Transplanting Garbanzo Seedlings

Transplanting-Garbanzo-Seedlings

Best Type of Soil

The best soil to transplant your seedlings to are loose, preferably organic well-drained soil. You can also add compost to your pots for an advanced produce.

Do not plant your seedlings in high-nitrogen containing soils and similarly, do not use nitrogen-rich fertilizers. High nitrogen levels will make your plants' leaves bushy but will also result to less produce. Garbanzo beans will naturally have its needed nitrogen produced through its mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Needed Sunlight

Growing garbanzo beans require lots of sunlight so you must choose a location where your plants will be provided with at least a six hour direct sunlight exposure.

As sunlight yields more growth, planting your seedlings under shady locations would be okay but this will give you a smaller produce.

3. Maintaining Garbanzo Beans

Dealing with Pests

During hot weather, garbanzo beans will excrete a reddish dew on their leaves containing malic acid. This is a skin irritant so you need to wear gloves when harvesting. Malic acid will prevent most pests to damage the plants. However, mice and birds can still attack it.

Weeding

You will need to do continuous weeding in the first few weeks up until the plants are able to stop the weeds altogether and form a dense protective cover. At this point, only perennial weeds can prevail.

Your soil can also encourage the growth of foot rots and moulds during rainy seasons and cold weather. Include garbanzo beans in normal legume rotations to prevent damaging the plant.

4. Harvesting

When to Harvest

Garbanzo beans can be harvested as soon as the peas inside the pods are large enough to be eaten. You can wait until the pods are ripe enough, however, because of mice eating the seeds, this is not advisable.

Harvest time can last up to several months and is only interrupted as soon as hard frosts start. You will be able to harvest one to three peas from each pod.

You need to observe extra caution in harvesting due to the malic acid as well as the spikes in the pod ends that can cause injury when not handled properly.

I had several failed attempts in growing garbanzo beans when I was still starting. I have learned these tricks through the years and have yielded me good results and sumptuous chickpea soups as well. I hope these tips gave you enough confidence to try this as well in your own backyards. Leave a comment below if you need more clarifications and I will be happy to walk you through it. If you like this article, don't forget to like it and share it with your friends.