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Best Fertilizer for Banana Trees : Food for Your Yellow Friend

Introduction

From athletes to regular people, we all know how much energy a banana can give you. But have you ever wondered where a banana gets so many nutrients from?

You see, it all comes down to how well a tree was taken care of. And fertilizers play one of the vital roles here. 

That’s why we’ve decided to find the best fertilizer for banana trees. In this in-depth review, we managed to gather 5 different products that can suit any banana tree’s needs. 

Apart from doing the research, we tested these out ourselves. Well, let’s not waste any more time and get started, shall we?

Product
Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Palm Plant Food, 4.5 lb.
Jobe's 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes, 5
Jobe's 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes, 30 per Blister...
Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer In Poly Bag,...
Dr. Earth INC 756P Exotic Exoitc Blend Palm, Tropical &...
Image
Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Palm Plant Food, 4.5 lb.
Jobe's 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes, 5
Jobe's 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes, 30 per Blister...
Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer In Poly Bag,...
Dr. Earth INC 756P Exotic Exoitc Blend Palm, Tropical &...
Type
Slow-release
Slow-release
Slow-release
Liquid
Liquid
Formulation
12-4-8
9-12-12
16-2-6
5-5-2
6-4-6
Product
Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Palm Plant Food, 4.5 lb.
Image
Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Palm Plant Food, 4.5 lb.
Type
Slow-release
Formulation
12-4-8
Product
Jobe's 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes, 5
Image
Jobe's 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes, 5
Type
Slow-release
Formulation
9-12-12
Product
Jobe's 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes, 30 per Blister...
Image
Jobe's 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes, 30 per Blister...
Type
Slow-release
Formulation
16-2-6
Product
Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer In Poly Bag,...
Image
Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer In Poly Bag,...
Type
Liquid
Formulation
5-5-2
Product
Dr. Earth INC 756P Exotic Exoitc Blend Palm, Tropical &...
Image
Dr. Earth INC 756P Exotic Exoitc Blend Palm, Tropical &...
Type
Liquid
Formulation
6-4-6

 

1. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Palm Plant Food

Someone who’s been to the garden center knows how good of a brand Miracle-Gro is. After being in the industry for more than 50 years, it’s expected that a brand grows so much. 

For your precious banana trees, Miracle-Gro has their Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food. This fertilizer takes the guessing game out of fertilizing a plant. 

So, there’s going to be no mistake in putting the fertilizers. Once you put the fertilizers into the ground, they’ll continue nourishing the plants for more than 3 months. 

And guess what? You don’t even have to dig it into the ground. Sprinkle some fertilizer, mix with a broad fork, and finally, apply some water. That’s literally all you need to do. 

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
  • Doesn’t require to be dug into the soil
  • Continues to nourish for 3 months
  • Encourages healthy colors of trees
  • Includes essential minerals needed for banana trees
[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]
  • Not putting it deep into the soil might attract pests
[/wpsm_cons][/wpsm_column]

 

2. Jobe’s 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe's 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes

Next up, we have Jobe’s 01002 Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes. As a brand, Jobe has been delivering quality fertilizers for some time now. But how good is it when it has to deal with the various elements a banana tree needs?

At first, we had our doubts about their 9-12-12 formulation. Usually, experts suggest a more specific formula for banana trees. But it proved all of us wrong. 

Turns out, it’s quite perfect for these types of trees. Their slow-release fertilizers are more than enough to give food to banana trees. 

However, the thing that attracted us most is the installation process of the spikes. It comes with a protective plastic cap so that pests can pull it out. I mean, what more do you want from a fertilizer?

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
  • The installation process is fairly easy
  • Comes with protective caps
  • Doesn’t have any horrible smell
  • Supplies nutrients directly to the root
[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]
  • The protective cap could’ve had better build-quality
[/wpsm_cons][/wpsm_column]

 

3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food

The list wouldn’t be complete without a liquid fertilizer. That’s why we have the Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. 

With this fertilizer, you can give your banana tree that extra boost it needs. All you have to do is mix it with some water and apply it on a regular basis. 

Even though you mix only a small amount of fertilizer, you have no idea how great it is for your plants. Although you can use a fairly big amount too if you want. 

In that case, you’ll have to use it once every 2 to 3 weeks. But no matter what amount you use, the application is our favorite.

Basically, you’re doing two things at once. On one side, you’re watering the plants and on the other side, that same water has fertilizer in it.  

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
  • Water solubility makes it easier to apply
  • Pests can’t do anything since it soluble
  • Only requires you to apply once every 2-3 weeks
  • Promotes excellent growth for banana trees
[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]
  • Some people don’t like that it has chemical elements
[/wpsm_cons][/wpsm_column]

 

4. Jobe’s 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe's 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes

People who have potted or dwarf banana trees always complain to us that they can’t find the perfect slow-release fertilizer. In some ways that’s true. 

The good spike fertilizers aren’t that available in the market. But this time Jobe has their miniature spike fertilizers. With this, you get 30 small spikes that are perfect for any potted or dwarf banana trees. 

The quality is completely similar to the big ones. So, you don’t have to worry about that at all. Simply put it in the soil and you’re done.   

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
  • Incredibly easy to install in a pot
  • Continues to nourish for a long time
  • Includes all the necessary minerals for a banana tree
[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]
  • Dogs or raccoons might pull out the spikes
[/wpsm_cons][/wpsm_column]

 

5. Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer

Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer

For our final entry, we decided to go with the Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer. The rest of the products were kind of mixed with chemical and natural ingredients. 

But this one’s made from completely natural ingredients. However, we should clarify that it doesn’t have any kind of chicken manure or anything like that. 

So, in terms of how effective this is, we can give you our guarantee. 

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
  • Contains probiotics for root growth
  • Doesn’t have any chicken manure or sewage sludge
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Well-balanced all-in-one fertilizer
[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]
  • Some people might not like the formulation as it’s well-balanced
[/wpsm_cons][/wpsm_column]

 

Best Fertilizer for Banana Trees – Buying Guide

Before you go buy fertilizer for your banana tree, you should keep one thing in mind. Banana trees feed a lot and need a ton of nutrients to grow perfectly. But mostly, they like potassium, oxygen, and phosphorus(8-10-8 fertilizers). 

As they need so many nutrients to grow, it’s normal for them to suffer from nitrogen and potassium deficiencies. 

While ¼ to ½ pound of fertilizer in one month is enough for young trees, mature trees need at least 1.5 pounds of banana fertilizer every month. 

When to Fertilize Banana Trees?

Banana trees are okay with both liquid and granular fertilizers. So, either one is fine but don’t go cheap fertilizers just because they need a lot of it. 

Instead, focus on a well-balanced fertilizer for all the micronutrients. And as a secondary fertilizer, choose one that’ll make the bananas tastier than ever. 

This way you’re doing two things at once. First, you’re ensuring the perfect growth for the banana trees and secondly, the fruits are going to be tasty and delicious. 

Nonetheless, let’s back to the main point on when you should fertilize banana trees-

Fertilizing in Summer and Spring

The most active and harvest producing time for banana trees is when warmer seasons close in. That’s when these plants start simulating root and leaf growth. 

In this period, there’s no scope for forgetfulness. It’s a must you fertilize banana trees once every month during this time. 

Make sure that the trees have enough water and the soil is moist without making it waterlogged. However, you don’t have to use that much fertilizer for indoor or potted trees. 

Fertilizing in Fall and Winter

Fall and winter are kind of the dormant season for banana trees. You’ll notice little to no growth. 

So, you have the option to stop fertilizing the trees. Although our advice would be to continue with minimal fertilizing every two months. That way they’ll know that you haven’t abandoned them and keep growing. 

What Nutrients Do Banana Trees Need?

As we’ve already discussed, bananas are heavy-duty feeders. The amount of fertilizers they need is a lot. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to a few key nutrients-

Nitrogen 

Banana trees treat nitrogen as their best friend. And there are valid reasons behind this. 

You see, fresh off the boat nitrogen boosts banana trees with growth and helps in the chlorophyll production process. Eventually, this chlorophyll ensures the strong development of the tree’s leaves and fruits.

Moreover, nitrogen is even more important when the tree is young. That’s when the tree grows the most so obviously you get why you need it the most at that time. 

Other than that, nitrogen deficiency can get quite dangerous for a banana tree. Sometimes you’ll see yellow leaves, kind of red-colored tint on the leaf stems. 

In fact, the deficiency can even slow down the overall growth of the all. At one point, it will become stunted. So, yeah, if you don’t want to suffer from getting any crops at all, you should use nitrogen for your banana trees. 

Potassium

After nitrogen, potassium is the most important mineral for banana trees. They need it for their growth and health. And there’s an interesting reason behind this.

Here’s the thing-

Potassium is vital for the photosynthesis process, CO2 regulation, water uptake, and making sure the tree doesn’t get any kind of disease. Moreover, it helps the tree to protect it from sudden temperature changes. 

Most importantly, it makes the fruits filled up with potassium, making them tastier and healthier for your diet. 

However, how do you know your tree is suffering from potassium deficiency? 

Right off the bat, you’ll see that the leaves are showing yellow colors. Second, you’ll notice that the banana bunches are growing on time. 

In fact, you’ll get much less crop. Chances are the bananas you’ll get are going to be tiny. 

Other Nutrients

Well, a banana tree can’t really grow that well only depending on nitrogen and potassium, can it?  

Like many other trees, banana trees too need a number of nutrients that a well-balanced fertilizer will have. Whenever you buy fertilizer for your banana trees, make sure it has phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. 

As you’ve guessed these are all macronutrients. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t need micronutrients like boron, zinc, or iron.

So, whatever you do remember to check if your fertilizer has all these micro and macronutrients or not. Unless you want to make your tree sick, stick to an 8-10-8 formulation fertilizer. 

How to Fertilize Banana Trees?

The first rule of fertilizing a banana tree is giving it a lot of fertilizer. But that doesn’t overdose with fertilizers. Let us break it down a bit-

Suppose, you have a mature banana tree(9 months or older). For a mature plant like that, you need at least 1.5 pounds of 8-10-8 fertilizer once every month. 

But remember to put all the fertilizer around the tree in a circle. Whatever you do, make sure it doesn’t get near the trunk. Other than that, simply dig it into the soil and put some water around it. 

However, things change when it comes to young or dwarf banana trees. For those trees, using half the amount of fertilizer is absolutely fine. 

Moving on, we gathered two important tips on how you can fertilize your banana tree-

Water the tree when you fertilize

I think you’ve already figured out that you need liquid fertilizers for doing this. A light application of fertilizer mixed with water can do wonders for the growth of your banana tree. 

However, remember not to waterlog your banana tree while watering them. Keeping the soil moist is one thing but waterlog can potentially kill the tree. 

Use fertilizer filled with nitrogen and potassium

Balanced fertilizers and fertilizers filled with nitrogen and potassium have a slightly different application. 

Unlike balanced fertilizers, you don’t have to use fertilizers so frequently. During the growing season, using it once every month is more than enough for any banana tree. 

It gets even easier when it’s about potassium fertilizers. The only time you need to use potassium fertilizers is when the flowers start coming. 

Only use potassium fertilizers then. And when flowers have arrived stop using that too. It couldn’t get any simpler, right?

Wrapping Up

So, in conclusion, you get the idea of how important it is to choose the best fertilizer for banana trees. We hope we could make your life a bit easier with this guide.

Before going away we have a final tip for you. Apart from using fertilizers, try using old coffee grounds on your banana tree. That’ll provide food and as a bonus, it’ll also keep the pests away. 

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Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow – What To Do?

Introduction

As a home grower, you may know that the Hosta plant is a perennial favorite among gardeners because of its lush foliage and easy maintenance. But when the green foliage starts turning yellow, be sure that your plant is telling you something.

You, the gardener, need to listen and interpret the signals. So, if you ask us why your Hosta leaves turning yellow, we will be glad to explain it. There are a few reasons behind it, we have compiled them here with the effective solutions.

So, without beating around the bush, let’s get into the point.

What Causes Your Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow?

Yes, we know that it’s worth being anxious if your Hosta leaves turning into yellow. Before you take actionable steps, you need to know what exactly leads to this issue.

Here is a list of some common causes of turning a Hosta leaves yellow: 

  • Fungal diseases 
  • Viral diseases
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Improper water, light, and temperature 
  • Insects/pests
  • Natural Causes

How To Solve These Problems?

This time, we will discuss the problems in detail and how to possibly solve these. 

Problem 1: Fungal Diseases

Petiolate rot and Fusarium root and crown rot, these two fungi commonly cause yellowing hosta leaves. Generally, symptoms of the petiolate rot appear after warm and rainy weather. 

Moreover, the symptoms include yellowing of the outer leaf parts that result in wilting and detachment from the plant crown. It may take some time, but ultimately, the fungus will kill your hosta plant. 

Fusarium root and crown rot are seen to affect both the root and crown of the plant and it usually enters through wounds. Over time, it starts yellowing the leaves and leading to tan foliage. 

Solution: Cultural management strategies to prevent this problem are- regular irrigation early in the day, removing infected leaves, and keeping plants cool. Moreover, fungicides like chlorothalonil, mancozeb, iprodione are recommended for fungal diseases.

Problem 2: Viral Diseases

Viruses, the tiny particles are mostly transmitted to hosta plants through insects or during vegetative propagation. Symptoms of getting attacked by viruses are mosaic, chlorosis, yellow leaves, and so on. 

Solution: To prevent this, avoid introducing these pathogens into the nursery or landscape. Only virus-free plants have to be used. Unfortunately, there are no pesticides available to control viral diseases. However, apply pre-plant nematicides or fumigants to soils in plant beds to reduce certain viruses.

Problem 3: Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial soft rot commonly attacks hosta plants. The bacteria which causes soft rot releases enzymes into the infected tissue. It leads the plant to become watery and soft with an unpleasant aroma. 

Symptoms of this disease are characterized by yellow, wilted leaves. Moreover, a soft at the base of petioles result in plant collapse and consequently plant death.

Solution: Avoid excessive wounding while separating hosta plants. Unfortunately, chemical treatments do not eliminate bacteria from the foliage. But if you can maintain cold storage temperatures (at 39 degrees Fahrenheit), the low humidity will prevent bacterial soft rot. 

Problem 4: Improper Water, Light, and Temperature

Poor drainage and over-watering leach nutrition from the soil and then plants do not get what they need. As a result, leaves turn yellow and finally drop. If water cannot percolate through the soil, roots can literally rot. On the contrary, too little water will produce yellowing and leaf drop.

When it comes to damage to the younger growth, it usually indicates that too much sunlight is causing the leaves to yellow. Sunburn at last results in turning the fresh, green leaves yellow or brown. 

The fact is, excessive heat or cold whatever it is can move a healthy plant from green to yellow rapidly. 

Solution: Make sure to water your plants deeply rather than watering frequently. To solve the light-related problem, either provide shelter under a taller plant or move the plan to a spot where it can thrive. So, for the temperature problem, protection or relocation may be needed.

Problem 5: Insects/Pests

Foliar nematodes are microscopic worms that use water on leaves to move along the plant as well as enter leaf tissues through the stomata (the small pores on stems and leaves). 

Once they are done with feeding and reproducing inside the leaf tissue, it causes damage to the area between leaf veins. The damage will appear as light green or yellow stripes on leaves. 

Solution: To control nematodes 100%, buy only healthy plants. Also, reduce the moisture left on the leaves. To prevent further infestation, remove and destroy dead leaves. Using a fungicide will control 70% of the nematode (eradicating 100% is impractical) if you apply a 2% solution.

Problem 6: Natural Causes

Well, it may seem obvious to you that what is the plant’s natural cycle? Okay listen, hosta is a herbaceous perennial which annually withdraws into winter dormancy, leaves slowly fading and dying.

Moreover, when it is a seasonal change, plants constantly shed the old to make room for new growth. It’s a natural process that nutrients are withdrawn from the older leaves which will consequently fall. 

Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow – FAQs

Question: Should I cut damaged hosta leaves?

Answer: Yes, you should. Pruning off badly damaged leaves will be better for your plant’s health. In case, the damage is bad all over, cut the whole plant back to the ground.

Question: How often should hostas be fertilized?

Answer: Liquid fertilizers should be applied to hostas at least once every two weeks during the growing season. 

Conclusion

So, this is all we stored for you. We hope that by reading this article, you have a crystal clear idea about the ins and outs of why hosta leaves turning yellow

As hosta plant maintenance is quite easier, try not to put off any important task for another weekend. Just proper care from the very beginning will give you the best gift. However, you faced an issue and now you know what to do. So, go for it.

Good luck!

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Why Are My Cucumbers White?- Reasons With Remedies

Introduction 

Cucumbers require a little care, just the right conditions (e.g warm, consistent water, and sunny weather). If you can ensure these, you can make them one of your top producing garden crops.

But chances are you are facing difficulties with your green variety of cucumber. If the issue is that you are getting white cucumber instead of green, it’s time to look for problems. 

To keep ahead of the problems about why are my cucumbers white? Here is the explained answer to your question, especially, with brief control suggestions. 

Let’s get started. 

What Causes White Cucumbers?

So, what causes your beautiful cucumber to develop white streaks? Well, the answer is ‘for many reasons’. But here is a list of the most common causes of getting white cucumber:

  • Fungal disease
  • Blanching
  • Excessive moisture

How To Solve?

Now, we are going to talk about the problems in detail with the possible solutions. 

Problem 1: Fungal Disease

The worst-case scenario, also the most common is a fungal disease. There are several fungal diseases. Two of them are:

Powdery Mildew

 When this fungal disease occurs, it begins on the upper surface of the cucumbers and looks like they have been dusted with flour. When it starts spreading, the entire fruit becomes covered with mold. 

The reason why powdery mildew happens is poor air circulation and a high level of humidity.

Solution: Prevention is always the best. While you discover the fungus in your area, start spraying the susceptible crops 2x’s weekly with 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1-gallon water. 

Also, make the environment around your cucumber plant less hospitable to the disease. Thin plants to let them have adequate air circulation. Try to water in the morning instead of the evening (otherwise, plants will remain damp all night).  

However, watering in the morning will indeed dry the plants during the sunlight hours. In this case, you may go for a drip irrigation system. 

Moreover, several fungicidal products can control and eradicate powdery mildew. Such as Bioadvanced 701270A effective fungicide, Cleary 3336F fungicide, and so on.

Pythium Fruit Rot (Cottony Leak)

This fungal disease causes your cucumber heavy growth of white fungal mass. In the general case, the first symptoms appear in that area of cucumber which is in contact with soil (as water-soaked, small spots). 

These spots start spreading very quickly to a large portion of the fruit that may result in soft and necrotic areas. In such a condition, the white mass resembles a bunch of cotton that may be seen in the infected areas. 

Solution: Chemical management for this problem is to use the fungicide ultra flourish that contains mefenoxam as an active ingredient. 

Cultural management are:

  • Must use sufficient plant spacing
  • Plant cucumbers in well-drained soil (with adequate ditching)
  • Create a barrier between fruit and soil

Problem 2: Blanching

The answer to ‘what is blanching?’ is the effect of over-shading of your cucumber fruit itself. You may be happy with the healthy-looking vines (with lush foliage), when the fruit is utterly covered by leaves, you will face blanching.

The fruit and the leaves of your cucumber plants need sunlight to develop and maintain their green color. 

Solution: You must position the plants where they will get enough sunlight. That doesn’t mean your plants don’t need shade, they do. But not completely shaded, they should be shaded a tad. 

You can prune the foliage back a little. It will allow them to get more sunlight. But don’t get carried away, it might end-up with a sun-scald of your fruits. 

Problem 3: Excessive Moisture

Water leaches nutrients from the soil. In case, excessive watering leaches phosphorus from the soil, your favorite developing cucumber may become pale green or white. Because it deprives your plants of the nutrients that are needed for proper development.

Hence, something you should know about is the plants can trick you into watering them too often. Maybe there is plenty of moisture in the soil, but the roots can’t absorb it fast. Because water evaporates faster on hot, sunny days and it makes the leaves wilt.

Solution: To solve the first case, feed your plants with a fertilizer that contains a high level of phosphorus as well as water them only when needed. The second case may confuse you, well, don’t worry.

Be determined if the plants need watering, wait for ending the day (when the temperature and sunlight are less intense). See if the leaves revive on their own or not. If they do, no watering is needed. Otherwise, water them now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Will it be safe to eat white cucumber?

Answer: The best option is not to eat any diseased white cucumber. But the white ones that are because of too much rain or blanching, are safe to eat. However, nutrient deficiency might result in a significant loss of flavor. 

Question 2: Should I water cucumbers every day?

Answer: Cucumbers need 1 and 2 inches of water per week, definitely depending on the soil type and the weather. It’s good to water deeply once or twice a week, especially if you are planting in sandy soil.

Question 3: What is the best fertilizer for my cucumber plants?

Answer: The best source of nutrients for cucumbers is well-aged compost. It has only 2% nitrogen as well as it releases slowly over many years. So, it will add nutrient reserves that remain available in the soil for a long time. 

Conclusion

That is all we wanted to say to you, friend. We compiled everything you need to know about the white cucumbers. Also, the FAQ section was there to rub off your confusion regarding this issue. 

As we left no stone unturned, you now got your answer to ‘why are my cucumbers are white?’ Well, then identify which your plant is facing and go for the solutions.

Good luck!

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Why Are My Jalapenos Turning Black and How Can I Solve It?

Introduction

There’s no doubt, jalapenos are a great addition to any meal (thanks for their spicy heat flavor!). Most of the jalapenos are green when you pick them. But, you may have noticed some of them are black or started turning black, right?

And then, that being said, why are my jalapenos turning black?

Well, this is worth a headache because your plant likely has a serious issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. No worries as we’ve got your back. Hence, we have compiled some possible problems and solutions regarding this topic plus kept a FAQ section to rub off your confusion.

Let’s get into the details.

The Answers of WHY(?)

Before we start talking about the solutions, let’s have a look over the problems first. Here is a list of the possible reasons turning your Jalapenos black:

  • Blossom end rot
  • Black rot
  • Anthracnose Infection
  • Mosaic virus
  • Natural causes

Now, let’s get to know the problems in a detailed manner and how could you possibly fix this.

Problem 1: Blossom End Rot

Generally, members of the nightshade family which include peppers and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) are frequently attacked by Blossom end rot. So, what will tell you that your plant is facing exactly this issue?

Well, signs like a moldy looking spot at the blossom end of the pepper (that turns black over time) will imply that the reason behind it is Blossom end rot. Now, the question is why does this happen?

No, this is not caused by any infections. Improper watering, adverse weather conditions, or calcium deficiency can lead to this trouble.

Solution: To preserve the soil’s moisture, mulching around the Jalapeno plants will help. But if the soil’s pH is below 6.0, the soil may create an imbalance of calcium and it prevents the pepper plants from properly absorbing water from the soil.

To solve this problem, amend the soil with Limestone until the pH is above 6.0. But, sorry to say that it will not reserve the condition on affected peppers, you have to discard those from the plants.

Problem 2: Black Rot

Black rot will affect your Jalapeno peppers in case you leave them on the plant to ripen until they turn red. You may be confused thinking of how you will distinguish it from blossom end rot.

Actually, Black rot affects fully ripened black peppers as well as covers part of the pepper other than the blossom end. The cause leading to this is too much moisture. Yes, if there is too much moisture from excessive watering or rain around ripening Jalapeno plants, Black rot can rear its ugly head.

Solution: To prevent black rot, only water the soil at the base of the plant so that the fruit is kept dry during watering. If you want red peppers, do not leave the peppers on the plant too long after they have fully ripened. Most importantly, discard any jalapenos that are victims of black rot.

Problem 3: Anthracnose Infection

This one causes parts of jalapeno peppers to turn black. But you can easily differentiate it from blossom end rot as in this case, the black areas will be along the sides of pepper rather than the end.

Actually, a fungus causes the watery bruises that are common with anthracnose. By degrees, these spots may appear on the leaves, stems, or peppers of the plants. Moreover, they will progress to become black spots where they develop.

Solution: A bad news is there is no means to correct an anthracnose infection on your jalapeno peppers. You can prevent it only if you plant seeds from a reputable source.

Another point worth noting is, you can’t plant in the same bed where any other member of the nightshade family who was affected by anthracnose grew within the last two years.

Remove weeds regularly and keep the garden area neat and clean to seal the chances of happening this in the future.

Problem 4: Mosaic Virus

Mosaic viruses will prevent your jalapeno plant from producing properly ripened, fully formed peppers. The affected peppers usually have darkened areas on them as well as look smaller than the unaffected peppers.

Other telltale signs are curled leaves with both light and dark green areas and a reduced growth of the plant.

Solution: Here’s another unwanted announcement, there is no treatment. What you can do is to prevent this variety of viral infections in your pepper plants and keep them from spreading through your garden.

You can lay down foil for mulch around your pepper plants. It will help your plants to prevent virus-carrying insects from reaching them. Besides, it will be helpful to pull out the entire plants that show symptoms of a viral infection and discard them to keep the infections from spreading.

Problem 5: Natural Causes

If none of the above happened to your jalapeno plants, then it can be natural. Yes, jalapenos turning black on the plant is a part of their natural growth and ripening process.

So, examine carefully whether your jalapenos are struggling with the above-mentioned 4 issues or it’s quite natural.

Why Are My Jalapenos Turning Black – FAQs

Question: When should I pick jalapenos?

Answer: Actually, there is no set time for harvest; you can feel free to pick the pepper based on taste.

Question: If I have jalapeno and some of the seeds inside are dark, what does that mean?

Answer: Well, it means the peppers are getting a little old and possibly starting to mold inside. You can cut out any discolored parts and use the rest.

Conclusion

Voila! You now know the answers to why are my jalapenos turning black and what to do for getting rid of it.

Actually, you need to be careful throughout the time you grow the plants and harvest the fruit and seed. It’s important to think of everything (e.g sunlight, watering, diseases, pest, and insects). It helps to prevent any future dilemma from the very first days.

Apart from this, you can easily fix the issues now, go for it. Good luck!

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White Spots on Raspberries – Reasons & Remedies

Introduction

Very few things say ‘summer’ quite like the taste of sweet, juicy raspberry. Everything seems okay until these juicy raspberries get some unwanted troubles.

White spots on raspberries are one of them.

When you see the white drupelets, you may ask yourself, ‘are they edible?’ or ‘what exactly causes the white patches?’ or ‘how can I fix this?’ Well, this is very normal to be anxious but it can’t be the end of the earth, huh?

So, relax! From this article, you will find all of the answers. Moreover, there is a FAQ section so that all of your confusions can be gone in a flash.

Let’s jump in!

What Causes White Spots on Raspberries?

So, here you go with details. We compiled some common problems and solutions here so that you don’t need to beat your brain out to understand what’s happening with your raspberries.

Problem 1: Sunscald (Sunburn)

This is the most common reason for Raspberries with white spots. Raspberries often develop small white spots to hot weather and exposure to direct sunlight. At first, the affected drupelets have a bleach, but eventually, they become dry or collapse and are visually unattractive.

Not only these, but sections of the fruit also become brown and dry. In fact, berries that are shaded by a canopy may also develop sunscald in the absence of direct sunlight when exposed to high temperatures.

Hence, a thing is worth mentioning that sunscald only affects those berries that ripen shortly after the weather warms. But berries that ripen a day or two later will be pretty normal. In both cases, affected fruit can still be eaten, you just won’t be selling them.

Solution: To reduce this, make the area sheltered from intense heat and wind. But another point to be remembered, don’t cover the plants completely otherwise, bees won’t be able to reach them to pollinate them.

In fact, an orientation of your rows in a north-south facing position will help the plants to minimize the effects of sunscald.

A question about watering the plants may rear its head. So, the answer is, watering twice a day to cool the plants during hot weather, for 15 minutes between morning and afternoon is helpful to alleviate sunscald. Yes, keep in mind that this method is not recommended in the evening hours. Because limited watering should cool the plants but evaporates quickly.

Problem 2: White Drupelet Disorder

This also happened as a result of solar injury, a combination of exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and high temperature. These white drupelets can occur singly or in groups.

As berries with white drupelet disorder vary from normal fruit only when there is a lack of pigment, they remain suitable for processing. But the only problem here is, they are quite unacceptable for fresh market sales.

Solution: The same suggestion will go for this, yes, shading plants to reduce UV radiation will lessen the problem.

Problem 3: Pests/ Insects

Yes, pests can play a role in the white spots in the raspberries. Such as stink bugs, red mites are often responsible for leading to white drupelets.

But hence, the discoloration from feeding damage won’t look the same as it looks for the sun scaled or hot temperatures. In this case, the drupelets will take a more random patterning of white spots instead of a large general area.

There is another case, the drupelets won’t be white but small yellow/white ‘raspberry fruit worms’ larvae may be seen clinging to the harvested fruit. These whitish larvae will burrow into the fruit and destroy it. Moreover, there will be holes in the leaves of the plants indicating the presence of adult beetles.

Solution: Insecticides are used primarily to control these insects.

Additional Information

This part is about gray mold (Botrytis cinerea). It sometimes causes confusion whether your raspberries are facing white drupelet disorder or gray mold because they almost look the same.

In wet seasons, gray mold causes a significant loss of flowers and fruits. Infected berries become covered with a gray, dusty fungal growth. Another point to be noted, mature berries are more susceptible than the younger ones. Moreover, berries sometimes do not show gray mold until after harvest and they can quickly become a rotted mass in storage.

Solution: This problem is managed through an integrated program including:

  • Cultural practices that promote rapid drying of fruits and flowers such as, site selection, maintenance of narrow plant rows, trellising, and cane thinning.
  • On-time (regular) harvesting of fruit to prevent a build-up of gray mold spores on overripe fruit.
  • Fungicide sprays as necessary. In particular, sprays are most important just before rainy periods that occur during bloom and before harvest.

White Spots on Raspberries – FAQs

Question: How should I water my raspberry plant?

Answer: Mostly, they need water every 5-7 days during establishment. Remember, keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. When irrigation is needed, apply 1 or 2 inches of water per week. During fruiting, plants may need additional water to promote larger barriers.

Question: Are raspberries with white drupelets edible?

Answer: Yes, they are. But berries with brown (rotting) drupelets are not edible, they should be picked and discarded.

Question: When white drupelets typically occur?

Answer: When temperatures are fairly steady around 70 degrees Fahrenheit suddenly go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Question: What about applying fertilizers?

Answer: Sandy soil will need more nitrogen than clay soil. A general recommendation for an establishing plant is to apply 3-5 pounds of urea (45-0-0) or ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) per 100-row feet. Apply fertilizer in the early spring.

Conclusion

So, that’s all we stored for you. Hopefully, after reading this article, you are no longer confused about what causes white spots on raspberries and how to fix it.

In the end, we’d like to say that you should always take extra care of your raspberry plants as they are vulnerable to sunlight, heat, diseases, and pests. Apart from this, you now know everything about troubleshooting the issues.

So, don’t overthink, you are going to fix it. Good luck!

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Zucchinis Turning Yellow- Reasons & Remedies

Introduction

We all know that zucchini is one of the most amazing summer squash varieties to grow in the vegetable garden, also, they are pretty easy to grow. But sometimes, home growers face some difficulties growing them.

As you are reading this article, you also may be facing something troublesome. And more importantly, if you are struggling for your zucchinis turning yellow, then don’t fear anymore.

As this article is compiled with the possible reasons and remedies of happening this, you will find this helpful. Moreover, there is an FAQ section for in case you keep asking yourself something.

Okay, let’s begin then, shall we?

What Causes My Zucchini Turning Yellow?

Well, there are two specific reasons for yellowing your zucchini. Before you go for the solutions, you need to know what leads to it in the first place. So, let’s have a look what can be liable for this issue:

  • Poor pollination
  • Blossom end rot

Now, let’s get into the causes in detail and the possible steps to stop these.

Problem 1: Poor Pollination

For having a clear idea about it, you have to know the ‘zucchini biology’ first. We will talk about it in brief and then move on to the next step.

Zucchini plants produce both male and female flowers. The male blossoms grow on long, have slender stems, and need to pollinate the female flowers. Female flowers have short and swollen stems that develop into the tender zucchini fruit.

The problem arises when little bee activities occur or the male and female blossoms don’t open at the same time. Yes, in these cases, you will get poor pollination. Now, the question is, what affects the bee activity?

The answer is wet or windy weather in the early season. Moreover, the temperatures that are extremely hot or cold, make pollen less viable.

What Are the Symptoms of Poor Pollination?

When the plants are not appropriately pollinated, they develop a few fruit or fruit that turns yellow and drops. This situation is known as fruit abortion (in the horticultural terms) as very few pollen grains pollinate a female flower.

In fact, when pollen rates are low, zucchini also can be stunted and look pinched or misshaped. In general, yellowing takes place from the blossom end of the fruit and moves down toward the stem.

Solution: In this place, you may be understood that you can’t reverse the yellowing as there is a problem since the pollination. So, you should now spend extra time to plan your garden and monitor the plants while they’re flowering.

Thoughtful garden planing is a must to have the best chance for successful pollination and a plentiful crop. So, let’s plan for pollination:

  • Plant your zucchini in sun
  • Space the plants 12-15 inches to encourage flowering and visits from pollinators.
  • Interplant zucchini with blooming annuals that will attract bees and open at the same time as the squash bloom.
  • Don’t use insecticides that kill bees. But, in the evening, bees are less active. So, you can apply them in the evening.

Another option is there for you, guess what? Well, it is to pollinate by hand. Yes, sometimes, you may need to take matters into your own hands for ensuring a good zucchini crop.

Actually, the problem is, zucchini pollen is somewhat sticky and usually doesn’t blow from flower to flower by wind (or simply by shaking the plant). So, you can try the hand-pollination techniques. To do so:

  • Pick a male flower
  • Peel back the petals of the flower
  • Rub the structure at the center of the flower, covered with yellow pollen- into the center of the open female flowers.

Worth noting, pollen only works for one day and pollen is at its best when the flowers first open in the morning. So, if you want to pollinate by hand, make sure you don’t waste time and make it your first chore of the day.

Problem 2: Blossom End Rot

This is another reason for yellowing zucchini. The reason behind blossom end rot is a lack of calcium in the fruit. Calcium is important to hold the cell walls of plants together.

Calcium deficiency also results in stunted growth, misshaped leaves, and yellow and rotting fruit. So, you need to be careful about it from the very beginning.

Another cause for blossom end rot is irregular watering. If your plants don’t get enough water they will be unable to take the minerals when needed.

Solution: Add calcium to the soil before zucchini plants are grown. Also, use garden lime and Epsom salts about 6-8 before planting your zucchini plants.

Hence, a point to be noted, if you add Epsom salts to the soil once zucchini have blossom end rot will do more harm than good. So, make sure you don’t use it too much.

To solve the second problem, water the plants regularly and deeply. Try to provide 1-2 inches of water when the top of the soil seems dry.

Zucchinis Turning Yellow – FAQs

Question: Should I remove the rotted fruit if blossom end rot happened?

Answer: Yes, remove the rotting or decaying fruit.

Question: Should I check the calcium level when blossom end rot takes place?

Answer: Actually, it’s better to look at the level of nitrogen, not calcium. Because increased nitrogen will increase leaf growth and more leaves need more calcium.

Question: What is the best fertilizer for zucchini?

Answer: The most important thing is, the fertilizer has to contain nitrogen. An all-purpose garden food like 10-10-10 works best for zucchini plants.

Conclusion

So, we are done. You now know the ins and outs of why your zucchinis turning yellow and how you can fix it.

At the end of the article, we’d like to say you that you always should take extra care of your plants. Try to water them properly, make sure they get enough sunlight, and take enough measures when they get sick.

And apart from all of these, you can troubleshoot now, go for it. Good luck!

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How Many Tomato Plants In A 4×4 Raised Bed?- Here Is Your Answer

Introduction

As a home grower, it’s quite normal to have a lot of questions regarding plantation. When you are about to grow tomatoes in a raised bed garden, there is a lot to know about this topic.

First of all, the good news is that growing tomatoes in a raised bed garden is not a big deal if you get the concise information. Because there are less soil and weed problems, no digging is needed and so many advantages.

So, if you have the question like ‘how many tomato plants in a 4×4 raised bed?’ Don’t worry, we are going to answer this question in a very detailed manner.

Let’s begin!

How Will You Space Tomato Plants In A 4×4 Raised Bed?

Well, there is no one-word answer to this question. Because there are so many factors involved in this question. The factor that comes first is the variety of your plant, whether it is determinate or indeterminate.

Determinate Variety of Tomatoes

Determinate a variety of tomato plants grow to a certain size and get fully matured, then give yield in a very little period and then give up. Their growth duration is just a few weeks.

Once they give their first or possible the last yield, the plants begin dying as well as produce no or very little amount of new fruits. Determinate tomato plants are also called ‘Bush plants’ because they do not grow very much in height.

Yes, they generally grow up to 4-5 feet in length. It’s not necessary to prune these plants as they stop their growth. But yes, you can support them using a cage or trellis, that depends on your choice.

Measurement

Do you want to use the trellis for determinate tomato plants? If you do want, then 2-2.5 feet (24-20 inches) (60-76 centimeters) apart in 4×4 will be the best for better growth. Well, this means you can go with 6 plants in a 4×4 raised bed.

But make sure that you use trellis or cage and give a lot of nutrients for that number of plants.

If you allow your tomato plants to lie down over the ground, the best space is 3-4 feet which are 36 inches and 91 centimeters. But the best plan is to support the plans using a case or trellis.

Indeterminate Variety of Tomatoes

This is the opposite of a determinate variety of tomatoes, yes, indeterminate tomatoes do not give very yield and die. They don’t stop growing in length throughout the season as they are vining plants.

Indeterminate tomato plants can grow up to 12 feet long. Throughout the growing season, they generally give fruits and produce new fruits until the frost hits and they die.

Actually, their yield is slow and steady (almost the whole season), unlike the determinate variety which gives only one but large harvest. The ripening process of indeterminate variety will take a bit longer time. Wait, why?

Because they spend so much energy and time growing tall. It’s true that most of the tomato varieties are indeterminate like most Heirloom tomatoes, Sungold tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, and beefsteak tomatoes.

Measurement

In case, you are going to use cages or trellis for indeterminate tomatoes, 3-4 feet spacing will be good which is 36-48 inches and 91-193 centimeters. This means you can grow 4 plants in a 4×4 raised bed.

If you want to allow the plants to sprawl over the ground (which is not a good thing), only 2-3 plants would be appropriate. Again saying, using cages or trellis for supporting the plants is the better option.

Some More Thing You Need To Know About Spacing

In a 4×4 raised bed, you will have about 16 square feet area for growing tomato plants. A single tomato plant will need at least 4 square acres to grow. According to this calculation, you can grow only 4 plants in a 4×4 raised bed which is very true in the case of indeterminate varieties.

But, some of the indeterminate plants require more space, such as 6-8 square feet for one plant. On the other hand, you can easily grow 5-6 plants if you are going to grow determinate tomato plants.

Apart from these, there are some varieties of tomato that only require 1 square foot for each plant.

Additional Tips For Growing Tomatoes In A 4×4 Raised Bed

So, here you go with some awesome tips that will help you more about growing the plants:

  • The most important concern about growing tomatoes in a raised bed is the selection of soil. These plants love acidic soil of pH 6-7 (with good drainage). So, if you go through a little soil test before planting, it would be great. However, one of the best things about using raised beds is, you can easily manage your soil.
  • The second concern is fertilization. Since the size of a 4×4 raised bed is quite small, plants will have small nutritions to grow. Use organic fertilizers to feed them better.

How Many Tomato Plants In A 4×4 Raised Bed – FAQs

Question: What about pruning the plants?

Answer: Pruning is necessary for the indeterminate plants as they grow up to 12 feet and cover all the areas.

Question: What about watering the plants?

Answer: Tomato plants need more water in a raised bed. Water deeply and slowly, early in the morning or before sunset. Always check the moisture of the soil. If it seems dry, water them.

Question: Can I grow 1 plant in 1 square foot?

Answer: Well, we told above once about it. But don’t expect to do this. Because that may be true for certain varieties or methods but for most of the varieties, that will be a disaster. And you must not want to have a jungle of tomato plants with no fruit.

Conclusion

Well, that’s all we stored for you. We tried our best to give you genuine information in a decorative manner.

So, we can hope that after reading this article, the answer to how many tomato plants in a 4×4 raised bed is no more unknown to you. Try to take the best care of your plants from the very beginning to get the best result.

Happy planting!

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How Long Should You Stay Off Grass After Pesticide?

Introduction

The goal of applying pesticides is to make your lawn a more pleasant place- fewer weeds, fewer bugs. But if you are not aware of how long should you stay off grass after pesticide, these treatments may not be as safe as you assume.

But you are here to know the answer because you are aware of things. Well, let us help you to know the concise information regarding this topic. We are going to explain all of ‘why, how, where’ in this article.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Understanding Pesticides

Some people may believe that some pesticides are safe while others are dangerous. But the fact is not likely this, all chemicals including all pesticides have the potential to be hazardous.

In fact, products that are considered low in toxicity, organic, or natural also can be hazardous if someone or something comes in contact with enough of the substance. All too often, pesticides

  • Are toxic in themselves
  • Often combined with other compounds (whose interaction maybe unknown)
  • Are combined with ‘inert’ ingredients which is more dangerous than acknowledged
  • Can break down into other toxins
  • Can volatilize to form VOCs, which

-are toxic

-can recombine into new and toxic chemicals

-contribute to ground-level ozone

For How Long Will I Stay Off Grass After Applying Pesticide?

Actually, there is no scientific standard for how long one should stay off a lawn after it is treated. Many of the companies that use these chemicals warn that people should stay away from sprayed surfaces for 6-24 hours.

Yet a 2013 study examined the levels of lawn pesticides in the urine of dogs and found that herbicides persisted on the lawn surfaces for at least 48 hours after spraying. So, it would be the safest option to keep that in mind.

4 Things You Need To Know Before Applying Pesticides

The fact is if you can apply pesticides being aware of all the dos and don’ts, chances will be the least to be affected by the harmful effects of pesticides. Before using a pesticide:

  • Read the label thoroughly
  • Be familiar with all of the precautions
  • Be familiar with ‘First aid’ information
  • Put on the personal protective equipment (PPE)

Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides can enter your body through inhalation, absorption by the skin and eyes, or ingestion. And the most exposure is received by the skin, so it’s urgent to cover as much body as possible.

So, make sure you wear the required PPE (printed on the label) before you open the pesticide container. Note that contact lenses can trap materials on the eyes, must wear eye protection, or remove lenses before mixing and applying pesticides.

Things You Must Follow During Applying Pesticides

Some important information must be needed to know about applying pesticides. Here you go:

  • Never apply pesticides outdoors on a windy day.
  • To reduce misting, use coarse droplet nozzles on your sprayer.
  • Try to spray as close to the target as possible.
  • Do not apply pesticides on hot days (with a temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit). The active ingredients in pesticides may vaporize and drift onto non-target surfaces.
  • Always avoid excess application.
  • Read the label to determine whether the pesticide should be watered in irrigation or not.
  • Never mix/apply pesticide near wellheads, bodies of water (e.g creeks & streams), or stormwater drains.
  • Always keep the pesticide away from the plants or wildlife you don’t want to treat.

Things Which You Need To Follow While Mixing Pesticides

While mixing the pesticides:

  • Try not to smell it and follow the ‘directions for use’ on the label carefully.
  • Mix or dilute the pesticide outdoors or a well-ventilated area.
  • Always mix only the amount that you need for each application, not more.
  • Keep children, toys, and pets away from areas where you mix and apply pesticides.
  • In case, clothing becomes saturated in spray solution or contaminated with the pesticide concentrate, to dispose of it immediately,

– Take off contaminated clothing

-Without a delay, rinse well your skin with plenty of water for 15-20 minutes

-And then, call a poison control or doctor for treatment advice.

Things You Must Follow After Applying Pesticides

The very first thing to do after applying pesticides is to follow proper cleaning procedures.

  • For removing pesticide residues, use a bucket to thoroughly rinse tools and equipment that you used during mixing the pesticide. Also, pour the rinse water into the sprayer, and dispose of it by applying it to a labeled site.
  • Wash non-absorbent gloves and rubber boots with hot soapy water.
  • Wash each part of your body that may have come in contact with the pesticide.
  • Do not mix contaminated clothing worn during pesticide applications with another family laundry (in the hamper or the wash).

About The Storage Of Pesticides

Never use any food containers (e.g empty soft drinks or milk bottles) to store pesticides into these. Keep pesticides in their original containers and make sure they are airtight.

In case, a spill occurs, don’t wash it away, just clean it up promptly. Sprinkle the spill with sawdust, kitty litter, or vermiculite. Sweep it into a plastic garbage bag and dispose of it as mentioned on the pesticide product label.

How Long Should You Stay Off Grass After Pesticide? – FAQs

Question: How long should I wait after spraying pesticides?

Answer: Wait at least 3 hours before you go into your home to allow the pesticide to dry and limit exposure.

Question: Does the rain wash away pesticides?

Answer: For most of the pesticides, the rain will remove the pesticide residue.

Question: How Long do pesticides stay on my body?

Answer: There are low (less than 16-day half-life) moderate (16-59 days), and high (over 60 days) three groups of pesticide in order to estimate persistence.

Conclusion

So, this is everything we kept for you. Hopefully, by reading this article, you are no more confused about how long should you stay off grass after pesticide.

As pesticides are not safe in many ways, try to follow all of the instructions about using and storing them. Never forget to practice ‘safety first’ tradition.

Good luck!

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Alternatives To Pressure-Treated Lumber For Raised Beds

Introduction

Being concerned about your raised garden beds is completely fair as it can be a permanent fixture for perennial plants to settle in and mature. So, you have to choose this wisely.

Chances are you may be facing issues using pressure-treated lumber and finding alternatives to pressure-treated lumber for raised beds, as you’re reading this.

Well, do not worry anymore because we are going to show you some useful alternatives in a detailed way. Also, we added an FAQ section to rub off your confusion about this topic.

Let’s dive in!

What’s Wrong With Pressure-Treated Lumber?

Before discussing the alternatives, let’s have a clear idea about why the treated lumber seems problematic for your raised garden beds.

  • It’s true that the preservatives added to treated lumber provide resistance to certain types of decay but they cannot prevent damage caused by constant exposure to moisture and direct sunlight.
  • Also, preservative chemicals have various levels of toxicity. Research said that the chemicals added to treated lumber drain into nearby soil.

What Are The Alternatives?

Here you go with some ideas (using wood, stones, and so on) that can be amazing replacements of pressure-treated lumber.

Western Red Cedar (Wood)

This one grows along the coast from Oregon to Alaska, also in the state of Montana and Idaho. Western Red Cedar is light in weight as well as the heartwood. US forest product laboratory quoted about it, ‘resistant to very resistant’ to decay. However, this is not immune to attack by termites and beetles. Cedar can last for 10-15 years.

But it’s quite expensive, around 2-3 times the cost of the cheaper wood.

For a raised bed construction, the ‘rough green’ western red cedar 2×6, 2×8, and 4×4 would be worth recommending.

Douglas Fir (Wood)

Most of the Douglas fir productions come from the Coastal states of Oregon, California, and Washington. Also, it is sourced from the Rocky Mountain states. It is generally used for the manufacturer of sashes, general millwork, and doors. Moreover, it is used in marine applications and in boat & shipbuilding. It can last for 5-7 years.

For a raised bed construction, ‘rough green’ douglas fir 2×6, 2×8, and 4×4 is worth recommending.

White Pine Or Hemlock (Wood)

This is widely used for raised garden beds, barn construction, fencing, and repair. There is no guarantee for how long the wood will last in the ground, but if they are in the right conditions, some people report that it lasts 5-7 years.

Black Locust (Wood)

Black locust, also known as Robinia makes incredibly durable raised garden beds. It is also resistant to decay and insects. Black locust is the eco-friendly option for garden raised beds. It’s also known to last up to 20 years.

Importantly, it is naturally rot-resistant without toxic chemicals (unlike pressure-treated lumber), so it will last many years even if subjected to the bacterial and fungal action of a fertile garden soil.

But black locust is quite expensive, One of these types of wood may run you 3-4 times the cost of a cheaper wood.

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks are easy to work with and can be installed right over the top of grass or weeds. In addition, it will add extra costs to the project. Yet, you can keep the budget in check by using inexpensive materials, or reusing items you already have. Worth mentioning, it’s also hard for a DIY project.

Recycled Plastic Lumber

Recycled plastic lumber, made out of consumer waste offers you a durable, maintenance-free, rot-proof alternative to timber. Also, it is lo-carbon and highly environmentally friendly.

You can purchase one from any suppliers or you just can make your own. Pick the one which does not leach harmful or toxic chemicals into the ground as they can play a good role in growing organic vegetables.

Cinder Block

This can be another option for you. Cinder block is quite cheap and available at any local hardware store. It also is very durable and lasts for many years. But it is heavy to lift and can hold heat. This can be a positive thing in the winter garden but, when it is summer, it can really raise the temperature of your plants.

Rocks

This material can be free depending on where you’ll obtain you. Also, using rocks will add beauty to your raised garden beds, it will give a very rustic & cottage look. But it can be very heavy to lift and work with. Unless you can fill the space between every rock with cement, weed, and grass will make their way in.

Galvanized Metal Or Stock Tanks

Galvanized metal or stock tanks will give your garden a cool industrial look and will be the quickest to set up of all raised garden box material. It’s also easier to maintain. But it can be very expensive. Although it’s been galvanized to protect against rust that doesn’t mean it is completely protected, and these can rust over time.

Steel

Undoubtedly, it provides an industrial look and takes up less space. But the cost can be high and steel will definitely rust and be affected by the weather. This is not ideal for growing edible vegetables.

Alternatives To Pressure-Treated Lumber For Raised Beds – FAQs

Question: What should I put in the bottom of a raised bed?

Answer: You can feel the bottoms with a layer of leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Next, add your soil (this mixture will break down into rich compost over time).

Question: How deep should a raised garden bed be?

Answer: 8-12 inches is generally adequate. But vegetable beds should be around 12-18 inches deep.

Question: What is the best soil mix for raised beds?

Answer: 60% topsoil, 30% compost, and 10% potting soil would be recommended.

Conclusion

Voila! You now know many alternatives to pressure-treated lumber for raised beds. You have a lot of options, choose one of them which is a good fit for you. Remember using hand gloves while working in the garden.

Good luck!

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How To Remove Drip Irrigation Fittings? – A 360 Guide

Introduction

Drip irrigation is a system that delivers water more efficiently than any other type of irrigation. No doubt, drip irrigation a great tool for growing a healthy garden. Also, it’s easy to remove the fittings and reuse throughout the year.

As you are reading this, chances are you need to know the proper way to remove drip irrigation fittings. Maybe you are already facing some problems with this or as a newbie, you need to grow an idea.

Well, if the case is this, no need to worry. We are going to share the easiest answer of ‘how to remove drip irrigation fittings’. So, stay with us to the last to know the ins and outs of this topic.

Let’s go!

Why You Need to Remove Drip Irrigation Fittings?

You may be conscious of the importance of drip irrigation. Such as how it allows to conserve water, to water more efficiently, and also reduce diseases by reducing leaf moisture. So, it’s important to be careful about all the maintenance.

You have to remove it when your crops are done, or you don’t use drip irrigation this year, or small leaks occur. In these cases, you need to remove drip irrigation fittings.

Types of Drip Irrigation Fittings

To know the process of removing drip irrigation fittings, you need to know the types of fittings first. Because there are individual ways to remove them, some are very easy, some are difficult.

Compression Fittings

These fittings are designed for easy connections without the use of glutes or clamps. Generally, compression fittings are made from durable plastics. These durable plastics are designed to provide years of fault-free, faithful performance.

How to Remove Compression Fittings?

Well, if you wiggle the fitting side to side while pulling, you can get it to step itself off the irrigation tube. Yes, this is viable for all sizes of these type push-in irrigation compression fittings.

The tube itself might not reseal if you push another fitting on, but the fix is simple for the tube, cut off the marred surface or push on a little further. Since the fitting is made of a harder plastic than polyethylene tube or drip lines, it comes out of the equation pretty unscratched and reusable.

Barbed Insert Fittings

Insert fittings are designed to fit black polyethylene irrigation tubing or potable water tubing for wells (very snugly). Manufacturers have tried for years to make these fittings easier for installing and ultimately more affordable.

How to Remove Barbed Insert Fittings?

Removing barbed insert fittings is not as simple as compression fittings. To do this, you have to go through 3 easy steps.

But before we start, let’s know what you will need to do this:

  • Utility knife
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Hot water
  • Radiator hose pulling tool (optional)

Now, let’s see what steps you will walk through:

Step 1

Firstly, locate a screw holding the clamp over the tubing. Then, insert a flat-head screwdriver. Now, turn the screw counterclockwise until the tubing clamp slides freely. Lastly, pull the clamp down along the tubing away from the fitting.

Step 2

Use a utility knife to cut the tube. Now, you need to cut it lengthwise where it attaches to the barbed insert fitting. Remember, you can do this only if you don’t plan on reconnecting the tubing.

In case, your plan is to reconnect the tubing to the fitting, swipe to the step 3.

Step 3

Now, soak the tubing in burning hot water. In case, the tubing is in such an area where the use of water is not possible, you can simply heat the hose with a hairdryer. Start twisting the tube back and forth until it pulls off of the fitting.

Why is the heat needed? Well, it will help to expand and soften the tubing until it can be pulled off the fittings. Or, you just can simply use a radiator hose pulling tool if you want. Worth mentioning, don’t ever remove a fitting when the hose is under pressure.

Power-Loc Fittings

Power-Loc fittings are quickly revolutionizing fitting expectations worldwide. A more rugged alternative to insert and compression, this power-lock fitting has a locking mechanism that is easily tightened after embittering or blank tubing is pushed on.

How to Remove Power-Loc Fittings?

So, removing this one is pretty easy like the compression fitting. All you need to do is to hold the top part of the fittings with index and middle finger. Then, you have to pull down, it takes some pressure. Usually, you should pressurize with one hand and hold the tube with the other hand. Then twist until the fitting comes free.

As you do this over and over again, you should notice the part of the tube that is attached to the fitting, will be damaged day by day. After installing and removing the fitting for a couple of times, if you see that part is about to break, you can cut a section of the tube (that about-to-break part).

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What can I do if I want to reconnect the tubing to the fitting once I remove the fitting?

Answer: In this case, we forbid the use of any kind of heat. You have a water-soluble lubricant on the tube.

Question: Why do the leaks happen? Is fittings liable for this?

Answer: Well, leaks happen in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. The fittings may have failed, it’s a rare case. Generally, this occurs if the joint of pipes/tubing does not seem well.

Conclusion

So, we are done, that’s all we kept for you. Hopefully, by reading this article, how to remove drip irrigation fittings is not a big question for you. We tried our best to give you concise information and we hope that we did it.

Do not ever forget about the safety precautions. Do every step very carefully (mainly when you are going to use a knife). Try to take extra care of the irrigation system because it’s the core of your cultivation.

Wish you good luck.