How to grow healthy organic food

Filed under: DIY, Garden
Posted by: dugu

In recent times, there is a growing trend of people preferring to consume organic food. Organic food is habitually related with the vegetables that are grown in any kitchen garden or at the backyard of the household. Most of the organic food products that are bought off the shelf from any retail outlet prove to be an expensive affair. The need to consume healthy food is getting a lot of attention from people of all ages, young and old. It has paved way for a new revolution in the agriculture sector.

The need to grow organic food

Growing organic vegetables and fruits would be a better choice, rather than stocking up piles of food that are added with preservatives and other harmful chemicals. It is a wise choice to grow fresh organic fruits at the backyard of homes rather than buying the vegetables grown with harmful chemicals. A lot of people are fond of growing fresh fruits and vegetables at home. It is quite easy to set up an organic garden with a little effort and there are many garden campaigns to assist people for getting things organized in an orderly manner.

A lot of people have started growing organic foods and quite a few are setting up a garden to produce vegetables, berries and herbs as well. Producing organic food ensures better quality and enhances the taste of food as well. There are a lot of resources that can be found online for setting up an organic garden. Most of the NGOs deal with promoting the need to grow organic vegetables as a silent revolution against junk food and other hybrid varieties.

On the whole, cultivating vegetables is fun and a rewarding experience as well. It is sure to get families engaged with an interesting outdoor activity. To cultivate fresh organic vegetables and fruits, a sound knowledge of soil conditions and their varied methods have to be studied and analyzed.

Organic Food Cultivation at Home for a healthy body and mind

Cultivating an organic vegetable or fruit at home or in the neighborhood is an efficient way to conserve the energy resources of the environment. Foods produced in an organic environment are chemical free and can be consumed to stay healthy and fit. Most of the vegetables grown in an organic garden help in building resistance against several diseases.

Preparing the soil bedding for healthy plants

The essential support for growing healthy and organic food depends upon the soil bedding. An organic soil requires the following factors and is as follows:

  • Live soil organisms are necessary like microbes, worms and fungi. 
  • Food for the soil existence like mulch, compost and organic matter are considered to be of prime importance. 
  • Fertilizers with all the essentials in the right stability for yielding a better produce of organic vegetables.

The ingredients in the right balance for a healthy organic soil

There are two kinds of approaches for checking the quality of the soil, namely the Scientific Approach and the Scatter- Gun Approach.

The scientific approach necessitates the soil check, by testing the sample of the soil in a laboratory.

  • The tests would analyze the soil conditions, which would detect the main minerals that should be added to make the soil fertile. 
  • They also provide reports on some of the significant minerals that need to be replenished for a better growth.
  • This test will aid in correcting the overall balance of the minerals in the soil for growing organic food.

The scatter- gun approach involves acquiring a wide perspective of the ideal stability for organic soil and helps in utilizing the right fertilizers. It is not the best approach but for a miniature garden it can produce better results. Besides these methods, there are other ways to test the soil conditions. Most of the research scholars are studying these results to enhance the soil conditions for a better produce.

How to Cultivate Organic food at your gardening

Look for a locale that will receive plenty of sunlight and also has a fragment of protection from wind and rain. Ensure to strive and settle away from trees as their roots can seize away the nutrients from reaching the vegetables and affect the health of the garden as well.

Make sure your plot is clear from dusts and other pests. Plow your soil over and dig the ground to a depth of about a foot. Twirl your soil more to remove any waste for getting a clear top layer of fertile soil.

Getting the correct soil formation is very essential for growing organic vegetables; if soil levels are found to be unsatisfactory, garden lime can be added to the soil for enhancing the quality. Ensure to wait for 4-5 weeks ahead, before planting any vegetables. Fertilizers play a vital role in plantation and have to be given in the right proportion.

It is wise to plan ahead before planting the vegetables or fruits, thus allowing for easy rotation. Harvesting would become much easier with this method and the soil would be able to retain its lost nutrients as well. A lot of seeds are available in the market that can be grown under natural conditions. Ensure to plant the seeds towards the north, as they would receive better sunlight. Apart from planting, it is very essential to water them at regular basis. A healthy organic garden demands a great deal of water but allow sufficient space for water drainage. Avoiding water logging will enhance the growth and life of plant.

Pick up some organic fertilizers that will provide several chemical free nutrients for growing vegetable in the organic garden. Garden fertilizer, dung, and bones are the perfect choice to enhance the plant growth

Organic Vegetables

Growing a vegetable garden at the backyard needs to be done with proper planning. Care should be taken to check for draining facilities, and to provide shade as well for the growing plants. By growing organic vegetables at home, we can avoid consuming harmful vegetables that are available in the market. In general organic vegetables require 2 to 4 months to grow from the time of planting. This growing span will differ from place to place depending on the topography, soil conditions and altitude. Most of the information can be browsed from the internet for growing different vegetables and fruits. There are a lot of discussion forums that support and share the views and opinions on various factors. There are local offices, situated at every locality that would help in providing information about growing organic vegetables.

Selection of the organic vegetables

Most of the vegetables thrive on varied conditions and it differs with the duration of daylight, appropriate temperature and water. In summer and all year round in tropical areas, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, cucumbers, okra, pumpkin, corn and sweet potatoes can be harvested. In winter, crops like cauliflowers, broccoli, carrots, cabbages, turnips, peas, and parsnips grow well. A few crops like lettuce and silver beet do grow well in mid-range temperatures. A proper selection of the vegetables to be grown for a particular season should be listed out, and should be avoided for the next set of cultivation. This will prevent excess loss of nutrients from the soil

The growth time would vary for each vegetable and fruit. This determines the need to club them based on their growth span and the weather conditions as well. Most of them take about 3 years while some trees like the olives can take up to 8 years to produce their first crop. Blueberries need about 5 years to mature completely and produce few fruits after a year. Fruits like grapes are expensive to grow as they need posts, wires and have a surprisingly short life span of 3 to 5 years.


It is recommended to buy quality seedlings for long term value. Most of them can be bought from a whole sale dealer in bulk at an affordable rate. They need to be stored at an appropriate temperature and should be sown during favorable weather conditions. This would result in a better yield and help in balancing the soil conditions as well.

Which organic fruits are more beneficial?

Blueberries are found to be enticing and well-liked, but the amount of labor involved to grow them is cumbersome. They are high on health value, and require less space to plant in comparison with other organic trees. Blueberries are also reported to survive up to 60 years. Lime is one of the most popular fruits and has been in demand from a very long time. Apples and bananas can also be grown in the same process and can be consumed fresh from an organic garden.

Worm composting

Filed under: DIY, Garden
Posted by: dugu

Worm composting, also known as sericulture is a process of recycling bio-degradable waste into organic manure. With the advent of green revolution, the awareness of promoting a clean safe environment has taken a huge a leap. Unlike the regular composting, worms are being used to decompose the waste into a fertilizer. Almost, any sort of a garden worm can be used for composting. Some of them prefer using red worms that can be usually found at the backyard of any household or can be bought from a bait shop.

Traditional compost vs. Worm compost

Besides worm composting, the traditional way of composting bio-degradable waste is still followed in certain places. For worm composting, small sized containers are used, that have a depth of about 12 inch. Mostly, shallow plastic containers are preferred for worm composting. There are different types of worm bins that are available in the market at an affordable rate. Most of the commercial worm bins have in-built trays, which allows for easy composting. A lot of people prefer them, as the composting tends to get over in batches and each tray can be re-used for starting a new session.

  • The general idea about worm composting is that, the worms tend to eat the exact amount with regard to their body weight.
  • This would help in easy composting in a short span of 24 hours.
  • Most of the people prefer this method over traditional composting, as it gives out immediate results in a short span.
  • The concept of composting revolves around feeding the worms with the required amount of decomposed content.

How to start worm composting

There are certain things that have to be followed for better worm composting. It is ideal to place a lot of decayed waste in the trays such as grass, newspapers, vegetable peelings, and so on. While dealing with newspapers, it is better to shred them into tiny bits, as it would be easy for the worms to nibble on. Ensure that there is more of green waste rather than papers and other contents. An additional source quotes that, the decayed newspapers produce a lot of carbon on composting. This increases the quality content of the compost. Most of the manure produced as a result of worm compost, are high in nitrogen content and can be used for growing organic vegetables. It can also be strewn around the garden lawn and does not have a pungent odor.

Some people find it really difficult to hunt for worms. It is easy to find them lurking at the backyard or in creepy dark places. Most of the oregano stems can be scattered around to attract worms. It is a known fact that worms thrive on a moist environment. Most of them prefer to crawl around on wet grounds under the leaf covers.

Worm compost Vs Chemical fertilizers

Most of the present day manures are made from harmful chemicals that may hinder the growth of organic vegetables. It is quite a safe and easy method and worm composting can be done right at the backyard of our homes. This way, there would be less accumulation of waste and they would be recycled as well thus balancing the eco-system. There is a rapid risk of losing away the fertile layer found on the top soil due to erosion, re-cultivation and many others. This would decrease the nutritional value of the soil, thus making it unsuitable for further growing. A lot of environmentalists have suggested ways to retain the nutrients of the soil by worm composting.

Spreading awareness among people

A lot of people feel that worm composting might not be a good idea. Most of them are unaware of the multiple benefits of worm composting. It helps to balance the environment, and in better produce for organic farming. This will eventually lead to save money and help in proper utilization of the decomposed waste.

  • Most of the NGO’s are now advocating this practice and invite a lot of volunteers to convert bio-degradable waste into an organic fertilizer.
  • It has created general awareness among people and they are now better equipped with the techniques for worm composting.
  • There are a lot of one day session classes that teach people around the neighborhood to create a better environment.

There are a lot of talks on keeping the environment green and clean. Most of them are keen on promoting recycle habits and to reuse as well. The latest to join the bandwagon is that of worm composting. It is possible to make it happen for people staying in the apartments as well. They do not litter the place and can be done with the maximum available space. Most important of all, they do not give out a pungent odor.

Worm compost on a global level

The concept of worm composting is slowly catching up with the rest of the world. There are a lot of campaigns that teach about worm composting. It is all about replenishing the land with a good mix of essential nutrients. Almost any kind of a waste can be used for making worm compost. The worms would do a better job in recycling them and convert them into rich organic manure.

  • Worm composting, usually takes about 60 to 80 days and can be harvested by separating the poop or the excreta of the worm from the rest of the decayed content.
  • It is better to collect them and use them for your kitchen garden or for the lawn.
  • To start all over again, add some more decomposed matter for worm composting.

Benefits of using worms for producing compost

Most of us consider worms to be wriggly slimy things, but these worms play a very important role in the process of composting. There are probably plenty of worms, found in gardens that can be used for worm composting. For people, preferring to have home composting pile, recycling with the help of worms is a real good idea to promote green lifestyle. This process of decomposition by worms is biologically termed as vermicomposting. They have the capacity to convert the organic waste into stable humus.

  • The excreta of the worms are considered to be a great source of nutrients to almost all kinds of growing plants.
  • Their castings are capable of adding ten times more of the lost nutrients to the top layer of the soil.
  • Moreover, worms move around the soil, thus making tunnels that aids in better aeration of the soil.
  • Vermicomposts are also said to improve the soil capacity, to retain more water and also improves the overall structure of the soil.
  • This in turn helps the plants to have a deeper root system and yields a healthy produce.

Different types of worms

There are a lot of ways to set up home pile composts in a short span of time. This would help in eliminating accumulated waste and help in enriching the soil with the worm castings. Some of the worms that could be used for worm compost are tapeworms, tiger worms, and the wiggly worms. These worms are known to have a huge appetite for green and brown waste content. There would be a greater produce of compost from such worms as they eat in proportion to their body weight.

  • The process of worm composting is an easy task and can be done outdoors as well as in the indoors.
  • On, placing the composting bins in the indoors, care should be taken to remove the compost on a regular basis.
  • This would eventually drive away the odor and the place would be litter free as well.
  • Proper drainage hole should be allotted to the compost bin, to take away the excess water content.
  • These bins can be placed in a dark room and allowed to compost at its pace. All of these factors should be maintained; otherwise the worms would start to slide away from the bins due to unfavorable conditions.
  • The collected compost would be dark brown in color and would tend to crumble on being touched.

Worm composting being taught at schools and neighborhood

Worm composting, is now being taught in schools and offices as a project to spread awareness about recycling. This in turn will help in replenishing the soil with the lost nutrients. Many of them find it as an exercise to keep them free from stress and also provide the satisfaction of giving back to the environment. This method has been researched by various scholars and they are in the process of fine tuning to produce better results.

  • Many of the people have started to follow them at their homes, thus keeping their environment safe and clean.
  • Almost anybody can learn worm composting in a short span of time. This would help in maintaining the eco balance of the environment and as well as the food cycle.
  • There would less garbage bins and more compost bins. This would create a better impact on the recycling process for a green environment.

Growing citrus

Filed under: DIY, Garden
Posted by: dugu

Citrus fruits have always enticed people with their subtle fragrance and are known for their exotic flavors. Most of the citrus trees can be found at the backyard of many households. They are typically evergreen trees that lend an ethereal beauty to the overall façade of the house. In general, citrus trees can grow to a height of about 25 feet and are from the rutaceae family. Most of the citrus fruits have distinct flavors and taste different from one another. They also vary in shapes and come in different sizes such as oval, oblong and so on.

Different types of citrus fruits based on the weather conditions

A lot of citrus fruits like grapes, lime and mandarins are found to grow best in the warmer climate regions. The quality of the fruit would vary, even with the slightest change in temperature. The Gulf coast is best known for its tender juicy mandarins, as it has temperate weather throughout the year. The following salient features are noted based on the weather conditions.

  • Care should be taken to keep the temperature constant at 20 degree Fahrenheit.
  • The taste and color of the citrus fruits would depend on temperature of the region.
  • You can taste sweet grapes during the hot and dry season, while in the winter; they may taste sour and would be blood red in color.
  • Seasonal changes have a direct impact on the produce of the citrus trees.

Benefits of growing citrus trees

Citrus tree

In several countries, lemon trees would be seen to bloom all round the year, whereas other citrus fruit trees would ripen during the break of spring. A regular sized citrus tree would provide fruits for a maximum period of 4 - 5 months. Many people have a large yard of different varieties of citrus trees that would produce fruits all through the season. Growing citrus trees in the present age is seen as a big time investment for land value and provides other benefits as well. There is a strong growth of market for citrus fruits in comparison to other fruit types and varieties. Moreover, they are highly rich in vitamin content and have been seen as a natural herb for curing many ailments.

There are several factors to be considered before buying a sapling from a nursery. It would be better to get a fully grown sapling as it would be easier to spot blemishes and other defects. Make sure to select a sapling that has wide spread of branches with shiny leaves.

Nature of the soil and the different kinds of fertilizers

The soil conditions also play a pivotal role in nourishing the citrus tree. They generally grow best on acidic soil and have to be layered with the necessary fertilizers for a better produce. It would be best to get the soil checked at the lab for appropriate results. You can add barks of pine tree along with manure to increase the acidic condition of the soil. There are a lot of fertilizers that is available in the market for increasing the produce of citrus trees. It is by giving the right amount of water and fertilizers that would keep the tree healthy and free from insects and other pests. The following points have to be considered while handling fertilizers and are as follows:

  • There are a lot of fertilizers that can be bought from well reputed wholesale dealers at an affordable price.
  • They would have to be mixed in the right proportion and layered around the base.
  • Besides fertilizers, there are disinfectant sprays that would keep away insects and fungal formations.
  • It is only by observation and patience; the citrus tree would provide better results.

Ideal location and other factors for planting citrus trees

It is important to find an ideal spot for planting citrus trees. They need to be sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun and stormy winds. People generally plant trees in the northern or southern region as that would expose them to the needed warmth and shade. It is best to plant them beside a fence as it would lend support as well as shelter.

Spring is considered to be the best time for planting them, as it would give the needed time for the growth of the sapling. The place should not be allowed to retain water and should have a good drainage system as well. A pit of about 2- 4 feet should be dug to hold the manure that would firmly support the sapling. It is best to leave 2 or 3 inches above the ground for the manure to be evenly spread out. There are graft unions that are usually done for producing hybrid varieties. Care should be taken to graft the branches in such a way, that there is no way for a fungal attack. Apply enough mulch around the base to keep the water out and this would also help in keeping the insects at bay. Most of the citrus fruits trees have to be pruned regularly to prevent the branches from colliding with each other.

Maintenance and care for citrus trees

Besides planting citrus trees, it is very important to take care and maintain them at regular intervals. You need to water them regularly as the trees need to be hydrated in the initial stages. It would take time for the roots to develop and they would spread around gradually beneath the ground. For any tree to mature, it would take a span of more than 3-5 years. The citrus tree needs to develop strong roots and healthy leaves for producing quality fruits.

  • At the onset, there would be tiny buds that would start to blossom during the early winter. The buds will undergo a transformation during the break of spring and give away a subtle fragrance.
  • The buds later develops into a fully grown fruit and would take weeks to reach a ripened stage.
  • It is very important to maintain a constant temperature and to provide the needed moisture for a better produce.
  • It is essential to provide enough water, shade, and minerals for the citrus tree to attain a mature stage.
  • Proper pruning has to be done for the branches to spread out and grow in an orderly fashion.

Better produce and quality of fruits

The citrus fruits would generally take weeks to ripen and should be allowed to take their own course of time. This would produce a better quality and also increase the sweet and sour flavor of the fruit. Sweet limes are best known for cocktails and they leave behind a tangy flavor of sourness. Healthy juices can be made with the help of a juicer and are seen as instant refreshments on a sunny day. A lot of online forums are found on the net that shares opinions on a common platform for the upbringing of citrus trees. You can find a lot of gardening tips for pruning the tree to the desired shape.

Citrus fruits are liked by people, young and old. They are known for their intoxicating essence that would refresh stressed out minds and relax the soul and body. They are high on health quotient and have a lot of benefits if consumed on a regular basis. The leaves and buds are used for producing herbal medicines and are known to cure a lot of ailments. Some of them have natural medicinal properties besides providing fruits all through the season. They would take time to grow and reach a stage, where the growth would start to diminish. This can be corrected by cutting away the unwanted branches and grafting them to a new branch.

Nurseries and other ways to produce better yields

A lot of nurseries have started to follow the grafting union for producing new hybrids of citrus trees. There are a lot of developments that have taken place for improving the quality of the citrus fruits. Most of the fertilizers have additives that give away better yields with less effort. It is important to conduct a proper research on the various methods of planting and grafting, so as to improve the standards of cultivation.

Global presence of the growth at the current market level

Most of the countries that are into the export and import of citrus fruits have reaped huge benefits with an annual gross of more than 12 million dollars per year. This has set the standard for the business sector to raise the bars for industries dealing with citrus fruits. There are canned fruits, fresh juices, herbal medicines and others that have created a niche for themselves in the global arena. There is a huge growth stake for the export of citrus fruits, thus increasing the economy level for developing countries.

Growing orchids

Filed under: DIY, Garden
Posted by: dugu

Alright, so now let’s talk about growing flowers. I am not sure about you, but my all time favorites are orchids. As you will see, orchids are not only beautiful, but they also prove to be useful in solving many problems.

Growing orchids has been seen as a passionate hobby by many people in this age. They are quite a pleasing sight and enhance the visual appearance of the facade. Several individuals have started taking initiatives for growing orchids at their homes. Orchids reflect signs of grace and beauty and have always adorned homes with their brilliant display of flowers. These are considered to be the second largest family of the flowering plants and can grow to a height of about 6 inches, whereas other orchid varieties can grow up to 48 inches.

The flower of paradise

Orchid Flowers

Orchids are known to be the most appealing plants grown by humans. They grow under favorable tropical conditions with a suitable temperature. Some of them are now grown in indoors as well. Orchids are presumed to be the most beautiful flowers amongst god’s creation and this comprises a unique group of plants.

  • They display a far-fetched collection with varied sizes, colors and shapes. Orchids are admired for their subtle beauty and charisma in the global market on a huge scale.
  • In particular, orchids are in great demand and nature admirers have started to cultivate them in their greenhouses.
  • On the whole these orchids craft uniqueness to any garden.

Various species of ornamental orchids

In general orchids can be classified into two types, namely the monopodial and the sympodial. Orchids are known to have a core stem that grows every year, known as the Cattleya whereas the Cymbidium declines the growth of the stem at the end of each season. With the help of their individual bulbous stem called pseudo-bulb, new roots grow from the base of the stem, which eventually blossom into buds. Orchids can be grown as house plants and would blossom for years together.
Several orchid plants have been around for centuries. The orchids can be grown under these favorable conditions:

  • Aid should be taken to retain 60% of humidity for better growth of orchids.
  • Growth of orchids may differ based upon the place and climatic conditions.
  • The temperature can shuffle between 18′ C to 30′ C;

Benefits of growing orchids

An orchid is known for its brilliant display of colors and sophisticated grace. A lot of people find growing orchids to be a gratifying experience. Taking proper care of orchid plants is an art and requires a lot of patience. Nurturing Orchids can bring you many benefits. At this juncture here, are some benefits that you can obtain out of growing orchids.

  • Orchid plants endow a pleasant experience to any house.
  • It depends upon the individual’s choice to grow them as an interior plant in their garden;
  • It adds a pleasing look and portrays the nature’s glorious beauty at your very own lawn.
  • It moreover adds a feminine feel to your residence.

Orchid flowers can be gifted to anyone, especially garden lovers. Craft a beautiful bouquet of orchid flowers and surprise your loved ones. Your partner will feel lucky with a bouquet of orchids.

Suitable soil conditions

It is prudent to discuss suitable conditions for the soil before planning to grow orchids.The orchids grow in a similar pattern like other plants through their roots in soil. Naturally, these orchids are sheltered from the sun with the shade of trees.

  • Look out for fertilizers that comprise of (N) nitrogen, (P) phosphorus, and (K) potassium, besides elements such as iron and other needed minerals.
  • Phosphorous (P) for flower fabrication, and (N) Nitrogen for vigorous vegetation growing is essential for growing orchids.

Planting the orchids in the appropriate place

Like several other houseplants, an orchid needs proper watering, fertilizers, sun light, appropriate temperature and humidity. Plants should be grown in a south-east or west windowpane, but should be sheltered from straight mid-day sun. The soil on which an orchid is planted is an important aspect. A planter has to identify the soil form, locality, favorable climate, condition of the land, and other factors before planting the orchid.
The humid warm atmosphere is primarily important for the growth of the tropical orchids. Orchids can be grown in open air or in a sunny place or in the interior of a house.  Planting of Orchids is the most important phase, as it secures the foundation for the formative years. It can be grown in a container or pot that has a hole for evacuation at the base.

  • Greenhouse is the best way to nurture orchids.
  • Appropriate ventilation is necessary for the supply of clean air and it helps to control the temperature as well.
  • Humidity tray can be made handy with saucers or trays filled with water and rock.
  • Use of organic fertilizers and minerals would help in keeping fungal infections at bay.
  • The orchids should be watered regularly during the initial stages.

Maintenance and care for orchid trees

An orchid requires added attention than other houseplants. They have to be prepared to spend quality time to care for this interesting addition of their house. Orchids are amazing plants and are extremely popular amongst gardeners. Apart from potting, it is very important to maintain them at regular basis. Orchids have to be regularly watered, as they start to bloom better and likewise, the roots also spread out in an orderly manner.  Likewise plants in pots require less amount of water than the amount of water required in baskets. An orchid requires a time span of 4 to 6 years to blossom.

  • Filtered watering system is the best idea for keeping the orchids hydrated.
  • The plant should not be left without watered, especially in a hot climate.
  • During hot climate the plants needs to be watered 2 -3 times a day.
  • Fresh plants should be watered until new roots appear.
  • Water should be free from saline content.

Indoor orchid care guidelines

A large amount of orchids can come up implanted in a unique pot and entrenched in various sort of wool or rubbery material. This is for the reason that orchids obtain the majority of their nutrients and water from the ground roots. Care should be taken to handle the roots with care. Orchid plants necessitate soaring humidity and direct sun throughout the winter months and indirect light for the period of the summer months. Never allow the orchids to get excessively dry during the warm summers. Water the orchids consistently and keep them hydrated at all times. The water has to reach and nurture the entire roots. Ensure to avoid using softened water or salt water as it would damage the roots. If leaves twirl around with a light green color and shrivel in size, you have to watch out for insects and use fertilizers and other insecticides to keep them at bay. Most of the orchid varieties bloom under different weather conditions and hence it is very important to maintain their surrounding environment as well.

Better produce and quality of orchids

Soft or saline water kills nearly all orchids; consequently if you cannot afford hard water, consider making use of bottled water. Having a water tank nearby would suffice for watering the orchids on a regular basis.
Moreover positive reactions can be seen in root expansion, mainly amongst those orchids that contain air roots while the water quality is enhanced. Follow the labels for better fertilization and there are several online forums that provide valuable information about the complete process for growing orchids.
Most of them can find information from the nearby agriculture labs for their soil conditions and for the right amount of manure to be added to make them yield better. These tests have to be taken before planting orchids, as they would help in eliminating hurdles in the formative years.

Commercial benefits of Orchids

  • Ultimate fertilizers
  • Flavor for food
  • Flavor for making rum
  • For fragrance in perfume
  • Treatment for indigestion
  • Cure from allergies.
  • To ease headache and fatigue.
  • And also healing from hypertension.

Orchids are known to provide a visual treat and have a pleasant fragrance as well. Most of them are used for making scented perfumes and also as a room freshener.

Global presence of Orchid flowers

The Orchid flowers can now be bought or obtained all over the world. Orchid flowers are cherished by all and there is an enormous demand for these flowers in the international market. Since, special orchids grow up in different regions, so all varieties may not be available at the same store. You will nevertheless get several common varieties from far and wide. You can opt for any one of them according to your own liking and budget.

Growing Mushrooms

Filed under: DIY, Garden
Posted by: dugu

OK, now lets move from tomatoes to mushrooms :). Tissue culture is one of the applications of biotechnology that is widely used in mushroom cultivation. It is also called as the agar culture. The tissue of the fungal organism called mycelium is used in this method to grow mushrooms. The traditional way of growing mushrooms that deals with compost and spores are time consuming.

Growing mushrooms crop

Tissue culture of mushrooms

The process of tissue culture is laborious and needs to be carefully studied under excellent lab conditions. The process is usually divided into three steps and are as follows:

• First step deals with formation of the spawn using the tissue culture method. Most of the times, saw dust or sterilized grains are used as the ground medium to develop spawns.
• The secondary stage deals with the fungal organism ‘mycelium’ and is introduced into the developed spawn.
• The acquired spawn is then introduced into an organic material to support the formation of the mushroom. This organic material is called as the substrate. The substrate used in the tissue culture method supports the actual growth of mushrooms.

Kinds of Mushroom

Mushrooms are broadly classified into two types based on the environment, namely the compost and the other that grows on the woody material. The common and the most popular type of mushroom known as the ‘Aquarius bisporus’ is grown using the compost method. Other mushroom types such as Oyster mushrooms, shiitake, reishi, maitake, and Lions Mane prefer woody environment. It is very difficult to specify the number of species of mushrooms present throughout the world. Some species of mushrooms are edible, while others are poisonous. The identification of edible mushrooms can be done through careful microscopic observations.

Nutrients in Mushroom

Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin B and essential minerals that helps in reducing high cholesterol levels and increases immunity. Potassium content in the mushrooms helps in reducing the blood pressure and in turn prevents strokes. The mineral selenium in the mushroom can act against free radicals preventing cell damage and other related effects. The mineral selenium is found more in animal proteins, so for a vegetarian diet this can provide the same benefits. Mushrooms also contain the mineral copper which is necessary for the normal growth of the body. The nutrition value of the mushrooms may differ for certain species but most edible mushrooms species grown in farms are good for health and even have medicinal values.

Mushroom farming

Mushroom growing can be done in three ways based on the environment we choose. It can be growing in farms or using existing environments such as growing in woods and logs. Growing it on the woods and logs will be more like growing in a natural environment.
• For growing a particular species of a mushroom, understanding the choice of wood, harvesting methods and the suitable conditions are more important.
• This method of growing mushrooms in wood and logs as a growing medium needs some expertise and careful study. So it is better to choose farming methods which are now very popular and also the easiest of all the methods.
• By growing mushrooms in farms it is possible to provide the necessary conditions such as temperature and moisture.
The mushroom farming usually comprises of six steps which are necessary for the mushroom production. These six steps include preparing the compost, secondly finishing the compost, thirdly spawning, fourthly casing, fifthly pinning and finally cropping.

Step 1: Making the compost

Compost preparation is the first step in growing mushrooms. Compost is done with ingredients that supply essential nutrients needed for the growth of a mushroom. Preparing compost can be done in two ways. Using horse manure along with nitrogen and gypsum forms compost and is the cheapest way compared to synthetic composts which uses hay and crushed corncobs. Preparing compost involves mixing and arranging the ingredients in a rectangular pile. The initial phase includes arranging of rectangular layers of ingredients with tight sides and loose centers. A compost turner is used to mix the synthetic compost or horse manure along with nitrogen and gypsum. Then water is sprayed at regular intervals to maintain the moisture content. Now leaving the compost for 7 to 14 days in a suitable temperature of about 155° will create some chemical reactions in the presence of ammonia.

Step 2: Finishing the compost

The second step involves in reducing the ammonia content in the compost and pasteurization. The content of ammonia in the compost will be very high after the first step. Excess ammonia content in the compost will not favor the growth of mushroom in the spawn. The ammonia content in the compost is reduced to 0.07 percent. Pasteurization is the process that helps in removing or neutralizing harmful species from the compost.

Step 3: Spawning

The addition of the fungal organism mycelium to an organic material will help in initiating the growth of the mycelium. The organic material is nothing but a substrate which acts as a growing medium.
• Choosing the right substrate for the right type of mushroom is important.
• Generally materials like logs, wood dust and straw are used as substrates.
• Using sterilized grain also help in forming spawn.

In the spawning process, the sterilized grains are mixed with water and chalk. Then the mixture is added to the compost along with a bit of mycelium in regular intervals. After mixing the compost, a temperature of 75° should be maintained. This temperature will help in maintaining the moisture content of the compost. This process of growing mycelium in the organic material for about 14 to 21 days is called spawning. Maintaining the ideal temperature and moisture content at the final stages of the spawning will maintain the mycelia growth. The rate of spawning varies based on the weight of the spawn and compost and by maintaining the temperature; it is possible to reduce the time taken for spawning.

Step 4: Casing

After making the spawn it should be packed in such a way that supports mushroom growth. This process is called casing and it is done using clay loam field soil, ground limestone along with a mixture of peat moss. This casing allows the formation of rhizomorphs inside the compost which is responsible for the mushroom growth. After casing there is a possibility of harmful species and pathogens to develop inside the casing. With the help of pasteurization it is possible to eliminate these harmful species. The moisture content inside the casing is the key to mushroom growth. Maintaining the moisture by spraying water at regular intervals is important. The next factor to be considered is the temperature of the casing. For the initial period of casing the temperature should not increase more than 75°.

Step 5: Pinning

After casing is done, one can find the sprouts of initial mushroom grown over the rhizomorphs. They are extremely small but can be seen as outgrowths on the compost. Once the mushroom grows four times its initial size, they are called pins. Then the pin starts to expand and becomes larger after a particular period. After casing and the initial growth of pin, it will take around 18 to 21 days for the mushroom to develop completely. With the 0.8 percent of decrease in the carbon dioxide level, the pinning normally develops. Exposure to fresh air in the atmosphere will help in reducing the carbon dioxide content. By reducing the effect of pinning, the quality of the mushroom will increase considerably. It also helps in reducing the number of days to start harvesting.

Step 6: Cropping

Cropping is the final step involved in mushroom cultivation. This cropping process will take 3 to 5 days in the harvest period. Cropping is done in a periodic manner in the harvesting days. The mushrooms will start to form after the cropping period. Harvesting days varies based on the mushroom type and other related conditions. It may range from 35 to 42 days and in some cases the harvest can reach up to 150 days.

Temperature and moisture level plays an important role in each stage. In this final stage of cropping, a temperature of 57° to 62° should be maintained throughout the cycle. Maintaining the temperature will benefit us in many ways. It reduces the effect of harmful species and pathogens that can develop in the final stage and also helps in yielding better results. After completing the production cycle, it is important to protect the mushroom growing area from pathogens and pests. Pasteurization will stop spreading these harmful species to the next production cycle. The total yield depends on the temperature, humidity, most importantly pests and so on.

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