What is Gardening?

Gardening is the process of growing plants for their vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and appearances within a designated space. 

Difference between Soil, Compost and worm castings.

What is Soil?

Soil is a material composed of five ingredients — minerals, soil organic matter, living organisms, gas, and water.  

NPK ratio in Soil - A NPK ratio of 4:2:1 (N:P2O5:K2O) is generally considered ideal and accepted for macro-level monitoring of consumption of plant nutrients for the country as a whole. 

What is Compost ?

Compost  a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land. 

Finished compost is a dilute fertilizer, having an analysis of about 1-1-1 (N-P2O5-K2O), but varying according to the original materials that were incorporated into the pile and how they were composted. 

What is worm castings or Vermicompost ?

Vermicompost is the product of the decomposition process using various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. 

Worm castings also called black gold are rich in micronutrients, containing iron, sulfur, magnesium, zinc, copper and calcium. They also provide macronutrients and can have even a nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) ratio up to 5-5-3 

What is potting mix ?

It is mix of soil and compost

You can either add 1 part worm casting to 4 parts soil. 

Seed Starter kits for Beginners

What are seed starter kits??

If you have weather like Alberta that is unpredictable indoor seed starter kits are beneficial. It can be placed in floor heating mat or other alternative to speed up seed sprouting.

Start your own plants in a Just Vertical Seed Starting Kit - no experience necessary. Grow your own way from seed to plate with a kit that includes a grow tray, seeds, peat moss plugs, and nutrients. Raise your own seedlings and transplant them into either your indoor or outdoor garden. 

Method 1

Buy ready to use seed starter kit and follow this video. All copyrights belong to the rightful owner.

Method 2

Use any trays ,cups or even egg tray to start seeding

What is manure as fertilizer ?

We already have talked about ,Soil, Compost and garden mix i.e Soil and compost mix.

There is other fertilizer that can replace compost or mixing all three or even four components ,third is manure and forth is  peat moss.

manure, organic material that is used to fertilize land, usually consisting of the feces and urine of domestic livestock, with or without accompanying litter such as straw, hay, or bedding . I believe in Canadian agriculture practice it is stored in liquid form in silos and sprayed on land. Different countries has different procedure to utilize manure.

Peat moss is soilless but is often added to soil to lighten, aerate, and help retain moisture. Although peat moss is good for keeping in moisture and aerating the soil, peat moss is not often used for lawns since its acidity hinders grass growth and can kill earthworms .

Role of heat ,Sunlight or grow lights during different stages of growth of a plant 

The basics of seeding or gardening in general is to understand the process of germination(also called sprouting of seed) and growth after leaves are visible outside the surface of soil.

Let us talk about the first stage i.e germination. 

It is important to maintain certain level moisture and temperature to initiate germination.

Either you can place seeding trays on the floor heat mats that are used in Bathroom to heat flooring tiles ,or you can maintain air temperature where seeding trays are stores to required level. Most seeds germinate when the soil temperature is between 68° and 86°F.  If we convert to degree centigrade it becomes 20°C to 30°C. If the moisture in the seed is higher than 45-60% then germination takes place. However, from this moisture range down to 18-20% respiration is extremely high, both seed respiration and respiration of microorganisms. Heating can occur where there is little or no aeration. Sunlight or grow light is not required in this stage.

Let us Talk about second stage when leaves are coming out the soil surface.

At this stage plant needs sunlight or grow lights in addition to maintain moisture level. Keep the plants in sunlight or add plant grow lights close to 12 to 24 inches from the plant. Check for  water needs at regular intervals or consider self watering reservoir technique.