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how to harvest dill

How to Harvest and Preserve Dill for Year-Round Use?

The tender, fern-like leaves of dill almost beg to be touched. If you want to cook them, trim the fresh dill foliage and gather the seeds for pickling. Or you can chop the feathery leaves and yellow umbels for attractive bouquets of homegrown flowers. In addition, black swallowtail caterpillars love to feed on it. Its tiny yellow blooms are great at drawing in a wide range of pollinators. Dill grows as an annual for summer harvests in USDA Hardiness Zones 2–8. In other parts, it may self-seed and is hardy in the winter in Zones 9–11. Here is everything you need to know about how to harvest dill. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide. How to Harvest Dill? Fresh dill clips easily, but it soon starts to droop. Sounds familiar to Cilantro, right? Its flower umbels may look lovely in a mixed bouquet, but after a few hours, don't be shocked if they start to wilt. When harvesting dill for recipes, use it as soon as possible because its flavor starts to fade after a few days. Cut off the flower stalks of dill after the yellow blooms have faded but before the seeds start to ripen and come away from the umbel. Cover the entire flower head with a small paper bag that has a few tiny holes for ventilation. Hang the plant upside down in a cool, dry place. Watch for the seeds to fall and collect them in the bag's bottom. The seeds should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark area in an airtight glass container. When and How to Plant Dill? Dill grows best outside and is simple to start from seed. Plant the seeds directly into the ground, 1/4 inch deep and spaced 1 to 2 inches apart, in the springtime following the last frost. If you want the dill plants to be able to self-sow, plant the seeds in tufts so the seeds can fall and sprout the following year. Or you can plant them in rows spaced about 6 inches apart. You might want to think about succession planting if you want a reliable supply of dill. During the growing season, start by planting a small number of seeds from the packet at a time and then a few more every week. Typically, seeds take 7 to 14 days to germinate. Also, dill can be grown from transplants grown in nurseries planted in the ground or in containers in spring. You can plant dill outside a few weeks before the last predicted spring frost because it can withstand light frost. To achieve lush growth and stop crowded seedlings from producing seed heads, which stops the production of foliage, thinning is essential. Every 12 to 24 inches, reduce the number of seedlings to just the strongest one once they reach 3 or 4 inches in height. As they get bigger, some start to flop. Plants can be kept upright by placing a stake or a sturdy twig in the ground close to the plant's base. To loosely secure the plant to the stake, use garden twine. You can start the dill seeds indoors four to six weeks prior to the last frost. And you can move the seedlings to the ground once the risk of frost has passed. Transplanting mature dill does not work well, so plant your seedlings where they will be able to grow and thrive. Where To Plant Dill? Dill should be planted in a spot with well-drained soil and at least 6 to 8 hours of daily full, direct sunlight. Particularly for cottage gardens, the delicate foliage gives garden beds and borders textural interest. Choose a location for your dill that will shield it from the wind if possible. Just like spinach, high winds can easily damage its stalks if you do not stake the dill. You can plant dill's fragrant foliage in perennial garden container plantings. Or you can plant them alongside other herbs or vegetables in a traditional kitchen garden. In an edible garden, cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage are good companion plants for dill. Dill draws beneficial insects like ladybugs and bees and drives away common brassica pests like loopers and cabbage worms. But avoid planting dill close to carrots. Carrots can be stunted by dill, and because they are closely related, dill can cross-pollinate with carrots to produce inferior hybrid plants. Planting dill close to tomatoes is also not recommended. Mature dill will probably stunt your tomatoes' growth, even though some studies have indicated that tomatoes and dill can be beneficial companions when they are young. How to Propagate Dill? Seed is the most effective method of dill propagation. Cuttings can also propagate Dill, though this isn't as dependable. Seed: Direct sow the dill seeds in early spring at a depth of 1/4 inch in a prepared garden bed. Dill does not tolerate transplanting well. Thin the seedlings so they are 12–24 inches apart when they are 3–4 inches tall. Cuttings: Using shears or scissors, cut off the stem with at least 3 to 4 inches of new growth to take a dill cutting. Place the cutting in a water-filled container, making sure to remove any leaves below the water's surface, and allow the roots to grow for two to three weeks. Fertilizer and rooting hormones are not required. Plant the dill in a container or on the ground once the roots are 2 to 3 inches long. Is Dill a Type of Weed? No, I am not talking about WEED weed (read: marijuana). Although dill isn't technically a weed, some individuals and spice companies call the plant dill weed, possibly due to its feathery leaves. Dill weed is a dried or fresh foliage plant. Flower umbels are yellow and used to make dill seeds. How Should Dill Be Stored for Optimal Quality? You can keep fresh dill in the fridge by wrapping its leaves in a moist paper towel. Or you can tuck its stems into a container of water. Fresh dill can be frozen by submerging it in water in ice cube trays. Place the cubes in cooked dishes that have enough moisture to withstand them. Dill seeds and leaves can also be easily dried for later use, though the flavor is a lot more muted. Water and Soil Sow dill in soil that is moist but well-drained. If there is a lot of clay in your soil, add organic matter to the top few inches to aid in drainage. If you have trouble with poor soil drainage, plant this herb in raised beds or containers. Growing dill requires proper irrigation. As the seeds germinate, keep the soil evenly moist. Dill plants require one to two inches of rain or extra water each week once they begin to grow. Humidity and Temperature Dill tolerates temperatures as low as 25ºF, but 70ºF is the ideal temperature for it. Dill often bolts, sending up flower stalks to set seeds when temperatures rise. This annual herb dies after it flowers and produces seeds. Get rid of the flowers to prolong the plant's growing season. Apply Fertilizer While most herbs, including dill, don't require extra fertilizer, you can give them once or twice during the growing season by applying a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. When planting, either mix a liquid fertilizer with water or etch a time-release fertilizer into the soil. Refer to the product label for instructions on how much to use. Trimming Dill should be pruned early in the growing season to prevent limb bending. Cut off the top leaves of the plant to promote more growth of the lower leaves. Food preparation and cooking can be done with anything that has been pruned. Repotting and Potting You can grow dill in pots on a sunny balcony or deck, even if you don't have an outdoor garden. Due to the deep taproot that dill plants have, choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep. Because clay and terracotta pots don't retain as much moisture as plastic or glazed ceramic pots. They are ideal for growing dill. Make sure the container you select has good drainage and is big enough to allow you to space your plants 12 to 24 inches apart. It is best to start over in a new, larger container. Especially if your dill plant outgrows its current one because it does not take well to transplant. If the temperature where you are planting is not too high, you can keep planting seeds into the summer. Types of Dill Dills can be of many types with each of their distinct looks and flavors. Here are the three different types of dill you can grow in your kitchen or backyard. Long Island Mammoth Also known as Long Island Mammoth this one is an old-time favorite. Its fern-like leaves can be dried and stored for a long time, or they can be harvested fresh. It produces big clusters of yellow flowers with flat tops. They turn into brown seed heads, and they can reach a height of five feet. Fernleaf Grown to a height of only 18 inches, Anethum graveolens, or Fernleaf, is a highly productive dwarf variety. It works well in container gardens or small in-ground beds. Its feathery, delicate foliage has a great flavor of dill. From midsummer into fall, it blossoms. Bouquet The 'Bouquet' cultivar produces plants up to thirty inches tall with fine bluish-green foliage. The enormous, six-inch-diameter yellow flower heads are ideal for drying, creating an enduring arrangement. Or you could chop them for fresh floral arrangements. How to Keep New Dill Fresh? Dill weed quickly wilts after harvesting and gradually loses its distinctive flavor and aroma. If you know how to store your freshly harvested dill, this shouldn't be a problem. Here are two straightforward techniques that you can use: Put It in the Crisper Drawer of the Refrigerator Loosely wrap the recently cut and cleaned leaves in damp kitchen towels before putting them in a container or sealed bag. Put the container in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, which has a lower humidity than the other sections of the appliance. Utilize the herbs before they begin to wilt and dry out, which should happen in a few days. Put It in Water To make this method function, when harvesting the herb, you must cut off the entire stem. After gathering the stems, put them in a glass of water and seal the opening with a plastic bag. Every day, change the water. Unlike potatoes, dill leaves can remain fresh for up to a week when stored in this manner. How to Freeze Fresh Dill? Freezing is the best way to preserve extra dill for later use if you've harvested more than you can use at once or in a few days. Dill freezes most effectively when chopped into smaller pieces and added to ice cube trays with just enough water to cover the freshly minced dill. This allows the herbs to be kept for four months or longer. This will ensure you always have dill on hand for when a recipe calls for it. How to Dry Fresh Dill? Dried fresh dill is a popular method if you're searching for another way to store dill for a long time. The herb has many uses, even though it won't have as much flavor as when it's fresh or frozen. All year long, you can use it as a herb in cooked dishes or to make tea. Stick to hang-drying if you don't want much of the flavor to be lost. This is a very easy method to use. All you must do is gather a few dill leaves and then bind them with a string. Later, place them in an area with adequate ventilation upside down.  Place them in an airtight container once they're crumbling and dry. Even though fresh dill is always preferable, make sure to save some for later use. Particularly if you don't have a year-round indoor herb and spice garden. Wrapping Up Growing dill is a great way to add flavor to fish and seafood dishes. A little goes a long way because fresh dill leaves have a strong licorice flavor. It is best that you add dill toward the end of cooking, in salads, or as a garnish for soups. Because once cooked, it tends to lose its flavor. If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask about how to harvest dill, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you! Read Also: Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds: A Fun And Easy Activity For The Whole Family How TO Harvest Lemongrass: Tips AND Tricks FOR Growing AND Using This Versatile Herb

how to harvest weed

How To Harvest Weed: A Beginner’s Guide To Cannabis Cultivation

If there is one thing that most people try to know after searching for the legalities of growing weed, it is about “how to harvest weed?” If this is something that you are searching for, I have you covered! You see, weed, or marijuana, is a controversial plant to talk about. You might want to grow it for medicinal and recreational purposes. But the “What if people...” thoughts might put you off! This is because harvesting or growing weed is not like harvesting potatoes. There are several other things associated with the same. But don’t you worry, my friend! If you are trying to search for the best ways to harvest weed, both indoors and outdoors, you need to look no further! Keep on reading this blog till the end to learn more... Is Growing Marijuana Legal? Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, pot, or ganja, is a plant that contains several psychoactive compounds. It can alter one's mood, cognition, and perception. Marijuana has been used for several reasons and purposes for thousands of years, ranging from medicinal to spiritual. But its legal status has been a matter of debate and controversy in many countries. So, is growing marijuana legal? The answer depends on where you live, how much you grow, and what you use it for. In some countries, such as Canada, Uruguay, and South Africa, growing marijuana for personal use is legal or decriminalized as long as you follow certain rules and regulations. In other countries, such as the United States, Australia, and the Netherlands, growing marijuana is legal or tolerated in some states or regions but illegal or restricted in others. In many countries, such as China, India, and Saudi Arabia, growing marijuana is illegal and punishable by harsh penalties, regardless of the amount or purpose. Various factors, such as the potential benefits and harms of marijuana use, the social and cultural attitudes towards marijuana, the economic and political interests of different groups, and the international treaties and agreements on drug control influence the legal status of marijuana. The legal status of growing marijuana is also subject to change as new laws and policies are enacted or revised and further research and evidence are presented. Growing marijuana is a complex and controversial issue that has no simple or universal answer. The best way to find out if growing marijuana is legal in your area is to consult the relevant authorities and sources, and to be aware of the risks and consequences of your actions. Remember, just because something is legal, does not mean it is safe, ethical, or advisable. When Should You Plant Weed? Spring is here, and you know what that means: it's time to get your marijuana seeds ready for planting outdoors. This is the most important crop of the year because you can get the biggest harvest of all. Some old-timers like to plant their seeds on the first full moon of March. They say this way, the seeds get some light at night and don't grow too tall too fast. But sometimes, it's still too chilly in March, and not everywhere has the same weather. If you live in a colder place, your plants will grow slower and suffer from the cold and the wind. They will be weaker and more likely to get bugs and diseases So, what should you do in this case? Well, you can wait a month or two longer. A seed that sprouts in a nice climate from April onwards will grow bigger and better than one that sprouts in March in the same place But growing plants for so long is not easy. You must watch out for all kinds of things: bugs, diseases, nutrients, transplanting, pruning, training... It's a six-month-long job requiring constant attention Things to Keep in Mind If you want a good quality and quantity of weed there are several things that you need to keep in mind. Want to know what they might be? I have you covered! Here are some of the things that you'll need: Fertilizers for growth and flowering: You can choose whatever fertilizers you like, organic or chemical. Organic ones, like humus, guano, and flower boosters, will give you a tasty and aromatic weed, but less of it. Chemical ones, like those from specific brands, will give you more buds, but less flavor. Insecticides for insects like whiteflies, mites, or thrips: It's better to use them as a prevention, so you don't get any nasty surprises. An anti-fungal product that works well against powdery mildew: Propolix or other chemical products are good, but you have to use them from the beginning. Bacillus Thuringiensis: This is for caterpillars and other worms. Use it as soon as the flowers start to show, which is when these critters start to show up. Around May/June. Stakes or wires to support the branches during the flowering stage. Soil and Other Conditions to Grow Weed or Marijuana It's obvious that this is the most common grow medium, probably because it's easy to find and has some nutrients already in it. Weed grown in soil is also more delicious and fragrant. And, no, it's not hard to grow in soil – just plant your (favorite) strain in the soil, and you're good to go. That's it. Of course, there are different kinds of soil, and some are better than others. High-quality potting soil will make your life easier and faster. You might also want to add some extra nutrients to make your weed grow better. Or you can make your own super soil. If you decide to buy soil, we suggest you go for the best brands, or at least those with a good soil mix. They should have things like earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, humic acid, etc. Can You Grow Weed Without Soil? Want to try something different? Go soilless. You'll see some quicker growth (and bigger harvests). And, conveniently, growing weed in soilless mediums is pretty similar to growing it in soil. The only difference is that you'll have to give the nutrients yourself because soilless mediums don't have any. Some examples of soilless mediums are coco coir, vermiculite, perlite, etc. What About Hydroponic Grows? Is it Complicated? No, hydroponic growth is not complicated. It's as easy as picking your setup (hydroponic system), getting your nutrients, and sprouting your seeds. And you'll get some amazing benefits: super-fast growth, huge yields, and super-strong weed. Sounds good, right? Don't believe everything you hear because some information can mess up your growth. But with the right setup and care, you can be sure of a plentiful harvest. What It Needs to Survive and Thrive: How to Grow Weed Plant? If you want to grow the best weed possible, you need to know your plant well. Here are some of the main things that a weed plant needs to thrive, and how it works. Light Light is the fuel that drives photosynthesis and growth in a weed plant. The fan leaves are like solar panels that absorb light. The more light you give your plants, the more buds they will produce.  But be careful not to give them too much light. If you grow indoors, keep your lights at a safe distance from your plants, or you might burn them and ruin your nugs. And if your plants get too hot, they will dry out faster and need more water and attention. Weed plants usually need at least six hours of sunlight a day when they grow outdoors. This is called “full sun”. When they grow indoors, they usually get between 12 and 18 hours of artificial light a day, depending on their stage of growth. Weed is a photoperiod plant, which means that the amount of light it gets every day affects when it flowers and makes buds. Outdoors, this happens when the days get shorter in the fall. Indoors, you can make this happen by changing the light cycle from 18 to 12 hours a day.    Water Water is essential for all plants, including weed. Water provides hydrogen for photosynthesis, and also carries nutrients from the soil to the plant through the roots, and throughout the whole plant.   Water also helps the plant stay firm and flexible, by creating pressure on the cell walls. This allows the plant to bend with the wind or reach for more light.  Plants also lose water through their leaves, like humans sweat, to cool down. This is called transpiration, and you can see it as droplets on the leaf tips.   This may sound obvious, but you only need to water the soil or the medium where your weed plant grows, not the leaves or the plant itself. We suggest that you water a lot, but not too often, rather than a little, but more frequently. This way, the roots can dry out a bit and get more oxygen from the soil.  Nutrients A marijuana plant needs several nutrients to grow and flower. The main nutrients it needs are:  Nitrogen: Nitrogen helps a weed plant grow during the vegetative phase, when it makes more mass, stems, branches, and leaves. It is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment that helps the plant use light for photosynthesis. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is important for storing and using energy, as well as for root growth and bud development. It helps the plant take up nutrients and build its structure. Potassium: Potassium helps with many of the plant’s metabolic activities, such as respiration, transpiration, and enzyme activation. It also helps the plant fight off diseases and pests.  Calcium: Calcium is a minor nutrient, but it still plays a role in keeping the plant’s cell walls intact, and helping the plant absorb other nutrients.  Magnesium: Magnesium is part of chlorophyll, and helps the plant make glucose from photosynthesis. Without it, the plant can’t turn light into energy.  CO2 Plants breathe in CO2 through tiny holes in their leaves called stomata. During photosynthesis, plants turn CO2 into glucose, which they use to grow and flower.  Some indoor growers use a “CO2 burner”, which is a device that adds a little bit of CO2 to the air, to make the plants grow faster and bigger. But this is usually too much for home growers.  Wind/airflow Wind or airflow is good for your plants, because it brings fresh air and CO2, which they need to grow.   Airflow also prevents mold and diseases, by removing moisture from the inside of the plant, so it doesn’t get too wet. You can also use a technique called scragging, which spreads out the branches and lets more air in. Wind or airflow also makes your plant stronger and healthier, by making its stalks and branches thicker and sturdier. When a plant bends with the wind, it produces a hormone called auxin, which stimulates growth. What to Keep in Mind While Harvesting Weed? You probably know that different strains of weed need different amounts of time and sun to grow well. Sativas, which come from places near the equator, like a long and sunny summer to get fully ripe. Indicas, which come from colder and harsher places, are usually faster to finish. But there are exceptions, of course. Some indicas are slow and some sativas are quick. The best time of day to cut down your outdoor plants is in the morning, before the sun gets too strong. You don't want them to be wet from dew, but you also don't want them to be exposed to too much sunlight, which can ruin their flavor. You can also harvest at night when it's cooler, but the morning is better because the plants are fresher and haven't been under the sun all day. 1. Watch the weather  As your buds get bigger and heavier and the season changes from summer to fall, the weather can change too. Depending on where you live, you might get some cold snaps or rainstorms. These are not the end of the world, but you do need to pay attention to the weather and maybe decide on the spot when to harvest your plants, balancing their ripeness with the risk of losing them. 2. Harvesting in Lower Temperatures  According to sources, most weed plants can handle a light freeze—28-32°F for up to three hours—without any problem. But a hard freeze, anything lower or longer, can be a disaster.  Frost can make ice crystals form in the plant cells, hurting them. The leaves will look droopy and then turn dark and crunchy. The worse the frost, the more damage to the plant. Remember that plants in pots are more sensitive to temperature changes than plants in the ground, so they are more likely to get frost damage. 3. Rainy Harvests  Rain is not a big deal by itself, but it depends on how long and how hard it rains. If it's going to stop soon and dry up fast, you can leave your almost ready plants outside. But if the rain is going to stay, mold is waiting—better to harvest sooner than later. Covering your plants can help, but the air will still be humid. You can use some tall stakes and a tarp to cover them, but make sure to take them off when the rain or cold is over. In this way, the plants can warm up and breathe. When to Harvest Weed Plant?  The type of plant growing determines when to harvest cannabis. Sativa, hybrid, and indica are the three primary kinds of cannabis seeds. Are you curious about the best time to harvest marijuana? Let me break it down for you! Sativa strain plants typically take longer to mature and give off a stronger cerebral height. However, Indica plants yield larger blooms and a more sedative, paralyzing high. When an Indica and a Sativa are crossed, hybrids that enable flowers to have both traits are created. While Sativa cultivars blossom in 10 to 16 weeks (about three and a half months), Indica varieties flower in 8 to 10 weeks (about two and a half months) on average. The cannabis plant can be found in hybrid form halfway between the two main species. It is important to understand that flowering times might vary based on environmental factors like temperature and duration of day. Thus, the questions of when and how to harvest cannabis remain unanswered. Knowing what you want to achieve with your cannabis plants can help you decide when to harvest them. Let's say you are growing cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Is there a unique method for harvesting cannabis in this case? If so, it is imperative to harvest the plant at the height of its cannabinoid content. But if you are cultivating cannabis seeds for fun purposes, then it is best to harvest marijuana at its peak maturity. How to Harvest Weed? Once you've decided when to harvest your cannabis, it's critical to understand how to harvest cannabis plants correctly. It's simple to harvest cannabis; you just need to cut the stem off at the root. But it's best not to pull the branch out of the ground since this could damage it and reduce its yield. It is crucial to properly dry the cannabis after harvesting it before stocking it. Hanging it upside down in a room with lots of ventilation and little light exposure is the best method to accomplish this, like a wardrobe. In order to efficiently dry cannabis, proper ventilation is necessary because it inhibits the growth of mold. Before you proceed to store it, ensure that you let your cannabis rest for some time. This can range anywhere from three to seven days. This is a great way to ensure that the leaves are dried and ready for you to store. Wrapping It Up!  In case you were searching for the best ways on how to harvest weed, I hope that this blog has been of help to you. If there are any other queries related to the same, please feel free to let me know. All that you need to do is scroll down till you reach the bottom of the page. Then leave your suggestions in the box below. And I will be there to answer them all for you! More Resources: Choosing a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Marijuana Addiction Treatment: 5 Steps to Avoid Relapse What Are Tarpenes? How Do They Work? – Cannabis Guide Medical Marijuana Can Take New Dimensions in the Treatment of Pets

how to harvest lemongrass

How TO Harvest Lemongrass: Tips AND Tricks FOR Growing AND Using This Versatile Herb 

Lemongrass is a tropical herb that has a fresh and citrusy flavor and aroma. It is one of the most essential herb that is people widely use in Asian cuisines. They especially use it in Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian dishes. It is also a popular ingredient in teas, soups, curries, salads, and marinades. Lemongrass has many health benefits, such as improving digestion, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and relieving stress. But did you know that you can grow and harvest your own lemongrass at home? Yes, you can! Lemongrass is easy to grow and maintain, and can thrive in pots, containers, or gardens. You can enjoy fresh and organic lemongrass all year round, and save money and time from buying it at the store. In this article, I will show you how to harvest lemongrass, and share some tips and tricks for growing and using this versatile herb. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to harvest lemongrass, and how to make the most of this wonderful herb. So, if that is something that you want to know, I have you covered! Keep on reading this blog till the end to learn more… How to Grow Lemongrass? Lemongrass is a wonderful herb that can add a refreshing and citrusy flavor to your dishes, drinks, and teas. It is also a beautiful ornamental plant that can brighten up your garden with its tall, graceful stalks and fragrant leaves. Lemongrass is native to tropical regions, but you can grow it in cooler climates as well with some care and preparation. Here are the steps and conditions for growing lemongrass successfully at home: 1. Choose a healthy lemongrass plant or stalk You can buy a potted lemongrass plant from a nursery or garden center, or you can start your own from a fresh lemongrass stalk that you can find in most grocery stores or Asian markets. Look for a stalk that is firm, green, and has some roots at the base. Avoid any that are dry, brown, or moldy. 2. Prepare a sunny and warm spot for your lemongrass Lemongrass loves full sun and heat, so choose a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If you live in a colder region, you can grow lemongrass in a container that you can move indoors during the winter. Use a large pot with drainage holes and fill it with rich, loamy soil that is high in organic matter. You can also add some compost, manure, or leaf mold to improve the soil quality and fertility. 3. Plant your lemongrass in the soil If you bought a potted plant, simply transplant it to the ground or a larger container, making sure to bury the roots well and leave some space between the stalks. If you are starting from a stalk, peel off any dead or yellow leaves and trim the top part to about six inches. Place the stalk in a glass of water and keep it in a sunny windowsill until roots start to grow, which can take a few weeks. Then, plant the rooted stalk in the soil, leaving about two inches of the stem above the ground. Space the plants about two feet apart to allow them to spread 4. Water and fertilize your lemongrass regularly Lemongrass needs moist soil to thrive, so water it frequently and deeply, especially during hot and dry periods. A good rule of thumb is to water it once a week or whenever the top inch of the soil feels dry. You can also apply a layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. Lemongrass also benefits from a monthly dose of liquid organic fertilizer during the growing season, such as fish emulsion or seaweed extract. This will help it grow faster and produce more leaves and stalks. 5. Harvest and enjoy your lemongrass You can start harvesting your lemongrass when the stalks are about a foot tall and half an inch thick. Cut the stalks at the base with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving about two inches of the stem in the ground. Additionally, you can use the whole stalk, or peel off the outer layers and use only the tender inner part. You can also harvest the leaves and use them fresh or dried for teas and infusions. Lemongrass can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to six months. You can also dry it and store it in an airtight container for later use. How to Harvest Lemongrass? Harvesting lemongrass is a simple and satisfying process that can be done in a few steps. Here are the basics of how to harvest lemongrass: Choose the right time  The best time to harvest lemongrass is when the stalks are about 12 inches tall and 0.5 inches thick. This usually happens after 3 to 4 months of planting. You can harvest lemongrass throughout the year, as long as the temperature is above 40°F. You can also harvest lemongrass in batches, leaving some stalks to grow and regenerate. Cut the stalks To harvest lemongrass, you need a sharp knife or scissors, and a clean cutting board. Cut the stalks at the base, as close to the soil as possible. You can cut as many stalks as you need, or as many as you can use within a week. You can also trim off the leaves, as they are not edible and can be used for other purposes. Wash and store the stalks After cutting the stalks, wash them under running water, and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can store the stalks in the refrigerator, wrapped in a damp paper towel, and placed in a plastic bag. They can last for up to a week. You can also freeze the stalks, chopped or whole, in a freezer bag. They can last for up to 6 months. Dividing Lemongrass: What is It and How to Do It? Dividing lemongrass is a great way to propagate and maintain this aromatic and flavorful herb. Lemongrass is a perennial plant that grows in clumps of stalks and leaves. Over time, these clumps can become crowded, woody, and less productive. By dividing lemongrass, you can rejuvenate the plant, increase its yield, and share it with others. Here are the steps and reasons for dividing lemongrass: 1. When to divide lemongrass? The best time to divide lemongrass is in the spring, after the last frost date when the plant is actively growing and has new shoots. You can also divide lemongrass in the fall if you live in a warm winter climate or if you plan to overwinter the divisions indoors. Avoid dividing lemongrass in the summer, when the heat and drought can stress the plant and reduce its survival rate. 2. How to divide lemongrass? To divide lemongrass, you must dig up the entire plant and separate it into smaller sections. You can use a shovel, a sharp knife, or your hands to do this. Each section should have at least one inch of root and several healthy stalks and leaves attached. You can trim the leaves to about six inches to reduce water loss and make the divisions easier to handle. Discard any old, brown, or damaged parts of the plant. 3. Where to plant lemongrass divisions? You can plant lemongrass divisions in the same spot where you dug up the parent plant or in a new location with full sun, moist and well-drained soil, and plenty of organic matter. You can also plant lemongrass divisions in containers at least 10 inches deep with drainage holes. Space the divisions about two feet apart to allow room for growth. Plant the divisions at the same depth as they were before, with the crown just below the soil surface.  4. How to care for lemongrass divisions? Lemongrass divisions need regular water and fertilizer to establish and thrive. Water them deeply and frequently, especially during the first few weeks and during hot and dry periods. You can also apply a layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. Fertilize the plants once a month with a liquid organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion or seaweed extract, during the growing season. Protect the plants from frost in the winter by moving them indoors or covering them with a frost cloth. 5. How to harvest and use lemongrass divisions? You can start harvesting lemongrass divisions when they are about a foot tall and half an inch thick. Cut the stalks at the base with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving about two inches of the stem in the ground. You can use the whole stalk, peel off the outer layers, and use only the tender inner part. Additionally, you can also harvest the leaves and use them fresh or dried for teas and infusions. Lemongrass can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. You can also dry it and store it in an airtight container for later use. How to Use Lemongrass in Food? Lemongrass has a long, green stalk with a bulbous base and grassy leaves. It has a lemony taste with a hint of mint and ginger. Lemongrass can be used fresh, dried, or powdered, depending on the recipe and preference. Here are some ways related to how to use lemongrass in different ways: Fresh lemongrass Firstly, fresh lemongrass is the most aromatic and versatile form of lemongrass. You can find it in the produce section of most supermarkets, Asian markets, or online. To prepare fresh lemongrass, you need to peel off the tough outer layers and trim off the root end and the top third of the stalk. You can use a sharp knife or scissors to do this. The part that you want to use is the pale and tender lower part of the stalk. After that, you can slice it thinly, chop it finely, or bruise it with a pestle or the back of a knife. Slicing or chopping is good for salads, stir-fries, curries, and marinades, while bruising is good for soups, stews, and broths. You can also make a paste by pounding or blending lemongrass with other ingredients, such as garlic, ginger, chilies, and cilantro. A paste is great for adding flavor to meats, seafood, tofu, and rice. You can store fresh lemongrass in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. Dried lemongrass Secondly, dried lemongrass is less potent than fresh lemongrass but still has a nice, lemony flavor. You can buy it in whole or sliced form or dry your lemongrass by hanging the stalks in a warm and airy place until they are brittle. Dried lemongrass is good for making teas, infusions, and herbal blends. You can also use it to flavor soups, stews, and broths, but you must soak it in hot water for about 20 minutes before adding it to the pot. Additionally, you can store dried lemongrass in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Powdered lemongrass Lastly, powdered lemongrass is the most convenient form of lemongrass, as it does not require any preparation. You can buy it in spice shops, Asian markets, or online. Powdered lemongrass has a mild and sweet flavor and can be used in baking, desserts, sauces, and dressings. You can also sprinkle it over salads, soups, and stir-fries for a touch of freshness. The shelf life of powdered lemongrass is also great. For up to six months, you can store powdered lemongrass in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. How to Use Lemongrass in Other Things? Apart from cooking, you can use lemongrass in many other ways. Some of the best and most popular uses of this herb are as follows: Beautifying You can use lemongrass to make your own beauty products, such as soap, lotion, or shampoo. You can infuse the stalks or the leaves with oil, such as coconut, olive, or almond oil. Moreover, you can also add other ingredients, such as honey, aloe vera, or essential oils. You can use the products to cleanse, moisturize, or scent your skin and hair. Healing You can use lemongrass to treat various ailments, such as headaches, colds, or infections. You can inhale the steam from boiling the stalks or the leaves, or apply the oil to your temples, chest, or throat. Additionally, you can also drink the tea, or gargle with the syrup. You can use the products to relieve pain, inflammation, or congestion. Wrapping It Up! If you want to know how to harvest lemongrass, I hope that this blog has been of help to you. If there are any other queries about the same, please feel free to let me know. All that you need to do is scroll down till you reach the bottom of the bottom of the page. Then leave your suggestions and comments in the box below. And I will be there to answer them all for you! Learn More About: Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting Basil Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? How to Harvest Spinach the Right Way: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to harvest sunflower seeds

How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds: A Fun And Easy Activity For The Whole Family

Sunflowers are not only beautiful and cheerful, but they also produce delicious and nutritious seeds that you can enjoy as a snack or use in various recipes. Harvesting sunflower seeds is a fun and easy activity that you can do with your whole family. It is also a great way to teach your kids about nature, gardening, and healthy eating. In this article, I will show you how to harvest sunflower seeds in a few simple steps, as well as some tips and tricks to make the most of your sunflower harvest. If you enjoyed reading my blog on harvesting lettuce, you will enjoy reading this one! So, if that is what you are interested in knowing, I have you covered! Keep reading this blog till the end to learn more… How to Grow Sunflower Seeds: A Simple and Rewarding Gardening Project? Sunflowers are one of the most iconic and cheerful flowers in the world. They are also one of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow from seeds. Sunflowers can brighten up your garden, attract pollinators, provide shade, and produce edible seeds that you can harvest and enjoy.  In this part of the article, I will show you how to grow sunflower seeds in a few simple steps, as well as some tips and tricks to make the most of your sunflower growing experience. How to Choose Sunflower Seeds? The first step to growing sunflower seeds is to choose the right seeds for your garden. Sunflowers come in a wide range of sizes, colors, shapes, and types. Some of the most common types of sunflowers are:  Giant sunflowers These are the tallest and largest sunflowers, reaching up to 15 feet in height and 12 inches in diameter. They produce huge and heavy flower heads that are filled with large and plump seeds. They are ideal for creating a dramatic and impressive display in your garden, as well as for harvesting large quantities of seeds. Some examples of giant sunflowers are Mammoth, Titan, and Kong. Dwarf sunflowers These are the smallest and shortest sunflowers, growing up to 3 feet in height and 6 inches in diameter. They produce smaller and lighter flower heads that are easier to manage and maintain. They are ideal for growing in containers, pots, or small spaces, as well as for adding a splash of color and charm to your garden. Some examples of dwarf sunflowers are Teddy Bear, Sunny Smile, and Little Becka. Colored sunflowers These are the most diverse and colorful sunflowers, ranging from yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, brown, and even green. They produce medium-sized flower heads that are attractive and eye-catching. They are ideal for creating a vibrant and varied display in your garden, as well as for cutting and arranging in bouquets or vases. Some examples of colored sunflowers are Autumn Beauty, Moulin Rouge, and Lemon Queen.  Things to Consider While Choosing Sunflower Seed When choosing sunflower seeds, there are several things that you need to keep in mind. For instance, you should also consider the following factors: Climate and season of your area Sunflowers are warm-season plants that need full sun and warm temperatures to grow and bloom. They are best planted in late spring or early summer, after the last frost, when the soil is warm and moist. If you live in a cold or frost-prone area, you can start your seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors when the weather is favorable. Soil and water conditions of your garden Sunflowers are adaptable and tolerant plants that can grow in most types of soil, as long as they are well-drained and fertile. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. They also need regular watering, especially during the germination and flowering stages. However, they can withstand some drought and dryness once they are established. Space and support available in your garden Sunflowers are large and sturdy plants that need ample space and support to grow and thrive. They should be planted at least 2 to 3 feet apart from each other and from other plants, to avoid overcrowding and competition. They should also be staked or tied to a fence, a trellis, or a pole, to prevent them from bending or breaking under their own weight.  How to Plant Sunflower Seeds? Once you have chosen your sunflower seeds, you can proceed to the next step. Planting sunflower seeds is a simple process that involves preparing, sowing, and caring for the seeds. Here is how to do it: Prepare the Soil Prepare the soil by loosening it with a fork or a spade. Ensure that you remove debris, weeds, or rocks. You can also enrich your soil by adding some compost, manure, or fertilizer, to boost its fertility and drainage. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy, and has a temperature of at least 50°F. Sow the Seeds Sow the seeds by making holes or furrows in the soil, about 1 to 2 inches deep and 2 to 3 feet apart. You can use a ruler, a stick, or your finger to make the holes or furrows. Drop one or two seeds in each hole or furrow, and cover them lightly with soil. You can also sprinkle some water over the seeds to help them settle in the soil. Nurture Care for the seeds by watering them regularly, but not excessively, to keep the soil moist but not wet. You can also mulch the soil with straw, grass clippings, or leaves, to retain moisture and prevent weeds. You should also protect the seeds from birds, squirrels, or other animals, by covering them with a net, a cage, or a cloche. You should also thin the seedlings when they are about 4 to 6 inches tall, by removing the weaker or smaller ones, and leaving only the strongest and healthiest ones.  How to Grow Sunflower Seeds?  After planting your sunflower seeds, you can watch them grow and enjoy their beauty and bounty. Growing sunflower seeds is a rewarding and satisfying experience that requires minimal maintenance and care. Here are some tips and tricks to grow sunflower seeds successfully: Water Water your sunflowers regularly, but not excessively, to keep the soil moist but not wet. Sunflowers need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week, depending on the weather and the soil conditions. You can use a hose, a sprinkler, or a drip irrigation system to water your sunflowers. You should water them in the morning or evening, and avoid wetting the leaves or the flower heads, to prevent fungal diseases. Fertilizer Fertilize your sunflowers occasionally, but not excessively, to boost their growth and flowering. Sunflowers need a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20 formula. You can apply the fertilizer once or twice during the growing season, following the instructions on the label. You should avoid over-fertilizing your sunflowers, as this can cause them to grow too tall and weak, and make them prone to pests and diseases. Pruning Prune your sunflowers occasionally, but not excessively, to improve their shape and health. Sunflowers do not need much pruning, as they are naturally self-pruning and self-cleaning. However, you can prune them to remove any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves, stems, or flowers, to prevent infection and improve air circulation. You can also prune them to control their height and spread, by pinching or cutting off the tips of the main stem or the side branches. You should use clean and sharp scissors or pruners to prune your sunflowers and do it in the morning or evening when the plants are less stressed. When to Harvest Sunflower Seeds? The first step to harvesting sunflower seeds is to know when they are ready. Sunflowers typically bloom in the summer and their seeds mature in late summer or early fall. You can tell when your sunflowers are ready to harvest by looking at their appearance and feel. Here are some signs that your sunflowers are ready to harvest: Petals have fallen off or turned brown. The back of the flower head has turned yellow or brown. Seeds have developed black and white stripes. The seeds are plump and firm to the touch. If you are not sure if your sunflowers are ready to harvest, you can do a simple test by rubbing your thumb over the seeds. If they come off easily, they are ready to harvest. If they are still attached to the flower head, they need more time to ripen. How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds? Once you have determined that your sunflowers are ready to harvest, you can proceed to the next step. Harvesting sunflower seeds is a simple process that involves cutting, drying, and storing the seeds. Here is how to do it: Cut the flower heads from the stems using a sharp knife or scissors. Leave about 12 inches of stem attached to the flower head for easier handling. Place the flower heads in a dry and well-ventilated area, such as a garage, shed, or porch. You can hang them upside down or lay them flat on a screen or rack. Make sure they are not touching each other to prevent mold and rot. Let the flower heads dry for about two weeks or until the seeds are completely dry and hard. You can check the dryness by biting or cracking a seed. If it is crunchy and not moist, it is dry enough. Remove the seeds from the flower heads by rubbing them gently with your hands or a soft brush. You can also use a fork or a spoon to scrape them off. Discard any debris, such as petals, leaves, or insects. Store the seeds in an airtight container, such as a glass jar, a plastic bag, or a metal tin. Label the container with the date and the variety of sunflower. Keep the container in a cool and dark place, such as a pantry, a cupboard, or a basement. How to Enjoy Sunflower Seeds? Now that you have harvested your sunflower seeds, you can enjoy them in various ways. You can eat them raw or roasted, salted or unsalted, shelled or unshelled. You can also use them in salads, soups, breads, muffins, granola, trail mix, pesto, butter, and more. Sunflower seeds are rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can help manage high cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation and boost your immune system, brain function, and mood. Here are some tips and tricks to enjoy your sunflower seeds: Roast To roast your sunflower seeds, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. You can season them with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin, or any other spices you like.  Shell To shell your sunflower seeds, you can use your teeth, your fingers, or a nutcracker. You can also soak them in water for a few hours to make them easier to shell. To remove the shells, you can blow them away with a fan, a hair dryer, or your mouth, or you can shake them in a colander or a sieve. Sunflower Seed Butter To make sunflower seed butter, you need to blend the shelled and roasted sunflower seeds in a blender until it turns smooth and creamy. You can add a little oil, honey, salt, or vanilla to enhance the flavor and texture. You can use sunflower seed butter as a spread for toast, crackers, or fruit, or as a dip for pretzels, celery, or carrots. Pesto To make sunflower seed pesto, blend roasted and shelled sunflower seeds with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor or a blender until smooth and thick. You can use sunflower seed pesto as a sauce for pasta, pizza, or sandwiches, or as a dressing for salads or roasted vegetables. Wrapping It Up! Harvesting sunflower seeds is a fun and easy activity that you can do with your whole family. It is also a great way to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature, as well as the health benefits of sunflower seeds. By following the steps and tips in this article, you know how to harvest sunflower seeds in a few simple steps, as well as enjoy them in various ways. I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If there are any other queries related to the same, please feel free to let me know. All that yo need to do is scroll down till you reach the bottom of the page. Then leave your comments and suggestions in the box below. And I will be ether to answer them all for you!  Learn More About: Best Material for Garden Sheds: A Guide for Everyone Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? Best Gardening Tips For Beginners: Adopting A Relaxing Hobby

how to harvest spinach

How to Harvest Spinach the Right Way: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Being a gardener, I know Spinach is one of the most popular and versatile leafy greens you can grow in your garden. It's rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber and can be used in salads, soups, smoothies, and more. But how do you harvest spinach the right way so that you can enjoy it fresh and crisp and make it last longer? In this article, I will show you how to harvest spinach, so it keeps growing. I will also explain how to harvest spinach seeds, how to store and freeze spinach, and the health benefits of spinach. Additionally, I will also share some tips and tricks on how to grow spinach successfully and how to use it in delicious recipes. Whether you're a beginner or an expert gardener, this guide will help you make the most of your spinach harvest. So, keep on reading till the end to learn more, and thank me later!  Driven by Benefits: Why are People Growing Spinach? Spinach is not only tasty but also healthy. It's low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. It can help improve various aspects of health, such as: Eye Health Spinach is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids that protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Spinach also contains vitamin A, which is essential for vision and eye health. Blood Pressure Spinach is high in potassium, magnesium, and nitrates, which are compounds that help lower blood pressure and relax the blood vessels. Spinach also contains folate. This helps prevent homocysteine, an amino acid that can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Bone Health Spinach is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K, which are important for bone health and density. Spinach also contains vitamin C, which helps the body absorb calcium and produce collagen, a protein that strengthens the bones and connective tissues. Immune System Spinach is loaded with vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and fights off infections and inflammation. Spinach also contains vitamin E, which enhances the immune response and protects the cells from oxidative stress. Digestion Spinach is high in fiber, which helps regulate digestion and prevent constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. Fiber also feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients. It also supports the immune system. Skin And Hair Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and iron, which are essential for healthy skin and hair. Vitamin A helps maintain the moisture and elasticity of the skin and prevents acne and wrinkles. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which keeps the skin firm and smooth. On the other hand, vitamin E helps protect the skin from sun damage and aging. Iron helps deliver oxygen to the skin and hair cells and prevents anemia, which can cause hair loss and pale skin. How To Harvest Spinach So It Keeps Growing One of the best things about spinach is that it's a cut-and-come-again crop. This means you can harvest it multiple times throughout the season if you do it correctly. Here are the steps to follow to harvest spinach so it keeps growing: Choose the right time to harvest The best time to harvest spinach is when the leaves are young and tender. This is usually about 40 to 50 days after planting. You can also harvest baby spinach leaves earlier, about 25 to 30 days after planting. You should harvest spinach before it starts to bolt. This is when it produces flowers and seeds and becomes bitter and tough. Spinach usually bolts when the days get longer and warmer. So, you should harvest it more frequently in the spring and summer. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the leaves You can either cut the whole plant at the base, leaving about an inch of stem, or cut individual leaves from the outer part of the plant, leaving the inner leaves to grow. You should cut the leaves about an inch above the soil, to avoid damaging the crown and the roots. Moreover, you should also avoid cutting too many leaves from one plant, as this will weaken the plant and reduce the yield. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least half of the leaves on each plant. Wash and dry the leaves  You should wash the spinach leaves as soon as possible after harvesting, to remove any dirt, bugs, or pesticides. You can use a colander or a salad spinner to rinse the leaves under cold water. After this, pat them dry with a paper towel or a cloth. Additionally, you should remove any damaged or yellow leaves, and trim any tough stems. Enjoy or store the leaves You can eat the spinach leaves fresh, or store them in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. We'll explain how to store and freeze spinach in the next sections. How to Harvest Spinach Seeds? If you want to save some spinach seeds for the next season or share them with your friends and family, you must let some spinach plants bolt and produce flowers and seeds. Here are the steps to follow to harvest spinach seeds: Select the best plants to save seeds from It would be best if you chose healthy, vigorous, and productive plants with the desired characteristics. Some of these are the flavor, size, color, and disease resistance. Apart from these, you should also avoid saving seeds from hybrid varieties, as they will not produce true-to-type plants. You should look for open-pollinated or heirloom varieties, which will produce plants that are similar to the parent plants. Isolate the plants to prevent cross-pollination Spinach is a wind-pollinated crop, which means that it can cross-pollinate with other spinach plants or related plants, such as beets, chard, or quinoa, within a distance of up to a mile. This can result in seeds that have different traits than the parent plants. To prevent cross-pollination, you should isolate the plants you want to save seeds from, by either planting them far away from other spinach plants or related plants, or covering them with a mesh bag or a cage. Let the plants flower and set seeds You should let the plants bolt and produce flowers, which are small and yellow, and then wait for the seeds to form and mature. The seeds are round and black, and they are enclosed in a spiny husk. The seeds are ready to harvest when they are dry and hard, and the husks are brown and brittle, usually about four to six weeks after flowering. Harvest and clean the seeds  You should cut the seed stalks and place them in a paper bag or a bucket, and then shake or rub them to release the seeds from the husks. Furthermore, you should then winnow the seeds, which separates the seeds from the chaff or the husks and other debris. You can do this by blowing or fanning the seeds or using a screen or a sieve. You should end up with clean and shiny seeds. Store the seeds It would be best if you stored the spinach seeds in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a jar, a tin, or a plastic bag. You should also label the seeds with the variety name and the date of harvest. Besides, you can store the spinach seeds for up to five years, but they will germinate better if you use them within two to three years. How to Store and Freeze Spinach? Spinach is best eaten fresh, as it loses its flavor and texture quickly. However, if you have a large harvest, or you want to preserve spinach for later use, you can store or freeze it. Here are the best ways to store and freeze spinach: Store spinach in the refrigerator  You can store fresh spinach in the refrigerator for up to a week if you keep it in a perforated plastic bag or a container with a lid. However, you should avoid washing the spinach before storing it, as this will make it wilt faster. You should wash the spinach just before using it. Freeze spinach raw You can freeze raw spinach without blanching it, which is a process of briefly cooking and cooling the vegetables to stop the enzyme activity that causes them to spoil. However, freezing raw spinach will result in a mushy and watery texture and a loss of flavor and nutrients. To freeze raw spinach, you should wash and dry the leaves, and then pack them in freezer bags or containers, leaving some space for expansion. You can freeze raw spinach for up to six months, and use it in smoothies, soups, or casseroles. Freeze spinach blanched You can freeze blanched spinach, which will retain its color, texture, flavor, and nutrients better than raw spinach. To freeze blanched spinach, you should wash and trim the leaves, and then blanch them in boiling water for one to two minutes, depending on the size of the leaves. You should then drain and cool the leaves, and squeeze out the excess water. You can then pack the leaves in freezer bags or containers, leaving some space for expansion. Furthermore, you can freeze blanched spinach for up to a year, and use it in salads, sandwiches, or quiches. Things to Keep in Mind: How to Grow Spinach Successfully? Spinach is a cool-season crop that grows best in the spring and fall, when the temperatures are between 40°F and 75°F. It can tolerate light frost but not heat or drought. Spinach also prefers moist, fertile, and well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Here are some tips and tricks on how to grow spinach successfully: Choose the right variety There are many types of spinach, but the most common varieties are savoy, semi-savoy, and flat-leafed. Savoy spinach has dark green, crinkly leaves that are great for salads and wraps. Semi-savoy spinach has slightly curled leaves that are more resistant to diseases and bolting. Flat-leafed spinach has smooth, broad leaves that are easy to clean and process. You can also choose spinach varieties based on their maturity time, bolt resistance, flavor, and color. Bloomsdale, Tyee, Space, Melody, and Red Kitten are popular spinach varieties. Sow the seeds  You can sow spinach seeds directly in the garden, or start them indoors and transplant them later. The best time to sow spinach seeds is in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked, or in late summer or early fall, for a winter harvest. You can also sow spinach seeds every two to three weeks, for a continuous harvest. Besides this, you should sow the seeds about half an inch deep, and one to two inches apart, in rows that are 12 to 18 inches apart. You should water the seeds well, and keep the soil moist until they germinate, which usually takes seven to 14 days. Thin the seedlings When the spinach seedlings have two to four true leaves, you should thin them to avoid overcrowding and competition. You should leave about four to six inches of space between each plant, and eat or transplant the thinned seedlings. You should also weed the area around the spinach plants regularly, to prevent pests and diseases. Harvest the leaves Depending on the variety, you can start harvesting spinach leaves when they are big enough to eat, usually about 25 to 50 days after sowing. You can either harvest the whole plant or pick individual leaves from the outer part of the plant, leaving the inner leaves to grow. Additionally, you should harvest spinach in the morning, when the leaves are crisp and fresh, and before the sun gets too hot. You should also harvest spinach before it starts to bolt, which is when it produces flowers and seeds, and becomes bitter and tough. How to Use Spinach in Different Cuisines and Recipes? Spinach is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different cuisines and recipes. Whether you want to make a salad, a soup, a pasta, a pie, or a smoothie, spinach can add flavor, color, and nutrition to your dish. Here are some examples of how to use spinach in different cuisines and recipes: Mediterranean cuisine Spinach is a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes, such as spanakopita, a Greek pie made with spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough, or spinach and chickpea stew, a Moroccan dish flavored with cumin, paprika, and lemon juice. You can also make a simple spinach salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Asian cuisine Spinach is widely used in Asian cuisine, especially in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian dishes. You can make a Chinese spinach and tofu stir-fry with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, or a Japanese spinach and sesame salad with rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. You can also make an Indian spinach and potato curry with onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and garam masala, or a spinach and paneer cheese dish with cream, tomato, and fenugreek. Italian cuisine Spinach is a common ingredient in Italian cuisine, especially in pasta, pizza, and lasagna. You can make a spinach and ricotta ravioli with butter and sage sauce, or a spinach and mushroom pizza with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. You can also make a spinach and cheese lasagna with béchamel sauce, or a spinach and artichoke dip with cream cheese and sour cream. American cuisine  Spinach is also popular in American cuisine, especially salads, sandwiches, and casseroles. You can make a spinach and strawberry salad with almonds and poppy seed dressing or a spinach and bacon sandwich with mayonnaise and mustard. You can also make a spinach and cheese casserole with eggs, milk, and breadcrumbs, or a spinach and artichoke quiche with pie crust and cheddar cheese. Wrapping It Up! Spinach is a wonderful vegetable that you can harvest, store, and use in various ways. It's easy to grow, harvest, and store spinach, as long as you follow some simple steps and tips. It's also healthy, delicious, and versatile, as you can use it in many different cuisines and recipes. Spinach is a green treasure that you don't want to miss. If you want to know about how to harvest spinach, I hope that this blog has been of help to you. If there are any other queries related to the same, please feel free to let me know. All that you need to do is scroll down till you reach the bottom of the page. Then, leave your comments and suggestions in the box below. And I will be ether to answer them all for you. Read Also: How to Harvest Lettuce: A Step-by-Step Guide for Fresh and Crispy Salads Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting Basil! Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest?

Domestic Lifts

Exploring The Ways Domestic Lifts Enhance Mobility And Access

In today's fast-paced world, accessibility is not just a luxury but a fundamental necessity. Whether it's navigating public spaces, buildings, or even our own homes, the ability to move freely and comfortably is something many of us often take for granted. However, this seemingly simple task can present significant barriers for those with mobility challenges. Fortunately, technological advancements have paved the way for solutions that revolutionize accessibility, with lifts emerging as a transformative tool for enhancing mobility. In their various forms, such as elevators, platform lifts, and stairlifts, lifts have become indispensable assets in modern infrastructure. These ingenious devices offer a range of benefits, from facilitating effortless movement between different building levels to enabling access to previously inaccessible spaces. Beyond the tangible benefits of enhanced accessibility, lifts also foster a more inclusive and empathetic society. Let us take a closer look into all the possible ways domestic lifts provide ease of mobility and champion the cause of accessibility for all. Facilitating independent living Lifts play a significant role in facilitating independent living by allowing individuals to navigate their living spaces and access different levels of buildings without assistance. Maintaining independence within their homes is often a primary concern for seniors and individuals with mobility challenges. By eliminating the need to navigate stairs, these lifts allow individuals to access all levels of their homes independently, reducing reliance on caregivers or family members for assistance. For individuals with mobility issues, navigating stairs can pose significant safety risks. Lifts mitigate these risks by providing a secure and stable means of vertical transportation. They also enable individuals to participate fully in social activities, pursue hobbies, and engage with their surroundings without feeling limited by mobility challenges. Enhancing safety Lifts enhance safety in various ways compared to traditional methods of vertical transportation. Lifts eliminate the need to navigate stairs, minimizing the risk of tripping, slipping, or falling. Climbing stairs can physically strain the body, leading to fatigue, muscle strain, and cardiovascular stress, especially for those with preexisting health conditions. Lifts alleviate this strain by providing a comfortable and effortless means of vertical transportation. The lift designs also accommodate wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and other mobility aids, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access different levels safely and comfortably without the risk of tipping over or getting stuck on stairs. In emergency situations such as fires or earthquakes, lifts can be used to safely evacuate individuals, especially those with mobility challenges who may struggle to navigate stairs quickly. Promoting inclusive design Lifts are vital for promoting inclusive design by ensuring that spaces are accessible to people of all abilities, ages, and sizes.  By incorporating lifts, designers create environments that everyone can access and enjoy, regardless of their physical abilities. Lifts eliminate architectural barriers such as stairs, steps, and uneven surfaces, which can pose significant obstacles for people with mobility impairments. This removal of barriers ensures that spaces are equally accessible to everyone, promoting a sense of belonging and inclusivity. Moreover, accessible lifts empower individuals with disabilities to move independently within built environments, preserving their autonomy and dignity. Whether it's installing a home elevator for aging homeowners or integrating platform lifts in heritage buildings, lifts can be customized to meet specific accessibility requirements while preserving the architectural integrity of the space. Supporting leisure and recreation Lifts support leisure and recreation by enhancing accessibility and enabling individuals with mobility challenges to participate in various activities and explore recreational spaces. Installing lifts in recreational facilities, outdoor settings, cultural places, and amusement parks allows individuals with mobility limitations to access elevated viewpoints and enjoy all amenities like everyone else. By providing equal access to leisure and recreational spaces, lifts promote social inclusion and facilitate opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in social activities, connect with others, and build meaningful relationships. Horizontal and vertical transportation Lifts for houses contribute to both horizontal and vertical transportation, addressing different types of mobility needs and overcoming various barriers. Lifts are primarily designed for vertical transportation, enabling individuals to move seamlessly between different levels of buildings. They are designed with spacious interiors, accessible controls, and audiovisual indicators to accommodate individuals with diverse mobility needs, ensuring equitable access for all users. They offer a safe and comfortable mode of transportation, equipped with safety features such as emergency brakes, interlocks, and backup power systems to ensure passenger safety during operation. By providing a means of horizontal transportation, these lifts also empower individuals with mobility challenges to navigate their surroundings independently, promoting autonomy and freedom of movement. Improving public transportation Lifts play a significant role in improving public transportation by enhancing accessibility and inclusivity for a diverse population. Lifts installed in transportation hubs provide an alternative for those who cannot use stairs, ensuring everyone can enter and exit stations safely and independently. For passengers transferring between different modes of transportation, such as from a subway to a bus or vice versa, lifts make the transition seamless. Lifts also contribute to the safety and security of passengers by providing a controlled and monitored means of vertical transportation. Removing barriers to public transportation, lifts support the autonomy and freedom of individuals with mobility challenges, enhancing their quality of life. Empowering employment opportunities Lifts contribute to the environment by empowering employment opportunities and ensuring equal workplace access for individuals with disabilities. Lifts provide a vital means of accessing different building levels, allowing employees with disabilities to reach their workplaces without barriers. By providing lifts, workplaces create an inclusive environment where architectural barriers do not limit employees with disabilities, fostering a sense of belonging and equality among all employees. Access to lifts allows employees with disabilities to move freely within the workplace independently, promoting their sense of dignity and autonomy. Conclusion Domestic lifts represent more than just convenience; they epitomize the liberation of mobility and the expansion of home accessibility. By seamlessly integrating into residential spaces, these lifts empower individuals with mobility challenges to navigate their homes with ease and dignity. Beyond functionality, domestic lifts symbolize a commitment to inclusivity, creating living environments where everyone can thrive regardless of physical limitations. Many lift installation providers and contractors ensure that they are mindful of all these inclusions to provide a holistic and practical usage of these machines.  Read Also: How Well Does Carbon Fiber Perform in the Cold? 4 Ways To Bring A New Look To Your Home Mold Inspection And Testing

how to harvest cilantro

The Best Time and Method to Harvest Cilantro for Maximum Flavor and Aroma

One of the most used herbs in the world, cilantro, is also referred to as Chinese parsley or Coriandrum sativum. Fresh and zesty, cilantro gives your recipes a flavor boost. Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese, African, and even Scandinavian cuisines use it extensively. Even cilantro microgreens are grown from it! Since cilantro itself doesn't keep well and loses aroma and flavor once dried, most people prefer to use it fresh. To have cilantro on hand, you should also have a few plants in the garden. You can harvest the plant for its flavorful cilantro seeds, also known as coriander, even if you don't use the leaves in your recipes. The leaves of the cilantro plants come throughout the spring and summer. Allow them to go to seed at that time since they grow easily in the garden! You must know how to harvest cilantro properly if you want to have a steady supply. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about harvesting cilantro. Harvesting Cilantro: Overview Most people either love or hate the flavor of cilantro leaves. However, you should still think about cultivating a few coriander plants in your garden and saving the seeds for a range of culinary uses. Most people in the US grow this delicious herb for its leaves. But the tasty coriander seeds are also worth harvesting. They have a distinct flavor from cilantro leaves. This fragrant herb of the cool season, cilantro, quickly goes to seed in the long, sweltering summer months. As the plant reaches higher in the sky, its rounded, lobed leaves become feathery. Pretty clusters of tiny white blossoms quickly emerge. Many pollinators are drawn to these nectar- and pollen-rich blossoms, particularly syrphid flies and honeybees. Little round coriander seeds with a kelly green color emerge as the blossoms start to fade. What To Expect from Cilantro? The distinctive flavor of coriander is citrusy and slightly nutty. It goes incredibly well with rice, beans, lentils, and roasted or grilled veggies. You can pick the seeds while they are still young and vibrant green. Or you can wait until they start to turn brown. Since green coriander seed is only found in gardens, it is better to harvest them when they are still green because of their stronger, more distinct flavor. You will not find them in the farmers’ market or the grocery store. If the seeds are kept in a glass container with a lid, then they can be refrigerated for several weeks and frozen effectively as well. Wait until most of the seed turns brown if you want to harvest the mature brown seed for winter grinding or planting next year. Next, trim off a few inches of stalk and the seed heads, then hang them upside down in a brown paper bag. The seeds will drop out of the heads and land in the bag's bottom once they are completely dry. The dry seed should be kept in a dry, cool place in a glass jar with a lid. For optimal flavor, grind it just before using. The flavor difference between freshly ground coriander seed and the pre-ground variety typically found in stores will astound you. Try adding green coriander seeds to dressings and marinades. Frequently adding an equal amount of ground coriander to recipes that call for cumin makes the flavors of the two go particularly well together. How to Harvest Cilantro? The most exciting aspect of growing plants is undoubtedly harvesting. Pick individual cilantro leaves if you plan to use a small amount. It is best to leave at least 1-2 inches of stem above the soil's surface when harvesting larger quantities of cilantro. It is preferable to leave a few lower leaves on the plant to support the herbs until they grow back. To cut the stems cleanly, use harvesting snips, long reach harvesting snips, or sharp, sterilized garden shears. To guarantee that your herbs regrow, it is best to remove only a small portion of the plant at a time. Furthermore, when the cilantro plant blooms and sets seed, the herb may start to taste bitter. So, when wondering how to harvest cilantro, it is preferable to harvest before the plant bolts because the leaves will be less appetizing at that point. When is The Best Time to Harvest Cilantro? When the morning dew has cleared and the sun hasn't set, it's the ideal time of day to harvest a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including cilantro. This way you can lessen the stress on your cilantro plant and give the fresh stock cuts enough time to dry before dusk, which lowers the risk of illness. Before it bolts, harvest cilantro when it is 6 to 8 inches tall. The flavor of cilantro leaves significantly decreases after they have bolted. The lifespan of the cilantro plants can be increased by careful and routine harvesting. It is crucial, though, to wait for your plant to become established before beginning to harvest. The plant develops numerous long, thin stems as it grows. They are ready to be harvested when the stems are long, and the leaves have a lacy appearance. The cilantro herbs are about ten to twelve inches tall at this point. Gather your cilantro in the spring and into the first part of the summer. Your plants may bolt to seed if summertime full sun conditions prove to be too hot for them. The best time to harvest cilantro is early morning. You can either choose to harvest it once a week or source just individual leaves whenever you need them. Most of the time, it takes about 2-3 weeks for regrowth, so you must harvest accordingly. You must remember that regular cut-and-come-again harvesting is the most ideal while the plant keeps producing foliage. How To Store Fresh Cilantro? Part of knowing how to harvest cilantro is also knowing how to store them. It's best to know how much you should take from the garden before you harvest. You will need to learn how to store cilantro if you do not intend to use the leaves right away to extend its shelf life. There are several approaches to try. Storing Cilantro in Water To keep the cilantro leaves dry, wait to wash them after harvesting. For storage purposes, store the stem ends in a glass or jar with 1 to 1.5 inches of water and refrigerate for a few days. At a minimum, change the water once a day. Use a plastic bag to cover the top loosely to preserve the humidity surrounding the herbs. Storing Cilantro in The Freezer Freezing cilantro is another low-maintenance way to store it. Shake off any extra moisture and rinse the leaves to get rid of any garden soil. Tear the leaves into small pieces and stuff them into ice cube trays, covering the herb with just enough water to barely cover. You can pre-measure if you'd like to ensure that you know precisely how much is in each cube for recipes in the future. After the cubes are completely frozen, place them in a freezer bag. Add as needed to marinade, smoothies, soups, and sauces. You can freeze cilantro for up to six or eight months. Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting Basil How To Dry Cilantro? There are two methods for drying cilantro. You can use the oven to dry cilantro. Since hot air can greatly affect the flavor of the finished and dried herb, you might want to avoid using heat if you want to enjoy flavorful dried cilantro. Air drying or hanging drying is a better way to dry cilantro. Gather the stems of the herbs into a small bunch and secure them with a string. Place the bunch in a dark, well-ventilated area and hang it upside down. Alternatively, you can wrap the bunch in a brown paper bag to keep the cilantro from getting dusty. After the bunch has been hanging for about a week, begin to check its level of dryness every day or two. It's ready to be crushed or powdered and stored for later use when it crumbles when touched. Cure the cilantro ahead of time to reduce the possibility of mold growth. Put the dried cilantro in a glass mason jar to cure. Open the jar and give it a good shake every day to let fresh air into it and mix the contents. This will assist in achieving moisture content parity. If you'd like, you can also include a moisture-absorbing packet. How To Harvest Cilantro Seeds? You can harvest the coriander seeds even if you don't like cilantro leaves. The plant can grow to 20 inches when it flowers. This requires temperatures above 75 degrees. Pods will form once they have flowered, and the flowers will fade. Before being harvested, these should be green to brown in color. These pods release the mature seed when it's ready. Tie the stems with the seed pods still attached into a bunch. Next, hang them upside down in a paper bag in a cool, dry place to harvest the seeds. With time, the seeds will sprout and drop into the bag. Store your seeds in a dry, cool place in an airtight jar. Unground dried seeds can be kept for three to four years in storage. Before using dried seeds in your recipes, grind them for the best flavor. How To Harvest Cilantro So It Keeps Growing? If you sow cilantro seeds every two weeks from spring until late summer, you can be sure to always have fresh leaves available. We advise chopping them up and firmly packing them into an ice cube tray filled with water. Then, just place the tray in the freezer. These can then be added directly to hot pans when preparing soups or sauces. Or they can be dropped into hot or cold water for cooking or drinking. What To Do If Cilantro Bolts? It's time to collect and preserve your own coriander seeds once your plant produces seeds. Picture each of those tiny white blossoms turning into a flavorful spice for your cooking or seeds for the following year! In addition to being aesthetically pleasing and tasty, cilantro flowers are also excellent pollinators.  There is a short window of time when the growing seasons of cilantro and tomatoes coincide. This proves they go well together. It usually happens that my tomato and pepper plants are just starting to take off when my cilantro plants bolt, sending forth gorgeous white flowers. To maximize the amount of fruit your plants produce for you, beneficial insects that are feeding on your cilantro flowers will collide with your fruiting plants, vibrate their leaves, and assist in pollination. Ladybugs, butterflies, and bees all love cilantro flowers. It truly is a win-win! Choose Slow Bolt Seeds Seek out seed packets labeled "long-standing" or "slow bolt cilantro," as these varieties have been cultivated to endure longer in the garden. You can find your go-to slow bolt seeds that are 100% certified organic from Seeds of Change. Finding a local seed producer is another smart move. Buying local seeds means you'll be growing a climate-adapted variety of cilantro, which increases the likelihood that you'll keep it longer. Harvest Cilantro Regularly Regularly chop your cilantro leaves. This preserves the health of the plant and guarantees that the leaves of this herb are fresh when you use them. Your cilantro will continue to produce new leaves from the center of the plant if you regularly harvest it by chopping off the older outer leaves. Additionally, your chances of cutting off those immature flower stalks increase with the amount of cilantro you harvest. This will aid in postponing any bolting.  Since cilantro is incredibly obstinate, you can delay as long as you can. Cut that thick center stalk as soon as possible. After that, the plant will start to send outside shoots, giving you a little extra cilantro before it eventually bolts completely. For sun protection, surround your cilantro with tall plants. Plant Taller Plants Around Cilantro for Sun Protection Encircle your cilantro with large warm-season plants (like tomato or pepper plants) so that the taller plants can shade your herbs slightly and help keep the soil cooler as the temperatures rise. After all, four to six hours of sun is sufficient for cilantro to grow. To increase the lifespan of your cilantro in the garden, interplant it with larger plants. Wrapping Up You will need to have patience if you want to collect the seeds for your cilantro. Before seeds can be harvested, cilantro needs to blossom. Before harvesting, the resulting seed heads need to be allowed to dry on the plant for a while. Harvesting the seeds is then as simple as shaking them into a paper bag or chopping off the entire seedhead and placing it inside the bag. If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask about how to harvest cilantro, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you! Read Also: Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? Some Facts You Need to Know About Rainwater Harvesting How to Harvest Lettuce: A Step-by-Step Guide for Fresh and Crispy Salads

how to harvest lettuce

How to Harvest Lettuce: A Step-by-Step Guide for Fresh and Crispy Salads

Since lettuce plants grow best in cool growing seasons, most lettuce varieties are classified as spring or fall greens. However, if the longer days are keeping your lettuce plant producing leaves well into the summer and it hasn't bolted yet, here are some excellent tips to follow to maximize your harvest. Taking individual leaves off the plant is one way to increase its yield. Alternatively, you could sow in succession every two weeks in the early spring or fall to continue the harvest. To offer lettuces shade and protection from the hot summer sun and high temperatures, a third method is to interplant with a taller crop. Lastly, cultivators should seek out cultivars known for their slow bolting, like the looseleaf varieties "Slobolt" and "Sierra." Here is how to harvest lettuce so you can eat some leaves right away and encourage the plant to continue growing more. How To Harvest Lettuce? If you want to harvest lettuce and do not know how to go about it, here are all the details. Follow the steps closely to get the healthiest and crispiest lettuce for your salads and sandwiches. Plant Looseleaf Varieties Your lettuce variety should be ready to harvest in 35 days, according to the seed packet, which means you should have large enough leaves to pick a little more than a month after planting. By regularly picking the outer leaves, you may be able to extend the harvest until late June if you sow seeds in March or April. Begin Harvesting Early in The Season Young lettuce plants will be harmed by light frost, but mature plants can withstand it. If you live in an area where there is no winter frost, you can plant early and begin harvesting the outer leaves when they get to be 4 or 6 inches long. Your harvest can last up to 30 days longer if you plant and harvest early. Pick Lettuce in The Morning It is ideal to harvest lettuce early in the day to avoid the leaves wilting due to the intense heat. The leaves are crispest and flavorful in the morning because they contain the most water. Look For Plants with Large Outer Leaves The center of the crown is where the new growth starts on the lettuce. You must remove the largest, oldest leaves that are about 4-6 inches long. You will find these leaves on the outside of the plant. Cut or Pinch The Outer Leaves At 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the base, pinch off each outer leaf. To break the leaf off the crown, apply just enough pressure with your thumb and forefinger. Another option is to use a sterile, sharp scissor or snipping tool, though there is disagreement about whether doing so accelerates the browning of cut edges. Harvest Until it Flowers When older, mature leaves are consistently removed, the lettuce plant is encouraged to grow new leaves in their place. Harvesting individual leaves is possible until the plant produces a flower stalk, which indicates that it is ready to bolt and set seed. Lettuce turns bitter once it bolts. When to Harvest Lettuce? As soon as the lettuce is large enough to pick, it can be harvested. A seed packet will typically tell you how many days it will take to harvest. For the "cut and come again" method of harvesting loose leaves, standard-size varieties are the most effective. When outer leaves are 4 to 6 inches tall, that's the best time to begin harvesting. There are many varieties of lettuce seeds available, including blends and mesclun mixes. The best varieties to plant for a continuous harvest are called bi-colored, spotted, or loose-leaf lettuces in green and red or burgundy tones. The following are some varieties you might want to try: Black Seeded Simpson Green Salad Bowl Freckles Lolla Rossa Gourmet Mesclun Blend Deer Tongue Garden Leaf Blend Loose leaf lettuce varieties yield the best results from the cut-and-come-again method. Red, green, and oak leaf lettuce are a few examples. Additionally, you can wait to pick until a full head has matured or harvest early leaves from loose-heading varieties like butterhead and romaine. When and How to Gather Lettuce Heads The growth habit of head lettuce is akin to that of cabbage. In order to form a dense, rounded, or clumped shape, younger leaves emerge from the center, and older leaves form layers. There are two types of head lettuce: loosehead (similar to romaine) and crisphead (like iceberg). Let the crisphead varieties mature for a single harvest and keep an eye on them in accordance with the days to harvest specified on the seed packet. When the heads are dense and the appropriate size, they are ready to be picked. If you remove the outer leaves once or twice, loosehead lettuces will still head. However, the size of the fully mature head may decrease as a result. These lettuces can produce a head of looser layering or wrapping leaves (butterhead) or a clump of tall, straight leaves (romaine). Remove crispheads by chopping off the stem just below the center. Loose heads can be trimmed similarly or removed, with roots and subterranean stems cut back to the leaf base, depending on size. What Happens If a Flower Stalk Bolts A lettuce plant will eventually shoot up a flower stalk in the center, a sign that it has reached the end of its life and is ready to bolt, or bloom, and set seed. Though they might still be edible, the lettuce leaves are starting to get tough and bitter. There is no stopping flowering once this process has begun. Throw away the plant and plant again if the weather permits. Types of Lettuce There are four types of lettuce you can choose from when choosing which to grow: leaf, butterhead (loosehead), romaine, and head lettuce. When it comes to cultivation and harvesting, the main distinction is that leaf lettuce crops yield several harvests, whereas head lettuce varieties, such as iceberg, romaine, and butterhead, only yield one harvest. Leaf lettuces are, therefore, a favorite among home gardeners since you can grow them in raised beds, on the ground, or in patio containers. Keep in mind that lettuce is a cool-season crop, so you should schedule your harvest for the spring when the temperature is still cool. Such temperatures are usually around 70 degrees. Find out when the first frost occurs in your area each fall and plant appropriately. Starting fall crops from seed indoors and moving them outside as the weather cools down may be the best option. Seek out head lettuce cultivars such as Crisphead and Iceberg that you can grow from seed. In roughly six weeks, the lettuce will reach maturity and be ready for harvest after the seeds have germinated in 10 to 21 days. One loose butterhead variety that you can grow from seed or seed tape is called Buttercrunch. It takes 65 days to be ready for harvest. Vivian is one of the romaine varieties that yields soft, flavorful leaves. Directly sow seeds in the garden in the spring. Start seeds indoors in the fall and transplant them to your garden. Varieties of loose-leaf lettuce grow quickly and are enjoyable to experiment with in salads, sandwiches, and other culinary creations. Look for mesclun mixes and heirloom cultivars such as "Black Seeded Simpson." Many come in simple-to-grow seed tapes that can be harvested in roughly seven weeks. How to Harvest Leaf Lettuce? When the weather gets chilly, you can harvest salad from a leaf lettuce crop in your home garden whenever you're ready to eat. You can harvest an entire crop of lettuce at once by waiting for it to mature. However, cutting fresh lettuce leaves off as they grow is the easiest way to prepare them for consumption at any time. Depending on the variety, lettuce leaves should be harvested when they reach a length of 3 to 6 inches. Gather leaves continuously until the lettuce plant "bolts." This indicates that the plant has focused its energy on developing seeds and flowers, and as a result, the leaves typically develop tough stems and a bitter taste. How to Harvest a Full Head of Lettuce? A lettuce plant can continue to grow until it produces a full head of leaves. Use the "one and done" approach when harvesting head lettuce. Just make a clean, above-soil knife cut across the entire head of lettuce at the base of the plant. For this, a harvest knife comes in handy. Remember the seed packet and note the maturity or harvesting days. As your plants get bigger, keep an eye out for indicators of maturity, which are typically firm, full heads. Harvest in the spring before it gets too hot, usually when the daytime highs hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The bitter taste of the leaves and the mushy head of lettuce can result from warm weather. How to Store Lettuce? When the lettuce is inside, you can use a colander to wash the leaves and thick cotton towels to dry them so you can use them in salads and sandwiches. In case you cultivate a lot of lettuce, investing in a salad spinner would be wise. It helps dry and wash Lettuce quickly. Lettuce leaves without water should be refrigerated. For most greens, store the leaves in a loose plastic bag for approximately a week. When the salad greens are ready to be eaten, give them a good rinse in several runs of cold water and then pat dry. How to Harvest Lettuce Microgreens? Microgreens are incredibly simple to harvest! When the first true leaves appear, after ten to fifteen days of planting the seeds, they will be ready. When the microgreens are two to three inches long, harvest them if you are measuring them by height. Investigating the flavor profiles of the microgreens at various heights is enjoyable. Cut the entire plant ½ inch above the soil line with a pair of scissors or grass shears. If you need more inspiration, check out our many other interesting gardening tips for growing microgreens, like growing lettuce microgreens! How to Harvest Romaine Lettuce? The leaves of romaine lettuce (also known as cos) have the perfect amount of crunch or crispness. The lettuce plant's outer leaves can be harvested as it grows. The leaves can be chopped off one to two inches above the ground. Gathering these tender green leaves now will give the lettuce more time to ripen before full plants can be harvested. Before Romaine lettuce reaches maturity, it can take 55–70 days to grow from seed. To determine when the lettuce is ripe, examine it directly. When the romaine lettuce leaves are 6 to 8 inches tall, the ribs are firm and juicy, and the leaves have formed a tightly compacted head, the lettuce is ready for harvesting. To test if the lettuce head is firm, squeeze it. Overripe head lettuce will be tough, while young head lettuce will be soft. Harvest by making a cut an inch above the ground, saving the crown for a subsequent harvest. You can harvest the lettuce head by digging up the entire plant if it is nearing the end of its garden lifespan. Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting Basil! Loose Leaf lettuce The harvest window for leaf lettuce varieties is quite broad. After planting, the young, baby lettuce leaves can be harvested 25 days later, and the plant will mature fully in 50–60 days. Make sure your crop is harvested prior to it bolting. Since you can harvest loose-leaf lettuce more than once during the growing season, it's ideal for repeated harvesting. You can chop the entire lettuce plant 1-2" above the soil line once the leaves reach 4".  In 10 to 15 days, fresh leaves that have sprouted from the base will be ready for harvesting again if the crown is left intact.  Try spreading out your seed sowings and doing multiple sowings to ensure a consistent harvest all season long. If you want to preserve the crisp flavor of the young baby greens, you should sow them again. Another method of harvesting involves leaving the inner leaves to grow while pruning the young leaves on the outside of the head for greens. When the plants are 4 inches tall, you can begin harvesting lettuce by cutting them just above the soil line. Crisphead Lettuce When grown locally, crisphead or iceberg lettuce makes for incredibly tasty salad greens.  You might not get a whole head of lettuce, but this can be a cut-and-come-again harvest.  A single harvest is more appropriate for this green lettuce. After planting, there is a 50 to 75-day window for harvest. Iceberg lettuce can be harvested as soon as the head appears before the outer leaves turn brown and as soon as the center feels firm, and the leaves are compacted tightly. Before the crisp lettuce starts to open and the seed stalk starts to form, harvest it. More importantly, if you see the lettuce beginning to bolt—a common issue in hot weather—or the seed stalk, harvest it right away. Harvesting iceberg lettuce is best done by digging up the entire plant and then cutting off the stalk. Because of its thick stem, this lettuce plant can be challenging to harvest while it is still in the ground.  If you decide to harvest the lettuce while it's still in the ground, please take care not to harm it.  You can cut the stem just below the leaves by lifting the lettuce upwards. Wrapping Up Nothing compares to the sheer satisfaction of harvesting and regrowing fresh, new lettuce from the same plant. You are far superior to other lettuce owners if you can figure out how to harvest lettuce correctly so that it keeps growing. Thus, if you want to become a rich lettuce farmer, make sure you constantly and meticulously follow all the above steps! If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask about how to harvest lettuce, then please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you. Read Also: Some Facts You Need to Know About Rainwater Harvesting Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? Exploring Ideas For A Biophilic Home Design

how to harvest basil

Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting Basil!

Basil is one of the most popular and versatile herbs you can grow in your garden or indoors. It has a fresh and aromatic flavor that can enhance any dish, from salads and soups to pizzas and pastas. Basil is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants just like cilantro. It can benefit your health and well-being. But how do you harvest basil properly so that it keeps growing and producing more leaves?   If these are some of the things you want to know, I have you covered! In this article, I will answer all these questions and more and give you everything you need to know about harvesting basil! So, keep on reading this blog till the end to learn more…  How to Harvest Basil Leaves? The first thing you need to know about harvesting basil is when to do it. The best time to harvest basil leaves is in the morning when the plant is still fresh and moist. Avoid harvesting basil in the afternoon or evening when the plant is dry and wilted. Also, avoid harvesting basil when it is raining or wet, as this can cause the leaves to rot or mold. Steps to Harvest Basil Leaves To harvest basil leaves, you will need a pair of scissors or a sharp knife and a basket or a bowl to collect the leaves. You can also use your fingers to pinch off the leaves, but be careful not to damage the stem or the plant. Here are the steps to follow: Start from the top of the plant, and look for the stems with leaf clusters. These are called the terminal buds, and they are where the basil flowers will grow. You want to remove these buds, as they will make the plant stop producing new leaves and focus on flowering and seeding. This will reduce the flavor and quality of the basil leaves. Cut or pinch off the stem just below the terminal bud, leaving about a quarter of an inch of stem above the next pair of leaves. This will encourage the plant to grow two new stems from the leaf nodes and produce more leaves. You can also cut or pinch off any other stems that are too long or leggy and leave about four to six pairs of leaves on each stem. Repeat this process for all the stems that have terminal buds, and collect the leaves in your basket or bowl. You can also harvest some of the lower leaves but leave enough leaves on the plant to allow it to photosynthesize and grow. You should not harvest more than a third of the plant at a time, as this can stress the plant and reduce its growth and health. After harvesting, rinse the leaves with water and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can use them fresh or store them for later use. How to Harvest Basil So It Keeps Growing One of the benefits of harvesting basil is that it stimulates the plant to grow more leaves and branches and prevents it from flowering and seeding. However, you need to harvest basil regularly and correctly, so that it keeps growing and producing more leaves. Here are some tips to follow. For instance, you must harvest basil: At least once every two weeks, or more often if you see the terminal buds forming. This will keep the plant bushy and compact and prevent it from becoming woody and bitter. From different parts of the plant, and not always from the same spot. This will ensure that the plant grows evenly and does not become lopsided or uneven. Before it flowers. This is because the flowers will reduce the flavor and quality of the leaves. If you see any flowers forming, remove them as soon as possible. You can also pinch off the flowers and use them as edible garnishes or decorations, as they have a mild and sweet flavor. Before the frost, as the cold weather will kill the plant. You can either harvest the whole plant and store it for later use, or bring it indoors and keep it in a sunny and warm spot. You can also propagate the plant by taking cuttings and rooting them in water or soil and grow new plants for the next season. How to Harvest Basil Without Killing The Plant? Harvesting basil is different from harvesting lettuce or other plants. The process is good for the plant and you, as you can enjoy the fresh and aromatic leaves in your dishes. However, you need to be careful not to harvest too much or too often, as this can harm and kill the plant. Here are some dos and don'ts of harvesting basil without killing it: Do harvest basil from the top of the plant, not the bottom or the middle. This will allow the plant to grow stems and leaves from the lower nodes and maintain its shape and structure. Don't harvest basil from the main stem or cut it too close to the ground. This will damage the plant and prevent it from growing new stems and leaves. Leave at least four to six pairs of leaves on each stem and about an inch of stem above the ground. Do harvest basil gently and carefully, and not roughly or forcefully. This will avoid injuring the plant and exposing it to diseases or pests. Use a sharp and clean tool, such as scissors or a knife, and make clean and smooth cuts. You can also use your fingers to pinch off the leaves but be gentle and precise. Don't harvest basil when it is stressed or unhealthy, such as when it is wilting, yellowing, or diseased. This will weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to further damage. Wait until the plant recovers and looks healthy and green before harvesting. You can also water and fertilize the plant to help it grow and thrive. Do harvest basil when it is young and tender, not old and tough. This will ensure the leaves are fresh, flavorful, and not bitter or woody. Harvest basil when the leaves are about two to three inches long before they curl or turn brown. How to Pick Basil Leaves? Picking basil leaves is another way to harvest and use the leaves in your dishes. You can pick basil leaves with your fingers or with a pair of tweezers, depending on your preference and convenience. Here are some tips on how to pick basil leaves. For instance, you can pick it: From the top of the plant, not the bottom or the middle. This will allow the plant to grow stems and leaves from the lower nodes and maintain its shape and structure. From the stems that have terminal buds, not from those that have none. This will prevent the plant from flowering and seeding and producing more leaves. You can also pick some of the lower leaves but leave enough leaves on the plant to allow it to photosynthesize and grow. Gently and carefully, and not roughly or forcefully. This will avoid injuring the plant and exposing it to diseases or pests. Use your fingers to pinch off the leaves or a pair of tweezers to pluck them off. Be gentle and precise, and do not pull or tug on the leaves or the stems. When they are young and tender and not when they are old and tough, this will ensure the leaves are fresh, flavorful, and not bitter or woody. Pick basil when the leaves are about two to three inches long before they curl or turn brown. How to Store Basil Leaves? Storing basil leaves is a great way to preserve and enjoy them for later use. You can store basil leaves in different ways, depending on how long you want to keep them and how you want to use them. Here are some of the best ways to store basil leaves: Refrigerate Them You can refrigerate basil leaves for up to a week, by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and placing them in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. This will keep them moist and fresh, and prevent them from wilting or drying out. However, you should not wash them. Freeze Them You can freeze basil leaves for up to six months, by blanching them in boiling water for a few seconds, and then plunging them in ice water to stop the cooking process. This will preserve their color and flavor, and prevent them from browning or oxidizing. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel, and place them in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. You can also chop them and mix them with some olive oil, and freeze them in ice cube trays. This will make it easier to use them in soups, sauces, or dressings. Dry Them You can dry basil leaves for up to a year, by hanging them upside down in a warm and dry place, such as a closet or a pantry. This will dehydrate them and concentrate their flavor, and make them last longer. However, you should avoid drying them in direct sunlight, as this can bleach them and reduce their quality. You can also dry them in an oven or a microwave, but be careful not to burn them or overcook them. Once they are dry, you can store them in a glass jar or a spice container, and crush them or grind them before using them. Make Pesto You can make pesto with basil leaves, by blending them with some garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. This will create a delicious and versatile sauce that you can use for pasta, sandwiches, salads, or dips. You can store pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to six months. You can also customize pesto by adding other herbs, nuts, cheeses, or spices, according to your taste and preference. How to Cut Basil? Cutting basil is a simple and easy way to harvest and use the leaves in your dishes. You can cut basil with scissors, a knife, or your fingers, depending on your preference and convenience. Here are some tips on how to cut basil: Wash and dry the basil leaves before cutting them to remove any dirt or insects. You can rinse them under running water or soak them in a water bowl with a few drops of vinegar. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel or spin them in a salad spinner. Cut the basil leaves just before using them, to preserve their flavor and aroma. If you cut them too early, they will lose their freshness and wilt. You can also bruise or damage the leaves if you cut them too roughly or with a dull tool. Cut the basil leaves according to the size and shape that you need for your recipe. You can either leave them whole or chop them finely or coarsely. You can also cut them into ribbons or strips, by stacking several leaves together, rolling them up, and slicing them thinly. This is called the chiffonade technique, and it creates a beautiful and elegant garnish. Cut the basil leaves with a sharp and clean tool, such as scissors or a knife, and not with a blender or a food processor. This will avoid bruising or crushing the leaves and releasing their oils and juices. You can also use your fingers to tear or pinch off the leaves but be gentle and careful. How to Use Basil Leaves? Using basil leaves is a fun and easy way to add flavor and aroma to your dishes. You can use basil leaves in different ways, depending on your mood and occasion. Here are some of the best ways to use basil leaves: Fresh You can use fresh basil leaves to garnish and enhance your dishes, such as salads, soups, pizzas, and pastas. Also you can use fresh basil leaves to make salads, such as caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, or Greek salad with cucumbers, feta cheese, and basil. You can also use fresh basil leaves to make drinks, such as lemonade, tea, or cocktails, with basil, lemon, sugar, and water. Cooked You can use cooked basil leaves to flavor and season your dishes, such as sauces, stews, curries, and casseroles. Also you can use cooked basil leaves to make dishes, such as tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and onion, or chicken with basil, cream, and mushrooms. You can also use cooked basil leaves to make breads, such as focaccia with basil, olive oil, and salt, or muffins with basil, cheese, and eggs. Preserved You can use preserved basil leaves to store and enjoy them for later use, such as freezing, drying, or making pesto. Also you can use preserved basil leaves to make dishes, such as pesto pasta with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, or roasted vegetables with basil, olive oil, and salt. You can also use preserved basil leaves to make snacks, such as crackers with basil, cheese, and honey, or popcorn with basil, butter, and salt. Wrapping It Up! Basil is a wonderful herb that you can grow and harvest in your garden or indoors. It has a fresh and aromatic flavor that can enhance any dish, and a rich and nutritious profile that can benefit your health and well-being. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can learn how to harvest basil properly, so that it keeps growing and producing more leaves, how to cut basil, pick basil leaves, and store them for later use, and how to use basil leaves in different and delicious ways. Read Also: Some Facts You Need to Know About Rainwater Harvesting Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest? Exploring Ideas For A Biophilic Home Design


6 Types Of Signs Every Apartment Resident Should Know About

Signage plays a crucial role in communicating important information and guiding residents and visitors at apartment complexes. From practical wayfinding signs to eye-catching banners advertising available units, the right signs can make all the difference.  This blog explores the array of sign options that apartment managers have at their disposal to effectively convey messages, improve accessibility, and enhance curb appeal. We’ll look at everything from illuminated “Vacancy” signs to inform potential renters of availability to parking designation signs that help maintain order in lots. Metal laser cut signage like building and unit number markers also make it easier for emergency responders, delivery drivers, and visitors to navigate complexes. Plus, promotional banners can attract interest from passersby. With a thoughtful signage strategy, managers can ensure their apartment community puts its best face forward while helping residents and guests seamlessly get where they need to go. Effective Safety Signage for Apartment Complexes Strategic safety signs are a must for any apartment community, helping to mitigate risk and give residents peace of mind. Required by law in many cases, these symbols and warnings serve an important function by alerting residents and visitors to potential hazards, emergency resources, and proper protocols.  Exit signs with directional arrows provide critical guidance in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation. Highly visible hazard signs denoting slippery floors or wet paint caution people to avoid dangerous conditions. Signs indicating the locations of safety equipment like fire extinguishers and defibrillators can save critical seconds in an emergency. Parking and traffic signs help maintain order in complex lots and garages. Warning symbols for loud noises, falling objects, or other construction hazards around work zones keep passersby safe. When properly placed around an apartment community, these simple but essential signs convey a message of preparedness and attention to safety that gives residents confidence in their building management. Contemporary Signage for an Inviting Apartment Atmosphere An apartment community's signage makes a strong first impression on prospective residents. To keep pace in a competitive market, modern, stylish signs are a must in showcasing an up-to-date, inviting atmosphere.  Sleek, backlit LED signs at a complex's entrance identify the property while seamlessly blending contemporary aesthetics. Likewise, stylish building IDs with minimalist lettering and colors that pop evoke modern tastes. Parking signs with clean lines and high-visibility reflective vinyl or thermoplastic lettering also exude a contemporary vibe.  Inside leasing offices, wayfinding signage with intuitive pictograms, sans-serif fonts, and bright accent colors speaks to today's sensibilities. Outdoor banners sporting vibrant images, short impactful phrases, and a distinctive modern style attract the gaze of passersby. Signs with polished, contemporary finishes appeal aesthetically and communicate professionalism and quality. By partnering with an innovative sign company, apartments can keep their image fresh, memorable, and inviting for new generations of renters. Promotional Signage for Apartment Events Special events help apartment communities build a sense of togetherness and camaraderie among residents. To generate buzz and boost participation, targeted signage is an invaluable promotional tool. Eye-catching vinyl banners prominently displayed at a complex's entrance build anticipation and awareness of upcoming holiday parties, poolside barbecues, and other resident events. Sandwich boards stationed in high-traffic common areas like mailrooms spread the word on everything from movie nights to fitness classes. For events like trick-or-treating or a pet parade that will draw outside visitors, roadside signs posted nearby grab attention from passersby.  Temporary signage like corrugated yard signs, A-frame sidewalk signs, and posters hung in common spaces ensure residents receive frequent reminders leading up to each event. The vibrant, festive designs set a fun tone. After an event concludes, a thoughtful "Thank You" sign shows appreciation for those who participated. With the right signage strategy, apartment managers can generate buzz and bring their community together around special activities and gatherings year-round. Clear Identification Signs for Apartment Buildings A clear signage strategy is essential in any apartment community to help residents and guests easily identify buildings, units, and common spaces. Proper identification guides traffic, minimizes confusion, and improves the overall living experience.   Illuminated building numbers and address signs ensure emergency responders can quickly locate the correct structures. Unit number signs on floors and doors give each residence a sense of identity. Room ID signs labeled with easy-to-read text and icons help differentiate laundries, fitness centers, lobbies, and other shared amenities. Custom room name signs add personality to spaces like game rooms or theaters.  Well-designed identification signage also reinforces security. Authorized access signs for private lobbies or gated garages deter unwanted visitors. And placards labeling restricted areas like electrical rooms or roof access help keep people safe.  Finally, a clear wayfinding signage strategy with directionals pointing to different building exits or parking areas simplifies navigation. With thoughtful placement and durable materials, identification signage provides clarity, security, and convenience for years of daily use. Accessible Signage for ADA Apartment Compliance In apartment complexes, proper ADA-compliant signage is a legal requirement to accommodate residents and guests with disabilities. Following ADA guidelines help ensure equal access and inclusion for all. Signs must have high visual contrast between lettering and background without glare or shadows. Grade 2 braille placed below the text provides accessibility for the blind and visually impaired. Raised characters and pictograms allow signs to be interpreted non-visually by touch.  Accessible signs use simple, intuitive icons that transcend language barriers. Directional signs assist with wayfinding. Room signs identify amenities. Informational signs indicate accessible routes, entrances, exits, and areas of rescue assistance. Stairway signs guide users towards ramps.  By law, permanent spaces like unit entrances and common rooms require ADA signs. Temporary signs like parking warnings should also follow recommendations. With a thoughtful sign plan incorporating contrast, braille-raised characters, and icons, apartment complexes demonstrate their commitment to creating a welcoming, navigable environment for all residents and visitors. Intuitive Wayfinding Signage for Apartment Complexes A clear wayfinding signage strategy is essential for any apartment community, allowing residents and guests to seamlessly navigate between buildings, amenities, and parking areas. Intuitive signs reduce frustration and reflect thoughtful management. Directional signs posted at complex entrances and key intersections point visitors toward leasing offices, guest parking, and specific buildings. Trailblazer signs on main walkways provide ongoing orientation. Arrows, international symbols, and maps further aid navigation at junctions.  Building directories found in main lobbies centralize location information for amenities like fitness centers, pools, and business centers. Illuminated unit number signs outside stairwells and elevators confirm users are on the correct floor. Parking signs with color coding and space numbers help distinguish lots and spaces.  With thoughtful placement and highly visible reflective materials, wayfinding signage ensures visitors quickly find their destination. This cuts down on circling, enhances first impressions, and communicates a resident-focused environment. Simply put, good wayfinding equals good management. Conclusion An effective signage plan is invaluable for any apartment community, serving practical and aesthetic purposes. From illuminating building numbers that assist emergency response to wayfinding signage guiding foot traffic, signage provides orientation, security, accessibility, and visual appeal. Managers must consider permanent signage needs like room IDs and ADA compliance and options for changeable messaging to promote leasing availability or resident events. The finishes and design details of all signs should align with the complex's contemporary style and branding. Utilizing sign types from digital displays to sidewalk A-frames provides flexibility. With the help of an experienced sign company, managers can develop a comprehensive signage strategy tailored to their complex's specific spaces, needs, and aspirations. From influencing first impressions to sustaining long-term functionality, signage positively impacts apartments in countless ways. When thoughtfully designed, fabricated, and placed, signage cements an apartment community's identity as an inviting, navigable place residents are proud to call home. Read Also: How to Make Your Student Apartment Feel Like Your Own House? Things You Can Do to Your Apartment to Raise Its Value 5 Interior House Painting Tips

Home Maintenance

How To Approach Home Maintenance With A Focus On Well-Being

We all know, at least by intuition, that having our living spaces clean is important – and not just because of the visual appeal of it. Then, what are the main reasons why it’s so crucial for our lives? Sure, the look of a clean home, the convenience of finding things in their place, habits it helps us foster, and the sense of obligation – especially if you live with other people, all of them play their part. But, there’s something that really makes house cleaning vital: the link between it and our physical and mental well-being. So, what aspects of health are we talking about here, and how exactly does keeping your home in shape make a difference? According to Hire A Maid and their team of seasoned experts in house cleaning, there are a few main health-related considerations that connect to the state of our living spaces. We’ll discuss them below, and then explain how to approach home maintenance with a focus on well-being. What Are The Approaches Of Home Maintenance With A Focus On Well-Being There are a lot of approaches to home maintenance with a focus on well-being. In this case these approaches are quite suitable and feasible in terms of keeping your health nice and up to the mark. Below I am going to discuss the approaches of home maintenance with a focus on well-being.  1) Germs & Contaminants This one is pretty straightforward: cleaner space means fewer germs and other contaminants. Your goal shouldn’t be to live in a completely sterile bubble, it’s more the means to lower the chance of illness by keeping those pesky germs at bay, especially during flu season.  To that end, you should regularly wipe and disinfect surfaces throughout your home and give extra attention to the high-touch ones. It’s a tried and tested way to keep yourself and your family safe.  And don’t forget the kitchen and bathroom, where a combination of moisture and food particles creates ideal conditions for pathogens to thrive. To make sure all of these areas are regularly addressed, it’s best to craft a realistic cleaning routine – one that’s easy to stick to but still addresses all microbe-prone surfaces regularly.  2) Allergens & Air Quality Allergies are a common issue, one that many people unfortunately have to deal with even in the safety of their own homes. Allergy symptoms may be somewhat unpredictable, but luckily, it’s possible to lessen their grip on your day-to-day life. It’s quite simple really: regular cleaning reduces the amount of allergens the same way it reduces the number of germs.  Dust is a common culprit for triggering reactions, along with dust mites. And even if you and your family members don’t suffer from allergies, dust and dust mites can irritate almost anyone.  To reduce the amount of irritant particles and improve the quality of air in your home, focus on dusting regularly and efficiently, use a high-quality vacuum, and tackle upholstery, carpets, and bedding whenever possible. 3) Order & Stress Levels Aside from being an eyesore, clutter can crowd your mind as much as your space. The hassle of moving around through the mess, a decrease in productivity – these are just some of the ways in which clutter and neglected cleaning tasks can add to your stress levels.  Before you know it, it becomes a loop where the sight of the mess and the dread of having to address it feed into each other, making you feel increasingly overwhelmed.  Tackling clutter is about reclaiming peace as much as it’s about reclaiming your space. Start small – a drawer, a shelf, a corner, and work your way through the home. If possible, rely on others for help, whether it’s family members or hiring a cleaning professional. Once everything is in order, brainstorm ways to keep clutter from creeping back in. The ripple effects of a clean home on our well-being are extensive. Improved sleep, heightened concentration, and a general sense of wellbeing are all byproducts of a space that breathes cleanliness and order. Furthermore, the discipline and habits cultivated through regular home maintenance can translate into other areas of life, promoting a lifestyle that values mindfulness, health, and balance. What Are The Monthly Home Maintenance Checklists? While this is about a monthly home maintenance checklist, preserving the property’s condition is essential. Below, I am going to discuss the monthly home maintenance checklists.  1) Cleaning HVAC Filters  While this is about adequately installed HVAC filters, this will help you breathe easily in your home. This further ensures that your cooling and heating systems will also work efficiently.  2) Test Smoke Alarms  Always ensure that smoke detectors are functional in the home. This is a key feature for early detection in handling several other safety hazards. On the other hand, you must replace such batteries every six months to keep consistent and reliable operations.  3) Clearing Drains and Sinks  Always ensure that you are regularly clearing sinks and drains. These will prevent the inconvenience and chaos of several other clogs.  4) Examining Electrical Cords  Always examine several electrical cords. In this case, you must inspect the cables for frayed wires, or else you will lose the connections, which would prevent the electrical hazard.  5) Lubricating Door Locks and Hinges  Always lubricate the door hinges and locks to prevent doors from further squeaking. This ensures the smoother operations of several other locks.  6) Cleaning Gutters And Downspouts  After regularly purging the blockages and water damage, you might get a flawless water service across the entire washroom.  7) Checking Plumbing For Leaks Always ask the plumber to detect leaks as early as possible. This will save and prevent money along with extensive damage. Ensure you check the shower heads, plumbing, and faucets for such leaking to avoid headaches. It takes work to handle this kind of service, especially every season.  What Are The Four Types Of Maintenance Strategies That You Must Know?  Did you know that predictive maintenance is about rapidly gaining and sparked by several other advancements across the IIoT? Below, I will discuss four types of maintenance strategies you must know.  1) Reactive Maintenance  After all, reactive maintenance is quite simple as it can fix several other things they usually break. Since repairs still need to be planned. Ultimately, this is a suitable method in which you can employ equipment that is optional for operations. Or else this has a low cost.  2) Preventive Maintenance  Another one of the most suitable approaches, which entails periodically pausing the operation of assets, is preventive maintenance. One of the main objectives of this maintenance is to enhance the lifespan of assets.  3) Reliability Centered Maintenance After all, reliability-centered reliability-centered maintenance acknowledges equipment failure, which is not always unpredictable. This delves deep in terms of analyzing each equipment’s potential failure patterns. This is also applicable to craft a tailored maintenance plan.  4) Predictive Maintenance Did you know that predictive maintenance is a vibration of analyzing a sensor that might warn of an impending malfunction? This prompts inspection, and this would also be feasible for timely repair. In Conclusion It’s clear that the benefits of regular home maintenance go beyond the surface. Fighting off germs, clearing the air from allergens, reducing stress levels – the impact on well-being is undeniable. It’s all about including mindful cleaning habits into your life, for the sake of your and your family’s well-being. So, embrace these tasks, rely on a routine, don’t hesitate to ask for help tackling them, and enjoy a living space in which you can thrive. I hope you liked this article! Read Also: Home Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Home In Good Condition Home Maintenance Plans And Cleaning Tips During Covid-19

how to harvest asparagus-

Asparagus 101: When, How, And How Often To Harvest?

If you are a gardener like me, you must have thought about harvesting greens that you eat at restaurants at your house. One of these days, I was with my friends from my university, and we were discussing the importance of eating veggies for staying healthy. And they could not figure out the best ways to effectively do so. Reading my previous blog about cilantro, Laila asked me, “how to grow and harvest asparagus?” Well, surely asparagus is one of the most delicious and nutritious vegetables you can grow in your garden. But what a lot of people do not know is that it's also one of the easiest once you know how to harvest asparagus properly. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about harvesting asparagus, from when to start, how to cut, and how often to do it. Additionally, I will also share some tips on how to store and freeze asparagus, as well as the benefits of eating this green wonder. So, keep on reading till the end to learn more...  How Does Asparagus Grow? Before I dive into the seemingly difficult process of how to harvest asparagus, let me help you grow it.  Asparagus is a perennial plant that grows from a crown of roots that can live for up to 20 years. The crown produces spears, which are the edible part of the plant, every spring. The spears grow rapidly, sometimes up to an inch per day, and can reach a height of 6 to 10 inches. The spears are harvested before they open into fern-like leaves, which are edible and tough. Asparagus grows best in well-drained, sandy soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. It prefers full sun and moderate temperatures and needs regular watering and fertilizing. Asparagus can be grown from seeds or crowns, but crowns are easier and faster to establish. Crowns are planted in trenches about 12 to 18 inches apart and covered with 2 to 3 inches of soil. As the spears emerge, more soil is added until the trench is filled Benefits of Asparagus Asparagus is not only tasty, but also healthy. It's low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants just like spinach. It can help lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, support digestion, and prevent urinary tract infections. Asparagus also contains a compound called asparagine, which is a natural diuretic that helps flush out excess fluids and salts from the body. Asparagus is also a good source of folate, which is essential for pregnant women and fetal development When to Harvest Asparagus? The first year after planting, you should not harvest any asparagus spears, as they need to grow and strengthen the root system. The second year, you can harvest a few spears for a short period, about two to three weeks. The third year and beyond, you can harvest asparagus for a longer period, up to eight weeks, depending on the climate and the health of the plants. The best time to harvest asparagus is in the early morning when the spears are crisp and tender. You should harvest asparagus when the spears are about 6 to 10 inches tall, and before the tips start to open up. If you wait too long, the spears will become woody and bitter. How to Plant and Care for Asparagus? Asparagus is a long-term investment that can reward you with years of delicious harvests. However, it requires some planning and preparation before planting.   Here are some steps to follow to plant and care for asparagus:  Choose the Day  Choose a sunny and well-drained spot in your garden, preferably with sandy or loamy soil. Avoid areas where water tends to pool or where weeds are hard to control. Asparagus also needs plenty of space, so make sure you have at least 4 to 5 feet between rows and 12 to 18 inches between plants. Prepare the Soil  Prepare the soil by adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, and adjusting the pH to 6.5 to 7.5. You can use a soil test kit to check the pH and nutrient levels of your soil. You may also need to add some fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 10-20-10, to boost the phosphorus and potassium content. Dig it Deep Dig a trench about 8 to 12 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide. You can make the trench longer or shorter depending on how many asparagus crowns you have. Asparagus crowns are the dormant roots of the plant that you can buy from nurseries or online. They usually have one-year-old or two-year-old crowns, which are more reliable and productive than seeds. Fertilize Spread some fertilizer along the bottom of the trench, about 2 pounds per 100 square feet. Then, cover the fertilizer with 2 to 3 inches of soil, forming a ridge in the center of the trench. Placing the Plant Place the asparagus crowns on top of the ridge, about 12 to 18 inches apart, with the buds facing up. The crowns should be slightly below the soil surface, about 1 to 2 inches deep. Do not bury them too deep, as this will delay the emergence of the spears. Focus on the Crown Cover the crowns with another 2 to 3 inches of soil, and water well. As the spears grow, gradually fill in the trench with more soil, until it is level with the ground. This will help protect the crowns from frost and weeds. Add Mulch  Mulch the bed with straw, leaves, or wood chips, to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. You can also add some organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion or seaweed extract, every few weeks during the growing season, to encourage healthy growth. Keep in Mind Do not harvest any asparagus spears in the first year, as they need to establish a strong root system. In the second year, you can harvest a few spears for a short period, about two to three weeks. In the third year and beyond, you can harvest asparagus for a longer period, up to eight weeks, depending on the climate and the health of the plants. How to Harvest Asparagus? Now, coming to the most important part that you wanted to know about. Let us talk about the ways to harvest asparagus! To harvest asparagus, you need a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. You should cut the spears at the base, about an inch below the soil surface. Be careful not to damage the crown or the emerging spears. You should also avoid cutting too many spears from one plant, as this will weaken the plant and reduce the yield. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least one-third of the spears on each plant. You should harvest asparagus every day or every other day, depending on how fast the spears grow. You should stop harvesting asparagus when the spears become thinner than a pencil, as this indicates that the plant is running out of energy. You should then let the spears grow into ferns, which will replenish the crown and prepare it for the next season. How to Store and Freeze Asparagus? Unlike lettuce, which you can store for more than a week, asparagus is best eaten fresh, as it loses its flavor and texture quickly. If you can't eat it right away, you should store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. To keep it fresh, you should trim the ends of the spears and stand them upright in a glass of water or wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in a plastic bag. If you want to preserve asparagus for longer, you can freeze it. To freeze asparagus, you should first wash and trim the spears, and then blanch them in boiling water for two to three minutes, depending on the thickness.  Blanching is a process of briefly cooking and cooling the vegetables to stop the enzyme activity that causes them to spoil.  After blanching, you should drain and cool the spears, and then pack them in freezer bags or containers, leaving some space for expansion. You can freeze asparagus for up to a year, and use it in soups, casseroles, or stir-fries. How to Prevent and Treat Asparagus Pests and Diseases?  Asparagus is generally a hardy and resilient plant, but it can still suffer from some pests and diseases that can affect its growth and quality. Here are some of the most common problems that affect asparagus plants, and how to prevent or treat them: Asparagus beetles These are small, black or red beetles that feed on the spears and the ferns, causing them to wilt and turn brown. They can also lay eggs on the spears, which hatch into larvae that chew on the stems and leaves. To prevent asparagus beetles, you should keep the area around the plants clean and weed-free, and remove any old or damaged spears. To treat asparagus beetles, you can hand-pick them and their eggs, or spray them with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Fusarium wilt This is a fungal disease that infects the roots and the crowns of the plants, causing them to rot and die. It can also cause the spears to become yellow, twisted, and stunted. Fusarium wilt is more likely to occur in poorly drained, acidic, or infested soil.   To prevent fusarium wilt, you should plant disease-resistant varieties, rotate crops, and avoid overwatering or injuring the plants. To treat fusarium wilt, you should remove and destroy any infected plants, and apply fungicides to the soil. Rust This is another fungal disease that affects the ferns, causing them to develop orange or brown spots and pustules. Rust can reduce the vigor and yield of the plants, and make them more susceptible to other diseases. Rust is more likely to occur in humid, wet, or shady conditions.   To prevent rust, you should plant resistant varieties, space the plants well, and prune any excess or infected ferns. To treat rust, you should apply fungicides to the ferns, and avoid watering them from above. Crown rot This is a bacterial disease that causes the crowns and the bases of the spears to become soft, mushy, and foul-smelling. Crown rot can spread quickly and kill the plants. Crown rot is more likely to occur in wet, compacted, or poorly drained soil. To prevent crown rot, you should plant healthy crowns, improve the drainage and aeration of the soil, and avoid overwatering or injuring the plants. To treat crown rot, you should remove and destroy any infected plants, and disinfect the tools and the soil. Bonus: How to Cook and Enjoy Asparagus?  There are many ways to cook and enjoy asparagus, from steaming, boiling, roasting, grilling, to sautéing. The key is not to overcook it, as it will become mushy and lose its flavor. You should cook asparagus until it is bright green and crisp-tender, which usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the method and the thickness of the spears. You can season asparagus with salt, pepper, butter, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, cheese, or any other condiments you like. You can also pair asparagus with eggs, bacon, ham, chicken, fish, pasta, rice, or salad. Asparagus is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can complement any meal. Wrapping It Up! Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable that you can grow and harvest in your own garden. It's easy to care for, once you know how to harvest asparagus properly. You should harvest asparagus when the spears are about 6 to 10 inches tall and before the tips start to open up. You should cut the spears at the base and leave some on the plant to grow into ferns. It would be best to store asparagus in the refrigerator for later use. And yes, you should also enjoy the many benefits and flavors of asparagus, by cooking it in various ways and pairing it with different dishes. Asparagus is a springtime delight that you don't want to miss. Learn More About: Planting & Harvesting Mint 7 Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil Spirulina: The Complete Plant Based Protein Source | Health Benefits