Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer Reading

School is almost out in Nebraska. We have to keep our children's minds sharp. A weekly trip to the library is a inexpensive way to continue teaching your child. I prefer to go with a theme so my son can read books that suit his interest.   Last summers theme was books on gardening. We found books that were based on different ethnicity, cultures, but stayed with the theme of a particular plant or way of gardening.

What Is A Good Age To Teach Children About Nature?

My children are extremely helpful in the garden. The question is what is the best age to starting delegating gardening responsibilities.  Young children should know that vegetables don't just come from the  grocery store.  My son is only two so he his knowledge of seasonal gardening is limited. I plan on teaching him a lot this year.  Beans are the  perfect plant to start with, because they are big enough to fit in their little hands comfortably.

Simply soaking a seed will jump start the seed into sprouting in a day or two. This will give the child the option to remember that  the seed has changed from its original state. I would suggest using beans such as hyacinth, fava beans, or even a  scarlet runner.

I once used a method of starting a bean in a a jar so my kids can watch them grow.  It was a perfect way for the child to watch the bean swell, loose its protective shell, develop roots and sprout leaves.

The method of growing beans in  a jar is better for a child between the age of 4 and 7.     At that age kids have a better understanding.      Please watch the video below to watch my son talk about growing hyacinth beans inside of a jar.

Are Video Games Good For Kids?

Kids don't  play outside like they used to.  Most children prefer to stay inside and play video games. I will admit my kids like to sit inside and play video games too. But, I do push them outside and tell them to enjoy nature. Brandon started his own little garden and started with growing clovers. 

However, in the process he discovered a little friend. He chased around this little frog and had a great time. My only issue with Brandon was convincing him not to mess with every animal that he saw.

For example, he came inside the house one day and told me that he was trying to catch a giant guinea pig. He said that the guinea pig was very pretty and it was black with a pretty white stripe down its back. He said he tried to chase it but it ran away. Judging  by his description I discovered he was actually talking about a skunk. I am so glad he didn't get sprayed. 

I will admit I am highly impressed by Brandon's infatuation with nature.  It seems that most animals enjoy his company as much as he enjoys theirs.  I do my best to encourage him with by frequent trips to the zoo and purchasing books about animals. 

Thanks to his love of video games like Minecraft, Terraria he has learned about rocks and minerals.Yes, he is a all around nature boy.        
But as much as  I want to condemn video games like most parents I did  notice there is certain knowledge that he has gained that was not provided by his homework. When I hear him talking about uranium, obsidian, quartz and I am not mad at all. Minecraft and Geometry dash have given him extra math and team-building skills. I guess the best thing we can do as parents and make sure there is a balance. We have to make sure they get their physical activity and monitor what games they play.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Growing Moonflowers

Growing Moonflowers is so rewarding.The are very easy to start. You  receive these humongous seeds. That don't require a lot to germinate.  But, I do  suggest soaking them in water  the day before you plant them so they can have a jump start.  They spiral and twirl everywhere because they are climbing or vining flowers. They thrive very well on gates, trellis,and harbors.

Moonflowers, are in the Ipomoea family so if you can grow morning glories you can grow Moonflowers. Although,morning glories come in a  array of   colors and patterns moonflowers are usually white or  cream colored. Please check out the video above how I started my moonflowers.  Please check out the video below to see the big beautiful blooms.

Lastly, check out the video on how to save your moonflower seeds. If you would like to grow some moonflower seeds check out my online store  @Brandysbotanybay .Happy Gardening.

How to grow a baobab tree quickly

I enjoy teaching people  how to grow exotic  plants on my youtube channel. One of my most popular    videos is the "How to grow a   baobab tree quickly video"  I discovered a technique where you  pour boiling water over the planted seed to  jump start the germination process. Once you have poured the   boiling water over the seed place the pot into a plastic bag to keep it moist.

Within   two weeks you will have a beautiful sprouting sapling.  I've had my baobab for 3 years and have watch them change from season to season. They are very interesting and it is amazing how they grow so far from their native home.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sprouts, Sprouts And More Sprouts

Growing plants outside of there typical zone can be a challenge. I enjoy growing plants from tropical regions such as Africa and South American but there is extra care that has to go into them.   Lighting is a serious factor.  Although outside conditions maybe too harsh for the plant, when you bring them indoors you might need them to have them facing a window or you may need to purchase a grow light.  Desert plants like cacti and succulents require the warm conditions that maybe optimal outdoors but too much rain can kill them instantly.  Be sure you place them in a place that is guarded from the rain.  I place them in a area where my roof extends and prevents the rainfall from effecting my plants.  

A greenhouse is nice place to store your tropical plants if they are place in decent place in your garden.   If the greenhouse is under direct sun it will basically bake all of the plants inside.  If it is place in a place that is too shaded it will become a breeding ground for Roly Polies which enjoy feasting off of young sprouts and struggling seedlings.

So pay attention to your plants needs.  They all don't have the same requirements so be mindful to gather plants together that fall into the same category or require the same care. 

Grow A Herb Garden

Having a kitchen garden is super important. Essential herbs are great for culinary and medicinal purposes.  One of my favorite herbs to grow is mint.  It can be invasive and take over your whole    yard if you let it.  However, that is what I like about it.  It grows strong and spreads with little care.  You have it whenever you need it.  I love the smell of it as well.

Basil is another favorite because it has so many culinary uses.  It goes perfectly with tomato.  It also has a sweet spicy aroma that is all its own.  Cilantro is also a multifaceted herb to grow, it adds the perfect touch to Mexican cuisine.  It also has such a fresh taste that it compliments just about any vegetable.  If you are interested  in learning more about herbs and growing strategies please check out my YouTube channel.
I also sell rare seeds for your garden on etsy @Brandysbotanybay