4 Amazing Facts About Plants

A gardener spends a lot of time tending to their patch of plants grown for food or beauty. There is little of either without us in constant attendance supplying water, fertilizer, shaping them up, and protecting them from insects or diseases.  It leads a human to believe they are helpless, mindless things. Surprise! Plants are brilliant. 1. Plants are Math Experts Not simple stuff like addition and subtraction. We’re talking complicated equations – tricky formulas they can adjust at a moment’s notice. Plants use stored starches from daylight hours to throughout the night to grow. However, they never run short, and until very recently it was unknown how...

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Kimbal Musk: Urban Farm Accelorator

The launch of Square Roots, an urban farm incubator project, was announced by Kimbal Musk on Tuesday.  His latest goal? To help thousands of new urban farm startups come to life across the U.S. The mission? Teaching young entrepreneurs indoor farming and the local food business through hands-on education. Naturally, accomplishing this means you have to start an urban farm. It’s the only kind of class room situation that gives a person a hands-on experience, but each farmer in training needs his own classroom. So, it’s going to be more of a farm campus. On Campus The first location they’ve chosen is Brooklyn at...

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Straw Bale Garden: Take 2, Scene 1

It’s the second year that I’ve planted a straw bale garden. Spring is always highly anticipated in a cold climate, but this year it couldn’t get here fast enough. I was chomping at the bit to see if what I learned from the first time around would make for a better outcome. Twelve months is far too long a wait to be able to test new tricks, and hopefully, hone your skills at something you are stoked over doing. If you missed Season 1 of my straw bale garden adventure, the story starts here. But it wasn’t until frost arrived that...

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Best Grow Light Ballasts: Magnetic vs. Electronic

Almost every grow room has a pile of ballasts driving a bunch of lights. There’s a lot of confusion among growers about ballasts. Which ones are the best grow light ballasts? How do they work? What are they for? Let’s take a look… What IS a Ballast? Grow lights are usually High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs, which take a little work to get running. Whether the bulb is a metal halide used for vegetative growth, or an HPS (High Pressure Sodium) bulb used for flowering, they all require a very high voltage to ionize the material in the bulb to get it glowing and conducting electricity. This...

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Fertilizer Pollution & Your Garden

If it weren’t for the excess nitrogen applied to farmland, there would be no fertilizer pollution. Wrong! What kind of fertilizer are you using in your garden? How about on your lawn? It’s not the size of the plot, but the fertilizer itself that is causing the problems with nitrogen and phosphorous pollution in drinking water and waterways. It doesn’t matter if you’re growing on 80 acres, a big backyard garden, a few raised beds, or a collection of pots on the balcony – most people who grow food, flowers and lush lawns are pollution contributors. The biggest source...

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