Hardening-Off Seedlings

I briefly touch on Hardening-Off Seedlings in the Seed Starting post but wanted to share more.

Below is a quick reference guide to use to help you know when the weather is right to harden-off those plants. Monitor the average frost dates in your area and referring to the quick reference guide for when and what plants to start.

Remember: stop fertilizing the seedlings 4-6 days before the hardening off begins.
Pick a cloudy day. Dig a hole that’s a little bigger than the root ball. Tickle the roots gently to separate them before planting in the hole, cover with soil and pat down, water transplants thoroughly.

If using fertilizer….I suggest giving the transplanted seedlings about a week to settle into their new spot in the garden before adding fertilizer. I do add compost or other organic amendments into the soil at the time of transplanting. Continue to monitor soil moisture and the insensitivity of the sun several times a day until the plants are well established. Some may need a little extra attention with a sunshade and a second watering.

Growing where I’m planted…Lisa


Source: Fix.com

Posted in Gardening Posts | Comments Off on Hardening-Off Seedlings

Seed Starting Time

When I lived in Nevada I started seeds under my grow lights 8-10 months of the year. Now, here in the mid-west It’s just now seed starting time and I’m so excited the snow is melting, summer is on its way. Seed starting is best 6-8 weeks before you are going to transplant seedlings in the garden, depending on the type of seed. You need to take into consideration how long the seed needs to germinate, grow up a bit, and allow a week or two for hardening off before moving the seedlings to the garden or outdoor containers.

How I start my seeds

Seed Starting Soil

Seed Starting Soil

  1. I start with a moist seed starting soil or potting soil. I like to put the new soil into a bucket and squeeze to make sure it feels like a damp sponge. If it’s dry I add warm water and stir it well to make sure my soil is evenly moist.
  2. Then I fill my cardboard egg cartons or starting pots with the moist soil. Adding 2-3 seeds per spot. (When using fresh seeds 1-2 seeds per spot, add 1 seed for each year old the seeds are. My seeds are 1 and 2 years old so I am putting 3 or 4 seeds in each spot. No more than 6 seeds per spot. I do this to insure I have a germinated seed in each spot.)
  3. The seeds must stay moist to germinate. I recycle clear plastic grocery bags, plastic wrap, or press-n-seal bags to cover the egg trays this allows me to keep the soil moist without watching it every day.
  4. Plastic Bag Green House

    Plastic Bag Green House

  5. Heat will speed up germination. In the past I would use a grow light and set my trays on top of it till the seeds germinate then move the trays under the light about 3-4 inches from the light. Or set the trays on warming mats to slightly heat the soil and stimulate germination. This year I’m using a west facing sunny window. Keeping it simple.
  6. Once the seeds germinate, remove the plastic cover. The seedlings need the air to move around them to create a strong stem and the sun allows them to photosynthesize and grow into healthy plants.
  7. When using seed starting soil (is sterile) it’s important to feed the seedlings about a week after they germinate. Give the plastic greenhouse a little vent (slit or open) and apply a diluted 1:10 water:fertilizer. Continue applying very diluted fertilizer every week.
  8. I use egg cartons or disposable plastic to go food containers to start my plants, once the plants germinate I will transplant my starts into small 3 inches pots. If more than one seed germinates in each cell, you can carefully separate the plants and put each in its own pot, snip the weakest one(s) at the soil line, or transplant them all together.
  9. When the weather is warm enough and it’s time to transplant outside. Don’t forget to harden-off the seedlings! I know I’m not the only one who gets excited to get into the garden and think I can skip this step but don’t. It makes all the difference in how successfully plants survive once transplanted into the garden or outdoor containers.

Hardening-off is done by placing the seedlings outside in the shade for 2 days for 2-3 hours and bringing them in at night. The next 2 days moving them outside into a partly shade/sun area for 2-3 hours and bringing them in at night. The next 2 days leaving them out 4-6 hours. The last 2 days gradually getting them into full sun. As they are moved into the sun watch them closely and be sure the soil is moist. If you see the seedlings struggle i.e. wilting, drooping, shriveling move them back to the shade. When the seedlings can stay outside all day without wilting or drooping it’s time to transplant. This is not an exact schedule, depending on how strong your seedlings are it may take longer. Just be sure the seedlings are ready, there is no rush and the stronger the seedlings the more productive they will be over there lifetime.

I like to keep track of my successes and failures. Then I can pull my worksheet out year after year to reference when to get started. Most herbs can be direct seeded in the garden after the last frost. I grow most of my herbs in pots and enjoy getting them started indoors 6-10 weeks before I plan to move them outside. Plus seeds are so much cheaper than seedlings and I don’t feel as bad if my plants don’t make it.

Herb Transplant Harden-Off Date Start Seed Seed Start Date Notes
Basil 1 week after frost 6 weeks before
Calendula 2 weeks after frost 6-8 weeks before
Chives 1 week after frost 8 weeks before
Dill 1 week after frost 6 weeks before
Lemon balm 3 weeks before frost 8 weeks before
Oregano 2 weeks after frost 6-10 weeks before
Parsley 3 weeks before frost 9-10 weeks before
Sage 1 week before frost 8 weeks before
Thyme 2 weeks before frost 8-10 weeks before

This is so much fun to do with kids and seniors so even if you don’t have a garden I hope to encourage you to start a container garden this year. My focus is primarily on growing herbs and lettuces all in containers. I get such joy walking out my kitchen door and picking fresh herbs to use in preparing meals. Fresh herbs offer the added nutritional benefits and a wonderfully fresh taste to the spring and summer menu.

See You in the Garden….Lisa

Posted in Health Article | Comments Off on Seed Starting Time

Pine Tree Tea

Throughout the holidays I enjoy diffusing Pine essential oil in my home, it’s reminiscent to my younger years when we had the fragrance of the fresh pine wreaths and trees.  I’m so excited the snow is melting and it’s time to get back on the hiking trails, stuffing my pockets with the fabulous fragrant pine needles.   Early American settlers use Pine Needle Tea to combat the chills and ailments of winter.  They also made use of other parts of the pine tree including needles, pitch, bark, twigs, nuts and the essential oils.

 

 

I’m use the White Pine Needle for my tea.  High in the antioxidant Vitamin C;  some say as much as 5 times the amount found in lemons or approximately 400 mg per cup.  High in fat soluble antioxidant Vitamin A.  Pine bark contains complex bioflavonoids known as proanthocyanidins. The nuts contain Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and are a good source of B-complex (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6 and folates).  The minerals in the nuts are manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, and calcium.

Pine has many properties including being: antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, insecticidal, analgesic, diuretic, aromatic, and anti-inflammatory.

Pine remedies include teas, tinctures, hydrosols, poultices, or essential oils and are used for the following conditions:

  • Immune Booster
  • Vision, Skin and Hair regeneration
  • Red blood cell production
  • Respiratory Issues: colds and congestion
  • Bronchitis with thick mucus and expectoration
  • Throat pain or infection
  • Chronic gout pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sprains and muscle strains
  • Skin conditions: acne, athlete’s foot, boils,
    eczema, psoriasis, scabies, sores, fleas
  • Heart conditions
  • Varicose veins
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Kidney ailments, Urinary tract infections
  • Strengthen nerves of eye
  • Relief of eye ailments
  • Gangrene
  • Smooth muscles lining blood vessels
  • Slows aging and cellular deterioration
  • Boost metabolic activity

 

TEA PREPARATION:  You can make this as a tea, infusion, or a decoction.  The tea is mild and because it’s not brewed as long may not contain all the constituents as a decoction.  Before you harvest the plant material be certain of plant identification, the White Pine (Pinus strobus) Hint….Needles are 3-5 inches long and are in groups of 5. (Scots Pine, Pinus sylvestris is another wonderful choice for Pine Needle Tea).

    • Pick a handful of fresh pine needles remove the brown ends and cut the green needles in small pieces.
    • Using a tablespoon or more in teapot or cup and pour boiling water over, place cover on top.
    • Allow too steep for approximately 10-12 minutes, the bold green needles will float on the water.  I let mine steep till the needles become dull and sink to the bottom. Then strain.
    • Adding a touch of honey adds more nutrient benefits and a sweet flavor.
    • Sip-away!

 

AVOID: There are 3 Pines considered poisonous or toxic and are unsafe to consume:  Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucana heterophhylla), Yew (Taxus)

CAUTION: pregnant women should NOT use pine needle tea. May cause hypertension in children and elderly.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  It is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Seek medical attention, evaluation, and advice when appropriate.  This information is provide for information and educational purposes.    Empower yourself and take charge of your health through education.

RESOURCES:
Essential Oil Desk Reference. Pine Essential Oil p.2.76. Life Science Publishing; 5th edition (2012).  ISBN-10: 0615440194.
Pubmed.gov National Library of Medicine. Accessed March 26, 2014 Search provided over 30 publications on Pine Tea and more than 80 for Pine essential oil. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=pine+tea
National Center for Biotechnology Information.  Accessed March 26, 2014 Search provided articles and scientific papers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gquery/?term=pine
Greenchedy. Accessed March 26, 2014 http://www.greenchedy.com/herbal-teas/health-benefits-pine-needle-tea/

Posted in Essential Oil Article, Health Article, Herb Article, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Pine Tree Tea

Using Himalayan Salt Lamps, Blocks & Inhalers…Part 3 of 3

Recently a local Salt room opened up not far from me.  Several people have called to ask about my experiences with “Salt”.  I’ve used using Himalayan salt lamps, blocks & inhalers for years; the wonderful pink Himalayan salt to cook, as a mineral nutrition supplement, to help open up my respiratory system, and to clean the air in my home.  I will refer you to the previous post in this series for the benefits of cooking and mineral nutrients The Benefits of Himalayan Salt vs Common Table Salt by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM and Sole Water: minerals for health.

      • Salt mines are very dry and have a negative ion environment. This negative ion environment is formed over a period of 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure and nature (rainstorms, waterfalls, lightning, sunlight, ocean waves, and wind).  Negative ions helps neutralize and balance the positive ions.

salt lamp

      • Salt lamps attract humidity causing the crystals to become moist, creating a buildup of ions and removing moisture from the air.  The lamp binds excessive positive ions with the negative ions which helps to neutralize the “electro-smog” in the air and reduces allergens and irritants in the air we breathe.  Computers, TV, game consoles etc. lead to an excess of positively charge ions which can cause increased anxiety, nervousness, lack of concentration, and affect our sleep. I  keep a large lamp in my office and one in my living room where we keep a TV.  Available on Amazon, home and health food stores. Indus Classic Set of 2 Himalayan Salt Lamp, 4-6 lbs. each

 

      • Use a Himalayan salt block on sore muscles to draw out the pain and inflammation.  By placing the salt block on my neck I get relief from salt blockheadaches.  I have also used salt blocks on sore muscles.
      • Or Cook on it…from apples to flank steak or salmon.  Salt blocks have been used by many cultures to prepare and serve food.  The minerals in the salt block are absorbed into the food offering added nutrition while seasoning the food.

 

      •  As a foot bath, pamper weary feet by adding 1/2 cup of Himalayan salt to a basin of warm water. Relax and soak feet for 20 minutes. If you like, rub away any calluses using a pumice stone. Dry feet, then add two drops of peppermint essential oil to your favorite natural moisturizer, like shea or coconut butter, and rub in thoroughly to lock in the moisture. If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, check with your doctor before using salts or essential oils.

 

      • Himalayan Salt Pipe Inhaler by Squip or SpiritualQuest.  The device is based on salt cave therapy also known as Speleo/Halo Therapy, designed to replicate the healing of salt caves. When the air that passes through the salsalt inhaler by squibt pipe it comes into contact with the super fine salt crystals, they are absorbed quickly into the respiratory system, giving the person almost immediate relief from most breathing disorders.  I use and am happy with the Squip brand. Available on Amazon and health food stores. Squip-Himalayan Salt Air Inhaler, 7.75 Ounce

 

      • Exfoliate dead skin – In the shower or bath, mix a handful of fine Himalayan salt with a tablespoon of bath or olive oil and rub all over your wet skin to exfoliate and soften. Rinse thoroughly.

 

Resources:

Global Healing Center. Accessed March 12, 2014. The Benefits of Himalayan Salt Author: Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM (May 2009 last revised Sept 2010) http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/himalayan-crystal-salt-benefits/
Saltnews.com, Accessed April 2011 Benefits of Himalayan Salt, Published on May 15, 2009 , Last Updated on April 2, 2011.  http://www.saltnews.com/heating-using-cleaning-storing-your-himalayan-salt-block/
Mercola.com, Accessed Aug 5, 2013 Discover this Soothing, Decorative Way to Help Reduce Indoor Air Pllutants and “Electro-Smog” in Areas of Your Home. http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/himalayan-salt-lamps.htm
Our Earth Our Cure by Raymond Dextreit. Publisher: Citadel Pr (October 1993)
Sea salt’s Hidden Powers by Dr. Jacques de Langre, Ph.D12th Edition 1992
Curezone.com, Accessed March 10, 2014. Salts that Heal and Salts that Kill www.curezone.com/foods/saltcure.asp
The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs, Publisher: www.snowballpublishing.com (June 19, 2013)
Water & Salt, The Essence of Life by Dr. Barbara Hendel, MD and Biophysicist, Peter Ferreira  Publisher: Natural Resources (January 1, 2003)

Posted in Health Article, Nutrition Article, Products | Comments Off on Using Himalayan Salt Lamps, Blocks & Inhalers…Part 3 of 3

Sole Water: minerals for health…Part 2 of 3

Sole (pronounced Solay) the term Sole comes from the Latin “Sol” meaning Sun.  Sole water is a mineral rich beverage of simply water that has been fully saturated with Himalayan salt.

Who hasn’t heard how salt can be harmful,  so why would we want to drink Sole and intensly strong salt water mixture?  Why because of the amazing benefits and health-supporting uses. This is an ancient remedy used by many cultures for centuries with a rich history of both anecdotal and scientifically supported evidence for the following uses:

  •  Improved Hydration– used first thing in the morning on an empty stomach Sole may re-hydrate the body after a restorative night sleep when the body is working to naturally repair and detox.
  • Aids in Detoxification– naturally anti-bacterial Sole is useful as a natural detoxifier.
  • Energy Booster– the high mineral content and stored energy in Sole naturally boost our own energy.
  • Digestion stimulation– promotes better food absorption and bowel regularity.
  • Improving blood sugar– Some people note improvements in blood sugar levels after using Sole.
  • Anti-histamine activity– Sole can slow or balance the histamine effects on the body.
  • Reduction in Muscle Cramps– cramps are generally caused by a lack of minerals especially potassium and magnesium. Sole’s high mineral content may offer relief of muscle cramps.
  • Bone and vein health-high mineral content may support and alkalize the body and protect from bone loss.
  • Blood Pressure– by alkalizing and adding mineral nutrients Sole may assist the body in normalizing the blood pressure.
  • Weight management– By improving digestion and nourishing the body on a cellular level, Sole can help promote weight loss.
  • Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails– again it’s all about the high mineral content.  More nutrients in the body directly improves skin (and acne problems), hair and nails.

 Sole post

According to the book Water & Salt: The Essence of Life

 “In a nine-week study undertaken in 2003 at the Inter-University of Graz, Austria examined the effects of Himalayan Crystal Salt on physical and psychological functions of the body. It is the only salt ever to have been the subject of comprehensive double-blind scientific research. The results of the study, presented in the book, Water & Salt – The Essence of Life by Dr. Barbara Hendel, M.D. and biophysicist Peter Ferreira, confirmed significant positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue and nervous system functions. Patients also reported increases in quality of sleep, energy and concentration levels, brain activity, weight loss, enhanced consciousness, and noticeable hair and nail growth.”

Where to Buy:

 

How to Make Sole:

This simply recipe only has two ingredients, salt and water.

Ingredients

1-2 cups of Himalayan Salt
Filtered water (I use distilled water also called empty water)
A Glass Jar
A plastic or non-metal lid

Instructions

  1. Add ¼ of the Himalayan Salt to the glass jar
  2. Fill the jar with water and stir
  3. Cover with the plastic lid
  4. Let sit on the counter overnight
  5. Check the jar in the morning, if you see salt on the bottom of the jar, the water has absorbed its maximum amount of salt and the Sole is ready to use.
  6. If you don’t see salt, it has been completely absorbed, add more salt each day until you see a small amount remaining in the bottom of the jar. This means that the water is fully saturated with the salt.
  7. You can add more water and salt each night so you have a readily available Sole preparation.

How to Use Sole:

Once you have prepared the recipe above.  You are ready to use it.

Prepare your drink by adding 1 tsp. of Sole to an 8 oz. glass of water each morning and consume on an empty stomach. You may increase to a 1tbsp. of Sole. It is recommended to start slow as this may start the body to detox and may cause a headache of loose bowels.

It will last indefinitely as salt is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

Disclaimer:  This information is to educational purposes only.  Do your own additional research and seek the advice of a licensed medical professional for medical diagnosis and treatment.

 

Resources:

  • Global Healing Center. Accessed March 12, 2014. The Benefits of Himalayan Salt Author: Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM (May 2009 last revised Sept 2010) http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/himalayan-crystal-salt-benefits/
  • Saltnews.com, Accessed April 2011 Benefits of Himalayan Salt, Published on May 15, 2009 , Last Updated on April 2, 2011.  http://www.saltnews.com/heating-using-cleaning-storing-your-himalayan-salt-block/
  • Mercola.com, Accessed Aug 5, 2013 Discover this Soothing, Decorative Way to Help Reduce Indoor Air Pllutants and “Electro-Smog” in Areas of Your Home. http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/himalayan-salt-lamps.htm
  • Our Earth Our Cure by Raymond Dextreit. Publisher: Citadel Pr (October 1993)
  • Sea salt’s Hidden Powers by Dr. Jacques de Langre, Ph.D12th Edition 1992
  • Curezone.com, Accessed March 10, 2014. Salts that Heal and Salts that Kill www.curezone.com/foods/saltcure.asp
  • The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs, Publisher: www.snowballpublishing.com (June 19, 2013)
  • Water & Salt, The Essence of Life by Dr. Barbara Hendel, MD and Biophysicist, Peter Ferreira  Publisher: Natural Resources (January 1, 2003)
Posted in Health Article, Nutrition Article, Recipes | 1 Comment