The rich, sweet smell of the hayricks rose to his chamber window; the hundred perfumes of the little flower-garden beneath scented the air around; the deep-green meadows shone in the morning dew that glistened on every leaf as it trembled in the gentle air: and the birds sang as if every sparkling drop were a fountain of inspiration to them.
A garden is the purest of human pleasures. It provides the greatest refreshment to man’s mind. Garden of Eden is Almighty’s first planted garden. What does “Garden” mean?
G = Glory
A = Attractiveness
R = Relaxation
D = Dignity
E = Exquisiteness
N = Nature
How would you plan for your garden?
Francis Bacon, a philosopher and a pioneer of empirical science wrote about the style of the garden in his essay. Bacon suggested critical points to be taken care of while designing garden.
1. Seasons and Plants
2. Scent of Plants
Season & Garden
“Seasons change, friends move away, and life goes on from day to day. Flowers fade and streams go dry and many times we wonder why. Yet we can always be assured because God tells us in His Word, that unlike changes in the weather, love goes on and last”
While designing garden, care should be taken. Plant only those, which are for all seasons. What should be your choice as of today?
Anemone, artichoke, asparagus sprouts, azalea, bracken, bramble, camellia, cherry blossoms, cherry tree, crocus, dandelion, daphne, blossoms or leaf buds of trees and shrubs (almond, apple, apricot, maple, oak, pear, peach, pine, wisteria, etc.), forget-me-not, grass sprouts, hawthorn, hyacinth, lilac, lily of the valley, mustard, pansy, parsley, plum blossoms, plum tree, California poppy, primrose, seaweed or laver (nori), sweet pea, shepherd’s-purse, tulip, violet, willow, pussy willows or willow catkins.
Amaryllis, barley, summer bracken, bamboo sprouts, cactus flower, carnation, summer chrysanthemum, (blue) cornflower, dahlia, dill flower, foxglove, fuchsia, gardenia, geranium, gerbera, gladiolus, summer/rank grasses/weeds, hibiscus, hollyhock, honeysuckle, hydrangea, iris, lily (calla, daylily, etc.), lotus, marguerite, marigold, mold (mildew), moss grown (mossy), oxalis, peony, phlox, pinks, evening primrose, rose, salvia, silk tree (mimosa), snapdragon, sunflower, summer thistle, yucca, zinnia, summer fruits/vegetables (apricot, banana, blackberry, cucumber, cherry, eggplant, green grapes, green (unripe) apple, green peas, green walnut, melons, pineapple, potato, strawberry, tomato).
Apple, wild aster, autumn leaves, banana plant, buckwheat, bush clover, chamomile, chestnut, chrysanthemum, corn, cranberry, dried grass or plants, fallen or falling leaves (e.g. fallen willow leaves), gourds, grapes (except green grapes), huckleberry, maiden flower, morning glory, mushrooms, nuts, orchid, pampas grass plumes, pear, persimmon, pomegranate, pumpkin, reeds, reed flowers/tassels, rose of sharon, squash, vines, weed flowers.
Carrot, celery, dried persimmon, (dried) prunes, early plum blossom, holly, heavenly bamboo(Nandina), pine nuts, poinsettia, radish, scallion,tangerine /mandarin orange, turnip, winter camellia, winter chrysanthemum, winter grass, winter narcissus, winter peony, winter quince, winter tree or grove, withered or frost-nipped plants (tree, grasses, leaves, twig, etc.).
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare
Flowers smell sweeter in the air than in the hand. The fragrance of flowers is as sweet as the warbling of music. Roses retain their smell in the blooms. The violets yields the sweetest. Next to that is the musk rose and sweetbriar. Even crushed or trodden burnet, wild theme and water mints scent air like anything. When you walk near by, it should give you pleasure full of scent!!
“Don’t wear perfume in the garden – unless you want to be pollinated by bees” said Anne Raver.
In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it.
- Frank McKinney Hubbard
In Bacon’s view, garden should be divided in three parts: Green in the entrance, a Heath, or Desert, in the going forth, and the main Garden in the midst, besides alleys on both sides. If it is 30 acres garden, four acres of ground be assigned to the Green, six to the Heath, four and four to either side, and twelve to the main Garden
Knots and Topiary
As for the making of knots, or figures, with divers colored earths. The Alexandra Hicks Herb Knot Garden is one example. Especially in case of knots, topiary has been popular for centuries and we enjoy shaping and training plants into both traditional and less conventional shapes. Topiary delight the eyes, which include formal and decorative shapes, created with care in yew and boxwood. Little low hedges, round like welts, with some pretty pyramids gives pleased impression.
“Garden should not be the whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side ground enough for diversity of side alleys, unto which the two covert alleys of the Green may deliver you; but there must be no alleys with hedges at either end of this great enclosure; not at the hither ends for letting your prospect upon this fair hedge from the Green; nor at the farther end, for letting your prospect from the hedge through the arches upon the Heath” suggested Bacon.
“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.” – Lou Erickson
Fountains offer the advantages of not taking up valuable square footage in this age of never ending urban sprawl. You can find completely self-contained fountains. If it is ground level, your pet may consider it a big water dish, bathtub, or swimming pool! Wall garden fountains skirt this issue. Decorative fencing or natural borders can help in-ground setups.
According to Bacon fountains should be of sprinkleth or spouteth water. The idea is that water should be in uninterrupted motion in any case of fountain, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away underground, by some equality of bores.
Nothing Unnatural!! Make garden such that attracts aviaries naturally. The birds may have more scope and natural nestling, and that no foulness appear in the floor of the aviary.
The way Bacon suggested “Garden should be” is fantastic. What about you?
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, “Garden Thoughts”
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For many it’s a frustrating wait to see the plants of their garden grow. Today, most homeowners are impatient and they want the plants in the garden to grow as soon as possible. This long wait is set to get shorter with the number of fast growing seeds being available in the market. If you plant these seeds, there are a few things you have to keep in mind like, the climatic conditions, time of the year, etc. Here we give you a list of fast growing plant seeds, be it flowers, trees, grass or vegetables, which you can use and make your an ecstatic look.
Fast Growing Flower Seeds
Flowers can give your garden a sweet fragrance and make it look pleasing to the eyes. But some flowers can take a long time to grow and can be baffling. Here is a list of some common flowers which grow fast.
Also called pot marigolds, calendula flowers are deep orange to light yellow in color. They start blooming during early summer and blooms till the time frost arrives. These plants are low, compact, self-seeding and about 20 inches tall. Once planted, it takes about 5 days to about 15 days for the seeds to germinate. As it’s a cool season plant, it can be planted indoors to start with about 7 weeks before the last frost after which you can plant it outdoors. While planting calendula make sure that the plant receives ample sunshine.
This variety of fast growing plant seeds, which produces flowers, was first discovered by Dr. Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz on the Pacific coast. California poppies displays lively colors and are long lasting. They are self seeding plants and can grow to about 12 to 16 inches in length. They grow well in full sunshine and can tolerate poor soil conditions. It is preferred to directly seed them, as disturbing the root system may harm the plant. Early spring is the best time to sow them as the soil still remains cool. Once sowed, the seeds usually germinate within the next 10 to 15 days.
The snapdragon flower ranges from vibrant oranges and reds to pale pastels in color and are one of the most popular flowers for fragrance and cuttings. Ingenuous to Mediterranean and southern Europe, the plants grow to about 1 to 3 feet in length and are self seeding annual plants. These flowers flourish in cool climates of the latter half of spring and grow best in well-drained soil. If the temperatures are high for longer periods of time, these plants would not flourish. These plants may grow from seeds or cuttings. If you plant them from seeds, you should first plant them indoors about 8 weeks before the end of frost and you would see the seeds germinating in the next 10 to 20 days.
The morning glory flower is known for its bright colors, like purple, red, pink and blue. It’s a vine plant and is commonly found around old fences. If proper support is provided, they grow to around 15 feet in length and are self seeing annual plants. You should choose a site where there is ample sunshine along with moist soil. The seeds of these plants germinate within 5 to 21 days, but they should be soaked in warm water for getting the best results. Read more on grass seed germination and when to plant grass seed.
Fast Growing Tree Seeds
Trees take a lot of time to grow. But there are some fast growing trees some of which are mentioned below:
The seeds of weeping willow tree are one of the fastest growing seeds. If provided with the ideal climatic conditions, the seeds can germinate within 10 to 15 days and grows by as much as 8 to 10 feet every year. The branches are slender and narrow, and the leaves becomes rich golden in color during autumn. The thick bark of this tree makes it pleasing to the eye especially during winter months when the leaves are no more. The tree thrives in dry as well as moist locations and mostly grow along river banks. Read more on fast growing evergreen trees.
The seeds of silver maple – one of the fastest growing trees – may take anywhere between 15 days to two months to germinate depending on the climatic conditions. If provided with the ideal climatic conditions, it can grow up to 3 feet each year. Silver maple gets its name from its foliage which has a silvery bottom, and it turns orange-red or golden yellow in fall.
Eucalypts is one of those varieties of trees which if left to grow on their own would grow to more than 50 feet in height. However, they can respond to different environmental conditions and have the capacity to grow in any soil. At an average, it generally takes about 2 weeks for the seeds to germinate, but that depends on the surrounding temperature. Some may take more time to germinate while others may take less. Read more on fast growing shade trees.
Fast Growing Grass Seeds
If you want to increase the appeal of your lawn and want that fast, you can choose from a variety of fast growing grass seeds. Some of the most common fast growing grass varieties are Perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and bermuda grass. Let’s take a look at each of them.
This variety of grass is fine textured and deep green in color. They can grow as fast as within a week or two if the ideal climatic conditions are provided. It grows well in cool climes but does not grow well in extreme cold or hot climatic conditions.
Growing well in cool climate, Kentucky bluegrass is blueish green in color and it takes about 10 to 22 days to germinate. The ideal temperature for Kentucky bluegrass is about 60 °F.
Requiring very little maintenance, shady places are the best areas for growing tall fescues. Usually this variety of grass grows within two weeks and can tolerate drought. Read more onfast growing privacy hedges and fast growing hedges.
Bermuda grass, one of the most common fast growing grass seeds, can grow in any climatic conditions, whether warm or cold. Usually grown in warm climatic conditions, this variety grows within 21 days and extensively used in golf courses, sports fields, pastures, coastal areas and lawns today. More on fast growing grass and grass seed types.
Fast Growing Vegetable Seeds
If you want to grow some vegetables and have them fast, here is a list of some of the most common vegetable seeds which can grow fast.
One of the most common vegetables, the edible amaranth grows so fast, if given the required surroundings (especially warm conditions), that it can be harvested within a month. The seeds are small and ideally, the temperature should be more than 20°C. The young leaves and stems are edible and can be cooked similar to spinach. Due to its tender leaves and soft texture you can also use it in soups and stir-frys.
The seeds of grand duke are high-yielding and it is a hybrid of white kohlrabi. They mature around 50 days after being transplanted. They can be grated, sliced or peeled and cooked like turnips. You may place the seeds in the outdoor garden when the outside temperature is still cold. Within the next 5 to 7 days the seeds would begin sprouting.
A favorite vegetable of most people, mino early commonly called Japanese Daikon radish is mostly planted in the summer months and they take about 40 days after sowing to mature. Pure white in color, the root tapers and is about 18 to 24 inches long.
Fast Growing Seeds for Science Project
For students of botany, science projects where plants are used to provide some valuable experience are a common phenomena. For such projects, the two important things to consider are the choice of seeds and the amount of money you would have to spend. Some of the most common seeds that are used in gardening which you can opt to use include alfalfa, broccoli and sunflower. These seeds can be used to exemplify the effects of sunlight and water on germination. They sprout quickly and can be observed by placing them on a piece of moist paper towel so that you can get an idea of the parts of the budding plant.
Thus in today’s fast paced world where everyone wants fast results, fast growing seeds have become popular so as to get instant results. So plant any of these fast growing plant seeds and spice up your garden.
Q: I have a NFT hydroponic system. I can’t seem to find away to stop the plug (in which I started the seed off in) from sitting in the flow of water. Please can you help?
A: Some moisture in the transplant plug is usually desirable to prevent the roots in the plug from dying. However, some plants do not like to be fully submerged in standing water. Depending on how deep the nutrient solution is in the channels of your hydroponic system, you have a few different possible solutions.
One idea is to use very small netted pots. The strategy here is to place a seed (or clone) into the transplant plug, then to place the plug directly into a netted pot just big enough to hold the transplant plug. You want to do all of this before your seed (or clone) grows any roots. Once you see the first sign of roots, you want to place the netted pots into your hydroponic system. Ideally, the very bottom of the plug come into contact with the nutrient solution just a little bit. This allows the plug to “wick up” the moisture it needs until it can grow roots down into the bottom of your channels.
Another strategy is similar to above, except the plugs are suspended an inch or more above the nutrient solution (usually because of the design of the system). In this case, you may want to consider adding a drip system. This will provide enough moisture to each transplant plug until your plants have the opportunity to grow roots down into your system.
If the nutrient solution is shallow (about 1/2- 1 inch deep) you may want to consider anchoring your transplant plugs into 3″ netted pots with a few clay pellets, then sitting the netted pots down into the channels of your hydroponic system. In this strategy, the netted pots sit right down on the bottom, but the re-circulating water is very shallow and therefore stays well oxygenated. The pots also can wick up the moisture they need until they can grow roots down into the system. With a little modification to your system, the netted pots can even be lifted out of the standing water and suspended above the nutrient solution once there is significant root growth.
Lastly, many plants will tolerate being grown straight in standing water. Even plants that prefer fast draining soil will grow well in these conditions, as long as an effort is made to keep the nutrient solution well oxygenated and to keep the temperature of the nutrient solution between 68 and 72 degrees. This is true with my most successful hydroponic system. The whole strategy can be found at the link above, and the system works very well with tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, herbs, spinach, and many other plants. I hope this helps you out, and Happy Growing!
We have seen many people try hydroponic gardening once or twice and fail, never to try again. The reason usually falls into one of three categories…
- lack of knowledge- you don’t know how things should be or what you need to do
- lack of discipline- you know how things should be and you know what needs to be done, but you don’t take the time or put forth the effort
- lack of ability- you know how things should be, you know what needs to be done, and you are eager to put forth the time and effort… but you do not have necessary hydroponic gardening equipment or supplies
The tips list/explain below will help you identify (and eliminate) problems in your hydroponic garden. Even after reading advice like this myself, it took two years of making mistakes and learning things the hard way before I changed my approach and took these lessons to heart. As a result, I had the most successful garden I ever had. So, follow the tips below to shave years off of your learning curve and skip right to excellent results!
Tips and Tricks – The Short List
- Know what equipment you need and why
- Know the nutritional requirements of your plants
- Know the light/photoperiod requirements of your plants
- Use a professional three part hydroponic nutrients product
- Do not use additional nutrient additives your first time
- Have a written plan/feeding schedule before you start
- Have all necessary equipment and nutrients before you start
- Garden indoors when it is 55*F or less outdoors (or use AC)
- Keep the ballast for your lights in a different room
- Check and adjust your nutrient reservoir solution every day
- Minimize light exposure to your nutrient solution
- Have an extra reservoir of plain water waiting for your next nutrient change
- Change your water and nutrients completely every two weeks
- Use a digital timer to control your dark period
- Keep your dark period completely dark and uninterrupted
- Clean and sterilize your system between crops
- Quarantine new plants for two weeks before adding to your garden
- Do not visit your garden after visiting another garden or being outdoors
- Do not allow pets in your garden
- Visit your garden after a shower and a fresh change of clothes
- Make any visitors to your garden follow these same rules
- Put a screen or filter over your air intake and exhaust (if outdoors)
Having a Plan
Hydroponic gardening success begins with having a solid plan. Having a plan means knowing your plants nutritional requirements and photoperiod requirements and having the supplies and equipment necessary to meet those needs. Actually having a written week by week feeding schedule, complete with nutrient strengths and nutrient changes, would also be very helpful.
Know the nutritional requirements of your plants before you start. Know how strong the nutrients should be each week of your plant’s life, and know what the nutrients should consist of each week. Many plants need more Nitrogen at first, than switch to needing more Phosphorus to produce fruit or flowers.
Do not try to mix up your own plant food. Instead, start with a professional hydroponic nutrients product. These are usually three part systems and are complete (and easy to use). My favorite is BC Nutrients. Once your hydroponic gardening system is up and running and producing excellent results, than you can try mixing up your own special plant food if you like. At least than you will know exactly what the problem is if things don’t work out!
The same is true for using nutrient additives. Don’t try to improve your results by adding a bunch of extra things to your nutrient reservoir (at least not at first). Start by feeding just the basic three part nutrients until your hydroponic gardening system is working smoothly and producing excellent results. Than if you like you can try adding vitamin B1, liquid seaweed, or silica (or all three).
Finally, you need to check and maintain your nutrient reservoir every day. After using the same nutrients for two weeks, you need to start over with fresh water and fresh nutrients. The most beneficial way to do this is to have two nutrient reservoirs, one with nutrient solution for your hydroponic gardening system and one with plain water for your next nutrient solution change. I can’t stress how important this tip is! The second reservoir allows the water to dechlorinate and come to room temperature, both protecting your roots.
If roots become damaged, they cannot take up nutrients to feed the plants. Any damage below ground will result in damage above ground as dead leaves and sick plants. Protect your roots by maintaining your nutrient solution properly, by using two hydroponic nutrient reservoirs (one with plain water for your next nutrient change), and by minimizing the amount of light that comes in contact with your nutrient solution. This will prevent algae, which will prevent fungus gnats, which will prevent root damage.
There are very few shortcuts when it comes to lighting an indoor garden. You need a minimum of 40 watts/sq.ft., but 60 watts/sq.ft. would be better. Either high pressure sodium lights or metal halide lights will do a very fine job and are the most popular choices. For various reasons I recommend a 600 watt LED grow light 3w, check out How to choose the correct lighting arrangement for hydroponic gardening.
HID lights put out a lot of heat, making temperature an issue in an indoor garden. Placing the ballast for your light outside the grow room will help, but it is not enough. A centrifugal fans or squirrel cage fans are an absolute must, but if you use LED grow light, don’t need to buy an extra fans.
Many crops require shorter daylight periods to trigger flowering/fruiting. Two keys to success here: First, the lights need to be turned off and back on at exactly the same time each day (tip- use a digital timer!). Second, the plants should be kept in absolute complete UNINTERRUPTED darkness during the dark period. Plants can be extremely sensitive to this, so don’t try to skirt around this. For more info, check out my flower forcing page.
The Right Equipment/Tools
Don’t start your garden unless you have all your bases covered from the beginning. You will need a completely dark area, a high powered fan, an adequate light, a hydroponic gardening system, hydroponic nutrients, an oscillating fan, a TDS meter (or EC meter), a pH test kit, and possibly an air conditioner. Minimum. A thermometer and a digital timer would come in handy too.
Hydroponics means growing plants without soil, using nutrient-enriched water instead. For the home grower, hydroponics is inexpensive and requires less space than a traditional garden, so it works well anywhere. There are a range of ways to grow fruits and vegetables hydroponically. A deep water hydroponics system is easy and cheap to make at home.
Make six holes in the lid of the plastic storage container with the 1 3/4 inch hole saw. There should be at least 1 inch between each hole.
Drill a 3/8 inch hole into one side of the container using the hand drill. The hole should be about one inch from the rim. Fill the container with water and keep it at least 1 inch below the drilled hole.
Mix a nutrient-rich hydroponic formula into the water. Follow the instructions that come with the formula to mix the proper ratio of water to formula.
Run the black air hose through the hole. Plug the hose into the blue bar air stone and submerge the air stone in the water. A blue bar air stone is a piece of equipment generally used for a fish tank: it creates bubbles and makes the water more oxygenated. To prevent flooding, make sure the water level is above the hole where the hose is running through.
Connect the air pump to the open end of the black air hose (the part that is outside of the plastic storage container). An air pump is connected to the blue bar air stone and feeds the air into it through the black air hose. It is important for hydroponics that the air hose is black because it keeps the light out and prevents algae from growing. Preventing algae is also the reason why it is important to have an opaque storage container.
Plug the air pump into an electrical outlet. There should be bubbles in the water coming from the blue bar air stone.
Prepare 4-to 6-inch cuttings from the seedlings (young plants available from a garden store or nursery). Make the cut at the point where the seedling splits into two stems or at the base where its two biggest leaves are growing out of the stem. Make sure the cuttings are long enough to fit into the cloner and still allow the bottom of the stem to be submerged 1/8 inch into the water. The cuttings will be cloned into new plants, using the hydroponic system to develop their own root system.
Insert the cuttings into the foam cylinder inserts, which are cut to allow them to open into a “C” shape. Fit the inserts into the holes drilled in the lid of the container. The cutting is set into the center of the cylinder, and the foam closes back around it, securing the cutting in place. Roots will start growing from the cutting within the first week.
Tips: LED grow lights are substantially more energy efficient and instead wasting energy by producing high heat like conventional grow lights, the energy is instead directed to the plant in the form of light. In fact, LED’s work so well that NASA uses LED technology to grow plants in space. There are no ballasts or reflectors needed nor does it need any cooling and ventilation equipment as with HPS or Metal Halide lights. It works right out of the box! Also available in: bright white (6500K) for fantastic task or room lighting. The Red+Blue+Orange+White UFO LED outshines any 400W commercial light fixture and is 5 times more efficient than HID lighting.