Some useful gardening tools for women

Gardening is a hobby which a number of individuals enjoy since it is relaxing, and surely gives you happiness when you literally see the fruits of your labor growing in your garden. It is known to be something that both men and women enjoy, but you will always find the women more affectionate towards plants and flowers. However, gardening doesn’t just mean planting a seed, watering it and then waiting for it to bloom.

There are many other things in gardening like ploughing, pruning, spraying pesticides, etc. which are needed to get a better yield or product. And to practice all these important techniques, there are specific gardening tools which are required for each of them. If you are thinking of giving a lady gardening gifts, these tools would surely be an excellent choice. Thus, find out what are these gardening tools for women, which are basic and don’t need too much effort to be used.

Best Gardening Tools for Women

There are two types of gardening tools used in gardening, which are hand tools and power tools. The hand tools are the basic tools used in gardening which were used for agriculture in the ancient times and are still effective. These are the spade, pitchfork, garden hoe, garden fork, plough and the garden rake which were made from bone and wood in the earlier times.

However, today there are some more power gardening tools which are used for cutting, pruning and watering. This gardening tools list includes cultivators, irrigation sprinklers, string trimmer, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and weeders. But, if you are considering to use these as gardening tools for women, you can stick to the smaller power tools or simply sophisticated hand tools. So read on and find out what women would love to use while gardening.

Digging Tools
There are various types of gardening tools for women which are used for digging. These hand gardening tools don’t need to be heavy but simple yet useful ones like light shovels and digging forks. The shovels that are to be used by women, can be the ones with smaller blades for superficial digging. There are other shovels which have deep and narrow blades, commonly used for transplanting, that can be used for deeper digging. Forks with long handles usually help in breaking hard ground without bending or putting too much effort, ideal for older women.

Pruning Tools
For pruning of small shrubs and herbaceous plants, you can prefer various types of hand pruners. When it comes to buying the best pruners, the sharpness and the blade always matters, so make sure you get effective ones. Another very important gardening tool in pruning is the pruning saw which is used to cut off the large branches that are thicker than the rest. Since you are buying this equipment for women, also make sure you purchase light weight pruners.

Other Basic Tools
Tilters, spades, trowels, a hand cultivator, hoes for weed control, a rain gauge and a soil pH tester are some other very essential gardening tools for women. These tools can be used right from starting a new garden to maintaining one to get very rich yield. You can also find bulb planters which help in planting large amounts of flower bulbs at once. Garden scissors, knives and gloves are also one of the best gardening tools for seniors as they don’t require to put in too much effort in gardening. Well, don’t miss out the watering tools, which can work best as gardening gifts for women.

Now that you have a large list of useful gardening tools for women, go pick them out from your nearest store. You will surely help someone who loves gardening make a beautiful flower or fruit garden using all of them!

Medical Uses of Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs prepared from the plant Cannabis sativa (common name, cannabis). Thoughmarijuana is often considered as an illicit drug in which the users tend to get addicted, it is also known for offering several health benefits. Medical researches have been done extensively on the dosage and administration of this drug. Marijuana used for the treatment of different medical conditions under the prescription of a qualified physician is referred to as medical marijuana. Traditionally, the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes is evident from the cultures of various countries. In China, it has been used since 4000 years ago.

Medical Uses of Marijuana

The medicinally important compounds present in medical marijuana are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and β-caryophyllene. CBD, a neuroprotective antioxidant, accounts to about 40 percent of the plant extract. It can be effectively used for the treatment of inflammation, anxiety, nausea, convulsion, schizophrenia and cancer. Β-Caryophyllene, on the other hand, limits the inflammatory responses of the body. Popular methods of administering medical marijuana are smoking dried herbal form, inhalation therapy, herbal therapy, drinking plant extracts and administering dietary supplements as pills.

Marijuana and Chemotherapy
One of the unavoidable side effects of chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer is killing of healthy cells. Hence, following the chemotherapy treatments, the patient may experience various adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and loss of control over the body. Medical marijuana is an effective natural antiemetic, which helps in overcoming nausea, thus allowing the patient to enjoy meals. Medical marijuana is administered by smoking rather than taking orally.

Marijuana and Lung Cancer
THC, an active ingredient of marijuana, reduces the growth of cancerous cells in the lungs. As per studies conducted on medical marijuana smokers, it is opined that smoking marijuana does not increase the chances of developing lung cancer. Thus, many researchers suggest medical marijuana to be a potential herbal therapy for the treatment of lung cancer.

Marijuana and Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous system and spinal cord. Its symptoms include numbness, tingling, fatigue, loss of coordination, muscle spasms, difficulty in speaking, eye problems and depression. Till now, there are no effective treatments for multiple sclerosis. Conventional treatment options are temporary causing severe adverse effects. According to studies, medical marijuana is effective to manage the symptoms like muscle spasms and tremors. It helps in restoring eyesight, balance, speech and bladder movement.

Marijuana and Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a vision problem caused due to the damage of optic nerves. It can lead to permanent loss of eyesight (blindness). Conventional medications for glaucoma can lead to various side effects. A recent study on medical marijuana reveals the potential benefits in lowering the intraocular pressures without adverse effects. More clinical trials are required to prove the effectiveness of this drug in treating glaucoma.

Abusing Marijuana

Long-term abuse of marijuana can lead to addiction. The dried herbal marijuana is greenish-brown in color. It contains a mixture of leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of the cannabis plant. A concentrated form of this drug are hashish and hash oil; the former is obtained from the resins of the cannabis plant, whereas the latter is derived by using various solvents. Marijuana is consumed by igniting the herbal form and inhaling its smoke. This illicit drug is commonly known as cannabis.

There are several ways of smoking marijuana. One of the common methods is emptying a cigarette (blunt) and refilling it with marijuana. The resulting smoke is a combination of nicotine and THC. Some people prefer to consume marijuana orally by mixing with food or brewing as tea. Abusing marijuana affects the learning, cognitive, memory and social behavior.

Grow hydroponic strawberries in your backyard

There are so many for whom maintaining a kitchen garden is a passion. If you are one of them, then you will understand the feeling of extra enthusiasm to experiment with new cultivation techniques and broaden the variety of plants and herbs in the kitchen garden. One of the best fruits for an after dinner dessert happen to be strawberries. With a variety of uses in the kitchen, home grown strawberries can be a delight to the growers. Here is how to set up your very own hydroponic strawberry garden.

Hydroponic Cultivation Technique
If you are yet to catch up with the concept of hydroponic cultivation, here is a simple explanation to clarify the technique. It is an age old technique used for cultivation of plants in nutrient based water solution. There is complete exclusion of soil throughout this cultivation technique. Also called as aquaculture cultivation by some, there are records that show usage of this system in the hanging gardens of Babylon. There is no limitation to the type of plants that can be grown the hydroponic way. The upside of using this method is that cultivators can avoid soil based plants diseases and rampant growth of weeds that are a regular feature in the traditional cultivation techniques.

Strawberry production and demand is expected to cross the the figure of 7 billion pounds by early 2012. In normal case, this figure was easily achievable. However, traditional cultivation methods or geoponics require usage of a chemical called methyl bromide which is now banned on account of it’s negative effects on the ozone layer. This prompted experts in the field of strawberry cultivation to look out for an alternative technique. Believe it or not, strawberry plantations flourish better in hydroponic gardens and the fruits are decidedly juicier and tastier than ever before.

Best Cultivation Time
There is no definite time for cultivating hydroponic strawberries. You can cultivate them anytime you wish all round the year.

Here is How You can Start….

  • Strawberry plants grown out of strawberry seeds take approximately 3 years to mature and start flowering. A better and faster option is to visit a local garden store or nursery that deals in cold-storage runners. These runners are clones of a matured mother plant. It is suggested that you choose runners which are flowering or with tiny visible buds.
  • It is essential to plan the watering and drainage techniques of your hydroponic garden well in advance. I personally suggest usage of either drip irrigation methods, deep water cultures or nutrient film techniques for best results.
  • Remove the strawberry runners from their plastic containers. Now shake them lightly to clear away chunks of hardened soil. Now dip the roots in a bucket full of cold water. Gently remove all traces of soil from the roots. Take care not to hurt or break the roots in any way possible. Carefully pluck the dried up leaves from these runners.
  • It is important that the roots of runners don’t dry up. Keep them away from direct exposure to sun. The best way to keep the roots moist is to place the runners in a bucket of clean water.
  • Choose an appropriate sized hydroponic cultivation pot. Create a lining media of either granular shale rock or clay pellets inside the cultivation pot. Use pH balanced water solution to completely soak and saturate the lining media. This helps to avoid dehydration of runner roots once they are transplanted into cultivation pots.
  • Now transplant the runners in the cultivation pot with luxurious spacing between two runners. See to it that the roots are facing upwards and the top portion of the plant is well above the brim of the pot. This helps the plant to fetch ample sunlight and fresh air essential for its growth and budding.
  • You can make multi-tiered strawberry gardens with pots placed in similar fashion on each tier. This not only saves space, but helps you grow maximum quantity of strawberries.
  • Make sure to stand the plant in sufficient quantity of nutrient and water formula. For best results, the watering regime should ideally include a 2 parts blooming nutrition. For sufficient intake of nutrition by the plants, it is suggested that pH balance be maintained between 5.8 to 6.2.
  • There are abundant varieties of strawberry plants. Each variety has it’s specific temperature requirements. These temperatures play a major role in the plant’s growth, quantity and quality of strawberries produced, sweetness of the fruit and overall taste of the produce. Consult an expert to find out the perfect temperature requirement of strawberry plants in your hydroponic garden. For off season strawberry plantations, it is essential to artificially simulate climate conditions.

Harvesting the Strawberries
Plucking and harvesting hydroponic strawberries is much more convenient than regular strawberry techniques, since the plantations can be raised at convenient levels above the ground surface. It is essential to pluck strawberries only when they are perfectly ripe. Remember, these fruits do not ripen if accidentally plucked in unripe state. You may clean the fresh fruit and store it in your refrigerator for year round use. Another solution is to process fresh strawberries into strawberry preserves, crushes, jellies, etc. There are innumerable baking recipes for fresh strawberries too.

Post the harvest season, you can make new runners from your existing strawberry plants and chill them at a temperature ranging from 0º C to 4º C. Such chilled runners last for a maximum period of 5 months only, so plan your next re-plantation accordingly. With regular re-plantations at different intervals, you may end up harvesting strawberries all round the year. Yes, that is truly exciting!

Growing hydroponic tomatoes at home

Hydroponics is a new gardening technique, different from the regular way of growing plants. The finding that plants take up nutrients from water in the form of inorganic ions is the base for the development of hydroponic gardening. According to this theory, soil acts a medium for supplying nutrients and supporting the root system. But it is not directly involved in the growth and development of plants. Hence, if we provide the necessary nutrients in another way, plants still continue to grow and bear flowers and fruits.

Under the methodology of hydroponics, vegetables are grown in a soilless medium, after enriching with essential plant nutrients. The result of this soilless gardening is really impressive. For some cultivars, the yield is much higher than regular plant growing techniques. Although mass scale cultivation of crops is not so easy, you can try growing hydroponic tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, culinary herbs and other seasonal vegetables at home.

How to Grow Hydroponic Tomatoes at Home?

Commercial growing of hydroponic tomatoes is done in greenhouses. The general advantages of hydroponics are, it doesn’t require soil preparation, easy regulation of nutrient quantity, less water usage, easy control of pests and stable crop production. The disadvantages with hydroponic gardening is high cost for setting up the plan and more importantly, you should know the basic concept behind soilless culture. If you are thorough with these requirements, you can experiment growing hydroponic tomatoes at home.

Required Supplies
Nowadays, most garden supplies sell hydroponic systems for home growers. You can select a kit of a particular size, based on your budget and requirements. Other supplies needed to start a hydroponic project for growing tomatoes are plant nutrients, tomato plantlets, supporting stakes, measuring spoons and light source (if necessary). It is to be borne in mind that hydroponic tomatoes seeds are no different from regular tomato seeds.

Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes
Once you have the supplies ready, decide where you want to maintain the hydroponic system. In case, you don’t want hassles for installing artificial lighting, it is best to place the system near a window, balcony or outside the porch. The only thing is to protect hydroponic tomato plants from night frost. The next step for starting hydroponic gardening is setting up the system with reference to the given instructions.

Refer to the guidelines while filling up water, especially for maintaining the water quality and levels. Then add hydroponic tomatoes nutrients as per the recommended concentrations. Ensure that you measure the ingredients in accurate amounts and add in the water. Otherwise, lower or higher concentration can reduce tomato yields. Having done this, clean the rocks provided with the kit (if any) and add in the hydroponic system.

Now, you are ready to introduce tomato plants in your hydroponic system. Gently remove tomato plantlets from the pot or containers. Try removing the adhering soil particles from the roots as far as possible. You can wash the roots to get rid of soil components. Then place tomato plants in the system and cover their roots with rocks. This will support the plants and prevent from bending.

Complete the installation part (hose and drip ring) for growing hydroponic tomatoes. Start the system and check for proper functioning. If you notice water dripping from the ring at regular intervals, then it is working fine. After you have completed setting up the hydroponic system, the next steps are focused on maintaining it, such as regular filling of water and supplementing nutrients.

So, this is how you can grow hydroponic tomatoes at home. You may need to change some portion of water on a regular basis, say once in two weeks. Follow the basic tips for staking and pruning tomato plants, particularly when they reach to a height of about 2 feet. With correct water levels and proper nutrients, your hydroponic tomatoes will develop flowers, and soon you can enjoy homegrown hydroponic tomatoes.

Information about growing tobacco at home

We all are familiar with tobacco, which has been used commonly, as a recreational drug, for a very long time. Derived through processing of the leaves of the plants in the genus Nicotiana, it is mainly used for smoking. Chewing tobacco, snuffing, or dipping tobacco, sniff or snus is popular among the masses. It is also used in some drugs as well as in the form of pesticide. Different species of tobacco plants belong to the family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, etc. While, they are commercially cultivated in many parts of the world, some people grow them at home, either for personal use or as an ornamental plant. If you want to grow your own tobacco, then, here are some tips and guidelines for the same.

How to Grow Your Own Tobacco

Growing tobacco is not a difficult task, if you have a basic know how about the right techniques. These plants have green foliage and produce attractive flowers and so, can be a good for gardening. Another advantage is that they can grow in a wide range of soil types, but, the nature of foliage may vary with plants growing in different types of soil. However, little bit of care is required in germinating the seeds, transplanting them and protecting the plants from diseases. Let us take a look at the various aspects about how to grow your own tobacco at home.

  • First of all, you have to obtain seeds or young plants. This will be easy for you, if you have access to tobacco farmers. Otherwise, you can order the seeds through mail or online. For ornamental purposes, jasmine tobacco or rose tobacco are more suitable, as they produce attractive flowers.
  • Tobacco seeds being tiny in nature, you have to keep them indoors in a covered container. Sowing of these seeds is usually done, before a month from the last frost.
  • Take a seed tray and fill it with a potting mix made from equal amounts of potting soil and humus. Sprinkle some water over the soil and spread the seeds over it.
  • Once you are done with sowing, keep the tray in a propagator for a few days. Otherwise, place the tray in a cupboard with a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees.
  • Seedlings will appear within eight to ten days and from this stage, you have to keep them in a location with a lower temperature of around 55 degrees.
  • After a few weeks, you can plant them outdoors. You may also plant them in containers and grow your own tobacco indoors, but, these plants may not grow as healthy as the outdoor ones.
  • In order to grow tobacco outdoors, you have to till the soil and fertilize it, before planting them. Tobacco plants love bright sunlight and so, prefer locations that fulfill this requirement. Cold climates are not suitable for tobacco plants.
  • Plant them at a distance of around two feet. Regular watering is also a must for tobacco plants. Fertilizers for tobacco must be rich in nitrogen and potash. You may also replace such fertilizers with wood ash.
  • Another important part of tobacco growing is the timely removal of suckers (buds that arise from the base of leaves) and terminal bud, so that the leaves grow big and healthy. This is applicable for those who grow this plant for personal use and not for ornamental purposes.
  • If you want to grow your own tobacco, then, you must be aware of the pests and diseases that can affect this plant. While, diseases, like, root rot and mosaic disease may occur in these plants, it is the pest called hawk moth that can cause harm to the plant. Its caterpillar can cause immense damage to the plant and so, this pest should be controlled.
  • After a growth of three to four months, when the leaves get big enough for harvest, you can remove the leaves from the plants and dry them for further use.

The above said is only a brief overview about how to grow your own tobacco. As of now, in most places, buying and selling of tobacco seeds and growing tobacco plants (for personal use) is not illegal. However, make sure that growing tobacco at home is not illegal, as per the local laws. If you are interested in growing tobacco for personal use, watch out for the latest tobacco news, so that you are aware of the rules and regulations regarding tobacco and tobacco products. Buying or selling products made from your plants may land in you in legal trouble (mainly taxation).

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