Ideas

A Year of Growing on the Cheap

 

Do Try This at HOME!

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Ideas

Gardening: How to Grow Blueberries

Blueberries: How to grow the best blueberries

  • How to grow blueberries in the ground or in pots

  • How to keep them productive

  • How to prune blueberries

  • Choose a good variety.

  • Unless you have naturally acid soil, it’s a lot of effort growing blueberries in the ground. You could create a raised bed and replace the soil with ericaceous compost.

 

Grow blueberries in a container

potted blueberry

 

Blueberries make good container plants

  • For most people it’s easier to grow blueberries in a container filled with ericaceous compost (anything recommended for rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas will suit blueberries, too).

  • Blueberries make good patio plants, with autumn colour, flowers and fruit. They’ll tolerate some shade, too.

  • When you buy a plant in a small pot, don’t put it into a large container

  • straight away unless the roots have already filled the pot.

  • As it grows and the roots fill the pot each year, repot it into a slightly larger container, adding fresh ericaceous compost around the edges

  • Feed with an ericaceous fertiliser and water with rainwater. This is easier said than done in a dry summer, but you could set aside a water butt just for your blueberries.

  • Keep the compost moist, but not waterlogged.

 

How to harvest blueberries

  • Blueberries are self-fertile so you only need one plant, although having more than one will improve the amount of fruit that sets.

  • When fully ripe the berries develop a bloom. Immature fruit are sharper tasting, which you might prefer for cooking; if you prefer eating them fresh, they become sweeter the longer they’re left.

  • Once you get your eye in, leave them until they’re at the perfect stage for your needs.

  • Blueberries keep for weeks once picked, so you can store them in the fridge until you have a decent amount. They also freeze well if you’re lucky enough to have a surplus.

  • The main pest is the blackbird and other fruit-eating birds. You will have to be fastidious in covering your plants with netting to defeat them.

How to prune blueberries

pruning

  • Pruning is fairly straightforward. In the first couple of years, simply shorten any wayward shoots and aim for a neat, open-centred bush.

  • Thereafter, prune a third of the oldest branches to their base in late winter to give a balance of one-, two- and three-year-old wood. Blueberries fruit on shoots formed on year-old branches

  • Blueberries are not fully hardy. Wrap the pots or pull them under cover in severe winters.

  • Cover the blossom with fleece if hard frosts are predicted.

“Blueberries: How to Grow the Best Blueberries.” How To Grow The Best Blueberries. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

 

Ideas

Guest Post: Go Nuts for Good Health

Nutrition-wise blog

Go nuts for good health

By Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. 

walnuts
wlnuts

The word is out. Nuts are good for you. A growing body of research supports their role in weight control, heart health and decreasing death from all causes. In addition, most nuts are good sources of fiber, potassium, zinc and iron. So what is the best nut? That depends on your personal preference as well as any health concerns you have. Here are some nutrient highlights to help you choose.

  • Weight loss or maintenance. Almonds might be a good choice for you. The combination of protein, fiber and fat is the trifecta of satiety. Add almonds to your breakfast cereal or yogurt, or sprinkle some on your salad later in the day.

  • Weight gain. Looking for a healthy way to gain weight? Pecans and macadamia nuts have the most calories in an ounce (that’s a handful). Most of these calories come from the abundance of healthy, monounsaturated fats.

  • Fuel for athletes. Cashews have more carbohydrates and iron than other nuts. They are good sources of protein and zinc — key nutrients for cell growth and repair. Throw them in your gym bag for a quick snack.

  • Blood pressure control. Sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium are major players in blood pressure control. Pistachios and brazil nuts have higher amounts of these heart healthy nutrients. Make a fruit and nut salad.

  • Pregnancy. A small handful of nuts when you’re not feeling well or feel full too soon is a great source of calories and key nutrients for a growing baby. Among nuts, hazelnuts have the most folate. They also have iron and zinc.

  • Healthy aging. Ongoing research on omega-3 fatty acids and their role in brain and heart health should help keep nuts on your radar. Nuts, especially walnuts, are high in polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts, like most nuts, are versatile and can be added to cereal, ground into a butter, or used as a crust or topping on meat, fish, pilafs and vegetables.

The nutrients you get from a small amount of nuts is impressive. Perhaps even more convincing is how easy it is to add these nutrient powerhouses to your diet. It doesn’t get much easier than packing a bag in your purse, briefcase or backpack. Just keep an eye on portion size.

How do you enjoy nuts? Have you added nuts to your diet and seen any changes?

To your health,

Katherine

Zeratsky, Katherine. “Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Go Nuts for Good Health. Mayoclinic.org, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

raw food

Guest Post – Dan the Man

Hey it’s Dan and I wanted to
connect today. I was out walking
in the desert and I was feeling
like I wanted to share with you
my perspective on the benefits
of raw foods. I have been trying
to help people understand why
eating a raw food diet is so
beneficial, so here goes…

#1. Lower health care cost.
Eating raw food pumps your body
full of vitamins and nutrients
boosting your immune system and
detoxifying your body from the
dis-ease that keeps you going
back to the doctor.

2. Increased mental clarity.
Raw foods are easily digested
and absorbed into the blood
stream so less of the body’s
energy is required to go to
your gut for the digestion
process. This means you have
more energy to focus on
creating the life you love with
a clarity you have probably
never experienced before.

3. More energy. You have to try
it to really know it, but
eating raw food gives you an
amazing increase in energy.
Imagine what you could do if
you didn’t find yourself
feeling tired and sluggish at
the end of the day.

4. More regularity. Did you
know that you should naturally
have two to three bowel
movements a day? If you are not
that likely means you have a
clogged up intestinal system.
Eating raw provides plenty of
fiber to keep you regular.

5. Connection with the earth.
Eating food that’s freshly
picked just feels different.
You feel more connected to the
earth and more grounded. Eating
lots of processed foods —
frozen, from a box or fast food
chain — creates more of a gap
and leaves you feeling
disconnected from the earth
that sustains you.

6. Spiritual clarity. Raw foods
digest more easily than cooked
foods leaving you feeling
cleaner and clearer. This
allows you to feel more mental
energy so you can witness your
thoughts and actions from a
more objective viewpoint. This
in turn helps you to become
more aware of how your thoughts
affect your emotional state
giving you the opportunity to
adjust your thoughts bringing
more peace and emotional poise.

Ready to give it a try? If you
are interested in pursuing a raw
food diet you’ll want to check
out my latest DVD set
Transitioning to Raw. It has
everything you need to succeed
at eating raw and transforming
your health and its on sale for
just a few more days. Visit my
website for more information and
pick up your copy while it is
still on sale.

http://www.regenerateyourlife.org/dvd/transitioningtoraw/special.php

Love,
Dan