Aquarium Plant Maintenance

To maintain aquarium healthy and attractive, some basic plant care procedures should be carried out often. Feeding aquatic plants is the same as fertilizing their ecosystem with nutrients. Nutrients have to be available in both the substrate and the water to guarantee the plants are getting the correct amounts. With a nutritious and healthy surroundings, they can then go through photosynthesis and supply themselves with food and energy.

aquplant

Though quite a few of the important nutrients are available as a natural aspect of the standard aquarium setup, the substrate and water, these by itself are not adequate for plant maintenance. Other nutrients need to be supplied through the inclusions of fertilizers and aquarium co2 equipment. Frequent aquarium and plant maintenance is also an essential part of the overall health of the aquarium system.

Quite a few of the important nutrients are already found in fresh water aquarium substrate. Macro nutrients that are generally found are oxygen, hydrogen, calcium and nitrogen. In a typical well-maintained aquatic surroundings, only some nutrients must be supplied on a regular basis.
For stationed aquariums, these are the necessary additions; magnesium, sulphur, potassium, carbon, and phosphorus. These micronutrients are in most cases supplied through liquid fertilizers and also in tap water if used changing the water in the tank.

Good aquarium plant maintenance involves looking for signs of snail infestations and getting rid of as many of the snails by hand as possible.

Keep in mind to remove all dead or dying leaves before they start to rot and contaminate the aquarium water.

And of course, sometimes plants need a little repositioning around the tank.

Read about saltwater fish feeding here. And more about plant maintenance here.

Growing Thyme

Wide selection is a major part of the enjoyment with thymes: these tiny-leaved perennials come in all kinds of colors, textures, and personalities. There’s culinary thyme, for example, that grows up in a straight, bushy mini-shrub infused with the well-known aroma. Wooly thyme, a beautiful looking herb, grows tightly on the ground, making a mat of fluffy foliage that asks to be caressed. Lemon thyme carries golden leaves and a distinct citrus smell. Add assorted varieties with white-edged foliage; the ones with blooms in pink, red, purple, or white; such that smell like nutmeg or camphor or caraway – you can stuff the entire garden with thymes without getting fed up.

thyme

Thyme is rich in quite a few vitamins and minerals. Thyme features Thymol, an essential oil with antiseptic and antifungal properties. It’s also loaded with antioxidants.

To obtain the best results, plant the seed in the house in early spring. Thyme is very sturdy and will grow in nearly all conditions. It wants full sun and a soil that is light and sandy. Thyme demands little fertilization except if the soil quality is in particularly lousy quality, or when grown via the hydroponic way.

Thyme advances simply from tip cuttings or crown dividing. Because it grows slowly and gradually, most likely in its early life, weed-control is needed. Mulching with straw can help here.

Thyme is collected in mid-summer, just before blooming. Second expansion will happen for the balance of the year, and this growing should be left to grow, or winter toughness will be lost.

Thyme can be collected at any part of its development. If you want your thyme to distribute and grow more quickly, cut the plant 2/3 the way down the stem and leave 1/3 of the stem to stay. In this situation you are pruning your thyme and it will easily grow back

The Basics of Composting

The composting technique needs optimum levels of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water. The feedstock components that are being converted into compost must be put together perfectly into the best possible ratio of carbon and nitrogen (C:N ratio). The composting method should be aerobic. The particle size of these elements must let for a good mixture and keep good air ventilation through the stack or windrow. Airflow is needed to provide oxygen to the microbes that will be effective in the compost and to discharge the carbon dioxide and other gases that are created in the decomposition approach. Water is necessary to retain the life attributes of the microorganisms in the compost. Excessive moisture will greatly reduce the circulation and the compost will stop to be aerobic.

Composting processes all those items that cannot be rejected, lessened, reused or recycled, and I have more trust in Composting than Recycling. The microorganisms in our compost bins need both carbon and nitrogen to prosper; carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein synthesis. For every one unit of nitrogen used by the bacteria they also take in about 30 units of carbon. And so to be able to keep the bacteria working successfully we need to build an ecosystem for them that are roughly 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen.

So that’s all! Quite straightforward, isn’t it? But nothing beats the joy of actually making and checking out your very own compost!

Thanks for now-compost for the contribution!

Why, How and What to Compost

I have found this useful infographics about composting. It pretty much sums up about all the questions you might have about composting in a quick, simple and easy to read format.

Thanks to AvantGardenDecor and Geoff for pointing out this great infographics!

why-how-what-compost

Click on the image to see a full-large version. It’s also ready to print!

Growing Basil

I have seen herbs to be not only the least difficult types of plants to grow, but they are also the most fun to build a garden with – not to point out that it is the most flexible group of plants around.

Basil is a bushy herb, it is about 1 to 2 feet high, with shiny opposite leaves and raises of white flowers. Basil leaves can be used in cooking, giving their unique taste to food. It is one of the most well-known herbs in the garden; basil can bring delicate taste to tomato dishes, salads, and pesto.

How to grow
Plant seeds when the danger of frost is over and the ground is warm, you can start indoors in separate pots. If you can place them in full sun, in moist soil, preferably with compost and with aged manure. Space at the distance proposed on the label, which is usually 10 to 20 inches apart. In case of cold nights, mulch to maintain moisture when the soil has warmed up again.

Basil can be susceptible to different fungal disorders, such as Fusarium wilt, gray mold, and black spot, as well as damping-off in new plants. Eliminate these complications by holding out to plant outside until the soil has warmed up and by not overpopulating the surrounding area.

Harvesting
Harvest basil leaves by pinching them from the stems whenever after the fresh plants have grown to a height of 5 to 9 inches. Nip the leaves from the tips of the stems to promote the plant to branch out and grow more leaves. Try to hold the stems pinched even if you don’t use the leaves; or else, the plant will start to flower and make seeds instead, and will stop growing leaves.

Uses in Cooking
Maybe the most flavorful way to appreciate the real depth of basil is in a simple Pesto Sauce provided on pasta. In tomato sauce, basil i believe is pretty much a crucial herb. A basic sauce that can be made in just few minutes, and wonderfully shows the taste of basil.
Also, basil works good with onions, garlic, and olives.

Lemon basil, as the name suggests, has a tough lemony scent. Their leaves are small and an easier green than other types. You can use this herb in fish meals, salad dressings and desserts. It is yet another basil herb that can make good vinegar.