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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fresh, Flavor Packed Peas

I harvested some peas from the garden earlier today, and flash boiled them in lightly salted water for a couple of minutes before eating them.  They are the best peas I ever had.  I never knew peas could have so much flavor.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Old Aquarium, New Greenhouse

Photo 1: Lettuce and Nasturiums growing in my re-purposed aquarium

A small crack developed near the top of my acrylic aquarium rendering it useless as an aquarium (See Photo 2).  Instead of throwing it away, I decided to re-purpose it as a greenhouse.   
First, I removed the filtration system.  Then I used pea gravel to create a one-inch drainage layer (See Photo 3).  I normally use hydroton clay balls because it weighs next to nothing, but I had some excess pea gravel from another project.  Next I placed screen mesh on top of the pebbles to prevent soil from settling into the drainage layer (See Photo 3).  Lastly, I added organic gardening soil and planted some seeds.  I am currently growing nasturtiums and lettuce for my pet tortoise (See Photo 1 & 4). 

My fish tank is already equipped with a fluorescent bulb light fixture, which gives me the option to grow plants even in the dimmest corner of my home.  I currently have mine placed in front of a window so I am not using the light at this time.  If you do need to use the light, I recommend purchasing an automatic timer so you can easily provide twelve (12) hours of light per day without the hassle of remembering to turn the light on and off.   

Photo 2: Old aquarium

Photo 3: Screen mesh placed on top of layer of pea gravel

Photo 4: Seeds germinated three days later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Grow Avocados The Easy Way

Anyone can germinate avocados from seed!  Forget the toothpick method.  You do not even need any soil.  Just wash away the flesh from the avocado pits, and wrap the pits in a damp paper towel.  Then place the wrapped pits in a plastic bag.  I used a snack bag (See Photo 1).  After you seal the bag, place the bag in a warm, dark place.  I placed my bag on top of my refrigerator.  Now just ignore it for a few weeks.  It will take about two to four weeks for your pits to sprout (See Photo 2).  

Photo 1: Avocado pits have been cleaned, wrapped in a damp paper towel, and sealed in a snack bag.

Photo 2: Both avocado pits have germinated