Tricks to Planting a Successful Leaf Lettuce Crop

Leaf lettuce isn’t a difficult vegetable to grow, by any means. However, for the best results, there are some tricks that can be used to plant the lettuce. These aren’t particularly difficult, but they do seem to be almost counter-intuitive, so many people don’t know about them. Light The biggest tip is probably that for lettuce seeds to germinate, they need sunlight as well as water. With most vegetables, the seeds are planted a quarter of an inch to a half an inch deep and sometimes deeper. However, this doesn’t work very well with leaf lettuce. The method that yields great results is to prepare the row for the lettuce, then moisten the row well. Lay down the lettuce seeds, press them firmly into the dampened soil, then water them well, using a fine mist so the seeds don’t get washed away. Clear plastic, such as the plastic wrap used in the kitchen, can be laid down over the top of the seeds to retain moisture while also letting the sunlight through. This isn’t necessary though, as long as the seeds are kept quite moist until they germinate. If the conditions and temperatures are right, germination usually takes place within two days, provided that the seeds are reasonably fresh. (Lettuce seed starts losing its viability in a year or so.) Temperature Lettuce is a cool-weather crop and grows best when the temperatures are 55 F to 65 F. Despite this, the best germination of the seed occurs when the temperatures Continue Reading →

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Where is the Super Socializer Button?

There can be some confusion about turning on the sharing buttons for social media. This is now part of the blog dashboards on Blog Job and it is called Super Socializer. A big part of the confusion is caused by the fact that not all themes support Super Socializer. If you are using a theme that doesn’t support it, the option for enabling Super Socializer won’t be there on the left. You can, of course, do it the other way; copy and paste the link into your social media account, but that is a few extra steps and it is rather clunky. How do you know if your theme supports Super Socializer? Actually, this is very easy. If you go to the dashboard for your blog and look over on the left hand side, you should see Super Socializer toward the bottom of the list. It looks like this: As already mentioned, if the theme doesn’t support it, the selection for Super Socializer won’t be listed. You can then select to use a different theme or to do it the copy and paste way. If you choose to use a different theme so you have the sharing buttons visible, it is really easy to enable Super Socializer.   Click on the Super Socializer on the left, then click Social Sharing. At the top of the window, it should say Master Control and right below that, it says Enable Social Sharing. Put a check in that box, then scroll down and Continue Reading →

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Successfully Growing Carrots in the Home Garden

Carrots can and should be part of a healthy diet and they can be used in many dishes; from salad to stew. This is a vegetable that is also quite easy to grow in a home garden and most varieties grow well in cool climates. If you know how to grow carrots, you will most likely be successful with a minimum of effort. Knowing how to grow them also isn’t very hard to learn. This humble vegetable can be traced back to its origins in Afghanistan, though it has been grown in home gardens throughout Europe and the world starting about 600 years ago. Soil Like many root crops, carrots grow best in loose soil that doesn’t compact easily, but which drains easily. If your dirt is clay, it should be amended by tilling in a large¬†quantity of finished compost and/or well-rotted manure. This gives the carrots plenty of food during growth while also improving the tilth of the ground. Sunlight Carrots are sun-loving plants. However, they struggle when temperatures get high. If you have summers that get extremely hot, it can be helpful to these plants if they are furnished with some shade late in the afternoon and evening, when temperatures tend to be at their highest and the sun is the most intense. This can often be accomplished by planting heat-loving plants that grow taller than carrots, on the west side of the row of carrots. The taller plants function as a sun break against the afternoon and Continue Reading →

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Planting and Growing Lilium

A large number of plants are called lilies, but the true lilies belong to the genus Lilium. This genus is a big one, with over 100 species and literally thousands of different cultivars. They aren’t especially difficult to grow and they are quite beautiful. Many also have a wonderful aroma. These plants attract both honey bees and hummingbirds. They have the added benefit of being plants that usually grow quite well in the north. In most cases, liliums have showy, trumpet-shaped flowers with six petals and six stamens. The blossoms can appear from spring through fall, depending on the species. There is also a huge selection of blossom colors that are available with the various cultivars. Some have flower stalks that are only a foot or two tall, while others may reach over six feet. The taller varieties may need to be staked because the large flowers can make them top-heavy. Liliums grow from scaly bulbs. These should be planted in the spring or fall. These plants will grow from the far north through the subtropics and spring planting is preferable for the species grown in the north, because of the abbreviated growing season. The soil should be well-draining and rich. Lilies benefit from mulching throughout the growing season, and a final deep mulching late in the year to protect the bulbs from the harshest temperatures. These plants also do well in partial shade. Spent flowers should be dead-headed, however the flower stalk shouldn’t be removed until it dies back Continue Reading →

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The Sweat Bee is a Powerful Pollinator

A very large number of people know that there is a difference between bees and wasps. It is safe to say that most people probably know that honey comes from bees and not wasps. People also tend to know that bees are very important pollinators in the wild, gardens, orchards and commercial farms. However, when people think of bees, they normally only think of honey bees. This is very far from the only bee species and the sweat bee is a great example. Actually, there is a large number of species of sweat bees. These insects belong to the family called Halictidae and though there can be a lot of variation between species, they share the trait that they are strongly attracted to the various salts in human sweat, hence the common name. Like other bees, though, they will usually sting if they are angry or threatened. Still, the sting of sweat bees is usually much less painful than the sting of honey bees. While honey bees form large colonies or ‘hives’, sweat bees are much more varied. Some sweat bees do form colonies. Others are solitary, usually burrowing into the dirt. The farther north the sweat bee species is, the more likely it is to be solitary. ¬†Some produce honey, although usually not nearly in the amounts that honey bees produce, while others don’t produce honey. They can also differ a lot in appearance. Some species of sweat bees have a metallic sheen and can look more green and Continue Reading →

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Setting Up a Gravatar on Blogs and a BlogJob Profile Picture

When someone comments on one of your blogs and doesn’t have an avatar, it can look a little strange, since there won’t be a picture to display next to the comment. This isn’t so much confusing as it is unappealing to people who read the comments on the blog. BlogJob and WordPress makes it simple to add an image that will automatically appear if a commenter doesn’t have an avatar. This is called a Globally Recognizable Avatar, or Gravatar. Blog Gravatar To set one up in your blog, go to the blog dashboard. On the left side, click on “Settings”. Scroll down on the Settings screen to the Default Avatar section. Put a mark next to the avatar you want to use, then click the Save Changes button. If a person comments on your blog and doesn’t have an avatar, the one you selected should appear. Profile picture So what do you do when you join and don’t have an avatar or picture for the comments you make on the forums or on the blogs of other members? Or perhaps you want to change the one you have. You can set one up easily. First, you need a picture on your system that you can use. To look professional and to increase SEO, the picture should be a face shot, however the important thing is to have an image. Once the picture is on your system where you can find it, such as on the computer desktop, go to the Continue Reading →

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Scheduling a BlogJob Article for Later Posting

There are any number of reasons a person might want to have an article post later rather than immediately. For instance, if you have already met your daily total points, but have an idea for a really great article, you can write it and schedule it to be posted later, so you can get credit for the points. You might also know in advance that you are going to be gone for a few days and want to keep your blogs active. Scheduling articles to be published while you are gone is one way to do that. BlogJob and Word press make it quite simple to schedule articles for later posting. In fact, it is so simple that many people who use WordPress might overlook it. To begin with, you will want to write the article as you normally would. Make sure that it is complete and ready to be published. This means that you should add appropriate images, you should embed two or three links in the body of the article, you should have tags that relate directly to the article, you should have the category selected and you should do your proofreading. All of this is for good SEO. You could edit the article later, but it is best if you have the article properly written and ready to be published. This is what you should normally do with all articles, of course, and it is what happens next that is important for the scheduling. In the dashboard Continue Reading →

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Creating a Fragrant Walkway

It is really simple to make a nice, fragrant walkway, if you have a sunny location and flagstones, slate or other flat stones. The idea is to have a walkway that gives off a great aroma when you walk on it. The first step is to choose a location for the path. It needs to be in a place that gets plenty of sunshine and it has to be remembered that the path needs to be wide enough that a person can walk down the trail easily. That would most likely be at least three feet wide. Once the location is selected, the next step would be to dig up the path, removing rocks, pebbles, weeds, grass and debris. Think of it as a place where you are going to put in a garden, because in a way, that is exactly what you will be doing. The soil should be fertile, but it doesn’t need to be extremely rich. If you have clay soil, it would need to be amended before putting in the walkway, because the soil needs to drain well. After the soil has been prepared, top the soil with a mixture of sand and cheap potting soil. This layer only needs to be two to three inches thick, because its purpose is to give the plants a good start. Next, place the stones so they are about two inches apart, on top of the sand and potting soil mixture. This is your chance to be artistic. It Continue Reading →

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