Amaral Farm

Best Organic Fertilizers for 2021

Fertilizing your plants is as important as feeding yourself good wholesome foods. Fertilizer provides your plants with the nutrients they need to grow strong, look their best, produce more, and reduce risks of pest infestations. However, plants need more than food, just like us. We need water, plenty of sleep, and a comfortable home. Organic fertilizers give plants what they need by creating long-term soil and plant health, all without polluting the environment.

Why Organic Fertilizers?

Clean and Safe

Most store-bought fertilizers are not safe for humans or animals to consume. However, organic fertilizers are safer for your plants, and your local ecosystem. They are derived from plants, animals, and minerals. They do not contain the harmful chemicals, acids, or petrochemical-based materials that synthetic fertilizers do, which pollute local waterways and damage local ecosystems.

Read More about Best Organic Fertilizers for 2021

How Do You Prune Orchid Plants?

Orchids are essentially indoor plants. They might seem relatively easy to take care of but the pruning step of planting these fairly little plants is a bit technical. Great care is required while pruning them. Some of the simple steps could be followed, to make it a healthy plant inside your garden. So, grasp your scissors. I will tell you when you need to prune and how to do it perfectly. 

Benefits 

Pruning is necessary for your orchids, it keeps them fresh and healthy. It also provides you a chance to detect unfolding problems. Another important benefit of pruning is that you remove or cut the diseased tissue. This tissue may be the habitat of disease-causing fungi, bacteria, or viruses. The most important benefit of Orchid pruning is that more buds and flowers appear after pruning. 

Read More about How Do You Prune Orchid Plants?

Flower Bulbs to Plant in Fall

Flowering bulbs are the plant most closely associated with Spring. Not sure of that statement? Easter is celebrated after the Spring equinox and the white lily is the traditional Easter flower. If your goal is to have a yard full of flowering bulbs in the Spring, you’ll need to get started in late fall. Where to get them? There are many places online where you can buy bulbing plants easy enough, some sites even specialize in bulbing plants alone. However if you have a bulbing flower, they generally propagate themselves quite easily. Taking them out of their pot and separating them out is an easy way to grow the number you have for next year. In a future blog we will discuss doing this and storing them for next year. For this blog we want to introduce you to a list of bulbs you might want to plant yourself.

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides spp.) 

Read More about Flower Bulbs to Plant in Fall

How Do You Grow Those Striking “Blue Daze” Flowers?

If you’ve ever seen the striking blue daze flowers, also known as Evolvulus glomeratus or dwarf morning glory, chances are you wanted some for your own garden, front yard, or house. These plants have a unique bright blue color. Not purple that looks blue, but true blue, which is actually quite rare in the flower world. This delightful evergreen shrub grows very low to the ground, making it perfect for covering sizeable areas.

Blue Daze Flowers: Evolvulus Glomeratus

These funnel-shaped, small blue flowers are about one inch in diameter, and the plant itself will grow about two or three feet in each direction and about one foot high. They also need full sun and are hardy enough to offer their amazingly blue blooms during the entire summer all the way to the first frost. They’re resilient, so they will thrive and flourish in areas that are maybe too dry or hot to grow anything else.

Read More about How Do You Grow Those Striking “Blue Daze” Flowers?

7 of the Best Types of Fruit Trees to Plant in Central Florida

Central Florida is a great place to grow fruit trees. The warm winters and hot summers of this USDA zone 9 tropical climate mean year-round growing for gardeners. While there are many wonderful fruits we can grow in this region, we’ve tried to pick out the very best for the home gardener. We have included some popular favorites as well as a few special delicacies you may never have heard of!

7 of the Best Types of Fruit Trees to Plant in Central Florida

Read More about 7 of the Best Types of Fruit Trees to Plant in Central Florida

How to Get Rid of Cutworms in Your Garden

When it comes to caring for your garden, cutworms are among the nastiest and most harmful pests to encounter. They’re often mistaken for grubs, but they’re actually the caterpillar of an adult moth. The worst part of cutworms is the damage that they can cause to plants and seedlings. You may not know how to get rid of cutworms in your garden, but there are several methods to choose from, ranging from all-natural and organic to synthetic pesticides.

What Are Cutworms, Exactly?

Cutworms come in many different species but are generally on the smaller side, with a soft, pliant body about one to two inches long. The adult moths lay eggs in tall grasses, hatching in the fall. The larvae then spend winter tucked safely in the ground or other vegetative debris, like leaves or a woodpile. It isn’t until early spring that they emerge from hibernation and immediately start feasting on your garden or any plant they can find, causing lots of damage.

Read More about How to Get Rid of Cutworms in Your Garden

Raising Rabbits: How Long Does It Take?

Historically, the rabbit has enjoyed great popularity as livestock in the USA, and many homesteaders still grow them today. Owners enjoy how easy rabbits are to raise and how their meat is a more environmentally friendly option. What’s more, as an animal that is small and easy to care for, they are the third most popular pet in the country. Let’s find out how long it takes to start raising rabbits and what you need to consider before diving in.

From Kitten to Geriatric: A Timeline

If you’re thinking of acquiring rabbits, you’ll need to know what to expect over the course of their lives. Let’s explore the timeline of their lives, from when they are born to when they die.

Read More about Raising Rabbits: How Long Does It Take?

When Do You Need to Add Organic Matter to Your Soil?

Have you struggled for years to get anything to grow in your garden? If so, the problem may be the quality of your soil. Whether you’re trying to grow larger plants or just trying to get anything to grow at all, you should be adding organic matter to soil annually. Here’s what you need to know about when, specifically, you should be adding organic matter.

When You Should Be Adding Organic Matter to Soil

You should be adding organic matter to soil at least a month before you intend to plant anything for the season if you are adding raw, or unfinished, organic matter to your soil. Examples of raw organic matter include manure that hasn’t decomposed, and leaves.

Giving your raw matter at least 30 days to decompose ensures your plants won’t break down before your raw organic matter. Add finished organic matter right before you plant.

Read More about When Do You Need to Add Organic Matter to Your Soil?

What Is the Best Time for Planting Sweet Corn in Florida?

The crisp and delicious crunch of sweet corn is distinctly reminiscent of warm and lazy summer nights spent eating, grilling, and laughing with family and friends. Luckily, planting sweet corn is relatively simple, as long as you sow at the right time and give it all the nutrients and water it needs to thrive. It’s particularly effortless to grow this seasonal treat in Florida, which may be why they’re the number one state for production and value of fresh market sweet corn in the U.S.

Even gardening newbies should have no trouble producing ripe ears all summer long to be enjoyed freshly boiled and promptly slathered in butter and salt or even wrapped in tinfoil and thrown on the grill. Here are some tips on when and how you should plant your sweet corn if you live in the Sunshine State and how to get the best yield out of your crop.

Read More about What Is the Best Time for Planting Sweet Corn in Florida?

How to Get Rid of Aphids Without Damaging Your Vegetable Garden

Gardening is a relaxing hobby and a great way to spend more time outdoors. Cultivating natural spaces is good for the environment, and growing your own vegetables can be immensely satisfying. However, like most plants, vegetables are vulnerable to aphids, which can be difficult to eradicate. Although chemical pesticides are effective, these substances can ruin your vegetable garden. Luckily, there are some natural options if you’re wondering how to get rid of aphids without ruining your crop.

How to Get Rid of Aphids Without Damaging Your Vegetable Garden

Nothing puts a dampener on your gardening enthusiasm like an aphid infestation. Maybe you grow vegetables outside, or in a polytunnel, or on your windowsill – aphids can affect plants grown in almost any environment. Aphids are also notoriously versatile and can develop in most places where greenery is abundant.

Read More about How to Get Rid of Aphids Without Damaging Your Vegetable Garden