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Tips For Accurate pH Testing

Optimal pH levels are critical to healthy plants and high yields in both soil and hydroponics gardening.

Why Grow Organic? Taste.

There are many reasons to eat organically. Better taste is one.

Indoor Winter Gardening Revolution

More and more gardeners are growing inside their homes under lights.

Hybrids, GMOs: Not the Same

Clearing up the confusion between hybrids and GMOs.

Dandelion Control

Yes, it is possible to get rid of dandelions without using toxic sprays. Here’s how.

Growing, Enjoying Microgreens

Like sprouts, radish, beet and other young greens make nutritious salad additions.

Grow Sprouts: For the Health of It!

Tips on raising nutritious sprouts right in your own kitchen … organically!

Growing Herbs Indoors

Growing fresh herbs through the winter under lights is easy. Here’s how.

Preparing Garden Soil

Healthy soil is the basis of healthy plants and a healthy environment.

Beneficial Insects for Pest Control

How to properly use beneficial insects to control garden pests.

How to Get Rid of Bugs Organically

Safe, effective and simple – pest control at its very best.

Good Bugs in Your Garden

Attracting or importing “the good bugs” into your yard or garden is a great way to reduce the number of insect pests.

Raised Bed Gardening 101

Tips and techniques for high-yield, raised bed vegetable gardens.

Organic Gardening 101

Pesticides on our produce, GMOs in our food… how do we protect our families? Grow your own.

Flower Gardening 101

A garden filled with flowers will brighten up and enliven any landscape.

Indoor Plant Care

Many houseplants are easy to grow, but they must be given appropriate care in order to thrive.

Indoor Gardening 101

When the winter blahs set in and your dreaming of fresh greens from your garden, consider growing indoors.

Home Composting 101

Compost happens… but it happens a whole lot faster when you know how!

Worm Composting 101

Composting with worms (a.k.a. vermicomposting) is the proverbial win-win situation.

Light Right (Indoor Garden Lighting)

Our handy guide makes it easy to select the best light for growing plants indoors.

The Blog: Welcome

Welcome to Planet Natural’s Blog, a clearinghouse for all things green and growing.

Okra Plant | How to Grow, Care For and Harvest – Quick Guide

Here’s a little down-home flavor in a heat-loving, sun seeking package!

Growing Marigolds From Seed

One of the simplest – and most popular – flowers to grow, marigolds guarantee a reliable splash of color all summer long.

Tarragon – Everything You Need to to Know About Artemisia Dracunculus

Tarragon Flowers and Leaves

What is Tarragon? Tarragon is a perennial herb that is used in culinary dishes commonly in French or Russian cuisine. This leafy green plant has a distinctive herbal flavor that makes it versatile for many kitchens and helps elevate recipes. Tarragon is a member of the sunflower family and comes in three different varieties, each of which have their unique flavors and uses. These three kinds include Russian tarragon, wild tarragon, and French tarragon which is the variety you will find sold as dried spices in marketplaces. This is a signature herb that is used in delicate dishes that cook quickly. Because of this, tarragon is considered one of the four fines herbes in French cooking. This four herb combination is typically used with ingredients with neutral flavor profiles such as chicken, eggs or fish. This pairing of herbs works  significantly well with these ingredients, offering the taster plenty of aroma and flavors that blend perfectly. What Does Tarragon Look Like? Tarragon is a fine herb that is recognized for its long, slender leaves that come to a point. Look for stems with multiple bright green leaves growing off it. Different varieties of tarragon can be hard to differentiate by… Read more

Achillea Millefolium – Everything you need to know about Common Yarrow

Achillea Millefolium

An herbaceous plant that is native to regions of Asia, Europe, and brought to North America, Achillea millefolium is a hardy plant that has a variety of uses and can make a wonderful addition to have in the garden. What is Yarrow? Achillea millefolium, also known as gordaldo, nosebleed plant, hold man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, or more commonly, yarrow, is a flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. This plant is seen all across the United States in meadows and prairies and has become a popular presence in gardens. Through hybridization processes, this once plain wildflower now comes in vibrant colors, producing yellow, orange, pink, and purple flowers during the blooming season. While some may associate the yarrow plant with weeds, this herb actually has many benefits to gardeners from nutrient hoarding to medicinal uses. A sturdy plant that is easy to grow and reseeds quickly, yarrow is something that can be seamlessly incorporated into any garden. What Does Yarrow Look Like? Yarrow plants look different at various stages of its life cycle. When it first begins to sprout from the ground, it will resemble narrow, fluffy, fern-like leaves. This is where one of its nicknames, plumajillo or little-feather, comes… Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Black Currant

black-currant

What is Black Currant? Black currants (Ribes nigrum) are woody shrubs that are native to Europe and Asia and introduced to the Americas back in the 1800s. This plant is part of the Gooseberry family and comes in many different varieties.These berries grow on the shrubs throughout the summer and can be picked and used for cooking, drinks, and herbal medicine. The black currant grows to become a medium sized shrub, only around 5 feet in size. This plant blossoms in strigs and is pollinated by insects. By the middle of summer, the shrub bears fruit and the green berries ripen into edible, glossy, purple berries. Each shrub has the potential to produce up to to 10 pounds of fruit a year. These shrubs are relatively hardy and can survive the winter months. They are usually planted in the fall or winter so that growth can start in the spring. These plants are susceptible to many diseases and also have the potential to spread fungus. This is why most Americans are not familiar with black currants. However, once harvested, they can be great with many savory or sweet dishes as well as jams, syrups, and alcoholic beverages. What Does Black… Read more

What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Ladybugs Eating Aphids

You may be wondering “what do ladybugs eat?” Ladybugs feed one a wide variety of small insects and insect eggs. Their favorite food is aphids, but they also eat small spiders, mealy bugs, and other insects and mites they can attack and subdue. Ladybugs eat the eggs of the Colorado Potato Beetle and European Corn Borer, which are big agricultural pests. They eat other eggs they find, too. Adult ladybugs don’t just eat bugs. Some adults feed on nectar and pollen and some eat mildew that forms on the plants and pollen, but the larvae are strictly carnivorous. All ladybugs will eat other ladybug eggs, larvae, and pupae, especially if prey is scarce. Ladybugs in the genus Stethorus are very tiny insects and feed mostly on spider mites. Ladybugs in the genera Exochomus, Coccidophilus, and Chilocorus prefer scale insects. Description of Ladybugs Ladybugs, also called ladybird beetles in Europe, are not bugs at all, but beetles. They belong to the Coccinellidae family. There are nearly 6,000 species of ladybugs in the world. There are about 450 species in North America. When most people think of ladybugs, they picture a small oval insect that is red with black spots on the… Read more

Red Oak Tree Varieties, Benefits, Care and Frequently Asked Questions

Red Oak Tree

The Red oak tree is a timber tree belonging to the beech family. They are wooden shrubs and trees with bristle leaves lined with hairy shells and bitter seeds that mature in two growing seasons. Red oak has one of the most fantastic fall foliage and outlives its growers. It is also effortless to transplant. The red attached to it is due to the bright red color in the leaf veins on the underside of the leaves. The red oak trees thrive in any environment and soil conditions but have a faster growth rate in slightly acidic soil. The plant is usually grown for ornamental purposes. Read on to learn interesting facts about this fast growing plant. Types Of Red Oak Tree The red oaks are divided into two major types, namely: Northern Red Oak The Northern red oak trees (Quercus rubra) have matte green tops while the bottom is pale yellow green catkins and hairy. It turns russet red in autumn and remains firmly until winter. This red oak tree has drought tolerance and grows in a round shape. It also tolerates pollution and well drained soil. It can grow in acidic, sandy, loamy, and clay soils. The northern… Read more

Venus Fly Trap Care – Everything You Need To Know

potted venus fly traps

How to grow, feed and care for these lovely carnivorous indoor plants.

Echeveria Succulents – How To Grow & Care For

Echeveria Gibbiflora Succulent Arrangement

Echeveria is a flowering succulent that is native to areas like Mexico, Central America, South America and other lower hemisphere regions. They look like spikey rosettes and come in a variety of size, colors, quality, and selection. Echeveria There are plenty of chubby varieties and shapes of echeveria succulents.  Succulents echeveria produce are especially beautiful in appearance. They come in a number of different colors everyone likes such as purple, blue, and green. Hybrids of echeveria succulent come in exotic hues.  They are common houseplants with arrangements found in the window of a kitchen or bathroom with exposure to sun and humidity and come in all types of size, forms, and foliage. Types of Echeveria Echeveria agavoides – The red edges on the lime green echeveria plants are why this variety is named “lipstick”. Echeveria elegans – With pearlescent tones, these echeveria plants will send out tall stems with yellow-tipped flowers. Echeveria gibbiflora – This echeveria plant can have rosettes up to a height of 16 inches across. The spoon-shaped leaf is reddish-green and produces a red and yellow flower. Echeveria harmsii – Pink-tipped, green echeveria leaves with an orange flower. Echeveria laui – These echeveria plants only grow to the height of… Read more

Microgreens: 15 Interesting Facts

microgreens

Microgreens have been making their way into grocery stores, restaurants, and into the recipes of some of your favorite foods. These little leafy greens are filled with high levels of vitamins and minerals and make a great addition to any diet as well as a beautiful garnish to any dish. You might be wondering about all of the details surrounding these newly popular vegetables before you’re ready to dive into them. Continue reading this article to find the answers to all your questions regarding microgreens, how to grow them yourselves, and how to incorporate them into your daily lifestyles. What are Microgreens? Microgreens (micro greens) are more than just the microscopic servings of green veggies you see garnishing your dishes. If you’ve ever wondered what microgreens are or if they’re similar to the day-to-day greens you regularly have, you won’t be surprised to find that they are basically mini-versions of vegetables and herbs. These baby greens are harvested when they are around 1” to 1 1/2” in length. This just means that microgreens are the edible seedling form of many fully grown greens with true leaves. History of Microgreens Microgreens have been used in dishes since the 1980s when they were… Read more

Composting Toilets – Benefits & Knowledge | Planet Natural

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Composting Toilet Flushing dozens of gallons of water down your toilets every day can make you think twice about how much you spend on your water bill each month, how much water you are actually using, and how much you may be wasting. If you have ever worried about these things, a composting toilet may be a possible solution. Keep reading to learn about all the different aspects of composting toilets and how they work. What is a composting toilet? A composting toilet is typically a waterless system that uses decomposition and evaporation to recycle human waste. These toilets compost waste and toilet paper while also remaining odorless. They can be good options for reducing water waste and for off the grid or tiny homes. What types of composting toilets are available? Composting toilets usually fall into two different categories: a self-contained composting unit and a central composting toilet system. Self-contained composting toilets can be directly installed and have the composting system housed inside of the toilet. The composting chamber in this case can be found and emptied directly beneath the toilet. A central composting toilet system has two parts. The first is… Read more

7 Reasons Why Gardening is Great for your Mental Health

This year has been mentally challenging for a lot of us. It feels like we suddenly woke up one day to a devastating global pandemic, protests covering our nation from coast to coast, and unemployment at an all-time high.   With a hundred reasons to fret and stress, you may have felt down lately. Nearly 50 percent of people have reported adverse mental health effects resulting from COVID-19 alone. However, it does not have to stay that way forever. There are a plethora of ways to raise your spirits even during these troubling times. One proven, multi-faceted, and flexible way to destress, is gardening.   Even if you consider yourself cursed with a “brown thumb,” you may find that the process of growing something from the earth you live on is as rewarding as it is therapeutic. There truly is no better time to pick up a hobby than now, and spending some quiet time with nature may be precisely what you need for a pick-me-up.   In this article, we will discuss seven ways that gardening can improve your mental health and your overall sense of happiness. So get yourself all tucked in and ready to hear how gardening could lead… Read more