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Wood or a Plastic Container for Gardening?

Wood or plastic materials are the top contenders for container gardening. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Why should I choose a food-grade plastic garden container over a wooden one? Let me count the ways…
The most important reasons are:
1. Plastic is many times lighter than wood so with less weight it is easier to move and less likely to be top heavy and tip over. i.e. The weight of the plastic growing box of the Garden on Wheelz is 11 lbs as compared with 20-30 lbs for one of the same size in wood.
2. Plastic is strong and thin, not as bulky as wood, so it looks cleaner, sleeker and doesn’t take up as much space and is much easier to move, especially if the container is on wheels. Such as the plastic container garden that is part of the new and innovative product called, the Garden on Wheelz by LifeCycle Gardens, which recently received it’s first US patent.
3. Plastic is weather resistant, low to no maintenance, so it will look new for years. Wood will look weathered by the end of the first growing season.
4. Plastic seals better than wood so it won’t leak like wooden seams will and turn the container black, green and dirty brown.
5. Plastic containers for gardening don’t need liners or preservatives like wood to prevent them from rotting.
6. Plastic can be manufactured with a drain that is reinforced for strength and captures run-off cleanly and easily, instead of drilled holes in the wood bottom that will make the wooden container rot faster.
7. Plastic container gardening retains moisture better so you won’t need to water as much. It will also not soak up moisture like wood does, which takes away from the water in the soil. It also makes the wooden contain garden become heavier and cause it to rot faster.
8. Plastic containers come in a large variety of colors, sizes and designs.
9. Buy only plastic containers made of UV-resistant, BPA & PVC free, food grade plastic; like the Garden on Wheelz by LifeCycle Gardens.
The best all around plastic container gardening product is the Garden on Wheelz by LifeCycle Garens! Check out www.lifecyclegardens.com to see their all-in-one mobile plastic gardening container that will be sure to make your raised-bed gardening is stylish, sustainable, and rewarding/fun.

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Vegetable Garden Pests

One of the most difficult and expensive issues for any gardener is the elimination of weeds and garden pests. There are many ways to eliminate them, some are more costly, others more dangerous.
Let’s tackle weeds first:
1. The quickest way to eliminate weeds is to spray them with an herbicide. It will definitely kill them (and every other living organism in or on your soil). Since they are mostly systemic products (like Round Up by Monsanto), the weeds who have been sprayed, bring the poison deep into the soil and into their roots so it can be absorbed by other plants in the garden, like the fruits, vegetables or herbs that you planted and will eat! (This is not a recommended way to get rid of Vegetable Garden Pests like weeds).
2. Pull the weeds out by their roots. This is the slowest, but a safer, smarter solution. Traditionally, this is back breaking work with a hoe, and knee crunching work if you’re on your hands and knees. However, you can avoid this “hard on your body work” by purchasing the Garden on Wheelz which will allow you to adjust the height of your garden to either a standing or seated height! This will save your knee’s and back from this hard labor. Another thing to keep in mind, don’t shake the dirt off the roots until you have a firm grasp of all of the seeds, or you will be reseeding your garden while getting rid of the pesky weeds!
3. The best and safest way to eliminate weeds is to raise the garden bed above the level of where 99.9% of the weeds of the world reside and reseed, which is on the ground. It is important to raise the garden to waist height to be above the scattering gusts of wind. The Garden on Wheelz is a perfect height, and what is more, you can adjust the height of this product to fit your specific needs.

Insects, (the worst vegetable garden pests) and the bane of every gardener’s existence: Earwigs, aphids, mealy bugs, etc.
1. The fastest way to eliminate insects is with an insecticide. It will kill them, but the chemical residue will be absorbed into your fruits and vegetable or coat the food you eat. That’s not tasty or safe. (not recommended).
2. The second way is to eliminate insects by spaying your plants with a solution of water with a few drops of dish detergent in it. Wash your food and it will be tasty and safe.
3. Hand to claw combat: Some gardeners kill insects by hand. It is gross, but effective. Don’t believe Pumbaa from the Lion King. Bugs are slimy, but not satisfying. The most important thing to remember about vegetable garden pests is that they multiply fast, so when you see them, take action fast. Eliminate the gathering before it becomes a colony of insects set on destroying your garden.
4. One way to eliminate most insects from your garden is to grow your food on stilts, or at a raised height like the Garden on Wheelz, because the raised bed is lifted by shiny, slippery aluminum legs that earwigs, mealy bugs and aphids can’t climb. If one super smart insect figures a way to climb the Garden on Wheelz and does make it to the top, see #2 or #3, eliminate the gathering before it becomes a colony, but do it in a safe way without the use of chemicals to ensure your safety when digesting the fruits of you’re gardening efforts!

Garden on Wheelz helps to eliminate vegetable garden pests with ease! Get yours today: http://www.lifecyclegardens.com/garden-on-wheelz.php

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Starting seeds indoors with your Garden on Wheelz

Starting-Seeds-Indoors

Starting Seeds Indoors with Garden on Wheelz™

What a great way to get an early start on the season by starting seeds indoors with your “Garden on Wheelz”.

Not only will you know exactly what you are growing, but you will save time and money having your starts at home when the season is warm enough to either transplant your starts to a larger in ground garden or simply keep then in your “Garden on Wheelz” and move it outside to get a head start on the growing season.

This is a very easy process and the Garden on Wheelz helps take any guess work out of the equation. Just follow these simple steps to start you’re growing season early.

Most important thing here is to get really good quality seeds. I recommend the Seed Saver Program which is located in Decorah, Iowa. They have a great catalog and you can easily order them online or directly from their catalog. You can even get on their facebook page and be updated on all the current information about quality seeds. You can also check your local nursery to see if they carry organic, heirloom seeds. Be careful as a seed or plant can be organic and and also GMO’D.

Now let’s get started:

I love starting my seeds indoors with the Garden on Wheelz. It is easy and convenient. I don’t have to bend over to plant them which makes it easier for me to place each seed one at a time. This is great as it saves time later not having to “thin” the starts. I can just move them where I want them either into a larger garden area or keep them in the “Garden on Wheelz” for the entire growing season.

Begin with a good organic potting mix. Fill your garden and pat it down lightly with your hand or a trowel.

I like to use a chopstick to draw lines in the soil horizontally across the garden about 2” deep and the width of the garden. Some seed need a deeper hole. Refer to your seed packet.

I then remove the seeds from the packet and carefully place them in this “ditch” the amount of space apart that is recommended on the packet.

If you are going to move your starts to a larger space, no need to have them too far apart. But, if you are going to keep your plants in the Garden on Wheelz then you must space them allowing for the space needed for the larger more mature plant.

With garden gloves on, I like to cover the seeds with the soil displaced making the “ditches” and pat down firmly with my hand.

Using a watering can with a shower head top, lightly water your seeds. For starting your seeds indoors, after watering cover your soil with a lightweight plastic, like dry cleaning plastic just until your seedlings pop up. Be sure to keep ground moist, never let it dry out as the seeds or seedlings will die.

Once your sprouts pop up over the soil, remove the plastic as not to disturb your tiny starts. A south facing window is the best spot for germination. Once your plants are up and the second set of leaves appear, make sure you move your garden outside during the warmest part of the day as not to allow the starts to bolt. Bring in at night when it cools down.

If you have not already done so, here is the link to buy your Garden on Wheelz™ so you can get started 2+ months  early on your garden with this innovative new product!

Check out the video below to see where my parents keep there Garden on Wheelz during the Starting Seeds Indoors phase.

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Best Varieties for Growing Tomatoes in Containers

There is nothing like tasting a tomato just picked which has ripened on the vine. It is virtually impossible to buy tomatoes like this unless you grow them yourself.  With the Garden on Wheelz you can do that easily and at the same time save money, trips to the store and know you are feeding yourself and your family the very best tomato possible.

The most important step in growing tomatoes in containers successfully is choosing appropriate tomato varieties for the containers you are using.

The tomato varieties listed here have a reputation for working well in smaller spaces.  It is very important that you choose tomatoes that are considered “determinate” as apposed to “indeterminate” types.

Briefly, the “determinate” types thrive in a smaller space because they are more of bush than a vine. They will need some support but not as much as the “indeterminate” type which tend to grow taller and are more lanky and need adequate staking/cages to keep them from falling over and breaking.

When growing tomatoes in containers with the Garden on Wheelz, we recommend to only grow 2 or 3 tomato plants in your Garden on Wheelz in order to have enough space for lettuce, basil and some other varieties of veggies to compliment your tomatoes. If you prefer to only grow tomatoes stick with the dwarf varieties to maximize the space you have in the garden on wheelz. You can fit up to 4-6 tomato plants depending on variety in the garden on wheels. Personally, I would choose the ones with the highest yield and for that purpose, I suggest a Cherry, a Roma type, an Early Girl or Beefsteak.

I always like to have at least one Cherry Tomato because they are prolific, sweet and you can just pop them in your mouth for a burst of sweet/tart flavor.  They are great in salads, can be sauteed with onions and shallot for a savory treat to accompany most dishes.  The Cherry tomatoes listed below are best for small contained areas or pots and are all determinate types.  They continue to produce all throughout the season.

Baxter’s Early Bush Cherry: Matures in about 72 days, they are upright 18-36”. They are prolific producers even in not ideal conditions.

Elfin: Heirloom, always a favorite.  Matures in about 55-70 days and is early.  Short, bushy plant 9-18 inches. Sweet and delicious.

Lyana: Matures in 55-70 days, they are early, bright red crimson inside about 1” in diameter, strong tomato flavor. 

Micro Tom: Hybrid, matures in 85-88 days. Super dwarf 5-8” tall.

Totem: Matures in about 70 days. Small bushy plant 12-18”tall, no staking needed.

Tiny Tim: Matures in about 60 days. Tiny cherry tomatoes, sweet.

For the Roma types, I would simply suggest you get a variety that is dwarf or bush type, and a “determinate”. They will produce one main crop over a 3-4 week period.  Great for sauces, pastes and drying.

For your slicing, salad tomato variety: There are quite a few to choose from. I will give you just my favorites, which I list below and are determinate type. Enjoy growing tomatoes in containers the easiest way with the Garden on Wheelz by LifeCycle Gardens!

Bush Early Girl: 54 days to mature. Compact, huge yield, firm, meaty, flavorful.

Celebrity: Hybrid, 70 days to mature, medium sized,delicious

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