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Organics by the Numbers – Is it Time to Consider a Career as an Organic Farmer?

USDA-organicVeggies

Touch the Soil News # 144 The Organic Trade Association (OTA) represents over 6,500 organic businesses across all 50 states. Members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, retailers and others. The OTA recently reported on the current state of Organics. “Our latest industry data show robust demand and great opportunity for the organic sector,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA. Thanks to the work of the OTA, the following information is made available about organics in America. U.S. Organic Sales reached $39.1 billion in 2014, up 11.3% over 2013. (see Info Graphic #1 below) Organic non-food sales reached $3.2 billion in 2014, up…

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Kelp4Less Product News – Discovering Kelp’s Secrets

Klep4LessLogo.ProductNews

Touch the Soil News #143 The use of Kelp as a plant growth supplement has been documented back to Roman times. In the early days, folks would scavenge the beach for kelp washed ashore and work it into their fields nearby. In rather recent times (1979) it was discovered that high levels of biostimulants were present in the cells of fresh kelp. These biostimulants later became known as Auxin and Cytokinin. The Auxin compound was found to cause increased root development. The Cytokinin compound produces greater flower initiation and augments cell division. Kelp is rich in amino acids and is 28 percent minerals by weight – including a large number…

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Get the most out of your bloom cycle

Bloom Booster

Here at Kelp4less we strive to make gardening as fun, easy and cost effective as we possibly can. Making the process fun and easy, will ensure that your harvest’s will be healthy enough to spread to others. Much of your time, money and energy goes into your garden. Here are a few tips to help make the most of your garden. There are 2 main ways to enhance your bloom cycle. The 1st being, Organic Enhancers, and the 2nd being, Synthetic Enhancers. We will cover both. 1. Organic Enhancers Many of our valued customers specifically ask for advice during the bloom cycle and would like to enhance this phase of plant…

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How to start seedlings

tree

Ever wonder the best way to start seeds and have them actually germinate? I sure have! So, I did some research, and have put down a few of (I feel) the most useful tips for starting seeds! Since spring is coming (eventually!), it seems a good time to get the info out there! See – the thing is – the growing season just isn’t long enough. Especially if you live somewhere like Idaho, where we get freezes at night sometimes up until the end of May! So, it’s a great idea to grow your seeds inside, where it’s nice and warm, and then transplant them outside to fruit. Plus, starting your…

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How can I tell which nutrient my plant is lacking?

sick plant

So, you’ve heard about nutrient deficiencies. You might even be able to diagnose them, somewhat. But how do you know what your plant is lacking? Or what your plant has too much of? Well, I’ve looked and found some resources with quite a bit of information. It occurs to me, however, that it would be nice to just get a concise, consolidated answer to the most common nutrient problems. So, here we go: Nitrogen: Obviously, Nitrogen is important. It’s in the NPK rating (it’s the N), so you want to make sure your plant is getting the right amount. The signs of a Nitrogen deficiency are yellowing of the leaves, which you’ll…

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How to winter-over your perennial plants

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So, the beginning gardener may not even consider maintenance on a perennial plant. You just leave them alone, and they come back every year, right? Well . . . sort of. Some will. However, there are plants with “bulbs”, you have to worry about. This was incredibly intimidating to me, so I thought it may be to some of you, as well. So, I did some research – now for the breakdown. What to do when this:   Turns into this:   First of all – what is a perennial? Well – there are three classifications of plants. You have annuals, which complete their entire life cycle in one season, then die.…

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Nighty-night!!! How to put your garden to bed for the winter!

fall harvest

Well, it’s that time. Seems like it flew, huh? But, winter is very close at hand, and it’s so important to put your garden to bed properly for the year. Otherwise, you wind up with a soggy mess to work with next spring. At least, you’ll wind up with one if you live in an area where it snows or rains most of the winter months. However, I’m a firm believer that cleaning up the garden is healthy, and motivational, at least twice a year. So regardless of where you live, it’s a good idea to do maintenance anyway. So, on that note – here we go! For the record -…

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What is nutrient lockout and how can I fix it?

wilted leaves

Ahhhhh, nutrient lockout. Even worse than losing your keys, (sorry lol) nutrient lockout is when your plants are not absorbing any of the nutrients in your soil. The sad part of this particular issue is – well – adding nutrients won’t help. The plants aren’t taking up what is already there, so adding more is useless. What causes nutrient lockout? Well, there can be a number of things. Your pH is too high or too low (a little usually won’t hurt you unless the plant is extremely sensitive – but if you are extremely alkaline or acidic, you will see nutrient lockout as a result). There can be a chemical…

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When is the right time to pick my veggies and fruits?

tomato-and-cucumber

If you are a beginning gardener, it can be so tricky to figure out when to pick your fruits and veggies. Picking them too early will mean you don’t get their full flavor. Picking too late can mean you let them rot right on the vine. There isn’t much worse than an overripe watermelon . . . ew. So, to get started – here is a list of some common veggies and fruits, and the best times to pick them. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are tricky. For your absolute best flavor, you want to pick them when they are a very deep color (whatever color you’ve chosen to grow), with no trace…

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Organic Mechanic answers your questions!

Phosphate Products

That’s right folks! Our very own Organic Mechanic is going to answer YOUR questions!!! All you need to do is . . . ask them!!! We have so many videos on our YouTube channel . . . did you know we have a YouTube channel!? Well we sure do!!!   Check out our YouTube channel here. You can view some of the questions we’ve already answered:  How do I strengthen the roots of my plants? How to create a strong root system in your plants with Mycorrhizae and Inoculants. How do I mix the Kelp to make fertilizer? How to make Kelp fertilizer with Kelp4Less.com  So what questions do you folks…

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