Epsom Salt is for the win

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Epsom salt is comprised of hydrated magnesium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral first found in the well waters of Epsom, England. Epsom salt has a variety of home remedy applications – the two most widely known being as a saline laxative and pain reliever. What many people don’t realize is that Epsom salt also has several uses in organic gardening.

 

1. Improve Seed Germination

Using Epsom salt as a soil amendment before seeding will give your garden a powerful boost right from the start. Magnesium aids in seed germination and helps to strengthen cell walls, leading to more and stronger seedlings. For best results, incorporate 1 cup of salt per 100 square feet of tilled soil or mix 1 – 2 tablespoons into the soil at the bottom of each hole before dropping in seeds.

2. Increase Nutrient Absorption

Many commercial fertilizers add magnesium to help plant roots take up vital nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur.) For those using all organic materials to feed their gardens, adding Epsom salt to soil will improve absorption naturally, eliminating the need for processed chemical fertilizers.

3. Counter Transplant Shock

We’ve all seen how our plants and seedlings wilt when we move them from a small pot to a larger one, from indoors to outside, or from greenhouse to ground. Try feeding transplants with Epsom salt once they’re in their new environment to help injured roots overcome transplant shock. Remember to add a layer of soil on top of salt sprinkled in holes so roots don’t come into direct contact with these concentrated minerals right away.

4. Green Up Foliage

Plants that aren’t getting enough magnesium can be identified by their yellowing leaves. This is because magnesium is an essential component in the production of chlorophyll. Try sprinkling Epsom salt around your plants to achieve healthier foliage. About 1 tablespoon per 12 inches of height once a month will benefit the plants in your vegetable garden, as well as any trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses you want to green up.

 

5. Prevent Leaf Curling

Prevent Leaf Curling with Epsom SaltLeaf curling may also be caused by magnesium-deficiency in plants. Again, add Epsom salt to the soil around the base of the sick plant. Alternately, for faster absorption you can mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and apply directly to the leaves.

6. Deter Garden Pests

While Epsom salt won’t dehydrate slugs and snails like table salt (sodium chloride), it can still be used to deter pests. Hydrated magnesium sulfate crystals are sharp and when sprinkled around plants, they can scratch and irritate the bodies and feet of unwanted critters in much the same way as diatomaceous earth. (Keep in mind that Epsom salt dissolves very easily in water, thus any amount of rain will likely wash them away.)

7. Grow Sweeter Fruit

The production of fruiting bodies is the most taxing process in the life cycle of a plant. Apply Epsom salt to fruit and nut trees, bushes, and vines using the same methods and quantities stated above to boost chlorophyll levels inside the plant cells. Increased energy means more sugar, allowing the plant to produce higher yields of sweeter, healthier fruit.

8. Tastier Tomatoes

Grow Tastier Tomatoes with Epsom SaltTomato vines are one of a handful of common garden residents whose fruit to plant size ratio is heavier than average, leading to an even higher likelihood of magnesium-deficiency. For this reason, tomatoes should be fed Epsom salt twice as often as other plants. Also, because tomato vines are prone to calcium-deficiency (blossom end rot), the majority of tomato fertilizers contain calcium which will compete with magnesium for root absorption. Therefore, foliar feeding is the more efficient method for delivering magnesium to these plants. Water tomato vines with dissolved Epsom salt – 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, every 2 weeks.

9. More Plentiful Peppers

Peppers are another popular garden plant with a higher-than average fruit to plant size ratio. As such, they should also be fed magnesium every two weeks to achieve higher yields of larger fruits. For hot peppers, over-watering can lead to fruit with less heat, thus the soil amendment method may be preferable in this case. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every foot of height around the drip line of your pepper plants once per week.

10. Beautiful, Bountiful Roses

Get Beautiful Roses with Epsom SaltEver wonder why your neighbors’ rose bushes are fuller than yours and sport so many more blossoms? It is highly likely that the answer is Epsom salt. Not only does it help roses to produce larger blossoms in greater numbers, many successful rosarians will agree that magnesium also aids in the growth of new canes from the base of the plant. And of course, Epsom salt increases chlorophyll production meaning darker leaves. For maximum benefit, roses should at the least be fed with Epsom salt at time of planting, then again at the first sign of new growth, and once more when the flowers are in full bloom. Bare root roses may also be soaked in water containing dissolved Epsom salt before planting.

It is almost impossible to use too much Epsom salt in your garden. Magnesium sulfate is pH neutral, so it won’t harm your soil. The crystals break down into water, magnesium, and sulfur – three components which are beneficial in some way to most plants. Epsom salt is safe, easy to apply, and works fast to correct a variety of problems and increase the overall health of your garden. As if that weren’t enough, Epsom salt is also inexpensive making it one of the most perfect tools for the health-conscious, responsible gardener.

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In search of humble educated politics..

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As far as I can tell most public leaders do some good in their lifetime and their intent is good.  I always support our president because that is what you do and if there are policies I don’t like then I don’t support them.  I support having a good discussion in politics.  If politicians can’t have a good discussion then there is something wrong with their support system.  Nobody is going to get everything they want in politics and that is good but you should get something that can work for most.  That is the point of governing and making policy it needs to work well enough so the whole can thrive.  We are always going to have special interest come up that affect policy and that sometimes needs to happen because in everything there are cracks.  

Cracks that people fall through and need additional attention.   If there are a few that get special attention that do not support the greater whole then I can’t support that.  In the situation where the laws allow us to look at cooperation like people then those corporation should not have shareholders.  I think if you are going to be involved with a company then be involved and you should just collect a check and the company should work for their employees first from the president to the office staff.  Growth is a great thing but not if you don’t work for everyone and not just a minor few that don’t give back to the greater good.  

Our economy, social standing, education, and technologies are vastly different from even 10 years ago and our policies need to keep up with that.  I think every situation is complicated in these areas so a discussion has to happen without pulling out a large paint brush that is loaded with ideas from past that aren’t relevant.  Keep to the facts from science and trust the institutions that give you that information but supporting the sciences so that corporations don’t have too.  Trust that someone in a different political party still has the intent of good for the whole and let that trust and the facts guild you.  

Every politician should be familiar and visit all areas that they have been asked to govern and they don’t not need to be of the people but they do have to work for the people.  Education is key more than connections and money for being able to work with people and for the people.  This rant is about all the snipy simple posters I see flying around online that ignore the need for science, discussion, and  the greater good is a complicated process.  If anyone says it is simple they are lying to you when it comes to politics and should not be listed too.  Everything that is important take hard work, educated discussions, humility, and action.

 

Moxie the great Hunter

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Here the great hunter has the humming bird cornered in the apartment. Garden&BIrd 006

 

I am attempting to convince her that if she does not get out of the way and let me take the bird outside she won’t get any treats for a weak.  

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Finally I was able to get her to listen to reason and so she backed off and let me in to take care of the humming bird.  Moxie was very proud of herself and was very excited at her prize so she let me take photos for a trophy since I told her she couldn’t have it mounted on the wall. Garden&BIrd 009

But here is the humming bird back outside and out of Moxie’s reach for the time being.  She has become a great hunter since we started gardening together. Nightly she will bring moths in to show me how awesome she is as a hunter.  I guess with a name like Moxie she can’t be help it.Garden&BIrd 010

Heidy’s Hawaii: Tire Swing Triumph

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Hey everyone I have finally got some stories done that I’ve been working on for a while.  I am going to start sharing them with you and feel free to tell me what you think.  

 

Tire Swing Triumph

        I was 7 at the time.  I could keep up with the boys when it came climbing trees, hunting down toads, bugs and worms.  When you are one of the few girls in a neighborhood and actually younger than most of the boys, the boys go first so you learn to get awesome. I refused to think they were better.  I also found out they had a big weak point between their legs.  I used this knowledge to my advantage if they got pushy.  I won’t say that was a good idea but when they wanted to play the boys are better than girls game I was not ashamed of winning by kicking where it hurt.  Some of them didn’t like that but for the most part I got more respect by standing up and taking no prisoners when it came to boys vs girls.
        When my father decided to put a tire swing in the mango tree behind our house I was excited but so were the boys.  It took about two days to get the rope up the tree (this thing was huge!) tied securely with knots for climbing and the tire positioned at just the correct height.  My dad knew I was a good climber and wanted to go up the rope just as much as the boys did.  He held a ceremony of sorts and let all the boys try to reach the top of the tree. My father let the boys go first and that made me angry for a few reasons.  One, it was behind OUR house.  Two, I knew I was just as strong of a climber as the boys.  Three, I wanted to be the best and hated going last. Okay, that’s four.
Mango trees are tall and the rope was tied as high as my dad could secure it so it was a long climb. One by one we watched their attempts and failures to reach the goal. Finally it was my turn.  I could hear some of the boys saying I couldn’t make it because they couldn’t.  I was actually worried when I saw that no one was able to make it to the top but I had been climbing trees all summer and my calloused hands were up for the challenge.  Inch by inch I flew up the rope to the tree branch faster than I was expecting and touched it by way of a smack.  I could hear some of boys cheering and some groaning and I looked down to see my father beaming.

 

 

Whirled Peas!

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Today I harvested peas a plenty and it was fun if not tedious. These are the peas that I planted from seed back in April and posted about.

Theses guys took a long time to give me peas because they were not exposed to enough sun due to being on the side of a building.  But finally several weeks after the neighbors peas were giving us peas I found the first pods.  Then they exploded with peas for me and as I would  work in the garden I would snag some for snacks.

The peas finally looked like they were done for the season so I decided to pull them so the rest of the veggies and plants to have more room.  That really took about an hour or so pulling and picking out the peas.  I ended up with just over 2.5 lbs of peas from the harvest so this was a good first year of peas.  There are actually more peas that i have to harvest because I have taken over the neighbors peas too but I was losing the light so I needed to call it a day. 

I’ll have more photos later of the peas and also the beats and carrots. Take care everyone and be good to each other cuz it is fun.

Sunscreen chemicals = Cancer and bad times

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Years and years before I got melanoma I said to people I would get cancer from the tons of sunscreen I lathered on as a kid.  It was kind of a joke I would make but I did actually believe it and then today I read this: http://www.realfarmacy.com/scientists-blow-the-lid-on-cancer-sunscreen-myth/

BIG SIGH

So I read this article about a study done about the causes of skin cancer and found that people who are exposed more to sun are less likely to develop cancer.  Wearing sunscreen in fact increases your chances of getting skin cancer.  I guess like all things excess can lead to bad things and the exposed to something that could kill you in small doses it usually best.  Like becoming immune to poisons by injesting a bit each day.

I think life is meant to be difficult and to enjoy it we must learn to live it better and be smarter than our problems.  This is why I love science it is all about studying, learning, and then doing.

Anyway I am waiting on a call from admissions about starting school in the fall but beyond that I am still just applying for jobs and making my house cleaner.. slowly.

Adventure photos.. not many

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I had a good week with job searching, going to the coast at 4am (I don’t recommend that if you want breakfast), and today on this 4th I decided to do some gardening.  

The plan is to bring some onions to a BBQ on Sunday and make some warm German potato salad but I wish my cucumbers were ready.  I am going to be digging up some of the potatoes and hopefully using those in the salad but I have normal store potatoes if there is not enough. 

Anyway I hope you have a wonderful day.