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Should Your Chicken Eat Dried Mealworms?

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Did you say dried mealworms? Shake that mealworm packet at one corner of your yard. What happens? You will realize that chicken will run all the way to the corner you shake the dried mealworms.

Actually, chicken love dried mealworms, and there is no doubt about that.  But are they good for your chicken? The answer is; it depends on the supplier of your dried mealworms.

Always, high quality dried mealworms are expensive but when it comes to the health of your chicken, they are normally the best, and it is worth their price. If you get some like Picky Neb, you will realize a lot from your flock.

The good thing with this type of dried mealworm is that they are 100% not genetically modified, contain a high amount of nutrients and so provide your layers with a boost of protein for increased laying. So, when buying a mealworm for your chicken, ensure that you buy the genuine one from a genuine for better results.

Some people decide to grow their have their own structures to garden worms. They can use to feed their chicken either alive or by drying them depending on their choice and need.  But why should you feed your chicken with dried mealworms?

Below are reasons why you need to feed you chicken with dried mealworms, the amount that you can feed your chicken with and how to spot poor quality mealworms in the market.

Mealworms are good for feathers

Everyone knows that molts deplete the amount of protein from the chicken. The stress of molting takes a lot of protein that is used in replacing the old feathers. Also, the amount of protein that is used by the body for the maintenance of growth is high, and so, the bird is left with a few proteins which do not support the growth of new feathers.

Your chicken will actually get through the molt but without high protein snacks. They, therefore, need an extra source to get the protein. So, why don’t you supplement them with dried mealworms as a treat to brighten their day?

You are allowed to give them other high protein snacks during this period too, but you need to use common sense. Use your high protein snacks interchangeably. Use one hard-boiled and smashed egg one day and then use dried mealworms the next day and use pumpkin seeds on the other day. Actually, you need to use a variety to spice up the life of your chicken.

Use as medicine

If your chicken is slowly recovering after a predator attack, the best medicine to use is the dried mealworm to supply some extra protein for faster repair of any damaged tissue. Give your chicken about half a spoon of dried mealworms each day. You should only avoid this when you realize a damaged kidney in your chicken, but you need to ensure that you keep the protein level at 16-18% layer feed.

A simple treat

Everyone needs to be spoiled at times, and that is the truth, and we are no different from the chicken. They too need to be spoiled at times, and they deserve that for the beautiful eggs and meats that they give us every day. Actually, there is no problem with treating your chicken in moderation. If you treat them too much, they will gain a lot of weight and become obese, and you know that obese chicken lay fewer eggs and also have a lot of problems with laying eggs.

So, you need to ensure that you keep it moderate. Give them a beakful of dried mealworms twice a week. You need not to give in to the demands of your chicken as they will always want more and more of it.

Feeding tip

For a summer time treat, you can decide to make some ice cube mealworms. You just put a few died mealworms into the ice tray. You can also add in some herbs and grains if you wish and freeze all of them together. You then place them in a pan under the shade, and you will find your chicken busy feeding for some time pecking at those refreshing meal of ice cubed mealworms.

They are actually delicious. You need to try that out with your chicken.

Increase their protein

Dried mealworms are normally packed with high protein content which all living things need. The problem is that too much protein is not healthy. Too much protein can result in kidney problems for your chicken. You, therefore, should moderate the amount of proteins that you give to your chicken.

When dried, mealworms have 50% protein and 30% protein when they are alive. From the health point of view, live mealworms are less worrisome, but the dried ones are also good when they are given with moderation.

Keep them healthy and active

You can let your chicken fetch their proteins by tossing them into the bedding, and you will find them re-arranging the beddings.

Doing that will keep them busy pecking for lifetime as they peck each and every side of the coop in case they missed one before.

There is no problem with that. But is it enjoyable removing all the coop from the house? Or would you risk you, children, to remove and clean the coop from the room?

If you have 20 hens in one room, you can toss in a few coops and scatter them as widely as you can.

Train your chicken

You can train your chicken to do you something amazing by giving them mealworms. Some people have used bribery treats to drive some obstacles or even to correct some anti-social behaviors.

Using mealworms also help to drive your reluctant teenage chicken to the coop. They would rather try to peck the meal out of the coop than to enjoy outside.

Actually, chicken are intelligent as long as they are trained to do something. But for them to do something, they need to be rewarded and treated with something like dried mealworms.

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How To Grow A Pumpkin?

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Do you know that pumpkins can be made into sweet and savory dishes. Pumpkin seeds are healthy and fun to roast. They usually serve as beautiful and bright full decorations in most homes. Growing pumpkins is very easy and also cheap.

Pumpkins thrive in many different regions and therefore, can survive under various climatic conditions. You just need to know your favorite pumpkin variety and the environment that the variety will survive as well as planting and harvesting your pumpkin.

Do you know that pumpkins can be made into sweet and savory dishes. Pumpkin seeds are healthy and fun to roast. They usually serve as beautiful and bright full decorations in most homes. Growing pumpkins is very easy and also cheap.

Pumpkins thrive in many different regions and therefore, can survive under various climatic conditions. You just need to know your favorite pumpkin variety and the environment that the variety will survive as well as planting and harvesting your pumpkin.

Benefits of Pumpkin: https://www.health.com/nutrition/pumpkin-seeds-benefits

Preparing to grow pumpkin

Find out when to plant in your region

You need to know that pumpkins seeds do not make in cold soil and therefore, needs to be planted when there is no frost. You can plant your pumpkins during in the late spring or early summer so that you harvest in the fall. Pumpkins normally mature after 95 to 120 days.

If you are that type who celebrate Halloween and would like to have pumpkins ready by that time, then you need to plant in late July.

Choose where to plant and prepare the soil

Pumpkins usually thrive well in vines and also need enough space to spread. Choose a space in your garden with a 20 to 30 feet free space. You can plant a pumpkin along the side of your house or along the fence so that it doesn’t take most space in your garden.

  • Don’t choose a spot under a tree,
  • Choose soil with good drainage
  • Prepare the soil in advance by composting it so that you give your pumpkin an extra boost.

Choosing the seeds

You can get the seeds from your local nursery or order them from a known pumpkin dealer. There are three categories of pumpkin seeds.

  • Pie pumpkins which are mainly used as food.
  • Large pumpkins which are normally used for decorations. They can also be eaten by they are less tasty when they are fresh.
  • Small decorative pumpkins. They are normally referred to as mini pumpkins.

Planting the pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds are normally planted in hills. So, you mount small dirt and then plant seeds 1-2 inches deep. Mounts of dirt normally work to improve the drainage of soil and also allow the sun to heat the soil faster which hastens the germination of pumpkin seeds.

  • Plant about two to three seeds in one hole so that if one fails to sprout, the other one sprouts.
  • You don’t have to put the seeds in a certain position. Just put them in holes. It doesn’t matter the position it faces. If the seeds are viable, then it will definitely grow.

Plant pumpkins in wide rows

If you choose a variety of pumpkin which grows along creeping vines, then you need to allow a space of 3.7 meters in the same row and then space the 1.8 to 3 meters apart depending on the pumpkin species that you choose. If you have a bush type variety which normally grows on shorter vines, you need to leave a free space of about 2.4 meters in all directions

Cover the planted seeds with compost

If you had already compost the soil before planting, then you can jump this step. But if you had not done so, then you need to add a layer of compost or mulch in the spots that you had planted the seeds. Composting will help to reduce the growth of weeds and also nourish the seeds for proper germination.

  • Given proper care, the pumpkin seeds should sprout within a period of a week.

Caring for the pumpkins

1.    You need to ensure that you water the pumpkins when the amount of moisture in the soil is low. You need to know that pumpkin seeds require a lot of water when growing, but it shouldn’t be too much. You need to, only water the soil when dry rather than adding water to the already wet soil. When you water, ensure that you water the soil deeply and then stay for some time without watering the soil.

  • When you water the soil, ensure that water soaks deeply into the soil. This is because pumpkin plant seeds sink several inches down the soil depending on the variety that you planted.
  • You need to take care not to apply water onto the pumpkin leaves as this encourages the growth of fungi called powdery mildew. This fungus causes the leaves of the pumpkin plant to wither and then die eventually. It is normally advised that you water the plants in the morning rather than at night so that the leaves that get into contact with water dry.
  • When the pumpkin begins to produce fruits and turn orange, reduce the amount of water that you use. You can stop watering the plant at all for about a week before you start to harvest the pumpkin.

2.    Fertilize the pumpkin plant

When the pumpkin starts to sprout, add fertilizers to it to encourage health growth of the pumpkin. You can go to your nursery and ask for fertilizers that you can add to pumpkins while they are still in the bed.

3.    Control weeds and pests

In order to make sure that your pumpkin grows healthy and produce healthy pumpkin, you need to make sure that you monitor the growth of the pumpkin.

  • Weed the pumpkins from time to time. you need not to allow weeds to crowd around you pumpkin plant as they will absorb nutrients that are meant for the pumpkin plant. You need to have a plan to weed your pumpkin every week.
  • You need to be checking pumpkin leaves and blossoms for beetles which normally eat the tissues of the plant and eventually kill it. You need to be checking them and scrapping them off the plant every week.
  • Put mulch around your plant to reduce the number of weeds that grow around the plant and also conserve moisture.
  • You need also to spray your pumpkin plants to kill aphids which are found underneath the leaves of pumpkin.
  • If possible, you need to use organic pesticides to get rid of pests from the leaves of pumpkin plants. You can ask for organic pesticides from your local nursery.

Harvesting the pumpkin

1. Check if the pumpkins are ready to harvest

The pumpkin normally turns pale bright orange depending on the variety when they are ripe and ready to harvest. You will realize that the vine and the stem start to dry and wither.

2. Don’t harvest when they are still soft

If you harvest soft pumpkins, they will spoil and rot after a few days.

3. Cut the pumpkin stem

You need to use a pair of shears to cut the stem. Ensure that you cut it some few inches long to prevent rotting of the pumpkin.

4. Storage

You need to store your pumpkin in a cool, dry place. They o not need refrigeration. They can stay fresh for several months as long as you store them well in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

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Easy To Follow Steps To Gardening On A Budget

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Do you really know that you can grow a garden virtually anywhere in your home? So, if you do not have a large piece of land, you do not have to worry and throw off your garden towel. If you are staying in a rental, you can easily have your garden in containers. But if you bare living in a suburb, you can easily raise a garden bed.

But if you are living in a place with a small acreage of land, then you can probably grow a garden. You can also do that if you have a large acreage of land.

Sometimes, you can be having the space to grow a garden and also willing to grow a garden, but your budget is so tight that you are not even sure if you cannot afford everything to create a garden. But you need not to worry, read on this article to get helpful information that will help you create a productive mealworm garden on a tight budget.

Here is how to garden on budget.

DIY compost

Most people have turned gardening into an expensive hobby. They fill their gardens with expensive bags of blood meals and décor items. But you don’t have to kill the dream of owning a garden in your home because you can’t afford those items. Most of the people actually do not afford those items. But why don’t you make your own garden starting with a compost?

Compost is the best place in your garden especially when it is in its early planting stages. When you visit the compost store, you will realize that many people are proud of this item. But instead of going to the store to get this compost at a high price, why don’t you utilize the locally available materials? Get some few items that you use every day that will compost well.

You can also google on the internet to find ways which you can use to make inexpensive compost bin in your home.

More: Successful Composting and All You Need To Know To Get Started

Don’t forget the tea

You can use simple ways to make a compost bin in your home that will spin. You can simply use three metal poles and a plastic barrel.

You put two metal poles into the ground. You then put the metal pole through the barrel and then attach all the poles such that the barrel spins above the ground. You can then start dumping a little compost into the barrel every day and then let them spin a little bit every day. When you do this, you will get liquid produced in the compost. Put a bucket under the spinning barrel to collect the liquid so that you don’t waste the liquid.

You can then pour the liquid that you collect into the garden. This liquid is the one which is called the compost tea.  Liquid tea is actually the best addition into your garden. What you need to know is that working on a budget is making sure that you waste nothing.

Find your own seeds

The next thing that you need to do is to find how you will find your own seed to sow or where to get the seeds that are cheap. There are ways to find your own seeds or where to get inexpensive seeds.

The first way to do that is to save your own seeds and then eat the food that you would like to grow. You just need to be careful not to throw away the seeds. Instead of tossing them away, just dry them on a paper plate or a dehydrator. Once they are dried, store them in a plastic bag.

If you want to buy cheap seeds, go to the internet and google cheap seeds for sale. You can be lucky to get a pack for only 99 cents of which you will get the most out of that.

Plant your own

If you plant a garden on a tight budget, you will realize that planting your own is cheaper than purchasing seeds. You can find tutorials online on how you can grow your own seeds. The idea here is just to nurture the seeds from when they are young until when they are fully grown.

This actually takes you some effort, but it is less costly. When your plants are grown, adjust them slowly to the outdoor environment before planting them on the garden.

Muscles over equipment

There is equipment that you can use to nurture your garden. There is a tractor, tillers, and lots of other equipment. But if you are operating on a tight budget, you probably will not afford to buy this equipment.  You will have to focus more to use your muscles rather than the machines. You will invest in essential gardening tools like a hoe and a spade.

What you need to know is that equipment is only meant to make work easier and not cheaper. This means that you have to break your back when operating on a tight budget and you want a garden.

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How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

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How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are forward crops that can thrive in hot conditions and resistant ones they are grown. This crop does not need high fertility of soil nor even a lot of organic matter for its growth. Planting of this crop comes later than most of the spring plants which gives you a chance to deal with transplanting first. After sweet potato plants cover the surface, they need less attention apart from just watering them until when they are harvested.

There are so many people who refer sweet potatoes as yams, but that is not right. Sweet potatoes are relatives to morning glory plants. They are roots and not tubers and so cannot even resemble yams. A true yam is a tropical tuber and not morning glory relatives. That is all about. That is all about yams!

One baked sweet potato which is 114 grams contain 185% RDA of vitamin A, 28% the RDA of vitamin C, 100% OF VITAMIN E,  160 calories and a lot of antioxidants. It has no fat.

The main threat to sweet potatoes are deer and are best controlled with guns, dogs, and fences.

Varieties Of Sweet Potatoes:

  1. Georgia jet-This is the modern variety which can grow to maturity in just 90 days
  2. Traditional sweet potatoes- they can be yellow, purple and white
  3. Ornamental sweet potatoes- they are normally used for beauty purposes. You can get some with a fancy cut or heart-shaped leaves
  4. Bunch Porto Ricco- they have short vines, and they are the most suitable for places with less space.

Requirements For The Growth Of Sweet Potatoes

You only need sunshine and warmth to grow sweet potato crops. Fast maturing sweet potato plants require about 1200 growing degree days (GDD) when calculated on a base temperature of 55 degrees F to yield good produce.  Using black plastic mulch, hoophouse or row cover can help to increase the GDD. Day time temperatures of 90 degrees F with 70 degrees F nights.

How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are usually planted two weeks after the last frost. The soil which you use to plant sweet potatoes should reach a temperature of 65 degrees F at a depth of four inches on four consecutive days.

Some prefer to transfer sweet potato slips from the greenhouse when they have grown about two leaves rather than rushing them out to the field.

For the big potatoes, you need to plant the slips vertically. For the average ones but rather large total yields, you need to plant the sweet potato slips horizontally 2-3 inches down the soil. You need to have 3-5 leaf nodes underneath the soil and only the tip outside. This helps to give the plant a second chance to grow if frost strikes it.

If you are planting during a dry season, you need to water the soil first and then leave the soil in the damp compost as you are planting. When planting sweet potatoes, the soil is normally raised to reduce damage during the floods. You can raise the sweet potato hills before you plant the sweet potatoes.

But if you are planting your sweet potatoes in colder areas, you need to use black plastic mulch in order to warm the already formed hills. You need to do that about three weeks before you transfer your sweet potato slips. Using black plastic mulch also increases the rate of growth of the sweet potatoes and also increase the amount of yield.

There are those who have planted sweet potatoes on bare grounds and then used the over-head irrigation system. This is good though as it ensures that plants get adequate water during growth, but the problem is that this type of irrigation of the plant results to the growth of bad weeds around the crop.

Due to the shortcomings of overhead irrigation, most people are now using drip tape for irrigation. The good thing with this type of irrigation is that it results in a few weeds and also reduces the amount of water that goes to waste. The only difficulty when using drip irrigation is that it is difficult to keep the drip tape on the ridge. Luckily, there is a way. People now plant sweet potato sleeps on the alternate sides of the tape.

These days, people are using ridges, drip tape, and biodegradable plastic mulch and surprisingly, they experience fewer weeds!

Using biodegradable plastic

Biodegradable plastics are good in that they warm the soil and also helps to get higher yields out of sweet potatoes. It also makes the grown weeds to biodegrade after a few weeks and therefore, do not need you to remove the weeds yourself.

Stages of sweet potato development

Your sweet potato plants won’t grow during the first few weeks of transplanting the plant. But that shouldn’t make you to worry. That is the stage of root development. Sweet potato roots can go up to 8 cm down the ground in 40 days. You just need to apply an inch of water per week as it is needed by the plant and then pull the weeds when they appear.

During the second month, the vines start to grow. The roots start to store starch and sugar close to the base of the stem. You will realize that the weeds will stop growing ones the vines cover the ground.

After about three to four months, sweet potatoes start growing, and vines slow down its growth. Unlike the white potatoes, which usually die when the tip stops growing, sweet potatoes do not stop growing, and so you can decide when you want to dig them out before the onset of the cold weather.

The longer you wait before you dig them out, the bigger the potato grows. The problem with waiting is that you cannot be sure of the weather. You need to make ensure that you dig the potatoes out before the temperatures go below 55 degrees F. when this happens, you risk your potatoes being permanently damaged.

More:

15 Easiest Veggies & Herbs To Grow In Your Garden
How To Cool A Grow Tent Using Air Conditioner
12 Tips for Gardening in Grow Tents

Why Dried Mealworms Are Irresistible?

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dried mealworms

What you may be asking yourself right now probably is ‘’ what are mealworms’’ you might actually be surprised when you realize that mealworms aren’t worms. Mealworms are just larvae of the darkling beetle.

Just like the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly during its life stages, darkling beetles also changes into mealworms after which it changes into pupa and finally into darkling mealworm larvae. Dried mealworms are just but mealworms that have been dried through various means like heating or freeze-drying.

Mealworms are normally used as food for a wide variety of animals including birds, poultry, hedgehogs and fish. And so many other pet animals. Most people now days use mealworms to attract birds. The good thing with mealworms is that they are the best food to feed any bird or pet at your home. But why are mealworms loved by many people that some have even opted to make garden worms in their homes?

Mealworms are 100% natural

The basic diet of mealworms is normally vegetables, cereals and grain. Though the composition of each batch of mealworm can vary. Most of them are 100% natural. What makes the natural composition of mealworms to vary is normally the age at which the mealworms were dried, the type of drying process that was used and also the size of the mealworm. 

Usually, a typical mealworm contains 5% moisture, 6% fiber, 28 % fat and 53% protein.  The primary diet of mealworm being vegetable, cereals, and grain, it is, therefore, natural and good for animals and that is the reason why it is loved by so many people.

They are easily available in bulk

The packaging of mealworms available varies from 11 billion bags to multiple pallet loads. Dried mealworms packages normally vary from 11 bags and above. Whether you are buying mealworms for birds, fish or turtles, the dried ones will be the best one for you.

Listings information for mealworm packages are normally available online. Normally, it is 11lb, 22lb, 33lb, 44lb and even up to 66lbs. Packaging is normally done in multiples of 11. You can even get more packages than the ones above and take advantage of bulk discounts when buying mealworms.

They are easy to dry

If you decide to produce mealworms in your home, you may find that you produce more than you can use. In this case, you may be forced to preserve them for future use. Drying will help to reduce the storage space.

Dried mealworms can stay good without the need for refrigeration for up to one year. Its proteins are also better preserved when they bare dried. The best method to dry them normally is roasting though you can also use the freeze-dry method.

They are excellent with the poultry

Mealworms may look terrible to us but to chicken, they are appealing at all. To the poultry, they are tasty as a home cooked meal cooked by the one who loved you. To them, they have a sweet taste that they can even drive your animals wild with the lust for more. Actually, mealworm is good for the chicken because of the following reasons;

  •  A little goes a long way. You do not have to use a lot of mealworms to make the entire chicken meal. You just use a little, and there you have your chicken meal.
  • They give chicken proteins to improve their laying ability.
  • They help chicken go through the molting season. They ensure that chicken develops its feathers within the shortest time possible.
  • Rich protein value of the mealworms makes the chicken lay eggs rich in protein.
  • Mealworms reduce the stress of turning the bedding as they will do it themselves.
  • It is just exciting to see how eggs scramble and munch mealworms.
  • Your chicken will fall in love with you

It is easy to care for the mealworms

Caring for the mealworm

Caring for the mealworms is easy. First of all, mealworms are not complicated in their choice of food. In fact, the food they eat is the bedding that they lie on. You just put cereals or grain in their home.

You are not supposed to put water in their beddings to keep them dehydrated. You only give them food with water to keep them dehydrated.  You give them food like potatoes and carrots. You also need to change their vegetable after five to seven days.

Shelter

When it comes to shelter, mealworms need to be housed in a container which is 8 cm deep. The material of the container should be smooth like plastic, metal or even glass. The reason for that is that mealworms can easily escape from the container and therefore, anything that can help them escape should be avoided.

You are also not supposed to put the lid on the container as they cannot fly. You can only use the lid to avoid spilling over of the mealworms. But when you do that, you need to make sure that you make holes for ventilation.

Caring for the life stages

When caring for the life stages, you need only to make sure that you don’t keep the stages close together. The reason for this is that as the metamorphosis progresses, the larvae and the mature beetle may end up eating the defenseless and the immobile pupa.

The pupa should, therefore, be stored in a different container which should be lined with a paper towel. Mealworms at this stage do not require any food. It is normally good to store mealworms at different stages at their ideal conditions, but that could be cumbersome.

Cleaning

To collect the poops from the mealworms which are normally in sandy form is easy. You just place a sieve, and the poop will fall through together with the eggs as they are very small. You can decide to make a colony by storing the poop separately with food and vegetable up to the point when larvae are big enough to pick out.

Harvesting

When harvesting them, you just need to separate them from the beddings by sieving them. You can also allow them to climb a scree type material because they like that and then you can pick them out from there.

Read more:
How To Make Your Own Dried Mealworms?

Selecting The Right Aquarium Water Pump

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Whether you are new to aquarium activities or an experienced one, your main objective is to have a healthy and thriving aquatic environment for your water plants and animals. To achieve that, one of the most important things that you need to do is to make the right decision when choosing the right aquarium water pumps.

When you want to buy a water pump, there are several things that you need to consider. Apart from the type of water pump and the size, there are also some other important things that you need to look at. Here are things that you need to look at when choosing an aquarium air pump.

Filtration type

It is crucial for you to know the type of filter system that is best for the type of aquarium that you are planning for. Actually, the type of filter paper that you choose will determine the type of water pump that you will need.

Desired flow rate

You need to know if the inhabitants of your aquarium, either fish or aquarium plants require a greater flow rate of the water like the saltwater fish or just a little flow rate like the planted aquarium. You, therefore, need to research on the flow rate that is fit for the type of aquarium that you are planning for.

Plumbing and head point

You need to know the type of plumbing that will be installed in your aquarium. Are you going to use a lot of elbows or sharp turns in your aquarium? You also need to know where your filtration system will be located. Will it be directly under the aquarium? Will it be in the basement or in another room? It is also important to consider the total distance the pump will be required to pump the water.

Height is also an important thing that you need to consider when choosing a water pump. This is because very high heights which are more than 6 feet create high levels of back pressure.

Additional services

You also need to know if your aquarium will need additional filtration services or not. Will it require temperature control devices like the UV sterilizers or not? Protein skimmers or chillers?

You need to know that apart from the water pump powering your filtration system and enabling water movement in your aquarium, water pumps also help to power other devices that are important in the aquarium like the protein skimmers. They also help to drain or fill the tank. Apart from all those, water pumps also help to mix up salty water in holding tanks for water changes.

If you are looking for a water pump to power your filtration system, there are two different types that you can consider to buy. You can buy the submersible one or the he in-line one. You can also consider buying water pumps like Mag Drive Pumps and the Eheim hobby pumps that can be used both for submersible and in-line purposes.

Submersible water pumps

Submersible water pumps are operated underwater, in the sump of a wet/dry filtration system. They get draw water from the filter and push it back to the tank or through other systems such as sterilization units or chillers.

Advantages of submersible water pump

  • They are easy to install. They do not require you to bore and install bulkhead in the filter system.
  • They are also quiet compared to others as they operate under the water.

Disadvantages of the submersible water pump

  • There is a big problem with big pumps. This is because this type of pump is water cooled. This means that water around the system will be subjected to heat which cannot be suitable for the fish in your aquarium.
  • For the big pumps also, there will be a little space for the pump in the filter’s sump. So, you need to consider the dimension of the submerged pump before buying it.
  • In the case of the pump getting damaged it will be difficult to note it faster as it is inside the water. It, therefore, should be checked from time to time.

In-line water pumps

These types of pumps are used outside the water. They are connected to an inlet hose and outlet hose used to filter the water in the aquarium.

Advantages of an in-line water pump

  • This type of water pump is air cooled. This means that it does not result in the heating of the water.
  • They are more powerful. They are able to pump more gallons of water per hour.

In-line pumps can be installed in one or two configurations. There is the pressure set up and the free-flow configurations.  One example of such pumps that can be installed in two configurations is the Lifegard Quiet One. Other types of in-line pumps can only be used in one configuration.

In-line pressure setups

Here, the filter is placed before the canister filtration system. The pump pushes water under the pressure into the canister system. Pumps in this set up receive a considerable amount of back pressure from the filtration device. There are some like Little Giant MDQ series that are specifically designed to handle back pressure with much ease.

In-line free-flow setups

In this set up the pump is placed after the filtration has already taken place. The pump moves the filtered water from the sump back into the aquarium or through UV sterilizers or protein skimmers. They are, therefore, able to pump more water with less effort. Some like Little Giant MDQX series are built for maximum efficiency in low-pressure situations.

Source: https://m.liveaquaria.com/article/138/?aid=13

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15 Easiest Veggies & Herbs To Grow In Your Garden

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Veggies & Herbs To Grow In Your Garden

Vegetables and herbs that you grow in your home garden bring a delicious and fresh taste to summer meals. But are you late to plant your vegetables and herbs this year? But you never worry as there are so many vegetables and plants that can be grown throughout the growing season.

When your vegetables and herbs are ready, you can then go to your garden and pick some of them and enjoy fresh cooked vegetables and herbs using your preferred recipe.

Actually, growing vegetables and herbs in your garden help you get abundant nutrients to keep you happy and healthy throughout the year. The following are some of the vegetables and herbs that you can easily grow in your garden.

Bush beans:

bush beans

Why they are loved

Many people so much love Bush beans because they are the most healthy and favorite meal during the winter. Most people like their fresh crunch and flavor. Actually, they add a great bright shot to0 your favorite dinner plate.

What you get from the beans

Green beans provide abundant nutrients like vitamin A, C, and K, folate, iron, and manganese as well.

In your garden

You need to plant your bean seeds in soil that is well drained and also in a place which receives maximum sunlight. It is advisable that you sow the seeds every few weeks so that you can enjoy a continuous harvest throughout the summer.

Beets:

beets

Why they are loved

Beets are an earthy sweet treat. You need to eat the bees when they are still young as they are the most delicious raw salad. You can cook the mature ones as you would kale.

What you get

When you take half a cup of cooked mature beans, the amount of calories that is added to your body is just 29, but the amount of fiber that you add into your body is 2grams. It also provides 195 of the daily value folate. 

Beets also provide vitamin B that is needed for the healthy growth of cells. The color of vitamins that come from the betamin which is a phytochemical is perceived to boost immunity in the body.

In your garden

You just need to grow beets in your garden as long as the soil is ready to be worked on during the spring.

Carrots:

Carrots

Why they are loved

Carrots are the most favorite perennial vegetable taken either raw or cooked. There are a variety of recipes that are available for cooking carrots. You just need to choose one that goes well with you.

What you get

The pigment that makes the carrot orange-beta carotene is the same compound that your body converts to vitamin A. this vitamin is important for improved vision, the general health of the skin and the immune system.

In your garden

You just need to plant carrots in your garden as long as the soil can be worked on. Carrots normally do best in fertile sandy loam.

Cucumbers:

Cucumbers

Why they are loved

Cucumbers are tasty additives to salads. You can add a crunch of fresh cucumber to your favorite dinner plate and enjoy your tasty meal. Cucumbers also taste good when they are cooked. So, they can be taken raw or cooked.

What you get from the cucumber

Cucumbers are not well known to provide nutrients, but it provides a great refreshment to your body. When you take a cup of cucumber water, you get a refreshment equal to a glass of water. So, cucumber is good for your body.

In your garden

When you grow cucumber in your garden, provide them with sufficient organic matter as well as good fertilization. When you do this, you will get a lot of crunchy cucumbers. They are normally harvested regularly in order to increase production.

Lettuce mix:

Lettuce mix

Why they are loved

Lettuce is very easy to grow in your garden making it the best choice for container and pot gardening. Lettuce mix has a great taste in a salad or in a sandwich. You should consider trying this out.

What you get from lettuce

There are a variety of species of lettuce, and so, their nutritional value also varies. The green leaves of lettuce are normally a great start to any meal. Lettuce provides vitamins A, C, and folate.

In your garden

Lettuce normally survives in cooler weather, and so, you can plant it in the spring and fall. Grow them after every few weeks to ensure continuous production.

Snap Peas:

Snap Peas

Why they are loved

They are sweet peas with edible pods. They actually make a great snack on their own. Snap peas also make as a satisfying dish when they are cooked. So, the choice is yours. You can eat either raw or cooked.

What you get

When you take a cup, of snap peas, you get almost one-third of your daily nutritional value plus also three grams of fiber. Actually, snap peas are a healthy choice.

In your garden

Snap peas are hard legumes that can grow in temperatures even as low as -40 degrees. They usually do not do well in hot and dry weather. You need to plant your snap peas early so that they can also mature early as long as your schedule allows that.  You need to plant more of snap peas when the cooler season appears again.

Radishes:

radish

Why they are loved

Radishes are spicy crunchy globes that are packed with flavor. Actually, radishes are more versatile than you even think. You can add them to a salad or temper their heat by cooking them in your favorite vegetable fry.

What you get from radish

Radish has only one calorie

In your garden

Radishes are very easy to grow in containers and gardens even if you don’t have green thumb. When you plant spring radish varieties, they get ready for use in just three weeks. They are usually mild in flavor-hotter summer soil and produce spicier radishes.

Mild mustard salad mix

Why they are loved

Peppery and mustard greens like Pac Choi and mizuna add a great taste to salads. You need to try this when you want to have an Asian salad mix.

What you get

The dark leafy greens are normally rich in vitamin C, A, and K.

In your garden

You can grow salad greens in your gardens anytime from early spring to the mid of summer.

Thyme:

theme

Why they are loved

Thyme is the most versatile herbs which are best known for background flavoring of stews and soup. Though they are normally paired with red meat, root vegetables, and poultry, thyme is also good with pears and apples.

In your garden

You just need to grow thyme in an area of your garden that receives maximum sunlight.

Parsley:

parsley

Why they are loved

Parsley is usually used as a garnish. Not only does parsley have a great quality aroma but also contain vitamin A and C.

In your garden

You just need to plat your parsley in fertile soil rich in organic matter and moisture.

Cilantro:

Cilantro

Why they are loved

Cilantro is one of the most flavorful herbs. This type of herb is prominently used in Mexico and south East Asia. You can try this in the place of basil in pesto to top fish. You can even stir it to your favorite salsa recipe. You use both the stem and the leaves as they are all flavorful. You just need to get rid of the hard parts.

In your garden

You need to plant cilantro very early in the start of the season and then continuously sow the seeds for continuous production of cilantro.

Dill:

Dill

Why they are loved

Both the leaves and seeds of dill are used for seasoning.  Dill is also a versatile herb. Its leaves are soft and sweet whereas the seeds have a sweet but citrusy taste that have a slight bitter taste.

In your garden

This type of herb can be used whether fresh or dried. You just need to plant your dill seeds in warmer temperatures. It normally survives in temperatures about 75 to 80 degrees Celsius.

Mint:

mint

Why they are loved

There are several species of mint. You can use it in your drinks like mojitos or mint juleps. You can also add mint to your summer iced tea.

What they do

Mint acts to freshen your breath and also helps to calm the stomach

 In your garden

Mint is best grown in containers.  You need to also know that mint is an invasive plant as it spreads and cover a large area in your garden.

Sage:

sage

This is an aromatic herb that is good for seasoning meat, vegetables and sauces.

What it does

Sage helps to relieve cuts, inflammation, and also helps with the issues of memory failure.

In your gardening

Sage is very easy to grow and care. When you grow in your garden, it attracts a lot of bees.

How To Make Your Own Dried Mealworms?

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Dried mealworms are nowadays being widely used to feed chicken, reptiles, fish, rodents and other pet animals. If you have some pets in your home, it is crucial for you to make your own dried mealworms as buying them can be expensive in the long run.

You just set up your own structure to garden worms. It is less expensive compared to buying dried mealworms from the shop.

The following is the procedure for making your own dried mealworms:

Setup

1. First gather the supplies

  • Dry oatmeal, or cornmeal.
  • Three containers with air-holes drilled in the tops.
  • An organic source of moisture that does not mold quickly. Carrots work best for this, but other fruits and vegetables such as sliced or chopped potatoes or apples are also good.
  • Mealworms, also best known as a darkling beetle larva. You can begin with anywhere from 500 to 1000.
  • Several bits of cardboard or used toilet paper rolls.

2. Pour one-inch layer of oats or cornmeal into the bottom of each plastic that you had collected. This will serve as the bedding and food for the growing mealworms.

3. Put some vegetable slices into each of the bin. You may use any type of fruit or vegetable for this case. You can use celery, lettuce, apples or even potatoes. Carrots are normally considered the best as they take longer before they develop molds and rot. If you decide to use sources of moisture, you need to make sure that you replace them more often.

4. You then put the live mealworms into one of the containers. Some farmers add slices of bread to the mix. There are also those who use ground up cereal and dry dog food.

5. Put a few pieces of cardboard or toilet rolls on top of the oats. This is because developing mealworms normally enjoy staying in the darkness.

6. Label all the containers clearly. One of the containers will be for the mealworms at the larva stage the other one for the pupa and the last one for the adult beetles.

7. You then cover all the containers and place them in a dark area with warm. The reason for this is that warmth fastens up the process of the life cycle of mealworms and so will pupate faster if they are placed in a warm place. Developing mealworms also prefer staying in the darkness than in the light. Therefore, you need to place them in the darkness so that they develop comfortably.

Upkeep

1. Maintain the containers from time to time. Some farmers like to check the progress of the mealworms on a daily basis. There are also those who check them only once per week.

  • When checking them, you need to make sure that you remove any rotting material, clumps of mold from the oatmeal. You also need to remove dead insects from the container.
  • You also need to make sure that you add vegetables and oatmeal substrate as required. you also make sure that you turn the beddings to prevent molds from growing.

2. Check the pupa in the mealworm habitat. Depending on the temperature you put your mealworms, and the age of the mealworms when you bought them, the process of transformation from the larva stage to the pupa stage takes approximately one week to a couple of months.

  • The maturity of the mealworm is shown by the gradual darkening of the color in every stage of the life cycle.
  • Pupa usually starts off with extreme pale white color and more so look like curled up beetles than the normal segmented worms.
  • When monitoring them, you will notice that mealworms shed of their skin many times before becoming pupa. You need not to worry about this as it is normal for the mealworm to molt.

3.    Separate the pupa as soon as you see them. If it becomes hard for you to separate them, you are advised to use tweezers.

  • Pupa normally does not move around and also do not require food. Also, moisture does not hurt them. But when you give them food, you need to ensure that you place the food away from the moisture as pupa do not eat food which is in moisture.
  • Larva are separated from the adults because the larva can be eaten easily by the adults and therefore, denied the chance to survive.
  • Pupa stage normally takes about one to several weeks depending on the temperature you put your mealworms. When they are ready to hatch, you will know that as they at that time begin to darken in color.

4.    Continue monitoring the two containers for advances in the life cycle

Monitoring is important as you will be having more insects at various stages of the development of the mealworm.

5.    Immediately remove adults from the pupa container. This is because the adult beetles will start feeding on the mealworms at the pupa stage if they are not removed immediately.

  • You need to place the adult beetles into a separate container with the same the same set up as the mealworms. You can even add more oatmeal for them to have more room to nest.

6.    Regularly check the adult beetles for eggs. Adult beetles will more often bear eggs and you, therefore, need to check them from time to time.

  • Ensure that you remove the eggs. More of eggs normally serve as an indication that there will be more larva soon.
  • Adult females normally bear about 500 eggs at a time.
  • The eggs will hatch within 4-19 days depending on the temperature of the place where they are in.

7.    Remove the mealworms from the adult beetle container and into the mealworm container upon hatching. Actually, you will have a lot of things to do as females lays so many eggs at once.

8.    Maintain the habitat regularly. This includes changing the food and the moisture sources, ensuring that the insects are separated accordingly, removing the dead insects from the container and also regularly turning the bedding.

9.    Dry the mealworms

There are various means to dry the mealworms. You can use either of the following ways;

  • Gas or electric oven
  • Freeze-drying equipment
  • Dehydrator
  • Powdered calcium supplement or any other mineral supplement or vitamin
  • If you notice that you are producing more mealworms than you need, you can freeze some and eat them yourself. You should never release them to the wild. You can also use some pupae to feed the adult beetles or even place extra mealworms into the bird feeder in your yard.

Other Sources:


How To Cool A Grow Tent Using Air Conditioner

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When you decide to use a grow tent for your gardening, you need to understand clearly how to control the environment. One of the basic and most important things to consider is the temperature inside the grow room.  Lets learn how to achieve go about this.

Air Conditioner

Importance of regulating the temperature

Grow tents involve creating an environment similar to an outside one for your plants. It is all about giving your plants all the necessary things they get from the environment.

From light to temperature, soil to fertilizer considerations, all these make a grow tent a great gardening experience. It is one of the most preferred green gardening methods today.

The main reason why people use indoor gardening is lack of enough space outdoor. Grow tent gardening is not the same as green houses though. Many people get confused about the two methods.

A grow tent is more advantageous because it gives you the ability to manipulate all conditions to your liking. It allows you give your plants maximum benefits. In return, you get a lot of harvest from a small place.

Regulating the temperature keeps your plants alive!

 Depending on your preference, you can have as many grow rooms as you like. Some people like one big grow room, while others will rather go for two or more small tents.

grow tent

What causes air to increase?

In all these situations, lighting is very important. There are different kinds of lighting systems made specifically for grow tents.

Light causes heat. And the last thing you want is your plants withering and dying out because of too much heat. You need a good temperature control tools in place.

And that is where a grow tent ac unit comes in. The unit may come together with the lighting system, or you can buy/create you home at home separately. The bottom line is, it is something you don’t want to miss in your system.

How to use the air conditioner

A lot of people find themselves in dilemma on how to use the ac. It becomes an even bigger headache during the hot season – summer. Sometimes it becomes so bad that some gardeners may decide to postpone the whole process until summer passes by.

But it does not have to be thus for you. You can use a portable air conditioner for this process. Here is how.

Step 1: Get the right AC system

A good choice for an ac is not going to be easy. Now that you have so many things to consider, it goes beyond portability. The best ac for grow tent has the following features.

The brand

Every home gardener is faithful for particular brands. However, it is not just about brand loyalty. Newer machines are coming up to take over old electrics.

For this reason, consider the features that are present in the item you are purchasing. Even if the brand is big, you still need to get your on the ideal conditioner.

The type

There are three main types of ACs for grow rooms. They include portable, split and window AC. This is a very important choice to make for the value of your money.

Seasons Energy Efficiency ratio (SEER)

Some people know it as the EER and it means the standard for measuring energy consumption. No one wants to buy and AC system that consumes a lot of power. Buy the ac that has a higher rating because in the end, the output should be higher than the input.

Check the filter

One of the major causes of death to plants in a grow room is toxicity. This is why all ac systems come with filters to ensure plants are getting clean air. Even so, there are some filters that may not give good service, therefore be careful to put this into consideration.

The control system

There are a lot of improvements in modern air conditioners. One of them is auto-control features that a lot of people overlook. It is important to confirm that the feature is there and is working properly. Check for things like timers that you can use to set when the ac comes on and when it goes off. You don’t need to keep coming on site to do this.

Proper ventilation features

The main purpose of an air conditioner is providing maximum air supply and cools the plants. This means, air flow is very important. Get and AC that has adjustable airspaces that allow for maximum air flow.

Compatibility with other electrical tools

Consider things such as, voltage input/output, power coders and plugs. These are crucial in the compatibility and usefulness of your ac. If you don’t handle this, you may find yourself with something you cannot use.

The warranty

The ac you buy may be faulty. You will only realize this once you start using it. This is why the warranty is one vital component of such products. This will take care of repairs and maintenance and repairs for the period stated.

Step 2: Install

Once you are sure this is the right item, the next step is to install. Make sure you have checked all the requirements properly and use the instructions book. Installing is very easy.  Before that, here are the prerequisites:

  • It should be a near a power source. Manufacturers discourage using extensions codes.
  • Keep it away from children
  • Place it is a well ventilated area
  • Check the user manual.

Step 3: Set it right

Temperature and humidity are the two vital conditions you want to set right in your grow tent. This means you must learn the needs of your plants and set the appropriately.

Set the system to automatic application to avoid forgetting to turn it on. This will also give you a chance to do other things.

Conclusion

Using the air conditioner is the best way to keep the temperature of your grow tent under control. Using it correctly is therefore key to getting the most out of it. One can never overlook how much plants rely on proper temperature and humidity. The instructions and ideas shared above should be enough to get you started.

Others:

12 Tips for Gardening in Grow Tents

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If you have a small outdoor space yet you love gardening, using grow tents is the best option. They have become a very common method people use today to get fresh farm produce.

Grow tents are very convenient in every manner. If you do it right, there are a lot of benefits you can reap from them. It is not only the best way to save on groceries, but it’s a perfect method for healthy eating.

The problem is, most people don’t really know where to begin. Even if you have the space, there are things you need to put into consideration.

For instance, you need the best plants, the best grow tent humidifier, and a great source of inspiration among other. And you are at the right place to get all these insights. We are going to share great tips to get you started.

grow tent

Understand your priorities

In other words, you need to have a plan. Understand the importance of the whole process both on a personal level and an economic level as well.

Gardening is all about passion. Even though many people do it as a secondary activity, it is still something that needs motivation. You have to want to do it.

If you have no interest in what you are doing, then everything else becomes a by the way. You will not be concerned fully about what happens to your garden.

Choose a good location

This is one of the reasons a plan is very vital. A grow tent may require special attention from you. The location you choose should be especially dedicated for at least a few months.

Set your garden in an area you can access easily. Where you can bring in all the requirements like light and all other staff with ease.

The electrical circuit you choose should be able to handle all the power needs of your grow room. Therefore go for something strong enough.

Accidents and spills are inevitable. They can happen when you least expect. This is why you are advised to avoid setting the grow room over carpets and wooden floors.

Allow for enough room to grow

Just because you are putting the garden indoors, it does not mean that now you have to squeeze your space tight. Remember that this is just like your garden outside that needs to expand.

There is more space needed than just the garden itself. For instance, keep in mind a place to store equipments. Besides, some plants need a lot of space to grow and expand.

Things like ballast for your lighting system, a reservoir, the ac unit, and many others require enough storage. Arrange you room in such a manner that it gives you good access to each of these items.  You have to tent over the plants for a few weeks before the harvest is ready. That will require good spacing.

growing indoor

You can use 2 grow tents

Grow tents perform best according to their sizes. If you think one large tent will be a problem for you, then go ahead and use one small and one medium size tents.

Two tents enable you to grow plants on a scale that you can manage with ease. It adds versatility when you are growing short-days plants. Set one tent for summer and the other one for fall. The aim here is to get your harvest spread over different periods.

You will have farm produce all year round. When you are preparing one, the other will be ready for harvest.

One big tent is still ok

There are some gardening techniques that are only suitable for single tent gardening. They include Nutrition Film Technique, and other hydroponic methods. In essence, these methods are applicable where the plants are not easily moved. They spend most all their time in adjusted conditions environment.

Canopy control is achieved with ease when all plants are in the same place.

The way you plan your gardening greatly impacts what comes out. You can make is easy and enjoyable, or really hard.

Check the quality

Do you have the best humidifier for grow tent and grow room? Are you sure of the stability and the frame?

When buying a grow tent, do not be in a hurry to get just anything that is presented before you. Take time to inspect is clearly. The questions above should not leave any room for doubt in your mind. Pay attention to the front zipper and you will use this most frequently.

Check different venting options

Now that you have established the quality of your tent, what venting options do you have? There are some access codes that are not clear at the beginning.

Consider things like running cors, venting or irrigation plumbing among others. The more the options you have, the better. (check insulated ducting for grow room)

Read the instructions carefully

This is one part that is most challenging for many people. They are too focused on making plants grow in the tent that they forget to read the instructions.

During the assembly, take your time to go through every little detail. Do not be in a hurry to finish. If anything happens on the tent due to your mistake, you will lose the warranty.

Get some meters

Since you are in the same room, or perhaps a different one – whatever the case, you will need to check on the plants from time to time. Get a thermometer, a humidity meter and any other important tool that will ensure the environment is safe for both the plants and your family.

Get the right light for your room

Lighting should match the size of your room. This will ensure proper cooling ability, considering lights many increase the temperature in your tent. (check Best LED Light for 4×4 Grow Tent)

Get some handy hangers

It is easy to get some light-duty carabineers and things like that. They are often found in camping sites and can be a great plus in supporting your tent.

Follow the rules

In every state, there are rules and regulations for using grow rooms. For instance, find the right kind of plants for your tent.

Aside from that, keep your grow tent under optimal environment. As mentioned above, safety comes first, for your plants and the people you live with.

Other: How To Cool A Grow Tent Using Air Conditioner