Sprouting Mung Beans {And a Gardening Coupon Code}

sprouting-mung-beans

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If you’ve never sprouted beans you’re missing out on a lot of fun, yummies, and nutrition!

As gardeners, we don’t expect instant gratification. No, our gratification timetable falls somewhere between the time it takes to grow a Chia Pet to that of aging fine wine.

We wait months for the complete transformation of a tiny lettuce seed to a ready-to-eat stalk or head of lettuce. That’s pretty much the case for any vegetable. However, with sprouts, the seed-to-table time is accelerated exponentially. Of course, that’s only because we’re not waiting for the seed to become a mature plant producing its fruit. Instead, we help the seed START to grow, and then … toss it in our mouth. Pretty sneaky if you ask me. The little seed doesn’t see it comin’.

There are so many beans you can sprout and toss into dishes. Most often you hear of sprouts being used in salads or stir-fry dishes. I love salads loaded with goodies, and sprouts give my salads variety, extra crunch, additional nutrition, and a little whimsical presentation.

5 Reasons to Sprout Beans

  1. Sprouts Are Nutritious.*
  2. Sprouting Allows You to Eat the Beans NOW.
  3. Sprouting Aids in the Digestion of the Beans.
  4. Sprouting Provides Winter Cabin-Fever Reprieve.
  5. Sprouting is SO Much Fun!
  6. *You’ll need to do your own research on this. Some believe raw sprouts are a nutrient-dense food; others believe eating raw sprouts may be the cause of some illnesses and death outbreaks.

I’ll have to elaborate on these reasons in a future post. There is so much that can be said about sprouting beans; I just can’t easily fit it all into one post.

How to Sprout Mung Beans

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4 Seed-Sowing Tips

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Unless you live in an area that’s warm year-round, you probably just recently got your plants into the ground and direct sowed your seeds, or you’re getting ready to do that.

(Don’t do like I did one year. I sowed my corn in so late that John teased me we’d have Christmas corn. :) )

I know many of you are newbie gardeners, and some of you are still working up the courage to start your first garden. So I thought this would be the perfect time to share a few seed-sowing tips to better prepare you for a successful gardening experience.

1. Read the Seed Packet

This tip may seem a bit over simplistic, but sometimes skipping over simple instructions can be cause enough for failure.

2. Seed Planting Depth is Somewhat Proportional to Seed Size

As with any hobby or passion, you learn or pick up on things through simple observation or common sense. Something I noticed over my gardening years is that teeny tiny seeds barely need any dirt over them, while large seeds need to be planted much deeper.

For instance, the seed packet instructions for teeny tiny carrot seeds may suggest a planting depth of only 1/4 inch, but it may recommend corn seeds be planted as much as 2 inches deep.

I did a quick search online to see if I could find a nifty chart to show this. Here’s an image that shows a few seeds and their planting depth. It demonstrates how small seeds are planted almost on the surface and larger seeds much deeper.

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12 Ways to Critter-Proof Your Garden

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Back in January, I asked on Facebook which specific critters, insects, or plant diseases have been the most problematic to your garden. So many of you chimed in with responses. Most people named one or more adorable but destructive critter; quite a few people mentioned insects; and no one mentioned any plant diseases.

To keep this post from becoming a novel, destructive insects and plant diseases will be addressed as separate posts.

Here’s how I see these adorable but destructive critters:

Nearly all of them will fit into one, some as many as three, category based on how they move about: flyers, tall walkers, short walkers, climbers, and diggers. Many solutions for one animal will prevent all animals in that category from getting into your garden. Of course, that won’t always be the case, but many times it will be.

I’ve included at the end of this post a nifty little table I created of various critters and the category in which they fit.

1. Cinder Blocks

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Okay. This idea is not for the faint of heart. If you consider yourself a leisure gardener, this will NOT appeal to you. It will take a one-time big investment of sweat and brawn.

If you’re bound and determined to live off your land and keep persistent diggers out of your garden, here’s an idea I had:

  1. Dig a trench 8 inches wide x 8 inches deep around the perimeter of your garden.
  2. Place cinder blocks – with openings vertically oriented!! :) – back-to-back in the trench.
  3. Bury the cinder blocks with the dug-up dirt.

If you’re up to the physical workout, you could even go two cinder blocks deep. (It only took me about 5-10 minutes to dig one hole for a cinder block, as seen in above photo.)

Don’t get in so much of a hurry that you forget the simple things, like making sure the cinder block openings are vertically oriented. Otherwise, you’ve just unwittingly constructed an elaborate underground tunnel highway INTO your garden. :D

2. Motion Detector Sprinkler System

John is an engineer and an amazing problem-solver.

The first house we lived in, we had a very nice neighbor next door who had a few cats. When our gravel driveway got wet from rain or the late night or early morning dew, the cats would walk around gathering the gravel dust onto their paws, as much as their paws could hold, – oh, yes, it was intentional – and then jump onto our cars and make these *adorable* paw prints all over them.

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How to Make Your Own Seed-Starter Mix

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If you live in an area that has cold and snowy winters, the best way to feel like winter is shorter than it really is or that spring is here before it really is is to start seeds indoors. You’ll observe seedlings emerge 4 to 6-ish weeks before you can place seeds in the ground.

Optimal seed-starter mix will allow for the following:

  1. Retention of Moisture
  2. Drainage of Excess Water
  3. Aeration
  4. Emergence of Seedlings (upward growth) and Penetration of Roots (downward growth)
  5. Nutrients
  6. Beneficial Microbes

Seed-Starter Mix Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Parts Pre-Soaked Organic Coir or Sphagnum Peat Moss
  • 1 Part Perlite
  • 1 Part Vermiculite
  • 1 Part Vermicompost or Compost

coirbrick

Sunleaves 100% Organic Classic Coco Coir Mulch-Soil Brick – Growing Media & Soil Alternative

(affiliate link)

Coir or Sphagnum Peat Moss

Probably the two most common mediums used for “soil”, moisture retention, and the “glue” that keeps everything together are coir and sphagnum peat moss. (Compost also has these characteristics.)

Coir is the by-product of coconut processing. Other names for coir are coco/coir peat, fiber, pith, or dust. You’ve probably picked up on the fact that “coco” is short for coconut NOT cocoa. :)

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Garden Watering Tips {Video}

The way I see it, there are two possible responses to the timing of this post:

Response No. 1: Are you SERIOUS!? Your Gardening Friend is JUST NOW sharing garden watering tips … in the middle of AUGUST?

Response No. 2: WOW! Your Gardening Friend is AMAZING!!! Holly’s preparing me for next year’s garden 8 months early, AND I get to benefit from these tips during the last part of THIS year’s garden! She’s just the greatest thing since … since the pressure canner.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but I’m totally unbiased in choosing the correct

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3 Reasons to Grow Heirlooms {Guest Post}

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I’m excited to have Melissa K. Norris as a guest here on Your Gardening Friend. She has a wealth of knowledge on gardening, and I’ve enjoyed following her posts on her blog. I’ve also been blessed by her sharing her faith – beliefs we both share and hold dear.

Please welcome Melissa K. Norris.

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Most gardeners know the benefits of growing their own vegetables and fruits. The summer months are dedicated to cultivating our plants, pulling out weeds to keep them happily nourished, checking for disease, and enjoying the harvest of our hard work. For many of us, it’s also preserving time. The pressure canner jiggle seems to be a constant rhythm playing well into fall in our kitchen.

But for the heirloom gardener, summer brings one more task in our gardens. And it might be the most important of all. The heirloom gardener is saving the seed to plant for next year’s crops.

Heirloom plants have many benefits compared to the regular hybrid seed sold in most grocery stores. With the threat of GMO (genetically modified) seeds and Monsanto purchasing seed companies, heirloom seeds give peace of mind. Heirloom plants are untouched by scientists and are exactly as God created them. They cannot be patented as some hybrid and all GMO seeds are.

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