Friday, February 10, 2017

How To Start Seeds – A comprehensive guide to growing vegetables and flowers from seed

GROWING plants from seed is a great way to start gardening earlier in the season. With the right light and some simple equipment, it’s easy to grow from seed to harvest.

Keep it simple
Because each plant has unique seed-starting requirements, it helps to start small by growing just a few varieties. Some seeds — such as tomatoes and marigolds — are especially easy to start indoors. If you’re a beginner, choose those first, and then move on to more fussy seeds, such as petunias.
Other good choices for beginners:

Make sure you have lots of light
All seedlings require a considerable amount of light, so make sure you have a sunny, south-facing window. If seedlings don’t get enough light, they will be leggy and weak.

If you don’t have a sunny, south-facing window, invest in grow lights and a timer . It’s the best way to ensure consistent, abundant light. Set the timer for 15 hours a day, water regulary and you’re sure to get great results.

Get the timing right
The goal with seed starting is to have your seedlings ready to go outside when the weather is favorable. Start by looking at the seed packet, which should tell you when to start seeds inside. Usually, it will say something like, “Plant inside six to eight weeks before last frost.”

Some types of vegetables, such as beans and squash, are best started outdoors. There is little benefit to growing them indoors because they germinate and grow quickly. Some flowers, such as poppies, are best planted outdoors, too. These seeds are usually marked “direct sow”.

Six Steps, from Seed to Garden
1. Find the right containers
You can start seeds in almost any type of container, as long as it’s at least 2-3 ” deep and has some drainage holes. If you are the DIY type, you might want to grow seedlings in yogurt cups, milk cartons or paper cups. I prefer the convenience of trays that are made especially for seed starting. It’s easy to fill the trays, the watering system ensures consistent moisture and I can move them easily.

2. Prepare the “potting soil”
Choose potting soil that’s made for growing seedlings. Do not use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants. Start with a fresh, sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings.

Before filling your containers, use a bucket or tub to moisten the planting mix. The goal is to get it moist but not sopping wet; crumbly, not gloppy. Fill the containers and pack the soil firmly to eliminate gaps.

Remember that most mixes contain few, if any, nutrients, so you’ll need to feed the seedlings with liquid fertilizer a few weeks after they germinate, and continue until you transplant them into the garden.

3. Start planting
Check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds. Some of the small ones can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried. For insurance, I plant two seeds per cell (or pot). If both seeds germinate, I snip one and let the other grow. It's helpful to make a couple divots in each pot to accommodate the seeds. After you've dropped a seed in each divot, you can go back and cover the seeds.

Moisten the newly planted seeds with a mister or a small watering can. To speed germination, cover the pots with plastic wrap or a plastic dome that fits over the seed-starting tray. This helps keep the seeds moist before they germinate. When you see the first signs of green, remove the cover.

4. Water, feed, repeat
As the seedlings grow, use a mister or a small watering can to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. Set up a fan to ensure good air movement and prevent disease. I use a fan that’s plugged into the same timer as my grow lights. Remember to feed the seedlings regularly with liquid fertilizer, mixed at the rate recommended on the package.

5. Light, light, light!
Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure. Rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light. If you’re growing under lights, adjust them so they’re just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings. Set the lights on a timer for 15 hours a day. Keep in mind that seedlings need darkness, too, so they can rest. As the seedlings grow taller, raise the lights.

6. Move seedlings outdoors gradually
It’s not a good idea to move your seedlings directly from the protected environment of your home into the garden. You’ve been coddling these seedlings for weeks, so they need a gradual transition to the great outdoors. The process is called hardening off. About a week before you plan to set the seedlings into the garden, place them in a protected spot outdoors (partly shaded, out of the wind) for a few hours, bringing them in at night. Gradually, over the course of a week or 10 days, expose them to more and more sunshine and wind. A cold frame is a great place to harden off plants.

Only one-quarter of my seeds germinated. What went wrong? There are a number of factors that affect seed germination. Check the seed packet to determine if all the requirements for temperature and light were met. If the soil was cold and excessively wet, the seeds may have rotted. Dig up one of the seeds and examine it. If it is swollen and soft, the seed has rotted and you will need to start over. If the soil was too dry, the seeds may not have germinated or may have dried up before their roots could take hold. If the seeds were old, they may no longer be viable. Try again and be sure to provide consistent moisture.

My seedlings are spindly. What can I do? Plants grow tall and leggy when they do not receive enough light. Use grow lights to ensure that they receive 15 hours of bright light each day. Warm temperatures can also stimulate leggy growth. Try lowering the room temperature and reducing the amount of fertilizer you apply. For more on this topic, see the article Growing Under Lights.

The leaves on my tomatoes are starting to look purple along the veins and on the underside of the leaves. What’s happening? Purple leaves are an indication that the plant is not receiving enough phosphorus. If you have been using half-strength fertilizer for the first three to four weeks of the seedling’s life, it may be time to increase the fertilizer to full strength. The phosphorus content (the middle number on the fertilizer analysis) should be at least 3.

My seedlings were growing well until all of a sudden they toppled over at the base. What happened? When the stems of young seedlings become withered and topple over, they have probably been killed by a soil-borne fungus called “damping off.” This fungus is difficult to eradicate once it is present in the soil, but you can avoid it by using a sterile, soilless growing medium , and by providing good air circulation.

Mold is growing on the top of the soil surface. It doesn’t appear to be hurting my plants, but should I be concerned? Mold is an indication that the growing medium is too wet. It will not harm your plants as long as you take action. Withhold water for a few days and try to increase air circulation around the containers by using a small fan. You can also scrape off some of the mold or try transplanting the seedlings into fresh soil.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 2

The Holly and the Ivy
This evergreen carol mixes up both Christian and pagan imagery. In ancient times, during the winter, singing contests were held between men and women in villages around the country. The male contingent would sing carols praising the masculine holly and being rather dismissive of the feminine ivy whilst for the women it was the other way around. There was usually a happy ending though as the two groups would eventually join together under the mistletoe.

Away in a Manger
This is probably one of the first Christmas songs we learn as children. It was first published more than 100 years ago; the words appeared in a Lutheran Sunday School book. It was 10 years after that in 1895 that William J. Kirkpatrick, an American composer and carpenter, wrote the music we all know so well

O Holy Night
‘O Holy Night’ was the second piece of music and very first carol ever to be played on the radio. On Christmas Eve 1906, a Canadian inventor called Reginald Fessenden broadcast the first medium wave radio programme, which included him playing ‘O Holy Night’ on the violin. Composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 the words come from a French poem called 'Midnight, Christians, it is the Solemn Hour.'

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
The carol we now know as "Hark! the herald angels sing" did not start life as such, and required at least four people to bring it to its current form. Wesley's original, written as a Christmas Day hymn and first published in 1739, is made up of ten four-line verses, rather than the longer eight-line verses with refrain which we have now.

And finally how can we forget one of the most famous christmas songs of all times...the jingle bells
Jingle Bells is one of the best-known and commonly sung American Christmas songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written for American Thanksgiving.It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too "racy" to be sung by a children's church choir in the days it was written.

Christmas carols always bring out the warm seasonal atmosphere not matter how cold the weather is outside,enjoy singing these carols ,spread smiles and merry christmas,

Monday, December 7, 2015

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 1

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 1

Christmas carol have become an integral part of christmas celebration all around the world.
Have you ever wondered how these carols came about ,here is a brief history of few of the famous carols.

Silent Night
This hugely popular carol came about in 1818 just a few days before Christmas, after an Austrian church mouse munched his way through the bellows of an organ. The organist, Franz Gruber, went to see his priest, Joseph Mohr, to express his concern that there would be no music for Christmas. Equally concerned, Father Joseph wrote a new carol - not requiring an organ - in haste, while Gruber composed the tune. It was played for the first time on guitar at Midnight Mass.

O Come, All Ye Faithful
Another of the most loved of Christmas hymns started out as 'Adeste Fideles', written by John Francis Wade, an Englishman who during the 1700s left England to join a Roman Catholic community in France. He paid his way by teaching music to youngsters and composing and selling pieces of music. It wasn’t until about 100 years later that another Englishman, Fred Oakley gave us the version we know and love today.

The First Noel (First Nowell)
After the first appearance of carols in the Middle Ages the Reformation took hold and the popularity of the seasonal songs took a downward turn. It wasn’t really until the Victorian era when they started to enjoy a resurgence. 'The First Nowell' - or 'First Noel' as it is normally known today - was originally a traditional Cornish Carol. It was first published in a collection called Xmas Carols Ancient and Modern in 1833 by a solicitor William Sandys

Joy to the World
We have Handel to thank in part for this Christmas favourite as it was his original melody from Messiah, which composer Lowell Mason used. The words came from Isaac Watts, an English theologian. He returned home after attending church one day and told his father that he hadn’t been particularly inspired by the music he’d heard during the service and that he thought he could do a better job. He was right

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Dating back to the late 18th century, this popular seasonal song was reportedly used to help youngsters learn about their faith with each gift having a significant meaning – for example, the partridge represents Christ; the calling birds, the four Gospels; the Lords are the Ten Commandments – and so on. There’s a rather different version in the west of France. It’s all about food! Among the delicacies sung about are four pigs trotters, seven spitted rabbits, eight plates of salad and ten full casks

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

10 Popular Online Guitar Gurus Who Make Learning The Instrument A Blast - part II

continuing ...

Nate Savage

Nate started playing the guitar at the age of 13 and was hooked right away. Since then, he has been fortunate enough to make a living doing what he loves - touring the world as a professional guitarist and teaching the guitar to students around the world.
At the age of 34, Nate has become one of the most popular guitar instructors in the world. At last count, 71,274 students from around the world are subscribed to his online lesson updates, and his video have been viewed over 8 million times over the past four years alone. Even still, Nate remains humble and focused on helping his students achieve their unique goals on the guitar.
"There is no better feeling than hearing from a student who was able to achieve something they thought was impossible", says Nate, "it motivates me to find new and more effective ways to help them become great musicians - and it gives me purpose every single day".

Justin Sandercoe

Justin Sandercoe, born in 1974, is a guitarist, songwriter, performer, producer and educator who grew up in Tasmania and who has been based in London, England since 1996.
Sandercoe's official website,, was first launched on 31 July 2003 offering lessons as a sample to promote private one on one lessons. The site developed a modest following but once he began making instructional guitar videos for YouTube in December 2006, the site became one of the most popular guitar instruction web sites. By 2012 there are over 550 free lessons enjoyed by over 20,000 unique visitors a day from all around the world.
His videos on YouTube clocked up 100 million views in August 2011 and he has been a YouTube partner since 2008.
The site runs on voluntary donations and purchases of products from the store from users and there are no fees for membership.
Justin was named as one of the UK's Top 10 YouTube Celebrities on The Telegraph Newspaper and The Independent newspaper called him "one of the most influential guitar teachers in history"
 and he has received accolades from guitar legends Brian May [4] and Steve Vai.

Assaf Levavy

Music is about more than just practicing dry exercises. It’s about playing around with every lick you learn, improvising on it, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and ultimately – Creating your own interpretations of everything you play.

Assaf Levavy started his own website known as in the year 2011 with a vision to provide a platform to all budding guitarists to learn more about the nuances of a guitar.

Neil Hogan
Neil Hogan was born in 1956 in Southern California. He has his own website called Founded in 2008, Totally Guitars addresses the aspects of acoustic guitar playing, emphasising on finger picking.

Steve Luciano

Steve originally hails from New Haven, CT, where he studied guitar with legendary teacher Joe Tinari. Over the years, Steve has performed with numerous jazz musicians like Charles Erland,George Morrow, Joe Morello, Dary Gutteb and many more. His guitar lessons are a must for any aspiring guitarist!.
Steve was the staff musician for Walt Disney World for more than 15 years and currently is the guitarist for Larry Elgart Orchestra.

You can learn how to play songs, how to play fancy scales, and much more. The trouble is, there just aren't many GOOD guitar lessons available to someone looking to start playing guitar.
These guitar lessons from renowned instructors are designed for people who own (or have borrowed) a guitar, but don't yet know the first thing about playing it.pick up the guitar and give it a try ..

Monday, June 15, 2015

10 Popular Online Guitar Gurus Who Make Learning The Instrument A Blast - part 1

Many of us have tried to play our favourite song on a guitar but the lack of proper technique has sapped our enthusiasm. It is often very difficult for a beginner to decide where to start from. The aspiring guitarist is confused by questions like what kind of guitar to use, how to go about chord transition and when and why to use a capo!  We come to your rescue and present these online guitar tutors who have made guitar learning a fun and stunning experience, for all beginners across the world!

Marty Swartz
Playing the guitar may look complicated, but it isn't! All you need is proper technique and a fun approach. Marty, with all his experience, has evolved a technique which allows anyone at any level to make huge, immediate leaps, even if you are an amateur.There are so many reasons why one will like Marty's videos and style of teaching. He is such a fantastic instructor because of his sense of humor (you have to watch the videos to see why), his ability to slow things down and make it easy for beginners, and he has such a great depth of knowledge on the guitar of which he genuinely wants to share with viewers.

Jen Trani

In her own words “I hit my head a lot as a child, and I mean, a lot. I think that somehow affected the way I show up in the world,” Jen Trani laughs. “Honestly, I don't know what makes me unique. I'm just a very lucky girl from Colorado with a guitar trying to make a living doing music.” Thirteen year old Jen Trani was watching a movie when she saw a scene of a guy playing the guitar on the end of a bed. Something clicked in her mind, and she instantly thought, “I could do that.” She picked up her mother's old acoustic guitar the next day and began playing. 
In addition to writing and performing, Jen keeps busy as a private instructor to many aspiring guitarists. She has done over a 1000 online instructional videos, which total upto more than 40 million users for YouTube and! Her guitar tutorials are ideal for beginners as they help one understand the fundamentals of guitar playing with a whole new approach.  

Andy Crowley

Andy became a full time private guitar teacher in 2009 after creating the website Around this time, he started filming youtube video lessons to advertise for new students. In 2012, he filmed a full online beginner’s course full of real songs and made it available for FREE on his website.
Andy has got a unique method; he teaches guitar knowledge and techniques through real songs as much as possible, and gets one playing along to the record straight away!.Andy's custom made beginners course and lesson materials are an accumulation of a lifetime of learning and 6 years of private teaching.

Jimmy Brown

Over the past 20 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music editors through his work as a transcriber, arranger and editor for Guitar World magazine. In addition to his role as Guitar World Senior Music Editor, he is a busy working musician, performing regularly as a solo guitar/vocal act and rocking out with a full band at taverns, restaurants, resorts, weddings and private parties. Having earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1988, Brown is also an experienced private guitar teacher and writer.

Erich Andreas

Erich Andreas, AKA “YourGuitarSage" has been playing guitar for nearly 30 years and has almost been teaching for that long as well. He has a passion for creating easy, step-by-step lessons and loves making "difficult" concepts attainable. His guitar lesson video channels(YourGuitarSage, YGSGuitarLessons, and 1MinuteGuitarLessons) on YouTube alone have over 40,000,000 views. He has authored several books on the subjects of guitar and music and has been praised for his teaching style and systems as one of the top instructors on the internet. Recently he was featured in the Wall Street Journal as well as appearing on Wall Street Journal Live. Erich is a full-time musician and instructor in Nashville, TN. His motto is: "With the right instruction and consistent practice you can do anything that you desire.”

there are more guitar gurus who will be featured in the II part of this blog...

Monday, March 23, 2015

share of our success and struggles : Our 5 year story

It’s important that when you tell your story,it reveals your must encompass both sides of the human experience.The success and the struggle. The dream and the doubt. Your passion and your fears. One without the other seems incomplete.

so heres our story so far, we believed that LIFE in itself is your biggest DIY(do-it-yourself) project and we decided to dedicate 1 year of our lives to do exactly what we wanted to do.if it did'nt work we had the cushion of our corporate experience to fall back on and resume the rat-race,but if it clicked it may change the course of our lives and course of our lives it did change.

Its been just over 5 years since we started cafeidly,we started with very little money, absolutely no experience in food industry and zero domain knowledge, a very crazy thing to do, i should admit.Experts say 'do what you know' .but if you have the desire,a plan and the commitment to make your dream a reality.screw the experts and go after your dream.

Heres a share of our success and struggles:
got excited when we got an sunday coverage on Times of India newspaper within a month of starting
we had no money when we signed the contract for our second outlet, we signed it first and started to pool in cash. that was an challenging experience
felt amazing when our outlet was featured on BBC world and a European showed up and said that ' he watched cafeidly feature on BBC while in Europe and made it a point to visit us while he came to namma Bengaluru'
sometimes its so emotionally draining and kind words like 'keep it up' and 'god bless you' from our lovely customers is what feeds our soul.

now we are getting franchise requests from through- out the country every month and i keep saying to myself ...have just a bit of patience.

now we have a bigger outlet @ frazer town same location with seating and we welcome you all and as we move along, we look forward to your love and support and well-wishes.thank you all.God bless.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unique Guitar Adaptations

Guitar is one of the musical instruments that bring melody to your life when you feel its chords.
In this article, we intend to share with you few odd but worth noticing creative things shaped as a Guitar. Here is a list of some the most creatively designed and famous things spotted around the world that takes their design inspiration from this instrument.

Josh Pyke, an Australian singer and songwriter, sailed the seas on a giant guitar boat, which was not playable; nonetheless, it successfully managed to attract people’s attention. It was an accurate replica of his favorite guitar.

Preetham Desouza, an Indian interior designer, designed a guitar shaped staircase. The attractive staircase symbolizes steps toward a musical world, the banister of which supports the case, giving it an uber cool look.

Jay Ohrberg, a car builder, collector and designer, has created some of the most unique and expensive cars.  The guitar like beast created by him is a marvel of auto engineering for sure. His other cool creations have been a regular part of the entertainment industry

John Graham, a musician who played in the 1960s rock band The Ramrods, was famously known for his love for guitar. So, his wife decided to get a guitar shaped coffin modeled for her husband, which was an exact copy of the one he was gifted when he was fifteen. She did so to take her love for the musical instrument with him to his grave

 Elvis Cardin was so passionate about music that he made his dream turn true by designing his
own house into the shape of a guitar. It has a flat roof with electrical wires running along the top to mimic the strings.

 You can easily connect your sensibilities with this guitar shaped deck madeby a couple in their backyard pond itself. The deck mimics a simple frame of a typical guitar, which is secured in a pool nicely. After all, what could be a better way than to spend the lazy weekend in such a cool deck?

All Guitar lovers! Do not ever let your love for the guitar die within you because that would be a sad end to a musical life. There are so many ways to stretch yourself and grow, strum the strings and make it a part of your life in a way that it becomes a musical extension for you to flaunt your musical sensibilities.