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We’ve already established peppers as a staple for your home garden and even though they have enough flavors to add to your dishes, there’s still room for improvement. For a real garden treasure, you can try growing some jalapeno peppers.

These are delicious and adding just a bit of these will give your home cooking a burst of rich flavor that’ll have everyone asking for seconds. Aside from the basics, you’ll need seed trays, differently sized pots, and compost.

The seeds you’ll use can be bought from a farmer’s shop, or you can remove them from jalapeno peppers themselves. If you must remove jalapeno pepper seeds yourself, make sure you do it from a local variety that can thrive in your area.

Planting

Take the jalapeno seeds and plant them in a small pot or seed tray so that they can germinate. Don’t plant them too deep under the soil and water them enough to keep it slightly moist. At this stage, it’s best to keep your tray or pots in a dark area because excessive sunlight can cause trouble.

Transfer The Seedlings

Once the seeds have germinated and have grown out their small pots or tray, you can move them to a bigger pot that’s more suited to their size. Gently pick the seedling along with a little soil that surrounds the roots and then carefully plant it in a pot, making sure that it fits well. You’ll have to continue moving your plant to a bigger pot until it has almost become an adult-sized.

Transfer Your Plant

After your plant has reached a sub-standard size, it’s time to move it to your garden. Dig around the plant area carefully to avoid striking the roots and then plant it in your garden. Remember to keep a distance of at least 12 inches between each jalapeno pepper plant so that their roots don’t get tangled and hinder growth.

Water Them Well and Give Sunlight

Just like with all your other crops, you should be watering your jalapeno peppers well, at least once every day. If it’s too hard to keep up with daily watering, you can choose to do it every other day. As for sunshine, you don’t need to do much since they’re already in the garden, but just so you know; they need six hours of sunlight every day.

Add Compost and Weed The Soil

You’ll need to keep the soil weed-free and add a little organic matter to it as well if you intend to get ripe and spicy jalapenos for your harvest. Compost from mulch provides the root systems and soil with essential nutrients and gives the soil good texture as well.

Harvest Them

In about four months after the initial planting, your jalapeno peppers will be ready for harvest but it still depends on how hot you prefer them. If you’re looking for a real punch, pick them when they’re bright green as they’re very hot at this stage. However, if you prefer something a little mild and maybe even somewhat sweet, wait a little longer till they’ve gone red to pick them off.

Let’s just say that growing jalapeño peppers isn’t all that hard and now you won’t have to run to the store to get a pack when they’re growing in your garden. Happy Farming!

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Gas Savers: These Small Changes Save You Money

Lead fuel may be a thing of the past, but the lead foot continues to thrive, and can be found on any part of the globe. Gunning the engine, racing to the next stoplight, and weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic are unsafe practices that also waste gallons of gas. Want to squeeze the most fuel economy out of the vehicle you own? Try altering the way you drive.

Slow down…

In the 1970s, the U.S. government reduced the speed limit to 55 miles per hour on all highways. Neither safety nor the environment were the concerns. Because of an international embargo on oil, gas in the U.S. was in short supply, causing long lines at the pumps across the nation. Driving slowly, the government knew, was one way to conserve what we had.

And it’s true: driving slower than the current highway speed limit of 70 mph consumes less fuel. The folks at Edmunds.com tested 3 types of vehicles on a 100-mile highway journey, and found a significant difference in savings (up to 14%) between the tests at 75 mph and 65 mph. Others have estimated that drivers will spend 54 cents a gallon for every 10 mph driven over 60.

Fuel economy decreases more rapidly the faster you drive, mostly due to wind resistance. The faster you drive, the harder the air in front of you pushes back. For example, a much greater amount of fuel is spent between 70 and 80 mph than between 60 and 70 mph. This exponential increase means those with lead feet have the most to gain by slowing down.

Avoid Quick Acceleration

Jeepney drivers in Manila like to put the pedal to the metal between stoplights, racing as fast as traffic allows, stopping suddenly when red stoplights can see the whites of their eyes.

This constant stopping, starting, and racing in between is one way to spend more gas than you have to. Do the herky-jerky and gas mileage decreases by 33% on the highway and 5% at city speeds.

Flooring the pedal from any speed and stopping on a dime doesn’t help conserve gas. Slowly ease forward when the light turns green, without causing yourself to feel like you’re being pushed back into your seat. Keep two car lengths behind the car in front to avoid sudden stops on the highway, and ease off the gas pedal well before a red light.

Keep Your Cool

Does rush hour traffic adversely alter your personality? Not only does it require those neck-snapping movements mentioned above, it may also turn on some internal competitive hot button in your brain. I’m going to get there fast, and I’m going to get there first!

Aggressive driving is one of the worst gas wasters as driving methods go, according to tests by Edmunds.com. Stop all that weaving and surging and you can realize significant savings of up to 37%. To maintain optimum mileage, turn on the cruise control for highway driving when traffic allows. If you have to commute to work, consider altering your work schedule to avoid rush hour traffic.

Conservative driving will reduce more than the amount of gas you have to put in your car. Driving moderately and safely creates less pollution and makes the world a happier, more peaceful place. If you don’t believe that, take a trip to Manila. 🙂


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