Tag Archives: homestead az

Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights.   I previously reviewed the 20 LED version and promised a follow up of its little brother.  Well here it is, these are excellent and very much a half sized version of the larger light, with one big difference.

The key difference is where as the 20 LED version is powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery the 8 LED version is powered by a single 14500 Lithium Ion Battery which has a capacity of 800mAh 3.7V.  Clearly running less light requires less battery so this makes sense.  In any even with the super efficiency of LEDs this is plenty of light.

Fully charged I got 8 hours out of them in steady on high mode.  They got though the night fully on low power mode and frankly I use them on motion sensor mode only, and that is the main thing I want out of them anyway and it makes the most sense to me.

As previously mentioned I ordered 4 of them and put them around my duck pen on the fence on the western side where we had most issues with predators approaching.  The entire east side is covered by the 20 LED version for our benefit during evening and night visits.

I have now had them working for about two weeks and no issues.  They will definitely deter predators as none like light suddenly on them.  They also paid off a few days ago when my young farm hand screwed up one of his tasks (yet again) and grounded out our electric fence wires.  The lights made the fault easy to find and even easier to correct.

Since the first time I reviewed these lights I have installed 4 more of them around my garden pond, I have them set to full power mode and always on once darkness comes.  They do a fantastic job of setting a great mood at the pond and attract bugs for the fish to eat.  I have been outside as late as 4am and noticed they were still on.  So far with 12 deployed only one has had its battery go bad, which is impressive for no name batteries.

The other difference is the price, as they are smaller they cost less.  Where as the 20 LED ones are 34.99 for a two pack the smaller 8 LED model is 39.99 for a four pack, just a bit over half the price.  They are also available in units of one if you only need one or two.

They both work exactly the same with three modes…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
    ~
  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
    ~
  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

So which is right for your needs.  Well the little ones are damn bright but the light only carries so far.  They are best for areas where you just need to see what is going on, or for use as security and predator protection devices.

The 20 LED models are as you would expect twice as bright, so I have one at our front gate to the property, and one at the front of the house.  And two by the pool to light that area and the area at the main gate to the duck pen.  The 8 LEDs would be fine in the second area but for our gate and where we unload our vehicles I would stick to the 20s.

Litom also makes a huge 54 LED Model that I am sure is very bright and based on their other products I am sure it works well, it just seems a bit of an eyesore in the day time to me?  But if you need a lot of light check it out.

Otherwise if you just want to light up some areas with motion lights and want maximum bang for your buck with out sacrificing quality check out the Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

The Thermocube – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Farm Innovators Thermocube.  This little gadget is one of the most useful and slick little things you can get your hands on.  It is simply a two plug adapter, meaning you plug it into one outlet and you get two.  But inside is a mercury switch.  This makes it provide power only in a specific temperature range.

There are a lot of options with this device, the most useful to many homesteaders will turn on at 35 and off at 45.  This will keep say a green house on a heater from going below freezing for just one example.

These things also have options at the other end of the spectrum.  For instance on at 78 off at 70.  This could be useful for running say a fan in a chicken coop.  They way they are designed I am not saying they can’t fail, I just have not ever seen one do so.  They are designed with such simplicity there just are not many moving parts.

The temperature either causes the switch to be on or to be off, that is all, nothing more.

One little extra you may want to consider when using these is a Water-Tight Cord Lock.  To be clear this will not go over the Thermocube, you would plug that in at the outlet.  What this does is go over where your extension cord plugs into your device or where two extension cords are joined.  These are a great tool in their own right and I will review them stand alone on another day.

Another great little tip is consider using one of these slick little 1-foot extension cords if outlet space is an issue.

In any event the Farm Innovators Thermocube varies in price based on option and please note that some options are like for a 6 pack when making your buying decisions.  The on at 35 off at 45 is under 12 bucks and that is a great price given what it does.

When I had a small greenhouse one of these and a simple small electric heater was sufficient to get through the coldest nights with no losses.    Sure beats complex wiring, expensive thermostats, etc.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator.   There are a lot of options from Excalibur but I am going to confine my recommendations to just two models.  Those are the…

So what is the difference between the two.  Mainly that the heater, the thermostat and the fan are all a bit more beefed up in the 3900 and the 3900 comes with a 10 year warranty vs. the 2900s 5 year warranty.  Given the two are only about 60 bucks apart in price, you might think I would just say “buy the better one” but it isn’t so simple with this decision.

Personally I do own a 3900 but something changed in it since I bought mine.  The temp range of the 2900 is 95-155 degrees and the 3900 is now 105-165 degrees.  My older model 3900 ran 95-165, I am not sure why they made this change.  But here is my rule on dehydration, dehydrate as LOW as you can to get the job done.

So I now tend toward recommending the 2900 and saving the money but let me tell you the difference so you can make up your own mind.  Basically in addition to the warranty being 5 years longer, the main differences are as follows…

The 3900 has a “better”…

  • Heating element
  • Fan
  • Thermostat

Better in that they are higher rated and have a longer MTBF specification.  What is MTBF you ask?  Well, that is “mean time between failures”, meaning if you run them non stop the ones with higher MTBFs will last longer on average over time.  Here is the deal though, how often does the average person use a dehydrator?

Some people use them every week or multiple times a week, if this is you, I would recommend the 3900.  Most people, such as myself use them say 10-15 times a year, if that is you, I recommend pocketing the 60 bucks, getting the lower cost model and having the ability to dehydrate at 95 degrees.

What about the fact that the 3900 can go up to 165 degrees you say?  This point is irrelevant in my opinion, as there is NEVER any reason EVER to dehydrate anything at 165 degrees, EVER and yes that includes jerky.  Dehydration is dehydration, not cooking!  I recommend making jerky at about 130-140 degrees.

Again dehydration is dehydration, not cooking.

So here is my logic on this with the lower cost item.  First for the next 5 years, if anything does break Excalibur will replace it anyway.  All these parts are easy to swap out, if you can work a screw driver you can do it.  And if say in year six, your thermostat takes a dump, you can buy one for 30 bucks and replace it and still be 30 dollars ahead, IF it even fails.  Again if you use your dehydrator 10-20 times a year, it likely won’t.

In the end though if you are someone who is going to say, run a small business making beef jerky from your home, well, I would go with the unit with the 10 year warranty.  Personally though I do prefer to dehydrate vegetables at as low a temperature as possible.  So if I didn’t own one already and was buying for the first time today, I would buy the lower cost item.

Regardless though of which you buy, let me say this, in dehydrators at the consumer level, there is Excalibur and there is everyone else!  In my honest opinion frankly no one else even comes close!

I tend to be far away from being a “brand snob” I mean everyone knows I love Dewalt tools for instance but I will still recommend brands like Rigid and Porter Cable in some instances.  However when it comes to Excalibur they are so much better than any competitor there is simply no good reason to buy anything else.

Lastly, I know some will ask about some of the higher priced Excaliburs, my answer is buy what you want but I would not go above the 3900B for any reason.  Yea it is cute that for instance you can get a clear door, but I am not paying for that, it doesn’t do anything useful at all, if you want to see inside take the damn door off.  Watching a tomato dry isn’t actually exciting enough to gaze at for more than 30 seconds.

As for the model with a timer, no way in hell I am shelling out more than 90 dollars over the 2900ECB for a timer when I can get a Century 12 Hour Mechanical Countdown Timer for fricken 12 bucks!  A timer which can be used for other things by the way, then just my dehydrator.

A final word on dehydration for the homesteader.  Dehydration is a great way to go over say canning for a lot of gardeners.  Lets look at say tomatoes for instance.  How do you dehydrate a tomato?  Slice it, put it on a tray, stick it in the dehydrator for 6-12 hours and you are done.  Now many home gardeners end up with say a dozen or so extra tomatoes a week or every 2-3 weeks, are you going to can 12 tomatoes?  Does that make any sense?

As to longevity, I have not canned a jalapeno in over 6 years, why you ask.  Well because 6 years ago we had pepper harvest like this one, several of them.  Dorothy and I spent the better part of a week slicing and drying jalapenos, and we still have several jars of them left!  They seem just as good as the day I put them in the jar.

So if you are in the market for a dehydrator, I recommend choosing between these two based on your needs and either way you will not be let down…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Many vegetables like peppers and tomatoes can simply be sliced and put into your dehydrator, others require blanching which is a short duration steaming them or boiling them.  If you are new to dehydrating I recommend Tammy Gangloff’s YouTube channel called Dehydrate2Store.  She stopped posting videos about 3 years ago but it is still the best how to dehydrate resource on the internet in my view, akin to a free ecourse in it.  Tammy also appeared on TSP all the way back in 2010 on Episode 367, so you may want to give that a listen.

P.S.S. – Want a great use for your dehydrated veggies, take some like say tomato, sweet pepper, a bit of hot pepper and spinach, toss them in your trusty Coffee/Spice grinder, make up some Yogurt Cheese with this powder mixed in, it is amazing and a tip I picked up from my buddy David last year.  And hey for a final note you can actually use your dehydrator to make yogurt!

JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty.  I personally think this is an item that everyone should have a few tubes of at all times.  Let’s start out with why to choose underwater epoxy paste?

Simple really, WaterWeld will work on wet surfaces, IF USED PROPERLY and it will also work on dry surfaces.  I am a person that likes to standardize, it makes everything easier.  So instead of go grab me a tube of X epoxy putty, it is just epoxy putty that does all jobs such a putty can do wet or dry.

And it usually ends up being that when something needs fixing it ends up being wet!  Even if it is something that isn’t usually wet.  Translation stuff tends to break when it rains and snows!  So by choosing an underwater product it always works, every time.

Let’s talk a bit about proper use, if you read the reviews you will see a lot of very happy people, they used it right and you will see a lot of “doesn’t work at all, doesn’t stick to anything, does not work in water” etc.  Those people used it wrong.

First this stuff comes in a tube, it is two parts and if you look at the end you will see it has a light color and a dark color with one on the outside and one on the inside.  You cut as much off the tube as you need and mix it.  And you have to mix it fully, it should all be one color when done and it should smell like stale pee.  Yep, stale urine smell is a good thing here, I am serious.

Next if fully cures in about 20-30 minutes but it begins to set in about 7-10.  So if you are fixing an active leak or applying it under water, you have to hold it in place with pressure for about 10 minutes until it starts to cure.  Then it will hold and fully cure.  If you just stick it on something wet and leave it alone it will likely fail, may be even fall off.

Also the surface needs to be cleaned, no oil, no grease.  And if it is a smooth surface, a bit of roughing up isn’t always needed but it is always helpful.  In the end though this stuff can save your bacon in so many ways.  My most recent use was a conversion of my aquatic system.  My top tank was plumbed to my bottom tank with 3/4 inch pipe, it was a constant point of failure for many reasons but mostly because the return pipe at 3/4th of an inch was too small.

The solution was to install a 2 inch bulkhead in to the tank and plumb in a 2 inch return line.  Problem was this left a 3/4 inch line that could end up draining the tank and over flowing the lower one.  To fix that both tanks would need to be dug up as the factory bulkheads were on the bottom, the pipe fittings removed and then plugs installed.  This meant a lot of work and draining the tanks, not good.

Solution was simple, I mixed up some WaterWeld, formed a plug and plugged the hole with it in the top tank.  I then made a flat disc with the rest of the putty and capped it on top of the plug that was pushed into the pipe.  I held this in place for about 10 minutes, done.  Problem solved and the new system is running.  So about 5 dollars in epoxy saved me about 6 hours of work and draining tanks that were full of fish!  Just one example of how great this stuff is.

There are a few options when buying it on Amazon, first you can get a single tube for 5.07 or you can choose various muti packs as you see fit.  I think this is a good prep so having a few tubes around is not a bad idea.  I keep one in each vehicle kit and some around the house and shop at all times.

It will last damn near forever if you don’t mix it and keep it sealed up.   If you don’t want six just wait  until you have other stuff to buy and pick up a tube or two at the 4.55 price.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Kingbo Reflector 45W LED Grow Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Note – This is an encore item and one I am bringing around for the fourth time this year the reason is they just dropped the price to under 29 bucks.  Since I first reviewed this item over 700 of them have been purchased by TSP members and I have only had 100% positive feedback on them.  At the time in my view they are the best deal on grow lights you can find.

We are also headed into the fall and winter gardening season, time to get those greens, broccoli, etc plants started before it is too late.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Kingbo Reflector 45W LED Grow Light.  I just discussed this item yesterday on the show but I am so impressed with the value of it I am featuring it for the TspAz item of the day.

To grow well plants need full spectrum lighting and as LED technology has advanced it has become the go to choice of professionals in the indoor farming market.  Not only does it grow plants with greater vigor than florescent lighting it has a massive cost savings in electrical use and LEDs last a long longer so the longer equipment life cycle further drives down total cost.

Still the cost of quality LED grow lights has been quite high and it has held back the small time and hobby gardener for quite a while.  Recently some low cost lights have come along and worked okay but were made so cheaply that they would often fail in 90-180 days for many users.  And with that any savings was gone.

Over the past two years a company called Kingbo began producing some smaller LED grow lights and developed a good reputation with them, but they were two small to be useful to me for starting flats of seeds.  When they came out with the Kingbo Reflector 45W LED Grow Light I was pretty happy but figured I would wait a while and let others try it out and see what kind of reputation it had after some use by the market.

It has now been around about 9 months and seems to have maintained a good reputation.  I also like that they offer a full 12 month warranty and a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee.

The big thing I like is how well it works, see the video below of one youtuber who tested his on basil and watermelon.  When you hear me talk about healthy and stocky seedlings this is what I am talking about.  I like this light so much that I recently ordered 4 of them for my own seed starting this year.  I’ll be putting together my system and sharing it with you soon.

In any event if you are looking for a great grow light to start your own plants indoors, of do indoor farming with a grow tent, check this one out, at 29 dollars with 4.6 stars with over 160 reviews it is hard to beat on the current market.   I do expect over the years for this technology to continue to improve and become more affordable, but at present time the Kingbo Reflector 45W LED Grow Light is my current top choice of what is available.  I have waited long enough to adopt LED grow light technology.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. Check out these videos testing testing the Kingbo Reflector 45W LED Grow Light.

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Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater – Item of the Day

heater

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater.  This guy saved our butts big time during the great ice storm of 2011 in Arkansas.  It is amazing the amount of heat this guy provides.

To get best use of it you absolutely want to get the large tank adapter for it.  Running on a lower setting a standard grill tank gives you heat for a LONG time.  Of course it can also use the little 1 pound cans which is convenient for somethings.

To make that economical I suggest you get an adapter that allows you to use large tanks to refill the one pound cans. These can be had for 10-15 bucks here is the one I recommend.  If you have never used one here is a video on how to do so.

I decided to feature this item because winter is swiftly on the way.  As I said in 2011 we have a major ice storm in Arkansas and were without power for 7 days, temps were mostly in the sub 30s during the day and low teens over night.  Between this heater and our fire place and generator we never even cared.

There are other uses though!  You know that relative you have, we all have one that is ALWAYS COLD, the one that stays at your place for the holidays and wants to turn up your thermostat to just this side of hell because they are cold at night.  Well put this in their room and let them heat just that room.

But is it safe?  VERY VERY safe indeed.  First it is quite safe to burn propane indoors, people have been doing it forever, but there are two safety features built in.  One it has a built in O2 detector, if levels drop it shuts itself off.  Also if it is tipped over it again shuts itself off.

The key to getting most efficient use of this heater is to pick a room or two to heat, set it pretty high for say 10 minutes to take off the chill and then run it pretty low.  It is amazing how well it works when you do it that way.  Again folks winter is coming, it always does, the time to beef up your winter preps is before not after the first snow flies.  So check out the Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater soon.

I will also be covering my favorite kerosene heater in the future but people tend to be more comfortable with propane so I decided to cover this option first.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day

cannerEvery day I will bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker

In the past I have recommended the PowerPressure Cooker XL, as it was the only electric canner guaranteed to be safe for pressure canning by the manufacture.

The Chard is better in so many ways, while also being guaranteed safe by the manufacturer for pressure canning, it has several additional features that make me want to exchange my PowerPressure Cooker, they are…

  1. The Chard allows you to can quart vs. pint jars.  In fact with it you have the ability to can, four quart jars, six pint jars, eight jelly jars or ten half-pint jars in one batch
  2. It also does a separate water bath or steam function for water bath canning
  3. It uses true petcocks and hence can be used at higher altitudes then the PowerPressure Cooker
  4. It has twenty built in safety features to ensure your safety.

Additionally while I brought this product to you first almost a year ago it was constantly sold out and would go up in price as quantity dropped.  Cary now seems to have supply side worked out and they are readily available for under 120 dollars with free shipping.

Remember you can always see the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here.

P.S. – The PowerPressure Cooker XL is available in sizes like 6 and 10 quart but that is all about capacity, none of them are tall enough for the lid to go on with quart sized jars inside of them.  I really don’t recommend it.

P.P.S. – I  have changed the item name here to the “Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day” because the same product has been marketed under both names.  This is because Chard was founded Richard Carey, or as the brand came from riCHARD Carey, you can read about that here on the chard website.  Just know if the product says Carey or Chard it is the exact same product, I have verified this with the manufacturer.

Litom Solar 20 LED Motion Sensing Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Litom Solar 20 LED Security Lights.  I have been looking for a solar powered motion activated security light to recommend for quite awhile.  I definitely wanted to find one using LED lights as well for power efficiency. 

The issue is most of what I had checked out up till now has been junk.  I decided to give these ones from Litom a shot.  Litom makes a variety of sizes from small 8 LED ones up to really big ones with 54 LEDs.  I choose the 20 LED model for a balance of size and brightness.  Please note that while all of Litom’s products seem to have good reviews and the reviews check out as trustworthy at Fakespot.com, I have only personally used the 20 LED models so far, so that is all I can 100% vouch for.

There are two ares of my property I am lighting up with these, one is out front by my gate and the area where we pull our vehicles in to unload after dark at times.  We have a really great porch light you can just leave on that comes out at dark with a sensor, but it is still dark out where we pull our vehicles in and the walk way to the house can be pretty dark too.  That area gets the two I bought to test them out.

I just ordered a second set to light up the area around my pool deck, that is the pathway out to the duck holding area.  We often have to go out there after dark and these will make that a bit safer and more convenient.

I am also planning to trial the 8 LED ones because they are more cost effective and add them as an additional security measure for my ducks by placing them around their holding area pointed into the field where our foxes usually approach from.  While the electric fence has worked well this seems like cheap additional insurance.  While predators often get desensitized to steady light, a light that comes on when they approach sets off their danger signals.

These lights have three modes, my test set works well in all of them.  They are…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
    ~
  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
    ~
  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

On the batteries, a few reviewers report having their lights installed for over a year and that they are still working well and have not required any maintenance.  One reason for this is instead of being powered by double or tripple A’s as most such lights are, these are powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery.  If they ever need replacing or you simply need 18650s for any use, these are the best ones I have ever found, you will pay more for them but again they are the best far and away from anything else I have tried.  They are the Eastshine E35U.

Let’s talk about where these lights don’t make sense and that is basically anywhere in full shade all day long.  For instance I would love to put them on my back porch, several in fact in the walk way to the garage, but they just won’t work well there because it is fully shaded all day.

Other wise I feel these lights do double duty, they provide lighting so you can see what you are doing and an added measure of security.  It isn’t just foxes that don’t like lights coming on when they are on the prowl, two legged rats tend to not like them either.  So check out the Litom Solar 20 LED Security Lights today and save yourself from tripping over that bike your kid left out and keep your place more secure at the same time.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer.  This is part of my 4 core item regime for producing healthy and heavy bearing plants.   I have written about this before but my four core items are, GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Fertilizer, Garrett Juice Plus, Endo Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation and of course Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer.

So given there are many fine quality organic solid fertilizers, why have I settled on Dr. Earth Premium Gold?  First is that it is a balanced fertilizer, with an NPK ratio of 4-4-4 and what that means is that you are always giving your plants a good boost of all three primary nutrients.

Next is the make up, here are the ingredients: Fish meal, fish bone meal, mined potassium sulfate, soft rock phosphate, kelp meal, seaweed extract, and earthworm castings. Also contains humic acid (5%), aloe vera (2%), and yucca extract (1%), and prebiotic microbial food – soluble sugars (7%). In other words it doesn’t rely on any single source and hence you get a much more balanced source of nutrients for plants.   Also note the humic acid included here, this goes beyond just fertilizer, it helps build soil and make all nutrients easier for the plants to absorb.

Of course you know that I am big on building soil as well, which is one reason I recommend a fungal inoculation in addition to fertilizers and foliar sprays.  Well Dr. Earth Fertilizer builds upon that, because it contains seven strains of beneficial soil microbes plus ecto and endo mycorrhizae to build up even more soil biology.

To really dive home how well this combination works take a look at one of my wicking beds.  These beds were planted with small plants about 5 weeks ago.  On planting the roots were dusted with fungal inoculation, I put a small pinch of Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer into the hole with them and they have been twice sprayed with a mix of Garrett Juice and Liquid Kelp.  I think you will agree the vigor, growth and health are all very evident.

Click for Full Sized Image

So give Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer a shot on your garden today.  FWIW if you need a large supply there is an option for twelve bags that are each 4 pounds, at $120.05 it will save you about $64.00 over buying them at $15.00 a piece.  That said a 4 pound bag or perhaps two will serve most vegetable gardeners well over a season. Again I just drop a small amount into the hole when I plant and about once a season I pull back mulch, add a pinch around my plants and water it in after replacing the mulch.

When I establish a new bed I also scatter a small amount across the entire surface before adding the mulch layer.  If you want to really push things into super high biological activity, sprinkle a small amount of dry molasses on the soil at that time as well.   Due to shipping costs I recommend  you source dry molasses locally, most garden and landscape shops will have it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Lanchez Dirty Water Submersible Pump – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Lanchez Q450B82V Submersible Dirty Water Pump.  I have run a few different pumps in my aquaponics and aquatics system and this one is by far the best.   First it is only 1/2 hp and yet it throws easily as much water as the previous low end 1 hp pumps we were using.

For the power it offers it is reasonably low draw.  While the manufacture does not provide the watts draw, the pump runs at 115V @60hz drawing 3.92 amps.  I ran a calculation rating the power factor at .5 (50% to be conservative) and came up with a draw of 390 watts which is again conservative, and I would say not bad for the water this thing moves.

How much water you ask, 3696 gallons an hour at 5 feet of lift which is about what I am running the two I am running right now, I have to throttle the one in my pond system back quite a bit.  The aquaponics system is running 16 discharge points with the furthest at 60 feet from the pump and it all runs like a clock.  Again with just a 1/2 hp pump!

Here are the gallons per hour are different lift heights…
I am just gonna say it, moving over 1000 GPH at 25 feet is pretty damn impressive.  This pump is well built, I have been running my oldest one now since February 24/7/365 and it is humming along like the day I installed it.  And man these things are quiet!

I absolutely love the integrated float valve and find the style of it to be much better than the detached riser style of many other pumps.

Rather than use the enclosed hose adapter I use a 1.5″ slip & thread PVC adapter, my main systems run on 1″ delivery pipes so I simply use a 1×1.5 bushing in the adapter and everything fits like it was designed to work together.  My second favorite pump is still the Danner 02660, it is a great pump but the Lanchez is like 3 times better and costs 8 bucks less!

Oh and of course you will need a separate float switch for the Danner.  The only reason I am running the Danner in my Timber Frame Pond is I already had it and it works, going forward I am standardizing 100% on the Lanchez Q450.

Oh and lets not forget the actual intended purpose of this pump, as a sump pump for things like a basement to prevent flooding.  If I had a basement, this pump would be in it!

So if you are building a new system of any of your aquatic/aquaponic systems, need an upgrade, or just need a great sump pump check out the Lanchez Q450B82V Submersible Dirty Water Pump today.  I have been testing out various pumps now for 4 years, and this is the best value I have found.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.