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Gardening Tips Blog
Friday, 28 November 2008
Herbal Compost Activators
Topic: Composting
By Henry Allpas

You may have heard about herbal compost activators or perhaps you have not. Either way, they help your compost pile rapidly produce compost for you to use in your garden. If you find that your compost is taking forever to mature you can add some of the following to give it a jolt.

  1. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is rich in calcium, potassium, nitrogen and phosphates. Its leaves are hairy and they break down quickly. This provides a nutrient influx for the inhabitants of your compost heap.
  2. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has the ability to attracts earthworms. Why? Who knows? But having earthworms in your compost pile helps your compost mature more quickly. After Earthworms eat the organic matter in your compost pile they leave their nutrient-rich castings which are great for your garden. The leaves of Valerian are also very nutrient rich.
  3. Dandelions (Taraxacum sp) are rich in iron, copper and potash. All three of which are excellent for keeping your compost pile healthy. Not only that, but now you have a place to put those pesky dandelions when you pull them out of your lawn.
  4. Yarrow (Achillea sp) has a big impact on your compost pile, even if you only add it in small amounts. It provides nitrates, phosphates, potash and copper.
  5. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) concentrates the potassium from the soil where it grows. When you add Tansy to your compost pile you are adding loads of potassium, which is great for your hard working worms and bacteria.

The great thing about herbal compost activators is that they are an all natural way of getting your compost pile steaming along at high efficiency. However, these plants cannot save your compost from everything. For example, if your compost pile is too cold then no matter how many herbal compost activators you add, it will not increase production until the temperature increases.

Composting is an art and there are lots of things you need to know to compost successfully, but once you have it it becomes a piece of cake. Learn more about composting, worm composting and the like on my website:

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Posted by morningstarportal at 8:11 AM EST
Friday, 21 November 2008
Organic Fertilizers
Topic: Organic Gardening
By John Yazo

When bringing up the topic of organic fertilizer the fist thought that comes to mind for most is compost and manures. A natural by-product from a living organism. Generally compost and manures are the two most common organic fertilizers that a home gardener thinks of.

Organic fertilizers are a much larger category than most realize. It includes blood-meal, compost, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, manures and a list of other minerals. It even includes sludge that has been processed from sewage treatment facilities. Along with these are synthetic organic fertilizers like urea that is processed from inorganic material.

When choosing organic fertilizer it is best that you read label to make sure that you know and understand the proper application, there intended use and if and precautionary measures are needed when handling the product. Most organic fertilizers are not as high in there nutrient values as a chemical fertilizer and release nutrients at a slower and longer rate.

Organic fertilizers are both healthier for you and the environment. Fertilizing with organic material also creates a healthier and happy plant and planet.There are no chemicals in organic fertilizers that get passed on to the fruits and vegetables that we eat. It also stops from polluting our air and ground water supplies.

Organic fertilizers that are made by the home gardener are commonly made up of organic matter such as cow manure, chicken manure, green manure and/or compost. Mixing cow or chicken manure to your compost will greatly increase the benefits of the compost and by adding to the structure of your garden soil when used. It also helps to activate the enzymes that naturally occur in the soil so the nutrients from your compost can be absorbed more easily for your plants to benefit from.

The one thing about making your own compost blend of fertilizer is that you wont know the nutrient value that it contains. Testing your compost can be done the same way you test you garden soil with a soil testing kit.This will let you know what the ph level is in the compost along with the nitrogen, phosphorous and potash values. If there are any amendments that are needed they can be directly mixed into the compost and adjusted before they are applied.

Compost mix can also be blended for indoor plants and is also beneficial when added to your potting soil mix. It will add nutrients to the soil that are beneficial to indoor plants. The adding of organic matter to improve the soil structure to your potting soil and will also add the nutrients that plants need over a longer period of time than using commercial fertilizers.

A environment friendly and healthy way of gardening. Organic Gardening is away of gardening in harmony with nature. Growing a healthy and productive crop in a way that is healthier for both you and the environment.

John Yazo

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Posted by morningstarportal at 1:42 PM EST
Monday, 17 November 2008
No-Till Gardening
Topic: Gardening Made Easy
By John Yazo

No Till gardening isn't like your traditional gardening where you dig and turnover the soil to mix amendments.The process of having the amendments and nutrients mix into the soil is done by top dressing the garden beds with compost, organic fertilizer, lime, manure or other organic amendments. The amendments are then pulled down into the soil by organisms in the existing soil and by watering. It is a lot less labor intensive way of gardening and greatly benefits the soil structure of your garden. The key to no - till gardening is the same as any method of organic gardening, good soil structure.

With no-till gardening because there is no turning over or tilling the soil in your garden your raised beds, rows, hills or mounds stay the same year after year and organic matter is added by top dressing.This will help to prevent weeds and to improve the soil structure, keeping the life in your soil thriving.

Green manures, earthworms and micro-organisms do all the work to the soil to keep it healthy. The only thing that keeps them working hard for you to have a healthy garden soil is the organic matter that you feed them. Mulching your garden with a rich organic matter like compost will keep feeding the soil the nutrients that it needs and to keep a good healthy soil structure.

Weed control is minimal with no-till gardening. The continuous adding of layers of organic matter year after year also acts as a mulch and not turning over the soil prevents weed seeds that are buried to be brought to the surface to germinate.

If you have been organic gardening then changing over to no-till gardening is simple. Good soil structure with organic matter is the key to any organic garden. Let the earthworms and other organisms in the soil do the work for you.

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Posted by morningstarportal at 8:49 AM EST
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Want to Create a Garden But Are Not Sure Where to Start? Try Container Gardening!
Topic: Gardening for Beginners

By Casey Evens

When planting a container garden the first thing to focus on is the pot. Buy the nicest ones you can afford because the containers are part of the display. Don't have a lot of money? No problem!

Gardening pots go on sale at the end of the gardening season. This is always a good time to stock up on the gardening supplies you need. What I do is buy everything I need when it is on clearance, even the plants. I get them all planted and leave them in the house throughout the winter. Not only will you have fuller pots in the spring but also you had the benefit of fresher air in your house throughout the winter.

If it's the middle of gardening season then get yourself some spray paint and have fun! With the amazing technology of spray paint that sticks to plastic you can buy the pots at a discount store and still have awesome looking pots when you are done.

Next focus on the plants you want. Make sure you have tall plants, short plants, and vine plants. Either mix a combination of all three in all of the pots or one type per pot. If you do one type per pot then make sure the pots with the bigger plants are in back. Try to find plants with different colors and contrasting textures, this will give your garden more interest.

When setting up the pots for display try putting some of them on stools and chairs. You want to give them different heights. Container gardens do not look very nice when it's just a bunch of pots sitting on the ground.

With container gardens you can be more versatile on the plants you want because you can bring them in during the winter. Your no longer limited to the temperature zone you live in. Have fun when you're making them and remember that nothing is permanent when gardening so if you don't like something you can change it.

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Posted by morningstarportal at 6:22 AM EST

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