Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Summer Gardening: Flowering Bulbs

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Growing flowering bulbs can certainly look perfect when grown during the summer season. And not only do these precious florae add different shades and touches to our surroundings. These summer-blooming bulbs can also be appreciated in both warmer and cooler climates. You can find out more of what your choice of summer blooms can be for this season by reading further of this page.

The Agapanthus Orientalis
Agapanthus Orientalis, also known as Lily of the Nile, typically buds during mid-summer. These are mostly white or bright blue flowers that grow long stalks (can reach heights of about 5 feet). It can also survive all through winter. But other than, it is also the type of flower that likes full suns and is resistant to droughts.
The Begonia Tuberhybrida
A Begonia Tuberhybrida (also known as Tuberous Begonias) is a succulent, long-blooming type of flower that bursts with color. Growing this rose-like flower will certainly give that sheltered corner of yours an instant perk up.
The Butterfly Ginger
If you are looking for a beautiful set of clustered blooms, then you should definitely grow Butterfly Ginger plants during the summertime. A Butterfly Ginger can come in different hues, and can grow in shades of apricot, cream, and pink. A sweet smelling plant that loves moist and full sun settings, this type of bloom can also reach heights of more or less 5 feet.
Canna blooms
A canna bloom may typically come in several of its tropical and vibrant types. Their exotic look, almost show stopping in its own way, cannas can also grow to more or less 10 feet high. Although shorter versions (of about 2 feet tall) of this plant can also be acquired for smaller spaces, cannas can also bloom in shades of orange, pink, red, and yellow. But apart from these lovely features, cannas can also thrive in areas where moist soil, and a full sun are abundant.
Dahlia blooms
If you’ve witnessed a flower competition before, then you’ve probably seen what a Dahlia flower looks like. A diverse kind of flora, dahlias are considered to be a big family of blooms. Versatile bulbs as these are, dahlias can grow to as far as 6 feet tall. Moreover, one of its unique features would be the different color’s that come with each ones growth. Dahlias have rainbow shades, and also thrive in moist soils (should be well-drained), and full sun areas.
Iris blooms
For most people, tall bearded iris types are the old-style choices. But apart from that, iris flowering bulbs can also come in varied forms, ranging from the fragile Siberian kind to the delicate iris Cristata type. These summer flowering bulbs are also hardy and self-supporting.

The Agapanthus Orientalis

Agapanthus Orientalis, also known as Lily of the Nile, typically buds during mid-summer. These are mostly white or bright blue flowers that grow long stalks (can reach heights of about 5 feet). It can also survive all through winter. But other than, it is also the type of flower that likes full suns and is resistant to droughts.

The Begonia Tuberhybrida

A Begonia Tuberhybrida (also known as Tuberous Begonias) is a succulent, long-blooming type of flower that bursts with color. Growing this rose-like flower will certainly give that sheltered corner of yours an instant perk up.

The Butterfly Ginger

If you are looking for a beautiful set of clustered blooms, then you should definitely grow Butterfly Ginger plants during the summertime. A Butterfly Ginger can come in different hues, and can grow in shades of apricot, cream, and pink. A sweet smelling plant that loves moist and full sun settings, this type of bloom can also reach heights of more or less 5 feet.

Canna blooms

A canna bloom may typically come in several of its tropical and vibrant types. Their exotic look, almost show stopping in its own way, cannas can also grow to more or less 10 feet high. Although shorter versions (of about 2 feet tall) of this plant can also be acquired for smaller spaces, cannas can also bloom in shades of orange, pink, red, and yellow. But apart from these lovely features, cannas can also thrive in areas where moist soil, and a full sun are abundant.

Dahlia blooms

If you’ve witnessed a flower competition before, then you’ve probably seen what a Dahlia flower looks like. A diverse kind of flora, dahlias are considered to be a big family of blooms. Versatile bulbs as these are, dahlias can grow to as far as 6 feet tall. Moreover, one of its unique features would be the different color’s that come with each ones growth. Dahlias have rainbow shades, and also thrive in moist soils (should be well-drained), and full sun areas.

Iris blooms

For most people, tall bearded iris types are the old-style choices. But apart from that, iris flowering bulbs can also come in varied forms, ranging from the fragile Siberian kind to the delicate iris Cristata type. These summer flowering bulbs are also hardy and self-supporting.

5 Essential tips when gardening in April

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The month of April is just around the corner. It speaks of new blooms, new harvests for the picking, as well as new garden responsibilities. It’s that time of the month where several gardening chores are being prepared for the coming of summer. It’s also the ideal time for planning certain things for your plot’s forthcoming production. So get your fill of April gardening tips by reading further of this article.

How to handle Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs in April
Did you know that the perfect time to plant dahlias, lilies, and gladiolas is during April? Well, these flowering bulbs actually do well during this month, so make sure that you mix a few organic ingredients or some worm composting compost into the soil where these are planted (combine bulb fertilizer, as well as aged manure and peat moss). This certainly helps nourish both the soil and flowers.
Apart from flowering bulbs, you can also start planting annual seeds. You can plant asters, cosmos, marigolds, and even zinnias for starters. Now, other than annuals, if you have perennials, have these divided. These can be moved into a different area of your patch, or extras can be given out to your gardener friends. In addition to this, if you have a water garden like a pool or pond, utilize this by adding aquatic plants after the first half of the month.
How to care for your lawn
There are plenty of ways to care for your lawn, and one method is to aerate the lawn by poking holes on the surface (you can use a garden fork for this). An aerated lawn ensures that when watered well, the water will be able to penetrate smoothly and deeply through the soil.
Besides that, mowing the lawn is also as important when organic gardening. So make sure that your lawnmower still has sharp blades, as this will guarantee that unnecessary tears on grass tips happen. Moreover, if you want to avoid scalping, make sure that you set your lawnmower blades at 2 1/2 inches.
How to manage shrubs and trees
The ideal time to plant shrubs and trees is early-April. But the months March, April and May are actually the best months for pruning or shearing your perennials. So should you have Conifers or Junipers growing, then this would be a good time to prune these. The ideal time to prune is when undesirable parts of the plant are starting to show.
What to do with your fruits and vegetables
The month of April is also the ideal time for selecting and planting fruit trees, as these thrive well in sun exposed areas. Other than that, vegetables such as asparagus, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, horseradish, peas, rhubarb, and spinach can also be planted during this month.
What to do with houseplants
Your houseplants can do well with a little bit of spring-cleaning in the month of April. And one of the best gardening tips for this would be to remove irregularities such as yellowing leaves, withered flowers, or even dead branches. Plants may also be able to breathe better when the dust from the leaves are removed using light spraying. Pinching is also advisable especially for plants, as this helps invigorate new growth and volume.

The month of April is just around the corner. It speaks of new blooms, new harvests for the picking, as well as new garden responsibilities. It’s that time of the month where several gardening chores are being prepared for the coming of summer. It’s also the ideal time for planning certain things for your plot’s forthcoming production. So get your fill of April gardening tips by reading further of this article.

How to handle Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs in April

Did you know that the perfect time to plant dahlias, lilies, and gladiolas is during April? Well, these flowering bulbs actually do well during this month, so make sure that you mix a few organic ingredients or some worm composting compost into the soil where these are planted (combine bulb fertilizer, as well as aged manure and peat moss). This certainly helps nourish both the soil and flowers.

Apart from flowering bulbs, you can also start planting annual seeds. You can plant asters, cosmos, marigolds, and even zinnias for starters. Now, other than annuals, if you have perennials, have these divided. These can be moved into a different area of your patch, or extras can be given out to your gardener friends. In addition to this, if you have a water garden like a pool or pond, utilize this by adding aquatic plants after the first half of the month.

How to care for your lawn

There are plenty of ways to care for your lawn, and one method is to aerate the lawn by poking holes on the surface (you can use a garden fork for this). An aerated lawn ensures that when watered well, the water will be able to penetrate smoothly and deeply through the soil.

Besides that, mowing the lawn is also as important when organic gardening. So make sure that your lawnmower still has sharp blades, as this will guarantee that unnecessary tears on grass tips happen. Moreover, if you want to avoid scalping, make sure that you set your lawnmower blades at 2 1/2 inches.

How to manage shrubs and trees

The ideal time to plant shrubs and trees is early-April. But the months March, April and May are actually the best months for pruning or shearing your perennials. So should you have Conifers or Junipers growing, then this would be a good time to prune these. The ideal time to prune is when undesirable parts of the plant are starting to show.

What to do with your fruits and vegetables

The month of April is also the ideal time for selecting and planting fruit trees, as these thrive well in sun exposed areas. Other than that, vegetables such as asparagus, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, horseradish, peas, rhubarb, and spinach can also be planted during this month.

What to do with houseplants

Your houseplants can do well with a little bit of spring-cleaning in the month of April. And one of the best gardening tips for this would be to remove irregularities such as yellowing leaves, withered flowers, or even dead branches. Plants may also be able to breathe better when the dust from the leaves are removed using light spraying. Pinching is also advisable especially for plants, as this helps invigorate new growth and volume.

How to boost your gardens health through crop rotation

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

How important is crop rotation to your garden? Well, rotating your crops won’t just help you get the most out of your limited space. The process itself will definitely aid in keeping your green plot healthy and free from any potential pest attacks. You can learn more about this organic gardening approach by reading some of these essential tips below.

Know how to plan your garden

If you desire to get the best results out of your plain patch or raised garden bed, then you should know which plants to grow first. What’s planning your garden if you have a bunch of plants that won’t do well with one another, right? You have to understand that plants have different living requirements too. So it would be best to know which ones are suitable for hot or cold seasons, wet or dry conditions, and the like.

Make a list and create garden grids

The number of months or years that you plan on growing certain kinds of crops will depend on how long you intend to grow each one. So you’re going to have to check out your list of preferred plant seeds, and set aside an area where you can grow each one. Creating grids on your patch that will form into square shapes can be made into an area where you can each plant your preferred seed. In this way, each plant is separated from one another. But are yet given their own space/s to develop.

What does companion planting have to do with crop rotation?

Companion planting is essential to crop rotation, as it works by combining different kinds of crops that will grow well together. Now, there are actually several selections when it comes to finding the right crop combinations, such as planting onions alongside tomatoes. Growing carrots for example will certainly develop well amongst love peas, lettuce, chives, tomatoes, onions, rosemary or sage. Other than carrots, corn can also grow well with love potatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans and squash. If you also intend to harvest cucumbers but would love to grow some love beans, corn, peas, and radishes, then go right ahead! These choices actually help compliment one another. But never grow cucumbers among potatoes and aromatic herbs, as cucumbers dislike these produce. Also, if you love onions, then you can certainly plant it in the company of love beets, tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, chamomile, and savory.

Gardening: Is horticultural therapy effective?

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Gardening has been made more remarkable these days, as the evolution of organic gardening is starting to get recognized in odd places such as prison yards to troubled youth programs. Who would have thought that it gave out a therapeutic approach to those who were tending gardens? Find out the effectiveness of this kind of therapy by reading further of this article.

When did horticultural therapy start?
Back in the day when Socrates was still alive, horticultural therapy was already being used. But it was only in the 18th century when it was given more focus to. A psychiatrist named Benjamin Rush started keeping record of his mentally ill patients while they were planting. He gradually found this to be very beneficial for his patients.
The Horticultural Therapy
Other than being one of the best sources of fresh and healthy produce, gardens are now being used to treat people with mental disorders. Those who are suffering from adoptions, anxiety, depression, or even PTSD (also known as post-traumatic stress disorder) can find some form of healing when crop growing. Since then a lot of positive changes from patients have been observed. But medical professionals are still doing more tests to check whether it is indeed restorative to ones health.
How horticultural therapy works people with mental health issues
Tending garden beds, planting vegetable seeds, watering flowers, or even harvesting mature crops has been said to help reduce ones anxiety. Organic farming can help calm the nerves, and even lessen ones cortisol levels.
According to a study that was made in 2011 (at a southwestern Ohio juvenile rehabilitation center), the kids from the program started to become more positive in their daily routines. They’ve also learned how to manage their problems well throughout the gardening experience.
Gardening in all the odd places
There is value in horticulture. And you will be able to see it in the most unconventional of places. Social scientists have even observed a significant impact in most people who are currently confined in prisons, hospitals, veteran homes, and even from shelters. It just goes to show how engaging organic farming can be to all kinds of individuals.
Why gardening is beneficial to kids
Gardening can provide a stable setting for kids, as it is something that never gets altered. It imparts that certain feeling that they’re always in a safe place. It is a place where they can easily connect to and let their guards down. Tending to gardens also helps the youth to solve certain problems concerning the garden, such as how to do companion planting. It is certainly something that is good for anyone’s emotional and physical health.

Gardening has been made more remarkable these days, as the evolution of organic gardening is starting to get recognized in odd places such as prison yards to troubled youth programs. Who would have thought that it gave out a therapeutic approach to those who were tending gardens? Find out the effectiveness of this kind of therapy by reading further of this article.

When did horticultural therapy start?

Back in the day when Socrates was still alive, horticultural therapy was already being used. But it was only in the 18th century when it was given more focus to. A psychiatrist named Benjamin Rush started keeping record of his mentally ill patients while they were planting. He gradually found this to be very beneficial for his patients.

The Horticultural Therapy

Other than being one of the best sources of fresh and healthy produce, gardens are now being used to treat people with mental disorders. Those who are suffering from adoptions, anxiety, depression, or even PTSD (also known as post-traumatic stress disorder) can find some form of healing when crop growing. Since then a lot of positive changes from patients have been observed. But medical professionals are still doing more tests to check whether it is indeed restorative to ones health.

How horticultural therapy works people with mental health issues

Tending garden beds, planting vegetable seeds, watering flowers, or even harvesting mature crops has been said to help reduce ones anxiety. Organic farming can help calm the nerves, and even lessen ones cortisol levels.

According to a study that was made in 2011 (at a southwestern Ohio juvenile rehabilitation center), the kids from the program started to become more positive in their daily routines. They’ve also learned how to manage their problems well throughout the gardening experience.

Gardening in all the odd places

There is value in horticulture. And you will be able to see it in the most unconventional of places. Social scientists have even observed a significant impact in most people who are currently confined in prisons, hospitals, veteran homes, and even from shelters. It just goes to show how engaging organic farming can be to all kinds of individuals.

Why gardening is beneficial to kids

Gardening can provide a stable setting for kids, as it is something that never gets altered. It imparts that certain feeling that they’re always in a safe place. It is a place where they can easily connect to and let their guards down. Tending to gardens also helps the youth to solve certain problems concerning the garden, such as how to do companion planting. It is certainly something that is good for anyone’s emotional and physical health.

Water Gardening: How to look after your water garden

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

If you’re tired from tending your soil garden, how about trying out some water gardening? Not only is it a great substitute from all those soil-related planting, you can also establish a selection of water garden plants into it. Furthermore, your water garden will not only look visually appealing, it will also be able to tend to some of the best kinds of natural pest controllers (just take toads for instance, one of the most effective biological pest controls there is).

The value in having a water garden

The addition of a backyard water garden can certainly enhance the whole look of your house. In fact, having a pond that contains aquatic plants and pond-living creatures (i.e. Koi’s and Gold Fish) can help invite different creatures into the space. Moreover, a water feature such as a pond can also give out a relaxing atmosphere.

Things that should be considered when creating a water garden

Whether you’re building a patio water garden or one that just simply sits outdoors, the first two things that you should consider are the location and size. Know where to build your garden, and know how big or small it would be. It’s also best not to place your pond near trees, as your biggest challenge would be is to fish out the falling leaves afterwards. You’re going to have to deal with contamination too should you still decide to have a tree above your garden.

Moreover, the best area to place this type of garden is an area where the sun always shines the brightest (plant and aquatic creatures will thrive in this kind of environment). Of course, providing a nice location for your water plants is already a means of looking out for each ones proper care.

Know which water garden plants to grow

It’s best that you know what kinds of plants to grow right after applying your water garden ideas. And as a basic rule, you should place a shallow plant, a deep-water plant (i.e. water lily), and a floating plant (i.e. water soldier) into your pond. Including one of each kind into your aquatic garden is quite essential.

What kind of water to use for your water garden

Your water garden won’t need too much maintenance, as it can basically look after itself. But the one thing that you should be concerned about is what kind of water to use for it. Now, you only have two kinds that you can choose from. There’s tap water and there’s rainwater. But the suitable answer to this is to use rainwater. The use of tap water will only introduce some minerals into the garden, which can actually help encourage the growth of weeds later on.

The best holiday gift choices for gardeners

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

There are several holiday gift items that may come into mind, especially for any family or friend who’s into gardening or composting. And there are actually numerous selections in the market today that can help narrow down your options. Here’s a good itemized list of possible gardening and other composting supplies that may post helpful this holiday season.

Gardener’s like composters too!

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, there will always be that perfect horticultural and composting tool that is waiting to be given away this festive season. You can even consider giving composting bins as gifts for example. Now, composters are perfect for those who may or may not have enough yard space at home. Gardeners will be able to appreciate such storing units since these containers work by converting kitchen and yard scraps into a nutrient packed garden resource (a soil like material that can be used as an organic fertilizer or soil amendment). Now, for a great first choice, you might want to try GardenWorms.com 71-Gallon Urban Compost Tumbler. This portable compost tumbler is easy to use, requires less turning, and is of low maintenance. Moreover, it is kid and pest proof, and is also great at filtering foul odors (amongst its other highlights).

How about some fashionable gardening gloves?

The Orange Paisley Gloves from Womanswork.com is also a perfect addition to any gardener’s collection of gardening accessories. You can simply get yourself a pair from Womanswork.com; and get to experience first hand, the comfort and stability it offers. Each stylish pair is created with leather material (for the palms), which also comes with a cord on the cuff for easy binding. It also has UPF 50+, and is only offered for $29.00 a pair. Gardening has never been this fashionable!

A more exciting way to rid of weeds in the garden

There’s nothing fun about getting all the weeds from the ground. It’s both strenuous and is back breaking. And another sad fact is that you can’t just get rid of the weeds by means of mowing or trimming. Weeds, also known as wildflowers, require some deep uprooting. Weed roots should be completely taken out from the ground to prevent these from sprouting back again. But there is one solution to this without compromising your physique, and that’s getting the CobraHead Weeder. This particular gardening tool has a super sharp edge, which also goes with a really pointed tip. It also works well in clay soils, as the blade can certainly cut through the ground, and destroy the weed roots all at the same time.

Essential oils for the dry and aching gardening hands

Gardeners will always have to rely on their hands to do some planting, digging, and so forth. At some point, their hands will look dirty, cracked up, and dry. But there is a great solution for such hardworking hands. You can give your gardener pals body care products as a gift this Christmas. There are actually several essential oils that may help bring back that vigor back to their hands. For starters, you can choose to purchase any of the wonderful oil selections at eoproducts.com.

The perfect gift for the gardener/composter!

You may know a few gardeners that may also be into composting with worms. So other than giving red worms as gifts to them, you might also want to throw in an additional Claw Fork Compost Turner as a present. This works best for those who have worm farms. This unit will readily help in aerating the compost materials that are tossed inside the container with much ease.

Planting in raised garden beds

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

School and Community Projects:

A multitude of schools and community projects have already been established to help educate people on the significance of composting and gardening; and of making good use of the many resources within our environment. But there’s another great solution to keeping the soil of our gardens healthy and pest-free; and that it is through planting in raised garden beds. Building raised garden beds is an innovation in itself.

Students, Faculty and Staff learn from the dirt
The students, faculty members and staff from the Sacramento City College have started a City Farm project. The project consists of a community garden that will help function as an ‘alternative teaching mechanism for multiple disciplines throughout the school year’. It is through these different disciplines that ‘learning from the dirt’ was conceptualized. Based on that, hands-on learning was also encouraged through gardening. Therefore, a few 12-foot by 4-foot raised garden bed plans were placed and assembled for their usage.
The Importance of a drip irrigation system in a raised garden bed
Each of Sacramento City College’s garden beds were built to include a drip irrigation system. Now, when it comes to the irrigation system (this goes especially important when you build a raised garden bed of your own), it functions as the main approach for supplying water into the garden bed. It works through a slow but frequent application of water, which goes all the way to the soil. The system also helps supply the garden with the right amount of water, at just the right rate. Through a drip irrigation system, dry spots or drenches will be prevented from occurring.
What to grow in raised garden beds?
Small-scale projects can evolve from just using any of the typical wooden or plastic diy raised garden beds. A variety of plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and even herbs, can be planted in these plots. Aside from that, growing vegetables in garden beds can definitely teach young kids the science behind a plant’s life cycle. Students will be able to learn how their food is grown, how other plants bloom and increase in yield, and how they themselves can grow these in their own plot.
Just take for example the project under Disney Elementary School, which gives kids a chance to grow their own crops. Whether the plants are grown in wood or plastic raised garden beds, these children are kept exposed to gardening, and seeing firsthand the joys to a continuous crop growth. They are shown how some plants grow from the ground, and how some of these can be of consumption.
The benefits to having a raised garden bed
There are a lot of advantages when you have garden beds that are raised from the ground, other than it requiring less upkeep (compared to the typical gardens). Besides providing a solution to keeping the soil healthy, raised garden beds also contain soil that doesn’t get compacted (due to the reliability in its construction). It also drains water better, and warms faster when it’s springtime.

Students, Faculty and Staff learn from the dirt

The students, faculty members and staff from the Sacramento City College have started a City Farm project. The project consists of a community garden that will help function as an ‘alternative teaching mechanism for multiple disciplines throughout the school year’. It is through these different disciplines that ‘learning from the dirt’ was conceptualized. Based on that, hands-on learning was also encouraged through gardening. Therefore, a few 12-foot by 4-foot raised garden bed plans were placed and assembled for their usage.

The Importance of a drip irrigation system in a raised garden bed

Each of Sacramento City College’s garden beds were built to include a drip irrigation system. Now, when it comes to the irrigation system (this goes especially important when you build a raised garden bed of your own), it functions as the main approach for supplying water into the garden bed. It works through a slow but frequent application of water, which goes all the way to the soil. The system also helps supply the garden with the right amount of water, at just the right rate. Through a drip irrigation system, dry spots or drenches will be prevented from occurring.

What to grow in raised garden beds?

Small-scale projects can evolve from just using any of the typical wooden or plastic diy raised garden beds. A variety of plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and even herbs, can be planted in these plots. Aside from that, growing vegetables in garden beds can definitely teach young kids the science behind a plant’s life cycle. Students will be able to learn how their food is grown, how other plants bloom and increase in yield, and how they themselves can grow these in their own plot.

Just take for example the project under Disney Elementary School, which gives kids a chance to grow their own crops. Whether the plants are grown in wood or plastic raised garden beds, these children are kept exposed to gardening, and seeing firsthand the joys to a continuous crop growth. They are shown how some plants grow from the ground, and how some of these can be of consumption.

The benefits to having a raised garden bed

There are a lot of advantages when you have garden beds that are raised from the ground, other than it requiring less upkeep (compared to the typical gardens). Besides providing a solution to keeping the soil healthy, raised garden beds also contain soil that doesn’t get compacted (due to the reliability in its construction). It also drains water better, and warms faster when it’s springtime.

Home Composting Essentials

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

On a positive note, composting itself already delivers a major impact on the environment. And creating organic compost comes from a natural process that can certainly be done at home. Each year, hundreds of pounds worth of organic wastes are produced and collected from households, which are just dumped on landfills. So what better way to dispose of these food and yard wastes? Simply have these broken down into a nutritious garden resource! Practice home composting and see what a big difference it can make to your surroundings.

Stop Pollution and Practice Home Composting!
Would you believe that 1/3 of the U.S. landfills are comprised of organic wastes (these can be your typical kitchen scraps, garden wastes, etc.)?  Well, it is a fact. These scraps often contribute to the existing pollution especially when these are burnt to pieces. But with certain outdoor or indoor composting activities at home, this problem can be definitely minimized. Through composting, waste matter can be transformed into a useful organic supply. A garden resource that can help enhance both plant and soil properties.
Basics for an effective home composting: Moisture Content and Microorganisms
Whether you plan on trying out aerobic composting or worm composting, you must take into consideration 5 important elements. The first two components that you must look out for is the moisture content inside the bin, and the organisms that will be present in the system. Now if you’re looking to produce and harvest finished compost in a quicker timeframe, then you’ll have to make sure that there are microbes inside the bin (a good example of this would be red wiggler worms, good bacteria, and fungi). These microorganisms are actually the ones that will be responsible for consuming and converting organic wastes into a nutritious garden mix.
Now, the moisture content on the other hand shouldn’t be overlooked. The ideal consistency should be that of a wrung-out sponge when placed inside composting bins (should at least be in between 40%-60%). Leaving an organic bedding that is too dry may slow down the natural process. But leaving the bedding soaking wet can also deprive the compost materials from getting any oxygen.
Basics for an effective home composting: Aeration
Aeration is important as it helps expose both the compost materials and beneficial microbes to an adequate air supply. Microbes require oxygen to be able to subsist so it’s vital for these microorganisms to get their fill of air inside the system (applies for either indoor or outdoor composting). Aeration, which allows for a regular tuning and mixing, also helps reduce decomposing natural materials from producing foul odors.
Basics for an effective home composting: Carbon and Nitrogen Ratio
It is best to establish a good carbon (75%) and nitrogen (25%) ratio. Your carbon or ‘browns’ can be classified as dead plants, twigs, barks, leaves, straw, and presoaked newspaper or cardboard shreds. Your nitrogen or ‘greens’ on the other hand can be that of cut grass, animal manure (you can only use manure produced by plant-eating animals), fruit or vegetable peels, and tea bags.
Basics for an effective home composting: Temperature
The best condition for a home composting project is between 90-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything that goes under or beyond it may slow down the process.

On a positive note, composting itself already delivers a major impact on the environment. And creating organic compost comes from a natural process that can certainly be done at home. Each year, hundreds of pounds worth of organic wastes are produced and collected from households, which are just dumped on landfills. So what better way to dispose of these food and yard wastes? Simply have these broken down into a nutritious garden resource! Practice home composting and see what a big difference it can make to your surroundings.

Stop Pollution and Practice Home Composting!

Would you believe that 1/3 of the U.S. landfills are comprised of organic wastes (these can be your typical kitchen scraps, garden wastes, etc.)?  Well, it is a fact. These scraps often contribute to the existing pollution especially when these are burnt to pieces. But with certain outdoor or indoor composting activities at home, this problem can be definitely minimized. Through composting, waste matter can be transformed into a useful organic supply. A garden resource that can help enhance both plant and soil properties.

Basics for an effective home composting: Moisture Content and Microorganisms

Whether you plan on trying out aerobic composting or worm composting, you must take into consideration 5 important elements. The first two components that you must look out for is the moisture content inside the bin, and the organisms that will be present in the system. Now if you’re looking to produce and harvest finished compost in a quicker timeframe, then you’ll have to make sure that there are microbes inside the bin (a good example of this would be red wiggler worms, good bacteria, and fungi). These microorganisms are actually the ones that will be responsible for consuming and converting organic wastes into a nutritious garden mix.

Now, the moisture content on the other hand shouldn’t be overlooked. The ideal consistency should be that of a wrung-out sponge when placed inside composting bins (should at least be in between 40%-60%). Leaving an organic bedding that is too dry may slow down the natural process. But leaving the bedding soaking wet can also deprive the compost materials from getting any oxygen.

Basics for an effective home composting: Aeration

Aeration is important as it helps expose both the compost materials and beneficial microbes to an adequate air supply. Microbes require oxygen to be able to subsist so it’s vital for these microorganisms to get their fill of air inside the system (applies for either indoor or outdoor composting). Aeration, which allows for a regular tuning and mixing, also helps reduce decomposing natural materials from producing foul odors.

Basics for an effective home composting: Carbon and Nitrogen Ratio

It is best to establish a good carbon (75%) and nitrogen (25%) ratio. Your carbon or ‘browns’ can be classified as dead plants, twigs, barks, leaves, straw, and presoaked newspaper or cardboard shreds. Your nitrogen or ‘greens’ on the other hand can be that of cut grass, animal manure (you can only use manure produced by plant-eating animals), fruit or vegetable peels, and tea bags.

Basics for an effective home composting: Temperature

The best condition for a home composting project is between 90-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything that goes under or beyond it may slow down the process.

Spring Break Project: Start a Garden with your Kids

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Looking for some way to fill the spring break time with your school-age kids? Dreading the “I’m bored” statements on days their friends aren’t around? If not. You’re not alone. Parents scramble to fill their kids down time during spring break as a prequel to summer. Why not have them start a garden to grow their own fruits or vegetables? It’s a project that begins now and can continue to be fruitful well on into the summer months. Think of it as the time-filler that keeps on giving!

Location, Location … well, you know…

Have a sunny corner in your yard with no trees or flowers? Clear out the brush, grass and leaves from a 5X8 foot area and rotatil down about three inches. If you don’t have any clear yard area, consider buying a small plastic kiddie pool or wooden box around the same size and place it where it will get regular sun for about 6-8 hours a day. Want to increase the time and effort investment for the kids? Have them use metal rakes to dig down through the top spoil.

Pick your Poison

Are you planting tomatoes? Carrots? String beans? Radishes? Do you want edible flowers in your garden? Let the kids choose 3 or 4 different products to plant and have them read the planting instructions to decide on placement. Once you have your garden mapped out, you can buy your plant or seeds and get ready to plant.

Feed and Protect

Using compost from your bin or some you have purchased, layer about 1 inch across the garden surface before placing seeds. Throw a little in the hole with seeds or roots to enhance growth.

Add red wiggler worms into your garden to increase the nutrient level of the ground. They’ll much their way to a better garden for you.

To keep local pests (think bunnies, cats, stray dogs, raccoons) out of your garden, layer about an inch thick row of clean cat litter around your garden borders.  The “hint” of cat is enough to keep them from munching your freshly-grown produce.

Have your ids manage the garden watering, weeding and produce collection. They’ll love seeing the results of their labor and you’ll enjoy some downtime knowing they’re not parked in front of the television or game console.

3 Uses for Compost in your Garden and Yard

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Okay, so you’ve spent the fall and winter feeding organic materials to your compost bin, turning it when necessary, keeping a watch on your pH levels, making sure your red wiggler worms are multiplying and munching their way to making the nutrient-rich compost you expect at the end of the process, but now that it’s time to get your yard ready for the warmer months, what exactly can you do with all that compost?

Green up that Grass

Is your grass looking a little wan after the cold months? Not to worry – after you aerate your yard and lay down your organic weed killer, grab your wheelbarrow and fill her up with that dark compost and layer it over your grass. Take a metal rake and work it down into the top soil to give it somewhere to cling then run your sprinklers to hold it in place.

The minerals in the compost will feed your lawn better than any commercial, chemical based grass feed.

Need to reseed this year? Add the compost in before you spread the new seed around for an extra boost of growth.

Nourish your Flower Beds

Shoots have been driving up out the ground for weeks now, so you know that Mother Nature is doing her part to get your flowers and shrubs back to their beautiful selves. Why not give them a boost with a layer of compost? Clear out any old leaves or sticks, weed your gardens and then sprinkle an inch of compost throughout your flowerbeds. Water the beds and then cover with mulch to keep it in all in place.

Don’t Forget your Trees

Oftentimes we think that due to their size, and maybe because they were there before we were, the trees lining our yard don’t need any tending beyond the occasional trim of a branch or limb. Not so. Trees need nutrients too, and because of their size, tend to leach it from the soil around them faster than other plant life. Add about 3 inches of compost around large trees and two inches around smaller ones to give them some much needed nutrients. If the ground is sloped or uneven around your trees, you may want to consider rimming them with pavers or stones to keep the compost around them where it belongs.