Posts Tagged ‘organic fertilizer’

Composting Leaves

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Ever wondered what you can still do with the leaves scattered on your garden, after they’ve fallen from the tree or from your plants? Well, you can still make good use of them. You can make compost out of it, since it can be a good source of nutrients. They’re actually referred to as ‘Gardeners’ Gold’. So, if you’re not thinking about raking them off of your garden just to throw them away, you can always turn them into lawn compost. Composting leaves is actually another alternative to making organic fertilizer; and also a great way into giving your garden a natural enhancement.

Since leaves are fibrous and full of nutrients, these help make the soil’s composition and aeration better. Take note that leaves from plants and trees are usually the recipients of trace minerals that have been gathered from the soil. So composting leaves is really one good way of recycling. You can definitely turn these into valuable compost instead of throwing them away as garbage.

So before you go right ahead in to composting these, you should know that you can compost any type of leaf. You can start by shredding the leaves into smaller pieces (before adding them into an Urban Compost Tumbler for example), as this will help save some space inside the tumbler; and to also minimize the tendency of the leaves to mat. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do this by hand. You can always turn to mowing them over (use the lawn mower), or you can always buy those shredders/chippers from the market. Anyway, when composting your leaves, you should also add into your composter some nitrogen. Nitrogen actually helps your leaves to rot fast. Nitrogen can be in the form of days old manure, dried blood, and some bone meal (also add in some, yard clippings, eggshells, and coffee grounds). And as soon as you’ve combined these materials together, you may now add in some water. Make sure the content’s are left moist and not soaking wet (this will ruin your compost); and also turn your compost, via the compost tumbler, on a daily basis to aerate it. Compost tumblers by the way, helps speed up the process of composting compared to ordinary compost bins.

It would also help to take note the colors of your leaves, as this will also determine the right quantity that you should put into your rotating composter. Green leaves (usually from trees) for example, should only be added in a reasonable quantity. For Red or Yellow leaves, you may put just a few of these inside your eco composter. Brown leaves on the other hand, should not be added into your compost, as these will work better as leaf mold. Other than composting leaves, you can also turn these into some leaf mold. And if leaves don’t satisfy you enough. You can always resort to grass composting.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Soil Saver Composter

soil_saver_composterRecognized for its award-winning and classic design, the Soil Saver Composter has been manufactured for over 25 years now. It features a capacity of 11 2/5 feet, and a weight of 30 pounds. It’s also composed of 75% post-consumer recycled polyethylene. And not only that, it also includes a ¼-inch structural foam molding and 2 slide up doors. So, purchase your own Soil Saver Composter with us today!

To know more about the product, check the Soil Saver Composter here.

How to use Worm Castings Effectively

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

worm poopDid you know that earthworms, especially red wriggler worms, eat from 50 to 75 percent of their body weight everyday? They certainly do! These worms can be fed with a variety of natural products (from vegetable and fruit scraps, to animal manure, etc). And as an end result, these worms secrete a substance which is called, Worm Castings. Unlike many chemical products, worm poop are non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about mishandling it. It does not post any threat to you, to your kids, or to your pets.

You can use red worms castings effectively by using them in improving the growth of your plants, as these worm composts are also rich in nutrients. Just imagine all those natural products they consume all the time! Not only that, worm composts may further help in improving a plants size, bloom quantity and quality, as well as its color (especially for flowers). As for fruits and vegetables, their yield not only increases; the taste and the appearance improves as well.

Aside from these facts, these substances that have undergone worm composting can also help in softening soils that are usually chemically damaged. Soils usually harden especially when they lack the necessary soil biology. Adding composts from worms will help bring it back to its balance, and also back to its softened and workable condition.

These worm composts when used on plants, especially when you use red wriggler worms, can also control fungus growth, as well as provide a good defense against plant diseases. These too can eliminate odor instantly and effectively. You can even mix red wiggler worms casting, with other animal composts, and smell the difference in a few hours. This method of mixing worm manure to other animal compost can even help eliminate offensive odors, especially when used as a fertilizer.

Aside from these advantages, a kind of worm compost called Black Gold, can also be used as an insect repellant. One of the key elements for repelling insects is it level of ‘Chitinase-producing organisms’. Chitinase is considered to be an enzyme that helps in dispelling Chitin (which makes up an insects exoskeleton). So basically, when insects sense the level of Chitinase in plants and soil, they either leave it alone or stay for long. So if the Chitinase level is high, then it’s a sure sign for them to leave the premises right away. Composts from worms definitely have a high-level of Chitinase to repel these insects away.

SO remember to use these tips to your advantage. These proven facts will help you in using worm castings effectively.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Worm “Hobby” Kit

GardenWorms' Worm 'Hobby' Kit

GardenWorms' Worm 'Hobby' Kit

Be experimental with The Worm “Hobby” Kit today! It includes the best of Uncle Jim’s 500 red wriggler worms; and also comes with a starter bedding, a 3-month (specially blended) feed supply, as well as a moisture-retaining burlap. This plastic container (16” L x 11” W x 6” H) also comes with detailed instructions, so you won’t have to worry about getting through the processes.
Order the Worm “Hobby”  Kit here.

Red Wiggler Worms for Garden

Monday, March 29th, 2010

red wiggler worms for your gardenYour garden wouldn’t look any better without organic fertilizer.  Aside from being chemical free, organic fertilizer also provides plants with nutrients that are really good for your family’s health.  Talking about organic, one way to have it as by vermicomposting through the use of Red Wiggler worms.

Red wiggler worms are very famous as composting worms.  The fact that they are voracious eaters of organic materials is already something.  They can consume as much as their body weight which means that the more they consume, the more wastes are converted to dark and nutrient-rich byproduct.  Red worms are also not choosy when it comes to food.  You can make them happy even with just your kitchen scraps and grass cuttings.  Just be careful in giving them foods that are with oil, insecticides or pesticides because it will surely lead to your worms’ death.  Also, be careful with your worm bin’s location because they only prefer moist environment.  A temperature of 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit would be perfect.

Another advantage that Red worms have is their ability to dig deeper into the soil.  They can burrow up to inches deep which makes the soil even more fertile.  It also improves the aeration of the soil.  When they have already produced their castings, the more that you can admire the characteristics of Red Wiggler worms.  Their waste is your benefit.  When those castings will be applied in your garden, your plants are sure to get the right nutrients.  In case you want the nutrients to be made available immediately, you can make a compost tea out of the castings and spray it directly to your plants.  This will help your plants’ water and nutrient holding capacity strengthened.  An organic fertilizer will also ensure that leeching is reduced so you will be worry free if you maximize the product of Red Wiggler worms.

So if you are really after a garden that is 100% healthy, raise Red Wiggler worms, do vermicomposting and enjoy the unlimited benefits of your vermicompost. The time and effort that you will invest will all come back to you abundantly.

Organic Fertilizer for Root Crops

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Root crops which include carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, rutabagas, beets, potatoes are good for gardening.  These contain nutrients good for the health and are also easily stored.  Maintaining these plants would be easy if you are equipped with enough knowledge.  This time, you have to learn how and when you are supposed to apply organic fertilizer for carrots or for any other root crops.  This is important because fertilizer helps supply the needed nutrients of the plants.

Unlike vine crops which require less fertilizer, root crops prefer more.  They are in need of more nutrients especially that of Phosphorus because it helps in the growth of the roots.  It is advisable that organic fertilizer is applied at least three weeks before planting.  Since it takes time before the nutrients are released, advanced application will ensure that the soil is already amended once the root crops are planted.  Just a reminder though.  Before laying down the fertilizer, make sure that you had a soil test to check on the nutrients already present in the soil.  This will help you determine the amount of fertilizer that you have to apply.  For example, too much nitrogen may result to gritty and not so good vegetables.

When the crops are already growing, you may apply top dressing fertilizer every 15 or days.  You can apply it at the surface of the soil or at the plant bedding.  For nitrogen application, ¾ to 1 cup per 100 square meters is recommended especially for root crops like carrots, beets, parsnips and rutabagas.  The application of both Phosphorus and Potassium however depends on the result of your soil test.  Remember that root crops can only thrive on 6-6.5 PH level.  You may also add manure for better soil condition but never add fresh manure as it may cause weed problems.

With all these reminders, maintaining your root crops will not be that hard.  And since more people are now recognizing the advantages of organic fertilizer, you will not be burdened in looking for the organic fertilizer for carrots or your other root crops.

Which fertilizer is Better, Organic or Non-organic?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

You are now probably asking which fertilizer suits your garden best.  Is it the organic or the non-organic?  We’ll answer your question by comparing inorganic and organic fertilizer.  By the end of this article, you’ll know.

We start with organic fertilizer.  This includes the animal manure, fruit peelings and vegetable scraps.  The advantage of these organic materials is that they encourage microbial activities so if worms will thrive on them, they will bury in the soil allowing aeration and loosened soil.  Second, leaching is very minimal.  Third, organic fertilizer makes the plants more susceptible to pests and diseases.  Also, organic fertilizer works better then chemical because it is environment friendly.  When a heavy rain pours, there will be no chemicals to be washed out and driven to rivers which may kill fishes.  It can also be cheap if available in the area.

On the other hand, its disadvantage is the release of nutrients depends on the temperature.  If it is cold, the nutrients may be slowly processed.  Also, the lesser the microbial activity is, the lesser chance for the soil to be loosened and aerated.  For organic materials like vegetable scraps, these may also attract dogs and other insects that may damage the plants.

Meanwhile, in comparing inorganic and organic fertilizer, chemical fertilizer has its own advantages and disadvantages.  For its advantages, it is available anywhere.  Second, the nutrients are already available unlike in organic.  You can also control the amount of nutrients to be applied in the plants as everything is already calculated.  It is also available in different forms like tablet, granules, liquid and more.  Most of all, in just about 14 days, you can already see the outcome if properly formulated.  Disadvantages include its chemical concentration which may be contaminated anytime.  It can also burn seedlings because of its chemical salts.  The rate of leaching is high and it doesn’t have the ability to improve the soil’s water and nutrients holding ability unlike the organic.

The list is still long but with the information presented, organic fertilizer works better then chemical.  Now you know.

Organic fertilizer for Fruit Trees

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

You are a gardener and you are faced with a dilemma and that is the use of inorganic fertilizer vs organic fertilizer.  This has always been the question of many fruit tree growers and of course, for those who are environment conscious and health conscious at the same time, going the natural way always wins.

The term “going the natural way” actually contains a lot of meaning.  First, using organic fertilizers means you are using chemical free material for your fruit trees.  Organic materials do have the ability to better hold the water as well as the nutrients of the soil.

To start with going organic for your fruit trees, you first have to know when it should be applied.  If you notice that the growth of the fruit tree is slow beyond the normal, then it’s already a sign.  Normally, fruit growing trees grow 8-10 inches every year.  You can check it on the green limbs budding on the tree.  If this is not there, it’s time for you to have that organic fertilizer do the work.

Applying an organic fertilizer is not also a guessing game.  You don’t just apply it.  Instead, you have to determine the age of the tree, its surrounding if it’s in a lawn and of course the season.  When it comes to the trees’ age, you have to apply around ½ pound of nitrogen around the base including the leaf lines if the tree is already five years old.  In considering the lawn, find out if it is regularly fertilized because if yes, you won’t have to do that again.  Now, you must know that the best time to apply your organic fertilizer is during early spring.  Application during summer is not advisable because the trees may bear fruit on the wrong time.

Always keep in mind that fruit trees are in need of nutrients such Phosphate, Phosphorus and Nitrogen.  To ensure growth, you apply these in the soil before even planting.  If in case there is an overgrowth, you need not apply nitrogen again.

What are the benefits of organic fertilizer?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Moorganic fertilizerre and more people are now shifting from chemical to organic fertilizer.  While many inorganic are now sold in the market, farmers would now prefer the natural one mainly because of its benefits.

Soil Quality

Organic fertilizers improve the quality of soil.  If organic materials like food scraps and fruit peelings are to be used, these will improve microbial activities.  Worms and other soil creatures will thrive on these scraps, thus allowing aeration and a more loosened soil.  Further, organic fertilizer allows the soil to hold nutrients and water more.  It’s also because too much chemicals will decrease the fertility of the soil.

Chemical-free

Organic fertilizers are chemical free.  What normally happens with inorganic fertilizer is that there is chemical contamination affecting the soil and even the plant itself.  The chemical salt in that fertilizer may burn and eventually kill your plants.  Also, if harvesting comes, you are sure that the health of your family will not be risked.

Reduced Leaching

Leaching as we all know can destroy the garden.  If you are using inorganic fertilizer and once it is contaminated, leaching will be prevalent causing different problems.  With organic fertilizer, this can be prevented.

Balanced Nutrients

You can be sure that there is a balance with the nutrients released by the organic fertilizer.  Since nutrients are slowly released, this will be good for the plants.

Environment-friendly

Since everything is natural with organic fertilizer, this will be a great impact to the environment.  With chemical fertilizer, it can be washed down to rivers and seas if a heavy rain comes.  So when the chemical reaches the river, fishes may die and eventually pollute the water.  As also said, too much chemicals can damage the soil.

Cheaper

Organic fertilizer is available locally so it would not really cost much.  On the other hand, if you are in the city, you can also produce organic fertilizer by learning the vermicomposting.  This is very doable.

Now that you know, you are probably thinking of shifting from inorganic to organic as well.  If you do, then do it now.