Watch this video to see how easy it is to keep your soil alive and active all winter long:
“Natural pesticide?” Sounds like an oxymoron right?
Check this out: There’s a talc-like powder made from the dusty remains of ancient marine plankton. It’s called Diatomaceous Earth and it’s hell for most pesky insects that terrorize our gardens. Why? Because the tiny, tiny, tiny particles are like microscopic glass shards that get embedded in the exoskeletons of insects. These shards physically destroy the insects and keep them from harming your plants. PLUS, you and I can eat Diatomaceous Earth with no adverse side effects. In fact, we already do. Most grains are stored with a dusting of Diatomaceous Earth to bugs don’t have their way with the harvest. Many people also ingest Diatomaceous Earth on the regular because they believe it has positive effects on their internal health.
Pretty cool, right? Check out Farmer Craig dusting his cucumber plant with Diatomaceous Earth in this video:
What is Diatomaceous Earth? Why it’s the best organic pest control available. Natural pest control for aphids, white flies and more.
Studies and first-hand experiences have shown the potency of compost in bringing vitality to the garden soil and plants. And the good news is that making compost is easy and environmentally-friendly. It could be made from kitchen scraps such as banana peelings, wood ashes collected from outdoor barbecue grills or worn out pieces of age-old garden table and chairs. There are indeed a great deal of compostable pieces you have lying around but fail to notice. The now damaged parts of your once comfortable rattan outdoor garden furniture may well be used as plant food if processed properly.
This guide will help you or any beginner to create a compost of your own, rather than purchase from the store. Here you will learn what compost is, how to make compost, what materials to add to your compost and how to build a compost bin. Also, there are helpful reference charts on how to fix common composting problems.
With the right choices of materials and following expert tips on composting, you’ll get the most of the benefits from this organic fertilizer.
It’s halfway through the summer and your garden needs to recharge. Here are some quick tips to keep your garden ship-shape before harvest.
For the LAWN:
Remove all the weeds.
Mow lawn as needed.
Redistribute lawn clipping across area.
Add 1/4 inch of BOOST all over the lawn and water it in.
Water lawn with 1 1/2-2 inches of water PER WEEK.
Watch your lawn green up and hold more water in the hot summer months!
Add 1/4 inch of BOOST to the soil surface of your garden to BOOST mid-summer nutrition.
Add 1 inch of PROTECT on top of the BOOST to hold in extra moisture
Water 1-2 inches “flood irrigation style”
Watch your garden grow really grow for the rest of the summer!
For more information on midsummer garden maintenance, check out last week’s blog post!
It’s midsummer in the garden and the growing is underway. The heat is killer out there, and plants are using every ounce of energy to keep a steady pace. At the peak of growing season, plants will begin to feel the heat, the pressure and the utter exhaustion from growing at such an outstanding rate. Just as marathon runners need rest days and an excellent nutritional regimen, plants require recharging methods to supplement their food intake. As gardeners, we act as the coaches on the sidelines, keeping them well fed and hydrated (and occasionally giving them a little pep talk!) Keep your plants growing strong during these most strenuous months and see your garden excel through the final stretch.
Fuel Your Plants For the Finish Line While it is important to begin every planting season with a top-notch, all-natural soil, that first layer won’t be enough to keep your plants happy all summer. Just like runners, your plants are soaking up A LOT of nutrients, and it won’t be long before the soil is depleted and plants need to recharge. If a runner only ate one nutrient-dense meal a week, odds are their performance would taper off pretty quickly. Replenish the soil with nutrient-rich, natural soils like Full Circle’s Boost. Each cubic yard of Full Circle’s Boost contains over 300 pounds of minerals and wholesome ingredients plants need to stay healthy and maintain consistent growth. Add a thick layer on top of your soil and your plants will thank you with bountiful fruits and veggies.
Beat the Heat Keep your soil evenly moist with drip or irrigation systems. Learn more about the right drip systems for your soil type here. If you don’t have a drip system, make sure to water regularly in the mornings and evenings.To prevent drought resistance, use Full Circle’s Protect in your garden. This fertile mulch is easily broken down by plants for better nutrient absorption.Our high-desert sun can be a real scorcher, so also be sure to keep your leafy greens well-shaded during times of extreme heat.
Brown Lawn Got You Down? Many lawns, especially bluegrass, fescues and ryegrass, naturally dry out during high-heat in the summer. Don’t panic! Slow, consistent watering is still helpful and will keep your lawn alive, though it may not be as green as it was in the spring. While you may feel the urge to force your lawn back to life with lots of water, refrain from wasting water and give your lawn about 2 inches of water per week. Once the heat diminishes your lawn will be back to its green old self.
The Need to Weed Treat your garden to regular weeding. Cut back overgrown plants that may have dry or withering outer leaves or are too big to handle their own weight. Finish off your thorough weeding with Full Circle’s Protect. This superpower shields your soil from wind and weeds, while also preventing fires.
If you have tips of your own to share, or if you just want to talk with us about compost, mulch or gardening, give us a call or write us! We’re always excited to talk with fellow garden enthusiasts.
A surprising number of gardeners we talk with still aren’t using the right mulch. More surprisingly, some gardeners still aren’t using a mulch at all. So, what’s the value of mulch? A quality mulch is like a carpet of love that shields your soil and plant roots from the sun’s abrasive rays. That layer of mulch keeps the soil cool, so the roots are in an agreeable environment and free to “root” around as they eat and drink nutrients found in the rich soil. Lastly, a quality mulch helps the soil retain water (and helps gardeners water less).
As a community, the rule for our collective green thumb is simple: take the stuff that was once alive so we can then transform it into rich, nourishing compost.
In a recent article highlighting compost initiatives in the Reno area, Cody Witt, the Strategic Everything Behind Full Circle Soils & Compost, comments on the challenges that are becoming more apparent as Nevadans take their environmental responsibility more seriously, “While California has strict recycling regulations currently in place as well as a mandate to recycle 75 percent of all garbage by 2020, Nevada holds back on waste regulation.”
Trash is a for-profit industry, and this presents challenges for the emerging green efforts in Northern Nevada. Understanding our environmental impact both as a community and as individuals can stimulate BIG change in the way we manage our waste. Witt intends to spread awareness on community waste management, “There’s a lot of people now who are taking food as one of their number one issues—where it comes from, how it’s grown, and if they’re not happy with it, they’re doing it themselves, so compost is growing on a backyard scale too.”
Full Circle Green Waste Consulting
Reno-Tahoe businesses send a LOT of perfectly compostable stuff to landfills. In some cases, up to 35% of solid waste is organic material–everything from restaurant food scraps to yard trimmings–which could be recycled through composting. Full Circle is determined to provide the resources to any company, organization or individuals who want to handle their trash in an environmentally responsible manner. Curious about the myths and facts about composting? Check out our website for the dirt on responsible waste diversion. Get in touch with Full Circle to get a rundown of your waste and what you can do with it.
Get a breakdown of all the waste that can be turned into compost here
Accurately watering your plants can be challenging without proper knowledge of soil, climate and other planting factors. As a general rule, too much watering can lead to suffocation of the roots, while too little watering can deplete soil of essential hydration. So how much water is too much or too little? It depends on the soil you’re working with. Water drip systems are a practical method for managing the watering of your plants, especially in desert environments. Here are a few soil subjects to consider when planning a water drip system.
What Kind of Soil
Clay soils retain water, causing the water to spread out horizontally. If watered too frequently, the moisture will deoxidize the soil, resulting in a weaker root system. To avoid this, plants in clay soils need to be watered less frequently than plants in loam or sandy soils.
Sandy soils have a noticeably difficult time holding in water, and are suitable for plants like carrots, echinacea and wormwood. After watering, the moisture tends to run straight down and out of the plant, so consider a timer with a higher gallon-per-hour rating. This will give the water a better chance to run horizontally. Set the timer to water for brief, frequent durations.
Loam soils are considered ideal and are a mixture of sand, silt and clay. Loam soils have a better balance of holding nutrients than any other soil, and is best suited for high-demand vegetables and fruits, like tomatoes or strawberries.
Living in the Truckee Meadows valley, we see a decent amount of wind. Strong winds can interrupt watering from sprinklers. If you live in an extremely windy area, consider drip or surface irrigation systems.
Sun exposure is also a vital part of understanding how much water your plants need, and also when the most effective time of day is for watering your plants. Not sure about the sunshine needs for your plants? Check out this sun and shade infographic below:
Size of Plant Container or Growing Area
Depending on where you have your plants growing, the timer and duration of watering will vary. Plants in small pots, for example, should be watered daily for brief amounts of time (no more than 5 minutes). For small shrubs planted in the ground, the timer should be set for about 30 minutes. Small trees need to be watered every few weeks for 4-6 hours. This can be accomplished with a deep drip watering stake. Note: These watering times are approximate.
Types of Drip Irrigation Systems
Porous Soaker Hose System Typically used for shrubs and hedges, this system is extremely porous (hence the name) and basically sweats water along the length of the hose. Because this system is made out of recycled automobile tires, they are naturally durable.
Emitter Drip System Best suited for small trees, this system consists of several hoses that are laid out throughout the planting area. Each hose has holes about 15 inches apart which release drops of water according to the timer. There’s one con to this system: they are easily clogged. Bring them in during winter to avoid excess clogging. The emitter drip system is commonly used when planting in clay soils.
Watermatic Drip System This system wins the environmentally friendly award, as it is known for conserving the most water by minimizing evaporation. The watermatic drip system uses tiny spray heads and is best for flowerbeds and trees.
Micro Misting System This system was initially designed for vineyards and orchards and distributes water evenly. The Micro Misting System is also beneficial for backyard gardens, especially for flowers and plants with shallow roots.
Written by: Angela Thomas, NY City Pest Control
Soil Degradation and Erosion
Soil degradation has become a major concern among many farmers. Degradation can be defined as soil that has been contaminated by:
Salinization: the accumulation of soluble salts, causing reduced soil fertility
Acidification: The buildup of Hydrogen from outside sources like nitric acid or sulfuric acid, which reduces the soil pH
Soil erosion reduces the crop productivity and causes pollution to the adjacent watercourses.
[http://i.imgur.com/Gqwv3RN.jpg] (Soil erosion)
What qualifies matter as “Organic?”
Most of the organic matter is on top of the soil. Organic matter is a combination of plant and animal residue. It is composed of 45-50 percent carbon, with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur making up the rest.
Organic matter is an essential component of the soil because it provides an energy source for the microbes present in the soil. Crops become healthy and strong as it improves the ability to store and transmit air and water. It also supplies nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, which are needed for the growth of plants and soil organisms. Most of all it makes the soil more friable, less sticky, and easier to work. When organic matter is used as mulch or combined into the soil, it is broken down by soil microbes into soil humus.
Natural Pest Prevention
This infographic illustrates many proven ways that will help you to reduce pests.
How to increase organic matter in the soil
Tillage has long been used to add in crop residue, control weeds and loosen the soil. However, it also reduces soil organic matter, disrupts soil structure, and leaves the soil surface prone to wind and water erosion. It is best to avoid the practice of tillage will be helpful in building organic matter.
It is believed that growing cover crops can help to improve the organic matter in the soil. To get good results, you have to grow cover crops and follow techniques to reduce tillage and soil erosion. Land must be protected and particular attention must be given to situations that could leave soil vulnerable to erosion.
Proper fertilization of the soil is to be followed. Fertilization helps to add the necessary nutrients to the soil. It is important as it contributes to produce quality food. It is up to you to use fertilizers to help replenish the soil. Building organic matter in the ground is crucial in order to enhance the long-term performance of the soil. While results won’t be immediate, adding new organic matter every year is one of the best ways to improve soil health.
Article graciously supplied by http://nycitypestcontrol.com/
After weeks of nursing your seeds to seedlings, there are bound to be a few seeds that didn’t make it. That’s ok! While the loss may be a “kick in the plants,” buying plants from a nursery is a completely reasonable method to get your garden off to a good start this season.
Selecting store-bought plants comes with its own pros and cons, so when you’re browsing the aisle, keep a few things in mind:
Check Their Vitals! Remove the plant from the pot and take a look at the roots (make sure to not damage the plant!) Do the roots look like a tangled, strangled mess? Opt for a plant with roots proportionate to the amount of soil.
Also, (and this might go without saying) avoid discolored, wilted or slimy leaves, as these may be signs of disease.
Variety: Buying plants from a nursery limits the plant varieties to choose from. While nurseries typically carry the most common two or three types of tomatoes, they most likely won’t have anything else. Look to local farmers or fellow gardeners to trade for exotic plants.
Speaking of variety, Full Circle has hundreds of varieties of tomatoes this year! if you’re tomato seeds didn’t sprout, or you’re looking for a little more flavor, come on down to the Full Circle Gardnerville office to adopt some heirloom tomatoes for your garden.
Misleading Abundance: When a plant feels “threatened,” it produces fruit in a last-ditch effort at carrying on its family name. It’s tempting to grab up the most abundant looking plants, but they’re not always your best bet. Store-bought plants with bunches of fruit are likely just feeling threatened because:
- they aren’t getting watered enough
- they have outgrown their container
- they have zapped the soil of all nutrients
Look for healthy, lively, happy plants (regardless of amount of fruit).
Transplant Your Remaining Seedlings Don’t forget about your surviving seedlings! If you missed, check out Farmer Craig’s advice on safely How To Transplant a Tomato, The Easy Way
Hungry for more? Download our all new Grower’s Guide for tons of gardening and composting tips!
- Winter is Coming! Winterize Your Soil This Fall for a Plant-happy Spring.
- What is Diatomaceous Earth? Why is it the best natural pesticide for your garden?
- Composting Guide for Beginners: Helpful Tips
- Recharge Your Garden With Boost: Natural Summer Gardening Tips
- A Midsummer’s Boost: 4 Tips for a Healthy Garden
- Backyard Composting
- Businesses going Green
- Commercial Growing
- Compost Tea
- Drought Resistance
- Featured Growers
- Gardening and Growing Tips
- Get Ready for Spring
- Green Recycling
- How To
- How-To Videos
- Large Scale Applications
- Natural Resource Management
- Nevada Compost
- Nevada Landscape
- Nevada Recipes
- Organic Gardening Products
- Reno Compost
- Soil Science
- The Latest
- Waste Diversion
- Xeriscape Nevada