|Lawn Care For Busy People|
7 Factors Needed for a Compost Pile
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter.
Learn how composting works. Even a newbie to composting can make good quality compost. It can be compared to cooking as art or part science. The following 7 factors will help you master the art of composting.
1. Materials After a time anything that was once alive will naturally decompose. But, not all organic items should be composted for the home. To prepare compost, organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen are needed.
These items are safe to compost at home:
* grass clippings
* trimmings from hedges
* vegetable scraps
* potting soil that has grown old
* coffee filters with coffee grounds
* tea bags
* weeds that have not went to seed
* plant stalks
These items are Not safe to compost at home:
* weeds that have went to seed
* dead animals
* pet feces
* bread and grains
* cooking oil
* oily foods
2. What To Do To Make It Work
There are small forms of plant and animal life which break down the organic material. This life is called microorganisms. From a minute amount of garden soil or manure comes plenty of microorganisms.
Nitrogen, air, and water will provide a favorable environment for the microorganisms to make the compost. Air circulation and water will keep the microorganisms healthy and working. The nitrogen feeds the tiny organisms. You may have to add a small amount of nitrogen to the pile.
Putting on too much nitrogen can kill microbes and too much water causes insufficient air in the pile. You just cannot add too much air.
3. Beneficial Microorganisms
Bacteria are the most effective compost makers in your compost pile. They are the first to break down plant tissue. Then comes the fungi and protozoans to help with the process. The arthropodes, like centipedes, beetles, millipedes and worms, bring in the finishing touches to complete the composting.
4. Smaller is Better
The materials will break down faster if the microorganisms have more surface area to eat. Chopping your garden materials with a chipper, shredder, or lawnmower will help them decompose faster.
5. Size of The Pile
The activity of millions of microorganisms generates heat in the compost pile but a minimum size 3-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot is needed for a hot, fast composting pile. Piles that are any larger may hamper the air supply needed in the pile for the microorganisms.
6. Moisture and Aeration
If you can imagine a wet squeezed out sponge with its many air pockets, then this would be the ideal enviroment for the microorganisms in the pile to function at their best. Pay attention while your pile is composting, to the amount of rain or a drought you may have. Water in a drought and maybe turn the pile in a lot of rainy days. The extremes of these two may upset the balance of the pile. The use of a pitchfork would come in handy at this time.
7. Temperature and Time
Keep your pile between 110F and 160F and the beneficial bacteria will love it. Not too cool nor too hot. The temperature will rise over several days if you keep a good ratio of carbon and nitrogen, maintain lots of surface area within a large volume of material, and maintain adequate moisture and aeration.
-Importance of Compost-
+Compost has nutrients, but it is not a complete fertilizer.
+Compost provides nutrients in the soil until plants need to use them.
+ It loosens and aerates clay soils
+ Retains water in sandy soils.
-Using the Compost-
+ A soil amendment, mix 2 to 5 inches of compost into gardens each year before planting.
+ A potting mixture, add one part compost to two parts potting soil.
+ Make your own potting mixture by using equal parts of compost and sand or perlite.
+ A mulch, prodcast 2 to 4 inches of compost around annual flowers and vegetables, and up to 5 inches around your trees and shrubs.
+ A top dressing, mix finely sifted compost with sand and sprinkle evenly over lawns.
The final thing I would suggest once you have mastered the art of composting is to look very seriously at making your very own aerated compost tea. This elixir will give you results that are hard to believe.
James has been a gardening enthusiast for 40 years and has converted to organic gardening for 10 years. To learn more about organic gardening go to: http://www.basic-info-4-organic-fertilizers.com
Gardening on a Budget
When we moved into our south Anchorage log home I had glorious plans for the 1/3 acre lot. Some previous owner had chopped down every tree counting on the neighboring woodlands for green and shade. The house was near the street with a lumpy hilly and narrow backyard that ended in the neighbor's goat pen. I was young, enthusiastic and confident that my green thumb could transform our piece of Alaska into a glorious landscaped garden. Now, 20 years later the neighborhood has evolved from birch/spruce woods to suburban sprawl and I'm still working on the transformation and enjoying every season.
Flowers and Butterflies, the Perfect Combination!
Spring is coming fast and with it the colors of the world come to life. The spring season is not just a time for the gardens to bloom, but a season for the butterfly to come to life as well. Your garden is an ocean of color and to keep this ocean of color coming back in the spring, your use of perennial bulbs, flowers, seeds, and shrubs will lessen tasks in the early spring. Butterflies that add that complete 'special touch' to your gardens will eagerly look for homes in your gardens if you can provide what it is they are searching for.
Easy to Grow Roses
There are many different types of roses. If you are new to rose gardening, then it is wise to choose varieties of easy to grow roses to begin your rose garden. Some roses require constant attention and caring for while others require none. Roses come in varieties of high maintenance to no maintenance. Most roses, though, do require a certain amount of time to get started and to care for adequately. Minimal care roses that produce maximum results are ideal for beginners or those still somewhat new to rose gardening. Not only will it teach you the basics without working you to death, it will also encourage your gardening experience, perhaps leading you to take on other rose types that are a little more challenging to care for.
Using Bulbs in Your Landscaping
Naturalized bulbs look beautiful in a wooded setting. You can plant them and leave them to multiply. After the bulbs bloom the foliage will die down, but you can interplant bulbs with ground covers for a carefree and beautiful garden.
Building Liner Ponds
Surprisingly enough, it is usually in mid-summer that many gardeners begin to think about installing a small pond or water garden. Ponds don't need to be weeded or watered, and they can supply exuberant color in the form of water lilies and bog plants.
Everyone Loves Flowers
Flowers Truly Reach Your Soul.
Composting - aka: The Circle of Life!
Composting is where the gardening thing comes full circle. You've created your garden bed, you've nurtured your plants.
The art of planting roses doesn't have to be a complicated thing to do. When you have the right knowledge there is no limit to how beautiful a garden or rosebush that you can create. In this guide, you will not only have all of the right skills at your fingertips, but you will get 101 tips that you can use to grow your very own bed of roses. With this extensive manual at hand, you will never have to buy another bouquet again. Now you will have all of the beauty and delicious fragrance that roses can give you with you all the time. Here are some of the best ideas and tips for planting your roses.
The Amazing Hummingbird
Without a doubt, hummingbirds are beautiful and interesting creatures.
Greenhouse Calamities ? Thoughts from a Novice Gardener
Greenhouses are a great addition to anyone's garden. They come in all different sizes and you can nestle them right where you want them and with smaller versions of greenhouses you can move them quite easily. That said, as great as they look and of course smell, there should be some type of manual to buy when you are first setting up shop in there. There are many things no one bothers to tell you and if you don't know, you don't ask. Here are five things I learned by plodding along on my own:
Toxic Pollutants & Their Effect on Fish Health
Once water temperatures increase in the summer months, fish become more active and produce increasing amounts of waste, leading to potential water pollution. Fish produce waste in the form of ammonia, which is broken down into nitrites then nitrates by beneficial bacteria. Both ammonia and nitrite are very harmful to fish, even in very small quantities. Ammonia, in particular, is more toxic at high temperatures and can cause severe problems. In fact, water can hold five times as much dangerous ammonia at 77°F as opposed to 41°F. The effect on water quality is exaggerated by a high pH, resulting in the formation of more toxic ammonia.
How to Grow Strawberries
In addition to the traditional strawberry patch, there are as many ways to grow strawberries as there are to eat them! Grow strawberries in a bed, hydroponically, as a ground cover, as an ornamental patio plant, or in a hanging basket.
Solar Garden Lights
Solar lights are very popular for lighting yards and gardens. They are virtually maintenance free, easy to install, and cost almost nothing to run. Once you have bought solar lights, the only future maintenance costs are for replacement batteries.
A Teak Bench: The Perfect Complement To Any Outdoor Space
Are you searching for that perfect bench to set off your garden or outdoor space? Do you desire furnishings that can be both exquisite and durable? Do you want something unique, a spectacular piece of furniture that the neighbors will brag about? If so, you might find exactly what you are looking for in a teak bench.
Themes of Shade
A Shade Garden can be created in any of several different types of shade. It can be in the mottled shade that comes from a broad leaf tree to the deep dark woods mentioned in Robert Frost's "Stopping by A Woods on A Snowy Evening". We have morning shade (not so good for a shade garden if this area gets afternoon sun - it will much too hot and drying) and afternoon shade. And we can even create or modify our shade with man-made constructions. Each type of shade supports different types of plants although there is over-lap. Of course, you should always be prepared to experiment with your garden.
Flower gardens are for enjoyment. They provide you with visual beauty, the joy of working with soil and plants, and the pride of showing others what you have created. As a gardener, one is always experimenting and learning anew what delights a flower garden may bring forth. This enjoyment can be intensified by creating your garden, or a room within the garden, with a theme.
Wooden Garden Furniture
Wooden Garden Furniture can be the ideal solution to various seating problems in your garden. You can add new seating areas to your garden by perhaps turning a path into a destination for a sit down or consider adding a few pieces of wooden garden furniture to less frequented corners of the garden.
Lady Bugs Are Your #1 Natural Pest Control
First, this bug has many names. Some of it's names are:
Durable Wooden Swing - Decorate Your Outdoors with One
There is nothing better to do on a hot, lazy afternoon than to lounge in your favorite outdoor swing while reading, napping or just watching the world pass by. And when evening approaches and the breeze gets cooler, an outdoor swing is also the perfect place to sit and unwind after a hard day while you watch the fireflies light up the ever darkening sky.
Pruning Roses Secrets
Pruning your roses is one of the most needed and the most annoyingly difficult tasks that goes with proper rose care. It takes a steady hand the proper procedure to ensure the best possible roses that you can get.
|home | site map|