Archive for the ‘Gardening Resources’ Category

Getting rid of a tree stump can can be a back breaking job. But I’ve come across a product that makes it a lot easier. The solution is called Stump Out, made by Bonide.

It works by speeding up the decomposition process, making the wood soft and porous so it can then be either chopped apart easily, or burned efficiently. Stump Out destroys the lignin connective tissue in the wood

Here’s how it works.

Drill holes into the stump according to the instructions and fill with the Stump out and water.

Let the Stump Out do its work for 4-6 weeks, softening and decomposing the wood.

Now you have 3 choices.

  1. Let nature take its course, decomposing the stump more quickly than an untreated one.
  2. Chop up the now porous, softened wood.
  3. Burn the stump cleanly and efficiently, with no flame, and no billows of smoke.

To burn your stump:

  • Fill the holes with kerosene, and let that stand for several weeks to soak through the wood.
  • When ready to burn, put enough kerosene on the stump to ignite it.

The stump will burn with nothing but a red glow as it burns right down to the roots. It works so thoroughly, you’ll have nothing left but ash.

So if you have a stump you’ve been dodging with the mower, or disguising with flowerpots, try Bonide Stump Out this fall.

Bonide Stump Out

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What Are They?

Polymers are synthetic crystals that are made to hold hundreds of times their own weight in water. They are hard when dry, but swell and soften to a gel when wet. They absorb whatever water comes their way, and hold it, releasing it as needed when the surrounding soil dries. Soil Moist holds 200 times its own weight in water, and releases it gradually into the soil as needed.

Why Should I Use Soil Moist Polymers?

  • Because of their ability to absorb and hold many times their weight in water, polymers can provide much needed moisture to plant roots in times of drought.
  • They will also absorb nutrients, and slowly release them back into dry soil as they release water.
  • They will reduce the need for watering up to 50%
  • Addition of polymers helps plants maintain their vigor in all types of conditions
  • In addition, as the polymers expand and contract, they loosen and aerate soil, making it easy for plant roots to grow deep.
  • Polymers are completely safe and non-hazardous to use.

Where Should I Use Soil Moist Polymers?

  • Potted Plants
  • Hanging Baskets
  • Vegetable Gardens
  • Trees
  • New Plantings
  • Flower Beds
  • Turf

How Do I Use Soil Moist?

Simply mix into soil according to the package directions. Dispense into the bottom of new planting holes, spread with a spreader before laying sod or grass seed.

Anything Else I Should Know?

Yes! You should know about Mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi improve the ability of plants to utilize the soil resources by ten to hundreds of times.

Mycorrhizal fungi are found in undisturbed soils with other beneficial soil organisms. Today’s common practices such as tillage, site preparation, road and home construction, minind and removal of topsoil can degrade the mycorrhizal forming potential of soil. The fungi improve the ability of plants to utilize the soil resources by ten to hundreds of times.

Soil Moist Transplant contains Mycorrhiza, and is ideal for giving transplants their best start, strengthening them by helping them to fully utilize the soil’s resources.

Check Out Our Selection of Soil Moist Products, for your Healthiest Plants ever!

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There are 16 essential elements that plants need to grow. Oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen are used in the largest quantities, and the plant derives them from air and water. The remaining 13 nutrients come from the soil, and can be added through fertilizing.

Fertilizers are labeled with 3 numbers, separated by dashes, for example: 24-8-16, the analysis on Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food. This is called the analysis, and it refers to the percentage of the 3 macronutrients by weight.  The macronutrients are: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.  So the example above would include 24% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, and 16% potassium. A fertilizer does not have to have all 3 macronutrients. For example, a label reading 20-0-0 would include 20% nitrogen, and no phosphorus or potassium.  These 3 elements are the ones that are usually deficient in soil.

As you’ve probably already noted, the 24-8-16 fertilizer in the example only adds up to 48%. So what else is in the fertilizer?

 There are 3 additional macronutrients which are not included in the analysis. They are calcium, sulfur, and magnesium.  These are present in adequate quantities in most soils, and only need to be added if a soil test indicates.  If included, the percentage will be shown on the full list of ingredients on the fertilizer container.

We’ve now accounted for 9 of the 16 essential elements. The remaining 7 are referred to as micro nutrients, or trace elements. They are boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. These micronutrients are just as vital to plant health as the macro nutrients, but they are needed in very small quantities.  They are present in sufficient quantities in most soils, but may leach out of very sandy soils.  A more common problem is that the elements are present in the soil, but factors like incorrect pH inhibit uptake by the plant. A soil test is recommended before adding these elements, as overdose can be toxic to plants.

The last ingredient in your fertilizer is filler. This is inert matter that makes it easier to apply the fertilizer.

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Wildflower Butterfly & Hummingbird MixLook what I just got…

I have the perfect spot in my yard for a wildflower garden. Now, I’m ready to plant.

Encap has a whole line of Wildflower mixes, including:

I’m a big fan of Encap products, because they make them so easy and foolproof.

These wildflower mixes are a complete kit, including seed, mulch and fertilizer. All you have to do is sprinkle the seeds and water. Each one has a blend of annual and perennial flowers, so something will be in bloom all season long.

Encap also has 2 unique technologies that help ensure success.

Advanced Soil Technology- It’s a biodegradable addition that:

  • Reduces soil & nutrient loss
  • Provides better water infiltration
  • Improves soil structure & root mass
  • Enhances seed establishment

Seed Watering Technology (Sparkle)

  • Crystals absorb water and release it slowly to the seedlings
  • The crystals sparkle until they are dry-when there is no more sparkle, you know to water
  • Helps you avoid guessing at amount of water needed
  • Conserves water
  • Saves time

I like everything about that. Nobody wants to be disappointed, and Encap has put everything in their Wildflower mixes to ensure that you wind up with a beautiful patch of flowers. In fact, they guarantee your satisfaction. You can read it RIGHT HERE.

Which one will you try?

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Catkins in Colwick Country Park A reminder tha...

For many of us,

spring has paid no attention to the calendar this year; arriving early and allowing summer to show up now and then too.

It makes gardeners itchy to get outside and plant, but we have to remember that there is still plenty of time for cold weather to return. We have to be patient.

While we’re waiting, I found this old post about getting ready for the season.

Read here…… Planning For Spring in the Garden

Hopefully  you can find some things to give you a little fix, until you are sure spring is here to stay.

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Weed Tutorial

Weeds fall into several categories with regard to their growth and reproduction. Knowing more about the weeds in your yard will help you eliminate them more effectively.

Annual weeds only live one year, and rely on seed to perpetuate the species. Some annual weeds produce hundreds of thousands of seeds in order to ensure their survival.  That being the case, the best way to eliminate these weeds from your yard is to keep them from producing and spreading seed.  A good Weed Preventer will help.

Winter annuals
germinate in the fall, survive the winter, then produce seed and die by early the next summer. They’re the ones you see dying off in early summer, and think you’re in luck. But remember, they’ve already spread seeds waiting to sprout in the fall.Speedwell, Henbit, Chickweed, andPepperweed
are some examples.

Summer annuals
germinate in the spring, flower, go to seed, and die with the first hard frost.Black Medic, Purslane, Carpetweed, Spotted Spurge and Crabgrass are a few.

Perennial weeds
live from season to season, and can be some of the most difficult to control because they reproduce from seed, but also by underground stolons, stem nodes, or a piece of root left in the soil. some examples are:Nutsedge, Plantain, and

A Weed Control Strategy

Mow high. Mowing at 3 inches (or recommended height for your type of turf) helps grass shade out weeds and encourages a thicker lawn that makes it hard for weeds to compete in.

Reduce soil compaction. Weeds like crabgrass will pop up in areas where soil is compacted, like heavy traffic spots, or alongside driveways and paths. Until the soil is loosened, lawn will not thrive, and weeds will be a continual problem.

Thicken the lawn. Most weeds won’t compete. they’ll take advantage of bare or thin spots to gain a foothold. Repair bare spots early and fertilize to promote a thick lawn that will be a barrier to weeds.

Pull weeds. This is easiest after rain, when soil is damp. Remember, each weed you can be rid of before it goes to seed can save you from dealing with dozens or hundreds of its offspring next season!

Use a pre-emergent weed control product. A pre-emergent weed control gives you a head start. If you can prevent weeds from sprouting, you’ll give your lawn a better chance to fill in thin spots on its own; and you’ll reduce next years weed crop by preventing plants from coming up and producing seed.

Some Good Weed Prevention Products:

GreenLight Crabgrass Preventer



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  • Keep a careful eye on your plants.  During the heat of the late summer months, plants can really become dehydrated.  Make sure they are getting plenty of water.
  • Check for diseases as well and if you see a sign of insects, rot or other diseases, try some insecticide or disease control.  It would even be a good idea to give your plants a shot of Miracle Gro to give them an extra boost of energy and fertilizer.
  • Maintain your water garden by adding oxygenating plants that keep the water fresh and healthy with a balanced pH.  Some plants you may want to add include water lilies, hyacinths and lotus.  Adding a water treatment would also help keep the water clear as well as help your fish heal from wounds and keep them stress-free.

My recommended products to check out:

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Fertilizer

Bayer Advanced Natria Multi- Insect Control RTS Quart

Stress Coat 16 oz.

Daconil Fungicide 32 oz. RTU

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