December Garden Tasks

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Hello Folks!

It’s the Garden Spot Crew here. Here with a short list of garden tasks to keep your garden, happy and healthy this December.

1 -Got any spring bulbs around? Get those bulbs in the ground! Pronto! Click here for some tips on design from Deb.

2 -Rake up any stray leaves from late-dropping trees, add to your compost pile along with weeds and other plant bits

3 -It’s a great time to prune cherry trees and other stone fruit trees

4 –Plant for winter color, work some pansies and hellebores into your containers, dig up plants that are past their prime.

5 -‘Tis the Season for Dormant Spraying– this helps with over-wintering bugs on deciduous trees and shrubs. Best to apply 3 times over the winter.

6 -Winter Plant Protection– This is a big one.Think of tender plants like daphne or rosemary, give them a blanket.

7 –Watering…make sure your big evergreens and plants under the eaves of the house have enough water, too cold and too dry is often a fatal combination.

8 -Take Cuttings – of evergreens and hardwoods, dip them in rooting hormone and place them in a bright, well-lit area

9 –Review the year, while you’re sitting by the fire think about what worked, and what didn’t. Take notes for next year.

10 –Seed catalogs! December is the time when they start to arrive, time to peruse and dream of next year.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Daniel’s Amazing Pumpkins

Daniels Pumpkins

In honor of Halloween and all things pumpkin, we have a special post for you today.

This is Daniel. A young gentleman who, at the age of thirteen, is a champion pumpkin grower. Recently, Daniel’s pumpkins placed first and second at the annual pumpkin contest held at Laurel Farm and Garden. They weighed in at 480 and 420 pounds, respectively.

Daniel, who learned how to garden from his grandpa, has been growing ever since he can remember. He, “just loves gardening”. He grows pumpkins, gourds and all kinds of squash.

Daniel’s Top Tips for Prodigious Pumpkins:

Some people have closely guarded pumpking growing secrets, but to Daniel, it is very simple. You need, “good seed, good soil and good compost,” he says.

He acquired his prize-winning seed from the pumpkin growers at his church. As for compost, Daniel and his grandpa have a home compost bin where they toss banana peels, apples and all sorts of good soil building material.

A couple other helpful hints Daniel had for first time growers were “One Pumpkin per Plant and One Pumpkin per Hill“.

Also he suggests cutting the tips of the vines off. “This,” he told us, “basically channels the plant’s energy into growing pumpkins rather than producing vines.”

Lastly, he says, “Have fun. Growing pumpkins is a really fun hobby that doesn’t take a lot of work.”

Thanks for the tips Daniel! And best of luck to you with next years pumpkins!

Panning for Gold: Worm Bins 101 Class this Saturday

chopped-foodworm binHave you ever thought about making compost at home? Maybe even building a worm bin?

If you’re interested in starting a worm bin but aren’t sure where to begin, Elsie Konzelman of Nature’s Footprint will be at our store this Saturday, Sept. 21st to teach you the basics. (Get more info here.) The class is free, and all attendees will receive a coupon for 25% off our worm bins.

We talked with Elsie recently and she gave us the lowdown on worms and compost and why people start worm bins to begin with.

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First of all, why worms?

Why not worms? Also known as “black gold“, worm compost is the best, richest organic soil amendment that you can generate for your garden. It is packed with nutrients, ten times that of regular compost.worm bin 1

Not to mention the fact that you can reduce your household waste by up to 30% by using a worm composter. Also, a worm bin is much more compact and convenient than a traditional compost pile.

Ah convenience, we like that! What kind of worms should we use? Can we dig up some earthworms from our backyard?

You can, but they won’t help you much. You want composting worms, such as red wigglers. They eat decomposing matter versus earthworms who feed on subsoil. Red wigglers will turn your kitchen scraps into compost quite rapidly.

Now we come to the “banana” question. We’ve heard that bananas are “bad” for worms but we’ve also heard that worms love bananas….. where do you stand on this very important question?

foodWell, let’s start with the fact that worms will eat just about any organic matter. And they do enjoy bananas, in fact they devour them!

One thing you don’t want to load up on in your worm bin are citrus fruits like lemons, limes or oranges. The worms don’t like the acidity of the fruit, and they’ll wait for them to break down before eating them, which will slow down the overall process of composting.

Thank Elsie!

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To read more about worms and worm bins, check out the Nature’s Footprint site here.

To register for our free class this Saturday just call the store 360-676-5480, drop by or register online. It’s that simple!