Happiness is free wood chips and a husband who replenishes the garden path with free labor. Now my paths should be weed free for the season. Most tree services are happy to dump wood chips in your driveway for free. It saves them the cost of having to pay to bring them to a landfill and you can feel good about "recycling" them into your paths.
Here's the first salad of the season. Admittedly I had a head start as some of my lettuce seeds that I planted last fall overwintered and with a warm March really took off. Otherwise I foraged around the garden and found a bit of mint,lemon thyme,chives,pea shoots, parsley(also overwintered for the first time) and spring garlic. Delicious!
I have some great garden tips courtesy of Bill Scheffler of Pure Prairie Farm.
For good fruiting and flowering of plants they require a high calcium and high phosphorous soil. You can add brown leaves that have been chopped up with a mower and bone meal to the soil to increase phosphorous. For high calcium you can add 1 ounce powdered milk to a gallon of water and spray this mixture on the tip of branches to increase fruiting.
Each month for added phosphorous you need to add a 50/50 mix of lime and gypsum to the soil. This is because the lime and gypsum goes through the soil at a rate of one inch per month.
A ph of 6.4 is a healthy number for soil. If the ph is above that you get bugs and if it's below that you get diseases.
If you have problems with Japanese beetles it is a problem with a phosphorus deficiency. A quick cure is to mix 8 oz of cheap lemon lime soda that has phosphoric acid with a gallon of water and spray this on the plants that are being attacked by the beetles. This will change the ph of the plants and make them less appetizing to the beetles.
A great fertilizer to really get plants blooming is one ounce each of molasses, apple cider vinegar and non sudsing ammonia to a gallon of water. Spray this on the plant leaves and watch it take off.
If roots can breathe magic happens. Bill plants his perennials in a berm of wood chips and brown leaves. This is so the fungi in the soil can breathe and he has had great success with this method.
All of you know the story of Landreth and most of you know me, Barb Melera. My husband, Peter, and I have been working to restore this historic American company for the past 8 years.
We set about to restore this Company because it is the most historically important American small business in existence. It is the only American company, still operating daily, that existed when this country became a nation. Its founders were honorable men who helped establish and guide the agricultural and horticultural industries of this country in the 1700s, the 1800s and the 1900s. Landreth exemplifies American business and the ethics and integrity that built this nation.
On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the Company’s accounts were frozen by a garnishment order initiated by a Baltimore law firm. If this garnishment order is not satisfied within the next 30 days, Landreth will cease to exist and a part of America’s history will be lost forever. I need to sell 1 million 2012 catalogs to satisfy this garnishment and the cascade of other indebtedness which this order has now initiated.
If you want to help save this piece of America, if you love gardening and heirloom seeds, if you care about righting the injustices of a legal system badly in need of repair, then please help Landreth. Please purchase a Landreth catalog, and if you can afford it, purchase several for your friends. Please send this link to everyone you know, www.landrethseeds.com. One million catalogs is a big number, but with the internet it is achievable. Please help us to save Landreth.
Although Landreth seeds are not certified organic, they use organic practices and have never sold GMO seeds.
From the guarantee page on the Landreth website:LANDRETH DOES NOT SELL AND, IN 225 YEARS OF BUSINESS, HAS NOT EVER SOLD GMO SEEDS OR PLANT MATERIAL. NONE OF OUR SEEDS ARE CHEMICALLY OR BIOLOGICALLY COATED OR TREATED, IN ANY WAY. WE DO NOT USE CHEMICALS OR PESTICIDES IN OUR WAREHOUSE. CAREFUL WAREHOUSE CONTAINERIZATION AND TWO HARD WORKING CATS KEEP MOST OF THE CRITTERS UNDER CONTROL.
I've ordered a catalog and some seeds. At this time in history when the existence of independent seed companies is at risk as more and more are being bought out by the gigantic biotech industry, it's important for gardeners everywhere to support the diversity of choices available to us for our gardens from independent seed suppliers. Please help Landreth achieve their goal of one million catalogs sold this month. And while you're at their website, consider ordering some seeds. You might also like to peruse their other offerings. The holidays will be here before we know it, and Landreth has a number of beautiful offerings that would make thoughtful gifts for the gardeners on your shopping list. Together, we can help save this national treasure.
Taken from Garden Girl Blog
I'm not an expert gardener by a long stretch but I do enjoy growing my plants from seed. I mostly do this because I'm a frugal gardener but I also appreciate how it helps get me through a long Midwest winter.