April 7, 2012

Garden Tips

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.

1 comment:

garden girl said...

Good tips Rachel! Leaves are my favorite mulch. Happy Spring!