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Gardening Hints and Tips

Page history last edited by LJCohen 12 years, 2 months ago

Please feel free to add the secrets that make your garden grow.

 

 


 

- This is a work in progress -

Many say that it all comes down to the soil, though while ample sun and water are important too, the quality of your soil will make or break your garden.

 

Soil

 

Soil is made up of 3 key components:

  1. Organic Matter
  2. Minerals
  3. Structure

 

Organic Matter

 

Decaying plants

Plants that are decaying or rotting are the future food of the plants you are growing and form a cornerstone of organic farming. Organic matter also comes in the form of manure, which is also made up of grains, grasses. Plant fibers break down more slowly and help to lead to good structure.

 

Compost

Compost is a great way to add mostly broken-down organic matter to your soil. It's easy to make compost, provided you aren't in a hurry. Simply make a pile of organic matter, mixing in slightly more "browns" or dry, leafy matter, than "greens", such as cut grass or weeds, and letting it lie for 6 months to a year. The compost is ready when it is brown and crumbly, like good soil. There are a few more tips you might want to know:

  • You can make it go faster by turning the compost once a week.
  • To avoid attracting animals, you should leave out any dairy or meat scraps.
  • To avoid spreading weeds, do not add weeds that spread by roots or that have gone to seed.

 

Minerals

 

Rocks, sand, silt & clay

Minerals provide needed nutrients, affect soil acidity, and provide micro-nutrients needed for optimum plant growth. Minerals also help control drainage.

 

Structure

 

Spaces for air and water

Plant roots and microbes that work to break-down organic matter need oxygen and spaces in soil allow for water to draw air into the soil as it makes its way down. Soil need not be light and fluffy to have good structure, many other factors are involved such as the balance of organic matter and minerals in the soil, roots, insects too.

 

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"Anti-Wabbit-Spway"

 --Humi Vsihniavsky

 

We fenced off our vegetable garden but not the flower beds. We have two hungry rabbits in our yard. We've not minded them eating the clover in the grass but then they also chewed to the ground some of the perenials and other flowers. They are very selective of what they eat, marigolds, liatris, butterfly weed, echinasia, et al.  I started to feel like Elmer Fudd, devising plans to get rid of them, with little success. I started to go around singing, "Kill the wabbit. kill the wabbit."


Finally I made a solution that I call "Anti-Wabbit Spway" or AWS for short. I spray those plants the rabbit likes every three days or after a rain. It really works. The chewed down perennials have grown back and the marigolds have flowered again.


Here is the recipe:

2 raw jalapeno peppers
2 heaping tbs of ground cayenne (I buy it in the bulk section at Whole foods)
1 onion

Pulverize these three ingredients in a blender with some water and then boil for a half hour in 2 quarts water.
When cool, filter using a fine sieve or cheese cloth ( I do sieve first and then cheese cloth).

I use a spray bottle to spray the plants.  Those pesky wabbits don't like the taste.

 

 

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