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Two Ways to Compost

Cool composting is what most of us are doing in our backyards. When piles of feedstock, whether its manure or yard and food waste, are allowed to sit until they break down that is considered cool composting. Cool composting your own yard and food waste this way makes absolutely, wonderful compost that is filled with many microorganisms (keep noxious weeds and diseased plants out). You may want to surround the pile with a fine screen like chicken wire to keep the animals out. Cool composting manure is not an effective way to kill pathogens. If you want to compost manure it should be turned to aerate and the temperature should be monitored. Cool composting does not eliminate weed seeds either....

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Stop the Not-So-Fun Fungi in Their Tracks

Have you ever wondered why one day your seedlings look healthy and the next day they are falling over and drooping? It's caused by a disease from bad fungus known as damping off. Vermicompost can help prevent this disease from attacking your seedlings. This picture from Cornell's website shows seedlings that were grown with and without vermicompost. http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/vermicompost.htm  This beautiful poster shows how vermicompost helps prevent damping off. Too much information? Don't worry, just add 10% vermicompost to your seed starting and potting mixes to give your seedlings that extra layer of protection.  

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Tomato Collars

Put cut off buckets or pots around your tomato plants to shelter them from wind and keep them a little warmer at night. It makes watering them easier because you just water inside the pots so you're only watering the tomato plant and not wasting water. Best of all your cute little puppy dog or kitty cat won't lay on them. See how happy Charlie is? I have read that this will also protect plants from cutworms.

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