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Do You Cherish Your Roots?

For your plants, one of the most important things that you can give them is good, strong, healthy roots. Good roots will enable your plants to get nutrients out of the ground. Remember, nutrients are made available to roots by microorganisms releasing and making available nutrients in the soil. Good roots also let your plants become drought resistant so that they will not be negatively affected by dry spells. An easy way to put valuable microbes into your soil and make it healthier is to add Devine Gardens vermicompost. The above picture shows on the left a tomato grown in a pot with commercial fertilizer. The roots on the right are from a tomato plant grown with vermicompost. An amazing...

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Types of Mulches

Mulching is covering the soil with a thin layer of material to block weeds, retain moisture, increase nutrients and microbes in the soil and/or for appearance sake. There are different reasons to use mulch and different types of mulches. Ground bark mulches are good spread around trees and shrubs. Ground bark mulches will suck nutrients away from plants so I don't recommend using them near flowers and vegetables. Mature stable compost is better around flowers and vegetables because it will add nutrients to the soil not take away.  Shredded leaves from the year before are great to use as a mulch. Unshredded leaves may become matted and repel water.  Straw can be used but I find it to be expensive. Hay...

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Are Older Seeds Still Good?

Have you been looking over seed catalogs deciding what to grow this year? Before you spend money on new seed do an inventory of what seeds you have from the years before. Some seeds store better than others. High Mowing Seeds has a helpful chart listing the longevity of different seeds. For example, turnip seeds are good for 5 years but corn seed may only last for 2. Here is a link to High Mowing Seeds chart.  Vermicompost has been shown to increase the viability of seeds. In a research study done by Michelle Wills and Gary R. Bachman, Tennessee Technological University, they found that vermicompost added to a coir based potting mix had a positive effect on seed germination of Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower). More...

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