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Why are we doing this? This has been bothering me for years. I garden; and, because we all need to "think green," (before the mulching mower) I would rake all the leaves up, and dig a huge hole in the garden, or vice-versa, and rake all of the leaves into the hole I created in the garden, then back fill all of the dirt into the hole.
The first spring, when I dug into that tree leaf back fill, I was surprised by some of the darkest, most lovely soil I had ever seen in my life.
I truly feel that deciduous trees are trying to give back to us in the fall everything they accumulated from the sun, rain, and soil that spring and summer.
Yet, without thought, so many of us rake those leaves up, waiting for the city to come take them away, and we devoid our own property of those nutrients, replenishing them in the spring with other nutrients - organic, or not.
In the years that have passed, I've gotten married, and we now own a mulching lawnmower. I really like the idea that the lawnmower mulches the fallen leaves; however, the mulching lawnmower uses gasoline.
For ourselves, and those that are here, and those to come, let's "think green." Really, what are we doing to our own properties when we give the city our leaves, and devoid our own land of those nutrients?
Source: Myself. I was inspired to write this today, after I heard a noise outside and asked my husband what that noise was. He replied that it sounded like it might have been a leaf-blower, or even a leaf-mulcher.
By Carol L. from South Bend, IN
I have a hanging basket of pansies ($8.00 basket reduced to 50 cents last fall). It was beautiful until a mother house finch decided to build a nest in it.
Soon, the urge to fly will take her babies away, and the hot sun will be the demise of the pansies. Until that time, I will enjoy hearing Mama and Papa house finch sing their little hearts out each time they bring the little ones a morsel of food.
The tip? Oh! The tip!
As you can see, baby birds make a lot of poop. Throw that nest away? Not on your ninny. I may throw it into the compost bin. Better yet, I may stuff it in an old sock, tie the end and throw the sock in an old gallon jar filled with water. In a few days, I will stir the water vigorously and pour through a strainer.
Added sparingly, the resulting 'tea' should be good for my two or three foliage houseplants which require higher amounts of nitrogen than most flowering houseplants.
Want to enjoy that cup of tea and get free fertilizer in return? Then don't throw away that leftover cup or teapot of tea (the one without sugar and cream) as they make excellent fertilizer for your greens.
Just let the leftover tea cool down, then pour some over your greens and your plants will grow beautifully. I got this tip from my ex-boss when after the meeting was over, he pour the tea over the plants. I was shocked and he said they are good for them and sure enough all our office plants looked incredibly healthy and gorgeous!
To be even more frugal, you can also pour additional hot water on the used tea bags (who says they can only be used once!), but of course, you use less water the 2nd time round to enjoy that cup of tea or just to create some more fertilizer .
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Does someone know of any place online that sells a slow release 10-30-10 fertilizer?
By Joe C
Have you tried www.burpee.com? or www.wildseedfarms.com or www.kitchengardenseeds.com ( By John Scheepers) These Co.s all have great products, online help, Q/A sections, etc. And also have catalogs you can get by mail- as well as virtual catalogs online. I actually have just received these catalogs for this year a few weeks ago.
Also- I'd like to recommend "Thrive." It Doubles the size of your plants. They have all kinds of formulas for all different plants. They know what each kind needs & how much. I used it last year- (just a free Sample) . They sent me 2 free packets & Wow! My plants were Huge. www.use thrive.com Good Luck & Happy Gardening.