We farm, so we have an abundance of "fresh" fertilizer. The past 2 weeks, we have been collecting it and moving it to our raised garden beds. Many manures, such as horse and cow (among others), will kill a plant if applied directly to it while fresh. Each is different, but cow manure takes 30-45 days to age, so that it is safe for the plants. By adding them to my raised beds now, the heat will be gone by the time we start our planting in mid to late March.
If you know a farmer, most will be more than willing to let you go gather some from their pastures at no charge. It's free, organic, and better on the environment than using the ones with chemicals or found in plastic bags.
Source: I learned this the hard way, after applying it too close to the growing season years ago.
By mom-from-missouri from Plattsburg, MO
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We purchased a home 2 years ago that has established jasmine as part of the front yard landscape. It's got a lot of dead leaves, debris, and some branches that appear to be dead. How do we clear out the leaves so that we can fertilize the planting? It was very pretty the year before last; not so much now. It was possibly planted when the home was built in or around 2003.
Thanks for any advice!
I use a long-handled rake to clean out mine.
We used to have one of those leaf things that had a bag and could blow leaves away or vacuum them up. Perhaps you could use one of them to get the loose stuff out and then take a tree pruner (the one we have is adjustable) and snip out the dead stuff that isn't loose.
First of all I would cut back the branches of the Jasmine bush, don't worry they will grow back , to where you can easily rake underneath the growth and if possible use a hand rake to clean around the roots.
Do what you can with a leaf rake then put on a good set of garden gloves that protect against cuts etc (not the pretty fabric ones) and use your hands and the handheld garden forks (claws? I don't know what they are called.) I would wear long sleeves too. Get the last little bit with leaf blower.
I am sure that it is hard to get to. Can you possibly get an attachment for the water hose, and pressure spray all the debris from out from under the Jasmine? In any event, be careful of snakes if you are using a garden tool that is not as long as a rake.
I've use two tools to clean debris from under my closely spaced arborvitae: a child's rake (which I broke) and an old full size rake from which I cut several tines off on either side to leave only enough to get between the trees. I agree with the reader who suggested trimming the trees up to aid in the process (and make things look neater) as well. Good luck!
Thanks very much. We have a leaf blower that does both so will try that. Thanks again; have a wonderful day!
Leaf blower works best for the vining ones. Put an old sheet or cheap shower curtain to "catch and bag".
Last fall I tilled up a new garden plot and planted a winter rye cover. It came along nicely. I left it the winter and it is now greening nicely. Should I wait or should I till it now? And should I do anything to the soil before I plant. It is for mostly root vegetables.
By Kim L
Till it now! Don't let any green manure crop go to seed, you will never get rid of it and it will be a serious pest. By tilling it now you can give it a short time to start breaking down before you plant.
Winter is not a time for gardener's to have the blues. There are a lot of activities you can engage in that will put the old garden to bed and prepare you for the coming season. Clean tools, read up on gardening, order seeds, try new spices to see if you need to grow your own. Concentrate on your houseplants and perhaps make up some garden decorations such as stepping stones or fun planters. More ideas can be found on this page.