Buying Food From Organic Farmers

Buying Food From Organic Farmers

Are you interested in improving the way that you eat? If you are, you’ll want to examine natural, organic foods. After a close examination, you’ll see that there are a number of benefits to eating organic. Organic foods are available for sale at supermarkets, organic food stores, and online. With that said, organic foods are also commonly sold directly by the farmers who grew them. If you have local farmers who sell organic foods, you should consider doing your shopping directly through them.

When it comes to buying many organic food products, such as fruits and vegetables directly from organic farmers, many individuals wonder why they should do so. In all honesty, there are a number of reasons, as well as benefits to buying organic foods directly from the source. One of those benefits is the assistance that you’ll be providing to local farmers. It’s no secret that many farmers find it difficult to stay afloat financially. In fact, hundreds of small farms shut down each year. Instead of shutting down, many farmers are now making the switch to organic foods.

A large number of farmers, all across the United States, are now making the decision to go organic. Unfortunately, this decision isn’t always easy. It can be costly in the beginning, as well as very risky. Although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, you can provide financial relief and assistance to organic farmers by buying their products directly from them. When you buy organic fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer or farmers who grew them, they’re able to receive all the profits, not just a portion of them. In this aspect, you can consider buying organic fruits and vegetables directly from farmers your good deed for the week or month.

As nice as it is to hear that you should purchase some organic foods directly from the farmers who grow them, how do you go about doing so? First you should check out your local farmer’s market farmer’s markets typically involve the setup of stands and booths in or around your town square. Many farmer’s markets in the United States allow a large number of farmers to attend and set up booths. Depending on your local farmer’s markets, its size and who’s present, you may be able to find organic food sold.

In addition to visiting one of your local farmer’s markets to see if organic foods are for sale, you can also visit local farms in person. To help you decide which farms should be visited look for signs or advertisements in local newspapers. It’s also usually easy to spot farms where organic foods are being sold because many set up roadside booths or have a storefront building on their property, which is usually easy to see from the road. If you do make the decision to shop with a local farmer, be sure to bring cash, as many small operations are not equipped to accept checks, debit cards, or credit cards.

To read about asparagus urine and growing asparagus, visit the Fruits And Vegetables site.

Nutrient Stripped Vegetables: The Downside of Modern Agriculture

Nutrient Stripped Vegetables: The Downside of Modern Agriculture

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The average modern day vegetable producer has done a wonderful job of feeding massive amounts of people on a large scale. The trade off, however, seems to be at the expense of optimal taste and nutrition. During tough economic times, it can be a rather daunting task to find the best nutritional value for your family’s budget, when it comes to fresh vegetables, in super-sized grocery stores.

According to Donald R. Davis, a former research associate with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin claims, “there is definitely a correlation between the high and low yield varieties, and in the varying amount of nutrients they contain.”

What is commonly known, today, as the ‘genetic dilution effect’, was first discovered and published in a 1981 study conducted by W.M. Jarrell and R.B. Beverly in the “Advances In Agronomy”. What has been less studied, are the nutritional effects of selective genetic breeding of plant foods chosen specifically for higher yields.

In 1996 and ’97′, a study was performed in South Carolina using a variety of broccoli chosen for its high yields. It was shown that selective genetic breeding lead to a loss of protein, amino acids, and as many as six different minerals. Davis says, “jumbo sizing the end product is no assurance of increased nutrition and is, in effect, winding up with more dry matter that dilutes mineral concentrations, making for a nutritionally emptier food source.”

Loss of important nutrients can also be attributed to the industrialization of agriculture that relies, heavily, on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and rushed harvesting techniques. When plant foods are harvested earlier, the plant has had less time to take up minerals from the soil it needs to go through its natural synthesis process.

Farming practices such as those mentioned above, along with lack of crop rotations, has led to over using soils to the point of mineral depletion. Not only do plants need a wide variety of nutrients to grow healthy, we need them to be in the plant food source, in abundance, so they are naturally healthy for us to eat.

It is estimated that there is somewhere between 5 to 40 percent less protein and minerals in commercially grown vegetables, when compared to organic or locally grown produce. Fifty years ago, this was less of a problem than it has become today, and it is uncertain how much fruits are effected when compared to vegetables.

As intimidating as this information like this may sound to you, don’t let it shake you up so much. This may be one reason why nutritional health experts have recently started recommending 7 to 9 servings a day (or more) of this important food group. The old recommended 5 a day guideline has suddenly become outdated.

Realistically, what can we do to increase our benefits of adding more fruit and vegetable nutrition to our daily diets? Well, you can try growing a small vegetable garden. If you don’t have the green thumb know how, then the simplest alternative is to shop as organically and locally as you possibly can.

Focus on getting more whole foods that are grown and raised as nature intended with sustainable growing practices. Most people will agree food raised this way not only tastes better, it is often of better quality and is much fresher.

When it comes to buying organic, buyer beware of the shady business tactics of ‘Big Agri’ that has tainted the organic food label. Just because the label says it is organic, does not mean it actually is. Many smaller, local farmers raise organic quality food, but are unable to afford the expensive certification process required to legally label them as such.

If you frequently shop local farmers markets, and organic is important to you, just talk with the people who raise the food you are buying. Striking up a conversation is the easiest way to find out what you are wanting to know. Organically grown produce definitely bumps up your nutritional intake of this food group, so much so, that eating 5 a day may be a sufficient amount to keep you relatively healthy.

Depending on your regional climate and soil conditions, a lack of locally grown fruits and vegetables may leave you very few options other than to eat commercially grown produce. If this is the case, don’t worry so much about it. Certainly, it is far better to eat them, no matter how they are grown, than not at all.

It is possible to take advantage of what few nutrients may be available in them, making them work more effectively for you, by drinking more water. I am not kidding you on this, nothing more than pure water will do a better job of carrying nutrients to cell membranes, aids in nutrient absorption by keeping cells well hydrated, plus it washes away oxidative waste residues and toxins.

Water does not count as pure water if it is in the form of sodas, teas, and coffee, or juices. Water needs to be the dominate beverage that gets you through each and every day, saving those other drinks for occasional use, and in mindful moderation.

Brenda Skidmore can attest to the many positive results natural health cures bring to human health. Along with the many medical professionals, whose published works she has studied, it is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information. To improve your health today visit:
mywater4life

Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable Gardening

Husbandry HAS GAINED approving as a workforce to conventional outdoor farming and is winning agriculture to places and group that before were confined by location, experience, status and remaining incorrigible factors. If you port’t already, you might conceive connexion the ontogenesis ranks of gardeners who are discovering the pleasures and benefits of maturation their own vegetables year-round, indoors and out. Hydroponic vegetables change faster, change author, may outlay little in the sesquipedalian run and ofttimes perceptiveness outperform than those you buy at the mart. And they can do all these things without begrime or sun.

Your hydroponic method can be as spatulate or convoluted as you essential it to be. You can make your own emblem from goods supplies and your own intuition or drop in one of the numerous manufactured systems obtainable on the market today. Any hydroponic group, whether homemade or manufactured, should do two things: concur and alter the stabilise group of the pass and supplying the organism with nutrients.

Ground is replaced by an mingle that performs the resource and aeration functions. The device and more poriferous it is, the amend. Almost anything can cater as an aggregated, but many recommendations include lava stones and pea cacophonic. Both should be washed repeatedly before using to shift all excess feces, detritus and flavorer.

Another new production of comment is rockwool, a uninspired line prefab from liquid displace into which seeds may be potbound. After maturation the seedlings and rockwool may be transplanted straight into your system. It is relatively inexpensive and oversubscribed by more husbandry manufacturers.

The substance statement primarily provides gas, phosphorus and potassium, triplet elements pivotal to complex development. However, plants also necessary vestige amounts of elements equivalent process, shackle, manganese, metal, sepia, element, metal, metal, chlorine and molybdenum, which are ordinarily provided by the ground. Debate exploit your substance formula from a hydroponic doctor since umteen advertizement formulas do not include these canvas elements.

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable Gardening

Husbandry HAS GAINED approving as a workforce to conventional outdoor farming and is winning agriculture to places and group that before were confined by location, experience, status and remaining incorrigible factors. If you port’t already, you might conceive connexion the ontogenesis ranks of gardeners who are discovering the pleasures and benefits of maturation their own vegetables year-round, indoors and out. Hydroponic vegetables change faster, change author, may outlay little in the sesquipedalian run and ofttimes perceptiveness outperform than those you buy at the mart. And they can do all these things without begrime or sun.

Your hydroponic method can be as spatulate or convoluted as you essential it to be. You can make your own emblem from goods supplies and your own intuition or drop in one of the numerous manufactured systems obtainable on the market today. Any hydroponic group, whether homemade or manufactured, should do two things: concur and alter the stabilise group of the pass and supplying the organism with nutrients.

Ground is replaced by an mingle that performs the resource and aeration functions. The device and more poriferous it is, the amend. Almost anything can cater as an aggregated, but many recommendations include lava stones and pea cacophonic. Both should be washed repeatedly before using to shift all excess feces, detritus and flavorer.

Another new production of comment is rockwool, a uninspired line prefab from liquid displace into which seeds may be potbound. After maturation the seedlings and rockwool may be transplanted straight into your system. It is relatively inexpensive and oversubscribed by more husbandry manufacturers.

The substance statement primarily provides gas, phosphorus and potassium, triplet elements pivotal to complex development. However, plants also necessary vestige amounts of elements equivalent process, shackle, manganese, metal, sepia, element, metal, metal, chlorine and molybdenum, which are ordinarily provided by the ground. Debate exploit your substance formula from a hydroponic doctor since umteen advertizement formulas do not include these canvas elements.

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

Seven Requirements to a Successful Flower or Vegetable Garden

Seven Requirements to a Successful Flower or Vegetable Garden

Many gardeners like to jump right in and plant all kinds of flowers, plants and vegetables and they don’t even know anything about what is needed to place, feed and maintain those gardens. Hopefully the following information will get those brain cells working as to what must be done and do it right.

Disease-susceptible

It is best to know if your plants are subject to diseases or fungus. This should lead you to picking the right plants to put in your garden. The right plant and the right soil are most important at this time. In order to get a good looking garden and keep the maintenance to a minimum choose plants that are disease resistant.

One thought to keep in mind is to try and stay with native plants. If you live in zones 1 thru 6 don’t try to grow bougainvilleas. It just does not work for you or the plant.

Experience is the best teacher as to what can be grown and what to do for its soil. Go visit a good local nursery and if you can trust them ask them what may be best for your area. To keep you as a customer they should be happy to help you. Also the local county extension service and even nursery catalogs put out a lot of good information. Disease resistant plants can save you a lot of time and money.

There are resistant kinds that are around for such diseases as apple scab, armillaria root rot, bean mosaic virus, black spot, blueberry mummyberry, cherry viruses, fireblight, juniper tips, lilac bacterial blight, pea enation mosaic virus, potato scab, powdery mildew, root-knot nematode, rust, tomato fusarium
twig blights, verticillium wilt and other diseases.

Location

Know what location to place those plants. Do some planning and look at what, where and when to plant. Pick those plants accordingly.

Shade

A good nursery will have everything labeled especially with the needs of the
plant like if it needs sun, part shade or full shade.

Place a shade plant in the sun and you will get yellowing and it will grow poorly. A sunburn will happen and there is no coppertone for plants to prevent
it. One rule of thumb I have heard is “stay away from western or southern exposure”.

Sun

On the other hand if a sun plant is placed in the shade you will get poor results like stunted or spindly growth. By chance they do grow they will be frail and lacking leaves which are energy producers.

Your flowers will lack blooms by putting in the shade. Or say, the sun will increase those blooming flowers to their max.

Water

Use water conservation landscaping whenever you can. Water is abundant on the earth but we do not need to waste it. If and when you water your plants or lawn you will need to know that your driveway and sidewalk will not grow from a lot of watering. Drought climates know the importance off conserving water at all times. When watering, do it to a depth of 1 inch.

We take our water supply for granted by squandering more than we ever should use and in many areas, additional groundwater is pumped and mother nature can’t keep up with by replacing through precipitation and runoff.

Drought-tolerant

One suggestion is use plants that are tolerant to drought. Once established these plants grow better with little water. We tried to adapt afghan pines to south Texas which are arid tolerant pines but even here they got too much water and die at a young age.

However, every plant needs to be mulched, mother nature’s blanket for heat, cold and even drought.

Some grasses need heavy watering to stay green and growing. Maybe a good idea to replace with drought-tolerant groundcovers, therefore, may save on water and money.

If your favorite plant needs plenty of water try grouping them together and then layering them with a couple inches mulch.

Pollination requirements

We need to maintain our pollinators of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds by getting a food source for them with the right plants. New gardeners attempt to grow fruit trees and find the trees are fruitless. No cross pollination is happening.

Many kinds of trees need cross pollination to produce blooms and their fruit. On some it is mandatory but not on all.

Research the pollination requirements of your desired tree before hand. Growing one on limited space try a self-pollinating fruit tree.

As mentioned before pollination will not take place without insects, butterflies or hummingbirds.

One last thing I feel that I need to harp on is if chemical pesticides are used by yourself or a neighbor, the honeybees and other pollinating insects won’t be around so that fruit production will suffer.

Use organic.

Jim’s articles are from extensive research on each of his topics and life-long experience. You can learn more by visiting: organic fertilizers and plants.

Your First Vegetable Garden

Your First Vegetable Garden

Suggestions from a guy who has gardened for more than 25 years …

Start Small – For most beginners, smaller is better. A 100 square foot garden – say, 10 feet by 10 feet – is plenty. Even a 4 ft. by 5 ft. garden or a few containers on your deck or patio can be very rewarding.

The Basics – there are 5 basic requirements:
– Good soil
– Seeds and/or plants
– Water
– Fertilizer
– Weed and bug control.

Good Soil – Good gardening starts with good soil. Good soil contains a mixture of small and large mineral particles, organic materials, air, water, and millions of living organisms, from microorganisms to worms. If you have either thick clay or loose sandy soil, the best solution is to add compost or top soil to your garden. Rent or borrow a mini-tiller, like the Mantis tiller, to do this most effectively.

For a more thorough discussion of garden soil, see The Dirt on Soil, elsewhere on this site.

When You Should Start – Ideally, you should prepare your soil a couple of weeks prior to your last frost date. To estimate your last frost date, see http://www.victoryseeds.com/frost/

Start gardening anytime after your last frost date. You can even start a garden in mid summer.

Seeds and Plants – Rule #1 is to grow what you’ll eat. And, grow the right quantity. Six zucchini plants will produce more squash than you and all of your friends and relatives can handle! Start with 1 or 2.

Tomatoes – 1 or 2 beefsteak tomato plants for sandwiches, salads, and sauces. One cherry tomato plant for snacking and for salads.

Leaf Lettuce – easy to grow, and high yielding.

Spinach – easy to grow, very nutritious, and somewhat more heat tolerant than lettuce.

Bush Beans – easy to grow and very nutritional. The big seeds are easy to handle.

Summer Squash – options range from buttery yellow varieties of squash to the traditional green zucchini.

Beets – easy to grow and good for you. Thin the young seedlings so that the remaining plants have room to develop.

Water – Plants get their food by absorbing water and dissolved nutrients through their roots. Rule of thumb – about 1” of rainfall or watering per week.

To reduce the amount of soil moisture lost to evaporation, add a layer of mulch to the top of your garden soil. Grass clippings, shredded dry leaves, hay, and straw are excellent mulches.

Fertilizer – Plants, like people, need food. Organic fertilizer can be added when you plant and throughout the season.

The best long-term solution for creating healthy soil is to continuously add compost. For lots of practical information, see Composting 101, or visit HowToCompost.org.

Weeds and Bugs – The best treatment for weeds is prevention – lots of mulch will significantly reduce weeds.

Bugs are more complex. Some bugs are good, some are bad. Consider using a natural pesticide like Pyola® or Bulls-Eye™; both are environmentally responsible and available from Gardens Alive!

http://gardenofoz.org

http://thegardenofoz.org

Using mulch and wood chips around your vegetable garden!

Using mulch and wood chips around your vegetable garden!

Using these materials around vegetable plants will benefit your garden in several ways.

You are simply introducing natural and organic material back to the soil. The mulch will slowly break down and add nutrients back to the soil. Adding mulch will help to insulate plants in cooler climates. Surrounding certain plants with a couple of inches of mulch will greatly insulate plants against extreme temperature dips. The mulch will actually help lock the moisture into the soil, slightly reducing the need for more frequent waterings. When using mulch around certain plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, etc.) you can ensure that any fruit resting on the ground will instead rest on a nice thick matting of mulch. This will slow down the rotting that vegetables usually rush to once they sit on the ground. Weed control! Mulch is an awesome strategy in keeping weeds under control around your plants.

 

Here are a few tips on using mulch in your garden.

 

You do not want to pile the mulch too thickly. A simple covering of 2”-4” will suffice. Any deeper and you will have a hard time walking around in it and it will insulate the plants too well. I prefer to use  mulch (actually wood chips) around my viney plants such as; cucumber, zucchini, crookneck squash, and pumpkins. These plants are nearly impossible to weed once they start spreading their vines and the fruit from these plants always sits on the ground. I spread my mulch with a pitchfork. Works great and is easy to get around your plants with fork. I don’t suggest using mulch everywhere in your garden. Simply use it in certain areas (as I mentioned above, around viney plants is perfect). Using mulch everywhere will make the soil tougher to row and work with

Some parting thoughts and suggestions!

I have used the terms mulch and wood chips interchangeably in this article, just fyi. There is not major difference except that many times mulch has been died and is more refined then wood chips. I suggest keeping any raw wood chips away from your home or other structures that contain wood. The wood chips can harbor and attract termites. If you get a pile of raw wood chips you can compost them for a couple of weeks to kill any termites. I prefer using wood chips because they can be had from almost any tree-removal/trimming company. I have a buddy who supplies all of our wood chips (as much as we want) for free. He has a hard time dumping them anywhere and is happy to get rid of them.

Steve Gunther is passionate about vegetable gardening. Though only introduced to gardening himself a couple of years ago, he has immersed himself in the gardening community. Steve is currently starting a website dedicated to vegetable gardening http://getready2garden.com/ and a blog :http://getready2garden.blogspot.com/

How to start a vegetable garden from scratch

How to start a vegetable garden from scratch

Plot out your garden area. Decide on what you want to plant and how much room you will need to grow those plants. Also, the amount of sunlight is very important in picking out the proper placement of your garden. You will want an area that gets direct sunlight most for the day. Something else to take into account is the drainage of the land. You will not want your garden in a depressed area of land because water will tend to flood those areas and won’t drain properly. I prefer using a slightly sloped piece of land or a flat piece of land that retains and drains water properly. Once you have chosen the location and size of you garden you will want to mark the boundaries of the garden with stakes or flags. Next is the part of the job that will likely take the most time, preparing the soil. Preparing the soil means two things to me:

 

A.Cutting and removing the sod. You have several options when deciding how you want to get rid of the grass and get down to the soil. If you have a very large garden you may want to hire somebody or rent the equipment (bobcat) to tear up the grass. If you own a rototiller (you can rent one), you can use this to remove the sod. There a two main types of tillers, front tine or rear tine. Rear tine tillers have the blades in the back of the machine and typically are a bit easier to use due to the fact that you (as the operator) get more weight/leverage over top the blades. Front tine tillers have the blades in the front and can be a bit harder to use on hard sod or compacted soil since there is not as much weight/leverage over top the blades to make them bite in as well as a rear tine tiller. If you have a very small garden area then you may also choose to use a shovel to tear up the sod. Personally, my brother and I used a tiller to tear up a rather large patch of land for our garden. We would run the tiller over the grass to break it up then rake the grass clumps into one large pile in the corner of our garden, which eventually decomposed to plain dirt. We had to run the tiller over the garden area several times and rake clumps of grass each time before we had a workable dirt area. This can be a back breaking task so make sure to take your time and rest occasionally.

 

B. Getting the soil ready to plant in. Plants will produce their best when they have a healthy, somewhat loose, soil to grow in. This means that you want a nutrient rich soil that retains just the right amount of moisture. You can take soil samples into many garden centers to get a test done. A soil test will tell you what you need to add or balance out in your soil. The three key nutrients in soil that you will need to worry about are: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Any and all of these nutrients can easily be added using organic or non-organic methods. Ask your garden center what you should use for your soil. I was fortunate with my garden because the land we put our garden on used to be old farm land and was great soil. We simply tilled the soil several times to loosen it up before we created rows.

                                          

Next you will want to create your rows and plant your seeds or seedlings. To do this, follow the directions for row and seed spacing on the back of your seed packages (you can also find all your planting information here: http://getready2garden.com/page7.html ). Many plants require 24” to 36” between rows. Make sure to leave adequate room between your rows to allow you to walk and/or till between them. I like to mark where my rows will be, by driving stakes into the ground on each end of the row and tying twine between the stakes (I use a tape measure to mark the distance between my stakes).

 

These are just the basics of getting a garden started up to the point of planting. To get more in depth information, please visit: http://getready2garden.com/ .

Steve Gunther is passionate about vegetable gardening. Though only introduced to gardening himself a couple of years ago, he has immersed himself in the gardening community. Steve is currently starting a website dedicated to vegetable gardening http://getready2garden.com/ .

September is Time to Plant Fall And Winter Flower And Vegetable Gardens

September is Time to Plant Fall And Winter Flower And Vegetable Gardens

While most gardeners around the country are winding down their gardens for the year, Southern California gardeners can plant a fresh crop of vegetables and blooms in September and October for enjoyment during fall and winter.

 

Prepare Your Soil For Fall Flowers: Remove annuals. Break up and till the soil and generously add compost or organic planting mix. You may want to wait a week or two before adding fresh plants. This will give weeds enough time to germinate. Remove the weeds while they are small so they will be less of a headache later on.

 

Plant Your Winter Flower Garden: Begin planting your fall and winter flower garden towards the end of September. While blasts of hot, Santa Ana winds will blow from September through November, September nights are generally cool and days pleasantly warm–perfect growing conditions. Your fall garden can include calendula, delphiniums, larkspur, Iceland poppy, pansies, snapdragon and stock. In shady areas, plant primrose, daisies and cineraria.

 

Trim Perennials: Perennials are beginning to lose their summer luster. Trim excess plant growth and remove sagging summer flowers.

           

Plant Wildflowers: Instead of scattering wildflower seeds on the surface of the soil and hope they will grow, for best results, rake the soil gently, spread the seeds and cover lightly with soil. The seeds will begin to germinate once wet weather arrives.

 

Plant Spring Bulbs: Spring bulbs will soon be available at local nurseries. Now is the time to plant bulbs for such plants as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth.

 

Plant Your Vegetables: When summer vegetable plants stop producing a robust crop (late September or October), remove the plants and replace them with vegetable plants that will produce through winter. Cool weather vegetables include cabbage, peas, broccoli, lettuce and green onions.

 

Prepare for the Santa Ana Winds: Santa Ana winds can wreck havoc on newly planted trees, shrubs and gardens. New, shallow root systems can’t replace water as fast as water is drawn from leaves by the winds. The winds can devastate a garden in a matter of days if water is not provided. When winds kick up, be prepared to quickly get out the garden hose and give your plants the moisture they need.

 

Bill Camarillo is CEO of Agromin, an Oxnard, California-based manufacturer of premium soil products and the green materials recycler for communities throughout Southern California. Each month, Agromin receives and processes thousands of tons of urban wood and green waste. Agromin then uses a safe, organic and scientific system to formulate its soil products from the processed recycled green materials. www.agromin.com.

September is Time to Plant Fall And Winter Flower And Vegetable Gardens

September is Time to Plant Fall And Winter Flower And Vegetable Gardens

While most gardeners around the country are winding down their gardens for the year, Southern California gardeners can plant a fresh crop of vegetables and blooms in September and October for enjoyment during fall and winter.

 

Prepare Your Soil For Fall Flowers: Remove annuals. Break up and till the soil and generously add compost or organic planting mix. You may want to wait a week or two before adding fresh plants. This will give weeds enough time to germinate. Remove the weeds while they are small so they will be less of a headache later on.

 

Plant Your Winter Flower Garden: Begin planting your fall and winter flower garden towards the end of September. While blasts of hot, Santa Ana winds will blow from September through November, September nights are generally cool and days pleasantly warm–perfect growing conditions. Your fall garden can include calendula, delphiniums, larkspur, Iceland poppy, pansies, snapdragon and stock. In shady areas, plant primrose, daisies and cineraria.

 

Trim Perennials: Perennials are beginning to lose their summer luster. Trim excess plant growth and remove sagging summer flowers.

           

Plant Wildflowers: Instead of scattering wildflower seeds on the surface of the soil and hope they will grow, for best results, rake the soil gently, spread the seeds and cover lightly with soil. The seeds will begin to germinate once wet weather arrives.

 

Plant Spring Bulbs: Spring bulbs will soon be available at local nurseries. Now is the time to plant bulbs for such plants as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth.

 

Plant Your Vegetables: When summer vegetable plants stop producing a robust crop (late September or October), remove the plants and replace them with vegetable plants that will produce through winter. Cool weather vegetables include cabbage, peas, broccoli, lettuce and green onions.

 

Prepare for the Santa Ana Winds: Santa Ana winds can wreck havoc on newly planted trees, shrubs and gardens. New, shallow root systems can’t replace water as fast as water is drawn from leaves by the winds. The winds can devastate a garden in a matter of days if water is not provided. When winds kick up, be prepared to quickly get out the garden hose and give your plants the moisture they need.

 

Bill Camarillo is CEO of Agromin, an Oxnard, California-based manufacturer of premium soil products and the green materials recycler for communities throughout Southern California. Each month, Agromin receives and processes thousands of tons of urban wood and green waste. Agromin then uses a safe, organic and scientific system to formulate its soil products from the processed recycled green materials. www.agromin.com.

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