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Online Garden Class - presented March 5, 2012

Sheryl McGlochlin - Tuesday, March 06, 2012

 

 

This is a one-hour Garden Class I presented in my Greenhouse that was published nationwide

Since soil is so important, learn how to improve it BEFORE you plant

Sheryl McGlochlin - Thursday, February 16, 2012



  • Many new gardeners make the mistake of thinking they can dig a hole in the ground, put a plant in and watch it grow.
  • Experienced home gardeners know otherwise.  Much effort goes in to preparing the soil in the fall, months before planting AND in the spring.
  • There are 16 elements or nutrients a plant needs in order for it to grow.  Learn what these nutrients are and which ones are missing from your soil.

                Overall, plants need 16 specific elements, or nutrients, for proper growth. When enough of each nutrient is present in soil, plants grow optimally. If even one element is in short supply, plants can't grow as well. Think of the weakest-link theory, which says that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Your soil is only as fertile as its most deficient nutrient.

 

  • Nutrients for photosynthesis:

    The nutrients that plants need in the largest quantities are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which plants use for photosynthesis.
  • Mineral nutrients:

    Plants generally get mineral nutrients from the soil or from applied fertilizers. Mineral nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (the familiar N-P-K on fertilizer bags), as well as numerous others. When gardeners talk about feeding plants, they're talking about providing them with extra mineral nutrients.
  • The mineral nutrients needed...

    in the largest quantities are called macronutrients and consist of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. In addition, plants need smaller amounts of so-called micronutrients. The eight micronutrients considered essential for plant growth are iron, manganese, boron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, chlorine, and nickel, all of which occur in very small quantities in most soils. These micronutrients, and other substances found in low concentrations in soils, are sometimes called trace elements. Scientists studying plant nutrition may discover additional micronutrients among the many trace elements in soils.
  • Learn what type of soil you are dealing with i.e. clay, sand, etc.    Contact the Extension Service in your area to do a soil test.  Find information on this by doing a search at USU Extension Service (for Utah).

Composting and Cleaning up your garden - do's and don'ts

Sheryl McGlochlin - Friday, February 10, 2012

Learn much more about Composting, CLICK HERE

It's February and we are cleaning up all of our gardens from the fall and winter.

Here are a few tips for recycling materials back into your garden.

 

List of compost materials we recycle back into our gardens.  These are not sent to the land-fill.

  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Weeds
  • Manures
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Wood Chips
  • Saw Dust
  • Bark
  • Stems
  • Stalks
  • Garden and Canning Waste
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

What we do NOT put back into our gardens or into our Compost Piles:

  • Meat
  • Fatty Foods
  • Bones
  • Large Branches
  • Dairy Products
  • Synthetic Products
  • Plastics
  • Pet Wastes

Adding some of these products to your compost pile will attract rats, raccoons and insects.

 

 

Best size for composting:

For optimal composting, materials should be smaller than 2 inches.  These will compost much faster than larger items.

We compost leaves that are much larger than 2 inches but we gather them up, take them to some of our larger gardens, drizzle them over the soil, then till them into the soil, which helps to chop them up into smaller pieces, which helps the composting process move much faster.

 

Successful composting needs 3 things:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nutrients

 

The best way to compost: 

You can make a pile, a box, a bin, a barrel, etc. to keep your compost in but...

The very best way to compost is to get the compost materials back into the garden, to be tilled into your soil asap.

This will allow your compost to get more air, water and bacteria from the soil, helping it to break down much faster than it would in a bin, barrel, pile or box.

 

How to know when your compost is ready?

Compost is ready when it is: 

  • Dark
  • Crumbly
  • Earthy odor
  • Non-offensive odor
  • Looks rich and gorgeous!!

Benefits of planting Annual Rye Grass - during the winter or fall season

Sheryl McGlochlin - Monday, January 30, 2012

 

 

 

There are several crops that can be planted as "green manure" for you to turn under for soil improvement. These crops, like Annual Rye Grass, are planted in the fall or winter and then tilled back into your garden in the spring.


Legumes, like alfalfa, are the very highest in nutrients, but they don't grow as fast as some of the grasses. My favorite grass to grow is Annual Rye Grass since I can grow an abundant quantity of organic material in a fairly short amount of time. Besides the abundant top growth, it produces incredible quantities of small hair roots which break up the soil, decompose quickly and add humus to the soil. It will grow about knee high. It also makes for a super fun place for kids to play in. Just till it back in to the soil in the spring.

Another benefit of planting Annual Rye Grass is the humus it adds to the soil.
Benefits of adding humus with your soil:
1. Improves aeration, drainage, water penetration and water retention and ease of root penetration
6. Gives the soil a spongy quality which keeps it from compacting
7. Gives a good, soft, crumbly texture which makes it easy to work with
8. Makes nutrients more accessible for healthy plant growth
9. Makes the plants more resistant to disease

Monday: Oct. 17 - Garden Work to do all week long - Help us amend the soil!

Sheryl McGlochlin - Monday, October 17, 2011

We are adding all organic material to our soil and tilling it in - that means left over plants, dead plants, all plants EXCEPT diseased plants.

Let me know if you can work so I know what is being done in each garden.

UEA weekend means kids are out of school!  Bring them to help us!

Contact me before working in any of our gardens.


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