Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pass on the peat!

"Peat bogs are seen by some scientists to be as important and fragile as rainforests, and that’s where the concern lies about the use of peat moss by gardeners. Peat companies are destroying these fragile, unique and valuable bog ecosystems by removing the peat."

There are many alternatives to peat moss, many of which cost almost nothing and, unlike dry peat moss, they offer nutrient value:
  • compost - made from yard waste or kitchen scraps
  • leaf mold / mulch -- we have plenty of this around here!
  • well-rotted farm manure
  • spent mushroom compost
  • wood waste-- chipped bark, shredded tree prunings
  • straw
  • cocoa shells 
  • coconut coir -- although it's a waste material, it's being transported from far away places such as Sri Lanka
For more information, check out this article

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clean up old chemicals

Like food, garden chemicals have expiration dates. “Old” products may have broken down and no longer be effective. If you have bottles of weed killers or insecticides from last year (or years before), you should put them aside to go to the next local collection day for hazardous chemicals (usually held in the spring). If you purchase new chemicals, always mark your purchase date prominently so you don’t use products that may no longer do the job, but could still pollute your environment.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Last call!

If you are planting either a vegetable or a flower garden from seed this spring, early February is likely your last chance to get the widest selection from seed catalogs or quality seed company web sites.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sharpen those tools

Sharpen the garden tools you will need for your spring clean-up and gardening. Once you’ve got out your sharpening kit, don’t stop with clippers and pruners. Shovels and hoes are more efficient and save you work when the blades are clean and sharp.

Friday, February 10, 2017

While you're out snowshoeing...

...snap off the candles. Do you want to keep your pines, firs or spruces dense and compact?  This is the month to snap off the ‘candles’ that will otherwise grow; extending branches out to areas where you may not want them to go.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lawn Mower Maintenance

Time to send lawn movers to the repair shops for a tune-up before the shops get overwhelmed in March and April. Remember that sharp blades do less damage to your grass. If you're considering a new mower, keep in mind that rechargeable, battery-operated mowers need less maintenance and do just as good a job as gas-powered ones without the air or noise pollution.