Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The lawn in the front yard is absolutely sensational to walk on. When I moved here it was hard like a rock... now it's almost spongy underfoot. I spread pelletized lime today and was astounded at the cushy turf! The root systems must have really gained ground. Will be topping off with coffee grounds (Dunkin Donuts) tomorrow. The young blades should savor that!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Compost Critter Website

WE now have a new site wtih details on organic gardening, composting and vermiposting at CompostCritter.com .  Learn about the use of worms to compost household or office waste and break your existing compost down to vermipost and worm castings for the ultimate organic fertilizer and potting soil.

We are just celebrating our first anniversary with this work and have several study projects underway.

If you are looking for a school project for your biology or science project, we have created one that you can puchase or replicate.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Keeping Organic Through the Winter

Somehow these things always fall behind...   Will try to stay current this winter.   

Had a great yield this summer.  Photos are cluttered thourgh another blog, check flipshouses and now compostcritter.  Will try to reorganize this weekend.  

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Busy week!

Lots going on this week.

Website will soon move to Reykur.us

Have been working on getting that organized, and updated details at AGMAP.org

Will soon have an index of all articles and materials available on the new website. That will simplify things for everyone.

The Lawn & Turf Management Program is going over well! Most guys are still plowing snow, but time to look ahead at new profit centers for the new year.

Began exploring vermiculture and worm castings. We're putting together an experimental station to see where this could go. Amazing resources out there. Best white paper is from Australia... pretty interesting.

If only I had a storage tank... I think my sump pump has moved over 15,000 gallons of water in the last 24 hours. It was doing a 2.5 gallon cycle every 10 seconds yesterday. The rain is gone, snow melted, sun shining, and the water is still coming thru the basement wall at a fair rate. Nothing damaged, the pump keeps up pretty well, but will take the opportunity to brush the entire basement to the drain, as long as the water is free. Hazards of living at the north base of a mountain.

Enjoy the day!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why Should you consider going natural?

Why should you consider going natural?
Naturl Fertilizers supply the important plant nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K) whichhelp lawns and plants create rich color and deep roots.

In addition, N-P-K promote vigorous growth, which
improves disease and stress resistance.
Naturally managed lawns cycle nutrients efficiently,
which helps prevent a buildup of thatch-an accumulation
at the soil surface of dead, but undecomposed,
stems and leaves. Importantly, grass clippings do not
contribute to thatch-in fact, cycling grass clippings can
annually provide a lawn with as much as two pounds of
additional nitrogen per thousand square feet; a nice
boost of free nutrients. 1

The most important goal of any soil fertility program
is the stimulation of the natural cycles that release
nutrients for plant uptake. Ninety percent of the needed
nitrogen for plant growth is converted from atmospheric
nitrogen (78% nitrogen) by bacteria into nitrates
through the natural cycle of nitrification. Natural fertilizers
and water applied in the right combination
along with the return of grass clippings provide the
nutrients needed to support proliferation of these bacteria.
The nourished bacteria ..rapidly process the nutrients
making them available'for healthy lawn growth.
Natural fertilizers tend to release nutrients more slowly
than chemical fertilizers.

In addition, they don't
contain the high concentrations of nitrogen that are
contained in most chemical fertilizers. High nitrogen
concentrations in the soil can damage the biological
community and are proven to contribute to water
pollution by leaching out of the soil into the ground
and surface water2. By supplying low levels of
nitrogen and other nutrients directly to the lawn and
indirectly through feeding the soil biological community,
the grass is fed continuously without causing
water pollution3.

Some conventional, manufactured-chemical fertilizers
supply nitrogen in the form of chemical salts. This form
of manufactured-chemical nitrogen dissolves quickly to
provide a rapid nitrogen release. Often, a quick nitrogen
release can encourage weed growth. Lawn grasses respond
to a nitrogen 'spike' by producing excessive top growth
in lieu of laying in stores of carbohydrates. Lawns with
poor carbohydrate reserves often go dormant during
drought or other stressful times3.

Literature cited:
1. Frank Rossi, Ph.D. 1995. Green Thumb Project.
University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison,
2. William R. Jackson, Ph.D. 1993. Organic Soil
Conditioning (pp. 401-425). Jackson Research
Center, Evergreen, Colorado.
3. Warren Schultz, 1989. The Chemical-Free Lawn
(pp. 67-83). Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Houseplants the AGGRAND way

Houseplants the AGGRAND Way
If you're a houseplant enthusiast, AGGRAND has developed an excellent fertility program just for you! If you're not, AGGRAND can make you look like an expert without a lot of fuss.
Houseplants depend on you to supply their needs:
Here's what you need on hand to do the job right:
Apply AGGRAND products regularly; organic matter two times a year.
A one gallon capacity watering can with a long spout.
Leach the pots with plenty of water twice a year.
AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3
Apply enough water, but do not over water.
AGGRAND Natural Liquid Bonemeal 0-12-0
Repot the plants every couple of years.
AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash 0-0-8

AGGRAND Natural Liquid Lime

A bag of earthworm castings, good quality compost or composted manure.

A bag or two of potting mix containing sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, sand or sandy loam soil and/or pumice (Mix should be pH adjusted to 6.0-7.0 for most plants. Nurseries usually sell in-house mixes that are cheap and high quality. Try to get one without time release fertilizer added.)

Pots of various sizes (Make sure they have drainage holes).

A small hand spade.

A tub for mixing soil.

a. Apply AGGRAND 4-3-3 every two weeks in summer and every four weeks in winter (For cacti, apply a very weak solution several times a year).
b. Apply AGGRAND 0-12-0 several times at monthly intervals in spring and fall.
c. Some plants will flower at certain times of year or even continuously when AGGRAND 0-12-0 is applied regularly (Every month in summer and every two months in winter).
d. Apply AGGRAND 0-0-8 sparingly along with the 4-3-3 every month in summer and every two months in winter.
e. Apply AGGRAND Liquid Lime every month in summer and every two months in winter.
f. There is no need to apply Liquid Lime when you are using AGGRAND 0-12-0 in spring and fall or during periods of flowering (Natural Liquid Bonemeal 0-12-0 also supplies calcium).
g. In spring and fall place potted plants in sink and leach with plenty of fresh water (At least one gallon of water for each gallon of soil).
h. Topdress the pots with compost or earthworm castings once in spring and once in fall after leaching (Use one cup for each gallon of soil).
i. When potting or repotting your plants, blend in one cup of compost or earthworm castings per gallon of soil; wet soil while in mixing tub with a solution of AGGRAND Liquid Lime and AGGRAND 0-12-0 until soil is well wetted; after potting a plant water it in with a weak solution of AGGRAND 4-3-3.

a Apply one cup of fertilizer solution per gallon of soil; make sure plants are well-watered between fertilizations (Some plants like moist soil at all times while others respond better when soil dries out more between waterings). Two tablespoons = 1 oz.