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Water, Weeds & Compost – Oh My!

The annual Art & Garden Show was fun and successful. A big thank you to all the artists, all the helpers and all the people who visited.

Water

The summer months are ahead so now is the time to deal with any water issues in your garden.

  • Check for and fix all leaks in your sprinkler or drip system
  • Clear away any foliage near sprinkler heads to insure that water is reaching as far as possible.
  • Dump all standing water to avoid mosquito breeding.
  • An “on-demand” water bowls for animals (both wild and domestic) is best.

Weeds

Avoid chemicals! Pull ‘em, dig ‘em, chop ‘em, cover ‘em. Using bark chips has both positive and negative side effects. A thinks lay4t (4″) of mulch is a better alternative to bark chips if you desire healthy plants. Bark chips are perfect cover for an open area of ground but don’t put them close to any plants or over any root systems. Bark chips leach the nitrogen out of the soil, therefor inhibiting any plant growth. This is  great for weed control in open areas but bad for any plants you are trying to grow.

Compost

Feed your garden with it’s own debris. Use only leaf material and grass clippings (no twigs, branches, soil, wood and absolutely no bark chips). Water the compost area occasionally and “turn/dig” it with a shovel or fork to help it ferment evenly. Spread the mulch on any open soil area.

Fixing Poor Soil

  • If the is soils is sandy -  add clay and compost.
  • If the soil is rocky – add compost and remove the larger rocks.
  • If  the soil is clay -  add lost of compost and some small rocks.

Future Possibilities

As the cost of water and food goes up and up…

  • Switch lawns to vegetable gardens
  • Add rainwater storage to property
  • Arrange for gray-water usage (bucket in the shower – basin in the sink)
  • Learn about food preservation: canning, drying, smoking, freezing
  • Share garden products and ideas with neighbors
  • Grow trees for shade, compost and food
  • Switch ornamental plants to California Natives

I am always available for questions about gardening at 408-259-6841.

Caroline

 


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