TIPS FOR:

 

MONTHLY GARDENING TIPS

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

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Private shade garden, Garden Tour, July, 2018

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Field Trip to Blithewold Mansion Gardens, August 2018

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Private garden tour, Garden Tour, July 2018


GARDENING TIPS BULLETIN:  April 2019 (From UCONN)

ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS

HOUSEPLANTS

IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

 

INSECTS

 

FRUITS

LANDSCAPE & LAWNS

 

TREES AND SHRUBS

 

WILDLIFE

 

YARD TOOLS

 

3 Elements for Making Perfect Compost

1. Start with a container
Compost bins are of two types, stationary and rotating. Both types must have their contents turned periodically to provide oxygen and combine the decaying materials. 

Stationary bins can be as simple as well-ventilated cage made from wire fence sections or wooden crates assembled from a kit. A well-designed bin will retain heat and moisture, allowing for quicker results. Locate the pile in a sunny location so that it has as much heat as possible. If it’s in the shade all day, decomposition will still happen, but it will be much slower, especially when freezing temps arrive in the fall. Compost tumblers can also take heat advantage of being placed in direct sunlight.  Skip meat, fish and dairy for outdoor bins because they tend to attract pests like mice, raccoons and dogs. Begin by placing chunky material like small branches or woody stems on the bottom for good airflow. Every time you add green material, add some brown as well to keep a good moisture balance and create air pockets.
Compost tumblers are easy-to-turn bins that speed up the process — compost in weeks, not months or years — by frequent oxygen infusions and heat retention. Select one based on how much plant matter (grass, leaves, weeds, stalks and stems from last year’s garden) you have at your disposal, how large your yard is, and how quickly you need to use the finished product.
2. Get the ingredient mix right
A low-maintenance pile has a combination of brown and green plant matter, plus some moisture to keep the good bacteria humming. Shredded newspaper, wood chips and dry leaves are ideal for the brown elements; kitchen waste and grass clippings are perfect for the green add-ins.  It’s a good idea to give your new pile a jump-start to get the process started. There are several great activators that are ready to go right out of the box. No need to mix it in well. Fold in a couple shovelfuls of garden soil rich in organic matter and let the natural process begin.
3. Remember a few simple chores. 
Taking care of a compost pile is extremely basic, but a wee bit of care makes a huge difference. Add material regularly to give the happy bacteria some fresh food to consume and enough insulation to keep the process warm.
Turn the pile with a pitchfork or compost aerator every week or two to make sure that all of the materials are blended in and working together. After you’ve mixed things up, grab a handful to see if it’s slightly damp. Too little moisture will slow the decomposition process and too much will leave you with a slimy mess.  In a few months, your finished product should be a dark, crumbly soil that smells like fresh earth.

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