Monday, January 31, 2011

Organics - Early On

When I look out and see the buds on my bald cypress beginning to swell, I realize spring is right around the corner. The temperatures have been so cold that 55 degrees is the new 70 degrees. When the temperature hits 55 degrees, I see people with shorts and tee shirts out working in their yard. Over the weekend, I saw some people pruning, some cleaning out flower beds, some people planting new plants, and a few were out there raking. Even though I did not witness any Crepe Murder, I’m sure the crime was taking place.

When I see those buds on my bald cypress swelling, I think of one thing – ORGANICS!

Cotton Burr Compost, Flower Bed Amendment, Nature’s Blend, composted chicken manure, composted cow manure and / or SeaHume are great products to use now on your ornamental plants. For best results spread over the whole bed; however, you can spread the products around individual plants. If you plan to do individual plants, be sure to cover where the roots are and out a little past where you think they are. Also remember to keep compost or mulch off the trunk of trees and shrubs.

Organic products feed the soil as microorganisms break the organics down into a usable form to the plants. When the soil is cold, these microorganisms are inactive. As the temperatures warm up, the microorganisms begin to break down the organic material and make the nutrients available to the plant. The plant is beginning to grow and put on new leaves as the temperature warms up, so like magic there is food available to the plant right when it needs it most. The forest with its leaves, twigs, limbs, and microorganism population is fertilized in this manner.

Cotton Burr Compost, Flower Bed Amendment, Nature’s Blend, composted chicken manure, and composted cow manure are all composted to the point that they do not tie up nitrogen. Some organics can actually steal nutrients away from the plants while they decompose fully. Wood chips, fresh raked leaves, or grass clippings are best put into a compost pile until you are unable to tell what they were originally, and they are fully composted.

SeaHume is a combination of cold water kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) and humates.

The seaweed is full of sixty major and minor nutrients, amino acids, carbohydrates and natural occurring plant growth promoting substances (bio stimulants) that increase plant vigor, quality and yield. Humates increase the availability of nutrients in the soil, increase root growth, keeps nutrients in area that roots can reach (high CEC), make the soil more friable and many other benefits that will be discussed in a later article.

Control summer annual weeds before they emerge with preemergent herbicides. Also try not to prune azaleas now or you will be removing their flower buds and their spring flowers. Judging from the pile by the street and the very sad look the azaleas had around the house, someone did not realize this situation.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.