Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Benefits of Organics Part Two

I’m going to continue writing about organics for the landscape from last week. If you missed last week’s article you can find it at under Horticulture Hotline.

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 and lawn. For best results spread over the yard including beds; however, you can spread the products around individual plants or just troubled areas in the turf. 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. On turf use multiple applications at a ¼ inch as needed.

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. As the plant is beginning to grow and put on new leaves as the temperature warms up in the Spring, 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. With the warm weather we are having now, the organics are really working well.

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 (if you are collecting bags of grass clippings compost first, mulching or regular mowing the grass clippings can stay on the yard) 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.

The organics help the microorganisms that break down the organic matter into a usable form for the plant. The microorganisms also move around in the soil, aerating it which makes roots grow deeper, so the roots can collect water and nutrients deeper in the soil, which means you save money on water and fertilizer!