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WAY TO GROW (Continued from homepage)

June 4, 2018: 2" of Harvest Blend Compost® was worked into soil before planting.
June 21, 2018: look at the difference after 3 weeks!
July 4, 2018: After one month plants are thriving! The addition of nutrient rich Harvest Blend Compost® makes a world of difference. 

Typically, amendments are worked into the soil using hand tools or a tiller. An organic amendment, such as compost, improves soil structure, porosity, and density to ensure a healthier root environment; increases water holding capacity of soil so water is used more efficiently; supplies vital organic matter to soil; and stabilizes soil pH, improving soils’ ability to retain nutrients. 

To maintain soil health, organic matter must be frequently replenished and Harvest Blend Compost® is a quick, affordable way to do just that. Amending soil with compost will improve root systems, decrease water useage, and reduce the need for fertilizer while creating a lush, beautiful landscape. 

Harvest Blend Compost® is proud to have earned
the STA Certified™ Compost label >>>

Soil organic matter, vital to soil health, is transient in nature and must be continually replenished. Locally produced, recycled organic matter, in the form of compost, is abundantly available to do just that. Our Certified Compost™ products have passed rigorous testing to earn the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) “Certified Compost™ “ label, ensuring the right product for every project (test results available upon request).
 


SUCCULENTS NEED SPECIAL CARE

While some succulents like stonecrops are very cold hardy, others are quite sensitive. If the temperature frequently dips below freezing in your microclimate, you may want to keep your succulents in pots so you can move them indoors or to a sheltered location under house eaves, a deck or a tree. Whether your succulents are in pots or in the ground, try to keep them on the dry side. When plant cells are plump with water, they are more likely to burst if the water freezes. Do not remove damaged leaves unless they start to decay. Leaving them in place protects lower foliage. 

DON'T OVERREACT TO PLANT DAMAGE

Plants can be remarkably resilient. If you see signs of frost damage, do not prune off the affected parts or dig up the plant immediately. This is especially true for palms. Wait until the weather warms up in March to see whether new leaves sprout. You may see healthy new growth at the base of the plant, at which point you can prune out the damaged parts. If no regrowth is noted, remove the dead specimen and replace it with a more cold-tolerant species.

For more information, the University of California has a downloadable publication titled Frost Protection for Citrus and Other Subtropicals.



THE IMPORTANCE OF MULCH

When we hear the word ‘mulch’ we think of a product; you know, like the multitude of bagged varieties you find on the shelves of our local garden centers. But did you know that mulch is an application? Yup, to ‘mulch’ your garden simply means you place a layer of organic or inorganic material on the surface of the soil. This is a good time of year to mulch our gardens since mulch acts as insulation for tender plants, roots and soil during cooler months. Mulch also protects soils against erosion; conserves water by slowing evaporation; controls certain plant diseases and decorates landscapes. 

Research has shown that compost when used as mulch can greatly improve soil fertility and plant growth. In studies comparing compost and ground wood used as mulch on ornamental plantings - mulching with compost increased soil organic matter, microbial activity, nutrient availability and tree growth. Increased microbial activity in soils has been linked to the suppression of many root diseases.

To be available to plants, nitrogen must be in an inorganic form, such as nitrate (NO3- ) or ammonium (NH4+). Plants aren’t capable of converting organic nitrogen to these inorganic forms. Fortunately, microorganisms commonly found in soil and compost convert organic nitrogen into inorganic nitrogen, a process called mineralization. Plants may then take up the nutrients released by this process.

Soils in urban and suburban landscapes often lack nutrient rich organic matter because topsoil is usually removed, disturbing soil during construction. Research results demonstrated that mulching with compost increases organic matter, microbial biomass, nutrient availability, and plant growth. The use of compost as mulch supports a healthy soil food web;  restoring ecological processes to degraded soils, while diverting valuable natural resources from landfills.

Remember, Harvest Blend Compost builds healthy soil for beautiful landscapes! Click for contact info