Posts Tagged ‘Soil’

July Garden Update

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
It’s mid-July, how is your garden looking? Healthy, buggy, brown, yellow, weedy: these words describe different areas of my garden all while I am waiting, oh so patiently, for the tomatoes to turn red. While I wait, there are other veggies ready to be harvested! (more…)

Keep Your Potted Plants Blooming

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Potted plants bring color to the deck or front door step. To keep them blooming and growing fertilizer is key. That’s how the grower got them so gorgeous and eye catching! (more…)

Garden Calendar: June Tips

Monday, June 1st, 2015
There is lots of gardening to do in June! The garden is growing and so are the weeds! Check out my garden help; don’t let the photo fool you. They were in the garden for less than fifteen minutes, but I’ll take what I can get. (more…)

Gardening Calendar: May Tips

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
Lilacs, asparagus and rhubarb! They are spring traditions that bring fragrance and nutrition to our home. I have sprouts in the garden and flowers on my deck. Spring makes me happy; I hope that you are enjoying spring, too. (more…)

Gardening Calendar: April Tips

Monday, April 20th, 2015
The grass is green and the trees are budding! When you head outside here are a few things you can do around the house and garden. (more…)

Planting 101: Healthy Soil

Monday, April 6th, 2015
It’s dirty nail season. This time of year, I have a hard time keeping my fingernails clean cause I am digging in the earth! (more…)

Preparing Soil for Winter

Monday, October 27th, 2014
Leaves are falling and the air is crisp; fall is definitely here. Another year eaten, canned and preserved! The garden season is over. It’s time to put away canning supplies, garden tools and prepare for winter to come. The garden looks barren and boring. I already miss the color and purpose of this space. In preparation for spring, consider Ward Upham’s, K-State Extension Agent’s, advice: “Fall is the preferred time to prepare garden soil for next spring’s vegetable garden. Spring is often wet making it difficult to work soil without forming clods that remain the rest of the season. Fall usually is drier allowing more time to work the soil when it is at the correct soil moisture content. Even if you work soil wet in the fall and form clods, the freezing and thawing that takes place in the winter will break them down, leaving a mellow soil the following spring. Insects often hide in garden debris. If that debris is worked into the soil, insects will be less likely to survive the winter. Diseases are also less likely to overwinter if old plants are worked under. Also, garden debris will increase the organic matter content of the soil. Working the debris into the soil is easier if you mow the old vegetable plants several times to reduce the size of the debris. Fall is an excellent time to add organic matter. Not only are organic materials usually more available in the fall (leaves, rotten hay or silage, grass clippings) but fresher materials can be added in the fall than in the spring because there is more time for them to break down before spring planting. As a general rule, add 2 inches of organic material to the surface of the soil and till it in. Be careful not…

Educate Your Community & Earn Money For Your FFA Chapter

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Attention FFA Chapters and FFA Advisors: Educate Your Community & Earn Money For Your FFA Chapter. The Nutrients for Life Foundation is accepting application for the 2014-2015 Helping Communities Grow program! The Foundation wants to partner with FFA chapters to educate the local community about the importance of crop nutrients in food production.  Fertilizer is responsible for 40-50% of the world’s food production. It is a key ingredient to reducing and even eliminating famine. Ford West, former president of The Fertilizer Institute, tells how valuable fertilizer is to humanity.   “There are signs, though, that the day is closer than ever before when famine could be eliminated. Untold numbers of smart people are applying themselves to developing the science of crop production all around the world. Advances in crop genetics, plant health, and production technology all contribute to the ability of modern agriculture to produce more than ever before. But, in the midst of that progress, it is still fertilizer that feeds the world. Land use, human nutrition and the carbon cycle form an intricate set of relationships. Healthy plants use carbon dioxide, give off oxygen and increase soil organic matter, thereby enhancing soil fertility. Harvesting crops removes nutrients in the form of our food, and those nutrients must be replaced to nourish the next crop. For these reasons, soil fertility and fertilizer will remain key components of feeding the world’s hungry population. Our overall standard of living is made possible largely by farmers’ work to produce abundant, high-quality, affordable food. However, as agriculture has grown more productive, fewer people understand it. Agriculture should not become isolated from society. We cannot allow the idea that “food comes only from the supermarket” to take root. It is nearly impossible for people to make good decisions about any subject unless those decisions…

FFA Friday: Louisiana

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Ponchatoula FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, Central LaFourche FFA Wins Second, and St. Amante FFA Wins Third Place Happy FFA Friday! Louisiana had six participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Ponchatoula FFA, Central LaFourche FFA, and St. Amante FFA. Ponchatoula FFA won first place by creating and presenting exhibits for community events. The chapter presented fertilizer and planting demonstrations for strawberries to over 10,000 visitors at their town’s annual Strawberry Festival. The chapter also volunteered at a local organization for people with disabilities, helping them evaluate thefertilizer needs for the soil in their  raised bed gardens. Central LaFourche FFA won second place for their nutrient lessons for fourth and fifth grade students. The chapter split into teams of two and visited classrooms demonstrating the soil components, they discussed which nutrients are required to help plants grow, and raised awareness of coastal erosion. They used the Nutrients for Life curriculum to design experiments for the students, including a bean plant and soil layers experiment. The St. Amante FFA chapter won third place for developing hands-on workshops for elementary school students. The workshops focused on plant development, soil testing, planting vegetables, and how to apply fertilizer to gardens. They also taught the students how to track how fertilizer increases plant production. Congratulations to all the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Louisiana is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, PotashCorp. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at here.

FFA Friday: Kansas

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Inman FFA Takes First Place Award Honors; Clay Center FFA Wins Second, and Ellsworth FFA Wins Third Place Welcome back to FFA Friday! Kansas had nine participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Inman FFA, Clay Center FFA, and Ellsworth FFA. Inman FFA took top honors by partnering with their local schools and community members. All 84 chapter members helped to increase the size of their local garden and produced four videos played on their local television channel. The chapter also visited elementary and middle school classrooms to teach lessons about healthy lifestyles and growing plants. Clay Center FFA won second place by partnering with the local school district and Wilbur-Ellis representative. The chapter participated in Farm Safety day and GROW IT. GROW IT included four stations focusing on information from the Nutrients for Life curriculum. Ellsworth FFA won third place by creating plant science lessons for elementary school students. The chapter also created a coloring contest for the students. The coloring sheets featured facts about plants and agriculture. Congratulations to all of the chapters that participated!  The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Kansas is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, Koch Ag and Energy Services, LLC.  FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found here.

FFA Friday: Iowa

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, South-Tama County FFA Wins Second, and Westwood FFA Wins Third Place We are back with another FFA Friday post! Iowa had eighteen participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA, South-Tama FFA, and Westwood FFA. Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA took first prize with their fertilizer and seed germination experiment project. The chapter developed lessons and activities to do with elementary school students. During the experiment about the students saw how plants germinate. .The experiments also showed how different levels of nutrients in the soil affected plant growth and development. South-Tama FFA won second place by starting a recycling and composting program at their school. FFA members gathered food waste and placed it in a composter. They presented their composting project and results at an Ag Expo during National FFA week. Westwood FFA won third place by doing a variety of activities about plant nutrients and fertilizer. The chapter visited elementary school students and taught lessons on the vital nutrients plants need to grow and develop into a consumable product. The chapter also created an interactive game called “Feed the Corn” to learn about the nutrients plants need to grow. Congratulations to all of the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Iowa is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, CF Industries. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at here.