Posts Tagged ‘compost’

Tree- Identification

Q: My yard is a haven for a week I do not recognize. It looks like a tiny mimosa tree. Can you offer any help? A: Weed scientists call this plant chamberbitter but I call it mimosa weed, because it...

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Compost Tumbler – How to use

Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

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Perennials – Seed meal

Q: I am going to feed my perennials and shrubs with cotton seed meal this spring. Is it too early to begin? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal, composted hen manure, blood meal,...

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Compost tumbler – Instructions

Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

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Compost pile – Grass clippings

Q: I have a compost pile that is heating up very nicely. Should I be concerned with using grass clippings that may contain weed seeds? A: If the pile gets hot enough (140 degrees for 3 days) you’ll kill the...

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Earthworms – Buying

Q: I am putting in a small backyard vegetable garden. I want to add earthworms to let them do their stuff beforehand. Where can I buy earthworms? A: You don’t need to buy earthworms. If you add soil conditioner and...

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Earthworms – Purchase

Q: I am putting in a small backyard vegetable garden. I want to add earthworms to let them do their stuff beforehand. Where can I buy earthworms? A: You don’t need to buy earthworms. If you add soil conditioner and...

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Compost bin – Gnats

Q: We put peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. in our enclosed compost bin. There are a whole lot of gnats in it that swarm up when I open the top. Are these gnats OK? A: Various gnats and flies...

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Mineralized fertilizer – Meaning

Q: An older gardening friend says we should all be using mineralized fertilizer. No one seems to know what that means. Can you help? A: It’s sort of like my mother’s muscadine hull pie. Thick muscadine skins are sour and...

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Horse Manure – Fertilizer

Q: I have an unlimited supply of horse manure. Can I use this as mulch/fertilizer around my bushes and trees without hurting them? A: If the manure has been composted long enough that it doesn’t smell like ammonia and the...

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Perennial bed – Improved soil

Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still...

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Wood chips – Flames

Q: Can a pile of wood chips burst into flame? My last three deliveries from the local tree guy smoked by day two and you could feel the heat radiating off the pile. When I went to spread them, there...

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Chlorine soaked leaves – Compost bin

Q: Is it OK to place chlorine-soaked leaves from our swimming pool into our compost bin? A: Yes, there is not enough chlorine on the leaves to hurt the composting...

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New Garden – Not Thriving

Q: We want to know if you have insight as to why our garden failed this year so we can avoid issues next season. We planted our garden in August, with mushroom compost and landscape soil turned into it. You...

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Shrub Fertilization

Q: I have a lot of shrubs on my property, mostly holly, nandina and conifers. Most are over five years old and are fertilized each year. Would skipping a year be a mistake? A: If established shrubs are mulched, they...

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Composting Kitchen Scraps

Q: We are interested in composting kitchen scraps. Do the tumble composters that claim to make compost in 14 days really work? A: In my opinion they are not very useful. In winter, the tumbler cools off too much to...

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Mulch – Grass Clippings with Weed Killer on Them

Q: I have been told not to use grass clippings sprayed with weed killer to mulch around plants. Can I use them after they sit in a compost pile? A: Some plants, particularly tomatoes and young flower sprouts, are extremely...

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Compost Piles – Controlling Pests

Q: I like to compost but when I leave anything on the pile, roaches come to the feast. How do you control the varmints? A: Despite the “ick” factor, roaches are a natural part of the composting process. They chew...

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