Organic gardening… it’s a great to be able to grow your own fruits, vegetables and beautiful plants in a manner that is safe for the planet and it’s occupants but it isn’t always easy. I have been converting my fertilizer methods over to organic bit by bit, as much as possible but I have recently found a huge problem with my client’s homes that I have not experienced in my own home.
Let me preface this with the fact that I have two SMALL dogs. One of them is a little bit of a digger, the other not at all. The digger (my terrier) has recently done a little bit of damage to my pepper & eggplant container, plants were fine – he dug in the dirt but that’s about it. These plants and all the other vegetables and herbs are planted with organic fertilizer. So, I thought nothing of bringing organic fertilizer over to two different client job sites where I was planting. Well, that turned out to be a mistake.
The first house has a lovely Golden Retriever who once my back was turned promptly stole a bag of bone meal (duh, Julie!) and my gardening gloves. After eating ¼ of the bag and sniffing around the top of the first pot I planted, I thought I’d be smart and mix the fertilizer into the bottom 1/3 of the soil and then top it with plain soil. It worked while I was there… but after I left he dug up some of the small plants again. Here’s Rufus with his head in the pot.
Second house, an adorable Black Lab (Bogey pictured below) found my mixed organic fertilizer just as scrumptious as Rufus did – even before I took it out of the package. When I read the package, it made complete sense; Blood Meal, Bone Meal, Kelp, and more… sounds like lunch to me! I am now on a quest… organics without the yum!
My research is leading me to Cottonseed Meal (which I use in my garden for my green tea plant) and Alfalfa Meal, but I need to supplement the Phosphorus or nothing will bloom or bear fruit.
Now, I get to go back up on my soapbox and it’s made of mulch. I think that is it very important to get more organic material into your soil on a regular basis so remember to use mulch in your planter beds and for an additional boost add compost too. This will help your soil utilize whatever kind of fertilizer (especially the phosphorus) you add to your garden. You can buy bags of compost or better yet, start composting those kitchen scraps.
I’m on a mission, so stay tuned!
There will be a Composting workshop in Santa Clarita (yes, I found out after I posted my August Events) on 8/21/10 from 9:30 – 11:30 at:
Castaic Lake Water Agency
27234 Bouquet Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, 91350
BEGINNING Smart Gardening Workshop – Attend a FREE Smart Gardening Workshop and learn more about backyard composting, worm composting, grass recycling, water-wise gardening, and fire-wise gardening! Compost bins can be purchased at the subsidized prices of $40 each for a backyard compost bin and $65 each for a worm compost bin (this price includes 1/2 lb. of worms).
For more on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener