I have learned over the years that commercial (sold in bags or delivered in loads) garden soil and mulch are not the most efficient products to improve the quality of soil in your garden beds. Every time I have done so, I end up with more weeds in my gardens…
So, if you shouldn’t use the commercial garden soil and mulch in your gardens, what should you use? Instead of the commercial garden soils and mulches that are available in bags from your local garden center or delivered in truck loads, I currently use the following plan.
In the fall I use shredded leavesas a mulch throughout my gardens, then in the spring, I spread composted manure around all my emerging plants. Be sure to use well-composted compost or manure in this step to avoid stinking up your neighbourhood. The extreme heat levels in the composting process kills weed seeds too, so is very important. You could use your own compost pile, but ensure it has matured to the weed free level. For large volumes, I use this variety (available at Home Depot) of composted cattle/steer manure, particularly because it does smell bad:
This process adds both nutrients and humus to my existing soil, improving its quality immensely. The proof is in the beautifully healthy looking plants and lack of weeds!
This coupon can be used from May 6 to May 11 at Home Depot. Receive a free bag of Vigor Potting Mix when you purchase $25 of Vigoro plants. Sorry, this promotion is only available at Home Depot stores in Canada.
Since Thanksgiving (here in Canada) and Remembrance Day are over, the calendar says Christmas is next. Mother Nature has not been told yet however; we continue to have unseasonably warm weather here in Eastern Ontario, and I for one am not complaining.
Home Depot is ready though with lots of Christmas specials on…
I usually wait until the beginning of December at least to start decorating, but I know lots of you do so sooner. Enjoy!
please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLEIt is guaranteed to make you LOL.
If you are planning on adding new plants to your landscape this season, pick up some Miracle Gro Quick Start fertilizer at Home Depot first to ensure your new plants are well fed. Click on the link below and print off this coupon for $5 off…
The latest Home Depot newsletter for garden club members has some great indoor gardening ideas for these cold winter months…
The first project is a garden dish, or a mini garden, suitable for any room in your home:
for this project you will need the following items:
horticultural charcoal to keep the soil smelling fresh
gravel for drainage
a shallow, low sided, heavy (ceramic is good) dish, with no drainage hole in the bottom. You can use your imagination here to repurpose an old container. Any shape or depth will work with similar instructions, just use thicker layers of charcoal, gravel and soil.
plants, such as coleus, succulents and cacti
moss or sand to cover the soil
decorative items such as shells, pretty stones, pine cones etc
Sprinkle less than an inch of gravel and charcoal over the bottom of container. (thicker if container is deeper than a shallow dish)
Un-pot your plants, and position them as desired, keeping in mind that you are trying to create a miniature landscape. Be sure to use plants with the same light and water requirements in one container. For example, succulents and cacti like bright light, but require very little water. In fact they will rot if watered too frequently.
Surround the root-balls with soil, including a thinner layer over the non-planted gravel areas.
Add a thin layer of moss or sand to ensure soil is covered.
Tuck decorative items into moss or sand.
Moisten your garden with a watering can or in the sink. Let it soak for a few minutes, then carefully tip out the excess water while holding the arrangement in place with your other hand. Repeat this procedure once a week or when the soil feels dry. Make sure your garden never sits in excess water.
Given bright but indirect sunlight, most houseplants will thrive for months or even years in containers. Replace any overgrown or sickly plants as needed.
The next idea is for the transformation of a sunny window into a mini greenhouse that can showcase herbs and houseplants:
You will need the following items:
measuring tape, ruler, electric drill, level, pencil, hand saw
sand paper, wood putty, paint, moulding
1/2 inch thick piece of glass
felt dots or plastic slide
1. Measure the depth and width of the window frame, and subtract half an inch from the width to determine the dimensions of the shelves.
2. Have a glazier cut a 1/2”-thick piece of glass to size for each shelf. For a more finished look, have the edges sanded. Using a level and a ruler for precision, make pencil marks where each shelf support should go, starting from the top of the window frame.
3. Make supports out of moulding by cutting two lengths of moulding for each shelf (the moulding length should equal the depth of the frame). Sand the ends smooth.
4. Drill three evenly spaced holes (just bigger than the head of a wood screw) in each support. Hold a support against the appropriate mark on the window frame, insert the bit of an electric drill through one of the holes, and drill a starter spot into the frame. Repeat for the other holes, and then countersink screws so the heads don’t show. Repeat for remaining supports. Fill holes with wood putty, sand smooth, and paint supports. Once paint dries, attach a felt dot or plastic glide to each support end, and set glass shelves in place.
Filling your home with houseplants, tropicals or locally grown, is a great way to detoxify the air in your home, especially in the winter when windows and doors are shut tight against the cold. Read this previous postto see how this works. To increase your collection of tropical houseplants, take advantage of Home Depot’s current offer:
There are many varieties of tropical houseplants to choose from, including the ever popular orchids. Orchids are easy to care for, providing colorful and long-lasting blooms. They are ideal for the indoor environment of your home and are sure to brighten up the dreary winter months. The biggest challenge when buying orchids is what color to choose as they are all beautiful!
Vigoro triple mix, a combination of humus (rich soil), compost and peat moss, is one of my favorite garden products. It comes in a very manageable size, not too heavy or large to carry or transport in your vehicle, The staff at Home Depot will load it into your car too.
It is currently on sale here at Kanata’s Home Depot this week for $2.99 per bag, a 25% savings. Pick up a few bags soon, or for large quantities, print off this coupon and stock up!