Organic Fertilizer: Add Worm Castings to Your Spring Garden

Getting your garden ready for the spring is very important, especially when it comes to organic fertilizer. Fertilizing the soil before planting provides crucial nutrients to help the vegetation grow strong. Composting worms produce a dark organic fertilizer that gardeners and farmers treasure. The fertilizer is called “worm castings.” When preparing the garden for spring planting, you’ll need to build up soil fertility and begin to loosen the soil as well. These instructions are going to teach you how to efficiently and effectively dig worm castings into your garden. It is recommended to start doing this a few weeks before it is time to plant.

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Screen Compost for Better-Quality Organic Fertilizer from Worms

An easy way to separate your composting worms from the organic fertilizer is to screen compost. Putting the finished compost through a screen also makes higher-quality compost, because it’s fluffier and free of stickers, pits, sticks, and debris. Where do you get a screen? Can you make it yourself, or buy it? How do you screen compost?

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Compost From Worms Makes Perfect Starts for Your Garden

Giving your vegetable garden extra advantages helps ensure success. Certain plants thrive if you give them a head start before planting them in your garden. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and lettuce are examples of plants that can benefit from starting indoors. Did you know that using compost from worms in your starts helps them grow? Composting worms break down organic materials and produce valuable organic fertilizer. More about that later. Let’s start with the seeds. Where to Get Seeds Scope out the health food store and garden supply store for seeds. You will also find plenty of seeds online. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has a selection of heirloom seeds. Generally, smaller seeds are easier to start. Think tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, etc. Root vegetables are more difficult to start.

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Six Tips for Gardening in Dry Weather

Even short periods of hot, dry weather in the summer can stress plants. When it is hot out, water evaporates quickly from the soil, and if you’re not getting rain, you’ll need to water properly. Here are six tips to keep your plants healthy in dry weather. Keep Soil Moist with Mulch Mulch minimizes evaporation from the soil, so the water stays where you want it—at the roots of the plant. Mulch provides a bonus for your garden: it keeps down the weeds. Mulch can be made of bark, wood, chopped leaves or compost.

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7 Ways to Speed Up the Composting Process

Composting is a great way to turn organic waste into valuable fertilizer for your garden. Just save kitchen scraps, such as carrot peelings and cabbage cores, and put them in a composting bin. Composting is usually done outdoors, but if you compost with worms, you can compost outdoors or indoors. If you want to start using the finished compost to fertilize your garden soon, you need to speed up the composting process. Here are 7 ways to speed up the decomposition and make fertilizer faster.

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Fertilizer or Compost In Your Garden? Which is Better?

If you use compost in your garden beds, you may not have to use chemical fertilizer at all. Adding synthetic fertilizer if it’s needed can be helpful, but when it’s not needed, it can be bad for your plants and for the environment. Don’t guess—test to see whether you need fertilizer. Problems with Synthetic Fertilizer Using too much fertilizer can actually damage your plants. Fertilizer burn disrupts water uptake by the roots. The damage will show up as brown spots on the leaves. Too much fertilizer can also damage the environment. Synthetic fertilizer can be washed out of the soil by rain and get into nearby waterways, polluting the water. This stormwater pollution can make beaches unsafe for swimming, threaten the quality of drinking water, kill fish and other wildlife and make fish unsafe to eat. In addition, the production of nitrogen for synthetic fertilizers uses lots of natural gas, which can contribute to climate change. Why You Should Test Your Soil If your soil lacks certain nutrients, using a fertilizer can help it. If your soil doesn’t need fertilizer, adding a fertilizer can make your garden worse. Soil test kits are inexpensive, fast and easy. You can test for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) with the Rapitest Soil Test Kit here. The Rapitest also tests for pH levels, telling you whether your soil is acidic or alkaline. The kit includes instructions on how to amend your soil, if needed. How Compost Helps Compost provides benefits that synthetic …

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Onions Can Be Started From Seed—in Winter!

Even if you have snow on the ground, you can do some gardening: Plant seeds inside for cool weather vegetables, such as onions. Working with cool weather vegetables such as onions not only gives you something to do during winter, it gives you a head start on spring planting. As the name implies, cool weather vegetables can withstand cool temperatures—much cooler than tender vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, can tolerate. That allows your onion seedlings to be planted outside when the air and soil temperatures are just 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Tender plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, can’t be planted outside until the air temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night. Learn how to plant seeds inside in our previous article here. KINDS OF ONIONS We carry two different varieties of onion this year. ‘Siskiyou Sweet’ onion is very mild and sweet. You can eat the green tops as if they were scallions. The ‘New York Early’ onion stores well. It’s sweet, but with more bite than ‘Siskiyou Sweet’. See all the seeds we offer here.   TRANSPLANTING OUTSIDE A week before you plan to transplant your seedlings outside, start to harden off your seedlings. Put them outside for a short period to get them used to brighter light and cooler temperatures than you have inside your house. Each day, place them outside for a longer period so that when you transplant them, they aren’t shocked. Make sure conditions are suitable before you transplant seedlings outside. In …

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