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Does your soil need minerals?

Soil is a mixture of minerals, hummus, air and water and microbes. The soil needs pretty much what we need to be healthy. Minerals make up almost 40% to 45% of the total of all the soil components and are classified into primary and secondary.

Minerals provide the plant good nutrition, just like we need, for a healthy life and growth. These minerals are absorbed from the soil via the roots of the plants and trees (which is where microbes do their magic.) The two most important plant needs are nitrate and magnesium. Nitrate is the main source of amino acids which are the main ingredient required to make proteins. Magnesium is essential in the production of chlorophyll which allows photosynthesis. If your soil lacks these essential minerals, you’ll notice stunted growth, yellowing leaves and weak blooms.

The best alternative to the standard commercial synthetic fertilizers (Miracle-Gro) is biofertilizers. As opposed to chemical fertilizers they naturally nourish the soil with all the essential minerals and microbes. Besides compost tea, which of course i use and brew, bone and blood meal are key.

Nutritious Bone and Blood Meal

Three years ago, I got married and moved to Atlanta to a house, with a garden that was pretty much neglected for 20 years. After mowing all the ivy, I started to move plants around and bring in new plants to create my foundation. Well, honestly, everything looked terrible, weak flowers, weak branches, yellowing flowers, you name it. I sprayed compost tea so far about six times but I couldn’t tell the difference. Then it dawned on me. This soil is starving! So in June, I decided to buy some bone and blood meal, mix it in my handheld spreader and away i went.

What are blood and bone meal? Well, blood meal is made from dried slaughterhouse blood and bone meal is made from yes, you guessed it, the bones of slaughterhouse animals. I know this may sound gross but both are full of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids. Sound familiar? So take care of your soil like you take care of yourself and you’ll plants will love you forever.

I’m going to do another round in the fall and again in the spring and again until i see my plants thrive. Healthy soils makes for happy plants!

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Eco-friendly Landscape Design

Yes, there’s such a thing. Planting natives attract your local birds, butterflies, frogs, beneficial insects and more!

  • Select regionally native plants to form the backbone of the landscape.
  • Reducing the use of turf
  • Stabilize slopes with natural plantings, mulching around plants, and installing drought- tolerant species
  • Shrink the size of the lawn and planting appropriate native species in less formal arrangements will reduce the need for extensive use of power equipment
  • Plant a “no-mow” native grass and ground cover lawn
  • Avoid use of invasive exotics which out-compete native plants
  • Plant at least 80% natives
  • Capture rain water
  • Install a rain garden in a wet area

Eco-Friendly Design Basics

When designing a garden, look around for any water issues you may have. If you do, create a rain garden! (We’ll deal with that next time.)
The next question to ask yourself is what style of garden do you enjoy, formal, informal, color of flowers, perennials or shrubs?
Most people aren’t sure what they want but most are sure that it has to be low maintenance. That’s where native plants come in. Once established, natives require less care all around.

I recommend going to a local nursery (preferably not a “big box” retailer.) Get a look at what’s available. Take pictures, write down the names. That way, if you do hire a landscape designer, you’ll be able to tell them what you want.

Ask me….

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Thanks For Your Interest

Just reading this means you’re at least interested in what organic lawn care is all about.

In the following months, I will be taking pictures of my yard and it’s progress.