Tag Archives: gardening for kids

Water Management

 

In the summer time, when we can have days and days of extreme heat, it’s very important to maintain water supplies for your lawn and garden. What can you do when water supplies are low or the rain is refusing to fall? There are lots of DIY projects you can do to keep your landscaping happy and healthy.

Water Barrel

Rain barrels are an easy fix, you can find rain barrel kits at Lowes or Home Depot or make them on your own using plans on Youtube or the DIY network. Plan for the summer all year long, using fifty five barrels to store plenty of water for the dry months, just make sure to include drainage holes near the top for overflow.

Another great way to control your water needs is to use container gardening. Planting in containers will limit the amount of water you need. Containers don’t need to be expensive either, you can get creative and use discarded building supplies, like gutters, which are very popular right now.

Gutter Garden

Summer time is vacation time, but don’t feel like you have to stay at home to water the plants. Fill 2 liter soda bottles or wine bottles with water and revert them into the ground nearby where you need water most. Your plants will soak up what they need leaving you to enjoy your free time and the gorgeous weather!

Wine bottle Water

Don’t have time to do it yourself? Give us a call at Algiere’s! We’ll put a plan together for you and help you keep up a routine of water management all year long.

 

For directions on how to build the heavy duty rain barrel above, check out this website:

http://rethinksurvival.com/how-to-create-a-heavy-duty-275-gallon-rain-barrel/

For a how to guide to build a self watering veggie table, click here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Self-Watering-Veggie-Table/?ALLSTEPS

Fall Clean Up Time Is Here!

Leaf litter (including maple and oak) on a pon...

Leaf litter can suffocate your lawn, time to clean it up!(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apples are ripening, the neighborhood kids are charting out paths to the houses with the best loot, and the leaves are piling up on your lawn. No doubt about it, autumn is here, and with it your appointment with Algiere’s for a fall clean up!

It’s important to get those leaves up and off your grass. The shading caused by leaf litter can potentially damage and even kill your turf grass. Those leaves can do a lot more good in your compost heap, stuffed in your favorite flannel shirt to make a spooky scarecrow, or glued to some poster board as a school project with the kiddos.

And fall clean up isn’t just about raking leaves. A slow release fertilizer will give your plants the extra nutrients to make it through the long winter. Getting rid of weeds and other invasive plants now will slow them down when they try to make a comeback in the spring. Trimming back your bushes, relining your planting beds, and getting those spring bulbs planted now will mean a lot less hassle when the snow begins to melt.

Let Algiere’s  help you with your fall clean up. We offer the convenience of offsite disposal of your leaf litter to save you time and money. Call us up for an appointment today, so you can get back to all those Halloween parties and apple picking trips waiting for you this October and November.

Organic Gardening 101 With Ben’s Dad, John Algiere!

English: A picture of compost soil

Compost, the key to a healthy organic garden. 

Last week we talked about Ben’s favorite fertilizer and deer deterrent, Milorganite, which is 100% organic and composed or recycled material. It made us wonder, where did Ben get his start with organic gardening? Our question led us, just in time for Father’s Day, to sit down and have a little chat with Ben’s dad, John Algiere, one of the first organic gardeners in the area.

 

When asked how Ben got his start with going green, John said that both Ben and his sister Kate started early, around 3 or 4 years of age. John’s best advice is to teach kids when they’re young, show them how to separate garbage from compost, putting the apple peels and coffee grounds in one container, the wood, paper, and metals in another. Kids can also help with pest control, hand picking the potato beetles off of plants and working to keep the soil insect free.

 

Handpicking takes a lot of work and is time consuming, but is worth the effort. For those who want an extra hand, John recommends organic insecticides; particularly anything which contains BT. He also says you can make your own insecticide using hot pepper, soap and water.

 

For larger pests, John says there’s a fallacy that composting will attract rodents to your garden. Not so, if you stay away from using meat, bread, or anything that will attracts rats or mice. To be an organic gardener, you have to be part chemist, using just the right combination of brown and green materials, air, and moisture. It takes patience and experimentation to get just the right mix for your soil.

 

 

John warns that not everything in an organic garden is going to be perfect; you won’t be able to catch every bug and prevent every blemish. But the benefit to your health and that of the environment is well worth the extra time and attention.