Tag Archives: recycling

Cold Crops, What to Plant When Spring is Late

Potatoes come to Europe.

Potatoes can be planted, even in the cold!

 

 

 

 

 

For springs like these, people come to us moaning about the short growing season. What can they do? What should they plant when a spring is this slow in showing up?

 

Let us introduce you to some great cold crops you can plant, even when the temperature is close to freezing. Think root vegetables, like onions and potatoes, though you should only use seed potatoes to get your plants started. Some leafy vegetables as well, like lettuce and arugula, can be planted in temperatures as low as 40 degrees.

 

Want to get started but fear the temperatures dropping even further, or a possible late season snow? No problem, cover your plants, making tents out of empty milk jugs, cut to accommodate your seedlings’ size. You can also attempt to raise the temperature of your soil using plastic covers.

 

Whatever the weather, you can enjoy gardening, and Algiere’s is available to you year round for all of your gardening and landscaping needs!

 

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.

The Straight Poop About Milorganite

The Straight Poop About Milorganite

Canis latrans Français : Un coyote en Arizona

You want my WHAT?????????

 

When our customers complain about deer problems, instead of reaching for the coyote pee, we recommend Milorganite instead. Then they ask us what it’s made of, and we get a funny look on our faces and say, “Do you really want to know?” Most of the time, the answer is, “No.”

 

But for those of you who, after seeing the fantastic results, may just be a little curious, here’s the straight poop. Milorganite, made inMilwaukeeWisconsin, is one of the world’s largest recycling efforts. Wastewater goes through a filtration system, where clean water comes out the other end and is sent toLake Michigan. The rest is dried out, bagged, and sold at fine retailers the world over as Milorganite.

 

That’s right, folks Milorganite is people…er….waste. And the microbes that eat it.

 

The process is completely safe, the microbes and waste are heated up to between 900 and 1200 degrees so any pathogens still lurking within are killed off. And it’s completely organic so there are no harsh chemicals involved and so there’s no danger to pets, children, or the environment.

 

Ben recommends it because it’s less expensive than coyote urine, and covers a larger area. It also does double duty as a fertilizer, a claim no coyote can make.

 

If however the idea of Milorganite makes you a little squeamish, the second best alternative is Liquid Fence. It needs to be reapplied every 6-8 weeks and is more expensive, but works almost as well.

 

So if you’re trying to keep pesky deer away from your rose bushes or trying to go green with organic vegetable and flower gardens on your property this season, call Algiere’s. We have the solution you’ve been looking for.