Tag Archives: Soil

Fall into a cleaner, healthier yard this autumn!

The time has come once again for fall cleanups! Last year due to an early snowfall we couldn’t get to all the fall clean ups scheduled. They’re predicting an even worse winter this year, so give us a call to make sure your yard gets the care it needs to weather the season!!!

 

What goes in to a fall clean up? While it’s important to removed leaf fall to maintain a proper ph in your soil, it’s more than just leaves! Now is the time to plant spring bulbs, remove dead limbs and trim branches that might fall and cause damage to your property in an especially heavy winter storm. Last year we received almost 40 inches of snow from Storm Nemo alone, so it’s important to show your yard some preventive care before the season hits. We offer a range of services, including mulch installation, leaf removal, as well as bulb planting and limb trimming. Give us a call and set up an appointment for a free estimate for services unique to your own needs.

We at Algiere’s love our customers, and we love our fellow local businesses. With that in mind, we’re offering a special coupon for 25 dollars off 3 hours of service, but you can only pick up these special coupons at the Norwichtown People’s Bank location. Come on down, get a deal on your fall cleanup needs!

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

Composting, Good for You, Good for the Earth

English: Composting

English: Composting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

365/66 California Compost

365/66 California Compost (Photo credit: mjmonty)

 

 

 

So, Earth Day has come and gone. Over a month later, you’ve helped clean up the shore line, pulled invasive species at the local park, and attended a fundraiser for fracking awareness.

 

You’re feeling pretty good about things, and then you get home. The garbage is piled high, and you’ve got newspapers and scraps of old computer paper just lying around the office. You wonder, how can I clean up my mess, and help make Earth Day every day at the same time?

 

The answer, my friend, is composting.

 

Many people think compost is hard, but the key is to maintain a good mix of the green, (like grass), with the brown, (ashes, coffee grounds, etc.) Grass will provide the nitrogen, and the brown items will provide the carbon. A little of each, well mixed, will break down more quickly and provide the best blend of nutrients for your soil.

 

Anything that has been living is good to add to a compost pile, but avoid pet droppings or meat scraps, as these will attract unwanted pests. The great thing about this rule is, this includes paper products! Just be sure to shred any newspapers or junk mail up really well before you add them.

 

See? You get to clean up your house, AND provide a nutrient rich soil for your vegetables and flowers. Everyone wins!

 

Need help getting started? Not sure what to plant after you lay your compost, or how? Give Algiere’s a call, we are here to help with all of your spring gardening and landscaping needs!

 

Mulch Madness!!!

Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulc...

Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulch is often dyed to improve its appearance in the landscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Despite the snow, we’ve seen signs of spring around Algiere’s, and the sprouting of snowdrops and trilling of robins outside our windows make us think of one thing. Mulch.

 

Mulch is vital to a healthy bed, because it keeps the weeds out and can also help with water retention and keeping roots cool. Wood, shell, stone, no matter what kind of mulch you choose to use, it’s important to purchase pretreated materials. You may save money up front by getting something from the dump or shredding your own wood, but in the long run you’re more at risk for pest infestation.

 

The varieties of wood mulch available ensure you’re doing the best for your garden while still being able to put on your own unique touch. Double shredded pine, cedar, or even cocoa shell, which can offer a nice aromatic for small beds around the house. Choose a dyed mulch to maintain color longer for a more uniform look.

 

Prefer something a little harder? Think stone or seashells. Especially here in the east coast, we have plenty of both, which don’t break down as fast and can prove a much more durable option, though typically with a higher price. Stone is especially high due to the fact that it’s more labor intensive to put in, plus it doesn’t have the lovely scent of wood, so we don’t prefer it in our own gardens. However, the choice, as always is up to you. As always, here at Algiere’s whatever the customer prefers, “we can do that!”

 

Whatever your mulching needs, we at Algiere’s can help! Call or email now for best availability.

 

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.