Category Archives: Compost, Mulch, Etc

Is Human Hair Really a Great Fertilizer for your Garden?

On Yahoo! Canada today there was a news article from ABC News entitled “Hair: the best fertilizer?” – all about using human hair as fertilizer for plants. At first I thought perhaps it was a new exciting way to fertilizer my garden, but the article’s title was a little misleading.

The article talks about a nursery in Florida that uses human hair that has been pressed into mats for weed control around their plants. The nursery owner says that he’s saved thousands of dollars on herbicides and labour because of the human hair mats.

That sounds a lot more like weed suppression than fertilizer to me.

No where on the internet can I find anything about human hair being a fertilizer, though it would have merit as a weed suppressant – just like plastic mulch, wood chips, hay, and host of other materials. For my garden, I think I’d much rather lay down a strip of plastic mulch than a wad of hair.

So before you rush out to buy a truck load of human hair, check out some mulching ideas from Bob at NorthernGreenhouse.com for a simpler, easier way to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

Read ABC’s article.

Watch ABC’s video.

How To Keep Your Grapevines Alive Through The Winter

After my grapes went through their first winter, I wasn’t sure they had survived. Well, after my fruit trees had all budded out and leaves were appearing, my grapes still hadn’t shown any signs of life. I began to suspect the Alberta winter had killed them.

Grapes after nearly being winter killedHowever, eventually, a couple of the stems on my Valiant grapevine began to sprout out some leaves. Then along came my Prairie Star not long after. But my Kay Gray didn’t seem like it had any life at all. I was just about to uproot the lifeless stick when a little bud appeared just at the base of the plant.

At the end of the day, all three grapevines made a full recovery, but at least 80% of last year’s growth was winter killed. Because of that, there was no fruit to be had that year.

So let me share with you some of the lesson’s I’ve learned.

How To Make A Garden From Scratch The Easy Way

Making a new garden plot is no easy task – no matter how you do it. But I may just have found the easiest and least work-intensive method of turning that patch of lawn into a beautiful garden plot.

In my early attempts to make new garden plots from scratch, I tried a variety of methods. I tried digging out the sod and then hauling in six inches of topsoil to replace it. Of course, that is a whole lot of work if done by hand, and renting machinery can be quite expensive. Then there’s the problem of what to do with the sods, and where to find quality topsoil.

Another method I’ve tried is to spray the grass with chemical, killing the grass, and then tilling the sod. But that means dealing with chemicals and finding a heavy duty rototiller which wouldn’t be cheap. Then once all that is done, you still have to go through an clear off all the bits and pieces of sod in order to have a workable garden.

So finally, I believe I have found a way to create a new garden space without machinery, without chemicals, and without any digging or tilling. Are you ready for this?

How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back

What are the three things that consume most of your time and effort in gardening? It’s weeding, watering, and working the soil, isn’t it? How many hours do you spend just doing those three things? You hardly have time to enjoy your garden! But what if you could have a beautiful, lush garden – full of fragrant flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables – without all that work? Sounds way to good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s certainly what I thought… until today.

Today I read Ruth Stout’s book, “How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back”. Although it was written in 1955 by a lady born in 1884, it was full of practical gardening advice that is going to change the way I do gardening.

Composting Made Easy… Or Something Like That

CompostWho knew that throwing all your dead plants, moldy vegetables, and manure from your pet pig in a big pile to let them rot, and then growing your own food in that stuff would be a great idea? Go figure, eh? But that pile of mushy tomatoes and wilty carrots is one of the best things you can do for your garden. Full of the very things your plants need to thrive, compost is a gardener’s black gold.That’s why I decided I needed a compost pile. After all, I had the space, I had the ingredients, and I had the motive – why not make my own compost? After all, how hard could it be?