• Thursday, July 31, 2008 at

  • Agromin is the blue ribbon winner at this year's Ventura County Fair in the education category. The Agromin display tells the story of green waste recycling from the curb to the final application. The self-directing display includes descriptive signs and photos that follow the recycling process from start to finish.

    The Ventura County Fair Board of Directors recently recognized Agromin's Brian Critchley for his more than 10 years of dedicated volunteer service. Brian can be found every year as the fair nears offering suggestions to young Future Farmers of America as they ready their fair displays. Agromin often donates high quality bark to these displays to help give them a finished look.

    Agromin is dedicated to recycling. The pine rounds that circle this year's Agromin display will be donated or recycled. The banner sign in the middle of the display is made from biodegradable cloth. Even the signs and photos contain organic ink.

    The fair runs now through August 10 and is open from 11 am Monday through Friday and from 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. Come visit the Agromin display ar the fair's Flora Culture garden area.

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  • August Gardening Tips For Southern California
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at
  • Many gardeners believe that if you don't plant flowers and vegetables by June or July, planting season is over. That's not the case in Southern California, say experts at Agromin, a Camarillo, Calif.-based manufacturer of premium soil products. Many summer flowers and vegetables can still be planted in August.

    Plant Summer Annuals: Plant summer annuals including cosmos, zinnias and marigolds from transplants for quick color. Sow seeds for cool-season annuals including calendula, pansies and snapdragon.

    Plant Herbs and Warm Season Vegetables: An assortment of herbs can be planted in August and still provide a hearty harvest. Plant basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and mint from transplants. The plants with thrive through fall. Beans, beets, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, spinach and squash can all be planted now, as well as cool season crops such as broccoli and cabbage.

    Harvest Your Vegetables: Your summer vegetables are ripening almost daily. Zucchini, squash and cucumber seem to grow overnight. Pick ripened vegetables frequently, whether you use them or not. This will encourage the plants to continue to produce for the rest of summer and into fall.

    Mow Weekly: Lawns grow quickly during the summer months. Grass blades should be at least an inch long to protect the soil from heat, help protect against water evaporation and to stimulate deeper root growth.

    Houseplant Maintenance: Clear out dead foliage and water regularly, especially if plants are in direct sunlight. During summer growing months, plants may outgrow their containers. If a plant begins looking weak or its growth slows, it may need repotting. Gently remove the plant from the pot and examine the root system. If all you see is a mass of roots without soil, the plant needs repotting to a larger pot.

    For more planting and gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Gardens Love Organic Mulch
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at

  • Organic mulch offers tremendous advantages when placed around your garden flowers and vegetables. A 2" layer of mulch prevents moisture from evaporating, so less watering is needed. Mulch blocks weed growth and reduces the amount of insects and other pests.

    Mulch acts as an insulator to protect soil from extreme heat or cold so a layer of mulch around your plants is a smart idea year round. Plus, mulch makes an attractive groundcover. Mulch comes in a variety of colors from blond to red to dark brown (depending on the source wood). The size of the materials ranges from 1/4" to 3".

    Organic mulches contain only natural wood materials. Depending on the blend, mulches can include fir, buckwheat hulls, redwood bark, evergreen boughs, hops, ground corncobs, sugar cane and cottonseed hulls. Avoid buying mulch that contains hay, manure and straw. These types might contain weeds.

    Mulches that contain more wood will provide fewer nutrients and decompose slowly. Softer mulches will provide more nutrients but decompose more quickly.

    How to Lay Down Mulch

    1) Apply a 2" to 4" layer of mulch over the planting beds of already established plants. Leave a 5-inch radius around each plant. Do not put mulch over recently planted seeds because it will hinder their growth.

    2) Rake the mulch every so often to expose new mulch.

    3) The mulch will decompose over time. When only a thin layer is left, add more.

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  • Last Chance to Plant Pumpkins
    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at

    Pumpkins are related to gourds, cucumbers, melons and squash. They grow on plants that have long, stretching vines that sprawl across the ground. The best time to plant pumpkin seeds is during the last part of May to the middle of June, but plants are available at garden centers and can be planted now for a fall harvest.

    The blossoms (yellow flowers) will start to appear after about three weeks of growth. The blossoms that produce pollen will appear first. About a week later, the female blossoms will begin to appear. The female blossoms will have a little pumpkin at their base. When both sexes appear on the vines, bees will carry the pollen from the male to the female. The little pumpkin will develop into a full size pumpkin after it has been pollinated. During the pumpkin's growth period, the plant will continue to blossom.

    It takes about three to six months for a pumpkin to grow to its peak size. The seeds found inside pumpkins can be saved to grow new pumpkins the following year.

    Recommended - plant your pumpkin in Agromin's Vegetable Garden Mix -- a specific organic soil conditioner blend for vegetables. Vegetable Garden Mix is particularly effective in conditioning sandy or clay soil conditions but is also beneficial for any vegetable planting application including raised vegetable beds or even flowers, roses and shrubs. No need to fertilize. ProPower keeps delivering essential nutrients for up to 45 days with a combination of immediate release and timed release ingredients.

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