• September Gardening Tips for Southern California
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at
  • September can be a question mark when making landscape and gardening plans. In Southern California, summer can easily extend into September or the month can bring cooler temperatures. Still, there is much to do and plant in the garden during early fall, say experts at Agromin, a Camarillo-based manufacturer of premium soil products.

    Lawn Care: Lawns are still growing in September and October. Mow weekly. For cool season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescues, now is the time to fertilize as they grow rapidly in fall. Also, consider aerification (coring) with an aerator that can be rented at equipment rental shops. Coring allows for better water and nutrition penetration.

    Plant Trees: The best time to plant trees is when they are dormant--in fall or early spring. To reduce transplant shock, dig a hole for planting at least three times the size of the plant's root ball is wide, but only as deep as its roots. Don't plant the tree too low in the ground to allow for some settling. Firmly pack the soil around the tree to eliminate air pockets. Cover the soil with mulch to keep in moisture and help moderate extreme soil temperatures. The mulch should be one to two inches away from the tree trunk.

    Flowers for Fall: Warm Septembers allow gardeners to plant flowers for fall blooms. These include chrysanthemums, sweet peas, snap dragons and asters. Also, plant bulbs such as autumn daffodils and crocuses

    Add to Your Vegetable Garden: Some vegetables can still be planted in fall for a winter or early spring harvest. These vegetables include peas, fava beans, kale, leeks beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, radish, carrots, celery and winter zucchini.

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

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  • How to Plant Bulbs
    Friday, August 22, 2008 at
  • Bulbs are a very economical way to ensure beautiful spring color year after year. The ideal time to plant bulbs is in the fall. This should result in very resilient, bright flowers for the spring.

    Soil Preparation
    Having a good soil base is essential for growing healthy bulbs. Make sure your soil's clay content isn't too high. Till soil conditioner into the top 12 inches of soil. This should help break up the clay and make the soil more conducive for planting.


    Fertilization
    Phosphorous is a necessity to the bulbs' root development. Mix a phosphorous fertilizer with the soil beneath the bulbs' location so that it can benefit the roots.

    For bulbs to come back year after year, you will need additional fertilizer. Mix five tablespoons of 10-10-10 fertilizer, plus two cups of bone meal per 10 square foot section. As soon as you see evidence of the plant sprouts, apply fertilizer. Don't fertilize spring bulbs once they start flowering.
    This may rot the bulbs and shorten their life.

    For summer and fall blooming bulbs, fertilize once per month from the time they start peaking out of the ground to the time they reach full bloom. Apply seven tablespoons of the 10-10-10 fertilizer, split over two or three applications. Monitor the pH levels of your soil. The ideal range for bulbs is a 6 to 7. For healthy bulb development, till bone meal into the soil when you plant the bulbs. You can buy pH level testing kits at most garden centers.

    Planting
    A basic rule of thumb is to plant bulbs at least twice as deep as the bulb is tall. Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils should be planted with the top of the bulb facing upward and the plate facing down. If you are planting several bulbs, you can simply loosen the entire bed of soil, press in the bulbs and cover with soil. This technique helps with drainage and allows the bulbs to last longer.

    Once the bulbs are planted, the garden area should be covered with at least two inches of mulch. The mulch helps to insulate the soil and retain the moisture.

    Watering
    Water bulbs immediately upon planting. As you water regularly , keep in mind that water needs to penetrate to the bulb. You can water with a soaker hose to keep the water off the bloom. Be careful -- over-watering can cause the bulb to rot.

    Staking
    You may need to add some extra support to some of the blooming bulbs such as delphiniums and dahlias. You can add a support ring around a tall weak stem. You can also use stakes, but be careful when you drive the stake into the ground so as not to damage the bulbs or roots.

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  • Agromin Sponsors SEE Landscape Water Conservation Home Show Displays
    Thursday, August 14, 2008 at
  • Agromin, a Camarillo-based manufacturer of premium soil products and one of the state's largest green materials recycling companies, has joined in sponsoring Sustainable Environmental Education (SEE), a nonprofit organization that is spreading the word about water conservation through water saving landscape designs.

    SEE has created a 20' x 20' home landscape display that features the latest in sprinkler systems, California native landscaping and moisture retaining compost and other soil products.

    The SEE display will be at:

    Home Show at the Pasadena Convention Center, August 22 -24,
    Los Angeles County Fair, September 5 - 28,
    Los Angeles Convention Center Home Show, October 10 - 12.
    Orange County Fairgrounds Home Show, October 24 - 26.

    One of the founders of SEE is Nick Federoff, host of "Nick Federoff on Gardening," heard on KRLA-AM and the "Things Green Garden Minute." "It's not about not using water. It's about strategically placing it, then keeping it there for as long as possible," says Federoff. "I've personally used Agromin products here at the ThingsGreen.com botanical gardens for several years. Not only are there water savings, but Agromin doesn't hurt the pocketbook."

    Agromin recycles more than 250,000 tons of green waste each year from homes and businesses in Southern California. Agromin then uses an organic and scientific-based system to formulate its soil products from the recycled and composted green materials. Its products are sold to professional landscapers and consumers. Agromin's PowerMix Decorative Barks and Mulches is specifically designed to conserve moisture, reduce soil erosion and prevent weed growth

    "Mulch is made from wood and bark so it naturally holds in moisture," says Bill Camarillo, CFO of Agromin. "Water usage can be cut by 30 percent during the hot summer months when mulch is placed around trees, shrubs and flowers. It's a simple and inexpensive way to keep your yard looking beautiful while saving hundreds of gallons of water each week."

    Agromin compost is approved by the non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) so it is used in certified organic production or food processing in accordance to the USDA National Organic Program standards. Agromin soil products are also certified by the U.S. Composting Council (USCC). The certification means Agromin has met the USCC standards for compost content and its soil products are clean and safe. Agromin.

    For more information about Agromin, go to http://www.agromin.com/.

    For information about SEE, go to http://www.seeonline.org/.
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