• Agromin receives California State PTA Award
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at
  • Agromin received an award in May from the California State PTA in recognition of its "outstanding service to children and youth." Agromin, a premium soil manufacturer and one of the largest green materials recyclers in California, received the award for its work with students at Las Colinas Middle School in Camarillo.

    Agromin provides compost made from recycled green materials to the school's gardens and landscapes. Students till the compost into planter boxes and grow a variety of vegetables including Brussels sprouts, spinach, celery, sugar snap peas, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and onions. Agromin representatives visit the school to teach kids about the importance of green materials recycling and how the resulting rich organic compost can be used to grow healthy and vigorous vegetables and flowers.

    Kids also learn about the sustainability benefits of gardening--taking the green waste from the garden, composting it and then placing the compost back into the garden from which new plants grow. Las Colinas students are learning important environmental lessons as they grow and harvest their gardens.

    The driving force behind the garden project at Las Colinas is Dianne Polen, Las Colinas Beautification/Life Lab advisor. Her dedication has helped teach hundreds of students that gardening is fun-- and good for the planet.

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  • How to Plant and Grow Pumpkins
    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at
  • Pumpkins are related to gourds, cucumbers, melons and squash. They grow on plants that have long, stretching vines that sprawl across the ground.

    Planting
    The best time to plant pumpkin seeds is during the last part of May to the middle of June.

    Seeds will sprout about seven to 10 days after planting. The seeds will need a lot of warmth and moisture in order to thrive.

    Growing Towards Harvest
    A broad root system develops in the top foot of soil. A strong taproot will grow as deep as two to three feet. As this happens, the vines spread and the leaves develop. These roots, though shallow, will collect moisture, air and food for the plant.

    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.

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