• Still Plenty of Time to Plant Vegetables and Flowers in August
    Friday, July 29, 2011 at
  • Harvesting vegetables should be in full swing in August, but if you haven't started your garden, there is still time to enjoy a healthy crop of vegetables and annuals if planted now.

    Tomatoes: Tomato plants planted in June are beginning to look scraggily and are nearing the end of their production cycle. Plant more tomato plants in full sun. Tomatoes from the new planting should be ready before November.

    Plant Herbs and Cool 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. To squeeze out longer life in your current herb plants, pinch any sign of flowers immediately. Doing so will keep leaves soft and prevent them from tasting bitter. Vegetables such as beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green onions, white potatoes and turnips, if planted now, will produce crops in fall.

    Plant More Annuals: Summer annuals planted in June may have shed most of their flowers by August. If an annual is looking sickly, remove it and head to your local nursery to pick up a new assortment of already-blooming plants. These include marigolds, petunias, zinnias, impatiens, cosmos, California poppy, chrysanthemum and snapdragon. Intersperse the garden with summer-to-fall bloomers like African daisies, alyssum, red sage, verbena, vinca and poppies to ensure a full garden into October or later. Your nursery can tell you what grows best in your area. Perennials may be showing some fatigue. If that's the case, cut back the stems so only a few inches remain. Perennials will bounce back in spring with fuller, healthier growth.

    Protect Your Summer Fruit: Dreams of freshly picked summer fruit can be dashed by hungry birds that, if given the chance, can happily eat all or just small bits of a piece of fruit. Put netting on the trees two or three weeks before the fruit begins to ripen to protect it from birds and tree squirrels.

    Slug and Snail Protection: Strawberries are a delicacy for slugs, snails and pill bugs (rolly pollies). These pests wait until the berries are almost ripe before digging in. While they are still growing, keep the strawberries off the ground. Place them on wooden boards, on slippery cans--anything that makes it difficult for the pests to reach them.

    Give Your Yard a Tropical Look: Banana trees can thrive in Southern California. They can reach as high as 25 feet and will start producing fruit a year or more after planting. The soil around the trunk should be well drained but kept moist. Banana trees should be planted in the warmest area of your yard--with the most sun and protected from wind. Trees can survive in sub-freezing temperatures for a short while. To be safe, wrap the trunk with a blanket if very cold temperatures are predicted.

    Keep Pruning Roses: Lightly prune and water roses on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on the weather. This will encourage the bushes to flower continuously into late fall. When blooms fade, prune down to the first five-part leaf. New blooms will appear in about three weeks.

    For more gardening tips, go to http://www.agromin.com.

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  • Congrats to Buena Park High For OC Fair Wins!
    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at
  • Buena Park High School (BPHS) students and their animals had a great showing at this year's Orange County Fair. Agromin is the proud corporate sponsor of the BPHS Ag Science/FFA Program.

    Jessica Fernandes, BPHS Ag Science Program leader, said "we knew coming in that topping our 2010 results would be difficult but our kids had a great year. We will have 58 animals at the auction, but what's most rewarding is to see the growth and excitement in the students as the year progresses. Sometimes they start the program thinking the ag class will be 'easy' and they soon find out how difficult it is. Not only do they have their classroom work but we also must maintain over four acres of gardens, greenhouses, orchards and of course the animals. It is always thrilling to see them grasp the entire food/earth/green cycle and how everything we do to and with our resources impacts them directly. I'm proud of what they have accomplished during the school year as well as all they have done here at the fair."

    OC Fair Results:
    Amanda Jacobs - first place, novice beef showmanship
    Daniel Davis - entered two turkeys and each won! He garnered Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion awards - "sweeping" the category.
    The Chapter Group Rabbit Pen (raised by Briana Ayala) - won the Reserve Grand Champion award.
    Nancy Jaurequi - won Reserve Grand Champion in milk calves with "Sunshine," and also won first in calf showmanship.

    Winners, market swine weight divisions:
    Edilena Reyes (1st), Jaime Flores (2nd), Cyrena Walker (2nd), Ramiro Espinoza (1st), and Amanda Jacobs (2nd). Adonay Gutierrez, in his first year with the ag program, showed his first pig and won 3rd place in his weight category. Jaime Flores, in his first year as well, took 2nd place with his pig "Champ." Jaime said he can't wait for next year's program to start and worked with his parents to buy his own pig for the fair.

    Buena Park's Ag Science program almost tripled in size and is sure to remain the science class of choice for students in the fall.

    Congratulations to BPHS ag science students and FFA Chapter for all your hard work and outstanding results at this year's OC Fair!

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  • A Mighty Pumpkin Patch at BPHS
    Friday, July 22, 2011 at

  • The almost one-acre pumpkin patch at Buena Park High School (BPHS) is now sprouting fledgling pumpkin plants. The land had been fallow and unused for years. Agromin is a sponsor of the BPHS ag program. Its crews removed a layer of soil from the patch, tilled the remaining soil to break it into small pieces and then tilled in over 20 tons of Agromin premium soil amendments. In just one day of hard work, the fallow ground became perfect for planting.

    Samantha Valverde, ag manager at the BPHS farm, directed students while they did an incredible job planting Mystic Plus and Magic Lantern seeds. Not surprising, 99.9 percent of the seed sprouted.

    The students hope to harvest over 1,500 pumpkins for the BPHS ag program. They plan to sell the pumpkins as a fundraising project as well as deliver free pumpkins to surrounding elementary schools in October. Stay tuned for more updates on the BPHS/Agromin pumpkin patch progress and watch it grow!

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  • Buena Park Students And Their Animals Score Big at OC Fair
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at
  • The Orange County Fair kicked off July 14 and Agromin was there! Agromin is a proud sponsor of the Buena Park High School Ag/Future Farmers of America program. BPHS will show and ultimately sell 25 market swine, 23 sheep, 4 steers, 2 dairy cows, 1 calf, 10 broiler chickens and 6 turkeys at the auction that culminates on the July 24.

    The sheep group did well in the show ring: Alexis Tarin and her sheep "Rudie," Janet Manera and her sheep "Shimshon" and Jessica Navarrette and her sheep "Chaci" led the BPHS Chapter Group into a second place red ribbon. Class winners were Mia DeLoen, goats, Angie Velasquez and Alexis Tarin, sheep.

    Adonay Gutierrez is in the program for his first year and is showing his swine "Charm"--a 200 pounder. Adonay got some ribbing from some of his friends and football teammates about being in the ag program but quickly found that the ag experience is priceless. "I entered an FFA speech contest and won second place, and then took a chance and got an animal for the fair. No student could have a better experience than being in an ag program," he says.

    All of the students participating in the BPHS ag science program agree with Adonay and will be returning to teacher Jessica Fernandes' classroom in the fall.

    Agromin's soil, mulch and hauling donations to the school helped offset costs that students would normally incur to get their animals to market. Agromin congratulates BPHS wins at the OC Fair!

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  • Limoneira Ranch's Summer Tour Makes Stop at Agromin
    Friday, July 8, 2011 at
  • Just in time for summer, Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula is offering discounted individual and group rates for tours of the 118-year-old avocado and lemon ranch. Part of its Ranch and Sustainability Tour includes a stop at Agromin's 10-acre organic materials processing site on ranch property.

    The Ranch and Sustainability Tour is perfect for anyone who wants to learn what growers are doing today to produce tastier, fresher and healthier crops while keeping costs down for consumers.

    Visitors view avocado and lemon orchards and learn about the intricacies of producing avocados and lemons as well as colorful stretches of row crops – strawberries, celery, cilantro, cabbage and beets. The tour shows guests what modern farmers are doing to become more sustainable including: a 5.5-acre "solar orchard" (with 6,400 photovoltaic solar panels). Weeds are kept in check naturally around the panels by English miniature sheep.

    At the Agromin stop, visitors see how grass clippings, tree trimmings and leaves are naturally composted. Microorganisms turn the materials into mulch that is then distributed in the orchards, reducing water use by one-third and keeping weeds down.
    A final stop is the Visitors Center, which provides a photographic history of farm life at the turn of the century. Agromin has a display here too.
    Each guest on the tour receives a gift of lemons and avocados. Beverages are provided. Check out the Packinghouse Tour too.

    For more information including group discounts, go to http://www.limoneira.com or call 805-525-5541.

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