Sunday, March 28, 2010

Do Corn-based Utensils Really Co/mpost

My local Coffee Shop, Urban Beans, gave me some coffee grounds for my compost and in it were several cups and utensils made out of corn - they are supposed the break down in the compost.

Well the cup is now like tissue papaer, but the utensils, which were much thicker did not break down.

I found a few other things as well.  A felt tip pen-which still works!  And the band from a milk bottle.

What interesting things have you found in your compost or what unusual item have you tried to compost?

Happy Digging,
The Garden Goddess

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Organic Fertilizing for the Garden

Fertilizing is one of those things that used to confuse me.  Now I take a much simpler approach. I the feed the Soil Food Web and let it take care of everything else.  When the soil food web is in balance and thriving the plants figure out the rest.  The elements they need to thrive and grow are readily available to them.

Why is all this important?  Because I want to help my landscape plants endure the stresses of the environment such as heat, drought, dehydration and poor soils.

To do this, I use Soil Secrets

My favorite products make up a great Soil Therapy Restoration Protocol.

Earth Magic is a unique concentrated humus that contains a broad spectrum of beneficial mycorrhizae fungi and soil enzymes. Research has proven that Mycorrhizal products can make any landscape dramatically more drought tolerant and the plants healthier, as it’s the mycorrhizae that do most of the hard work of finding water and minerals of the soil and provide those factors to the plants of your landscape. This helps your landscape plants endure the stresses of the environment such as heat, drought, dehydration and poor soils. Humus is equally important and essential in order to
have a healthy soil, as it is humus that defines what a top-soil is. Almost without exception both Humus and Mycorrhizae are either missing or are weak in most manmade landscapes in the country, therefore supplementing these two factors is beneficial and important.

Protein Crumblies® Nature’s best source of nutritional calories for feeding the soil. Derived from selected vegetable proteins grown for Soil Secrets and blended for the best ratios of amino acids, this product is the only product in the industry made with these amino acid ratios. Soil Microorganisms are part of the Soil Food Web and Protein Crumblies has the highest protein efficiency ratio possible for feeding these microorganisms which will in turn help in providing the best nutritional support for the Soil Food Web, which is how nature keeps a landscape healthy.When using Protein Crumblies do not use any other source of fertilizers! This product is a catalyst for Earth Magic and both products need to be used together for best results.

Earth Ambrosia® Humus is the ultimate starter for successful soil and this product is the best liquid humus made. Liquid’s always move into the soil faster than a dry material which is why we provide humus in this form. But for optimum results always use Earth Magic in order to get the maximum amount of humus into your soil possible.
Earth Nectar® A super drink for the soil! There’s no question about it, microbes rule, as they run all the major chemical cycles on the earth by making the enzymes that serve as the chemical catalysts. This product is a broad spectrum of soil based enzymes made by microbes as they were fed a formulation of our TTP Supreme Compost, whole kelp, humus, and plant extracts.

This “Soil Therapy Restoration Protocol” can be used to recover the Soil Food Web on new or existing landscape, garden or turf areas. This is a suggested one year plan for inoculating 1,000 square feet. There is flexibility in application rates; however, keep in mind that by decreasing the number of applications or amount, you may see good results but with less dramatic changes in the soil and growth in the first couple of years.


The mixtures can be applied before or after planting. If the area has already been mulched, sprinkle on top and water in.

Dry mix: Earth Magic and Protein Crumblies

Liquid mix: Earth Nectar and Earth Ambrosia

Dry mix can be spread by hand or by other various spreaders for home or commercial use. Whichever
method is used, try to spread as evenly as possible. Liquid mix can be applied with a sprinkling can, hose end sprayer or other home/commercial spraying equipment.
After dry and liquid mixes have been applied water area well immediately. OPTION: Apply mixture during rainy season and the rain will soak it in.


The products above can be also used to feed the initial application throughout the year.

Protein Crumblies are the key to success in jump starting the Soil Food Web by providing a high quality calorie source with Chelated trace minerals, Biostimulants, enzymes and, of course, Protein. The Protein will enter the bacterial food chain and start a slow release of Nitrogen at the proper pace for all plants.

A. Protein Crumblies: Three to four months after the initial application spread the other half package of
Protein Crumblies.
B. Nectar/Ambrosia: Once a month after the initial application you can sprinkle another Liquid Mix
I have all of these product availaible right now in Phoenix, AZ.  Please let me know if you would like more information, or are interested in purchasing some for your gardens!

Happy Digging,
The Garden Goddess

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Radicchio Rosettes

I spent some time at my neighborhood garden on Monday where I am expanding my edible gardens. I found that some of my winter veggies get so BIG that I need more room. I took over an existing bed that had nothing but last years lemon balm and lots of tall hollyhocks along the fence where I planted more eggplant, tomatoes and basil (I will be eating Mediterranean style this summer!)

While there I added a few flowers, marigolds seem to be my signature flower – I like them for there sturdiness and bright color as well for their companion properties. They seem to help keep the pests away or become a trap plant.

The front garden needed a little clean up – the radishes where still in the ground and covered in aphids, so they got pulled out. And the radicchio had not been thinned. This bed is planted and managed by volunteers more as a demonstration garden and doesn’t get the TLC it needs. As I was thinning the radicchio, I threw the immature leaves in my bag and took them home for a salad.

While I was cleaning the radicchio, I noticed how the leaves all curled into each other like a rose, making these pretty rosettes.

I found myself arranging them in a pretty martini glass to photograph them to show them off to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

This may be one of the prettiest lettuces I have ever seen and eaten!

Happy Digging,
The Garden Goddess

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Resting in the Garden

This is Annie relaxing after the Master Gardeners Garden tour at my house last Saturday - I had over 900 people walk through my gardens.  What a wonderful day it was sharing my plants and ideas with others.  Of course everything was in tip-top shape due to all the great rain we got the weeks before and the wonderful help of many Master Gardener volunteers who came to help weed and clean up the yard.  I am so thankful for them, I couldn't have done it without them.

One of my favorite comments overheard at my garden was from a landscape architect who said they really liked my gardens and one other the best because they were in smaller yards and they showed a great use of space and what can be done in a truly urban yard.

I am flattered and pleased since that has been my goal all along and to have someone from my industry say that means I have done what I set out to accomplish!

I am ready to take a break from my own gardens for a few weeks and just what what transpires.  The peach tree has blossomed and baby peaches are growing, same for the apple.

The winter veggies are starting to mature, some bolting to go to seed, others flower and then going to seed.  But there is still much to eat, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, yellow peppers, Sweet 100 tomatoes all which end up in my lunch or dinner daily.

Here's me resting and hugging the broccoli after the tour - ahh it is good to be the Garden Goddess!

Happy Digging, Doreen


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