We have had some WEIRD weather the last few growing years. Heat, drought, excess rain, late snowfalls, a derecho, etc. And while there’s not much you can do if a hurricane or tornado moves your landscape to another state, there IS something you can do to help strengthen your plants against the elements — even when the elements are super crazy. (What are we on, day 56 of straight rain in Iowa? Sheesh!)
Our SoilSuccess actually helps your plants weather the weather because it contains humates. Some of the benefits of applying humate products to soil include the following:
Reduced drought stress and improved yield stability.
Reduced heat and salt stress.
Improved soil aeration, workability & water filtration.
Increase soil water holding capacity.
Increase water uptake.
Stimulate top growth.
Stimulate and increase root growth and mass.
Stimulate and increase chlorophyll production.
Provide stimulus for beneficial soil microorganisms.
Increase nutrient uptake.
Make nutrients available to plants.
Reduce absorption of toxic metals and pesticides.
Which explains why my dahlias that had SoilSuccess applied (pictured on right) survived last year’s extreme heat wave and the ones with only regular soil/compost tea/water did not.
The most common colors for hydrangeas are white, blue & pink. If you have the right varieties, you can actually alter which color yours are by adjusting the soil pH.
Hydrangeas tend to grow blue in acidic soil (5.2-5.5 pH is ideal). Hydrangeas turn pink when the soil is more alkaline (6-7 pH range).
Our AcidRepair will raise soil pH so if you’re growing a blue hydrangea in acidic soil, you can add the product and turn your flowers pink, easily.
Because we think you’ll enjoy playing with your hydrangea color, we’re giving away 2 bags of AcidRepair! Check out the photo for details (click on it to enlarge if the fine print is too fine for you!) and enter on Pinterest, Twitter or on Facebook.
I made caprese salad yesterday for cooking club (um, and a bbq on Friday and a family lunch Saturday. I’m on a caprese kick!) and wanted to share my ‘recipe’ and see what ya’ll do differently, if anything!
My tomatoes aren’t ripe yet so I had to buy some (which really had me impatient for my own to grow – they taste so much better!). My basil plant is going crazy though so I was able to use my own fresh leaves. I’m sure some people are extremely ambitious and make their own mozzarella and pesto. I, however, tend to buy everything but tomatoes & basil.
I start out by dicing up the tomato, basil and mozz in small chunks. I stir it together and sprinkle on salt & pepper.
I mix the sauce separately before adding to the salad. I mix to taste but it includes a couple spoonfuls of pesto, a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, some olive oil and a few squeeze of honey. Stir it all up and toss the salad in it.
We eat it usually as a salad but you could always add a little more dressing and top toast with it as bruschetta. So easy. So fresh. So delish!
Do you make caprese? What do you put in the dressing?
This holiday weekend is one of my favorites. Not only does it usually coincide with my birthday, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the great folks who gave their life for our freedoms. We owe a lot to our military veterans and it’s always nice to honor them.
It’s also a favorite weekend because it’s usually filled with delightful Americana activities such as puttering around the garden, grilling out, picnic-ing & boating with friends and family. Nothing like enjoying our freedoms and reveling in a bit of leisure!
As I plan out my menu for the grill I was thinking a fresh caprese salad (my basil plant is going crazy!), grilled asparagus, potato salad, kabobs and maybe cupcakes. I searched on Pinterest to find some interesting recipes and might try something new with a zippy Southwestern potato salad and a grilled balsalmic asparagus recipe. Usually my potato salad is very mustard/mayo based and I just grill asparagus with butter, salt & pepper. Will have to give these a try.
Those of you in warmer climates (or with greenhouses) do you have any garden produce ready to eat this weekend?
I don’t know about you but where I am, Iowa, has been unseasonably warm this week. So I’ve got the fans running and had to start up a summer-y drink. Enjoy:
I made today’s drink with some berries I’d washed, sliced & frozen a week ago. But I also planted my berries yesterday so hopefully soon I’ll be making my strawberry lemonade with fresh berries — mmmmhmm.
Besides being delicious, this drink also looks pretty nice so it’s a good one to use at bridal showers or baby showers or patio parties!
I couldn’t wait to crack open my latest issue of “O magazine” because the cover shouts “Oprah’s new farm!”
For those of you who haven’t read it — she is growing produce on 16 acres in Hawaii organically. Her farm is producing 145 pounds of food a week she shares with others.
I was thrilled to see this article. While I don’t believe the media powerhouse herself is out deadheading and weeding, I think this type of feature really brings the food/health/gardening debate to the public. With a circulation of 2 million+ for the magazine alone, a bunch of people were just exposed to gardening and small scale farming. And it was good information! Not just the fact that she’s growing to add nutrients to her diet and reduce the amount of food flown into the island, but she’s sharing food with her neighbors. She, and her team, are nourishing her square of land and making sure the soil gets good food. Here are some other highlights of the article:
It encourages growers to prep the soil before planting.
It discusses the problem with much of today’s produce lacking nutrients because of growing in soil that is nutrient-depleted.
It encourages using natural fertilizers & compost.
It encourages green cycling the clippings/leaves.
It encourages cover crops to keep weeds & erosion away.
It encourages plant rotation for pest management.
These are all topics not being discussed by a lot of mainstream media so I was thrilled. What do you think? Do you think the “Oprah effect” will be good for growing/gardening/small scale farming?