Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It felt a lot like spring today at 76 degrees. Seemed like a good day to turn the compost.
I started this compost pile with a layer of browns, and then add a layer of greens, some old potting soil, and sprinkled in some blood meal. Mixed it well and add water as was necessary to moisten. I’m patient or lazy and use a Slow Compost Recipe: Slow composting is the least labor-and time-consuming way to compost. This method can take from six months or more produce compost, but usually don’t have to wait that long. I turn the pile occasionally to mix the materials together to prevent the materials from clumping together.
I use Organic trimmings from the yard, such as fallen leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, flowers and the remains of garden plants. I use Kitchen scraps, such as fruit and vegetable peels and trimmings, crushed eggshells, tea bags, and coffee grounds and filters when I can keep my husband from throwing them away.
It may seem like a lot of work but here are some reasons to try composting:
1. – Save the countryside (smaller landfill sites)
2. – Makes Healthy soil (rebuilds topsoil and microbial ecologies)
3. – Saves Money (use less commercial soil additives)
4. - Regenerates Nature (healthier plants and animals)
5. - Cleans air (Puts antioxidants into the atmosphere)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

I'm getting ready for The 2011 GBBC will take place Friday, February 18, through Monday, February 21. I've downloaded my Regional checklist; filled my feeders and birdbaths, have my binoculars and bird books handy.

If you don’t know The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages and abilities in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. You don’t have to be an expert to participate; beginning bird watchers to experts are welcome. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. For more information http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/whycount.html

Photo 1 is a Pine Warbler and Photo 2 is a Bluebird

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bulbs: a sign of spring

While walking back from taking scraps to the compost I noticed that a hyacinth bloom was starting to break the surface of the soil. Can spring be far behind? I noticed daffodil and some Iris leaves earlier last month. I walked around a little more and also saw tulips I’d planted in the fall poking out of the soil.
· Time to make plans to order/purchase summer-flowering bulbs for new beds or as additions to existing plantings.
· The best fertilizer for bulbs is a soil that is rich in organic matter.
· Spring bulbs whose shoots have emerged should be fertilized with a complete fertilizer as 10-10-10. If you used a slow release fertilizer in the fall it isn’t necessary to fertilize now.

What signs of spring have you seen in your yard?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Garden Checklist for February

Spring is not far off here in the Lowcountry and time to go over the garden checklist for February.

· Get my soil sample to Clemson Extension for my soil test!
· Time to buy pre-emergent herbicide for my established lawn and have it ready to apply when temperatures reach 65°-70° for 4-5 consecutive days.
· Fertilize ornamental trees, azalea, and camellias if needed.
· See if any of my perennial flowers (asters, coreopsis, daylilies, Shasta daisies) need to be divided or transplanted.
· Ready my raised bed and herb bed for planting lettuce and radishes this month: this includes weeding and adding compost.
· Prune summer flowering ornamentals just before spring growth mid-February through mid-March. Some in my yard include: Beautyberry, Crape myrtle, Roses, Osmanthus, Chaste Tree, Gardenia, & Glossy Abelia.)
.Set up second composter for kitchen scraps and yard clippings & leaves
.check for/pull winter weeds in flowerbeds