Showing posts with label fertilizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fertilizer. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Green

Gardeners are concerned about the environment. Gardeners have used pesticide for decades and are now realizing that many pesticides and insecticides have found their way into our ground water and into our drinking water, so are changing their pest control methods to make their gardens greener. Focus on the environment, sustainability and use recycled materials and techniques.  Many gardeners are used to gas powered equipment, heavy fertilization and pesticide use.  But today there are many ways the gardener can garden greener.

1.  Stop relying on pesticides.  Gardeners are used to using pesticides whenever they see a bug on a plant, even if the bug is beneficial. Learn what bugs help the garden. If a bug does not cause serious damage to a plant, do not harm it. Choose plants that are native to your area.  Native plants are adapted to your region and can repel pests on their own. They can also provide food for native animals and replace the plant material lost to building development.

2. If you use pest control use organic pesticides.  Bacillus Thuringiensis (bt) is an organic pesticide and is non toxic to the environment. If you use a toxic pesticide, use less of it and use the least toxic to the environment. If you use herbicides, stop. Use mulches. Mulch is the best way to reduce weeds and also is recycled into the soil and therefore enriches it.

3.  Mow the lawn less.  Gasoline powered mowers are polluters. We water and fertilize the lawn so it will grow more and then have to mow it more often.   Add more beds to your lawn. Do not get disturbed if you have a few weeds in the lawn.  If your lawn is small enough, you can  use manual equipment rather than gas powered machinery.

4. Rethink fertilizing.  Most gardeners fertilize much more than is needed. Regular fertilizing is important only when container gardening.  Vegetable gardens only need moderate fertilizer applications. Better yet, use compost and manures from your own compost heap made from recycled yard waste and kitchen scraps.

5. Leave the leaves.  When shrubs or trees drop leaves, either leave them where they are or rake them and put them in the compost heap.  That way instead of bagging up the leaves and putting them in the landfill, you can recycle them right back into your garden and save on buying more mulch.  Gardening greener is easier than using chemicals. It makes our environment cleaner and our gardens safer.

Don't forget to buy my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond." You can download it here.

And we talk about ponds on my website. If you have questions or answers, join us at

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Almost Water Lily Season

Those of us who live in subtropical climes and New Orleans certainly counts as one, are now looking forward to our first tropical water lily blooms.  Usually in May the first leaves reach the surface and we can start fertilizing.  I use Aquatabs, one per gallon of pot size. Yeah, I know there are special water lily pots that look something like dish drainers, but I'm lazy and still use the 3 gallon pots I transplanted them into years ago.  I put them on the bottom of my 18" deep pond and leave them there year round.

Those of you who have hardy water lilies don't have to worry about them surviving the winter, but most of use love the tropical ones, so we sink them to the bottom of the pond and hope they survive the cold. Most of the time they do, especially this past winter which really wasn't winter at all.  And for those of us who are water lily addicts, the new ones will be on sale in a week or so. Be still my heart!

So I wait for the opportunity to take these sorts of photos again this summer. And maybe get a  better photo.

You can buy my Pond how-to book here

It is consistently in the top ten best sellers in Landscaping.  Yippee.
It's on sale now for a buck.  Get it before the price goes back up.

And for pond info visit us at  You will find knowledgeable folks there who are glad to answer your questions.

Thank you for stopping by this morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fertilizing aquatic plants

If you have not yet fertilized your water lilies, now is the time. Use aquatic plant tabs and push them into the soil. Use one tab for each gallon of soil. If your lily pads have not yet reached the surface, wait until they do.
I do not fertilize other aquatics. The fish waste seems to do a fine job of that. The plants leap from their pots as it is. With fertilizer, they would be camping on my front porch.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Winter in New Orleans

New Orleans is having its typical month of simply awful weather. It's raining almost daily. The temperatures are not cold, in the 40's and 50's, but it is gray and drizzly all the time. The Carnival parades are starting and it's difficult to mount a parade in the rain and cold. Mardi Gras, the culmination of the Carnival season is February 20th, so in less than 3 weeks the madness will be over for another year.
And what about our ponds. Most Carnival participants don't give two hoots about their ponds during the season. Frankly, in this weather, all I want to do is look outside from a heated house.
We can, though, make sure we are ready for spring because it really is just around the corner. Make sure your garden tools are sharp, well oiled and ready to go. Check your pond supplies. Do you have left over chemicals or fertilizer from last fall. Chances are they have lost their punch, so pitch them. Check your fish net. Is it holding together or will you lose the first fish you try to catch this spring? What about your pump? Is it clean and ready to go back into the pond? Here where we rarely freeze, we leave our pumps in the pond, but where the weather stays below freezing, you have removed your pump and stored it in water in the garage, right? Check all your hoses and tubing; make sure it has not cracked and is still supple and ready to go. Check your hose clamps. They fail just when you have used the last one you have on hand, so put hose clamps on your hardware store list.
Get ready. Spring really is coming. Look for azaleas soon!