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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Humming bird garden out buzz competitors

Well it seems like the Humming Bird Garden Variety pack of flowers beat out the competition in my garden. The majority of voters voted for the variety pack instead of the Hollyhocks and Asters. In response to the voting results I've planted a small section of my front yard with the popular flowers. I'm still trying to nurse the Snapdragons back to peak shape but they are still looking a little peaked. The mulch around the base of the flowers is helping retain the moisture. So, I've decided to give the Snapdragons one more chance. However, I don't foresee the weather getting any cooler and the past few days have been in the low nineties. If they can't pull it together by the end of June they'll end up in my compost pile, which isn't a bad way to end up. The nutrients from the Snapdragons will nurture other flowers and plants in my garden.

My next big projects include amending the soil in my backyard for my vegetable plants and building a more sustainable compost bin. I spoke with master gardener Jim Brooks from the East Mountains who owns a business in Albuquerque called Soilutions. Brooks gave me a lot of helpful advice on compost bins and helped me come up with a couple of solutions that would deter my dogs from rummaging in my compost. I've caught one of my dogs rummaging in my compost twice this week. My husband assures me that these are not isolated incidents. Brooks suggested digging a large hole in the ground, placing the compost in it and covering the hole with a large piece of wire mesh. A couple of rocks would secure the mesh covering. According to Brooks, one of his customers had a similar problem with his dogs and used the same method. The customer discovered that this method of composting was very efficient because the hole insulated the compost and the dogs stayed away from the pile because they didn't like the feel of the mesh underneath their feet. Hummmm, kind of sounds like a cattle guard, interesting.

I have my work cut out for me this weekend. My husband and I purchased two bags of organic compost from Home Depot recently. However, I'll probably need to purchase more compost to work in with what I have. According to Brooks, most people have to purchase additional compost in addition to the compost their households produce. I'll also need to purchase some wire mesh unless I can find some for free on craigslist. I'm still concerned with my dogs peeing on my compost pile but Brooks assured me that dog urine does not harm compost. I could see him smiling over the phone when he told me this.

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