The following are a few common questions asked by homeowners in regard to various landscaping concerns. Obviously there are many more and we will therefore add to this list continually to include as many of these as possible. Also, as visitors provide feedback, still more issues will be covered in accordance with the inquiries received. So, if you have a question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see what Andre advises...
Humus and Peat Moss act as pH stabilizers in the soil for better plant growth and more substantial blooms. They also help in absorbing much greater amounts of water and nutrients than most native soils can do on their own. It must be noted, however, that these do not add much in the way of nutritional value in and of themselves, so supplementary feeding/fertilization is still necessary for optimal results.
Why are slow-release fertilizers preferred?
Although these are considerably higher priced than their water-soluble counterparts, they are better for both the plant and the environment. First, they feed the plant over a 6-8 week period which allows the plant to actually use the majority of the fertilizer (as opposed to the water-soluble varieties, which release the bulk of their nutrients within 7 days of application). This obviously results in less nitrogen released into the soil, which in turn reduces leaching into the groundwater as happens when a 100% water-soluble product is applied.
Many people have asked me about composting. And, while I feel this is an excellent practice and that the material generated can be very beneficial, there are also potentially negative consequences if the composting is not done correctly. Most importantly, don't add weeds from your beds as these may have gone to seed. If so, you will be re-introducing these weeds right back into the bed when you compost your plants, thereby contributing to the always unpleasant task of weeding. If composting kitchen waste, be sure to mix in dryer matter to offset the high moisture content of fruits, vegetables and other high-water-content foods. This mixture (dry/moist) is important in expediting the breakdown (composting) of the materials.
Many of my customers keep gardens, and most of these grow tomato plants. Too often, these become leggy and either and produce more plant than fruit or are unable to support their fruit. To prevent this you can strip the lower levels off the stem, dig an angled trench next to it and plant the stem there. Cover it well with soil and it will begin growth of a new, lower-based plant.