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| Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pruning Spirea



For the most part, spirea shrubs don't require a whole lot of pruning. The main reasons for pruning spirea are to remove dead branches, remove crossed branches, force out new plant growth for more flowers and to actually shape the plants. Spirea plants that bloom on old wood should be pruned immediately after flowering. Spirea plants that bloom on new wood can be pruned at practically any time of the year. Renewal pruning may be used on some spring blooming spirea. Renewal pruning involves cutting a small selection of the older branches back to the ground which forces new growth from the base of the spirea plant.



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Organic Gardening

Using Leaf Mold in the Garden



Leaf Mold is made from the fallen leaves in Autumn. You can either use whole leaves or shredded leaves in your leaf mold pile. Leaf Mold is a good source of magnesium and calcium for your garden plants. It also acts as a moisture-holding amendment in your soil. Leaf mold normally takes about a full year to make, but doesn't require the labor that is involved with composting. When your leaf mold is "done", you can either use it as a dark mulch around your plants or you can till it into the garden soil. It can also be applied directly under the mulch already around your plants. Leaf mold will not burn tender seedlings. Your garden will always appreciate a healthy addition of leaf mold at any time of the year.




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Organic Gardening

Arbor Plans | Compost Bin Plans



You can build a simple compost bin or arbor from free plans available on the internet. Your compost bin or arbor can be made from readily available items found around your neghborhood. You can use wood pallets or even concrete blocks to make a compost bin. Use your imagination and you could also use salvaged wood to build an arbor. If you need a little help in getting started, take a look at these compost bin plans and arbor plans.



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Organic Gardening

Life Cycle of Earthworms | Worms



Earthworms live for approximately 4 - 8 years and start their mating cycle around one year of age. A single earthworm will lay alongside another earthworm and they will transfer sperm to one another. The sperm will fertilize the eggs located in the mucous sheath produced by the clittelum, which is the "band" that is visible on the earthworm's body. As the worm slides along the mucous sheath slides off of the earthworm's body. The sheath seals itself into a cocoon where the young earthworm embryos form. The earthworm will hatch from the cocoon when conditions such as temperature and soil moistness are favorable. Earthworms grow more active during cool wet periods, at which time they make more burrows or tunnels. They also eat more and mate during this time. You can attract more earthworms to your garden beds by adding organic amendments to your garden soil. By mulching your garden beds you will also attract more earthworms to the cool moist soil under the mulch.



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Organic Gardening

Storing Seeds - Garden Seeds



If you're thinking about storing seeds saved from the garden, you'll need to remember a few things. You want the seeds to be dry when you store them and you want the seeds to stay dry while in storage. The process of drying seeds will vary from seed to seed. Leaving most seeds in a warm dry place for about two weeks after harvesting them will be sufficient for storing most seeds. You may leave the seeds in a warm dry place for a little longer just to be sure. It won't harm the viability of the seeds.

After the seeds are done drying, you will want to move them to a cool dry place for storage. Put them in a glass jar or other suitable container for storing seeds. You can add silica gel to help absorb any moisture that collects during storage.





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Organic Gardening