WRITTEN BY CODY WITT
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FULL CIRCLE SOILS & COMPOST
Before we get into all of Full Circle’s awesome Nevada gardening information for summer, have you ever seen THE COMPOST KING rapping and dancing on beautiful piles of luscious compost? Well, here is your chance …
Now, back to the Nevada growing tips and tricks … You’ve planted, you’re watching your green babies grow, and the summer is heating up. So now what? While you don’t want to bother your plants too much, there are a few essential gardening maintenance tips to follow that will result in a beautiful bounty come fall. So let’s dig in!
BOOST your soil’s nutrients
The growing season is a little more than five months long, and during that time, your plants are soaking up a whole lot of nutrients. Before you know it, that soil will be depleted, and your plants will be begging for more food. Keep your plants happy, healthy, and NOT hungry with an all-natural compost soil amendment like Full Circle’s BOOST. BOOST is an organic-matter-rich compost with a 30-ingredient mineral package specific to Nevada soils. This will replenish lost nutrients for big growth! Just spread a quarter inch of BOOST all over the soil surface and water it in (two cups of BOOST for one square foot). Light incorporation into the top inch of native soil is recommended. Check out this quick video to see how to easily spread BOOST: https://www.instagram.com/p/BDvWPBkR6fW/
PUNCH up your growth
Spray Full Circle’s all-natural, vermicompost worm brew on your plants twice a week. Full Circle’s PUNCH contains bunches of beneficial micro-organisms for your plants to enjoy. Simply mix a gallon of water with three ounces of PUNCH (2 tablespoons = 1 ounce). Be sure to water the roots AND spray the leaves. Check out this quick how-to video for PUNCHing your plants:
Protect against sun damage
During the summer, the sun gets pretty merciless, so you’ll need to have the right product to protect your topsoil and plants from sun damage. Check out this quick how-to video for spreading mulch:
Why is PROTECT is so awesome?
PROTECT your soil and water less!
- Shading soil from sun and heat.
- Withstanding wind’s angry cloud blowing!
- Suppressing weeds.
- Resisting drought and retaining moisture.
- Being fire resistant.
- Looking good!
Pests and natural pest control
Pests are the worst. They stake claim on our gardens and gobble up all the goodies. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and manage pests, which we’ll get to in just a second. First, you need to be able to identify them. There are 10 main pests that you’re likely to spot in your garden:
- Beetles will eat up plants leaves and flowers.
- Aphids love to feast on young plants, and they secrete honeydew, a sticky liquid that will make plants look deformed.
- Spider mites sip up the sap and stunt a plant’s growth.
- Stink bugs eat up fruits and foliage.
- Scales secrete honeydew and prey on young plants.
- Whiteflies eat sap and secrete honeydew, causing mold.
- Thrips swarm in large populations, leading to massive plant damage.
- Caterpillars eat leaves on fruits and plants.
- Leaf miners’ larvae feed on leaves and leaf surfaces.
- Leafhoppers transmit plant diseases and feast on leaves of the plant.
If you’re noticing pests but you’re not too excited about using dangerous chemicals on your veggies, try these safe alternatives:
- Assemble your allies: In addition to ladybugs and spiders, there are a number of other insects that actually help keep pests away. Hoverflies, wasps, and predatory true bugs prey on pests and keep your garden healthy. You can either order these insects online or plant insectary plants (plants that attract these predatory insects) such as cilantro, thyme, mint, dill, marigold, and rosemary.
- Diatomaceous earth: There’s a talc-like powder made from the dusty remains of ancient marine plankton. It’s called diatomaceous earth, and it does a number on most pesky insects that terrorize our gardens — particularly aphids and whiteflies. Why? Because the tiny particles act like microscopic glass shards that get embedded in the exoskeletons of insects. Ouch! These shards physically destroy the insects and keep them from harming your plants. Ready for the best part? You and I can eat diatomaceous earth with no adverse side effects (it doesn’t taste like much, though.) Most grains are stored with a dusting of diatomaceous earth so bugs don’t ruin the harvest. Many people also ingest diatomaceous earth as part of their normal diets because they believe it has positive effects on their internal health. Who’d a thought? Take a look at diatomaceous earth in action:
Here is an amazing infographic with great tips for how to pest control your garden organically: http://nycitypestcontrol.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pest-Controlling-Your-Garden-New.png
Life of the tomato
Keep your garden growing big like Farmer Craig by following these easy steps.
Healthy tomatoes are occasional drinkers, so it doesn’t do any good to drench them daily. However, they do like to drink a lot of water at once, every two to three days. (If you notice them drying out after two days, water them immediately). If you water with a …
- Hose, water for about five minutes on the soaker setting. If you’re watering container plants, there will be about two inches of standing water above soil. Farmer Craig likes using an open hose, as sprayer heads restrict the water output.
- Watering can, don’t overestimate it. You need to make sure you are getting enough water out of a watering can! Water, refill, and repeat for about five minutes of continuous watering. Count the gallons to see how much your plants take, and keep track.
- Drip, set for more water, fewer times — about three times a week. If you never increase the drip as your plants grow, you will limit their size. Baby plants drink less water than mature ones.
Check back in with us in our August blog post! We’ll be picking back up in the garden with fall harvest and fall gardening tips. Now, get out from behind your computer and get to gardening!
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NOTE: This is a sponsored post.
Cody Witt manages and operates Full Circle Soils & Compost along with his dad, Farmer Craig. Full Circle’s all-natural products help gardeners and growers repair and sustain healthy, nutrient-rich soils. He also creates “Full Circle” environmental networks in which partners help to establish a fully sustainable community of suppliers and producers through organic materials recycling; soil-fertility program implementation; sustainable, beyond-organic food and medicine production; and education. Cody Witt is a fifth-generation Nevada farmer who completed his MBA and multiple undergraduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno.