Holiday Trash Piling Up? Grow Something!! Gardenology, 101…

So, everyone is filing thru for the Holiday? Parties among us? Trash bags filling up? And, “Whats this thingy Aunt Meg Brought???”

Well, let’s put on our Grow Cap for a sec, the things I always tell you to look out for. I know, can’t plant in a tie, that gaudy sweater, AGAIN!!!, But, the up-cycling, ohhhh the cool re-usable platters and things.

If you have ever, been to one of my lectures, or had the privilege to see me on TV, WWBT’s “More Bang For Your Buck” or “America Now News”, then, get ready for the ride. Save your “trash” and get this Personal Garden Coach onboard.

…and more. Wine Bottles, party Platters, plastic juice and water bottles for cuttings and more, and yes, as I’m known as, “The Dryer Lint Guy” for the coming seed starting season. Oh, and BTW, DON’T TOSS OUT THAT POINSETTIA!!! Makes a cool, Summer Annual in the yard. Wait till after last frost, plant it in your yard, then let me know, I know, how it performed… Just try it this year. You “Live Tree” folks? After you take it down, Cut off a piece of the trunk, save it for this reason… Then, plop it in the ground, somewhere, and stuff your dryer lint in it, and make those Peanut Butter with Bird Seed things with your kids, it will be green till first part of May.

There’s more Sustainable Ideas from if you need. Growing these days is important, nurturing you, is paramount.

Email me at Kevin@ if you have a “thingy” you think, you can grow in.


Controlling Weeds Without Chemicals?

Can you control weeds without using chemicals?
Yes, you certainly can, and should.

Best Maintenance Practice (BMP)would first be able to identify that weed to find out why it’s growing there, and adjust your practices. Second would be remembering, “If it’s green, mulch it, if blooming, bag it”. That would be “mechanical removal” of your weed issues. Removing the bloom, no future seeds to spread as you cut or pull them. Green weeds can go in the compost if they are annuals. Never put perennial weed in compost, they will root and love the compost!

First part would be the ID of the plant. There are several websites that give a good ID of the weed and what it likes to grow in. One in particular is,
With this information, simply correcting your feeding times, cultivation, and maintenance of a lawn, garden bed, etc., can help eliminate those “out of place plants”. Timing is a factor, as well as watching the climate around you. For example, those who feed anything after first freeze, or before last freeze, the fertilizer is not taken up by the plant intended, and could in fact, run off into areas not wanted by rain or snow melt, feeding areas where weed seed is waiting. Lots of rain or snow provides excess nitrogen as well as acidic conditions, lowering the Ph of the soil, allowing certain weeds to germinate. Heavy rain and snow also aid in compaction of soil, and some weeds love that and propagate well.
Infrequent or erratic watering and feeding out of sync, can let certain weeds grow, only to try to correct the conditions around them, so are Dandelions and Clover actually bad? They are just trying to help, and are markers telling you what’s up, or down, really. Adjusting your mowing habits like changing direction each time you mow, can increase the lawns growth and health, as well as lessen compaction. Crabgrass, Bermuda and Moss, are great indicators. Think about it, most folks start in the same spot, and end in the same spot. The weight of the mower on those slim wheels and your footprint, compact the soil. I have shown some clients to go 90 degrees the next mowing, and could feel the “wagon rut” feel in the lawn from their past cuttings. The other mistake some make, is confusing the timing of aeration and de-thatching. Aerate in the early Fall and de-thatch in Spring. Get it wrong and weeds will love you.
Winter time, if you use any form of Ice Melt on your sidewalks and driveways, apply some gypsum as well. If you live where the county plows roads, and spreads chemicals, watch your property line at the road. The salt in the chemicals tightens up the soil and squeezes the roots until they die. Then weed seeds will scream up from the ground. Gypsum will help keep the soil “perking” to allow the soil to drain down to the roots, works great on your hilled veggies and slopes too.
Applying too much lime or washing a deck or patio with bleach…. Both will raise the Ph and cause your acid loving plants to become Chlorotic, and stop feeding, allowing the Alkaline weeds to germinate, like Spurge and Chickweed. Watch your slope run-off towards these shrubs as well.
If you take a moment, and walk your property, you will not only see the slope, sunlight, shade, differences in soil composition, you will understand what weeds grow where, because they are, there. As always, soil samples are a huge tool in getting things under control. My recommendations to clients is get a few samples done in different areas, sun, shade, bottom and top of slopes. Different things happen in those extremes, and a “one thing cure” just isn’t reality. So use the chart on the link I provided, or find your own in your zone, it will help you lessen the chemical usage on your property just by watching those plants that don’t know how to grow in a straight line, aka, weeds!!

BTW, I am here now. Kevinsgarden

The Farmers Almanac

My first article in the FA this month!! Kinda nice because the lecture requests are coming faster this year, and more… Already October thru March bookings and I’ve had a few who didn’t realize, now they do!