Monthly Archives: July 2013

Shred and Compost Those Autumn Leaves

Shred and compost those autumn leavesWe are not there yet-we have a while to go until the Fall when you need to shred and compost those autumn leaves! We have to be prepared to collect leaves and shred them if we want to have enough composting material for the year!  This post might be a little “out of season” but I found this great video(end of blog post) on composting leaves and I wanted to share it with you now.

Shred and Compost Those Autumn Leaves-Shredded Leaves Work Much Faster than Unshredded Leaves

I still try to get away with NOT shredding leaves–eventually they do compost. But if they are shredded they compost much faster.  So I usually end up with shredded leaves and “not shredded leaves!”  You might want to think about getting a wire compost bin at this point to be ready for the autumn when you can compost those leaves.  I have had very good experiences using a wire compost bin. And as mentioned in the video a leaf blower/vacuum is a very desirable machine.  I bought a leaf/blower vacuum at Wal-Mart that has worked great!

I have several pages in this blog about composting leaves:

Here is this great video of Mike McGrath talking about composting and shredding autumn leaves.  Mike McGrath is an expert about gardening and composting.  He is the:

  • Host of You Bet Your Garden, the Public Radio show.
  • Garden Editor for the WTOP News Radio
  • Contributing Editor & writer for Greenprints magazine
  • was the Editor-in-Chief for 7 years for Organic Gardening the magazine published by Rodale.

He is funny and very informative-a great combination!  Enjoy the video as you learn more about composting!

 

Thinning Daffodil Bulbs

Thinning daffodil bulbs is an important aspect of growing daffodils. In fact,  it is an important aspect of growing any kind of bulb. This is a picture of my front steps  with daffodils on the left and lavender and daffodils on the right.  The daffodils were planted at the same time.  As you can see from the picture the daffodils on each side of my steps are growing very differently. It looks as if the ones on the left were planted a lot later but they were planted the same time about 15 years ago. They are not as large and not flowering very much and clumped together. Thinning Daffodil Bulbs

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Thinning Daffodil Bulbs–See the Difference!

The difference is that I thinned the ones on the right a few years ago. That means I dug them up, separated out the bulbs that were attached. And then I replanted them spreading them out.  I got a lot more bulbs than I could put back into that small space because daffodils are always producing more bulbs under the ground. I never had time to thin out the left side and you can see that they really have suffered. They are very clumped together and are not producing so many flowers. The difference between each side is quite striking!

Daffodil Bulbs - CopySo I made the time and dug out the left side.  It really had to be done.  I was surprised at how many bulbs I dug up.  So I decided to count them–I got 315 daffodil bulbs!!  No way could I replant them all in the space.  It is amazing at how many bulbs were produced under the ground!  Now I have lots of bulbs for all over my yard.

One thing to remember is to always leave the green leaves for as long as possible after the flowers die because they are producing food for the bulbs to grow.  Sometimes they start to look very messy so I fold them over in half and secure them with rubber bands.  Eventually they look so bad they have to go.  So daffodils and bulbs in general seem like an “easy way out” in gardening.  They come up year after year with no work on our part and they are very beautiful.  But then every few years you have to bite the bullet and dig them up and separate them or they won’t do so well.  I think it is a great bargain–they bloom every year all on their own.  So you have to dig once in awhile but then you end up with lots of free bulbs.  I even packaged some in tissue paper and put them in a decorative gift bag and gave a wonderful gift to a gardening friend.

For more information on daffodils see my post on Brown Tips on Daffodil Leaves.