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As springs works its magic, I get the urge to take foolish risks in the garden.Â At a local nursery, I bought two hardy apple trees to put into a newly created perennial garden bed.Â In the past, there was less than a 50-50 chance the trees would survive.Â Now, usingÂ BounteaÂ products, particularly theÂ Root Web, I can be confident the trees will be here next spring (even if the bears do steal all the apples).Â It is good to know I do not have to watch helplessly as those plants wither and die!Â I give a few tips on tree planting below.Have you noticed the recent surge of interest in growing your own organic vegetables?Â Seed companies are experiencing an incredible increased volume of sales this year.Â This rush may be fueled by the rising price of food.Â It is also partly due to the popularity of the books of best selling author Michael Pollan:Â The Omnivour’s DilemmaÂ andÂ In Defense of Food.Â Everyone who is concerned about the quality of what they eat should read his books.
In this month’s article, building on Pollan’s writing, I explore the need to pay attention to growing for quality as well as quantity.Â We know that home grown vegetables taste better than store bought produce; do we know why?Â The issue of how much nutrition is in our food, itsÂ nutrient density, is fascinating and a little scary.Â Are the vegetable in the supermarket even worth eating?
We have extended the special 10% discount on theÂ 12 Gallon RefillÂ and theÂ free shipping couponÂ below until the 31st May.Â Â Need another Brew Kit for a friend?Â Now is the time to get one.
PSÂ I now have my own blog that digs a little deeper into the experience of being a gardener.Â If you are interested go to:Â www.soulofgardening.blogspot.com
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|May/June Garden Tasks|
The weather here can be a little unpredictable until the end of May.Â Try to be patient and plant those tender transplants and seeds only when the weather is warm and frost free.
Seeds outdoors:Â (when regular temperatures reach 55 degrees) — beans, corn, cucumber, gourds, melons, pumpkins, squash, sunflower.Â Â Place row cover over cucumber, melons, squash, pumpkins to defeat the cucumber beetle.Â Remove when flowers appear so insects can pollinate.Â
Transplants outdoors:Â broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery.
Ornamentals:Â begin hardening off tender plants like basil.Â Compost and fertilize roses.
Weather control:Â Place walls-of-waterÂ or four gallon-sized water jugsÂ around tomato and pepper plants. Have row cover handy in case of hail.Â Â
Transplants outdoors:Â cucumber, eggplant, melons, gourds, peppers, pumpkins, winter squash, summer squash, tomato. Â Make tomato collars to repel cutworms (tuna can or cardboard collar placed around tomato plant and pushed into the ground to the depth of one inch)
Ornamentals:Â plant tender annuals
Tree Planting Tips:Â Dig a WIDE hole.Â Loosen soil at the bottom and add 1 tablespoons ofÂ Soil Life Starter.Â Do not add compost.Â Carefully disentangle roots and lower tree into the hole with roots spread out to the side.Â Make sure the graft joint is above the soil level.
Add 1 tablespoon ofÂ QLCÂ and 2 teaspoons ofÂ Root WebÂ to 2 gallons of water.Â Soak all the roots and the soil around the tree.Â Mix 1 cup ofÂ HumisoilÂ with your garden soil and planting mix and carefully fill around the roots.Â Water withÂ QLCÂ mix as you fill until the soil is level.Â Spread compost or other mulch around the tree.Bountea Compost Tea:Â If this is your third application of the Bountea, add the M3 about 1 – 2 hours before the end of the brewing cycle.Â
|Spotlight on Marine Mineral Magic M3Marine Mineral MagicÂ is aptly named.Â Chock full of fish protein, kelp, marine minerals (90 elements), yucca and rock dust, it provides plenty of organic nitrogen (N:7), trace elements and essential nutrients (P:0.5, K:0.6).Â Because it is highly concentrated, you only need to add it to theÂ Bountea Compost Teaevery second brewing.Â M3Â provides a boost to fast healthy growth, particularly of plant structure and leaves and can be used without the Bountea for general plant nutrition.|
|Growing for Nutrition|
Â When I walk through the vegetable garden, I pick whatever is growing – a collard leaf, snap pea or ripe cherry tomato — and devour it on the spot.Â The flavor is explosive – crisp, fresh and satisfying.Â In contrast, the majority of supermarket produce continually disappoint with limp texture and insipid taste.Â I recall the sharp crunch and intensity of the Cox’s Orange Pippin apple straight off my grandmother’s tree.Â If I hope for a similar experience with the bloated Gala, Fiji, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious on the supermarket shelf, I am destined for indignation and indigestion.Nothing compares to the taste of our own produce grown in well cultivated soil.Â The reason is simple.Â Â Healthy soil grows healthy plants that provide a rich banquet of vitamins and minerals. It is these essential nutrients that are being sampled by our taste buds.Â Taste is natures way of sensing those substances that offer us the most pleasure and the most nourishment.Â From the perspective of evolution, tongues are the gate-keepers of our health; taste tells us what we need to eat.My taste buds are telling the truth about supermarket produce: the nutritional quality of food has steadily declined over my lifetime.Â Michael Pollan bestseller,Â In Defense of Food, cites research that shows losses of between 10% and 40% of essential nutrients in commercially grown fruit and vegetables.Â As he puts it, “you now have to eat three apples to get the same amount of iron as you would have gotten from a single 1940 apple.”
Recently I purchased a brix refractometer.Â This simple instrument is designed to measure the total dissolved solids in the sap of a plant.Â You squeeze the sap onto the plate and look through the eyepiece to read off the percentage.Â Traditionally, brix readings are taken to gauge the sugar content or carbohydrate levels of juice in fruits.Â However, research shows that brix actually measures a complex combination of sugars, amino acids, oils, proteins, flavonoids, minerals and other nutrients flowing through the plant.Â Brix reflects both taste and nutrient density.
Curious about the nutrition in those tasteless organic tomatoes sold in Whole Foods, I tested the brix level; it was 4.5.Â According to a brix chart, 6 is average for ordinary tomatoes and the rather neglected cherry tomato over-wintered in my sun-room came in at 9.Â Â read more.
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Care for theÂ soilÂ and care for theÂ EarthÂ withÂ BounteaÂ gardening products.