Have you ever been pea-green with envy of your neighbor’s beautifully lush garden, or are you one day dreaming of winning the yard-of-the-month? At Beaver Lakes Nursery in Montrose, Colorado, we offer the best organic solutions and expertise in building and maintaining a blissful backyard.
The Right Stuff
The first step in building your flower or vegetable garden is making sure you have the right stuff…soil. Let’s be honest: The soil on the Western Slope is not the best for some crops. With silty clay, clay loam, high saline and/or calcareous soils, most of the Delta-Montrose area is infamous for its somewhat poorly drained soils. However, we know that native soil is important to the health of your plants. That’s why we offer an array of artfully blended soils chockfull of topsoil and organic amendments that are guaranteed to make your garden happy. Below are four essential nutrients that will not only yield a higher bounty and make your garden fruitful, they also support the latest best practices for organic gardening.
Did you know that rice hulls are one of the most sustainable soil amendments on the market? Unlike perlite (see below), which is mined; unlike peat moss, which depletes natural wetlands, rice hulls are a byproduct of agriculture. Shhh…we’re going to let you in on a local secret: Root crops love rice hulls. Experienced organic gardeners know the secret to growing root crops in Montrose and surrounding area. For example, when growing carrots, it’s important to add enough air and fluff to the soils to all the carrots to grow straight, rather than twisted or gnarled. While you’ll need to add rice hulls to your soil every year, they are a great alternative to peat moss and CoCo coir, for they are neutral on the pH scale. I don’t know about you–but it sounds like rice hulls are a fundamental ingredient in building a blissful backyard!
Did you know that worm castings are 100% fertilizer for your garden? Worm castings contain much needed minerals, such as concentrated nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Moreover, worm castings can help protect your plants and soil from unwanted diseases, yielding healthier, happier plants. Finally, worm castings help your soil retain moisture, which is a necessary amendment for the dry climate of the Western Slope. It’s a good thing we already blend this compound in all of our soils. It’s recommended that put a range of 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 100 square feet of garden space. However, some plants need more feeding than others. For example, you can think of lettuce as a hungry little toddler that needs lots of organic fertilizer!
Did you know that perlite is a glass that is found in volcanoes, and because it has an abundance of water inside, it pops like popcorn kernel? Hence, the white, fluffy texture. I bet when you were a kid, you though perlite was styrofoam–you’re not alone! Perlite is an excellent addition, for it helps drain and aerate our sandy and clay-based soils in Montrose, CO. See, topsoil, clay, and sand will condense over time, and we need to add materials such as perlite to allow water to drain and to prevent root rot.
Furthermore, perlite can insulate your plants from the extreme temperatures. Just think, even though our summers do not get over the triple digits, we are closer to the sun; therefore, the heat from the sun can (and will) scorch your plants, if you are not careful. While we already add a healthy ratio of perlite to our Base Mix, we also recommend picking up an additional bag for continual maintenance of your soil.
Fish Bone Meal
Building a blissful backyard requires ample amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium to produce long lasting blooms and vegetable development. Our fish bone meal contains 17% phosphorus and 4% nitrogen with adequate amounts of calcium. Since many organic soil amendments are already high in nitrogen and commonly low in phosphorus, fish bone meal is used by many organic gardeners to complement their compost and soil mixtures. Finally, fish bone meal is an excellent supplement for synthetic or chemical fertilizers when using the hydroponic method.
Helpful Hint: Before you plant your flowers or vegetables, sprinkle approximately 1/2 cup of fish bone meal into the bottom of plant hole and work it in the soil lightly. This will kickstart the root development of your plant, which will later yield a healthier, happier crop.
The birds and the bees are out, and your flowers and vegetables are in full bloom. Now what? Well, before you rest on your laurels, you’ll have two opponents that will keep you on your toes (literally). Pests and unwanted weeds are a common threat to not only the beauty of your garden, but they also impact the overall function and production of your backyard.
Neem oil is one of the best solutions on the market for contending with aphids, mealybugs, leaf miners, and other harmful insects. Made from the seed of the tropical neem tree from India, this botanical insecticide has been used for centuries. The active ingredient is called azadirachtin, repels harmful insects through all stages of metamorphosis. The best thing about neem oil is that it is not harmful to humans, birds, plants, earthworms, and many other beneficial insects. So let’s keep the birds and the bees and put away the chemical based insecticides for good.
Although weeds are some of nature’s greatest and most diverse groups of plants, they are often an unwelcome guest on our grounds. Instead of using store-bought herbicides that can harm you and other beneficial creatures, try our 30% vinegar solution. Full-strength vinegar is an effective, organic herbicide that will eliminate unwanted weeds. Be sure to spray the vinegar on a hot, sunny day for full effectiveness. Steer clear of windy days, as you do not want this concentrated solution to harm your precious plants. When you stop by, bring an empty container. We can fill it up for you directly from our pump.
So Many Options
There are many options in building and maintaining a blissful backyard. Now is the time to be buying soil and amendments in bulk, and getting your lawn ready for summer sprouts. Not only do we provide custom soil mixes, we also offer a variety of decorative gravel, cannabis and hemp mixes, compost and mulches, and much, much, more!
We enjoy talking with our customers and finding solutions to your garden needs. Come on out to Beaver Lakes Nursery in Montrose, CO, or give us a call. Either way, we’d love to talk with you.