• June Gardening Tips - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at
  • "June gloom" may keep weather cool in Southern California but it's the perfect time to get serious about planting and caring for the garden, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 Southern California communities.

    Plant Vegetables and Flowers in Containers: Gardeners with limited space can still enjoy a bounty of fresh vegetables and flowers by using containers for growing. Containers don't have to be fancy--old buckets, reusable plastic or ceramic containers--anything will do as long as the container can hold soil and plants and is well draining. Flower and vegetable plants that do particularly well in containers include begonias, petunias, geraniums, impatiens, succulents and fuchsias, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and all kinds of herbs.

    Plant Trees Needing Little Water: The joy of a beautiful garden can be dampened after opening the monthly water bill. Consider planting trees and shrubs that require little water once established. Drought tolerant trees include many varieties of oak and pine as well as the Australian willow, olive and California pepper tree. Flowering plants include Desert Willow, Scarlet Larkspur, Beach Suncups, Red Buckwheat and Golden and Woolly Yarrow. Shrubs include California Fuchsia, Hollyleaf Cherry, Bigberry Manzanita, California Buckwheat, Spice Bush and Evergreen Currant. By planting a portion of your yard with these trees and shrubs, you can offset the increased water usage during summer needed for vegetables and seasonal flowers.

    Transplant Citrus Trees: Typical overcast skies and cool weather in June make it the ideal time to transplant trees. Properly transplanting a tree is often the key to its future health. First, dig a hole at least twice a large as the tree's root system. Next, set the tree in the hole and position it properly. Fill the hole with a mixture of soil conditioner and soil. Press firmly on the soil and water deeply and thoroughly. The soil should be moist at all times for the first three to four weeks following transplanting. Apply a two to three inch layer of mulch around the trunk (but not touching the trunk) to keep in moisture and the soil cool. If unable to transplant trees in June, wait until fall when the weather cools.

    Plant Pumpkins: It's hard to think about Halloween in June, but now is the time to plant pumpkin plants so pumpkins will be ready for harvest and carving in October. If planting from seed, plants will begin to sprout seven to 10 days after planting. The plants need lots of warmth and moisture to thrive. Once transplanted, leave plenty of room for the plants' vines to spread and develop--10 to 15 feet of area is optimal. Yellow flowers will start to appear in about three weeks. The flowers will develop into pumpkins after they are pollinated. Pumpkins will be ready for picking in three to four months.

    Control Weeds Before They Flower: Flowers aren't the only ones that love to grow in late spring. This is growing season for weeds too. Weeds start to flower around the same time as the rest of your garden. Remove them before they flower and their seeds spread. This is the best time to pull weeds as their roots are not yet established and the soil is still moist. Once weeds are removed, cover the area with mulch to keep weeds from returning.

    For more gardening tips, go to http://www.agromin.com.

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  • CAPE School Plants Drought-Tolerant Plants With Donations from Agromin and Baron Brothers Nursery - Friday, May 13, 2011 at
  • Students, parents and teachers from Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education (CAPE) in Camarillo were school gardeners last month as they transformed a patch of dirt in front of their school into a natural green area with compost donated from Agromin and drought-tolerant plants donated from Baron Brothers Nursery.

    Seventh graders and their teacher Kimberly Brown planned the project in class. Brown integrated science and math into the effort by having students prepare scale drawings of the area and choosing the appropriate plants as part of their ecosystem studies. The project also served as a community service project as it enhanced the aesthetics of the school.

    Agromin donated 25 tons of its OMRI-listed Compost 100 while Baron Brothers Nursery donated 18 one-gallon plants including Mexican sage, Indian Hawthorn, lavender and Orchid Rockrose. Oxnard-based Agromin manufactures earth-friendly soil products for farmers, landscapers and gardeners made from organic material collected locally. Baron Brothers Nursery has locations in Camarillo, Somis, Moorpark and Fillmore on 240 acres.

    "Seventh grade math and science came alive as students researched drought-tolerant plants, designed a landscape plan for the space using correct scale dimensions and most importantly, made a positive impact on their community by making their school campus a more beautiful place," says Brown, CAPE Charter School Pre-Algebra/Life Science teacher. "Our project was a culmination of all they had learned about plant structures and processes within a context that was meaningful to them. They realized the difference they can make for Earth Day right here at school."

    "Kids who learn about the value of soil, plants and the earth in school have a greater appreciation for the environment as they grow into adults," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Each bag of Agromin compost comes from renewable organic material collected from Camarillo and other Ventura County cities so the kids also got a lesson in organics recycling."

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