Showing posts with the label soil amendment

Second Load of Biosolids Applied - Perennial Garden Topdressing - February 2024

Last week, I posted the details and photos of the first late-winter application of municipal biosolids in our garden and talked about how I was going to try to find some time to head to the mulch pit to get a few loads before gardening season heats up.  I applied that initial load to some areas that needed the soil amendment including the Spring Grove Ginkgos, the epimedium colony and my Hellebores.   I mentioned (in that post) that for every spot that I dumped a bucket of biosolids, I spotted 2x more spots that could use a top-dressing.  Not to mention the lawn, the parkway and the compost bins.   Over the weekend, I ran out and picked up another load.   About 8 five-gallon buckets filled up 2/3rds-of-the way.  And dumped and spread out around the backyard.   I added another partial-bucket under the Linden trees: And, right at the base of my bird feeder pole: At regular intervals along the front of the south border: Around the trunk of the south-side Northern Red Oak tree went a coup

Late Winter Burn In Perennial Garden Beds - February 2024

Here's something that I've never done:  burned parts of my garden beds.  Each Fall, I do a clean-up that includes mulching in A LOT of my leaves.  I also add a big number of mulched leaves to my compost bins.  And, I typically try to 'blow out' my beds into the lawn where I run them over with the mower.  I then...blow them 'back on' the beds.  A modified 'leave the leaves' that works for me .   Then there's the Oak trees.  They hold their leaves WELL past the time that I've called it quits with Fall clean-up.   So come late Winter, our beds are filled with leaves.   Over the past few years, I've tried using a weed propane torch to burn up some weeds.  In lieu of herbicides, the torch is supposed to be 'better' for the world that chemicals.   But, I also thought....maybe I could burn up some of the dried leaves laying around my beds.  And, it didn't take me long to learn that I certainly could.  Here's a photo showing the leave

Late Winter Biosolids Top Dressing Application In Perennial Garden - February 2024

Late last Fall, I found some time to head over to the mulch pit to pick up a couple of loads (in 5 gallon buckets) of municipal biosolids and brought them home.  I dumped the biosolids out and scattered them across a number of the perennial beds in the front/back/side yards .  A top dressing of sorts.   And a dormant application of organic material with the goal of improving the soil conditions.  I also thought that by applying them in early Winter/late Fall...there would be ample time for them to 'age in place' during the dormant period.  With the return to the garden in the past few weeks to begin to prune back/remove old stems and lightly begin to clean up, I've noticed some areas where the naked soil is 'showing'.  What can fix that?  Mulch!  Oh...I guess that's true.  But, I also thought...biosolids could do the trick. I went to pick up a load.  Here, below, are a few spots where I spread the material out.  I think I have 8 five-gallon buckets. 

Spreading Wood Ash On Garden Beds - January 2024

Last week, I read this post from Lee Reich where Lee compares spreading their hardwood ashes to conjuring the dark arts and had a little laugh.  I also...quickly learned a bunch - including how wood ash is a good source of Potassium (the "P" in N-P-K) and how a garden amendment that I've heard about/read about - Potash - is (obviously) the root word from Potassium, but is made up (mostly) of Ash.  Hence the name.   Lee talks about how the spreading of wood ash isn't a precise project; rather just a thin 'tossing' of the ash on the beds does the job.   Because we burn a lot of fires during the Winter, we end up with a surplus of ash that I collect at a couple of intervals when I clean out the fireplace and ash bucket.  Over the years, I've posted about how I've spread this ash - around trees in 2019 and on top of some snow in the perennial beds in 2022 .   I ended up with a bit more than five gallons of ash from Cherry, Birch, Oak, Hickory and....well

Winter Application of Biosolids On Perennial Beds - December 2023

I've used biosolids (municipal biosolids from Downers Grove) in various ways over the years on our property - topdressing of my lawn in spots, as an amendment and accelerant in our compost bins , as a vertical mulch to try to improve the soil/clay conditions in my front porch bed (along with leaf litter) , as a soil/perennial bed amendment with stump grindings to attempt to balance the nitrogen loss , as a little boost when planting new shrubs like the SnowQueen Oakleaf Hydrangeas and most recently as both soil cover and hole-filler in the newly extended IB2DWS bed area with my new dwarf conifer garden and new (to me) flowers.   This year, I'm going to be using them in a few (new to me) additional ways:  first, as a dormant application on top of my beds.  This Fall, I blew most of the leaves out of my beds and chopped them up with the mower.   I then blew some of those chopped leaves back into the beds and left plenty of small pieces in the lawn.   Think of this as...sort-of.