Tag Archives: gardening

Rolypigs Popular In Elementary Schools!

The Rolypig: The cute, adorable, efficient Rolypig Composter continues to be popular with Elementary Schools. Often the Rolypig serves to generate curriculum in the schools Science program.

New and Improved Rolypig!

Best Practices: When feeding your food waste to the Rolypig it is best to feed small items – about the size of a golf ball would be perfect. This makes the food waste move smoothly through the Rolypig and the composting process. But when the compost comes out the back end and is not fully matured, no problem, just feed it into the Rolypig for another run.

Timing: It takes about 10 weeks for your Rolypig to produce compost.

Aztec Walkover Rambler Sprayer’s Additonal Feature

The Aztec Walkover Rambler Sprayer: Our excellent sprayer made by Aztec has a new feature. Normally, the Rambler sprayer comes with the regular two nozzle spray system. But now you can get the Optional Spray Boom. The Rambler Spray Boom is an optional attachment that can be purchased separately. The Walkover part number is W2060.

Walkover Rambler Sprayer - now with 1.5 meter optional boom

Optional Spray Boom: When attached to the sprayer ( a simple changeover, taking the short spray bar off the Walkover Rambler Sprayer & connecting the longer one ) it increases the width of the spray path from 2 to 4 nozzles and sprays in excess of 1.5 metres wide, compared to 90cms on the standard spraybar.

Walkover Sprayers: What we love about the Walkover Sprayers is the exceptionally high quality with which they are made. All parts can be replaced which means your machine will last a very long time. The wheel powers the pump making this a truly people powered machine.

A Smart Cart

The Smart Cart: The Smart Cart is a very versatile and useful people powered machine. It comes in two sizes and many colors and offers four wheel options. The Smart Cart may be used to haul farm supplies, wood, gardening materials, trash, stones, plants and trees. Nearly everyday I use my Smart Cart.

Pans are waterproof and durable.

Smart Cart hauls up to 600 pound EASILY. Frontwards or backwards. Perfectly balanced design.

Two Sizes and multiple wheels: The Smart Cart comes in two sizes, a 7’cubic and a 12’cubic tubs. You can move your cart with flat-free tires or regular tires. Tires come in 20″ spoke or 16″ turf tires.

Smart Cart Warranty: The Smart Cart comes with a five year warranty. Smart Carts are used by Disney World among many others.

Useful Garden Products for Your Fall 2011

It’s time: With summer officially over it’s time to start thinking about the lawn and garden tools that you’ll be needing for the fall. On our website we have a variety of products that will make your life a lot less hectic when the leaves start falling and the kids are heading back to school! Two of our favorite fall tools are the push sweeper and the folding carts.

Push Lawn Sweeper: Hate raking leaves? Then the push lawn sweeper is for you. This sweeper picks up leaves ten times faster than normal raking and puts zero strain on the back. Not only will it rid your lawn of leaves quickly but the sweeper folds away, making it easy to store. The push lawn sweeper has been newly designed for 2010.

Push Lawn Sweeper

Push Lawn Sweeper

LG Bagz-It Folding Cart: This multi-purpose folding cart is perfect for any outdoor tasks year round but especially for fall season raking! The folding cart is perfect for transporting heavy loads and comes in 3 different sizes (residential, commercial, and mini). Each size can be used with or without a leaf bag and is made from tear resistant material.

LG Bagz-It Folding Cart

LG Bagz-It Folding Cart

My Son Matt and His Mower Choice

My Son Matt: My son Matt is 14 and has been helping me mow for the last few years. He started out having a small patch to mow. Next he mowed the whole front yard which is about 1/4 of an acre. And now he sometimes mows the whole lawn which is about 1/2 an acre.

Brill, NaturCut, and Fiskars: Matt started using the Brill, then chose the NaturCut, and then the Fiskar reel mower. He had difficulty with all three. The Brill was hard for him to push and couldn’t cut high grass. The NaturCut while it cut high grass was still a challenge for him to push through high grass. The Fiskars required maximum effort which meant he had to stop and rest.

The Silent Cut Mower

Mascot Silent Cut: This season we added the Mascot Silent Cut reel mower to our stable, and Matt has a new favorite. He just cut the back of our lawn in 25 minutes. It is about a 1/4 of an acre and the grass was quite high. Naturally, he is getting stronger but he is amazed at how quickly he can get the job done. Matt loves this Silent Cut push reel mower!

Grass Catchers for Fiskars Momentum Are In

The Long Awaited Grass Catcher: The Grass Catchers for the Fiskars reel mower are in. These Grass Catchers made for the Fiskars lawnmower are easy to install and simple to use with convenient handle for easy emptying. The Grass catcher can hold up to 1/2 bushel.

UV resistent: The Fiskars Catcher is UV resistent and built to last a long time. The catcher comes with a solid frame. The Fiskars push reel mower features best in class heigth adjustment of 1″ to 4″. The catcher is an easy tool free assembly.

Fiskars Momentum – Blade Sharpening Tips

Fiskars Momentum – Blade sharpening:  Regarding sharpening the blades or the the Fiskars Momentum Push Reel Mower. With further investigation & testing, we are now reversing our opinion re: blade “sharpening”, saying “Fiskars does not recommend sharpening the Momentum™ reel mower. The equipment and processes used in home sharpening kits, and even by many professional sharpeners, will likely not be able to achieve the strict tolerances required to maintain the non-contact nature of the cutting system. In the unlikely event that the blades on a heavily used Momentum™ manual reel mower begin to show signs of dulling, Fiskars recommends backlapping to restore the blade edges.”  To “backlap” the Momentum™ reel mower, an abrasive lapping compound is applied to the blades with a brush and the reel is spun backwards via a special hand crank until the blades are smooth and sharpness is restored. While existing backlapping kits for reel mowers can be modified to work with Momentum™ push reel lawn mower, Fiskars is developing a custom kit that will be available in late 2011 or early 2012. The Fiskars kit will include a hand crank designed specifically for the Momentum™ mower, a lapping compound ideally suited for the Momentum™ mower’s blades, an application brush and clear, easily followed instructions.

Fiskar Momentum Reel Mower

Length of Time Before Sharpening: How long should the mower go before blades need to be sharpened on the Fiskars Momentum reel mower?  They can go years,  do to the non-contact blade system? Under normal usage the blades should remain sharp for the life of the mower.

Silent Cut 21″ Mowers Arriving This Week

The very popular Silent Cut 21″: The Silent Cut 21″ reel mower is arriving at our warehouse this week. This reel lawn mower is the best reel manual mower for cutting Bermuda and Zoysia grass.

Six Blades: The Silent Cut features six blades and is personally adjusted before being shipped to the consumer. This push reel lawn mower is an excellent piece of machinery, if taken care of this push reel lawn mower will last a lifetime. The blades can be adjusted from .5″ to 3″ depending on the model you purchase.

The Silent Cut Mower

Additional Features: The Silent Cut 21″ and 18″ reel mowers allow you to purchase a grass catcher and a sharpening kit. It is recommended that you sharpen your blades about once a year.

Grass Catchers for NaturCut and Brill Razorcut 38

Brill Razorcut 38 Grass Catchers: We have just learned that the US supply of Grass Catchers for the Brill Razorcut 38 will soon run out. That would be a bummer especially with restocking forecasted as taking 6 months.

NaturCut Grass Catchers work with the Brill Razorcut 38: We have made some inquiries and believe that the NaturCut Grass Catcher will also work on the Brill Razorcut 38 Reel Mower. If this is true, this will be great news for the spring and summer seasons.

NaturCut Grass Catcher

NaturCut Mower with Grass Catcher

Brill Razorcut 38 Grass Catcher

More Testing: We will be testing the NaturCut Grass Catchers on the Brill Razorcut 38 soon and will let you know how they fit and work.

Silent Cut 21″ Mowers Out of Stock – We’ll have more May 20, 2011

The Popular Silent Cut 21″ is out of stock in both configurations. The Silent Cut Small Wheeled version in the 21″ model is out as well. These mowers which cut all grasses but are especially well liked for their handling of Bermuda and Zoysia Grasses.

Silent Cut 18″ are in stock.

The Silent Cut Mower

We are pleased that the Silent Cut 18″ is in stock. Both the regular 18″ and the Silent Cut 18″ with Large Wheels are in stock. We expect to have the 21″ models in both styles in stock the week of May 20, 2011.

Women and Wheelbarrows – Welcome The Smart Cart

Women and Wheelbarrows: In my time I can’t recall women using wheelbarrows, well maybe I can remember my mom using one once or twice, but not often. Yet, I have seen the Smart Cart used on a daily basis by my wife and daughter.

Smart Cart hauls up to 600 pound EASILY. Frontwards or backwards. Perfectly balanced design.

Great for the horse: My daughter, Rose, found the Smart Cart very useful when she would take care of her pony, Meeko. She would use the cart to take hay and food to the horse shed. And she would use the cart when she mucked out the stall.

Gardening and Weeding: My wife’s use usually revolves around gardening. The Smart Cart is perfect for transporting plants from the car to the flower beds. Carrying mulch from the car to the beds. Weeding a bed and transferring the weeds to the compost heap.

No Question: So if you want to provide an easy way for women to move material, I recommend the Smart Cart. It will get used more than you can imagine. No question about it.


 

Everyday Garden Tool Cart

Vertex Garden Cart:

The Vertex Garden Cart: is a wonderful tool holder, organizer, carrier. My Vertex Garden Cart holds shovels, two rakes, a hoe, a weeder, a broom, ice pick, pitch fork, 3 types of garden and pruning shears, trowels and more.

When Gardening: The Vertex Garden Cart easily rolls to your garden where you have all the tools you need. Everyone has experienced starting to work and then needing one or two more tools. And then having to return to the garage and get that necessary tool. With the Garden Cart, just make sure you have the tools on your cart before leaving your garage, and you are set for your gardening experience of the day.

Extra Space: The Garden Cart has space for small tools in the apron where many tools such as a trowel can be placed. And there is a rack at the bottom where you can add plants or compost to the cart.

Best feature: What I like best about the cart is that the tools stay in the same place year round. No more stacking up against a wall or hanging in their places. My tools stay in the cart year round. I always know where they are.

Best, Lightest Push Reel Mower

Best, Lightest Push Reel Mower: We are often asked what is the best and lightest push reel  mower. Our answer has been the same for 15 years. It is the Brill Razorcut 38. The Brill Razorcut 38 weighs in at just under 17 pounds, making it the lightest mower available. The blades are flame hardened and are set to miss the bedknife by .05mm.

Brill Mowers: All Brill mowers come with a gap setting gauge. When your mower arrives you do not need to do anything but store the gauge with the manual. Each year before you begin mowing, use the gauge to reset the gap between the reel blades and the bedknife.

Brill Razorcut 33: Brill makes even a lighter mower with its Brill Razorcut 33. This mower is identical to the 38 but its blades are 33 cm. wide compared to the 38 cm. blades of the Razorcut 38. The Razorcut 33 weighs in at under 16 pounds.

Weight Debate: There is some debate on which is easier to use, a light or heavy mower. I have used both. The cutting experience is different. A heavier mower, like the Fiskars Momentum, is better for cutting grass which is high. A lighter mower, like the Brill or NaturCut, is easier to use for maintaining your lawn. All Mowers: All mowers mentioned in this blog offer a grass catcher.

Clean, Green Fun at City’s Schools



News : Education Mar 18, 2011 – 9:57 AM

Clean, green fun at city schools

By Mayor’s office, city of Stamford

Mayor Michael Pavia is announcing the rollout of the “RolyPig” composter to Springdale Elementary School. The Solid Waste and Recycling Department has purchased six RolyPig composters, which will be used at six schools to compost organic food waste. This program will begin at Springdale School with the help of Mayor Pavia, Recycling Supervisor, Dan Colleluori and Phys Ed Instructor, Jeff Gruetzner, on Thursday, March 24th at 12 noon at the school.

Students and Staff from the school, along with Chartwells Food Services (the company that supplies the cafeteria food) will all be working together to “feed” the pig. The compost generated will go into the school’s gardens.

‘The RolyPig composter is a fun and easy way for our school children to take the kitchen and food waste at school and turn it into compost. It offers an interactive opportunity to participate in yet another level of recycling,” shared Mayor Michael Pavia.

After about 12-15 weeks of feeding and rolling, the RolyPig compost will be ready for the garden. Additional schools slated to receive the RolyPig are Dolan and Cloonan Middle Schools, and the International School at Rogers Magnet.

It is anticipated that continued recycling education will help make Stamford a greener environment, while helping reduce our waste removal costs.

© Copyright by StamfordPlus.com. Some articles and pictures posted on our website, as indicated by their bylines, were submitted as press releases and do not necessarily reflect the position and opinion of StamfordPlus.com, Stamford Plus magazine, Canaiden LLC or any of its associated entities. Articles may have been edited for brevity and grammar.

Great new price on NaturCut Ideal Lawn Mower

New Price: People Powered Machines has lowered its price on the popular NaturCut Ideal Lawn Mower. This reel mower is now for sale at $185.00. If you have been sitting on the fence, this is a great time to buy.

NaturCut Ideal: The NaturCut Ideal cuts from .6″ to 2.75″ and mows a 16″ swath. It is powered with 10″ wheels and cuts with 5 flame hardened reel blades. The Ideal utilizes the non-contact cutting system which means the blades stay sharp much longer than mowers which use the contact cutting system. Estimated blade life for the Ideal is 8-10 years.

NaturCut Ideal 40

Two Year Warranty: The Ideal comes with a two year warranty and using a Grass Catcher is an option with this mower.

Testimonial for the NaturCut Ideal 40

Mowing Report: After cutting the grass about 8 times with my Naturcut Ideal 40, I thought I would report back. The machine is still working great as expected. I have always cut the grass in a different direction each time and continue to do so as you instructed. The cleaning with a good silicon spray is also a good idea. I found Liquid Wrench makes a great silicon spray and is available at my local Advanced Auto Parts store. I’ll have to say I continue to prefer the sound of the Ideal over the snapper. Something about the sound of good machinery. The neighbors never know when I cut the grass. The yard continues to look great. I cut it about every 5-6 days, never on Tuesday or Thursday.

Exercise, One of My Goals: One of my reasons for purchasing a push reel mower was to get a little additional exercise each week. This past weekend I decided to run the numbers and see just how much exercise I was getting. As I stated in a previous email, I do a little bit of cycling. One thing I have appreciated is that cutting with the NaturCut Ideal 40 keeps my legs loosened up between bike rides. I monitor my bicycle rides with a heart rate monitor and while not an exact science, the monitoring does provide a good comparison from ride to ride to see how I am doing. For the record, I’m 54 years old and weigh around 152 lbs. On a Tuesday or Thursday night group ride I will typically burn between 900 and 1,200 calories on a 25 mile one hour and twenty minute ride, depending on who’s serving up the suffering.

NaturCut Ideal 40 Reel Mower

Now for my mowing experiment:
Here is the yard, front, back and some along the road at the top of the hill adds up to a little more than 7,000 square feet of grass. A typical late summer bermuda grass yard in need of one more bag of fertilizer.
Conditions: 89 degrees, 85% humidity.

Right tools for the right job: Road bike fresh off a 75 mile Saturday morning ride. The NaturCut Ideal 40 patiently waiting it’s turn.

Now the results:
Time spent cutting the grass at a relaxed pace: 45 minutes
Average heart rate: 130
Calories burned: 364
Calories burned per minute cutting grass: 8.1
Calories burned per minute riding bicycle on Tuesday or Thursday at around 1,000 calories for 80 min.: 12.5

Conclusion:
It looks like I play harder than I work. Don’t tell the wife, she thinks I’m suffering out in the heat cutting grass. She gets so much entertainment out of sitting on the porch under the fan with the dog watching me walk back in forth, I would hate to spoil it for her. They come out of the shade occasionally and wander out into the yard to visit me. I try to make it look like work.

Greenfox Newsletter

Welcome to the February issue of the Greenfox Newsletter. In this edition, learn about some of the exciting projects underway in the Greenfox clubs and classes.  From field trips to science experiments, students of all ages are engaging with the environment and sustainability efforts in new and inspiring ways.  Read on to learn more!

On February 9, Prospect Hill Academy’s Greenfox5 Club took a trip to local favorite Taza Chocolate to see a sustainable business in action. Nineteen students toured the Somerville factory, learning about all the ways that Taza strives to be green throughout the chocolate-making process. We saw bags and bags of organic cacao beans that Taza sources from Latin America or the Caribbean (rather than from Africa or Indonesia) to keep their food miles down. We also heard about some of the green ways that Taza handles their waste products, such as their donation of cacao shells to local partner Groundwork Somerville to be used as mulch. While sampling lots of chocolate, we found out what a winnowing machine was and got to see Taza’s very own, repurposed from a chocolate factory in the Dominican Republic.
Renewable Energy in Action
Students in the Greenfox5 After School Programs across the Cambridge Public School District have been focusing on energy this month.  Through hands-on, experiential projects, students explored various renewable energy sources.  They built pinwheels to test wind power, looked at the many ways that the sun provides us with energy, and calculated their own carbon footprints.

Through these and other activities, students began to understand renewable and non-renewable energy sources, and the impact their actions have on the environment.  Applying what they learned, students discovered ways that these energy sources could be used in and around their schools.  The activities aimed to broaden students’ understanding of energy and inspire environmental leadership through creative, fun, and hands-on learning.

Here at Greenfox, we are continuing to work hard to reach students and cultivate in them a connection with and respect for the natural world.  We strive to develop future leaders who see the interconnectedness of our daily actions and their impact on the environment. In addition to classes and clubs, Greenfox offers workshops and presentations for students and faculty at schools and other educational or environmental organizations.  If you or your school are interested in the workshops or presentations we offer, please visit our website or contact us for more information.
We hope you enjoyed reading our newsletter. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and please visit our website to see how you can get involved. As always, thank you for your continuing support!

All the best,

Ashlee

What Gardeners are Saying about the Fiskars Momentum

We found this survey by the National Home Garden Club and wanted to share it with you.

Fiskar Momentum Reel Mower

What Gardeners are saying….

This is not your “Leave It To Beaver” style mower. This is an updated, ergonomic, green (ok, orange) machine.

-National Home Gardening Club tester

Tested & Recommended by the National Home Gardening Club.
The National Home Gardening Club is a community of  gardeners from across the country – with more than 600,000 paid members.  Recommended products are featured in Gardening How-To magazine.
All testers were current reel mower users.

  • 100% of testers would recommend the Fiskars Momentum to fellow Club members
  • 100% felt the Momentum was easier to push than their current reel mower
  • 100% felt the Momentum had a better handle design
  • 95% felt the Momentum was more durable & had a higher blade quality
  • 94% felt the Momentum had a better cut height adjustment system
  • 90% felt the Momentum was better at cutting long grass
  • 90% felt the Momentum was better at side edging & not leaving uncut strips
  • 90% felt the Momentum had a better cut quality & appearance
  • 84% felt the Momentum had a better range of cut height
  • 74% felt the Momentum was better at turning & aligning
  • 79% felt the Momentum had better cutting power
  • 79% felt the Momentum was better at dealing with grass clippings
  • (Survey conducted by The National Home Gardening Club  in Spring / Summer 2010)

The Things You Can Compost! Yes, you can!

We found this neat list from Treehugger. This list provides a great start to composting. The list gives you lots of ideas of the many, many items that are just right for your composting efforts. The composting process benefits from materials being broken up into pieces about the size of a golf ball. But if that is a problem, no worries, compost happens. Don’t throw this stuff away, use it for making compost.

From the Kitchen

Coffee grounds and filters
Tea bags
Used paper napkins
Pizza boxes, ripped into smaller pieces
Paper bags, either ripped or balled up
The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors
Plain cooked pasta
Plain cooked rice
Stale bread
Paper towel rolls
Stale saltine crackers
Cereal
Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
Cellophane bags (be sure it’s really Cellophane and not just clear plastic—there’s a difference.)
Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which can be toxic to plants)
Old herbs and spices
Stale pretzels
Pizza crusts
Cereal boxes (tear them into smaller pieces first)
Wine corks
Moldy cheese
Melted ice cream
Old jelly, jam, or preserves
Stale beer and wine
Paper egg cartons
Toothpicks
Bamboo skewers
Paper cupcake or muffin cups

From the Bathroom

Used facial tissues
Hair from your hairbrush
Toilet paper rolls
Old loofahs
Nail clippings
Urine
100% Cotton cotton balls
Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks

Personal Items

It might be a good idea to bury these items in your pile. Just sayin’.

Cardboard tampon applicators
Latex condoms

From the Laundry Room

Dryer lint
Old/stained cotton clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces
Old wool clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces

From the Office

Bills and other documents you’ve shredded
Envelopes (minus the plastic window)
Pencil shavings
Sticky notes
Business cards (as long as they’re not glossy)
Receipts

Around the House

Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister
Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
Subscription cards from magazines
Leaves trimmed from houseplants
Dead houseplants and their soil
Flowers from floral arrangements
Natural potpourri
Used matches
Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pit

Party and Holiday Supplies

Wrapping paper rolls
Paper table cloths
Crepe paper streamers
Latex balloons
Raffia
Excelsior
Jack o’ Lanterns
Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor fall decor
Natural holiday wreaths
Your Christmas tree. Chop it up with some pruners first (or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)
Evergreen garlands

New and Improved Rolypig!

Fur from the dog or cat brush
Droppings and bedding from your rabbit/gerbil/hamsters, etc.
Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird cage
Feathers
Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits)
Rawhide dog chews
Fish food
Dry dog or cat food

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2010. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would have performed about 3 times.

In 2010, there were 105 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 232 posts. There were 93 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was March 28th with 431 views. The most popular post that day was Which Reel Mowers Cut Which Grasses Well.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were peoplepoweredmachines.com, en.wordpress.com, forums.gardenweb.com, facebook.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for plastic numbers to avoid, plastics to avoid, sno wovel, reel mowers for bermuda grass, and fiskars reel mower.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Which Reel Mowers Cut Which Grasses Well March 2010

2

3 Plastics to Avoid: #3, #6, #7, and Why… February 2009
1 comment

3

Best Reel Mowers for Bermuda Grasses August 2010
1 comment

4

How to Transition your Lawn from a Rotary Mower to a Reel Mower May 2010

5

Why the Fiskars Reel Momentum Mower? February 2010

Fiskars Momentum Adding Grass Catcher Spring 2011

The Popular Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower: Fiskars Momentum  is adding a Grass Catcher this coming Spring. The 18″ reel mower which revolutionized reel mowing in 2010 will offer this grass catching feature. The Fiskars Momentum

Fiskar Momentum Reel Mower

was the best new mower in the reel mower line up last year.

Fiskars Momentum: The Momentum cuts from 1″ to 4″ and is easily adjustable. Because the wheels are in front and behind the cutting blades, the Momentum cuts right up to the edge, so there is not a cutting gap like most reel mowers. Because of its 18″ blades, the Momentum gets the job done quickly.

Resolutions 2011: Store rainwater and conserve

Storing rainwater is a great way to conserve water for use in your garden.  Tap water has additives (chlorine and fluoride) that plants don’t need or want. Rainwater is also slightly acidic and helps plants access soil nutrients. You can use a rain barrel to collect rain and also reduce storm water run-off which can stress storm systems. Read about the ideas for storing and saving water and the benefits for you and the environment.

Rain barrels are great way to store water for your gardening needs

 

It is simple to collect rainwater using a rain barrel. These large barrels with a spigot collect the rain water that comes from a roof’s gutter or downspout. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow you can collect a large amount of water every winter by collecting snow in these barrels and waiting for the spring thaw . So if you are shoveling snow, be sure to shovel some into your rain barrel.


Winter Worm Composter Tips: From No-odor, to Ways to be Lazy!

worm composters are odorless and effective indoor composters.

worm composters are odorless and effective indoor composters.

Here are a few tips I have discovered using my worm composter (mine is a can-o-worms) inside this winter. My wormery composter has been inside for about 3 months now and the worms are multiplying like crazy and more than keeping up with our family of 4 kitchen wastes (except citrus and onions of course). Here’s how I have been keeping my worms happy and busy!

  • First, it’s ok to be lazy. When those gallons of compost tea come out the spigot below and it’s too cold to go outside, simply dump that tea right back in the top of the composter. Great, you can stay in your slippers now.
  • Next, onions and stinky stuff go to the outside bin. Or cover them in castings as you put them in. Then you are odor free. Yes!
  • You probably know that citrus never goes in a worm composter. But I’ll mention it again…keep that ph in balance.
  • Keep the top covered with shredded paper. It degrades over time so do keep adding it to the top.
  • Bury those banana peels. I have never had it happen but a couple customers recommend this to avoid those little flies. Again, we eat a lot of bananas and don’t have this problem. I wonder if it is because ours are organic??
  • Basement cold, turn the castings and food a bit. That will warm up the pile. Normally you would not do this because you do not want to heat up your worms, but in cold winter basements, a little extra heat can be a good thing!
  • Wormery getting full and you really just don’t want to empty it til spring, no worries! Pour a bucket of water over the top and let it filter thru to the bottom. That will sink everything a bit. And use the compost tea right back over the pile a few more times in a week and you will see the pile go down. Whew…another trip outside avoided!
  • Winter is a great time to get your kids into the worms. And to encourage them to show their friends. Again, an inside activity. Can you tell it’s really cold here!

Anyone else with winter composting tips? We want to hear…

RELATED POST :: Worm Composters: Spring Tips, Troubleshooting, and FAQ’s , Really Happy Worms! My Easy Winter Worm-Composting

——-

Peoplepoweredmachines is a family owned business, 11 years old, always selling environmentally sound products such as reel mowers, electric mowers, composters, rainbarrels, solar products and more.

Give your honey a bee house for a great holiday gift

If you are looking for an original gift and a great hobby, a bee house would be a something to put on your list. It is  easy to raise solitary bees and a fun hobby with the benefits of increased pollination in your garden.

BeeDiverse Bee Houses make great gifts for gardeners

Declining populations of bees has been linked to climate change.  Bees not only produce honey but also pollinate so that plant species can thrive.  The mason bee, unlike the honey bee, is solitary which means that every female is fertile and makes its own nest. Mason bees do not produce honey or beeswax and are immune from mites.  With no honey to defend, they do not sting unless stepped on or squeezed and so make great “garden pets” because they pollinate fruit trees and shrubs and are safe for children and pets.

BeeDiverse Bee Houses are durable, attractive, easy-to-clean and made from sustainable resources to last many summers.  So if your are looking for a great gift for a gardener, consider a BeeDiverse Bee House. Check out the several varieties to get someone started on a great new hobby.

Give your honey a bee house for a great holiday gift : http://t.co/Glbra3L

Don’t Hose Down Your Mower

Water and Mowers: Water and mowers are not a good mix. Whether your mower is a manual mower or a powered mower, water should not be used for cleaning. Just had an email from a customer who recently purchased a Brill Razorcut 38. She mentioned that she had just hosed down her mower.

Brill Razorcut

Silicone Spray and Mowers: Silicone Spray and mowers are a great mix. Before mowing, spray the blades with Silicone Spray. When you are done mowing wipe the blades clean with a rag. Spraying first, cleaning last, will keep your mower going strong for many years. Silicone Spray can be purchased at the hardware store, it is right next to the WD-40.

davidatemple

https://peoplepoweredmachines.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/dont-hose-down-your-mower/

A Recharge Mower for Commercial Use Coming in 2011

Exciting news: The Recharge Mower company will offer a commercial mower in 2011. The Commercial unit will be powered by Lithium Ion batteries. The batteries will power the unit for about 4 hours. With the purchase of a second set of batteries, you can replace the first battery with the second  and operate your machine for 8 hours.

Recharge Electric Riding Lawnmower

Excellent Customer Service: Equally exciting is that the same wonderful customer service available to Recharge Mower owners will be available to the commercial owners as well.

Your city or town’s mowing needs: In the spring of 2011, your town could be using these fine machines and reducing their carbon footprint. Just think no more gas, oil, spark plugs and service needed to run their machines.

Those autumn leaves make good compost for your garden

Bag bagging those leaves and try composting them- it’s not so difficult.  Here are ten tips for composting leaves.  Leaf composting creates leaf mold, which is a soil conditioner. Leaf mold used in your garden also increases water retention of soils.

The Flowtron Leaf Eater is one of several products that make leaf compost easier because of its leaf-shredding capability.  For a good demonstration of how to compost leaves you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSYbVHOmHog


Urban rooftop gardeners use kitchen scraps to make fertilizer

City dwellers  are using rooftops to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs using home-grown, rich organic fertilzer made from kitchen scraps. Smaller model composters, such as the Soil Saver are easy to fill, mix and harvest even in the coldest of climates.

Learn about rooftop gardens from The Rooftop Garden Project, where you can read all about urban rooftop gardens and how new ways to interact in the urban environment and with the food cycle are explored. Urban rooftop gardens produce fruits and vegetables ecologically, encourage physical activity and make use of organic waste.

The Soil Saver Composter is great for urban rooftop gardens

 

The Grass Stitcher: Transforming your Lawn into a Beautiful Garden

Have you ever wanted to transform your lawn into a garden?  Watch the video below to see how the grass stitcher makes it possible without a lot of hard work or high expenses. The grass stitcher is more effective, less expensive, and delivers better results.

Some Tips for Better Compost

We just read a great article on gardenguides.com and thought we would share some of their composting tips with you.  While compost is very easy to maintain and pretty much takes care of itself, there are some small things you can do to make sure your compost pile is thriving and producing nutrient-filled soil.

Compost Care:

Keep your compost pile in a semi-shaded area in order to keep it from drying out too much.  Make sure to sprinkle your compost with a garden hose when it appears dry. Remember to keep your compost moist, but not wet because beneficial organisms cannot survive in soggy conditions.

Using your Compost:

When your compost is ready, you can mix it into the soil before planting or use it as mulch.  Either way, make sure to use it as soon as possible because the longer it sits, the fewer nutrients it contains.

Quicken the Composting Process:

If you would like to speed up the composting process, turn the pile once a week to allow oxygen into the center of the pile, where it encourages growth of bacteria and fungi. Also, particle size has a lot to do with the decomposition speed, so try to make your pieces of compost smaller if you want it to go by faster.

What to Compost:

-kitchen waste

-lawn clippings (use thin layers so they don’t mat down)

-chopped leaves

-shredded branches

-garden plants (use disease-free plants)

-shredded paper

-weeds

-straw or hay

-newspaper

-wood ash (sprinkle lightly between layers)

-tea leaves and coffee grounds

What Not to Compost:

-meat scraps and fatty trash

-excessive wood ashes

-sawdust (generally slows the decomposition of the pile)

Potential Problems:

-If there is an unpleasant odor coming from your compost it is because there is either  too much nitrogen in the pile, compaction, or the pile has been over watered.  To solve this issue of too much nitrogen, add high carbon material such as straw, pine needles, or grass trimmings. to solve the compaction problem, aerate the pile and to reverse the effects of overwatering, add dry leaves or wood chips to soak up the water and aerate.

-If the pile is not heating up it could be due to lack of nitrogen, it needs to be turned, low moisture, or the compost is finished.  If there is not enough nitrogen, add fresh manure, grass clippings, or blood meal and mix the pile.  If the pile needs to be turned, mix the compost by bringing outside material to the center.  If there is low moisture make sure to water the compost so the moisture gets to the center of the pile.  Poke deep holes in the pile before watering.  If the compost is finished it will smell earthy rather than rotten or moldy and it will be dark and crumbly.

-If the compost is damp and only the center is warm it is because the pile is too small and you will need to add more compost material.

Finished Compost