October 23

Lasagna Gardening
Posted on October 23rd, 2011 at 8:10 PM by Newark Ohio Garden Club

Lasagna gardening gets its name from layering, layering, layering! It is a no-dig, no-till garden that results in rich soil with very little work.

You can start your garden at any time of the year. However fall is the best time because the layers will break down over the winter. In the spring you will have good rich soil in which to plant your flowers or vegetables.
Materials that can be used in lasagna gardens are: leaves, dried grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, aged manure, compost, peat, pine needles, spent blooms and trimmings from the garden, newspaper (no glossy sheets or magazines) and cardboard (remove packing tape). DO NOT use any protein materials such as meat or dairy products.

Starting your Lasagna Garden:
1. Put down newspaper – use about eight sheets and overlap them a couple of inches. Wet the newspaper thoroughly.
2. Put down a layer of brown materials: fall leaves, peat, pine needles or shredded newspaper.
3. Put down a layer of green materials: fruit and vegetable scraps, garden trimmings or dried grass clippings.
4. Repeat layers #2 and #3 until your lasagna garden is about 2’ deep. The height will shrink as the layers decompose.
5. As a general rule your brown layers should be twice as deep as your green layers.
6. The final layer should be either aged manure or compost.
7. The top may be lightly sprinkled with bone meal and wood ash for added phosphorus and potassium.
8. When you are done layering wet the garden so that it is moist through all of the layers.

Chop your brown and green materials as small as possible so that they will break down quicker.

Benefits of lasagna gardening include fewer weeds, better water retention, less need for fertilizer and soil that is very easy to work.

By Sherry LeMaster

Posted on March 22nd, 2011 at 4:34 PM by Newark Ohio Garden Club

Perennials start each year on an established root stock, plus many perennials produce bloom for a few weeks time during the growing season, and after blooming they start to shut down and go dormant. Most annuals are planted for a mass of one type bloom for the season, whereas there may be several types of perennials with many different requirements and bloom periods, in your perennial flowerbed.

I would not recommend Osmocote or Miracle Gro for perennials, although some people have good luck with that. Mostly it is wasted. Dressing a perennial bed with a 5-10-5 dry fertilizer worked into the soil early in the spring works well for most perennial flowerbeds. Some people follow the dry application two weeks after plant emergence with one foliar feeding; generally that is not necessary. It could be recommended if the perennial is one that has an extended period of summer bloom.

Remember, fertilizers applied on perennials too late in the season may produce a spurt of growth at the wrong time. Avoid fertilizing when the plant is shutting down for the season, and avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen; too much nitrogen may produce leggy, floppy plants with an excess of foliage, and a dearth of bloom.

Things to remember: Always follow the directions on the fertilizer package. Water the bed the day before fertilizing so as not to burn plants. Spread the fertilizer as evenly as possible,

March 16

3rd March Tip
Posted on March 16th, 2011 at 6:48 PM by Newark Ohio Garden Club

The difference between perennials and annuals:

Annuals are purchased for their ability to provide colorful bloom from the time they are planted in the spring, until they are killed by a fall frost. They complete their life-cycle in one growing season. Annuals will require more fertilizer over the period of their growing season to sustain their bloom. Most blooming annuals require a 10-20-10, which is higher in Phosphorus than it is in nitrogen and potash.

For annuals, I would recommend applying a slow release dry fertilizer such as Osmocote worked into the soil when planting. Once the annual has established itself (about 1 1⁄2 – 2 weeks) continue during the season with a foliar fertilizer application (Miracle Gro or a Bloom Booster type fertilizer) about every two weeks to maintain maximum bloom until frost.

Some annuals such as: Wave Petunias, geraniums, and impatiens, are heavy feeders which will benefit from a weekly feeding. This is all well and good for annuals that produce bloom…however some annuals are grown for their foliage, and if that is the case they will need a fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen occasionally during the season, as a supplement to maintain good foliage.

Annuals are selected for a full spring through fall season of bloom whereas perennials have a specific bloom season and are selected to provide interest over a period of several years.

Check back again for additional information next week!

Posted on March 8th, 2011 at 11:14 AM by Newark Ohio Garden Club

Fertilizer packages provide the analysis ratio for fertilizer. This will be a series of three numbers: the first number is the amount of nitrogen, the second is phosphorus, and the last number is potash.

Fertilizer is not a one size fits all.

Many perennial plants and small shrubs have specific needs, and in many cases there are fertilizers specifically made for certain type plants. Some plants do better in an acidic or slightly acidic soil such as: roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, hollies, certain hydrangeas, blueberries, and broad-leaf evergreens … to name a few. Most Ohio soils require modification to grow these plants and the best way to do that is to provide them a loose humus-rich acidic soil. The quickest way to kill an azalea is to plant it in Ohio clay backfill. For those plants that require a specific type fertilizer I would recommend using the correct type for the plant, and use it according to directions.

Check back again for additional information next week!

By Jean Walton

Posted on March 1st, 2011 at 2:55 PM by Newark Ohio Garden Club


When beginning a discussion about fertilizers certain other factors should be considered first.

  1. Do you know what type soil you have? What is the pH of your soil? The medium soil pH is 6 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 14. Acidic soils range from a pH of 1 to 6.9 and alkaline soils from 7 to 14. Each number on the scale indicates a 10 fold increase of either the acidic or alkaline nature of the soil.

2. When was the last time you had your soil tested; to determine the current basic needs of  the soil? A              soil test is an essential starting point, otherwise you are flying blind.

3. Has the soil been previously amended with humus or compost, is it compacted, is this an                  established site, or is it a new bed located on foundation backfill? What is the texture of the soil…coarse, medium, or fine?

Answering the above questions will give you a guide about where to start with the type fertilizer your soil requires.

Check back again for additional information next week!

Jean Walton