Lower South

October, 2009
Regional Report

Tool or Gardening Product

Siphon Mixers
If you have just a few plants, applying fertilizer in a watering can works fine. However for a larger garden and/or lots of containers, this method means lots of time spent mixing and applying. Siphoning mixers attach to the garden hose and mix fertilizer solution as the water flows past. You simply mix a concentrated solution of soluble fertilizer, fish emulsion, seaweed, or whatever you wish to apply in a bucket and drop a small length of tubing in the bucket. Then turn on the water and get busy feeding your plants. Siphon mixers are available for $15 to $20 at many local hardware stores and garden centers as well as online.

Clever Gardening Technique

Seed-Starting Tip
New seedlings often have a difficult time getting started due to improper planting depth and hard crusty soils. When planting seeds outdoors, work the soil to break up clods and create a fine-textured surface soil. Then make a shallow furrow and plant the seeds at the desired spacing. Instead of using soil to cover them, screen some compost to get a fine-textured light, fluffy top-dressing to sprinkle over the seeds. Sometimes I mix a little sandy soil with the compost too. This method makes it easy to cover seeds at the proper depth and prevent crusting of the soil surface. Your new seedlings will get a better start and be up and growing in no time.

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