Shows & Events
Carolina Bonsai Expo
The Carolina Bonsai Expo will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14, at the North Carolina Arboretum near Asheville, North Carolina. This year's guest artist is Colin Lewis, owner of the Ho Yoku School of Bonsai in Maine. The event also features juried exhibits, workshops, free demonstrations, and a renowned bonsai marketplace. Find more info at ncarboretum.org.
Clever Gardening Technique
Make Leaf Mold
In my new garden, I have an out-of-the-way spot that's perfect for making leaf mold. Producing this nutritious soil additive from autumn leaves is relatively easy because it is a simple, natural process. Given enough time, all plant-based material will decay into crumbly, rich organic matter. When raked into a pile and left to sit, however, leaves require a year or more before they are ready to used as an amendment or top dressing. Speed up the process by shredding the leaves in a grinder, keeping the pile moist, and turning it every couple of weeks. The addition of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, such as cottonseed meal, will also kick off decomposition and shorten the time to a usable product.