Carter’s Garden Blog


Leaf Cleanup 🍁 To Compost Pile

I have been asked a few times on the radio lately about composting, so I went back in the archives and pulled this up. This was 1st published 10 years ago – To the day!
A big blowing storm is coming thru tonight, ie; A leaf stripper! Plenty to get ya’ started

“Fall is one of my Favorite seasons! Cooler weather, fall planting and gardening and all the great family gatherings and food are wonderful. Fall is also a GREAT time to start a compost pile. All those leaves, plants and grasses to cut back and all of the upcoming holiday food scraps add up too a great supply of usable components in a compost pile!
Starting a Compost pile is quick , easy and won’t cost you anything to get started! Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments and you can use it instead of chemical fertilizers. Compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils to retain water. The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms, which in turn keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

Once the process is complete you can use this free resource as mulch, soil amendments, top dressing for your lawn, to make compost tea for veggies & more. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

It’s easy to get started .

-Bag your grass clippings and mulch up all those leaves for the compost pile!

-Save those kitchen scraps and add them to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are good candidates for the compost pie. But DON’T add meat, grease or other animal products!

– With a compost pile, bigger is often better. Heat builds up with a bigger pile, but you don’t want to get much bigger than about 3 feet by 3 feet, if it’s too big it can be hard to work around. Multiple piles may be in order .

– Aerate your compost! If you are composting with a pile, or in a static (non-tumbling) compost bin, be sure to mix up the contents so that the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively. Insert a few pvc pipes to get oxygen to the core and Turn it with a pitch fork from time to time .

– Don’t let the compost completely dry out. A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active , BUT , don’t keep it too wet.

– Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. It’s best to keep a balanced mix of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) materials.

When ready, this compost will be wonderful for the whole garden!

Good Luck and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!”


Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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Gardening Ideas & Tips : A Reboot From The Bill Way Show…

I do a weekly Gardening Show on the radio with Seabass (The 180) @ 101.5fm radio. It’s a call in talk show where people ask questions about all sorts of things. Last week “Lasagna Gardening” came up and it brought back some old memories from way back when… Here’s a Blog I wrote about Lasagna Gardens back in the day with Bill Way. 2009 Or so I believe. Bill was a HUGE Lasagna Gardener 😊 Enjoy –

 

“My friend, Bill Way, turned me onto this idea of simple, organic style gardening and I think it is really catching on here in my neck of the woods. It’s not a new idea really, just a cool take on an old one… Best thing is, IT WORKS! Below is a very simple breakdown on ‘How To’ make your own Lasagna Garden… ENJOY!

There’s no hard and fast rules about what to use for your layers, just so long as it’s organic and doesn’t contain any protein (fat, meat, or bone). Just as with an edible lasagna, there is some importance to the methods you use to build your lasagna garden ‘Layers’. You’ll want to alternate layers of “browns” such as fall leaves, shredded newspaper, peat, and pine needles with layers of “greens” such as vegetable scraps, garden trimmings, and grass clippings. In general, you want your “brown” layers to be about twice as deep as your “green” layers, but there’s no need to get too picky about this. Just layer browns and greens, and a lasagna garden will result. What you want at the end of your layering process is a two-foot tall layered bed. You’ll be amazed at how much this will shrink down in a few short weeks.

Lasagna gardens are a bit less work than a conventional garden. And they are a great way to get rid of grass clippings and leaves 😊

– The basics of making garden lasagnas are simple:

– Don’t remove the sod or do any extra work, like removing weeds or rocks.

– Mark the area for your garden using a water hose or a long rope to get the desired shape.

– Cover the area you’ve marked with wet newspapers, overlapping the edges (5 or more sheets per layer).

– Cover the paper with one to two inches of peat moss or other organic material.

– Layer several inches of organic material on top of the peat moss.

– Continue to alternate layers of peat moss and organic material, until desired thickness is reached.

– Water until the garden is the consistency of a damp sponge.

– Plant, plant, plant and mulch, mulch, mulch.

 Ingredients For A Lasagna Garden

 Anything you’d put in a compost pile, you can put into a lasagna garden. The materials you put into the garden will break down, providing nutrient-rich, crumbly soil in which to plant. The following materials are all perfect for lasagna gardens:

 Grass Clippings
 Leaves
 Fruit and Vegetable Scraps
 Coffee Grounds
 Tea leaves and tea bags
 Weeds (if they haven’t gone to seed)
 Manure
 Compost
 Seaweed
 Shredded newspaper or junk mail
 Pine needles
 Spent blooms, trimmings from the garden
 Peat moss
 Straw
 Hay

If it’s too late in the season this year for you to start one, there is a whole summer of grass clippings and veg. scraps to get started with and FALL is coming with tons of leaves to use! With all this FREE organic material at your fingertips, that you have to dispose of anyway, put it too good use! You won’t regret it!

 Here’s to the Life Abundant!

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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My Blog, My Public Journal…

Good morning! Well, it’s official… I’m a Blogger geek! At least that’s what my wife and son say 😊 This is my 3rd year doing a daily Blog & I don’t really see an end in sight.

Most Journals are private, this one is public. Published daily…

Many people write a daily journal or diary to get their thoughts recorded. I guess that’s what my Blog is in a way. It’s part life experience, part education & hopefully partly entertainment for others… In any case, it has become a passion & a daily activity that drives me to type & photograph & record things in my daily life. I’m not in any way comparing myself to one of my favorite writers, Thoreau, but I love and identify with this quote of his 👇🏻

“My Journal is that of me which else would spill over and run to waste, gleanings from the field which in action I reap. I must not live for it, but in it for the gods. They are my correspondent, to whom daily I send off this sheet postpaid. I am clerk in their counting-room, and at evening transfer the account from my day-book to ledger. It is as a leaf which hangs over my head in the path. I bend the twig and write my prayers on it; then letting it go, the bough springs up and shows the scrawl to heaven. As if it were not kept shut in my desk, but were as public a leaf as any in nature. It is papyrus by the riverside; it is vellum in the pastures; it is parchment on the hills. I find it everywhere as free as the leaves which troop along the lanes in autumn. The crow, the goose, the eagle carry my quill, and the wind blows the leaves as far as I go. Or, if my imagination does not soar, but gropes in slime and mud, then I write with a reed. “
~ Henry David Thoreau

Have a great Tuesday!

 

PS: I’m off to speak for a Garden Club ❤️ Wish me luck!
Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com
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When Do I Plant Bulbs For Spring Color? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

I post info on planting Spring Flowering Bulbs every Fall because this is the proper time to get them in the ground. So without further delay…

”Do you love to see those yellow Daffodils that come up early and bring in the Spring season. I still have some daffodils, crocus and grape hyacinths that my grandma planted in the gardens and it really feels good to see them blooming every Spring!

For Best Results – Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs in the Fall.

These daffodils were planted by my grandma and always bring happy thoughts to me. Plant them in the Fall for Spring beauty, year after year… | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

The most popular Spring flowering bulbs are daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths. They are the easiest to grow and find, and the least expensive to buy. You can find them at many Local Nurseries and Garden Centers this time of year (Fall). Here are a few more to check out :

  • alliums
  • anemones
  • aconites
  • dog-tooth violets
  • fritillaries
  • grape hyacinths
  • reticulated iris
  • glory-of-the-snow
  • snowdrops
  • snowflakes
  • star of Bethlehem.

The best time to plant your bulbs is right about now ( In the Fall between now and Christmas), at least it is here in West Tennessee. The bulbs need a lot of cold temp. time to really bloom well, so get them in asap…

First things first… Like I always say, Come up with a Design Idea! Where are you going to plant these bulbs? How many will you need? Are you going to over plant your new bed with annuals like pansy’s or violas? Get out the tape measure & a pencil and paper and come up with some basic dimensions and a basic design…Once you have a general idea that you like, get your supplies together and get started!

We have soil amendments like compost, manure, bone meal, blood meal, bulk mulch and more in stock for your projects at Carters nursery, Pond & Patio in Jackson, TN 38305!

Make sure too …

#1 – Get good quality, firm, heavy bulbs. NO soft, moldy or stunted ones! The bigger the better.

#2 – Get soil amendments to prepare your holes or beds. Organic is the way to go in my opinion! Blood Meal, Bone meal, Compost and chicken manure have always worked well for me. Work the soil well and as deeply as possible; rich soil and good drainage are key. If its heavy clay, work in some sand to improve drainage.

#3 – Plant you bulbs! Most bulbs get planted 2 to 3 times their diameter in depth except for the smaller ones (less that 1 1/2″), plant them 3 to 4 times their dia. deep. REMEMBER – The point goes up! You can use a bulb planter or garden trowel to install them one at a time. Or, you can excavate an area to the proper depth and do a mass planting of your bulbs. I love the effect that a big mass planting of spring color can make! Even a dozen bulbs around the mailbox can make Spring seem more abundant.

After you get them installed remember to mulch! The mulch will help hold moisture, deter weeds, stabilize the ground temperature and it looks great.

I hope this helps and I hope you plant a bunch of beautiful Spring Flowering Bulbs!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com
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Compost Those Falling Leaves 🍁 | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

We had a few calls on the radio show (The 180) Yesterday about HOW- TO start a compost pile. Here is a little info to help get you started –

This is the perfect time to start composting! You can make your own compost from the leaves, grass clippings and organic waste you already have to dispose of!

Fall is A great time to start composting. All those leaves, plants and grasses to cut back and all of the upcoming holiday food scraps add up too a great supply of usable components in a compost pile!
Starting a Compost pile is quick , easy and won’t cost you anything to get started! Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments and  its natural! Plus you can use it instead of chemical fertilizers. Compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils to retain water. The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms, which in turn keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

-Bag your grass clippings and mulch up all those leaves for the compost pile!

-Save your kitchen scraps and add them to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are good candidates for the compost pie. But DON’T add meat, grease or other animal products!

– With a compost pile, bigger is often better. Heat builds up with a bigger pile, but you don’t want to get much bigger than about 3 feet by 3 feet, if it’s too big it can be hard to work around. Multiple piles may be in order .

– Aerate your compost! If you are composting with a pile, or in a static (non-tumbling) compost bin, be sure to mix up the contents so that the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively. Insert a few pvc pipes to get oxygen to the core and Turn it with a pitch fork from time to time .

– Don’t let the compost completely dry out. A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active , BUT , don’t keep it too wet.

– Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. It’s best to keep a balanced mix of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) materials.

Once the process is complete you can use this free resource as mulch, soil amendments, top dressing for your lawn, to make compost tea for veggies & more. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Good Luck and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

– Mark Carter

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
www.cartercountry.com



Have You Flipped’ Through My Magazine? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

I do the “Social Media” and website chores for my business, Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Word Press, Website, etc.. AND I also have a cool digital magazine that I “flip’ things of interest into, It’s called Flipboard and it’s pretty cool.

My Flipboard is all about Outdoor Living, Gardening, Food & Fun! YOU can do it too! Start a digital magazine of your own 🙂

https://flipboard.com/@markcarter775/outdoor-lifestyles-msvbuimgy

 

I enjoy sharing things of interest with others & Flipboard is one way I do it.

Have a GREAT Tuesday!

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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Sunday Reflections…

Yesterday was so nice. The day began and ended around our water garden. The weather was almost perfect! Rain is forecast for today, but a garden needs rain to thrive… I’m thinking a nice Sunday nap may be in order 😊

“If it’s drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it. You will know the thrill of battle fighting foes that will beset it. If you long for entertainment and for pageantry most glowing, plant a garden and this summer spend your time with green things growing.”

   ~ Edward A. Guest

My Garden is my refuge.

Enjoy your Sunday 😊

 

Mark C.



Spring Newsletter | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Click on the link below for our 2019 Newsletter.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmyemail.constantcontact.com%2FAquagardener-Newsletter-Spring-2019-from-Carter-s-Nursery.html%3Fsoid%3D1102731551606%26aid%3DaRPL0X_7Wto&h=AT2OZlQooRTtWPKU4d-6q6mxbf9vlF4qa5gSdk-RcKXjlMhKF5U10RFyica5R5luIGbS1VKcxxJWiV1fjjrE1I9gNIN2oc7jFrpofBJifRsU4K4u7yFffVw_oewh&s=1

 

Happy Pondering 🤔

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com
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Do You Grow Blueberries? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Tennessee

I ❤️ blueberries! I eat them most everyday too! They are great in oatmeal, cereal, salads, fruit salads, smoothies, pies, juice, Ad infinitum… Blueberries rock!!! They are also a native fruit that grow well in many areas.

Blueberries are a very rewarding plant. Beautiful, hardy & the fruit is so tasty and healthy! | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Here in the South with our long growing season & plentiful water, growing blueberries is a no-brainer’… I LOVE to put them in with ornamentals too! They make a great fill in plant along a sunny foundation or a backdrop for a bird feeding area or even as a screening hedge! Very versatile 😊

Tips for Growing –

– One of the most important things to remember when growing blueberry plants is that they need a very low PH (acidic 4.5 – 5.5 or so) to grow well & thrive. So yearly you have to check PH and usually add an acidifier like Sulfur, Aluminum Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate, etc… I usually opt for the organic sulfur because I am eating these 🙂 AND, I think it gives a better, sweeter taste.

I recommend using an Organic Acidifier (Sulfur) to keep the PH low. This will make for healthy, vigorous Blueberries, that just taste great! | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

– If your planting Blueberries in our area, initial soil prep is key! Build up beds a little to aid in drainage. Till in some peat and some organic compost. Apply sulfur as needed based on PH test.

– Planting the right varieties is huge too! Always choose Southern Rabbit eye varieties for success in our area. A few of my favorites are – Premier, Tifblue, Powder Blue & Climax. Fertilize with an organic fertilizer for fruit in late Winter/early Spring. Then I feed several times throughout the season with an organic compost tea and side dress mid season with a little composted manure. Mulching is very important too! Try crushed pine bark or pine needles. Both are acidic and work well.

– Click on this link below to learn about how to trim/prune your blueberries for better form & function!

https://savvygardening.com/pruning-blueberries/

PS: This is a great time to set out some blueberries! And, a great time to prune & apply compost & sulphur for PH to your existing bushes.

Good Luck! & Happy Gardening!

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com
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Friday Radio Report | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Wow! What a great show today!!! It felt great to be back home and it felt great to back on the air LIVE with the guys – Dan Reaves’s & Sea Bass!

The show started with an interview of Milan Police Chief – Bobby Sellers. He was in the studio to give a report on the Casey McDaniel case. This case dates back to August of 1996! Casey disappeared after a church function in 1996 and has never been seen since. By all reports she was a very nice, happy, positive 14 year old girl. This case shook the entire area & has recently gotten a break – Pete Hill was arrested as a suspect in the case & is in prison awaiting trial. They are still working this case & asking for anyone with more info to please come forward. If you have any info please call Milan PD at 731-686-3309.

After Chief Sellers left we started taking Gardening and Outdoor Living calls and texts and there were many…

  •  I gave a full report of my Anniversary trip with my wife. We did a full week of backroad travel and exploration in our beautiful home state 😊 We had LOTS of Fun and came back all charged up!
  • we also talked late Summer Gardening.
  • How to make a raised bed for better drainage.
  • Popular shade trees with a focus on Oaks and Maples.
  • Keeping your Leland Cypress watered well to avoid drought stress.
  • And our upcoming Summer Seminar –  ‘Stay cool with container water features’. Saturday August 18th. 9-11am.  It’s FREE! Y’all come!

    There’s still time to get your Water Feature designed and built in time for the Fall weather. Give me a call. | 731-424-2206

Get out and enjoy the rest of the Summer before it’s gone! It’s flying by folks 😊

Thanks for all the calls and comments!

– Happy Pondering!

 

I’m on with the 180 Crew – Dan Reaves & Sea Bass- every Friday from 9-11am Call in with ALL your gardening and Outdoor Lifestyle questions at 731-423-8101.
OR you can TEXT us at 731-277-5155. Listen LIVE at 101.5 WNWS – FM Talk Radio – on your smart phone using your TuneIn app.!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com