What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Your Yard

With the rise of genetically modified materials many people are wondering what they can use to fertilize their gardens without compromising the integrity of the produce. Luckily, there are some things that are helpful for the soil without using inorganic materials. Here are some things you need to know about organic fertilizer.

Why Fertilize At All?

Soil plays an integral part of the plants’ existence. It is from the soil that the plant gets all of the nutrients that it needs. If the soil is void of bacteria, nitrogen, phosphate. and potassium, that plant will not survive. Initially, the dirt that you use may be healthy. It could have plenty of nutrients in it, but after a couple uses the dirt has been depleted of all the nutrients, which means that you have to fertilize the dirt to ensure that the dirt has plenty of nutrients to help the plants thrive. You should never try to grow a plant in plain dirt or dirt that has been previously used to grow plants without at least fertilizing it first.

What Kinds Of Fertilizers Are Safe To Use?

Amazingly, natural waste is one of the best ways to feed plants. It is simply the circle of life and existence that animals and even other plants excrete waste that can help the plants to grow better. For instance, animal waste such as horse manure is one of the best options for plants. However many people avoid putting animal waste on plants that will be eaten later. Instead, you can use something like yard compost to fertilize the plants. Clippings from the grass, leaves, and old plants all can help to fertilize the next generation. You can either make your own compost or you can purchase organic compost from different providers.

How Do I Know What Kind Of Fertilizer To Use?

Knowing what kind of fertilizer to use for your specific needs can be hard. There are some plants that require different types of nutrients and that might need more than just your big three nutrients—nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. When purchasing fertilizer, or making your own, you should make sure that you are separating the plants that need more carbon, calcium, magnesium, and so forth. In addition, if you live in an area that is lacking in nutrients, you may need to use extra fertilizer that has an even higher concentration of nutrients.

By understanding fertilizer you can get the most out of your plants. For more information, contact local professionals like Nature Safe.

Why Propane Heating Is Ideal for a Homeowner

Have you been thinking about using petroleum gas for your home heating needs? An efficient type of petroleum to invest in is propane gas, which can supply your home with heat with the help of a tank. Find out below why opting for propane gas is a good decision, as well as what installation of the tank is estimated to cost.

Why Should a Homeowner Opt for Propane Gas?

Propane heating is ideal because you don’t have to get rid of your furnace if it is gas. A contractor can actually use any gas furnace to connect a propane heating system in your house. Even if you end up having to get a new furnace, you will come out on top because a propane gas furnace is more durable than the other types. You won’t have to worry about a propane gas furnace going out for up to 20 years.

Another advantage of using a propane system for heating is that it can run without using electricity. You will notice a difference in what you are paying for energy each month. You will also have lower gas bills because the propane heating system will use gas that is stored in a tank instead of from the gas lines in your house (if you use gas for anything else).

The only thing that may be of a concern with propane heating is the presence of a large tank on your property. There is no way around not getting the tank because it is needed for storing the gas. If you don’t want the tank sitting on top of the ground, a contractor will have to excavate your landscape to put it in the ground. You must understand, though, that a large portion of your landscape will have to be dug up for installation of the tank in the ground.

Is a Propane Tank Expensive?

The cost for a propane tank will depend on if you opt for renting or buying one. You are looking to spend at least $450 or more if you purchase your own propane tank. The overall price of buying a tank will depend on how many gallons of gas it can hold. You may have the option of getting a tank rental for free through the company that installs it for you if you agree to buy a certain amount of propane a year. Other than that, annual rental fees typically start at $25 or more. Contact a petroleum dealer, like from http://www.averyoilandpropane.com, so you can get a propane heating system installed!

Strategies To Regain Control When Ants Invade The Yard

If ants are taking over your yard with their mounds of sandy dirt, use some effective strategies to get rid of them. You can significantly reduce the ant population in your lawn without using chemical pesticides, or you can choose to apply a commercial insecticide product if that seems to be the most efficient option. Either way, boosting the health of your grass is important for preventing future ant invasions.

The Ant Problem

Common yard ants don’t directly harm lawns, as they don’t chew on grass or release toxic substances that kill plants. However, the structures they build can smother grass, cover grass so it doesn’t get enough sunshine, and expose roots. All of these conditions can kill areas of the lawn. The grass turns yellow or brown as it dies off, and the ants thrive on the barren patches.

Strategies for Reducing the Ant Population

Use Natural Solutions

In the house, you can kill ants with a blend of sugar and borax or a commercial liquid ant killer. Outdoors, however, other critters may lick up the sweet substances and be seriously harmed. Instead, thoroughly spray anthills with apple cider vinegar, soapy water or clove oil diluted with water. You also can pour these substances into the nests. Use caution with clove oil, as the substance may kill grass if sprayed directly onto it.

Another natural ant-control method involves sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the anthills.

Repeat the process or try a different one if ants eventually reappear. 

Apply Pesticide

Avoid spraying indiscriminately, because drifting pesticide can harm birds and beneficial insects. Instead, spot-treat the anthills with liquid, powder or granular insecticide that you direct around and into the nest. These products are available at stores with lawn and garden departments. 

Keep the Grass Healthy

Ants are most prevalent in lawns that have stressed and dead grass. They have trouble taking over a lawn of lush, healthy grass. You can boost the health of your lawn with several methods.

  • Soak the grass in the early morning before the sun is high enough to burn off the water. If this is inconvenient, you might consider having an automatic irrigation system installed. Watering a few times a week is usually fine. 
  • Apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer with a spreader now, if you haven’t done so this year. This normally can be done once in late spring and again in mid-autumn before the grass begins to go dormant. Include grass seed if the lawn is thin. 
  • Set your lawn mower blade high enough so the grass is always at least 2 inches tall. That way, there is enough blade for adequate photosynthesis to generate nutrition. Mow once a week or whenever the grass is long enough to need cutting.

Contact a lawn service, such as Valley Green Companies, if you’d like assistance with ant control or other lawn care projects.

Preventing Spontaneous Combustion Of Hay And Silage On Your New Farm

If you recently decided to make your dream of owning a farm come true, then it is vital that you know how to prevent fires caused by spontaneous combustion of hay and silage. When organic materials begin to break down, they give off heat that can cause your silage and hay to ignite and burn. By understanding the issue, you can take simple steps to prevent agricultural fires from happening on your farm.

Spontaneous Combustion of Hay Bales

The risk associated with spontaneous combustion of baled hay is determined by the amount of moisture contained within the hay when it is formed into bales. Hay that contains 22% moisture or more is a potential fire hazard. While all hay will heat internally as it dries from the natural fermentation process, hay that is very high in moisture will get hot enough that it can form flammable gases inside of the bales that can catch on fire. 

Fire Suppression for Hay Bales

To prevent hay bale or haystack fires, you should always monitor your newly stacked hay for signs of excessive heat, including:

  • musty odors
  • steam
  • smoke

Any hay that has been baled within the last six weeks should be monitored each day for signs of too much heat. If the hay is getting too warm for you to touch with your bare hand, then you need to break the bales apart and allow the hay to dry in small piles.

Additionally, you should also ensure that you have an ample amount of fire extinguishers on your farm. A fire extinguisher from a company like Echo Fire Protection should always be available in your hay storage area in case it is needed to put out a hay bale fire.

Spontaneous Combustion of Silage

When you are storing silage for your farm, it is more flammable when it is too dry rather than too wet like hay. Dry silage contains more air by volume and this provides oxygen that is needed to start a fire. Combine this excess oxygen with heat generated by the breakdown of the organic materials and you have the right scenario for a spontaneous fire.

Fire Suppression for Silage

To help prevent spontaneous combustion of silage on your farm, you should never store fresh wet silage on the top of dry silage. The wet silage will trap the excess air in the lower dry silage and can cause a fire when the silage above heats from the natural fermentation process.

You should check the temperature of your silage every day for the first three weeks it is in the silo or in piles. Once three weeks have passed, the risk of fire is much less because there will not be as much heat generated from fermentation.

In addition, you should have fire extinguishers available at the ready near your silage storage for emergencies. You may also want to opt to have a fire suppression system installed inside of your silo.

If you have any additional questions about farm fire safety, then you should contact a local supplier of agricultural safety equipment for assistance.