Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
No matter how many synthetic chemicals are added to your soil, without the proper moisture holding capacity and the proper pH, much will be wasted. When sufficient organic matter is present in soil, it will have the proper balance to manage drainage properly and soil pH will be neutral for efficient uptake of nutrients.
Think of soil rich in organic matter as a savings account for your plants. The nutrients are released back to your plants much like a steady income. The more you need, the more you get. The nutrients found in organic matter stay in the soil much longer than water-soluble synthetics which rapidly leach through the soil. Moreover, soils rich in organic matter will typically contain all the necessary nutrients, thus eliminating the need to add supplemental synthetic nutrients.
Now visualize someone who has just been given a lot of money all at once. Rather than putting it in the bank, they spend it all immediately. It feels good temporarily, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. There are no reserves to draw on over time. That’s how I think of water soluble inorganic fertilizers. They work but what nutrients aren’t absorbed by the roots quickly pass through the soil, leaving behind potentially damaging salts.
Organic matter is, was or comes from living things. Some of the most common natural amendments found in nature include decomposed plant residue, dead roots, excreted waste from soil dwelling organisms, composted bark, manure, leaves and sticks. When you think of a lush forest or woodland setting, all that makes up the soil there is a collection of natural amendments over time. The only fertilizer is what is derived naturally from the soil. And yet how lush a woodland setting is.
In our home landscapes and gardens, we can create the same affect. In addition to the amendments mentioned above, we can use grass clippings, mushroom compost, peat moss, peanut or coco shells and so much more. Collectively, it may be just good old compost; the biodegraded product of raw organic matter, albeit a collection of the above or a single ingredient such as rotted tree leaves. But whatever it’s made of, it contains billions of living beneficial microorganisms and includes vital organically derived nutrients.
There’s a second reason adding organic matter is so import to creating healthy soil as I alluded to in my opening paragraph. It improves drainage of compacted soils and increases water retention in loose, sandy soils. Amendments incorporated into the soil allow some particulates to bind together while preventing others from creating too large a mass. In total, the organic elements along with the native sand, silt or clay work in harmony to improve the structure, tilth and texture of any soil, while at the same time, building up nutrients and reducing the need for supplemental water and fertilizers.
As you build healthy soil in your home garden and landscape, how much you add will depend on the condition of your soil before you start. The amount will vary but your goal is to add enough so that compacted soil breaks apart and loose soil binds together.
There’s no cookie-cutter recipe for this but here’s a good rule to follow. Your goal for adding organic matter to the soil should be to end up with a consistency that binds together when squeezed but breaks about easily when disturbed. It doesn’t take as much as you think and more is not necessarily. You just want to supplement the native soil, not replace it. Over time, organic matter will continue to break down and decompose so you will need to periodically add more. But as you do, know that your soil is getting better and healthier all the time and as you continue to feed the soil, you’re plants will reward your efforts.