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 »
What does your garden soil really need?
Before you start fertilizing your garden, it’s helpful to determine the condition of your soil. Over-fertilizing can cause plenty of gardening problems, plus you’re wasting your money and time.
Consider getting a soil test from your local cooperative extension office. When we moved into our house, we had our soil’s pH and nutrient levels tested. It helped us fertilize the soil properly, without wasting money on unnecessary products.
What are those symbols “N-P-K” on fertilizer boxes?
On most commercial fertilizers you’ll see three numbers, separated by dashes. An example is 4-10-7, shown above. This is the analysis or percentage of three important plant nutrients: (N) nitrogen, (P) phosphorus, and (K) potassium.
If you purchased a 10-pound bag of fertilizer labeled 4-10-7, it would contain 4% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 7% potassium. The remaining amounts would contain other nutrients, fillers and perhaps ingredients like beneficial bacteria that improve the quality of your soil.
Personally, I find it easiest to look at the ratio, and how the numbers relate to each other. In other words, a 5-10-5 fertilizer has the ratio of 1-2-1. That information becomes more important, when you need a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to encourage flowering, or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for leaf growth.
So, what do N-P-K actually do?
Is that fertilizer organic or conventional?
Fertilizers are made with either chemically-based or natural-based ingredients. Organic fertilizers will specify which ingredients are organic, and the percentage of synthetic and natural ingredients contained inside in the product.
Chemical-based fertilizers come from ingredients like ammonium nitrate, superphosphate and potassium sulfate. They often come in higher concentrations and release more quickly into the garden, unless they are slow-release products. These fertilizers can provide a solid nutrient source, but they don’t improve the soil like a natural-based fertilizer. They also can burn plants, if applied improperly.
Natural-based fertilizers come from ingredients like fish waste, bone meal, poultry manure, compost or bat guano. When you go shopping, look for these organic ingredients in your garden fertilizers. These fertilizers tend to release slower into the garden over time, and they also contain beneficial bacteria and ingredients that encourage healthy microbial growth, improve your soil, encourage worms and add micronutrients.
These are the type of fertilizers I like to use in my garden, and I supplement these feedings with annual applications of dried manure and compost. The soil amendments also improve the quality and texture of my garden soil.
What are you growing?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all fertilizer out there. It really depends on the condition of your soil, and what you are trying to grow.
Since flowers and many vegetables need phosphorus in the early part of their growing cycle, look for a ratio around 1-2-1. Calcium is an important micronutrient when growing tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, so look for that growing information on the label. Lettuces and leafy greens like a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for rich, green foliage.
Most fertilizers will state right on the packaging what type of plants will benefit most from their product. The products are formulated to handle specific growing conditions for different plants, such as roses, citrus trees, bulbs, tomatoes and flowering shrubs.
Regardless of the brand you buy, always water well after applying fertilizers. Read the label instructions carefully too. Even organic products can be dangerous if applied inappropriately.