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Your Morning Cup of Fertilizer

by The Jana Caudill Team

This one is kind of fun: coffee as fertilizer.  Yep, coffee grounds (and tea grounds and tea bags for that matter) provide an excellent source of nitrogen for your indoor and outdoor plants, transplants, lawn, and vegetable gardens.  There are many ways to use it as well.  You can add coffee grounds directly to soil for a slow release effect, or mix them with a bucket of water prior to watering plants as a more fast acting fertilizer.  Coffee grounds can be mixed in with your composting material, as well as utilized for some if its pest deterrent qualities.  The rule of thumb out there is that plants that thrive in acidic soil generally prosper with this kind of additive.

What’s more, you can get coffee grounds from local restaurants and coffee shops to use at home.  Starbucks has made five pound bags of used grounds available to customers for free through its Grounds for Gardens program since 1995.  If you’re not close enough to a Starbucks (hard to imagine in the world today that anyone isn’t within a ten or fifteen minute drive) call around to your local Chesterton, Crown Point, or Hobart restaurants and ask if they save coffee grounds for their patrons’ use.

Lawn Fertilizer

by The Jana Caudill Team

There are many reasons to fertilize your Northwest Indiana lawn.  It helps control weeds.  It returns nutrients to the grass to help promote root and leaf growth.  It can also help grass repair itself after suffering damage due to foot traffic or pests.

Experts say you should fertilize your lawn from 2 – 8 times per year.  I don’t own stock in the fertilizer companies, so I’m not here to tell you more is better.  In fact, if you lay down another application of fertilizer before the last one has fully run its course you risk burning your grass.  Likewise, if you apply fertilizer at the wrong time you may be promoting weed growth instead of healthy grass.  Whether you are looking for that full, lush lawn or simply want to do a quick weed and feed, I have found a couple great resources to help you get the results you are after.

Check the middle of this page for two handy charts showing you the best time of year to apply fertilizer.  One shows you cool season and warm season grasses and a schedule for getting either minimum results or best results out of your fertilizing plan.  Cool season grasses generally are found in the north and have growing seasons right after waking up from the winter, and in the early fall.  Warm season grasses are more common in the south and flourish in the warm summer months.

The other chart shows a fertilization time table based on the exact type of grass you have which is helpful if you know exactly what you’re working with.  Here’s a great page from Home Depot with great tips on application of fertilizer as well as buying advice.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2