Eden's Organic Garden Center
Organic Today - For a Better Tomorrow! - Since 2006
Home of DFW's first All-Clean, All Farmers - Market Day!
(no GMO's - EVER)
Eden's Garden CSA Farm
REAL FOOD, GROWN with INTEGRITY!
4710 Pioneer Rd., Balch Springs, TX 75180
GARDEN SHOP / FARMERS MARKET Open 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturdays only April - December 6th 9am - noon
Just 15 mins southeast of downtown Dallas 1 block north I20 @ Seagoville Rd.
Not affiliated with EDEN FOODS, INC
(yes, we REALLY have to put this on here.)
Eden's In the News & On-Line
Growing Urban Roots - Acres USA Dec. 2014 Issue
Featured in Edible Dallas & Forth Worth - Winter 2009
Market Day Feature Story in NeighborsGo - July 2010
D Magazine - Chefs for Farmers Launch long-table style benefit dinner at Eden's.
"...an urban country adventure." - Kim Pierce DMN
SPRING HAS SPRUNG!
It is time to get that fertilizer out on your soil. Yes, your soil. That includes, of course, your lawn, but it also means under your shrubs and trees, in your flower beds, veggie gardens and anywhere there is soil that you hope to grow something.
When plants grow, they use up nutrients in the soil. You either have to let nature take its course, and stop removing anything from the soil's surface so it can break down into the soil, or replace what you remove by fertilizing. We suggest using an organic fertilizer at the rate of about 20lbs per 1,000 square feet. So, that is about 2 bags for the average yard. If you have been using some synthetic service or nothing for a long time, you may want to up that a bit or do it more than the normally prescribed 5 times per year schedule. Give us a call for help.
It is my favorite time of year, Spring. I love all of the wonderful flowers available for seasonal color and the joy of watching my old favorite perennials coming back to life. Seasonal color gets a bad wrap because it is not typically very drought tolerant, but in the spring, normally, we get enough water from the heavens to keep most spring flowers looking awesome. So, come on in and get some petunias, gazanias - which actually can last all summer - or other wonderful spring time favorites. Or, bring in your pots and planters and let us spruce them up for you. It is amazing what a fresh bag of REAL potting soil and some new color will do for the patio or front porch.
The insects that is. Fleas, mosquitoes, flies, fire ants - well, did they ever leave? But Eden's can help! We can order the counter attack insects - beneficials - to help you combat the outbreak that is on its way. Get started early so you have the edge. Those pests tend to, ahem, multiply much faster than the good guys. See our "What's Bugging U?" page for info.
Enjoy your yard. Get the kiddos out in the dirt to play with you. Plant some fennel, rue, parsley and/or dill so they can watch the Swallowtails come and lay her eggs and grow a few caterpillars. Grow some cucumbers, beans or your family's favorite garden produce. We can help you get started - just come see us this Saturday!
WINTER YARD CARE-
It is pretty simple this time of the year, keep the irrigation system on "OFF". Water only before a hard freeze is predicted so the ground is moist. A moist soil and irrigated plant will stand up to the cold temp better. I also recommend that you foliar spray with liquid seaweed prior to a freeze - especially tender plants or those that are actively growing, such as pansies, snaps, etc.
Cut back your perennials, leaving just enough so you remember where it is, and re-label as needed. I generally leave grasses long until I see new growth starting back up in the early spring.
You can start some seedlings if you want, like for lettuce, cole crops, etc., if you have a place to keep them and harden them off before putting outside. They may not germinate outside if the soil temp is too cold.
Either mow your leaves into your lawn with a mulching mower, or, if you have way too many leaves, mow them and put them into a compost pile. But PLEASE - don't put them in bags and throw them away! At the very least, donate them to someone else's compost pile if you don't have one. But they make excellent mulch, organic matter over the lawn that will gradually break down and fertilize the soil or as noted, an addition to your compost pile.
You might go ahead and pick up a few bags of Corn Gluten Meal so you have it on hand. When the weather starts to break for spring, you will want to apply it ASAP. This can be as early as mid January or as late as the end of February. It is a gamble, even with the synthetic pre-emergents, as far as timing. Too much rain, too much time in a constant state of wet, can reduce the efficacy of the products. But generally, there is about a 6-8 week window. The idea is to help prevent new weed seeds from germinating. It also does add nitrogen to the soil, but not the other important nutrients (the P-K part), or trace nutrients found in the balanced fertilizers applied later on. I do not suggest using corn gluten meal instead of a balanced fertilizer unless you have been organic for several years and your soil is in excellent shape. (in which case, you probably don't have a big problem with weeds, hence you may not need the CGM!)
Fertilize the yard - with an all purpose organic fertilizer like Bioform Dry or Texas Tea at 10 - 20lbs/1,000 sq. ft.
Pulled all warm season color - or nature will be culling it for you soon.
Plant pansies, chard, red mustard, snaps, violas, parsley or any other perennials and evergreen items. The cooler weather is less stressful than the heat will be on newly planted things.
Mulch everywhere. Makes a natural blanket for the soil and plant roots - just be careful not to crowd the crown of your plants. They need air, too.
Continue your foliar fertilizing with liquid seaweed and/or fish & seaweed. Compost tea is good - just add some Maxicrop seaweed to it for the "antifreeze" effects it has on plants.
Sharpen up those shears or pruners so you can trim things back when the freeze hits. Cut back only what has been damaged and leave the shaping project for spring.
DON'T rake those leaves - mow them over and let them lie on the lawn as a light covering. Now, if you have Magnolia leaves or a ton of trees, you may mulch them up and use some in the compost pile or as a mulch layer over your garden. But, please, don't bag them! If you do - call someone who lives nearby that will use them.
June Yard Tips;
Well with all of the rain, your established trees, shrubs and native plants, shouldnít need anything to drink for awhile. Newly planted plants with a sufficient amount of mulch should be good for several days, as well. Remember, plants need oxygen, too.
Keep the lawn mower blade raised up starting the next time you mow. If you have a grounds crew that does it for you, make sure they know to do this. Your grass length can be left at least an inch longer in the summer months. It helps keep the soil shaded a little, so the ground is cooler, so the grass uses less water. See how that works!? And remember, when you do sprinkle, water early in the morning Ė not during the heat of the day.
It is also time, if you didnít do it last month, to apply a fertilizer to your grounds. Organic fertilizer applied at 10 Ė 20 lbs per 1,000 sq. feet will help your plants and turf get through our hot Dallas summer. Schedule the fertilizing for right before a normal watering or a predicted rain event.
Yes, it is ok to go ahead and plant things in the summer. If you take the right steps, preparing the soil and the plants, mulching afterwards and watering properly, there is no reason you canít add some new items to your landscape.
One more note Ė letís all do our part to be a little more aware of water conservation this year regardless of the "end of the drought". If you havenít installed one already, put a rain/freeze sensor on your automatic watering system. Better yet, turn your automatic system to OFF and only turn it on when it is necessary to water the landscape. And please, donít water during a rain event.
Now, go get yer hands in the dirt!
OK - looks like spring is back, and we all know that summer is not far behind. This little cold snap was a good warning though. We often try to rush the seasons and put in warm season items too soon. I love the spring flowers and cole crops and encourage you to try them, too. There is plenty of time for purslane and marigolds.
Keep an eye on your basil, beans, tomatoes and peppers, you may need to nurse them a little more than usual if they were in the ground already. Checking out the article in this month's Organic Gardening mag, the problem with planting tomatoes too early is that the colder soil inhibits the uptake of certain nutrients. This causes stress on your plants and sets it up for disease and pest problems.
An extra foliar spray with a fish/seaweed mix and Rabbit Hill Farm's "Tomato and Pepper Food" may help smooth out the bumps. Or, in the event you lost your plants - I have several varieties of tomatoes and peppers at the shop. Ours were put up out of the cold over the weekend and are doing well.
You should be putting down your spring application of fertilizer any time now. Try to catch a rain shower or be sure to water lightly after applying to get it activated right away. You want those microorganisms to have time to eat so they'll be ready to feed your plants!
Corn Gluten Meal will inhibit germination of seeds whenever you put it down, so even if you miss the first set of weed seeds, you can still put it down now. It also serves to introduce nitrogen and other trace elements to the soil so it isn't a loss at all.
I added both fertilizer and CGM into my planting bed mix at the new shop.
It is time to start your seeds!
Whether you plant veggies or flowers - or a little of both - it is time to get your seeds started. You can re-use thoroughly washed 4" pots or get seed starter kits, or make your own with a little imagination and a foil pan. Use a good quality soil, like Rabbit Hill Farm's Seed Starter Mix, and for the larger seeds, soak them overnight in a liquid seaweed solution.
Be sure your beds are prepared with compost and basic organic fertilizer so they'll be ready for the little seedlings.
You should be able to direct sow cool season veggies like peas, lettuce, spinach and the such. You might grow some seeds inside and direct sow some, too. That way if you lose some of the seeds outside, you have back up crops ready to drop in. Stagger your plantings so you don't have to harvest it all the same time. And remember, if this is your first garden, start SMALL! Weeds are inevitable and you don't want to spend your whole weekend pulling them. (Mulching your garden deeply will reduce weeds, by the way.)
I know the groundhog said Spring is on its way, but keep the floating row cover handy, our best chances at a killing frost don't go away till after St. Patty's Day in March, and read on...
Keep your petunias, pansies and other winter growing plants happy with a weekly foliar feeding of seaweed & liquid fish and a monthly dusting with Buds n Blooms or Pansy Food. The combination of the two will help with the temperature swings we often experience here in north Texas. You know, 75 one day and then 25 the next night. Keep the plants healthy and that way they should have less problems with pests or disease.
If you haven't had a chance to do it yet, cut back your herbaceous perennials that have gone dormant. Remember the woody stemmed plants may re-sprout from some of the old wood, so you may wish to wait until spring to do any really hard pruning. Keep the cut back stems to mulch around the crown of the plants or toss them in your compost pile - but don't throw them out!
Plan - gather articles, photos and flowerbed layouts to implement. Re-work a flower bed on paper, find a new piece of statuary or bird bath to add to the garden. What about a trellis to grow some sweet peas or nasturtium on?
Trade extra perennials with friends, garden club colleagues and neighbors. This is an ideal time to thin out, transplant and plant existing plants and perennials. I know, many of the plants that die back don't look very good right now, but it is still an ideal time to get your plants established while the rains are still around and before the heat of the sun begins.