Category Archives: products

Making Composting Easy

keeping eggshells for the compost bin

container for produce scraps and eggshells, lined with plastic bag

This week is International Composting Awareness Week. Each day I will post composting information on my website or my social media accounts. For me, the trick to composting is to figure out how to make it work for you so it becomes easy. If it is easy, you will compost. In my suburban garden, I have two Geobins in the backyard. Continue reading

Subscribe to DC Metro Area Gardening E-Newsletter

Enter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, an e-newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This free monthly communication lists recently published gardening books, articles, and tips specific to this immediate area. Each issue also features the opportunity to win a free plant or gardening product. For the upcoming April 2020 Pegplant’s Post, one lucky subscriber will win a voucher to redeem a 25-pound bag of Bloom, a specialty fertilizer rich in organic matter. The winner can redeem the voucher by visiting Homestead Gardens in Maryland or WS Jenks & Son or Annie’s Ace Hardware in DC.

I have written two articles about Bloom which is a soil conditioner made from Class A biosolids. Biosolids are organic matter, recycled from sewage, which have been treated and processed in order to use as a safe soil conditioner. Bloom comes from DC Water and is available bagged or in bulk. Bloom provides essential nutrients and increases drought resistance in plants and increases organic content in the soil. It is a fertilizer and compost in one product and can be added to garden beds or used in containers. It is safe to use for ornamental plants as well as edibles.

Subscribe to Local Gardening Newsletter for a Chance to Win CowPots

Enter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, an e-newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This free monthly communication lists 50 to 100 local gardening events, recently published gardening books, and articles and tips specific to this immediate area. Each issue also features the opportunity to win a free plant or gardening product. For the upcoming March 2020 Pegplant’s Post, one lucky subscriber will win a package of CowPots. This is a combination of one #3 square 12-pack, one #4 square 12-pack, and one #3 six cell 3-pack.

CowPots are made on a third-generation family dairy farm in Connecticut. CowPots are biodegradable, plantable pots made from cow manure but they are odor and peat free. They are an alternative to plastic pots; however, eventually they degrade into the garden soil. Using CowPots provides better root penetration, air pruning, and reduces transplant shock. After you insert your transplant into the CowPot and water, the CowPot will remain intact for about 12-16 weeks, depending on the size. When you plant the transplant in the garden, plant the entire CowPot so the CowPot is buried in the soil. The CowPot will break down in one growing season. I have seen these for sale at the Ace stores in the Washington DC metro area but you also can order them online at Johnny’s Selected Seed, Gardener’s Supply Company, Gardener’s Edge, Territorial Seed, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. There are many sizes and styles.

An Update on Bloom: DC’s Soil Conditioner for Gardeners and Landscapers

One 25 lb. bag of Bloom

In April 2017, I wrote about Bloom, a soil conditioner made from Class A biosolids. Biosolids are organic matter, recycled from sewage, which have been treated and processed in order to use as a soil conditioner. DC Water was producing Bloom in bulk and working with Blue Drop to promote and sell Bloom. Bloom provides essential nutrients to plants, increases organic content in the soil, and increases drought resistance in plants. At the time, DC Water provided “fresh” and “cured” in bulk. DC and MD residents could drive to the Blue Plains Advanced Water Treatment Plant in DC to load up their containers or truck or pay a delivery fee to have a truckload delivered to their home. Since then, I have seen bags at Homestead Gardens in Maryland that were small enough for me to lift and put in my car.

I contacted Blue Drop to see what has changed since my original article and sure enough, Bloom is now available in bags in some locations. You can purchase bags and bulk at Homestead Gardens in Maryland, bags at Annie’s Ace Hardware and at W.S. Jenks and Son in DC, and bulk at the Rock Stone and Sand Yard in Virginia. In addition, there are two new products: the “woody” blend which has 70 percent hardwood fines (in bulk) and “sand/sawdust” which has 3/7 Bloom, 2/7 sawdust, and 2/7 sand (in bulk).

Sand/sawdust blend on left; woody blend on right

“Anyone can come to the plant and pick up either blends,” said April Thompson, Director of Marketing at Blue Drop. “The blends and cured material are all great as soil amendment and can also be used to topdress lawns.”

Bloom is fertilizer and compost in one product. Bloom can be added when establishing turf and when planting and establishing a garden bed. Bloom also can be added to topsoil, used as a top dressing to an existing garden bed or lawn, or incorporated with a container potting medium.

Bloom is dark and crumbly

This weekend I put a 25 lb. bag of the cured type on a new garden bed of perennials that I had created in the spring. The consistency was like brownie mix–dark chocolate brown and crumbly. There was no odor. April sent me a small bag each of the woody blend and the sand/sawdust blend, which I placed side by side. The texture was great and again, no odor.

The Bloom website has a nutritional analysis of each product, videos, testimonials, research results, and information on bulk orders and local retail outlets. They even offer tours of the plant to show you how Bloom is made. They work with contractors, farmers, landscapers, and the home gardener. For more information visit the Bloom website or contact April Thompson at april@bluedrop.co.

Giveaway for October issue of Pegplant’s Post: Wild Valley Farms Wool Pellets

Enter your e-mail here to subscribe to Pegplant’s Post, a free monthly newsletter about gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Each issue lists 50 to 100 local gardening events, lectures, and workshops; recently published gardening books; and articles and tips specific to this immediate area. Each issue also features a giveaway and for the upcoming October 2019 issue we have collaborated with Wild Valley Farms to give away two 8 oz. bags of wool pellets. The wool pellets are compressed from all natural, 100% organic wool sheared from sheep at Wild Valley Farms in Salt Lake City, UT, and nearby ranchers. When the wool pellets are added to the soil, especially in containers and hanging baskets, the fibers naturally retain moisture and reduce the amount of time you have to water your containers. The expansion of wool pellets in the soil creates porosity, which aids in plant development. The wool also provides a natural source of nutrients: 9% nitrogen, 1% phosphorus, and 2% potassium. Only subscribers can enter the giveaway so sign up now for a chance to win two 8 oz. bags. Each is enough for 6 one-gallon pots or hanging baskets.

I met Albert Wilde, the owner, when I was in Salt Lake City a month ago. He explained that the idea came when his wife wanted to be able to spend less time watering her containers. As a sheep farmer, he looked around for what he could use on hand and added the waste wool (from shearing the sheep) to her containers’ soil. It worked but he began to notice that the plants actually grew better. He worked with local laboratories and discovered that the wool also delivers nutrients to the plants and increases porosity (like perlite). The plants can access the nutrients 30 days faster than other organic fertilizers. Wild Valley Farms also sells other products on their website, everything is made in the U.S.

Pegplant’s Post Giveaway: Bobbex Deer Repellent Spray

I am very excited about the giveaway for the January 2019 issue of Pegplant’s Post. Bobbex, a company known for effective deer repellent, has generously offered to ship one 48 oz. E-Z ready to use sprayer and one quart bottle of concentrated spray of their deer repellent, a $55 value. Their deer repellent was rated number 1 by an independent study conducted by the Connecticut Department of Forestry and Horticulture. Environmentally friendly, the Bobbex deer repellent is a foliar spray that protects ornamental plantings, shrubs, and forest trees from browsing and feeding by deer, moose, and elk (we don’t have moose and elk in the DC metro area but we have plenty of deer). The spray is a blend of ingredients that are offensive to deer but harmless to humans and safe for wildlife. The Bobbex website has very useful information on how to recognize and deter deer, goose, rabbits, and small animal damage and offers a variety of repellent products.

This giveaway opportunity is for subscribers of Pegplant’s Post, an online, free newsletter for people interested in gardening in the Washington DC metro area. Each issue provides at least 50 but up to 100 gardening events; newly published gardening books; local tips, advice, and articles; and a monthly giveaway contest.

To subscribe, click here or visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the box above “subscribe!” on the right column. Pegplant’s Post will be issued on the last weekend of the month.

December Pegplant’s Post Giveaway: DRAMM garden apron and compact shear

I am very excited about the giveaway for the December 2018 issue of Pegplant’s Post. Sponsored by the DRAMM Corporation, the giveaway will be two items: a red ColorWear garden apron and a green ColorPoint compact shear (red and green for the holidays, get it?). DRAMM is a Wisconsin-based business that has produced well-known watering tools for over 75 years and has now expanded into gardening tools, fertilizers, and accessories.

The ColorPoint compact shear is perfect for cutting flowers, herbs, or bonsai. It has corrosion resistant, stainless steel blades and an ergonomic, non-slip handle for a comfortable grip.

The ColorWear garden apron protects clothing while holding tools, plants, or gloves. It is an ingenious three pocket design. The center pocket has side zippers enabling you to unzip the pocket and remove plant debris.

This giveaway opportunity is for subscribers of Pegplant’s Post, an online, free newsletter for people interested in gardening in the Washington DC metro area. Each issue has:

  • Monthly events. Plan your social life with gardening events in the area. Each issue has at least 50 events but depending on the season, there can more than 100 events, many of which are free.
  • New books. Stay abreast of gardening trends and practices with newly published books. Use this list for gift ideas.
  • Tips and advice. Learn timely tips and advice relevant to the current gardening season in our area.
  • Giveaways. Enter the monthly giveaway contest to win items such as seed packets, books, tools, and plants.
  • Articles from pegplant.com. Catch up with seasonal articles about plants, gardens, and resources from pegplant.com.

To be eligible for this giveaway subscribe now. Click here or visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the box above “subscribe!” on the right column. Click here to see a back issue. Pegplant’s Post is published on the last weekend of the month.

November Giveaway for Pegplant’s Post: Garden of Paradise Gloves

The giveaway for the November Pegplant’s Post is the Garden of Paradise Arm Saver Garden Gloves by Womanswork. A woman-owned family business, Womanswork sells gardening gloves that are made for women’s hands, plus related gardening accessories. The Garden of Paradise glove has an exclusive new print inspired by English cottage gardens. It has extra long cuffs to protect arms from scratches and bug bites and synthetic leather palms. Subscribers to Pegplant’s Post can enter the giveaway to win one pair of these gloves. Pegplant’s Post is a free, monthly newsletter for people who are interested in gardening in the Washington DC metro area. Subscribe by entering an e-mail address at pegplant.com

Giveaway for October Pegplant’s Post: CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator

Here is a great giveaway for the October issue of Pegplant’s Post: the CobraHead Original Weeder and Cultivator. The CobraHead has a very sharp blade that cuts through our clay soil, creates furrows for planting seeds and transplants, slices out weeds, and rakes up debris. The narrow blade, made from forged temperate steel, is able to get in between and under your flowers and veggies. The ergonomically designed curve shaped handle is made of recycled plastic composite and is comfortable for either right or left handed gardeners. Made in Wisconsin, the CobraHead is a multi-functional, lightweight tool built to last a lifetime. The CobraHead company also sells a mini version of this tool and other useful gardening products.

This giveaway opportunity is for subscribers of Pegplant’s Post, a free, online newsletter for people interested in gardening in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC metro area. Each issue provides:

  • Monthly events. Plan your social life with local gardening events. Each issue will have at least 50 events. Depending on the season, there can be more than 100 events, many of which are free.
  • New books. Stay abreast of gardening trends and practices with recently published books. Use this list for birthday and holiday gift ideas.
  • Tips and advice. Learn timely tips and advice relevant to our area and the current gardening season.
  • Giveaways. Enter the monthly giveaway contest to win items such as seed packets, books, tools, and plants.
  • Articles from pegplant.com. Catch up with articles from my website, pegplant.com, about plants, gardens, and resources.

To subscribe, click here or visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the box above “subscribe!” on the right column. Pegplant’s Post will be issued on the last weekend of the month.

Pegplant’s Post Giveaway: Botanical Interests Seed Sprouter and Seed Sampler

I am so excited about the giveaway for the September issue of Pegplant’s Post. Botanical Interests, a Colorado-based seed company with a fantastic catalog, has graciously offered to send to one winner two products: their signature Seed Sprouter with instruction booklet (valued at $24.95) and the Sprouts Sampler (valued at $28.50). The Seed Sprouter is an easy way to grow sprouts indoors for salads, sandwiches, and stir fry. The Sprouts Sampler is a collection of 6 seed packets: alfalfa, broccoli, fenugreek, mung bean, radish, and sandwich seeds. These are organic seeds especially selected for their delicious sprouts, in a drawstring bag.

This giveaway opportunity is for subscribers of Pegplant’s Post, an online, free newsletter for people interested in gardening in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC area. Each issue provides:

  • Monthly events. Plan your social life with gardening events in the NoVA, MD, DC area. Depending on the season, there can be over 100 events, many of which are free.
  • New books. Stay abreast of gardening trends and practices with newly published books. Use this list for ideas of gifts to buy for birthdays and holidays.
  • Tips and advice. Learn timely tips and advice relevant to the current gardening season in our area.
  • Giveaways. Enter the monthly giveaway contest to win items such as seed packets, books, tools, and plants.
  • Articles from pegplant.com. Catch up with articles from my website, pegplant.com, about plants, gardens, and resources.

To subscribe, click here or visit pegplant.com and enter your e-mail address in the box above “subscribe!” on the right column. Pegplant’s Post will be issued on the last weekend of the month.