When planting new trees and shrubs in sandy or clay soil, we recommend mixing Black Kow® with an equal part of soil from the planting hole.
- First, dig the planting hole two to three times as wide as the root ball. Dig the hole six inches deeper than the root ball.
- Mix half of the soil from the planting hole with an equal amount of Black Kow®. Save the remaining soil to use as a berm around the hole.
- Put six inches of the improved soil in the bottom of the planting hole and pack down. Continue adding soil until the top of the plant's root ball is even with the surrounding ground.
- Fill the hole with the remaining improved soil while adding water to eliminate any air pockets. Then build a berm around the planting hole with the remaining native soil. This will hold water around the base of the plant until it can soak in.
Add mulch, sit back and enjoy.
Wait one month to add chemical fertilizer. Keep soil around trees and shrubs moist but do not over water.
Once the new tree is established, and for established trees, top-dress in the spring and fall with one-half inch of Black Kow® before adding any additional fertilizer and mulch.
Black Kow® will help hold water and fertilizer in the soil before releasing them as needed by the plant.
For 32 years, Mike Raley has been waking up North Carolina on Saturday morning with The WPTF Weekend Gardener. He has suggestions on how to use Black Kow when planting roses.
Roses grow best in loamy soil with good drainage. Whether you are planting one rose or a bed of roses the following soil mixture works well. Dig the area to a depth of about 20 inches and make sure it drains well. The soil mixture you put back in the bed or planting hole should be one-half native soil, one-quarter Black Kow® composted cow manure, one quarter shredded bark or soil conditioner. You should also add sphagnum peat when planting roses. In heavy clay soil adding as much pea gravel or expanded shale product as you do bark will improve drainage. Add a half cup super-phosphate per plant and in areas with naturally acid soil add 1 cup garden lime per plant.
Black Kow® is a good addition to your fall rose garden clean up routine as well. Remove the mulch layer from the bed after you cut back roses in the fall and use it somewhere else in the yard. Use a stiff steel rake to break up the surface of the soil. Add Black Kow® as a top dressing to the soil to provide about a quarter-inch coverage. Smooth the surface of the bed with the rake and then re-mulch the bed with your choice of mulch.
This rose growing tip has been provided by Mike Raley, who is host of the "Weekend Gardener" heard on WPTF in North Carolina.
Black Kow® composted cow manure is excellent for improving native soils. It improves aeration in heavy clay-type soils and adds water-holding capacity in porous, sandy soils.
For new beds and gardens - add 5 to 8 pounds of Black Kow® per sq. ft. of bed. (Spread a layer one and one-half inch thick) Mix into the top six inches of soil.
For existing flower beds and vegetable gardens, add a one-half inch layer of Black Kow® once or twice a year to maintain a good level of organic matter.
Remember, Black Kow® will not burn plant roots. You can add Black Kow® to your beds and plant immediately.
You don't have to be president
to have a great looking lawn.
Bare Spots in your Yard?
If the soil is dry, add one inch of Black Kow® over the existing soil. Mix into the top two inches of soil. Make sure the ground is level and then seed, plug, or sod.
If you have St. Augustine or grass that spreads from runners, the runners surrounding the bare spot will grow into the improved soil in time.
If soil is always wet, it may be because it's the lowest area of your yard or it could be sloped incorrectly. Fix the drainage problem and then top-dress with one-half inch of Black Kow®. Top-dress lawns every other year.
When establishing new areas of lawn, spread 100 lbs. of Black Kow® composted cow manure per 50 sq. ft. (spread one-half inch thick) and mix into the topsoil prior to laying sod, plugging or seeding.
Black Kow® will help reduce thatch buildup, hold moisture near the roots, and help fight pests and disease.
Topdressing Existing Lawns
Existing lawns should be given an application of 100 lbs. of Black Kow® composted cow manure per 100 sq. ft. of lawn once every other year.
Always water in thoroughly after spreading Black Kow®.
We suggest aerating your lawn - wear golf shoes while working in your lawn, use a pitchfork or a lawn aerating tool.
Apply 10 lbs. of Black Kow® composted cow manure for each year of age of the tree (up to a maximum of 100 lbs.)
Spread the manure evenly under the tree out to the dripline. We suggest application in the spring for deciduous fruit trees. Citrus trees should be given an additional application in the fall.
As always, water thoroughly after application. For best results, fertilize with additional chemical or organic citrus fertilizer along with the application of Black Kow®.
Why garden? If you’ve never tasted garden-fresh vegetables (lots of people haven’t!), you will be amazed by the sweet, juicy flavors and vibrant textures. There’s absolutely nothing like them, especially if you grow the vegetables yourself—and you can!
Our friends at the Old Farmer's Alamanac highlight the basics of vegetable garden planning: how to pick the right site, figure out how “big” to go, and how to select which vegetables to grow.
WHERE AND HOW TO PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDEN
Plant in a sunny location. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest and the better the taste.
Plant in good soil. Plants’ roots penetrate soft soil easily, so you need nice loamy soil. Enriching your soil with compost - like our Mushroom Compost or Black Kow® provides needed nutrients. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly.
Space your crops properly. For example, corn needs a lot of space and can overshadow shorter vegetables. Plants set too close together compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and fail to mature. Pay attention to the spacing guidance on seed packets and plant tabs.
Buy high-quality seeds. Seed packets are less expensive than individual plants. If seeds don’t germinate, your money—and time—are wasted. A few “extra” cents spent in spring for that year’s seeds will pay off in higher yields at harvest time.
VEGETABLE GARDEN PLOT SIZE
A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16x10 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, based on the vegetables suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).
Two weeks before transplanting seedlings outdoors, till soil to about 1 foot and mix in aged manure like Black Kow®, "The Mature Manure."
Make your garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, and turnips.
Bring the butterflies to your backyard with Black Kow!
- Locate your garden in a sunny area.
- Prepare the garden soil following the directions on our Flower Beds and Vegetables page.
- Plan for continuous blooms throughout the growing season. Plant a variety of the following plants: Azaleas, Butterfly Bush, Glossy Abelia, Lantana, Trailing Lantana, Eupatoruim, New England Aster, Pineapple Sage, Purple Coneflower, Thrift, Vervain, Verbena, Cosmos, Egyptian Star-Cluster, French Marigold, Heliotrope, Impatiens, Mexican Sunflower, Moss Verbena, Zinnia.
- You must plant some of the following host plants. Host plants provide food for caterpillars, Butterflies will only lay eggs on specific plants. Here's the list: Bloodflower, Butterfly Weed, Parsley, Dill, Copper Fennel, Maypop, Blue Passionflower, Spicebush, Tulip tree.
- Include damp areas of shallow puddles in the garden. You can do this by mixing more Black Kow® into the lower parts of the garden. These areas will stay moist longer after rain or watering.
- Place some flat stones in the garden. Butterflies often spread their wings and bask in the sun. Basking raises their body temperature so they are able to fly and remain active.
- DO NOT USE PESTICIDES IN OR NEAR A BUTTERFLY GARDEN. Use predatory insects (ladybugs for example), insecticidal soap or remove pests by hand. Black Kow® is completely organic. The microbes produced by composting will help fight pests in the soil.
Black Kow® is a great solution to an age old problem: nematodes. These are microscopic round/eel worms prevalent in many of our soils. By increasing Black Kow® to a 50-50% ratio of the existing soil, it will then increase the beneficial bacteria to the soil. By lowering the nematode population and improving water and nutrient holding capacity, healthier and more stunning flowers, fruits and luscious vegetables will be the end result.