What exactly is fertilizer? And, why do plants benefit from it?
Fertilizer is simply a material added to soils or directly to plant tissues that contains nutrients essential to the growth and health of the plant (…) Fertilizers are inputs that farmers and gardeners can use to increase the amounts and balance the ratios of these essential chemical compounds. Continue reading “Fertilizer Facts: What, When and How Often [Infographic]”
Trips to the doctor and dentist can fall by the wayside when one becomes a full-fledged adult. Ironically, this is the time when most people need to set up a regular schedule for visits to their various health care professionals. But in the absence of a parent to call the shots, how does one know just how frequently they need to visit their optometrist, chiropractor, or ear, nose, and throat specialist? Read Fix’s guide to know how often to visit the doctor, and for guidelines on what professional you need to see, and when.
Because the health care needs of men and women differ, so do their schedules for when to visit the doctor. Women are advised to visit the gynecologist for pap tests and breast exams with increasing frequency based on age, whereas men don’t need to begin routine prostate exams until significantly later in life. Both men and women are advised to seek colon cancer testing between ages 20-39, based on the advice of their doctor.
With age, the frequency of visits to the doctor for routine colon, prostate, and breast exams will increase. But one thing that stays the same is visits to the dentist; make sure to schedule a visit for cleaning and a check-up every six months!
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Gardeners can’t depend on Mother Nature to do all the watering, all the time. That’s why watering your garden wisely (and conserving moisture once it gets in the soil) is a fundamental skill that your crops will thank you for cultivating.
What Type Is Your Soil?
How well your garden soil retains the water it receives depends on what type of soil you have. To keep things simple, we’ll classify soils into three general types: sand, loam, and clay.
Sandy soils have lots of air spaces between the particles. This allows for good drainage—sometimes too good. Water moves through sandy soil fast, and the soil tends to dry out rapidly.
Clay soils are just the opposite. They have almost no air spaces between particles and drain very poorly. Clay absorbs water slowly but once wet, holds lots of water (often too much).
Loam is the middle ground between sand and clay. It absorbs water well and dries out at a nice moderate rate.
But no matter what type of soil you have, the key to keeping water in your garden is compost, compost, compost. Compost helps improve any soil by acting like a moisture-retaining wick. Every shovelful of that rich organic matter you add to the garden boosts your soil’s ability to hold water.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to apply more—not less—water to a garden high in organic matter to wet the soil to the depth you want. But because the soil holds more water, your garden may be able to go longer between waterings.