Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lilacs and Containers, Oh My!

I have lilacs planted in a spot where heavy stony ledge lies just a few inches underneath their roots. Consequently they are a little thin in their appearance. In a week or so after the buds drop I am going to give them a good solid trim of a couple of feet. Also, I am going to drill a few holes in the ground around each plant and pour some Plant Booster Plus by Organica down into those holes.

Plant Booster Plus is a pretty unique product that is inoculated with a select array of highly beneficial soil microorganisms. These tiny powerhouses have the ability to improve the soil profile by improving soil-fertility, minimizing nutrient loss through leaching, improving the soil structure and increasing humus levels by degrading organic matter. In addition to improving soil conditions the microorganisms can directly improve plant growth and development by naturally accelerating cell division and providing increased resistance to environmental stress. Sounds good doesn’t it!In short Organica's Plant Booster Plus will provide you with benefits standard fertilizers are not capable of providing. Utilize it when planting your shrubs, trees and veggies to promote establishment and enhance viability. Use it throughout the growing season to maintain adequate plant nutrition and promote healthy sustained growth!

Those hands you see raised over there are the folks at Espoma who make a product called Bio Tone Starter Plus (sold right here at Skillin’s) that can be used the same way. Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an all natural plant food enhanced with biostimulants, beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae.

I recommend EITHER Plant Booster Plus or Bio Tone Starter Plus for planting any plant material: trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables. These products will work for either ground plantings or container plantings.

You might say, “Mike, I have never heard you recommend these products before!”. And folks, this is true! But these are exciting times for gardeners! Old time fertilizers are on their way out and better natural products that feature beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae components are here.

So, back to my lilacs. The roots and the limited soil around the roots need some help! I will try the Plant Booster Plus for the soil around my lilacs.

I also have some containers to plant and I think I will try the Bio Starter Plus. Let’s see how these products work! I am confident they will both work well. Tell me what you think!

Speaking of containers, this year again I plan to use the all natural Bar Harbor Blend potting soil by Coast of Maine Organics for my outdoor containers. Quite simply, Bar Harbor Blend is THE BEST potting soil I have ever used. It is locally produced (and we need to all we can to help our local companies in this economy) and it also the BEST priced soil we have here at Skillin’s. I will be potting my containers with the Bar Harbor Blend and mixing in some generous portions of the Bio Tone Starter Plus.

Once my plants (both flowers and veggies) are planted in the containers, I will be feeding them weekly with Fish and Seaweed fertilizer by Neptune’s Harvest (produced just 100 miles away by some great folks in Gloucester MA.)

Now you might well say, “Mike, you just said that you are using the BEST potting soil ever AND using a cutting edge soil enhancer like Bio Starter Plus by Espoma ( or Plant Starter Plus by Organica). Why do you need to fertilize weekly?” My answer is “Good question, but this is Maine folks! I love Maine, but let’s be serious, we have a short season and if we want productive vegetables and beautiful flowers, our plants need all the GOOD HELP they can get! As my friend Paul Tukey used to say, ‘if you can garden in Maine, you can garden anywhere!’, so for best performance I want to use the best soil, the best soil enhancer and the best in natural fertilizers!”

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