1. Pick up garden-quality straw (no or dead seeds) from local horse farm, then spread over paths and around plants (but not touching stems). This straw mulch will prevents weeds, reduce watering needs, and break down into the soil within a season or so, acting as a rich compost/fertilizer. I got this tip for a great new list I found: the veganic agriculture network. http://www.goveganic.net/ STATUS: HALF DONE. The horse farm was literally on the same street as my Aunt & Uncle's house, that I've been going to my whole life. I had no idea there was a horse farm, dog park & nature preserve all right there! It was so cute! The hay looks and smells really sweet. I will definitely go back & bring JJ to the dog park, and maybe even go horseack riding on the trails. Did not yet get a chance to spread it out though, it is sitting in the basement.
2. Mix baking soda, a little biodegradable dish soap, and water then spray on plants to prevent powdery mildew. http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/bakingsoda.html STATUS: DONE.
3. Add more Maxicrop (seaweed) fertilizer. 1 tsp per gallon of water, spray on leaves & soil. STATUS: ON HOLD. Veganic network & gardenweb say I should wait for a soil test and/or just use hay b/c of the carbon footprint from importing this stuff from Norway. I agree & will use sparingly. I think I will put on another teaspoon in a week or so though. Also need to continue researching local sources of NJ seaweed and salt hay.
4. Might also add this fertilizer I picked up yesterday at Lowe's made of soybeans! I was so happy to find this in just regular old Lowe's from the list of ingredients it appears to be vegan! I just wrote them an email to confirm it is. I hope so!! STATUS: ON HOLD. (see above entry on Maxicrop)5. Reset fence & plant a few new plants I bought yesterday to attract more pollinators: 2 shasta daisy, 1 echinacea, 1 black-eyed susan, another yellow black-eyed susan type, I'm not sure the name, & a purple plant I'll have to update later with the exact name too. STATUS: MOSTLY DONE. Just need to trim off excess fence posts, staple down hose, dig a bit more dirt and plant 1 daisy & the royal candle purple plant. Got all the others planted and the whole fence pounded in.
6. Maybe I may even make a bit of compost tea by putting some in a sock and soaking it in water. I have to turn the pile and add some straw to it, too. Definitely the low-fi way of making compost, that I read on the gardenweb forums. Whereas this article makes it a lot more complicated: http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx But I just may try soaking it just for a day or two and see. STATUS: ON HOLD. (see above entry on Maxicrop)
I need to find out if I could mix the seaweed, fertilizer and compost all in one batch. That would be easiest if I could, but I'm not sure if they'd react with one another or something. Anybody happen to know? STATUS: CANCELLED. Veganic network/gardenweb says no, or at least - be cautious when doing something like this. Might have too much nitrogen, which would promote too much leaf growth instead of fruits and veggies.
PHEW! I better get to work!!