Monthly Archives: July 2012

Natural Fertilizers

Everyday I look for ways to stay close to nature and avoid buying unnecessary chemicals and manufactured items. This is not to undermine the need to manufacture but it does save money around the house. Recently, I ran out of fertilizer for my vegetable and flower plants. I stopped at the local feed store to inquire on what was best to use. I expected (or at least hoped for) an answer like worm castings. But the answer I got was, 10,10,10, referencing to a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer containing 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate and 10 percent potash. I have no idea what the ingredients are that make up this commercial mix; I just knew it was not what I was looking for. So I resorted to an internet search of natural fertilizers. Here are my notes from that search:

Epsom Salt – 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water, use monthly to provide magnesium and sulfate.
Coffee Grounds – sprinkle on soil around roses and blueberry bushes to provide acid.
Egg Shells – provide calcium carbonate (lime).
White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon per 1 gallon of water provides acid to plants.
Fireplace Ash – provides potassium and calcium carbonate.
Fish Tank Water – provides nitrogen.

I am good on all these ingredients accept the coffee grounds since I am a tea drinker. However, it looks like white vinegar will fulfill the need for acid on acid loving plants like roses and blueberry bushes, both of which I have. As a result, I have started using water from my indoor fish tank for indoor plants and water from my fish pond for outdoor plans. I do not yet know the results but I am hopeful of healthy, beautiful plants.

Everyone Needs Peaceful Sleep

We are not nocturnal. Our bodies function best when we get up with the sunrise, around 5:00 am. This puts a good bedtime at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.

Nightly Routine
A calming nighttime routine will prepare you both physically and mental for the task of falling asleep. Develop a routine of winding down that starts an hour or two before bedtime.

Calm the Mind
Purge your worries by keeping an evening journal that allows you to put life in perspective, include several positive things about your day. This can be as simple as a visit from your favorite outdoor bird. Look for things that brought a smile to your day. Enjoy a cup of you favorite calming tea. Then top it off with 10 or 15 minutes of light reading.

Herbal Teas for Relaxation and Sleep
My Favorite Choices: Lavender, Chamomile, Passionflower. Additional Calming Teas: Catnip, Lemonbalm, Valerian, St. John’s Wort.

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