A”Little” Miniature Garden Help
I love it when a plan comes together. Okay, it was really a community of gardeners’ plan that happened through a secret group on Facebook to make it a surprise. The online garden group organized a campaign over the last few weeks to help Annie Haven of Authentic Haven Brand Manure Teas get re-established after a long and painfully dry summer that put her business in jeopardy. The drought in California put far too many farms and farmer’s families in a tight spot and we were glad to be able to help Annie just as much as she helps us and our gardens with her organic line of natural teas.
Your Garden’s Health is Your Health
Annie’s Moo Poo Tea is made from composted manure that is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO/GE feed, herbicide and pesticides. That’s not an easy feat among the shelves of chemical fertilizers and pesticides you see at garden centers, and the big-money advertising/product placement at the big-box stores over the last couple of years. Keeping a natural garden is more than necessary your children, pets and the environment, plus it is needed for the birds and other critters that help with the unseen cycle of garden-life that happens right under our noses.
But, as miniature gardeners, we don’t really want to fertilize our gardens too much because the plants will grow faster. The new potting soil that has fertilizers in it is the number one killer of miniature garden plants, and we try to educate every customer that buys our plants as much as possible. Regular potting soil, with no additives or polymers, usually has enough nutrients for the plants to grow at least two years before needing anything extra. And then after the two year wait, we usually recommend a mild, organic fertilizer. (Follow the instructions for using the regular organic fertilizers, some are time-released and others aren’t.)
Authentic Natural Teas
So, where do we love using the Authentic Haven Brand Moo Poo Tea as miniature gardeners? Let me count the ways:
- Displays and Competitions: Start prepping your display garden by using Moo Poo Tea every time you water at least a couple of weeks before your big show. Go with the nature’s rhythm and use it during the growing season. If your competition is in the winter, compensate for the blast of nutrients by simulating spring – move the garden inside or to a warmer spot at least a month ahead of the contest so the plants don’t get too confused. Back off of the Moo Poo Tea after the competition, you don’t want the garden to grow, just to look its best. Graduate the garden back outside to the cold weather in stages being careful to avoid any extreme changes in light and temperature.
- Dividing and Repotting: Sometimes we get to this fun chore in the fall, but the spring seems to be better for when we really feel like being in the garden and getting our hands dirty. Give your smaller divisions and plant starts a good soaking in Moo Poo Tea before you transplant. I like to keep a bucket on hand when I’m sorting out my in-ground garden and put the new plants in it to keep them happy until I get back to my potting bench and start potting them up. “Water in” the new plantings with Moo Poo Tea to give them a good start.
- Rejuvenating: If your plants or garden gets too dry and the health of the plants begin to waver, soak the whole pot in a bucket of Moo Poo Tea for a couple hours. Making sure the soil is soaked all the way through by waiting for the air bubbles to stop and the pot to sink. Then take the pot out of the bucket and let the pot drain. Make sure the soil has dried-out to barely damp before you water it with regular water.
- Perfect for Young Kids and Pets: We relied on Moo Poo Tea this past summer when our dog was still a puppy because our regular organic fertilizer smelled delicious to our little girl! Oh my, she was so interested it it I had to put on the very top shelf of the potting bench! It only took one pot placed on the floor to realize that there was no way we could use it in our garden beds and pots. So, Moo Poo Tea to the rescue! While smelling equally as yummy to the puppy, at least absorbed immediately into the soil and gave our gardens the nutrients the plants needed – while NOT giving the puppy anything to get into. We kept the brewed tea in a reused kitty little bucket with a lid if we couldn’t use it all at once.
In our full-sized gardens, we just love it! It’s especially good for the heavy feeding plants like annuals and vegetables – and great for soaking seeds and bulbs before planting. We’ve tried her Alfalfa Tea for roses too – my miniature and full-size rose collection loves a good dose in early spring and another in early summer.
To find out more about Annie Havens’ Authentic Haven brand of teas here. You can order some for your garden plants through the website too – note that Annie always has free shipping!
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[Full disclosure: We don’t make any money from this recommendation/affiliation, we only believe in the product and the company.)