What is Organic Gardening? Advice from Maryland Garden Center

“Organic” has been a buzzword sprouting up on food labels and in farmer’s markets for the past several years, but what, exactly, is organic gardening? How are edible fruits and vegetables that are planted organically different from the other foods we consume that grow from the ground? Read on to find out –

Organic Gardening: An Overview

When a garden is grown and planted organically, it is treated with less fertilizer and less water: the soil’s biology produces enough nutrients on its own, and the
coastofmaine soil is able to retain more moisture without added synthetic substances. Making plants more drought tolerant and disease resistant, organic soil has the ability to limit weed invasion while increasing the chance of survival and the overall health of transplants and seedlings. So why go organic? In short, it yields a more bountiful crop with less effort in the long run.

Organic Soil Amendments

So how does your garden grow better organically? With microbes that break down food sources and turn them into nutrients for plants and neutral pH levels that can encourage root systems to extract additional nutrients.

For larger crops that produce more vegetables, try these organic amendments:

bumpercrop– Mycorrhizae- endo and ecto: Naturally occurring, these fungi expand the root-like ability of plants, making them more readily able to absorb nutrients and water.

– Earth worm castings: Though it mightn’t sound appetizing, worm feces are an incredible source of biologically activated minerals.

– Kelp meal: Like a nutritious meal for the soil, this stimulates bacteria, helping to increase soil fertility.

– Lobster and crab shells: These delicious shellfish are rich in chitin, which adds natural calcium to the soil. This, in turn, eliminates blossom end rot in tomatoes and makes plants more disease resistant and stronger.

– Dolomitic lime: Quite simply, this perfects soil PH.

– Dehydrated hen manure: An unexpectedly great way to grow greener and more vigorous plants.

– Peat humus:  The highly organic humidified remains of sphagnum peat, this serves double duty, effectively loosening clay soil and giving body to sandy soil.

– Sphagnum peat moss:  A triple threat, this provides a stable environment for root growth, helps hold water, and maintains pore space in the soil.

– Composted cow manure: With active biology and rich organic matter from cattle’s two stomachs, this enhances soil for optimal plant growth.

– Aged northern bark: Bark from cold climate trees, like pines, requires less nitrogen from the soil to decompose. This leaves more beneficial nitrogen for plants to absorb (nitrogen is the first number in fertilizers eg. 5-10-5).

At Ace Home and Leisure, a Maryland Garden Center, we carry the highly regarded, organic, “Coast of Maine” products, which are specially formulated for east coast growing conditions and sold to select garden centers and nurseries in the region. We are one of the few retailers in the area that carries the “Coast of Maine” Bumper Crop, an exclusive organic soil builder that contains Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae and all natural ingredients.

If you have any further questions about Organic Gardening, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter,Google+Pinterest, and LinkedIn

Birding in Central Maryland: The Right Bird Seed can make a Big Difference


“Cheap” bird seed is anything but cheap. In fact, it is actually one of the more expensive ways to stock your bird feeder. Why? Well, these cheaper seed mixes tend to have a lot of filler, such as cracked corn, milo, and wheat. These are low on the desirability list of most birds. So, these birds simply “kick out” the undesirable filler to reach the more flavorful seeds, like black oil sunflower.

In the long run, you will end up spending more money on “cheap” bird seed. The more cost-effective way to stock your bird feeder is to purchase a seed mix that only includes desirable seeds. This way, birds that visit your feeder will not “kick out” any seed. There will be no waste and the bird will more than likely eat the seed right there or in a nearby tree.

Cost Comparison: A single bag of Birds Gone Wild, which retails for $24.99 at Ace Hardware and Hearth, will last as long as four economy mixes at $8.99 per bag ($35.96 total).

Ace Hardware and Hearth: The only place in Maryland to get these Edible Seed Blends specially formulated to attract Desirable Birds.

At Ace, we have Bird Food for Maryland birds! Whether it’s cake or plug suet to attract wood peckers and clinging birds, nuts and seed feed to attract titmouse, chickadees and nuthatches or thistle to attract finches, we have it all at Ace. Our most popular seed blends are Birds Gone Wild, Woodpecker Wowie, Cardinal Candy, Clingers Charms, Nut & Berry Buddies and Patio Low Millet. These blends are designed to attract and keep birds in view longer.

More birds…less waste… less money

Ace’s unique and extensive birder sections in our Pasadena and Edgewater stores have the bird food to fit any bird feeder.

One more Birding Tip: A heated bird bath allows birds to wash oils from their feathers so they can better fluff them, providing more insulation for their bodies. Heated bard baths also attract a wide variety of birds, such as Eastern Bluebirds, catbirds, mockingbirds and robins, throughout the winter months.

If you have any further questions about Birding and Bird Food, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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About Us: Ace Hardware & Hearth, Ace Home & Leisure is a Premier Caldera and Bullfrog Spas Dealer Serving Washington DC, Greater Baltimore with Stores in Glen Burnie, Edgewater, Pasadena, MD.
We Sell and Service New, Used Hot Tubs, Portable Spas, Gas, Electric, Pellet, Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, Inserts, Gas BBQ Grills, Bird Watching, Paint, Gardening, Patio Furniture, Hardware and so Much More!
Our Brand Names Include: Caldera Spas, Bullfrog Hot Tubs, Dimplex, Enerzone, Hampton, Hearthstone, Heat & Glo, Heat Surge, Heatilator, Jotul, Kozy Heat, Quadra-Fire, Regency, Big Green Egg, Weber Grills, Primo Grills and Many More!
Service Area: We sell and Service Washington DC, Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lake Shore, Severna Park, Annapolis, Edgewater, Pasadena, Severn, Parole, Crofton, Catonsville, MD