Organic and Inorganic/ synthetic Fertilizer 101.

Organic and Inorganic/ synthetic Fertilizer 101.

We at the Dirty Gardener really try and promote the use or organic fertilizers over synthetic fertilizers.  Why do we do this?  Is there any good reason or it is just pouring good money down the drain?  Is it really better for the environment and our health?  This is ideally why we would promote it in the first place right?

Let's turn to the good research and description from our friends at Oregon State University.

Fertilizers provide one or more of the chemical elements necessary for plant growth and development.

Organic fertilizers such as manures, compost or bone meal are derived directly from plant or animal sources. Inorganic fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate or ammonium phosphate are often called commercial or synthetic fertilizers, because they go through some manufacturing process, although many of them come from naturally occurring mineral deposits.
Neither type is better in every situation, because there are advantages and disadvantages to using either one, according to Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Inorganic fertilizers usually contain only a few nutrients – generally nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and some sulfur, either singly or in combination, explained Penhallegon. These nutrients are in a concentrated form readily available to plants. However, since they are lost from the soil quickly, you may have to apply it several times during the growing season unless you use a specially formulated, slow-release type.
Some nutrients, such as nitrate, are quickly available for uptake by plant roots. If you need only a certain element such as nitrogen and want it to be quickly available to your plants, an inorganic fertilizer such as ammonium nitrate might be in order.
Organic fertilizers usually contain many plant nutrients in low concentrations. Many of these nutrients have to be converted into inorganic forms by soil bacteria and fungi before plants can use them, so they typically are more slowly released, over time.
Since bacteria and fungi have to decompose organic fertilizer before they can be taken up by plants, nutrients are released more slowly, especially during cold weather when soil microbes are not as active. But organic fertilizers have many advantages. With organic fertilizers soil crusting is reduced. Organics may improve water movement into the soil and, in time, add structure to the soil. Organics feed beneficial microbes, thereby making the soil easier to work. Organic fertilizers may cost more than chemical, or inorganic fertilizers, because they are less concentrated, supplying fewer nutrients pound for pound.
Since many chemical/inorganic fertilizers are concentrated and very soluble, it is easier to apply too much and damage your plants. If you apply too much fresh, non-composted manure, you can damage your plants as well, because some manures contain harmful amounts of salts in addition to plant nutrients. Non-composted manures can also be a source of weed seeds.
Penhallegon has collected information about the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) content of many of the organic substances commonly used as fertilizer in Oregon, including green manure crops such as crimson clover and alfalfa. His report, entitled, "Values of Organic Fertilizers," also contains information about how quickly an organic fertilizer releases available nutrients and a reference list on organic gardening.
"One of the most difficult things to determine for an organic gardener is how much organic fertilizer to use, say on 1,000 square feet of garden," said Penhallegon. "For a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 12-11-2, this means 12 percent is nitrogen, 11 percent is phosphorus and 2 percent is potassium. In simple terms, this means each 100-pound bag of the fertilizer would contain 12 pounds of nitrogen, 11 pounds phosphorus and two pounds nitrogen.
"For example, using 12-11-2 fertilizer, if we knew we wanted to apply one pound of nitrogen, we would use 1/12th of 100 pounds," continued Penhallegon. "This equals about 8 pounds of this fertilizer applied to get one pound of nitrogen out there in the soil."
Cover crops generally release their nutrients slowly, over a period of two to six months, said Penhallegon. Nutrient values for cover crops include: alfalfa (2.5 -0.5 - 2), crimson clover (2-0.2-2), Australian winter peas (3-0-1), annual rye (1-0-1).
Blood meal (12.5-1.5-0.6), bat guano (8-5-1.5) and many of the manures (variable nutrient contents) release their nutrients over a period of two to six weeks.
Burned eggshells (0-.5-.3), fish emulsion (5-1-1) and urea (urine) (46-0-0) are the fastest-acting organic fertilizers, lasting only a couple of weeks.
To boost the nitrogen content of your soils, apply nitrogen rich urea (42-46 percent N), feathers (15 percent N), blood meal (12.5 percent N), bat guano (12.3 percent N) or dried blood (12 percent N). Manures are usually less expensive than other animal by-products.
Organic amendments highest in phosphorus include rock phosphate (20-33 percent P), bone meal (15-27 percent P) and colloidal phosphate (17-25 percent P). High in potassium are kelp (4-13 percent K), wood ash (3-7 percent K), granite meal (3-6 percent K) and greensand (5 percent K).
To make soil less acidic, gardeners want materials rich in calcium, including clamshells, ground shell marl, oyster shells, wood ashes, dolomite and gypsum (all are at least 30 percent calcium carbonate or straight calcium).
To obtain a copy of Penhallegon's "Values of Organic Fertilizers," send a request and include a self-addressed, stamped, legal-sized (#10) envelope with one 39-cent stamp to: Lane County Office, OSU Extension Service, 950 West 13th Ave., Eugene, OR 97402.
Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Ross Penhallegon

Best Gardening Blogs? Here is a great list of some of the best Gardening Bloggers Today.

Best Gardening Blogs?  Here is a great list of some of the best Gardening Bloggers Today.
Everyone loves a list. Below we have compiled lists from around the web to help you identify the best and most interesting garden blogs for your reading pleasure, as well as links to take you right to the blogs. If you have a list you’d like to add, please leave a comment and link to it, and we’ll add it to our list of lists.

TOP 50 GARDENING BLOGS (Source: Blogrank)
1 Cold Climate Gardening
2 GardenRant
3 Veggie Gardening Tips
4 Backyard Gardening Blog
5 Growing with Plants
6 Ewa in the Garden
7 Garden of Eatin
8 Studio ‘g’
9 The Home Garden: Gardening in the Home Landscape
10 Plants are the Strangest People
11 Garden Therapy
12 Busy-at-Home
13 Homegrown Evolution
14 Gardening Gone Wild
15 Your Small Kitchen Garden
16 clay and limestone
17 North Coast Gardening
18 The Garden of Eaden
19 Always Crave Cute
20 spoiled pretty
21 Geekgardener’s weblog
22 An Artist’s Garden
23 Out of my Shed
24 Studio ‘g’
25 How does our Garden Grow
26 Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden
27 Toronto Gardens
28 Plant Whatever Brings You Joy
29 High Altitude Gardening
30 Veg Plotting
31 Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel
32 Growing Days
33 May Dreams Gardens
34 Gardeners Reach
35 My Skinny Garden
36 Shirley Bovshows Eden Makers Blog
37 The Occasional Gardener
39 My North Coast Gardening Blog
40 Living and gardening in Idaho
41 In the Garden
42 Vicki Lane Mysteries
43 CommonWeeder
44 A Larrapin Garden
45 Red Rising
46 The Desert Garden
47 Ryan’s Garden
48 Kiss my Aster!
49 Your Home Kitchen Garden
50 Sharing Natures Garden

What to do for lawn after salt and deicer damage from winter snow.

What to do for lawn after salt and deicer damage from winter snow.

The salt from road salt and basic magnesium de-icers damage lawn.  They turn it yellow based on the acidity in the solution.  Its great for getting rid of snow and ice but what remains is damage to your plants.

We recommend gypsum in these cases.  Granular Gypsum organically neutralized the PH in your plants (lawn and border plants) and helps them restore their vigor.

Our Boulevard patch is designed to restore the green color in your lawn and grow back new grass where damaged with a highly salt resistance and perennial lawn seed mixture.

Embrace the spring and say good bye to winter.

Why is shipping so expensive for my items? I am abandoning this checkout!

Why is shipping so expensive for my items?  I am abandoning this checkout!

That is a great question.  Over 60% of "shopping carts" get abandoned at checkout because the buyer does not want to pay for the shipping cost and is surprised by how high it can be.  The heavier or larger the item, the more is cost to ship.

We are no different.  It drivers us crazy and we have really reduced negotiated shipping rates.

One of the big problems is how we have to calculate the cost of shipping for every shopper.  I.e. flat rate per item or by the pound.  It makes a big difference if we have to charge $1.50 per pound on 1 pound vs. 50 pound and it may cost less per pound to ship 50 pounds but the shipping algorithms don't give us this option.

If you get to our shopping cart and the price of shipping something like our Curlex Erosion Control blanket, Pallet or Rubber Mulch, 50 pounds of Pasture mix, etc. seems excessive.  Contact us directly and we can price it out via a freight carrier instead of the calculated UPS shipping rates these programs let us do.

It still cost more than anyone things until they have actually went to a UPS store and tried to ship something. 

Lets say however you think $25.00 is too much to ship something from us in Tacoma, WA to you in Dallas, Texas?  You can go to the store and get it yourself (unless its something we sell you can't buy at you local Home Depot, which is most our stuff).  What does it cost you to get in your car, go to the store and buy that item?  Well, the price at that store should be about 45% higher than our store, so you lose there..  Your time?  Your gas?  The minimum wage in WA is about $15.00 per hour now, so lets assume you make min wage, round trip has to come in at around $15.00 and fuel is sure not cheap.  If you had to go 10 miles which is a regular distance anyone could live from a mega store and its 20 miles round trip at say $2.50 per gallon and you go 20 miles per gallon there is another $2.50 so $17.50 vs. the $25.00 for it to show up at your door minus the convenience.

So again, if your shocked at check out.  Send us a note and we will do our best to get your item to you as inexpensive and fast as possible.

What is the Hubbub between Heirloom, Non-GMO, Open Pollinated and hybrid seed?

What is the Hubbub between Heirloom, Non-GMO, Open Pollinated and hybrid seed?

Is this just something trendy?  Is this important?  Should the average gardener care what they are planting?  Is buying heirloom seeds like buying bell bottom pants?

Lets visit the distinction between the types of seed you can purchase.

Heirloom seed is a plant variety that has a history of being passed down within a family or community, similar to the generational sharing of heirloom antiques passed down through generations.
An heirloom variety must be open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. While some companies create heirloom labels based on dates (such as a variety that is more than 50 years old), The Dirty Gardener specifies heirlooms by verifying and documenting the generational history of preserving and passing on the seed.  We have been in the farming business for 5 generations.  Starting in the Midwest and migrating "out west" where most the seed you purchase and the rest of the USA grows.

Open-pollination is when pollination occurs by insect, bird, wind, humans, or other natural occurrence.
With little to no restrictions on the flow of pollen between individuals, open-pollinated plants are more genetically diverse. This can cause a greater amount of variation within plant populations, which allows plants to slowly adapt to local growing conditions and climate year-to-year. As long as pollen is not shared between different varieties within the same species, then the seed produced will remain true-to-type year after year.  Bees do a pretty decent job at keeping this going and it is of great concern of their decline.

Hybridization is a controlled method of pollination in which the pollen of two different species or varieties is crossed by plant breeders.
Hybridization can occur naturally through random crosses, but commercially available hybridized seed, often labeled as F1, is deliberately created to breed a desired trait. The first generation of a hybridized plant cross also tends to grow better and produce higher yields than the parent varieties due to a phenomenon called ‘hybrid vigor’.  Seed produced by F1 plants are genetically unstable and cannot be saved for use in following years. Not only will the plants not be true-to-type, but they will be considerably less vigorous. Seed companies love this because the gardeners who plant hybrids must purchase new seed every year. Hybrid seeds can be stabilized, becoming open-pollinated varieties, by growing, selecting, and saving the seed over many years.

We really try and limit the types of hybrids we offer, preferring the Heirloom seeds.

GMO vs. Non-GMO

GMO plants, on the other hand, are the result of genetic engineering. (“GMO” stands for “genetically modified organism.”) This is a process during which the plant’s DNA is altered in a way that cannot occur naturally, and sometimes includes the insertion of genes from other species. All of our plants are grown from non-GMO seeds and we actually know the farmers who grow them.

Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres). (Number in parentheses represents the estimated percent that is genetically modified.)

Hopefully this clears things up for you and can give you the information you need to make a good decision when planning your garden!  We appreciate your business and are here to help.

The Dirty Gardener

What to do in your garden in January by Zone.

What to do in your garden in January by Zone.

This is a good January gardening guide for North America's USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3-10. If you don’t know what zone you live in, check the map here to find out.

If your super remote we are sorry but we left you out!  These are zone 1–2 (far-north Alaska) and zones 11–13 (small section of the Florida Keys, the Pacific coast between L.A. and Mexico, and Hawaii) since zones 3–10 cover 99 percent or more of the gardeners in the U.S.

Zone 3

Check your leftover seeds and make a list of what you need before ordering.
Order seeds and plants early to avoid substitution.  Check out our heirloom choices!
Take cuttings from fruit trees for grafting in April. Wrap the twigs in a wet paper towel, seal the wrapped twigs in a plastic bag, and store the bag in the freezer until spring.

Zone 4

Organize your seeds: Discard those that are too old; then make a list of seeds to order.
Order seeds of onion, etc, and other slow-growing plants now so you receive them in time to start indoors next month.
Draw up your garden plan so you know what and where you want things in advance.
Check the condition of your gardening equipment.
Build a garden trellis.

Zone 5

Start seeds of pansies, snapdragons, and hardy perennials.
Replenish your supplies, including seed-starting mix and organic fertilizers.
Where there isn't much snow cover, push back any plants that have "heaved" out of the ground because of freeze-thaw cycles.
Start a collection of scented geraniums by taking cuttings from a friend's plants.
If you're growing geraniums indoors in pots, cut back leggy stems by about half, repot the plants in fresh soil, and then set them in a cool, bright window.
Related: The Quest for Organic Ornamentals

Zone 6

Study the "bones" of your landscape and decide where to put new structures, such as pathways and arbors.
Keep bird feeders well stocked with favorites, such as black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer thistle.
Discard old seeds for the garden; shop our site for new seeds.
Create a computer database of your garden plants with notes on performance.
Rake heavy snow off shrubs.
Start seeds of pansies, dusty miller, browallia, begonias, snapdragons, and delphiniums in your greenhouse or under lights.
At month's end, start seeds of onions, leeks, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower indoors under lights.

Zone 7

On mild days, remove winter weeds, such as wild onions and chickweed.
Sow seeds of Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas) for bloom in May and June.
Sow larkspur seeds directly in flowerbeds where you want them to grow; look for blooms by midspring.
Indoors, start seeds of perennials or slow-growing annuals, like coleus and geraniums, beneath lights.
Start seeds of cabbage, early lettuce, and at the end of the month, broccoli.
When onion and cabbage transplants are available at the garden center, select the best ones, then plant them in the garden beneath a row cover.
Near the end of the month, weed the asparagus bed and strawberry plot, then feed the plants and renew the thinning mulches.

Zone 8

Shop local nurseries for asparagus roots, strawberry plants, and fruit trees.
Cover root crops still in the ground with an extra layer of mulch.
When cold temperatures are predicted, protect transplants of onions, cabbage, broccoli, and chard with a row cover.
Sow beets, carrots, radishes, cress, bok choy, and garden peas directly in the garden; cover the planting rows with dark compost to warm the soil.
Sow seeds of herbs, such as dill and parsley.
Sow seeds of annual flowers (delphiniums, snapdragons, and larkspur are good choices) anywhere you want flowers for cutting or as a background for other plants.
Top-dress lawns and garden beds with compost.

Zone 9

Use the weather to your advantage: Observe the location of standing puddles left by winter rains; note where you need to improve drainage for plants.
Finish pruning fruit trees, vines, and bushes.
Sow seeds of geraniums, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant in pots filled with a peat moss/vermiculite mixture; set the pots on a sunny windowsill or beneath lights until it's warm enough to plant them outside.
In the garden, "scratch in" wildflower seed mixes and California poppy seeds; plant nasturtium seeds a bit deeper.
Set out transplants of pansies, calendulas, and primroses.
As the soil warms, plant carrots, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cilantro, parsley, and Asian greens.
Harvest carrots, radishes, and Brussels sprouts—sweetened by frost.
Related: How To Grow Brussels Sprouts

Zone 10

It's the dry season—water vegetable plants, nondormant tropical plants, and bedding plants regularly.
Spray compost tea on roses and bromeliads.
Mulch you peas and beans to extend the harvest.
Sow pumpkins and winter squash directly in the garden; start cucumbers and watermelons in pots.
Sow quick-maturing varieties of carrots, broccoli, cabbage, coriander, parsley, and dill.
Plant heat-tolerant chicory, lettuce, and Swiss chard in shade so that they stay cool when the weather warms.
Snip off flowers of tropical fruit and young citrus to save their strength while they grow; bring the flowers indoors to perfume the house.

This should really give you something to do during this colder, darker month and get you green thumb warmed up.


What to get a Gardener for the Holidays?

What to get a Gardener for the Holidays?

There are a lot of very expensive "baskets" out there that contain a bunch of fluff and very little substance.  You don't want to disappoint someone that knows more than you and the basket will likely get tossed.

When you are trying to find the perfect gift for a gardener, think about what they specifically "garden".  Do they grow flowers?  Get them a variety of flower seeds and a pruning shear for cut flowers.  Get them a good organic soil conditioner or flower fertilizer. 

Do they grow fruit and vegetables?  Get them a variety of garden seeds they may like, you may even think outside the box and get them something they have never planted before? Gourds?  Maybe a good Cover crop they can use between plantings?  An organic weed killer or herbicide they have never tried?

What if your "gardener" just likes to putter in the lawn and have the best lawn on the block?  We have green organic options for killing broadleaf and great organic and synthetic fertilizer to green up the lawn.  We even have top of the line lawn seed for overseeding or patching that great lawn.  Maybe they need a new "seeder"? You can buy it and stuff it with goods.

For the indoor gardener the "Jack's Classic" brand has numerous great fertilizer products that can help anywhere they need.

The odds are very good that if we are carrying it, a gardener is going to love it so shop away or contact us directly if you want us to put together a specific basket.

Happy Holidays.

The Dirty Gardener

Planting Warm Season Grasses and Tips to Establish

Planting Warm Season Grasses and Tips to Establish

We are selling most warm season grasses and here is a great resource for planting.

Bermudagrass, zoysia, centipede, weeping Love, dichondra, crabgrass, etc.

Info from Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife



In recent years, new advances in herbicides, no-till drills, and alternative planting methods testing have greatly increased our knowledge and ability to successfully establish warm-season grasses (WSG) in the Midwest. Ultimately, successful stand establishment is determined by two factors: (1) proper pre-planting site preparation, and (2) proper seed placement.

Site Preparation

The goals of site preparation are: (1) rid the site of cool-season grass and weed competition, and (2) prepare a seedbed that will allow for good seed-to-soil contact. How these two goals are reached is dependent on the existing cover.

If the field is going to be cropped prior to establishing WSG, it is best to plant the field to soybeans using weed control products that do not provide carry-over. Previously cropped soybean fields provide a good seed bed for drilling WSG, providing the stubble has been sufficiently removed. Cornfields may also provide a good seedbed provided the stubble is mown as short as possible. Caution should be used when converting a previously cropped field to WSG , if the herbicides used on the crop may provide residual carry-over. Certain chemicals can severely harm or kill newly established WSG. Check herbicide label for this information.

If the field has an established cover of tall fescue or other cool-season grasses, these grasses must be eliminated prior to or at the time of planting. Table 1 lists various methods that may be employed to kill cool-season grass cover. In all methods, it is important that any excessive top growth of grasses and weeds first be removed by burning, mowing/baling, or heavy grazing. This will allow the herbicide to be more effective and permit improved seed placement. Allow the existing vegetation to re-grow approximately 6 - 12 inches, then apply the herbicides. Always consult and follow herbicide label directions and precautions.

Table 1. Methods for Controlling Fescue and Other Cool-Season Grasses



Remove excess vegetation(graze, hay, burn, mow) in late summer(August). Allow vegetation to grow @ 6 - 12 inches.

Tank Mixture: per acre

1 quart Roundup

17 pounds of ammonium sulfate/100 gallons of water.




Least expensive method.

All forbs can be added safely to planting.

Provides adequate control of fescue.

Does not provide residual benefits for controlling late germinating grasses and weeds.




Remove excess vegetation in late summer(August). Allow vegetation to grow @ 6 -12 inches.

Tank Mixture: per acre in Sept. / Oct.
1 quart Roundup + ammonium sulfate


Allow vegetation to grow @ 6 - 12 inches. Tank Mixture: per acre in April / May
1 quart Roundup + ammonium sulfate

Will remove more than 90% of the tall fescue.

All forbs can be added safely to planting.

Does not provide residual benefits for controlling late germinating grasses and weeds.

Requires a Fall and Spring application.

Fall plow and disc
Apply Fall cover crop of 1⁄2 bu. wheat/acre

Apply after grasses/weeds have grown @ 6 - 12 inches.

Plowing and disking exposes cool season grass root systems to winter freezing and buries seed.

Does not provide residual benefits for controlling late germinating grasses and weeds.

Requires tillage and seeding





Tank Mixture: per acre

1 quart Roundup+ ammonium sulfate

All forbs can be added safely to planting.


Table 1. Methods For Controlling Fescue and Other Cool-Season Grasses (Continued)


Remove excess vegetation in late winter (Jan. - March). Apply tank mixture after vegetation has grown @ 6 - 12 inches

Tank Mixture: per acre

4 oz. Plateau*
1 - 2 quarts Roundup
1 quart methylated soybean oil(MSO)

* Plateau is also available in an ECO-PAK. One ECO-PAK contains 2-1.43 ounce dry WSP(water soluble packets). Each WSP equals 4 ounces of liquid Plateau.

Approved for use on CRP acreage

Quickest method - one pass over field after green-up.

Plateau provides residual benefits for 4 to 6 weeks to control late germinating grasses and weeds.

Best used on extremely fertile CRP sites having intensive weed pressure, such as filter strips along rivers and large streams.

4-oz. rate of Plateau alone will not effectively remove fescue. Must be used in conjunction with Roundup.

Certain forbs will be killed or suppressed. See Table 5 for tolerant forb species.


Remove excess vegetation in late winter (Jan. - March). Apply tank mixture after vegetation has grown @ 6 - 12 inches

Tank Mixture: per acre

8 - 12 oz. Plateau

1 quart methylated soybean oil(MSO)

Will kill more than 95% of tall fescue.

More cost effective than applying both Plateau and Roundup

Residual benefits up to 8 weeks.

High rate of Plateau not approved for use on CRP acreage.

Most forbs will be killed or suppressed. See Table 5 for tolerant forb species.


Remove excess vegetation in late winter (Jan. - March). Apply tank mixture after vegetation has grown @ 6 - 12 inches

Tank Mixture: per acre

2 quart Roundup (with surfactant if not included in mixture)

All forbs can be added safely to planting

Usually does not provide satisfactory kill of fescue.

Does not provide residual benefits for controlling late germinating grasses and weeds.

Seeding Methods

The method used for sowing WSG will depend on (1) the initial site preparation and (2) the availability of equipment in your locality. Table 2 lists the various methods that may be used to establish warm-season grasses based on the type of seedbed that has been prepared. The optimum time frame for planting WSG is from April through June, after soil temperature reaches a minimum of 55 degrees F. Seed germination will occur above 65 degree F. Seeding can be extended to mid-July in years of good rainfall.
Important: Regardless of the method used, seed should not be planted deeper than 1/4 inch. This is the most common mistake made when planting WSG. It is better to have the seed somewhat exposed on the soil surface than to have it planted too deep. Repeat the above sentence 3 times in your mind.

If the area to be seeded consists of bare soils on a potentially erosive site, a light cover crop of wheat, oats or annual rye should be established at or prior to the time of planting, or covered with a light straw mulch immediately after planting. Consult your District Conservationist or District Wildlife Biologist for further recommendations.


Table 2. Methods for Seeding Warm-Season Grasses

Seed Bed

Equipment Choice



Grass or wheat sod prepared by one of the methods listed in Table 1.

*Native Grass Drill

Place seed in the special WSG box (this box is specially adapted with agitators and picker wheels to carry the fluffy seed down the drop tubes). Place any additional forbs being added to your seeding in the legume box, or add periodically to fluffy seed box. Keep seed box at least half full at all times. Make adjustments according to speed and soil type.

This is the easiest and quickest method to insure even distribution, soil contact, and proper planting depth.

When set right, a fair amount (30%) of the seed should be visible in the drill rows.

Bare, firmed seedbed - rolled or culti- packed or previous year crop field.

*Native Grass Drill

Same as above.

Crop fields with annual weeds may need herbicide spraying with 1 pint to 1 quart Roundup and 4 oz. Plateau, tank mixed.

Surface should be firm but not crusted over.

Ideal seedbed should barely show footprints.

When set right, a fair amount (30%) of the seed should be visible in the drill rows.

Same as Above.

Custom Service - Truck Broadcast


Conventional Cyclone Seeder

Mix seed using a carrier of:
-- lime at the rate of 200 lbs. / acre, or -- wheat at the rate of 40 lbs. / acre, or -- oats at the rate of 32 lbs./acre, or
-- fertilizer (
No Nitrogen fertilizers).

Make sure to overlap passes.
Follow up by rolling or culti-packing.

Increase amount of seed by 25%.

WSG will not broadcast as far as the carriers. It is important to overlap rows to insure even coverage.

Mow prior to oat or wheat seed head formation if these grains are used as a carrier.

Same as Above.

Air Seeder*

Mix seed using a carrier of:
-- 100 lbs. of potash/acre, or
-- 60 - 100 lbs. of pelletized lime /acre.

Follow up by rolling or culti-packing.

No need to overlap rows.

Large amount of acreage can be planted in a relatively short time.

Same as Above.

WSG Hand Broadcaster*

This type of broadcaster is specially equipped with picker wheels at the base of the box to pull the seed out.

Follow up by rolling or culti-packing.

Increase amount of seed by 25%.

Not recommended for areas greater than an acre.

* Contact your local SWCD, District Wildlife Biologist, or local Quail Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, or Wild Turkey Federation Chapter for information on the local availability of these equipment items for your use.


WSG Seed and Soil Types

Warm-season grasses are purchased in Pure Live Seed (PLS) amounts. PLS is the seed that grows minus the other plant parts that inherently come with the seed. The % PLS of any particular lot of seed is calculated by the following formula:

% PLS = % Pure Seed X ( % Germination + % Dormant Seed). The PLS percentage times the bulk weight of the sack will give the pounds of PLS. Figures for percent purity, percent germination and firm seed are furnished by the seed dealer and usually are listed on the individual seed sacks.


The tag from a 25 lb. bag of seed lists the following information. ___________________________________________________

% Pure Seed 99.00 % Other Crop .10 % Inert Matter .50 % Weed Seed .40

% Germination
% Dormant (Hard) % Total Germ.

75.00 10.00 85.00

Noxious Weeds ___________________________________________________

The % PLS for this bag of seed would be: 84%

% PLS = .99 X (.75 + .10) % PLS = .99 X .85 = 84%

The pounds of PLS in this bag would be 25 lbs. X 0.84 = 21 lbs. PLS


Most WSG plantings consist of a mixture of grasses best adapted to site conditions. The rate at which they are planted is dependent on the site conditions and their intended use. In general, wildlife mixes should consist of 3-4 lbs. PLS per acre, while vegetative mixes should consist of 5-6 lbs. PLS per acre. Whether planting WSG for wildlife or forage, certain legumes and/or forbs should be added at the time of planting to fix nitrogen and provide food for wildlife. Consult your District Conservationist or District Wildlife Biologist for specific seeding recommendations. Table 3 lists WSG that are suitable for planting under various soil conditions.

Table 3. Suitability of WSG to Various Soil Types

Soil Type

Suitable Grasses

Shallow, dry , infertile soils

Little bluestem Indiangrass Side-oats grama

Sand dunes, high sand content soils

Little bluestem, Sand bluestem, Sand lovegrass Big bluestem

Bottomland or poorly drained soils

Indiangrass Big bluestem Switchgrass

Well drained soils

Big bluestem Little bluestem Indiangrass Side-oats grama Switchgrass


Follow-Up Weed Control

In some cases, follow-up weed control may be necessary during the establishment year to provide WSG with optimum growing conditions. If weeds are extremely thick or if large infestations of noxious weeds are present, follow-up weed control is warranted. It should be pointed out, however, that many weeds ( primarily annual weeds, such as foxtail and common ragweed, and perennial forbs) are important sources of food for wildlife, especially the Bobwhite quail. The purpose of weed control is to control their density during the establishment year, not totally eliminate their presence. WSG provide wildlife with cover. The annual weed and forbs component within the planting provides the food. Weed control options are listed in the following table.

Table 4. Post-Seeding Weed Control Options





Set mower to a 6 - 8 inch height.
Start early and mow frequently or rake and remove weed cover. Do not mow after August 1st.

Mowing will drastically reduce the winter food and cover value of the planting during the establishment year.

Plateau herbicide

Do not exceed 12 oz. per year on any one acre.

Forbs included in planting:
Apply Plateau with a silicone or nonionic surfactant when weeds are actively growing.

Forbs NOT included in planting: Apply Plateau with a MSO surfactant when weeds are actively growing.

May be applied directly over WSG and forbs*.

Important. Please see footnote below for use on switchgrass and forbs. Best used to treat large Johnsongrass or weed infestations. May be applied anytime weeds or problem grasses are actively growing. However, it is best-applied 14 days after planting for control of small-emerged weeds and pre- emergent control of later germinating weeds and grasses at a 4 oz. rate with the appropriate surfactant.

Roundup herbicide

Spot spray or wipe Roundup mixture according to label depending on weed species to control.

Use only for spot treatment - not general application. It is not a selective herbicide. It will kill your WSG and forbs.

*Plateau Herbicide will kill switchgrass seedlings when actively growing and may severely injure or stunt older plantings. To control tall fescue in switchgrass plantings, apply Plateau in the fall when the fescue is actively growing and switchgrass is dormant. *Depending on the application rate, many forbs are resistant to Plateau (See Table 5). Use only a silicone or nonionic (not a MSO) surfactant when controlling weeds and grasses in plantings containing forbs. Consult the Plateau label for detailed information.

Table 5. Wildflowers (forbs) Tolerant to Pre- or Post-Emergent Application of Plateau Herbicide

4 Oz. / Acre

6 Oz. / Acre

8 Oz. / Acre

12 Oz. / Acre

Illinois Bundleflower Partridge Pea Blackeyed Susan Purple Coneflower Red Mexican Hat Upright Coneflower Perennial Lupine Red Corn Poppy Corn Poppy California Poppy

Clasping Coneflower Plains Coreopsis Dwarf Red Coreopsis Lanceleaf Coreopsis Cosmos

Yellow Cosmos Shasta Daisy Drummond Phlox Purple Prairie Clover

Korean Lespedeza

Illinois Bundleflower Partridge Pea Blackeyed Susan Purple Coneflower Red Mexican Hat Upright Coneflower Perennial Lupine

Illinois Bundleflower Partridge Pea Blackeyed Susan Purple Coneflower

Illinois Bundleflower Partridge Pea

Plateau and RoundUp are registered products of American Cyanamid Company and Monsanto Company, respectively. The active ingredient in Plateau is imazameth. The active ingredient in RoundUp is glyphosate. Other brands of herbicide containing these ingredients may be substituted, however, application rates, time of application, and results may vary. Always thoroughly read and use herbicide products according to label specifications.

Prepared by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, August 1998.






Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife

August 1998

Reprinted with permission by Indiana Quail Unlimited - January 1999

State Flowers

State Flowers

In light of the election.  Here is a list of the State flowers for the USA. Its a great country so lets keep it moving forward.

StateList by state Name Designated as Year
Alabama Camellia (Camellia japonica L.) Official State flower 1959
Alabama Oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr.) Official State wildflower 1999
Alaska Wild native forget-me-not State flower and floral emblem 1917
Arizona Saguaro cactus flower (Cereus giganteus) State flower 1973
Arkansas Apple blossom State floral emblem 1901
California Golden poppy (Eschscholzia) Official State flower 1903
Colorado White and lavender columbine State flower 1899
Connecticut Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) State flower 1907
Connecticut Michaela Petit's four-o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) Children's state flower 2015
Delaware Peach blossom Official State flower 1895
Florida Orange blossom State flower 1909
Florida Coreopsis Official Florida State wildflower 1991
Georgia Cherokee rose Floral emblem 1916
Georgia Azalea
Native azaleas State wild flower
State wild flower 1979
Hawaii Native yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray) Official flower 1988
Idaho Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii) State flower 1931
Illinois Native violet Native State flower 1908
Indiana Peony (Paeonia) Official State flower 1957
Iowa Wild rose Official State flower 1897
Kansas Wild native sunflower State flower and floral emblem 1903
Kentucky Goldenrod Official State flower 1926
Louisiana Magnolia State flower 1900
Louisiana Louisiana iris (Giganticaerulea) Official State wildflower 1990
Maine White pine cone and tassel Floral emblem 1895
Maryland Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) State flower 1918
Massachusetts Mayflower (Epigaea repens) Flower or floral emblem 1918
Michigan Apple blossom State flower 1897
Michigan Dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris) Official wildflower 1998
Minnesota Pink and white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae) Official flower 1893
Mississippi Flower of the magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora L.) State flower 1952
Missouri Hawthorn blossom (Crataegus) Floral emblem 1923
Montana Lewisia rediviva (bitterroot) Floral emblem 1895
Nebraska Golden rod (Solidago serotina) Floral emblem 1895
Nevada Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata or trifida) Official State flower 1967
New Hampshire Purple lilac (Syringa vulgaris) State flower 1919
New Hampshire Pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Official State wildflower 1991
New Jersey Common meadow violet (V. sororia) State flower 1972
New Mexico Yucca flower Official flower 1927
New York Rose Official flower 1955
North Carolina Dogwood Official flower 1941
North Dakota Wild prairie rose (Rosa blanda or arkansana) Floral emblem 1907
Ohio Scarlet carnation State flower 1904
Ohio Large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) State wild flower 1987
Oklahoma Mistletoe Floral emblem 1893
Oklahoma Oklahoma rose Official flower 2004
Oklahoma Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) Official State wild flower 1986
Oregon Oregon grape Official flower 1899
Pennsylvania Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) State flower 1933
Rhode Island Violet (Viola sororia) State flower 1968
South Carolina Yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) State flower 1924
South Carolina Goldenrod (Solidago altissima) Official State wildflower 2003
South Dakota American pasque flower (Pulsatilla hirsutissima) with motto State floral emblem 1903
Tennessee Iris (Iridaceae) State cultivated flower 1933
Tennessee Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) State wild flower 1973
Tennessee Tennessee echinacea (Echinacea tennesseensis) State wild flower 2012
Texas Bluebonnet State flower 1901
Utah Sego lily State flower 1911
Vermont Red clover State flower 1894
Virginia American dogwood (Cornus florida) Floral emblem 1918
Washington Rhododendron macrophyllum Official flower 1949
West Virginia Big laurel Official State flower 1903
Wisconsin Wood violet (Viola papilionacea) State flower 1949
Wyoming Castillija linariaefolia (Indian paint brush) State flower 1917

We sell a good many of these and can find most of them.  Let us know if your looking for someone.

Uses of Bentonite Clay

Uses of Bentonite Clay

We sell a great deal of bentonite clay. Both the granular (think kitty litter) and the powered, think detox and mud masks. There are a lot more things people are using bentonite clay for then we even imagined when we first started to offer this product about 5 years ago.

Bentonite Clay Benefits and Uses

healing skin, hands

Used on the Skin to Heal Eczema, Dermatitis & Psoriasis

When combined with water and left to dry on the skin as a clay mask, the clay is able to bind to bacteria and toxins living on the surface of the skin and within pores to extract these from the pours. This helps to reduce the outbreak of blemishes, alleviate redness, and also to fight allergic reactions from irritating lotions or face washes, and even helps help poison ivy.

Thanks to the clay’s special ability to act as an antibiotic treatment when applied topically to the skin, the clay can help to calm skin infections and speed up healing time of wounds or eczema, even when prescription antibiotics were not able to help solve the problem. 

Used in the Bath as a Soaking Liquid to Remove Toxins

The clay can be added to your bath water and used as a soaking liquid, binding to the toxins that are dispelled from your skin. The clay leaves skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and less inflamed, all while you relax in the tub effortlessly!

Allows Cells to Receive More Oxygen

Bentonite clay helps to get oxygen into the cells because it has the ability to pull excess hydrogen from the cells, leaving room for oxygen to take its place.

When cells have more oxygen entering them, you feel more energized and your body can repair itself more easily from illness or hard workouts, including improving muscle recovery.

Human Body diagram with Alkalin. Alkalizes the Body

Much of the foods that are present in the “Standard American Diet” have an acidic reaction in the body, meaning they alter the body’s preferred pH level to make it more acidic than we’d like for it to be.

The less healthy someone’s diet is, normally the more acidic their body is. This is the case because the stomach needs to work extra hard to produce strong acids in order to break down these foods, creating the need for even more alkalizing foods to balance things out.

Proper digestion requires enzymes that are made from alkalizing minerals, so when alkalizing foods do not enter the body, acidity remains high and digestion suffers. Bentonite clay contains alkalizing minerals, which brings the level of the body’s pH to a more optimal balance between acidity and alkalinity, helping to make the blood, saliva and urine more alkaline.

Boosts Probiotics

By removing toxins, digestive-distress causing chemicals and heavy metals from the gut, bentonite clay helps to promote the “good bacteria” or probiotics living in your gut wall and decrease the amount of harmful “bad bacteria.”

A healthy gut wall prevents us from experiencing malabsorption of nutrients from our food, increases our immunity, and also helps to elevate our mood and brain function. Research has also shown that bentonite clay can bind to particular toxins like “aflatoxins” that are common in the standard diet, found in things like peanuts and some grains.

When left unattended, an influx of aflatoxins can contribute to liver damage and potentially even the onset of certain cancers. Because of bentonite clay’s negatively charged electrons, it’s able to withstand acids found in the gut and survive long enough to bind to toxins.

Relieves Digestive Problems (Constipation, IBS, Nausea, etc.)Hands on Stomach, gut health

Thanks to its ability to neutralize bacteria in the gut and kill viruses, bentonite clay helps to alleviate many digestive problems. It is often used as relief for nausea and vomiting by pregnant women, is a safe way to remedy constipation, and helps with IBS.

Results from one study carried out in 1998 showed that bentonite clay was extremely successful at absorbing harmful rotavirus and caronavirus toxins within the gut of young mammals. Rotaviruses are one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea and nausea, in infants and toddlers. 

Bentonite clay benefits your pets as well. It is safe for pet consumption within your own home and can alleviate pet’s nausea and vomiting in the same way. You can add bentonite clay to your pet’s water to help reduce symptoms like vomiting. Mix ¼ cup or less of the clay into their water until it dissolves; they should not taste anything or even notice that it’s there, but should feel better pretty quickly.

Boosts Immunity by Killing Harmful Bacteria and Viruses

Bentonite clay was also found to be effective at killing harmful bacteria. In a study published by the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, “results indicate that specific mineral products have intrinsic, heat-stable antibacterial properties, which could provide an inexpensive treatment against numerous human bacterial infections.” 

More research is still needed on the topic but results of studies so far appear to be promising in terms of how the clay can be used as a treatment for these gut-related illnesses. On top of killing these types of infections and viruses, bentonite clay benefits your immune system by keeping the gut wall strong.

Much of the immune system actually lives inside of the gut, and when the gut wall is compromised, toxins are better able to leach into the bloodstream and cause serious problems. By protecting the gut wall and decreasing the amount of pesticides, toxins, bacteria and chemicals that could potentially enter the blood, the body is better able to protect its health.

Improves the Health of Teeth and Gums

The mouth is one of the most susceptible areas of the body when it comes to harmful outside “invaders” taking over, like bacteria and toxins.

Bentonite clay binds to unhealthy substances in the mouth, such as around the teeth and on the tongue and gums, and helps to remove them before you swallow them and become sick. Because of Bentonite’s antibacterial properties, it has been used in natural toothpastes and even mixed with water and used as a daily rinse.

Running Water. Purifies Water

Bentonite clay has been researched as an effective way to remove some of the fluoride that is often in drinking water.

It is used in beer processing.

When combined with magnesium, the clay has been shown to benefit the purity of tap water, which leads to some promising possibilities for using it in the future as a widespread cost-effective water purification method. 

Useful As a Baby Powder Alternative

Bentonite clay can be applied to any area on the skin of babies that is irritated, red or needs soothing in the same way that traditional powders are used. Plus, it is very gentle and naturally cleansing.

Apply a small amount of the clay directly to the skin and allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping/rinsing it away.

Used for floor dry and litter.

We all the how much water it can absorb. In its larger form it is great for water absorption.

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