Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Raising the Standard with a Raised Garden!

It may seem easier to hoe out some ground and plant your little seedlings, but in the long run, a raised bed has so many long term benefits. There will be some initial setup required to get your raised bed up and running, and a raised bed will pay for itself in the long run. At Camdenton Farm & Garden, we aim to make gardening at the Lake of the Ozarks easier for you through providing the best tools and supplies for all of your gardening needs. Here are a few reasons you'll enjoy having a raised bed for many gardening seasons to come.



They Help With Weed Control

The benefit to a raised bed is that you are building it above ground and can create any barrier you would like for against the weeds. You can lay down a weed guard in between the garden and your ground, which will help prevent weeds from starting. We offer a Dyna-Mix Raised Bed Media, which is free from soil diseases, insects, and weed seeds!

They Aid with Pest Control

Between deer, squirrels, ground hogs, invasive bugs, and armadillos, there are many pests in the Lake area that can be dangerous for your garden. Many of these pests will dig your garden up searching for bugs and food, leaving your plants in the wake of the disaster. A raised bed can help inhibit the ability they have of getting in your garden, and you can also install covers that keep these same varmints out.

You Can Use Better Soil

If you plant your garden directly in the ground, you are subject to whatever dirt is already there. You can try to supplement with better dirt, but you will find it difficult to completely rid yourself of the dirt you started with. In many cases, the dirt in your yard is not ideal for gardening, and will not produce the best harvest for your produce. You can count on our Dyna-Mix Raised Bed Media to provide your plants with the correct food, and when used in a raised bed your plants will thank you.

You'll Love the Accessibility

One reason we're certain that you'll love working with a raised bed is because of the accessibility. When you install your bed, you can ensure that it won't be too wide for you to comfortable reach every single plant, as well as water, inspect and pick produce!

They Can Produce Higher Yields

Because you can use an appropriate soil in your raised bed, you may find that you are able to have higher fruit and vegetable yields than traditional row gardens. Here are just a few reasons that you will love working with Dyna-Mix:
  • Light and friable texture make it easy to work
  • Roots grow vigorously in the oxygen-rich mix
  • Good drainage while retaining water in root zone
  • Contains our tried and proven blend of compost, rice hulls and peat moss
  • We have developed these blends with months of experimentation in our greenhouses and in our raised beds. They have proven to be the best.
  • Dyna-Mix is so workable; planting and harvesting can be done with your hands
  • Makes gardening more enjoyable and easier
  • Crops will be healthier and yields will increase


Raised Beds Are Adaptable and Frugal

Because a raised bed doesn't require dirt beneath it, you can adapt it to your circumstances. You can set them up high if you don't want to be bent over, or you can build them in shapes that are most convenient for you. They can also help to aid you in being frugal with your seeds. In a normal garden, you would scatter seeds everywhere and then thin the plants out. In a raised bed you will only plant the amount of seeds that you need - thus saving your supple for years to come!

You can Enjoy a Longer Growing Season

The amount of time you spend gardening depends on the temperature of the soil. The ground in a small box will heat up faster than the ground under the lawn, meaning you can garden longer! It's also relatively easy to create a cold frame for a raised garden bed to make your gardening season even more!


Raised Beds at the Lake of the Ozarks

Camdenton Farm & Garden makes a point to help you achieve your gardening plans through quality products and tools. We stock up on fabulous raised bed mixes that will provide your plants with the food and stability they need to grow. We also stock Baker Creek Seeds at the Lake of the Ozarks, these heirloom seeds are well known throughout the country for their delicious flavor and beautiful colors, all while not being genetically modified! Come visit us today to learn how easy it would be for you to start your own raised bed.

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

www.CamdentonFarmAndGarden.com



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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Fertilizing Your Lawn

After 25 years of living in the Ozarks, in south central Missouri, I have finally got this grass thing down pretty well. I must admit, this has taken some time, money and reading, but the program I’m going to lay out for you has made my lawn something of which I take pride.

Before I start, I’d like to recommend a very good book, The Lawn Geek, is something you can go back to time and time again when you have questions. He does not make specific recommendations on product (even though I will) but alludes to the fact that the products are all pretty much the same.

Getting Started

One other little item I’d like to address before I talk about specifics. You will never (in this part of the world) have a decent lawn unless you have, at least, 4 inches of loamy topsoil as a base. The clay content must be low. Secondly, I recommend an in-ground irrigation system. If you live in Minnesota, where you don’t have repeated 90 plus degree days on end in the summer, you’re probably going to be okay, but not in this area of the country. That doesn’t mean you have to water every day, which some people unnecessarily do, but it sure helps to have it when you need it, especially when you’re trying to get a lawn established.

When to Apply Your Fertilizer

Okay, this is easy to remember, and yeah, I did steal this from the “Lawn Geek,” but listen up. Feed your lawn using the “holiday” method. I don’t think whoever laid the holidays out planned it that way for our benefit, but they happen to fall about 8 weeks apart, just the right time for application of fertilizer and herbicides. The first application should be around Easter (or here in the Midwest, when you start seeing the forsythia bloom), the second around Memorial Day, next Labor Day, and finally, Thanksgiving. Here are the Lake of the Ozarks lawn fertilizers you can use, and when to apply them.

1. Easter- Fertilome Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer

2. Memorial Day- reapply Fertilome Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer

3. Labor Day- Hi-Yield Weed and Feed (post-emergent weed control)

4. Thanksgiving- Fertilome Winterizer (most important)

How to Apply the Fertilizer

All of the fertilizers recommended above are formulated so that, if applied correctly, you should not apply more than 1 pound of slow release nitrogen per 1,000 sq. feet. If this is not applied as directed, you could “burn” your lawn, especially during times of intense heat. One of the things I see people do (and I have done it myself) is to make a pass around the perimeter of the lawn, and then go perpendicular to this back and forth. They forget to turn off the spreader before they get to where they made their initial perimeter pass, thus applying a double amount to that area, or 2 pounds per 1,000 sq. feet. You may notice that I recommended putting crabgrass preventer down twice. That’s because I noticed the first couple of years that crabgrass showed up in my yard in August if I did not reapply pre-emergent around Memorial Day. Learn from my mistakes!

Lastly, a couple other little caveats: apply early in the morning when there is dew on the grass. First, this lets you see “where you’ve been” and secondly, when applying Weed and Feed, the herbicide must “cling” to the surface of the weed in order to kill it.

Stock Up On Lawn Fertilizer at the Lake of the Ozarks

We sell all of the products listed at Camdenton Farm And Garden. We believe in them! Aside from stocking the necessary tools to help you achieve the lawn of your dreams, we can also supply you with our knowledge, and help you solve problems and questions you may find along the way. Stop in this week to pick up the fertilizer you'll need!

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

www.CamdentonFarmAndGarden.com



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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Caring for Your Livestock Through the Spring

Spring weather can bring a lot of surprises, and for your livestock, that's not always good. From temps that vary from hot to cold, lots of rain, and even sometimes, snow, there are many reasons your livestock need a lot of special attention right now. At Camdenton Farm and Garden, we help provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to successfully care for your Lake of the Ozarks livestock, and make this the best spring yet!



Keep Your Livestock Healthy

It's important to keep your livestock healthy through the spring because they can be more susceptible to diseases and illnesses. Spring weather can be very stressful for your livestock, especially the young ones. Sudden weather changes can affect their immune systems, and it can still be very cold for the younger livestock. They still need a safe warm place to sleep, rest and eat.


Protect Them From Diseases

Diseases can be caused by viruses and bacteria, but they can be brought out by a stressed animal. Different stressors can be weather, dust, crowding, transporting, weaning, or in adequate feeding and ventilation. When your livestock are stressed, much like us, it weakens their immune systems and makes it harder for them to fend off the illness. A little preparation can go a long way when protecting your livestock from diseases, so don't forget to check with your vet to learn which vaccinations they should be receiving.



Fighting Parasites

It's important to fight worms and parasites in animals because even when there is a small number it can still cause problems with no visible signs. Many worms can lie dormant through the winter and not show signs until the weather warms up. Stomach and intestinal worms can cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Lungworms may cause coughing and barbers pole worms cause anemia. While mature animals are normally resistant to worms, the younger animals can be more susceptible to high levels of parasite infestation. Administering dewormers can help improve their chance of getting them.

Feeding Your Animals

Chickens, pigs, cattle or alpaca will need additional food and supplements to cope with fluctuating temperatures and wet conditions. Giving your livestock the nutrition they need this spring. We can help, we provide the best livestock feed at the Lake of the Ozarks. Your livestock will need that extra energy to stay warm and healthy in order to graze on pastures, which may not provide much nutrients yet.



Livestock Supplies at the Lake of the Ozarks

We stock a variety of food and supplies that will assist you in your farming at the Lake of the Ozarks. We know how important it is for your animals to stay healthy and free of diseases and parasites, all while maintaining healthy eating habits.

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

www.CamdentonFarmAndGarden.com



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Thursday, March 3, 2016

How To Care For Your Fruit Trees

I have always wanted to grow my own fruit. As an owner of a nursery, I have sold all varieties of fruiting trees, shrubs, and vines, but felt the process of pruning and caring for the plants a daunting process. When to prune and how much? What branches should be pruned? How do you treat trees with fungicides and pesticides to optimize production without harming beneficial insects, such as our friend, the honeybee. A great book, Backyard Fruit Production, by David Schlabach, covers a broad range of the topics I am going to discuss, but also discusses pruning in greater detail, as well as instructions on care of fruiting vines and shrubs. This discussion will center on fruiting trees, only.
Although pruning, in itself, is a very broad subject, it will be discussed in generalized terms here. I would suggest that you look into purchasing the book listed above if you want step-by-step directions.

Fruit Tree Pruning Basics

Do not prune trees until the temperature is above freezing. It is best to prune apple and pear trees when the trees are completely dormant. Prune peach, nectarine, and cherry trees later in the spring. Pruning is used to control tree size, as well as to allow sunlight, air, and spray to reach the fruit. Branches should be pruned so that the fruit actually helps position the branches downward or horizontally. "Opening" the tree also allows air movement, thus allowing drying of the leaves and fruit and thwarting disease.

Some simple concepts:

  1.  Up for form, and down and out for production. Upward growth may look good, but will not produce much fruit. Branches that are horizontal or slanting downward are the fruit-bearing parts of the tree. You may have to train these branches by tying them down.
  2. A balanced tree is beautiful and productive. Stand back and look at the tree to be pruned. Get rid of, or train, branches where the angle between the trunk of the tree and the branch is less than 60 degrees. You want your branch/trunk angle to be between 60-90 degrees. Remember, fruit trees are pruned from in inside out, not outside in!
  3. Trees should be pruned, not butchered. Apples, pears, plums, and apricots require second year growth to develop fruit buds. Peaches and nectarines develop buds on first year growth. Therefore, peaches and nectarines require heavy pruning. Pear tree branch tips should not be pruned until the tree starts to produce fruit, which may take several years. Apple tree branch tips contain the first blossoms and should not be cut off. Cutting off the tips, before the first fruit set, will lead to "water shoots' of excessive vegetative growth behind the cut.
  4. Apple trees are not peach trees. We all think that trees should have a central "leader", that tallest, most dominant part of the tree. A central leader is desirous in apple and pear trees, but not in cherry, peach, nectarine, or apricot trees. The central leader should be removed and allow for an open center.
  5. Sterilize your pruning shears with alcohol. We recommend keeping a small, labeled, spray bottle available for spraying your shears between trees, so that disease is not spread. Also remember that it is not necessary to apply any type of treatment to pruning "wounds". These products have been shown to be harmful to the tree. 


Fertilization And Mulching


Fertilome Fruit Tree Fertilizer
Your fruit trees should be fertilized just after the tree has budded and petal drop begins. We recommend Fertilome Fruit, Citrus, and Pecan Tree Food.  This product should be applied, evenly, around the drip zone of the tree. It is recommended that 1/2 pound of fertilizer should be applied for each year of age of the tree. Therefore, if the tree is three years old, 1.5 pounds of fertilizer should be used. A maximum of 3 pounds should be used. Do not fertilize after June, as this will only increase vegetative growth and the chance of winter freeze back.

Mulch around the base of the tree with woody mulch of any variety. Make sure that the mulch is not touching the tree trunk! This increases water retention and helps prohibit weed growth.

Application/Timing Of Fungicides/Pesticides. What Do I Use?

I believe that this is the aspect of fruit tree care that people, including myself, find most confusing. The most important thing to remember is prevention, as treating diseases, after they appear, is impossible. This is where I will go more in depth and discuss products that are safe you, as the applier of the product, and consumer of the fruit. We, also, don't want to harm pollinators. All of these products are available at Camdenton Farm & Garden.

Obviously, each season will vary according to the weather patten. We will discuss both fungicides and insecticides. Remember, you do not want to use anything that is labeled as "systemic", as that means that the insecticide/fungicide is actually taken up by the root system of the tree and disseminated throughout the tree, including the fruit, that you will later consume. You will be applying fungicides more frequently than insecticides.
Fertilome Horticultural Oil Spray

Fertilome Hose End Sprayer
Dormant oil spray application should be initiated in early, spring, before buds break dormancy. Dormant oils have a petroleum base and work by smothering potentially harmful insects. They should not applied unless the temperature has been greater than 50 degrees for the last 24 hours. We suggest Fertilome Horticultural Oil Spray  This may be applied with a Hudson type sprayer or Fertilome Hose End Sprayer, especially useful for taller trees.
Captan 50W Organic Fungicide

Hi-Yield
Spreader Sticker
As the average daytime temperature increases, you will notice the fruit tree buds beginning to swell. It is now time to apply fungicides, at two week intervals, until bloom, petal fall, and fruit set is noted. Additional applications may be warranted if the weather is especially warm and rainfall is plentiful, increasing ambient humidity. In the Ozarks, apple cedar rust is very prevalent, and we recommend the use of two organic fungicides, Liquid Copper Soap and Hi-Yield Captan 50W. Both products can be applied by hand-held pressure or hose end sprayers. We would also recommend the addition of Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker, a surfactant that increases the "sticking power" of these fungicides so that rainfall is less likely to wash them away.

Finally, let's talk about bugs. We can always expect an infestation of Japanese beetles at some time during the summer. We all have seen how they can significantly damage the foliage of our trees. However, their prevalence is short-lived. Fireblight, a bacterial/fungal infection, is more prevalent in pears than apples, but can be catastrophic. We carry Fertilome Fire Blight Spray, which, is used prior to onset, or early on in the infection, can be effective. Tent caterpillars are easily identified, as well. We recommend two organic insecticides that are not toxic to humans and should not have to be used until the pollinators have done their job. All of these agent can be applied up to the day of harvest. These insecticides include Fertilome Borer, Bagworm, Caterpillar, and Leafminer Spray, consisting of organic spinosads, and Hi-Yield Lawn, Garden, Pet, and Livestock Insect Control, containing organic pyrethrins.  As always, the use of surfactant, such as Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker with all of these products, is recommended.

Our staff at Camdenton Farm & Garden looks forward to answering your gardening questions. Please stop by and see us!


Hi-Yield Lawn, Garden, Pet,
and Livestock Conrol
             
                Fertilome Borer, Bagworm,
              Leafminer, and Catepillar Spray
Liquid Copper Soap


Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

www.CamdentonFarmAndGarden.com



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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Top 7 Must Have Plants For Your Garden

As summer approaches, it's time to start planning out your garden and start your seedlings. There are many different varieties and types of vegetables and herbs that it can be hard to decide what to plant. We've compiled a list of delicious vegetables that you'll want to have on hand, along with some herbs that complement them wonderfully. Grab your garden map, and let's get started!


Tomatoes

There are few feelings that can compare to serving up homegrown tomatoes to your house guests. These bright red vegetables are a favorite among many, and there are so many different delicacies you can create with them. From fresh salsa, pizza, tomato sauce, and spaghetti, the ideas are endless.

Basil

This herb is anything but simple. It's an easy plant to grow, and even easier to enjoy. It will pair wonderfully with your fresh tomatoes on a pizza, or stand on its own with a delicious pesto. Fresh basil will bring a touch a sophistication to your meal, and a shiny green beauty to your garden.


Peppers

You could buy peppers at the store and pay an arm and a leg for them, OR, you could grow your own in your garden. From red and yellow bell peppers to spicy jalapenos, the varieties are endless and amazing. The fresh peppers will top your salad beautifully, or the jalapenos will perfectly pair with your fresh salsa.

Beets

This vegetable doesn't come to mind quickly, but it's a delectable and colorful vegetable. You can also eat the roots and the greens of this vegetable and get two for the price of one. Young beet greens make a delicious addition to your salad, or they can be sauteed as a side dish. The beetroots are high in potassium and vitamin C, while the greens are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, since and vitamins A, B6, and C.


Greens

Kale, collards, spinach, turnip, or more, there are too many to choose from when planting your salad garden! These are packed with amazing health benefits, and will be a wonderful addition to any meal you provide at your dinner table.


Cilantro

This herb will make a fabulous addition to your meals. It tastes fantastic when chopped up and added to your homemade salsa, and it can be relatively east to grow.


Eggplant

Eggplant is a unique vegetable that is packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 and magnesium. It looks beautiful sitting on your counter top until you cook it, and the deep color looks fantastic in your different creative meals.

Gardening at the Lake of the Ozarks

Gardening has never been so easy, as when you have the Camdenton Farm and Garden team on your side. We stock a variety of heirloom seeds that will make your gardening experience delicious. We also have fertilizer, tools, and the knowledge to help you out when you're stumped about a gardening question. Don't forget to mark your calendars for March 12th, and join us for a Raised Garden Seminar with Bill Yancey from Hummert International.

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

www.CamdentonFarmAndGarden.com



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