Search This Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Got Compost: Local Field of Dreams is a Reality

Got Compost: Local Field of Dreams is a Reality: "If you’ve followed the progress being made on Orcutt Jr. High’s soccer field, this will be our final installment on the revitalization proje..."

Local Field of Dreams is a Reality

If you’ve followed the progress being made on Orcutt Jr. High’s soccer field, this will be our final installment on the revitalization project.
On January 20, 2011, the renewed sports/soccer field at Orcutt Junior High was celebrated with a dedication ceremony. Local students arrived bright and early, along with Superintendents Bob Bush, Assistant Superintendent Ken Parker and other administrators, to honor the contributions and hard work of all those who made the project a success. A sign recognizing all the participants, donated by Engel & Gray, Inc., was installed on a wall overlooking the new field.
Does your yard need a breath of fresh air? For more info contact us at
It all began back in May of 2010. This is one of the main fields used by Orcutt United Soccer League: comprised of 1400 children, aged 4 thru 18 in 140 teams. Constant pounding of all those little feet had torn up the field, compacting the soil at the same time. With all this wear and tear, the grass was dry and the soil was unable to retain moisture, creating potholes which made the field unsafe for play. Since children playing on an unstable field are at an increased risk of injury, something had to be done.
A partnership between Nishimori Landscape, Engel & Gray, Inc. and Orcutt Union School District made this project a reality. Local sponsors included Tim Trenkle, President of Orcutt United Soccer League, Orcutt Union School District and Craig Reade of Betteravia Farms.
With direction from Jim Nishimori, old grass was raked and hauled away. After disking, Engel & Gray, Inc. donated and delivered 400 yards of Harvest Blend Compost to be used as soil amendment after which Nishimori Landscape was on hand to spread it over the field. Hydro seeding came next, and soon there was a lush green turf where before there was an unsafe field of potholes.
This beautiful new field illustrates what can happen when a community works together toward a common goal. Drop by Orcutt Jr. High soccer field (across from the District Office – 500 Dyer St.) and see the results for yourself!
For information on how to refresh your landscape, contact one of our friendly field reps at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Got Compost: Humus - Food for Thought!

Got Compost: Humus - Food for Thought!: "Boy, what a difference one letter can make! As most healthy eaters know, “Hummus” is a soft food from Greece and the Middle East that’s made..."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Humus - Food for Thought!

Boy, what a difference one letter can make! As most healthy eaters know, “Hummus” is a soft food from Greece and the Middle East that’s made from mashed garbanzo beans and eaten cold with bread. Yummy! But take away an “m” and we have "Humus" - another food substance, only we don’t think we'll be spreading this stuff on toast or crackers any time soon. 
In general terms, Humus refers to the organic component of soil.  Humus formation begins when the organic remains of decaying plants and animals meets up with microbial life in the soil.  The carbon compounds contained within the remains were synthesized by the plant or animal when it was alive, and now become food (protein and energy) for the various bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes involved in the decay process. Finished compost is frequently referred to as humus. 
Visit for more info
During humification of organic matter, microbes dismantle most of the sugars, starches, proteins, cellulose and other carbon compounds and use them for their own metabolism.  Most of the nutrient energy absorbed by the bodies of microbes is re-used by other microbes when they die.  Some is mineralized back into plant food and some is transformed into sturdy compounds that build up as elements of humus.
So, we can think of Humus as mainly a gigantic storage battery containing energy that first came from the sun. This energy is used by many varieties of soil organisms that carry out different functions in the soil, like recycling nutrients and changing them into a form that’s usable by plants.  Eventually the plants die and slowly decay in the soil where the whole process is repeated.
The best way to sustain the humus in soil is to amend it with quality compost.  When added to soil, locally produced Harvest Blend Compost will add nutrients and oxygen, increase soil’s porosity and water holding capabilities while providing a lush, healthy landscape for all to enjoy. Adding compost to gardens or as lawn top dressing is, without a doubt, the most environmentally and biologically sustainable way to maintain soil’s health and fertility.  A healthy soil builds strong, vibrant plants which are much more resistant to disease and need less fertilizer. Naturally!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Got Compost: Wet Winter Garden Tips

Got Compost: Wet Winter Garden Tips: " January is usually a wet and cold month on the Central Coast, and 2011 is no exception. All that rain in December may have kept you ou..."

Wet Winter Garden Tips

January is usually a wet and cold month on the Central Coast, and 2011 is no exception. All that rain in December may have kept you out of the garden, but don't let a few puddles stop you. We should see more rain in January, along with cold days and very cold nights – so adding compost to your soil could do a world of good by replenishing lost nutrients. Gardeners on the East Coast and in the Midwest may be busy trying to dig out of the snow - dreaming of spring planting while drooling over seed catalogs - but we Central Coast gardeners can still actively enjoy our gardens. 

Besides the usual garden cleanup - leaves to rake, pruning and dormant spraying of trees and bushes, local gardeners can still enjoy planting cool season crops.  Many folks think nothing much can be planted in what seems to be the dead of winter, but there are a surprising number of things that can be put in the ground this time of year besides the usual bare root roses. Here are some suggestions for your vegetable garden:
  • asparagus
  • globe artichokes and rhubarb from roots
  • broccoli
  • cabbage and
  • cauliflower from transplants, if you can find them in a nursery or garden center.     
Unfortunately the selection of vegetable plants available at local outlets is limited, so you might consider starting your own transplants from seed next year, or get a head start on spring planting this year with a selection of seeds, such as:
  • carrots
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • parsley
  • peas
  • radishes
  • turnips
Yes, we did say lettuce, which will tolerate some frost and can be grown all winter long in our area. Think of fresh lettuce from your own garden, tender and sweet, not that stuff from the grocery store. Leaf lettuce is the best bet, and most rewarding.  Did you know that head lettuce (aka Iceberg) was developed in the 1890's?  Iceberg became successful because its firm, round shape and long shelf life made it good for shipping long distances – for the first time people could enjoy salads all year 'round, not just in the summer.  The downside is that head lettuce just doesn't have the flavor of leaf lettuce, which tastes best when fresh.  Our favorite is a Bibb variety called Tom Thumb which produces sweet and tender miniature heads perfect a "single salad" - just add a little dressing and enjoy!

A Word About Compost

Before planting, always add Harvest Blend Compost to your soil.  It is the best investment you can make in your garden and an essential step in garden preparation. Compost adds organic matter to your soil, increases water holding capacity, adds nutrients and improves soil health.  If you are preparing a garden bed, apply a layer of 2 to 4 inches of compost and work it into the soil before planting.  For planting bare root shrubs or trees (rose bushes, fruit trees, berries, etc.) add compost to the soil as you refill the hole in which you are plating them.  Add compost and watch your garden grow. Naturally!

Visit www.GotCompost for more info on Harvest Blend Compost