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Nature and Friends

Looking up at the green tops of trees. Italy

The human species is perhaps the most valuable “Keeper of Balance” in the Garden of Eden. At times, Mother Nature herself has temper tantrums with extreme hot and cold weather, floods, drought, and others. These extremes effectively throw the entire dynamic bio-sphere out of balance.
At 1st Choice Fertilizer, Inc., we believe that human intervention is the clearest pathway to restoring equilibrium. Therefore, it is our goal to combine our scientific analysis with your practical knowledge and empower you as the “Keeper of Balance,” restoring Mother Nature to equilibrium, and optimizing whatever you choose to grow.

Improve soil quality for a better lawn

A lush, green lawn can vastly improve a home’s curb appeal. Thick, healthy grass indicates that homeowners care enough about their properties to invest the time, effort and money to make them beautiful.

According to 1st Choice Fertilizer a company that produces organic fertilizer for the landscaping and farming industry, soil fertility is the foundation of healthy lawns. In fact, the quality of the soil is essential whether one is growing acres of grass, potted plants or vegetable garden beds. No matter which type of soil a homeowner is working with, there are various ways to make it better.

Thatch is a tightly knotted layer of leaves, grass roots, stems, and other debris that accumulates between the grass blades and the soil. Too much thatch can hinder the movement of water, air and nutrients into the soil. According to organic fertilizer company 1st Choice Fertilizer , thatch often occurs if the production of dead organic material in the lawn exceeds the ability of the microorganisms in the soil to break down that organic matter. A half-inch of thatch is normal. If thatch gets too thick, it will need to be removed. The home improvement resource DIY Network says dethatching can take place in the summer, fall and winter using a thatching rake.

A lawn aerator will create holes in the soil. This can improve drainage and encourage worms and helpful microorganisms that require oxygen to thrive in the soil. At 1st Choice Fertilizer we believe the best time to aerate a lawn is during the growing season when the grass can heal and fill in any holes, such as spring and fall. Aeration can help develop deeper grass roots for a healthier lawn.

 A great lawn has loamy soil, which has a key ratio of clay, silt and sand. Silt is a granular material of a size between sand and clay that originates from quartz and feldspar. It is the most fertile of the three types of soil components. Sand does not retain water, but it helps to create spaces in the soil that permit air to circulate. Clay particles are small and bind together tightly, but clay is naturally nutrient-rich. The home improvement site BobVila.com says loamy soil should have equal parts sand and silt and half as much clay.

If the lawn is not yet established, loamy soil can be created and then the grass seeds planted. For established soil, after removing thatch and aerating, top-dressing the lawn can help. This involves adding a thin layer of soil over the lawn. It can improve the soil without killing the existing turf. Ideally, it should be done in early fall or spring, as this gives the grass time to grow through three to four more mowing before severe heat or cold sets in.

Healthy soil is vital to a lush lawn. It takes a little work, but improving soil can create vibrant, healthy, green grass by using 1st Choice Fertilizer products.

 

 

Pittsburgh Department Of Public Works Plans To Use Sustainable Landscaping In City Parks

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Tuesday, the Department of Public Works released a new plan that will see seven city parks maintained under a green/ecolandscaping contract.

These contracts will provide organic and/or natural landscaping without the usage of chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and will be in line with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works landscaping operations.

Environmentally sustainable practices will include weed removal done manually or through the usage of grazing goats, Penn State Agricultural Extension will also collect soil to determine pH and nutrient levels, weed prevention will be done through tarping, landscape fabric, planting vegetation, or by newspaper and/or cardboard barriers.

The parks that will be part of the sustainable landscaping will include Allegheny Landing Park, Allegheny Riverfront Park, Convention Center Park, Mellon Square Park, Schenley Park-Panther Hollow Field, Schenley Park-Schenley Plaza, and Southside Park-Quarry Field.

Healthy soil is vital to a lush lawn. It takes a little work, but improving soil can create vibrant, healthy, green grass by using 1st Choice Fertilizer products.

 

 

Black Lives Matter!

The killing of black men, women, and children and the continued racial injustice and systematic discrimination are not acceptable.

We mourn the losses and demand justice for: Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Walter Scott, George Floyd and so many others.

We call for an end to the senseless killings of Black lives and we recognize that silence and inaction has visited violence upon Black communities.

1st Choice Fertilizer is committed to progress and though we do not have all the answers we can and will do our part.

We have committed to:

• Donating to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund

• Implementing the advice of a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants

• Conducting listening tours with our employees, community members, partners, and clients

• We will volunteer our time in our community and engage with our community partners

If you see an opportunity for us to do more, please reach us. We are committed to listen, learn, and advocate. We believe this is more than an important conversation that must be had. Now is the time for effective partnerships and real change.

We stand with you!

#JusticeforGeorgefloyd #Blacklivesmatter

10 Tips For Gardening Beginners

Clean-Up The Space

Preparing a garden requires general clean-up work. You need to get rid of scraps and unwanted debris to give space for new vegetation. Start with your lawn. Then, proceed to cleaning your plant boxes and garden beds.

Remove Existing Weed

Weeds can affect the health of your plants. Remove existing weeds from your garden beds and boxes before adding new plants to ensure their growth.

Style Garden Beds

Add some curves to your existing garden beds, and give your garden a splash of uniqueness. Using a flat-edged shovel, simply cut along the edge of your garden bed. Keep it clean and neat. You may also add some mulch to retain the moisture in your soil.

Edge Your Lawn

Make everything pop by maintaining the lawn along your sidewalks and driveways neat. You may use a power edger or an electric edger, depending on the job.

Set Your Priority

Before you start gardening, you should know which parts of your garden you want to put emphasis or develop the most. Decide where you want to start, and don’t worry about slow progress. Besides, you’ll have to give more time for cleaning and maintenance.

Choose Garden’s Style

How do you want your garden to look? That depends on you. Whether you want a formal or an informal garden, you have the power to make it happen. Plan the overall design of your garden, and search various idea books to make the process easier for you.

Learn And Research

Keep in mind that plants grow in various conditions. Some plants can’t handle too much sun or shade. Learn your environment and the plants you’re planning to grow in your garden. A little research can also help.

Maintain Your Garden

Keeping up with your garden’s needs is a lifelong task, if you want your garden to always look healthy, neat, and organized. Be consistent in watering your plants, and in removing weeds so you can be sure that your plants are always at their best.

Ask For Assistance 

Put the word out. Let your friends know what your garden needs, and share with them the types of flora you’re looking to grow. You’ll never know, they could be a great help in budding your garden. Feel free to consult professionals, and ask for assistance from your loved ones should you need it.

Relax And Enjoy

After the long wait and hard work, everything will pay off once you start seeing the end results. Sit down, relax, and enjoy the beauty of your garden.

 

Who needs a Victory Garden?

img_1743What were Victory Gardens?

Victory Gardens, also called “war gardens” or “food gardens for defense” were gardens planted by ordinary citizens during World War I and World War II to provide some relief in the public food demands. Ordinary citizens were growing tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, and peas. Victory gardens introduced us to Swiss chard and kohlrabi because they were easy to grow.

A Sense of Purpose

Grow Your Own Food Victory gardens are “cropping up” across the United States and Canada. Victory gardens were considered a civil morale booster.

Victory gardens gave Americans on the home front a sense of purpose and a way to contribute to the war effort while also providing the food needed to sustain a nation during a time of need. But after the war ended in 1945, victory gardens began to disappear. Grocery stores and commercial food began to become more widely available so most Americans didn’t see the need to grow anymore. Gardening became a hobby rather than a necessity for most people.

Fast Forward to Today

The food supply and state of health in our country are once again facing new challenges. As a nation, we do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. A large portion of our food makes long journey before even hitting our tables, losing nutrients along the way. A sizable percentage of our food is grown with pesticides. And rising food prices (especially for organic food) only exacerbates the problem. Today, because many have concerns about the quality of our food, home gardening is making a resurgence.

Not only is gardening an excellent way to reduce your grocery bill, but it is also a great way to bring your family (and neighborhood) together.

  1. Growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to stretch your food budget.
  2. Homegrown vegetables provide readily-available nutrition (every day a vegetable is off the vine it loses its health benefits).
  3. No harmful chemicals are sprayed on your veggies.
  4. It would provide fresh air and outdoor exercise for the whole family.
  5. Forges bonding experiences for family and community members.
  6. Allows you to control your food supply and be more self-sufficient.
  7. Gardening is a great activity to help relieve stress and improve sleep quality.
  8. Reduces your carbon footprint.
  9. Statistically, gardeners live longer!

 

 

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Why Choose 1st Choice Lawn and Garden Fertilizing?

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Our products are natural, they’re good for you, your plant and the Earth.  Buy Direct – No middle man, No hidden fees, A better quality and a good price. Our product has natural occurring microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and mycorrhizae. Our product is made with biodegradable ingredients, compressed into pellets shape that absorb water during irrigation and channel water directly to plants root and improves moisture and distribution of nutrients.

Our Values

Our products are eco-friendly and environmentally safer option for kids playground, parks and recreation facilities.

User health and safety is our number 1 priority.

Our product helps you to save on water.

Our product does not smell.

Our product restore your soil.

Our Product Advantage

Inoculant: Promotes beneficial micro-organisms.

Allows manipulation of both soil biology and chemistry.

Earth-Care “use of micro-organism in positive way”

The soil food-web maintains the soil.

Supplies plant nutrients.

Protect and nourishes plant.

 

 

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Best Farm, Lawn and Garden Fertilizer

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Home Use

Our formula is a slow-release Fertilizer crafted with disease/pest/weed suppressor . Earth-Care Plus 5-6-6 is designed with several microbial mixture to produce all-natural and effective products. Most importantly, wild beneficial microbes enter the soil to assist with nutrients that will last a long time on your lawn and soil. Earth-Care Plus 5-6-6 is a complete solution for farm, lawn and garden

Reliable Product

Thinking of growing plant naturally? Earth-Care Plus 5-6-6 is very reliable and does an amazing job of restoring bad soil back to live.

There are things you can do to enhance your plant health, and using Our all purpose Earth-Care 5-6-6 organic fertilizer will certainly give your plant all the nourishment required to grow.

You can use Earth-Care Plus 5-6-6 for plants around the house and also in pots or garden greenery. You can spread Earth-Care Organic Fertilizer on your lawn and plants to keep them healthy and help build plant immune system against pathogens.

 

 

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Spring Lawn and Shrubs Maintenance.

 

Planning;

Wonderful gardens and scenes are somewhat the consequences of structure yet additional choice of the correct plant species and appropriate planting and care. For practically support free arranging without compound herbicides, select a top-notch scene texture to obstruct any weed from rising among your shrubs.

Preparing;

To prepare your lawn for planting, remove any weed tops or rocks over 2” in diameter from the surface. Till the top 1” of soil and rake the surface smooth. Deep tilling is unnecessary unless the soil is highly compacted. Adding soil should be unnecessary unless you’re facing solid rock. To prepare landscape beds for shrubs, excavate the beds as deep as necessary to remove weeds and grass, including all underground stems. For appropriate drainage, add topsoil if necessary to raise the beds above the surrounding area. To help your shrubs get the best start, apply 4”–6” of compost, high-quality organic farm, lawn and garden fertilizer . Till the bed to a depth of 6”-8” and rake the area smooth. The top of the beds should be flat and higher than the surrounding area with sloped edges.

Planting;

To plant your shrubs, thoroughly moisten the landscape beds with water. Remove the shrubs from their containers, and cut or tear pot-bound roots from the outside edges of the root balls. Dig a dish-shaped hole for each shrub. To save yourself the hassle of weeding, use a high-quality organic fertilizer. Unroll enough fabric to cover the bed, overlapping individual fabric sections by 2”-3” secure the fabric with landscape fabric pegs or garden staples. Using a utility knife or scissor, cut an appropriately sized X above each hole, so that your plant can pass through the fabric into the hole. Now, to plant! Pass the root ball through the landscape fabric and set it on the bottom of the hole, so that the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the existing soil. Fill the rest of the hole with the dirt that came from it. Do not tamp the soil. Settle the soil by watering slowly with a garden hose just above the root ball and soaking the area. This will remove any air pockets. Cover the fabric with 3”-4” of mulch but don’t pile mulch against the shrub’s trunk.

Tending;

Like all living things, the grass in your lawn needs food, and it’s up to you to replenish that food every now and then. To grow a thick, green lawn, be sure to apply a high-quality lawn, and plant food as directed on the package. When mowing, set your mower height to cut approximately the top 1/3 of the grass blades. Cutting more will compromise the health of the root system. Consider leaving the clippings on the lawn. They’ll break down in a matter of days and return nutrients back into the soil. When it comes to watering, new studies show better results with one thorough, weekly watering than more frequent, short bursts. Roughly 45 minutes to an hour is best in most cases. When fertilizing, don’t neglect your shrubs. Use a trusted granular fertilizer or, for a convenient and effective, time-release solution, look into organic fertilizer spikes with beneficial microbes or traditional fertilizer spikes for trees and shrubs. Bear in mind that azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons perform best with specially formulated natural fertilizers. Finally, depending on the light conditions and species, your shrubs most likely thrive on the same watering schedule as your lawn.

 

 

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To Valued Customers and Associates:

Earth-Care Organic Fertilizer GROW PLANTS WITH BILLIONS OF LIVE AND ACTIVE PROBIOTICS

1st Choice Fertilizer Inc, will maintain full services on our website http://www.1stchoicefertilizer.com during this period of mandatory shutdowns. We are deemed an essential provider of services to garden owners , landscaping and farm industry. For this reason, our warehousing and shipping operations will continue providing services to all customers.

Rest assured that all staff have been trained in appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures. And they fully intend on respecting all customer needs and requests.

In 1st Choice Fertilizer, We believe a healthier future begins with how we take care of our planet. That’s why 1st Choice Fertilizer products help you to bring natural back to your garden, lawn and farm. Have a question or a comment? Please share! Together, we can grow a sustainable thriving world.

Please refer to http://www.1stchoicefertilizer.com for further updates.

Find answers fast at www.1stchoicefertilizer.com

We recognize these are extraordinary times. And we fully intend on supporting all customers through-out the duration of the crisis.

 

 

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1st Choice Team.

Using Microbes to Manage Climate Change

 

Importance of Microbes in Our Soil

With regards to balancing increasingly unruly climate, soil microorganisms have been sequestering carbon for hundreds of millions of years through the   mycorrhizal filaments, which are coated in a sticky protein called “glomalin.” Glomalin may account for as much as one-third of the world’s soil carbon — and the soil contains more carbon than all plants and the atmosphere combined.

Present State of Microbes

We are now at a point where microbes that thrive in healthy soil have been largely rendered inactive or eliminated in most commercial agricultural lands; they are unable to do what they have done for hundreds of millions of years, to access, conserve, and cycle nutrients and water for plants and regulate the climate. Half of the earth’s habitable lands are farmed and we are losing soil and organic matter at an alarming rate. Studies show steady global soil depletion over time, and a serious stagnation in crop yields.

So, not only have we hindered natural processes that nourish crops and sequester carbon in cultivated land, but modern agriculture has become one of the biggest causes of climate instability. Our current global food system, from clearing forests to growing food, to chemical fertilizer applications, to food storage and packaging, is responsible for up to one-third of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions. This is more than all the cars and trucks in the transportation sector, which accounts for about one-fifth of all green house gases globally.

State like California lays more emphasis on car smog which is okay but could do more and incentivize organic farmers and sectors that promotes and helps to reduce climate instability.

Moving Forward

The greatest leverage point for a sustainable and healthy future for the seven billion people living on the planet is thus arguably immediately underfoot: the living soil, where we grow our food. Overall soil ecology still holds many mysteries. What Leonardo Da Vinci said five hundred years ago is probably still true today: “ we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot .” Though you never see them, ninety percent of all organisms on the seven continents live underground. In addition to bacteria and fungi, the soil is also filled with protozoa, nematodes, mites, and microarthropods. There can be 10,000 to 50,000 species in less than a teaspoon of soil. In that same teaspoon of soil, there are more microbes than there are people on the earth. In a handful of healthy soil, there is more biodiversity in just the bacterial community than you will find in all the animals of the Amazon basin.

We hear about many endangered animals in the Amazon and now all around the world. We all know about the chainsaw-wielding workers cutting trees in the rainforest. But we hear relatively little about the destruction of the habitat of kingdoms of life beyond plant and animal — that of bacteria and fungi. Some microbiologists are now warning us that we must stop the destruction of the human microbiome, and that important species of microorganisms may have already gone extinct, some which might possibly play a key role in our health

Steps Taken

1st Choice Fertilizer, has made good progress in mapping the soil microbiome, and also identify some species vital to soil and plant health, so they can be reintroduced as necessary. We dedicated to analyzing and mapping microbial communities in soils. We do not want to find ourselves in the position we have been with regard to many animal species that have gone extinct. We have already decimated or eliminated known vital soil microorganisms in certain soils and now need to reintroduce them. But it is very different from an effort, let us say, to reintroduce the once massive herds of buffalo to the American plains. We need these tiny partners to help build a sustainable agricultural system, to stabilize our climate in an era of increasing severe weather, and to maintain our very health and well-being.

Looking Back on Our Past

The mass destruction of soil microorganisms began with technological advances in the early twentieth century. The number of tractors in the U.S. went from zero to three million by 1950. Farmers increased the size of their fields and made cropping more specialized. Advances in the manufacture of nitrogen fertilizers made them abundant and affordable. Ammonium nitrate produced in WWII for munitions was then used for agriculture (we recently saw the explosive power contained in one such fertilizer factory in the town of West Texas). The “Green Revolution” was driven by a fear of how to feed massive population growth. It did produce more food, but it was at the cost of the long-term health of the soil. And many would argue that the food it did produce was progressively less nutritious as the soil became depleted of organic matter, minerals, and microorganisms. Arden Andersen, a soil scientist and agricultural consultant turned physician, has long argued that human health is directly correlated to soil health.

During this same period, we saw the rise of the “biological agriculture” movement, largely in reaction to these technological developments and the mechanization of agriculture. In the first part of the twentieth century, the British botanist Sir Albert Howard and his wife Gabrielle documented traditional Indian farming practices, the beginning of the biological farming movement in the West. Austrian writer, educator, and activist Rudolf Steiner advanced a concept of “biodynamic” agriculture. In 1930, the Soil Society was established in London. Shortly thereafter, Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese microbiologist working in soil science and plant pathology, developed a radical no-till organic method for growing grain and other crops that has been practiced effectively on a small scale.

Solution For the Future 

Fortunately, there is now a strong business case for the reintroduction of soil microorganisms in both small farms and large-scale agribusiness. Scientific advances have now allowed us to take soil organisms from an eco-farming niche to mainstream agribusiness. We can replenish the soil and save billions of dollars. Many field tests, including a recent one at the University of North Dakota, show that application of a commercial mycorrhizal fungi product to the soybean root or seeds increased soybean yields from 5 to 15 percent. The U.S. market for soybeans is currently worth about $43 billion annually, so adding healthy microbes to the crop will save billions (the value of increased yields is three to five times greater than the cost of application at current prices). Studies show that there will also be major savings from reduced need for chemical fertilizers and irrigation due to more efficient up-take of minerals and water. This also means fewer toxins and pollutants, particularly nitrogen fertilizers, leaching from agricultural lands into our public water system and rivers, which has contributed to massive “dead zones” like that in the Mississippi Delta.

For all these reasons, bio fertility products are now a $500 million industry and growing fast.

Reintroducing microorganisms into the soil, together with the organic matter they feed upon, has the potential to be a key part of the next big revolution in human health — the development of sustainable agriculture and food security based on restored soil health. Just as in the case of the human microbiome, the soil drugs of the future are ones full of friendly germs, and the foods they like to eat.

 

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