FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- You really don't need to buy fertilizer for your lawn and garden. There are many things you likely have in abundance that will do the same thing for free.
Paul Tukey of safelawns.org has these tips:
Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. Unless your grass was full of weed seeds when you cut it, there is no need to bag the clippings. As they biodegrade they will put nutrients back in your lawn.
Coffee grounds make wonderful fertilizer. They are highly acidic, so don't pile too many in one place, but it is fine to apply them directly to the soil. You can also add them to the compost pile to reduce acidity.
Pine needles are also acidic, though not nearly as much as coffee grounds. Grind them up and use and mulch.
The same goes for leaves.
Homemade compost is a given as fertilizer.
And wood ash is a great substitute for lyme, which raises the ph of your soil.
If you like more details on the nutrients provided by these items, click on the link to Paul's blog.
Many gardeners have asked us what they should do with hurricane earl approaching us.
Specialist Barbara Murphy, from the Cooperative Extension, says it's best to harvest before the storm hits. Murphy says things that are ripe or near ripe you should pick, because if they get a lot of rain, they might burst.
Gardeners can also reinforce tomatoes, pole beans and other vines. Murphy says no plants will recover if they get knocked down this late in the season.
Young cucumbers, summer squash and beans are tender right now. Murphy adds, early picking may allow plants to flower again and produce a second crop in this late summer weather.