July 29, 2008

Try Fertilizer Spikes, BunnyFence to Boost Yard Health


Off-the-shelf organic fertilizers come in granular or liquid form and require some effort to distribute evenly. A new alternative in spike form makes distribution and measurement quick and easy.

Jobe's Organics Fertilizer Spikes can be pressed into the soil around plant roots to promote beneficial microbial action and improve overall plant health. They smell earthy, unlike some chemical fertilizers; Jobe's products are derived from feather meal, bone meal and sulfate of potash.

One package contains 50 spikes, which are intended for use every 8 weeks. The package suggests eight spikes per square foot of bedding. There are formulas for specific uses, including all-purpose; container and bedding plants; and roses and flowering shrubs.

Jobe's Organics Fertilizer Spikes, $4.49 at AceHardware.com



As development spreads and wildlife habitats shrink, deer and rabbits learn suburban neighborhoods are the wild herbivore's equivalent of a convenience store. Succulent green nibbles are always at hand.

Suburban Chicago gardeners Jackie Aven and Sadna Mohan were tired of seeing their gardens destroyed by marauding rabbits, but found other solutions either too impractical or expensive. They put their heads together and invented the BunnyFence, modular metal panels that encircle targeted plants.

"The problem was a common topic at cocktail parties, and we decided to make something better to address it," says Aven, who is a graphic designer. She drew the prototypes of the panels, and Mohan, who works in the medical field, networked with contacts in her native India to find a suitable manufacturing facility.

The wire-grid panels in five patterns are stationed to encircle plants with a vase-like shape. The top edge flares to discourage hopping over it.

BunnyFence panels, coated in green, black or white, are $8.99 each (less if you order in bulk). To purchase, e-mail via www.bunnyfence.com or call 630-922-8500.


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