High Plains Gardening
From Replacing Turf With Beds and Creating New Beds
For xeric beds, pay attention to the amount of space between plants. If you don’t plan on supplemental irrigation of the bed and will let the plants rely on available moisture, space the plants further apart. All xeric plants require water. Even though you’ve amended the beds, if you pack the bed full of plants, only the strongest will survive without supplemental irrigation—the soil will only hold enough moisture for a few plants.
Place your plants carefully, either grouping together certain plants for the massing effect and scattering others for diversity. Taller plants are normally placed to the back and the low, mounding and plants of interesting foliage in the front. About 2 tablespoons + or – of Yum-Yum Mix can be added to the bottom of the plant’s hole. The larger the container size of the plant, the more Yum-Yum mix you should use. Yum-Yum Mix (made by Soil Mender™ Products from Tulia, Texas) is an excellent additive that boosts the soil’s health by stimulating the soil microbes, thus making available needed nutrients for the plants. Yum-Yum Mix includes alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, green sand, rock dust and soft rock phosphate. Use Yum-Yum Mix, or a similar mix, with any new plantings. I’ve used it in all my plantings of the last 4-5 years and have had great success in plant survival.
Harlequin’s Gardens@Boulder, Colorado
From Products at Harlequin’s Gardens
Yum Yum Mix: a 2-2-2 organic fertilizer formulated in New Mexico for alkaline, nutrient-poor Western soils like ours in Colorado. It is made from alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, rock dust, greensand and soft rock phosphate. It feeds the plants and the beneficial microbes that feed the plants. Far more effective than its 2-2-2 formula implies, especially when used in conjunction with humate. Vegan: no animal ingredients.
High Country Gardens
From Yum Yum Mix®: It’s The Yummiest Story Yet
by Cindy Bellinger July 2003
It all started back in the late ‘80s when a woman by the name of Donna Bonner got a job at Santa Fe Greenhouses. “I was the Perennial Lady then,” she said recently in a phone conversation. “After awhile more and more people kept asking me to do gardening for them and pretty soon, I left the Santa Fe Greenhouses to do gardening fulltime.”
“I got down on the ground and mixed it all by hand. Then when I started using it, the plants said, ‘Yum, yum,’ and so that’s what I called it,” she said. “Then other gardeners told me I should sell the mix, but it never occurred to me to put it in bags. I was just putting it in the soil.”
But the gardens where she used her experimental mix began showing a new vitality, and the owner of one garden offered some venture capital for her to go into business. Soon she had trucks bringing loads of the different ingredients to a big barn where she bagged it. She did this for about three years. Then when she went looking for a good compost, she came into contact with Greg Birkenfeld, a man from Texas who was just getting started in the compost business. He hadn’t yet named his company Soil Mender®.
Soil Mender@Tulia, Texas
From Yum-yum Mix
Buy Direct from Soil Mender
Yum Yum Mix is an all-purpose fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is a premium blend of organic and natural alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, greensand, kelp meal, trace mineral fertilizer, and soft phosphate with colloidal clay. Yum Yum Mix is a rich source of major nutrient elements. Earthworms and soil micro-organisms respond to this natural banquet by breaking down minerals and organic matter into available nutrients for your plants. Yum Yum Mix is natural, organic and completely safe for family, pets, wildlife and everything you grow. It is free of animal products, petrochemicals, and sewage sludge. Vegetarian approved – no blood, no bones. Yum Yum Mix improves soil tilth, moisture retention, plant vigor, and stress resistance. Used regularly, it helps create a balanced pH and a naturally fertile soil. Perfect for growing all annuals, perennials, vegetables, lawns, trees and shrubs.
Alfalfa Meal: Nitrogen; Vitamins-A, B, E, carotene, thiamine, biotin, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, choline; 16 amino acids, co-enzymes, sugars, starches, protein fiber
Cottonseed Meal: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium
Kelp Meal: Nitrogen; Potassium; Vitamins-A, B, B2 , C, calcium, pantothenate, niacin, folic acid; minerals-barium, boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sodium, strontium, sulfur, zinc; 17 amino acids
Greensand: Iron, Potassium, Silicate, Phosphorus, 30 trace elements
Rock Dust: Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium, Boron, Cobalt
Soft Rock Phosphate: Phosphorus, Calcium, Trace Elements
Humate: Salts of Humic Acid – improve soil characteristics and aids in releasing other nutrients to plants in usable forms
Dry Molasses: Carbohydrates, Sugars, Trace Elements – feeds and attracts beneficial soil organisms
In amended soils, spead Yum Yum Mix evenly over the surface and work into the top 2 inches of soil. In unamended soils, spread Yum Yum Mix evenly over a 2 to 3 inch layer of a Soil Mender or Back to Earth compost and till into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil.
-Planting & Transplanting
Mix Yum Yum Mix with backfill soil around the rootball. Add a Soil Mender or Back to Earth compost to unimproved soils working into the soil’s surface. Be careful not to damage feeder roots. Cover with a Soil Mender or Back to Earth Mulch.
Apply at the rate of one tablespoon for every four inches of pot size. Work mix into the top half inch of the soil and water in. Plants should be fertilized every 30 days. Mix should be applied to soil and not to foliage of plant.
-Flowers & Vegetables
For plants in containers, follow houseplant instructions. For plants in beds and gardens, apply at the rate of 1/4 cup for every 3 sq ft. Work mix into the top 1/2 inch of soil and water in. Plants should be fertilized in spring, summer, and fall.
-Shrubs & Roses
Apply at the rate of 1/2 cup for every 1 vertical foot of shrub or rose bush. Work mix into the top 1/2 inch of soil and water in. Plants should be fertilized in spring summer and fall.
Apply at the rate of 1/2 cup for ever one inch caliper of tree. Mix should be evenly distributed under the canopy of the tree (shade line tree would make if sun was directly over tree). Work mix into the top inch of soil and water in. Trees should be fertilized in spring, summer, and fall.