Soils & Fertilizer

Soils & FertilizerVegetable

How to Grow: Cover Crops

Learn about cover crops, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: We have a new property and lots of land to farm and garden. But before I go hog wild and buy trees, shrubs, and perennials, I want to build the soil. One of the many things I've earned over the years in gardening is you need to take care of your soil before anything else. One of the best ways to feed your soil is by growing cover crops. Cover crops are legumes and grains that are specifically grown to be turned back into the soil. They have been used for...

Garden MaintenanceSoils & Fertilizer

How to Grow: Dealing With Drought

Learn the best ways to reduce the effects of drought on your plants. Listen to podcast: Baby it's hot out there.... and dry. Some areas of our region have received only 50% to 75% of their normal rainfall. That combined with hot, sunny days has an impact on the garden. The first thing you'll notice is your soil will either repel or devour the available rains and added water. In clay soils, even summer down pours won't help for long. The soil is so dry, much of the water runs off. For sandy or loamy soils, they will suck up the water so...

CompostingGarden MaintenancePodcastSoils & FertilizerVegetable

How to Grow: Earthworms

Learn about the benefits and problems with having earthworms in your soil. Listen to podcast: We all have played with the wiggly earthworm since childhood. As gardeners we've been taught to revere the earthworm as a master decomposer of organic matter and savior of plants growing on clay soils. But all is not what it seems with the earthworm. There is a dark side to this creature. First a little history. There are no native earthworms in North America. All the earthworms were wiped out in the last ice age 11,000 years ago. It was only when...

Garden MaintenanceSoils & Fertilizer

How to Grow: Hugelkultur

Learn how to build mounded soil beds and grow plants with logs through Hugelkultur. Listen to podcast: Permaculture is a whole system garden design that seeks to reproduce the sustainability of a natural system. I have used some permaculture techniques over the years, such as keyhole raised beds, but not hugelkultur. What's hueglekultur? This German word roughly means “mound beds”. It's a technique used in Germany and Eastern Europe for hundreds of years and has newed popularity. A simple version is to take logs, old firewood, or branch...

Garden Design & CareGarden MaintenancePerennialsPodcastSoils & FertilizerVegetable

How to Grow: Lasagna Gardening

Learn about the simple technique to build a new garden end without having to dig up the lawn. Listen to Podcast: I'm an Italian-American and if there's one thing I know about it's lasagna. I've been eating it since I was a little bambino. While lasagna is a great food, it's also a great gardening idea. Starting a new flower or vegetable bed can be back breaking work. Many gardeners dig out sod and weeds, bring in topsoil and compost and generally sweat a lot. My solution is to borrow the wisdom of the lasagna. Lasagna gardening is a way to...

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How to Grow: Making a Raised Bed Garden

Learn how to build a raised bed garden including the materials to use, the size of the bed, and what to grow and hot to care for them. For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association. Transcript Hi I'm Charlie Nardozzi of the National Gardening Association. Today I'd like to talk to you about raised bed gardening. Raised beds are just what they sound like; mounds of soil that made it to various shapes. They offer lots of advantages in the garden. They warm up sooner and dry out faster in the spring making it easier for...

AnnualsGarden Design & CareSoils & FertilizerUncategorizedVegetable

How to Grow: No-Dig Gardening

Listen to this podcast on gardening easier and smarter with no dig gardening.   I'm starting to work on a new book. It's on No-Dig Gardening. It's a topic that I've been playing around with in our vegetable and annual flower gardens for years and I'm excited to dive deeper into it. I'm rereading the classic No-Work Gardening by Ruth Stout, checking out No-Dig Gardening experts on Youtube and refreshing my understanding of some permaculture techniques. The idea behind No-Dig Gardening is to retire the tiller and not dig your annual...

AnnualsGarden MaintenanceSoils & FertilizerVegetable

How to Grow: Organic Fertilizer

Learn about organic fertilizers including the best types to supply nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to your soil. Listen to Podcast: Spring is time to get your soil ready for planting. Organic matter is key to soil health and building it with annual additions of compost is a good idea. But sometimes, especially in a vegetable or annual flower garden, there is a need to add more than compost. Annual flower and vegetable plants pull many nutrients from the soil. Based on a soil test you may find deficiencies and may need an organic...

Soils & Fertilizer

How to Grow: Protecting the Soil

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil. There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” That was Charles Kellogg writing in the USDA Book of Agriculture about 100 years ago. There's a new appreciation of our soils underfoot, especially as we search for ways to slow the pace of global warming. Soils and plant roots can capture carbon from the atmosphere and hold it in the soil for decades. Soil is also a living entity upon which all life depends. This view can change our gardening practices to...

PodcastSoils & Fertilizer

How to Grow: Side Dress Fertilizer

Listen to this podcast on how to apply fertilizer as a side dressing in summer and which plants need it.   It's been an interesting summer so far. Lots of rain, humidity and not necessarily high temperatures. But, the vegetables are still growing and now is a time to give them a little mid summer boost. Many gardeners forget about side dressing. We may be diligent about amending the soil in spring, but plants need fertility throughout the growing season. An addition of compost, organic granular fertilizer or liquid fertilizer can help...