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When following biointensive gardening principles, the way to relieve compaction, improve drainage and promote deeper root growth is by double digging garden beds.
If you’re on especially sandy soil, you might be able to skip it. I’m on clay, which is why I double dig a couple of beds each spring for my potatoes.
By moving my potatoes every year, it ensures each part of my garden will get double dug at some point.
It's hard work, but it makes a nice bed.
Here's how to do it (Academy members, we cover this in month 1 along with many other aspects of preparing a garden bed):
If you want to grow a lot of food, in a small space, using not too many resources...
And are willing to put in some work in order to accomplish that...
Biointensive gardening may be for you.
If you can give your soil the right amount of air, water and food, you can grow healthy plants.
But what makes gardening a challenge is that it can be difficult to get all of those factors right.
The single best ‘ingredient’ to bring into the garden that helps moderate air, water and food is organic matter in the form of mulch and compost ( part 1 ), and cover crops and perhaps biochar ( part 2 ).
Yet sometimes you’re starting with rather poor soil that’s been:
In part 1, I talked about how organic matter is the most important ingredient for many gardens, and how mulch and compost are two of my favorite ways of using it.
But there are two other ways of using organic matter. The first is in some ways the most powerful of all, and the second may play an important role in reversing climate change. Let’s get into them...
There are dozens of strategies you can implement to have a more successful garden.
And what your garden needs may be very different from what my garden needs.
But there is one ingredient that, when used properly, is often going to have a tremendous impact on most gardens around the world.
I’m a big fan of spraying organic seaweed fertilizer at least once a month in my garden.
I do this primarily to help my plants deal with heat, cold, wind, drought and disease.
But that’s not the most important ingredient my garden needs.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto was an avid gardener.
He noticed that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained a whopping 80% of the overall peas.
Slugs and snails are closely related.
The main difference is that snails have a shell, while slugs don’t.
Most molluscs live in the water, but slugs and snails are the two that can live on land as well.
In fact, there’s your most important clue right there for how to get rid of slugs and snails in the garden - they like it wet.
Without sufficient beneficial microbes on (and in) our bodies, we get sick very fast.
It's the same for plants.
Perhaps the most beneficial fungi for plant health is a group of fungi you may have heard me talk about before called mycorrhizal fungi.
This week, I received a fresh batch of mycorrhizal inoculant, a powder that brings these fungi onto the roots of my plants.
You may have noticed I don’t usually plant in straight rows.
I prefer a much wilder garden:
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