It's a common problem for gardeners with pets - how to keep dogs out of flower beds. And deer, and cats, and rabbits and moles and voles and on and on.
I have a few gardening tips, and what I really want to do in this blog post is say goodbye to my family dog, Blue.
He passed away last month at about 13 years old, not bad for a good-sized dog. I hadn't spent much time with him over the last few years other than when visiting my parents, as I lived a few thousand miles away, but I'll miss him.
Lawn top dressing is when you apply a thin layer of material onto the lawn. Lawn dressing is often done with sand and that’s where the problem is.
Sand is used because people think it will improve air space and water infiltration and drainage. These are important organic gardening goals, but top dressing lawn with sand does not help achieve them.
No matter what your soil is composed of, putting sand on top can cause drainage problems and dry pockets in the soil. And there's more.
Just like lawn dethatching and lawn rolling, I can see why you might think aerating a lawn with a lawn core aerator is necessary or even beneficial on an annual basis.
Not only is it often recommended gardening advice, but most lawn care companies do this as part of their regular service, organic gardening companies included.
The thing is, it can be beneficial if done right, but it generally isn’t done right, so I'm going to give a few lawn aeration tips here.
The local lawn care company won't tell you this, but lawn dethatching and lawn rolling aren't necessary or even beneficial.
Lawn dethatching - also called power raking - is done to rip out thatch, which is composed of the ligneous parts of the grass - rhizomes, stolons and crowns. Note that thatch is not caused by grass clippings.
These organic gardening books are those that have had the most profound effect on me, and I have read a lot of gardening books.
Most of them just repeat what the last one said, much of which is not great advice in my opinion (and yet somehow they become the popular ones - funny how that is).
But I'm not here to worry about that - the goal today is to give you my list of the best gardening books on my shelves.
Dolomite lime is used everywhere.
A search through both conventional and organic gardening websites reveals that most garden experts happily pass on this information.
Sometimes using garden lime is warranted, but the truth is it often makes things worse, sometimes just a little, and sometimes a lot. Let’s look at why...
I recently showed how doing a pH test for soil might actually be detrimental.
You should probably read that article before this one. Today, I will discuss if it is ever useful.
The bottom line is that keeping track of pH is not necessary in most cases.
There are times when a regular pH test for soil on intensively managed farms and gardens can give you a hint as to whether your soil is becoming more acid or alkaline because of something you’re doing, so you can know if it's working.
Soil pH Kits give one of the most misunderstood and misused measurements in the conventional and organic gardening worlds: pH.
It’s a fascinating topic and I’m excited to get into it here.
If you can get your head around the information in this article (it may be no problem for you, but it took me awhile to get it), you will know more about pH than most gardeners, including most horticultural professionals, teachers and authors.
I recently talked about Proper Pruning - Are You Making These Common Pruning Mistakes?.
Let’s continue that and talk about proper pruning for diseased branches.
Even when covered in disease, leaves are often still photosynthesizing and we definitely don’t want to remove the photosynthesizing capacity of a plant while it's being eaten by a fungus or other disease. It needs all of the nutrients it can get.
Proper pruning, as we are often told, involves removing the 3 D’s from our trees: Dead, Damaged and Diseased wood, so our organic gardening pruning chores revolve around that.
Now pruning dead wood that could be a hazard, such as a big branch in a tree that might fall on your neighbor’s cat’s head, is a good idea. If the tree is in a place where it doesn’t pose a hazard, pruning out the dead wood is not necessary, but it’s okay to do if it is unsightly.
But proper pruning gets a little hazy when we look at damaged and diseased wood...
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