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Want to Garden Successfully? – Look to Nature

Gardening –even more than most things — is simple.  It’s amazing how complicated folks can try to make it.  It’s almost as if people don’t like simple things —- or think because they’re simple they can’t work.  Oddly enough — that’s usually what does work — simple stuff.

It’s nice to have someone to guide you and help you when you first start gardening […]

Slugs – You Can Control Them

Slugs are creepies that no one enjoys dealing with.  Even when you think they’re not on your your property or in your garden — rest assured they are.

They’re part of the system set up to break down decaying matter. And I for one wish they would stick to that rather than getting on my lettuce and other crops they consider gourmet fare.

You’ll […]

Mulch – To Use it or Not – Points to Consider

I’ve always been a mulch gardener.  I’ve never understood how anyone gardened without it. I couldn’t. The benefits that it offers far outweigh any disadvantage that it may have.

But as with most things — there’s always someone for it and someone against it. And whether I understand it or not — that’s just the way it is.

Recently a reader left a comment […]

Mulching – A way to Increase your Yield

A reader wrote to me with an observation that I found so significant, I wanted to share it with everyone. It’s a story that vividly allows you to see what a difference mulching can make.

Reader’s Observation

During those unseasonably warm days in mid March after noticing that her peas were wilting in the heat of the day she got out her soil thermometer […]

3 Simple Things to Guarantee a Successful Garden

Whether you have clay soil or sandy soil you can be successful in gardening.  All you have to do is three fundamental things:

1. Prepare your soil properly. (You only do it once.)

2. Continually improve your soil by adding organic matter.

3. Mulch your soil.

I’ve written a lot on all three subjects.  Whether you’re preparing for new beds or improving your old, […]

Hay or Straw – Which to Use for Mulch

Everything considered, I’d recommend straw for most gardeners rather than hay as mulch to use in your garden. Here’s why.

Hay – What is It?

As far as the farmer is concerned, the main use of hay is to feed animals in seasons when grasses are not growing. He will want it to have the highest nutritional value for the animal. Because of […]

Secrets to Almost Effortless Maintenance of Borders and Gardens

Thanksgiving day I worked in the yard for about 2 hours. I got to thinking while I was out there how glad I am that I don’t have to do all the work that a lot of gardeners think they have to do.

When I was at the funeral home the day before Betsy’s funeral, I saw an acquaintance who passes our house everyday […]

Compost – Mulch – Residual Herbicides – What You Can Do About Them in Your Garden

The problem of residual herbicides in compost originally surfaced from 1999-2000.

Certain active chemicals in various herbicides that are sprayed on pastures, grass, straw and even some fruits and vegetables don’t break down when they pass through the digestive track of cattle and/or when they’re composted. Thus, enough of the chemical remains to damage susceptible crops in your garden when you use either the […]

Mulching - 3 Things to Keep in Mind

I made a mistake this spring and it cost me some crops in this year of severe drought. —–read more—-

How Is Your Garden in This Drought?

My guess is if you’re a bare ground gardener you’re not doing well at all.  If you mulch I would imagine you’re still having some difficulties, although you’ve probably made it through a lot better than conventional gardeners.

Even if you’re set up to water, it’s not the same as rain to plants. I don’t water, but when I thought I was going to lose my cucumbers and squash for sure, I hauled several gallons of water to them (twice) to try to get them through.   Fortunately – we had just enough rain last week to help them make a recovery.

The picture below is what you see as you walk into my garden. The cucumber is growing into my asparagus.  Tomatoes are to the left and right. (Summer poinsettia at bottom left corner of picture reseeds in my garden every year.  It’s so lovely I would hate to pull it all up.) This was taken yesterday, July 21, 2010.

Here’s how the same cucumbers  have been —–read more—-