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Don’t Til the Dirt April 4, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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This is a repeat of what was about my first blog.  But it’s worth saying again.  Please don’t til the dirt in the garden.2560784473_655051884e

Deep tilling of the garden does damage that won’t be repaired for years to come.  Remember there are millions of living things down there.  Things we can’t see, but that do so much good.  When you til the dirt you upset their homes and lives and sometimes even kill them. 

There is a much better way to plant.  I know because I’ve been doing it for several years now.  And it is so simple.  In a couple of weeks I’ll remove the winter cover from the garden beds.  In my case that’s leaves, other garden scrapes and newspaper.  Then I’ll dump on a couple of inches of my well aged compost on the beds.  I may use a hand spade to work in the new compost a little bit.  I’ll use an old tree branch to make my rows, sprinkle out the seed or place in seedling, cover lightly with dirt and I’m done.

It works great for new beds also.  Lightly break up the existing dirt, dump on lots of compost, at least several inches thick and plant.  I did this with a new strawberry bed last year and they grew like crazy.

If your interested in finding out all sorts or ways to have a garden without tilling the dirt, check out my favorite source, Mother Earth News at www.MotherEarthNews.com.

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House plants October 7, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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During the summer I have a bad habit of ignoring my house plants.  They always manage to survive if not thrive, but I always feel bad about neglecting them.  After all it is my house plants that get me through the winter without going completely crazy. 

This weekend I noticed a couple of plants that need to be re-potted and a couple more that could use some more soil or need pruning.  I’ll set aside some time in the next week to take care of these things, unless it gets warm and then I’ll be raking leaves, or planting in the greenhouse. 

Sometime before Thanksgiving all get around to the house plants.  I promise. 

Don’t till the dirt!!! September 30, 2008

Posted by liajo in How to tips.
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I was web surfing last night looking for some advice on potato growing.  I ran across a great site with lots of useful information about potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.  I decided to look around the site a little more and clicked on an article about “how to start a garden.”  In the first paragraph the new gardener was told to till the earth as deep as they could.  I wanted to scream. 

When will well meaning gardeners stop giving such advice??  You should never till the earth.  There is an entire micro ecosystem under there that we can’t even see, but whose homes we are destroying.  These little critters are vital to the health of any garden. 

The easiest and quickest way to a new garden is to lay bags of potting mix on the ground open holes in them and plant directly in them.  Check this out on www.MotherEarthNews.com.  If you want a “traditional” garden then very lightly hand till the earth to a very shallow depth.  Next layer on a three to four inches of good composted soil and plant.  Never and I mean never till the earth as deep as you can.

Pruning tomatos September 14, 2008

Posted by liajo in gardening mistakes.
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I make a lot of gardening mistakes and NOT pruning is one of them.  I should have pruned the tomatos about six weeks ago, I just couldn’t make myself to it.  I know pruning is good for the fruit, but the object is to grow plants.  Pruning doesn’t seem to agree with that objective.

I did prune the tomatos this weekend.  It took a good couple of hours but I am pleased with the results.  Now there is better air circulation around and between the plants, and light can get down to the soil.  I know that I will see the results in more and bigger tomatos.

Maybe next time something needs to be pruned I’ll remember this.