Unlike taking the SATs, testing soil pH levels in your vegetable garden should not induce stress-related hives and anxiety. On the contrary, finding out your garden’s pH level is pretty darn easy and can make a big difference in how well your garden grows. You can test your soil at any time during the year […]
While you may only need sunlight, soil, and water to grow a garden, adding in some organic fertilizer for vegetables and herbs can kick things up a notch. Think of it as the multivitamin you take to boost your energy a bit or the treats you give your dog that helps with that shiny coat. It’s just that little something extra that takes your garden from bountiful to calling your neighbors to come get some squash because you have 5 tons of it.
I’ll admit that part of the joy of gardening is having a good excuse to play in the dirt. As adults, we don’t get to do that very much, but it sure does feel good. Of course, playing in the dirt actually means getting the soil ready; there’s always compost to add or weeds to dig up. Even when you have “perfect” soil, you still have to do some prep work. Preparing clay soil for planting your garden isn’t that much different.
If you’ve seen one soil, you’ve seen them all. It’s just dirt, right? Is there any reason you can’t use your raised bed soil for your indoor garden? The answer is not complicated, but there’s a little more to it than just “yes,” or “no.” The best soil for an indoor vegetable garden may not be soil at all. We’ll get to that in a minute.
I might be dating myself here, but anytime I think about adding manure to garden beds, I have a vision of the scene from Back to the Future. You know the one – Marty (played by Michael J. Fox) is on a skateboard and getting chased by the bully Biff and his cronies. Biff is in his convertible car (top down) when Marty makes a quick turn. Biff tries to follow, but the car slams into a dump truck full of… you guessed it: manure. The manure falls out and fills the car. Talk about a smelly situation!
Let’s just get this out of the way: Worm Castings = Worm Poop. But, “castings” is a much more civilized way of describing the digested waste of your garden variety earthworm so we’ll just stick with that!
There’s nothing like walking to your garden and getting your shoe stuck in the mud. That goopy sound it makes (is goopy a sound?) tells you that there’s way too much water in the soil. Your plants don’t like it anymore than you do, either. If this sounds like a regular occurrence, it might be time to think about improving garden drainage.
Before I started composting, I didn’t love the idea. I knew it would need to be far from the house to keep the gross out, like flies, smells, and rodents. And who is really going to bring their dinner out into the woods to compost? Well, as it turns out, we did, although it’s not […]
Container vegetable gardens are the versatile champions of any garden. I love container gardens because you can start them indoors and transition them outdoors without disrupting the vegetable roots. They’re ideal for small spaces, porches, balconies, and even that sliver of side yard you might have that gets great sun exposure but is too small for a garden bed. The key to a successful container garden is your potting medium. There are many different store-bought varieties of potting soil and potting mix, but in my opinion, the best potting soil for container vegetables is a hand mixed.
Let’s talk about fertilizer. When I bought my first home and decided I wanted to start my first garden (mostly in containers), I bought a lot of Miracle Grow potting “soil”. Loads and loads of it. I am also a “get your hands dirty” kind of gal, so I didn’t use gardening gloves. Those are just for schmucks, am I right?