Soils & Fertilizer

Learn about cover crops, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: We have a new property and lots of land to farm and garden. But before I go hog wild and buy trees, shrubs, and perennials, I want to build the soil. One of the many things I’ve earned over the years in gardening is you need to take care of your soil before anything else. One of the best ways to feed your soil is by growing cover crops. Cover crops are legumes and grains that […]

Learn the best ways to reduce the effects of drought on your plants. Listen to podcast: Baby it’s hot out there…. and dry. Some areas of our region have received only 50% to 75% of their normal rainfall. That combined with hot, sunny days has an impact on the garden. The first thing you’ll notice is your soil will either repel or devour the available rains and added water. In clay soils, even summer down pours won’t help for long. The soil is so dry, much of the water runs […]

Learn about the benefits and problems with having earthworms in your soil. Listen to podcast: We all have played with the wiggly earthworm since childhood. As gardeners we’ve been taught to revere the earthworm as a master decomposer of organic matter and savior of plants growing on clay soils. But all is not what it seems with the earthworm. There is a dark side to this creature. First a little history. There are no native earthworms in North America. All the earthworms were wiped out in the last ice age […]

Learn how to build mounded soil beds and grow plants with logs through Hugelkultur. Listen to podcast: Permaculture is a whole system garden design that seeks to reproduce the sustainability of a natural system. I have used some permaculture techniques over the years, such as keyhole raised beds, but not hugelkultur. What’s hueglekultur? This German word roughly means “mound beds”. It’s a technique used in Germany and Eastern Europe for hundreds of years and has newed popularity. A simple version is to take logs, old firewood, or branch prunings that […]

Learn about the simple technique to build a new garden end without having to dig up the lawn. Listen to Podcast: I’m Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. I’m an Italian-American and if there’s one thing I know about it’s lasagna. I’ve been eating it since I was a little bambino. While lasagna is a great food, it’s also a great gardening idea. Starting a new flower or vegetable bed can be back breaking work. Many gardeners dig out sod and weeds, bring in topsoil and compost […]

Learn how to build a raised bed garden including the materials to use, the size of the bed, and what to grow and hot to care for them. For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association. Transcript Hi I’m Charlie Nardozzi of the National Gardening Association. Today I’d like to talk to you about raised bed gardening. Raised beds are just what they sound like; mounds of soil that made it to various shapes. They offer lots of advantages in the garden. They warm up sooner and dry […]

Learn about organic fertilizers including the best types to supply nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to your soil. Listen to Podcast: Spring is time to get your soil ready for planting. Organic matter is key to soil health and building it with annual additions of compost is a good idea. But sometimes, especially in a vegetable or annual flower garden, there is a need to add more than compost. Annual flower and vegetable plants pull many nutrients from the soil. Based on a soil test you may find deficiencies and may […]

Listen to this podcast on how to apply fertilizer as a side dressing in summer and which plants need it.   It’s been an interesting summer so far. Lots of rain, humidity and not necessarily high temperatures. But, the vegetables are still growing and now is a time to give them a little mid summer boost. Many gardeners forget about side dressing. We may be diligent about amending the soil in spring, but plants need fertility throughout the growing season. An addition of compost, organic granular fertilizer or liquid fertilizer […]

Listen to this podcast about snakeworms and how this earthworm-like creatures hurt the soil.   Earthworms are generally thought of as a good sign in a healthy garden. But as with anything, there are two sides to the story. Our common earthworms came to North American with the Europeans and have been spreading ever since. While the common earthworm does help our soil creating air and water pathways and decomposing organic matter, there’s a new kid on the block that’s not playing fair. The snake worm was introduced into the […]

Learn about getting your soil ready for planting this spring. Listen to podcast:   I’m Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. Let’s get down and dirty about soil. First we should understand that soil is alive. What makes soil more than just dirt are the millions of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms that populate our land. Their activity allows for water and nutrients to flow freely  to our plants. So we should feed the beast and organic matter is the food. This time of year we should add […]

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