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 information on the materials to use, the size of the bed, and what to grow. For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association.  

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 […]

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 […]

Learn how to grow tomatoes and other vegetables in straw bales with less work and weeds. Listen to podcast: I’ve seen vegetables planted in just about everything. Whether it be old bathtubs, broken down cars, old shoes or even a used gas grill, gardeners can get creative when it comes to space saving techniques. Well, here’s an old space saver that’s come back to life in a new book. It’s called straw bale gardening. Ruth Stout started it years ago and now Joel Karsten has got a new twist on […]

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