Soil is at the heart of gardening

Healthy soil grows healthy vibrant gardens.

Clematis, the Queen of Vines, is grown in gardens around the world.  A few myths surround its growing conditions, particularly around the soils for clematis.  Contrary to popular belief, there’s a clematis for almost every garden, including plant hardiness zones 1 as well as poor soils.

soils for clematis

Written on Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Plants & Soils

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The latest in soil news include a new Soil Health Landscape Tool, the effect of mycorhizzae on tree ecology and the positive effect of soil microbes on plant’s defense system against pathogens.

Written on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 in Plants & Soils

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Hellebores are some of the earliest blooming flowers in our gardens. Searching for hellebore’s soil preferences takes us to the southern and eastern European mountains. The native soil and root morphology tells us what we need to know about growing hellebores in our gardens. 

hellebore flowers

Photo: Simon Garbut
Wikipedia Creative Commons

Written on Thursday, February 2, 2017 in Plants & Soils

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Winter soils are far from dead. Soil microbes are still buzzing around and we need to change our gardening practices to keep them alive until spring.

lighthouse in the winter

Written on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in Soils & Growing Media

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Toronto Botanical Garden has a fundraising garden tour every year. This year the garden tour, Through the Garden Gate, is in The Kingsway. Is it worth going to? My verdict is…

The Kingsway garden

Written on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in #groundchat News

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If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting onto my blog lately, it’s because I’ve been hunkering down in my creative workshop, pursuing a new venture that I’m really excited about: online courses.

Brand new online course launched!

Written on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in #groundchat News

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Soil is the cornerstone of our very existence on earth. It’s not hard to find 10 reasons to be thankful of soil on American Thanksgiving.

Written on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in Soils & Growing Media

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Grey water is touted as the “new” source of water for landscapes everywhere. But is it really? Like overblown promises, there are some caveats to this statement. And again, soil is being ignored and abused if grey water is used without thought to the household cleaners in them, which REALLY damage the soil.

Written on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 in Landscaping & Soil

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Intense gardening resurrects in the fall. Maybe not as extreme as spring gardening, but still it feels intense after the last lethargic dog days of summer. For gardeners intent on improving their soil, there’s much we can do.

clover cover crop

Written on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 in Building Soil, Plants & Soils

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After increasing your soil’s organic matter to increase water retention, mulching and using drip irrigation drastically reduces water use. But we can go a few steps further to reduce water loss. These “extra” measures make a huge difference in arid climates.

Australian permaculture guru, Geoff Lawton has a few good suggestions in his video, Permaculture Soils.

Geoff Lawton permaculture soils

Written on Friday, August 21, 2015 in Soil in Landscaping

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