Soil is the heart of gardening

Nothing is more sought after than the hard to attain. Case in point: Gardeners with alkaline soils wanting to grow blue hydrangeas.

blue hydrangea

Written on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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Flower shows are usually full of inspiration. Canada Blooms 2014 was no exception. For soil-oriented gardeners like me, containers caught my eye: log planters, vertical wall planters and picture frame planters.

Canada Blooms 2014 poster

Written on Monday, March 31, 2014 in Book & Product Reviews

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Clay soil and no-till seem incompatible to many gardeners. But no-till farmers in the last five years have discovered a secret biological tillage weapon: forage radishes! Read on, clay soil gardeners, this could be the magic tool we need to loosen our heavy clay soil…

tillage radish

Written on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 in Building Soil

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What is good soil? Many gardeners would jump in and say loam, that elusive perfect mix of clay, silt and sand. In the real world, however, our urban soil is less than perfect. What can we do to make our soil sing?

Brampton Garden

Written on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in Building Soil

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At the end of every month, #groundchat has a roundtable discussion of soil in the news. January has been an active month.

Frost quakes has heaved its way to the top of pile.

Torrential rains has caused landslides in Indonesia.

Scientists, studying global warming effects, predict a disturbance in the balance of soil nutrients in drylands.

 Join us on Friday, January 24 on Twitter at 2 pm ET/ 1 pm CT/ 11 am PT

Written on Thursday, January 30, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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During the 2014 Master Gardener Technical Update, Keynote speaker, Lorraine Johnson, advised us to avoid buying root vegetables if we thought the soil that they grew in was contaminated. But are root vegetables the only suspects?


Lorraine Johnson 2014

Written on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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This week on #groundchat, guest host Sarah DePass, @StarkBrosCares, chats about protecting fruit tree roots during cold snaps. A very timely topic for NE US gardeners, and Eastern Canada. It has been a real winter this year.

Empire apple

Written on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 in #groundchat News

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“Soil is a biggie in the vegetable garden,” says Charles Hunter, Curator Instructor of Vegetable, Rose and Herb Gardens at Niagara Parks Commission Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture. Hunter was speaking at the Toronto Master Gardener Technical Update at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Charles Hunter MG Tech Update

Written on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in Building Soil

4 comments | Read 1,139 times |

After a heated #groundchat roundtable discussion last week about the connection between soil and nutrient-dense food — based on Monica Nickelsburg article’s Peak soil: Why nutrition is disappearing from our food — I have come to several conclusions.


Written on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in Plants & Soils

4 comments | Read 1,473 times |

Nothing frustrates me more than the marketing machine pushing a product and product information that is either misleading or clearly not true.

 At this time of the year, it is all about spring-blooming bulbs! The marketing/merchandising of bulbs is a big business…but it has competition in the stores with Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. This pressure to sell has created a monster: pushing the sale of bulbs way before it is the right time to plant. 

Orange Tulips

Written on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 in Plants & Soils

6 comments | Read 1,775 times |