Soil is the heart of gardening

Recently I was invited to give a presentation on peonies and soil at the Oshawa Peony Festival. On the surface peonies soil requirements appear straightforward. What more could I add? That was before I did a little digging…


Written on Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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I believe in supporting botanical gardens. Botanical gardens not only showcase and conserve different plants, but they also play a key role in educating people on the wonders of plants and gardening.

Paul Zammit, Director of Horticulture

Written on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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Soil health is a hot topic nowadays, but what does it mean? According to soil scientist, Dr. Dena Marshall, “Soil health is emphasizing the overall diversity of soil biology, which then enhances the resiliency of the soil.”

Dena Marshall

Written on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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Early spring has many of us rushing out to buy topsoil (landscape soil/garden soil) either to fill/add to flower beds, build up vegetable patches, or to use on our lawns. But do we really know what we are getting?

Topsoil pile from Lakeside Garden Gallery

Written on Thursday, May 15, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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It seems fitting to chat about the importance of soil on Earth Day. Over 75 years ago, Henry A. Wallace, United States Secretary of Agriculture, said,

“People in cities may forget the soil for as long as hundred years, but Mother Nature’s memory is long and she will not let them forget indefinitely.”

Soil is essential to life — people and other living beings – as well as Earth itself. I have listed the many ways that soil affects our lives and our planet.

sandy loam Dundas Ontario

Written on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Plants & Soils, Soils & Growing Media

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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

4 comments | Read 1,140 times |

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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