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I love going to Garden Writers meetings, I get to see other garden writers, editors and photographers, listen to the latest and greatest in the garden writer’s world. I am, however, ambivalent about receiving goodie bags filled with garden product. The organizers of the GWA meeting emphasized that in exchange for getting these “gifts,” we are obligated to write about them. Some of these products are great, but others…not so much.

Make Tree & Shrub mycorrhizal inoculant

Written on Thursday, April 23, 2015 in Book & Product Reviews

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Written by Cristina da Silva

With all the negative press out there on global warming, it’s refreshing to read a book that offers solutions and hope. Kristin Ohlson’s “The Soil Will Save Us” covers how scientists, farmers and foodies are healing the soil to save the planet.

the soil will save us book Kristin Ohlson

Written on Thursday, April 16, 2015 in Book & Product Reviews

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Great news on the #groundchat front. Not only did I celebrate #groundchat’s third birthday on March 30, but I also received Trademark approval notice for #groundchat on the same day!


Written on Friday, April 10, 2015 in #groundchat News

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Written by Cristina da Silva

We continued the #growyourown series on #groundchat last week with the divine Brenda Haas, host/moderator/organizer of #gardenchat. Bren shared her experiences with growing peas!

Bren Haas

Written on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Canada Blooms is on every day this week! Every year I pour over the Canada Blooms guide and walk through the event to check for any soil-related presentations, garden displays and products. I am thrilled that Canada Blooms has acknowledged FAO’s 2015 International Year of Soils with several activities and presentations.

canada blooms entrance

Written on Monday, March 16, 2015 in #groundchat News

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Written by Cristina da Silva

I don’t know about you, but after a long winter I’m raring to go in my garden. Since I’m a northern gardener, I don’t have the much time to waste. My growing season is short, so I need to get to it as soon as I can!

Gardeners are a tricky bunch. We’ve found ways to extend the growing season.
“One of the easiest ways to get the garden started earlier is by prewarming the soil,” says Kyla Dixon-Muir at the 2015 Toronto Master Gardeners’ Technical Update.

Kyla Dixon-Muir

Written on Thursday, March 5, 2015 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

It’s liberating and humbling to write a lesson-learnt blog. Last year’s lesson-learnt evolved from my high-density plantings in a raised bed.


Written on Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Nobody describes fall better than Albert Camus: “Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” He’s right. Especially this fall. The colours are intense. Sadly once the leaves drop from the trees, many of us shuffle them into recycling bags for city pickup. But recycling those leaves in our gardens can improve our soil.

fall trees

Written on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in Building Soil

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Written by Cristina da Silva

A couple of weeks ago, Connie, my neighbour, asked me to take a look at her beloved Japanese lilac. She was worried about its gradual decline. I could see why Connie was concerned. Half the tree had lost all its leaves. Something was obviously wrong, but what could it be?

Japanese lilac

Written on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

In the previous blogs, I covered the merits of planting up slopes and the visual delight of terraced slopes. But which method works best for your site? How do we decide? According toUniversity of Nevada Coop Extension, the slope angle decides the method!

planted slope, Brampton, Ontario

Planted slope in Brampton, Ontario


Written on Thursday, September 11, 2014 in Landscaping & Soil

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Written by Cristina da Silva