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Q. Mike: I’m hoping you can help kick-start a new program at our community garden. Historically, we’ve had one large cold compost heap that was an unmanaged eyesore. The « compost committee » has chosen to move in a new direction and have the individual gardeners create and manage their own composting. Some gardeners are planning to group together and build large 3-bin systems; others just want a small pile for their own 10 x 10 plot. Either way, we’re urging them to learn ‘hot composting’ techniques, as I know that compost that heats up quickly is far superior to the cold kind, and takes much less time to finish. Any advice to get us started on the right track? If rock gardening is not your cup of tea, you might consider the xeriscape as a practical alternative to more traditional yard designs. Although xeriscaping is associated with drought-plagued areas, don’t underestimate the benefits it can bring to yards far-removed from the desert. You can save yourself time and money by planting low-maintenance, drought-tolerant perennials, in addition to grouping plants with similar irrigation needs together in your yard. Solution: While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for pests, there is one thing you can do to reduce the chances of your landscape becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet: garden in raised beds. While this won’t solve all your problems, a raised bed helps deter small- and medium-sized animals. Add a fence or netting to deter deer and birds as well.  To manage pests and nurture bees – plants like mustard and marigolds are very effective in countering the most destructive of all crop pests, root knot nematodes. Brassicas emit biochemicals from their roots, which can reduce root disease in other food crops. However, it is important to rotate brassica plantings in your garden with other species to avoid a buildup of these chemicals. Cover crops can also serve as trap crops for pests to keep them away from your vegetables. Alternatively, they can also be host plants for beneficial predators. Flowering cover crops can also attract and feed pollinators. This will boost production in your garden while feeding the all-important honey bee. These creatures are really struggling around the globe at present. A condition called Colony Collapse Disorder is decimating beehives, to the point that beekeeping is no longer a viable profession in some regions. Insecticides called neonicotinoids, GMO crops and electromagnetic radiation from phone towers seem to have combined to mess up the immunity and communication skills of these critically important creatures. Einstein suggested that the world lasts just four years in the absence of the honey bee and their pollination gift. Your garden can serve as a chemical-free haven, to help preserve our bees. I used to gather great quantities of hay and straw for my gardens. No longer. This is a huge problem in straw and manure all across the US and almost impossible to avoid. Jill, you CAN absolutely use cattle manure and straw for compost. My parents did it every year between the rows of their garden on their farm where potatoes strawberries and tomatoes thrived in rural Pennsylvania. I’m assuming you buy your hay, I haven’t read much further yet, but if you buy hay for your animals just ask for Timothy hay or Kentucky Blue Grass from the local farmers. Also there is such a thing as a laboratory to send a soil sample to check with your county or state extension office as well as local universities, Penn State does soil samples but that might be awhile for you to ship soil. Both my parents and my husband sent theirs off. The key is always the acidity balance. Also Jill I am telling you MUSHROOM SOIL in a raised bed to start. My husband used this soil in a raised bed when he lived in the city and his plants were GORGEOUS. Then next year till that soil into your soil. I hope this helps!!! Just a few blocks away from the garden, Eileen Burns mixes drinks at Californos in Westport. Sign up here for daily garden tips and trends. But not to worry. With photos and simple tips, she says, each chapter “is a garden tour…sharing the surprisingly simple ideas that can solve complex dilemmas.” And we’re off: At some point during your horticultural career, you will come across a garden problem or two. Whether that’s struggling to keep your plants looking their best, or trying to get rid of annoying pests who seem determined to eat what you’ve grown. It’s totally normal to encounter these problems and luckily we’re here to help you solve them. We have plenty of tools and tonics in stock to help you keep your flowers, vegetables and fruits strong and healthy. When a problem is seen as insurmountable, it can stop people from doing anything, especially when added to worries about keeping plants alive. I’ve avoided being too technical and have emphasised an approach which is not time-consuming, or complicated. This is the kind of gardening that appeals to me. You can purchase copies of Indira Naidoo’s garden cookbooks The Edible Balcony and The Edible City at www.dymocks.com.au.  Helping you find solutions to common insect pests, diseases and weeds in your garden. Salts applied to walkways and roads in winter may splash into garden; keep salty water off foliage. Flush soil with good water. Test soil for soluble salt level. Remedies: Use shade cloth in the garden or move the plants if they are in a container. Consider planting fast-growing trees and shrubs around the garden as a long-term solution. I had a similar problem this year…new garden…new wood mulch…some things did great, tomatoes failed. I did research and it says wood and straw mulch can do good at first but they PULL THE NITROGEN out of the soil so the plants can fail. I believe that’s what happened. My research said compost OR leaf mulch is actually the best for your garden. Mulch is one of the unsung heroes of landscape design. It’s highly portable, malleable and, for certain types of mulch, you can even make your own! Areas shaded by large trees can be transformed overnight from eyesores to eye-openers by applying an attractive mulch. For all its value, there is much misunderstanding about the use of this landscaping solution, and I receive numerous questions about garden mulch from readers. There are as many types of landscaping mulch as there are landscape challenges. Mulch is sometimes used in conjunction with landscape fabrics. My garden is overlooked on several sides Stewart brought her gardening talents to the concrete jungle back in 2008. That’s when she made an agreement with management at the Westport post office to plan a community garden in front of the facility. Problem No. 4 – Invasive Varieties Are Taking Over Symptoms: A plant is spreading outwards over garden bed. The plant is choking out other plants in the bed. You notice seedlings that you didn’t plant popping up in areas. I am sooo grateful for this post! I have had “bad luck” with my tomatos for the past 3 to 4 years, and I could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong! Now I see that I had done the same as you had, adding manure (from my neighbors aged cow manure pile) to our garden. I used to grow beautiful tomatos, and beamed with pride at my quarts of lovely canned tomatos lined up on my shelf, waiting to be enjoyed in the midst of winter! I guess pride came before the fall! LOL! I have tried everything I could think of to try to deal with the problem, even moving all my tomatos to big pots on my porch, BUT I was still using soil from my garden! AhHa! My mom had a bumper crop of tomatos this year, using big pots on her porch, but the only soil she used was Miracle Gro Moisture Control soil, and I am going to do this next year! I don’t like having to buy soil when we have access to all the free manure to amend our soil, but, in light of this info, I think that we may have to, at least for our tomato plants. I have not noticed any of my other plants having the problems like the tomatos, so at least my garden will not be totally unusable next summer. Thank you so much for all the info!!! 🙂 Blessings, and Happy Fall! 🙂 Penigen 500 xtrasize Zevs Zevs power up premium Zevs Masculin Active Eron Plus Tonus Fortis Maca du Pérou

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