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Why does an industry that should be green have such a horrible track record when it comes to plastic, and what’s a home gardener to do? There were gardeners in the Bulkley Valley/Skeena Valley (BC, Canada) that used hay and straw/manure contaminated with Grazon (picloram) – widely used to combat broadleaf weeds. I was aware of that so could take precautions and did some testing with my straw for mulching and that I also use for my chickens. Everyone can do it at home to make sure it is not contaminated. Grazon has a long half life therefore gardeners in our area had to dig soil about 3 feet deep and exchange with not contaminated topsoil/compost mix and start new. Big job and sometimes quite expensive. Before adding compost/hay/straw/manure do the simple test and be sure your herbicide free Here is the link to an article explaining the bioassay method to test for herbicides Hope this is of help! Monika last year I had something eating my cantaloupe , for every 6 it got I got 2 not good odds there. I thought it was a mole because there is a hole in the garden box (fenced in) and inside of the fence are 3 12×12 garden boxes . there are what I had always been told are mole trails through the yard kind of a country setting with creek down over the hill. But I see you say they primarily eat insects and grubs so what would be eating my cantaloupe ? If it didn’t eat so many I wouldn’t mind oh tomatoes too, but the ratio me to them is not even close to fair, and what ever it is has to go. what do you suggest is eating everything and what should I do? also could it be rabbits and the mole trails are just coincidental? What animal it might be will depend on your location. It is likely not a mole, because of its diet. Voles (similar to mice) dig shallow tunnels that run along the lawn, as moles do; these rodents can be destructive in the garden. Other small rodents, such as mice might be a possibility as well. Chipmunks also dig tunnels, although you might not see the tunnels running along the surface. Gophers leave mounds of dirt at tunnel entrances, but not tunnels along the grass. Large holes could be a woodchuck, but they don’t have shallow tunnels. Rabbits, crows, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, deer . . . just about any animal that eats fruit as part of its diet will take advantage of a melon. Raccoons like melons (and corn) especially. What animal it is will affect how you protect the fruit. Good luck! Dear Carol, We have a problem area which we are keen to see turned into a stylish courtyard. The site faces east and only receives the morning sun. The soil quality is reasonable but will require additional nutrients (the house was tenanted for 15 years – the last eight by non-gardeners). We thought of having a perfumed garden area, and we like hydrangeas and star jasmine as well as the sound of trickling water. Office hours: 9-5:30pm Mon-Fri; 9-4pm Sat; Closed Sun (but if the weather is really lovely – we’re probably all out in the sunshine gardening, so please leave a message). Symptoms: Leaves seem curled, burnt, crispy and/or brittle. Leaves are yellow or brown in color. Soil in garden bed looks cracked Where: Indoor and outdoor gardens and can be very destructive in greenhouses. Other ideas for avoiding or minimizing plastic in the garden? Please share! 1. Draw a picture of the physical situation. See the figure. We’ve called the width of the garden x (the top and bottom portions of the fence), and the length of the garden y (the left and right sides). Note also that the total area of Sam’s garden must be $A = 400 \text{ ft}^2$. While a living cover is preferable, at least a mulch provides food and protection to the soil and its inhabitants. Nutrition gardeners gradually embrace this nurturing instinct, as they develop a genuine reverence for their soil. They become soil lovers. Does an area of your garden need a revamp? Garden editor and landscape designer Carol Bucknell will come up with a plan for some lucky readers. All we need are photographs of your problem area, details of where you live, a site description (where north is, the soil type, whether your garden is exposed to wind or heat) and the style of garden you would like. Will it take much looking after? Once planted, this garden will look after itself — aside from the odd pruning of climbers, such as clematis, and the addition of some bright summer blooms, like lilies or poppies. My son, having not been able to secure work since he left school two-and-a-half years ago, recently started helping a friend doing gardening work part time. He is paid a more or less fixed sum each day, and is no longer signing on. My garden is overlooked on several sides Wow, I am sorry to hear about your garden! I have also been using the deep mulch method for several years, but with our own hay, which hasn’t had herbicides on it other than the fast dissipating round up used on spots. I hadn’t had this issue, but I have been very mindful of it. I’ve had many more issues with the grass growing after the hay breaks down. It literally doesn’t matter how deep I put the mulch, we will have a bunch of weeds and grass. But the soil is rich! We live in southern Mississippi. We have plenty of stuff growing everywhere. You might do better with using the grass you cut out of your yard. Just a few blocks away from the garden, Eileen Burns mixes drinks at Californos in Westport. Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you! tui gardentui pettui at home The definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces, with garden tours, hardscape help, plant primers, and daily design news. The Vegepod is a raised garden bed that has a hinged protective cover made from a polyethylene mesh. It turns your Vegepod planter into a greenhouse protecting your plants from pests and harmful UV rays. The cover also helps manage temperature by allowing water and air to flow through. Combined with the efficient self-watering system, plants can be left untended for weeks. I know what you’re thinking … music to my ears. Water will ‘find its way’ over time so unless you are at the bottom of a hill it could improve. Also planting trees that will suck up that water in the summer could help. But I’ve lived in houses where all the top soil was removed for building them, then never returned. Could that be the prob? I would wait another year or so in case it improves itself then plan garden around it. As always, we try to do things a little different at PlantPlots, so you won’t find what chemicals to spray onto your dahlias or how to prune your roses, there are plenty of websites that so just that. Instead our advice tries to deal with the real issues we all face in the garden. failing garden featured garden gardening Plants vegetables Alternatively, creating a soakaway may be the answer. This requires a large hole at the lowest point of the garden and filled with rubble or broken bricks, and then covered with 300mm of soil. The soakaway will need to be quite large to have the desired effect – up to 1.8m (6 ft.) deep and the same across. There is not always a need for underground pipes to a soakaway although on land that has insufficient gradient to drain into a soakaway naturally, underground drain pipes of some sort will be required. Both clay and plastic pipes are available – the latter being easier to use and lighter to handle. Eron Plus Erozon Max BeMass TestX Core Atlant Gel BeMass Testogen vigrx eracto Atlant Gel