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The key to your small-space urban gardening success has a lot to do with the types of pots or planters you select. To be honest, this whole issue bothers me very, very deeply. Composted manure is cheap, it’s natural (most of the time), and is readily available. If we can no longer use it on our gardens, what then? The same goes for hay mulch… I can hardly stand the thought of being stripped of these options due to herbicides. I’m still ruminating on these thoughts… I’ll share more in an upcoming post. Just a few blocks away from the garden, Eileen Burns mixes drinks at Californos in Westport. Rake out thatch in September or early spring with a garden rake or scarifier. To prevent it coming back, collect the grass clippings if your mower has a grass box, or rake up all clippings after each mowing. This was an interesting possibility that came up when I started talking with my local gardening neighbor. Animal manures can be high in salts, which can cause issues when compost with high-levels of salt is added to a vegetable garden. However, I ruled out salt in my compost for these reasons: I have a constant battle with weeds in my garden. Hi Jill, I’m so sorry about your garden. I’m a hydroponic/ soil gardener, but I’m 100% organic so I haven’t had that issue. Chalk it up to being hyper-attentive to what goes into our garden, courtesy of extreme food allergies and sensitivities. Something you might want to look into as a way to put nutrients back in your soil (in the event you can’t find organic fertilizers) is rotating your crops and beds. Alfalfa and soy are often used as a reconditioning crop every 3rd year, as they are very rich in nitrogen and other nutrients. You may want to consider having a few different planting areas and while two have crops, the third has alfalfa or soy. At the end of the season, till it in and let it compost over the winter. It was the old way of controlling weeds and restoring nutrients before herbicides and liquid fertilizers took over the mainstream. 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. My sympathies! I had similiar problems in 2008. At that time there was little information about persistent herbicides. After 30 years of careful organic gardening, I almost gave up gardening. Fortunately, my whole garden wasn’t involved! I no longer use manure. For the last 3 years I have used barley straw from a nearby farmer who doesn’t use persistent herbicides. Yes, barley comes up but it is easy to pull. In keeping with the constraint of a non-authoritative personality (Table 1: ISC2), The Idea Garden communicates its suggestions via a non-authoritative character we call the Gardening Consultant (Fig. 3). Imbuing such characters with a personality can evoke emotions in the user, such as humor, appreciation or social feelings, and when such emotions are positive, they can enhance the quality and creativity of users’ ideas (Lewis et al., 2011; Nass and Moon, 2000). Also, a recent study showed that end-user programmers respond well to instructions given in a non-authoritarian voice (Lee and Ko, 2011). Therefore, the Gardening Consultant’s icon looks like a tentative, quizzical face, intended to provoke mild humor. Some of the suggestions also contain questions, to reinforce this non-authoritarian personality. The Gardening Consultant understands the user’s problems in CoScripter about as much as a teacher gardener understands problems in a student gardener’s garden: a lot in general, but not that much about that particular student’s soil, neighboring plants, resident insects, etc. As we gardeners say “NEXT year things will be better!” Stewart isn’t giving up hope her garden can work its magic once more and continue to serve the people of Westport. I’d like an elegant vegetable garden Deterrents fall into two categories: scent and sound. The problem with the latter is that we have a dog who will hate the high pitched emissions. That leaves finding things that moles don’t like the smell of and either sticking them into the tunnel or sprinkling them around the garden and watering them in. We had this exact same thing happen in our garden here in Prince George, BC and after talking to a local soil expert, doing some research as well as an experiment, came to the same conclusion. It is aminopyralid poisoning. Our potatoes and tomatoes are the most seriously affected with the mutant leaves that look like fiddleheads. Any legumes just did not grow at all and neither did the cucumbers or melons. It has been very disheartening as this was the first year I had started all my own seedlings as well. We have begun turning our small city lot into a permaculture garden to tea people what you can do in a small space. You can check out our Facebook page at Because our yard is small we cannot produce enough organic matter ourselves so were excited to find a source of manure from a friend who has horses. He buys hay locally but we have since found out that almost all of the people who sell hay in the area spray their crops with herbicide for thistles, clover, etc. Here we thought we were doing such a good thing for our soil and it turns out we poisoned it instead! We shared what we experienced with local growers at our local farmers’ market. Some were aware of the problem but others were not and this could impact their livelihood in a huge way. Suddenly, things that have been safe to use on your garden can no longer be considered to be safe. It is not just the hay and the straw but the manure as well. I’d like a wild garden Malta has made significant inroads into improving sustainability, as reflected in the M&G Garden 2017. These lessons – compost more, recycle water wherever possible, grow native plants – are ones easily brought home to any garden for the wider benefit of the environment. James’ design proves that putting the right plant in the right place creates a healthy environment. Crucially, they will inspire garden lovers to turn what were once problem patches into areas of opportunity and growth. 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. “We’ve been wanting to do a book together for awhile,” said Glassman, who also credited Ballinger with making the book about more than California gardening. 1. What inspired you to write this book? Since training as a gardener at a manor house in the East of England, I have been seen as an ‘expert’ by friends and neighbors. I am not an expert but I’m happy to share ideas. People show me around their gardens in despair, saying ‘What about this – and this?’. All of our gardens are different but many of the dilemmas are the same, such as ‘My garden is overlooked’ or ‘My garden is an awkward shape’. There is a pool of knowledge from great gardeners and garden writers, and I’ve tried to pass on some of those ideas. My garden is too small Thank you for sharing this. It certainly would have been easier to just blog the good events. We have noticed residual effects from straw we have got from non-organic neighbors (our organic friends won’t sell straw as it is returned to the soil). I would try a trial with some plants in the garden next year to see if the results are the same (even if you don’t intend to harvest and use). The reason I say this is that we have had a weird gardening season here as well with low results on a number of vegetable crops (and we are not the only ones to see the same thing). Not the same problems as you describe but far from typical. Hopefully this is an aberration for you and not a contamination issue. I enjoy you site and wish you the best. BioBelt vigrx Maxman eracto BioBelt Testo Ultra Erozon Max el macho Tonus Fortis eracto