How To Improve the Soil in Your Garden With Sheet Mulching

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
[caption id="attachment_815" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles"][/caption] Is your garden typically riddled with weeds by mid-summer? Are you looking for an organic method for improving the fertility of your soil? Interested in learning inexpensive techniques for maximizing your garden's water retaining properties? Master organic gardener Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables and coauthor of Edible Forest Gardens, has the perfect solution for you: sheet mulching! Sheet mulching combines soil improvement, weed removal, and long-term mulching in one fell swoop. This technique, also known as lasagna gardening, builds organic material and smothers weeds at the same time, so they never get a chance to grow!. Nine Simple Steps to Sheet Mulching, adapted from Eric Toensmeier's Perennial Vegetables Mow…
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How to Make Composting Simple as Dirt: My Top Tips

Soil & Compost
All right, let's make this really easy. I want you to devise a home composting program. I know it sounds all technical, but the reality is that it's extremely simple to do. If you don't compost, you're a bad person--no, I'm kidding. However, you are missing out on the many benefits such a minimized amount of trash in the house, great gardening soil and another thing you can make the kids do if you don't feel like it. I'm going to break down the different types of composting for you to see which one works best for you. Dig a Hole in Your Backyard. Or Your Neighbor's. Depending on how your living situation is laid out geographically, you need to find a place to dig a hole for your scraps.…
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5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

Organic Gardening, Sustainable Landscaping
1) Observe your space Where is the sun / shade? (watch the patterns during the growing season throughout the day) How is the land sloped? (south faces warmer & sunnier than north - use to your advantage!) Is it windy? (plant some trees or shrubs to act as a windbreak!) 2) Think about what you like to eat and see! plant some of your favorites! choose varieties that are suited for your climate (local garden stores usually specialize in these!) plan plantings that compliment each other (grow sunflowers as a trellis for pole beans!) 3) Soil is the start work soil in spring only when it begins to dry (not when soggy you'll lose important soil structure!) add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! (in the form of…
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What is Organic Composting?

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost
Making compost will help you reduce pollution and cut down that landfill! Your plants will grow healthier and look happier for it and it will save you money on fertilisers too. Our local council in Manchester has now given us brown bins for us to add leaves, grass and other compost matter into, which is then emptied every two weeks once it has reduced to less than half its size. What is compost? Garden guides often describe composting as natures way of recycling. Composting is indeed a natural way of recycling, harnessing natural processes rather than machinery and man-made chemicals, but it takes people to do it. Soil maintenance is at the heart of organic growing: don't feed the plants, feed the soil -- the plants will look after themselves.…
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7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter. Learn how composting works. Even a newbie to composting can make good quality compost. It can be compared to cooking as art or part science. The following 7 factors will help you master the art of composting. Components of a Compost Pile After a time anything that was once alive will naturally decompose. But, not all organic items should be composted for the garden. To prepare compost, organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen are needed. These items are safe to compost at home: * grass clippings * trimmings from hedges * vegetable scraps * leaves * potting soil that has grown old * twigs * coffee filters…
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Easy Steps to Composting

Easy Steps to Composting

Soil & Compost
It is becoming more and more obvious these days that we need to recycle as much as we can, and anyone with a garden has a head start and can make a great contribution. To many novice gardeners, this subject can be somewhat difficult to grasp; but in fact it is really straightforward - there are just a few very simple rules: You need a compost bin, and the type you decide on rather depends on the size of your garden, but there are a couple of options: A purpose built plastic bin purchased from a garden centre, not too expensive; and you just fill up from the top and a few months later, you can take compost from a small hatch at the base. Alternatively, if you can wield…
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