Nature-Friendly Gardening

Tree Fruits, Part 1

Tree Fruits, Part 1

Apple orchard. Photo © Dreamstime.com. When are the two best times to plant a fruit tree? The best time was ten years ago! The second best time is this spring or fall, depending on your climate.If...

Cool Season Cover Crops

Cool Season Cover Crops

Buckwheat cover crop. Photo © Dreamstime.com. Cool-season cover crops are what many people think of when cover crops are mentioned. While not providing the biomass and carbon gain of warm season C4...

Warm Season Cover Crops

Warm Season Cover Crops

Sunn hemp. Photo © Dreamstime.com. One of the most important rules of gardening is to always be gardening. That doesn’t mean we need to keep ourselves in the garden every working day planting,...

How to Till No-till Gardens

How to Till No-till Gardens

Photo © Dreamstime.com. Is our title an oxymoron? It appears to be a contradiction. Actually, to grow and maintain health, soil needs tillage. It just doesn’t need to be done with steel, iron, or...

Solarization and Tarping

Solarization and Tarping

Photo © Dogwood Ridge. Plastic sheeting is a valuable tool for managing garden beds without tillage. There are two different types that we can use depending on the need. One type is clear plastic...

Raised Bed Considerations

Raised Bed Considerations

Photo © Dreamstime.com. How high should a raised bed be? I find 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) to be a very practical height for growing most crops. With less than six inches, you may start losing some of...

Raise Food? Raise Beds!

Raise Food? Raise Beds!

Photo © Dreamstime.com. One of the best ways to reduce tillage and increase our enjoyment of gardening is to construct permanent beds. When we stop tilling, it is important to avoid compaction as...

Gardening without Tillage—Why?

Gardening without Tillage—Why?

Photo © Dreamstime.com. I realize that having a garden without tilling might sound strange. My earliest memories of gardening include plowing, disking, and tilling. For many years I never knew there...

The Most Important Garden Nutrient

The Most Important Garden Nutrient

What is the single most important nutrient for growing plants? There are two possible correct answers, water or carbon. Both of these run in global, sun-powered cycles and provide renewable energy....

Tree Fruits

Tree Fruits

Photo © Dreamstime.com. When are the two best times to plant a fruit tree? The best time was ten years ago! The second best time is this spring or fall, depending on your climate.If you want to...

Storing the Bounty

Storing the Bounty

Photo © Olga Volodina/Dreamstime.com I am a strong proponent of extending the growing season whenever possible, and utilizing row covers, tunnels, and greenhouses to keep up the flow of fresh foods...

Preparing Your Garden for Rest

Preparing Your Garden for Rest

One of the blessings most North American gardeners enjoy is the cyclical nature of the pastime. While I have written about the joy of season extension and greenhouse production, having a season of...

Nature-friendly Exterminating

Nature-friendly Exterminating

When big black ants began chewing the foam insulation that had been spray-applied to the ceiling of a storage barn, I was not pleased. I purchased a spray of some sort from a garden supply, pumped...