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Showing posts from November, 2011
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"Soilless" soil ?

Many gardeners have worked with artificial soil mixes, sometimes called "soil-less" soils, which is sort of a misnomer. This implies that "real" soil is organic, of the Earth, and only occurs naturally. For most of us, if it's outside in the yard, it's soil. If, according to my Mother, it's on my shoes when I walk in the house, it's DIRT. Perhaps I can shed some light to the idea of artificial soils, and the topic is no small affair to clarify, since there are so many components and mixtures to choose from. Let's look at the most common components.  

One of the most important things to remember is that artificial soils are usually made to grow plants in pots in greenhouses, where plants need a very stable supply of water, and where the plants are produced in a few months to a year at most. These mixes are not very suitable outdoors in the wettest parts of the year. They are often used in propagation beds and with high-d…
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Managing Storm Damage in Your Garden

 In this section of the country, storms of various sorts assault us now and then. We have tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, downburst cells, and lightning hits. There are several forces at work in the damage these storms can cause, and as a gardeners you should be aware of the suite of problems that can arise. You should also be aware of what NOT to do, such as "hurricane pruning".
One of the unseen dangers of protracted rainfall is that the soil can become super-saturated, and allow trees to fall over with only moderate wind gusts. This tactic is likened to a spoon in a bowl of Jello; it can move easily in any direction. Since we have such weather problems, I suggest  people keep their trees trimmed in such a way as to allow wind to pass through them easily, but this is not "hurricane pruning". An experienced arborist can remove selected parts of the canopy while maintaining the structural integrity of the tree. Overwaterin…