HOW CAN EVERY LAST SCRAP of goodness we’re all gathering during garden cleanup be put to optimal use? I asked Lee Reich, who joined me on this week’s radio show, to share strategic soil-improving, weed-thwarting, and future harvest-enhancing steps you can take now, as you put the garden to bed. Learn to compost smarter, prep your soil easily—and maybe win one of Lee’s books, too. That’s Lee with his trusty scythe, above, which doesn’t figure into composting but into how he cuts his meadow-like fields. Impressive, and mesmerizing! A couple of his great how-to videos on composting and soil prep are on the jump page, along with links to the audio of our conversation. [read more…]
Gardening and landscaping how-to for beginning gardeners. I have selected some of my stories on a range of topics, aiming to introduce new gardeners to some of the basics, such as composting, mulching, starting seeds and how to grow tomatoes. A great place to start on this site if you're new-ish to gardening: Browse the stories below and see what sounds right for you.
AN ADVANTAGE to having 30 years of fall garden cleanups behind me: I’ve learned what really counts–the sort of “or else” tasks for fall. My friend and garden-writer colleague Ken Druse is similarly qualified, and was my guest on radio this week to talk strategy for putting the garden to bed. Our combined tips of tasks you shouldn’t skip (with our permission to skip the rest!): [read more…]
CANNING IS HOT, and not just when you’re standing over a boiling kettle. America’s grow-you-own, eat-local mania means a lot of us are facing all-at-once bumper crops—but don’t want to waste a bite. To cope, I’ve been gathering tactical advice and recipe ideas, including tips from a new series of segments by Theresa Loe on the public-television show “Growing a Greener World.” Theresa was my guest on this week’s radio show, where we talked jam (without too much sugar or added pectin); what cucumber makes crispy pickles (and doesn’t); the challenges of canning on electric stoves–and even how to improvise a few key tools. [read more…]
MY LAWN GOT HAMMERED by 650 pairs of visiting feet, but I knew who to call. For almost a decade, I’ve turned with lawn-care issues to the work of Paul Tukey, author in 2007 of “The Organic Lawn Care Manual,” and founder of SafeLawns.org, an advocacy and education nonprofit. Paul just relocated from New England to his new post as Chief Sustainability Officer for Glenstone, a museum in Potomac, Maryland, where the vast grounds have been maintained since 2010 without synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers–a sort of living classroom for organic landscape stewardship. He answered our pressing questions on my latest public-radio show: controlling crabgrass and other weeds; reversing compaction; overseeding, and does corn gluten meal really work as a weed-and-feed? Read, or listen in. [read more…]