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Garden Soil & Water

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Fertilizing Your Organic Garden

Organic fertilizers generally come from plants, animals, or minerals. Soil organisms break down the material into nutrients that plants can use. Some organic fertilizers contain significant amounts of [more…]

How to Choose Mulch for Your Vegetable Garden

For vegetable gardeners, each type of mulch — organic and inorganic — has a unique purpose. No matter which you choose, however, mulching your vegetable garden has multiple rewards: It suppresses weeds [more…]

How to Test Your Soil

To have a successful garden, test your soil and amend it if necessary to create the best possible growing environment for plants. Testing your soil means you determine the pH level and nutrient content [more…]

How to Adjust Soil pH for Your Garden

Most garden soils have a pH between 5.5 and 8.0. This number helps you determine when and how to adjust your garden soil's pH level. If the pH level is below 6, the soil is too acidic, and you need to [more…]

How to Improve Garden Soil with Organic Matter

Organic matter is the key to amending less-than perfect garden soil. To fix mucky clay or sandy sand soil, add plenty of organic matter. You can't change the type of soil you have, but adding organic matter [more…]

When to Water Vegetable Plants

Take the right approach to watering garden vegetables to maximize crop production. In general, most vegetable plants use about 1 inch of water per week [more…]

Watering Systems for Your Vegetable Garden

You can water your vegetable garden several different ways. Basic watering techniques for vegetable gardens include creating simple furrows and basins. Watering systems involve sprinklers, regular hoses [more…]

Gardening Tips for Conserving Water

Whether you're a novice or experienced gardener, embrace water-conservation methods even if you don't live in a water-restricted area. Conserve water as you garden, and you'll help save this precious resource [more…]

When to Mulch Your Vegetable Garden

Choosing a mulch and deciding when to use it in your vegetable garden depends on the type of vegetables that you grow and when you plant them. Check out these mulching tips for different types of vegetables [more…]

Choosing a Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden

As garden vegetables grow, they undergo an intensive process that strips nutrients from the soil. Adding fertilizer keeps soil in optimum shape to feed your garden. Choosing the right type of fertilizer [more…]

How to Side-Dress Your Vegetable Garden

Some garden vegetable plants and soil types require a consistent side-dressing of fertilizer throughout the growing season. To side-dress vegetable plants, you apply fertilizer to the soil on or around [more…]

How Much Water Does Your Flower Garden Need?

How do you make sure your flower garden has the right amount of moisture? Relying on natural rainfall would be nice, but natural rainfall is hard to count on. Gardeners always seem to have to supplement [more…]

How to Choose Mulch for Your Flower Garden

Mulching flower beds is a good gardening habit. Mulch inhibits weed growth, holds in soil moisture, and moderates soil-temperature fluctuations. In cold-winter areas, mulching protects plant roots from [more…]

How to Prepare Garden Soil for Planting

The biggest mistake beginning gardeners make is using lousy or too-thin soil. Before planting anything in your yard, prepare your garden beds by digging to loosen the soil and adding organic material! [more…]

Which Soil Nutrients Does Your Garden Need?

Overall, plants need 16 specific elements, or nutrients, for proper growth. When enough of each nutrient is present in soil, plants grow optimally. If even one element is in short supply, plants can't [more…]

How to Deal with Drainage Problems in the Garden

You know you have a drainage problem in your garden when heavy or even moderate rain leaves puddles that take forever to drain. Or you may find out, to your dismay that under a few inches of okay soil [more…]

Plant-Based Fertilizers for Organic Gardens

Fertilizers made from plants generally have low to moderate N-P-K (Nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium) values, but their nutrients quickly become available in the soil for your plants to use. Some of them [more…]

Animal-Based Fertilizers for Organic Gardens

Animals, fish, and birds all provide organic fertilizers that can help plants grow. Animal-based fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium ¯ the primary nutrients plants need to grow. They [more…]

How to Assess Soil Composition

The health of garden plants depends on the soil's composition — the proper balance of mineral pieces, organic matter, air, and water. Knowing the type of soil you have can help you choose techniques to [more…]

How to Improve Soil Quality for Healthy Plant Growth

Good quality soil is essential to the successful allotment plot. Without fertile, nutrient-packed soil, your careful efforts at sewing, weeding and tending your garden or allotment will all be in vain. [more…]

How Much Gravel, Sand, and Mulch to Buy for Your Garden

Gravel, mulch, sand, small rocks, and soil amendments can play a healthy and decorative role in your garden. Gravel, sand, and rocks are generally sold by weight. For coverage that's 2 inches [more…]

Explaining Gardening Fertilizers

Before you buy fertilizer for your garden, be sure that you understand what's available. The following list offers the common types of garden fertilizers and explains their components and uses: [more…]

How and When to Water Your Perennials

Most perennials require water only after the top few inches of soil dry out, but before the plant starts to show symptoms of drought stress. Perennials from arid habitats benefit when the dry interval [more…]

When to Water Annuals in Your Garden

Watering may be one of the trickiest aspects of growing annual flowers. Like many plants, flowering annuals need consistent moisture in the soil to grow and bloom beautifully. Annuals aren’t very forgiving [more…]

Urban Farming: How to Check Soil Drainage

The soil particle size determines how well your urban garden will drain water. The microbes and plant roots need a balance of air and water in the soil to thrive, which is why proper soil water drainage [more…]

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