Tag: Mulch

Northeast Fellows Trial On-Farm Adaptations to Climate Change

By Holli Cederholm In the past several years, farmers in Maine have struggled to cope with drought, severe precipitation events, excessive wind, temperature extremes and hail storms. Across the world, farmers are on the frontlines of volatile weather caused by climate change. From vegetable and small fruit producers to dairy farmers and forest managers, climate

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Basics of Organic Vegetable Gardening

Prepared byDr. Eric Sideman andDr. Jean English Introduction The science of gardening is complex, but the actual practice is simple. The central goal of organic gardening is to maintain or improve the ability of the soil to support plant life as it produces a crop of vegetables each year. That ability depends on a dynamic

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Organic Strawberry Production

by Eric Sideman, PhDMOFGA’s Organic Crop Specialist Emeritus Introduction Similar to any organic crop production, producing strawberries organically entails a system approach to the whole farm. Many of the practices are the same in organic and conventional strawberry systems, but the fundamental approach to soil husbandry and pest management may be quite different. Successful organic

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Building the Mycorrhizal Connection

Toki Oshima illustration By C.J. Walke As spring rolls into summer, we should see young, month-old fruitlets on our trees, slowly swelling with growth in the sunlight of our longest days of the year. Nutrition for that growth is centered in the soil, where we look to build a biologically active ecosystem for soil microbes

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Too Many Wood Chips

A pile of year-old chips partially transformed by white mold. These heavily-bearing blackberry plants have never been treated with anything but chip mulch. By Will Bonsall I’ve spoken and written extensively about using forest residues, especially shredded brushwood, or “ramial chips,” to build and maintain soil tilth. I’ve advocated incorporating them into gardens as short-term

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Hay Mulch and Other Low tech Adaptations for Home Gardens

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Joyce White My garden area in Stoneham’s stony foothills is ringed with trees, mostly ash and maple, that have grown very tall during the 21 years I’ve lived here. Their roots have grown very long, too, reaching beneath the soil of the whole garden area. Because of those roots and

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Grassland Improvement for Gardeners

Grassland – which can include many more species than grasses – is one way nature builds soils. English photo By Will Bonsall The only people who need to care about grasslands are those who keep livestock, right? Wrong! Anyone who cares about sustainable, self-reliant soil maintenance, whether on many acres or in a postage-stamp-sized backyard

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Ramial Chipped Wood More Than Wood Chips

By Céline Caron Recently I listened to “Dr. Mercola and Courtney White Discuss Carbon Sequestration” (YouTube, Aug. 27, 2014; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSgroKuuJFA). Both talked about incorporating wood chips into soil (with or without composting) and using them as mulch. Neither distinguished between wood chips and ramial wood chips. They obviously have not read my many articles about

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Growing Organic Strawberries

By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. I always have fresh cream at home from mid-June until mid-August. Berries are good with milk or yogurt, or plain, but they are best with cream. And the best berry? The one that is in season! For people who do not farm or garden, that season can be hard to determine,

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Garden Tips

My source of water is city water, which can be expensive if watering a large garden. I have a sump pit in my basement, so I set up a rain barrel and attached a sump hose from the pit outlet pipe to the rain barrel through an opening I cut in the rain barrel cover.

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