Soil Solutions

Rehab Raised Beds Inside and Out

density-1024x768Raised-bed hoops and row covers can help you protect crops from harsh growing conditions and winter cold.
Second gardens are always better than first gardens.  When those first gardens were your raised beds, then maybe it’s time to raise the bar.  Bigger, better, and more prolific are garden characteristics that all gardeners want, so perhaps it’s time to rehab and expand in preparation for next year’s summer garden.
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BLACK GOLD® Garden Amendment Guide

Black Gold® amendments cover everything from basic coir, to premium peat moss, compost, and earthworm castings.  Each has an important application in your garden and landscape planning. For product basics and best uses, follow this simple guide.
BLACK GOLD® Just Coir
BG_JSTCOIR-2cu-FRONTFew natural amendments hold water and air as well as coir. It is recommended as an amendment where extra organic matter and increased water holding capacity are needed. […]

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Late-Summer Seed Sowing

chard-kaleLacinato kale and Swiss chard are two great crops for fall growing.
It’s absolutely counterintuitive to plant anything in August or September, but intuition is not always right.  Go against your instincts, and sow cool-season seeds right now.  Do it soon, and you’ll get your fall and winter garden started just in time.
Starting Fall Vegetables
If you’re a beginner and have never grown food outside the strict summer […]

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When in Drought, Choose Succulents

cross-slope-1024x768Barrel cacti, agave, and echevarias are all bold succulents for droughty landscapes.
With statewide water cutbacks in California, everyone will have to rethink some of the plants in their home landscapes.    Rather than viewing this as a tragedy, make it an opportunity to dive into some of trendiest plants filling gardens of the rich and famous.  If you’ve always wanted that great, clean succulent garden […]

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Black Gold® Seedling Mix, A Professional Mix for Home Growers

BG-Seedling-1.5cuBlack Gold® Seedling Mix is the perfect medium for germinating seeds and propagating cuttings, and the formula is the same blend used by professional greenhouse growers. Our mix is designed to promote better root development in young plants and holds water well due to the addition of an organic wetting agent. Moreover, it is OMRI Listed®, which means it is approved for organic gardening.
We start with […]

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Succeed with Container Vegetable Gardening

IMG_0679This season we experimented with planting ‘Little Baby Flower’ watermelon in big tubs, and they are doing great!
Lots of container vegetable gardens fail. Why? It often comes down to size, quality, and water. The size of the container and vegetables, quality of the soil and fertilizer, and watering regime must be right for productive veggies. Get these factors wrong and your growing efforts will be compromised.
Container growing is […]

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Succulents: Beware Over Packed Pots!

color-gilmer2This composition of mixed succulents may look pretty, but the gang-potted group will not survive unless transplanted into their own Terracotta pots.
 
Those big, popular succulent collections sold in pots and troughs (otherwise known as “gang pots”) are dying out all over. Each container may be packed with a dozen or more species of succulent plants that often originate from vastly different locations and have different cultural needs.  Many are […]

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Mulching With Black Gold Amendments

Rhododendron luteum2 JaKMPMRhododendron luteum amended with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend.
When the drought is long, soils are poor, and money is short, one way to revitalize struggling garden plants is to protect their roots with mulch. Good mulches help to retain moisture, cool the root zone, and discourage weeds. The conventional wisdom is to mulch with wood chips or ground up bark, but both are very slow to decompose and can bind needed soil nutrients. The […]

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Everything about Growing Dahlias

Dahlia 'Park Princess' - CopyDahlia ‘Park Princess’
Dahlias come in all forms, from monolithic 12” dinnerplate monsters to tiny 2” pixie pincushion blooms, and colors—pretty much any shade except for true blue. So, you can never love just one. They thrive in the cooler seasons of early summer and fall and offer a botanical extravaganza of floral beauty with over 50,000 named cultivars and 20 wildly diverse forms. (Visit the American Dahlia Society (ADS) website […]

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The Biggest and Best Beefsteak Tomatoes

BCTomato-Janets-Jacinthe-Jewel-TS156-web‘Janet’s Jacinthe Jewel’ is an exceptional and unusual large beefsteak offered by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (Image care of Baker Creek)
The bigger the better! This statement rings true with tomato breeders and heirloom collectors seeking to find bigger and better monster beefsteak tomatoes that don’t shirk on taste, productivity, or disease resistance. For many summer gardeners, nothing tastes better than the simple pleasure of a sweet beefsteak tomato slice drizzled with olive oil and […]

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