Life in the soil

Yes! There is life down there! It is so complex, even soil scientists have yet to plumb the depth and breadth of all the species and interactions that make the soil work like one living organism. For gardeners, it's important to know that a lively soil feeds your plants. Feeding the life in the soil … Continue reading Life in the soil

Didn’t I Say? Soil – It’s the Foundation…

Update: This video about soil and atmospheric CO2 reduction is well made and summarizes many important principles in an easy-to-understand story. SO encouraging and important! Hot off the presses in the NY Times today... Scientists using new analytical techniques over the last decade have found that the world’s ocean of soil is one of our … Continue reading Didn’t I Say? Soil – It’s the Foundation…

Native Plants 101: Basic Growing Information

Growing Native Plants   Native plants are best for native insects, pollinators, birds, and local wildlife. Plants and animals evolved together, so the ones that are native are always the best for local wildlife. Mix them in with your ornamentals, and you will have a diverse landscape teeming with healthy life! You will have more … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Basic Growing Information

What’s Winter For?

From some plants' points of view, winter provides an essential chilling period. In climates with seasonal temperature variations, selection has favored seeds that delay germination until the warmth of spring arrives. Then, in soil still moist from winter rain and snow, tiny plants get a good start before the onset of hot dry weather. Woody … Continue reading What’s Winter For?

Beneficial of the Week 4

It's fungi season in the Pacific Northwest! Although we will be fighting mildew and other fungal invasions for the next eight months or so, the benefits of fungi are so numerous, it's hard to know where to start. Some fun facts from Ecology for Gardeners by Carroll and Salt (2004), and Life in the Soil … Continue reading Beneficial of the Week 4

Beneficial Organism of the Week

Starting a new theme here: Garden Beneficials.  I would say "beneficial insects" but so many organisms that keep us alive and healthy are from other orders. You'll see as we get further into this! Here are this week's guests of honor These two tiny millipedes are front-line shredders, so you find them in leaf litter. … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week

Favorites from the bookshelf post #3

  Soils are under-appreciated in the garden. Many assume that once in the ground, plants just grow, and if you add some fertilizer or compost, that feeds them somehow. Well, it's much more complicated. I am of the opinion that soil science is very close, if not equal to rocket science. Especially since there are … Continue reading Favorites from the bookshelf post #3