Lasagna gardening (Google / Mother Earth News)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Lasagna Gardening

The basics of a non-traditional method of gardening that is organix, earth friendly and easy.

The basics of a nontraditional method of gardening that is not only organic, earth friendly, and incredibly easy, but will enable you to accomplish more, in less time, with less work…
by Patricia Lanza


A great guide to organic gardening (Google / The Gazette)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

A great guide to organic gardening

For a concise, accurate, and inspiring primer on the fundamentals of organic growing, a gardener can’t do better than this compilation by Stuart Robertson, gardening columnist for The Gazette, and a radio and TV broadcaster. Whether it’s tips on lawn care you’re after, or on starting a new vegetable bed, or on maintaining brilliant blooms year after year, Robertson answers a gardener’s most pressing queries in language that is clear and simple without being simplistic. He covers everything from how to plant asparagus roots and when to divide peonies to which tools are absolutely essential. All the information is grounded in sound sustainable horticultural principles, which he takes care not only to define, but to make accessible. Easily understood by the novice, Robertson’s tips offer welcome reminders, too, for those with a long history of playing in the dirt.



By Stuart Robertson
Véhicule Press, 216 pages, $17.95
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008

Key to organic gardening (Google / Get reading)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Key to organic gardening – keep soil in good heart

Organic food and drink is big business now with more than £2bn spent each year in the UK alone. Anything sold as organic has to be properly certified by an accredited organisation like the Soil Association but for amateur gardeners the situation is not so clear cut. There are no universally approved standards for us to work to but instead a series of general guidelines and we must use our own common sense to adapt these to suit our own circumstances. Perhaps the two best-known rules for organic gardening are that we don’t use any chemical pesticides or herbicides on our plots. Which means, of course, no slug pellets and no weedkiller.  But as well as a long list of ‘don’ts’ organic gardening is increasingly about the ‘dos’. We are encouraged to keep our soil in good heart, which helps our plants grow stronger and be less vulnerable to pest and diseases. We are encouraged to control weeds with a range of different techniques like mulching and hoeing. The damage caused by pests and diseases can also be minimised by quite simple measures like choosing resistant cultivars and encouraging natural predators into our gardens. Continue reading “Key to organic gardening (Google / Get reading)”

10 steps to planning your organic garden (Kitchen Gardeners Int.)

Read at : Kitchen Gardeners International

10 steps to planning your organic garden

These straightforward tips come courtesy of Charlie Nardozzi, senior horticulturist and spokesperson for the National Gardening Association. Follow them and you’re sure to have great results this season.

1. Find the Right Spot. Like real estate, a successful organic garden is all about the right location. Find a spot in your yard with full sun (at least 6 hours), well-drained soil, and one that’s within easy reach of the house.
2. Beef Up the Soil. Add organic matter such as grass clippings, leaves, compost, manure, hay and straw each fall. In spring, apply a 1/2- to 1-inch-thick layer of finished compost on beds before planting.
3. Raise it Up. Create raised beds (8 to 10 inches high, 3 feet wide) by mounding the soil and flattening the top. Soil in raised beds warms up and dries out faster in spring and is easer to work. You can reform the beds each spring or make the beds permanent by framing them with rot-resistant wood, plastic or stone.
4. Grow What You Like. Although it may seem obvious, grow crops you and your family love to eat. While bush beans, lettuces and tomatoes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow, if your family doesn’t enjoy them, why grow them?
5. Select the Right Varieties. Grow varieties of vegetables and fruits adapted to your area. Check with local garden centers and fellow gardeners to find the best varieties to grow.
6. Start With Transplants. For the beginning gardener, purchase as many vegetables as possible as transplants from the garden center. Seeds are necessary for root crops, such as carrots and radishes, but transplants of most other vegetables are more likely to be a success.
7. Design Properly. Design your garden with a mix of flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs. A mixed planting is less likely to get completely destroyed by insect, animal or disease attacks.
8. Plant Correctly. Follow package directions and plant at the proper spacing and depth. Thin seeded crops to the proper distance. Crowded plants become easily stressed and don’t produce well.


Organic gardening poses challenges (Google / The Joplin Globe)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Mike Surbrugg: Organic gardening poses challenges

With more people trying to grow organic produce instead of using commercial fertilizers and herbicides, there are questions. John Hobbs, University of Missouri Extension specialist at Pineville, said the only difference between organic and other gardening is fertilizer and herbicides. The primary fertilizer needs, regardless of garden type, are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, he said. Before applying large amounts of organic fertilizer, get a soil test to know plant needs, he said. See your county extension center for details. Continue reading “Organic gardening poses challenges (Google / The Joplin Globe)”

Organic gardening (Google / Sopcos)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is the exact same as regular gardening except that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used. This can make certain aspects difficult, such as controlling disease, insects, and weeds. Organic gardening also requires more attention to the soil and the many needs of plants. Organic gardening starts with the soil. Gardeners must add organic matter to the soil regularly in order to keep the soil productive. In fact, compost is essential to the healthiness and well being of plants grown organically. Compost can be made from leaves, dead flowers, vegetable scraps, fruit rinds, grass clippings, manure, and many other things. The ideal soil has a dark color, sweet smell, and is full of earthworms. Some soil may need more natural additives than regular compost can give, such as bonemeal, rock phosphates, or greensand. A simple soil test will tell you the pH balance and which nutrients you will need to use. Continue reading “Organic gardening (Google / Sopcos)”

Lasagna gardening (Google / The Daily Dispatch)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Lasagna gardening at Farmer’s Market

After a gardening column last month in which I mentioned removing rocks and digging up the area where you plan to put your vegetable garden, I got a call from a reader who told me that was the hard way.  The caller was Pearl O’Neill of Hereford, who at 92 is still growing some of her own food and teaching others to garden.  “The easy way,” she said, “is lasagna gardening.”  In fact she had just harvested a couple of cabbages from her own lasagna garden. This sounded rather appetizing and fun so I ordered the book,  “Lasagna Gardening” by Patricia Lanza and subtitled “A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens:  No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!”  With that catchy title and the fact that the book was published by Rodale Press, I was ready to listen. Continue reading “Lasagna gardening (Google / The Daily Dispatch)”

Agriculture: the price of adaptation (Geasphere / Owen)

Read at : owen <>


Thanks to Curtis Lang and his global news :

Published on 12 Dec 2007 by The Archdruid Report.
Archived on 13 Dec 2007. Energy Bulletin

Agriculture: the price of adaptation

by John Michael Greer

One of the great gifts of crisis is supposed to be the way it helps
sort out the difference between what’s essential and what’s not. As
we move deeper into the crisis of industrial civilization, that
particular gift is likely to arrive in horse doctor’s doses. Those
who insist that the first priority in an age of declining petroleum
production is finding some other way to fuel a suburban SUV
lifestyle, or who hope to see some favorite technology – the
internet, say, or space travel – privileged in the same way, risk
finding out the hard way that other things come first.

At the top of the list of those other things are the immediate
necessities of human life: breathable air, drinkable water, edible
food. Lacking those, nothing else matters much. The first two are
provided by natural cycles that industrial civilization is doing its
best to mess up, but so far the damage has been localized. There are
still crucial issues to consider and work to be done, but the raw
resilience of a billion-year-old biosphere that has shrugged off ice
ages and asteroid impacts is a powerful ally.

Food is another matter. Unlike air and water, the vast majority of
the food we eat comes from human activity rather than the free
operation of natural cycles, and the human population has gone so far
beyond the limits of what surviving natural ecosystems can support
that attempting to fall back on wild foods at this point would be a
recipe for dieoff and ecological catastrophe. At the same time, most
of the world’s population today survives on food produced using
fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources such as mineral
phosphate and ice age aquifers. As the end of the fossil fuel age
approaches, other arrangements have to be made.

This poses a challenge, because nearly every resource currently used
in industrial agriculture, from the petroleum that powers tractors
and provides raw materials for pesticides, through the natural gas
and phosphate rock that go into fertilizer, to the topsoil that
underlies the whole process, is being depleted at radically
unsustainable rates. Some peak oil theorists, noting this, have
worried publicly that the consequences of declining petroleum
production will include the collapse of industrial agriculture and
worldwide starvation.

Still, this is one of those places where one of the central themes of
recent Archdruid Report posts – the theme of adaptation – is
particularly useful. If today’s industrial agriculture were to keep
chugging away along its present course into the future, the results
could be disastrous. One of the few things that can be said for
certain, though, is that this sort of straight-line extrapolation is
the least likely trajectory for the agriculture of the future. Continue reading “Agriculture: the price of adaptation (Geasphere / Owen)”

Exchanging seeds and other tips (Mother Earth Living)

Today I was sending the following comment to Mother Earth Living, hosted by the editors of the very interesting Mother Earth News magazine, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely (warmly recommended, also for the Mother Earth Living Tips!):

As a botanist and honorary professor of the University of Ghent (Belgium), I am currently helping UNICEF ALGERIA with a project called “Creation of family gardens and school gardens in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Sahara desert of Algeria”. More than 1000 small family gardens were created in 2007 (see website with photos . In August, I launched an action in Belgium for the collection of seeds of tropical and sub-tropical fruit species, like melon, watermelon, pumpkin, papaya, avocado, sweet pepper, chilipepper, tomato, pommegranade, tamarind, etc. Many compatriots are sending me the seeds of the fruits they consumed, otherwise going to their garbage bin. All these seeds are nowadays going to the refugee camps, helping to produce some vegetables and fruits for these poor people and children. I wonder if some readers of Mother Earth News would like to help UNICEF by sending seeds of vegetables and fruits to my address : Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM – Beeweg 36 – B9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium). The seeds are sent to the refugee camps in S.W. Algeria with the help of the Algerian Embassy in Brussels. Thanks for your attention to this humanitarian action. To all of you : Merry Christmas and a very green 2008, also for the family gardens in the desert. Willem

I was sending this comment after reading Mother Earth Living’s

Swap Seeds This Season

by Tabitha Alterman
If you’re getting eager to start your garden, you’re probably already stockpiling seed catalogs and making wish lists. But before you order a long list of seeds from the catalogs, you might want to try acquiring seeds through fun and easy seed swaps. You can save a little money this way, and it’s a great excuse to get together with other local gardeners. Plus you’ll be joining the efforts of gardeners worldwide to preserve plant diversity and keep many heirloom garden plants around for generations to come. The traditional model of a seed swap is an informal local get-together, usually in early spring, where gardening neighbors all bring extra seeds saved from previous seasons — along with any surplus seedlings they won’t be able to use that year — and trade these valuable goods among themselves. Who had the juiciest tomatoes last year? You’ll want a few seeds from those plants. You started too many broccoli seedlings in your backyard greenhouse? Why not spread the love around? Continue reading “Exchanging seeds and other tips (Mother Earth Living)”

Aspirin water for cuttings and healthy plants (Google Alert / Now Recycle)

Read at : Google Alert / gardening

An interesting part of the article on”Organic gardening tips for your garden bin” (see below)

You can use your garden bin to create aspirin water if you would like to keep your plants really healthy. It is a well known fact that plants tend to get a little tired and stressed during certain times of the year, just like we do. Many gardeners choose to use fertiliser to try and bring new life back into unhealthy plants. However what they do not realise is that this can sometimes actually be damaging to the plant. What it may actually need is something known as aspirin water.


What is Aspirin Water?


Aspirin water can be made up from chopped up willow twigs. All you need is your garden bin, the willow twigs and some water. Simply leave the twigs in the bucket with the water overnight or for a few days if you would prefer to. Then simply use it on any new plants that you are planting, cutting or transplanting to a different area of the garden.


You can place willow chips and water in the bin too if you would like to grow any plant cuttings. Simply keep them in the bin with the lid off until they start to grow roots. Then you can plant them using the aspirin water. However, you should ensure that the plants are given compost and soil every few days until they are transferred over. This is because the roots on the cuttings will not be able to cope with heavy soil straight away and so you need to prepare them by giving them small bits at a time.


Remember that if you want to keep it organic, you will need to ensure that you do not put the mixture in a sprayer that has been used for pesticides. It is always better to use a clean one with the aspirin water.


So overall the best organic gardening tip is to use aspirin water instead of fertiliser whenever possible. It is good for the environment and it is particularly good for your plants. It will help to revitalise them and keep your garden looking healthy and glowing. So if you are thinking of a use for your garden bin, then why not use it to store aspirin water in?


Editors’ notes: is a trading style of Plastic Omnium Systems Ltd – a European market leader in waste containment solutions that provides a wide range of waste containers and services including wheeled bins, litter bins, banks, composters and sacks. It is part of the International Plastic Omnium Group, a world leader in contract waste container solutions with worldwide sales of more than £1.8 billion. It employs over 9,000 people in 25 countries, across four continents, in manufacturing and service solutions for the automotive, environment and performance plastic products.
Press Contact: Simon Dutta, N European Marketing Director, Plastic Omnium Urban Systems Ltd
Telephone: 01952 582 583

Organic gardening tips for your garden bin (Google Alert / Now Recycle)

Read at : Google Alert / gardening

Organic gardening tips for your garden bin

Using your garden bin for organic gardening is something that not only helps the environment, but it can also be fun to do. A great way to introduce organic gardening into your life is by using a garden bin, which can be a good start and it is extremely useful too. Continue reading “Organic gardening tips for your garden bin (Google Alert / Now Recycle)”

Vegetable and Organic Gardening (Google Alert / Gardening Action)

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Google Alert – gardening

Vegetable and Organic Gardening

Learn To Garden With Our Experts

The Growing Of Vegetable Plants

A vegetable garden is admittedly a part of any home place that has a good rear area. A purchased vegetable is never the same as one taken from a man’s own soil and representing his own effort and solicitude.

It is essential to any satisfaction in vegetable-growing that the soil be rich and thoroughly subdued and fined. The plantation should also be so arranged that the tilling can be done with wheel tools, and, where the space will allow it, with horse tools. The old-time garden bed consumes time and labor, wastes moisture, and is more trouble and expense than it is worth. The rows of vegetables should be as long and continuous as possible, to allow of tillage with wheel tools. If it is not desired to grow a full row of any one vegetable, the line may be made up of several species, one following the other, care being taken to place together such kinds as have similar requirements; one long row, for example, might contain all the parsnips, carrots, and salsify. One or two long rows containing a dozen kinds of vegetables are usually preferable to a dozen short rows, each with one kind of vegetable. Continue reading “Vegetable and Organic Gardening (Google Alert / Gardening Action)”

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