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Archive for the 'Soil' Category

Garden Pests and Diseases

Tracy provides solutions regarding pest problems, insects, identification of healthy and ailing plants, chemical pesticides, and critter control.

Pests, Weeds & Plant Disease: Garden Pests And Diseases

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Soil is the root of the issue

Matt Hickman portrait courtesy Mother Nature Network

Matt Hickman portrait courtesy Mother Nature Network

Research indicates that 80% of all plant problems relate to poor soil. Most soil we work with in the home garden is considered “disturbed urban soil” and it often contains only 2% (or less) organic matter. According to the Perennial Plant Association herbaceous perennials require a minimum of 5% organic matter for optimum growth. Organic matter can improve drainage in clay soil and increase water and nutrient holding capacity in sandy soil.  Research has also show that organic matter can increase plant growth by anywhere from 20-100% while maintaining higher than average survival rates. How does your soil stack up? Now is the time to test your soil and amend it to create a living soil that will help you be successful without synthetic chemicals.  But all amendments are not created equal. Learn more about soils in my first book The Well-Tended Perennial Garden ( Chapter 2 Bed Preparation: Insurance for Success) and click here to read Matt Hickman’s blog from Mother Nature Network “The First Amendments” and view my video on “Improving Garden Soil”.

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