master the garden: soil basics

Soil. A natural body embracing the topsoil, but also the subsoil and other layers above its parent rock – is a complex material that supports all life on earth and is a product of the environment – of the rock waste which is its parent material, of the climate under which it weathers, of the kind of topography upon which it is situated, of the vegetation and other organisms with which it develops, and of the length of time during which it has been developing. 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock

making the cut: fruit trees

For the gardener who grows fruit trees, the purpose is to grow quality fruit in a reasonable quantity, and harvest safely from from healthy trees. Pruning is a management tool that helps align these goals and balances the needs of both tree and gardener.

id your tree

Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest‘ Monterey Cypress Soft and bright, the beautiful gold foliage will persist all year round making the Cypress a favorite in the garden. I use juvenile specimens in planters, transplanting them into the landscape as they mature. With an annual growth of 8 to 10 inches – mature specimens reach 7 to 8 feetContinue reading “id your tree”

what the SOM?

soil organic matter as an indicator of soil health So what is SOM? The USDA defines SOM as: the organic component of soil consisting of three primary parts: (fresh) plant residues and small living organisms (active) decomposing organic matter (humus) stable organic matter Most of us understand the importance of sufficient nutrition in the soilContinue reading “what the SOM?”

master the garden: microclimate management

I have lived in 7 different planting zones and not one has been a perfect match for growing what I wanted. I had to get creative. What I learned was some plants will struggle to survive or fail to thrive without a little intervention on my part and just a few subtle manipulations in adjustingContinue reading “master the garden: microclimate management”