Keep mulch away from tree trunks?

Keep mulch away from tree trunks?

When some people visit my yard or see photos of my trees, they spot a violation of the rules: Aren’t you supposed to keep mulch away from the trunks of your trees? (That’s my rule-breaking lime tree in the photo above.) It’s true, there’s no real benefit...
Don’t dig in your garden

Don’t dig in your garden

A light frost kissed my sweet potato foliage to death at the end of December, so I dug the tubers up. I don’t do much digging in my garden anymore, it occurred to me. In fact, I realized, besides harvesting sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes, I don’t dig at...
Simple composting

Simple composting

My first experience composting was when I dug a hole in the ground and filled it with food scraps, garden waste, pig manure, and peach tree trimmings. Each night when I went outside to relieve myself before going to bed, I found a wild dog harvesting from the compost...
Fertile soil can be child’s play

Fertile soil can be child’s play

You want your vegetables and fruit trees to grow well and provide you with good food, so you seek advice about how to create the best soil conditions for your plants. You encounter this recommendation in Sunset’s The Edible Garden book about how to grow...
Mulch

Mulch

A truckload of mulch is overwhelmingly pleasing: the sweet foresty smell, the rich brown color, the thought of tree roots flourishing beneath it and even reaching up into it to eat and drink. There are few things you can do to please your trees more than spread a...

Applying urine as fertilizer

We know that urine has nutrients which plants use, but how to give it to them? The simplest guideline is to pee in a spot once and only once. Here are some details and research that support this guideline. One approach is to use the following statement by Håkan...
Urine as fertilizer

Urine as fertilizer

If you were to urinate on the ground beneath plants, it turns out that you would add many of the same nutrients to the soil that bags of fertilizer add, and in similar quantities. Bags of fertilizer are always labelled with their proportions of the three...

My Soil, in Depth

  For a year and a half, I’ve been experiencing the soil in this yard — digging in it, crumbling it in hand to check the moisture level, watching rain infiltrate — but only just now have I discovered what experts in soil, soil scientists, have...