Organic gardening

It’s All New This Year

May 1, 2016 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Every year I experiment with a new vegetable, herb, fruit or flower in my garden.  Not this year.  This year, in my new home, everything is different.  The soil, light conditions, wind, water, surrounding vegetation, weeds, insect pests, the deer population, whatever critters live along the riverbank; it’s all unfamiliar.        The ecosystem I created […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneousOrganic gardening

Why Are We Fighting Mother Nature?

March 2, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

            Gardeners have many reasons for pursuing their hobby – exercise, relaxation, spending time outdoors, creativity and beauty, or growing healthy, fresh food.  These are all admirable motives for pursuit of a worthwhile pastime.  Gardening should be a lovely, relaxing activity.  So why do we sometimes make it so much work?  Why do we try […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsOrganic gardening

Deep Mulch Gardening

October 20, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

What tasks are you doing in your vegetable garden this time of year?  Pulling everything up, rototilling, maybe trying to find some free manure, beating yourself up over the many weeds you didn’t pull?  There is a way to make autumn’s garden tasks, and indeed the entire vegetable garden year, easier.  It’s called deep mulch […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsOrganic gardening

Don't Spray – Plants Can Defend Themselves!

September 15, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

What happens when you see an insect chewing on your beans?  Do you immediately reach for some kind of spray?  You really don’t need to do that – as soon as the chewer landed on the plant and began snacking, the bean called for help.  It did this by releasing a complex of chemicals called […]

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0 Fruits and vegetablesGardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneousOrganic gardening

Fertilizer from the sea

August 6, 2008 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Remember the story of Squanto teaching the pilgrims how to fertilize their crops by planting a fish head under each hill of corn?  It turns out that Squanto really knew what he was talking about.       Fish and seaweed from our lakes, rivers and oceans make excellent fertilizers for annuals, perennials, vegetables and even […]

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0 Organic gardening

Chemical-free lawns

May 21, 2008 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Face it.  You KNOW that synthetic chemical fertilizers and herbicides are bad for the environment and for your own health.  Those little white signs that lawn care companies place on the lawns warning people to stay off aren’t kidding.  But your lawn is addicted and you’re afraid that if you give up the chemicals […]

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Gardeners have a love/hate relationship with moss

April 1, 2008 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Some gardeners love moss.  Some gardeners hate moss.  Some gardeners love moss in some places but hate moss in other places.       Moss growing in your lawn is actually a symptom rather than the cause of a poor lawn.  Moss grows in shade where soil is compacted and has a low pH.  Poor drainage […]

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0 landscapingOrganic gardeningPests/Weeds/Invasives

A permaculture garden is a paradise

September 20, 2006 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      When I went to visit Suzette Lazotte’s permaculture garden, she gave me her address and detailed directions how to get there.  But I wouldn’t have needed either.  Just the name of the street would have been enough – her yard is very different from her neighbors’.        The bulk of Suzette’s yard is filled […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneousOrganic gardening

Permaculture for every yard

September 20, 2006 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Permaculture, coined from “permanent agriculture” may seem an obscure or unobtainable theory that doesn’t apply to the average yard or garden.  But there is no need to adopt the entire permaculture philosophy to derive some benefits.  Just a few of the concepts can be applied to make your yard and garden more beautiful and […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneousOrganic gardening

Use kitchen staples in the garden

June 21, 2006 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      There are many basic items on your kitchen shelves that can be used in the yard or garden to enhance growth or discourage pests and diseases without resorting to the use of poisonous chemicals.       The most obvious things that go from kitchen to garden are those that can be made into compost either […]

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