Using mulch for soil binder
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.
The new 'Back to Eden' film, the first-ever documentary devoted to mulch, explores how using wood chip mulch builds soil fertility.
Here are some good options for free, weed-free mulches.
It's easy to overlook how useful grass clippings can be, but early fall is a great time to collect this valuable 'yard waste' to use in your garden as mulch.
Use autumn's bounty of fallen leaves to expand your garden, protect your plants and improve your soil.
Garden soil left exposed in winter is easily damaged by compaction, erosion and leaching. Use mulches or cover crops to safeguard and build your soil during the winter months.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
Description of how to unroll and fasten edges of biodegradable plastic mulch without using tractors or mulch-laying equipment. Discussion of different types of biodegradable plastic, and how to store them.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
I feed my vegetable and fruit plants organically, taking into account our ocean-dwelling ancestors.
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
A good layer of environmentally friendly mulch such as eucalyptus, pine bark or cocoa hulls will discourage weeds, keep soil up to 10 degrees cooler and help prevent plant disease. What's your favorite green mulch?
Follow these simple tips on fall gardening.
Beware of what you use in your garden! Cocoa bean mulch may cause serious gastrointestinal problems for dogs, if eaten in large amounts.
Woodchip mulch has great benefits for gardening and landscaping. Instead of buying woodchips, we can use what resources we already have and make our own.
Mulch can provide quite a nice habitat for slugs. If you don't want them to be permanent residents there, here are ways to kick them out...organically, of course.
Although paper is a wood product, it's not always the best answer for mulch or compost.
Uruguay has authorized industrial hemp cultivation on an experimental basis. The South American country’s officials want to know how the crop responds to Uruguayan soil and its productive capacities before authorizing nationwide cultivation.
Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant explains how night crawlers and other worms can improve the structure of your garden soil, and how to attract them by using piles of compost and mulch.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
After a long trial-and-error process, Ilene White Freedman finally found a sustainable, weed-suppressing mulching system for her farm.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
Find all of the mulch you need for free in your own back yard.
Consider grafting your favorite tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock to foil soilborne diseases.
In the long term, using recycled tire planters or rubber mulch in your garden can cause problems. Here's why.
Your soil can be your best friend or your worst enemy as you prep your garden. Find out what you're up against with one of these three easy methods!
Soil microbes provide numerous benefits to plants. This is a recipe for creating a brew of your own local, indigenous microbes.
Peat moss can help improve soil, but it can be expensive and its production can hurt the environment. Find out whether or not you should use it in your garden.
Abundant moisture and soil acidity are major factors in the growth of moss. There's nothing wrong with moss in your strawberry beds, but here's a tip on how to get more flavorful fruit.
A soil fertility expert shares his advice on using wood ashes as garden fertilizer.
It's true, under the right circumstances, livestock grazing does help build healthy soil. Here's how it works.
A reader inquires about the best fertilizer to work on anything you might grow.
Looking ahead to spring, we're using these long days to plan a rootstock order of perennial trees, shrubs, and herbs.
A winter thaw inspires starting the first seeds of the season - indoors, of course: kale, chard, and spinach to start.
Compost and mulch material are in abundance in our backyard and our communities. What is ones man's yard waste is this man's treasure.
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
Some manufacturers that make rubber mulch from shredded tires claim it’s an environmentally friendly solution to tire waste. So is rubber mulch safe to put on your plants, as those companies assert? Find out here.
Want a worry-free, weed-free, organic-matter-rich vegetable garden bed? It is doable and fall is the best time to put it in action!
Pretty much everything I own got soaking wet with the Mama Earf's recent rain bender in Virginia. But on the bright side, I got to see the genius behind the tipi structure firsthand.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
Learning how to make a soil block is a simple skill capable of permitting one to become involved within their local CSA or farm. It can also be a great way to meet local farmers, reduce CSA membership fees, and learn about organic gardening. Before each seed is sowed it must have a soil block to grow in. Being part of that initial step brings great joy.
The symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi are showing more than ever how life depends on life. Learn how to encourage what beneficial microbes you have in your soil for a powerful ally in your garden and fields.
Managing compost now allows for more productive use the following season.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his approach to improving soil health and preparing a soil microbe brew.
Nitrogen-fixing winter cover crops can save you money on fertilizer next year.
Using wood ash in the garden can be beneficial for raising the soil pH of your garden soil. These tips will help you know when to use wood ash in the garden.
Tips on how you can reduce your exposure to radon in your home.
Who would have ever thought that worms could invade a forest and wreak havoc?
Your veggies contain the nutritional content that the soil can provide the plant. Saying a plant only needs NPK is like saying all humans need is carbs, fat and protein. It is much more complicated than that.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
Fall sheet mulching of perennial plantings assists in fertility and weed suppression.
Using leaves as mulch to enhance soil fertility.
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
This photographic illustration shows how permanent gardens beds are beneficial, and prevent soil compaction.
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
Garden like the Native Americans by digging up 18-inch-diameter hills on four foot centers. Get your crops started, then worry about working the areas in between the hills.
Noticing the cycles of the plants, animals and insects around you, which is the study of phenology, will help you become more attuned to your garden. Soil temperature has a lot to do with those cycles.
Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners.
If you've added too much nitrogen fertilizer to your garden this expert advice can help you figure out how to correct the mistake.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
A newly acquired garden or an over-spent allotment can have poor-quality soil, making it more difficult to manage and use, and leading to potential problems for those wishing to grow a new lush, green lawn or plant some daffodils, crocus or hyacinths bulbs in the spring.
Crossing a creek using cinder block stepping stones one year after installation and using cinder blocks to repair driveway ruts. Shoveling mulch from a Club Car golf cart and a nice image of turkey tail mushrooms popping up from a log of walnut.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Gathering leaves from the woods to mulch the garden and stump dirt to turn into potting soil not only provides free biomass for the garden, it also introduces beneficial microorganisms.
Solving the mystery of finding broken shards of china and pottery in an old garden. Discovering the history of the land and its first settlers.
We produce wonderful, organically approved soil products for the independent garden centers.
This passive composting system creates beds of fertile soil through rotational composting.
Today we officially celebrate Earth Day, but we can celebrate healthy soil and all that it contributes to our lives every day.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .
Intensive grazing management can answer questions regarding field carrying capacity, how much forage your animals need each day and how to manage what you have. Pizza, anyone?
How to revitalize your potting soil for another strong vegetable season. You can use your own compost and homemade fertilizer to give your container veggies the boost they need for the season.
Taking care of compost is essential to healthy soil and good food.
This posting discusses how deforestation increases global warming and ocean acidification. It also discusses the role of deforestation in triggering severe flooding,aquifer depletion, soil degradation and animal and plant extinction.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
With a few simple tips, you can transform the leaves overtaking your yard into valuable, nutrient-dense compost, mulch or leaf mold.
Building the Cadillac of worm bins, a new barn door, testing the new garlic curing rack, harvesting big potato onions, mulching blueberries, and fabricating a low budget easy to build automatic chicken coop door opener and closer from easy find parts
Fixing the swamp bridge and starting some new onion seeds along with a new experiment involving willow rooting hormone tea.
Describes a method of keeping red wiggler worms active and productive outside throughout the winter. Describes a method of sheltering and heating the worms using an active compost pile for heat and clear plastic glazing for shelter.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
Summing up the last week of mostly frozen stuff except for a brief thaw.
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
An update on generating electricity with pedal power and which exercise bike we decided on and testing soil for nutrient ratios along with fixing a pair of leaky boots with adhesive and inner tube scrap patch.