• Article

    Learn to Build Better Soil

    A backyard is no place for a farm. My earliest vegetable gardens were small-scale imitations of large-scale farms. I rototilled the soil, spread bagged chemical fertilizer all around and built…

  • Fallen oak leaves and pine needles

    Pine Needles, Oak Leaves, and Soil Acidity: What Does the Research Say?

    In a recent Healthy Garden article, Paula Gross mentions research indicating that mulches of oak leaves and pine needles do not acidify the soil. In view of the tendencies of…

  • clay soil

    Healthy Soil Is at the Heart of a Thriving Garden  

    Soil is a complex structure made up of mineral solids and organic matter interwoven with aggregates and open pore spaces. The open spaces between soil particles are just as important…

  • healthy garden soil

    Maintaining Healthy Garden Soil

    Many people think of soil as dead, decomposed organic matter and minerals. But it’s much more than that. Soil is full of life. Trillions of organisms live in soil, using…

  • rain garden

    Drainage Solutions for Heavy Clay Soil

    I recently renovated my courtyard, carefully double digging the clay soil and adding plenty of organic matter. When heavy spring rains arrived, I discovered I had created a giant bathtub.…

  • A Gadget That Takes the Guesswork Out of Watering

    A Gadget That Takes the Guesswork Out of Watering

    While it may seem like a simple tool, I’ve recommended this Mosser Lee Soil Master moisture, light, and pH meter more than any other garden tool. The soil in my…

  • How-To

    How to Water a Pot

    There are several basic things that every gardener should know: how to pinch a plant, how to water a pot, how to keep dirt out of your fingernails, etc. In…

  • container display

    8 Ways to Create Crowd-Pleasing Containers

    Containers open up a world of design possibilities for apartment dwellers, gardeners with limited time or space, and anyone who wants to add an instant focal point to their daily…

  • Caliche soil

    Gardening with Caliche Soil in the Southern Plains

    How many times have you heard gardeners lament the presence of caliche in their soil? If you live in the Southern Plains or the desert Southwest, it’s likely you’ve heard…

  • Article

    Regional Picks: Plant It And Forget It – Southern Plains

    1. Blue Puffball™ Chaste Tree   Name: Vitex angus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’ Zones:6-9 Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide Conditions: Full sun; average to dry soil Finally, a chaste tree…