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3 ways to ruin your garden

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  3 ways to ruin your garden

Huh?  Only 3 ways to ruin your garden?  Oh there’s more but these are time and (some) Teri-tested methods!

  • Planting “easy spreaders” or “fills in rapidly” plants.  Better known as invasive!  These plants will take over your carefully planned garden.  There may be areas you want to plant these, you decide!   Obedient Plant (ha!) is a great example.  It really is lovely but it really does spread.  If that’s what you want then go for it.  Breeders are creating less invasive varieties
    Physostegia aka Obedient Plant

    Physostegia aka Obedient Plant

  • Tossing all your fireplace ashes on your compost is also a way to ruin your garden.  The reason is that wood ash has a high Ph.  That means alkaline.  The soil in Minnesota generally leans to alkaline, so we don’t need to add any more.  GET A SOIL TEST!  Soil varies widely throughout the country.  Talk to your local extension to find out more and check for testing labs or pick up a test kit at your local nursery.

soil testing lab

  • Never work a wet soil!  Moist is fine but working wet soil will turn that soil into dirt clods.

wet soil

Always add organic matter to your soil.  Tilling once a year is okay, every other year is better.  Tilling tends to break up the soil too much.  Never till wet soil!

tilling wet soil

Top dressing with compost or any organic matter is the best way to go.

compost bin B&B

compost

In the picture below, I’m using a tarp to pile up the weeds and grass I’ve dug up from the garden area.  It keeps the area “cleaner” and it’s a lot easier to pull over to the compost pile! 

weeding

By the way, I don’t use landscape fabric anymore.  Instead, I try to make sure the garden area is weed-free (as much as is possible) place wetted newspaper and then use mulch.  No matter what material you use, weeds will find a way.  It’s easier to get at those little buggers without any type of fabric or plastic put down to prevent them!  The video below was done a few years ago and my front yard is now quite different!  I had just purchase this home.  By the way, that shrub I was digging out was a Son of a Gun!!!  ?

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