Stuff NOT to do in your garden

Wed. Oct. 12, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Stuff NOT to do in your garden

Don’t rototill.  We “experts” used to tell folks to till in organic matter but in recent years, it’s become more and more apparent that you should do that with a garden fork and not a rototiller which can end up compacting your soil.

rototiller-with-xA worthwhile read from Old World Farms Garden on why NOT to use a tiller.  Another great option is just to lay that wonderful compost right on top of your garden beds and let nature do her thing!  What’s interesting is that this was the advice given decades ago.  What’s old is new again.

With more wet weather than normal, I will caution you not to work in wet soil.  Working in a wet garden can cause your soil to create clods that dry like bricks.  If you’re not sure how damp your soil can be to work it, Here’s a helper, take a handful of soil and squeeze it.  If the soil stays in a ball when you open your hand, do NOT work the soil, if it’s so dry that you can’t even make a ball of dirt, do NOT work the soil or you’ll wind up with powder.

soil squeeze

Don’t even walk on your garden beds if they’re wet.  That’s enough to compact the soil which takes out the air pockets and creates unworkable soil.   However, you can LAY organic matter on those beds ANY time!

Don’t “use up” chemicals just to get rid of them…   Someone asked me recently if they could use up the last of their leftover fertilizer on plants now.  NO.  The only thing you should be fertilizing right now is your lawn.  Trees, shrubs and perennials should be watered only!  Trying to clear out your garage of chemicals before winter is not a good reason to use them.  Pesticides and herbicides should only be used when you’ve identified a problem and want to eradicate it.

Limit any pruning to disposing of dead or damaged branches to trees and shrubs.

Don’t leave piles of leaves on your lawn or you’ll risk fungal disease which can kill the grass.

And one more thing, don’t be afraid to email me with comments or questions.  DO send me your suggestions for future Garden Bites.  teri@gardenbite.com or find Garden Bite with Teri Knight on Facebook.

teri-with-grasses

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