Soil

Why I Save My Autumn Leaves

October 11, 2014
IMG_9303 - CopyThanks to the ancient maples, oaks, and other deciduous trees that live on my property, the lawn is now littered with a gazillion leaves. I don't bag and discard these castings of vermillion and gold. Instead, I turn them into the best soil amendment on earth: Leaf mold! Read more »

Newspaper Mulching

June 3, 2012
IMG_6433THIS MORNING, during my weekly jaunt to the county dump, I decided to go through other people's garbage. And I found what I was looking for, too: lots of newspapers. Let me show you how old news is good news when you want to make weeds instantly disappear: Read more »

Tip: How to Find Free Mulch

March 28, 2011
Tip: How to Find Free Mulch

WHY PAY FOR MULCH IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO? You can probably get all you need for free, just as I do. Here’s how: Each winter, municipalities gather trees, twigs, and branches which have come down during snow and ice storms. They shred this material with powerful machinery, and leave it in giant heaps. Just… Read more »

My Wire-Mesh Composting-System

June 26, 2010
My Wire-Mesh Composting-System

YOU CAN SPEND A FORTUNE on a prefabricated compost bin, but why should you? Here at A Garden for House, I rely on wire-mesh bins, which cost less than $10. Here is how I use the bins to turn waste into gorgeous soil: All during summer, I toss bolted lettuce, spinach, and other green matter… Read more »

The Magic of Organic Matter

April 5, 2010
The Magic of Organic Matter

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE a sexy figure while producing the nicest lettuce, tomatoes and squash in town? Then incorporate — as I did this weekend — shredded leaves into your vegetable plot. I’ll admit that after plunging, lifting and flipping the spade countless times, you will probably beg for mercy. But your body will… Read more »

Wood Ashes in the Garden

March 11, 2010
Wood Ashes in the Garden

YOU CAN FIND, in your fireplace, a valuable soil amendment. Wood ashes are rich in Potash, the very substance that raises the pH of soil, and therefore “sweetens” it. Sweet soil is the delight of lilacs; I swear my own shrubs flower so well in May because of regular wood-ash applications made beneath them in… Read more »

Topping-Off the Veggie Beds: 2 Down & 10 To Go

January 27, 2010
Topping-Off the Veggie Beds: 2 Down & 10 To Go

Here at a Garden for the House, Monday’s high of 56 degrees (accompanied by two inches of rain and 40 mph winds) melted — in a matter of hours — every trace of snow. I’m taking advantage of this winter-reprieve by topping-off the raised, timber-framed beds in my Kitchen Garden. You see, over the last… Read more »