What is meant by "weeding over" a garden?

I recently overheard someone say that they were "weeding over" their garden right now. We’re in Cleveland, Ohio in mid-spring, here. What is "weeding over a garden"?

Not sure if it’s the same thing, but every fall I plant annual rye after my garden is done. The grasses grow, and I turn them over into my garden to increase the nitrogen in my spring garden.

Letting your garden go back to nature is called "laying fallow". It’s when you let your garden grow whatever comes up, instead of "weeding over", which is a fertilizing strategy.

How organic is this black mulch you can usually find at nurseries and would it be good to work into clay?

I am wondering if I tilled this black mulch that you usually find at nurseries into clay dirt, if it would make it like a nice topsoil quality type of dirt or not.

and how organic is the stuff used to make black mulch usually?
what is usually in it ?

and would this make the clay dirt drain a lot better by tilling it with this mulch?

thanks for your answers!

I may not be able to give you ‘exact’ answers to each of your questions – but I may be able to help you help yourself.

"Organic" has turned into one of those words that is very overused and abused. For it to have meaning – you’ll need to narrow down a definition for it. A better question perhaps when looking for mulches or soil additives would be, "What’s in it?"

If the mulch comes in bags, then you should be able to either read the label for contents, or if you’re more ambitious, contact the manufacture and have them send you a list (via snail mail or e-mail) of what goes into that specific product.
If the mulch is being sold in loose bulk – the place that sells it should be able to tell you what went into it, or what company provided them with it. Then, again, you can contact that company for details. Anything that has been made with say – shredded treated lumber from building sites – should be avoided if your using it in a food producing garden because the chemicals will leach and could be absorbed into your food.

The purpose of adding a mulch into a clay soil is to improve drainage, loosen the soil for root penetration, and slow compaction. Clay soil is a good soil in-so-far-as it doesn’t loose moisture or nutrients quickly. You do fight with compaction and water logging though. By tilling in enough mulch you’ll be able to ‘fluff’ (seriously non-scientific word) the clay and improve growing conditions. What exactly you use or what combination you use can get a little tricky if your going for "great soil". AND – what you want to live in that soil also drives that train for what you add to it. Veggies, grass, ornamental plants ….. all have different needs.

Since I don’t know where you live, or what you want to grow in your soil – here’s what I suggest:

Contact your nearest Cooperative Extension Service (web site listed in sources) and pick their brains. Most of what they offer is free. They can give you information that is for your location – soil information, plant growing requirements – pest information – and so on.


Lasagna garden

I’m documenting my first attempt at creating a no-till garden using the “Lasagna” gardening method.
I’ve been a long time fan of square foot gardening in raised beds, and am looking forward to incorporating succession planting into this type of garden as well. Many people use newspapers as a first layer instead of cardboard, but for me, it was easier to gather and use cardboard. I was careful to remove staples and any
plastic packing tape on the boxes. Stay tuned for updates on how the garden does as the summer progresses.

Duration : 0:5:54

Continue reading Lasagna garden

Garden Girl TV: Vertical Gardening One(How to Grow Vertically)

Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl, shows you techniques to get more out of limited landspace, by growing up.

Check out her website at http://www.gardengirltv.com
This video is available through closed caption(cc) enjoy in any language.

Vertical Gardening Part 1

As urban gardeners, we have a limited amount of space to grow our vegetables and flowers. What I have done is I have employed verticle gardening.

Right here as you can see, I have a variety of different cucumber plants. Now, a cucumber is vining crop, which means that with vertical support like this one, you can train it to grow up and the fruit,

Take a look right here, can grow perfectly fine on the vine.

Different types of crops that work well in a vertical garden are watermelon and pumpkin. Let us go take a look.

Here, as you can see, my pumpkin plants are thriving. Pumpkin plants are also vining crops. Now, in the country, where you have a lot of space, you can just let this grow along the ground, but here in a city environment, we do not have all that space.

So, what I have done here is, I put together a dog kennel. This is actually really nifty. It is exactly 4 x 4 so it fits perfectly in your raise beds. And, these vines just slough on themselves eventually. You do not have to continuously train them.

Okay, so you can go vining crops on vertical supports, but there are other types of plants that also need support like my heirloom tomatoes here, this are Tiffin Mennonite tomatoes, and it grows to be a huge plant.

So what I have done is I have installed this vertical support where the plant has basically grown through the vertical support. I do not even have to train it through; it is growing through on its own.

I have my garden pea. These garden peas have pretty much attached on this vertical support on their own, and as you can see, I have a bunch of pea pods growing through. Let me show you how to build one of this, it is really super easy.


Great, this is nice and sturdy. And, all I have to do is unscrew it from the raise bed and move it anywhere I need it.

I am Patti the Garden Girl, thanks for watching.

Duration : 0:2:48

Continue reading Garden Girl TV: Vertical Gardening One(How to Grow Vertically)

How to Mulch Your Trees

In this episode of Talking Trees, http://www.davey.com expert and ISA Certified Arborist Shawn Fitzgerald discusses the benefits of proper mulching, including some key pitfalls to avoid.

Duration : 0:1:40

Continue reading How to Mulch Your Trees

While weeding I accidently pulled up a huge clematis root. I pushed it back into the dirt, will it survive?

My clematis vines are ‘Nelly Moser’ and I planted them last spring. They are just starting to come back and are small, so I didn’t realize how extensive the roots were. I was weeding well over a foot away from the vine and when I pulled up the huge brown root I knew it had to be the clematis because nothing else is planted near it.

you did the right thing i think it will survive the shock just put alittle extra care into it this summer.make sure you give it some fertilizer and it will sure to come back.

How close can I put mulch to a house which was recently treated for termites?

I want to put about 18 inches of lava rock and then fill the rest of the planting bed with mulch. Is 18 inches enough of a buffer? Can I do away with the rocks and use all mulch? Or should I forget the mulch and use all rocks?

As long as you had a proper treatment from a professional, your idea is great. Make sure you read your termite contract, that your not voiding your warranty. Also I hope they used Termidor.

Do you like gardening? What are your favorite things to plant? What was the first plant you ever grew?

Planting gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, like I’m helping one of God’s creatures along the path of life. Do you have a green thumb? I love gardening, don’t you? Can you give me some plant tips?
Oooooh, crocuses are pretty, I like tulips, too! heard they were easy to grow, True?

My first memories are of grandmother working next door in her garden. She would literally cultivate rows of flowers…..from seeds, bulbs, anything that she could cut. I got to help her as all grandchildren did. When I ws nine, she told me I was old enough to cut the flowers for church……I was thrilled….then when I ws 11, I started getting to cut and arrange. My favorite things about gardening is to propagate plants…….anything I can get my hands on from seeds, soft cuttings, hardwood cuttings, etc.

What are some recommended books for newbies to gardening?

Especially helpful if they’re about small spaces, herbs, and organic gardening. I have an apartment and I’d like to have a small organic herb and flower garden on my deck, but I’m not sure where to start. Thanks!

Mel Bartholomew’s “square foot gardening” method is really inspiring, and can teach you to fit a lot of plants into a small space. (Here’s the site; there’s also a book: http://www.squarefootgardening.com/)

For nuts and bolts kind of gardening, I like Barbara Damrosch’s Garden Primer (from amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Primer-Barbara-Damrosch/dp/0894803166).

If you are into preserving foods at all, I really like Mike and Nancy Bubel’s books; the root cellar book has a lot of info about planning your garden, too. They also have one on seed-starting. (From amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Root-Cellaring-Natural-Storage-Vegetables/dp/0882667033/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231314436&sr=1-1 also http://www.amazon.com/New-Seed-Starters-Handbook/dp/0878577521/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231314436&sr=1-7)

Good luck, and have fun!