One of the most important factors needed for successful gardening, whether vegetable gardening or ornamental gardening, especially in urban gardens where there is a lot of wear and tear, is understanding what's going on beneath the surface. Oftentimes we overlook the importance of correct composting, as well as PH, air, water and space, consequently ending up with unsuccessful plants. Eric wonders what tools T uses to make sure the soil is developing the way he wants and to ensure it's healthy. T feels that to have successful plants it's important to monitor what's going on beneath the surface. And to do that his main tools are a shovel and a soil probe. The probe provides a good idea of what's really happening within the entire soil profile. With the soil probe T has pulled a plug from the soil that is at least 12 inches long, thus shows 1 foot of sub surface soil. This makes it clear that the soil is consistently moist, and the type of soil they are dealing with at this location looks good. Then using the shovel he takes a really good core sample which is equally important. Remember 60-75% of a plants mass is below the surface of the soil. This soil looks good, it has been very effective at promoting root growth. This means the plant will use less water, will be more efficient in taking nutrients from the soil, and that ultimately means a healthier, more disease resistant plant.
By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants
Temperatures are rising and high heat can wreak havoc in the vegetable garden. When temps climb to the upper 80's and sometimes soar into the 90's and 100's, plants need some assistance in fending off the Fahrenheit.
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