Tag Archives: Ecological Gardening

Why is my soil so compacted?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Hopefully, the ground in your yard has thawed by now (regrets to those who still have frozen ground!). So why is it that when you try to push your shovel into the…

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Rock Outcrops | Observations and Thoughts for a Desert Rain Garden

Rock outcrops show us how lush, green plants such as native cherries can flourish in a desert during a major drought without expensive irrigation water. Continue reading

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What “cover crops” could home gardeners consider in the fall?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Farmers across the country use “cover crops” over the winter. Cover crops do several things, depending on what is planted: Help prevent erosion and topsoil loss. Their roots, and the plants themselves,…

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Simple Starter Compost Pile | Wire Basket

A simple way to start a compost pile is to create a wire basket.  Take a sheet of mesh fencing such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or chain link fencing that is readily accessible.  Overlap the sides of the mesh … Continue reading

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How Some Animals Can Help Compost

Good scavengers for the backyard composting include pigeons, rabbits and chickens. Continue reading

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We Have a Vacancy: Building a Bug Hotel for Solitary Bees

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Mind Your Dirt:
Now here’s a project that doesn’t take too much time and is simply perfect for the whole family. The materials used for this are all items you can hunt for in parks or woods…

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What is Compost?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, compost is “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.” Simply put, compost is what is left behind by organisms that eat dead things. Biologists call these … Continue reading

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Summary of My Training and Experience Regarding Compost

My introduction to compost was a gift from my Dad.  As a farm boy and soil scientist, he had an avid interest in compost long before it became trendy.  Some of my earliest memories were of him turning and tending … Continue reading

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Fried Egg Plant aka Matilija Poppy Adds Sizzle to Mojave Gardens

  My mother introduced me to Matilija poppy when I was a teenager.  She planted one in her front garden.  The poppy didn’t exactly like where she put it, so it literally moved.  It spread by underground stems to where … Continue reading

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Surprise Visit From Pest Management Team Member

California Herps Page for Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard – Sceloporus uniformis   I was quite surprised to find a friendly visitor in my dining room this afternoon.  A rather calm lizard was basking on the tile floor.  My cat walked by … Continue reading

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My Answer to The White Crowned Sparrow

My parents came to visit when my home was relatively new.  I showed my little vegetable garden to them with requests for advice.  One problem that I was having was that seeds would germinate, and then disappear within a day … Continue reading

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Value of Ancient Ways – Dialog with Pat Spray Regarding His Native American Ancestor’s Use of Key Hole Gardens

For all our stunning scientific advancements, listening to grandparents talk about traditional ways is well worth while. Sure, some traditions worked out better in the long run than others. As we push the limits on technical advancements, we are learning which traditions are keepers. Native American agricultural practices that endured through thousands of years without environmental collapse are worth in-depth study. Continue reading

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Free Water in the Desert

So, I’m not the only crazy person out there who sees free irrigation water in “flooding problems” I found a great series of links to videos on stormwater and rainwater harvesting. If you want to grow more than rocks in … Continue reading

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Mojave Roadside Swale Blooms After Desert Rains

I maintained the grade of the roadside swale and added landscaping to solve problems: flooding of the intersection, unauthorized “off-roading” across my front yard, and unauthorized cement laying in my corner. An additional benefit has been free irrigation water in an area where water is very expensive. Continue reading

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