In descending order, by date published.
Authors: Steve Higgins
A raised bed is an excellent addition to many backyard gardens. A modification of this design may be of interest to gardeners. A raised wicking bed is a self-contained method for growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. The bed provides a built-in water reservoir that allows plants to water themselves. The design is ideal for individuals who are new to gardening, but experienced gardeners will find it helpful as well. The greatest benefit of this system is that it provides control of the water supply to the plants within the defined area.
Authors: Steve Higgins
A wicking container is a self-contained method for growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. This container provides a built-in water reservoir that allows a plant to self-irrigate. The design is ideal for individuals who are new to gardening or have limited space, but is also used by seasoned gardeners. The greatest benefit of the system is that it provides the plant with control of its water supply, which helps free up more of the gardener's time.
Gardeners have long made and used compost to improve garden soil. Composting plant and vegetable matter is an important way to reduce the waste burned or dumped in landfills. Yard wastes and vegetable scraps can make up as much as 20 percent of household garbage. Composting effectively recycles that waste into valuable organic matter that can be used as soil amendments.
Cover crops have long been used to reduce soil erosion, add organic matter to improve the soil, and provide some winter and early spring grazing. With the develop ment of no-till cropping systems, cover crops were recognized for their ability to provide moisture-conserving residues as well as nitrogen for the succeeding crop. Recent concern for water quality has provided additional reasons to use cover crops. Cover crops take up and hold nutrients, especially nitrogen, that were not used by the previous crop. Because they remove water from the soil, they may reduce the risk of nutrients and pesticides moving through the soil. Cover crops may reduce weed problems and the need for herbicides by competing with them for space and nutrients and by providing a mulch to cover the soil surface. Some also release chemicals that suppress weed growth and may reduce populations of soil-borne plant pathogens.