what the SOM?

soil organic matter as an indicator of soil health So what is SOM? The USDA defines SOM as: the organic component of soil consisting of three primary parts: (fresh) plant residues and small living organisms (active) decomposing organic matter (humus) stable organic matter Most of us understand the importance of sufficient nutrition in the soilContinue reading “what the SOM?”

making the cut

science based pruning: part 2 – what the cut? What’s in your toolbox? tools of the trade Pruning…removing dead, dying, or diseased wood eliminates an entry point or build-up area for insects and fungi to enter the plant and spread to other parts. Gardeners and arborists spend a lot of time and energy in thisContinue reading “making the cut”

making the cut

science based pruning: part 1 – healthy start In the forest no one prunes the plants and trees – so why all the fuss about pruning? I think my library has six ‘How To’ books on pruning, several illustrated guides and one volume, so weighty, that it is used for a door stop in myContinue reading “making the cut”

skagit garden almanac : august 2020

part instruction, part aide-memoire, part skagit lore august 18, 2020 “If the first week of August is warm, the winter will be white and long.” Weather Lore Calendar, 2022 Old Farmers Almanac Summer is in full swing – Skagit is in the 80’s and after a scorching weekend that saw triple digits, this feels positivelyContinue reading “skagit garden almanac : august 2020”

master the garden

part two botany basics: internal plant parts In this second installment of botany basics  – Cells: are the basic structural and physiological units of plants and of life in all organisms. They are eukaryotic cells, which have a true nucleus along with specialized structures called organelles that carry out different functions. Plant cells have specialContinue reading “master the garden”

Biochar: cutting-edge technique with ancient roots

Dating back thousands of years to a civilization in the Amazon Basin, soil scientists have analyzed regions of dark rich soil found within historically inhabited areas and found high concentrations of charcoal and organic matter.