Articles by: Michelle Smith

Compost tea. (Madeline Yakimchuk photo)

Gardening Tips Week 23: Soil Fertility Rights (and Wrongs)

June 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This week, I would like to talk about adding fertility to the plants in your garden. Obviously the best way to have good fertility is to have good, rich soil to begin with. There is no substitute for good soil. But if your soil isRead...

Flowering buckwheat cover crop. (Source: The Campus Community Garden http://web.uvic.ca/~ccgarden/buckwheat-covercrop/, University of Victoria)

Gardening Tips Week 22: Cover Crops

June 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This is the time of year when you might be starting a new garden bed — maybe your first, maybe an extension of your existing garden — which makes it a good time to talk about cover crops.  As with crop rotation, which we discussedRead More

Small-scale crop rotation at the Ecological Garden at Odder. (Photo by Sten, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips Week 21: Beautiful Chaos

June 6, 2018 at 11:45 am

What to do this week You may think crop rotation is only for big farming operations, but you have a lot to gain from doing it too. It is just as important in a backyard garden. If you plant the same things in the same spots year after year thereRead More

Lath house. (Source: Pinterest)

Gardening Tips Week 20: Seedling Safety

May 30, 2018 at 11:47 am

What to do this week This time of year many people are starting to move their seedlings from the house or greenhouse to the garden. Even if you have decided to run the risk of frost, your seedlings will need a gradual introduction to the outdoors. It is important notRead More

Cucumbers. (Photo by Madeline Yakimchuk)

Gardening Tips Week 19: Squash, Anyone?

May 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week This week is the perfect time to plant squash seeds, and hopefully you will consider starting them in soil blocks. I like using soil blocks for almost everything anyway, but for squash plants it is particularly important because they really, really don’t like their rootsRead More

McIntosh apple, half-inch green. (Source: UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment https://ag.umass.edu/fruit/bud-stages/april-23-2013-bud-stages)

Gardening Tips Week 17: Spray It, Don’t Say It

May 9, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week This week is a good time to talk about spraying fruit trees because now is the time to do that. There are a couple of reasons that even an organic grower might want to spray. One would be to rid the trees of pests beforeRead More

Early rhubarb (Source: My Minnesota Garden https://www.mymngarden.com/how-to-divide-rhubarb/)

Gardening Tips Week 17: Divide and Compost

May 2, 2018 at 11:15 am

What to do this week This week is a good time to divide rhubarb, as well as a few other perennial plants, but rhubarb especially. If at all possible, you want to do it when you just see the tips of what look like buds starting to poke up fromRead More

Dandelion

Gardening Tips Week 16: Into the Weeds

April 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

What to do this week This week,  I have been trying to get a jump on the perennial weeds. My soil has dried up a bit with the sun and warmth we have had these past few days, so I have been able to walk about. Your soil should beRead...

Gardening Tips Week 15: Soil with a Twist of Lime

Gardening Tips Week 15: Soil with a Twist of Lime

April 18, 2018 at 11:14 am

What to do this week This is a great time of year to talk about soil structure. Whatever you have in your backyard, if it is in Cape Breton it is quite likely to be clay, sorry to say, unless you have been building it for a while. Clay predominatesRead...

Vegetable and herb seeds. (Photo by Rickproser [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips Week 14: Saving Seed

April 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

What to do this week Well, perhaps you noticed that it snowed this week, so maybe we have to go back to garden planning. You can’t keep a gardener down, so we will take advantage of this time to talk about organizing your crops for seed-saving purposes. If you wantRead...