Limiting Factors

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Spring has finally arrived here at 7,100 feet, and I’ve been feverishly planting—move the mulch, dig a hole, dump the perennial out of its  pot and stick it into the ground. Fill in any gaps with leftover dirt, replace the mulch. Rinse, repeat.

As I work around the lawn, adding flowers everywhere I can, I’ve noticed how abysmal my dirt is. Since we added compost, I assume that eventually it will qualify as soil, but right now I’m dealing with lumps of bentonite clay embedded in a deep layer of gritty, coarse sand. The clay was supposed to be seven feet down, but in the process of digging a basement, it got mixed  with the surface layers.

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Planting Done Right: Part 2

Trees

tilia-x-europaea-linden-cc-2003jul06-lah-003Today is Arbor Day, the traditional day for planting trees. Most of us treasure trees. Planting one is an act of faith, something we do for our children, and perhaps our grandchildren. Sadly, thousands of our nation’s trees now reaching maturity are destined to an early death. They were doomed the day they were planted.

Gardening practices have changed over the years. The days of digging a huge hole for a new tree are over. Research has shown that planting a tree too deeply is a sure recipe for trouble.

Continue reading “Planting Done Right: Part 2”