Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a hand holding dark brown worm castings tat looks like grainy soil

What are Worm Castings?

Hello fellow readers, We spoke about a hot pepper crop grown in containers last week. Russ and Sara used worm castings added to their potting mix (link to the story below). “What are worm castings, and where do you get them?” asked Joe from Hope, NJ. I’ll cut to the
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a woman from the waist down in jeans and black workbooks demonstrating no-till gardening using a broadfork.

No-till Gardening

Hello fellow readers, I adore learning from Patti Doell of Little Big Farm, a cut flower farm in Blairstown, NJ. We spoke in late winter when her seed-starting was underway, and I found out she adopted the no-till gardening technique. Also known as no-dig gardening, it’s the pra
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sunbeam through branches of beach tree with emerging leaves

Unusual Spring & Soil Temperature

Hello Fellow Readers, The spring sure is unfolding at an unusual pace. Many are asking why the leaves on trees look stunted—or reporting perennials that haven’t come back. Give it time. Much has to do with soil temperatures, but Mother Nature has a way of sorting things out. Dur
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Blackberry Lily Flowers

Blackberry Lily & Soil Remediation

Of all Suzanne's perennials, only her Blackberry Lilies were competing heartedly with the Stilt Grass, and so, I guessed they too might be considered invasive. Maybe not! One of the joys of working with fellow gardeners is learning about unusual plants. Plus, how to remediate invasive
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Looking-up-at-Fall-Leaves

Leaf Cleanup Manners

Hello Fellow Readers, Leaf cleanup is underway, which brings me to the subject of leaf manners. It’s not neighborly to put your leaves into other folks’ woods or fields without permission. And, unless your town has a leaf-sucking-up program (curbside vacuuming), putting th
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Mycorrhizae, Mycorrhiza

Tickle and Rub Mycorrhizae

Hello fellow readers, “Be sure you tickle the roots,” I coach new gardeners after carefully removing a plant from its pot. Using my fingers or an edge of a trowel, I demonstrate how to loosen the roots to encourage them to spread. Sometimes a utility knife comes into play
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Peat Moss, coconut fiber, coir

Free Peat or Peat Free ?

Hello Fellow Readers, For several years now I’ve had two bales of peat moss in my potting shed. For the life of me I don’t recall where they came from. Perhaps a donation from a client when they moved? Sphagnum moss, or peat moss, is a genus of approximately 380 species. It’s a
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Queen Anne's Lace,Daucus carota, Wild Carrot, Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic farming, organic farming, Traditonal farming

Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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an earthworm on the road with a maroon sneaker

Good for the garden… Not the woods

Hello Fellow Readers, Earthworms are destroying forest floors shared William of Bangor PA after I bragged about the benefits of castings (worm poop) in the garden. I didn’t know, along with the benefits of our slimy garden guests, there are negative outcomes of their presence; especia
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Comfrey in the Garden, Comfrey, trash can gardening

Comfrey Garden

Hello fellow readers, Jacquie from Andover bought some comfrey seeds to try. She heard comfrey leaves are great for the soil and it’s true. Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis), native to Europe, can juice up your garden with nutrients. But before you opt to plant it, consider that
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