Above we show three stages of our rye and vetch cover crop. In the upper center we have cut back the rye and vetch in the left half of the bed and put the greens in our compost pile. The right half is taller, and ready to cut. In the lower right you will see the brown turf exposed at last cutting. It has also been cut into squares and skimmed, severing the turf from the roots. In the upper right you will find just emerging fava beans (bell beans, not the more expensive eating fava beans). These are a valuable spring planted nitrogen-fixing crop.
Questions & Answers
Over the years fellow gardeners, clients, and interns have raised numerous questions which we have endeavored to answer. We have come to realize that what seems apparent to us appears opaque and confusing to others. The most recent Questions & Answers are listed first (for 2016, 2015). Following these are categories for Q & A's from years up through 2014. We will add new questions (with our answers) annually. Feel free to Contact Us for further clarification on these or other questions or comments you have.
Click below on those Q & A’s you want to pursue in their respective pdfs. You can check the index of topics for each year, click on the Q & A for that year, and then enter the topic in the search bar to bring you to that section quickly.
Questions & Answers for 2022 (spring garden bulbs, growing lemons, spading shovel, soil test, cover crops, distorted pear branches, oyster leaf seeds, black currants, weeding, Redbud trees, medicinal tinctures, rejuvenating an old apple tree,
elderberry, blossom end rot of zucchini and tomatoes, squash bugs on my zucchini, fungal disease of lilac, mice vs Eastern meadow vole vs shrew, pruning grapes, controlling wasps, hops as soporific, burdock root, pawpaws: recipes and toxins, black walnut allelopathy, turnips)
Questions & Answers for 2021 (insect pests, weeds, plant diseases, medicinal plant tinctures, getting the most nutrition from brassicas, biochar, maple sugar and maple cream, microplastics in the air and rain, recycling black plastic, keeping a potted fig in the north, tutu mesh cages, black currants, keeping bees for beginners, raccoons transmit a pathogenic roundworm fatal to infants, pruning plums, germinating peas and beans, diseases of tomatoes, long exchange on cover crops, disease of winter spinach, processing walnuts and almonds, fungicide for black rot of grapes, drying Borghese tomatoes, ground cherries, growing burdock in bins, black walnut allelopathy, mystery plant, oscillating hoe, sweet potato, summer squash wilt, nutcracker for black walnuts)
Questions & Answers for 2020 (growing sweet potatoes, weeds in the garden, burdock, mutant brassica, recipe for elderberry dressing, pruning black currants, trellising peas, high yielding calorie crops, vitamin B for plants? growing strawberries, strawberry black eye, leaf miners on spinach, tipburn of lettuce leaves, fuzzy white insects, harvesting garlic, cover crop info, repelling raccoons with cougar urine, stink bug damage on tomatoes, potato beetle larvae, insects in our garden, kale in a smoothie, breadfruit: a new plant for farmers to grow in Central America, toxicity of pawpaws, deleterious effects of nightshade family plants, Japanese persimmons)
Questions & Answers for 2019 (lectins in food, finding the right property, renovating an old apple tree, wicking beds, killing bamboo, spinach bolting: what to do? simple crop rotation for raised beds, question to Stephen Harrod Buhner on plant medicine. Tarps, grape disease, renovating an old grape arbor, citrus citrus greenhouse in Nebraska organic, powdery mildew, greenhouse kits, growing iomatillos, removing moss, adding boron, death by potatoes, germinating clivia seeds, eating fiddlehead ferns, rotating cover crops, vetch as cover crop, sudan grass as cover crop, mystery insect, vertical gardening, cages from netting to keep out insects, cucumber smoothie recipe, mulch, pruning peaches, stunted peach ire, golden lady beetle on our sweet potatoes, barberry seedlings, underground greenhouse, peat moss, tomato disease, lily leaf beetle, Louis Kervran -- Biological Transmutation)
Questions & Answers for 2018 (sources of greenhouse plastic, training a new peach tree, cover crops, storing garlic, using wood chips to amend poor soil, are pine needles acidic?, ticks and chiggers, cold-hardy greens, row covers and fabrics, hot water treatment of tomato and pepper seeds, deer resistant plantings, soil tests, cover for compost pile, black rot of grapes, fruit shrub recommendation for shade, interaction of medicinal plants and pharmaceuticals, growing currants, pruning apples, Monoecious vs Dioecious, sweet potatoes, cultivating onions, replacement grass on an embankment, fireblight on my pear tree, carrot spacing,
mulberry trees, coir vs peat moss, efficacy of commercial potting mix, late tomato blight, high quality garden tools, how do tomatoes and beans pollinate themselves?)
Questions & Answers for 2017 (peach tree borer, cover crops, garden hoses, spacing between beds, weed killers, deer control, killers, greensand suppliers, voles, high quality plant trays, pawpaws, tulle vs row covers for insect control, elderberry problems, compost and compost bins, sweet corn trellis, exchange on sweet potatoes, garden esthetics, neonicotinoids, transforming deserts into ag land, turmeric, spotted wing drosophila, pH testing, blueberry bed, three sisters planting, too much leaf too little produce, powdery mildew on lilacs, Back to Eden video, paleo diet, planting fruit trees, growing grapes, harvesting basil, red raspberry problems, bio-char revisited).
Questions & Answers for 2016 (cultivating red raspberries, new disease-resistant red raspberries, pernicious weeds, soil amendments, cover crops, high quality plastic trays for germinating seeds, growing ginger and turmeric in the temperate northeast, composting tools, small animal traps, mulching around trees, gardening in poor hard clay soil, my mulberry tree died, growing cucumbers, possums eating my peaches, pruning my peach tree, trouble getting our fig tree to fruit, organic herbicides, trellis arrangements for vegetables, needlecast of blue spruce, building and using a Jeavons' mini-greenhouse, strawberries, what crops to grow?, replanting blueberries in high pH soil, pH of sawdust, plum knot fungus, microwaving herbs, juicing cover crops, container gardening, starting plants from cuttings).
Questions & Answers for 2015 (reverse osmosis for collecting maple sap, grafting tomatoes, gooseberries, snap peas, repelling voles and meadow mice, black rot of grapes, untreated grass seed, tomatoes, sulfur for blueberries?, soil pH vs compost pH, downy mildew of basil, pruning fruit trees, when watermelons are ripe, chameleon plant, paw paws, chopping in cover crop seeds, rotating cover crops, skimming beds in cover crops, rotating main crops, fighting cucumber beetles, 3-bin composter, the 60-30-10 rule, reducing weeds, pruning bush fruits -- blueberries, gooseberries, currants, red raspberries).
Improving the Soil (skimming a cover crop, making and using compost, storing compost, cover crops, using fava beans, sulfur, langbeinite, boron, using soil test results, starting without your own compost, treating heavy clay soils, chlorine filters, converting conventional soil test recommendations to organic equivalents, drip feed irrigation, pine needles for acidifying, double-digging vs. raised beds, mycorrhizae, bio-char)
General Growing Practices (triangular planting, bed orientation, companion planting, starting seeds, storing seeds, planting fruit trees, edging of beds, grass paths, soil blockers, Jeavons’ planting densities, drip feed, pruning apples, storing apples, permaculture, greenhouses and urban farming, labor time spent growing, pH of water)
Growing Specific Crops (apples and peaches, pruning apples, storing apples, sweet potatoes, small carrots and beets, growing rice in the northeast, caraway seeds, berry crops, Irish potatoes, garlic, protein in vegetables, blueberries, amaryllis, tapping maple trees for sap, asparagus)
Treating Diseases & Pests (natural mosquito lotion, septoria leaf blight, slugs and cabbage worms, tomato diseases, strawberry leaf curl, field guides (for diseases, weeds), basil disease, ticks, yellow jackets, voles, damping off, deer)
Garden Devices (greenhouses, 3-bin compost design, Jeavons mini-greenhouse operation)