Category Archives: Tips, Techniques and Tools

A Basic Soil Chemistry Review

By Justin Keay [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener Winter 2019 issue. It is part of a 4-part series of articles on how to test soil, get the sample analyzed, understand the report and use it to apply the correct type and amount of fertilizer.] Before you take on the task of analyzing a soil test, it

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How to Interpret a Soil Test

By Justin Keay [This article first appeared in The Gateway Gardener Winter 2019 issue and is part of a 3-part series on how to take a soil sample, receive a test report, and how to understand it and fertilize properly. Links to the other articles in the series can be found at the end of this article.] Having your soil

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How, Why and When to Test Your Soil

A picture of someone taking a soil sample

Soil testing is an important practice for anyone trying to grow healthy and productive plants. By Justin Keay [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener Winter 2019 issue.] MU Extension offices across the state processes thousands of soil samples every year and MU Extension Specialists are always happy to help you understand your soil test results. Soil testing

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How to Choose and Apply Fertilizer

By Justin Keay [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener Winter 2019 issue, and is part of a 4-part series on how to take a soil sample and how to analyze a soil test report and then use that information to purchase and apply the appropriate fertilizer.] Now that you’ve taken a soil sample, had it analyzed and

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Sowing Native Plant Seeds

A photo of milkweed seeds

For many of us, there’s nothing like the joy of holding a packet of seeds in the winter. Seeds are little morsels of hope that have such potential, especially on cold, wintery days. By Jennifer Schamber [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener Winter 2019 issue.] For many of us, there’s nothing like the joy of holding a

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Smart Gardening is FUN Gardening!

Image of couple at Garden Center

Many of the people I assist in their gardens, enjoy doing the work themselves. Gardening is one of their hobbies or recreational activities. It can be strenuous and even considered a workout to weed one’s own garden, trim the bushes and dig up and transplant perennials and shrubs. By Steffie Littlefield [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener

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Lawn Alternatives

Image of Loriope No Mo

The green sea of a well-kept lawn adds a sense of serenity to the yard, however harsh chemicals and time spent on upkeep can ruin this tranquility. By Abby Lapides [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener March 2019 issue.] The green sea of a well-kept lawn adds a sense of serenity to the yard, however harsh chemicals

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Dried Plant Stalks Important Winter Homes for Bees and More!

Sumac stems

I took my first steps in horticulture walking down a narrow path of age-old gardening traditions. I learned to care for vegetable gardens, a rose garden, a lilac screen and perennial borders each with squarely trimmed hedges and edges. The lawn was cut in a diamond pattern using an old-style reel mower. By Scott Woodbury [This article was first published

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Weed Suppression

An image of weed suppression techniques being applied to a garden.

Weed pressure in the garden can be daunting. Successful weed management in organic agriculture is a challenge that requires patience, preventative measures, dedication, and a commitment to following through with the systems put into place. By Crystal Stevens [This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener June 2018 issue.] Weed pressure in the garden can be daunting. Successful weed

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