LED Lighting Improves Sustainability for Specialty-Crop Producers

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Ruth Stout's System of Mulching

By Ruth Stout

‘Mulch Queen’ Ruth Stout claimed to have smashed saloons with Carry Nation in Prohibition-era Kansas and worked au natural in her roadside Connecticut garden, but her labor-saving, soil-improving, permanent garden mulching technique is what earned herlasting fame. Stout was born in 1884 and lived to be 96; by the1950s, she was writing lively gardening books, including How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back and Gardening Without Work. Both are out of print, but Stout's technique remains consistent with the "no-till" gardening methods soil experts recommend today (see Building Fertile Soil). We thought you might enjoy meeting Stout through this excerpt from Gardening Without Work, which was reprinted most recently byThe Lyons Press. — Mother Earth News

My no-work gardening method is simply to keep a thick mulch of any vegetable matter that rots on both my vegetable and flower garden all year round. As it decays and enriches the soil, I add more. The labor-saving part of my system is that I never plow, spade, sow a cover crop, harrow, hoe, cultivate, weed, water or spray. I use just one fertilizer (cottonseed or soybean meal), and I don't go through that tortuous business of building a compost pile.

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3 Home and Garden Project Sites

Weekend Garden Projects - There are more than 20 easy and fun features to build and grow available in this downloadable PDF from Organic Gardening. Each one has pictures and step-by-step instructions.

Home Gardening Instructables - You can learn their secrets thanks to Instructables' Home Gardening section. These 14 projects can be done whether you live in the city or the country, and each one comes with highly detailed photos and step-by-step instructions.

Virtual Home Makeover - Virtual Home Makeover is an online tool that lets you upload photos of your lawn and home. Then you can see what it looks like with a new deck, new trees or a new coat of paint. Plus it lets you share it with your family and friends!

Gardening High Desert Style

A number of Readers have expressed an interest in gardening.  We are hoping to showcase articles from gardeners in our area.  Please submit your ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


8 great sites to grow the perfect garden


Spring is here and in full swing. Hopefully your garden is starting to blossom as well. Whether you're an expert gardener with a green thumb, or just a beginner, you can use these 8 sites to help your garden grow more fruitful.

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6 apps to help your green thumb


How effective is your green thumb? Whether you're a gardening expert or trying to grow one for the first time, these 6 apps give you great advice on gardening and landscaping.

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Tunnel Nests for Native Bees

Contributed by Sabine Hilding

This is an Invertebrate Conservation Fact Sheet from the Xerxes Society about Tunnel Nests for Native Bees Nest Construction and Fact Sheet.

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Tips For Early Spring Veggies

 By Sabine Hilding

Attached are photos of overwintered spinach, curly kale, garlic, under frost cloth FYI,you could do collards too. Chives of course overwinter easily without frost cloth. The is lo tech, no greenhouse. The photos are from a Harney County Community Garden plot and were taken on Sunday, 4-7-2013. Garlic overwinters easily without frost cloth but then takes longer.

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Seed starting indoors........

 if you don’t have a greenhouse.......        By Sabine Hilding

You will need:


Seed starting tray

Clear cover, plastic or an upside down old glass fish tank to cover tray

Seed heating pad (these can be expensive, look online

Peat plugs OR soil mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 coconut fiber, 1/3 good dirt


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