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Use a PH tester before planting particularly of you mix your own soil and compost. these hand held ones are not always the most accurate, but testing in multiple locations on a bed will give you an indication if there is a problem. Most vegetables prefer a slightly acid to neutral PH of 6.5-7.0 But, other crops such as blueberries prefer very acid soil like PH 4.5-5.5 and still other plants like some fruit and nut trees need some alkalinizing.

Use a PH tester before planting particularly of you mix your own soil and compost. these hand held ones are not always the most accurate, but testing in multiple locations on a bed will give you an indication if there is a problem. Most vegetables prefer a slightly acid to neutral PH of 6.5-7.0 But, other crops such as blueberries prefer very acid soil like PH 4.5-5.5 and still other plants like some fruit and nut trees need some alkalinizing.

Growing Heat-Lovers in the North: How to grow traditional southern crops in colder northern climates | From Organic Gardening

Growing Heat-Lovers in the North: How to grow traditional southern crops in colder northern climates | From Organic Gardening

Mulch your garden over winter. Mulching protects your soil from weather damage while not being used in the winter. Fallow periods for garden beds are good once in awhile to allow the soil to rest. When sprouting winter crops, peel the mulch back so that the soil surface can warm in the sun, but after plants emerge gently surround them with mulch again to keep them insulated from frost. If using hay as pictured here make sure it is seedless or grass will sprout from it.

Mulch your garden over winter. Mulching protects your soil from weather damage while not being used in the winter. Fallow periods for garden beds are good once in awhile to allow the soil to rest. When sprouting winter crops, peel the mulch back so that the soil surface can warm in the sun, but after plants emerge gently surround them with mulch again to keep them insulated from frost. If using hay as pictured here make sure it is seedless or grass will sprout from it.

TOMATO TIP: Remove suckers when staking tomatoes. Suckers dilute the flow of energy (more fruit to grow and mature), so removing them will give you fewer but earlier fruits. Be careful not to remove too many leaves—they are producing the energy that makes for delicious tomatoes. Get more tomato tips on the Birds & Blooms website.

TOMATO TIP: Remove suckers when staking tomatoes. Suckers dilute the flow of energy (more fruit to grow and mature), so removing them will give you fewer but earlier fruits. Be careful not to remove too many leaves—they are producing the energy that makes for delicious tomatoes. Get more tomato tips on the Birds & Blooms website.

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