Soils and Composting

What native groundcovers can out-compete goutweed and quackgrass?

Question: Thank you for helping me identify two invasives last year: goutweed, and quackgrass. I used buckwheat to smother a patch of quackgrass (yes, it seems to working!) and have tried blackout and pulling for two other areas where goutweed has heavily taken over, including infiltrating established daylilies and lilies of the valley, many of […]

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Where can I get my soil tested?

Question: Where can I get my soil tested? I live in Camden Me. Answer: Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator If you’d like the Maine Soil Testing Service to analyze your soil, please go to the following website to request that a soil test box and form be sent to you, Analytical Lab and Maine Soil Testing […]

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How can I keep my husk cherries producing until frost?

Question: Last year I grew husk cherries in 10″ diameter x 10″ high containers on a table topped with hardware cloth in my garden to make harvesting easier. I used a Fox Farm potting medium in the pots. For the first couple of month, the plants grew terrifically and the fruits were much larger than […]

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When is the right time to remove last fall’s leaves and plant remains?

Question: I left the leaves and remains of plants last fall to help overwinter the pollinators. I’m wondering when is the right time to remove them now? Answer: Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator Great question.  I am making the same decision in my own gardens! The longer you can leave the plant materials in place, the […]

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What is the best green manure for spring (and fall)?

Question: I have raised beds. What is the best green manure to put on the soil for the spring and then the fall? Clover? Rye? Answer: Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources The cover crops and green manures you choose to improve your raised bed garden soil (and potentially break some […]

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What should I do now to improve my soil for next summer?

Question: I live in South Portland. Every summer for about 10 years I’ve had a vegetable garden on the same 50 x 25 ft plot. This year I won’t have time for a garden. What should I do this spring, summer and fall to improve the soil for next summer? Answer: Tori Lee Jackson, Extension […]

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Will fall-planted winter rye be sufficient or is another nitrogen source needed?

Question: Per our garden soil sample results, we are to apply a nitrogen source this spring. We will be digging in the fall-planted winter rye as soon as able. Will that suffice or is another nitrogen source needed? If so is there a preference? Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Community Education Assistant, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Although cover […]

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Is it possible to submit a number of soil samples for various areas?

Question: We recently purchased an 1850 sea captains farmhouse on eight plus acres just off the Kennebec River. For years, until the 1970-80’s the family had a hay farm. I have found some wild blueberries out in the fields but not much else. We do have a couple of black walnut trees, two beautiful maples, […]

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