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Tips Techniques

Soil Ph on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Soil Ph

Soil pH is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity in soils. The optimal pH range for most plants is between 5.5 and 7.0 so the roots can take in the soil nutrients. We discuss the importance of getting a soil test for optimum growing success.

Common Problems with squash

Common Problems with squash, tomatoes, cucumbers

Jeff Poppen explains the challenges to growing squash, tomatoes and cucumbers and shares his approach to combat those pests and diseases.

Oh Deer! on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Oh Deer!

Imagine that you are faced with a decision. Change the entire plant palette in the dozen backyard garden beds you love, or quit gardening altogether. Meet the tenacious gardener who traded out roses and hostas for only deer-resistent ornamentals in what is now a cutting garden.

Bonsai on NPT's Volunteer Gardener


Sheri Gramer learns about the art of bonsai from a student of the art. We tour his collection that includes quite a wide variety of specimens.

Doing Nothing could be best approach on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Doing Nothing could be best approach

At Long Hungry Creek Farm, Jeff Poppen has the farming experience to know that sometimes the best approach is to sit back and let Mother Nature do her thing.

Lasagna Gardening on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Lasagna Gardening

Patricia Lanza, author of "Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens", demonstrates how to create a fertile garden bed in 45 minutes.

Leaf casting on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Leaf casting

A step-by-step guide for using a textured leaf as a mold to create a concrete casting.

Mushrooming in a straw bale on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Mushrooming in a straw bale

Did you know you can grow tasty mushrooms in a bale of wheat straw? We'll learn step-by-step how easy it is to grow these edibles.

Native Butterfly Garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Native Butterfly Garden

Having a garden that supports butterflies is rewarding, but what if space is limited? Julie Berbiglia finds a plant palette that is suited for the task.

Berry Farm on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Berry Farm

Tammy Algood learns more about the varieties and growing methods as she walks the strawberry fields of Kelley's Berry Farm in Castalian Springs. She also checks the progress in the large blueberry and blackberry patches.

Propagating / Planting Berry Bushes on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Propagating / Planting Berry Bushes

Biodynamic farmer Jeff Poppen discusses how to propagate blackberry and raspberry bushes. Jeff also demonstrates how to plant a blueberry bush with the addition of sulfe,r and mulching with aged wood chips.

Unifying Color in containers on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Unifying Color in containers

A way to create cohesion in the landscape is to coordinate a hodge podge collection of containers and paint them with a single color or coordinating colors.