Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Step Away From That Trowel And Try 'No-Dig' Gardening This Spring

A silver trowel and digging tool with wooden handles in brown soil.
Preserve the structure and richness of your soil by building on it with new no-dig gardening techniques.

A single teaspoon of soil has more microbes in it than there are people on the planet, and they are a crucial part in creating a healthy soil structure. This spring, folks who garden can embrace a new mantra: stop tilling, turning and digging your soil! Instead of disrupting that rich soil bed by turning and digging, Charlie Nardozzi shares techniques from his book, The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening. These practices can provide benefits for the soil, the environment and the gardener.

When you plan out your garden or raised bed, think of terms of preserving the soil's structure and not disrupting it. Building on the soil keeps weeds and bugs at bay, plus it sequesters carbon, which is better for the environment and helps with global warming.

Charlie's other methods in the book include taking care of moles, voles and critters by using hardware cloth, utilizing the chop-and-drop method and other types of no-dig techniques like straw-bale gardening, keyhole gardening, and hugelkultur.

Q: We've got two peace plants that are fairly long-lived, healthy, like the low light they're in, and aren't overwatered. They used to produce flowers but have stopped doing so for months. Suggestions? — Kate, in Toronto, ONT, CA

It sounds as if the peace lily may not be getting enough light. To remedy this, you could move it to a sunnier spot and try to re-pot and fertilize it every other week. That may help those blooms return!

Q: What kind of yellow rose is hardy enough to survive here and do well in Vermont? — Craig, in Stockbridge

Yellow roses can be more tender than other roses and there are a few that do well in colder climates. There is an old-fashioned species, called Harrison’s Yellow. This is one of the first roses to bloom in the spring, and boasts small yellow roses on cascading canes. 

If you have a more protected spot, another variety you might try is Graham Thomas. This rose grows well in areas like the Champlain Valley.

A really tough rose is from the Morden Research Station in Manitoba, called Sunrise. It's a yellow-ish color and is a single-petal shrub rose - and you know its hardy if it can handle that northern climate!

Next week, we’ll talk about culinary herbs. If you plan to grow some rosemary, mint, basil, and the like indoors this winter, send your questions and Charlie can answer them! 

a grey line

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a messageor get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

We've closed our comments. Read about ways to get in touch here.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
Latest Stories