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In these hot summer months, make sure your plants have enough water. Add mulch to help the soil retain the moisture!

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Cocoa Mulch Warnings Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Here's the thing: If you have a dog, you probably know that it is not good for the dog to ingest chocolate because of the chemicals theobromine and caffeine. What may not occur to you is that those same chemicals are found in the cocoa mulch that many people use in their gardens. One of the reasons people buy cocoa mulch is its sweet smell and this also attracts the dogs and makes them think it's a sweet snack.

The bottom line is that although, according to Snopes (see link below), there has only been one substantiated case of a dog dying from ingesting cocoa mulch, if you have a dog (or a cat, for that matter) it's probably best not to use it in your garden.


Making it Rich, Baby Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Most good organic gardeners will tell you that they don't grow plants, they grow soil. Essentially the more organic material you can add to your soil the darker and richer it will get and the happier your plants will be. The two main ways to create this deep, dark, rich soil is through 1. composting and 2. cover crops. We will cover the use of both in future articles.

In the meantime, a great way to start is to have your soil tested to see what nutrients (nitrogen, phospherous, zinc) it might be missing. One lab that does this is A&L Laboratories West. For more information, visit their Web site at


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