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Understanding Soil Health and Structure

Nov. 1, 2022 5:30 p.m. to Nov. 22, 2022 8:30 p.m.

Berkshire Botanical Garden Education Center

Tuesdays, Nov. 1 through 22, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Taught by John Howell, this four-session course will explain how plant growth is affected by soils, from drainage to pH and nutrients. Learn how to evaluate soils, improve those that are less than ideal and amend soils for specific garden uses. Fertilizers, soil amendments, making and using compost, moisture management, and the pros and cons of mulching will be covered. Students need to get a soil sample before class and bring the results to the first class.

John Howell MS is the former extension vegetable specialist for the University of Massachusetts and lectures on vegetables, fruits and soil management. Author of numerous newsletters for growers, he is the editor for New England Vegetable Management Guide, published biennially by the University of Massachusetts.

We recommend all students take and submit a routine soil analysis for home grounds and gardening to UMass Amherst. Request an additional soil organic matter test. Please do so as soon as possible. Further information can be found here and here and order forms can be found here. Please have a copy of your results sent to

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