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Gardening Trends

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CATALYST isn’t big on rehashing materials from marketing and publicity firms. But once a year, one organization produces a press release that makes us, well, swoon. It’s the Garden Media Group, and they define annual trends regarding garden, landscape design and green living, based on worldwide re­search and just the kind of wishful thinking we […]

Cultivating the Art of Gardening

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“I was eating the cheapest of chain foods,” recalls Michael Cundick. Fast food and ramen. Awful stuff, he says. Another life, only four years ago, on tour with his self-described experimental indie punk rock band LOOM!. “And I didn’t think too much about it.” He adds, “I’m a very single-minded person.” This apathy for food, […]

Garden Like a Boss: Maxin’ the Fall Garden

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Summer garden, I have a confession to make. I’m no longer in love with you. I can’t take it anymore. You’re just so demanding, always needing me to water you and weed you, all while it’s HOT outside and my friends are leaving for rafting trips and festivals. When we entered this relationship I was […]

Water Your Trees!

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When it comes to precipitation, Utah’s trees are always living on the edge. Fifteen inches of rain is the norm. A year or two of drought makes the situation more precarious. As more Salt Lakers quit watering their lawns or switch to xeriscape in an effort to cut down on water consumption, one unintended side […]

Soil Biology Basics

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As I write this article, I am sitting under a 300-ft.-tall canopy of old growth redwoods just off the coast of California. With more biomass per acre than anywhere else in the world, this environment is flush with fertility and almost overwhelming in its scale. How is it that this forest, and old growth systems […]

Spring Planting

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When spring is in full swing, it’s almost as if being indoors is engaging in inappropriate behavior. Hiding inside is to live in exile, to squander precious sunlight. Fortunately, you know better than that. It’s barely May and you already have a tan line. This season’s ridiculously early warm weather has given us all plenty […]

Planting Guide for 2015

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This planting guide reflects some of the changes occurring in the city garden. With the rise of raised beds, intensive planting, vertical gardening and no-till methods, planting charts of yesteryear are less useful.

From Asia to Your Backyard

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Long before Jesus turned water into wine, perhaps as far back as 9000 BP, humans were making and drinking beer, or at least something similar. The brew has seen changes. Crack open a beer from 10th century England or 12th century Germany, for example, and most drinkers would immediately notice something missing. Hops. The rhizome […]

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Water Your Trees Now!

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Despite a below-average snowpack and a dry March thus far, Spring is coming in like a lion, as evidenced by the acid-yellow forsythia, the soft pinks of the flowering plums, and all the other buds ready to burst forth. It seems that this dry winter has not yet had an adverse effect on our landscapes—are […]


From Seed

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I don’t trust anybody with clean fingernails in spring. The people I trust can’t help but thrust their winter-weary hands into the rich, living soil as soon as the sun begins to warm it. The people I trust are out as early as February, pulling mats of leaves off their favorite garden beds, eagerly shoving […]

Putting the Garden to Bed

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There are still signs in my garden that tell of the once prolific abundance of food that grew there this summer. The long stalk of my black beauty zucchini, a four-foot long green boa constrictor with leafy appendages some reaching two feet across, displays dozens of stump scars where I severed the pulpy fruits from […]