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Christy chats with David King about grafting.

Podcast: Rebuilding Soil with David King

Our guest this week on the Gardenerd Tip of the Week is David King of The Learning Garden. He’s been on the podcast before, but we brought him back to talk about a major construction project that destroyed the Learning Garden during the pandemic.

Construction compacts soils. That’s a fact. David shares how The Learning Garden went from being a productive, rich ecosystem to a hard-packed dead zone. Now they are rebuilding soil to bring the garden back to life.

learning garden sunflowers
The Learning Garden used to grow bountiful crops and flowers like these sunflowers.

Listen to the Podcast Here

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Apple tree Learning Garden
Some of the older trees survived the construction project.

Resources from David King

Visit the Learning Garden to learn more about their work

Follow The Learning Garden on Facebook and Instagram

Donate to the Learning Garden to help them retain the space they worked so hard to rebuild

Yo San University of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine – many students from this school grew medicinal herbs at the Learning Garden.

Cover Crops – things David and his crew planted to help revitalize the soil:

  • Clover – Clover can be hard to get rid of down the line, so be ready to have it in your life for awhile.
  • Alfalfa – great for foraging for chickens too! We grow some in a planter that we can move into the coop when it’s ready to consume.
  • Fava beans – grow it for the beans or for the nitrogen (cut down before flowers set fruit). Either way it’s a great crop.
  • Radishes – grow daikon and other deep tap-rooted crops to break up soils.

Compost – biomass and organic matter make a huge difference in soil structure and vitality. Incorporate as much as you can.

Mulch – put down thick layers of mulch to help retain moisture and feed microbes (fungi in particular). This helps restore soils without doing much else.

Other plants growing at the Learning Garden:

Find a community garden in Los Angeles near you here

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