Embrace your soil

Grow your garden from the soil up!

Start your soil journey by browsing through the blog or by taking an online course.

boy walking on the garden path
Cristina da Silva 2021

Hey there!

I’m Cristina da Silva

I believe that healthy soil can be your key to a beautiful, vibrant garden free of pests and diseases. So, my job is to guide you to embrace your soil and to help you find what your soil needs to create a landscape that WORKS in your climate and conditions.

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Latest News

Roses for poor soils

The quest for roses for poor soils all started...

Forsythia blooms proclaims the beginning of gardening season

Forsythia blooms heralding spring is longer being treated like...

Soils for Hellebores

Hellebores are some of the earliest blooming flowers in...

Soils for Clematis

Clematis, the Queen of Vines, is grown in gardens...

The latest soil news

The latest in soil news include a new Soil...

Taking care of the soil in the winter

Winter soils are far from dead. Soil microbes are...

Top 10 reasons to be Thankful for Soil

Soil is the cornerstone of our very existence on...

Grey water and soil

Grey water is touted as the "new" source of...

Fall soil tasks: Green manure cover crop

Intense gardening resurrects in the fall. Maybe not as...

Water-saving techniques for arid land

After increasing your soil’s organic matter to increase water...

Soil texture affects watering

In the last blog, I covered how to retain...

Reduce watering with 2 easy techniques

With all the chitchat about drip irrigation and water...

How to get kids outdoors and gardening!

Do you have children more enamored with McDonalds than...

Top 10 soil tweets from last week

Tweets monitor the interest and popularity on particular topics....

Myth-busting “Coffee for Roses”

It’s so frustrating to see so many untrue...

Is mycorrhizal inoculant necessary in our garden soil?

I love going to Garden Writers meetings, I...

Kristin Ohlson’s The Soil Will Save Us

With all the negative press out there on global...

Great News for #groundchat

Great news on the #groundchat front. Not only did...

Brenda Haas’ tips on growing peas

We continued the #growyourown series on #groundchat last week...

Rx for spring: pre-warmed soil

I don’t know about you, but after a long...

Lessons learnt: white mold in the garden

It’s liberating and humbling to write a lesson-learnt blog....

Recycling leaves…sustainable way to improve your soil

Nobody describes fall better than Albert Camus: “Autumn is...

Connie’s Japanese Lilac Tree

A couple of weeks ago, Connie, my neighbour, asked...

Part 3 Terrace or plant slopes?

In the previous blogs, I covered the merits of...

Part 2 Taming a slope: terraces and decks

In my last blog, I covered

Part 1 Planting slopes at Phipps Conservatory

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania surprised me. The city has a whooping...

Soils for peonies!

Recently I was invited to give a presentation on...

Soil health goes to the microbes

Soil health is a hot topic nowadays, but what...

The problem with topsoil

Early spring has many of us rushing out to...