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Soil quality test available for gardeners and farmers in the Willamette Valley

Gardeners and farmers can do their own soil analysis.

Jan 13, 2009 | News Story

Poor soil? Build up with raised beds

Framed or mounded, raised beds give plant roots the space they need

Kym Pokorny | Nov 8, 2016 | News Story

Nitrogen-fixing trees “eat” rocks, play pivotal role in forest health

By tapping nutrients from bedrock, red alder trees play a key role in healthy forest ecosystems.

Chris Branam | Feb 25, 2019 | News Story

Getting soil tested in The Dalles

Get your soil tested on Thursdays in The Dalles.

Jul 2018 | Article

Are ashes good for my soil?

Q: Can fireplace ash be used in the garden successfully or is it harmful to the soil?

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Soil Improvement and Cover Crop Resources for Small Farms

Even though different soils have some properties that cannot be changed, such as texture, soil quality can be improved by implementing good management strategies. Soils can be improved for water holding capacity, drainage, structure, and even the ability for plant roots to penetrate through the soil.

Apr 2018 | Collection

Is a dog latrine a bad place to grow vegetables?

Q: I'm very concerned about the health hazards of eating food grown in the beds where a dog has pooped. At this point, I could build a fence around the whole garden to stop any further damage, but I'm wondering about the existing and persistent harm of bacteria or worms that may now be in the soil. My house mate's dog did her duty in multiple beds throughout the ...

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Raised Bed Gardening

Gardening in raised beds has been a common practice for centuries. "Raised" means the soil level in the bed is higher than its surrounding, and "bed" implies it is small enough to work from the walkways.

May 2018 | Fact Sheet

Raised bed lumber, pressure treated safe?

Q: I am considering using some 2x6 inch material for a small raised bed for strawberries. My first thought was to consider pressure treated lumber, but I have read conflicting articles on the the safety of this product, with the chemicals possibly reaching the plants. Others claim this doesn't happen and the lumber is safe. I would appreciate your opinion on this matter.

A: View answer | View all featured questions