John & Bob's Blog

The All In One Gardening Solution

Gardening products can be confusing. Walk into any box store and there are separate products to use for your lawn, roses, tomatoes, fruit trees, etc. This is overwhelming to the home gardener. John & Bob’s focuses on the fundamental factor in gardening, regardless of what type of plants are being treated: the quality of soil and soil life.

Throughout my 36 years in the landscaping and gardening industry, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to improve soil because that’s really the key to successful gardening. Unfortunately, during those 36 years, consumer’s choices haven’t been clarified. The choices are complicated and it can be a confusing industry. Most home gardeners aren’t quite sure what to do. Some home gardeners talk to their friends and are told to use epsom salts or beer for mysterious reasons. If you go to a nursery, manufacturers have ploys where they...

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How to Conquer and Repair Clay Soil

Clay soil exists in regions all over the United States. It is made up of tiny sized particles that tend to settle together. Because of this, small amounts of air pass through and it is slow to drain. Clay soil does have good moisture and nutrition retention, but for a home gardener it is almost impossible to work with. Some plants can do well in clay soil but most plants cannot survive.

A popular gardening myth is that sand should be added to clay soil to improve it and make it lighter. In reality, unless it is added in monumental and impractical amounts, this practice will turn clay soil into a rock hard, mortar like substance. Organic matter that adds soil life is a better choice to fundamentally change clay soil especially if you can add it once or twice per year...

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A Natural Ecosystem: Rich Soil is the Key

The diversity and abundance of life that exists in soil is greater than in any other ecosystem. Just a handful of soil can contain billions of different organisms that each play a significant role in soil quality to support plant growth. These organisms provide vital services by breaking down organic materials and recycling nutrients.

A natural ecosystem like the one pictured above is rarely challenged by pests or disease and...

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Garden America Recap: Drainage and the Lasagna Method

I was on the Garden America show last Saturday, the nation’s top gardening radio show and expert source for garden illumination coast to coast.  The main questions asked during my visit with the hosts, John Bagnasco and Bryan Main, regarded fixing poor soil drainage and the lasagna method of gardening. The concept behind John & Bob’s products answered both questions.

Hydrangeas in John & Bob's amended soil

Fixing Poor Soil Drainage

John Bagnasco: “I’ve just redone parts of my yard and some of the beds I’m ready to plant in, I’ve noticed have really poor drainage. So I know that you can tell me what products I need to order in order to improve that and in what order...

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How to Combat Tomato Hornworm

I was recently on a gardening radio show where a listener called in to ask about controlling tomato hornworms. The hosts of the show were slightly incredulous when I mentioned that controlling tomato hornworms and all other pests and diseases is directly related to the quality of soil and a rich biodiversity of microbial life in the soil. The hosts asked, “How could applying John & Bob’s products impact the presence or absence of tomato hornworms?”

An important factor is that 75% of all insect pests spend part of their life cycle in the soil. The best way to combat them at the source is a soil rich with complex soil life, which contains natural enemies of insect pests. Many potential pests will get eaten while still in the soil, prior to maturing into...

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