Soil, Fertilizers, and Pests

Soil Shake Test

An easy thing to do to see what your soil is like is to do a shake test.

Materials needed: All you need is a jar, preferably a quart or larger, and a trowel or shovel or your hands.

If your soil is not ideal in the loam structure, don't let that stop you from gardening!

Link to the soil shake test info can be found here:

Making a 2 x 2 Garden

During the live webinar, Scott plants a 2 x 2 foot garden to show us how easy it is!

Tools used: Shovel, digging fork, pick

Materials used: Compost and chicken manure, potting soil

Planted: Mesclun mix greens, cilantro, turnips, butterhead lettuce, french breakfast radishes

Total Time: 40 minutes

If you don't have a place in the ground to grow a garden, don't worry, you can always plant a container garden!


Being a home gardener, I tend to just do my best by just squishing the bugs on my plants.

  • The main pest problem this year was earwigs
  • Hornworms are a pest that affects tomatoes
  • Spotted and striped cucumber beetles are another pest to watch out for

If I'm using any type of pesticide to battle insect pests, I use safer soap, which covers the insect's exoskeleton in the film and suffocates them. You can also use neem oil for things like aphids and mites.

Generally speaking, the less pesticide, organic or otherwise, the better.


Scott's Fertilizer Recommendations:

Scott's Book Recommendations

  • Katz, Sandor Ellix, The Art of Fermentation, Chelsea Green, 2012
  • Redzepi, RenĂ© and Zeller, David, The Noma Guide to Fermentation, Artisan Books, 2018
  • The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Rodale Press


More gardening questions?

Email Scott Wilson at

or visit