|March 5, 2007 14:00 - Garden Hoses, Containers and Guerillas
Do you hate rewinding your garden hose? According to Ken Bevillard, vice president of North American Business for Hydro-Industries, "Rewinding the hose is one of those things that people just hate to do". In fact people hate it so much that they develop "counter-productive coping strategies" to avoid this chore. Yellow snakes and brown lawns can follow if you're not careful.
Two plugs for container gardening are next, but with widely differing approaches. For Cathie Draine "the best answer to "How do I garden on rocks?" or "What can I grow on the deck?" is to learn the fine art of container vegetable gardening". Her piece is all about growing vegetables and you will find comprehensive advice on soil mixes and links to a number of other helpful sites. Read more..
The second article is more concerned with style and trends. According to Daniel Stober of Sylvia's Flowers and Home in Arlington Heights, "The current trends in container gardening include using different structures, often of natural materials within the container garden. For example, you can incorporate a trellis or a one-of-a-kind objects with the plants. Also gazing balls are hot right now, Daniel says. Sometimes there will even be a container within a container, where you make a "green" home for a bird bath". Read more..
Do you go out after dark and secretly plant trees and flowers in public places? If so, you are one of a growing band of guerilla gardeners. In fact this has been going on since the 1970's so is hardly news, but if it has passed you by, you can learn all about it from this piece. Read more..
March 12, 2007 14:08 - Dirtless Gardening And The Anti-Gardener
With Spring just around the corner you would expect the papers to be full of features looking forward to the new season with eager anticipation. Sadly, the first three articles that caught my eye show a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Take Terri Ferguson, for example: "Gardening is a life-affirming pastime that millions of people find fulfilling, that's millions of other people - not me. I love the idea of gardening, but not it's harsh realities". Read more..
Next comes Autumn Phelps who claims she is writing for the anti-gardener. "Make over your garden the plant-free way" is the title of her piece in which she gives suggestions for giving your yard a "chlorophyll-free makeover". Fill your yard with fountains, statues and Mexican pottery is her advice. Read more..
"Dirtless Gardening" is the title of the next piece by Dean Fosdick. At first glance this sounds like another anti-gardener article with its introduction of "Welcome to the developing world of designer dirt and dirtless gardens". Your natural garden soils "just aren't cutting it anymore" apparently. But then there's a quote from Steve Titko, director of technical services for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.,"You can't grow a darn thing in backyard soil the way it is" and you realise where this is going. Read more..
Finally here's some real gardening advice. With global warming in mind Joel M Lerner titles his piece "Do your part: Sustainable gardening is good for your yard". Use homemade compost and mulch, collect rainwater and grow your local native plants. Read more..
If you're thinking of buying some plants in the near future, take a look at Nature Hills Nursery where perennials are at a 25% discount this month.
March 19, 2007 10:09 - Lawncare, Bees and Worm Poop
With the ever increasing trend towards greener gardening I am always on the lookout for new products that can help us to achieve this end. Worm poop may not sound like the most promising of materials but, according to Meredith Grenier, this is the basis of a new organic lawn fertilizer produced by TerraCycle Inc. The product is sold in used 1-liter soda bottles which allows the company to proclaim that it is "made from waste and packed in waste". Read more...
There is more advice on lawn care from Jon Collins, Grounds Superintendent at Eastern Illinois University. Now is not the time to apply fertilizer to your lawn, you should have done that back in the fall. But Spring is the best time to apply a crabgrass herbicide. He goes on to discuss proper mowing techniques and then gives his take on the "Cypress Mulch Controversy". Read more..
If you've ever wondered about taking up beekeeping, this piece by Brian Newsome may give you some ideas. Described as "one of the most hands-off agricultural activities a person can take on", it's one where you end up with your own honey and the knowledge that your bees are performing the essential task of pollination of trees and flowers in the area. Read more..
The March issue of my monthly newsletter, Garden Ramblings, is now online. It includes articles on Beneficial Garden Insects and Ogeechee Limes. Shortly after I sent out the newsletter I received an email from Dutch Gardens to say that they have extended their $25 Free Plants offer to 14 May. Click the banner for details.