Gardening Across Climates
Yesterday, at a gardening class I was hosting, my friend Karl brought me a copy of Heirloom Gardener’s Summer 2017 issue. In Editor-in-Chief Hank Will’s note “Garden Smarter, Not Harder,” he wrote about a favorite subject of mine not often expressed by “seasoned” gardeners: the archaic idea that there’s a “best way” to garden. Ha! We know that can’t be true, and how mind-numbing it would be if it were.
Then I thumbed through and saw concepts like planting by the moon, succession planting, and other hallmarks of the path I’m drawn toward. I love this magazine and can’t stop reading it. It’s one of the best gardening magazines I’ve ever seen. I haven’t read one like it in a long time, and I’ll keep it handy for quick reference.
A Back-Saving Eureka Moment
I nodded my head as I read Hank Will’s Field Notes about “eureka” gardening moments (Summer 2017). My “eureka” moment happened recently as well.
I’m in my mid-60s and can’t bend and pull weeds like I once could, so we bought some welded-wire hog panels — about 32 inches high and 16 feet long — and wired them into rounds. We lined the rounds with weed mat and filled them with composted manure and amendments (see photo, above). We added perlite and a few other additives to lighten the dense, organic compost. Now I leisurely stand to plant, weed, and harvest. During winter, I toss my kitchen scraps in the rounds to compost, and the setup always teems with worms!
Myrtle Creek, Oregon
Eureka! Less Work for Greater Reward
I loved Hank Will’s Field Notes about “eureka” gardening moments (Summer 2017). I garden in the low desert of Arizona, and a few years ago I stopped clearing my vegetable garden after the plants finished their life cycle. This has yielded many benefits.
First, even though the plants are dead, their remains provide shade for living plants nearby. (When it’s 115 degrees Fahrenheit outside, any shade is welcome.) Second, the plant remains keep the soil from drying out as much, and I’ve actually had to water less in some areas. Finally, when the weather cools and the fall growing season begins, I get many plant volunteers popping up in all sorts of places, which is such fun! (Photos at top left and right.)