Saturday, February 17, 2018

Garden Revolution by Larry Eaner and Thomas Christopher

I am still reading gardening books but I may soon stop as I would have to get more to read. However, we just started tapping the sugar maples at Maple Grove Farm, where I live, then I may go on a vacation and start back at the nursery. I took so many notes on Garden Revolution that I can't tell you all of them but this is one of the best books on "natural landscapes" that I have read. It has alot of philosophical material but also lots of practical suggestions and examples. Natural Gardens change with time is an important maxim. There is quite a bit about Frank Egler who did alot to get the natural gardening "movement" started. He said "Nature is not more complex than we think, but more complex than we can think. Too outspoken and argumentative for academia, he "retired" to his family's 500 acre estate in Norfolk, CT, Aton Forest, where he put his principles into play. These are just a few tidbits: Brush hogging in August favors cool season grasses whereas June mowing favors more desirable grasses such as little blue stem. Keep a shrub area by curring trees and hand applying roundup. Having mother colonies of plants which self seed often works better than seeding. Fertilizing, applying compost and watering can lead to invasive weeds. Don't worry about color clashes in a meadow. Cut rather than pull weeds if there is a dense ground cover. Tilling is usually a mistake. It is alot easier to establish a meadow in old pasture than in a previously tilled or disturbed area. Chipped wood is often better than mulch as the mulch adds nutrients which leads to weeds. Before clearing large areas, do smaller test runs. I don't have time to write everything I gleaned down now. There is step by step guide to creating a meadow.

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