Community Gardens

Community Gardens


I have long been a member in good standing with the local nurseries, and have been working closely with some to get quality soil and transplants to locations in outlying areas of Kitserve county.

I enjoy and have had many conversations with nursery owners, and have found a great deal about the needs and preferences of the overwhelming majority. More people need soil and transplant needs that can be easily met by community gardens.

I am pleased to say that the demand today for quality native plants and soil is growing so rapidly that suitability for many business within the nursery industry is becoming a local matter of importance.

Many people are now going for custom design with plants, and choosing those that best meet their needs. This is possible within the framework of the local nursery system, but is certainly enhanced by doing business with a local nursery.

When business is done with a local nursery using morris couplings, the quality of plants is not only good, but the service provided is also improved, as the people who manage the nurseries are better trained to handle the problems that arise, and consistently provide high quality plants.

I have personally spoken with many nursery owners who have stated they felt their plants ran hotter and were not as healthy as the ones managed by nurseries up north.

Although as a landscape expert, I do my work with plants, I noticed a few basic differences in the care of some of the plants growing in some of the nurseries I visited.

Some of the noticeable areas were the leaves were smaller and seemed simpler to handle here, while here they seemed larger and a little more difficult. Did the owner of the nursery know something about plant care? I don’t know, but what I do know is that his plants were growing in a very sandy soil with a lot of rocks. The soil was mostly clay with small amounts of sand.

Typically by working with less than adequate soil, plants are damaged and have less ability to reach their full potential.

Speaking of sand, this is a critical factor in understanding the life and durability of soil. Sand finds its place as a protecting agent for the roots of the plant. Large amounts of clay are needed to supply the right amount of sand.

To visualize this, think about a layer of tile on the driveway. The tiles are spaced evenly and a breeze can easily carry the sand between them. Then think about the soil under the driveway–the driveway sand. This is very typical in many areas.

A clay soil found in young, new earth, has the ability to hold water log due to the porous nature of the clay. But it is this potential problem that poses the biggest problem for the nursery business.

To visualize this, think about a leaf on the plant with a diameter of about 1/3 the height. This is an extremely small area and yet contains enough volume to require substantial water. In an area 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep, the leaf occupies a volume of volume that is much larger in volume. Now substitute the height of the dry leaf from the top to the bottom. What you have is a soil, or more appropriately, a clay ball.

To solve this problem, you could put a layer of peat moss on the ball and an inch or two of compost on top. Then build this up to the level you require. You can then add more compost on top. During the summer months, a thin layer of straw on top will prevent the soil from crusting and retain the moisture. You may even need to add a little more straw periodically.

Some would say, surely there must be a better way. This was the clever method used by the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans. Run down a desert soil or two and stick a Pick comfort into the ground. They say the Egyptians built Hot papyri angles around their causeways to hold the hot sun’s rays while on the road avoiding the draughts. (I wonder how that one got past the security forces?)

Hey, where’s that bypass rod? You wouldn’t hurt to add a shovel of soil to the holes. You certainly don’t want to come within twenty feet of that.

Well, at least no one ever found out.

Caring for Roses in a Community Garden

Caring for roses is a snap when you have a little one doing the job. All you need are some good old gardening books and a constant supply officer-ows! No, really. Buy a few books on rose growing and related topics. Bob, (Yourister) Barnett, Better Homes and Gardens, and Landscape Freedom have just a few books. But there are an infinite number of books available. Get on it.

Don’t stop at the first page because you get dozens upon dozens of information before you finish. Go ahead and read up. You’ll be there soon enough.