Sustainable Gardening News, April 08 Issue


The latest issue is out today, and listed below are the parts that are new to GardenRant.  The whole thing, including the right sidebar, is right here on my site. Susan

In the News             Winterclothes160

  • The New York Times reports
    on young, educated farmers as a social movement, confirming a growing
    consensus among gardeners that the future of gardening is young people growing food. 
  • The U.S. Geological Survey reports
    that all sorts of chemicals – like detergents and pharmaceuticals – are
    turning up in earthworms from fields fertilized by animal manure and
    "biosolids" – that’s the nice word for sludge from human sewage. Seems
    that more substances get into our digestive systems than we ever
  • The American Hort Society’s 2008 book awards are out and the winners are: Foliage by Nancy J. Ondra, A Natural History of North American Trees by Donald Culross Peattie, Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, and Viburnums by Michael Dirr. Citations of Special Merit went to revisions of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s All-Region Guide series and Sunset’s Western Garden Book.    

On the Blogs                

  • Your wood chip wisdom is needed!  The very wise Linda Chalker-Scott weighs in in favor of them (a controversial stand) and get this – to a depth of 4-6 inches.  What do you guys think?
  • Christa tells us all about sod-removal techniques. It seems she’d rather grow tomatoes. 

What’s New on Sustainable-Gardening             

  • Something that coaching clients always ask about is Edging, so here’s how to create my favorite kind.  Down with ugly plastic!   
  • Photinia shrubs are profiled – not because I recommend them but because so many people have them (along with leaf spot fungus).    
  • The newest addition to my Tools & Stuff is the Winter Wardrobe page, which was the occasion for taking the photo above.

In My Garden

Here’s what you don’t see in the picture below:

  • In
    the back, what used to be lawn is now a bunch of groundcovers that
    haven’t filled out enough to look really good.  Grow, damn it! 
  • In
    the front, what used to be lawn is a little kitchen garden, bisected
    with brick paths and planted with all sorts of edibles.  Photos coming

My So-Called Second CareerTulipsdaffs300

Speaking to writing classes and library groups has evolved into yet another coaching gig for me – helping people set up blogs and then make them
successful.  Here’s the website with all the details, called Blogging Coach Susan Harris.   It’s fresh off the keyboard and I welcome your feedback.


  1. Susan you are my heroine! Your posts, your own blog and coaching blog and now blogging coaching are all so helpful to me – still very new to blogging after 4 months. You have such good advice to use – and pass on – because I have a local garden column. Thank you thank you.

  2. Anything activity that requires 2 pairs of sweatpants is just not happening in my garden. I think you’re wonderfully qualified to help people get started blogging and I agree that Typepad is wonderfully user friendly. Good luck with the new venture!

  3. I’ve heard about your edging method before and I know several who rave about it. However, it wasn’t an option against stacked rock walls – or at least not against the ones I build. Or wait, maybe it’s because hubby, whose only garden chore is lawn maintenance, didn’t keep up on edging and I got tired of weeding grass out from between rocks (is there anything worse?).

    But not all plastics are bad. We’ve opted to use Trex bender board. It’s gray, rather like aged cedar, so it blends quite well with the gravel and rock we use. It’s also made from recycled materials (plastic put to good use, not to landfills). It’s easy to install and so far, seems to do exactly what we needed it to do. Oh, great, I sound like an advertisement for the product!

    My gardening outfit isn’t much different from yours, except that I also wear a weight belt to protect my back. Yeah, I’m quite the sight (as if I care).

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