Catch Amy and the Professors in Parade


Here's Amy's how-to turn in America's Sunday magazine, called "Get a Beautiful Garden Now".  It's full of tips and myth-busters from two of our favorite hort profs – Jeff Gillman and Linda Chalker-Scott.  Now let's discuss among ourselves.

– A gardening friend actually cornered me at the July 4th Parade to express her shock that the article recommends up to 6 inches of coarse mulch around vegetables, so I promised to ask about the research behind that one.

– Protecting young fruit from pests by stapling plastic bags or hosiery around each one is easy?

– And Amy, serious kudos to whoever's handling publicity for your book!


  1. In Korea and Japan, they wrap paper around each fruit. They also thin the fruit so that each one is enormous. You can do anything if you’re willing to invest the time.

    I’m not.

  2. A swab of Tanglefoot around the base of plants infested by crawling insects keeps earwigs out of peaches and root weavils out of rhododendrons.

  3. I first heard the ‘bag around each fruit as protection’ bit last year @ a demonstration garden. I was dismayed because my Asian pear tree at the time was hosting a bumper crop & I was desperate to protect it from the pests that routinely ruined the fruit. There was no way, however, that I’d be able to bag each fruit – even after thinning mercilessly there were tons ! – on a 20′ tall tree !

    Since then I’ve heard about some organic fruit growers using kaolin clay sprays to deter insects. Doesn’t make for an attractive tree — but then neither does a tree full of little bags ! Must locate some kaolin …..

  4. Thanks for posting this Susan,

    No doubt about it, bagging fruits is tough and labor intensive, but it does yield a great fruit — You’ve just got to weigh how much spotless fruit is worth to you. The kaolin clay is a great thing to try — but it washes off very easily and isn’t as “sure-fire” as bags.

    In terms of the mulch — the more the better (well, 12 inches is probably too much in most circumstances)! But certainly you’ve got to clear it away from plants stems — As I recall (I’m going from memory here) Linda in particular had a lot to say about mulch which the Parade editors ended up cutting.

Comments are closed.