Sustainable Gardening Newsletter July ’09


GardenRant edition.  The whole newsletter is available here.

In the News

  • New evidence that ingredients in Roundup
    are hurting humans.  Read about this big news in With Shirley170 Scientific
  • Here's
    that rooftop farms are taking off in New York City, and that veg
    gardens are considered desirable amenities for suburban subdivisions.  Lordy,
    it's a new world.
  • Yielding to factual evidence – that only about 3 perfect of rainwater
    falling on houses reaches streams – Colorado is relaxing its strict prohibition
    on the collecting of rainwater.  This story in the New York Times
    shows what a nonsensical mishmash water laws in the West still are, though.
  • Purdue has promising news – that its new hybrid of the American chestnut
    tree might just revive the almost-extinct species AND sequester a whole lotta
    carbon, too (because they grow so much faster than other hardwood trees).  The
    new hybrids have the blight-resistance of Chinese chestnuts, while retaining 94%
    American genes (somehow).  Source: Science

Found on the Web

  • On Treehugger,
    a good comparison of drip irrigation with xeriscaping. 
  • Plantwerkz is dedicated to
    architecturally beautiful plants, defined as plants that are visually aesthetic,
    that "command attention to themselves, causing all background to fade away in
    their presence."  Yum!

On the Sustainable Gardening

My So-Called Second Career

I'm busy writing an actual magazine piece – for Fine
Gardening, my old fave.  It'll cover plants that can be used to replace lawns –
yay!  This topic's near and dear to me and I got a chance to tackle it at the
American Hort Society recently – and got great suggestions from Brent and Becky
Heath, and a very knowledgeable horticulturist who works there.  Seems only
natural to do a book on the subject, right?


And some of you will be
amused to know that I've finally given in to social pressure and the advice of
lots of smart people and have begun tweeting.  Sure, I tried once before and
gave up but this time I've installed the much-recommended Tweetdeck, which
promises to make it all soooo easy.  (More will be revealed.)  My Twitter name is GardenerSusan.

Here's the
thing, though.  I'm DO write or contribute to 8 blogs and websites, so I may still fail at this
social networking thing.  (Unless I give in to my lust and get an iPhone. 
Seeing Carol Michel
wield hers planted a seed that wants to grow!)


  1. Lots of people are starting to realize that it is really no more work to maintain that garden patch of vegetables than it is maintain that plush plot of grass.

  2. Inside scoop:

    An iPhone app called ‘GardenPilot’ is launching at the IGC 2009 show.

    It is a plant search database app. for more info.


  3. In reply to garden gopher: My garden patch of vegetables is way way way more work than m plot of grass. Notice I left out the adgetive “plush”. This is not a complaint. I love my vegetable garden and working in it. But I water it with rain water from my two rain barrels. Which means I schlep water in a watering can. The grass never gets watered. I hand weed the veggies, the grass, never (except thistles). I pour over garden catalogues to get the right seeds, I visit a variety of nursuries to get the perfect veggie plants. I tie up tomatos, I pick japanese beetles off the greenbeens. I can/freeze the veggies. I remove the spent veggie plants and compost them. I spread compost on the garden. I spade up the garden (to incorporate the composte). The grass? gets mowed once a week, sometimes every two weeks if it is very dry. Gets edged couple times during the summer. Never any chemicals dumped on it for weed/feed. Though I am thinking of spreading a thin layer of compost this fall. And my varieties of ground cover I have? Major hand weeding until it filled in.

    And when I am too frail to do my gardening I know it will be easy and inexpensive to hire a neighbor kid to mow and edge. Not so easy or affordable to hire someone to do the veggie garden. Hopefully I will never be that frail.

  4. I can’t imagine anybody *planting* creeping jenny anywhere. I just got done ripping it out along with a lot of other plants — weed chemotherapy — you take some good out with the bad. I like the alt-lawn a lot, but not the creeping j. ugh.


  5. Saw the video showing Michelle Obama and the children from DCPS.
    The best part of the video was the wonder of the children when they took the sweet potatoes from the earth.
    What a face!
    I love it.
    Go Michelle…keep on doing it.

    Intisar Munir

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