The Science of Gardening

Posted on November 30, 2008  Comments (2)

Photo of a bee by Justin Hunter

The Science of Gardening

Linda Chalker-Scott, an associate professor at Washington State University, is the author of The Informed Gardener and producer of the column “Horticultural Myths.” In The Truth About Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why, Jeff Gillman, associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is just as rational and informative

Do go ahead and dig in soil improvements, Chalker-Scott advises, for vegetable gardens or annual flowerbeds, in which nutrients need replacing yearly. But there’s really no need to dig organic amendments—manure and peat moss, etc.—into landscapes that are permanent. Treat those plantings of trees and shrubs as if they were forest ecosystems, not agricultural fields—wood chips and decaying leaves on top, no tilling-in of fertilizer.

It must drive both authors nuts to hear people say, “I’m an organic gardener. I never use chemicals.” Everything on earth is composed of chemicals.

The last line calls to mind the recent Royal Society of Chemistry attempt to reclaim the word chemical from the advertising and marketing industries: £1,000,000 for 100% chemical free material. A good example for our scientific literacy posts.

Photo by Justin Hunter.

Related: Curious Cat Cool Garden ConnectionsResearchers Learn What Sparks Plant GrowthSave Money on Food with a GardenThe Science Barge

2 Responses to “The Science of Gardening”

  1. Cherry
    March 30th, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    Nice photos! I love it 🙂

  2. Jim
    February 20th, 2014 @ 7:57 am

    Speaking of bees, we should all think about how to encourage bees and other native wildlife into our gardens. Too much pushing of these animals further and further from urban areas, time we started to encourage them to be reintroduced

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