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Re: test

  • Subject: Re: test
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:15:04 -0400

Hi Butch,
     I visited Wade's this year, and I think most of his display plants were
in the ground. Maybe only a few were planted as you say. The planting
techniques you describe (undisturbed soil with lots of mulch) are an
interesting approach, but not for everywhere. It is something that works a
lot better in theory than in practice, I'm afraid.
     The first problem I see with that approach for hostas is that it would
only be a consideration in areas that do not have voles. The excellent cover
provided by that mulch together with the excellent food source provided by
the hostas would be vole heaven. A highly unnatural vole heaven at that, as
the voles will soon wipe out the hostas and it will return to a natural
state (which does not include a lot of nice big hosta hybrids, BTW). Mulches
should only be very thin and decorative where there are voles, or you won't
have hostas for long. At a guess, a third to half of the places we are
growing hostas have voles. With food and cover, you can go from having a few
voles to having lots of voles in a season.
      Another problem with the idea of "natural" gardening is that the
hostas we are looking to grow are not native here. All come from a different
climate and soil. Neither God nor Mother Nature ever intended them to grow
here - That was our idea. In addition, plants that have evolved in the wild
are most of the time far better performers than the fancy sports and hybrids
we tend to want most. There is no reason to expect great results from
planting fancy but somewhat weakened hybrids in that sort of natural
environment. The best results in growing hostas I've seen to date were those
that were grown in highly prepared and amended soil. Those grown more
naturally are tougher in some ways, but the weaker hostas have not done well
in that sort of planting. True, those planted in highly amended soil do
eventually start going downhill and benefit from re-amending, but that is
because the soil isn't good enough to support that kind of growth to begin
with. We are looking to grow plants beyond the way they would grow on their
own without our "life support" techniques.
      Yet another problem with natural gardening is tree roots. Without
digging, the more vigorous of these will win out in a battle with hostas.
Those fancy hybrids are not equipped to wrestle for nutrients with the roots
of a large maple. The tree will win every time.
       Then there are pests and diseases. Most of these are as foreign to
the native environment as the hostas are. The foliar nematodes we are all
struggling with are thought to also be of Asian origin. Because they are
also foreign, there are no natural control factors in our local soils. This
is a problem with invasive species of all kinds, and the battle against
these unwelcome invaders is carried on on many fronts. Basically, we just
put our heads in the sand if we think nature will eventually deal with them
and the environment will naturally revert to what it was before they showed
up. It won't. They are often better competitors than the native species, and
can drive native species to extinction. We caused the problem and we cannot
expect nature to fix our mistakes.
       All in all, I see the natural approach as being more of a
philosophical one than a practical one. It is nice to think it might work,
but in reality it will not give us the results we want. I say
"philosophical" because the answer to not getting the results we want is to
be happy with the results we get. As long as that is understood, we can be
happy with the results of natural gardening. If we are looking for specific
results, though, we will have to manipulate the environment to get them. If
we want to import non-native plants into an environment and non-native pests
with them, we cannot simply sit back and do nothing and have everything work
out perfectly.
                                         ......Bill Meyer


> butch say; thanks
>
> I had not seen any post for days.
> Not that anyone has to be interested but i felt that
> the soil discussion was very provocative. When i first
> encountered much of this years ago i was excited.
> Completely new knowledge for me at the time and i
> assume its new for others. Maybe not.
> I felt that it would evoke discussion that would take
> me further along this path of understanding the
> process.
>
> --- Rod Kuenster <Rod-Kuenster@iowa-city.org> wrote:
>
> > came through here. Rod
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: michael shelton [mailto:wilddog_202@yahoo.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:10 AM
> > To: hosta-open@hort.net
> > Subject: test
> >
> >
> > test
> >
> >
> >
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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: test
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>
    • Re: test
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>
    • Re: test
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>
  • References:
    • RE: test
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>



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