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Re: soil

  • Subject: Re: soil
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 11:06:29 -0400

Hi Butch,
      Several points come to mind.

1. Foliar nematodes very definitely overwinter in dead hosta leaves. That's
where the greatest number of dormant overwintering ones are. They are still
in the soil and the crown of the plant too, but most are in the dead leaves.
These should always be collected and disposed of at the end of the season.

2. Vinegar make a pretty good weedkiller from what I understand. See here -
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2002/020515.htm Why are you spraying it on
your hostas if it is toxic to plants?

3. It is irresponsible to bring a pest or disease or invasive plant into a
new area and just let it spread. God won't take care of cleaning up the
mess - it will just keep spreading if the conditions are right. We should
all be very careful about what we let loose in our backyards and try to
clean up the problem if we can. Many serious problems have been caused by
careless gardeners thinking someone else should clean up the mess they made.
The most recent one I've heard of is the new spread of giant hogweed here in
the Northeast. It was brought in by a gardener who liked it and it escaped
and is spreading everywhere.

4. No-Till farming methods are not what I think we're talking about here.
These mostly involve the use of a lot of herbicides to kill everything off
between plantings. They are not "organic" by any stretch.

5. At the bottom of all this discussion is the question of whether most
people just dig and plant and do leave the soil alone after that. It's only
those looking to grow them bigger that redig and amend. Those who do that
have clearly gotten hostas to grow very big, and I can see where this is a
good way to deal with very weak growers that we want to grow to larger
sizes. Digging and amending does seem to give better growth than methods
that leave the soil alone. Yes, it is additional "life support", but that is
something they are trying to accomplish - support growth beyond what would
naturally occur. I don't think talk of natural approaches takes into account
just how unnatural many of the plants we grow are. This doesn't just apply
to hostas. Advocates of no-till farming don't claim to have greater yields
per acre than tilling methods. They point to reduced costs/greater profits
per acre and less impact on the environment. Since what many hosta growers
want is maximum growth, the no-till approach does not seem to be the best

                                   ........Bill Meyer

> --- Bill Meyer <njhosta@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>Mulch from unknown sources will also contain a
> variety of weed seeds, and other things that are not a
> good idea to introduce to the garden. Among those are
> a variety of viral, fungal, and bacterial, and insect
> problems, which may end up introducing new diseases to
> your trees and shrubs which were not already present
> on your property. In short, there are
> numerous problems associated with year-round mulching,
> especially with mulch that has not been well
> sterilized by high temperatures when composted.
> Do those soil scientists recommending this practice
> take into account the number and variety of problems
> that can come in with non-sterile mulch
> gathered from a variety of sources?
> Butch says; how do you think God deals with these
> plagues you see coming into your garden. It simply
> ain't so. The weed seed in your garden is mainly blown
> in from sources you have no control over and in more
> or less the same quanity that might be in some mulch
> you purchase. The process of decomposition takes care
> of most of the problems and those that get out of
> balance must be dealt with by you with pesticides or
> herbicides. The idea that you can buy sterile mulch is
> simply an old wives tale. Composted mulch does reduce
> weed seed but it also uses up much of the value in the
> mulch for the soil and it is not sterile. A new mulch
> dressing covers some of the weed seeds that are there
> and brings in some more. Net loss or gain is zero.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: soil
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>
  • References:
    • soil
      • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>

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