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RE: weeds

There is a wonderful community garden that is on the grounds of the Montreal
Botanic Garden.
Weeds are often a design issue.  For instance:
1. If fence fabric extends all the way to the ground, it is often difficult
to keep the fence line free of weeds.  Keep the fabric 3-4 inches above the
ground.  This allows a weed whacker to handle the problem quite nicely.
Mulch or boards under the fence also create a clean appearance.
2. Keep pathways to a minimum.  No wider than necessary - some gardens have
wide central utility paths and narrow paths that lead to individual gardens.
In some of our gardens, gardeners have eliminated paths that they considered
to be unnecessary - provides more gardening space and eliminates the weedy
3. Consider mowed paths, just the width of a lawnmower.  With a board or
brick edge they can look very neat.
4. In one small, but sensitive garden, the landowner, a major insurance
company, paved the paths with asphalt, including curbs.

From a non-design standpoint,  perhaps people need to be introduced to the
ordinary hoe.  In our gardens, the neatest plots invariably belong to
90-year-old women who are skilled in the use of that tool.  People who end
up pulling weeds are  the ones who don't use their hoes.  Cultivators work
pretty well, too.

From the standpoint of building community, the problem belongs to everybody,
not just the few sloppy ones and the overworked coordinator.  What if you
had a meeting of all the gardeners, or all the ones who would come (provide
cookies) and told them that the botanic garden was dissatisfied with the
appearance of the garden and might want to close it.  That might get their
attention.  Ask them to brainstorm solutions and then decide what steps to
take.  Sometimes that is the best source of "justice" for people who let
their garden go - and you don't end up having to be the judge and
executioner.  It is also a good way to set standards and to make sure
everyone has a way to pitch in and improve the situation.  Perhaps the
botanic garden would like to offer awards (green flags?) to the examplary
gardens - neatest, most imaginative, most diverse, etc.

Good luck

Jack Hale

-----Original Message-----
From:	community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of Linda Schroeder
Sent:	Monday, August 21, 2000 5:04 PM
To:	community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject:	[cg] weeds

I am helping to coordinate a community garden project as an intern at Denver
Botanic Gardens this year.  I am interested in knowing of other community
gardens that are part of a Botanic Garden.  I would greatly appreciate any
Also, I am wondering how to deal with the overwhelming weed problem we are
having in the gardens.  The administration of the Botanic Gardens has a high
expectation of how the community gardens should look aesthetically, and I
would love some suggestions of ways to encourage gardeners to keep their
individual plots less weedy, as well as common areas and pathways in the
garden.  In past years, the coordinator would "red flag" individual's plots
that were really out of control, and if the problem was not remedied within
ten days, he or she would lose gardening priveleges for the following year.
I don't like such an authoritarian system, but some of the plots and
pathways are becoming a nuisance to other gardeners, especially due to all
of the bindweed we have.  It is an organic garden, and I would like ot avoid
herbicides as well.  Any ideas?

Thank you,

Linda Schroeder
Community Gardens Intern
Denver Botanic Gardens

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

  • References:
    • weeds
      • From: "Linda Schroeder"

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