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Re: test

  • Subject: Re: test
  • From: michael shelton <wilddog_202@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 08:42:46 -0700 (PDT)

Butch says; Bill I can't tell you how I hate to start
a response because your so wrong about much of what
you say except the voles. I have 3 dogs, 1 cat and a
lot of snakes so voles have never been a problem for
me. And please don't take any of this personally

Let me begin with when I first encountered these
concepts. I had cleared an area to build a room onto
our house. This went down to bright red clay, suitable
for pottery, so I decided to try the concepts
presented by soil scientist not philosophers. I
planted directly into the smallest hole possible
(Universities of Florida and Oklahoma) mulched and
walked away. Each year there after I mulched on top of
the dead foliage in the fall and walked away. After
the third year the plants were growing well. 

After 4-5 years I dug carefully into this bright red
clay and found it was no longer bright red but had
begun to turn brown. The 1st inch was very brown, the
2nd inch was less brown and each inch thereafter was
less brown. The natural process was converting organic
matter into soil and caring it down into the sub-soil,
not any philosophical process but the real thing. 

I can show you plants that a horse can't jump over
planted in pure really red clay that have never had
any fertilizer except mulch period and water.

I challenge you to prove the negative. Take a
relatively small unplanted area and use this method.
Smallest possible unamended hole and plant a container
grown hosta. Mulch 3 inches deep about 18 inches
around the foliage and keep the mulch about 18 inches
out from the foliage each year as the plant grows. If
you encounter any pest they will have to be treated
but add no fertilizer or amendments whatsoever. Mulch
in the fall on top of the dead hosta leaves and wait
for 3 years. Each year these plants will prosper but
you will really see the effect beginning in the 3rd
year. I do want to define mulch for this experiment;
whatever the locally produced mulch is where you live.
NJ should be hardwood or pine, a yard waste facility
product will do fine. If I'm wrong you've lost a
couple of plants 
and someone will have to shoot me.

I'll take up a couple of the other points later.

--- Bill Meyer <njhosta@hotmail.com> wrote:

> 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: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • References:
    • Re: test
      • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>



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