Soap Box. Not to beat a dead horse, but…
I’m a simple person who seeks the simple things in life, gardening being at the core. I’ve done the tilling, the weed pulling and just plain HEAVY WORK associated with the average in-ground garden. I’ve had the whole array of hoes, rakes, shovels, and spades, loaded into a wheel barrow or lugged two and three at a time out to the garden. I’ve gotten the calluses (gloves or not!), the dirt deeply embedded under my fingernails, and the backaches and shoulder pains that seems to come with a large in-ground garden.
Now, I stress IN-GROUND garden, this seems to be the way the majority of this world understands the whole concept of “GARDENING”. I have jumped from blog to blog out there in cyberspace, from information pages put out by major universities to individuals who, like me, just want to tell about their experiences getting into “the dirt”…even many videos on YouTube that still explain on and on, ad infinitum, on the good ‘old IN-GROUND garden, and making sure you WEED and making sure you FEED and WATER enough for the water to get x amount of inches into the soil…yadda yadda yadda.
I’m not saying this isn’t good, solid information…no, not by a long shot; a lot of it is excellent information that, from time to time even I browse over. But, it really isn’t in keeping with the times, sorry…we live in a different age and some things just need to change!
I recently stopped on a gardening show I stumbled across on Public Television. I thought, hey, maybe this will be something new! I used to watch Victory Garden religiously for YEARS, and this new show was not much different.
I am still amazed that the subject of SUB-IRRIGATED POTS never comes up! Why? Why are the established practices and those who religiously tout these practices still not recognizing the need for education on an alternate way of gardening?
We live in a different world where fewer and fewer of us have access to large plots of land on which to pound out a conventional garden. We have populations of high-density clustered all over the country where we’re lucky to have a backyard of any decent size, even lucky to have a balcony or concrete driveway. WE CAN GARDEN WHERE WE ARE even if it’s a ledge next to the fire-escape!
And don’t get me started on water conservation!
God bless the IN-GROUND garden…for those who like that…BUT. what about all the water it takes to keep an in-ground garden growing optimally? Believe me, it takes A LOT! During the hot, dry days of summer when there just isn’t a lot of rainfall, plants in the ground will droop without enough water to the roots.
Recently, we’ve had many areas of this country suffer horribly under a drought…and we could see that again – thoughts of the DUST BOWL days comes to mind. People who work and don’t have some sort of automatic watering system going on have come home in the evening to a garden gone downhill because it just got too dry for the plants to make it through the heat! Sure, you can run out there and start watering real quick, some plants may respond…some might just be too far gone and most of your work, tilling, hoeing, fertilizing…well, and no pun intended, gone down the drain! There is also the consideration of water restrictions going into place. If we can’t water but on alternate days, on alternate sides of the streets and only between 6pm and 4am…what are you going to do if you haven’t installed at least a soaker hose on a cheap timer? Run outside at midnight and water for the HOUR of water usage you’re allowed?? Grass may dig that, but water overnight on plants leaves a door WIDE OPEN for fungus and other lovely rots and bugs to set in!
If we REALLY want a garden that produces food for the family and flowers for the table, we can change the way we think about gardening as a whole!
Our educators need to be educating on water conservation, recycling and land conservation through the use of SUB-IRRIGATION and PLANTERS that utilize a passive hydroponics system.
It’s the necessary step to GREENING our world!