This is my first ever post about my first ever garden and I have to
begin by confessing I know next to nothing about gardening. Conversely
my partner and I have just moved into a home by the Thames with a
beautiful mature garden attached so many stupid questions to come. My
first is this. I have just cleared out a load of ivy which has
obviously been growing for some time and contained, between the stems,
a large amount of semi rotted twigs - a builders bag full to be
precise. Whats the best use for this? I dont want to just burn it as it
looks like it contains a lot of nutrients. Should I compost it?
Any thing once alive is good for compost. Anything that went through a
digestive system is better. Generally. I'd look hard at poisonous
plants and trash them. Do not burn poison Ivy a given.
Bill who would ask the previous owners for a garden heads-up if not talk
You must get a few books dealing with gardening and then make some
.................. Below a DVD......
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)
When thinking about your garden, says British horticulturist Penelope
Hobhouse at the end of her video series The Art & Practice of Gardening,
treat design principles like grammar. Learn it, forget it, and do your
own thing. And your garden will work.
In 13 visits to gardens in England, Ireland and America, Ms. Hobhouse
reviews such topics as learning from nature, growing roses, combining
flowers for effect and particularly creating structural features. She
emphasizes the bones of a garden; the placement of trees, hedges,
topiaries, arbors, stones and steps as architectural elements around
which the rest of the garden should be planned. She is certain that
there is a right way and a wrong way in garden designing. At the top of
her list of right ways is Henry David Thoreau's advice, simplify,
It makes good compost, but there is one problem (in addition to making sure
it does not contain poison ivy, which someone else mentioned). That is,
even the tiniest stem of ivy will often root. That means you could find
lots of little ivy plants -- which can be difficult to eradicate -- if you
use it for compost and there are any stems or roots left.
That's why I send ivy trimmings to the county's composting project
instead of composting them myself. My compost pile is too small to get
hot enough to kill ivy cuttings. The county's compost gets good and
hot, killing anything that is alive.
For the same reason, I don't compost weeds that have gone to seed.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
If composted in a pile for a year before using, the chances of stems still
containing living parenchyma cells is very low. Also composting reduces
many associations that fresh chips can pose regarding diseases.
Here is some information for the new person: A good website for tree
information is also: www.shigoandtrees.com I studied New Tree Biology with
the author as did many many other people. His stuff like MODERN
ARBORICULTURE is lucidly presented. The World Wide Pruning photo guide is a
must for anyone pruning woody plants. It has lucid information with top
quality pictures of dissections and such so you will have a great
understanding of how branches are attached to trees. His books are
translated in many languages. Once you know and understand that, you would
be able to answer your own questions regarding pruning. Pruning dose is
addressed here: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/DOSE.html
also he had published many articles which are very interesting in TCI
Journal. With their permission I reproduced the articles for easy access.
Your library should have these books and if they don't they can get them.
If not and worse comes to worse you can obtain the lucid information from
his daughter who now runs the educational business. He does not push
products in his stuff so there is not the spin to push products. Surely the
value of proper mulch is addressed. I am so thankful that people directed
me his way back in the late 80's. I was one of the first 20 people in the
state of Florida to be a Certified Landscape Maintenace Supervisor and
Operator with the Landscape Maintenance Asscoaiation of Florida. our
questions about trees required a better understanding of the tree as a
system and his stuff filled that requirement. His stuff adds understanding
to a confusing topic. Tree care. I used to go into one store and ask
questions and they used to push their products. Than another store would
say no that was wrong that their way was best. Thank GOD I had the
opportunity to read his literature as well as dissect trees for a better
understanding that allows me to answer my own questions rather than have to
rely on garden shops with different ideas. That's my Spielberg on trees.
Many tree problems are associated with the following: They are Case
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