Synopses & Reviews
Conventional wisdom says to garden from the bottom up, turning over the soil every spring until your back aches. Ironically, this does such a good job aerating that gardeners spend the rest of the season pulling weeds and replacing the suddenly energized (and easily used up) nutrients. Mother nature, on the other hand, gardens from the top down-layering undisturbed soil with leaves and other organic materials. In following this example and synthesizing the work of other perceptive gardeners, Lee Reich presents a compelling new system called weedless gardening.
The Weedless Garden is good for plants and it's good for people. It protects the soil, contributes to plant health, reduces water needs, cuts down on a gardener's labor, encourages earthworms and, of course, mitigates weed problems by keeping the seeds dormant. Four basic tenets form the system's backbone-minimize soil disruption; protect soil surface; avoid soil compaction; use drip irrigation-and the way to get there is simple. For a new bed or established garden, layering is key, and the perfect material to use is also among the most common-newspaper. Add organic mulch and compost on top, and plants are growing in rich, self-generating humus. From vegetable gardening to flower gardens to planting trees, shrubs, and vines, The Weedless Garden works everywhere-allowing the gardener to work quite a bit less.
Following nature's lead of gardening "from the top down"--layering undisturbed soil with organic materials to protect soil, reduce water needs, and mitigate weed problems by keeping seeds dormant--the author presents a guide that covers both vegetable and flower gardening utilizing this method. Photos & illustrations.
If you love to knock yourself out digging beds, buy a better shovel. If you're looking for a no-nonsense alternative, buy this book! (Ketzel Levine, National Public Radio's Doyenne of Dirt)
"Thoroughly practical, easy-to-follow guide to good gardening Lee Reich make it sound simple, and if you follow his methods and philosophy, it is." (Dora Galitzki, Gardening Columnist, The New York Times, and Author of The Gardener's Essential Companion)
"Finally, a book filled with science-based information that insures success and frees us from busywork in the garden." (Dr. H. March Cathey, President Emeritus, American Horticultural Society)
Turning conventional wisdom on its head, Lee Reich shows how to garden for plants and good for people. Eschewing the traditional yearly digging up and working over of the soil, WEEDLESS GARDENING is an easy-to-follow, low-impact approach to planting and maintaining a flower garden, a vegetable garden, trees, and shrubs naturally. Say good-bye to backaches and week problems.
About the Author
Lee Reich is garden reviewer for the Associated Press and author of Uncommon Fruits Worth Your Attention, The Pruning Book and Northeast Gardener's Year. He is also a former agricultural researcher for both Cornell University and the USDA. He contributes regularly to The New York Times and to Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Organic Gardening magazines. He lives in New Paltz, New York.