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Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich

Weedless Gardening (edition 2001)

by Lee Reich (Author), Michael A. Hill (Illustrator)

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1482128,034 (3.58)2
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.… (more)
Title:Weedless Gardening
Authors:Lee Reich (Author)
Other authors:Michael A. Hill (Illustrator)
Info:Workman Publishing Company (2001), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, Reference

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Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich



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Some good information for the home gardener. Mulching is the answer to most gardening issues with weeds, but the book also includes tips for early starting of plants, watering methods, and methods of getting more production out of a garden. ( )
  addunn3 | Feb 19, 2012 |
I am a very lazy gardener. Come spring, I'm thinking about veggies and flowers, seeds and seedlings. I usually go nuts for a month or two starting seeds and turning over soil, and just about when everything gets planted, I lose all interest in it for the rest of the year. My plants rarely get watered, let alone weeded, so when I saw the title "Weedless Gardening" I knew I had to read it.

I've read a bit online about "lasagna gardening" or sheet composting, and I really like the sound of that, since my yard grows grass and weeds a'plenty, and cleaning up gardening space every year is a major pain. "Weedless Gardening" seems to be the next step in lasagna gardening, and Reich even references Lanza and her book on the subject. While Lanza advocates building what almost amounts to two feet of materials to plant into, Reich claims you only need to block the current growth and lay down as much compost/mulch as you need for immediate planting depths. It sounds too good to be true, but he claims it works, and being as lazy as I am, I'm more than willing to try it this year, especially if it means I don't have to turn over my garden again!

I had to read sections of this book multiple times because he doesn't give any multi-step lists explaining how to use his method. It took me a while to realize I wasn't missing anything, that it really was such a simple process, there's no need for detailed steps. I can't wait to get into my garden and experiment in the coming weeks.

So if it's that easy, what in the rest of the book? He gives a lot of information on how soil functions, lots of examples of soil conditions and how you might optimize them, as well as information about the geography and geometry of garden space. He also discusses specific plants and types of plants, and how to get the most out of them. And he goes into detail on how to set up a nice drip irrigation system.

Usually I won't review instructional books until I've had a chance to try out their methods, but there's so much information here and so many options as to how to proceed, I could very well spend years trying things out and optimizing my gardening techniques. What's presented here does make very good sense, and it's so easy that it can't hurt to give it a try, so I'm confident in saying this was a worthwhile read. I know this lazy gardener is very excited about the growing season now, and I think I just may be able to stick with it past the planting stage this time! ( )
  seph | May 9, 2010 |
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