I I am the first to admit that I am sick of traveling – at least if you are not interested in plants. I can’t tell you the number of friends and colleagues around the world who have been forced to move to garden centers, supermarkets, out-of-town hardware stores to learn how to take care of local people.
As I write this column on a North American filming trip, I remember how often state gardening practices are recommended to gardeners in the UK, sometimes with great importance in gardening, but often, in our very cold and mild summer weather, not much. So here’s my post on three of the most clever American garden ideas across the Atlantic.
We often hear about the “three sisters” of American agriculture, who put corn, beans, and pumpkin together to form a sympathetic bond that benefits the three plants. There is something interesting about this multi-layered approach that helps to capture more energy than other powerful summer sunscreens in the US.
Unfortunately, the low levels of light caused by permanent clouds in the British marine climate, if used in this way, will cause the plants to clash with each other, making them work together rather than separately.
The same can be said of the tomato nests I have seen here in Britain. This clever American training puts these scattered plants in a metal grid cylinder to support and hold all of the irritating pruning and splitting.
It seems like a great way to reduce your workload and it can really do that in the United States, but in a stable old Britain, this shrub, a congested growth system, develops the humid conditions and poor airflow that causes horrible tomato pollution. This will destroy crops here in a few days, but most of them are unknown in North America.
Finally, my last bugbear – seed catalogs and websites please stop selling soybeans in Britain? They say forever that they are a new species that grows in our cold summers. I have tried at least five varieties over the decades, and each of us has not found a single bean in return for sowing dozens, declaring each of us to be a game changer that allows this heat-loving gardener to reap a good harvest in our climate.
Beyond our borders, there is much to learn from horticulture, but believe me, I have not had enough time in these three American horticultural practices to tell you that you can learn from your mistakes.
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