Good Gardening Week 6: How Do You Handle Chaos in Your Garden?

Good Gardening Week 6: How Do You Handle Chaos in Your Garden?

Good Gardening is GNN's weekly discussion thread focused on building community, soil, good gardens, and good vibes.

Social & Lifestyle

Welcome back to Good Gardening! In our Week 5 discussion, we wanted to know how our Good Gardeners manage a drought, seeing as most of the world is in one. We took the conversation to social media and shared anecdotes.

Lucy Becker shared the Al-Baydh project in Saudi Arabia where permaculturalists are restoring dead streams to life by bringing soil back to desertified hills. If you’re interested in permaculture, this mini-doc a great example of its power.

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We had another avid gardener—a professionally-certified permaculturalist, decide to become a regular contributor to our discussion group! Monica Richards is located in hot and dry Arizona, and she gave her expert advice about hot weather gardening.

“We went through a wildfire, the Bobcat Fire, and our entire property burned, right up to our house – though the house was saved. But much of my garden burned and I had to start over in places. This has been a fascinating experience as I saw what came back, and how to rebuild, using the ash in the soil, as well as making use of the burned branches and trunks of burned trees.”

Her answer as to how to conserve water in a drought is as follows: “Water conservation, shade and wind systems, mulching around plants and trees, plus understanding the microclimates around our property and how to add to them. We have a greywater system, and much of our gardens and trees are watered through that. We also catch rainwater and continue to work toward finding ways to create shade.

I had a chat with a friend in the UK about building quick shade systems over her plants, you can do this by crisscrossing branches over the beds, tying old cloths overhead with stakes or creating a teepee system.”

Our friends from The Sharing Gardens wrote in from their home in Oregon: “Here in USA (Zone 7B), where we live and garden, we experienced excessive rain in the winter and spring of 2022. It was so bad that it killed off almost all the bumblebees in our area (which are ground-nesters) and are necessary for pollinating several of our annual plants. But then, since July, we’ve had basically no rain. The way we deal with these extremes in moisture is to mulch heavily,” they wrote about how they use primarily grass-clippings and leaves.”