Monday, March 31, 2008

Radio Ramblings

Radio shows can discombobulate me. (Notice bob in the word.)

I was on the radio last night. The other guest was very fascinating as she described wining a gold medal twice at world’s most prestigious flower and garden show—the Chelsea Garden Show in the UK. This was a display put together by an American, trouncing dozens of garden displays by British gardeners. Like the California bread maker that had best of “show” in a French competition. Americans are giving some of Europe a run for their money.

When the conversation drifted into what the Queen was wearing when she stopped by the display garden, I got a bit frustrated as roots—I was there to promote my book Roots Demystified— and the Queen of England don’t seem to have much in common.

Finally the conversation turned toward my book. I got flustered which is rare for me on a radio show. There were so many things I realized later I wished I said, but had slipped my mind. Such as:

Where should I feed my shrubs and trees? This question came before I explained that trees and shrubs have roots that extend well beyond the canopy—sometimes as far as three to four times the radius of the trunk-to-dripline (the edge of the foliage). The illustrations on his blog are taken from my book and shows how dramatic the root spread can be with a walnut tree and two apple tree as examples. (Click on the illustration to get a bigger version that shows how far the roots travel from fruit trees.)

What other plants beside mint have long running roots? I said bamboo and Bermuda grass, failing to mention the illustration in my book showing Bermuda grass with roots nearly six feet deep. I forgot all about kikuyu grass that is so aggressive it makes Bermuda grass look tame. I first saw it at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA. To stop its on slot into the vegetable garden they had to keep a two-foot trench open between the grass lawn of kikuyu grass and the vegetable garden. Roots can travel sight unseen great distances, even if they are not as diminutive as a grass. I failed to remember the popular tree near town that has crossed under two lanes of asphalt to pop up on the other side.

I explained how Steve Solomon was able to dry farm carrots one foot apart along the row with five feet between the rows. I neglected to say his estimate was planting eight times further apart than that recommended by followers of the French Intensive-Biodynamic method only reduced yields by one-half. And all without irrigation.

There is much more detail and suggestions in my book Roots Demystified.

Would I go back on the airwaves again? You bet. But not with the Queen of England!

Please post a comment - I want to know what you think.

To see more detail of the illustration(s) put you cursor over the image and double click.
All Rights reserved. Copyright 2008

Visit my web site to learn about my other gardening books.

I have lost the usual way to leave comments. To do so, simply click on the "___ Comments" below or click on the Blog's name under Blog Archives. Thanks, Roberts

No comments: