Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Slow Gardening

With all of the angst over politics these days, I haven't been hearing much about the "Slow" movement - Slow Food, Slow Money, Slow Living...Slow Gardening.

But Slow Gardening is what I've come to consider my own method of gardening.

It's slow gardening because I don't use inorganic fertilizers to speed up plant growth or to boost the size of fruits or flowers.

It's slow gardening because I prefer to hand weed and then mulch to keep the soil free of weeds, rather than sprinkle my beds and lawn with some pre-emergent or other herbicide. As I've written about before, hand weeding helps me hear bird songs, see unusual insects, and generally experience my yard and garden in ways I wouldn't be able to without being quietly bent over and relatively still.

It's slow gardening because I prefer hand tools to power tools, whenever possible.  Greg, who keeps the lawn mowed and trimmed, has switched now to a battery powered electric mower and a battery powered edger which are wonderfully quiet and efficient.

It's slow gardening because I plant a variety of plants, including plants that are known as slow growers.  This is, truth to tell, rather problematic for me, since we move every few years and I rarely get to see said slow-growing plants reach anything approaching maturity.  However, gardeners are nothing if  not hopeful and forward-looking people.

Felder Rushing wrote a book, Slow Gardening, which was released in 2011, and he maintains a page where he outlines his version of the Slow Gardening concept.  I generally agree with his outline of principles, although I am, perhaps, even more of a slow gardener than he is.

Sometimes most gardening seems like it's slow.  After all, you can plant and mow and fertilize and weed, but it just takes time for plants to grow.