Sustainable from the start
Creating an eco-friendly garden at home is catching on all around the country as we strive to create more sustainable outdoor spaces. But for many of us, it’s still an ongoing process as we work with our existing landscape.
Yet for Stephen and Kristin Pategas, it was their mission the moment they moved into their home, over 10 years ago! We spend time with these professional horticultural experts to learn more about what they did, and what they do now, to create and maintain the most sustainable environment possible. Their background in horticulture runs deep and so does their dedication to environmental stewardship. We’ll review the remarkable transformation of their small central FL yard into a beautiful oasis.
How much water is too much?
Dr. Ed Gilman is a professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. He leads the research and teaching program in tree production and arborculture. His 50% extension appointment takes him to the field and interacting with industry and professional groups all year long. Patti speaks with Dr. Gilman, who led a 7-year study examining ideal watering conditions for plant establishment across multiple regions in Florida. The study looked at both native and non-native varieties. The results were surprising on several fronts.
In his own words:
“Research is directed toward tree and shrub production practices and their impact on the rate of establishment in the landscape. Production practices include pruning strategies, irrigation amount and frequency, fertilizer placement and source and rate, root pruning of field-grown trees, and non-traditional container shapes and practices. Major focuses include root morphology in response to the environment; root growth and water stress after planting, and evaluation and modeling of the factors that influence rate of tree establishment in the landscape. The impact of landscape tree pruning on tree biology and response is a growing part of my research and education programs since the late 1990s.”
Biodegradable is the way to go
So many plants, so much trash…or not? One area we gardeners are doing a better job of is coming up with solutions for all the waste that comes from the beauty we are trying to create. Disposing of black plastic pots has been a real challenge because there’s no industry standard as to uniformity for the type of plastic used to make them. But the good news is that efforts are being made to find an industry-wide solution. In the meantime, other companies are coming up with alternative solutions to plastic pots that are biodegradable in some form or another and can be decorative as well.
For more information
Stepnen and Kristin Pategas of Hortus Oasis, Inc. http://www.hortusoasis.com/