The Constant Gardener -June 2019

by: Aidan Feeney

Gardening is an interesting choice for a hobby. We freely subject ourselves to untold hours of toil preparing soil and weeding beds. Strange behavior indeed. In an attempt to become a better grower, it is important to examine why we garden to begin with.

Famed biologist E.O. Wilson coined the term “biophilia” to describe his hypothesis for our inherited genetic attraction toward plants, animals and specific landscapes. According to Wilson, this is why we find green lawns and pastoral farm scenes so attractive, why we find so much relaxation in the garden.

In the garden, every square foot of space is valuable real estate. As such, you should only plant varieties that will be worth the space.

Wilson argues you are not only happier but more productive when immersed in a garden. You have less distractions, your senses are heightened and you become more observant and an overall better grower.

The success of a home garden is entirely dependent on its ability to mimic the natural ecology of the area. This is why we plant according to the seasons and why we scout for pests and diseases at specific times of the year. Ultimately, nature is entirely in control and it is our job as growers to be observant and ride the wave of the growing season.

With all that in mind, a few general strategies can increase production and add to our enjoyment of back-yard gardening.

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