Monday, July 25, 2011


ONE of the most difficult subjects for the certificate in the New York Botanical Garden, was Soil Science and Management. All you need to know, as much as any agronomist, is found in the book by the same title, by Edward J. Plaster by Delmar Publishers.,

Capillarity. Soil water exists in small spaces in soil as a film around soil particles. The small pores can act as capillaries.  A capillary is a very thin tube in which a liquid can move against the force of gravity.  Capillary action, the additive effect of adhesion and cohesion, holds soil water in small pores against the force of gravity.  The fact that soil water can move in directions other than straight down is also due to capillary action. The smaller the pores, the greater that movement can be.
Page 58 of the above mentioned. 

That being written.. if you look at the round dish with the planted agave photo at left, it has no drain holes.  It was recycled from one of those corny ponds people buy and installed in their gardens believing they are cute.

Having read many years ago about irrigating plants when you go on vacation with this system, I used it back wards. Look again. There is a rag hanging in the left side of the dish.  That is how I keep the dish empty on rainy days. The excess water drips down, collected and  later used for irrigation.

Capillary action is the principle used in towel papers for your kitchen. In soil, it is one of those really amazing topics not many, or nojuan ever mentions in gardening blogs.

As you know, trimming/pruning are not among my favorite chores in me trendy garden. They are done when necessary, most of the time for correction rather than aesthetics. That is why I detest hedges.

The south garden is taking that cottage/prairie look that I do enjoy. However when the vegetation grows over the border, hanging on the concrete, it becomes a damn stopping water and organic matter to flow naturally. 

That is why I spent half an hour in the process. Here the before and after. 

That is that

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