Last thoughts from a gardening expert

Last thoughts from a gardening expert

Garden expert Lee Reich wrote about planting flowers, vegetables and more on his land for 30 years.

In his last story, he wanted to leave his readers with some advice.

Over the years, he wrote about tomatoes, how to cut flowers, and the worries about domestic animals eating indoor plants.

He said he was happy to write about working in the garden for gardeners of all levels.

He decided to offer eight information to help people who grow plants at home, whether they do it on a large piece of land or just two or three containers inside.

Organic material

Reich said objects that were once alive are good to mix into the soil you use to grow plants. This includes leftover food, green clippings and leaves falling from trees. They help keep water in the soil and feed microorganisms that helps the plants.

Do not panic over pests

Yes, Reich said, some insects can harm plants. But it is normal for insects and mushrooms and other organisms to harm your garden. He said people who work with plants need to learn to accept some harm. When plants are harmed, he said, they come back in other ways, like growing stronger where they are not harmed. He said it is a good idea to be thoughtful and find a natural way to fight insects before using a chemical treatment.

This undated image shows author Lee Reich's garden in New Paltz, NY.  A mixed garden with vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits can delight all the senses.  (Lee Reich via AP)

This undated image shows author Lee Reich’s garden in New Paltz, NY. A mixed garden with vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits can delight all the senses. (Lee Reich via AP)

Trust nature

Reich said that “Mother Nature” has been helping the Earth develop food and plants for a long time. Gardeners, he said, should not be too worried about ground cover growing naturally. Some people call these weeds.

Reich also noted that it is important to think carefully about the soil you are planting in. Do not place plants that are best in dry parts of the world where it is very wet. Do not put plants that are at their best in wet conditions where it is very dry.

Take pictures and write notes

Every year, he said, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your garden and write down what you planted and when you did the work. That way, you can learn from what worked well and what did not. Next year, you can decide what you want to plant based on your past experiences.

Former United States President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Even though I’m an old man, I’m a young gardener. His File show good notes about their gardens.

Do not think like everyone else

This undated image shows pale touch-me-not-flowers in New Paltz, NY.  Related to our cultivated impatience, pale touch-me-not is considered by some people to be weeds, by others to be a wildflower.  (Lee Reich via AP)

This undated image shows pale touch-me-not-flowers in New Paltz, NY. Related to our cultivated impatience, pale touch-me-not is considered by some people to be weeds, by others to be a wildflower. (Lee Reich via AP)

Example 1: Some people think it’s not fun to pull weeds from the garden. But Reich says that is not the right way to think about the job. A good idea is to look at your garden and take out the weeds every three or four days. That way, the work never takes too long. When you change your way of thinking, he said, a job that was once seen as difficult can be fun. Another warning? Do not turn the ground too much. That work often turns weed seeds that would not otherwise grow.

Example 2: Reich said you should mix and match plants and flowers. There is no reason why you should not plant eggplant, peppers and other vegetables along with your flowers. These plants look neat and the flowers will bring useful insects like bees to the garden.

Example 3: You can plant fruit trees wherever you want. You do not need one orchard. Many fruit trees look neat in themselves along with producing food that tastes good.

Get help from reliable sources

Reich wrote about plants for 30 years, but sometimes he has questions. In those cases, he searches the Internet, but he centers his searches for information from educational institutions and public authorities. Although the sources are not real 100 percent of the time, they mostly have good information. It is sometimes difficult to see the difference between good information and bad when it comes from sources you do not know well.

Grow various plants, especially those you can eat

Sometimes bad weather can damage plants. Other times, illness can harm them. If you plant vegetables that are ready to eat at different times of the year, you can make sure that even if there is a problem in August or September, you have picked something good to eat earlier in the year. It is Reich’s experience that one year in the northeastern United States, many tomato plants damaged a disease in late summer. But that year he was already picking peppers, corn, kale and other vegetables.

This undated picture shows a garden with cabbage and other seasonal greens in New Paltz, NY Growing fall vegetables is like having a completely different growing season in the garden.  Cool weather brings out the best flavor from vegetables.

This undated picture shows a garden with cabbage and other seasonal greens in New Paltz, NY Growing fall vegetables is like having a completely different growing season in the garden. Cool weather brings out the best flavor from vegetables.

Do not plant too much

You can get ads. You can walk past a plant store that looks good. Even warm weather early in the year can make you excited to start planting. But Reich says it is better to have a small garden than a large one. When he has friends come over, they admire all his fruits and vegetables. But he warns, “do not do this at home!”

In the end, Reich said, he might not write as much. However, he will never stop working in his garden. He will plant some new things and remove old ones in the next year. For example, he will plant rhododendrons and winter berries. He wants to build another stone wall that he can use to support cranberries and dwarf sweet box. The work never ends.

This undated image shows water leaving a watering can in New Paltz, NY.

This undated image shows water leaving a watering can in New Paltz, NY.

Although he does not write as often, Reich plans to continue writing on his own website – leereich.com. You can visit him there if you want to follow his work and maybe see pictures of his new projects.

He will work hard, even on the cold days of winter.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story into Learning English based on a story by Lee Reich of the Associated Press.

What did you learn from Lee Reich that you used in your garden? Tell us in the comments section and visit our Facebook page.

Quiz – Last thoughts from a gardening expert

Quiz - Last thoughts from a gardening expert

Start the quiz to find out

____________________________________________________________________________

Words in this story

advice – n. An opinion or a suggestion of what someone should do

microorganism – n. An extremely small living thing that can only be seen with a microscope

mushrooms – n. Any of a group of living beings (such as molds, fungi or yeasts), often resembling plants, but having no flowers, and living on dead or rotting things; majority of fungus

File – n. A place where public records or historical materials (such as documents) are kept

mix and match – v. Putting different things (such as pieces of clothing) together in different ways

weed plant – n. A plant that grows very fast where it is not desired and covers or kills more desirable plants

orchard – n. A place where people grow fruit trees

admire – v. To look at (something or someone) with pleasure

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *