Cover image for Weedless gardening
Weedless gardening
Reich, Lee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Workman Pub., [2001]

Physical Description:
200 pages ; 21 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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Central Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Eggertsville-Snyder Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library SB453 .R414 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Conventional wisdom says to garden from the bottom up, turning over the soil every spring until your back aches. Ironically, this does such a good job aerating that gardeners spend the rest of the season pulling weeds and replacing the suddenly energized (and easily used up) nutrients. Mother nature, on the other hand, gardens from the top down-layering undisturbed soil with leaves and other organic materials. In following this example and synthesizing the work of other perceptive gardeners, Lee Reich presents a compelling new system called weedless gardening.

The Weedless Garden is good for plants and it's good for people. It protects the soil, contributes to plant health, reduces water needs, cuts down on a gardener's labor, encourages earthworms and, of course, mitigates weed problems by keeping the seeds dormant. Four basic tenets form the system's backbone-minimize soil disruption; protect soil surface; avoid soil compaction; use drip irrigation-and the way to get there is simple. For a new bed or established garden, layering is key, and the perfect material to use is also among the most common-newspaper. Add organic mulch and compost on top, and plants are growing in rich, self-generating humus. From vegetable gardening to flower gardens to planting trees, shrubs, and vines, The Weedless Garden works everywhere-allowing the gardener to work quite a bit less.

Author Notes

Pierre W. Orelus is assistant professor at New Mexico State University. His recent books include: Whitecentricism and Linguoracism Exposed (2013); The Race Talk (2012); and Radical Voices for Democratic Schooling (with Curry Malott, 2012).

Curry S. Malott is assistant professor in the Department of Professional and Secondary Education, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, US. Some of Dr. Malott's most recent books include Critical Pedagogy and Cognition: An Introduction to a Post-Formal Educational Psychology (2011); Teaching Joe L. Kincheloe (2011) co-edited with Rochelle Brock and Leila Villaverde; and Radical Voices for Democratic Schooling (2012), co-edited with Pierre W. Orelus.

Romina A. Pacheco is doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, Black and Latina/Chicana Feminist Thought, critical multicultural education, and radical participatory democracy in the classroom.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Weeds are every gardener's nemesis, so any book promising to eliminate them is certain to excite interest. Fortunately, Reich's approach is a credible one. A former agricultural researcher for Cornell University and the USDA, Reich (Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention: A Gardener's Guide) challenges conventional gardening or gardening from the bottom up, in which the soil is turned over every spring or fall. This method exposes to light and air all the weed seeds lying dormant in the soil and encourages weed growth. Reich maintains that instead, since soil health determines plant health, gardeners should essentially create new soil by gardening as nature does from the top down. This means placing layers of newspaper over the soil to smother weed growth, covering the area year after year with mulch (which can include compost, leaves, bark chips or peat moss), then planting in that rich medium. He outlines his method in detail, offering modifications for different soil types and adding irrigation, planting, harvesting and tidying tips. Numerous charts and illustrations accompany Reich's chatty, highly literate text. He also discusses cover crops, vegetables, various types of flower garden designs, groundcovers, trees (including fruit trees), shrubs and vines, all of which can flourish under the weedless gardening technique. Reich's is a revolutionary approach to gardening, engagingly and lucidly explained. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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