Welcome to your Summer Garden Clinic Journal
A new year provides a chance to reassess how you garden. Every aspect of our hobby is undergoing changes and challenges and filtering the information is problematic.
Research and development in gardening has never been more focused or intense. Tempting new hybrid plants are arriving at garden centres every week. There is, of course, a limit to what local plant retailers can stock, space is always at a premium and in the process of introducing the latest releases often results in tried-and-true varieties being replaced depriving gardeners of reliable, old timers that are disease free, hardy, and good value. But is it that simple, progress has multiple aspects to it.
The fertiliser world is also in the process of being revolutionised as science challenges old faithful remedies and techniques handed down through generations. No longer is an N:P:K or blood and bone feed able to accurately solve all our plant nutrition problems. We now know it is more complex with some traditional fertilisers doing more harm than good to our garden soils. Biological remedies, research into beneficial soil bacteria and fungi are leading the charge in this new world of plant health. To say something is ‘organic’, inferring it is superior, is no longer a correct, automatic assumption.
The internet is of little use mostly filled with unreviewed and inaccurate information, especially for novice gardeners. Seeking out reliable, authoritative sources is an imperative when ‘googling’. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t pick up a peer reviewed book or the latest research data from the original, trusted source to answer a query.
I’ve always prided myself on being a traditional gardener and a horticulturist, proven practical techniques supported by the latest, researched based science. The 21st century is confirming that approach to be critical in our gardening pursuits.