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I've been gardening in one form or another since I was a child in the 60's. I helped my first wife study for her degree in ornamental horticulture in the 1970s. Due to an unfortunate quirk in my memory, I can still spell, pronounce, and identify Schinus terebinthifolius and probably 50 other ornamentals growing in Southern California back then. In 1991 I started a compost pile behind the garage. It quickly became a home to many invertebrates including worms, ants, grubs, flies, and others. They are all welcome as long as they're working to the same goal - eating leaves and leftovers.
In 2001 I heard a radio program for organic gardeners. The announcer said you could stop powdery mildew on roses by scattering ordinary corn meal under the plant. I tried it and it worked. Not only that but I have not had any aphids on my roses since I started using corn meal. That was enough to convince me to try a 100% organic approach to gardening. I have finally tossed all the chemicals and synthetic fertilizer from my garage and have no regrets. Organic lawn care is so easy I call it, "no hassle" gardening.
In about 2005 I became a "soil food web" student by following Dr Elaine Ingham. I think she is on top of the situation with her analysis of soil bacteria and fungi.
I have watched Jerry Baker on PBS and generally like his homegrown approach. He was largely discredited here at GardenWeb in the early 2000s, but much of his approach is coming back to haunt us. Spraying soda is a lot like the popular recommendation to spray molasses. Spraying dish soap is much like spraying shampoo. Perhaps Mr Baker was on to something but could not explain it well.
Some years ago I wrote the piece that became the FAQ for organic lawn care over on the Organic Gardening forum. The success of that FAQ led to me becoming a moderator for three organic lawn care forums (not GardenWeb). After following these forums for many years I have learned enough to know that the FAQ needs to be updated, or perhaps shortened, and made into several FAQs. Someday...sigh!
That is my front yard. You can get an appreciation for the shade we get to deal with. The grass is St Augustine mowed at about 4 inches. We have a canopy of Texas Live Oak trees providing 90% shade year round in the front yard. The plants around the nearby oaks are cast iron plants. The back yard canopy is elm with 90% shade for 9 months. The only grass that will grow in San Antonio with all the shade is St Augustine.
I live in: United States
My zone is: 8 San Antonio
My Birthday is October 30 .
My favorite forum 1 is Lawn Care.
My favorite forum 2 is Soil.
First registered on December 20, 2001 .