Remember the song by Joni Mitchell, They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parkin' Lot? Even if you have similar conditions, you can restore some Paradise. You can grow vegetables, fruit, or pretty flowers on a parking lot. Got soil that won’t even grow weeds? Think you have to lug heavy containers around to garden? Think again.
GardenSoxx® is taking backyard gardening to a completely new level or even a steep slope. Use this system on flat ground, on a rock pile, on pure sand, in boggy areas, on concrete, on rooftops, or on a hillside to grow healthy organic vegetables and beautiful flowers. GardenSoxx® is an organic landscape and gardening system, which makes use of high quality compost held inside a mesh tube to provide better growing conditions for your plants. This allows gardening anywhere.
This method was first developed for wastewater runoff, erosion control, and filtering out pollutants. One of GardenSMART’S most popular programs showed the amazing effects of using the Filtrexx system at construction sites and steep inclines.*** The next natural application was to develop a system for home gardeners. GardenSMART visits with Rod Tyler, the CEO of Filtrexx GardenSoxx® again this year.** Follow the links below to read about the show and more applications for GardenSoxx®.
Rod Tyler has written more than one hundred articles as well as a couple of books. His passion is soil and especially compost. He explains the flexibility of the GardenSoxx® system, “We have all used Lincoln logs or building blocks growing up. This system is just as easy to put together.” GardenSoxx® is mesh tubes filled with a special mix of compost. You put your plants right into these flexible sleeves.
Tyler, who holds an Agronomist degree from Ohio State University, has served on the U.S. Composting Council for two years. According to Tyler, the GardenSoxx® and growing mix pass through several internal marks in a very stringent quality control program. The compost that Filtrexx uses to fill their GardenSoxx® holds the U.S. Composting Council Seal of Testing Assurance Approval. It is totally organic. He suggests that anyone buying compost look for the Composting Council seal, approved by the FDA (Federal Department of Agriculture).
You can also purchase the GardenSoxx®* as unfilled mesh bags and fill them with compost yourself. If you wish to produce your own backyard compost to fill the GardenSoxx®, Tyler has some tips. Leaves, grass, kitchen scraps (no meat or bone), and weeds go into the mix at the rate of 1/3 green material (produces the nitrogen and heat) to 2/3 brown material. Use a commercial composter or build a 3X3 compost bin and locate it in full sun.
Compost tumblers are the easiest to use since the mix should be turned once a week. Two tumblers are ideal so that you can have one cooking and one for new additions. Keep the mix damp, not wet. Turn it, with a pitchfork or a crank, to incorporate air, essential for the microbes to work at breaking down the materials into soil. A tumbler will give you compost in about three to four weeks. A pile in a bin will take longer, up to six months.
“Our GardenSoxx® can be configured into any curve or linear system you want,” Tyler said. You can use them to line a driveway, for instance, or curve them around a shrub border or fill a square foot garden area. Lay and plant them across a hillside to keep it from eroding. Plant a Parking Lot? Easy.
By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs
Landscaping is often an exercise in problem solving: we may have an ideal plant in mind, only to find that it won’t thrive in our yards because our site or soil isn’t suitable. Fortunately, plants are wonderfully diverse and adaptable, so you’re guaranteed to find beautiful, landscape-worthy shrubs that withstand most any of Mother Nature’s curveballs. Think of the plants listed below as the landscape equivalent of the old saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” — they tolerate and even thrive under the difficult conditions commonly found in backyards everywhere. This means less work for you and a better performance from your plants!
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