We will be showing excerpts from “Urban & Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces,” a video made by Catherine Zimmerman and produced by The Meadow Project. The video focuses on the diversity of life inhabiting a meadow and the intricate connection between native plants, native insects and soil. The video details the process of making a meadow from site preparation, design, and planting, to annual maintenance. Entomologist Doug Tallemy, and meadow experts Michael Nadeau, Larry Weaner, and Neil Diboll are featured. Following the video club members who have made meadows of their own will share their knowledge and experiences.
All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings are usually held the second Wednesday of each month at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.
A member recently was asking about what people in the club have done when they’ve found out they have high levels of lead in their soil. This article has a an interesting summary of some tactics: http://thefoodproject.org/soil-testing-and-remediation Much of the advice focuses on food production, but if young children or chickens who like to play in the dirt (who doesn’t?), you might be motivated to take some action.
Highlights from the article:
- You can remove the contaminated soil with clean soil; this is an expensive option
- Raised beds can be effective; use landscape fabric to separate the old soil from the new
- Amending with LOTS of compost dilutes the soil, neutralizes the pH, and therefore makes the lead less “bioavailable”
- Phytoremediation – growing plants that will pull out lead from the soil – may have moderate effect; may take many years
And if you haven’t gotten a soil test, what are you waiting for?
You can order a soil test from Umass Amherst: http://soiltest.umass.edu/services