- [Announcer] Volunteer Gardener is made possible in part by Tennessee Environmental Council helping people care for the environment and offering instructions and seed kits for pollinator gardens that bloom into year round habitats. More information at tectn.org. - [Narrator] On this addition of Volunteer Gardener, Julie Berbiglia visits Warner Parks in Nashville. Where invasive plants are being chopped down, wrenched up and tugged out to become invasive free by 2027. Annette Schrader is familiar with the concept of lasagna gardening, a sustainable method of making rich soil. But she learns a new twist on the concept from this gardener in Beach Grove. Plus Troy Martin tours a home garden that's 95% native plants. So pretty and such easy care. Come along. First, eradicating the invasive's so that the natives and the ecosystem can thrive. - [Julie] Here at Warner parks in Nashville, Tennessee work is well underway to eradicate the invasive plants that are over occupying the forest floor. This is no small task. It encompasses almost 2000 acres of the 3,200 total that comprise Warner Parks. Let's learn how friends of Warner Park together with Invasive Plant Control, Inc. are meeting this resource challenge head on to the goal of invasive free WP by 2027. So, hey Jenny. - Hi, Julie. - So this is a beautiful park. - It is. - But I understand that you have gotten very interested in dealing with and evicting some of the plants here. How did that come about? - So I actually walked with a friend park a few days after I started my job. And he said all this green stuff, this bush honeysuckles not supposed to be here. I was very uneducated. And so I said, well, tell me a little more about that. And then we friends Warner Park has a relationship with IPC, Invasive Plant Control. They actually work out of a building on our property. So I made my way over to see Steve Manning and Lee Patrick, and said, "Tell me a little bit more about invasive plants." And then I attended the Invasive Plant Conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, two years ago. And I learned a whole lot about invasive plants. - [Julie] I think a lot of us are aware of the honeysuckle problem, but what other kind of things are you finding in the parks that we think maybe escaped from somewhere? - [Jenny] Our four biggest invaders, if you will, are bush honeysuckle, Euonymous vines that climb on the trees, Privet and tree of heaven, which we also call Ailanthus. - [Julie] So those are the four biggest invaders. - [Jenny] There are quite a few others, but those are the four main ones. - Now all of these things at some point were, you know, really huge in the garden trade people planted Privet hedges and Euonymous for ground cover and so forth. But what is the problem that you're finding here in the park and that we really need to know about with these? - So ironically the hedges that they jump over at the steeple chase in the park are also Privet hedges. So it's also an issue in the park as well that we created. It's not just in the park, but it's the surrounding buffer of the park. And so as people plant those plants and bushes and things in their own yards birds and animals and other things, bring them into our beautiful park, which is pretty much how it started. I mean, our park used to be very clean. And in the last 20 years, it's become just very dirty, if you will, with invasive plants. The invasive plants, they took out both the natural native plants in our park and also the wildlife, the birds and the wild flowers and the trees. When they take up so much of the canopy and the sunlight that comes through the things that should be coming up from the ground aren't able to do so. - So with all of this work that you've already started doing, are there changes in the park you're already seeing? - We are seeing, especially around the steps at the Belmeen entrance of the park, where we eradicated over 40 acres of invasive plants. We had just a ton of wildflowers come up this spring and this fall and more people said to me, "Did you plant those wildflowers?" I said, no, no. They're just able to come to life because of the really in that area, the park, the honeysuckle being gone. So it's fun to see other people's reaction to the new life in the park. - [Julie] You actually have a goal of invasive free by 2027. How in the world are you going to accomplish that? - That is correct. We hope to be invasive free WP by 2027. 2027 is the 100th anniversary of Warner Parks. And we really want to set this park up to be here for the next generation for the next 100 years. It truly is a legacy changing project for the park. And we started two years ago, a capital campaign. And the goal was to raise 15 million dollars. We've raised just over 5 million. And the first project was to redo the steps at the front entrance of the park, the Allee and the surrounding woodlands, which has been accomplished. And now we're moving our way through the park. And to date, we have eradicated approx 700 acres of invasive plants, and we have about 1600 more to go. And then there's open spots in the park that obviously don't need to be eradicated. The golf courses, the sports fields, steeple chase. So that helps us in being able to get through the park a little more quickly. But the goal is to be invasive free by 2027. - That is a whole lot of work. And I understand that you've been known to walk through the woods and cut on some of the Euonymus, but you're probably not doing all of this work yourself, are you? - Absolutely not? I do now own three chainsaws and I do love cutting the euonymus vine. There's a lot of self-satisfaction in that, but we have contracted with a company, Invasive Plant Control, Inc. And they are based right here in Warner Parks. And we couldn't do this job without them. We also couldn't do the job without the donors who give to Warner parks every day and every year to really help us keep this park so beautiful and protect the park. That is our mission. - Okay. This is fascinating. And I can't wait to meet your strike team, so let's go see them. - That'd be great. They're great guys. - So Dylan, you have quite the job here and the strike team is helping you out, but what kind tools and other eradication methods are you using? - So we have a lot of different methods that we use ranging from hand pulling, where we go around and pull the small stuff out. We use cut stump treatments quite often. We also use tools like weed wrenches and uprooting tools to be able to pull the invasives out and get the whole root system along with it. - Are you just done when you come through an area and you get it cleaned out. I see a lot of piles of stuff here. Does that mean you're done we can forget about it and move on? - Not quite, we do expect that the stuff, the invasives will return because they're very prevalent in the seed bank still. So what's really important with these invasive management projects is long term monitoring and maintenance. So we will be coming back through when things start to re-sprout and do the same thing essentially. - [Julie] So I'm wondering though with what you do cut down, what do you do with that? - [Dylan] In the park at least and in most areas, we just leave the debris where it is, the material, where it is, actually the deer love eating the privet twigs and honeysuckle sprigs that we leave down. There are some certain areas in the park where we will get a mulching machine and actually chip it up and chip it back into the forest. - [Julie] Okay, so the different methods that you use are fascinating, and they're not all things we're gonna use at home, but let's go over a few of them. So what about just cutting things down? What do you use? - [Dylan] So for cutting things down, we will typically use brush cutters or chainsaws for the bigger stuff. And once we cut it, we cut it very low to the ground and we apply an approved chemical to the stump. Just right to the stump. That's just the outer 25%. And that'll help to keep it from re sprouting from the stump or from the root system. - [Julie] All right. And then are there things that you just yank out of the ground. Are you pulling things? - Yeah, a lot of times the privet especially is fairly easy to pull and even if it's up to your waist high you can typically pull it. You really wanna be sure you get down low and gently yank it up and keep following where the roots are. So you can get as much of it out of the ground as possible. If they're deeply rooted, or if the plants are larger, you can use a mattock or a shovel to really dig in and follow where the roots go to try and get them all out. - [Julie] So if I pull these things out of the ground and I'm just gonna have a brush pile in the back, can I keep them from re-rooting? - Yeah, you can. What you wanna do is knock all the dirt off of the roots. That'll dry those roots out. So they don't have the chance of getting back into the ground to get started again. We stress safety above pretty much anything else. I mean, it is the number one thing. We always wear steel toed boots, gloves, helmets, and hearing and eye protection as well, because we are using tools like chainsaws and brush cutters, but we're very confident in how we use them and doing so safely. - [Julie] All right, this is great advice. And I wish I had the equipment you all do, but I look forward to doing what I can to take care of my property as you all take care of this property. - [Dylan] Thank you so much. - We're about to have sustainable agriculture that will be accomplished inside of a container. And there's a layering process. And Tom Anderson is gonna show us how we can have great results. - [Tom] Well, this is kinda like lasagna gardening, where you layer everything, you use all natural products, whatever you have on the program. And like this here is kitchen scraps that we save from vegetables that we eat. - [Annette] No meat products. - [Tom] No meat products at all, no bones and coffee. Use coffee grounds that's the best thing in the world for earthworms. And the bottom is out of this one. - So when these get to where they're rather crackly, you could take the bottom out. - That's right. - Okay, I see all that good stuff in there then. And then the worms will come up. - That's right. Then what you do. I save all the little cardboards from the. - Paper towel rolls, toilet tissue. Uh oh, what's that? - [Tom] That's green. That is a bunch of green. You chop them up. Just dump it all in there, that's layered. So you've got a kitchen scraps the first you've got coffee grounds than you've got cardboard, and then you have greenery. This here come off of the cannas. - [Annette] Oh yes, so, all right. Now, what comes next? - You can layer it again. - Okay. - I'll use layer mine all the way up until about six inches from the top. - Yeah. - And then I will use either some old garden soil out here, whatever you know for the top, for a seed to be sown in. 'Cause you can't just sow seed in this, this here will rot. - Yes. Well, that was gonna be my question to you, is I see you doing this. This will compost down and your soil level will continue to go down. - That's right. - What do you do then? - You just keep adding to it. You just keep adding, just like lasagna gardening. You just keep adding layers of different color. I'll add leaves to this. - Yeah. - That's gonna be my next would be leaves out here, which I've got already falling and chop them up a little bit with your lawn mower, if you want to, you don't have to, but that'll keep it from matting down. - Yeah. - And I put them in there and then I just start, you just keep starting over. - So you would do that if you had to rebuild the soil, maybe when you're not actively growing anything. So, over the winter you could do that. - That's right. - Well, I interrupted you now. What's your next layer gonna be? - Next. Well, next layer be leaves. - Okay. - Then I come back in with some more kitchen scraps, which I have every cause I'm a vegetarian. - Yeah. - So I get them every day. - Yeah. - And I put some more of that in there. Then I put some more coffee grounds in there. - Okay. So we're not gonna. - Just the same layer. Just keep coming up with it. - Okay. - And then when I get the last six inches can be a potting mix. It's gotta be so you can sow your seed in them. - Yeah. - 'Cause this hadn't. - Right. Okay. Now, where did I get the idea that you might put a little bit of the hugelkultur process in this spot? - You can put limbs, chunks of rotten wood, you don't wanna use green wood. You wanna use rotten wood. 'Cause green wood will draw all your nitrogen. - Yeah. - Out the, down below the root zone. - Yeah. - So we use rotten wood, any rotten pieces you find laying around your yard, little twigs, anything you put in there. That's hugelkultur and you just keep building it up for that. And then with these greens, and leaves and browns. - Okay. Well, right here before this you say these have been together long enough to been working and are the finished products. Didn't you? - Yep. That's right. - Well, you said you put sticks in here. Didn't you? - There's some twigs. - Can I go looking? - Well, as you got you. - I'm going. - Go ahead. - I'm gonna dive in. - See what you can find. - Okay. And what I don't want to find is a stick because that stick is supposed to be decaying and enriching. And I don't find one, Tom, I don't even find a, no one. - No, you probably won't find in that one, or the other one either. - Okay. And I disturbed your little- - Yeah, there'll be alright. - Collards here. Let me straighten him back up. Okay. All right. Now then you put walking onions in this one. - Yes, well, that's Egyptian walking onions. - Okay. I don't find anything in here except the roots to the Egyptian walking onion. And that's another beneficial plant in it. Okay. Now dig in that one. Show us what's in it. Oh, I see grass clippings. - A lot of grass clippings. - How long has this been together? - Leaves. This here, probably about since August. I mean July. - July, okay, so that's three months. - And then your grass clippings have already started already broken down really. - So three months ago, this looked like what an assembled one once you get through with the layers over here. - See there's your soil. - Yeah. I see the, yep, I do. Well, and that's not, you need to add some top soil to this one don't you? - Yeah. - So you can plant it. - Yeah. See right now that's about the highest I get. - I call that black, rich dirt. That's black gold. That's what that is. - And then you'll put maybe a three inch top soil or a three inch potting mix, potting soil, not potting mix, but potting soil. - If you have good garden soil. - I mean potting mix. If you've got good garden soil, you can put that in there. - You can put that in there too. Okay. - All you want is something that seed can get started in. - Yeah and so what you really will have achieved by adding all of that in there, right here. You had enough soil. - That's right. - That you planted these purple top turnip greens. - That's right. - And the deer won't get these over here will he? - No. - That's one of their favorite things. Well, this is an amazing process. And you know what? I'm almost your age, we got to look for an alternative way to garden don't we? - That's right. - I think this will produce for us. - It will. - And everyone else. - Well, you can see it growing. - Exactly. Thank you. - It is mid-spring and we are in a beautiful native plant garden in Dixon, Tennessee. And I'm so happy that we're here with Mitch Hampton, who is the owner of, Green Man Tree and Landscaping Company. And Mitch is really into native plants. Your garden is how my much native plants? - It's about 95%. - 95% native plants. And of course, anytime we go anywhere, it's always, I wish you were here a week ago, or I wish you were here next week. But I think you'll see some really pretty things in this garden as we stroll along. And one of the things that everybody loves, I know in the spring is this wild native phlox. Is this easy for people to grow? - Yeah. Phlox is one of the easier native plants. It actually will self seed out. - Right. - And if you have like a white and a blue, a lot of times they will cross and make all kinds of different colors. - Right. - As you look into the bed, you can see where they actually, the only plant I planted was this one. Everything else is just seedlings. - Right. - Except for the one white one over there. So it's a really easy care plant. - Then you've also got heucheras in here. There's some ferns. Is that royal fern? - Yes, it is. - That's royal Fern. It's actually, in a damp spot. That one will really get big and nice. And then tell me about that kind of broad foliage that's back behind those ferns. - [Mitch] That is a spider lily. You see, them a lot out in the woods. You very rarely see them in the landscape. Has a beautiful white flower. Probably mid-July. - Yeah. So later in the summer. So we're seeing foliage now and then later on in the summertime, we'll see stalks of white flowers. And just in front of that, there's some really pretty trillium's, two or three different kinds that I see in there. - [Mitch] Oh yeah, those are catesbaei trillium, which is a small white one that flower will actually turn pink when it's totally through doing its flowering process. And some caneatums. - [Troy] So caneatum's is the one that everybody sees a lot in the woods around here. If they're hiking out at Radnor Lake or somewhere like that, you'll see a lot that, that's kind of the maroon flowered trillium. and then I see one yellow flowered, one there. - [Mitch] That is a luteum. Everybody likes. - Kind of smells like lemon. Not only do you have beautiful perennials and other plants in the landscape, but also beautiful flowering trees. And this is a really popular one. This is fringe trees, correct? - [Mitch] Yes, sir. It's about the same kind of culture as a dogwood. - [Troy] Okay. - They are deciduous, so if you want the fruit on them and it does have kind of a purple olive fruit, you do have to have a male and a female. These two are females and they do fruit out every year. They have a really nice yellow fall color. The bloom is fragrant. It's just a really nice, easy care plant. - And there's one more plant just up here around the corner that everybody really likes, but it's kind of difficult to grow. And that is the mountain-laurel. And it's just in bud. And I like it almost as much at this stage as I do when the flowers open. - [Mitch] A lot of people try to put them in too dry conditions. This plant is actually raised up about halfway outta the ground and the mulch, which is built up around the edge. I'll water these beds about once a week if we don't get rain. Has to have a acidic soil. The wind is not really all that great for it, even though, it's real windy up here. Basically, if you just water it and put it in the acidic soil and put it in the shade, it does pretty well. - It does pretty well. And they do like good drainage. - Right. That's very important. - You kind of plant high and you mulch up around. One other plant that I wanna mention real quickly is a really popular little ground cover plant. And that is this foamflower down here. What variety is that one? - This one's running tapestry. It's a little bit different than the other ones, 'cause it will actually run across the ground and form a nice ground cover. As long as you keep it moist. - Yeah. And as I'm looking down here, I see little babies popping up where it's scent runners kind of underground and maybe even some seedlings. But you can really see where the runners are coming off of this plant. So if you're looking for a good native shady ground cover, this is one of them. Does this tiarella go completely dormant in the winter or does it leave some foliages? - It actually leaves foliage and the more sun it gets, the redder it turns. - [Troy] Okay. - [Mitch] Another nice thing about it too, is it combines well with all these plants. It doesn't swamp anything out or push anything outta the way everything grows up right through it. So it really makes a nice background. - Another really popular landscape plant is the smoke tree, and most of the time we see the non-native form and this is actually a hybrid, right? - Yes sir. - And this is a grace. - [Mitch] Right. - And it's a hybrid between the purple leaf smoke tree and our Native American smoke tree. So this is actually the flower on it. The big peak for this plant is sort of mid to late May, but is there anything that you can do to maybe prolong that? - Sure. You can actually take and prune off the water sprouts and every water sprout you prune off a new one will come back and bloom in a couple of months after you get through pruning it. - [Troy] So you could extend the season maybe from end of May on into June, July, August, even. - [Mitch] Sure. - [Troy] Another plant that you have in here that I think is really interesting is the Baptisia and which Baptisia is that? - [Mitch] That's lachantha, it is one of the white, the pure white blooming form, that and alba. - [Troy] And that might be something that people are a little unfamiliar with. Because most time when you see the Baptisias or the false indigos, it's the blue form of it. Another thing that I find really interesting in your garden, Mitch is the way that you've used stumps and logs and various other things as decorative pieces. Are these trees that were from the property? - [Mitch] Yes, sir. Actually that tree, I just cut it down right there and they're actually good for the soil. They're good for the plants. They add a little bit of winter focal points and it's just a lot easier not to have to haul everything off. - And you even mentioned this little scootal area that's blooming down here on the ground that it just came in as a seedling from somewhere else and it's found this happy little spot and it's actually even growing out of the trunk of the tree now. So lots of those kinds of fun things happen when you start experimenting and when you just let nature take its course. In this bed is one of my personal favorite perennials. And that is Amsonia Hubrichtii or the Arkansas Blue Star. - [Mitch] Yes, sir. - You have a couple of color forms here. Tell me a little bit about these plants. - Amsonia is kinda like Baptisia. It is a full sun, likes really good drainage, very drought tolerant. You can see the bloom on it now. This is actually, this one is a little bit different color. It's a seedling. It just came in that way. But it's normally more this white or really like pale blue. - Pale blue. Yeah. - And another nice thing about it is it gets really nice, bright, yellow fall color. And these plants get quite large. It'll be about three foot round, three foot tall. - This is like I said is one of my favorite perennials for two reasons, you get these early spring blooms and then like you just mentioned really spectacular fall color, usually a bright gold, sometimes even a little orangy cast to it. So it's one of the few perennials that you can plant and get really good fall color out of it. Another really tough plant since we're right here and it's already in bloom, is this verbena. And which species is this? - [Mitch] This is actually the species plant. This is canadensis, homestead purple, which is a plant that a lot of people use. - [Troy] Right. - [Mitch] This is the parent of that. - [Troy] So homestead purple was a deeper purple color form of that plant that was found. - And it blooms a little bit better. - Right. And this one is the native wild form that you'll see growing along the roadside in various places. And talk about a tough. - Yeah, very tough. - Full sun. It'll take the drought and really performs well in the garden. So this is baptisia, screaming yellow, and obviously has a big show of flowers on it right now. Anything else after this is finished? - [Mitch] Yeah. It'll have a ornamental black seed pod on it. A lot of people use it in floral arrangements. - [Troy] Right. Dries really well. - [Mitch] Dries well. You might wanna remove it if you don't want a lot of baby Baptisias, 'cause it does seed out a lot. - [Troy] Well, anything that pretty, I'd be more than happy to have babies popping up around the garden. - [Mitch] Me too. - Another native favorite, especially for the shade garden is Solomon's seals. And I think most people are familiar with the variegated green and white, but that's actually not a native, that one's from Japan. - Right. - [Troy] And this is one of our native forms and this is- - [Mitch] This is giant Solomon's seal. - [Troy] And how big will this be by the end of the summer as it grows? - [Mitch] Probably about five feet. - [Troy] So it's considerably larger than the one that most people are used to growing in their garden. So you need to give it a little space. - [Mitch] Right. - [Troy] Does it run? - [Mitch] Not really run too much. It does kind of seed out just a little bit. The clumps least expand. - [Troy] Right. So it's not gonna take over the garden. But it will get bigger over the years. And then another really interesting plant that's back here by us right in front of me is one of the Broadleaf Magnolias. And there are several species, which one is this? - [Mitch] This is umbrella Magnolia. - Almost kind of a tropical. - Yeah. So that's what I was getting ready to say. - Yeah. So many things in the garden are ferny or have a small leaf or whatever. This is a nice design element. To add for very broad texture and- - And does have a pretty bloom on it. - Right. Big white flower, fragrant. So well Mitch, thanks so much for having us out to your place today. It's been a real pleasure. - [Mitch] Well, thank you Troy. - [Troy] And it's nice to see how well all of these native plants just really fit their setting. You're kind of out here in the country, outside of Dixon. You're wooded all around. And I think this is just the perfect garden for this place. - Thank you. - [Narrator] For inspiring garden tours growing tips and garden projects, visit our website at volunteergardener.org or on YouTube at the Volunteer Gardener channel. And like us on Facebook. - [Announcer] Volunteer Gardner is made possible in part by Tennessee Environmental Council, helping people care for the environment and offering instructions and seed kits for pollinator gardens that bloom into year round habitats. More information at tectn.org.
March 31, 2022
Season 30 | Episode 13
Julie Berbiglia visits Warner Parks in Nashville where invasive plants are being chopped down, wrenched up, and tugged out to become Invasive Free by 2027. Annette Shrader is familiar with the concept of lasagna gardening, using green and brown waste. But she learns a new twist on the concept. And Troy Marden tours a home garden that is comprised of native plants. So pretty, and such easy care.
Watch Clips from this Episode
Sustainable agriculture method for a container
A well-read and experienced gardener demonstrates how he recreates lasagna gardening (layering of organic materials in which to grow plants) in outdoor plant containers. He then starts seeds and also grows a variety of vegetables in these containers with great results.