Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gardening tips for abject gardeners

Looking at "Rufus T. Firefly," the voice in White Trash Gardening could make you laugh or lead you to hang up your trowel forever.

But the book by Mike Benton ($14.95, Taylor Publishing, 160 pages) has helpful gardening tips. Some chapter headings such as "Plastic Flowers and Other Perennials" or "Tire Beds: Gardening in the Round" belie his practical advice. He tells how to prepare a bed for planting by spreading sheets of plastic over the site to kill weeds and sterilize the soil.

Flowering perennials, says Rufus, are insurance against fussy neighbors who may not like your casual gardening style.

"For some reason, an overgrown yard with flowers never bothers people as much as an overgrown yard with weeds. I got perennial flower beds around all my trash piles," he said.

Cussing plants does as much good as sweet-talking them. He recommends taking a gun to the "Christmas poinsettia that your wife wants you to take out of the pot and put in the ground. It won't live after you transplant it, so kill it right there and be done with it."

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