Unusually Clever People

The Truth About Jeff Gillman

When I was in Minneapolis, horticulturalist and author Jeff Gillman and I went to the garden center together.  That's an experience you want to have someday.  Here's what he has to say about the products on the shelf:

Posted by on May 29, 2009 at 10:16 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.
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16 Responses to “The Truth About Jeff Gillman”

  1. susan harris says:

    Terrific video!
    And Jeff, if you’re ever in DC can I take you to Home Depot to check out their plant care?

  2. This is great.

    I just wish he had a one hour special and we followed him around every isle of the whole store!!! Now THAT would be good garden TV!

  3. Michele Owens says:

    I agree. Somebody give Jeff a TV show, please.

  4. Rosella says:

    Well, I just saved some money by watching that! Don’t need to spray no-wilt on my camellias this year! Thanks for the video — great information!

  5. Cindy says:

    Love Jeff’s books, recommend them.

  6. Kerry says:

    Great video! Also, just read in Fine Gardening that water retaining crystals are a waste of money.

  7. Benjamin says:

    Oh he’s just too sarcastic for me. (pause–absorb dry humor) Were you guys at Bachman’s?

  8. Brie says:

    Excellent…thanks for posting this!

    Good (sad, actually) to know about guano. I never thought about how they got the guano from the bats. Fortunately I only ever bought one bag.

    I’ve heard great things about cottonseed meal and how bulky a friend’s okra plants got when they used it, but I’ve also heard an objection to its use—that cotton is a crop highly sprayed with pesticides, and that the seed has retained the poisons. Anyone know about all that? Is it an overreaction or a legit concern?

  9. Laura Lemay says:

    That was awesome! I want more Jeff TV!

  10. Stacia says:

    I want to know where Jeff stands on worm poop. It seemed to be everywhere last year.

  11. Jo Ann says:

    That was a great video!

    I wish he did have his own gardening show (HGTV.. hint hint)..very straight forward about products that work and don’t work.

    WoW haven’t had a man excite me like that in while!

  12. Old Kim says:

    I’ve gotta a couple hundred roses for sale that I’ve sprayed with nothing. Predators are eating the aphids and I’ll cull black spot plants.
    Wake up early to go to work and freak out because my small nursery has been robbed.
    I was thinking my husband forgot to lock the back gate properly as I entered. Freaking freaks jimmied opened the gate and door
    to the shop. Stole 80 pair of nitrale fit atlas gloves.

  13. Jeff Gillman says:

    Sorry it took me a day to comment. Yesterday was a long one. Amy is the best garden center guest anyone could have. I learned about poisonous plants, cut flowers, and art.

    Susan, I’d love to go to the Home Depot with you sometime. But why DC? You should come to Minnesota — Or, if you want to visit SE PA again I’ll be there in July (just visiting, not doing a talk).

    Brie, It’s true that some organic certifying agencies don’t allow cottonseed meal because of the pesticides used on cotton, but cottonseed meal is a byproduct of the cotton industry (it seems wasteful not to use it…) and the amount of pesticides actually in the meal is quite low — I still recommend it.

    Stacia, I like worm poop.

    Old Kim, I wish everyone grew roses the way that you do! Sorry about the theft.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    Jeff

  14. Greg Draiss says:

    Cotton seed meal is also very acidifying to the soil as I understand it.

    As for sulphur I do not think it is as safe as Jeff Gilman says. It burns when applied on hot humid days and prolonged use can lead to poisoning in soils as evidenced in European vineyards.

    I would like Jeff to expound on how guano alters eco systems. I do not understand that part.

    The TROLL

  15. Jeff Gillman says:

    Hi Greg,

    Yes, cottonseed meal is acidifying. If you use it year after year you will see a gradual decrease in pH (not as fast as most people think though….).

    Yes, sulfur can lead to burn if it’s hot — lime sulfur, which is more effective than sulfur against diseases, burns even worse.

    Here’s one you didn’t catch — that garlic and peppermint spray probably works against insects — I was just talking about it’s fungicidal properties.

    I’m aware of sulfur decreasing the pH of soils in South and Central America where repeated applications over time on sandy soils have hurt some crops, but I’m not aware of that occurring in Europe. Plants can handle quite a bit of sulfur in the ground before bad things happen. I don’t doubt that sulfur poisoning of some sort or another (from pH, the sulfur itself, or from a secondary element reacting with the sulfur) has happened in European grapes — but I question how widespread the problem is. If you have a good reference I’d like to see it.

    Guano is not a quickly renewable resource (it is not fresh manure, but rather aged manure). Today most guano is purchased as bat guano which is mined from caves. Over many years (prior to being mined) this guano has served as a place for certain critters to live. By mining this guano we destroy their habitat.

    All of this serves to demonstrate one thing — don’t let a quick 1 minute blurb on a you-tube video substitute for in-depth knowledge. I could easily spend 15 minutes on any of the products that I glazed over in this video and I still wouldn’t have scratched the surface.

    Jeff

  16. greg draiss says:

    Thanks Jeff: Amy Stewart mentioned the sulphur poisoning in European vineyards at her talk at the IGC last year.
    You covered a lot of ground in a short period of time…

    Thanks
    The TROLL

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