Philosophy

Why the Bicycle Trailer?

It doesn’t make sense to work for the environment, and then unnecessarily burn gasoline in the process. Not everyone can do without a car, but those looking to reduce their “ecological footprint,” can buy and hire locally. Not all Garden Cycles employees bicycle, but we offer wage incentives to “green commute.”

We occasionally carpool or rent a truck for deliveries, but a bicycle trailer usually suffices to carry bareroot plants and a shovel. Woodchips and erosion control fabric can be delivered. We also don’t haul organic matter off site (unless it’s a diseased, seeding, or rooting noxious weed) – it’s too valuable for building soil critical for stormwater interception and filtration. 

We’ve all heard “Right plant, right place.”  Let’s add, “Right tool, right timing,” and look at what’s right according to soil type and wildlife preferences. It’s all about working with nature.

Our approach to projects is simple: Plant evergreens at groundcover, shrub and tree levels to shade out weeds and intercept stormwater, and incorporate woody debris (woodchips mainly) into and on the soil to increase the stormwater sponge capacity, and to recreate the “fungal food web” that existed before bulldozing and soil compaction (http://call811.com/ before you dig). For aesthetics, 3 to 4 species planted in swaths are visually pleasing, with herbaceous diversity (trillium, Solomon’s Seal, bleading heart) planted in front of evergreen backdrops, much like florists use native salal and evergreen huckleberry in their floral displays.

We support organic farming and personally practice organic gardening for health and peace of mind. However, in restoration, organic control (digging or cutting) of holly or knotweed can cause 20 times the root suckers. Herbicide is required for eradication, and leaving treated roots in the ground helps prevent soil erosion and stormwater runoff. Compared to toxic gasoline used by “truckscapers,” it is our view that judicious use of herbicide is the most environmentally friendly approach to protect forest diversity, soil health, and water quality.

Garden Cycles accepts the risks of handling herbicide so you don’t have to, and we have licensed applicators on staff with Aquatic and Right-of-Way endorsements (WSDA # 74158). We take efforts to minimize drift with cut and paint, frilling, or stem injection methods, using “best practices” and the safest products available for humans, pets, fish and wildlife, considered “practically non-toxic” by the EPA. Despite much uncertainty and inadequate research, employing herbicide tools as part of “Integrated Pest Management” is likely far safer than neglecting the spread of ivy, holly, and knotweed that will change fish and wildlife habitat forever.

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