Monday, 12 April 2010

Is Your Garden Eco-Friendly?

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Photo © Flickr User: Paul Albertella via a Creative Commons license

What do you do to be eco-friendly when you garden?

Even while you’re gardening in your very own backyard, you can make a big difference in the health of the ocean.

Try one of the eco-friendly gardening tips submitted by our online community or share one of your own.

Return to the 2010 Earth Day Action Page.


Comments from the Community


Gloria
This is an answer for Ruth Garcia - I put beer in jar lids or any shallow plate etc, the snails will get in it and die. Also a great website is Organic Gardening & Mother earth News. I hope this helps! I garden totally organically, we need to help the environment for future generations plus the food tastes so much better. If anyone has more questions - email me - cassienors@yahoo,com God Bless! Gloria

Ruth A. Garcia
I want to know if somebody has any tips for treating snails naturally; my amarillys flowers are being consumed by them. Any ideas how to get rid of those snails?

glen hemerick
compost containing veg garden waste causes plant diseases. coffee grounds and banana peels are safe in compost. avoiding pesticides increases insects and diseases; look up and use organic materials: tobacco (nicotine), rotenone, pyrethrin, sulfur dust, fixed copper spray; and in winter only: lime sulfur spray. spray roots too.

Matthew
I have emerald zoysia turf on approximately 6,000 square feet of lawn and it's trully green. I often have to mow it once for every other time my neighbors mow their high maintenance fescue, which ironically isn't well suited to grow in the South. Fescue also requires a lot of maintenance to grow well here. I also love zoysia because it needs much less water and tends to be weed free, for the most part. It's growth habit crowds out weeds and other grasses. I used to put down chemical based granulated fertilizers but I decided to switch to Scott's organic fertilizer a few years back. Boy what a difference a few years have made. My lawn now needs less watering and holds up better during times of drought. It also looks greener, is lusher and much healthier. As a result, I've gradually made the switch to 100% organic fertilizer for all my plant feedings. Lastly, my dog can eat the Scotts organic fertilizer without doing himself harm. Lastly, you can't burn plants when applying it and it only takes a little moisture to dissolve, so plants tend to respond rather quickly to feedings.

Nancy
Obviously, Luisa and I use the same "old tip" when gardening. We keep a container in the kitchen for all of the veggie "scraps," onion & garlic skins, egg shells, and Lots of coffee grounds. When the container is full, the mixture goes to the garden. We mix it into the ground where acid-loving plants are growing - first, then to the other plant materials. As we're vegetarians, all scraps from our kitchen go to the compost pile - kept moist and turned, often. A dear, gardening friend told me that if the winter is mild - you have Peonies - purchase a large bag of ice to pour over the ground where the Peonies are. If you have an ice-maker - so much the better. Keep the ground "iced" for at least a week - longer if possible. Your Peonies will thank you come spring.

Donna
Look for Community gardens to become part of in your city. Our church sponsors one and in a 10x15 area of ground we donated 1200lbs of food to local food pantry and shelters last summer as well as allowed a refugee family a plot that fed the family for the whole year. Great opportunity to get involved! Call your local agriculture extension to get started.

Pat Johnson
I use a method called solarizing to get rid of creeping charlie ivy. This replaces chemicals and works the best of anything I have tried. It involves using a tarp to cover sections of the ivy for 3 or 4 weeks, then reintroducing some soil for the microbes; replanting grass. My lawn is beautiful and eco friendly. Long live the bees!!!!

Vernon Huffman
Many homes can save heating costs by attaching a greenhouse to the south face, in addition to growing food. Permaculture planning also produces food with minimal work in the long term.

Jane
I use coffee filters found at dollar stores in the bottom of my pots and this keeps the soil in and holds moisture.

Lori J Latimer
Try to use the materials you have on hand. Instead of planting trees on mounds, plant them in a depression, adjacent to your rain-spout. Small berms (the inverse of a moat), can build up paths, and direct rainfall back into the earth where it can nourish at a greater extent. All done by hand tools and loving labor.
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