Earth Day: 10 ways to go green in the garden
10 ways any gardener can go green -- practice sustainability -- in the garden on Earth Day and all year.
Gardeners love the Earth and working in harmony with nature, or they wouldn’t be gardeners. But sometimes I (and maybe you?) need to be reminded of how we can do even more to “go green” in the garden.Skip to next paragraph
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Here are a few ways that I’ve found:
Buy plants in biodegradable pots. Costa Farms, Ball Horticultural Co., and Bonnie’s Plant Farm – which provide millions of transplants to garden centers across the US – are now providing seedlings in biodegradable pots that you plant right in the ground. I have used the pots from all three companies, and hope this is the future of bedding plants.
Start your own seedlings in biodegradable pots, such as Cow Pots. Or repurpose containers that you have on hand. Gardeners have long started seeds in foam egg cartons, newspaper pots (here’s a video that shows how to make newspaper pots), and cut-apart 2-liter drink bottles.
Recycle or reuse plastic garden pots. Check with the nursery or garden center when you buy plants to see if it will take the pots back and reuse or recycle them. Many Lowe’s stores do this. So do many other organizations. And Colleen Vanderlinden has come up with 25 ways to reuse those old nursery pots. Or how about planting an herb garden in an old gift basket?
Compost. This is the ultimate recycling project in the garden. There’s no excuse for not reusing fall leaves to create summer mulch instead of sending the leaves to the overburdened landfill and buying bags of mulch the next spring. Composting is easy. Anyone can do it, says Karan Davis Cutler in her article, “Even when you don’t follow the rules, compost happens.”