Sunday, December 5, 2010

Green gardening tips from Walmart?

I was poking around on the internet looking for "green gardening" tips and was surprised to find that has a post about the topic. I was even more surprised to find that the tips were really pretty good and that the article didn't appear to be trying to sell anything. Bottom line: I was kind of impressed.

They even mentioned some of the steps that I believe are the most important for an eco-friendly, "green" landscape: mowing responsibly and cutting back or eliminating chemicals.

For mowing responsbily, Walmart's article says:

* Keep your lawnmower and other equipment in efficient operating condition by performing regular maintenance according to the owner's manual. Purchase a nozzle that prevents fuel spills when refilling your lawnmower. Use manual tools when appropriate to save fuel and protect air quality.

* Raise the cutting height of your lawnmower during the hot summer months to keep grass roots shaded and cooler, reducing weed growth, browning and the need for watering. When you mow, "grasscycle" by leaving grass clippings on your lawn instead of bagging them or use a mulching mower. The clippings will return nutrients to the soil instead of taking up space in landfills.

And for cutting down on chemicals, they say.

* Use food scraps, yard trimmings and other organic waste to create a compost pile. Compost is a rich soil amendment that can help increase water retention, decrease erosion and replace chemical fertilizers.

* Don't over-fertilize. A slow-release organic fertilizer applied once in the fall is sufficient for most lawns. Consult your cooperative extension agent for other tips appropriate to your locality. 

* Many plants and insects can serve as non-toxic, natural deterrents to weeds and garden pests. Introduce ladybugs to eat aphids, plant marigolds to ward off beetles and look for quick-sprouting plants to block weed growth. 

* Reduce your use of fertilizers and pesticides by planting grass and other vegetation that is native to your area.

Other tips include using native plants, what to do with unwanted plants you are replacing, and easy steps to protect your plants from the cold.

It's a good article. Take a look!

Here is a link to the full post, entitled Green Gardening.

If you are looking for local information on these topics, look no further than the Metro DC Lawn and Garden blog. The search box at the right can help you find just what you need. And if you don't find it, let us know. We'll be happy to track down the info for you and pass it on.

"Trowels are the underwear of gardening gifts"

In my morning search to find info on gardening gift ideas, I came upon this wonderful post by Jim Hillibish on

The catchy, but accurate phrase "Trowels are the underwear of gardening gifts" drew me in. After all, as gardeners, anything that makes our work outdoors easier is a tried and true gift....the fallback gift. As Jim says "Despite a drawer full, you can always use another one."

Hillibish goes on to list some great examples of tools that will make most avid gardeners green with envy.

So if you've been thinking along the lines of sexy lingerie for your gardening gal, perhaps you should reconsider. Come on big guy. You know what she really wants.

Head on over to Jim's post to read his suggestions.

More fun reading: 20 Tips to help you decide if a gardening gift is appropriate

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