Taking Care of Earth

How to be a good caretaker of Mother Earth

A.  Follow the Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:

  1. Recycle everything you can!
  2. Buy only what you need, avoid use-once and throw-away products
  3. Buy from environmentally conscience companies

In 50 years plastic use has doubled worldwide. Reports show that 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been manufactured since 1950. Currently only 9% of plastic is recycled, 12% is burned, leaving 79% in landfills and in the environment. 73% of beach litter is plastic, and according to the United Nations, ingested plastic kills an estimated 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals each year.

B. How to reduce plastic use:

  1. Don’t use plastic straws, buy a reusable metal straw.
  2. Don’t buy or use Styrofoam cups or packing materials
  3. Carry reusable refillable cup
  4. Buy glass containers for food storage
  5. E-cycle computers, monitors, keyboards, and other electronics
  6. Keep your cell phone for years, instead of buying the newest greatest model.

C. How to conserve water and energy resources:

  1. Monitor your thermostat at home to save money and resources
  2. Turn off water while brushing your teeth
  3. Catch shower water to water plants
  4. Fill you sink with water to wash dishes; don’t just let it run down the drain
  5. Load dishwashers and washing machines to capacity before washing
  6. Car pool, ride your bike and walk more

D. How to preserve wildlife:

  1. Avoid using chemicals in your house and your garden, even the smallest insect has worth and chemicals kill vital pollinators
  2. Do not disturb wild animals or birds. Leave nesting sites, eggs, dens and animal babies alone.
  3. Protect all fish, retrieve fishing hooks and fishing lines
  4. Leave wild animals in the wild and don’t buy pets taken illegally from the wild
  5. Protect plants by not picking wildflowers or trampling vegetation
  6. Respect wild trees, avoid chopping tree bark or cutting trees

E.  Be aware of pollutants:

  1. Keep rivers, lakes and waterways clean, remove all bottles, plastic and other pollutants
  2. Toss trash in trash cans, don’t throw any trash on the ground anywhere
  3. In natural area pack out your trash and dispose of properly
  4. Dispose hazardous materials properly. Call your local Fire or Police Department to find out how.

If we all do it,  then little steps can make a huge difference!

Submitted by: Carlotta Lucas

Food for Birds

We’ve heard it before, * “do not cut and remove perennial stems and flower heads in the fall.” These pictures clearly demonstrate local birds feeding on these valuable fall and winter food sources!

Photos courtesy of:  Suzanne Sky – Talent, Oregon

*Read AGC’s article: https://ashlandorgardenclub.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/gardening-prepare-for-winter/

 

Submitted by: Carlotta Lucas

Garden of the Month: May 2018

186 Ohio Street –  It’s such a pleasant surprise to discover the beautiful garden at 186 Ohio Street.  Although the house is on a flag lot, much of the garden is visible from the street or sidewalk.  Stacy and Eric Poole own the property and have lived here with their two daughters Allie and Aimee, a dog, cat, and three chickens since 2001.  It’s easy to find the property because of two large basalt pillars installed near the sidewalk by their friend, the stone sculptor Jesse Biesanz.IMG_1

In fact, the Pooles have many talented friends who have added to the charming ambience of the property.  Metal sculptor Cheryl Garcia is a friend who helped Stacy with the original garden design and installation.  There are numerous Garcia sculptural pieces throughout.  Landscape designer and friend Jane Hardgrove has helped transform areas of the garden with her vision.IMG_2

Stacy averages two to five hours per week working in the garden but wishes she could spend more time.  Vidal Cervantes has been helping with weeding and cleanup.  Allie and Aimee enjoy spending time in the garden and help their mother realize changes.IMG_3

The garden has evolved as the children are growing up.  The current trampoline replaced a swing set, and is likely to be replaced before long with a fire pit and seating area.  Other areas of the landscape have been reworked in phases.IMG_4

Among Stacy’s favorite plants are the sunflowers of summer and Japanese maples.  There are raised beds for vegetables, including lettuces, tomatoes, and basil, and various kinds of berries abound.  Tiny (less than two inches high) cyclamen catch the eye in March.  Pleasant surprises are everywhere at all times of year.IMG_5

Article by Ruth Sloan
Photos by Larry Rosengren

April Gardening Tasks

April 14th is National Garden Day!

  • Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. Some cool Pansy_Redseason crops (onions, kale, lettuce, and spinach) can be planted when the soil is consistently at or above 40°F.
  • Spread compost over garden and landscape areas.
  • Prune gooseberries and currants; fertilize with manure or a complete fertilizer.
  • Fertilize evergreen shrubs and trees, only if needed. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • If needed, fertilize rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas with acid-type fertilizer. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blossoms fade. Early-spring bloomers, such as lilac, forsythia, and rhododendron, bear flowers on wood formed the previous year. The best time to prune them is late spring — immediately after they finish blooming. If pruned later in the growing season or during winter, the flower buds will be removed and spring bloom will be decreased.
  • Fertilize cane berries (broadcast or band a complete fertilizer or manure).
  • Remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, as soon as they fade. This  channels the plants’ energy into forming large bulbs and offsets rather than into setting seeds. Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to brown and die down before removing.  Do not remove bulb foliage while it is green; the green leaves nourish the bulb and next year’s flower buds, which form during summer. Cut or pull off leaves only after they yellow. Do not braid leaves to get them out of the way. Braiding reduces the amount of sunlight the leaves get and hinders growth.  Allow smaller bulbs (like: muscari and puschkinia) to set seed, so they self-sow and form ever-larger drifts.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground, in early spring.
  • Prune and shape or thin spring-blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.
  • Plant gladiolus and hardy transplants of alyssum, phlox, and marigolds, if weather and soil conditions permit.
  • Fertilize Lawns. Apply 1-pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Reduce risks of run-off into local waterways by not fertilizing just prior to rain. Also do not over-irrigate and cause water runs off of lawn and onto sidewalk or street.
  • April is a good time to dethatch and renovate lawns. If moss was a problem, scratch surface prior to seeding with perennial ryegrass.
  • If necessary, spray apples and pears when buds appear for scab. And spray stone fruits, such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots for brown rot blossom blight.
  • Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees.
  • Plant container and bare-root roses.
  • Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and other amendments.
  • Divide and replant spring-blooming perennials after bloom.
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs.

Article by:
Terra Gardens Nursery & Bark
Salem, OR