Green Education

The Beauty of Pollination (clickable link)

 

10 Ways to SAVE WATER, ENERGY & MONEY in the Garden

The United States uses the equivalent of 360 billion kilowatt hours per year–9% of the nation’s total electricity use–to pump, heat and treat water. This is 33% more than is generated by all of the nation’s hydroelectric dams in an average year and equal to the output of over 100 typical coal-fired power plants!

1. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering. Be sure only to water plants when necessary

2. Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops of water and mist can drift onto non-target areas, or evaporate before they hit the ground.

3. Water lawns during the early morning when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces evaporation and waste. Watering in the evening can leave leaves wet all night, promoting disease problems.

4. Hand-water with a hose where possible. Homeowners who water with a handheld hose can use one-third less water outdoors than those who use automatic sprinklers.

5. Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps reduce soil compaction from raindrops, and helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.

6. Purchase a rain barrel and install below your gutter downspout and you’ll capture a little more than half a gallon of water for every square foot of roof during a one-inch rainfall—that means a 90-square-foot roof would completely fill a 55-gallon barrel! You can use that bounty to water your garden.

7. Plant smart. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to design, install and maintain both your plants and irrigation system. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering. It will save time, money and water.

8. Position sprinklers so they’re not watering driveways and walkways.

9. Adjust your lawnmower to cut grass to a height of 3 inches or more. Taller grass encourages deeper roots and shades the soil to reduce moisture loss.

10. Start a compost pile or scrape food into the trash instead of running your garbage disposal, which requires a lot of water to work properly. Use the compost to improve the quality and water holding capacity of your soil.

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April 2015

Composting

  • Composting is good for your garden and the environment:
  • Compost can be used as mulch, top dressing, soil amendment, or organic fertilizer
  • Mix compost into planting areas to improve soil properties
  • If you don’t have a garden, use compost with house plants, give it to a friend, or donate it to a community garden

Composting is good for your garden and the environment:

  • Chop materials* 0.5 to 1.5 inches
  • Mix equal volumes of carbon-rich dry brown and nitrogen-rich green plant materials
  • Keep compost only as moist as a wrung out sponge
  • Turn often

(*brown material: most sawdust, chopped woody prunings, pine needles, fallen/dried leaves, dried grass, straw, shredded paper/cardboard/newspaper, old potting mix green material: tea bags, citrus rinds, coffee grounds, coffee filters shrub and grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, wilted flowers, young weeds)

Composting is good for your garden and the environment:

  • It saves water
  • It helps grow healthier plants
  • It saves landfills
  • It improves soil properties
  • It decreases the need commercial fertilizers

…..adopted from: http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8367.pdf‎

 

Composition with raw vegetables and wicker basket isolated on white

Basics of Vegetable Gardening

To start:

  • Choose the best available site in a location that is easily accessible
  • Select a level, sunny area with well drained soil
  • Have an easily accessible water source available
  • Prepare the soil well before you start planting
  • Plan the garden so you can have vegetables all year round
  • Plant vegetables that you and your family like to eat
  • Plant disease resistant varieties that are adapted to your area

…..read more @ http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8059.pdf