Make it an Earth Life
It’s terrific to have a day to honor our planet, but it seems that most gardeners always have been friendly to the environment. So perhaps this Earth Day, the focus should be on setting a good example for our friends and neighbors, reminding them that we need to live an Earth Life, and not celebrate it just one day.
An easy step toward an eco-friendly garden is to switch to organic fertilizers (try Espoma’s line of organic fertilizers) and pesticides, rather than toxic versions that that harm wildlife and pollute our soil and water. Adding rich, organic compost will help keep your plants healthy and less susceptible to pests and disease, thereby reducing the need for chemical applications.
One of the most significant changes homeowners can make is the amount of water they use. According to the EPA, landscape irrigation accounts for almost one-third of all residential water use — more than 7 billion gallons per day. That doesn’t even include water for pools, car washing and, (gasp) hosing down driveways and sidewalks. Be sure to adjust your sprinklers so they’re not over watering or over spraying. Even better, install a rain chain from the gutter on your home that drips rain water into a rain barrel. Rain barrels are a wonderful water-conservation tool as they catch all the wonderful rain water for us (up to 65 gallons!). Complete with a spigot & hose attachment at its base, it is easily accessible to attach your hose so that you can water your beds, baskets, containers & yard.
Many parents have a growing concern even about the products they use to clean their homes – many name brand cleaning solutions contain harsh chemicals and agents that can be harmful or even deadly to children and pets. Who doesn’t want the very best for their families? The Organica cleaning line is a great alternative to those name-brand culprits – each Organica product contains natural ingredients that are biodegradable and non-toxic. So now parents and families can clean their homes without fear of harsh chemicals or toxins harming their children and pets – and at $7.95 per bottle, they can feel good about not having to spend a fortune to do it either.
Plant choice is an essential component of the water-wise garden. Ask our expert staff for the varieties that don’t need much water once they’re established. Now, if you have some favorite thirsty plants you simply can’t live without, it’s okay — just group them together so you’re only heavily watering in one area, instead of the entire garden. Be sure to add a thick layer of mulch to reduce evaporation.
If you want a houseplant that is eco-chic, simply choose one of our biodegradable rice pots – available in an array of sizes & colors. Once you are ready for a new one, or want to sink your new plant into an outdoor bed – no problem! Simply plant the entire rice pot into the ground…it will naturally break down on it’s own and not harm the earth or its environment.
Bring it Back
We here at SH&G are doing our part to reduse, reuse & recycle too! We have two large “Bring it Back” bins located in our store parking lots that are designated ‘drop-off’ sites for all the plastic grower pots and trays that your plants were in when you purchased them. Once you get home and have planted your items, simply gather all the plastic trays and pots and drop them off in our bins – we’ll do the rest to get them recycled! When you “Bring it Back”, you are making a direct impact on how to reduce excess waste in order to preserve the environment for future generations to enjoy.
Trees are cool
More trees mean a cooler yard in the summer, thus lowering the watering needs (and your power bill!) and rate of evaporation. They’ll keep your house cooler, too. Choose deciduous trees so the sun can warm your home when the leaves drop.
Add some edibles in your design
You don’t have to choose between an edible and an ornamental garden. Most fruit trees and shrubs, and aromatic herbs are quite beautiful. We call this blending of styles “Farmer Chic” – dwarf citrus trees have rich glossy foliage, fragrant flowers and work well in a container or in an allée. Grape vines are so easy to grow, climbing on an arbor or trellis to provide shade and an abundance of sweet grapes in late summer and fall. Blueberries are very popular right now, and for good reason: pretty white flowers in the spring, tasty berries all summer and stunning fall foliage. Plant them close together for a delicious hedge. Growing your own herbs is rewarding in many ways – whether you are working a patch in your backyard, or simply have a small container of them growing in your kitchen, having fresh herbs is one of life’s simple pleasures. We have a great selection of Chef Jeff herbs and veggies, so let us help you get started! One summertime favorite is tomatoes – heirloom tomatoes in particular. Heirloom tomatoes are valued by most gardeners & “foodies” because of their interesting shapes, colors & of course their distinctive taste! As a fellow gardener put it so perfectly, “Two things money can’t buy…true love and homegrown tomatoes.”
Be an advocate for eco-friendly gardening.
Tell your friends, share your ideas and you will make a difference. For more tips on going greener in the garden, check out some of these great products that we have in-stock now:
- Espoma’s organic fertilizer line
- Rain Chains
- Rain Barrels
- Organica Cleaning products (includes: Stain Remover, Glass Cleaner, Odor Eliminator, Degreaser, Indoor Clean-All and Outdoor Clean-All)
- Biodegradable Rice Pots
- Chef Jeff herbs & veggies
- & many more!
In honor of Earth Day, celebrate with special savings through Sunday April 26th! We know everyone likes being green, but they love saving some green even more – with your Garden Rewards membership you’ll save 30% off any* item!
*Must be a Garden Rewards member to receive discount. Non-sale items only. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Not valid on special orders or previous purchases. Not valid on purchases of Textraw, pinestraw or synthetic mulch. Other exclusions may apply, see store for details. Offer ends Sunday April 26th, 2009.