Gardening is good for the earth. Plants are what keep the air clean, our bellies full and the spaces around us looking beautiful. Support the earth by making wiser choices and by incorporating plants indoors and outside of your home and office.
Here are some ways you can be kinder to the earth today:
Choose the right plant for the right location
Planting trees and shrubs in the sunlight, moisture and temperature conditions they prefer means they will be happy—and less likely to contract insect and disease issues that might require the use of chemical controls.
Conserve water by giving your plants only what they need. Water your plants infrequently and deeply. This means applying all needed water in one watering, if possible. In other words, no more than once or twice a week. This encourages a deeper root system, which is healthier for plants. Also, water early in the day whenever possible to conserve water. You will lose a lot of water to evaporation if you water during the heat of the day. Follow your local municipality’s instructions for which days/times to water.
Installing large shade trees on the south side of your home will help to reduce the temperature inside your home by providing shade. Consider trees such as Zelkova, “October Glory” Maple, “Green Giant” Arborvitae, Red Oak and the Linden tree. You can also add shade plants near your air conditioning unit to increase its efficiency. Trees and shrubs provide oxygen, clean the air and are a haven for wildlife.
Houseplants can literally clean the air you breathe indoors. As natural air filters, houseplants absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. Some plants can even remove common household toxins from the air such as formaldehyde and benzene. As we discussed above, make sure to put the right plant in the right place. All houseplants have different needs, so read the plant tag or consult an expert for help. Some air cleaning houseplants include snake plant, Chinese evergreen, ponytail pal, areca palm and ficus, among others.
Check with your local municipality to see which recycling opportunities they offer. In addition to plastic and paper recycling many now offer special days for paint
and electronic recycling.
It is not difficult to be a good steward of the earth. Take a few moments in your day to think about how you can make a difference. Start small with a task you can easily manage and grow (pun intended) from there. As Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Karen Musgrave, CNLP is a marketing and education specialist for Hicks Nurseries