4 Earth-Friendly Items Your Garden Needs
We asked our resident green thumb, Paulette, to share a little bit about how she gets ready for her for gardening season. Check out her adventures and tips below, and share your own too!
It seems like every spring; I have a renewed sense of ambition about what I want to accomplish in the yard. I’ll sip coffee on a dewy April morning, as I peer out my kitchen window and make mental notes that go something like this: “(Sip) I really need to get ahead of the weeds this season. (Sip) I’d love to plant those juicy Beefsteak tomatoes this year – if I can find away to keep those #$*& squirrels from burgling them before they ripen. (Sip, eyes narrow) Squirrels…pfft…just one bushy tail away from being ‘tree rats’…” (It’s possible I have some squirrel aggression I need to work out separate from this article.)
Then, invariably, within what seems like minutes of my musings, I hear a commercial for a news segment blaring from the TV: “Is killing your weeds also killing your children??!! Special report tonight at 10:00!"
Oh, really... So… either I let the weeds and the squirrels take over, and have a safe family. Or, I spray, trap, treat and prune, and wait for my children to start growing a tail from the side effects? This feels like a lose-lose. But, I really like to win, so I went in search of better options.
An online search for the green middle ground on this issue only yielded more frustration – I’m not looking scare the weeds. I don’t need a bunch of ‘Pinterest Perfect’ ideas for how to turn a vintage range into a French Country tomato garden planter in 87 easy steps. I just want to reuse some stuff from the garage and grow a few Beefsteaks that have a fighting chance of making it onto my salad this year. And, while I’m all about upcycling and being environmentally friendly, I don’t have a lot of extra time, money, or patience for gardening ideas that take a lot of time, money and patience. So, long story short… (am I rambling yet?), here are some of my ‘best-of’ tips for green gardening that are super-easy, super-affordable and super-fast. Oh, and they actually work.
1. Natural Weed Killer
The combination I chose to use from this article was the one with pickling vinegar, salt, Meyers dish soap. The best part is, it's kid and pet-friendly, so the furry families will thank you too.
2. Tomato Cages
As you now, I'm very anti-squirrels... at least when it comes to my garden, but I've finally found a solution that works: crop cages. It's a little most costly (about $75-100), but can also be reused every season. I look at it as garden ROI where no one... not even my crafty enemies... get hurt.
3. Landscaping with herbs!
Most come back every year, plus you can eat them! I plant them in my mulched landscaped beds, and they grow beautifully. Plus, even when most produce go down in price, fresh herbs always seem to cost a pretty penny. This way, you get the pretty and save your pennies too. Here's an article with some inspiration that I found really helpful!
4. Upcycling Wooden Shipping Palettes
These are like gold to a gardener (at least if that gardener is me). I am kind of obsessed with reusing wooden palettes – mostly because they are very easy to come by. Many people wind up with them after a large delivery, like an appliance or new sod, so even if you don't get these deliveries, you may have a friend who is willing to share their wooden riches. You can find plenty of ideas, like these, from a little research but my faves are mini gardens and kid’s gardens... this way, everyone gets to have a little fun.