Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

Dealing With Tent Caterpillars And Moths

Print PDFSafe & Sensible Caterpillar Controls Over the past few years, those revolting little tent caterpillars have been making a comeback. Gardeners all over the region have been seeing tent caterpillars’ ragged white tents, which can be found in some … Continue reading

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Planning A Low Pollen Garden

After seemingly endless rain, warmer, brighter days feel especially welcome. Our flowers seem to feel the same way, for blossoms on practically everything are bigger and more abundant than ever this year. However, lots of flowers also means lots of pollen, which spells acute discomfort for many people and even some pets. As pollen fills the air and dusts our cars and garden furniture and even us, we may be tempted to rip out the borders and turn them all to lawn. Well, except perhaps those of us who are allergic to grasses. (!) Fortunately there are more rewarding alternatives, since living without gardens hardly bears consideration. Continue reading

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Big, Bold Tomato Flavor

For even fuller, brighter flavor, you can also feed tomatoes with kelp extract and a mild (5-5-5) organic fertilizer. If tomato stems break before the fruit has a chance to ripen fully, the problem may be linked to using inadequate water-soluble fertilizers, especially when tomatoes are grown in pots. Liquid seaweed extracts help strengthen weak stems by supporting steady plant growth even when cold nights follow warm days. Kelp combines micronutrients and trace elements with plant hormones and growth stimulants that promote root growth, improve stem and foliage density, and increase chlorophyll production. Kelp extracts also contain traces of sea salt. This turns out to be yet another key to amazing taste. In fact, a single dose of salty seawater (1 cup of seawater per quart of tap water) can improve tomato flavor in particular. Continue reading

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Recycle, Re-use, Re-Imagine

Local specialty nursery plant growers may be interested in reusing 4-inchers, quarts, and 1- and 2-gallon pots, especially in early spring. I often take a bag filled with clean, sorted pots to the local farmer’s market where some venders are happy to take them. Garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, and grassroots nonprofits such as land trusts and native plant societies often run seasonal plant sales as fund raisers and willingly take clean pots.
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