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Weekly Tips | April 01, 2013

Getting the Dirt!


Do you consider yourself all thumbs when it comes to green gardening? If you dig dirt, but feel like there’s mulch ado about which you know nothing, then spring into action! May’s flowers will thank you more than April’s showers, and so will Mother Nature!

Replacing pesticides with mulch, starting a worm bin, or grasscycling with a mulching lawn mower are all ways of achieving two green thumbs up!

Grasscycling

Is your yard waste cart getting full? Help your lawn recycle itself by mowing with a mulching lawn mower. No need to worry about loose clippings – mulch mowers blow grass clippings down into your lawn where they decompose and fertilize the lawn quickly.

You can also grasscycle with any type of mower by simply leaving the clippings on the lawn after you mow.

Make your own mulch

Set aside grass trimmings, leaves and pruned branches and put them to work! Mulching has many benefits including moisture retention, reduced soil erosion, better water conservation and reducing weed growth. (Read more about mulch here.)

Catch the rain

Whether it is easier for you to use a rain barrel or a homemade rain spike, you can save time and money on your water bill by letting nature water for you. You can reuse old 2-liter bottles in two ways: screw on a spike for slow watering, or cut off the bottom of the bottle to catch the rain.

Compost

Composting at home is a great way to minimize your waste footprint and put your fruit and veggie scraps, old newspaper, and coffee grounds back into the soil. If you are willing to share your home, deck, or porch with worms, worm bin composting is inexpensive and easy.

You can also compost with “green cones” or use any number of backyard compost systems. Getting started is easy - choose a composting method, feed the pile, keep it moist and in 6-12 months you can harvest your own homemade, nutrient-rich compost!

Green gardening help.

There are many resources at your fingertips! Talk to the experts at the Garden Hotline, (206) 633-0224, managed by Seattle Tilth, for answers to your green gardening questions.

Resources: King County Make the Mulch of It | King County Natural Yard Care | Grasscycle and Mower Guide | King County E-Z Worm Composting Bin | The Garden Hotline
 

The Big Picture

In 2010 approximately 33.4 million tons of yard waste was collected from curbside residential and commercial programs in the US, accounting for 13.4% of the total waste generated.

Help reduce your waste footprint by taking steps to go green in the garden.

Source: US EPA 2009 MSW Report

going green  garden 

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