earth week 2021 - friday
Whether you have a large garden or only a potted plant, it’s always a good idea to include ways to save resources in your gardening practices.
Learn how to compost with Solano Resource Conservation District.
DID YOU KNOW?
reduce your water footprint
Reduce Garden Watering Needs
Put plants with similar water needs together so that you don't waste water on plants that don't need it. Place mulch around plants to reduce water loss.
Invest in a Rain Barrel
Purchase or build a rain barrel to capture water. The greywater can be used to water plants during the summer instead of an irrigation system.
Put all irrigation systems, including sprinklers, on an automatic timer so that it only waters in the early morning in order to avoid evaporation. Limit watering lawns to only 2-3 days per week for around 10 minutes each time.
PRO TIP: For large mulching projects, go to a lot that sells landscape materials in bulk. This can save dozens to hundreds of dollars compared to pre-bagged mulch from the hardware store.
reduce your chemical footprint
Use Plants to Deter Pests
Plant marigolds, nasturtiums, chrysanthemums, and mint in or near your vegetable garden to ward off aphids, whiteflies, and beetles.
Plant basil, lemongrass, and lavender near your doors or patio to repel house flies and mosquitos.
If you have a pet cat, plant catnip for your pet to enjoy and to repel cockroaches, mosquitos, and flies.
Mix Up Non-Toxic Slug Bait
Are snails and slugs eating your plants and produce? Make your own non-toxic slug bait!
Ingredients are 2 cups water, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. flour, and 1 tsp. yeast.
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into containers that are planted at soil-level in the garden. Check often and replenish as needed.
Whip Up a Safe Insecticide
When a strong blast of water or a treatment of neem oil doesn't work, try this DIY insecticide that is non-toxic to humans and pets.
1) In a spray bottle, mix 1 tbs. oil and a few drops of detergent-strength dish soap with 1 quart of water. Spray directly onto insects and undersides of leaves.
Deal with Rodents Humanely
Have a rodent problem but want a no-kill solution?
Be sure that your compost and trash containers are well sealed. Keep up with yard maintenance and pull produce as soon as it's ripe.
Still have a problem? Try placing old shirts soaked in diluted peppermint oil. Rodents do not like peppermint.
PRO TIP: Mint can be weedy. It's best to plant it in pots to avoid it taking over your garden or yard. Also, spray insecticides on plants in the evenings to avoid burning plants in the day.
ideas for helping pollinators
"The hum of the bees is the voice of the garden." Elizabeth Lawrence
Attract Pollinators All Year Long
Attract pollinators to your garden all year by planting native perennials that bloom in different seasons. By having flowers blooming all year-round, pollinators will always have something to enjoy! This can be especially helpful if you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees.
fall bloomers: California aster, California fuschia, coyotebrush, monkeyflower, coyote mint, and California goldenrod, narrowleaf milkweed
winter bloomers: California pipevine, manzanita, and California buckwheat
spring bloomers: California lilac (ceanothus), common yarrow, western redbud, lupine, penstemon
summer bloomers: golden yarrow, gum plant, columbine varieties, California aster, seaside daisy, narrowleaf milkweed
Build a Bee Box
Not all bees are honeybees. In fact, honeybees are not native to California. Learn about the many different types of California native bees by clicking here.
Unlike honeybees, which build hives, native bees either nest in tree or wood holes or in the ground. Check out this great DIY way to build a mason bee house using recyclable materials.
PS: If you don't have bamboo, you can also repurpose plastic straws or simply drill holes into blocks of wood!
Make Upcycled Bird Feeders
Feed the birds... by upcycling your recyclables to make a bird feeder!
Now is a great time to learn about birds. The National Audubon Society has a great bird guide app or you can download the free iNaturalist app and post pictures of your feathered friends to get help with identification.
Photo Source Click Here
PRO TIP: Pollinators are more than just bees, birds, and butterflies. Any insect you see on a plant, including ants, can be a pollinator.