Archive for May, 2009

“Green” Your Green Thumb

May 10, 2009

With Spring finally settled in, we’re all heading out to enjoy the sun and tend our lawns and gardens. As we do so, however, we need to make sure we’re being responsible about our environmental impact. Despite plant life being critical to a healthy environment, our actions out of doors may be doing more harm than good! With the Government Accountability Office (GAO) predicting water shortages for 36 states as soon as five years from now, pay careful attention to watering habits. Water in early morning hours when the air is still and heat is minimal – up to 50% of water used for irrigation is lost to evaporation and runoff. Adjust irrigation rates seasonally, since plants and turf require less water in cooler months than they do in peak summer months. Look for native plants that are designed by nature to tolerate our climate. These plant varieties require little or no irrigation, fertilizer, or pesticides – after thousands of years, they’ve adapted to soil conditions and local insects. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a section of its web site dedicated to resources on native plant species: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/gardens/nativeplants/. Spending less time watering and applying chemicals will leave you with more free time to enjoy your garden and the surrounding environment!

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