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Green Gardening

posted Mar 27, 2012, 12:35 PM by K Day
I've never been uber-green but as I get older and learn more about the world around me, it really does seem to make sense. As I begin to think about the garden this year I've run across some good tips and ideas that I'd like to remember but know I won't. Hence, I put them here :) 

Making a plan
Ask yourself the following questions. Remember, it's o.k. to only implement one. Something if better than nothing.
  • Can you make a transition from chemical gardening to organic gardening?
  • Where can you go to find organic pest controls and fertilizers?
  • Do you have room for a compost pile?
  • Can you use rain barrels to collect rain water from the gutters?
Get your garden tools ready
Some handy tips to keep your garden tools in tip top shape
  • Rub Linseed oil on all of the wood handles and use a wire brush to clean the rust off of metal parts.
  • Take special care of your pruners. Clean anything used to cut/trim plants with turpentine. Then clean off the turpentine with denatured alcohol. 
  • Sharpen blades and oil all moving parts
  • When using pruners, keep a disinfecting spray with you to spray on them after cutting and moving from bush to bush. You can easily transfer disease if you do not disinfect your pruners.
Service your lawn mower
If you take it to a shop, go early, before they get busy in April and May. 
  • Sharpen blades
  • Clean the carburator 
  • Flush the fuel lines
  • Clean and set the spark plug
  • Wash, dry and oil the filter sponge
Garden Clean Up & Prep
Tidy up your garden early so things can sprout unobstructed
  • Clean out the leaves from garden beds and around perennials.
  • Cut down ornamental grasses to about 3-4 inches tall. 
  • Cut off other winter foliage to make room for new growth.
  • Pull weeds
  • Fertilize 
  • Clean out pots that you'd like to use this year so they are ready to plant when you are. 
  • Check your garden hoses and sprinklers.
  • Add compost now. If your soil is black then it probably doesn't need much. If your soil is tan, add about 3-5 inches of compost and till it into the soil, down about 18 inches.
  • Butterfly bush and roses are ready to prune in late winter or early spring. Prune these plants in the spring. Prune out deadwood or any winter damaged plants now. 
  • To keep birds away from your seeds try hanging CD's in bushes and trees. The flashing light scares them away. Otherwise use netting or milk plastic over your beds.  
Green Garden Chemical
  • Eucalyptus Oil Disinfectant 
    • 1.6 ounces (50ml) Eucalyptus Oil
    • 1 quart watrer
    • Store in opaque container, out of sunlight
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract Disinfectant
    • 1 gallon warm water
    • 20 drops grapefruit seed extract
    • Mix and pour in spray bottle
  • Other disinfecting agents include
    • Vinegar - add a few drops of essential oil to mask the smell
    • 3% hydrogen peroxide
    • Grain Alcohol (or cheap Vodka), mixed with 30% water to stop it from evaporating too quickly

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