As spring continues to blossom, we bring you the last four ideas for making this years garden an exceptional one. Be sure to read 10 Ideas For Your 2022 Garden Parts 1 & 2.
7. Go Organic
The term organic is quite ambiguous. In regard to gardening, “organic” refers to practices and methods that do not use synthetic pesticides or herbicides. Organic gardening relies on using natural amendments for nutrients, mechanical weed removal i.e. pulling out weeds by hand or with tools, and beneficial organisms for pest control.
Synthetic pesticides (kills nuisance animals) and herbicides (kills nuisance plants) cannot differentiate between unwanted organisms and beneficial organisms. This means the aphid killer sprayed on roses can also kill bees, ladybugs, and other “good” bugs. With regular use, these chemicals will cause a decline in your garden’s overall health. Organic gardening, however, focuses on creating a healthy ecosystem from the soil up, and healthy soil fosters healthy and resilient plants.
Our team at Walt’s Organic Garden Shop is happy to help you hone your organic gardening practice and figure out solutions to gardening problems! We sell a variety of naturally derived soil amendments, benifial organisms such as ladybugs, pest control such as crushed oystershell for slugs, and more. For more information on organic gardening checkout:
REMEMBER: A weed is just a plant growing where you don’t want it to grow.
8. Create a Garden for All Seasons
Spring and summer are when flowers bloom since plants need the sun to grow (except for those quirky parasitic plants which don’t photosynthesize). In fall, as the days get shorter, blooms fade, and twigs are left bare as leaves fall. This does not have to be the end of the gardening season!
Challenge yourself as a gardener to create a garden for all seasons. By incorporating different elements into your garden, you can create visual interest and wildlife habitat year-round. A garden is made of more than just plants; other garden elements can be:
- Bird Houses
- Water Features
- Fallen Trees/Logs
When it comes to fall and winter plants, don’t just focus on flowers. Most evergreen plants only flower in the warm weather, but they do have green foliage during the colder times; if you do have your heart set on cold weather blooms, there are winter heaths and witch hazels. Besides mixing evergreen plants into your beds, there are plants with bright branches. A popular favorite for its winter color is red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea); as a bonus, this plant is a PNW native.
9. Use Less Plastic
Oh, how convenient plastic makes life, but oh, how terrible it truly is. There are so many downsides to plastics, How Bad Are Plastics, Really? is an article in The Atlantic that dives into the history of plastic and the impacts of it.
A few of the plastic-free items for sale in the garden shop.
Since plastic makes life easier, it can be a challenge to eradicate it from our lives, so start small. Make one change at a time, and as it becomes the new norm, make another change. More and more sustainable stores are popping up that offer plastic-free options. Easy jumping-off points for going plastic-free are:
- Glass/Metal Reusable Water Bottles
- Reusable Silicone Zipper Bags
- Bamboo/Wood/Natural Fiber Kitchen Scrub Brushes
- Metal Measuring Cups and Spoons
As plastic-free is becoming a more popular lifestyle, it is easier to find products. To help out, here are a few stores to check out:
- Eco Collective
- Mimi’s Zero Waste Market
- PCC Markets
- Scoop Market Place
- The Recology Store: Shoreline, Bothell, Issaquah, Burien
- Way of Being
10. Collect the Rain
Water is a life-giving resource that we often take for granted, at least here in the PNW, and even though our fall, winter, and spring are practically aquatic, our region does have summer drought. Instead of paying to use our drinking water for hydrating our gardens, we can collect the rain and use it as needed. Rain barrels and cisterns are a great way to harvest and store rain during the soggy season and use it during the drier days.
If you live in King County, you may be eligible for a rain barrel rebate through the Rain Wise program. Whether or not you are eligible for the rebate, Walt is certified as a Rain Wise installer and can work with you to determine the best option for handling the rain.
No matter why you garden, it is good for your mental and physical health. The more time you spend outside connecting to your garden the better both you and it will be. Walt’s Organic Fertilizer Co. cares about the natural world and is here to help you and your garden thrive.