In this issue:
- April in the Garden
- Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
- Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Interplanting
- Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardenerd Organic T-shirts
1. April in the Garden
It’s been crazy busy here at Gardenerd. We’re helping people lose their lawn in favor of California native and drought-friendly gardens. We’re planting vegetable gardens every week, and we’re getting our own gardens planted for spring and summer. No rest for the gardenerd right now, but soon we’ll be sitting back to watch those warm-weather crops grow in.
Our White Sonora Wheat is drying out. Soon we’ll be harvesting those seed heads for bread-making. The strawberries are turning red, and we’ve been enjoying a few each day. We planted out corn (see the Tip of the Week and blog post about interplanting for more details) and it’s taking off. Our cucumbers are starting to climb, and our watermelons are starting to spread. The tomatoes are even starting to flower. We’re watering regularly for now, until they set fruit, then we’ll cut back.
If you need help this spring, there are several opportunities to attend one of the upcoming free lectures and classes around town. Check out the speaking schedule at Gardening for Geeks. Hope to see you there!
2. Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Whether you believe in climate change or not, and even if you believe that climate change is caused by humans or not, there is always cause for celebrating this miraculous planet we live on. April is Earth Month, and Earth Day is April 22nd this year.
The graphic above lists just a few ways you can reduce your impact on the planet and give back to Mother Earth for taking care of us this long. The air we breath, the plants we grow, the vitamin D and K we get from the sun, it’s all because she’s let us live here, relatively undisturbed by the elements of the cosmos (asteroids, supernovas, etc.). We owe her a debt of gratitude. Let’s give back. Here’s this year’s list of how you can do that:
1) Stop drinking bottled water – Water bottling companies are pumping your state’s ground water in order to package it into plastic bottles, which will never go “away,” and sell it to you for a cost higher than the price of gasoline per gallon. In drought-stricken states, these companies are presently exempt from fines and restrictions. Install a simple duel-chamber filter under your sink and go that road.
2) Eat Less Meat – According to PETA it takes 2,400 gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef. Sure, livestock can be an integral part of a close-looped homestead, where grass-fed animals feed the ecosystem with manure for compost, and well-managed pasture is a carbon sink for the planet. So if you choose to eat meat, choose pasture-raised, sustainably managed products every time. Visit Vegetarian Times for the largest vegetarian recipe database around.
3) Rethink Packaging – every time you throw something in the trash, say “landfill.” Try this for a week and you’ll see how much stuff we throw “away.” Away, as it turns out, is China. The United States’ largest export is garbage. We send it to China. Much of our trash also ends up in the ocean and is consumed by fish and birds, mistaken for food. BPAs in consumed plastics leach into those animals, which we then eat. Reduce packaging by buying in bulk, bringing your own bags to the market, and bringing your own mugs and serving utensils to restaurants that use “disposable” cutlery and cups.
You’ve probably heard all of this before, and if you’ve made these changes already, check out this site to see what more you can do.
3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Interplanting
Last month’s tip was, “Mother Nature abhors bare soil.” This month we continue in that vein to offer solutions for covering bare soil. In small space gardens, interplanting is a way to get two or three crops from the same bed at the same time. Planting corn in a bed of sweet potatoes, pictured above, is one way. Filling in open spaces around young zucchini and watermelon with quick-growing crops like radishes and arugula is another.
Read about our recent experiment with corn and sweet potatoes here, and try it yourself in your garden.
4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – New Organic T-shirts
Check out our new organic cotton T-shirts at the Gardenerd CafePress store. Wear clothes that reflect how you grow your own food. Grow organic, wear organic! Check out the new organic styles and colors available. Just in time for a spring wardrobe change.
Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Gardenerd.com. Happy spring gardening!