Rock Garden: Reduce, Reuse, Replant

By: Patrick McLoughlin

 

Here we are in the middle of October and there are a lot more damp and dreary days to get through before we enter the clutches of winter. This news may sound stressful for aspiring gardeners, but it’s also a motivator to finish any work before it’s too late; namely yard maintenance. The yard should be getting cut nice and low to help spur on any new growth before the seasons end. Taking a wire rake to remove any of the lawn debris under your grass, which is called thatch, is a good practice to help aerate the surface of the soil and prepare it for the compaction of the winter. Removing thatch is a good thing to do for a lawn most times of the year, but now is especially good if you intend to spot-seed problem patches in particular. Compost bins will soon be overflowing with rotting tomato plants, be sure to keep them covered to prevent any nocturnal animals from rummaging around. Compost bins are a great way to reuse organic material from the home, namely food scraps and rotting vegetables. Throwing them in the garbage is wasteful and smells terrible, while an outdoor bin that cycles those nutrients back into the garden is clean and efficient.  Compost bins can be permanent installations or simply bins that can be moved around.

“Tumbling” or mixing the compost can hasten the decomposition, and hopefully some leaf litter and rotten salad can help act as mulch in the garden next spring. Understanding the ways we can help prevent waste accumulation is important, and composting is an essential part of recycling as it’s the only viable way to re-use food products on a small scale. Rain water reservoirs, solar panels, and self-sufficient gardens aren’t exactly for everyone, but most households would benefit from a compost bin. With that in mind, try and be mindful of waste and how we accumulate it. Paper plastic and metal are all recyclable, but understanding why they are is just as important. Refining material and delivering it to your door is an ecologically expensive activity, and it’s easy to forget about the carbon footprint our amazon packages can carry. So this autumn, make it a point to recycle batteries and electrical components properly as well as putting out weekly recycling bins to minimize landfill use. Lastly, try and cut down on garbage production and help minimize our impact this season.