Gardeners will want to take advantage of mild May days before the weather heats up during the summer. Lower temps, longer days and the occasional rain make for a productive season for planting flowers and vegetables in your backyard garden. Here are some best practices for sustainable gardening to make your green thumb even greener.
- Compost: Collect kitchen waste like used tea bags and coffee grounds (even the filter!), vegetable scraps and expired produce to provide your garden with a healthy boost of nutrients. This will not only give you a healthier garden, but will also help decrease the amount of food that ends up in a landfill. Riverside County Department of Waste Resources offers free composting classes and low cost bins to Riverside County residents.
- Avoid Pesticides: Pesticides are full of toxic chemicals that can pollute your soil and harm our watersheds. Use alternatives such as cayenne pepper and vegetable oil spray and scatter diatomaceous earth.
- Be Water-Wise: Watering in the morning helps reduce evaporation. Avoid overwatering your plants to prevent run-off. Add composted material to the soil to help plants retain water.
- Dig, Don’t Spray: Pull out weeds by hand, or clip close to ground and cover with grass clippings. Use mulch around flowers and vegetables to avoid weeds.
- Share: Participate in a community garden to split the work, divide resources and share the bounty.
With these sustainable practices, your garden will be as green as your plants!