March 21 is the official start of the Spring season and if you haven’t started gardening already you probably will soon. Flowers are blooming all over and we are just starting to see the blossoms on the trees. So before you begin your lawn and garden care routines, check out these great tips from the US Environmental Protection Agency to help you have a waste-free lawn and garden.
1. Create a compost pile by using food scraps, yard trimmings and other organic waste. Compost is a rich soil amendment that can help increase water retention, decrease erosion, and replace chemical fertilizers.
2. Cut the bottoms off plastic milk jugs or use small paper bags to protect young seedlings from frost, wind, heavy rain, and roving animals. Remember to recycle the bags and jugs when the seedlings have grown.
3. Reduce your use of fertilizers and pesticides by planting grass and other vegetation that is native to your area.
4. Shred untreated wood and leaf wastes into chips and use them as mulch on garden beds to prevent weed growth, retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and add nutrients back to the soil.
5. Conserve water. Use barrels to collect rain water and use it to water plants. Check hoses for leaks before watering plants, and position sprinklers so they water only plants, not the sidewalk, street, or house. Also remember to water during the cooler parts of the day (early morning is best) to avoid evaporation.
6. If you have a need for large lawn and garden equipment, such as tillers or chainsaws, you can reduce waste (and save money) by renting or borrowing the equipment.
7. Buy recycled-content gardening equipment and tools, such as garden hoses made from old tires, stepping stones made from old glass bottles, or hand tools made with recycled plastic. You can also use plastic lumber made from recycled plastic bottles and bags to make flower beds, trellises, decks, and birdhouses.
8. If you have healthy plants that you want to replace, donate them to community gardens or schools, or offer them to neighbors.
9. Recycle used oil and tires from lawn and garden equipment.
10. If you have a need for large lawn and garden equipment, such as tillers or chainsaws, you can reduce waste (and save money) by renting or borrowing the equipment.