Ten Commandments of Eco Gardening

Submitted by Charles Frost on Tue, 08/07/2007 - 10:40.

Gardening Cartoon

by Bonnie Alter, London on 08. 7.07
Food & Health (botanical)
As we move into the dog days of summer, and gardens, it's a good time to recall some green gardening tips that will save the garden, and the planet.

  • Thou shalt conserve water: gardeners have to conserve as much water as possible. Use a rain barrel to collect run-off rainwater throughout the year and recycle household “grey” water from baths. Watering deeply is better than little and often, as it encourages deep rooting. Only do it in the evening or early morning and direct the water at the soil rather than the leaves.
  • Thou shalt put the right plant in the right place: accept that what doesn’t survive without extra help is unsuitable anyway.
  • Thou shalt not use peat: peat bogs are an essential part of the ecosystem and once they have been harvested, they are gone for ever. There are now so many excellent alternatives to peat that it has become impossible to justify its use in domestic gardens.
  • Thou shalt recycle garden waste: composting is the key to successful garden management.
  • Thou shalt reuse non-biodegradable products: re-use those plastic containers.
  • Thou shalt minimise the use of chemicals.

Rain Barrel Photo

  • Thou shalt leave a messy bit: a pile of logs, long grass and fallen leaves are an ideal habitat for wildlife, providing bugs and animals somewhere to shelter, hibernate and reproduce.
  • Thou shalt use hard landscaping with sensitivity: it is worth considering where materials such as stone, timber and gravel have been sourced and looking at their impact on the environment.
  • Thou shalt use lighting responsibly: light pollution is irritating for neighbours, confuses birds and is a waste of electricity.
  • Thou shalt teach thy children where food comes from: If we are really going to change habits in the future, we have to tempt children away from their computers and televisions and inspire in them a genuine love of nature and respect for their planet.

 The Times

From: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/08/ten_commandment.php


Thanks for Tendering the Tiller's Ten Tidbits

Ten commandments for the tillers - thanks Bill.  Its good to know we incorporate many of these maxims in our own work with the Trinity Cathedral's Community Garden.  They are surely solid.

corn gluten for "weeds"

I have been doing a little at a time to eliminate grass in my small Cleveland Heights yard. Now I am a postwar, middle-aged WASP, so I do have that yearning for a "lawn" in some part of the greenspace surrounding my house. I eschew the roundup solution and have found a slower but quite effective way to "kill the grass". Last fall I mowed and let lie all the leaves form my oak and maple trees. In the winter I covered the brown area with boughs from neighbor's discarded Christmas Trees and this spring added the first cuttings of grass from other areas of lawn. My neighbor joined in, too and added his grass clippings (he is now doing the same procedure in his backyard). This has pretty much done the deed. Now I begin the long, long process of planting and waiting for a native ground cover to expand. I am using partridge berry, so it is very slow.

In the backyard, we had a very low and compacted area that was filled and raised a bit a few years ago, but it still is a magnet for compaction and therefore plantains. Here's a solution I plan to try this fall -- corn gluten. If anyone has experience with this please let me know. Don't get me wrong, I am as far from a grass fanatic as you can get and not have the entire thing as a garden. I am not "worried" by a handful of plantains, nor do I wish to see the clover go (in fact I would prefer a whole lawn of clover), I just want to see if I can do it -- a plantain free area of grass in Northeast Ohio with no damage to the eco system.


Thanks Bill

I think I will display these near my planting bench - as a reminder to myself and to educate guests that don't know as much about organic gardening. I practice most of the commandments, however, I never considered the impact of using peat moss. I have not used any since I was a child though, using a bale my father bought. These are great words to live by. Maybe I can display them at the two community gardens I belong to also.