By: Garden Gate staff
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Whether you’re using less water or fewer chemicals, gardening more efficiently doesn’t just give you a beautiful space — you’ll benefit the environment, too.
Keep clicking to find out three simple things you can do to protect what you love!
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Plants as pest solutions
There aren’t many chemical-free controls for Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). And while handpicking works, studies have shown that planting annual geranium (Pelargonium hybrids), in the photo here, in beds or containers, can help, too. That’s because Japanese beetles that eat its foliage or blooms become paralyzed.
The effect lasts long enough to leave pests vulnerable to larger insects and other predators.
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Bluestone Perennials, Inc. (800-852-5243; catalog free) is the first perennial nursery to completely replace plastic pots. All plants are now propagated in 100 percent biodegradable coir (coconut husk fiber) pots, which allow more air to reach the root system as it develops.
Plant them just as they arrive or remove the coir and toss it onto your compost pile. Most of their packing material, at left, is now recyclable — no more Styrofoam™ packing peanuts.
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No more wasted water
Water left at the soil’s surface evaporates. And there’s no easy way to be sure when moisture has penetrated deep into the soil. Conserve and save with the Deep Drip®, at left — a perforated spike that distributes water where it’s needed most: At the roots. Pound the sturdy spike, made of recyclable plastic, into the ground with a mallet and connect it to an existing drip line or automatic irrigation system.
The 14-in. spike, shown here, is available from Lee Valley Tools for $9.95. It works with shrubs, small trees, tomato plants and in large containers. For information on other available sizes, visit www.deepdrip.com.