Happy Earth Day, plant friends! Over 50 years ago, a group launched this idea of Earth Day as a nationwide effort to teach students about the environment. Today, this special day has expanded into global celebration with a range of events organized by Earthday.org and other groups for 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.
Here, at Groovy Plants Ranch, we’re taking strides to minimize our environmental impact. We’re experimenting with compostable rice pots as an alternative to plastic ones. In our greenhouses, we’re using beneficial insects, sticky traps and natural sprays like neem oil to manage pests. We’re also challenging customers to adopt some of these green gardening practices at home.
- Water-wise plants – When choosing plants this spring, it’s smart to choose ones that will stand up to the summer heat and thrive in drought conditions. It saves time and also conserves water. A few water-wise plant favorites include gaillardia, portulaca, lantana and succulents.
- Rain barrels -- Consider adding a rain barrel or cistern to collect rainwater for watering your plants. Many communities offer a rebate program on rain barrel purchases. Check out this rebate program for the central Ohio area and this rain barrel installation tutorial.
- Smart sprinkler controller -- To make irrigation systems more efficient, try adding a smart sprinkler controller like Rachio that adjusts to real-time weather conditions.
- Runoff solutions – Gardeners are guilty of overfertilizing and overwatering gardens which send excess water and fertilizers into our waterways. Instead, remember to adjust sprinklers and hoses to avoid spraying on driveways and sidewalks. Also, try planting a rain garden in low spots to absorb excess water. And, consider permeable options like permeable pavers or crushed gravel when installing new patios or walkways.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
- Compost bins – Give composting a try to convert kitchen scraps and garden waste into nutrient-rich food for your soil. That means less trash for the landfill and happier plants. Check out this video on a dual batch compost tumbler.
- Plastic pot recycling – The green industry is working on solutions to address the environmental challenges of plastic pots. We encourage you to do your part by reusing plastic pots or delivering them to recycling centers when they’re no longer usable. Better yet, bring our pot backs to Groovy Plants Ranch and drop them in our drop box for reuse.
- Power tools -- Yes, we all love our leaf blowers, but their high carbon emissions are challenging many to rethink how often they’re used. Instead, try going old-school some days. Pull out the rakes, hand shears, reel mowers or brooms. They also help build muscle, save our ear drums and appease our neighbors with some peace and quiet.
- Pest control -- Try to find a balance in protecting your lawn and landscape while also protecting the insects and all the environmental services they offer. Two greener options include switching to natural sprays and learning to tolerate some pest damage. Learn more at The Healthy Yard Project.
- Tree planting -- Spring is a great time to plant trees. They help cool our homes, purify the air, support wildlife, minimize runoff and more. Planting them is easier than you might think and so satisfying. Here’s a helpful tutorial by the Arbor Day Foundation.
- Diversity and native plants -- Besides beauty, many garden plants offer food and shelter for birds, bees and butterflies. Look for ways to bring diversity to your backyard with more natives and pollinator favorites. Three great sources include Ohio Native Plants, Lady Bird Wildflower Center and Xerces Society. Groovy Plants Ranch carries a variety of native plants to add diversity to the garden.
VolunteerEarth Day activities -- Celebrate Earth Day by joining a roadside litter clean-up, an urban gardening project, a park program, a tree planting effort, a river sweep or a school group’s environmental stewardship program. For a national listing of events, see Earthday.org. or for central Ohio activities, see Earth Day Columbus.