Miyawaki mini-forests are becoming more popular and even my own town has put one in. Is this another environmental fad or does this type of reforestation really work? Let’s have a look at the process and the science to see if the Miyawaki method is a better way to build forests.
The Lomi electronic composter by Pela is one of the more popular kitchen units offered today. They have great marketing that promotes the the machines benefits. It is good for the environment, it produces “strong” fertilizer, it reduces the amount of kitchen waste and it even composts some types of compostable plastic.
This post will look at some of these claims to see if they are true.
I started gardening a long time ago and at that time tilling was standard practice. Most gardeners did not have a tiller so they did it by hand with a shovel. In some circles the idea of not tilling started to make waves. My first introduction was Ruth Stout’s no-till garden. Just cover everything with straw. Better for the soil and a whole lot less work. No-till became more popular in agriculture in the mid 1990 but few gardeners followed suit. Even today, many gardeners have never heard of the technique and continue the practice of spring tilling.
No-till is claimed to be better for soil and the environment since it releases less carbon dioxide into the air.
I have been promoting this idea in gardening circles for 15 years or more and slowly the idea is catching on with gardeners, but it might be time to take a step back and have a close look at the claimed benefits of no-till because science now has a lot more data on this.
In years gone by it was common to clean up the garden in fall. It does result in a neat clean looking garden, but then we learned that all kinds of beneficial insects overwinter in that messy looking stuff on the ground, so we started to do cleanup in spring instead. To understand why, read this; Spring Cleanup Advice – Do it Right .
Now things have changed again. We are being told not to cleanup until temperatures are consistently above 10 C (50 F) to allow insects time to leave their winter protection. If you look at the recently circulated meme below, you have to wonder if this recommendation is valid. Does it really have to be 10 C? I see all kinds of insects when there is still snow on the ground. And what does “consistently ” mean? Is that nighttime or daytime temperature? Is it a daily high or low? How much harm will you do if it is only 9 C (48 F)? Is there any real science that supports this idea? Let’s find out.
A diverse array of pollinators supports the countless species of flowering plants that fill up our gardens, agricultural fields, and natural ecosystems. Unfortunately, bees tend to get all the credit and concern. Read on to learn about the non-bee pollinators that work their magic on the plants in your garden.
Is organic food better? I know you have heard the marketing. It is more nutritious. It is healthier. It is better for the environment. But is any of that really true? How much of this is marketing hype by both companies and pro-organic groups, and what is the real science behind organic food.
Let’s get the facts about organic food.
Everyone is aware of the high carbon dioxide levels in the air and its contribution to global warming. And many of you have heard that plants can convert this CO2 into oxygen. Plants are important in controlling the CO2 level, but they don’t convert CO2 into O2.
Did you know that plants also take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, just like animals?
All of this is a bit academic, but very interesting if you really want to understand plants.
Everyone wants to be green and now you see a lot of compostable plastic on the market. Is compostable plastic really compostable? Can I add it to my compost bin? How long does it take to decompose? These are all good questions that gardeners should be able to answer.
My Master Gardener group had a year end party and one member brought some compostable plastic drinking glasses. As I was collecting them at the end of the evening I started to wonder how well they decomposed. I had previously looked into compostable tea bags and was surprised by what I learned. Are these drinking glasses just some more greenwashing?
In this post I’ll discuss compostable plastic, compare that to biodegradable plastic, and explain the role of all of these in the garden.
Rainwater harvesting systems are a hot topic in gardening circles. As we become more aware of the value of water, gardeners want to collect rain and use it to water their plants. Not only does this make financial sense, but in many cases the quality of the water is much better than tap water. And it is great for the environment because it sends less water to the city for processing.
Along with any good idea comes a number of myths. In this post I will look at myths pertaining to the use and harvesting of rainwater.
There seems to be a big surge in interest for attracting dragonflies to gardens and many online sources are suggesting the best plants for the job. Titles include, 12 Best Plants to Attract Dragonflies and Best Plants to Create a Dragonfly Garden. The lists include things like rudbeckia, milkweed, yarrow and sage.
But do plants really attract dragonflies? And if they do, which plants work best?
You have probably heard the story that grass is greener after a lightning storm, but is this really true?
How can lightning affect the color of your lawn? Lets shed some light on this story.
There is concern that composting produces carbon dioxide and we all know that CO2 contributes to climate change. Does this mean that backyard composting by gardeners is contributing to climate change? Is this a practice we should stop in an effort to control rising temperatures?
It is a real dilemma for gardeners and especially organic gardeners. Just when you thought you were doing something good for the planet you find out that you may be causing harm.
Does composting contribute to climate change, and is there something gardeners should do different?