Blog followers help suggest creative ways to get your green on!
With Earth Day coming up April 22, Tesselaar Plants is offering new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. And this year, the international plant developer is getting help from followers of its Your Easy Garden blog.
“During the blog’s recent ‘Labor Saving Tips Contest,’ we couldn’t believe how many ideas we received about making the world a better, greener place,” said Tesselaar cofounder and president Anthony Tesselaar. “The tips were so perfect for Earth Day, we just had to share them.”
Ditch the chemicals
Shelley Button uses horse manure instead of synthetic chemicals to fertilize her garden. “What a great use for the waste we get from our horses,” she said. “And every year, our garden and flowers look amazing.”
Don’t have horse manure readily available? If you live in the country or suburbs, you might be able to get it from nearby farms or riding stables. If you live in the city, you could ask mounted police patrols or those offering horse-drawn carriage rides.
If you live by the ocean, you can also use seaweed as fertilizer. At least that’s what Charlee Curtis of Boothbay, Maine does, composting seaweed along with food, organic scraps, shredded newspapers, paper towels, tissues and banana peels.
Another way to cut the chemicals in your garden is to buy plants that are naturally disease and pest resistant.
Fortunately, plant developers are heeding customers’ demands and offering more disease-resistant varieties. For the last two decades, Tesselaar has pioneered in this space, rolling out the world’s first eco-friendly, no-spray roses.
“Two decades after introducing the Flower Carpet® line as the world’s first eco-friendly, no-spray roses, we’re still committed to introducing plants so tough, they require little or no chemical treatments,” said Tesselaar. Flower Carpet roses, he added, have won more All Deutschland Rose designations (the world’s highest honor for natural disease resistance) than any other easy-care groundcover rose. Tesselaar also offers the mildew-resistant Volcano® phlox and virtually pest- and disease-free Festival™ Burgundy and Burgundy Spire™ cordylines.
Be a wise waterer
Tracy Beauchamp uses the water produced by her central air unit to water flowers automatically. She just places a clear tube (available from a home improvement center) inside the air conditioner discharge hose and directs it to the pots that need it. “It’s handy because that hotter and drier it is, the more the A/C runs,” she said.
Carmen Monnin puts out a bucket or two to catch water when it rains. “And then I use that to water some of my plants on the porch, especially those that didn’t get as much rain,” she said.
“You can also conserve on water by investing in drought-resistant plants – and they don’t have to be desert scrub or cacti,” offered Tesselaar. “Flower Carpet roses, for instance, are so waterwise, they’re called ‘desert roses’ by southwest gardeners and landscapers.”
His two other drought-resistant recommendations? The Storm™ series of agapanthus and Tropicanna cannas. “Although cannas are known as great water garden and bog plants because they can handle wet feet, they also handle drought very well, which makes them ideal container plants.” “Storm was the only agapanthus to survive the Dallas Arboretum’s famous ‘trials by fire’ in intense heat and drought,” explained Tesselaar.
Repurpose those containers
Cintia Pendleton of Port Orange, Florida suggested transforming plastic containers and cans from the kitchen into beautiful planters. “Bulbs like cans and you can make the cans look good with some art,” said Pendleton, adding that they’re great ready-made gifts once the flowers bloom.
Sam Frazier of southwest Michigan repurposes old yogurt containers for seedling starts. “They’re free and reusable, and it keeps them out of landfills,” he said. “I do the same with old coffee containers, and the lids make great plant saucers!”
Get involved in community gardening
In addition to using her horses’ manure for her own organic fertilizer, Shelley Button also donates it to community gardens that help feed the hungry. “It helps those with food assistance needs get a better production in their plot, and it also helps with their flower beds,” she said.
“What a wonderful way to be green – helping others while helping the planet we all share,” remarked Tesselaar. “We know we’ve all been inspired by these tips, and this Earth Day, we hope they’ve inspired you, too!”
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Tesselaar Plants searches the world and introduces new plants for the home garden, landscape and home décor markets, undertaking extensive research and development of its varieties. The Tesselaar philosophy is to introduce exceptional plants while “making gardening easy” for everyone, so it makes its products as widely available as possible. Tesselaar believes the more gardeners there are, the better it is for everyone.
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