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Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day-My contribution 

How does gardening affect environmental conservation? Earth-friendly gardening makes the difference between polluting the air, ground, and water around you and your loved ones including pets and wildlife. How you ask? Here are just a few examples:

  • Compost - using compost rather than fertilizers add nutrients to your soil without contamination. If you can't build a compost area outside, Mindy provides tips on creating a non-smelly version inside.
  • Mulch - using renewable resource mulch protects the eco-system. Rather than cypress mulch, try coir. The fibers come from the husk and inside layers of the cocunut. It is free from bacteria, is environmentally friendly and renewable. Other choices include pine straw and the leaves fallen on the ground from your own trees. Mulch keeps weeds under control and preserves moisture limiting water use.
  • Natural pest control - prevents leaching of chemicals into the ground and water and eliminates exposure to humans and animals. Mixtures of baking soda and water or soap and water will control bugs such as aphids, mealybugs as well as fungus and powdery mildew. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs will do the same thing.
  • Lawn mowers - choosing a push reel, cordless or electric mower prevents air pollution and the reliance on petroleum products all the while giving you great exercise.
  • Limit water use - planting drought tolerant plants and mulching conserves water, protects the environment, and saves you some hard earned dollars.

    To read many, many more examples of protecting our environment contributed by bloggers around the world, go to Blog Action Day .

    It's important for all of us. Happy Gardening.

  • Sunday, October 14, 2007

    Speaking of bees 

    Have you heard about leafcutter bees? They cut pieces of leaves to line their nests. I used to see holes missing from my rose leaves all the time when I lived up north but never knew exactly what was causing the damage. I just happened across a 3 line note in a newspaper recently and was intrigued.

    Pretty interesting fast facts about this insect:
  • they do not colonize like most bees; i.e., honeybees or wasps. Female bees do all the work to create next areas and provide food for their babies
  • leafcutter bees nest in areas that are easy to excavate such as soft rotted wood or pithy plants
  • leafcutters don't eat the pieces of leaves they cut but carry them back to their next to use as nest cells. Each cell is then provided with a mixture of nectar and pollen. The female lays an egg and seals each cell creating a nest tunnel. Each tunnel can contain a dozen or more cells forming a tube up to 8 inches in length. The bee babies will develop in the cells and emerge in the next season.
  • they are considered important pollinators of wildflowers, fruits and vegetables, and are common in the US.
  • my favorite fact - leafcutter bees are not aggressive toward people and will only sting if handled.

    Bees are fascinating creatures, aren't they? Happy Gardening and special thanks to Rick at Order of the Bath for the picture.

  • Tuesday, October 09, 2007

    What kind of blogger are you? 

    Are you a blogger? Do you know what kind? To find out, take the Quiz at Blog Action Day. It's fun and free plus you get your own badge announcing to the world who are you. Here's mine. Happy Gardening.

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