A Bakers Dozen of EcoBeneficial Ideas for Earth Day
Give your ecosystem a gift this Earth Day with these 13 ideas that are sure to please the environment:
1) Select at least 25% of your lawn that you don’t really use. Make a commitment to turn that area into a habitat garden by the end of spring (pollinators, butterflies, birds, etc.).
2) Comb your garage and garden shed for leftover pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Toss them (follow your municipal procedures for proper disposal).
3) Take an inventory of your trees, shrubs and perennials. Are at least 50% native to your region? If not, make a plan to get there. Do your research on www.wildflower.org/plants and local native plant society web sites.
4) Get to know the invasive non-native plants in your region. Many states have an invasive plant list, often with photos.
5) Make a plan to remove any invasive, non-native plants in your landscape. Bye, bye to Butterfly Bush, Japanese Barberry, Japanese Honeysuckle, Privet, and so on.
6) Research which butterflies are native to your area on www.butterfliesandmoths.org and make a plan to plant their preferred native host plants and nectar plants this spring.
7) Check your plantings to make sure that you have at least 3 native species in bloom for every part of the growing season to support beneficial insects, including pollinators (early spring, later spring, early summer, mid-summer, late summer, early fall, and on for warmer climates).
8) Repeat after me, “I will plant the right plant in the right place.” No cheating!
9) Instead of planting annuals this year, plan to plant native perennials, even in pots!
10) Be a role model for your neighbors, family and friends – order a “wildlife habitat” sign, a “pollinator garden” sign, a “bird habitat” sign, and/or a “pesticide-free zone” sign, etc.
11) “Walk the walk” by making sure your landscape is performing the ecological functions promoted by your sign(s) in #10 above.
12) Join a local native plant society – they don’t charge much for membership, and are a tremendous resource for information.
13) Lure the kids out into the garden this year with native edible plants – plant them, tend them, harvest them and eat them!
Happy Earth Day! From Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!
Photo: A “Bouquet” of Native Violets in the Smokies – host plants for Frittilary Butterflies
Photo credit: Kim Eierman
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