Low Maintenance Garden Design Trends

With prices fluctuating in landscaping and home improvement retailers, you want to explore more cost efficient ways to maintain your landscape. Perhaps, you’re pursuing a landscape design that encourages low maintenance design. Let’s review a few options you can take. Keep Lawns Simple and Focus on Gardens A mistake most business owners and residents make is over treating their lawns to stop weeds. An application or two a season before…

Urban Gardening 101: How to Deal with Contaminated Soil

Urban soils are particularly prone to contamination. 50 years ago, your yard could have belonged to a farmer, who, perhaps not knowing any better, disposed of old bottles of anti-freeze or contaminated diesel in a hole out behind the tractor garage. Or perhaps the remains of a fallen down outbuilding, long ago coated in lead-based paint, was buried on your property buy a lazy contractor when your subdivision was built.…

Long Beach Gears Up For Martin Luther King Jr. Day Of Service

More than 400 Long Beach-area volunteers are expected to give back to the community to mark the national MLK Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, Jan. 21. The civil rights leader who fought against racism is honored with a federal holiday every January, around the time of his birthday. Some people get the day off from work, but others take part in the National…

Buying Time: Extend your garden’s growing season with a cold frame

Part incubator, part greenhouse and part time machine, a cold frame is anything but cold. It’s an empty, bottomless box that protects plants from winter weather. With its hinged lid of glass or rigid plastic, a cold frame captures solar energy and converts it to radiant heat, creating a warm microclimate where plants thrive. Like the windshield of your car on a cloudless day, sunlight passing through the glass is…

Urban Gardening Activist Works To Connect People To Their Food Sources

Activist Duron Chavis realized early on he needed to get his hands dirty, and that his work begins in the soil. The 38-year-old is a proponent of urban gardening, an effort he says can address the disconnect African-Americans feel toward growing and accessing food, along with promoting self-sustainability. It’s not just about eating healthy; it’s about being able to provide for yourself. “The urban gardening stuff has been an exercise…

Edible Landscapes Are Un-Lawning America

Lawns are ubiquitous in the United States and according to a 2015 NASA study, they take up three times as much space as the next largest irrigated crop, corn. These familiar patches of green require 9 billion gallons of water per day, around 90 million pounds of fertilizers and 75 million pounds of pesticides per year. Plus, the lawnmowers that maintain them largely use gas and emit pollutants. All for…

Women who farm: The changing face of Indiana ag

INDIANAPOLIS — There is a burgeoning group of generationally and ethnically diverse women growing food in central Indiana. The face of agriculture is changing, and there is great momentum behind the trend of more women involved in agricultural enterprises, said Eliana Blaine, soil health outreach coordinator at Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District. “Women run and work with a wide range of organizations that grow food as part of…

Bottle Tower Gardens Provide Exceptionally Efficient Small Space Growing

Dr. Willem Van Cotthem experimented with this vertical gardening system using recycled plastic bottles stacked and attached to a fence.  He began with the 2011 growing season and continued through 2012 with great success.  This type of garden is cheap to start and is extremely effective for those who do not have a lot of growing space.  A system like this could be built along a fence, wall, or on…

Florida Senate bill that could usher more beds of beets revives home rule debate

More mushrooms? A proposed bill in the Florida Senate could usher in more beds of beets at homes statewide by barring local governments from regulating vegetable gardens. It would create a Catch-22 for cities such as Orlando, where city officials bristle at preemptive moves from Tallahassee and are looking to expand urban agriculture. City officials said this week they plan to oppose the legislation (SB 82) because it flies in…

Beehive safety in parks debated

Before they might open up selected Eau Claire parks to beekeepers, City Council members want more details as they grapple with how that could affect residents who are allergic to the insects’ stings. The council discussed potential changes Monday night to its ordinance that allows beekeeping, which are expected to come back for a vote later this month after undergoing some revision. “Overall I like the direction this is going,”…