Monday, May 14, 2012

Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems

The President of the National Garden Clubs, Shirley Nicolai, has chosen Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems as one of her special projects for her 2011-2013 term. Aquatic ecosystems include rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, springs, marshes, bogs, wetlands, estuaries, flood plains, and aquifers.
Members of the Garden Club get a tour of the Row River Nature Park with Pam of the Watershed Council.

As gardeners, each of us has an impact on these ecosystems, and each of us can work to preserve and conserve them. One way to protect aquatic ecosystems is to reduce our demand for water. How can we do that? Below are a few ideas for reducing your water consumption in the garden, even more ideas for reducing your water consumption in the home are available on the National Garden Club web site:
  • Reuse water from the house (e.g., from cleaning vegetables) in the garden.
  • Water more heavily, but less often, allowing the soil to dry out a bit between watering. This saves water and builds stronger roots.
  • Water during the early morning hours or in the evening when temperatures and wind speeds are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
  • Use timers to avoid over watering your yard and garden.
  • Use a rain catch system (rain barrel) and use natural rain water for watering in the yard.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk. Using a hose to clean a driveway uses about 50 gallons of water every 5 minutes.
  • Plant low-water and xeriscape plants. Plan now to use less water later.
  • Use mulch in the garden to reduce water evaporation from the soil, cool the soil, and encourage healthy roots.
  • Place plants with similar water needs next to each other.
  • Consider soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system for your vegetable garden, shrubs, and flower beds.
  • Lawns use a lot of water… Reduce their size, restricting them to spaces where you actually need them (like play areas), or eliminate them altogether.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you step on the grass and it springs back up, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, it does need water.
  • This summer, watch EWEB for their local water lawn-watering guidelines.

Thank you to the National Garden Club for the basis of this list.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: May 12, 2012!!

Please join the Cottage Grove Garden Club at the 2012 Oregon Plant Fair. This annual event features a plethora of garden art and plant vendors (including us!). Plus, the Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

As Garden Club members, we can't stress enough how important this event is to our club, as it is our major fund-raiser of the year.

As gardeners, we can't stress enough how enjoyable this event is, as it features art and plants from specialty artists and growers from around the North West.

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012, 9:00 am–2:00 pm at Alton Baker Park in Eugene.

Visit the Avid Gardeners web site for information about specific vendors.