About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The 5 R's of Sustainable Gardening

As gardeners we already have an appreciation of the earth. We know the joy of growing beautiful flowers and picking fresh fruit right outside our back doors. We've seen the miracle of a tiny seed sprouting and producing a bounty of vegetables to feed our families. We love watching the butterflies and birds that visit our gardens.

Many times people feel like they can't make a difference in the world, but every choice you make, everything you do makes a difference ~ no matter how big or small. Even small steps make a huge difference over time.

The 5 R's - reduce, reuse, recycle, reconsider, rethink - put the power back into your hands. So, get started now and don't forget to share your knowledge and experience with others - - especially young children!

REDUCE your use of pesticides and fertilizer. This one step makes a tremendous difference especially for wildlife and for storm water runoff into our springs, lakes and rivers.

 We need beneficial insects to help keep garden pests at bay. 
When you spray, you kill the good and the bad!

REUSE household items in the garden. Use cardboard & newspaper as a weed mat,  styrofoam for drainage in containers, branches for yard art. The list is endless! Before tossing items into the trash . . . think about how you can reuse them in the garden or home.

Here is a great idea that I found in a state park. 
They used a large tree branch to attach bromeliads and tillandsias to. It adds a nice natural feature to any garden.

RECYLCE your grass clippings, plant trimmings and vegetable scraps by turning them into compost. Many household items can also be included. Read more about composting here.

RECONSIDER your choices before making purchases. Choose earth-friendly solutions by using leaves & pine needles as mulch or get it free from your local city, use your compost for fertilizer and as potting soil, start plants from seeds or cuttings, attend plant swaps.

Do we really want unnecessary plastic bags in the landfill?

RETHINK your view of the "perfect looking landscape" and reduce your maintenance as well. Do I need a large weed-free turf? Do I need to fertilize it 3 times a year and have it sprayed for insects? Do I need to water 3 times a week? Do I need to trim hedges every month?  By letting go of some of our old school of thoughts where landscaping is concerned, it allows us to choose a new path that makes our garden more sustainable.

How about this for a gorgeous yard!
You'll enjoy reading how Nanette O'Hara (Bay Friendly blog) eliminated all turf grass in her Tampa area garden. 
Photo source: http://bayfriendly.blogspot.com/

By practicing the 5 R's of sustainable gardening we establish a relationship with the earth. We nourish the soil and the soil provides nourishment for us.


daisy g said...

Great reminders that we can all do something. Nanette's landscaping is brilliant!

Susan said...

She does have a beautiful garden and an easily manageable one.