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Native Plants, Composting & Shopping Local




Native Plants

 

When gardening this year, consider using native plants which offers a multitude of benefits, both for the environment and for local ecosystems: In particular, native plants can aid in controlling shoreline erosion and improving water quality while also beautifying the shoreline and providing a healthy habitat for songbirds, water fowl, pollinators and fish. 

 

Native plants are better adapted to local environmental conditions, which means they are more resilient to pests, diseases, and extreme weather events. Native plants generally require less water once established because they are adapted to local rainfall patterns and soil conditions. They also require fewer fertilizers and pesticides.

Planting native species helps prevent the spread of non-native or invasive plant species, which can outcompete and displace native species. Nurseries and mail-order houses still sell hundreds of non-native plants so it requires a bit of “homework” before purchasing plants. However, a quick search of a plant you’re considering and the word “invasive” can help you avoid non-native plants.Prioritizing native plants will help in maintaining and preserving the natural ecosystem.

Composting

 

Don't trash uneaten food. Compost it instead! Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter (food scraps, dry leaves, twigs and grass clippings) into a natural and nutrient-rich fertilizer for lawns, gardens and house plants. Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the trash can.

According to the EPA, food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills. Food scraps buried in a landfill ultimately produce harmful methane gas, known to trap heat in the atmosphere, potentially contributing to climate change.

The alternative to placing the food scrap waste in the trash is to begin composting at home. Many affordable types of premade composters can be purchased or you can build a simple wooden bin. Here are a few good resources to learn more about composting:

 

Warren County Cornell Cooperative's ABCs of Home Composting

ADK Action's Compost for Good

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