Hi there! From now on until he loses focus, Grumpy is taking on a new name — “Sustainability Steve.” That’s because “sustainability” — that is, the ability of something to be sustained forever in a politically acceptable way — is now the most important cause in the world. So just like all of you, Grumpy is jumping on the bandwagon. Hope I don’t fall off and hurt my hiney. Ouch!
What Is “Sustainability?”
This is a very good question, so I addressed it to Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Neither has answered yet, possibly because they are dead, and possibly because there are so many right and wrong answers depending upon your opinion.
Sustainability in home gardening, as Grumpy understands it (and he understands it perfectly as always), means using naturally renewable resources to grow quality plants that do not degrade the environment and need relatively little in the way of water, fertilizer, and pesticide.
Of course, some people take it to the extreme. They say you’re not gardening sustainably unless your garden needs no water, fertilizer, or pesticides at all. In Grumpy’s opinion, this is the perfect definition for “rock gardening.” Rocks never need pruning or deadheading either. Rock on!
Sadly, gardening with rocks is not emotionally fulfilling for most people who live outside of Arizona and Nevada. So how can you make it work for you? Ask Sustainability Steve!
During the next few weeks, Sustainability Steve will offer easy, fun, and emotionally satisfying ways that you can garden in an environmentally responsible manner and thereby humiliate your neighbors.
Lesson #1 — Use Biodegradable Pots
Like many of you, over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds of plastic plant pots that my flowers, veggies, shrubs, and trees came in. And like many of you, instead of sending them to the landfill, I made a giant mound of them in the back yard and burned them along with the rest of my garbage. Just kidding. But what do you do when the stupid recycler won’t take them?
How about buying plants in biodegradable pots, like the one shown here? Big growers like Ball Horticultural Company, Bonnie Plants, and Costa Farms are increasingly turning to pots made from natural prodcuts, such as peat, bamboo, rice hulls, and coco fiber. When you plant, you plant the flower or veggie pot-and-all. Roots grow right through the pot into the soil and the pot gradually disintegrates, adding organic matter to the soil.
Now isn’t THAT smart?
Well, I hope everyone has a firmer grasp of sustainability. Speaking of which, how do you like my sustainable shirt? It’s made from bamboo, not soil-robbing cotton. And it looks so good on me!
Next Time — Live & Let Lawn
See how to responsible grow that lush, green carpet that’s the hallmark of suburban America. Also learn how to fend off attacks from Insatiable Lawn Haters, who can be such a pain in the grass.