Tagawa® Green Gardening Tips
Mother Nature Knows Best
Reduce your use of pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilizers. Use natural and organic means to control pests, stop weeds and feed plants.
Compost, Compost, Compost
The great thing about composting is how easy it is! For Kitchen Composting:
Start by finding a container designed for kitchen scraps. These can be made of any material, but all should have air vents and charcoal filters, which will prevent unpleasant odors. If it is attractive enough to sit out on the counter, so much the better—you will use it daily!
Potato peels, lettuce cores, carrot trimmings, any tired produce you discover at the back of the crisper drawer in your fridge—basically all fruits and vegetables—will compost beautifully over time. Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, melon rinds and citrus peels can all be composted.
Do avoid meats, oils, dairy products and fruit pits. Old salad greens are fine; but salad greens coated with dressing are not. A large proportion of grapefruit peels seems to slow down compost, so if your family loves grapefruit, try to keep it to 50% or less of your kitchen compost.
The trick to kitchen composting is to transfer the contents of your kitchen bin to a larger composting site, whether that is a worm bin in your garage or an outdoor bin or pile. At Tagawa’s, we recommend using a rotating compost bin that is off the ground. A spinning model “turns” your compost effortlessly. (“Turning” just means mixing up the different materials in compost-speak.) An enclosed bin also conserves moisture, an important element to successful composting in Colorado. A bin also prevents small critters from nesting in your compost!
A frequent question is whether there is a time to stop adding fresh kitchen scraps to the compost bin to allow the compost to finish decomposing. No, you don’t need to stop adding; just use a sieve to screen out unfinished plant matter. We carry round ½” and ¼” garden sieves to make compost screening easy.
If you plan to combine kitchen scraps with your outdoor compost, remember to avoid weeds loaded with seeds or insects, and diseased plant material. Grass clippings can certainly be composted, but experts note that they are best left on the lawn. (Grass clippings do not cause thatch.)
When you have a lot more brown plant matter, like fall leaves, straw or sawdust, than kitchen scraps or “green” trimmings, your compost will benefit from a dose of compost starter and a shovelful of your best garden soil.
The most important guideline of all is also the simplest: just do it! Your garden will thank you!
Cute and beneficial, the ladies will make lunch out of the aphids that attack our plants.
Use It Once, Use It Twice
Rom thrift shop patio furniture to raised beds made from re-cycled plastics, it takes less energy & resources to recycle than using new materials. Egg cartons and yogurt containers hold seedlings very well
Grow It Yourself
Rededicate some of that expansive lawn into a veggie garden to nourish yourself and your family. Food you have grown or is grown locally tastes better and fresher.
Garden with Others
No outdoor space? No problem! Sign up for a community plot and farm it. Your fellow gardeners are a wealth of knowledge and might help with an extra pair of hands.
Don’t Fight It
Repeat what grows here naturally if possible. Native ‘families’ such as the Sages can be planted and will thrive.
Use Your Warm Up Water from Your Shower to Water Your Plants!
Keep a bucket in the shower and aim your showerhead into it when you warm up the water to take your shower. This water can be used to water indoor or outdoor plants, fill birdbaths or fountains, etc.
Living In the High Desert
Drop old wasteful habits like leaving the water on while brushing your teeth or rinsing dishes. Mulch around your trees, shrubs and plants. This will help the soil stay moist, keep out weed seeds and make the garden look ‘finished’ and ‘taken care’ of. Water low at the soil level and avoid ‘showering’ the landscape
Bee Good to the Butterflies
Have a good variety of plants that attract bees and butterflies. Create a habitat for wildlife that will provide them with water, shelter and food.
Re-duce, Re-cycle, Re-use and Re-buy
Reduce the quantity of waste, lower use of materials. Re-use compost and clippings to mulch your garden (be sure you have not used a weed control product on any clippings you are using on your garden), and watering with your shower warm-up water saves water. Recycling plastic bottles and other materials saves on resources. Solar outdoor lighting is friendlier than electric landscape lights.