CORVALLIS – In a world of increasing climate change and the invasion of more exotic insects and pests, sustainable gardening is more important than ever.
We can all do our part to help by changing our practices – often just by a bit, depending on the methods you’ve already put in place. And if it all seems too overwhelming, take it one step at a time. You’ll help the environment and at the same time save money and join a community of like-minded gardeners who love to share their experiences.
To get you started or to increase your repertoire of sustainable practices, consider these suggestions by Oregon State University Extension Service horticulturists.
Check your property for invasive weeds: An invasive species is an introduced organism that negatively alters its new environment. In Oregon, there are many invasive plants that meet this definition. Blackberry, tree-of-heaven, invasive knotweeds, garlic mustard, lesser celandine, Italian arum and horsetail are some examples that are difficult to control. Keep these and other invasive weeds from establishing on your property. Monitor for invasive plants and take action before they become a bigger problem. Check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District to learn which invasive plants are a problem in your area. Use cultural methods of control before turning to pesticides. – Weston Miller, OSU Extension horticulturist
Home orchard care: The sustainable home orchard starts with the selection of size-controlling rootstocks.