Fast Spring Gardening That Can Save Water
Stopping the Spread of Deserts and Water Shortages
Sustainability as a worldwide initiative to save money, increase efficiency, and even save the planet has become a byword and buzz word of the 2000s. In order for the third and fourth generations into the future to have a place to live, the current generation must lay the groundwork, so to speak, for sustaining the Earth by reducing especially the erosion that is widening our planet’s desert regions.
Every time a tree is cut down for timber or to clear the way for a building, path, road, or railway anywhere near a desert region, that desert can spread.This is because the roots of the former tree also die and with that death, the roots' ability to hold onto the soil and hold it together fails.
When the devastation and removal of trees reaches a particular threshold globally, then oxygen will begin to escape from the earth at the same time CO2 levels are increasing, and O2 will no longer be held fast to the Earth by our plants and trees. They will still create it at night but in smaller quantities, and it will drift away.
For years already in 2009, sands and dust from the Gobi Desert in Asia has stung the eyes of Californians across the Pacific Ocean. The deserts are becoming larger.
Deserts Cover Over 1/7 of Earth and are Spreading
Whether factions believe global warming exists or is even man made, the deserts are still expanding, as evidenced by NASA satellite photography. This is irrefutable. Global warming may be taking ice from the poles and northern shoreline pack ice and dumping it in the lower or more central latitudes as snow-melt and flood rains, which also increase the erosion of soil and plant life. Deserts are already expanding in Southwest America and new ones may appear in South America and other parts of the US as well.
If climate change does nothing else, it will continue to increase the size of deserts, reduce the quantities of plant and tree life on Earth, and eventually suck the Oxygen off the planet. We can help prevent this by planting gardens, even if we feel that we do not have enough time to do so.
Quick Tips for Saving Water
Early and late spring gardeners can cultivate a summer garden in many climates. Bedding plants can be a key to their gardening success in minimal time. Tomatoes and flowers take planning or they will die, but shortcuts and easy tips are available.
Nurseries, seed companies, and catalogue sales companies are great for the time-challenged gardener that needs quick solutions and ready-made gardens. Books are readily available that offer weekend gardening projects that can be completed in a day. A little thinking and a small book can give you vegetables and flowers the first summer you have your garden.
Bedding plants are transplantable seedlings started indoors and can be purchase at the local garden center early in spring. Many mail-order companies also offer bedding plants already started or in small biodegradable containers that can be planted in the ground after you start the seedlings indoors. Some companies have called these starters "Sure Starts" or "Quick Starts".
For example, Psychotria nervosa or Wild Coffee is a native bedding plant of Florida. it is a short shrub that can grow up to 4 and even as high as 10 feet, so it needs trimming. It also spreads out 4-8 feet, so it would not take many to provide ground cover for a small garden plot in Florida.
Mulch for retaining moisture for your new plants may be easier to find than you think. If you have a lawn to mow or leaves to rake, the grass clippings and leaves can be used for mulch in a small plot around the plant roots. If you have no grass or leaves, perhaps a neighbor will let you collect theirs.
Innovative Solution: Pulling Water from the Air
Buy Plants That Work to Conserve Water
Native plants that are originally from your own state will grow better than something ornamental that thrives only in Southeast Asia.
Native grasses are some of these and you may be able to find native flowers and vegetable varieties that thrive especially well in your area. Native plants help to rebuild your own state and city ecosystem as well as being easier to grow.
All America Selections at http://www.all-americaselections.org/ offers information about plants that by their own motto are Tested Nationally and Proven Locally®. New and improved varieties of vegetables and flowers are promoted every year on the site with an AAS Winners List.
The plants throughout the site are a variety of healthy specimens that thrive all over America, being native or indigenous to specific regions of the nation. The company has been in business for over 80 years. Visit their site and they can help you pick out plants that will grow well and quickly in your area of the country. The site also lists trusted garden centers by state.
Another example of professional help is that available from your local County Extension Service in your state. These agencies are often connected with the local state universities or colleges and provide web sites full of useful information.
Some manufacturers pack envelopes of seeds together of different plants that grow well together and complement one another. These packs can be vegetable, flower, or combination packs. Other manufacturers prepare seeds in long strips of material that can be laid right down into a shallow ditch in a small garden, covered with soil, and watered all at once.
Spring Hill Nurseries
This well-known company is is located in Tipp City, Ohio near Dayton. They have a trio of great pre-panned gardens for those that have little time for preparation and planning. See photos to the right, all from Spring Hill Nurseries and available in the spring from their website. Ready made garden kits range in price from about $15 - $150 and require little time. In addition, perennials will often return the following year on their own.
The Westerville Public Library in Ohio began a free seed "library" in 2018. Local seed manufacturer/distributors donated hundreds of packets of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, and fruits to the public library for people to peruse and take with them. Check your own public library for such a program, or suggest it if it does not yet exist.
These entries often grow very well, very quickly, and without tedious care:
- Beans, squash, radishes and lettuce sown into the ground via seeds and are very quick growing and successful.
- Tomatoes and peppers are usually easy, but purchase seedling plants for fastest results and best success.
- Bush-type varieties of beans and tomatoes do not need stakes or cages because they spread out along the ground.
- Containers can be used for any of these plants and kept on the patio for a small garden. Containers can stand or be hung.
- Elevated beds make it easy to plant and harvest flowers, herbs, and vegetables. They can eliminate bending and stooping.
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS