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Video: Stone Raised Bed Prep. with Summer Rayne Oakes || Flock Finger Lakes

Need a winter project?

Check out the awesome stone raised bed Summer Rayne Oakes @homesteadbrooklyn and the Flock Fingerlakes team are building/prepping for the next growing season. Espoma’s Raised Bed Mix and Land and Sea Compost are the perfect growing medium for their future plants!

Learn more about Flock Finger Lakes here:

Website: homesteadbrooklyn.com

Instagram – @homesteadbrooklyn

YouTube – Summer Rayne Oakes

Twitter – @sroakes

Facebook – Summer Rayne Oakes

 

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BAGR 110 Blog: Low Waste Plant Parenthood

Caring for plants can connect us back to nature. Engaging with them on a daily basis either in our homes or in our gardens can help us understand the importance of preserving the natural world around us. In this blog, we do a deep dive into low-waste choices you can make to have a more sustainable plant collection and a more positive impact on the environment.

This blog is inspired by Episode 110 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, where host Maria Failla interviewed Nick Cutsumpas of Farmer Nick.

Don’t get intimidated by the “zero” in “zero waste”

As a society, we often get intimidated and overwhelmed when we see something that says “zero.” Even if we strive for zero waste, we recognize that there are certain wasteful elements in our lives that are inevitable. 

Let’s face it—achieving “zero waste” is almost close to impossible. Instead, let’s try to reduce waste as much as possible and promote a “low waste” style of plant parenthood. 

We don’t need 10% of the population living a 100% zero waste lifestyle. We need 100% of the population making choices that lead them to be at least 10% more sustainable.

 

What is Waste?

To put it simply, waste is something that will end up in a landfill. Items that cannot be recycled should be considered waste. It is a growing problem affecting not just the environment but also our population.

Waste contaminates water if not disposed of properly and can get absorbed by fish and other aquatic life. This then spreads into the food chain and is now affecting the population.

 

Here are 3 low waste tips you can apply to your approach to plant care. 

 

Low Waste Tip #1: Reuse everything (or at least as much as you can)

Take a look at something, pick it up, and instead of the Marie Kondo style of, “Does it bring me joy? If not, throw it away,” try saying, “What kind of purpose do you have in my now?”

Here are some examples for upcycling your plant products: 

  1. If you buy a plant at the garden center and it comes in a plastic pot. Instead of throwing it away, save it to use for another plant, or try and return it to your garden center for them to reuse.
  2. Many companies now have lots of fantastic alternative types of packaging, whether it’s compostable packing peanuts, recyclable shipping containers, or even pots made out of rice. Try supporting companies that use sustainable packaging.
  3. Instead of tossing a glass yogurt container or bottle, upcycle it into a propagation vessel.
  4. If composting is available to you, instead of tossing your dead houseplants, annuals, and food waste in your garbage, compost them and use them in your garden in the years to come.

Espoma has always been a zero waste manufacturing facility and continues to strive to create zero waste during its manufacturing processes.

Here are some of Espoma’s sustainability accomplishments

  • < 1% waste of packaging materials
  • Recycling of skids and damaged pallets
  • Largest recycler of manure – Prevents millions of lbs. of raw manure from leaching into waterways

Low Waste Tip #2: Choose sustainably made, organic fertilizers and potting mixes

Plant roots require soil as a foothold. It contains nutrients that allow plants to grow. Putting them in high-quality potting mix or soil is an easy choice when trying to set your plant up to thrive. 

Anyone who wants to take care of the environment should not be buying from places that use potentially harmful synthetic fertilizers. 

As for quality soils, look no further than Espoma’s Organic Potting Soils. This contains a rich blend of only the finest natural ingredients. No synthetic plant foods or chemicals are used.

Low Waste Tip #3: Know your plant number!

This might be tough for some people to hear, but knowing your plant number not only saves you money but also saves your plants and your waste footprint! 

Say you have 50 plants and they’re all thriving under your care. Let’s assume that is your limit or plant number. If you add your 51st plant and then the quality of care suffers for the other plants, you might start losing plants in your collection due to overwhelm or negligence. That’s not sustainable. 

Before you bring a plant home, be honest with yourself and ask, “Do I have the space? Do I have the time and the right environment for this?” 

This is also a lesson in restraint—by taking a step back and knowing that you don’t need another plant in your collection: you limit waste and increase the likelihood of your plant collection bringing you joy instead of stress.

Protecting the environment

In today’s world that divides us, the environment is one of the things that can be quite polarizing depending on what views you have. But no one can disagree with the fact that we all use and require the natural resources the Earth so generously offers us.

Anyone who has been inspired by the vastness of the ocean, the awesome height of a redwood tree or the simple relaxation a hike can bring can understand the importance of nature. So all humans, in essence, should view themselves as stewards of the earth. 

Understanding your responsibility to the Earth doesn’t require you to move to a cabin and live off the grid. You can live in sync with nature and it can be done so in a way that does not detract from your lifestyle by making simple, sustainable choices that benefit you and the planet.

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About Our Interviewee

Nick is a “plantrepreneur” who is passionate about all things green. As a full-time plant coach, urban gardener, and landscape designer, Nick’s mission is to leave the earth greener than when he found it—giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to create their own green spaces in the pursuit of environmental action and social justice. 

Watch Nick and other rapid-fire renovators on Netflix, Instant Dream Home. This showcases Nick and his incredibly talented friends taking big risks and making painstaking plans to transform families’ homes from top to bottom in just 12 hours.

​​Follow Farmer Nick:

Website

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VIDEO: Planting Haul of Fame with Garden Answer

     Another win for Garden Answer! From boxwoods to trees to a brand new bulb-garden, this planting haul is one for the books. Honorable mentions? Espoma Organic’s Bio-Tone, Potting Soil, and Bulb-Tone are the true heroes of this epic. See how they’re essential for long-lasting healthy blooms in the video below!

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/gardenanswer 

https://www.gardenanswer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gardenanswer

https://www.instagram.com/gardenanswer/

 

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VIDEO: Get the Dirt on Ornamental Grass with Garden Answer!

Ready to spruce up your green space? Garden Answer is back to guide you through planting ornamental grass—a low-maintenance way to aesthetically enhance your garden. Plus, with Espoma Organic’s Bio-Tone Starter, your new additions can bloom bigger and lay roots quicker, easily adapting to their new home. Dig in!

 

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/gardenanswer 

https://www.gardenanswer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gardenanswer

https://www.instagram.com/gardenanswer/

 

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Seven Steps for a Fantastic Fall Garden

 

Fall: it’s the season of transition. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colors, and the air is getting crisp and breezy. While you might be thinking it’s time to pack up the gardening supplies until Spring, there’s no reason the growing has to stop yet! With this seasonal shift comes perfect weather for establishing new plants, great deals at garden stores, and a decrease in pests. In fact, this special season offers plenty of opportunities for preserving, planting, and preparing. Make the most of this time with these seven tips, and get back in the garden! 

 

     1. Don’t Forget Your Veggies

Don’t let the cooler weather fool you, there’s still time for growth. Broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and kale… fall is the season to plant these beloved vegetables. If your vegetable garden needs a boost, use our famous Organic Garden-tone or Grow!

 

 

2. Success with Succession

Maximize your harvest all throughout fall with succession planting. Harvest one crop, then replant one with a shorter maturity date, plant companion crops, stagger your seeding so harvest arrives in intervals, or plant a crop with varying maturity dates (broccoli, for example). Try out one of these methods and keep growing with our Garden-tone

 

 

     3. Bring in the Big Guys

Looking for a bigger way to upgrade your garden this fall? Plant trees and shrubs while the soil is still warm, use our Organic Tree-tone to nurture their development, and give them a chance to lay roots before winter settles in. Just be sure to keep them well-watered and protect those roots with mulch!

 

     4. Free Fertilizer 

Have you tried using those fall leaves to your advantage? Thick piles of leaves can be a lot for your lawn to tolerate, but mowing over what’s fallen creates smaller pieces that break down in the soil easier. Time to tackle that leaf pile and get your lawn some natural nutrients!

     

     5. Allium On the Way

Patience is a virtue… and so is planting ahead! Give your garlic, onions, and shallots a jump-start by planting them after the fall equinox. With full sun, rich soil, and crisp fall weather, your allium vegetables have plenty of time to get rooted before weathering the frost. Check out this article here for more tips on allium planting! 

     

     6. Take Cover

Mustard, peas, and clover are great cover crops to plant in the fall. Not only do cover crops prevent erosion, they can create better, richer soil for gardening. Let them grow throughout the fall and winter, then turn into the soil in the spring to enjoy the nutritious benefits of your labor.

     

     7. Winterize, Winterize, Winterize

Think of it as a gift to your future self. Keep up with weeding, winterize your watering system, and give your lawn a much-needed refresh with our Organic Fall Winterizer. These little chores make all the difference when getting your garden through upcoming winter frosts.

 

There’s so much in store this season, and with these tips, you can fall in love with fall gardening. Have your own must-do or want to share a photo of autumn in action? 

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VIDEO: Catch up with Summer Rayne Oakes’ Shade Garden

Wow! Look how much the shade garden bed at Flock Finger Lakes has grown. With the help of Espoma Organic Bio-tone Starter Plus and our Organic Cow Manure Compost Blend, your garden can thrive season after season too. 

 

Learn more about Summer Rayne Oakes here:

Website: homesteadbrooklyn.com

Instagram – @homesteadbrooklyn

YouTube – Summer Rayne Oakes

Twitter – @sroakes

Facebook – Summer Rayne Oakes

 

 

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VIDEO: Summer Rayne Oakes’ Acid-Loving Groundcover Garden!

Add a little pH pep to your step—your acid-loving plants will really thrive with our Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier. Take it from Summer Rayne Oakes at Flock Finger Lakes as she walks you through her acidic, edible groundcover garden!

Learn more about Summer Rayne Oakes here:

Website: homesteadbrooklyn.com

Instagram – @homesteadbrooklyn

YouTube – Summer Rayne Oakes

Twitter – @sroakes

Facebook – Summer Rayne Oakes

 

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VIDEO: Daylilies for Days with Garden Answer!

Garden Answer’s daylilies certainly brightened our day! Add in some Espoma Organic Bio-Tone Starter Plus and you’ll have every variety blooming and brightening your day in no time too.

 

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/gardenanswer 

https://www.gardenanswer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gardenanswer

https://www.instagram.com/gardenanswer/

 

 

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Video: Lightbulb Terrarium with Garden Answer

Looking for some creative terrarium ideas?

Watch as Laura from @Garden Answer uses a unique lightbulb to plant some succulents!

 

 

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