Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22. This year’s Earth Day theme is: Invest In Our Planet.”

Thinking green and keeping your yard and garden environmentally friendly is not about a single day. This year, take the first step in doing your part towards making your landscape more sustainable and making a positive impact to the environment. Here are some ideas on how you can be a responsible gardener:

Go native

Native plants are adapted to our climate and soil; they provide the food source for pollinators and other wildlife. Look for natives in our local nurseries and plant to add at least one to your garden this year. You can get some ideas on native flowers, shrubs, trees and vines by visiting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at
https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/factnatives.pdf.

Grow more, mow less

You can save money and help pollinators by reducing your lawn footprint. It only takes a small space to make a difference. This year, consider converting part of your lawn to a native plant garden, butterfly or wildflower garden.

Avoid chemicals

Good garden cultural practices such as planting resistant varieties and adding organic materials such as compost to the soil are better options. Fewer chemicals means healthier soil, cleaner water and safety for people and pets.

Focus on the soil

Quality soil is the foundation of any garden or lawn. Healthy soils contain millions of beneficial microbial organisms needed for healthy plant growth. Look at your soil. Is it rich in organic matter; does it have earthworms and does it hold moisture well? 

Invest in a soil test to determine pH, salts and nutrient levels. Our Oneida County CCE can help you with this; visit http://cceoneida.com/resources/soil-testing to find information on how to take your soil samples and get the…

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