Recycle and reimagine for Earth Day | Rome Daily Sentinel – Rome Sentinel

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The group Earthday.org has designated Thursday, April 22, as the day we celebrate Earth Day 2021. It’s a time to focus on how each of us can preserve and protect our environment with more sustainable homes, gardens, lawns and by recycling items that are usually thought of as trash. The first Earth Day was celebrated over 50 years ago in 1970; today the organization provides civic engagement opportunities at local, state, national and global levels around the world. Whether you’re a gardener or just a passenger on this global ship we call Earth, Earth Day should remind us to be good stewards of this land all year long — but it should not be just a date on the calendar. Gardeners and homeowners can start with environmentally friendly garden practices like; using native plants in their landscape and building a pollinator-friendly garden or a bee house. Here are some creative ways to recycle and reimagine items around the home for use in the garden. Found objects Do not just throw away things such as used tires, cans, worn boots, damaged watering cans, a broken teapot, or even a discarded sink. Instead use these items as whimsical garden ornaments or containers for herbs, flowers, or houseplants. Old hosiery These can be used to tie up floppy plants or anchor vines. The material is soft and flexible and will not damage plants even as they grow. Just cut them into slender lengths. Use a figure-eight knot (one loop around support, one around the stem or branch).If you want to hide it from view, just tuck it in behind some foliage. You can also use hosiery as a sling to support heavy fruits on a trellis such as melons. Paper bags Try using them to protect vulnerable plants from an unexpected frost. They will trap warmer air and insulate plants. Just remove them in the morning once the frost has passed. You can also use them to protect ripening fruit from pests. Just place them over the fruit, cinch with string or a rubber band. Utensils Old forks, knives, etc. can be used for cultivating and re-potting plants. They are durable and sharp to do this job without damaging plants. Plastic utensils can be used as plant markers. Tin cans These can be used as creative planters (be sure to drill drainage holes). They also can be nifty in the vegetable garden as plant collars to be sure seedlings are not destroyed by cutworms. Remove the top and bottom of the can, press into the soil; plant the seedling or seeds within. Aluminum pie tins These can be used to temporarily scare pests away. Tins make an annoying noise as they bang around in the wind. They also flash reflecting sunlight which can scare animals or birds. Tie with string and hang from branches, a trellis, or your garden fence. Use several, at different heights. Move them around to confuse the pests. You can also use them as slug traps; fill with a little beer and set them in slug or snail infested areas to trap them. Newspapers Create a new garden bed without the hard work of digging out existing turf. Use newspapers to kill grass and prevent weed germination. Use the newspapers in layers; anywhere from 10 to 30 sheets thick. Dampen the paper after it is in place and anchor the corners with rocks, so it will not shift or blow away. Then lay your compost or good quality topsoil on top. The newspaper will naturally break down and provide organic matter back into the soil while killing the existing vegetation. It is best not to plant right away; wait until the newspaper has broken down. Living an environmentally conscious lifestyle does not have to be hard; and it should not be thought of on only one day a year. Make everyday Earth Day by making some simple changes to your gardening routine and share with others how everyday items can be repurposed into the garden. Are you interested in learning more about gardening, while enjoying shared tips, tricks and camaraderie with other gardeners? Consider training to be a Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County Master Gardener Volunteer. For more information visit our website cceoneida.com or phone 315-736-3394, ext 100. Be sure to like us on Facebook (and check out our YouTube channel) for great garden sessions. Just click the Youtube Icon at the bottom of our webpage.
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