Welcome to Gardening with Nature! I'm Dr. Carl Salsedo.
I hope Gardening With Nature can offer you new ways of looking at your personal environment, and help you create a sustainable landscape in your own backyard.
- We hope you had a chance to meet Carl to learn how to have a beautiful garden with low effort-high enjoyment plants during Cornucopia Fest 2012.
- Read Carl's latest Hartford Courant article: Starting From Seed: No-Fuss Tomato Growing For Amatuers
- Read Carl's blog: The Summer without Tomatoes
- Read Carl's Green Advice in the Hartford Courant: Planting Lawn In Fall Can Save Money, Work
- Read Carl's article on Yankee Stadium Sod: Keep Yankee Stadium in Yankee Stadium
Watch Carl's (I)NTERVIEW
A Sustainable Landscape: Reducing Waste, Energy and Materials.
Creating a sustainable landscape is designing and creating systems that imitate nature and turn the problems into solutions. Using my own yard as a module, I have conceived and developed five 60-second vignettes based on sustainable landscape practices and an environmentally conscious ethic. They contain five important themes that will help you increase your sustainable landscape gardening skills.
Reduce fertilizer, pesticide and water requirements by planting grass species that are adapted to local conditions. Lower-maintenance grasses suitable for Connecticut conditions include the turf-type tall fescues, dwarf tall fescues, and the fine-leaf fescues (creeping red, chewings, sheep, and hard).
Utilizing native plants as much as possible in your own yard eliminates the need for outside inputs of fertilizer and pesticides. Their excessive use in the suburban landscape can be a source of runoff or non-point source pollution. Many native plants have low water and maintenance requirement, virtually eliminating the need for watering and wasting of this precious resource. Once established these types of plants require little care and input in your own yard.
Utilizing drought tolerant and low maintenance species of lawn grasses and ornamental plants will eliminate the need for watering and wasting this precious resource. Once established these types of plants require little care and input in your own yard.
A bio-diverse garden and landscape supports a wide variety of life, from plants and animals, to insects and beneficial pollinators. Planting a wide spectrum of species from local wildflowers to non-invasive plants will attract local pollinators, beneficial insects and hummingbirds to visit your gardens again and again.
Transforming yard waste into yard wealth is a practice we encourage and is nothing more than recycling all organic matter, including leaves, grass clipping and yard trimmings that can be reused, recycled or even reduced. Recycling as much as possible in your own yard eliminates the need for outside inputs of fertilizer whose excessive use in the suburban landscape can be a source of runoff or non-point source pollution.
What is sustainable landscaping and why should it matter?
So much of the popular and academic environmental literature today mentions the word sustainability and it has been used in a variety of ways with a plethora of meanings. We use this word in the context that sustainability refers to meeting the needs of today's population without diminishing the ability of future populations to meet their needs.
In my opinion, it's much more. It's recognizing the interconnectedness of all life in nature.
It's an approach to connect people back to the earth by tilling the soil, growing food, or caring about the local or global landscape resulting in becoming stewards of the earth.
What does this have to do with the landscape and the neighborhood or watershed in which you live? Everything!
Approximately eighty-two million households in the United States are involved in some form of gardening. These homeowners pose a considerable threat to natural functioning ecosystems primarily through the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers that can affect the water quality in nearby ground and surface water areas.
In Connecticut, this has been documented by a number of studies showing high levels of pesticides and nutrients, primarily nitrates, leaching into drinking water wells and flowing into rivers that enter Long Island Sound
Become an active participant or even better an advocate of these themes, as they are the vital threads linking theory to practice. I hope these lessons will help you become environmentally conscious as you interact with your landscape. So have some fun and enjoy this production and remember, by being green you will save green. I hope you will adopt some of these techniques for your own yard and tell your neighbors too. All of us together can begin by restoring the health of our own backyards and on a cumulative level the wellbeing of the planet.
Gardening With Nature is brought to you by CPTV and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System.