I have a different suggestion for today -- one that comes out of all my planting yesterday. I put in 33 tomato plants, with a little bed of crushed eggshells around their stems, to discourage cutworms and slugs. Eggshells are calcium, a mineral that tomato plants appreciate, and they make life miserable for slugs, so I use them pretty liberally wherever I plant lettuce and other veggies that slugs consider tender vittles. That's why there's always a pail under my sink in which we save our eggshells -- why give them to waste management when they're actually a valuable garden resource?
And while I'm at it, it's a good time to consider other valuable waste-like garden resources that too many of us leave for our garbage collectors to drag away... After last year's successful "Tired of Dragging Your Grass" campaign, the City of Edmonton has just started a "Go Bagless" or "Leave it on the Lawn" campaign to remind homeowners that
-- Leaving clippings on your lawn is good for it. (Some people think clippings are unsightly and bag them, but they disappear quickly through nature's simple recycling process, which is much better than the wasteful human process of bagging and shipping them to the dump!)
-- Grass clippings help the soil to retain moisture.
-- Grass clippings quickly decompose, naturally fertilizing your lawn after each mow (the nitrogen in cut grass goes back into the soil better than chemical fertilizer that has to be watered...)
-- It's less work for you - by Going Bagless for one summer, you can save up to a full day of your time.
-- No more bagging and dragging up to 60 bags of grass to the curb each year.
-- It's safer for your garbage collector, too! In the growing season about half of all the waste collected is grass. Each collector picks up waste from about 700 homes each day. Heavy bags of grass increase the risk of injuries to garbage collectors; if you need to bag your grass, keep bags under 20 kg.
-- Grasscycling is better for the environment, and is one of the easiest, most effective ways of reducing waste.
And if all this doesn't float your boat, here's something worth a thought:
-- The CO2 emissions saved if everyone in Edmonton grasscycled would be equal to the annual CO2 emissions of 24,686 cars!
-- The water saved would be equal to 1814 Olympic sized swimming pools!
On other waste-reducing fronts, these days our autumn leaves are providing an excellent mulch for my perennials. They're another natural resource that's not nearly so costly to our wallets or our forest resources as fancy chip mulches... plus they're essential for composting.
My thanks to Mark S-A from the City of Edmonton's Waste Services for sharing this info.