Sustainable Gardening Newsletter



GardenRant edition.  The full version with off-topic sidebar is right here.

Hot Topics

  • Annapolis, Maryland
    has passed a promising new law prohibiting the sale or use of lawn fertilizers
    that pollute.  Lots of exemptions, but a good start at trying to stop toxic
    runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Students at LSU have
    created a lawn-care robot, the fully customizable AgBot. They say the robot is an environmentally-friendly lawn
    care machine containing a seed dispenser, high-torque auger, fertilizer tank,
    and remote control capabilities. It's solar-powered and can move as fast as 6
    miles per hour for at least 4 hours.  Via the Weekly Dirt.

On the Sustainable Gardening

  • Update on the
    Sustainable Sites Initiative.

New on

From our newest contributor, Kathy LaLiberte, founding gardener at Gardeners Supply Company:


  1. The tide is turning on the greenwashing of the consumer. People are getting tired of hearing about how bad their past habits have been to the environment.

    Consumers want organic/natural because of the supposed healthier aspects of it. Most in my opinion do not care about the environmental benefits of itbeyond their own backyard. All they care is that if it works as well as the chemical form and is better for “MY GARDEN” (not the earth as a whole), then they buy it.

    Greenwashing has done much to destroy the groundswell of organics from it’s grass roots infancy. Organics are now mainsteram as a result of marketing not environmentalism.

    Which is a shame beacuse while organic gardening is a justifiable and locally beneficial practice it is now under control of corporate manufacturers who in the past preached mass consumerism. What right do they have to now tell us the stuff they sold us in the past is wrong and we must repent by buying “ALL NATURAL ORGANIC STUFF MADE BY ACME INTERNATIONAL”?

    If a garden is truly organic and sustainable by design there is little need to buy “green products” MANUFACTURED from recycled milk cartons!

    But just as marketing has made every fad sooner or later mainstream it also makes it boring after awhile.

    Give them time and they will destroy heirloom gardens, herb gardens and water gardening as well.

    Gardening is as simple a past time as can be.
    Why let Madison Avenue screw it up. Leave it to some guy in a suit in a boardroom to try and mess up what we already know works.

    Look at the “over branding” of plants. How many diferent names can you give a flower any way?

    The (make it myself out of compost) TROLL

  2. “Dreams from my Father” – barf! B. Obama’s accomplishments to date: two books about himself. A narcissism which will surpass Bill Clinton’s.
    If you want to read a book about a MAN, and a family with pride, try “My Grandfather’s Son”, Clarence Thomas. Those guys accomplished something, and against a strong current.

  3. I love your site and read it faithfully! I agree all your comments under “We Are…” I try to garden on an acre of a`a lava in Hawai`i and will probably never have one of the beautiful magazine gardens. I’ll never have one like you have, either. Yes, in the middle of “winter,” I just picked a couple pounds of string beans and had fresh mustards from my garden last night, but only if I can create enough raised beds and make my own soil will I ever have produce worth anything. Thank you for being here!

  4. The sustainable guitars article is very interesting – older guitars often are made of much higher quality woods because they were able to obtain quality old-growth wood which has a better grain and has an absolutely gorgeous tone. If they can convince some loggers to think a little more long-term then I think everyone would benefit in the long run (especially those of us living with guitarists).

  5. The article on smelling roses and throat cancer really got me going until I saw that it was an April Fools Day joke.

  6. please help! I have cutworms in my garden. I haven’t planted in it yet this spring. The gardener at the local garden shop told me I have to use a pesticide in the soil or the cutworms (I have a LOT of them) will eat all of my plants. Is there an organic alternative? I don’t want to poison my garden! Also, could the infestation come from my composting box?

  7. Moriah, there are a lot of people more knowledgeable than me here, but for cutworms I plant my veggie seedlings inside the cardboard tube of a roll of toilet paper — it seems to work to keep them from cutting the stems, and once the plants get bigger the cutworms don’t seem to have much effect. But — I am sure the experts here can add a lot of information for you.

  8. Moriah, Rosella is correct about a collar of cardboard or paper to protect your seedlings. Diatomaceous earth is another alternative. It’s not a poison, but a sharp, sandy subtance that cuts the cutworms or any other close-to-the-ground crawler in your garden.
    I had cut worms in my garden (for the first time in four years) this spring and they even went after some pretty good-sized seedlings. Now I’ll plant everything inside a collar.

  9. Thanks for the shout-out to Women’s Bean project. They do such good work and their stuff makes great presents : )

  10. I assume you are aware that the article on roses and throat cancer was published on April 1st??? None of the links bear fruit. Happy belated April Fool’s Day!

Comments are closed.