Sustainable Gardening News February 2009


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

In the News

  • This is kinda disappointing:  A California
    study concluded that the energy savings from growing shade trees on the
    west and south sides homes can reduce homeowners' summertime electric
    bill by about $25 a year. That's it?  Details in ScienceDaily. 

  • More impressive (to me) is this New York Times
    report that large parts of the Northern Hemisphere could be cooled by 2
    degrees if more sunlight-reflecting crops were planted.  Nice to see
    people thinking outside the box…coz it's getting hot in that old box.

  • From NASA, the best plants for cleaning indoor air.
  • Urban Apiculture – can you dig it?  It's raising bees, ya know.  In apartments.
  • HuffingtonPost readers sent in photos of their green roofs – check 'em out.

  • And here's a very cool Los Angeles prototype for growing food on roofs.

On the Sustainable Gardening BlogGarlicMustard400

  • There's an excellent new video about a really terrible invasive plant – garlic mustard
    – including how to identify and eradicate it.  I'm hoping my
    neighbors are ins
    pired by it to join me in getting rid of the damn

  • Janet's Annuals – Sow 'em Now! reveals some self-sown, easy-but-gorgeous flowering annuals at the Smithsonian garden of Janet Draper.


Garlic mustard photo by Chris Evans at the University of Georgia


  1. I’m trying container gardening this year in conjunction with regular gardening because my deck is deer proof! At least, I hope it is. Never say never when it comes to deer–

  2. Looks like a nice grouping of educational articles to check out.
    Thanks !

    In regards to the California study that planting a tree on the SW side of your house will only save you $25 dollars a year on your electric and gas bill,- what they didn’t include in their estimate is how much water you can also save on your watering bill by cutting down the evaportranspiration time ( ET as it is commonly called here ) .

    I just completed a Site Water Management class and a lot of attention was paid to various conservation measures including how to manage ET.
    In many cases here in California our water bills can outpace the cost of electric and gas charges , so paying attention to tree placement can save you money in all sorts of ways. … it can also cost you a bundle too if improper choices are made.
    Just goes to show you, there is always more to it than meets the eye.

  3. The $25 saved on gas & electric represents a 2% annual savings on the average American bill…another article in Science Daily said when energy prices double, the average household cuts their consumption by 13%. Of course, you should still plant trees…

  4. I’ve been growing produce in containers for years, very successfully…even heirloom tomatoes. One does not need to rely on “patio” tomatoes or other “smaller” plants–unless you want those specific varieties (although “patio” tomatoes are at the bottom of my list for flavor).

    Renee Shepherd, has fabulous veg suggestions for containers.

  5. I absolutely loved the news! Garlic mustard is a real problem in my neck of the woods – would love to post more about it on my own blog – – I’ll go check out the details.

    Thanks for the tip!!!

    Shawna Coronado

  6. Okay, here’s a tiny rant:

    Let’s not call something ‘pintsized’ unless it actually contains a pint.

    Pint sized and successful gardening would be a story indeed.


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