April 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Organic Gardening Takes Root

There are many environmental benefits to organic gardening. To create a healthy environment in your yard, use natural yard care and landscaping techniques. Introducing native plants to your landscape creates a beautiful, low-maintenance yard. It can be challenging to find the best way to maintain a healthy garden. However, organic or native gardening can conserve excess water usage and help the environment.

Low Maintenance

Native plants are those that have evolved to grow under the local climate conditions to predictable sizes. They rarely require watering or trimming, and never need chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Native plants have adapted to local conditions and grow well together. They are less costly, as they essentially take care of themselves and do not require much looking after.

Public Health

Traditional landscaping requires large amounts of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, some of which are carcinogens. During rains, these chemicals run off into public water supplies and create algae blooms, which can be detrimental to our environment.

Landscaping can also increase both air and noise pollution; loud mowers and other landscaping machines emit 10-12 times as much pollution as a typical car. Native plants which require no mechanical maintenance can therefore reduce air and noise pollution.

Water

On average, landscaping accounts for about half of Californians’ home water use. Sixty percent of water on the West Coast goes into lawn care. Californians consume about 10,000 gallons of water per summer to maintain a “green†garden; this ends up doing more harm to the environment than good. Native gardening does not require permanent irrigation, and hence does not contribute to wasteful and costly water practices.

Plants

Some areas actually suffer from excess rainfall, which can cause erosion. Plants such as cardinal flower, kalmia and red columbine can help rescue these areas by soaking up the excess water before it runs off. California poppies, camas, lupine and gooseberries are also good choices when creating an organic garden.

An ecologically functional garden offers much more than a beautiful landscape – it offers a healthier, cleaner and quieter lifestyle. By using organic or native plants, not only will you help the environment by conserving water, but you will also nurture a soothing habitat that will ensure your home looks beautiful all year round.

5 Great Tasting Edible Organic Flowers
Edible flowers add a special touch to salads. Once the salad has been tossed with dressing, pick off petals from edible flowers and sprinkle them on top. Many flowers have a strong flavor, so use a light hand when adding them to a salad.

Nasturtium: Available in a scope of colors. Both flowers and leaves add a peppery flavor to mixed greens.

Calendula:
A prolific grower, calendula blossoms grow in abundance. Sprinkle individual petals lightly on a salad.

Herb Flowers:
Basil, chives, dill, fennel, and arugula flowers all add a spark of aromatic flavor and a burst of color to salads.

Viola:
Whether wild or cultivated, delicately flavored violas jazz up a bowl of mesclun greens like nothing else.

Borage:
Intense blue star-shaped flowers add a burst of color that contrasts nicely with greens. The flower’s delicate flavor tastes similar to cucumber. Separate the flower from the stem for a softer texture.

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