No Plastic Gardening Part 1

No Plastic Gardening - Part 1

 

Believe it or not there's a lot of plastics involved in gardening. Even organic farms use quite a bit of plastic whether it's to keep the plants up (tying them up), installing drip lines, storing their produce in cold rooms, plastic seeding trays or their farming tools. 

Collecting and Saving Seeds

Some seeds come in plastic, some in paper. Best seeds come from vegetables, flowers or fruits from your friends' gardens or from your own. Some farmers don't save their seeds because there's a lot of cross pollination that happens and you have to okay with having some "funky" varieties the next year if you collect your own seeds. Seed collecting is an art and some places will only grow vegetables to collect their seeds (and sell them). That said, no need for you to not be collecting seeds :)

Clothing and Accessories

Here are some items that usually come with plastic that you can purchase either with very little plastic or no plastic at all: Sun Hats, Canvas Tool Bags, Gardening Gloves (they aren't fully cotton), Elkskin Suede Gloves, Plant-Based Sunglasses.

Planting Seeds

You want plantable seed starters, not plastic. Or you could potentially build medium sized wooden seed trays and once your seedlings are big enough, you can transfer them into larger pots or to your yard. The second option would be a lot less waste.

When you plant your seeds, you're going to want to label them. Use wood or bamboo labels for your plants.

As your plants grow some (like tomatoes) will need some support. Instead of using plastic coated wire, or plastic covered wire cages you can purchase galvanized cages and plain metal wire*, as well as wire fences (never plastic - once they end up in the oceans or anywhere really, a lot of animals get tangled up in these).

*It would be ideal if these also came in wooden or metal spools but we're not that lucky yet.

To tie your plants, always use twine and never plastic. Twine breaks up and decomposes over time but plastic doesn't. Consider this scenario; You're done with your plastic string at the end of the season so you toss it in the trash, the garbage truck picks it up but on it's way to the landfill the string, not having much weight to it, flies out of the back of the truck. The the wind then carries the string all the way to the ocean and this happens...

 

Plastics are everywhere and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount when we really start seeing it. Every little bit of awareness helps because the more we notice the plastics around us, get concerned about it and let stores know how we are not looking to purchase something that comes in so much plastic, the more likely things are to change. If you're a store owner and people buy your products right and left, you don't have a reason to change your product. If people start speaking their concerns, they are forced to change - that is if they want to keep you and I as a customer. 

Up Next: Part 2 of No Plastic Gardening

Composting. Hoses. Gardening Tools. Planters. Buying Plants.