Part 2 of No Plastic Gardening

Part 2 of No Plastic Gardening

 

Compost

You can purchase compost - bring your own bin rather than filling it up in a plastic bag at the center OR you can make your own compost. If you like the idea of having a worm bucket or a worm hotel, you can use worm poop as part of your compost. Pros to having a worm bucket: 1. It's like having another pet in the house :) 2. If you don't have outdoor space, it gives you an option to compost in your little apartment. 3. You can use your worm poop to feed your house plants. Cons: 1. The worm buckets always come in plastic (I still haven't seen anything in wood), 2. Though the worms eat A LOT of food considering their tiny bodies, they still eat pretty slow. For my family, we produce way more food waste (carrot tops, onion skins, lettuce ends, bread scraps etc) than our worms could ever eat. 3. You are bound to get little fruit flies, which frankly drive me a little nuts. 4. On occasion your compost bin might smell. Ours never did because we always balanced the food with newspaper bits (you don't want too much moisture in there) but still I've heard some people end up with stinky bins. 5. You can't throw citrus, meat, or bones, and every thing you throw in needs to be cut down into smaller pieces so there's more surface area for the worms to eat before the food gets all moldy.

Otherwise if you have a yard and have the space for it, you can take anything except for meat and bones and add it to your compost pile (citrus takes a long time). It will smell, you will have flies (regardless of how much straw you cover it with) and you will most likely attract animals. Compost piles, if done correctly aren't supposed to be stinky. Don't add any chicken poop to your compost unless it's "rested" for at least 6 months. Chicken poop is too hot - high in nitrogen. Once it's rested though its great to use. 

Here is an article on how to compost. One thing I will say is that I've heard putting grass in your compost can ruin it, though the person who wrote the above article doesn't seem to think so. 

Hoses

Here are some eco-"friendlier" water hoses. Earth Easy makes hoses that are safe enough to drink out of (if your water is clean that is). They also have hoses made out of old tires. If you're not planning on drinking out of them, these might be a decent option.

Gardening Tools

Pruning Shears, Micro Pruning Shears, Handmade Copper Garden Trowel, Hand-Forged Garden Hoe, Hand-Forged 3-Tine Hand Cultivator, Gardening Gift Tool Set, The Classic Gardener, Garden Shears, Rake, Wooden Gardening Set (cheaper than the others), Metal Gardening Tool Set (cheaper), Shovel.

Planters

For non-plastic options you can always go with clay or wood or metal. The wool ones that they make that hang on the wall are a great idea but again most contain plastic in them. They aren't true wool. If you find some that are, please comment in the comments section.

Buying Plants

Most plants come in plastic pots. You can either ask the nursery if they will take them back or you can skip on the plant until you find it at a different nursery with a compostable bottom. To be completely honest, the latter is not likely to happen. I now just don't buy a plant if it comes in plastic, I'll mourn over it for a little but then get over it. Having said that, I haven't bought any trees in my lifetime. When the day comes and I go tree shopping, I might cave in to purchasing one that comes with plastic as long as I can return it or give away to someone on craigslist who's looking for a pot.

In the past, I've collected all the plastic pots that've come with the plants I'd purchased and then made a post on craigslist and on free-cycle to see if anyone wanted them. They all got picked up within 24 hours. It's still not a solution but it's better than throwing them in the trash and trucking them to a landfill.

When you buy plants from a nursery, ALWAYS ask if they spray with anything. If they say yes, ask them what they've sprayed the plants it. Especially if you have pets or kids at home you might really consider not bringing home anything that was sprayed with pesticides.