In the garden
Recycling and composting
Ever feel guilty about throwing all those plastic garden pots in the trash can? Well, here’s good news. Now you can recycle them.
A number of local garden centers are participating in a plastic pot recycling program that enables gardeners to get rid of those pots without adding to the local landfill.
“The project was intended to help people responsibly get rid of their pots by recycling,” said Dr. Joyce Latimer, an Extension Specialist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Latimer coordinates the program that began in Henrico in 2010 and was taken state-wide last year.
“It’s still a small effort,” said Dr. Latimer, “but both years, we've filled an entire tractor trailer.”
Proceeds from the sale of the recycled pots help fund the state Master Gardener Coordinator position at Virginia Tech, and by serving as collection points garden centers and growers find that many of their customers make repeat visits to their businesses.
The program only accepts horticultural plastics, which include cell packs, trays, pots, and hanging baskets. Pots should be empty of soil, and metal hangers should be removed before the pot is recycled.
Look for the resin code on the bottom of the pot. The primary plastics used for garden and nursery containers are No. 2, No. 5 or No. 6. Biodegradable pots and pots made from organic materials are not eligible for the program, and no household plastics are accepted.
Nest pots as tightly as possible, and group them by resin codes before recycling.
A list of participating garden centers is available at http://www.hort.vt.edu/vagardenersrecycle The l.ocal garden centers participating in the program include Strange’s Garden Centers on West Broad Street and Mechanicsville Pike, Cross Creek Nursery & Landscaping on Courthouse Road, and Shipp & Wilson on Turkey Hill Trail in Mechanicsville.
And while we’re on the subject of recycling, remember to add compost as you’re preparing and planting your garden this spring.
Compost improves soil structure, enabling sandy soils to hold more water and clay soils to drain faster. While it isn’t considered a fertilizer, compost does contain some micronutrients beneficial to plant health, and it helps the soil hold nutrients, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
You can spread compost about two inches deep over your entire garden before tilling. More than two inches applied at one time can encourage grubs in your garden.
Or, if you have a limited supply of compost, use it with your transplants. Mix compost into the backfill before you replace it in the hole you dig for your plants. It will loosen the soil and promote better root growth.
You can purchase compost. If you do, make sure you get it from a reliable source so that it is not filled with weed seeds or organisms that can spread diseases in your garden.
You can also make your own compost from kitchen and yard wastes. Starting now will produce compost that can be used late this fall or next spring. To learn more, read Making Compost from Yard Wastes at http://www.ext.vt.edu or call the Henrico Master Gardener Helpline at 501-5160.
Citizen Staff Reports 04/29/2016
Every week, another child is diagnosed with cancer in Central Virginia. Last summer, six-year-old Caroline Morris was one of them.
Diagnosed in June 2015 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, Morris has been receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) ever since.
“It’s not my hair that makes my beauty,” said Morris, who lost her hair as a chemotherapy side effect, “it’s my heart.” > Read more.
Citizen Staff Reports 04/25/2016
The sign up period for the Richmond Community Solar Co-op will close on April 30. Nearly 150 homeowners and businesses have joined the group to save money and make going solar easier. The group has started installations and is working with VA SUN to learn about solar technology and the process of going solar.
“If you’ve ever thought about going solar, this is a great opportunity to do so,” said Sekar Veerappan Co-op member and the group’s first installation. “Working with the group helps members learn about going solar and make an informed decision.” > Read more.
For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarThe Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Spring PlantFest will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 7. The Garden’s plant… Full text