Greener Gardens in Iowa!

All these beautiful gardens I see really make our neighborhoods and Eastern Iowa look great! But all that pest control and fertilizer can take its toll on Mother Nature. Check out some of these tips to make your little piece of earth a bit greener!

Coffee? Who said coffee!?

The soil needs nitrogen to get those flowers, veggies, and grass growing strong, and a natural way to add nitrogen to your soil is with coffee grounds! Mix your used grounds in with compost or soil and watch your plants thrive.

Salty Solution

Salt isn’t just for the sidewalks in the winter! Try sprinkling some in the cracks to get rid of weeds. But it won’t help with those stubborn dandelions unless you pull off the head first and get the salt and some boiling water in the exposed root.

Banish Mildew

Have you noticed the whitish grey powder on some of your ornamental plants? There’s a fungus among us, but rather than reaching for the chemical fungicide—try mixing one part vinegar with three parts warm water and spritzing the leaves. Naturally, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Ensure your plants have plenty of space for air circulation and try not to handle them when damp.

Marvelous Mulching

A good mulch is a gardener’s dream! Spreading it all over the garden can help with weed control, improve the soil quality, help with water drainage, AND provide fertilization. You could always splurge on the organic stuff, or save by repurposing dried grass clippings, straw, chipped leaves, ashes, pine needles, composted kitchen scraps, and don’t forget those coffee grounds!

Always Aerate

One way to revitalize your lawn is to aerate twice a year, in the spring and fall. It allows water to drain better and increases oxygen into the soil. You can rent an aerator, purchase or borrow a spiked roller, or just get more use out of spiked golf or baseball shoes. Host a neighborhood soccer game and let the kids do the work for you

A Bug’s Life

Did you know that most bugs don’t do any harm to your garden at all? Before getting aggressive with the pesticides, try to get to know your six-legged neighbors by looking them up on the internet or taking one to a garden center. If it really must be banished, look for an organic pest-control product. Maybe take a page from the farmer’s notebook and try BT, Bacillus Thuringiensis— a biodegradable and all-natural solution.

If you’re looking for the perfect space for your garden, there are some homes in the Cedar Rapids area that would make great garden spots!