Gardening with Laurie: Resolve to fertilize naturally

Dec. 29, 2011 at 6:29 a.m.

Maybe this is the year that you've thought about making some sort of a resolution to be a bit kinder to yourself, your family and your planet. That sounds like it would be a hard resolution to keep, doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. How about starting by changing one simple thing that you do now. Replace that action with a better one, a healthier one, a safer one. Think of it: If every person who makes resolutions decided to change just one small habit, it would, and could, make a big difference.

When deciding on resolutions, think about things that have some kind of meaning to you. Making a change for the better can't help but make you feel better about your decision.

Since you are reading my column, you know that I would, of course, suggest that you consider some form of garden-related resolution. So, let's see, what gardening changes could you make for 2012?

Are you still using some type of synthetic fertilizer to feed your lawn, flowerbeds or potted plants? Manmade, synthetic fertilizers are easily leached out of your soil and drift into lakes and eventually end up in the oceans. This "pollution" is the main culprit for the dead zone that's in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Science magazine, the dead zone in the Gulf is now larger than the state of New Jersey. You realize it's called a dead zone because all the synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides that run off from farming and home use is actually killing the microbial soil life in the areas that are exposed to it, and then contaminating or killing ocean life. That's dead, as in not coming back.

How about deciding to fertilize like nature does? Do your part to save our soils and oceans. Allow your landscape to be a healthy area for you, your children, your pets and for generations to come. Try it for a year; see how good your landscape looks. See if it doesn't make you feel better about how you treat your area of the planet.

All it amounts to is selecting fertilizers that are made from meals, seaweed and/or different manures. Natural ingredients that actually have life in them. Natural ingredients will add beneficial microbial life back to your soil. Just as nature intended.

Make a commitment to the environment. Support organic gardening and agriculture. Here's to a happy and healthier New Year.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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