Digs on Gardening – newsy 7/24/10 notes

A great resource for CT gardeners, and others interested in environmental news, is ct environmental headlines, which lists anything and everything to do with climate, energy, conservation, sustainability, preservation, and a ton of other topics. I found both of the following at ct environmental headlines.

07-2005 liatris Living On Earth reports promising news on controlling purple loosestrife, the invasive plant that resembles purple blooming liatris pictured here from my 2005 photo archives, but has invaded wetlands to the point of choking out native vegetation. In this case beetles seem to be coming to the rescue. New England volunteers are Beetle Ranching to raise tiny galerucella bettles known to eat – and only eat – purple loosestrife.

reserved for reuse Do you collect a stack of plastic pots during each growing season? If you are anything like me, you store them for later use until the stack builds to the point of becoming invasive. I’m lucky though, I visit Ballek’s Garden Center regularly to toss no longer needed plastic pots in the giant bin they provide for recycling. For purchases from Staehly Farms, I simply return emptied plastic pots and trays to them, which they are happy to take and reuse. Not all gardeners across the country are so lucky, but may be able to institute similar recycling deals with local nurseries. The largest plastic pot recycling program I’m aware of comes from the good folks at Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT). Read more from Joe Lampl’s article on MOBOT’s plastic pot recycling program,  and watch for Joe Lampl’s Growing a Greener World show on PBS covering the MOBOT recycling program. If you don’t get the program on your local PBS station, you can watch previously aired shows at Growing a Greener World.

Here’s a little teaser for hosta lovers: my weekend’s plans include a hosta-viewing sojourn to O’Brien Nurserymen. Fellow bloggers, garden and landscape designers, and other hosta lovers, including Debbie at A Garden of Possibilities (thanks for the invite) and Scott Hokunson at Blue Heron Landscape Design (thanks for organizing), get to wander among 1,600 or so hosta varieties and multitudes of other shade-loving plants. Be sure that photos will be shot and notes will be jotted – you may even see a few posts on the sights we see at O’Brien Nurserymen.

hosta bed1 While my hosta-friendly areas are pretty full, something tells me I’ll likely find room for at least one more … somewhere …

A late 7/24/10 update: I found more information from CT DEP on recycling plastic nursery pots and trays.  Copied from DEP: What do I do with …

Nursery Pots and Trays (horticultural)

The best option for the environment is to reuse nursery pots and trays. Sanitize them first in a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water in order to kill any plant pathogens. If you have more pots than you can reuse, offer them to your local garden club or post them on FreeCycle. Some nursery and garden centers will take them back, but call ahead to confirm. At this time, they should not be put in the recycling bin.

One local nursery supplier, Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies, has begun a plastic pot and tray recycling pilot program in CT for their clients. Their clients (local nurseries and garden centers) can become collection points for certain types of used pots & trays. Griffin will then recycle them with a manufacturer of plastic products, Myers Industries. Ask your local garden center if they are participating, and if not, encourage them to do so by giving them this brochure. The more nurseries that become Griffin clients and who participate in the program, the more options consumers will have for recycling pots.  Griffin will not accept pots and trays directly from consumers, just their clients who purchase nursery supplies from them.

4 comments for “Digs on Gardening – newsy 7/24/10 notes

  1. July 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Joene,

    Looking forward to seeing you at O’Brien’s tomorrow. For gardener’s in my end of the state (Fairfield County), there are two options that I know of for recylcing plastic plant containers. Stew Leonard’s (actually I think they have locations in several CTcounties) and also Sam Bridge Nurseries in Greenwich. Both take back containers even if they were not originally purchased there.

    • joenesgarden
      July 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      I could not find anything on Stew Leonard’s website about a recycling program for nursery pots and trays, but it’s good to know the service is available there and at Sam Bridge Nurseries. Thanks, Debbie.

  2. July 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I loved the link to the article on “beetle ranching” to control purple loosestrife!

    Can small local centers really do something with those recycled pots we all drop off? Big collectors like Missouri Botanical actually grind them up, but many local places only reuse a few of the pots, give some away to community gardens, and the rest go to the dump. Even if they use a recycling company to haul them away, the recyclers can only reuse a few and take most to the landfill. Grrr. Best would be biodegradable pots!

    • joenesgarden
      July 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      I think I found an answer to your question, Laurrie. See my updated note about a recycling program by Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies in Cheshire. While most local nurseries wash and reuse the pots in good shape, and pass others on to garden clubs, this is still better than having all nursery plastic end up in a landfill or incinerated.

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