Spring Garden Tips
Plastic Lumber for the Landscape

While “milk does a body good,” its’ recycled cartons can also do some good in the garden.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

mgm_audio_547_composite_lumberConsider using all plastic lumber, wood/plastic composite or fiber-reinforced plastic lumber for your garden construction projects. Plastic lumber is constructed from 100% recycled plastic and is often used for docks and decks.

Wood/plastic composites are usually made from 50% recycled plastic and 50% sawdust or other recycled fiber and often made with a wood-grain texture. Fiber reinforced is a mix of plastic and chopped or strands of glass fiber. This is the most expensive, but the strongest of the three.

All three come in a variety of colors, sizes similar to standard lumber, and never need staining.

And consider giving milk jugs a second life before recycling. Use them to make a hands-free harvest basket, cloche or soil scoop.

A bit more information: Use a milk jug to make a hands-free harvest basket to use when picking raspberries and strawberries. Enlarge the opening at the top, but leave the handle intact. Secure the milk jug around your waist by running a rope or belt through the handle. Now you have two hands free for harvesting and a safe place for your harvest.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

2016 All-America Selections Winner: Strawberry Delizz

Whether gardening on a balcony or large suburban lot, you can enjoy the sweet flavor of homegrown Delizz strawberries.

Read more...

Arbor Day Celebrations

Give a tree a hug and celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April.

Listen to Arbor Day Celebrations...

Attract Insect Eating Toads to the Garden

Toads make great gardening partners. They eat insects, slugs and snails and ask for very little in return. Help attract these natural predators to your garden with just a few changes in your gardening habits.

Listen to... Attract Insect eating Toads

Budget-wise and Eco-friendly Seed Starting

Don’t let a tight budget stop you from starting seeds indoors. Get creative and involve the whole family in the process.

Listen to Eco-friendly Seed Starting...

Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday

Make everyday Earth Day and commit to managing your landscape and gardens in tune with nature.

Listen to Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday...

Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month; Grow a Garden for the Birds

Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month by planning then planting a few bird friendly additions to your garden.

Read more...

Child's Pool Becomes Valuable Garden Tool

Don’t throw away that worn and leaky kid’s swimming pool. Instead, put it to work in your garden.

Listen to Valuable Garden Tool...

Cleaner Air Mowing

The grass is up and growing and the roar of lawn mowers can be heard throughout the neighborhood. Minimize the negative impact of your gas mower on the environment with a few easy tricks.

Listen to Cleaner Air Mowing...

Cleaning and Storing Plant Pots

Piles of plastic pots fill the sheds and garages of gardeners across the country. Don’t throw these in the trash. Rather look for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle plant pots.

Listen to Cleaning and Storing Plant Pots...

Controlling Earwigs - Naturally

UGH! Oh gross! Both commonly heard right after an earwig is spotted.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Controlling Tent Caterpillars and Gypsy Moths in Winter

Start this year’s garden pest control with a stroll through the landscape.

Listen to Controlling Moths and Catepillars...

Convert Mailbox into In-garden Tool Storage

Decrease wasted time and increase your gardening efficiency by keeping your tools and gloves handy whenever gardening.

Listen to Repurpose old Mailbox...

Converting Grass to Gardens

Add more planting space to your landscape by converting a portion of your lawn to a flower or vegetable garden.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Create a Collage from Old Catalogs and Garden Memorabilia

Don’t let outdated garden catalogs and magazines go to waste. Give them a second life by creating a colorful collage.

Listen to Create a Collage from old Catalogues...

Create Some Beauty from Landscape Trimmings

Listen to Garden Moment..

Creating a Pest Management Calendar

Is your mailbox filling with next year's calendars? Put them to use managing pests in the garden.

Read more...

Creative Plant Labels

Tired of trying to read faded plastic labels or having them turn brittle and break into pieces? Try creating something new and longer lasting.

Listen to Creative Plant Labels...

Drought Care for Trees

Don’t forget the trees, even old established ones, when extended dry periods and droughts move in.

Listen to Drought Care for Trees...

Earth Kind Roses

Enjoy the beauty and fragrance of roses without all the work. Many of us have switched to hardier more pest resistant shrub roses for just this reason. But now, thanks to the Earth-Kind rose designation, growing roses will be easier for all.

Listen to Earth Kind Roses...

Earth-Kind Landscaping

You can have a beautiful landscape and be kind to the environment by adopting an Earth-Kind landscape philosophy.

Listen to Earth-kind Landscaping...

Easy and Free Homemade Berry Harvest Basket

Whether harvesting from your own garden or visiting a Pick-Your-Own Farm, nothing beats the fresh flavor of homegrown berries. And managing the harvest as you work your way down each row does not have to be messy and cumbersome or result in a pile of mushy fruit.

Read more...

Eco-friendly Aphid Control

The hot dry air in our homes during winter is tough on us and our houseplants, but it’s great for insects. You may need to lend a hand this winter to keep your plants looking good.

Check plants regularly for signs of insects. You may want to break out the hand lens or recruit a younger gardener with better eyesight.

Listen to eco-friendly aphid control...

Eco-friendly Control of Aphids in the Garden

Ants, lady beetles and a clear sticky substance on your leaves are good indications that aphids have moved into your garden for a meal.

Listen to Ecofriendly Control of Aphids in the Garden...

Eco-friendly Control of Apple Scab

Leafless crabapple trees are a common sight in summers following a cool wet spring. Start now to eliminate the problem next season.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control of Apple Scab...

Eco-friendly Control of Asparagus Beetles

You wait all winter for your asparagus harvest and so do the common and spotted asparagus beetles.

Read more...

Eco-friendly Crabgrass Control

Spring is the time to prevent crabgrass problems in the lawn. .

The best defense against this and other lawn weeds is proper care. Grow your grass tall. Keeping it 3 to 3 ½ inches tall encourages deep roots that are more drought-tolerant and better able to fend off pests and outcompete the weeds.

Proper watering and fertilization will further reduce weed problems. Even one fertilization a year, can greatly improve your lawn’s health and reduce weed problems.

Listen to Garden Moment

Eco-friendly Cutworm Control

No, it wasn’t the ornery neighborhood kids that clipped your new transplants off at the base. It was likely the result of the sneaky cutworm.

Listen to Eco-friendly Cutworm Control...

Eco-friendly Earwig Control

UGH! Oh gross! Commonly heard right after an earwig is spotted.

Listen to Eco-friendly Earwig Control...

Eco-friendly Insect Control

Every garden season is filled with beautiful or tasty surprises and a few challenges. You can prevent or reduce challenges and damage caused by insect pests and still be kind to the environment.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Eco-friendly Lawn Mowing

Mow your way to a fit body and healthy environment.

Listen to... Eco-Friendly Lawn Mowing

Eco-friendly Lawn Weed Control

A healthy lawn is your best defense against weeds. So if you want to reduce the problem - long term- you need to learn a bit more about the weeds.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Eco-friendly Mealybug Control

If your indoor plants have cottony masses on the leaves and stems, it is time to break out the rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs.

Listen to Eco-friendly Mealy Bug Control..

Eco-friendly Mosquito Control

Don’t let mosquitoes prevent you from enjoying your garden this summer. A fan and a bit of outdoor housekeeping will help you manage these pests.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Eco-friendly Perennial Garden Weed Control

So it seems your perennial garden is filled with more weeds than flowers. Now is a great time to reclaim your garden by getting the weeds under control.

Listen to Eco-friendly Weed Control...

Eco-friendly Powdery Mildew Control

Don’t panic when you find your zinnias, lilac, bee balm or phlox leaves are covered with a white powdery substance. This fungal disease, known as powdery mildew, is often a yearly problem on a variety of plants.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Eco-friendly Slug and Snail Control

They’re gray, they’re slimy, they feed at night leaving holes in the leaves of your favorite hostas, tomatoes and other garden plants. Yes, you guessed it – slugs and snails.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control

Yellowing, speckled leaves and small spider webs are sure signs spider mites have taken up residence in your plants.

Listen to Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control...

Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control

Hot dry weather is hard on you and your plants, but great for many pests. So check your garden often for signs of problems.

Listen to Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control...

Eco-friendly Weed & Moss Control

Tired of cutting or pulling weeds and scraping moss out of the cracks in your patio and walkway pavers? Enlist the help of some of the new more eco-friendly products.

Listen to... Weed and Moss Control

Eco-friendly Whitefly Control

Does this sound familiar? You brush your hand over your plants and a cloud of white fly-like insects disperse in the air. It is not a good thing.

Listen to Eco-friendly White Fly control....

Edible Flowers

Pluck a few flower petals and add flavor and color to your favorite salad, beverage, or jelly.

Listen to Edible Flowers...

Eggshell Planter Fun

Give egg shells and empty egg cartons a second life in your garden. Use them for starting plants from seeds.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Expanding Garden Beds, Chemical-free

If each year you find yourself trying to squeeze more plants into less space, it may just be time to expand one or more of your planting beds.

Listen to Expanding Garden Beds, Chemical Free...

Fall and Winter Care for Groundcovers

Falling leaves make a great mulch in the woods, but can spell death for groundcovers and the lawn. Make clean up easy for you and good for the environment.

Listen to Groundcovers Winter Care...

Family Fun Feeding the Birds

Plants are the easiest way to bring birds into your landscape, but you may want to increase the number and diversity of winged visitors by supplementing with a few feeders.

Listen to Bring Birds into your Landscape...

Fold Your Own Origami Paper Pots

Recycle your old newspapers into biodegradable pots for starting seeds this year. It is a money-saving activity the whole family will enjoy.

Listen to Fold your own Origami Pots...

Gardening on a Budget

We are all looking for ways to make our dollars go further. And that includes landscaping and gardening projects.

Read more...

Green and Easy Landscape Care

Being kind to the environment does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can save you time and money.

Listen to Green and Easy Landscape Care...

Green Roof Birdfeeder

Invite the birds into your landscape for added color, motion, and interest while creating a focal point in one of your gardens. Plant a green roof birdfeeder.

Listen to Green Roof Birdfeeder...

Green Thumb Award Winner Biomarkers

It’s that time of year when your mailbox or inbox is filled with garden catalogs. Take advantage of the beautiful pictures and great ideas to help plan additions and changes to this year’s garden.

Listen to Green Thumb Award Winners...

Growing Fruit in Small Spaces

No space for a garden? Don't worry you can add fruits to your patio, balcony or other small space landscape.

Read more...

Growing Fruit Plants in Your Landscape

Improve the flavor of your meals and reduce our national energy use by growing your own fruit.

Read more...

Harvest and Care of Fall Raspberries

Sweeten those fall days with a handful of fresh raspberries. And maximize the flavor and bounty with proper harvesting and care.

Listne to Harvest and Care of Raspberries...

Holes in Cabbage, Broccoli and Kale Leaves

Have you noticed those beautiful white butterflies flitting across your garden? Lovely to look at, but what they leave behind is a problem for gardeners.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Kids Gardens

Put your creativity to work and get your favorite youngster excited about gardening.

Listen to Kids Gardens...

Kitchen Scraps to Gardener’s Gold

Give your garbage disposal and wallet a rest. Convert kitchen scraps into a nutritious soil additive for your garden while raising bait for your next fishing trip. All you need is a container with drainage holes, shredded paper, red worms and of course kitchen scraps.

Listen to Recycling Kitchen Scraps...

Layering

Create a new plant from your favorite heirloom vine or shrub with layering. Try using this method with raspberries, climbing roses, forsythia, and jasmine.

Listen to Layering...

Low Maintenance Eco-Friendly Garden Tips

Reduce maintenance and be kind to the environment with a few simple changes in your gardening practices.

Be waterwise. Reduce water use by growing drought tolerant plants and mulching the soil to conserve water. And always water thoroughly and only when needed to encourage deep, more drought tolerant roots.

Read more...

Make Gardening a Family Affair

Take advantage of weekends, holidays and school vacations to get the children in your life involved with vegetable gardening.

Listen to Planting a Vegetable Garden...

Make Your Own Plantable Paper and Holiday Cards

Save money, recycle, and give a gift that adds beauty to the recipient’s life for seasons to come.

Listen to Make Your Own Plantable Holiday Cards...

Making and Using a Cold Frame

Get a jump on the growing season by using a cold frame. Build your own and be kind to the environment and your budget by using reclaimed wood and old window sashes or storm doors.

Listen to Making a Cold Frame...

Managing Picnic Beetles

Eat up and clean up to keep those little black beetles from enjoying your harvest.

Read more...

National Bird Day - Time to Plan a Bird Garden

Bird watching and gardening go hand in hand. Celebrate National Bird Day, January 5th, by taking a moment to stop and observe the birds visiting your garden.

Listen to... National Bird Day

Ornamental and Edible Fruits

You don’t need to sacrifice beauty to grow a few edibles in your landscape. Many ornamental plants grown for their beauty also produce edible fruit.

Listen to ornamental and Edible Fruits...

Ornamental Edible Landscape - Fruit Plants

Round out your meals with some fresh from the garden fruit. It is easier than you think to grow your own apples, plums, and berries.

Listen to Edible Landscape...

Pallets Add Function and Beauty to the Landscape

Upcycle old pallets into fences, compost bins, planters and even sheds.

Read more...

Pine Needle Scale

White flecks on your mugo pine does not mean the house painter was careless. It's more likely that your evergreen is infested with pine needle scale.

Read more...

Preventing & Overcoming Disease Problems

Keep your plants looking good and be kind to the environment despite the risk of disease problems.

Listen to Preventing Plant Diseases...

Prune Out Raspberry Pest Problems

Put away the chemicals and break out the pruners to control pest problems on raspberries.

Read more...

Pruning Raspberries

Prune raspberries in winter to increase your harvest and reduce pest problems.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

Recycle Fast Food Containers

Don’t throw away or recycle those fast food containers just yet. Reuse them when gardening indoors and out.

Listen to Recycle Fast Food Containers...

Recycle Wrapping Paper into Decorative Pots

Don't throw away that wrapping paper. Give it and other scrap paper a second life in creating decoupage pots for your garden.

Read more...

Recycle, Don't Bag or Burn, Fall Leaves

Think of fall leaves as fertilizer falling from the sky, not an annoyance to be raked and removed. Recycle these nutrient-rich packets back into your landscape.

Tree leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients the plants absorb from the air and soil throughout the growing season. Recycle these nutrients back into the soil to benefit future plantings.

Read more...

Recycling Coffee Grounds

Put coffee grounds and filters to work improving your garden’s beauty and productivity.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Repair or Repurpose Leaky Garden Hoses

Don’t throw away that leaky garden hose. Repair or find another use for this garden accessory before adding it to the landfill.

Listen to Repair Leaky Hoses...

Safely Store Landscape Products

Whether you’ve gone organic or use traditional fertilizers and pest management products you need to store them properly for safety’s sake and their longevity.

Listen to Storing Landscape Products...

Save Water and Money with Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Saving Geraniums

Your geraniums are at their peak bloom and you heard somewhere you could store them overwinter – but how?

Listen to Saving Geraniums over Winter...

Saving Hibiscus, Mandevilla, Bougainvillea and Other Tropical Plants Over Winter

You’ve enjoyed their blooms all summer and now you would like to preserve your hibiscus, mandevilla, bougainvillea, or other tropical plant for next season.

Listen to Saving Tropical Plants over Winter...

Sealed Lid Seed Sprouting

Increase seed starting success and fun with the sealed lid method my friend and horticulturist Bob Polomski learned from his father.

Listen to Sealed Lid Seed-Sprouting...

Selecting Rain Barrels

Save money and be kind to your garden and the environment by capturing rainwater and putting it to work in your landscape.

Listen to Selectin Rain Barrels...

Skip the Rubber Mulch

Gardeners are always searching for better looking, longer lasting and less expensive mulches. Rubber mulch has been advertised as an attractive and permanent alternative. Think twice before using rubber mulch in the landscape.

Listen to ... Skip the Rubber Mulch

Smart Irrigation Month - Planning a WaterSense Irrigation System

Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants' health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.

Read more...

Spring Clean Up & Proper Disposal of Pesticides

Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. And that often means cleaning out the garage, shed or basement. Don’t toss those outdated, unwanted garden chemicals in the trash. They can contaminate our environment, including our drinking water.

Listen to Proper Disposal of Pesticides...

Squash Vine Borer

All your hard work is paying off with an abundant harvest. Then, one day you notice your squash plants are wilted and near death.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Starting Plants from Seeds

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Strawberries for Any Landscape

Anyone can grow fresh strawberries for their cereal in the morning or to enjoy with a glass of wine at night.

Listen to Strawberries for any Landscape...

Strawberries for Every Space Garden

Add a bit of nutrition and beauty to your patio, deck, or balcony with a pot of strawberries. It’s a great way to keep a nutritional snack close at hand.

Listen to Strawberries in Garden Spaces...

Strawberry Celebration Days

What do June 9th, 14 and the 25th have in common? They're all food celebrations that include strawberries.

Read more...

Summer Pruning of Raspberries

A bit of summer pruning goes a long way to keeping your raspberries healthy and productive. So get out the mosquito netting, long sleeves and pruners and get busy.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

Sweep Your Way to Cleaner Water

Break out the broom and sweep your way to cleaner drinking water.

Listen to Sweep your way to Cleaner Water...

Tired of watering? Save time, money and water with a few simple changes.

Mulch your garden beds with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or other organic matter. It conserves moisture while suppressing weeds and improving the soil.

Listen to Water Saving Garden Tips...

Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden

Don't throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden.

Read more...

Value of Trees

Plant a tree and improve your mood, save money and improve the environment.

Listen to Value of Trees...

Water Wise Gardening

Use water wisely in your landscape to save you time, improve plant health and reduce your water bill.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Waterwise Vegetable Gardening

You can grow garden fresh produce while conserving water and limiting the time spent watering.

Read more...

Weed Control

It starts with one little plant. Next thing you know your garden is overrun with them. Some start from seeds that have been dormant in the soil for years while others move in on the wind, in soil additives or with garden transplants.

Listen to Weed Control in the Garden...

Weed Control in the Garden

No matter the time of the season, weeds seem to grow and thrive. Keeping them under control will give you a healthier, more productive and attractive garden.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Wine Bottles - Out of the Recycling Bin and into the Garden

Stop! Don't recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

Read more...

Winterize Your Lawn Mower

Save yourself time, money and frustration by properly storing your mower for winter.

Listen to how to Winterize your Lawn Mower...