September 22 is officially the first day of fall. Although we Southern Californians know that summer often extends into October here in LA, autumn is right around the corner! Leaves on trees will start changing colors. Mornings will develop a slight chill. The scent of pumpkin spice is already everywhere!
To prepare for the changes that come with fall, here are some changes you can make in your garden to turn over a new leaf and protect our local environment:
Go For The “Black” Gold! Leaves can be harmful to marine life when hosed off into the gutter and city streets. What’s the solution? Sweep up and dispose of fallen leaves in your green bin or even better, compost those fallen leaves and create what many gardeners call black gold. Free composting workshops hosted by LA Sanitation & Environment can get you started.
Forgo the Fertilizer! Fertilizers contain nutrients that run off into our waterways and can lead to toxic algae blooms. Instead, choose organic, slow-release products made of natural materials.
Leaf Blowers Blow! Leaf blowers and lawn mowers emit dangerous carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons. So ditch the gas-powered tools and use hand-powered or electric tools instead. They’re a more earth-friendly choice, and they still get the job done.
Catch Every Drop! Rainwater from rain gutters and downspouts is a wasted resource when it is allowed to flow into local creeks and rivers. Instead, harvest rainwater and use it to water your outdoor plants. An easy way to do this is by installing rain barrels. The Metropolitan Water District makes it even easier by offering rebates on residential rain barrels. And, if you already have rain barrels, take a look at our rain barrel maintenance webinar to keep your rain barrel in tip top shape!
The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to adopt a few new practices. So, while you sip that pumpkin spice latte, let yourself fall into a few new eco-friendly habits.