Eco-Tips For You, Your Garden, The Planet

Benefits of Worm Castings

  • Earthworm castings have over 60 micronutrients and trace minerals.
  • Castings neutralize soil pH, which optimizes the plants ability to absorb nutrients.
  • Castings extract harmful fungi and bacteria in the soil, so help fight off plant diseases.
  • Castings can also repel aphids and other insect pests that suck on plant juices.

Butterfly Larvae Host Plants for Birds

Host plants for caterpillars are crucial to any wildlife garden.

Birds who feed their young exclusively on caterpillars, would need 6-9 THOUSAND caterpillars to sustain one brood until they fledge – a compelling reason to attract butterflies!

Most butterflies are specialists, preferring to eat from one type of plant or family of plants, so it is important to learn which plants they prefer. To learn more, visit

Cold Frames

With a simple cold frame, you can extend your growing season by a month or more on either end. Here in the Northwest, you can grow right through the winter. A cold frame is also an ideal place to gradually acclimate hot season vegetable starts to outside conditions. Place your cold frame in a south facing sunny spot with good drainage. The sides can be wood, concrete blocks or even straw bales. The lid can be repurposed windows, plexi-glass or plastic sheeting.

Benefits of Mulching

The best time and cost saving measure a gardener can take is to apply mulch. Mulched gardens are healthier, more weed free, and more drought-resistant. In addition to preventing weeds and conserving water, mulches moderate soil from temperature extremes, protect the soil from compaction and erosion, replenish nutrition to the soil as they decompose and promote beneficial soil organisms.