Earth Day is April 22
At TriState Water Works, we believe in stewardship of the earth we call home. Impressive water savings is one of the reasons we applaud the success of smart watering with a sprinkler system controller. (Plus, when you’re using the right amount of water, your lawn and landscaping are going to be healthier.)
So, we enjoy Earth Day as a means to recognize ways we can care for the environment around us. Here are three suggestions for your own property.
1. Earth Day Celebration:
Plant a Tree
Our city is known for its urban tree canopy. Cincinnati is in the top three capital cities in the US for tree cover, with an estimated 6,292 trees in 2023.
This achievement didn’t happen by accident or overnight. In 1980, the city founded the Cincinnati Urban Forestry program to help combat heat island effects from too much development and too little shade. Goals include 40% canopy coverage in residential areas. Also, the program seeks to:
“Target areas with high heat island temperatures, poor air quality, combined sewer overflows, and hillsides susceptible to landslides.”
If you have an irrigation system in place, keep two things in mind when planting a new tree:
- Irrigation lines run through your lawn, and digging might cause a leak or electrical break. You can call your installer or your trusted sprinkler maintenance company to mark your lines. If you’ve already damaged the system, we can come out and repair it.
- Trees need plenty of water, especially as they get established in your yard. Watch our video “Help Your Trees Thrive in Summer Weather” for more tips. You may want us to come out and add a sprinkler head for your tree.
One other thing to note: if you’re going to plant a tree this spring, do it quickly. By May, trees will be leafing out, and roots won’t have enough resources to become established. Fall is often considered the ideal time to plant a new tree.
2. Earth Day Celebration:
Choose Native Plants
Adding new plants to your landscape is a beautiful way to celebrate Earth Day. This year, consider planting native species, defined as:
“Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, and therefore offer the most sustainable habitat. A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction.”
There are several reasons natives are great for your landscape:
- Support our local ecosystem, including pollinators and wildlife
- Require less water and are suited for our clay soils
- Aren’t invasive, so they won’t run wild in your landscape
- Are easy to care for
These days, plant nurseries often offer and identify natives, so it can be easy to shop for them. Just ask for help at your favorite garden center. We also recommend “5 Native Flowers Great for Pollinators.” We also covered Cincinnati Nature Center’s Jeff Sperry as he transformed his lawn areas into stunning garden spaces.
3. Earth Day Celebration:
Get into Edible Gardening
If you’ve never planted your own vegetables, fruits or herbs, it’s a wonderful way to get experience with the earth and grow a deeper understanding of our natural world. Plus, you’ll get to eat the fruits of your labor!
The simplest way to get started is to buy herb plants and start a container garden. From there, you can enjoy fresh basil pesto (or your favorite herbal flavors!) all season long. Drip irrigation makes container gardening even easier. Get inspiration from our favorite container gardens.
If you want to be more ambitious and grow some tomatoes, cucumbers or strawberries, consider the tips in this article, “6 Secrets to Starting Your First Vegetable Garden Off Right.” Also, check out this article, “How To Spot Bad Garden Advice Before It Spoils Your Harvest.”