Earth Day started being celebrated in 1970 as a movement to start paying attention to Mother Nature and to stop polluting the environment. We have come a long way in terms of recycling programs and reducing the urban footprint that man has placed on earth. But, beyond your four walls, where you buy, what you buy and how you get there, there is a huge opportunity waiting right outside your door. Turn to your Plants! They can do wonders for our environment, especially if you select ones that are more than just a pretty face.
What are they you ask? Native and pollinating plants
Starting with Natives: They are plants that are from our area, are adapted to our soils and will thrive in the conditions around us. First it is important to check the plant hardiness zone, which is 6b in Berks County; this determines if the plants will make it through our winters and summers. Certain plants will die in our cold, while others won’t make it in our heat. Read your plant tags, and make sure it is in the range. Plants listed 7 or higher are not native to our region and are usually treated as annual flowers or tropicals. Don’t expect them to come back next year. Plants lower than a 6 will survive but will be stressed in the summer heat leading to wilting and increased insect and disease susceptibility.
The Power of Pollinators: Pollinators are plants that provide food and shelter to the 5 B’s (birds, bees, butterflies, bats and bugs). The plant is a habitat to these creatures and in return, they spread the pollen from plant to plant fertilizing them to yield higher production. This is win win for all parties, including us humans who rely on the 5B’s to pollinate 75% of crops worldwide, in addition to providing beautiful plants to surround us. It isn’t just the typical flowers that have big orange dusty centers; many pollinator plants don’t even have a substantial flower as its main feature.
Here is a short list of some natives that are both ornamental in the landscape, but also powerful pollinators!
|Tulip Poplar||Mountain Laurel||Liatris||Monarda|
|Basswood||Blueberry||Black Eyed Susan|
What we are doing at New Castle to make our GREEN industry even greener!
WASTE….not really waste:
– Since we deal with plant material, there is minimal inorganic waste that ends up in a landfill. All of our yard waste is taken to a facility less than a ¼ mile from our shop and is composted and turned back into mulch or soil.
-Our grass clippings are donated to a local farm and are tilled into their fields.
– We have even turned a cut down tree into our conference room table!
-Our Plant Health Care and Lawn Application programs use an organic mixture of composted tea in their liquid solutions to aid in our “soil first” approach to fertilize and strengthen the plants health from the ground up.
-Our mower blades are sharpened daily to allow the mowers to move fast and clean and give you a great cut!
– In the winter, we use a brine solution for smaller snow storms to reduce the amount of rock salt sitting on roads that could stress neighboring plants.
-We limit our paper consumption by having a complete electronic system for everything from estimating and designing to sending out our crews with remote system access. Our customers can even pay their bills online!
-We use motion sensors and timers on lighting systems in and around the office.
-We have a catch basin to collect rain water and reduce runoff to irrigate our plant holding area.