Going Green Gal

Gardening & Green Tips for Sustainable Living

Rebecca’s Monthly Gardening Tips

A hopefully helpful list of what to do in your garden this month – tried and true tips from the experts.

Learn about what you can Plant and Grow »

Garden Tips for December

Beware poisonous plants such as Poinsettia and mistletoe, they can be harmful to both humans and pets. Don’t be afraid to enjoy them for the holidays, just keep them out of reach from children and those curious dogs and cats. Protect plants from frost by placing stakes around tender plants and covering with clear plastic or fabric such as a sheet or old blanket. Don’t let the plastic touch the foliage. Wrap larger plants with strings of small Christmas tree lights and cover with a sheet. Turn the lights on at night. If plants are potted move them to a sheltered area such as a porch, under the eves on the south side of the house or even under a tree. Be sure to uncover them during the day. Moving them indoors to a cool room would be good if possible. Don’t prune frost damage on a plant until new growth starts in spring. The dead material helps protect the plant from further damage. Clean garden beds in preparation for winter. Many insects and diseases over-winter in fallen debris. Prune diseased leaves from roses, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Leave leaf litter under oaks, pine and junipers; the leaf duff helps protect the roots. Winter watering is important if there has been no rain for a week or two. Use a moisture meter or a shovel to dig into the soil (at least 6 inches below the surface) to see if the soil has dried out. This is especially important for recently installed plantings. Prune apple trees that have weak or unproductive branches. Apple trees produce fruit terminally on spurs...

Rebecca in the Mercury News


Sustainability We Can Live With

Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Simplify Your Life

You want to live a simpler life, I know. That’s why you’re here, right? To create a life of simplicity, contentment and optimism. But can I tell you something? Your life will not change, you will not be able to create that life you want unless you take action. Take action. And take it today. I want to make it easier for you to take action and move ahead on your journey to a simpler life. So all you have to do is set aside some time – anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour to tackle one of the 21 simple actions below. Just one is enough. More is better, but one is enough to start living a simpler life today. You just have to take action. Action #1: Perform a Clutter Bust (10-45 minutes) This is hands-down the best way to tidy and declutter a space in a short period of time. You can apply it to just one room at a time (strongly recommended), or if you’re feeling ambitious or particularly over-run with clutter – tackle all the main areas of the home. Whatever you choose – speed is the key here. How to clutter-bust your home: Grab an empty laundry basket. Choose a room to begin. Moving quickly – pick up each and every item in that room that does not belong, or is out of place. Place them in the laundry basket. Every single thing. Once full, empty the contents of the laundry basket on the dining table or a clear space on the floor. Sort items into piles – according to where they belong,...
Considering an upcoming painting project?  Check out the low VOC, environmentally friendly options at Benjamin Moore

Considering an upcoming painting project? Check out the low VOC, environmentally friendly options at Benjamin Moore

Beautiful Color. Lasting Durability. None of the other stuff. Creating a greener and safer life for you and your family should be simple. It should be easy to find environmentally sustainable products that offer exactly what you want – and nothing you don’t. Natura Waterborne Interior Paint continues Benjamin Moore’s commitment to providing the most environmentally friendly paint. Natura goes beyond zero VOC to offer zero emissions and no harsh fumes, making it a safer paint for your family and the environment, all without compromise to performance or color selection. Natura is truly “Green Without Compromise®.” Click here to learn...

About Going Green Gal

Being an avid gardener, born and raised in Indiana, I feel incredible blessed to live in sunny California & be able to grow my own food all year-round! I write a monthly garden column for the San Jose Mercury News & am constantly striving for tips & ideas on how to live a little more gently in regards to ourselves, our planet & each other – basically sustainability we can live with! As a fulltime realtor here in the Bay Area, I help my clients “Go Green” in & around their homes & communities.

I hope you will find my monthly Green Tips useful; & I hope you find inspiration in the monthly Garden Tips & the incredible Edibles You Can Plant & Grow!

WEEKLY GREEN TIP: Save time, money (and hopefully the planet)!

  • Use Creative Expensive Wrapping Paper

    Instead of buying expensive wrapping paper – give unique and creative presents wrapped in old maps, sheet music, magazine covers, the comic strips or sports pages from your local newspapers – even your children’s art pages… You can also use reusable shopping bags versus gift bags for a gift that “keeps on giving”.

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