• YWCA Hotel Blog: Celebrate Earth Day with Spring Planting

Celebrate Earth Day with Spring Planting

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Community
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YWCA Hotel

On April 22, people around the world celebrate Earth Day by hosting events and raising awareness about environmental protection.  Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has rapidly grown and is now celebrated by 192 countries, demonstrating a global consciousness of supporting the environment.

With concerns such as global warming, celebrating Earth Day is as relevant as ever.  It is important that we recognize and celebrate this day, and do our part to care for the Earth. We can create small changes in our everyday activities that have a positive impact on our communities.

One way we can celebrate Earth Day is to start a garden! It can be a vegetable or flower garden, and it doesn’t have to be a complex project. You can start with a small patch of green or even a few planter boxes on your apartment’s patio.

With the help of our garden coordinator Louise Kelaher, who’s responsible for our Rooftop Food Garden, we will transform the YWCA Hotel front entrance into a small perennial garden. Louise has been overseeing our rooftop food garden for several years and has inspired many volunteers to give back to their communities and support the environment. Each year, an average of 600 kilograms of nutritious produce are grown and delivered to YWCA Crabtree Corner’s Community Kitchen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

For our hotel entrance, we will plant a mix of perennial plants like Japanese Spurge and Evergreen Redwood Sorrel and seasonal plants such as tulips in the spring and chrysanthemums in the fall. We'll share photos of our new garden on Facebook once it's ready! But first, here are some tips from Louise on how to start your own.

Gardening tips:

  • Pick a spot. Most plants need at least 6-8 hours of direct sun. The amount of sun exposure plays a big part in what plants you’ll be able to grow. Don’t worry if your “future” garden doesn’t get enough sun. Some vegetables such as arugula, lettuce, chard and kale can grow in the shade.
  • Tidy up the ground. If you plan to grow plants in your own yard, it’s important to clean the area thoroughly. Remove the grass and weeds. Using a garden fork or shovel, turn the soil, remove all roots, and add compost into the dirt.
  • Start small. It can be as small as planting a few seeds or bulbs in a couple of containers on your balcony or small area in your garden, and grow plants that you like. It’s remarkable how many vegetables can be grown in a small space!
  • Plenty of water. Your plants will need a steady of supply of moisture; when preparing the soil, water the earth thoroughly before planting. Continue to water them once a week and make sure to water them deeply so the roots grow deep into the soil.
  • Keep an eye. Pests and fungal diseases are ongoing problems for gardeners. Pick larger insects and caterpillars off the plants by hand when you spot them; it’s safe and the most effective way to deal with small area infestations. To reduce fungal diseases, don’t water the leaves, just the soil. For more tips on natural pest control, visit this garden website.

Now that you have some basic gardening tips, you can start with your spring planting! Pick a nice day to do the planting, don’t rush and enjoy the experience. For more gardening tips, visit this garden resources website. Don’t forget to share your experience and tips on the comment section below. Happy planting and happy Earth Day!

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