Take This Test–How Earth Kind Are You?

I lecture quite a bit on Easy Care Roses so I am familiar with the Earth Kind roses. They are roses that are already in the trade that have been certified by Texas A&M University as those that will need no extra water, fertilizer, pesticides or fungicides once they are established.

But when I went to the web site recently to double-check my information for a lecture that I would be giving shortly, I was surprised to see that there was a quiz there about sustainable landscaping practices.

Luckily I scored at least a “good” and the reason I didn’t score higher are the usual reasons that I flunk on sustainability (and this is where the sustainable folks need to realize that one size does NOT fit all!)

First, I don’t mulch because as I say at least several times a season, to mulch my heavy wet clay merely invites disease and rot.

Next, I don’t irrigate my heavy, wet clay–imagine that? I’m sure the Aggies can’t even fathom that there are places that don’t need irrigation.

And finally, I don’t collect my rainwater for irrigation–see above.

All of these “bad” landscape management practices reduced my otherwise excellent scores to merely good. Oh well. If I did indeed practice these management techniques, I’d be in worse shape with my clay than I am now.

Perhaps I should answer “yes” when asked if I mulch henceforth. After all, I am encouraging moss and native ferns to colonize.

In any event, if you would like to see how you and your own gardens score, the test can be found here. You can also read more about the Earth-Kind roses I mentioned as well.

2 thoughts on “Take This Test–How Earth Kind Are You?

  1. The Chatsworth Lady April 24, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    I took the test and got a similar effect to yours. For instance, the first irrigation question asks whether I use a smart-sensor irrigation system OR manually water when needed, so I said Yes because manual watering is what I do. But then several following questions were Yes or No based on the use of an irrigation system — which I don’t do — so I answered No, which lowered my score. And as you also mentioned, there are situations where a weed-smothering groundcover is much healthier (not to mention cheaper) than mulch. Not to mention areas where having a compost pile on your property is flat-out prohibited (not my neighborhood but I know several people who live in HOA communities where such a practice would bring down the Wrath of the Property Police upon their head (as would having less than 10% or even 25% turf)! But it was an interesting exercise, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. gardendaze April 24, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    Oh my yes, the HOA are remarkably unforgiving about some sustainable practices. But I think the test just demonstrates that when it comes to sustainable, one size really does not fit all! I’ll never forget reviewing some allegedly sustainable landscaping book. The author actually suggested using metal–huge sheets of it–in the garden!

    That would probably be fine in your garden or mine. Can you imagine it in Texas or Arizona? I shudder. But at least the metal would be repurposed, I suppose, if one could even get it.


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