How To Plant A Self-Sustaining Garden

By: Ashley Foutty, Keep Akron Beautiful Intern

A self-sufficient garden takes proper planning and execution in order to be successful. The great part about this? A garden can practically take care of itself as long as the soil is healthy, the seeds are reused, and organic material is produced. Gardening can be very time consuming, and with a busy schedule, it can seem impossible!

sustainable gardening

Here are some helpful tips for planting a self-sustaining garden:

1. Start with soil. Healthy soil is key. The soil must have a proper pH level, correct texture and composition, and be full of nutrients. Adding compost will enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.


2. Maintain proper soil consistency. The ideal ratio is 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. This perfect balance can help proper root formation and promote better drainage.


3. Test the pH. A neutral pH level is typically ideal for growing vegetables. You can buy a pH tester from a gardening center to see where your garden pH level stands.


4. Know the growing season. Vegetables should be planted during the season in which they thrive. For example, peas, beets, and cabbage are cold temperature veggies.


5. Purchase quality seeds. Use fresh seeds, parcticularly ones that have been harvested from your own garden the previous year. If this is not the case, purchase seeds online from a retailer who specialized in vegetable seeds, or go to your nearest garden center.


6. Start seedlings indoors. Work with your seeds inside in order to monitor their growth and care for them more easily. Once they are stable enough for the elements, carefully transport them outside.

See other blogs about sustainable gardening and landscaping.

Clean Up Akron Month: Success at Super Saturday!

By Helen Dauka

Success Super Saturday

Keep Akron Beautiful had the pleasure of bringing Clean Up Akron Month to a close by celebrating with all of our litter cleanup volunteers at the appreciation picnic on Saturday April 27 at the Akron Zoo. And the weather couldn’t have been better!

Throughout the month of April, more than 4,959 Akron residents and students participated in Clean Up Akron Month/The Great American Cleanup™ 2013. On Super Saturday, we took the time to celebrate all their achievements. 112 public sites were cleaned, collecting 83 tires, 10.1 tons of trash and a slew of other unusual items in the process!

Registered volunteers received free admission to the Akron Zoological Park on Saturday, April 27, for our annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. Firestone High School Jazz Band entertained the crowd, while Akron City Council Members, Jeff Fusco, Donnie Kammer, Marilyn Keith; Summit County Council Member, Bill Roemer; and State of Ohio Representative, Anthony DeVitis offered warm words of encouragement and congratulations to the assembled volunteers! City of Akron Service Director John Moore took to the podium and presented a Clean Up Akron Month proclamation from Mayor Plusquellic.

The picnic was a result of the generosity of the following local sponsorship: Acme Fresh Markets, Akron Zoological Park, Bruegger’s Bagels, City of Akron, D-A Specialty Co. Inc., Eat’n Park, Firestone High School, First Watch, GOJO Industries, Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., House of LaRose, Junior Women’s Civic Club, Keep Akron Beautiful Board of Directors, Little Debbie Snacks, Sandra Smith, Schwebel’s Bakery, Shearer’s Branded Snacks, Sully’s Party Rental, Pepsi-Cola, The University of Akron, The Volunteer Center of Summit County, Waste Management of Ohio.

Thanks to them, our volunteers got to experience some awesome entertainment and tasty snacks!

Success at Super Saturday

Throughout the month, items such as tires, traffic cones, trash cans, construction equipment and debris were collected along with tons of garbage in GLAD bags throughout the entire month of April, with large cleanups taking place each Saturday. “Super Saturday” took place Saturday, April 27, with the bulk of cleanups happening that day.

Check out more pictures from Super Saturday and Clean Up Akron Month on our Facebook page.

Thanks for everyone who helped make it Super!

Arbor Day Slogan Contest 2013

The importance of trees is something that should be remembered all year round, not just on Arbor Day. Here at Keep Akron Beautiful, we like to think the Akron School students and teachers who participated in this year’s Arbor Day slogan contest are helping to make that idea come true.

The schools were given the task to come up with a ten word slogan that reflected the fundamental roles that trees play in conserving humans’ use of energy. Thanks to our schools, we have three catchy slogans to get stuck in your head and remind you of our important message.

“When it’s hot, trees give shade that hits the spot!”

Arbor Day Slogan Contest 2013

4th grade students at Bettes Elementary School, lead by teacher Joanne Yarnell, came up with our first place slogan.

On Friday April 26, Mayor Don Plusquellic presented a Proclamation and award certificate to Principal David Brown at the school tree planting ceremony which took place on the Bettes School campus. KAB CEO Paula Davis and Education Specialist Pam Ray were also there to congratulate the school as their new tree, donated by Suncrest Gardens was planted with the help of the Suncrest crew and fourth grade students.

“We take care of trees… they take care of us!”

Arbor Day Slogan Contest 2013

Our second place slogan came to us from Betty Jane CLC under the leadership of teacher Shelly Partis.

School principal Kim Summers, Ward 6 Councilma Bob Hoch were in attendance at the Darrow Road campus to see R.B. Stout help the kid plant their new tree.

“Trees are cool, they help us save fossil fuel.”

Arbor Day Slogan Contest 2013

And finally, our third place slogan was created by the fourth grade class at Windemere CLC under the supervision of teacher Mike Dunn.

Vizmeg Landscaping donated a tree appropriate for the campus on Windemere Avenue and went on to help the students plant the tree, giving them instructions on proper care. Students from the class read poems to celebrate Arbor Day.

Although a panel of judges could only choose three winning slogans, there were a total of 24 schools that submitted a slogan entry. That means there are 24 other schools that educated themselves on the importance of trees and took the responsibility of creating a message that would help educate others!

Congratulations to our winners this year and thanks to everyone who participated!

Check back in with us on Facebook to see more of the pictures from Arbor Day!!

Clean Up Akron Month Coming to a Close

Clean Up Akron Month is coming to an end and while we’re sad to see it wrap up we’ve got plenty to be happy about thanks to all the volunteers who banded together to help create more vibrant communities in Akron!

So far TONS of groups who have volunteered to complete projects, cleaning up areas ALL OVER AKRON. We asked all volunteers to send us pictures of their teams cleaning up..

Clean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseClean Up Akron Month Coming to a CloseHave pictures of your group cleaning up? Send them our way! We’ll be posting more pictures to our Facebook Page after Super Saturday!

Speaking of which, on top of all the fabulous volunteer work that’s already happened, we have TONS of groups going out on Saturday like.. Green Clovers 4H Club, Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, Preservation Alliance of Greater Akron, West Akron Quality of Life, Kings and Queens of the Most High God, Joint Service Project with Leadership Akron, Torchbearers and Keep Akron Beautiful, Open M, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Bridgestone America’s Tire Operation employees, Robert W. Baird and Co. employees.

Thank you again for all the hard work, your beautification efforts make a HUGE difference!