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.

Akron Curbside Service: Rules Regarding Yard Waste and Taking Out Trash

by Cindy Pantea  –

This post has been updated with current info as of 4/15/2015.

Keep Akron Beautiful recently received a couple of questions regarding your Akron Curbservice. We are sharing these questions and answers for your information:

What should I do with tree clippings, leaves, weeds and especially poison ivy?

You can call 311 from your home phone or (330) 375-2311 to schedule a special pickup of bags of weeds that will not fit in your trash cart.


Or, make tied rolls/bundles of your tree and brush clippings and place the bundles to be taken during your normal collection day.


Special pickup and weekly bulk pickup are explained below the 2014-2015 Rules and Regulations on the 2014_trash_service_brochure. Note: You can always find an updated trash service brochure at

Always keep in mind that Summit ReWorks is a great resource with residential options beyond curbside.

Why are people all of the sudden putting garbage out at the curb before 4:30 PM before the day of normal pickup?

It is a rule that you normally cannot put material out before 4:30 p.m. the day before your scheduled pickup. However, the City of Akron has waived this rule until July 26, 2013 due to the recent flooding.

If you are a City of Akron curb service customer and have experienced basement flooding, you can put damaged material on the curb strip where your normal trash is placed but you must call 311 from your home phone or (330) 375-2311 from outside the City or from a cell phone to schedule this free pickup.  Pickups will occur on your normally scheduled pickup day.


If you have any questions about your Akron Curbservice Program, call 330.375.2311 from any phone.

“I Want To Be Recycled”


By: Ashley Foutty, Keep Akron Beautiful Intern

Keep America Beautiful is proud to announce the national launch of a landmark public service advertising (PSA) campaign targeted to motivate Americans to recycle every day.

In partnership with the Ad Council, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) today unveiled the multimedia campaign, titled “I Want To Be Recycled,” in hopes to get the conversation started about recycling. The campaign has been started to hopefully convert the “occasional” recycler into the “everyday” recycler by raising awareness on this important issue.

The campaign reveals that everyday products, whether an aluminum can or plastic bottle among other products, have the potential to become something bigger when recycled. This thought then can propel people’s minds towards wanting to learn more about the recycling process and what can come from it.

The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign is being generously funded by Alcoa Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management.

For more information on how you can get involved or if you would like to learn more about this campaign, please visit

It’s Time to Head Down to Your Local Farmer’s Market!

By: Ashley Foutty, Keep Akron Beautiful Intern

You might see Farmer’s Markets around all of the time, but still be asking yourself why you should grab some groceries there, instead of heading to the nearest store. Well, we have the answers.

There are so many benefits of shopping at your local farmer’s market. First, of course, they’re filled with food that’s good for you. Also, when you shop at farmers’ markets you can pretty much be assured that the healthy food you purchase hasn’t traveled long distances and undergone lots of packaging or processing. Did you know produce loses nutritional value as more time elapses from the time of harvest? Locally grown produce available at farmers markets is available to you at the peak of freshness and nutrient availability.

Another great thing about farmer’s markets is that the farmers are there to answer any questions or offer any advice that you might be seeking. You can find out new recipes, detailed information on your products, meet new people in your neighborhood, and give your money somewhere that will give back locally.

Luckily for you, Akron offers many options this summer to help you get in the habit of visiting your local farmer’s market. Not only will you experience the health benefits of eating locally, but you’ll also have some fun and learn something new in the process. The variety and nutrients will have you coming back for more and for each season of the year!

Here’s a few great local farmers markets to check out:

The Market at Lock 3 open July 19
• Fridays @ Lock 3 11am-1:30pm
Summa will again sponsor the Everyday Health program with prize drawings for visiting the market. Reusable shopping bags are free with 5 market visits.

Akron Generals Farmers Market
• Tuesdays @ AGMCs Health & Wellness Center West on Medina Rd. 3 to 6 pm
For more information see or call 330-344-7101

Countryside Conservancy Farmers Markets
• Thursdays @ Highland Square 4 -7p
• Saturdays @ Howe Meadow, 9 am to noon
For more information see

farmers-market-photo1                                                         The Market at Lock 3