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Credit: I am I.A.M.

Park and Tilford Gardens, North Vancouver, B.C.

Organic gardening tips from the North Shore

The annual North Shore Natural Gardens Tour promotes the importance of good horticultural practices, the key to creating balanced, healthy garden ecosystems - and ultimately gardens that don't need pesticides. This year six gardens displayed designs ranging from English country with perennial borders to a new organic community garden transformed from a weed-filled vacant lot in just two months. Watch for this tour, organized by the North Shore Recycling Program every September (www.naturalgardenstour.com) Meanwhile, here are some of the interesting facts highlighted on the tour. • Grasscycling (leaving grass clippings on the lawn) can provide up to 50 per cent of your lawn's nitrogen requirements. This is best done with a mulching mower or by mowing frequently to keep the clippings short and the lawn looking neat. • Rotting and blackened bananas make excellent rose food - dig a hole near the base of the rose plant and bury the bananas, skin and all. • Adult ladybugs consume over 5,000 aphids in a lifetime. • One application of compost could have a positive effect on plant growth for up to eight years.