Blog: Carlita the Croc

Tend a Garden for Mom and Mother Earth


Mother’s Day is coming up!

Today’s blog isn’t just a reminder to get a card and some flowers for your mom, it’s also a reminder to start planning your garden! You see, the rule of thumb is that Mother’s Day or later is the best time to plant your garden – especially in Chicagoland. The rule is centered around spring’s last frost, and while other climates in the United States might have their last frost earlier in the year, in Illinois it is relatively safe to assume frosty nights are done for by Mother’s Day. 

So, as a meat eater, why would I care about planting gardens? Well, because we can all benefit from gardens.  Some of the benefits are obvious:  the beauty of flowers, fresh veggies right outside your door, the increased chance of spotting beautiful wildlife.  Other benefits are not so obvious. For example, did you know gardening can be very mentally therapeutic, a great physical workout, and more?

“But, what’s in it for a crocodile?” you are still wondering.  Well, it just so happens that gardens work great as carbon sinks and water filters. And you know who’s got no thumbs and enthusiasm for fighting climate change and maintaining healthy water quality? This croc!

A carbon sink is a natural space where carbon dioxide gets filtered out of the atmosphere.  Forests are the most well-known type of carbon sink, but the ocean and soil also do the job. Individually, backyard gardens make a small contribution to the carbon sink cause, but an entire town or city’s worth of backyard gardens can really make a difference!

The water quality aspect comes when rain or excess water falls in an area because gardens tend to filter out pollutants before the water makes its way back to a waterway. That means cleaner water in other natural areas and less work for local water reclamation plants.  But don’t go dumping your dirty water into your garden just yet! It’s still a good idea to minimalize your use of abrasive or harsh chemicals in and around your home and practice proper disposal to insure clean, healthy water overall.  

To get more bang for your buck, include some plants native to your area or even a rain garden in this year’s garden plans! Native plants require little maintenance beyond seasonal sun and rain patterns, and they attract and support important wildlife like bees, butterflies, and birds! Rain gardens are a great way to help reduce flooding in your neighborhood after heavy rains.

With that, green-thumbed humans, I invite you to share your pictures of your beautiful Mother’s Day garden with me on Instagram @CandidCroc.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted: 5/8/2017 3:36:54 PM by

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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