Useful Resources

There are so many!  We will be adding to this page regularly, so check back...

Green Gardening Calendar

This calendar is different from your typical gardening calendar. It contains timely guidance for what you can do to prevent garden challenges that may frustrate you so much you want to reach for a pesticide. Using this calendar, you will hopefully have fewer garden challenges and pests. Click here to download the complete document in pdf format.

Support for this Garden Green publication was provided by the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, a grantmaking fund created by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and administered by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment.

Table of Contents, Green Gardening Calendar

On Dandelions

Diane Emerson, for Garden Green
April, 2018

Dandelions are thought to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia. They have been used by humans for food and as an herb for much of recorded history.


Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness, or sauteed in the same way as spinach. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Kashmiri, Slovenian, Sephardic, Chinese, and Korean cuisines.

The flower petals, along with other ingredients, usually including citrus, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion is one of the ingredients of root beer. Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.

Medicinal Uses

Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties. Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America, and China. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic.

Food For Wildlife

Dandelions are important plants for Northern Hemisphere bees, providing nectar and pollen early in the season. Dandelions are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of butterflies and moths.

Benefits to Gardeners

The dandelion plant is a beneficial weed. Its taproot will bring up nutrients for shallower-rooting plants, and add minerals and nitrogen to soil. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen. This is a good thing in our climate.

As A Source of Natural Rubber

Dandelions secrete latex when the tissues are cut or broken. They are now being used for tires. “The plants we require for Taraxagum, as we call our dandelion rubber, can also be grown in temperate regions, helping to avoid monoculture and slash-and-burn farming in the tropics, while also substantially reducing the distances the raw material has to travel to our tire production sites.” Continental Tire, November, 2017.

As a Musical Instrument

If you take off the head of the dandelion, the stem makes a surprisingly loud horn sound!

Interviews of Organic Farmers/Gardeners

In the fall of 2017, Michael Laurie conducted in depth interviews with 9 organic farmers/gardeners in Western Washington. The project, funded by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, was to continue research into green gardening products and methods that really work.  Click here for the report: In Depth Interviews 2017

"Owner Will Maintain" program in King County

"Owner Will Maintain" Program

King County offers residents the opportunity to participate in a companion program to the Roads Maintenance Spray Program. The "Owner Will Maintain Program" allows residents to control vegetation on the right-of-way that abuts their property. To participate in this program, residents must sign a maintenance agreement with the county to maintain the right-of-way and to also post "Owner Will Maintain" signs in an area visible from the roadway.

Maintenance agreements may be obtained using the "No Spray Request Form" or by calling 206-477-8100 or toll-free by calling 1-800-KC-ROADS. The maintenance agreement must be completed and returned to Road Services before an "Owner Will Maintain" sign can be issued. The signs are provided to property owners at no charge. To continue participation in this program, residents must complete a new agreement and submit it to Road Services annually.

Download, print and complete the 2017 No Spray Request and Property Owner/King County Maintenance Agreement Form:

No Spray Request Form

Return the completed form to:

King County Road Services Division
Traffic and Road Maintenance Section
155 Monroe Ave. N.E.
Renton, WA 98056

"Inert" Ingredients the EPA has now removed from the approved list

In December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they would take action to remove 72 ingredients from their approved pesticide products list. According to the EPA, “Manufacturers wishing to use these ingredients in the future will have to provide EPA with studies or information to demonstrate their safety. EPA will then consider whether to allow their use.”
Click Here for the list of formerly approved chemicals. Many of these are quite hazardous:

Washington State Dept of Agriculture, 2014   The study was conducted in three parts: the first evaluated residential property owner pesticide use; the second focused on the use of pesticides by public entities at the city, county, and state level; and the third focused on pesticide use by commercial applicators, lawn and garden maintenance companies, pest control companies, etc.  Click Here to read or download the study

Pesticide Induced Disease Database

The common diseases affecting the public’s health are all too well-known in the 21st century: asthma, autism and learning disabilities, birth defects and reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and several types of cancer. Their connection to pesticide exposure continues to strengthen despite efforts to restrict individual chemical exposure, or mitigate chemical risks, using risk assessment-based policy.

Click here to go to the main page for the Pesticide-Induced Disease page at  Beyond Pesticides.