Gardening well is about being green and not only in your plants. Sustainable gardening is important and should be at the centre of all horticulture. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Keep It Real
There is a saying that Mother knows best and Mother Nature should be listened to. She will never take sips from a cocktail of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers and weed killers. To have a greener garden you should get rid of your chemicals and prepare some all-natural compost. You should look at calling in beneficial insects to get rid of garden pests. These predator insects will remove all the pests that you rely on pesticides to deal with.
Make Compost From Kitchen Scraps
Your vegetable waste can be used to create natural compost instead of filling up space in a landfill. This compost will enrich the soil and give it a shot of plant-loving nutrients. Composts will stimulate healthy root growth, improve the texture of the soil, aerate the soil and help with water retention. There is no point in spending money on commercial composts when you can make some yourself for free. You can speed up the process of composting by using earthworms.
Many people balk at the idea of using their takeout or yogurt containers to house their plants. If you are one of these people then you should look at raised garden kits and environmentally friendly planters. These containers will use less energy as they are recycled so whether you choose plastic, copper or rubber for your tender shoots they will be copacetic. Once you have done your gardening you could admire your work and eco-smarts from your recycled lawn furniture.
Grow Your Own Food
When you buy organic produce you will find that it is pricey. Instead of paying these prices you could look at growing your own food instead of maintaining your lawn for the umpteenth time. It is estimated that 40 million acres of 48 American states is covered in lawn and the creation of turf grass is actually the United States’ largest irrigated crop. American homeowners are also responsible for applying tens of millions of points of pesticides and fertilizers to the grown, often at more than the recommended levels.
All of this lawn is little more than ornamentation. It may be time to turn that lawn in your garden into a food-source by planting vegetables or citrus trees or bushes that grow berries. You will not find fresher food anywhere and it will generally be cheaper to make.
Join A Community Garden
Many urban dwellers do not have a garden that they can change. However, you can still get into gardening and growing by signing up for a plot at the local community garden. These gardens will generally have a communal composting area which is ideal for people who do not have the room to house a composter.
If you want to get rid of your lawn without creating a food source then you should look at some native or indigenous plants. There are many people who have cactus gardens in dry states or bottlebrush grasses in Northern Michigan. Native plants have already adapted to the local conditions and are more likely to flourish without much help. This will result in less fertilizer and water needed as well as less effort for controlling pests.
Watering your lawn and garden with chlorine and mineral free water ideal and adding a rain barrel is an easy and inexpensive method to capture this. When you harness rainwater you will find a dip in your overall water costs as well as a reduction in storm water runoff. You should look at placing a screen on the top of the barrel to keep debris, insects and other contaminants out of the water. You should also frequently use the water supply to keep it moving and aerated. Here are some good tips.
Water With Care
Getting into smart-watering habits will help you stretch your supply particularly in hot and dry seasons. You should look at adding mulch or compost to your soil to help retain water and limit water evaporation. Using drip irrigation or soaker hoses will use 50% of the water that would be used by a sprinkler. You should also look at watering your garden early in the day and avoid winds. The best place to drench your plants will be around their roots.
Bring In Bees And Butterflies
You can easily provide a pesticide-free environment for pollinators such as bees and butterflies by growing a variety of native flowers. The ones that draw these insects in are goldenrod, wild lilac and lemon balm. We are currently in the middle of a major bee-loss epidemic which is creating a lot of problems for European and North American beekeepers. As these pollinators affect 35% of the world’s crop population and increase the output of the leading food crops it is important that we offer them some pesticide-free spaces.
The Power Of 4
It is important that you know what the 4 R’s of the US environmental Protection Agency’s GreenScapes program are. These 4 points are reduce, reuse, recycle and rebuy. If you want to reduce the waste that you create then you need to use your materials more efficiently. You should reuse compost, make mulch from tree clippings and use rainwater for watering. Recycling will help you save resources and rebuying ensures that you seek out products that suit your needs and are environmentally friendly.