There are many different garden options to choose from, including veggies, flowers, herbs, or even tropical plants. The issue is that many of the techniques used for gardening aren’t the best choice for our planet. They can damage the soil and cause pollution that Earth may not be able to recover from. To help reduce our carbon footprint, learning new gardening methods is an important step. That’s why we’ve come up with these tips for an environmentally-friendly garden.
Why Choose an Environmentally-Friendly Garden?
We only have one Earth. Treating it well is the only way to ensure our home stays habitable for future generations. Though huge drastic changes all at once can be difficult to implement, we can start small, every little bit we do makes a difference.
A few simple changes to our gardens can have lasting benefits that encourage new life and keep what we already have thriving. These little alterations in our gardening techniques also help conserve water and expend less energy, which helps the environment even more.
Things such as watering and fertilizing can be wasteful if not done correctly. This can be a drain on your wallet, as well as being harmful to the environment.
Pesticides pollute the soil, making it more difficult to grow anything at all. Destroying animal habitats also reduces beneficial wildlife that could be eliminating those plant-eating insects or pollinating your plants. Even using a gas-powered lawn mower sends chemical fumes into the air, harming our planet a little bit more every time you use it.
To prevent further damage to our home, swapping out a few of the old-fashioned methods of gardening and implementing some new ones is a good way to start. These changes don’t have to happen all at once and you don’t even need to use them all if you choose not to. Every little bit helps, so consider the following tips for a safer, healthier garden.
Environmentally-Friendly Gardening Tips
There are a ton of different ways you can turn your garden into an eco-friendly haven. Not every tip works for every garden though, so choose the ones that work best with the area you’ve chosen for your plants.
Use Organic/Natural Gardening Techniques.
There are some conflicting definitions of what organic means, but for our purposes we mean staying away from any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and using natural products instead. This means using natural fertilizers or pest control techniques. Adding natural predators also helps reduce pests and weeds in your garden and avoids the use of chemicals.
Adding mulch, rotating your plants, and spacing them out all help prevent the spread of disease for healthier plants every season without the need for pesticides. The mulch also helps retain the soil’s moisture while spacing promotes air circulation.
More of the waste that goes into a landfill is organic matter than you may realize. Instead of tossing that nutrient-rich material into the trash, start a compost pile in your yard. You can toss much of your leftover food in the pile, as well as tissues, coffee grounds, and even yard waste like leaves and grass.
The compost can then be used to give your garden essential nutrients, including potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Add your compost before you even plant the seeds to prepare the soil first. You can also add compost throughout the growing season to keep your plants healthy. This helps reuse your waste, and also avoids the need for chemical fertilizers.
Add a Rain Barrel
Placing a rain barrel beneath your eavestrough downspout collects the water every time it rains. This water is free, and gives you an easy way to reuse water. This can cut costs for you while also being eco friendly.
Using rainwater is only the beginning when it comes to conserving water. You should also water during the coolest parts of the day to help the water soak into the soil instead of evaporating in the heat. This allows you to water less frequently without sacrificing your plant’s needs.
Plant a Tree
Adding a tree to your garden may seem strange but it has a variety of benefits. Trees give your plants a bit of shade, protect them from the wind, and purify the air. They are also home to some beneficial wildlife that can help reduce pests.
Reduce Your Lawn
Huge expanses of grass may look nice but they are difficult to maintain and can use a lot of water and chemicals to keep them healthy. Instead of a lawn, you may want to switch to ornamental grasses that are easier to care for or add some low-growing shrubbery or wildflowers. You can even go for non-plant materials, like decorative gravel or paving stones. These options still give you a lovely area to enjoy without all the work.
You also have other non-traditional lawn options such as clover yards. These types of lawns can be easier to maintain, while still giving that lush, green look many homeowners look for.
Gas-powered mowers pollute the air every time you start them. Switching to an electric or reel mower reduces those emissions and saves you money in the long run. Reel mowers also force you to use more of your muscles to get them running, giving you a workout every time you mow your lawn.
Plant Native Species
Native species are used to the climate, soil types, and rainfall of the areas they grow in. They require less work to maintain, thriving on what your area already has to offer. They also offer the right food and shelter for native birds and insects, which has a larger positive impact all around.
Building an Eco-Friendly Garden
Building an Eco-Friendly Garden
The above is just a small sample of some things you can do to help reduce your impact on the environment. Gardening is a fantastic way to enjoy nature, and with a little thought it can be a benefit to our environment not a detriment. We only have one earth, so let’s all work together to take care of it!