Gardening can be hard on the environment if you don’t know what you’re doing. This may seem seem impossible since gardening and cultivating the earth seem so earth friendly but think about the impacts of what you are doing. Are you using chemical fertilizers? Are you buying plants raised with bee killing neonicotinoid pesticides?Are you using unsustainable amounts of water? There are eco-friendly gardening practices that you can use to lessen the impact on Mother earth. Here are easy gardening tips you can use to reduce pressure on the environment.
Reduce Water Usage
There are many ways to reduce water usage when gardening. You can use mulch, which will keep water from evaporating into the environment. Mulching reduces the need to fertilize as much too. It’s important to use sustainable and all-natural mulch products that are free from pesticides and chemicals.
Another option is to utilize grey water. The same water you used to shower with or wash clothes with can be used in the garden if you set up a greywater system and change a few household products and practices. Recycled water? Yes please!
Grass is a big water-sucking plant that has no use other than its looks. Instead go with clover, creeping thyme, or even rock. The less grass you have compared to other types of plants, the more you’ll cut down on water waste.
Use Native Plants
When you use plants that are native to your area, it means they’ve adjusted to the climate and don’t need as much outside intervention to grow healthy and strong. Remove foreign invasive plants and replace with what is native to your area. You may have to ask at your local extension service which plants are indigenous to get started.
Invest in Irrigation
For plants that do need regular watering, and gardens, consider an irrigation system that measures the amount of water the plants are getting. This will help you avoid over watering, as well as keep you informed about how much natural rain has occurred so you don’t have to use as much tap water.
A rain barrel to harvest rainwater is another important aspect of any eco friendly garden. Turning on the tap should be a last resort and depending upon how many barrels you have, you can collect hundreds of gallons of water for those times when rain is sparse.
Use Natural Weed Control
Believe it or not, plants have different natural weed control properties. You can control all kinds of pests with the right plants. Consider different ground covers based on the pest you’re trying to avoid. You may want to plant creeping wintergreen, juniper or verbena. You can even use essential oils in the garden. Just remember to plant water-thirsty plants together and drought resistant plants together.
Use Recycled Goods in the Garden
Don’t go out and buy a bunch of brand new gardening stuff when you can repurpose things you already have. This saves money and planetary resources. Instead of seed planters use eggshells, toilet paper rolls, and newspaper. Instead of buying cloches, use milk jugs. Garden fabric for weeds can be avoided with newspaper and cardboard. Get creative!
Use Organic Soil and Compost
To keep your garden and yard happy, it’s best to use organic products that are pesticide free and disease free. By far the easiest and cheapest route is to make your own compost. It is incredibly easy and it turns your soil into nutrient rich black gold! Everyone should have a compost pile.
Use Push Reel Mowers
A push reel mower doesn’t use fuel and it cuts the grass differently than fuel-powered mowers. Plus, leaving the clippings behind can actually help the soil. And if you’ve cut down the areas that have grass, this will be perfect for your postage size of grass. Oh, and if you allow clover to overtake the grass you have to mow even less!
By implementing these eco-friendly gardening practices, you can cut your own carbon footprint to the point where you may even negate it. We need to be leaving the soil better than we found it!