Create Your Own Sustainable Garden With These 6 Easy Tips
When most people think of gardening, they intuit that it's an eco-friendly hobby. After all, you're growing new plants and spending time tending to nature.
However, gardening can be quite damaging if done mindlessly. Increased watering, using chemicals, and changing the composition of the soil can have a negative impact over time.
That's here sustainable gardening comes in. Here are seven sustainable gardening practices to start in your yard.
Organize for Energy Efficiency
The way you organize your landscaping can have an incredible impact on the environment and your budget. Trees and shrubs can be used to reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer and help you keep the heating bill down in the winter. Pair it with one of the green energy plans available, and your wallet and world will thank you.
Create a row of trees opposite of south facing walls to create a wind block that will keep the chill of winter out of your house. Oaks and pines are great wind blockers. On the south side of your home, plant a couple of deciduous trees at each side to create a cooling tunnel effect that still lets the sun warm you in the winter.
Capture and Reuse Water
Watering your garden and lawn is a significant drain on natural resources, especially in hot, dry climates. To lessen the impact, put in a rain collection system that gathers the run-off from your eavesthroughs. You can also install a French drain to collect extra ground water and reduce excess moisture in the low-lying areas of your yard.
Rather than using water from the tap to nourish your plants, use the water provided by nature.
Food scraps don't belong in the garbage. In some parts of the world, composting is mandatory. If you don't live somewhere with a centralized compost collection system, create one of your own in the back corner of the yard.
Compost piles can be used for everything from kitchen scraps to yard trimmings. That being said, if you're creating a compost at home, don't put meat scraps and bones into your system. Doing so can create a terrible smell in the summer and attract scavengers.
Use a Seed Bank
Buying new seeds every year has a global impact. Those seeds were harvested, cleaned, and processed, then put on a truck to be shipped to a far-off location and stored. Reduce your carbon footprint by creating a seedbank from the plants you already have.
You can collect seeds from many common varieties of vegetables, as well as your favorite annual flowers. Some seeds are easier to save than others. However, if you do it right, you'll have year after year of seeds that are attuned to your soil and have no surprises as to their origins.
Use Natural Pest and Weed Control Methods
Seeing your beautiful garden get overtaken by weeds or falling victim to local critters can be frustrating. However, there are plenty of natural ways to overcome these issues. A simple border can keep deer away, while reflective metal pie trays can keep crows at bay.
Attracting natural predators to your garden, such as birds, will keep the bug population under control. There are also plenty of herbs you can plant within your garden that repels pests.
When it comes to weeds, using mulch or wet newspaper under the soil can keep them under wraps. If nothing else, pulling weeds by hand is an excellent form of exercise.
Use Native Plants in Season
If you use plants that are acclimatized to your area in the season they're meant to grow, you won't have to fight as hard to keep them alive. Furthermore, they'll attract local pollinators that will help the overall ecosystem thrive.
By implementing these sustainable gardening strategies, you can create a stunning landscape that nourishes the enviornment rather than detracting from it.