Today’s post is from Rob Jones, online marketer and chief blogger for BuildDirect, an online flooring and building materials. In this post, Rob outlines 10 ways to go green when you’re gardening.
In this 21st Century of ours, with ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’ becoming such important terms in so many areas of life, from industry to leisure, examples of turning to low-tech, and low-impact, methods of doing things are decidedly pertinent to our times.
Among the many, this is certainly true when it comes to green gardening. This is a practice that many homeowners, and even some commercial property management companies, are taking up for the benefit of the environment. But, they’re also taking it up for the benefit of the very impulses that inspire people to take up gardening in the first place – a healthy connection with nature itself.
With that in mind, here are ten ways to go green in your backyards:
1. Let Mother Nature Do Her Thing
This is the first principle in green gardening that lends value to all of the other points you’ll read here – to let nature lead the way with things like local climate, plant choice, local flora and fauna, and how they all interrelate. Then, plan your garden around it.
2. Forget pesticides and chemical fertilizers
Seek out organic and biodegradable alternatives to chemicals. And consider this: that many of the animals that many consider to be pests may actually play a role in the balance of local ecosystems. Find a balance between pest control, and letting the natural world chip in on that score, too.
3. Choose local plants
There are many plants that are native to your area that go unsung in the beauty stakes. Yet they have an advantage; a natural affinity for local climate means that they’ll be beautiful for longer, and you’ll spend less time, and fewer resources, trying to keep them thriving, and more time enjoying how their beauty has transformed your garden. “Green” and practicality often go together.
4. Make Friends with Bees & Butterflies
These two species are the pollination heavyweight champions of the world. Find out which local plants they like, and plant away! Your garden, and surrounding eco-system, will thank you. And here’s another reason to do away with pesticides, too.
5. Treat Water Like Gold
Water is the prime engine of all living things. Try to think about ways of making the most of it. One way is to use wood chip mulch to help your garden retain moisture for longer.
6 Use Old, Useful, Practical Technology
Jumping off from the last point, use water barrels to collect precious rainfall to supplement, or even replace, the garden hose. You can buy rainbarrels that attach directly to your eavestrough water spouts. It’s a great example of how a simple, and ‘old school’ technology can help to alleviate your draw upon the water supply.
7. Involve Yourself in Community Gardening
When you’re living in an apartment, one green gardening option is community gardens, where you can meet other people who may have tips of their own about how to employ green practices when gardening. Community gardens and urban allotment programs are a great way to green-i-fy your community at large. And suddenly, green garden takes on a whole new meaning, when you think about how a practice like this can transform a whole community, rather than just one yard.
8. Make Your Own Compost
Instead of throwing out those rinds, those egg shells, that food waste, why not put it back into the soil? Seek out DIY compost units at your local gardening centers, read up on how to reduce compost odors, and start creating that natural organic matter that will enrich your soil without having to buy commercial fertilizers.
9. Grow Your Own Food
Locally sourced food has tremendous benefit to ecosystems; no vehicles required to deliver it, and no undue use of chemicals to sustain the food for long journeys are two great examples of immediate ecological benefits. And think of the convenience!
10. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
Go minimalist according to this long established green mantra! Choose fencing, trellises, and other equipment that is sourced from sustainable, or re-purposed materials.
So, there you have it – 10 ways to go green in your garden!
There was a time when green gardening was the norm, of course. Learning from the past, and taking the best of low-tech and community-minded solutions lets nature lead the way to the most rewarding experiences we’ve ever had in our gardens.