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As homeowners, we have a responsibility of maintaining a garden that’s not detrimental to the surrounding environment. An eco-friendly garden is important in a number of ways, such as creating a sustainable ecosystem for all living organisms that may be in presence. In this article, we share three tips for gardeners to promote a greener outdoor space.
Embrace Natural Resources
Outdoor gardening is not the cheapest of hobbies. You might find yourself spending a lot of money on resources like garden fertilizer, electricity, and water. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that allow you to harvest such resources naturally. For example, if your garden requires a lot of watering then consider using a water conservation technique such as rainwater harvesting. This is especially useful for people who live in areas that get seasonal rainfalls. Rainwater harvesting could be as simple as setting up rain barrels around the backyard. How much impact can rain barrels have? According to the EPA, rain barrels could save up to 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.
Another method to consider is composting. Fertilizer can get fairly pricey, especially if the soil in the garden is depleted of natural minerals. Rather than relying fully on fertilizer products, you could make some of your own by composting natural household waste. Compostable items include fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, shredded paper documents, grass clippings, and more.
Use Pesticide Alternatives
While it may be very effective at its job, chemical pesticide and herbicide have been linked to all sorts of health problems. Instead of using such products, we encourage you to try natural alternatives. One of the more sustainable pest control solutions is to attract beneficial insects.
Pests like fleas give insects a bad reputation but not all are bad. Beneficial insects refer to bug species that will leave your plants alone and primarily feed on the pest population. Examples of beneficial insects include ladybugs, spiders, praying mantis, and ground beetles.
There are a few conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to attract such insects to your garden. First, make sure there are places for the insects to shelter in. This could include large pebbles and compost piles for the insects to hide under. Second, make sure there is a source of water. If your area does not get a lot of rainfall then consider placing a shallow tray of water around the garden. Last but not least, don’t try and eradicate all of the pests. The beneficial insects have no reason to stay if there is nothing for them to prey on.
Use Eco-Friendly Garden Tools
Revisit the gardening tools and equipment at your disposal. Some of them may be contributing to unwanted environmental issues. For example, gas-powered lawn mowers could emit high levels of air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide.
These tools could be practical for specific situations, such as for those who need to maintain large gardening spaces, but it should be in one’s best interest to optimize the usage of such tools by either reducing the usage time or by seeking alternatives that emit less pollution. Aside from lawn mowers, other gardening tools that one should revisit include leaf blowers, chainsaws, and trimmers.
Sam Choan is a big gardening enthusiast who likes to write about topics related to going green, natural DIY, and conservation. In his free time, Sam likes to work on his small garden patch where he grows a variety of herbs and vegetables.