When it comes to your garden, you no doubt want a lot of greenery. But many homeowners these days are also looking to greenify in every aspect of their lives, and believe it or not, your garden may not be as eco-friendly as you like to think. Sure your gas-guzzling car and power-sucking electronics might seem to do more harm to the earth, but if you’re using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and watering your lawn daily, the exterior of your home could be taking just as much toll on the environment as the interior of your house. So here are just a few tips to help you go a little greener when it comes to your springtime gardening routine.
1. Go for the old. The expression, “out with the old and in with the new” is not one you want to adopt if your goal is to go green. Instead, try to recycle as much as you can when it comes to your garden. Along these lines, you might consider setting up a compost heap to create fertilizer for flower beds. Or you could use yard clippings and dead overgrowth to create mulch to spread around trees and planters as a way to retain moisture that might otherwise evaporate. Even better, though, you can find all kinds of ways to use old household items in your garden. Instead of throwing an old dresser in the trash, repurpose the drawers as planter boxes. And if you have a flat tire that’s no longer usable, save it for spring – you can hang it on an exterior wall and turn it into an eco-friendly planter.
2. Natural pest control. Keeping away the pests that devour your pretty garden can be quite a chore, especially if you’ve sworn off chemical pesticides. But there are all kinds of natural solutions at your disposal. Planting garlic or onions around the perimeter of a garden can help to keep many bugs at bay, but putting fresh garlic around roots in your rose garden will kill aphids on the plants. And there are many more options, depending on the pests that plague you. As for animals that come around to eat your veggies, ask about cat urine at your local nursery. They often sell it by the bottle and spritzing it around the fence line should scare off most nibblers.
3. Grow organic produce. Growing your own organic fruits and veggies is not only a great way to give your family healthy fare year-round (canning and jamming in the fall means great-tasting goodies throughout the winter), but it also allows you to boycott the chemically-treated fare at the grocery store, which doubles its carbon footprint through shipping.
4. Put in a cistern. Drawing on the clean water supply to keep your lawn and garden green is hardly eco-friendly. But installing a gray-water system may be outside your price range. Instead, put in a cistern that collects rainwater to use on your lawn. It’s an affordable compromise that will pay for itself over time as you save on your water bill.
5. Native plants. You may love the look of Asiatic lilies or birds of paradise, but choosing exotic plants can upset the natural balance of your native ecosystem. Instead, head to RTC landscaping (or your local nursery) for a lesson in native plants. And think about asking for drought-resistant options, as well, so that you can enjoy your greenery with less need for water.