Planting a vegetable or flower garden seems like the perfect thing to do when you are looking for ways to adopt a greener, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Some traditional gardening practices, however, may not be quite as “green” as you might think. Planning your gardens with the environment in mind and choosing some practices that maintain healthy ecosystems can help you create a truly “green” garden.
Tips for a Green Garden
There are easy, effective steps you can take in your garden to go green, including…
- Plant local and native species of trees and shrubs which are naturally adapted to the conditions in your area, thus requiring less watering and having natural defenses for local insect pests and plant diseases.
- Collect rainwater for watering your container gardens and new transplants, and adjust your irrigation schedule to compensate for whenever Mother Nature does the watering for you.
- Use organic compost and mulch to improve soil health and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Better yet, make your own compost so you can adjust it to exactly what your plants need while keeping more waste out of landfills.
- Opt for disease-resistant and pest-resistant plants rather than trying to force plants into an unfriendly area where they will need chemical assistance and extra maintenance to thrive.
- Try to use natural products instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Use traps and natural predators such as ladybugs and praying mantises. Plants that repel insects – basil, chives, mint, marigolds or mums – mixed in with other plants can help keep pests away.
- Choose wildlife-friendly plants such as flowerbeds that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators, and don’t be upset to share some of your garden space with other critters.
These are just a few of the simple changes you can make in your gardening practices that will benefit the environment.
More and more “green” products are readily available to help you maintain the natural health of your garden. Before using a product, however, be sure it is suitable for your situation, and follow all application and use instructions. Even organic or eco-friendly products can become toxic contaminants if they are improperly used.
Popular options for green gardening products include…
- Espoma Organic Fertilizers contain probiotic beneficial soil microbes, plus ecto- and endo- mycorrhizae, which feed the fiber of the living soil by releasing natural organic matter, People and pet safe.
- Espoma Organic Potting Mix and Espoma Organic Vegetable and Flower Garden Soil fortified with worm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and shrimp meal. A proprietary blend of 11 different strains of mycorrhizae, a naturally occurring fungi, is added to enhance plant growth and reduce the amount of watering required.
- Espoma Organic Plant Foods are 100% natural and organic approved. Enhanced with Bio-tone beneficial microbes, Espoma Organic Plant foods are slow-release, long lasting and safe for people, pets, and the environment.
- Espoma Garden Lime, Soil Acidifier, Garden Gypsum, and Compost Starter help improve your soil without artificial chemical compounds. People and pet safe,
- Espoma Organic pest controls are organic controls for all of your pest problems, including all types of unwanted or troublesome insects. People and pet safe.
- Bonide offers natural and organic formulas for pest and plant disease control, such as Neem Oil, Thuricide Liquid (BT), Slug Magic, and Sulfur Plant Fungicide.
- Jonathan Green Mag-i-Cal and Love Your Soil soil foods naturally improve lawns and landscapes by feeding soil microbes with a natural form of humates.
Developing “green” gardening practices benefits you and your family, your garden, your native plants and animals, your water supply – our world, all of us.