BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Create an eco-garden instead of just a regular, ole garden.
Okay, so you’ve built your dream garden in your backyard. It’s flourishing, it’s beautiful and it’s environmentally-friendly. But, is it? Just like with everything in life, it could probably be better. That’s where eco-gardening comes in. There are different ways to turn your garden into a eco-garden, which is self-sustaining, relies on renewable energy and reduces your waste. Here are seven ways you can have a positive impact on the environment and transform your garden into one you can be really proud of.
Composting is key:
This is one of the most important aspects of an eco-garden. It’s so easy to implement, it’s hard to believe that everyone who already has a garden isn’t composting. Compost is just food waste and other organic waste that decomposes. Depending on the size of your garden you can install a compost bin or pit. Basically all the waste from your garden and food waste from your kitchen goes into the compost bin; the compost then gets spread on your garden bins. It’s simple, organic and it adds nutrients to your soil.
One obvious way to create an eco-friendly garden is to go fully organic. It’s not only healthier for you and your family if you’re choosing to grow fruits and veggies, but it’s overall more environmentally-friendly. This is because with an organic garden, there is no use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Instead of these harmful products, your garden will thrive on non-GMO seeds and your organic compost.
Save the rain:
A simple and cheap way to keep your garden watered is to install rain water barrels into your garden. Place some barrels or containers to collect and contain rainwater. Using this rainwater to water your eco-garden is just another way to reduce your environmental footprint and to reuse natural resources. Pro tip: you can also install drain pipes to transfer the water from your home’s downspouts into your sustainable garden.
Planting native plants and flowers in your garden will of course thrive more naturally than a foreign plant that isn’t naturally found in your specific climate. By choosing native species to put in your garden, they will naturally adapt to the natural conditions. This means that these plants won’t need as much fertilizer or water. The less resources needed to sustain your garden makes it more eco-friendly and definitely more sustainable.
Welcome the birds:
Anyone who has had a garden has probably noticed the little eco-systems that grow within it. Whether it be caterpillars, ants or snails, it can be so interesting to watch the bugs gather as the plants grow. If you build it, they will come it; it’s true. However, these little pests can destroy your garden. To combat this there are toxic insecticides and weed killers that you can spray to get rid of the pests. Yet, this is clearly not eco-friendly. Instead, consider installing bird feeders. Using birds to naturally rid your garden of harmful insects creates a natural insecticide. Tip: there are natural remedies like crushed eggshells, which you can plant in your eco-garden to quickly eliminate some insects.
It takes some more work, but it pays off. Ditch the gas lawnmower and instead purchase a push or electric mower. Keep this method with your entire garden. Electric tools, think weed eaters or leaf blowers, instead of the gas versions make a huge difference in your eco-garden. This goes for your furniture as well. Eco-friendly designed furniture like certain types of wooden furniture that aren’t treated with chemicals and can be exposed in cold months make the entire garden sustainable.
Solar energy is the future, so let’s make the future now. As we know, solar energy is much more sustainable than electricity, so why not implement this into your already eco-friendly garden. If you’re planning to light up your garden with lights to make the garden night-friendly, install solar panels. These panels will recharge the battery with the sunlight during the day and light up your garden at night. Your electricity bills, garden and eco-footstep will thank you later.