Blog Action Day is finally here folks, and I’d like to take this opportunity to give you all some great advice on making your gardens a little bit greener. Here is a list of all participating blogs, if you’d like to browse through other environmentally friendly posts.
8 Great Ways to Make Your Garden Eco-Friendly
1. Use native plants! These plants already have an excellent natural defense against pests and harsh weather in your area. eNature has a great search tool for finding plants native to your area. For those of you up here in Minnesota, a few nice native plants are Purple Coneflowers and Black Eyed Susans. Native plants are great because they are much lower maintenance, and you don’t have to use a ton of water or fertilizer to keep them looking great.
2. Stop using pesticides and fertilizers. This one is obvious. 99% of insects in your garden are beneficial, but trying to kill that small 1% of harmful bugs can do a lot of damage to the good creatures as well (including birds, butterflies, fish, even your family!) If you must rid your garden of certain pests, try using a natural pesticide. Have aphids? Get some ladybugs. Ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 aphids in one lifetime. Or, look around for some organic pesticides; there are a lot of them on the market.
3. Feed your plants, the natural way. Composting is the BEST way to go when trying to give your plants an extra boost. There are quite a few different composting bins out there, all in different sizes. Composting is not only beneficial to your plants, but it’s also saving you a lot of work in the long run. On average, every American throws away 1,200 lbs. of organic materials that could instead be composted!
4. Reduce! The amount of watering, that is. This can be done by using drip lines, or a layer of mulch. Drip lines use much less water than a sprinkler, while mulch will hold moisture in the soil for longer and thus require less frequent watering.
5. Reuse! I’m talking about your pots! I know that it doesn’t seem too appealing, but if you’re growing a lot of small plants or herbs, then used yogurt containers will work perfectly! And if you really don’t like how they look, you can always have some craft time and decorate them a bit.
6. Recycle! Or buy recycled, that is. If you’re getting new pots, or even lawn furniture- consider buying recycled materials.
7. Use Great Design. Create a cool Rain Garden by planting your garden low in your yard, so that it will collect more water when it rains! This will almost eliminate the need for watering, and will also help prevent runoff pollution!
8. Use rainwater. Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater. Make sure to keep a screen over the top of it!