People think that having a garden is eco-friendly. After all, you have different flowers and trees growing on an otherwise empty patch of earth.
However, it’s not always the case. Gardens can be wasteful. Yards that have grass carpets, for example, require so much water to maintain their green color which can be a huge waste of resources, especially during a drought. There are also non-native plants that are invasive and which can degrade soil quality, leading to erosion. Then, there’s the use of pesticides which, not only kill beneficial insects but also build resistance among pests.
Of course, there are ways to make your garden look visually appealing and at the same time better for the environment. Here are a few tips to consider.
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Plant Native Plants
Native plants are the best for the environment. They support local insects and pollinators, contributing toward creating a more diverse ecosystem.
They also require little maintenance. Because they evolved to withstand the local climate, they are hardier to different environmental elements which means that you don’t have to spend so much time on upkeep.
Plus, many of them are drought-resistant which means that they can survive during a dry spell without extra watering from you.
Install A Rain Barrel
Rainwater is free. It should be used to sustain your garden, not wasted in the sewer system.
A rain barrel is easy to install and will give you a consistent supply of water. Of course, it’s best if this comes directly from the sky, but in case there are extended periods without rain, your rain barrel can help you extend your water supply.
However, it’s best to use the water in a couple of days, since that is how long most bacteria and insects need to die off.
Use Old Windowsills To Store Pots
Instead of buying new flower pots and saucers for your garden, why not re-purpose old window sills? These add a bit of personality to your garden.
There are so many things that you can reuse for your garden. Items that otherwise will go to waste can become part of your landscaping. You may have old bricks that are just taking up room in the garage or an old door that you can turn into a trellis. Your used bottles of water or soda can also be reused as a plot. Meanwhile, egg cartons are the perfect space for seedlings when you finally decide to plant some seeds.
The best part is, you create a rustic garden. Not only are you saving the planet from being choked with garbage, you’re also adding creativity and personality into your garden.
Make A Compost Pile
Food scraps don’t have to go to waste. You can make a compost pile using grass clippings, leaves, dirt, coffee grounds and filters, and kitchen scraps. Worms help turn organic scraps into great compost for potted plants.
Although food scraps are biodegradable, when they end up in landfills, they take a long time to decompose. Methane from these scraps builds up and contributes toward global warming, so by composting food, you’re helping the environment. Moreover, you’re helping your own garden thrive by giving them the nutrients they need to grow.
You can add almost anything biodegradable into your compost. Aside from food scraps, you can use pieces of wood and plants, egg cartons, bamboo skewers, even ripped paper.
Some “plastic” packaging that are used to ship your online orders are compostable because they’re made from plant-based materials such as corn, sugar cane, and wheat. These would decompose within six months. However, make sure that the packaging specifically says that it’s compostable, or ask the seller if it is compostable.
Install Solar Lighting
Solar lights with LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient lighting you can find. They will help keep your garden nice and bright without costing you an arm and a leg on electricity bills.
They come in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that fits into your garden design.
And, contrary to common beliefs, clean energy is expensive. As more people switch to clean energy, the cost of solar panel installation has decreased and become more affordable to more residents. There are also now solar companies across the country, ready to serve anyone who wants to switch to using clean energy.
Remember that switching to clean energy isn’t just beneficial for our planet, but it can improve your home’s resale value.
These are all easy ways to reduce your environmental impact and help your garden thrive at the same time. So, go ahead and try these strategies out for your own garden.