Eco-Friendly Tips and Tricks for Your Garden
Some people have a green thumb, and other people need a little more help in their gardening endeavors. If you happen to be in the latter group, don’t panic, it’s relatively easy to become a successful gardener. Try these easy and eco-friendly tips to grow a productive garden.
Test Your Soil
Often times, local universities will offer this service. If that’s not the case for you, search online for a place where you can send a soil sample to have it tested. Once you know the composition of your soil, you’ll be able to supplement it accordingly, setting the stage for a successful garden.
Choose Plants Wisely
Research which plants grow well in the climate you live in. Purchase organic, and/or heirloom, seeds or seedlings and follow growing guides accordingly.
Making compost is surprisingly easy and helps to grow your garden. You can purchase a counter compost container that you deposit food scraps in, such as banana peels, potato skin, coffee grounds, etc. Add worms and they break the scraps down into a nutrient-rich compost you can use to enrich the garden soil.
Mulch Your Beds
Mulch is not only decorative, but also serves an important purpose. It traps moisture underneath and keeps the soil from drying out. This allows plants to thrive, grow, and produce. Be sure to avoid mulches that contain dyes and other chemicals. Biodegradable is preferable.
Control the Pests
No need to use toxic, environmentally-destructive pesticides in your garden. Ground egg shells, diatomaceous earth, cayenne pepper, salt, and peppermint oil are all natural elements that deter various common garden pests.
Several spices are excellent fungus preventers when sprinkled on plant leaves. Cinnamon, mustard, and clove are just several of many natural fungi fighters you can use in place of the toxic chemical versions.
No Need for Weeds
Weeds are the bane of many a gardener’s existence, but, reaching for popular herbicides from big box stores is a recipe for disaster. These herbicides do major damage to your yard, and the environment, and have been classified as a “probably carcinogen”. Make your own weed killer using vinegar and dish soap. This potent powerhouse is best kept away from food beds as it will kill all plants it’s used on or around. A better alternative? Use good old elbow grease and pick the weeds yourself!
Purchase a rain barrel and collect rain runoff to use when watering your garden. This saves you money and is great for the environment; Alternative Energy, Inc. even sells them! Check local laws to ensure this is permissible where you live.
Capture the Sun's Energy
Use solar lighting along garden pathways for safety and decorative purposes. Yet another way to save money by harnessing what Mother Nature offers free of charge.
Reap What You Sow
After all the work you’ve invested in your garden, enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your harvest!
Gardening is a year-round endeavor, so always be ready for the next stage of planting, growing, and harvesting. In today’s questionable food supply market, growing our own food has never been more important. Even if you don’t have land, most produce can be grown in containers in most climates. You’ll earn that green thumb soon enough!