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Go Green in April with These 7 Environmentally Friendly Gardening Tips

If you care about nature, there’s more you can do than some occasional recycling. You can start small, and make some changes in your garden. If you adopt environmentally friendly gardening techniques, you can make life easier for animals and plants that are native to your area. This way, you’ll encourage them to reproduce, and the biodiversity of the region won’t suffer.

Why Choose Environmentally Friendly Gardening?

Taking care of a garden is no easy work. You need to choose the plants you want to grow, find out how to care for them, get the soil ready, and maintain all necessary conditions for everything to thrive. However, some of these activities might damage the environment.

Plants are easy targets for all kinds of pests that can disappear easily by using toxic chemicals. Using strong fertilizers might not be the best environmental choice either, while some plants simply repel beneficial insects. In the end, this will affect your garden as well.

However, environmentally friendly gardening can help you avoid unpleasant situations and still take care of nature. You can replace harmful chemicals with some natural pesticides, grow plants that help you save water, and find ways to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Here are several environmentally friendly gardening tips you can apply if you want to turn your garden into a nature haven.

Environmentally Friendly Gardening Tips

1.      Grow Your Own Food

The best way to stay healthy is to eat fruits and vegetables that come from trustworthy sources. If you buy them from supermarkets, chances are they are full of chemicals and pesticides. Mass production doesn’t offer plants the best conditions to grow in, so you probably won’t get the healthiest products out there.

Therefore, one great solution would be to plant your own fruits and vegetables. This way, you’ll be sure of what you eat. A big garden will offer you the chance of a rich plantation, and maybe you won’t need to buy any other vegetables from other sources.

In case you don’t have much space for a broad vegetable garden, you can switch to herbs. These are great for cooking use but have other purposes as well. They are great to attract all kinds of pollinators and beneficial insects that will help your garden thrive.

2.      Plant Native Plants

One of the most popular environmentally friendly gardening tips is to go all native. Sometimes, those plants that are native to an area can no longer thrive because of other invasive species. These are plants that are brought from different regions or countries for their aspect or different purposes. In some cases, they might take over the ecosystem they have been introduced to. This prevents the native species from growing.

Going native to your garden does not only help the natural biodiversity. These plants do not require any extra care, as they have already adapted to living in the conditions offered by the area. Therefore, you can save valuable resources, like water, when taking care of them.

Xeriscape garden with plants resistant to droughts

3.      Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping contains all those gardening techniques that help you reduce the need for irrigation. Therefore, it consists of growing plants that can resist drought. This way, you get to save a lot of water that otherwise would have gone to the plants. These plants are also low maintenance so that you can save time and other resources. Many of the plants used in xeriscaping are also native, so this is another plus.

4.      Get Rid of Pests Naturally

The trickiest part of growing plant is the one which includes diseases and pests. Like any other living organism, plants often fall victims to different attackers, be they animals, insects, fungi, or viruses. They cannot protect themselves, so we have to do it for them. Instead of using all those toxic substances, you can look for other ways to get rid of pests.

There are plenty of insects that can feed on regular plant predators. These include ladybugs, bees, or lacewings. They are fond of eating aphids, which are the most common pests in the garden. Birds eat pests as well, so you can install special bird feeders everywhere in your garden. They will get you rid of slugs, caterpillars, grubs, or snails.

5.      Make Your Own Compost

Instead of buying expensive fertilizers that might damage the soil, you can make your own compost. Stop throwing away your dinner leftovers and all the food waste you gather in your house. Seal them in a special container, together with other materials as well. This can include leaves, but also pieces of paper or recyclable material. This way, your soil will stay a lot healthier if it gets organic matter.

Using a sieve to make the compost thinner

6.      Grow Plants Together

One great environmentally friendly gardening tip is companion planting. This consists of growing several plants together, in tight rows. One plant can work as a pest repellent for another, so this is definitely the most eco-friendly way to get rid of pests. If you surround a row of plants with another row of a different species, you get the most natural way possible to deal with pests.

7.      Attract Bees and Other Pollinators

A great idea for the entire environment, not only for your garden, is to build a friendly place for pollinators. At the moment, the US is struggling with severely decreasing numbers of bee populations. You can grow those plants that specifically appeal to them, such as lemon balm, lilac, or goldenrod.

The more such species you plant, the better it is for the insects. This way, you will get to help the production of food crops, and allow for certain plant species to survive.

Ladybugs on a branch at night

Summing Up

Everyone should adopt environmentally friendly gardening. While it helps you keep a healthy garden with non-toxic fruits and vegetables, it brings a great contribution to the health of the environment. If your garden is a haven for bees, pollinators, birds, and native species of plants, you offer great support for biodiversity.

Some gardening tips can help you save resources as well. Growing native plants, as well as opting for species that can resist drought will help you preserve water.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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