Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great 4th of July! Did you have barbecue in your backyard? Did you wish that you had a better garden to impress everyone? Now you have the chance to redecorate your garden, and make it ‘green’ too!
Lawns generally need more water and fertilizers than other plantings. Plus, they need to be mowed approximately once per week in the summertime, and if you don’t have an electric or reel mower, you’re burning fossil fuels every time you mow. Here are some tips to make your backyard as eco-friendly as possible:
Being water-wise means not only reducing the amount of water you use, but also managing rainwater. Rainwater often gets directed to a pipe as soon as possible and then directed to a river, pond, or sewer. But, it is possible to capture it, store it, and redistribute it to be used again. For example, direct the downspout from your rain gutters to a rain barrel and then use the captured water to irrigate your landscape.
Go Native and Use Drought-Tolerant Plants
Native plants are well-adapted to live in the area in which you live. Plus, they typically will provide a food source or some sort of ecological input that supports local insect and animal species. Drought-tolerant plants will conserve you water.
Build and Protect the Soil
In most suburban and urban areas, the soil is terribly depleted of minerals and nutrients. By amending the soil with organic fertilizers, cover crops, and compost, you can support an eco-friendly landscape design and help protect the soil structure. This creates a more nutrient-rich soil in which your plants can grow.
Grow Your Own Food
From farming methods to transporting food, we rely on fossil fuels to feed everyone in the United States. You can do your part to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reduce food miles, and provide nutrient-rich vegetables to your family by growing your own food. You can grow a surprising amount of food in a small space, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply walk out your back door and harvest some lettuce for dinner?
Get to Know Beneficial Insects
Many gardeners mistakenly think all insects are bad. If they don’t recognize a particular insect, they go get the sprayer and shoot the insect with a chemical pesticide until it dies. This is one of the worst things you can do. Why? There are many insects in the garden that help keep the “bad bugs” in check. Ladybugs are just some of the helpful insects that you should keep in your backyard.
These are just a few of the many ways in which you can create an eco-friendly landscape design. The bottom line is that you must work with nature, not against it.
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Have a great weekend, everyone!