Going green in every room of your house is important, but have you stopped to look out the window? Cultivating an eco-friendly and environmentally friendly garden is another step towards living sustainably, and there are easy ways to turn your front and backyard into lush paradises without wasting precious resources or racking up your water bills. Consider these tips for building a green garden in your yard and make sure you and your family are doing all you can to conserve natural resources.
1. Save Rainwater
Saving water has never been more important, especially in the face of warm summers and disastrous droughts. Keeping a garden lush and vibrant, especially with exotic plants, means using plenty of water. So how can you cut down on use? Consider using what nature’s already given you. Renovate America, who offers PACE financing through the HERO Program, offers rainwater catchment systems designed to store rainwater directly from downspouts. You can then use this water to sustain your plants and keep your garden looking its best, without running the house for too long and building up your utility bills. One note of caution: in some cities, storing rainwater has been outlawed, so make sure you’re aware of your area’s policies before investing in such a system.
2. Ladybugs and Birds Are Your Friends
Instead of using toxic pesticides and chemicals to keep insects off of your plants, fight fire with fire. Attracting garden-friendly bugs is integral to a fresh, organic and healthy garden. Ladybugs in particular can be effective for pest control, as they eat aphids that might have ruined your plants. You can purchase ladybugs and make efforts to attract them through flower beds including marigolds and sunflowers, amongst other blooms. Birds can also do your garden a great service—they can eat up the snails, slugs, and caterpillars that could be laying waste to your garden favorites. Simply hang a few bird feeders to encourage more visits from your feathered friends, and eliminate the need for fungicides and insecticides.
3. Recycle Kitchen Scraps
If you want to make your soil as nutrient rich as possible, consider compiling your kitchen scraps and creating compost. Compost has long been called “gardener’s gold”, and for good reason. It gives existing soil more nutrients, and helps it retain moisture and increase aeration. Instead of throwing that banana peel in the garbage, toss it in a compost bin and combine it with garden clippings and coffee grounds, along with other compostable items. Consider this: the average person throws out around 1,500 pounds of garbage each year. If you switch to composting, you may only throw out around 375 pounds.
4. Cut Down on the Grass
If your yard is full of grass, consider the ways you can diminish the square footage covered in green grassy goodness. Instead of grass, look towards stone walkways, pavers, and easy to care for ground cover plants. Moss can be a great alternative to grass and see you saving plenty on watering costs and hours in maintenance.
5. Stick to Native Plants
Instead of planting exotic flowers that don’t belong on this continent, let alone in your yard, let your local area’s beauty astound you. Using native plants means encouraging natural growth. These plants are generally much easier to maintain, as they’ve evolved to survive in your area. Whether it’s long grasses or natural blooms, you’ll find that making the switch to native blooms can be beneficial to your yard, wallet, and time reserves.
6. Plant Some More Trees
One of the best ways to help the environment is by planting trees. They help to purify the air, and provide a home base for local wildlife. Adding trees to your yard can also greatly increase the value of your property. Just one mature tree can improve the resale value of your home by a massive amount, and the aesthetic benefits can’t be understated. Check out the mature trees available from BowerandBranch.com.
These eco-friendly tips can have you well on your way to a green, lush organic garden. With a variety of ways to ensure your landscaping efforts take sustainability into consideration, a beautiful garden is within reach. Whether you elect to plant trees, incorporate stone walkways and gravel, or use state of the art rain catchment systems, every effort matters.