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Hello Skillins Country!! We will be closed July 4th-5th to celebrate Independence day! Thanks and STAY SAFE out there!
Hello Skillins Country!! We will be closed July 4th-5th to celebrate Independence day! Thanks and STAY SAFE out there!
Ways to Make Your Garden Eco-Friendly

Ways to Make Your Garden Eco-Friendly

A garden may seem to be immediately eco-friendly by providing homegrown produce without plastic packaging, toxic emissions from long-distance shipping, or chemical preservatives to enhance appearance. But not every garden is equally eco-friendly depending on how you design, plant, and care for the space.

12 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Garden

Good planning and thoughtful practices ensure an eco-friendly garden. The smallest steps can add up to the biggest impact, and each step you take toward a more environmentally-sound garden, the better your garden will be for you, your landscape, native wildlife, and the planet as a whole.

  1. Consider Size – An overly large garden will require more time, effort, and resources to maintain. It can be tempting to resort to less eco-friendly practices with a larger plot, such as overwatering or overuse of fertilizers or other chemicals. A smaller space requires more creative planning and purposeful use, which will have a more eco-friendly outcome.

  2. Create Compost – Making your own compost for the garden is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to nourish the soil, conserve water, and minimize weeds. This also uses garden and kitchen scraps in the best form of recycling. Need more compost for your garden? Invite your neighbors to contribute to the compost pile for even more waste reduction.

  3. Rely on Natural Pest Control – Instead of resorting to harsh chemicals to eliminate pests that damage garden plants, opt for natural methods such as inviting birds, bats, and other wildlife into the garden space to munch on unwanted bugs. You can also use pest-resistant plants as a natural barrier or use netting and other non-chemical ways to exclude pests.

  4. Plant What You Will Use – While it is fun to experiment with new garden plants, be sure what you plant is something you will actually want to use. This will eliminate wasted space, effort, and resources if unknown plants won’t thrive in your garden. Consider trading with your neighbor or otherwise sharing plants for more garden diversity in the neighborhood.

  5. Include Native Plants – Add native plants to your garden plot to welcome natural pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Not only will this create a more diverse ecosystem in your garden, but it will also improve the yield of your plants as pollination will be more thorough and ongoing throughout the season.

  6. Collect Rainwater – Instead of using filtered or treated water to give your garden a drink, collect rainwater through barrels or cisterns and use that natural source for watering. Likewise, adjust any automatic watering systems to compensate when Mother Nature takes matters into her own hands with a thorough rainfall.

  7. Conserve Water – Conserving water is a great eco-friendly practice to incorporate into your garden. If supplemental watering is necessary, opt for soaker hoses and time watering appropriately to the climate so the water is able to soak in to the garden rather than evaporate. Grouping plants with similar watering needs together can also make watering more efficient.

  8. Minimize or Eliminate Chemicals – Extra fertilizers, pesticides, soil amendments, herbicides, and other chemicals can leach through garden soil and contaminate water supplies and natural waterways. Using organic options or eliminating these chemicals from your garden altogether will be more eco-friendly to help your garden and preserve surrounding habitats.

  9. Upcycle Garden Furniture – Instead of buying a new garden bench, greenhouse, or storage shed, consider upcycling materials to make what you need. An old door and a few cinder blocks can become a easy garden worktable, an old mailbox can store hand tools in a convenient spot, and old windows can be fit together for a unique and rustic greenhouse.

  10. Save Seeds – Take the time to save the healthiest seeds from your most successful plants, and you will already be stocked for next year with the best seeds for a productive garden. You can also join in local seed exchanges or trade seeds with neighbors or friends for more variety without needing to buy seeds that must be packaged, treated, and shipped.

  11. Get Hands-On – The more hands-on you are in the garden by pulling weeds by hand, maintaining tools properly, or using human-powered machinery such as a hand tiller or push mower, the less fuel you will use and the fewer emissions your garden equipment will produce. This will also give you more exercise for even more benefits from your gardening efforts.

  12. Make Gardening a Family Activity – Getting children involved in good, eco-friendly gardening practices can make an impact for years to come as youngsters learn the skills needed to effectively raise their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Teaching thoughtful practices from the beginning will ensure those eco-friendly practices continue for new generations.

There are many ways to nurture an eco-friendly garden, and even taking just one or two small steps at a time can lead to sound practices and a thriving garden without damaging other local habitats.

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