Gardening has a valuable purpose of supplying food and growing plants of all varieties help the environment. But gardening, even done properly, manipulates nature and changes the environment. If gardening is poorly planned it can cause erosion. Heavy chemical use in the garden can harm plants, animals, and the soil and water. It also will lead to weaker plants.
The easiest way to explain green gardening is when the gardener works more with nature. Is has the same principles as organic gardening but with green gardening you try to match plants more with location and often use no dig methods to protect the soils structure. The less you disturb your soil and backyard garden area the greener your garden will be. Here are a few steps that will help you keep your garden environmentally friendly.
The best principal of Green Gardening is “to Keep it Simple”
Selecting your garden site
Your garden needs to be located in an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and that has adequate drainage. You also need to check the soil and add nutrients if needed. A poor soil creates sickly plants, which leads to more insects and plant disease.
It’s also important to select plants for your garden that will grow in the climate that you live in. If you want a tropical plant but it will not grow in your garden climate consider having it in a container and on the patio or indoors. You will also want to plant sun loving plants in the sun and shade loving plants near buildings or trees for best results and healthy plants. Plants that are grown in the wrong area and poor soil will require more time to keep them healthy.
Know your soil.
Have your soil tested so that you understand what it is made of and what it needs to grow healthy plants and drain well. You can purchase soil-testing kits at most garden centers. You can improve your soil by adding nutrients, compost and by using the no-dig or lasagna gardening methods.
Stronger synthetic fertilizers will improve the soil quicker but they hurt the soil and nature Organic soils building methods take longer but build a better soil that will only improve over the years.
Annual flowers or vegetables exhaust the soil nutrients faster than other plants so you will need supplemental feeding during the growing season. Again you can find natural organic fertilizers but natural methods are preferred for green gardening and over extended time.
Organic matter, compost, and mulch will all add nutrients to your soil and build your soil from year to year. And side dressing your gardens adds the extra boost during the growing season for your flowers and vegetables.
My soil is a heavy clay base. I always keep mulch on my ground and work it in at the end of every growing season. This practice alone has dramatically improved my soil and drainage.
I also have used no chemicals on my land in at least 12 years. I live too close to a creek to take the chance of any chemical working into the creek, plus I don’t like chemicals on food, plants or my land.
If you do have an insect problem there are many natural insect controls and natural home insect sprays you can try.
Green gardening is friendlier to your yard, garden, pets and family. It’s also a healthier way to live. If we all try at least one green gardening idea we can help our communities and our world.