How Does Your Garden Grow: Eco-Friendly Summertime Gardening

Now that the summer months are within reach, we know you’re itching to get out the gardening gloves! While gardening can be a wonderful summertime activity for the whole family, it’s important to consider certain factors to make sure that your garden is as “green” as possible – and we’re not just talking about the plants! Below, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips for a thriving, Eco-friendly garden.

Conserve Water:

Excessive irrigation can be a major waste of our precious H2O! Some plants, such as shrubs and some oriental grasses, require little watering. Talk to your local nursery or garden center to find out about the best plants for your region and those plants that consume less water. There are some surprisingly beautiful plants out there that require little moisture.

In addition to planting drought-tolerant plants, be aware of your water consumption while you’re tending to your garden. Be sure to turn off the hose when it’s not in use, and pay close attention to the settings if you have a sprinkler system.

Grow A Vegetable Garden:

Growing your own herbs and veggies is one way to ensure that your produce is natural, organic and fresh, not to mention how satisfying (and nutritious)it can be to put together meals from homegrown ingredients. Maintaining a vegetable garden is also a great way to teach your kids about gardening and sustainability, and a vegetable garden can take up a relatively small amount of space in the yard (or on the balcony, if you live in an apartment or condo where the balcony gets plenty of sun).

Cut Back on the Chemicals:

Chemical fertilizers can increase your garden’s need for water; consider using compost or organic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers instead. Composting is simple, and another great way to recycle!

Some natural products such as rock phosphate, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, and bone meal act as nutrients to help your garden thrive. In addition, ask your local garden center if they carry Mycorrhizae – microorganisms available at some nurseries (and online) that give your plants a greater ability to absorb water, as well as other nutrients.

Use Biological Pest Control:

Instead of harsh chemical pesticides, which can harm the environment and pose a threat to family pets, consider biological pest control. This involves introducing living organisms (such as ladybugs, ground beetles and spiders) into your garden to naturally take care of the “bad” bugs.

Keep in mind that biological pest control does require a bit more time and consideration than chemical pesticides. It’s important to understand the basic biology behind the insects you’ll be importing to ensure that your efforts are successful and that the insects you introduce don’t have an adverse affect on the local environment. Again, consult your local garden center or spend some time online researching how biological pest control can work for your garden.

Do you have any more great gardening tips or Eco-friendly garden solutions? Tweet us! We’re on Twitter at @justenergygroup.

Happy gardening!

References:

http://www.ahs.org/gardening_q_and_a/summer_gardening_tips.htm

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19618311/ns/today-today_home_and_garden/t/how-create-eco-friendly-garden-home/#.T7xbMo5VN94

http://cipm.ncsu.edu/ent/biocontrol/

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