Is Your Garden Eco-Friendly?
Make small changes to maintain a beautiful garden with less pollution and waste.
People have been practicing organic gardening for years, but now it's being rediscovered by a new generation of gardeners.
Gardening organically involves thinking about plants in terms of the natural elements that contribute to their success, including healthy soil, proper maintenance and weed and insect control.
Here are 3 things you need to do this summer to maintain your eco-conscious garden:
Decomposed material that was once alive should be added to the soil to feed the microorganisms in it, which in turn feeds the plants. There are a wide variety of organic soils made from all-natural ingredients, as well as quick and slow-release fertilizers and eco-friendly products you can use for your the lawn and garden. It's impossible to build up organic matter permanently in the soil because it continually decomposes and disappears, so soil building is an ongoing process. Decaying plant wastes, such as grass clippings, leaves and kitchen food scraps are the building blocks of compost, the premium organic matter for your garden soil.
Compost bins act as backyard fertilizer factories by turning dinner scraps into eco-friendly food for your garden soil. The Home Depot offers a wide selection ofcomposters that will allow you to continually add organic matter to your lawn and garden. In addition to being an environmentally-friendly way to boost your garden soil, this constant supply of compost can also help maintain the pH balance of the soil.
Keep weeds at bay and help the environment by laying landscape fabric, which works as a durable barrier without the use of chemicals. It also lets air, water and nutrients into the soil and retains moisture, so you can water less often.
Mulch is another solution to help discourage weeds. A thick layer of mulch will keep light out, preventing weed seeds from germinating, and will also protect the soil, leaving weed seeds to land on the mulch rather than penetrate the soil. The Home Depot carries a wide range of eco-friendly weed control products that won't add harmful chemicals to your garden soil, or rob your plants of valuable nutrients.
Regularly rotating the location of your vegetablescan help prevent disease and pests from lingering in the soil, waiting to attack next season's crops. Space plants evenly to promote circulation and mix some pest-repelling flowers, such as marigolds, among your vegetables. This will make it harder for pests to find their plant of choice, and naturally deter them with their scent and colour.
Invite wildlife into your backyard to keep pests away. A birdbath will attract birds that will feast on insects, keeping them from attacking your plants, while a pond can lure toads and lizards into your yard, where they too will feed on pests. Eco-friendly pest-controls are another option, but if you have a vegetable garden, make sure these products are safe to use on edibles.