How to be a More Environmentally-Conscious Gardener

flat lay of gardening tools, clippers, gloves, plants, pots, soil, spiro geroulanos environmentally friendly gardener

People who garden tend to love the outdoors; the two just go naturally hand-in-hand. But not all gardening practices are created equal. While adding more trees and plants to this world is helpful and can benefit your local environment, there are ways to sustain an even healthier and more planet-friendly garden. The last thing you want to do is garden in a way that harms the environment and makes future gardening more difficult. Read on for tips on how to become a more environmentally-conscious curator of the outdoors.

Compost food scraps

As of January 2014, only 28 percent of Americans admitted to composting their leftover food scraps. That leaves a lot of room for improvement. Adding compost to the soil imparts a variety of nutrients to keep the plants that grow there happier and healthier and also cuts down on the amount of trash you’re producing.

Recycle rainwater

Keep an open barrel outside to harvest rainfall to use during dry spells to water your plants. If possible, use some type of netting or screen to keep out leaves, as well as critters who could fall in and contaminate the water. You’ll have a great source of water to use when it’s hot and if you collect enough, it’s a great alternative to using fresh water for your plants each time. You can also recycle greywater and use that to water your plants.

Invite pollination

Planting many different types of flowers helps attract bees and butterflies, thereby creating a healthier, not to mention harmonious and balanced, environment. Lemon balm, lilac, and bee balm are all lovely bee-friendly choices. Attracting more pollinating animals also helps other plants in the area.

Leave lawn clippings where they fall

While it might look slovenly at first glance, the mulch enlivens and fertilizes the grass, resulting in a greener and more vibrant lawn. If the scattered piles are too much to bear, rake them out evenly after mowing. Even if you have to gather these clippings, add them to your compost instead of simply throwing them away.

Think locally

Even though a broad variety of flowers will attract the pollinators, consider which are native to the region before deciding on the first planting; take this idea into account before planting any new plants as well. Native seeds are more likely to flourish in the climate to which they’re accustomed and keeping plants local helps prevent harm to other local plant and wildlife and helps you avoid introducing invasive species.

Consider switching to eco-friendly lawn care tools
Electric, battery-powered, and good old-fashioned hand-push rotary mowers are all more planet-friendly than their gas-spewing counterparts; they also provide better exercise opportunities to boot. If this isn’t a feasible option, try to cut down on mowing time by performing the chore only when it becomes absolutely necessary.

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