Gardeners already love being green but when it comes to eco-friendly gardening, sometimes even the greenest thumbs feel lost. Eco-friendly gardening doesn’t need to be complicated or even on a large scale. If you you a huge space, you can do something as simple as buying used excavators to dig up a kitchen garden plot. If you’re more of an urban dweller, like myself, you might want to think of alternate containers for seedlings. Either way, here are 5 tips that gardeners of any scale can use to help the earth remain as green as possible!
1. COMPOST – This can be done on a large scale and be a huge pile in the corner of a field or on a small scale like a plastic bin with ventilation holes drilled in it sitting in the basement. Either way, don’t forget that red wigglers are a great addition to compost as they help to decompose the materials more quickly. Great additions to compost piles are egg shells, coffee grinds and filters, newspapers, grass clippings, veggie peels and fruit peels.
2. RAIN BARRELS – If you have downspouts on your house, you have a quick and easy way to catch the rain and make use of it in your garden. Rain water is best for your garden because you don’t have to worry about anything that’s been added to it such as fluoride and it’s always at the right temperature! Don’t forget to elevate your rain barrel to make use of gravity when you’re filling your watering can.
3. EDIBLE GARDEN – Plant what you can eat regardless of the space you have to garden. A herb garden can easily grow in one or two pots on a window ledge and provide you with flavourful dishes for months! I am extremely envious of those who have space to grow row after row of carrots, radishes and lettuce but make do with pots of tomatoes, peppers and lettuce growing on the deck in the suburbs.
4. ORGANIC – Grow organic regardless of what you are growing. This means using no pesticides or fertilizers to artificially get rid of weeds and bugs or to make your plants grow faster. There are many more natural ways to make plants grow stronger without resorting to the use of chemicals.
5. LOCAL – Grow local varieties of plants. Species that occur naturally in your area are more likely to grow without the need of chemicals, use less water and are more likely to grow strong and healthy season after season.