Green Living

Green Living 101: Here’s How to Tend Your Garden Guilt-free and Help the Environment

Having a beautiful garden can add value to your property and offer you greater peace of mind. But many homeowners don’t think of the many other benefits that tending a garden can offer. Green living starts at home, and there is no better way than to make your garden.

Not only is gardening considered a therapeutic activity, a fact backed by science, but you can also tend your garden so that it actually helps nurture your immediate environment. And this is healthy for your local ecosystem and the wildlife that flourishes within it. 

Keeping the environment healthy is everyone’s responsibility. And as many have learned, since more focus has been placed on climate change in recent years along with sound eco-friendly practices, even the most straightforward actions can have positive effects on local environmental health. 

Whether you want to have a vegetable garden to grow fresh produce and shave a few dollars off of your grocery budget, or if you want to add a beautiful floral garden for a splash of color, the following will offer some helpful eco-friendly tips to consider. 

Catering to Local Wildlife 

Birdfeeders - Green Living
Blue Jay on Feeder

When it comes to your local wildlife population, if you want these populations to flourish, there are several steps you can take to meet this goal. And the great part is you don’t have to go out of your way or spend hundreds of dollars to do so.

For example, for local bird populations, using bird feeders, natural seeds, and birdhouses can help to attract birds to your garden area. And birds (especially hummingbirds) are also known as great pollinators, which you definitely want for your garden. 

Additionally, local wildlife such as squirrels and chipmunks also are integral to local ecosystems. These critters help shape soil and plant composition as they take and bury seeds throughout their lives, and they also eat mushrooms which help to disperse fungal spores. 

Encouraging squirrels is often done by feeding or building nest boxes made of untreated wood that you can hang around your yard if no hollowed trees are present.

Eco-Friendly Weed Control 

Weeds and invasive plants can disturb the growth of your garden significantly. And if left to proliferate, both floral and vegetable gardens can become encroached by weeds that will steal nutrients.

But if you want to create an eco-friendly environment in which your garden will flourish, you don’t want to use chemical herbicides as this can cause many problems over time. 

For example, many farmers and those who work in agricultural environments have developed cancer and other debilitating conditions after prolonged exposure to chemical herbicides. Additionally, these chemicals can change the soil composition, kill off vital pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths, and can cause local fauna harm as well.

Green living weed control is best done in a garden the old-fashioned way by hand-pulling, using mulch and gravel, or using natural vinegar and water solutions to kill weeds. 

Utilize Native Grasses

Nothing speaks to green living better than utilizing the native plants and grasses in your garden and around your landscape. These plants are already part of the local ecosystem and can retain water and aid the soil in ways non-native species severely lack. 

Along with aiding the soil, native grasses and plants offer local fauna and insect species a natural environment that allows them to flourish. 

Additionally, Oak Ridge TN landscapers advise using elements such as native tall grasses in your landscape design, as borders around your garden, or along walkways.

The benefits of using native grasses and plants in your garden and landscape are as follows:

  • Lower maintenance 
  • No need for pesticides 
  • Water conservation (relies on local rainfall)
  • Supports local ecology 
  • It prevents runoff (naturally adapted root systems)
  • Improves air quality 

As you can see, the incorporation of native grasses and plants in or around your garden or around your property holds many benefits. Because not only will you help support the local ecosystem, your garden will exude a much more natural feel. And if you want to “go green living” in your garden or landscape, native grasses and plants are a must-have. 

Having a garden is one thing, but incorporating environmental elements and allowing your garden to flourish in a more natural environment offers you many more benefits. And at the end of the day, there are many more methods for helping the environment through gardening. But if you adhere to the tips listed here, you’ll have a perfect starting point for making your garden eco-friendly. 

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Annette Hinshaw

Annette Hinshaw is a retired retail business woman from Adrian, Michigan. She is currently freelancing and actively writing. Annette has a keen interest in geneology and she is involved in a project called MittenExpedition.

View all posts by Annette Hinshaw →

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