Tips for sustainable gardening this spring
With being stuck at home these days, you may find yourself with a little more free time, and let’s face it—you’re likely craving the great outdoors. We are too! Working on your garden (or starting a new one) is the perfect opportunity create a sustainable outdoor oasis that’s good for you and the environment.
Sustainable gardening uses various methods of sourcing and planting that can contribute to better health and well-being for you, as well as make the landscape more resilient. Looking to cultivate your green thumb? Here are a few tips:
1. Buy local. Purchasing locally grown plants not only helps support nearby businesses, but also increases the level of quality and freshness your garden receives. Buying from a local grower ensures your yard is full of the vegetation that's best suited for your particular region and climate. Search your options and visit your neighborhood plant nursery.
2. Purchase native plant varieties. Do your research on planning a native garden, use a native plants database or talk to a local experts for added insight. Avoiding invasive species while still creating a biodiverse habitat is beneficial for your own garden, as well as being healthier for insects.
3. Develop outdoor compost piles. Recycle beneficial plant material and vitamins back into your garden for free! Composting is a great way to naturally fertilize your soil and cut back on food waste. Read up on some easy composting methods from the U.S. EPA to get started at home.
4. Select drought-tolerant grasses. Not only do these native types require less water and regular maintenance, they also are more resistant to pests and disease. Take additional care when watering your lawn to use drip irrigation or soaker hoses, because these will reduce unnecessary evaporation. When landscaping and reviewing your site conditions, try to group plants according to their soil and watering needs to maximize water efficiency.