Sustainable Gardening Tips
Sustainable Gardening Tips
Switching to sustainable gardening methods goes a long way in creating a garden the entire household can enjoy, admire and even produce food for the family’s consumption. Plus, sustainable gardening can reduce your environmental footprint by increasing carbon storage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to the biodiversity of plants and animals.
Here are some tips in creating your sustainable garden:
- Start by planting trees. This helps store carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. Trees can also cool down the temperature of your home during the summer. If you can’t plant trees around your home, you can alternatively volunteer with an organization to plant trees in your neighborhood.
- Grow your own organic food. This not only helps reduces the distance your food travels before it reaches your plate, but reduces food production costs, water, and fossil fuels.
- Compost kitchen and garden waste. This decreases the amount of garden waste and kitchen scraps going straight into the landfill by turning them into usable organic fertilizers for your garden.
- Choose gardening tools responsibly. Avoid the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Also, refrain from using power tools such as mowers, blowers and brush-cutters to lessen your environmental impact. However, if you do use power tools, choose a more efficient mower, or you can mow less often. Keep the grass height at a certain length before mowing your lawn
- Grow plants that attract beneficial insects. They include the following:
- Baby blue eyes (Nemophila)
- California Aster (Aster chilensis)
- California Lilac (Ceanothus)
- California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) Please do not plant hybrid California poppies near natural areas.
- Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
- Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)
- Coriander (Coriander sativum)
- Cosmos (Cosmos)
- Coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis)
- Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) on the Bayside
- Sambucus recnosa on the Coastside
- Holly – leaved cherry (Prunus ilicifolia)
- Monkey flower (Mimulus)
- Native buckwheat (Eriogonum)
- Pacific Aster (Symphyotrichum chilense)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia)
- Seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus)
- Sunflower (Helianthus)
- Tidy – tips (Layia Platyglossa)
- Toyon (Heteromeles)
- Yarrow (Achillea spp.)
- There are also items you can recycle and reuse in your garden. Paint stirrers and old forks can be used to display vegetable seed packets. Broken kitchen pots can be used as pots for your plants and flowers; they can even be used as a toad house. If you have older tables, you can use them for holding container plants. You can recycle pallets into garden boxes.
- Do not drive certain animals and insects away from your garden. Ladybugs control the spread and infestation of aphids on your plants. Alligator lizards hunt for black widow spiders. Toads can eat between 10,000-20,000 slugs, flies, cutworms and grasshoppers in a year. Your animal and insect friends also include bats, bees, spiders, ground beetles, hover flies, and hummingbirds.
- Use organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers interfere with the natural ability of plants to take up nutrients. Pure chemicals are also harsh to the earthworms and other microorganisms in the soil that keep your garden alive and working. Pure chemicals will make soil less nutritious and decrease the ability of plants to access nutrition. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, contain important secondary and trace nutrients. They also improve the soil’s texture, drainage, and aeration. Most importantly, organic fertilizers are friendlier to the environment because they leave a less damaging footprint on the planet.
Do you have more sustainable gardening tips to share with us? Feel free to comment below.