Gardening organic is on every ones mind these days.
We are trying to do the right thing by the environment on the inside of our homes, and keep our cars tuned up to save gas and save on polluting. But just what can we do with a garden design that makes it easier on the environment?
Here are a few tips for backyard gardening that won't break the bank, and are great at reducing your carbon footprint and your bills.
If you have a water feature or a backyard pond, you probably have all kinds of wires running to pumps and fountains etc. This adds to the hydro bill, but did you know that there are all kinds of solar alternatives now? It may be worth the initial investment to get rid of that power sucking pump and changing to a solar operated pump and fountain.
For decades it has been the showcase of a home, a perfect green carpet. But the cost to keep it like that is hard on the wallet, your time and the environment.
There are a few ways to deal with lawn. If you have a huge expanse of lawn, then consider planting wild native grasses. You can plant them right in the grass, and just let that area naturalize. Plant a few maidenhead grasses for example. They have the feathery top, or depending on where you live, find tall nice grasses that are native to your area.
If you purchase plants that naturally grow in your area, then you do not need to be covering them in the winter, or spraying them. Wild grasses are very popular now as ground cover and if you are looking for height are a great addition to your garden. Just plant them the recommended spacing in a corner of your yard or side or where ever you would like them to be. There is no need to dig up the grass, it will just grow along with it. Eventually the tall planted grasses will take over.
Now you have one less area of your lawn to cut.
If you have a small amount of green grass, in your gardening landscape, then you can use a push manual mower. These have made a big comeback. They were used everywhere in the 50's and 60's then went to the wayside for the gas guzzling mower. But now they are back and are perfect for that small lawn. As long as you keep the blades sharp, and everything oiled and clean, it is a fast job, and good for your body and soul, as there is no noise!
If you still have a bigger yard, and are not quite ready for the push mower, you can purchase electric rechargeable mowers. There will be that initial investment to purchase this, but many stores such as Home Depot and others offer trade in programs for your old mower. They will give you money to trade yours in. Check with your local stores and see if this program is in effect in your area. That might just give you the push to get a new rechargeable mower.
Leave the lawn longer, so you are not cutting as much, and leave the clippings on the lawn, as it feeds the lawn naturally.
For weeding, you should go back to the old fashioned way of picking by hand, but there are some great new tools on the market for weed pulling. You don't even have to bend down, it looks like a hoe but basically grabs the weed by the root. So, stop buying weed killer.
If you have too much lawn to pull weeds manually, then you need to get a garden design by a garden planner, or garden architect that will incorporate echo friendly and the organic gardener. There will be that initial fee for a drawing. But if you can do the work yourself, then you will save, or alternatively they will have someone who can do the work for you.
By creating a beautiful garden design for gardening organic and making that carbon footprint of yours much smaller, you will also be adding value to your house. Any new buyer is going to love a echo friendly garden design. They are going to want beauty with less work and less chemicals. This is a good trend.
So, if you think you may want to sell your house in the next year or two, and just don't know where to start with your big slab of green carpet (lawn) then pay for a landscape designer or a landscape architect if you want out buildings etc. It will be worth the price in resale and they are well versed on echo friendly gardens.
Always plant native plants. As nice as those hard to grow and touchy plants are that you see in the magazines and on the gardening shows, if they are not native to your area, then you are going to be constantly taking care of them. They will need extra water and fertilizers and taking inside in the winter. A natural gardening landscape is "in" these days, so stick to the native plants that your LOCAL garden center stocks. Don't buy them from a different plant zone and expect them to flourish.
Purchase or make rain barrels. These is the free water that you get off of your roof. This is great water for the garden. Save the treated water for drinking inside your house.
You can get some large water barrels that are quite modern now, and designed well. So if water barrel under your downspout conjure up images of a rusted out water heaters (that is what my dad used to collect the rain back in the day!) or big old wooden stinky barrels, you don't have to worry, they have gone high tech now!
Gardening organic is in, and hopefully it stays in. It takes the pressure off of us to have that perfect garden with that perfect carpet of green lawn. Everyone is jumping on to the eco friendly garden, so plant it with this in mind, and then sit back and enjoy your garden this year instead of always spraying, feeding and cutting.