It’s always a great sign when the tulips start emerging from the ground, robins hop around freshly budding grass, and the sun seems to shine a little brighter – spring is here! One of the most beautiful parts of spring, of course, is the emergence of color, particularly in the form of flowers. Fresh greens, reds, yellows, oranges, and pinks sprouting up from the ground is enough to make our hearts sing.
When it comes to getting outdoors in the spring and surrounding yourself with flowers, gardening is a pretty great way to do so. There isn’t anything quite like getting your hands into the soil for the first time since the winter thaw, planting bulbs and watching them grow. It’s a wonderful feeling to nourish and take care of the ground that guides you.
This year, challenge yourself to take your gardening one step forward by adopting a few best practices that treat the earth with the utmost respect – by greening your gardening. While it may seem as though this process is already a green one, there are a few key things you can do to truly negate your impact on the earth. For instance, consider this: are you putting as much into the soil as you’re taking out? Or are you adding (even a tiny bit of) toxins into the soil that will accumulate through the years?
Nourishing your garden with natural techniques is easy as 1-2-3-4-5.
- Feed your soil with compost. Not only does composting divert food waste from landfills, it also works wonders on your soil. It enriches your plants to the point where they’ll grow faster and stronger, while also leaving the soil in great condition for next year (and generations beyond). Learn to compost – no matter how small your space – here.
- Hydrate your soil with rain water. Instead of grabbing the hose and using your town or municipality’s water supply, arrange a few rain buckets around your yard. Using the water you collect to hydrate your garden decreases water usage and lessens summer drought.
- Invite the friendly insects. While some vermin can do some serious damage to your garden, there are others that are advantageous to have around. Bees, for instance, pollinate particular plants, helping your garden bloom. Earthworms keep the soil rich and fertile. Using natural techniques for reducing vermin (rather than toxic pesticides) keep the good bugs in and the bad bugs out.
- That said, use organic farming practices. For example, growing herbs around a garden is said to naturally fend off unwanted pests. Other methods include using natural pesticides/herbicides rather than the conventional alternative; practicing crop rotation; and encouraging ladybugs or other beneficial insects that feast on pests.
- Try companion planting. Some plants benefit from being near one another, from controlling pests to making the fruits/vegetables taste better. Plan your garden ahead of time to maximize the benefits of companion planting; check out this helpful resource to better understand which plants complement each other.
Do you practice green gardening techniques? Let us know in the comments!