It’s Time to Start Thinking About Your Spring Garden!

So… you have a green thumb and you love to garden, but are you a “green” gardener? In continuing our “Love Your Environment Month” series we wanted to show you how you can enjoy your favorite pastime in an environmentally friendly way. 

Lawns and grass turfs comprise approximately 40 million acres of the 48 contiguous states, making turf grass the United States’ largest irrigated crop. Why not take advantage of all of that green space? Learn how to grow beautiful flowers and delicious foods with these top green gardening tips:

1.) Avoid Chemicals – Forgo pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and weed killer. You can pull weeds to avoid using some sprays. A simple mixture of baking soda and water can be used for fungus control and a tablespoon of natural, biodegradable dish soap mixed with one gallon of water works as a safe pesticide.

2.) Natural soil and fertilizer – Use all-natural compost it is a healthy, natural and free (if you make your own) alternative to purchasing chemical-laced soil or using fertilizer. You can make compost from kitchen scraps. Check out our blog post about composting to learn more.

3.) Recycle – Instead of buying planters use items that you already have around the house as planters, for instance: yogurt containers or toilet paper rolls.

4.) Growing food – Buying organic food is great, but why not grow your own food? Try starting with lettuces, mesclun mixes, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini, they tend to grow very successfully.

5.) Join a community garden – If you don’t have a yard, don’t worry. Sign up for a plot at your local community garden. Use this online tool to locate a community garden near you.

6.) Go native – Consider replacing some of your lawn with native and indigenous plants. Native plants are easy to grow and maintain, usually require less fertilizer and water, and often attract fewer pests.

7.) Capture Rainwater – Capture rainwater in a barrel and use that chlorine and mineral-free water for your lawn and garden. It not only lowers your water bill, but it reduces storm runoff which help prevents erosion and flooding. Put a screen on the top of the barrel to keep insects, debris and animals out.

8). Get your hands dirty – Avoid using gas or electric-powered gardening tools, a little manual labor is much more eco-friendly.

Use these tips to refine your “green” thumb. You’ll love the results! Also, make sure you are gardening safely around power lines.

Thank you flickr user girlingearstudio for the amazing photo.