Sustainable Gardening

Sustainable Gardening

Sustainable Gardening

Ecological gardening is on the rise. More gardeners are growing vegetables, fruits and herbs organically. People are trying to use less harmful pesticides on their lawns, and there’s an increasing awareness of the role invasive plants, water conservation, and energy consumption play in the garden and our environment. Sustainable gardening practices are making it easier for home gardeners to grow edibles, trees, shrubs, flowers and lawns effectively while reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. While there are many new products on the market to help gardeners grow plants more ecologically, many of the sustainable gardening practices are about following common sense. Here are some practices to try in your garden:

Grow a Diversity of Plants—Growing a wide variety of plants in your yard will create a more balanced ecosystem and make your yard less likely to be devastated by insects and diseases. Grow a variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs in your annual gardens. Mix perennial flowers in with trees and shrubs. Grow native plants and varieties that are more adapted to the vagaries of your local weather and pests.

Build the Soil—The soul of your garden is the soil. If it’s healthy and thriving, you’ll have less pests and diseases to contend with and little need to spray your garden. Build the soil by adding a 1- to 2-inch thick layer of compost every year working it into the soil before planting. You can make your own compost from yard and garden scraps using the Lifetime Composter.

Mulch, Mulch, and Mulch Some More—Mulch is one of a gardener’s best friends. Mulch your trees, shrubs, perennial flowers and vegetable gardens with organic mulch. Organic mulches, such as straw, hay, pine straw, chopped leaves, and grass clippings from pesticide-free lawns, keep the soil cool and moist, helping conserve water. They build the soil’s fertility as they decompose and also prevent weed growth so you spend less timing weeding and more time enjoying the garden. Adding a 2- to 4-inch thick layer of organic mulch is usually good in most situations. 

Keep the Lawn Healthy—If your lawn is healthy it’s less likely to have weed and fertility problems.  Keeping it healthy has more to do with caring for the soil and less about fertilizers and pesticides. Aerate and dethatch the lawn in spring and mow the grass high so weeds are less likely to take hold. If you have specific weed problems look for organic herbicide options. For example, corn gluten meal can be used to control crabgrass. If you’re only going to fertilize once a season, do so in fall with a 3-1-2 ratio organic fertilizer. This will help feed the grass roots and not just the shoots. Top dress the lawn with a light layer of compost and overseed bare patches in the Fall, as well.

These simple tips will keep your lawn and garden healthy and productive, while growing your plants in a sustainable manner.

Comments

charlys huerta

4/8/2010 12:26:33 PM

I would be interested in seeing an article from you about landscaping alternatives to grass. I live in northern Utah where it reaches triple digits during the summer and it's impossible to keep the grass green without wasting A LOT of water.

However, I would rather not use gravel because that would be difficult to remove if I wanted to change things up down the road.

Any tips you have on simple designs, easy implementation, and hardy drought resistant ground cover would be appreciated.

Reply






Incorrect please try again
  • Get a new challenge
  • Get an audio challenge
  • Get a visual challenge
  • Help
Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

Nothing to report... Please be patient as it may take a few minutes to publish. Your comment will not publish right away because this blog is moderated.

 
  • Random
  • Popular
  • Recent
Folding Table Tips
In the months since weve started this blog, I've received several questions regarding Lifetime's fold-in-half tables... interestingly enough, most people ask the basic question: How do you to unfold them? Esther from Niceville, FL wrote in yesterday: "I just bought your 5 ft fold-in-half table. Its great, but I do not know how to open it up and there wasn't any directions. Sorry, I am 69 years old and not mechanically minded and am afraid that I might do something to mess it up..." How do you unfold it?? The first few times Ive seen this question, I admit, I thought it wouldnt be all that hard. But then I walked down to our showroom and tried to open a new table myself... it took a little more elbow grease thought! I looked into why this is, and it turns out our engineers developed these tables to stay safely closed when yo...
Lifetime's New 80-Gallon Storage Box
Do you need to expand your patio storage, but have limited space available? Store your extra things outside in a new Lifetime 80-Gallon Storage Box! We introduced the Lifetime 130-Gallon Storage Box last June and with the great response, weve created a smaller version of this handy product for those not-so-big backyards or those individuals who have less space.Created to store anything from backyard toys to garden tools and hoses, its UV-protected construction, and weather and water resistant seal helps keeps the interior dry. It will not fade, crack or peel. Its rigid, double-wall, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) construction makes the box strong and durable, sturdy enough to also be used as a patio bench and allow for more seating at your summer backyard barbeques! The spring-hinge lid opens greater than 90 degrees, wont s...
Get $20 off Lifetime's Large Adjustable Soccer Goal For A Limited Time Only
Surprisethe kids with the Lifetime Adjustable Soccer Goal and let thegames begin!Now you have the opportunity toget a large soccer goal for $20 off the clearance price when you purchase from our online catalog at Lifetime Store online. This is a great sportto getkids out in the fresh air for hours of fun and friendly competition. The poles of this Lifetime soccer goaladjust from 4 to 6 feet in height and 6 to 8 feet in width. The heavy-duty nylon net is pre-threaded onto the frame and comes with lots ofvelcro straps to secure the net in place. One adultcanset upthis system in just a couple of minutes. (No assembly or tools are required.) You'llalso appreciate the convenient portable design which allows you to quickly fold it up, toss itinto the trunk of your car, and head to the nearest park. Take advantage of this limited ...