With the winter at its end, it’s time to start thinking about starting a new backyard garden. The produce and the design are up to you and depend on your means, preferences, and location; but, an overall goal should be to make the garden sustainable and therefore more green than the one you had last year. This can be accomplished with a bit of planning ahead and by being committed to the goals and the schedule you’ve set.
All natural compost
Creating your own compost is actually pretty easy, even though most don’t dare to try it. The key is to use all-natural ingredients available in any home. Layer all the ingredients without any particular order – shredded paper, dry leaves, garden clippings, kitchen waste, and a bit of soil to turn it all into humus. Cold compost needs nothing more and for the hot one, you’ll need to keep the mix at an approximately 50 degrees Celsius by turning it and adding water when necessary. The compost is ready when it becomes black, dry and crumbly.
Use only the plants that are available in your region. It doesn’t matter how beautiful non-native plants are, the damage done by the carbon footprint is a bigger issue than the use of a pesticide while growing it. Native birds also have a problem adapting to new plants, while local ones are a natural part of the ecosystem. Don’t limit yourself to vegetables – the garden should be more than just functional. In order to enjoy the gardening season fully, you should check your gardening tools and see if it needs any updates. Flowers will add a dash of color and dynamism to your backyard, but they can also be used to limit the population of aphids and other potentially harmful insects.
Having a comfortable patio in the midst of your backyard garden isn’t really associated with keeping the garden green. However, it’s possible to have it both ways if you pay a bit of attention to the details of the patio design. The easiest step is to invest in some recycled furniture. But you can also go further than that and install a rainwater collection system that can be used for both your garden and personal use. Plant trees both around and on the patio itself and try to use wildflowers and other plants to attract the shrinking bee population.
Try to conserve water
Gardening is the biggest source of water waste, at least in the western world. There are a couple of ways to conserve water and still have a lush garden. The first is to choose the plants that require less water. This obviously limits the possibilities of your garden. If you don’t want to go that far, you could always collect rainwater or simply add mulch to the soil and it will require far less watering. Have in mind that soak hoses waste about half as much water as sprinklers do.
There’s a misconception that a lawn couldn’t be maintained in an eco-friendly way. Most people use pesticides to get rid of dandelions and other weeds. However, the same effect can be accomplished by pulling the weeds at the roots. If this doesn’t work you could always get an organic herbicide at a local market. Also, the grass will require less watering and less maintenance in general if you don’t mow it too short. It’s best to set the blades at about 3 inches from the ground.
Having a nice backyard garden is both an interesting hobby and a way to promote a more ecologically aware lifestyle. The main goal to have in mind is to treat your garden as a part of a larger ecosystem. This benefits both the environment and you personally.
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