|Friday Five: 5 Greener Gardening Tips|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 18 May 2012|
At first glance having a garden may seem like a really earth friendly thing to do, but think again. Some of those gardening practices you use may be doing more harm than good to the environment.
For example, using the sprinkler to water the garden probably uses more water than is necessary. Conventional fertilizers contain synthetic ingredients made from petroleum products that contribute to the degradation of natural resources including our drinking water, and then of course there are pesticides and herbicides.
What can you do to make your garden even more green? Why not give these five earth friendly gardening practices a try?
1. Drip irrigation
Installing a drip irrigation system versus watering with a hose or sprinkler conserves more water than you might think. The added bonus is that you'll be cutting back on your water costs as well.
2. Electric Power Tools
Small power tools that use diesel or gas give off what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls "fugitive emissions" that contribute to air pollution, so choosing power tools is a better alternative.
3. Recycled Materials
Instead of using new materials try using recycled materials in your garden. Salvage yards are a good source of decorative accents such as benches, urns, wrought iron fences, or large wooden beams for use in edging beds. Recycled plastic lumber and furniture is also available.
4. Organic Fertilizers and Compost
Organic fertilizer are often lower in nutrients than mineral fertilizers, but offset this by enriching the soil by adding to organic matter not depleting it. Using your own compost (after it has been composting for several years) as fertilizer is one option. Another option is using an organic fertilizer such as manure, bat guano, or fish emulsion.
5. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated pest management uses a variety of techniques to avoid having to use pesticides. These include other insects such as ladybugs and nematodes, planting species such as marigolds amongst the vegetables that are disease resistant and repel insects, and planting shrubs and flowers that attract birds that will eat insects.
Organic Garden Fertilizers
Integrated Pest Management
Photo source: Buffalo's Boot Bird House