If you want to have an environmentally friendly healthy garden one of the most important and first things to do is compost. There are so many benefits to composting. Not only does composting help reduce landfill waste, but it also improves soil structure, texture, and aeration.
Composting also promotes soil fertility, stimulates healthy root development and it increases the soil’s water holding capacity so that it does not dry out as quickly. Compost is also a natural and organic alternative to chemical fertilizers.
In addition composting encourages growth and population of native earthworms. Earthworms till, fertilize and condition the soil.
Use Mulch. If you don’t like the idea of composting then try mulch. Mulch help protect reduce erosion and soil depletion from rain and water irrigation. Mulch also discourages weed growth.
Start mulching when the soil warms up to save having to weed later on. Avoid piling mulch against tree trunks to prevent diseases and pest infestation. Shredded leaves are a good mulch to place in your garden beds.
Pine needles are also a good mulch. As pine needles decompose, they will deposit their acid in the soil so mulch Acid-loving plants with a thick layer of pine needles each fall.
Water Conservation. Conserve as much water as possible. Use rain barrels to collect run-off rainwater throughout the year. You don’t have to buy expensive rain barrels either. You can make rain barrels yourself by reusing barrels, jugs etc.
Beneficial Critters. Garden without pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. Pesticides kill good bugs as well as the bad bugs and weaken your plants. You are better off providing habitat for butterflies, birds, frogs, ladybugs and other beneficial bugs and critters.
Birds, for example, eat pests like snails and slugs. Butterflies help pollinate over 1/3 of the food we eat. Ladybugs eat aphids, red spider mites and other garden pests. Frogs eat mosquitoes, slugs and flies.
You can also minimize pest problems problem by growing plants native to your region. Native plants are typically more resistant to pests and disease.
Healthy soil is also a good way to help minimize pest problem. Plants with healthy soil are more resistant to disease and pests.
Organic Chemicals. If your pest problem persists and is out of control consider using organic Insecticide. If you have problems with weeds consider using natural organic weed killer. And if compost isn’t helping your grass grow consider using organic liquid lawn fertilizer.
Habitat. Leave the garden a bit messy. Logs, leaves, long grass, branches, rocks are all ideal habitat for wildlife which provide bugs and animals shelter, places to hibernate and reproduce.
If you have a large yard allow a small section of it to go wild providing habitat for many good bugs. If it looks unattractive place a small white picket fence around it and adorn it with garden decorations.
Books. Invest in gardening and garden bug books or at least check them out from the library. The more you know about your garden the easier it will be to keep it healthy without the need for pesticide or other chemicals.
Garden Supplies. If you need to buy gardening supplies buy organic or products made of recycled material from environmentally friendly gardening companies.
If you have any more gardening tips of your own feel free to share them below. Happy gardening.