Sustainable Gardening Methods
Many native plants produce edible fruits, nuts, and roots. Among these are pecans, blackberries, wild blueberries, mulberries, crabapples, and ground nuts. You can also grow edible perennials, such as daylilies, which take only a few years to mature and produce tons of harvest. You can also save seeds from flowers, such as marigolds and morning glory, and replant them next spring.
Before starting your first garden, take inventory of the light, water, and soil conditions in your area. Select plants that need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Some vegetables can grow in shadier spots, such as kale, lettuce, spinach, or swiss chard. Carrots and peas are also great options. You can even try growing arugula and chard.
While choosing plants, consider incorporating native species. These are more resilient to droughts and water runoff, and they will boost biodiversity. Hedgehogs, for example, need to cross several gardens to survive. By adding some native plants, you’ll attract the insects that pollinate them. Also, you’ll attract butterflies and moths, which will in turn help you attract and keep pests at bay. Aside from being beautiful, they’ll also feed your garden’s inhabitants.
Another sustainable garden design feature is composting. This process uses a compost bin, which turns yard waste, kitchen scraps, and animal bedding into soil-friendly fertilizer. The process also helps reduce methane emissions from landfills. By using organic waste as fertilizer, you’ll also help protect plants from disease and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Composting is a great way to build a sustainable garden and supplement the science curriculum.
Planting in dense beds helps lock up carbon in the soil and reduces pests and diseases. In addition, it creates a self-sustaining ecosystem for the plants. To improve soil health, use organic matter such as wood chips, shredded bark, or pine needles. You can also use coir, a mulch made from coconut hulls. If you have trouble finding organic matter, try looking for coconut husks.
Another way to create a sustainable garden is by using rainwater or runoff as water for your plants. Harvesting rainwater from your roof and storing it in rain barrels will reduce runoff and evaporation. When watering your garden, use watering cans or drip irrigation instead of a sprinkler system. This way, you’ll be saving water that would otherwise go straight to the sewer drains. The rain barrel will take time to collect enough water to fill your watering can.
If you’re looking for a green alternative to conventional gardening, you can start by growing native plants. Native plants contain essential nutrients for plants and are often self-sustaining. Native plants and nectar-rich plants can be great choices for your garden. They will also benefit the local environment by providing food and shelter for pollinating insects. You can also help the environment by avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers. The ecosystem will recycle those nutrients and support the growth of new plants.