The whole idea behind gardening is to save money on groceries and grow food that is healthier for your family. If you’re getting serious about gardening, take it to the next level by going really “green.” Gardens need three critical elements to grow strong and healthy — light, soil, and water. Take a look at how you can go green with each of these components.
Start Your Plants From Seeds
It takes more effort to start a garden from seeds because they need extra nurturing at the beginning. That’s why many people use young plants from their local hardware store. However, starting from seeds is a great way to go green because you can ensure that your plants are never exposed to harsh chemicals and are completely natural. Seeds also cost significantly less money than young plants. For instance, you can buy a packet of seeds for under $1 and grow more than 25 plants, while one young plant can easily cost $5.
Make Your Own Compost From Kitchen Scraps
Plants absorb nutrients from the soil in your garden. Over time, those nutrients get depleted and need to be replaced. Most people buy compost and plant food from their local hardware store, but you can go green by making your own. All you have to do is add your kitchen scraps to a compost pile. In a few months, you’ll have some great plant food to add to your garden. The best part is that you didn’t have to spend any extra money for your compost. Tree Hugger reports that the average person throws away 1,500 pounds of garbage per year. You can reduce that to 375 pounds by composting.
Use Fewer Chemical-Based Products
Gardens are prone to bugs and pests that destroy plants. That’s why people use pesticides or herbicides. However, these chemical-based products are not the greenest or organic. Instead of using chemicals in your garden, opt for organic ways of keeping out pests. For instance, you can cover your soil with moss to create a barrier or choose plants that attract the right kind of insects. Some bugs are very good for the garden. For example, bees help with pollination, and carnivorous bugs prey on the insects that eat your plants.
Water is essential to the health and vitality of your garden. Most plants require watering at least once per day. Instead of grabbing your garden hose every day, invest in a rain barrel to catch rainwater for your garden. It’s a green way to get your plant’s water, and it will help reduce your water bill during the spring and summer months. An added benefit of rainwater is that it is full of chlorine-free minerals.
Install Trickle Irrigation
Serious gardeners usually create automated ways to water their plants. Sprinklers are a popular option, but it is not the greenest method of watering. Instead, install a trickle irrigation system. Sprinklers allow too much water to evaporate, but trickle irrigation helps water get into the soil. For the best green action, you can connect your rain barrel to your trickle irrigation. Then, you will only need to supplement your garden with additional water when it hasn’t rained in your area for a while.
Automate Your Garden With Solar Energy
There are all sorts of things you have to do to keep your garden healthy and growing well. You need to weed, water, and feed your plants. Many of these steps can be automated to save you time and money. We’ve already talked about adding trickle irrigation, but you can also install solar panels to run lighting, ventilation, heating, and other garden systems. Solar panels trap photons from the sun’s rays and then convert them into energy. Solar panels cost a lot less than they used to, and it’s one of the best ways to go green in your garden.
These are just a few starter ways to make your garden greener. Have you done anything special in your garden to boost its green factor? Leave a comment below.