Gardening can be a rewarding and relaxing hobby, one that allows gardeners to escape from the daily grind and soak up some sun. As rewarding as gardening can be, it's even more so when gardeners ply their trade in an eco-friendly way.
Gardening with the environment in mind is something many gardeners might do already without even knowing it. The following are a few ways to garden in a way that's mutually beneficial to gardeners and the environment.
- Use mulch to conserve resources and reduce reliance on fertilizers. Conserving resources is one of the best ways to help the environment, and applying mulch is a great way to conserve water. Mulch helps the soil retain water, keeping the water from evaporating into the air, which means less watering for gardeners who want to keep their gardens looking lush and healthy.
In addition to helping conserve water, mulch can also help reduce reliance on fertilizers. That's because mulch provides nutrients to the soil as it breaks down, providing an eco-friendly alternative for gardeners who don't want to rely on fertilizers to deliver nutrients to their soil.
- Plant more flowers. Planting flowers is another eco-friendly way to garden. Native flowers, in particular, can help maintain an area's natural ecosystem, providing food and shelter for insects and other wildlife.
More flowers and plants around the property also means there will be significantly less grass to mow, which reduces the amount of gas necessary to mow that grass in the warmer weather and the amount of greenhouse gases the lawn mower produces. In addition, less grass means less need for fertilizers and pesticides to maintain that grass.
- Choose gardening tools and products with the environment in mind. Veteran gardeners have a host of tools that help tackle every problem imaginable. But many older tools or gardening products might not be made of recycled materials. When shopping for gardening tools, whether you're a beginner who needs everything or a veteran gardener whose tools have seen better days, choose products made from recycled materials. For example, many gardeners use mats to help reduce stress on their knees when kneeling down to garden. When buying a new mat, choose one made from recycled tires.
But emphasizing recycled products shouldn't stop at the tool shed. Mulch, for instance, can be made from recycled rubber and won't impact the environment in a negative way. Just be sure to purchase recycled mulch that is nontoxic and does not consume natural resources.
- Live and let live. Insects might be a nuisance, but they can also be a gardener's best friend. Spraying insecticide simply because insects can be pesky is shortsighted and impractical. Certain spiders prey on other insects that can be harmful to a garden, while butterflies and bees help pollenate flowers. Earthworms are also very beneficial to a garden, helping to aerate and fertilize the soil and enabling plants to grow by removing harmful matter from the soil.
Gardening is a rewarding hobby, one that is even more so when gardeners institute eco-friendly practices.