Now more than ever we are conscious of the carbon footprint we are leaving behind. We search for ways to be more environmentally friendly around our homes. There are many landscape practices that can help you achieve a more sustainable culture in your gardens.
Here are a few ways we can lower our environmental impact in our gardens:
According to the EPA, food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, that could instead be composted. The 3 main ingredients for a successful compost are browns, greens, and water. Browns being branches, twigs, dead leaves, etc. Greens are considered grass clippings, food waste, and even coffee grounds. Water in turn creates moisture to help break down the organic matter. It’s important that you have an even mixture of browns and greens in your compost. A properly managed compost bin will not attract pests or rodents and will not smell bad. The mixture you create should be ready for your garden in about 5 weeks. Compost in the garden is beneficial to the soil structure, and it provides organic matter that moves nutrients in the soil for the plants. If you have a small space, you can purchase a compost tumbler at your local garden center or hardware store.
Rain barrels are a great way to collect the water flowing out of your gutter and washing away your gardens. They provide an ample amount of water to do a light lawn watering or even your daily vegetable garden care. A half inch of rain on a 200 sq. ft. section of roof could fill a 50 gallon barrel. It’s estimated that 30% of household water consumption is used to water our lawns and gardens. The idea is that using a rain barrel not only saves you money on those monthly bills, but also reduces the amount of water that would otherwise run through our sewer systems. Imagine the savings on your next water bill with a small investment in a rain barrel.
Are you tired of that lettuce you bought just a week ago at your local market already being spoiled? Wish you had fresh, pesticide free, and organically grown vegetables for you and your kids to munch on that didn’t come with a high price tag? Vegetable gardening is your answer. Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most important parts to living a healthier lifestyle. As an added bonus, fruits and vegetables fresh-picked from a garden have the highest vitamin content. In fact, gardening for just one hour a day can burn up to 400 calories! Gardening is also proven to be a natural stress reliever, because as humans we connect most with nature. So not only does it guarantee a healthier lifestyle, and an endless supply of healthy snacks for you or your kids, but it will save you money at the store too as you watch your grocery bill diminish.
Doing any of these 3 things can save you money, increase the health of your gardens and yourself. So, get out there and make a change, and be sustainable!
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