Top 5 Eco-Friendly Gardening Tips for Spring

As the warm breezes and sunny days of spring sweep away the gloom of winter, you’ll likely find yourself chomping at the bit to get in the garden and start your planting. After all, you might not have a very long growing season and you want to take full advantage. However, before you dig in you might want to consider the myriad ways that you can get eco-friendly with your garden this year as a way to preserve the environment you love to live in. Here are just a few options that will help both you and your garden go green this spring.

  1. Recycled potting. If you like the idea of adding potted plants to decks, setting up a container garden for herbs, or installing planters throughout your landscape for a bit of visual architecture, you might be on the lookout for a variety of potting options. But if your goal is to take an eco-friendly route, consider recycled potting solutions. Some people use old tires to create cool and crafty “pots” to hang on exterior walls or separate plots in the garden. Or you might pick up some old wine or beer barrels that have been cut in half to use as garden containers or planter boxes. There are all kinds of ways to use recycled materials when you opt to compartmentalize portions of your garden.
  2. Fight pests naturally. ‘Tis the season for pests of every stripe to start attacking the new, green shoots in your yard. But rather than fending them off by chemical means consider that there are many natural solutions. If, for example, your roses are plagued by aphids, simply mix some chopped garlic into the soil at the base of the plant. You’ll have to add more every so often, but as the plants uptake the garlic through their root system it will kill off any aphids that feed on them. And there are tons of plants that will keep other pests at bay (onions and marigolds are two common options). As for pests of the mammalian variety, head to your local garden center for some cat urine to spray around the perimeter of your yard. This should keep rabbits, deer, and other animals away.
  3. Fertilize with compost. If you haven’t yet set up a compost heap in your yard, now is a great time to start turning your food waste into fertilizer for your garden. It’s a chemical-free way to help your garden grow (although it may not provide enough nutrients for fruits and veggies, so supplemental fertilizer might be needed), and it helps you to cut back on the waste you send to the landfill.
  4. Mulch old plants. As winter fades away into spring you may find that it’s time to cut back dead limbs and overgrowth. Luckily, these trimmings can be turned into mulch to spread over beds as a way to trap moisture that might otherwise evaporate (wasting water). It also helps to improve the look of your garden and create a line of demarcation between your planting areas and your lawn.
  5. Spruce up the hardware. Your garden no doubt has some non-plant décor, including materials like pavers, fencing, benches and other lawn furniture, and accessories like chimes and other décor. After a long, cold winter they may be sort of thrashed. While you can certainly replace them with new items from your local vendor, you might want to consider getting creative with your décor by using recycled materials. You could make a wind chime from old silverware found at a yard sale. Or you can try searching Craigslist for used pavers in good condition. And furnishings could be made to look like new with a fresh coat of paint and some organic textile cushions.

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