- Green gardening creates a friendly, livable landscape.garden image by david hughes from Fotolia.com
Most gardening is green on some level because it involves working with soil to grow plants that help to cleanse the air and prevent soil erosion. Some gardening strategies, however, are considerably more ecologically friendly and responsible than others. Truly green gardening involves using no chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and cultivating native plants that help create a balanced ecosystem.
- Truly green gardeners use a mix of strategies to build their soil and add to its fertility without resorting to chemical fertilizers. Thoughtful crop rotation methods integrate plantings of legumes--which restore the vital element nitrogen into the soil--with other plants that each provide and use complementary nutrients. Composting is another way to add vitality to the soil without adding chemicals. With the use of beneficial microorganisms, organic materials from plant trimmings and food scraps break down turning into fertile ground. Mulching, as well, fertilizes the soil with organic matter. Spread leaves and wood chips to create an upper layer that breaks down and fertilizes the ground underneath it.
Eco-Friendly Pest Control
- There are many traditional methods of pest control besides the chemical pesticides that many gardeners and farmers use. Creating a friendly space for creatures such as birds and ladybugs is one way to coordinate your gardening activities with the natural life cycles, as these creatures feed on the bugs that can be harmful to your plants. Weeding by hand can be labor intensive, but it can also be therapeutic and meditative, and it is certainly healthier and better for the environment than spraying pesticides. Having a wide variety of plants growing in a space can also help to minimize the damage that pests do because predatory insects tend to be narrowly adapted to eat only particular plants, so it will just be a matter of time before they run into something that is unsuitable for them.
- Choosing plants that are native to the ecosystem in which you live can help to preserve and restore ecological balance. Native plants are part of a whole system of plants, animals and insects that evolved together, feeding off each other's byproducts and providing each other with environmental benefits such as shade or fertilizer. Most of our native ecosystems have been disturbed by the introduction of non-native plants. They harm the symbiosis that has developed over time by taking over a niche or changing a landscape. Reintroducing native plants can help to bring the landscape back into its original harmony.