Working on the greener garden
Here are some tips to grow an even “greener” garden! From using vinegar for bug control to growing companion plants.
Whether you’re a budding gardener or a horticulture hero, you might be wondering how to plant a garden that’s better for the Earth — and healthier for you.
If you’re considering growing plants at home or in a community garden, here are some ways to get started with a natural garden.
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides may keep pests away, but they can also contain harmful ingredients. Instead, consider these natural alternatives to enhance your garden and make sure it’s as safe and healthy as possible for you, your family, and your pets. Best of all, some of these hints don’t require a trip to the hardware store — or cost anything at all!
Love the Bees.
When planting your garden, choose plants that attract natural pollinators, like bees and butterflies. Think wildflowers, melons, squash and cucumbers. Bees will buzz around your garden, collecting pollen, which they’ll carry to other plants — a process called cross-pollination. This helps plants produce more seeds, which in turn produces more flowers. Our honey-making friends work hard to keep your garden beautiful.
You might think crop rotation is only for big farms. But “needy” plants, like tomatoes or corn, can strip nutrients from even a small patch of healthy soil. Consider the location of your greenery and change it yearly for optimal land health.
Companion plants are placed close together that mutually benefit each other. They’re often used to ward off pests, control weeds and regulate sunlight. For example, consider planting carrots with your tomatoes. Tomatoes offer shade and repel pests, while carrots aerate the soil. Placing certain plants next to each other can help maximize your garden’s overall health.
Vinegar - natural pest control.
Want to prevent pests from invading your plants? Try white vinegar. Combine 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray around the base of your plants weekly to keep bugs away. (Don’t forget to check for pests regularly.)
Coffee grounds for rich soil.
Have used coffee grounds lying around? These spent grounds are good for more than just the trash bin — they release nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium into the soil, helping plants not just grow but thrive. Spread them around the earth to naturally fertilize your garden.
By creating a diverse and healthy garden, you can help bees, soil insects, and animals feed off them. Reducing the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers creates a happy environment for our fellow creatures.