Taking care of plants is a great hobby, but it can also become unsustainable. Chemical treatments and sprays are budget-friendly and widely available, but they aren’t great for the planet. Instead, strategically planting seeds and tending to landscaping in new ways will transform a yard into an eco-friendly summer oasis.
1. Avoid Chemical Fertilizers
Some chemicals encourage new growth in plants and stop pests in their tracks. Unfortunately, they also seep into local water sources and pollute the environment. It’s best to avoid them and use organic alternatives with biodegradable ingredients.
2. Grow Native Plants
Many people enjoy adding bushes to the front yard or flowers along a sidewalk, but before doing so, they should look up native plants that will thrive in that geographical location. They’ll support the local ecosystem instead of taking away natural resources, which is even more crucial if the plants will last for years.
Non-native varieties may also harm wildlife by absorbing essential nutrients and water without providing nectar or pollen that the environment needs.
3. Add a Mulch Bed
Plants may require more watering if they grow where there’s consistently hot weather. The heat will evaporate water from the soil unless there’s a mulch bed. Mulch provides a shady covering to retain moisture and regulates soil temperature throughout the year.
Even though a new layer will be required every few months, it’s a worthy investment for anyone looking to improve their yard.
4. Make a Backup Plan
Even if plants get excellent landscaping care, diseases can still creep up and ruin an entire yard. Make a backup plan to avoid grabbing the nearest chemical treatments if bacteria or viruses make an unwanted appearance. Learn how to prune the diseased limbs of young trees or use baking soda to repel mold, for example.
Researching organic treatments for foliage as well as for your natural landscaping features ahead of time will make anyone a lawn care expert who’s well versed in what to do if disease invades specific plants.
5. Create a Watering Schedule
Overwatering a yard drains the natural resource from the local environment. Create a watering schedule based on what each plant needs. Selecting helpful tools like a timed sprinkler will guarantee a select plan for one part of the yard, and a watering can takes care of other flowers that don’t need water as frequently.
Watch the weather forecast as well. No one wants to turn on the sprinkler if there will be a thunderstorm later in the day. Paying close attention to how much water each plant requires and what they’ll get from natural sources is an excellent way to monitor them.
6. Avoid Picking Harmless Weeds
Weeds often spread over yards and clash with careful landscaping, but keeping the right kind will improve the planet. When dandelions begin to bloom, leave them for bees so they have plenty of places to collect pollen and nectar.
Some weeds will also serve other purposes. Dandelions can become part of breakfast omelets, and anise hyssop might become someone’s new favorite tea. Learn how to spot these weeds when they pop up. If they aren’t harmful, keep them around to support wildlife, other plants and the occasional culinary adventure.
7. Try Growing Veggies
Supporting the environment might mean growing vegetables instead of buying them at the store. Major companies often grow produce with chemical treatments and add pollution to the atmosphere by shipping items around the globe. Growing tomatoes, lettuce and other foods at home prevents those industries from profiting off each purchase and continuing unsustainable business practices.
People new to taking care of plants should select hardy and delicious varieties that are easy to grow. They should look for things like peas, carrots and cucumbers. If they’re in season and have enough space to establish robust root systems, they’ll thrive in any yard and become another way to avoid supporting companies that pollute the environment.
8. Save New Seeds
Corporations use paper to contain seeds because it’s cost-effective. While it may be good for quarterly profits, it’s not great for the planet. Growing an eco-friendly yard this summer might also mean learning how to save seeds from annuals and vegetables.
Store them in airtight containers like reusable bags or glass jars. Label each one with what type of seeds it contains and their harvesting date. They can grow when their season returns with no need to purchase any unsustainable materials.
9. Build a Compost Bin
Some plants require a bit of help to get through dry periods or other challenging weather conditions. Composting is an excellent way to give them a nutrient boost without polluting nearby waterways with chemical runoff.
Build a compost bin that turns the contents in a barrel so microbes grow into healthy colonies ready to feed nearby plants. Waste like food scraps, newspaper and even grass clippings decay inside composting bins and turn into organic nutrients. It’s the perfect way to produce fertilizer that promotes an eco-friendly yard.
10. Harvest the Rain
Watering plants might make some people uncomfortable. Even though the water goes back into the environment, it’s still drawing on natural resources to grow plants that might not be native inhabitants or serve a purpose other than looking nice. If that’s the case, harvesting rainwater is always an option.
Set up a rain barrel where it can catch water during showers and thunderstorms. Anyone living in a rainy climate can depend on their barrels to provide all the water their yard requires. Even people in typically dry locations can use the occasional rainstorm to cut down on their water usage while still providing everything their plants need.
Grow an Eco-Friendly Yard This Summer
Chemical products and automatic sprinkler systems aren’t the only resources available to people who want their plants to thrive. Use these 10 tips for growing an eco-friendly yard this summer and discover sustainable solutions. Harvesting water in rain barrels, pruning diseased plants and saving seeds are just a few ways to transform any yard into a greener property.