It’s time to go green, thumbs and all. As the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s the perfect time to get out into your garden. But wait! Before you grab your gloves and tools, you may want to consider how to do so in a more sustainable way.
Green-minded gardening is not only good for the environment, but it also helps your plants thrive. By following a few tips and tricks, you can create a garden that not only looks beautiful but also supports a healthy ecosystem. So, let’s dive into some eco-friendly spring gardening tips to make your garden bed sparkle.
Composting is a nutrient-dense soup for your garden. You throw in all sorts of scraps and waste, stir it up, and let it simmer until it turns into a rich treat for your plants. Spring is the ideal time to start composting because you’ll have plenty of yard waste and kitchen scraps to work with. If you’re not already composting, it’s a fantastic way to be more sustainable at home (and in the garden, of course).
Plant a cover crop
Give your garden bed a cozy blanket by planting a cover crop. Cover crops, like clover or vetch, protect your soil from erosion, improve soil health, and provide a habitat for beneficial insects. Plus, they add a pop of green to your garden. This is one of the best spring gardening tips for a beautiful and healthy home garden. Here’s a closer look at how a cover crop helps your spring gardening be greener:
- Prevents soil erosion: Cover crops protect the soil from erosion by binding the soil together with their roots and leaves. This helps prevent soil loss during heavy rain or wind.
- Improves soil health: Cover crops add organic matter to the soil, which improves soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability. When cover crops decompose, they release nutrients that your garden plants can use.
- Controls weeds: Cover crops can help suppress weeds by shading out weed seeds and competing for resources like water and nutrients.
- Provides habitat for beneficial insects: Cover crops can attract beneficial insects like pollinators, predators, and parasitoids. These insects can help control garden pests and improve pollination.
There are many types of cover crops to choose from, including legumes (like clover and vetch), grasses (like rye and wheat), and brassicas (like mustard and radish). Depending on your goals and growing conditions, you can choose a cover crop that works best for your garden. So, give your garden a cozy blanket of cover crops this spring and watch it thrive!
Use natural pest control methods
You don’t need to go to war with pests in your garden. Instead of reaching for chemical sprays, try using natural pest control methods. Here are some tips to try in your spring garden to protect your plants without harming the environment in the process:
- Rotate crops: Insect pests are often plant specific. When plantings are mixed, pests are less able to spread throughout a crop. Rotating crops each spring is a common method to avoid re-infestation of pests that have over-wintered in the bed and keep your plants healthy.
- Natural repellents: There are many natural repellents you can use to repel pests in your garden. For example, spraying a mixture of water and garlic or chili pepper can repel insects like aphids and caterpillars. Here are some more eco-friendly, DIY repellents.
- Handpicking: Sometimes the best way to get rid of pests is to simply handpick them off your plants. This method works well for large pests like slugs and snails, but it can also work for small pests like caterpillars and beetles.
Mulch your garden beds
Mulching is one of the best gardening tips for thriving plants! This process helps keep the soil moist, prevents weeds from taking over, and regulates soil temperature. Plus, it adds a finished look to your garden beds, making them look vibrant and professional. So, grab some straw, leaves, compost, or wood chips and give your garden beds some extra love. You can find more tips for mulching your garden this spring here.
Choose plants that are suitable for your region
Just like some people are better at handling heat and drought than others, some plants are too! Choose plants that are native to your region and can withstand those conditions. This is the best way to ensure a sustainable garden this spring. Here’s why this spring gardening tip matters:
- Adaptation to local conditions: Native plants have adapted to the specific soil, climate, and weather conditions of your region. This means they are better able to survive and thrive in your garden without requiring as much maintenance, such as watering or fertilizing. (This saves you and the planet from using unnecessary water!)
- Biodiversity: These plants provide a better habitat for local wildlife, such as birds, butterflies, and bees. By planting native plants, you can help support local ecosystems and promote biodiversity in your own backyard.
- Pest resistance: Typically, plants that are native to your area have developed natural defenses against local pests and diseases, which means they are less likely to be attacked and require less natural pesticide use.
- Reduced environmental impact: Particularly, planting non-native or invasive species can have negative environmental impacts. These plants can outcompete native plants, disrupt local ecosystems, and harm wildlife. By planting native or suitable plants, you can help reduce the risk of introducing invasive species to your area and protect the local environment.
Follow our blog for more ways to be sustainable, including easy eco-friendly switches you can make in your daily life.