Each year, millions of pounds of chemicals are released into our environment and much water is wasted. How? By growing plants. Most of this is done by agricultural producers, but a small amount of it is still done in our own gardens. So we have an opportunity to make a difference by changing our gardening habits. Here are some tricks to to help our gardens and the planet.
Pick appropriate plants. Not all plants are created equal. We can select plants that are appropriate for the areas we live in. When we pick native plants for our area, they are automatically in tune with the temperature and rain conditions that already exist. These plants will not need the same level of fertilizer and water care that non-native plants do. To find which plants will work best research what plants are native to your surrounding areas and try them. Poke around in www.plantnative.org to get started.
Often native plants will have among them some species that are naturally repellent. These plants have developed around local conditions and local pests. Some may even repel animals naturally. For example, lavender is a naturally repellent plant although its not native to my area, I put it around my garden in pots to help repel insects from my other plants. Plus I love lavender, it might be my favorite plant.
Pull Weeds for Chemical Free Gardening
Sometimes the old-fashioned way is best. Pulling weeds is an effective way of getting rid of them, and doesn’t involve any chemicals. I pull a few every time I am in my garden, so it doesn’t seem like much work.
Farmers around the world use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. The concept is to change what crop we’re putting in a certain field each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. The result is that if crops are rotated, the nutrients are replaced and the soil needs less fertilizer. I personally don’t use this method because my plants grow all year round in Ecuador. But if you live in a climate with winter, and you plant new plants each year, then consider rotating where you put specific plants in your garden.