Gardening can be a lot of work, but it can also be fun and fulfilling. Gardens provide you with a hobby, a beautiful yard, and often times some food. Seeing a seed grow into a meal on your table is when I especially love it.
However, gardening can be a lot of hard work, which is why I’ve compiled a list of 10 fun and eco-friendly ways to spruce up your garden. Reinvigorate your love for all things gardening while tipping your hat to the environment, too!
1. Grab or Make a Rain Barrel
Rain barrels are a great way to capture storm water runoff as well as a free source of water for your plants. It’s perfect for gardeners who don’t get consistent rain but plant items that need consistent water. They’re easy to make (or buy) and install, and the best part is you’ll be saving money by not using water from the tap. Check here for a great resource on starting a rain barrel.
2. Buy a Very Cute Watering Can
I always get excited to use new tools, especially when they’re fun and practical. Check out a second hand shop (or Etsy, which is where the picture is from) to find an adorable vintage watering can to help get your gardening back in gear.
3. Start Some Seedlings – in reused plastic
Before sending the bottoms of soda bottles and water bottles off to get recycled, reuse them to start some seeds instead of buying new, plastic seed planters. Cut the bottoms of the bottles off and drill some holes around the bottom to allow excess water to drain. You’ll be able to reuse your normal waste, save money on planters, and still be able to recycle the bottoms of the bottles when you’re finished with them.
4. Start Composting
While it may not be the most fun you’ve had all week, having a compost is great for your garden, providing natural and rich resources continually. On the eco-friendly side, it reduces waste and reduces the amount of fertilizer you’ll use on your plants. To make it easier, make it bigger or get one that’s easy to turn.
5. Learn More About Your Garden
Learning about what you’re interested in is a great way to keep yourself energized in your garden as well as making sure you know the best tactics and ways to handle certain plants and situations. To learn in an eco-friendly manner, check out the mass of ebooks available (many of which are free). Click here for one site that showcases ebooks on gardening. Alternatively, check out your local library!
6. Decorate! (with reused items)
The glass bottles used as a garden wall in the picture is an especially creative idea, but you can use anything as decoration in your garden. Some people reuse old tires or old bed frames for a flower bed. Check your garage or basement for garden goodies, or shop around at some thrift stores and garage sales. You’re re-purposing stuff that might otherwise go to the dump, and you’re sprucing up your garden too.
7. Rearrange Your Plants
No, you don’t have a large farm growing hundreds of acres of corn in your backyard, but it’s still good to mix up where you plant your veggies and flowers. It helps diversify the soil and it keeps you interested and aware of your garden. Of course, some plants just shouldn’t be uprooted, but others actually benefit from a change in scenery. You may just find that a certain tomato plant does multitudes better in a different location, or that the new hydrangea doesn’t get overheated in its new corner.
8. Do Some Weeding
While weeding isn’t the most glamorous garden activity, it certainly has a positive effect on your garden. It not only makes your garden look good, but it improves the health of the plants whose nutrients are being sucked away. Plus, a lot of weeds aren’t native to the area, they’ve been transferred from different parts of the country (or the world), and they’ve gotten out of control because there known limiting factors don’t exist in their new surroundings.
9. Handle Pests and Weeds Organically
Using toxic, chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in your garden is bad for the environment and bad for your health (if you’re using them near your veggies). Try some organic alternatives or local methods to handle your gardening troubles. They may take a little more work or a little more learning, but they’re usually just as effective if not more effective than their polluting alternatives.
10. Plant Some Native Plants
Look into what naturally grows in your area and add it to your garden. Native plants have the best chance of thriving in your garden, and they’ll probably be the easiest to take care of, because they’ve evolved to grow in your area. Even better, you’ll provide the native wildlife with just a little more sustenance. Easy and good for the environment: it doesn’t get much better than that.
Any Gardening Tips?
What have you done to spruce up your garden in an environmentally friendly way? Any tips or advice?
Don’t garden? Start one or pass this post on to someone who does :)