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Central Midwest Gardening: Sustainable Gardening Ideas

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Smart gardening conserves labor and resources. Work with nature and you'll find your garden grows more beautiful every year.

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginiana)

A garden is an ideal place to put the concepts of sustainability to work. Sustainable landscaping practices conserve energy, time, and money. Gardening sustainably is healthy, too. Enjoying your flowers and growing your own food make you feel great.

You can get started on sustainable gardening one project at a time. Here are some ideas:

Tip 1: Grow native plants.

Coneflowers, asters, black-eyed Susans, Virginia bluebells, and other native flowers are naturally adapted to our conditions in the Midwest and give a garden a sense of belonging. They're also good for native pollinators.

Choose plants that bloom from early spring through late fall. Put plants that need extra water together so they'll be easy to take care of all at once. Plant drought-tolerant plants in areas you can't easily reach with a hose.

Trees provide shade

Tip 2: Plant a tree

A deciduous tree southwest of your house shades it from the hot summer sun when in leaf but allows sunshine through when bare in the winter. When you're choosing a tree, take a look around your neighborhood and plant something different for the sake of ecological and aesthetic diversity.

Lettuce planted in ribbons

Tip 3: Raise a crop

When you grow your own vegetables, fruit, and herbs, you're eating the freshest, most delicious food you can find.

Tip 4:
Shop smart

Buy only products you need, and look for small packages so you don't have to store fertilizers, pesticides, and the like.

Tip 5: Garden party

A garden is your place to escape from the busy world or socialize with friends and neighbors. Plus, children love to play games, pick berries, and look for bugs in their own backyard. Working in a garden is rewarding, great exercise, and good for the soul.