Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Southeast Gardening: Sustainable Gardening

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Sustainability in the garden means using local and recycled materials, choosing adapted plants, and using less water.

A path of woodchips marks the way to nearby planting beds.
drought-tolerant species planted together

We'd all like to have a more sustainable garden as long as it doesn't require more time, energy, strength, or money. Here are some ways to make your sustainable garden an enduring one.

Tip 1: Water Wisdom

While I have the best intentions of installing an efficient drip-irrigation system, I haven't gotten beyond a leaky pipe and a sprinkler. However, I learned a lot a few years ago when watering was restricted due to drought.

  • My garden needs less water than I previously thought to survive and grow. I try to group drought-tolerant plants to create areas that seldom need water.
  • Watering well once (or twice if the soil is sandy) each week is better than a little bit every day.
  • Reducing the water pressure to the sprinkler increases the droplet size and reduces the mist that usually evaporates.
  • Watering in the early morning means plants are ready for the heat of the day with minimal evaporation.

Tip 2: Lawn Insights

  • Raise the cutting height in summer to prevent the lawn from drying out.
  • Use a reel mower for exercise and freedom from noise, fumes, and trips to the gas station.
  • Fertilize only enough to support healthy grass, not excessive growth.

Tip 3: Tool Rules

  • Buy tools that fit your hands, your height, and your needs.
  • Sharpen all blades, including shovels and hoes.
  • Use the right tool for the task; for example, use loppers rather than hand shears for a limb larger than your thumb.
  • Buy well-made tools for long-term savings and enjoyment.

Tip 4: Good Ideas

  • If you have a tree removed, recycle the wood chips for garden paths.
  • Compost the easy way by burying non-meat kitchen scraps in empty garden beds. 

 

blue phlox reseeds itself

Tip 5: Go Native

  • Often the diehard plants are those that are nature's gift. Blue phlox reseeds itself in my garden.
  • Look to nature for well-adapted plants in problem areas. In a dry bed, eared coreopsis, moss verbena, and bird's foot violet bloom without care. In a wet zone, sweet bay magnolia, Virginia sweetspire, and swamp hibiscus are thriving.