By Bonnie Manion
I love sharing green tips with gardeners. Some are tips you might know about, and some might be new that you’ll want to try in your garden this spring. Usually green tips are very economical, not to mention ecological. They save energy and fossil fuels, and leave a lighter footprint on our precious Mother Earth.
Grow more edibles. Think about landscaping with more edibles when embarking on new projects in your garden. Growing your own food saves our environment in many ways such as transportation fuel, wildlife habitat, and fossil fuels to grow it. Growing your own edibles is fun, rewarding, and gives you control over your food. In the photo above I am growing artichokes, bay laurel tree, eggplant, leeks, summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes, and Swiss chard in raised beds.
Raise edibles from seed. Seed packets are very reasonable and can give you high yields. There are so many more seed varieties available now, especially heirloom varieties that never reach food or farmer’s markets. Hopefully you are growing lettuce in your garden. If not, save those large lettuce tubs that specialty lettuces come in. They make perfect mini-greenhouses to start seeds, keeping conditions warm and humid for germination. Those tubs can hold a nursery six-pack or possibly two four-packs.
Add cooled coffee grounds. Use them in moderation around the base of acid-loving plants such as blueberries and azaleas. Don’t forget, coffee grounds are perfect to add to a compost pile too.
Use a compost bin. Contribute kitchen vegetable scraps; green clippings from your garden; and browns such as leaves, sawdust and small twigs. Think of your compost as vegetarian—no meat, bones, oil, etc. Finished compost creates humus, which is the best organic amendment you can add to your garden soil. Plus you’re not wasting landfill space.
Collect rainwater. A lot comes off the roof of your home, garage or shed. Rainwater is full of nutrients for your plants, and it is amazing how much rain you can collect over a few rainstorms or seasons. Lowe’s carries a variety of rain barrels to match your garden style.
Decorate and accent your home from your garden. Nature is the best decorator. Bring your garden inside with colorful bouquets you hand-pick from your garden. Don’t forget, citrus and apples are heavenly when filling vintage containers and bowls. A rustic basket teeming with lemons brightens any room and reminds you to live seasonally through your garden.
These tips are fun, and simple to incorporate. If we all do our small part to lessen our imprint on the environment, we can impact Mother Earth in a big and beneficial way.