Greenest Greenery for a Greener Green: Tips for a Green Garden
Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning is all about being green, but we can only talk about green carpet cleaning so much before it gets boring. Instead, we’re going to talk about having a green garden. No, we’re not talking about the color, but how you garden. You see, a lot of gardeners actually hurt the environment by using harsh chemicals and irresponsible methods. To help you identify the best practices for your garden, here’s our Oxi Fresh guide:
1.) Water Conservation: Unless you’re growing rocks, water is a necessity for gardening. Unfortunately clean water isn’t limitless so everyone needs to practice conservation. Here are three ways to conserve water in your garden:
A.) Irrigation Systems: Many gardeners use traditional sprinkler systems which, unfortunately, waste a good deal of water. It’s sprayed onto sidewalks, landscaped features, or ends up soaking some plants and leaving others dry. A good alternative is a drip irrigation system. These hoses can be laid throughout your garden and will emit a steady drip of water to your plants – giving them the right amount of water without waste.
B.) Fighting Evaporation: When you put water into your garden, that’s where it should stay. Mulching your garden and putting extra mulch around the base of your plants is a great way to prevent evaporation. You can mix Coir – a coconut fiber mix that is replacing peat moss – into your soil. This natural product will help keep the moisture in the soil for a longer period of time and will naturally biodegrade.
C.) Water Collection: No matter how much we fight waste, you still have to put water into your garden – so why not use what nature gives you? Rain barrels are great for collecting runoff that you can then use in your garden. Be sure to check on your community’s water laws, though, because some areas don’t allow this sort of collection.
2.) Green Solutions to Plant Problems: Gardens seem to attract trouble like bugs, diseases, and bad soil. Gardeners often rely on chemical solution to these problems – but there are healthier options.
A.) Fertilizers, Herbicides, Pesticides: Oh my! There are a lot of chemical-based options here, but before you try those out, search online for green versions of those products – there were just too many for me to list here. Other methods don’t require chemicals at all. Compost can replace fertilizers, homemade pesticides- like those at ivillage.com – can work wonders, and vinegar can kill off unwanted plants.
B.) Birds and Bugs : Fight the bad bugs by getting defenders of your own. Birdhouses attract birds who will reduce the number of snails and slugs. You also want predatory insects that will eat up the bad bugs. You can attract them by growing the plants they use to supplement their insect diet. These include: “sweet alyssum, asters, daisies, marigolds, sunflowers, yarrow, and members of the parsley family” (iVillage.com).
3.) The Garden Itself: The best way to green up your garden, though, is to look at it as a whole – what plants you have, where, and how you plant them
A.) Native: If it seems like a lot of your exotic plants are suffering in your garden, it’s probably because they’re not used to your local environment. Do some research to find local flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Try planting these in your garden and you’ll see that they’ll do better than other plants since they evolved in the area.
B.) A House Divided: If you grow native plants and use green methods but then use painted or stained planters and gas powered equipment, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot. Stained or painted planters can leach toxins into the soil and gas powered tools release pollutants. Try using unstained planters or ones made from recycled materials and either person-powered (like a push mower) or electric versions of mowers, weed whackers, etc.
Hopefully these green tips will help you out with your gardening efforts this Spring. And remember that if you accidentally track dirt inside, there’s only one carpet cleaning company you need to call – the one with green, safe carpet cleaning services: Oxi Fresh! Good planting!
Thanks to Joe Lamp’l, the National Wildlife Federation, writeminded, Stephanie, Marcy Tate, and the iVillage.com staff.