Tag Archives | gardening

5 Tips For Making Your Own Eco-Friendly Garden Oasis

A garden oasis at home is a great idea, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your yard for a sprawling garden. It will create a peaceful environment that will improve your home while helping keep the environment green. If you’ve been thinking of making one, have a look at the five tips below and see if they inspire you to start one today.

Make Plans With Why You Want a Garden in Mind

When you think about it, there are many reasons you may choose to plant a garden. You may want to plant one so you have access to fresh herbs and vegetables, or simply to add pretty flowers and color to your space. You may also want to create an oasis where the birds and the bees can thrive, intentionally creating potential homes for them. In a survey, 30% of the people said that they started gardening to get fresh vegetables while 25% said that they did it in order to get food that tastes better and is of higher quality. Gardening for fun was the reason for 22% of them while 15% did it to save money. The reasons you start a garden will influence how you do it and what you plant, which is why this is an important step.

Harvest Rainwater

For your home garden to thrive, it will need a good supply of water. For it to be truly green, it will need water that is sustainably sourced. Rather than use piped water to keep your garden going, consider harvesting rainwater and using it for your garden. It will be economical, sustainable, and is a great way to keep the natural cycle. You may invest in setting up a rain bank or simply use runoff barrels to harvest the rainwater and watch your garden thrive.

Invest in Materials That Can Withstand the Outdoors

For furnishing and decorating, make sure to use materials that won’t get destroyed by outdoor conditions as this is where they will permanently be. If you can, source natural materials which are made to stay outdoors as this will be sustainable. Think of seats woven from natural fiber and pots baked from clay, which will also add more character to your garden. Using material that will last long outdoors will help keep the materials from the dreaded landfill while also saving you money you would have used in fixing and replacing items. For instance, tempered glass would be better than normal glass as it’s four to five times harder to fracture.

Get Good Varieties

Before you actually start planting, do research on which varieties are native to your location and favor these over foreign ones. This will improve their chances of thriving and you won’t have to work as hard to get a good garden going. If you do get non-native plant life, make sure that it’s not invasive as this could lead to a hard time trying to get it in control so it does not ruin the chances of native, beneficial varieties thriving.

Look Into Natural Insect and Pest Repellents

A big part of green living is avoiding chemicals, whether they are used to repel insects or fertilize your garden. There are many natural options you can choose from, so read up on these alternatives. Note that food crops have to compete with 3,000 species of nematodes, 10,000 species of insects that feed on plants, and 30,000 species of weeds. Find a sustainable way of keeping these in check to ensure that your garden is fully sustainable.

The decision to go green is a big one, considering the current condition of the environment. When you do what you can to ensure a positive change, you give biodiversity a chance to thrive. Follow the tips above to create a lovely green garden that will put a smile on your face as well as nature’s!

5 Reasons You Should Start a Gardening Club In Your Community

Green living is increasingly becoming more popular and more important in many communities. With so many people turning toward green energy and greener lifestyles, you might be considering how you can positively impact your community with these improvements. Gardening clubs are one way of implementing this eco-friendly change, and there are many reasons to look into starting one for your community. Here are the five most considerable benefits you should think about.

1. Advocate for More Sustainability

Sustainable practices have been gaining steam in recent decades, and today recycling and eco-living have become a main practice throughout the nation. More than 69% of all steel — over 80 million tons — is recycled every year, and in 2018 three million tons of plastic were also recycled. While remembering to reuse and recycle materials is important, this can also correspond to gardening and composting. By being able to grow your own community produce and compost acceptable food items for fertilizer, you can further cut down on the waste produced by your area. These sustainable practices can help make your community much greener and more eco-friendly over time.

2. Make Your Community a Better Place to Live

A community gardening club can also help build a stronger sense of community while creating lasting relationships among neighbors. With everyone working together and growing produce to share, you can make a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that gets people invested and involved in the area. This sense of community is something that many places lack, and by being proactive and creating a way for people to interact meaningfully, you can help build your community up.

3. Work Alongside Local Small Businesses

With over 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide, it’s important to look around your area and see who can help support your goals. Local small businesses shouldn’t be overlooked when building your community gardening club, especially those that sell the resources you need. Even businesses that don’t sell gardening supplies could help sponsor or promote local farmer’s markets that you might hold once your gardening club kicks off. This can be a great way to draw in folks from other communities who then might go on to create their own gardening club. Often you might find that you have more produce than your community needs, and hosting a public sale advertised by local businesses is a great way to spread the love.

4. Produce Healthy Food and Beautiful Green Scenery

A local garden green space is capable of producing both food and a gorgeous piece of scenery. In places where concrete and pavement may be the norm, it’s refreshing to break that mold with beautiful greenery. This neighborhood beautification can also help increase the value of the neighborhood overall, which benefits all of the homeowners in the area. Green spaces like this can also create a productive place for kids to play and learn about gardening at the same time!

5. A Local Garden Can Help You Meet Like-Minded Neighbors

Lastly, starting a community gardening club can be a great way to meet local folks who value green living as much as you do. You may be surprised at all the people in your neighborhood that you will be able to draw in and create meaningful relationships with. To help get the word out, you can consider creating posters to place in mailboxes and local shops. You may even want to create a unique domain webpage to help further get the word out. However, nearly 900,000 domains are registered every week, so make sure yours stands out so locals can easily find you.

A local gardening club has many benefits, and if you’re looking for a great way to bring your neighborhood together, this is one of the best ways possible. Not only does it benefit you, but it can benefit your community and the environment as a whole.

Clever Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Summer

There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint in the summer months. You can exercise more and use the car less frequently, grow a garden, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and conserve energy using energy-saving devices. Below are some specific ideas of how your and your family can reduce your carbon footprint this season.

Try a New Mode Of Transportation

Just one gallon of gasoline emits tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Cut down on using your car this summer and walk and bike in your neighborhood instead. Think about walking to the mailbox instead of driving to the local post office to mail letters. When you drive somewhere and park, walk an extra few blocks rather than drive around to nearby destinations. You do not have to park as close as possible. Consider using the bus for local transportation, as choosing public transit can reduce the number of other vehicles on the street. There are over 6 million car accidents in the United States yearly, partially due to overcrowded roads. Choose local parks and trails in your state and walk and hike locally or enjoy taking a stroll around the block instead of a nightly drive to clear your head.

Not only do cars come with harmful emissions, but they can also be expensive to maintain. Around 96% of Subarus sold during the past decade are still on the road, which means many drivers may also have to deal with expensive vehicle maintenance to keep their cars operable. You can cut down on necessary repairs by ditching your car for a bike this summer whenever possible. Biking is a great way to exercise or get from point A to point B. If you live close to where you work, walking or biking to work in good weather can be a great way to burn calories, shed a sedentary lifestyle, and reduce your environmental impact. You can bike or walk in parks, local college campuses, the neighborhood, or in the heart of the city. Don’t forget to learn the safety rules and follow them when biking or walking. Walk and bike to places a few miles near your home to start; you might find you love it so much that you try not to take the car if you don’t have to!

Plan a Garden Or Grow Plants in Pots

Plant a garden this year and start growing some herbs and vegetables. Go to a local garden center and purchase native flowers, vegetables, and herbs. You should also stop using chemical pesticides and buy organic pesticides made from natural ingredients (or make your own at home!). While Oklahoma has over 540 common pests, they can be kept out of your garden in ways that won’t harm the surrounding environment if you stick to natural pesticides and insecticides. Your garden center can tell you how to care for the plants you buy. Buy plants for the deck or patio if you don’t have the time to care for a garden. You can use the vegetables and herbs you grow when cooking. This can help you reduce the environmental impact associated with purchasing groceries that come from far-away farms. You might even consider collecting water in a rain barrel to use to water the lawn and your plants at home, thus saving water!

Use a Programmable Thermostat and Fans to Reduce Energy Consumption

Installing a programmable thermostat will help you save on your electric bill when cooling the house. This handy device can increase or decrease the temperature, even when you’re not at home. Other ways to cool the house include closing the shutters, blinds, and shades during the day. You can also use a fan instead of an air conditioner or to supplement your AC. You might even think about switching to a green energy plan powered by renewable energy. Remember to unplug appliances you’re not using and cook on the outdoor grill instead of using the oven to reduce your overall energy consumption and to keep your home more comfortable throughout the hotter months.

Eat Local and Reduce Meat Consumption

This summer, shop at your local farmers’ market where they sell local produce grown in your region. You should always aim to buy seasonal produce, as it is less expensive and can be transported in a more environmentally-friendly way. You can always prepare your vegetables in large batches and freeze for later use to reduce waste. Find some new recipes for vegetable, fruit, and pasta salads or soups and try them out this summer. Be sure to try some new fruits and vegetables you have never eaten before every week. You can also reduce meat consumption in your diet, as the meat industry can be incredibly harmful to the environment.

These tips will help you reduce your carbon footprint and help you find a way to promote green and natural living in the warmer months.

Teaching Your Green Kids to Love Gardening

Gardening with Children

Gardening has many advantages, and is known to benefit your children’s health and well-being. Teaching the kids to love gardening will get them outdoors, allow you to spend some family time together, and make them more rounded characters. Do some research or search online for gardening guides which will give you more information and tips. Here are five ways to help get the kids involved;

Give Them Garden Space of Their Own
A great way to get the kids out in the garden is to allow them to plan a section for themselves. Giving them the freedom to plan, build and enjoy their own space will not only leave them feeling invested in the garden, but will also allow you to spend time together, helping them create their space.

Create a Wildlife Garden
Building a garden to attract wildlife is a brilliant way to excite the kids. Wildflowers are great for attracting plenty of insects, which will encourage other wildlife such as birds and hedgehogs to your garden. Once the children have their first sighting, they’ll be invested in helping you improve the space to attract more animals! If you have enough space you could even build a pond which will almost certainly increase your sightings.

green kids gardening

Teach Them to Grow Their Own Food
Teaching your children how to grow their own produce will leave them with a skill for life. Let them pick the fruit and vegetables that they like, before helping them to build grow boxes and sow the seeds. The responsibility of nurturing their plants before harvest will teach them a valuable skill, and could be a precursor to a family pet!

Create an Indoor Garden During the Winter
Getting the kids interested in gardening during the winter months, will leave them excited and ready to hit the garden in spring. You can start small with a herb garden, before you start germinating your seeds in anticipation of planting.

Teach Them How to Compost
Although perhaps not the most exciting of topics, teaching your children how to make compost will give them a greater understanding of consumption, waste, and their effect on their natural surroundings. Start by educating them on the importance of recycling, before moving on to composting.

Hopefully the above tips will help you to get the children interested in gardening, not only will they reap the benefits; so will you.

Image via bass_nroll and theloushe used under the Creative Commons license
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