There are a number of benefits to growing your own fruits and vegetables.Gardening can provide access to affordable, healthy, locally grown produce that are free from the pesticides and contaminates that might be present on store-bought foods.It encourages a healthy diet and it also promotes exercise as well as an opportunity to connect with nature. Gardening can also be a means by which we beautify our home.We might plant bold, beautiful flowers to add color to our yard. Gardening is a way to bring families together and it provides an excellent learning opportunity for children.While there are so many great benefits to gardening, it is still important to educate yourself on ways to practice gardening that is healthy for both you and the environment. Here are a few things to consider and a few simple ways to create a “greener” garden.
Use Natural Pesticides and Repellants
One of the most common issues with standard gardening practices is the use of chemicals and pesticides.Not only are these chemicals harmful when touched and consumed by humans, but they are harmful to plants and wildlife as well.Instead of chemicals, try to use natural and organic pesticides and only remove invasive species.
Make Your Own Compost
Every spring millions of Americans drive to a local hardware store or nursery and pick up a few bags of topsoil.Oftentimes, these bags of topsoil have been bulldozed by natural endangered areas and are the result of destroying sustainable resources.Instead of buying topsoil, start your own compost pile. Composting is a great way to make use of old kitchen scraps and convert them into a nutrient rich food for your soil.It means less trash for the landfill and more nutrients for your plants!
Use a Rain Barrel
We all know that plants need water but think about how much water is wasted every time we turn on the hose or sprinkler system.Conserving rain water in a rain barrel is a fantastic way to get water for your plants while also making less of an impact on the environment.You should also water your plants during the coolest part of the day so the water can seep into the ground before drying up.
Watch for Weeds
Most standard gardeners assume that any plant growing in the garden that was not planted there is a weed that should be removed.They pull them, cut them with weed eaters, and even spray them to keep them at bay.However, some of these “weeds” are not exactly an invasive species.They might be more of a beautiful blessing planted by a bird, the wind, or a fallen seed from a flower.True environmental gardeners appreciate these varieties of plant species and understand the benefits that native species have on the environment.Before cutting and pulling weeds, study them to see if they are actually invasive.
Refrain from Raking
We can all appreciate a neat, clean yard free from debris.But nature actually has a use for everything….including these fallen leaves.Instead of bagging your leaves or burning the leaf piles, gather them and use them in your compost pile or spread them in your garden where it can rot naturally.It will enrich the soil and also provide a haven for wildlife.
Plant Native Species
The majority of gardeners admit that their focus is on beautifying their surroundings.For the environmental gardener, beauty does not necessarily mean big, blousy, brightly colored flowers.Beauty can be found in even the simply native species.When you walk through a healthy forest for example, you are surrounding by thousands of species native to the area.Think of your garden in the same way.Instead of buying imported flowers and plants that are not native to the area, plant native species where possible and select wildlife friendly species.
It’s one of our favorite breakfast foods and is a key ingredient for bakers, but did you know eggs have exceptional benefits for your garden as well? Eggs are full of protein, vitamins, and minerals and are considered of the most nutritious foods on the planet, but what happens to all of the shells from this hearty food? Most people toss them in the trash but it’s time you started saving those leftover shells. Eggshells can actually help nourish and enrich the soil in your garden.
The Benefits of Eggshells
Eggshells provide a boost of calcium to your soil that will also be soaked up by your plants.They decompose very quickly and are a great way to add calcium to your compost. This important nutrient help build cell walls and without it your plants will grow much slower. In some cases, plants that tend to be calcium deficient might not grow at all (i.e. vegetables such as tomatoes and squash and fruit). While it won’t help the plants immediately, over time the eggshells will break down and add calcium to the soil.In addition to providing rich nutrients, eggshells can act as a pest deterrent helping to rid your garden of pesky slugs and snails. The shells also make excellent seed starter pots. Simply fill the eggshells with soil, poke a small drainage hole in the bottom, plant a few seeds, water them, and once they begin to sprout you can plant the entire shell into your garden or a larger pot.
How to Use Eggshells in Your Garden
There are a few ways in which you can incorporate eggshells into your garden. You can place the entire shell into a compost pile and it will eventually break down over time. You can also collect a large quantity of eggshells and crush them. Once they are crushed you can simply sprinkle them around in your garden. Lastly, you can place crushed eggshells into the holes you dig when you are planting new plants and flowers.
Using eggshells in your garden will help your plants get the nutrients they need while also keeping unwanted pests out of your garden. It is also a great way to make use of something that would otherwise be thrown away. Don’t waste this excellent source of calcium! Make the most of it by recycling it into your garden.
The warmth of summer means homeowners across the country will be spending plenty of time mowing their grass and watering their lawns.That said it is important not to forget that your lawn needs nourishment in addition to routine maintenance.If you want to encourage healthy growth, deter pests, and cut down on pesky weeds, you will need to nourish the soil beneath your grass. You can do this by adding compost to you lawn. Compost is simply decomposed organic matter, but this “simple” addition to your yard hosts plenty of awesome benefits. Compost increases microbial activity in your soil and is rich in nutrients that will make for a lush, healthy lawn. While it might require a bit more work than spreading fertilizer over your yard, creating your own compost is a highly effective and healthier way to nourish your lawn. Here’s how you can create your own backyard compost.
Start with a Compost Bin
A compost bin is a structure that houses compost and facilitates the decomposition of organic matter. You can purchase a bin or build one yourself with some basic supplies. A bin allows for proper aeration and moisture so that materials can decompose. It will also protect your compost pile against unwanted pests and rodents.
Gather Compost Materials
Just about any organic substance can be turned into compost. A few common items include kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, twigs, bark, egg shells, seashells, and manure. Once gathered, these items can be left in the compost bin to decompose. Your compost pile should remain moist, but not wet, so be sure there isn’t too much wet material mixed in with the dry material.Air movement is important so your pile should be turned occasionally. It takes a few months for a pile to completely compost so you could start your compost pile in the fall and it should be ready come spring.
Spread the Compost
Compost can be spread manually by using a shovel to disperse it over the lawn. It can then be smoothed out with a rake so it blends in better with the lawn. After a few days it will not be noticeable at all.It is best to apply the compost after aerating the lawn because it will ensure the compost gets directly into the soil and can speed up the growing process. Composts should be applied once or twice a year to achieve maximum benefits for your lawn.
Plants can help cozy up your home and they certainly look lovely sitting on an end table, but pet owners should be extra careful when selecting a houseplant.There are a number of plant varieties that are toxic for cats and dogs and can cause harm if ingested. Plant poisoning can range from mild to very severe and in some cases can be deadly for your pet. So, the next time you purchase some lovely greenery, make sure it is safe for Fido! Here are some common houseplants that are dangerous for pets.
Do you long for a lush green lawn and a garden full of beautiful plants but feel overwhelmed by all of the work that is involved with gardening?Not to worry! There is hope even for those of us who feel cursed with a black thumb. Whether you have two acres of yard or two feet of balcony space, you can get the garden you have always wanted with these helpful tips.These tips will beautify your garden and simplify your life.
Have you ever found yourself admiring your neighbor’s gardens as you take an evening walk?Or perhaps YOU have the garden on the street that everyone else envies.Either way, one might assume that in order to have a garden like that the homeowner must have a green thumb. But, what does it really mean to have a green thumb? Those with a brown thumb don’t have to give up just yet.There are steps you can take to improve your gardening game.Here are a few things that people with a green thumb are doing right.
You have a friend, family member, or new neighbor that has just moved into their new home.You want to present them with a housewarming gift.There is no better way to welcome someone to their new home than with foliage.Plants have a way of turning any room into a warm and inviting space.Not sure which plant to choose? There are plenty of varieties that look beautiful, are easy to care for, and are sure to bring a little cheer into the home.Here are a few of the best housewarming plants.
You see them on the big screen or on your TV screen but many of your favorite celebrities can also be found in their garden! It’s not just your everyday Joe’s who enjoy getting their hands dirty.In fact, there are a number of celebrities who enjoy the fruits of their gardening labor. Here are a few famous celebs that aren’t afraid to show off their green thumb!
Who says amazing gardens are only found in the country? Actress Sarah Jessica Parker proves that you can still have a gorgeous tiered garden even in the heart of NYC.Her lush garden is filled with gorgeous greenery, plenty of foliage, and an adorable sitting area perfect for an outdoor evening with friends and family.
Julianne Moore has also found a way to turn her NYC backyard into an outdoor oasis.She has created a romantic sanctuary at her West Village home.Her garden boasts raised beds filled with boxwoods and ivy.She also has plenty of built-in pots and hanging plants to accompany her sprawling greenery.
Actress and singer Bette Midler has always been a garden lover, and it’s evident through her adorable and charming garden at home.Her garden is complete with Alchemist climbing roses, English ivy, and an array of shade-loving plants including hostas, foxgloves, and spirea.
The lush greenery and whimsical blooms are the perfect way to accent her terrace garden.
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen enjoys eating the fresh produce grown in her garden.Her garden is complete with an array of fruits and vegetables planted in tiered beds behind her Los Angeles home.The stone work surrounding each bed only adds to its lovely display.
For the singer Sting, his garden is clearly his sanctuary.His incredible garden features a perfectly manicured maze of boxwoods which frame out his colorful lavender.It also boasts extremely tall arborvitae trees and an antique marble fountain in the middle.
Oprah Winfrey is a woman of many talents and gardening is just one more talent you can add to that list.The backyard of her Hawaiian home features an impressive farm where she grows a collection of fresh fruits and vegetables.Her home in California is just as stunning, with an elaborate landscape of gorgeous plants and flowers along with a gorgeous water fountain as the focal point of the garden.
Legendary singer Lionel Richie knows just how to add romance to his Beverly Hills home.His garden has an Italian influence, complete with climbing ivy, gorgeous iceberg roses, and plenty of manicured boxwoods.
In a time when technology and social media seem to be taking over, it has never been as important to engage in personal face-to-face interactions.These days it’s all too common to find families staring at screens without exchanging a single word.Taking time out from work, activities, and other obligations to spend time together is a great way for family and friends to connect with one another.Women, especially, can benefit from socializing with one another.What better way to spend quality time together than bonding over a family garden? Gardening requires active participation and is an excellent way for moms and daughters to bond.It is also a fantastic way for female friends to share quality time together. Here we will examine just a few of the ways women can benefit from gardening together.
If you are planning to do some gardening it is important to know what kind of soil is in your yard.No matter how much work you put into your garden, all of that sowing, weeding, and tending could be a waste of your time if the quality of your soil is not up to par.Soil provides your plants with the vital nutrients, oxygen, and water they need to sustain healthy growth.However, each area of your yard has its own blend of minerals, organic, and inorganic matter which could have a significant impact on what types of plants, shrubs, or trees can be grown in that spot.The more you know about your soil, the better plants and gardens you will be able to produce.