Greening Your Garden

Spring is the time of year when the winter fantasies of gardeners everywhere start to become reality. As the bulbs start blooming and the leaves start budding, garden lovers everywhere become excited to help along yet another year of beautiful flowers and luscious plants. What better time, then, to consider the most eco friendly ways we can do that?

Rain is easy to take for granted, but we sure miss it in our garden when we suffer a dry spell. Why not collect rain water when it's in abundance during a storm and save it for the day you'll need it? That's exactly what rainwater barrels do for you. You can set them up under your gutters, and they can collect up to sixty gallons of rain depending on their size. Then, when the skies are blue and there is not a cloud in sight you can release the water through your hose and right to your plants when they really need it.

Plants and flowers love compost, which delivers life-nourishing organic matter right where they need it most. You can create a compost pile in an out of the way spot in your garden, or you can use a container. Anything will do, from an old garbage can with a few holes in it to the fancy compost tumblers you'll find on gardening websites. Once you're set up, add your kitchen waste and backyard scraps to it, turn it every so often, wait a few months, and you'll be rewarded with rich black compost that your garden will love. Best of all, you will keep tons of waste out of your landfill.

While on the subject of watering, the less water your plants need the better. There are many species of plants that do not require as much water as their more fussy cousins. The less water you use, the more that is available to replenish your local reservoir or aquifer.

You can plant many different species that will draw tons of butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden, which are a delight to see. For your feathered friends, you can install birdhouses, water fountains, and bird feeders.

If you are the type of gardener that grows your own plants from seeds, you are probably familiar with metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps. Unfortunately these lamps often use a lot of energy and emit lots of heat. LED grow lights are a very eco friendly alternative that use up to 80% less energy and are available in both blue and red varieties. That lets you find LED grow lights for the entire spectrum you need, from encouraging plant growth to inducing flowers.

Following these guidelines helps to ensure that your garden is maintained in the most earth friendly way possible. The key is to use a minimum of energy and water resources while recycling as much of your waste as you can.

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