Green Gardening

I love my garden. It’s off to a nice start, although I’m a little concerned about the gopher hole that appeared this morning in the middle of the herb garden. Hopefully the neighbor’s cats are on top of that situation. I’d far rather the cats hunt gophers than birds.

We generally keep an organic garden. I’m still working with my husband on some points; he keeps trying to forget that adding compost to the soil should replace any need to fertilize the soil. It’s hard to break the habits you were taught about gardening growing up, I suppose. But this year I’ve managed to keep him from hauling out the fertilizer. He did try.

And that’s something important to remember. While gardening is mostly an environmentally friendly activity, there are things you can do to your garden that will make it less so.

Fertilizers and pesticides pretty much top that list.

I’m fortunate in that my husband better understands the need to avoid pesticides. We get ladybugs for our garden and plant marigolds. We know that some plants and produce will get nibbled by various pests before we can do anything about it.

And when the neighborhood raccoons come and nibble, there’s just not much to be done for it.

The tools you use matter too. I was looking at some of the garden tools suggested on Amazon’s Green section, and wincing to see leaf blowers recommended. Get a rake and broom, people! You don’t need to use power to clean up leaves. Like many businesses, they’re trying, but really just aren’t there yet on their recommendations.

If you can manage it, a drip irrigation system is better than using sprinklers. It’s some extra work, but much less wasteful of water. The expense can be a bit of a pain if your budget is tight, but if you live in an area facing water restrictions what better way to comply and save your garden? Drip irrigation can use half the water of sprinklers.

I’ve always found it interesting that going green often means a combination of spending a little extra and saving a bunch of money, plus a little extra effort. It’s that first bit and that last bit that I think really throws people off wanting to go green. But try it in your garden. It’s worth it.