Tips on eco-friendly gardening | the ReFab Diaries

Gardening is possibly the best way to interact with nature and the growing process while providing yourself with healthy fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more. If you have a patch of land to grow on (or even if you don’t), there are so many ways to plant and cultivate your own little slice of paradise without creating waste or interfering with the local flora and fauna.


Here are a few tips on eco-friendly gardening to help you get started:



Watch Your Water

When you water your garden, you don’t need to leave the sprinkler running for hours to saturate the soil down to the bedrock. In fact, you needn’t go any deeper than a foot into the ground—and even then, some plants need less water than others. Do all your hydrating with watering cans or a seep hose. It may take longer, but this way, you can measure out how much water your plants need. Remember that morning is the best time to water since the hotter it gets, the faster water evaporates. If you can, set up a rain barrel under a downspout and collect all that pure, unadulterated H2O for a non-rainy day.


Create Your Own Compost

Fertilizers are good for encouraging plant growth, but if you’re averse to pouring chemicals into the ground, then make your own compost. There are numerous composting bins on the market, but if you’re cutting plastics out of your life, you can always dig a compost pit in your backyard (check local statutes first!). Mark off a four-foot by four-foot space, and then dig a hole about two feet deep. Lay down twigs and straw and a layer of soil. As the days pass, throw in healthy plant matter such as cut grass, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings, leafy veggies, uneaten fruits, vegetables on their last legs, and so on (but no meat, grease, eggs, or the like). Cover the pit with soil, water it once a week, and turn things over with a spade. Eventually, the plant matter will break down into healthy compost.



Grow Plants That Benefit the Local Fauna

Your biggest helpers in any garden are the insects, birds, and other beasts that stop by and eat up more intrusive creatures. Bees love bright, colorful flowers; plant bee balms, sunflowers, lavender, and other bee-friendly plants to encourage them to stop by, feed, and help the other plants cross-pollinate. Adding seed-offering flowers attracts birds that take care of pesty insects, such as orioles, cardinals, and bluebirds. To find out what plants will work best for where you live, and get your garden certified, visit the National Wildlife Federation



Bring the Garden Indoors

Here’s one last tip on eco-friendly gardening: a good way to go easier on the earth is hydroponic gardening. It not only puts less stress on the land because it requires no soil but also conserves water by recycling the nutrient solution you add to the system. Several kinds of hydroponic gardening are available, but a wick-based system is the best one for beginners. Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies all year long!



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