Green gardening is becoming more and more important and popular these days as many want to ensure the pureness of their food as well as ensure they will have it in the face of climate change and unexpected breaks in the supply chain. It is most heartening to see so many wishing to replace chemical-based fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides with eco-friendly alternatives along with returning to old tried and true gardening methods and embracing new methods and technologies, creating a healthy, organic environment in which to grow food and other plant life. Starting with organic seeds is a great beginning. Container gardening is a wonderful way to get started with green gardening or for those who simply don’t have a lot of land as are community gardens.
Composting is the basis of good, nutrient-rich soil on which to base a garden, especially if you know exactly what went into making that compost and controlled it well using kitchen scraps and lawn clippings, leaves, and other natural fill.
As watering is key to any garden or farm, this aspect is also a great one to control. Using water captured in your own rain barrel is a great step. Watering gardens and lawns during the coolest part of the day is conducive to water seeping into the ground before it evaporates. Think about setting up a Rain Garden that will capture and direct rainwater from rooftop water spouts or paved areas to where it can water your garden.
Planting trees is always a good thing and helps anchor the soil, and provide shade and a home for wildlife. Also, planting flowers that create an inviting and nurturing environment for our precious pollinators is a wonderful and important step in Green Gardening. For tips on creating a nurturing environment for insects and animals pollinating in your garden see our page on Helping Pollinators.
Using an old-fashioned hand-pushed mower is welcome, and failing that, an electric mower is preferable to gas-powered mowers which are soon to be banned in many communities anyway. Replacing the amount of grass on your property with plants, shrubs, trees, and food sources is becoming a welcome trend and will certainly help green gardening.
A Natural Weed Killer can be made using one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of salt, and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Other methods to replace chemical herbicides include using boiling water and using heat with a flame-weeder tool.
Natural alternatives for controlling/repelling pests:
Lavender: Bed Bugs, Mosquitos, Chiggers, Ticks, Fleas, Mosquitoes, Flies, Moths
Basil: Flies, Mosquitos
Eucalyptus: Flies, Roaches, Spiders, Spider Mites, Ants, Lice
Cedarwood: Moths, Termites, Fleas, Ants, Cockroaches, Mosquitoes
Sandalwood: Aphids, Mosquitos
Peppermint: Ants, Aphids, Caterpillars, Spiders, Spider Mites, Beetles
Clove Oil: Lice, Termites, Mosquitoes, Ants, Wasps, Moths and their larvae, Flies, Fleas, Earwigs, Silverfish, Mites, Aphids, Cockroaches
Thyme: Beetles, Chiggers, Cabbage loopers, Whiteflies, Tomato Hornworms, Corn Earworms
Lemongrass: Ticks, Mosquitos, Chiggers, Fleas, Cockroaches, Bedbugs
Patchouli: Gnats, Snails, Bedbugs, Mosquitos, Moths, Flies, Ants, Fleas
Cinnamon: Termites, Rats, Mice, Squirrels, Raccoons, Snakes, Moles, Rabbits, Weasels
White Fir: Aphids, Slugs, Snails
Orange Peel Sprays: Slugs, Aphids, Ants, Whiteflies, Fruit Flies
Neem: Spider Mites, Aphids, Beetle Larvae, Caterpillars, Lace bugs, Leafhoppers, Leafminers, Mealybugs, Thrips, Whiteflies
Visit our page on Pollinators for tips on creating a supportive environment for them.