Urban gardening is becoming more and more common, but with this influx of home gardens, comes a flock of new gardeners with limited information on how to do it effectively without creating lots of waste. We think we can help with this specific issue.
Introduction: What better way to control what you eat that growing it yourself? And the future of gardening is eco gardening. With the principles of eco gardening, it is a common thought in the horticultural community that gardening will save the world. Sure, plants of all sorts purify the air and you finally get to use your best mulching blades, but can it really improve our planet?
Gardening for the greater good
The short answer is it might. Let’s give it perspective. Growing your own food gives you control over the fertilizer, the pest control measures, and the germination of your fruits and vegetables. You can choose when to harvest and pull it from the ground the instant it is to be consumed, not days later like the produce at your local grocery store. So, it is very fresh.
Finding less caustic, more green-friendly ways to kill pests on your plants can have a ripple effect, not only in the environmental impact, but also the quality and taste of the food you grow. And it can be added to the water supply, giving you an efficient solution to your pest control desires.
Controlling the light and water through drip systems and solar lighting will limit the use of water and power, which limits how much has to be produced to make it and lowers your bills by a lot. Just the simple act of watering with a jug instead of with a hose is makes a big difference. And, ensuring your plants have plenty of sunlight will take away the need for UV lamps or florescent bulbs.
When you finally harvest, if eaten before it has gone bad, it doesn’t need to be discarded. This produces no waste, and since an unfortunate percentage of food is wasted every day, you are already making an impact. Also, by growing your own food, the growers have to produce less, which will also cut down on decaying fruits and veggies blanketing the landscape.
Decaying items emit carbon dioxide, contributing to greenhouse gases. Some of it can be composted, turned into fertilizer, which is recycling, but much of it cannot. Cutting down on decaying produce if done by enough people, can suspend the effects of global warming. Compost also attracts earthworms that aerate the soil, making things grow better.
Eco-Friendly Gardening 101
Gardening naturally is a snap. It takes patience, some basic knowledge of botany and horticulture, and the desire to get your hands dirty. It can be not only good for the planet, but good for your mental health. The simple act of gardening carries with it a catharsis. You are helping things grow. You are creating new life. It’s pretty amazing.
Here are a few more ways to have a terrific garden, and create zero-waste:
- Composting: We mentioned composting earlier using decaying items, and it is best done in a balanced mix of brown items and green items. For instance, tea bags and coffee grounds are brown, where weeds and old fruit and veggie peels are green. The nutrients from a good mix will enrich your soil much better than using only fall leaves.
- Pots: If you bought potted plants, return the pots to where you purchased your plants so they can be used again. If it is too great a distance, use them again yourself. Or the pots can be repurposed for other needs within the home.
- Urine: Human urine can be used as an accelerant to speed up the composting process and is naturally sterile without any underlying bacteria.
- Guides: It is ok to seek help. Growers will know which gardening guide you need based on your level of experience. They have gardening know how that can help.
- Sharing is caring: There are groups for everything. You don’t have to live in a commune to have people to share with. Buying items in bulk and spreading the love around is a great way to promote a sense of community. This applies to gardening accessories as well.
- Go for quality: Cheap things break. Broken things get discarded, And the cycle of waste continues. Instead, spend the extra money and get quality garden tools that will last a long time. It is an investment in the future.
- Weeds: Find a good solution for controlling your weeds without chemicals. Pulling them by hand might be tedious, but it is a great way to ensure you get them out roots and all. And they can be composted.
- DIY: Make your own planters from items you plan to discard. Many things can be upcycled with enough imagination.
- Harvesting: Harvest your food when it is ready, and only grow a little more than you need just in case some don’t germinate properly. Having a back-up plan is prudent.
- Rain: Natural rain is the cheapest way to water your plants. If you can, save rainwater for future watering needs. It might defy certain government ordinances, so check first so you won’t get a fine.
Conclusion: You now know plenty of reasons why gardening is so good for the environment. We have spent decades destroying this planet with reckless abandon for stupid motivations like greed and power. So, perhaps, how gardening helps the environment is just that it means we care again. It means we are trying to reverse the damage. Making your garden more eco-friendly will not only give you access to useful organic food, but it will also help to support pollinators and other beneficial insects with nature itself. It is very important to take care of our environment by avoiding phosphorus-rich chemical fertilizers and pollutants like light pollution. Here’s hoping it isn’t too late. Do you do any zero-waste growing?
Bio: Archie was a builder for more than 40 years. Mainly after his retirement the enthusiastic electrical works in garden and writes for a blog Homemakerguide.com to keep himself occupied. His many years of experience can get you the right tool reviews whether it is a drill, welding machine or so. An impressive fact to note about him is that almost everything in his house is a representation of his skills made by his hands.