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BONNIE'S GARDEN--What is Sustainable Gardening?

One of the big “catch-phrases” I hear a lot is “sustainable” gardening.  What is sustainable gardening exactly?

My definition is "to leave my environment in the same or in better shape than it already was—and to try to use as few products as possible to keep it that way".

So how do I apply this to my yard?  Well, I can start by watering trees, shrubs and lawns only when they need it.  The Virginia Cooperative Extension Office recommends one inch of water once a week.  I can set up a rain gauge to measure how much rain I got before I water, so I don’t water unless I need it. 

I can water my lawn, shrubs, etc., early in the day so less water is lost to evaporation.  I can use soaker hoses in vegetable and flower gardens so there is even less evaporation.  I can mulch to further reduce watering needs and I can always incorporate a rain barrel or two.

I can introduce native plants into my landscape, where possible, and try to make my yard as wildlife friendly as I can.  Encouraging birds to hang around is good for more than one reason.  Not only are they fun to watch, but they eat plenty of insects, thereby reducing the need for pesticides.

I can plant my own fruits and vegetables, space allowing, so I not only eat fresh and local, but that helps to decrease the need to have food shipped in and I can encourage humane treatment of animals by buying organic free-ranged meat and poultry—a great reason for shopping your local farmers market.

I can try to eliminate chemical impact on my local environment by using organic controls whenever possible—and by reading the label directions so I thoroughly understand how to use and how much to use.  Remember, even an organic pesticide can kill beneficial insects so I make sure I apply just before dark so the bees and butterflies have a chance to go home.  And I only apply if other controls, such as hand-picking, aren’t working.

I can compost what can be composted and recycle what can be recycled. 

And I try to make time to just sit on my deck and appreciate the birds at the birdbath and the bees and butterflies around the clover in the backyard—because these are the reasons I’m trying to be a sustainable gardener.
Posted: 8/22/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, gardening, Sustainable
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