Eco-Friendly Gardening: Tips to Create an Eco-Garden

eco friendly lighting
Come spring and summer, people look forward to spending more time outdoors. Whether you have a small yard or a large garden, you can make your outdoor space more eco-friendly using a few simple tips and equipment.

Go Organic

One way to create an eco-garden is by going organic. You can grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and lawn in a more organic manner by avoiding chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Instead, focus on using non-GMO seeds and organic compost and mulch in your garden. You can also utilize techniques such as companion planting to reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides in your garden.

Solar Lights

While lights are a must to make the garden usable in the evenings and at night, you can reduce the dependence on electricity and make the garden eco-friendly by using solar lights. Install solar panels that will recharge a battery during the day and use the power of the sun to keep your garden lighted during the night, or at least most of the night. You may still want to keep a flashlight nearby but with this set up, you will save time and money in several ways.

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Rain Water Barrels

With many parts of the US experiencing drought and water shortage, you can make your garden eco-friendly and green without feeling guilty about using municipal water by installing rain water barrels. These are barrels that will collect rain water from spouts and store them for use in the garden. You can install a mechanical sprinkler or hose to the rain water barrel to make watering your garden easier.

Compost Bin

Depending on the size of your garden, you can either install a compost pit or a compost bin in your yard. A decorative compost bin is a great way to go organic in even a small yard. Simply keep adding dead garden waste and food scraps from your kitchen into the compost bin and spread the compost on garden beds. Let’s be honest, you do not eat everything. There is going to be left over food and scrapings if you cook at home at all.

eco friendly backyard compost bin

Eco-Friendly Furniture

You can also use eco-friendly furniture designed for the garden. These wooden furniture are not treated with chemicals and can be left exposed in the garden during the warmer months.

Natural Swimming Pools

You can increase the quotient of eco-friendliness in your garden by installing a natural swimming pool or converting your existing swimming pool into a natural one. This typically requires twice the area of the pool to ensure that the water in the pool is cleaned naturally using plants. These pools avoid the use of chlorine and other chemicals and also do not need to be drained. You only need to top up water that evaporates, reducing your water bill as well.

You can opt for a hybrid swimming pool that uses some mechanical components and plants instead of chemicals if you do not have sufficient space for a completely natural swimming pool.

eco friendly natural swimming pool

Natural Features

An eco-friendly garden will have more natural features and local plants and trees in it. Instead of stocking your garden with exotic plants, plant local varieties of trees, flowers, and vegetables. These are easier to grow and more eco-friendly as they require less chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

While an eco-friendly garden can be a challenge to design, the pleasures it provides can be greater. You can be sure that you will not develop allergies to the pesticides and chemicals used in the garden. Moreover, you can use your ingenuity to upcycle, recycle, and repurpose items you have found around the house and yard to create your garden.

For instance, instead of uprooting a tree stump after chopping down a dead tree, you could leave the stump in place and design a garden feature around it. Maybe, you could build an arbor over it and use the stump as a center table or a seat.

Similarly, you can place large rocks under a pergola and create a natural seating arrangement that is aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly. These types of seating will also require less maintenance as they will only become weathered over the years.

Naturally Weathered Look

Another way to make your garden eco-friendly is to decide to have the tree house and garden furniture sport a naturally weathered look. This means that you can avoid painting them each year, keeping chemicals away from the garden. Instead, you might have to apply a coat of varnish over the weathered wood once in a couple of years to protect the wood.

If you want to convert your garden into a more eco-friendly one you can start small and begin with a compost bin or rain water barrel and gradually move on to other features.

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About the Author

Greg Bailey is a partner at Outdoor Living Manufacturing Ltd, a value added forest company specializing in do-it-yourself western red cedar kits. He has been in the forest industry for over 30 years and an owner at OLM for over 10 years.

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