More and more gardeners are dealing with gardening practices that not only beautify their environments, but also with environmentally friendly ways of gardening. While old habits sometimes die hard, a concerted effort to do gardening without the use of chemicals is one of the ways a gardener can “turn green”. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can even be greener with your gardening.
A great of harm to the environment is the excessive or improper use of pesticides and herbicides. Instead of looking for chemicals, there are often a number of more environmentally friendly options for taking care of pests and weeds.
Manual weeding before weeds get out of control is important and should be the first line of defense against weeds. A good thick layer of mulch will also help eliminate many weed seeds from sprouting and growing. Vinegar can be used as an alternative to potentially harmful chemical sprays. However, you will need to purchase vinegar containing 20% ascetic acid, as domestic vinegar is only 5% and is not strong enough to do the job, except for the newly sprouted weeds. There is also an increasing number of organic herbicides on the market.
Nobody hates bugs more than I do, I really don’t like having them around. Having said that, I found that most of them don’t really hurt the garden. Now I know there are those who do it, Japanese cockroaches immediately come to mind and they can certainly do a lot of damage in a short time. Picking them up by hand and dropping them in soapy water works well if you don’t have a huge infestation. The traps work but you need to have a large enough area to be able to place the traps away from the garden. Otherwise, you are actually inviting them with traps. Rotenone or pyrethrum sprays made with natural ingredients often help with Japanese beetles and other parasites.
Since we, as gardeners, want our lands to be as rich and productive as possible, all we can do to eliminate the use of chemicals will certainly benefit our gardens. Try to learn and practice natural options as much as possible to get rid of weeds and insects and to plant different varieties of plants that naturally repel many insects. Every drop of chemical that we can prevent from using will take another step forward to help the environment.
by Donna Letson