Sustainable Gardening: Easy Ideas For Your Backyard 

I recently wrote a post about warm season edible gardening, which, a lot of you loved. I was pleased to receive an email from Jennifer Dawson who asked if she could write an article for my readers on making your garden more eco-friendly for my readers.

I read her article and found the information she provided to be very useful. As you know,  I live in So.Ca. desert and I am always looking for ways to sustain an environmental and economically friendly garden. I especially value the information on having natural pools as a sustainable alternative to chlorine pools.

I hope you enjoy Jennifer’s article as much as I do.

Many assume having a garden is in itself green and environmentally friendly, but in constructing it and maintaining it there are many ways we can be harming the environment from the use of electricity, over use of water, to the use of chemicals. However, there are ways in which we can really maximize the eco-friendliness of our yards and gardens.

Sustainable gardening is all the rage these days. The growing awareness of just how crucial sustainability is for preserving all life on the planet is driving its popularity, the Permaculture Research Institute explains. Indeed, creating an eco-friendly garden will conserve water, reduce waste, and cause minimal harm to nature and its inhabitants — as well as save you time and money. Making your own compost, installing a natural pool, and reusing materials you already have are just some of the many ways you can improve your garden and transform it into a more vibrant, biologically diverse, and eco-friendly place to be.

Make your own compost

Why make your own compost? It enriches the soil with nutrients, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, reduces weeds, and enhances the soil’s ability to absorb air and water. To create a compost bin, place concrete blocks in a partially sunny area in your garden near a water source. Collect compostable ingredients — fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, weeds, shredded paper, leaves, stalks, flowers, and grass — and place them in the compost bin. Don’t ever include meat, dairy, or oils as they’ll attract unwanted visitors. Turn the compost regularly with a pitchfork to evenly spread air and water around. Once the compost matures in roughly six to nine months and turns dark brown and crumbly, you’ll be free to use it on your garden soil and in planting pots.

Get a natural pool

Backyard swimming pools are huge energy-burners. In fact, homes with pools use 49% more energy than homes without pools — and that amounts to an extra $500 spent per year! Natural pools are a sustainable alternative which save you money in the long term. Whereas traditional pools rely on chlorine, other harmful chemicals, and energy-intensive pumps to clean the water, natural pools use water-purifying plants, bio-filtration, and skimming systems. It will cost a little more to initially install your natural pool, but your yearly maintenance costs will be significantly lower as a result.

Reuse what you already have

You can also reuse things you already own in order to reduce the amount of waste your garden produces. Plastic, in particular, can be creatively reused in many ways around your garden. Plastic bottles can function as slimline makeshift watering cans — simply poke a few holes in the lids. You can also use plastic bottles as seedling protectors: cut the tops of the bottles and place them where needed in your garden. Moreover, you can even get a water butt to collect rainwater and therefore limit the amount of fresh water you use when caring for your plants.

A final easy way to make your garden more eco-friendly is by cutting your lawn less often. Let it grow out slightly before mowing — lawns with taller grass prevent weeds and strengthen drought tolerance. You could also use a mulching mower which returns grass clippings back to the soil, thereby fertilizing your lawn the natural way.

Weren’t those some wonderful ideas. Living here in the So. Ca. desert, and owning a pool, I immediately clicked on the  Natural pools are a sustainable alternative . My pool happens to be a chlorine pool, and though I love to swim and spend hours in the pool, I dislike the feeling of chlorine on my body, and all the chemicals drying out my hair. Any alternative to harsh chemicals is a blessing.

Thank you so much Jennifer Dawson for this very useful and interesting article!!

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      1. That’s tough, chlorine. My hubby took care of a pool at his job. The gross bacteria is why we need chlorine to kill all the germs… it’s gross what is in a pool! I’m wondering about a salt water pool? The effects of it would have? Hmmmm… got me thinking.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I had a salt water pool…they are so much better for your health. Your hair, skin, nails all feel so much, I want to say cleaner. The first thing i do when I get out of this pool is rinse myself off with the hose. Then I go in and shower.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I wish we had a yard! Living in sunny California a garden would thrive… I’m thinking about perhaps; seeing if my landlady would let me till an area and make a community garden; container garden with LED’s or just use a kitty pool and plant some veggies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! Lots of good info. The compost suggestion is perfect. We used about 1/2 homemade compost when we initially filled our containers. Sure saved a lot of money! We want to put a different filter system on our pool. Would love the salt water. We’ve about had it with our pool and keeping the water clean.

    Liked by 2 people

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