10 Ways to Green Your Garden for Earth Day

Creating a more eco-friendly garden is easy. Try these simple ideas for celebrating Earth Day by creating a more sustainable yard.

Garden Spades are Used to Prepare Light Soil

Garden Spades are Used to Prepare Light Soil

There are many ways to create a more sustainable gardening plan. Start your own plan this Earth Day.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

There are many ways to create a more sustainable gardening plan. Start your own plan this Earth Day.

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The idea of "going green" is appealing, but can also be overwhelming. Do you need to use nothing but all-natural fertilizers and completely overhauling your veggie-growing process in order to make a smaller impact on the earth?

Not necessarily.

The good news is that there are plenty of small steps you can take to create a greener garden (and world), to celebrate Earth Day. 

  1. Plant a tree. Trees help purify the air give wildlife a home, and planting them isn't as difficult as you might think. This tutorial will help walk you through the process, from digging the hole to caring for your young tree.
  2. Start a compost pile. Composting takes your kitchen scraps and converts them to nutrient-rich food for your soil. You'll add less trash to the landfill and make your plants happy.
  3. Use a rain barrel. Conserving rainwater is a great way to make less impact on the earth while growing a greener garden. A rain barrel is also a relatively easy DIY project. Check out this tutorial.
  4. Switch to a reel mower. Switching to a non-gas-powered reel mower not only saves you money, but also means less toxic gasses going into the air. Plus, it's great exercise! Even if you only use the reel mower every other time you mow, you'll be making a positive impact on the environment and the air quality in your neighborhood.
  5. Water smartly. Give your garden a drink during the coolest part of the day, so more water has a chance to seep into the ground before it evaporates. You'll save water over the long haul. This article offers more tips for efficient and environmentally-conscious watering.
  6. Reduce the grass in your lawn. Non-grass lawns can be made up of easy-care ground cover plants, wildflowers, stone, pavers and/or other materials. The result? Less work, less watering needed, and less mowing. Moss as ground cover and meadowing are two ideas to consider.
  7. Try organic seeds. Planting organic seeds is a simple way to start your garden on eco-friendly footing. 
  8. Use one fewer chemical-based product. If you're used to using chemical-based fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, challenge yourself to replace one of those methods with a more natural strategy. Check out this article on natural alternatives to chemicals in the garden, or this one on using natural weed killers.
  9. Sign up for a CSA. Chances are you don't grow enough veggies in your garden to fill all your dining needs. But instead of picking up the rest of those veggies at the grocery store, consider signing up for a CSA, or Community-Supported Agriculture. It's a great way to support farmers in your community and eat better, greener foods.
  10. Go organic on a smaller scale. If the idea of growing an entire organic garden is a little too much to bite off all at once, get your feet wet by trying organic gardening methods in a container garden first.

What small step will you take toward a greener garden and earth this spring?

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