Yes, composting for your green gardening project is a little messy but it's also well worth the work. Natural organic compost provides much-needed nutrients to your soil and plants, plus keeps compostable waste out of our landfills. To build your own compost bin, or to purchase a pre-made bin, please check out these ideas from CompostMania.
We all know how expensive groceries are! Making sure a family of four has all of the fresh fruits, vegetables and nutrition they need can cost $200+/week. Wouldn't it be great to walk outside your door and harvest potatoes for dinner tonight from your garden? Or to pull out last summer's fresh-frozen tomatoes, pick some basil and garlic and make tonight's spaghetti sauce from scratch? It's not only less expensive to grow your own food, it's much more convenient. There's never “nothing for dinner” and you reduce your carbon footprint by not making daily trips to the grocery store for fresh produce. Growing your own food is a great way to start your garden and to provide fresh, organic produce for your family.
Check out this video about the Dervaes Family, who raise all of their own food on 1/10th of an acre in an urban area in California.
My favorite green gardening tip! We live in Denver, home of over 300 days of sunshine each year. We don't get a lot of rain and the air is really dry. In order for our gardens to flourish, they have to be irrigated. Rather than unwinding the hose every time the yard needs a drink, we collect rainwater and snow to water our gardens and yard for us.
Speaking of watering … be sure to only use as much water as you need and do not over-water your gardens. Try to think of water as the precious commodity that it is and do not be wasteful. Our rainwater collection barrels provide enough to water the gardens and yard, as well as wash a vehicle or two on a regular basis. Keep in mind that water is not an infinite resource and do your best to respect the planet, and you're well on your way to green gardening!
Plants that are native to your climate will grow with less maintenance. Something that tolerates the arid and multi-season climate of Denver, for example, may not thrive in the heat and humidity of Orlando. Read a book, talk to local landscapers, do a Google search; green gardening tip: a native garden is a green garden.
Does this seem too daunting? Or perhaps you've got it covered and are looking for additional green gardening options? Consider joining a community garden. Whether you're a novice or a pro, community gardens are a great place to share ideas and tips. Some community gardens even donate a portion or all of the produce raised to food banks.
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