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How-to Plant an Eco-Garden

Look for organic versions of whatever pesticides and fertilizers you want to use. Runoff can flow into sewers and drains, so try and keep it nontoxic.

Photo: iStock

Chemicals

Avoid ’em. Look for organic versions of whatever pesticides and fertilizers you want to use. Runoff can flow into sewers and drains, so try and keep it nontoxic.

Water

Conserve it. This one’s kind of a gimmee, but it’s important! Drip-irrigation systems generally conserve more H20 than sprinklers. If you must sprinkle, don’t overdo it, and make sure the sprinkler you’re using isn’t clogged.

Peat

Avoid it. This common decorative and moisture-retaining moss is not very sustainable and regenerates slowly. An eco-friendly garden should be based around plants and items that are…well…sustainable.

Local

Grow it. Since local plants are native to the environment, they’re your best option for growing with minimal pesticides and fertilizers. Going local with your plants also means less energy and money spent delivering the plants to your area—another carbon-footprint reducer.

Wood

Avoid endangered. If you use wood as decor or for fencing in your garden, make sure it’s eco-friendly—and definitely not endangered. Consider bamboo, which lives for a long time, grows heartily, and is pretty unique.

Sun

Absorb it. If you opt for garden lights or other illuminated accessories like fountains, go for ones that are solar powered.

Not sure how to make your garden stand out? check out How to Accessorize Your Garden.

-- Paula Kashtan

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