5 Ways to Green Your Garden


1
Choose Native Plants
Sunflowers thrive in hot weather -- probably shouldn't plant them in Alaska.
Sunflowers thrive in hot weather -- probably shouldn't plant them in Alaska.
©iStockphoto.com/ooyoo

Choosing plants native your to area is one of the best ways to green your garden. These are plants that are able to grow well in the local climate without a lot of care. They tend to be well-suited to local temperature ranges, average rainfall and sun exposure. Native plants are naturally resistant to local predators and pests, and require little or no fertilizer. You'll save water, reduce air and water pollution, and take some of the work out of gardening. After all, your garden should be a pleasure, not a chore. Why fight to keep fragile flowers alive when there are so many plants that will thrive in your area with little effort?

If you live in a hot, dry part of the country, choose sun-loving plants like dahlias, hyacinths, or sunflowers. In cooler regions, or those with less reliable sun exposure, consider violets, pansies and bellflowers [source: University of Texas].Use the native plant selection tool from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to explore the many varieties of plants native to your area. When planting, pay attention to sunlight and soil conditions to give your flowers the best opportunity to thrive. Set up your garden in a section that has balanced PH levels and the longest possible daily sun exposure for best results.

Combining a well-planned garden with native plant selections can give you a naturally green garden that offers enjoyment now along with a sustainable, healthy future for the planet.

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Sources

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  • Chua, Jasmin Malik. "Green Gardening: By the Numbers." Discovery Plant Green. May 10, 2009.
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  • GreenTerrafirma. "Greening Your Garden." 2007. (8/10/09)http://greenterrafirma.com/greening-your-garden.html
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  • State of Washington Department of Ecology. "Seasonal Enviro-Tips." 2009. (8/11/09)http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/envirotips/tips_spring.htm#17
  • Swope, Ron; Powell, Peggy K., Brown, Catherine A., "Composting Yard Waste." West Virginia University Extension. July 1994. (8/10/09)http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/wastmang/compost.htm
  • Thacker, Jonathan Richard MacDougall. "An Introduction to Arthropod Pest Control." Cambridge University Press. 2002.
  • The Boston Channel. "Five Easy Tips to Grow Your Own Produce." Date Unknown. (8/11/09)http://www.thebostonchannel.com/money/20183997/detail.html
  • United Nations. "Majority of World's Population Faces Water Shortages, Warns Migiro." UN News Center. February 5, 2009. (8/11/09)http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=29796&Cr=water&Cr1=agriculture
  • United States Department of Agriculture. "Soil Quality. Conservation Resource Brief." Number 0601. February 2006. (8/11/09)http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/FEATURE/outlook/Soil%20Quality.pdf
  • University of Texas at Austin. "Native Plant Information Network." 2007. (8/13/09)http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=ss_05
  • Weisbaum, Herb. "What does organic really mean?" MSNBC. July 30, 2007. (8/12/09)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19837522/

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