Eco-Friendly Gardening

Charleston, SC

The average suburban home utilizes six times the toxic and hazardous chemicals per acre as traditional farming. You can have a beautiful yard or garden and still be environmentally conscious without compromising quality or quantity, and what better place to go green!

Adopting an eco-friendly approach to gardening will result in a beautiful environment and can even reduce your heating and cooling costs! Strategically located plantings on the west side of your home can reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed through your windows. This will provide shade in summer but allows the sun's warmth to come through during the winter months. Shrubs are effective as windbreaks to help reduce heat loss.

Healthy soil is the foundation for any successful organic garden. Composting (creating "black gold") is gaining in popularity and is a great way to create a nutrient rich soil amendment for your lawn and garden. Composting occurs when waste decomposes naturally, creating ideal growing conditions for your plants. Composting your yard and kitchen waste recycles it into healthy soil and can reduce or completely eliminate the need for added chemicals. Organic fertilizers are available to help nourish lawns in an eco-friendly manner. They tend to release nutrients more gradually than synthetic fertilizers, which will benefit your lawn over a longer period of time.

When mowing your grass, don't cut it so short that the roots and stems are exposed. Leaving the grass 2-3 inches tall allows better photosynthesis and can crowd out weeds more effectively. Leave the cuttings on the grass when you mow, so that as they decompose they return essential nitrogen to your soil.

Water conservation in your garden is critical to nurturing an environmentally conscious and organically abundant yield. Irrigate early in the morning or in early evening to diminish the rate of evaporation. Turn off the hose before the ground is over-saturated; you won't want to flush away the nutrients in the soil!

Diversify the variety of plantings in your garden and you will attract more predators of the pest species that eat up all your plants. Investing in your landscaping will pay off in the long run and when it's time to sell your home you'll reap the rewards.

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