Greening The Outside
In May as our attention focuses on the out of doors, taking a green approach to our outdoor living is simple and inexpensive. Biking to the store or the train is not only healthier for us than driving but saves in gas and wear on our vehicles.
In the garden and on the lawn we need to use less if any fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticides. Simple cultural practice changes will curb our dependence on these chemicals. Planting trees, shrubs and perennials in areas where they grow naturally will create less stress on the plants. Also it will help the plants fight off bugs and disease. Using native plants that have adapted to our soil and climate will create less dependence on chemicals in our garden. The problem with the over use of many fertilizers is during periods of heavy rain the run off carries these unused nutrients into streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and eventually into the ocean. Their presence creates algae plumes altering aquatic ecosystems in a negative way. Pesticides and the unnatural chemicals they contain work into the soil disturbing the soil biology and eventually into the water table causing health problems.
The solution is to take a natural approach to garden maintenance. Planting native vegetation in a location they will grow without much pruning and use natural mulches like root, bark and leaf mold. The proper mulch will slowly break down and give garden plants enough nutrients in a more natural setting. There is no need to fertilize a lawn two and three times a year. Each time we mow the lawn the clippings act as a natural fertilizer as it breaks down. Raising the mower blades will help with this, three and four inches is healthier then two inches. It’s ok to have clover, violets and other broad leaf plants growing in the lawn rather then pouring herbicides on the lawn. If you prefer a lawn with a higher percentage of grass, seed the lawn more often.
Going green outside is less expensive. Less work and will create a healthier environment.