How to Create an Eco-Friendly Garden

Creating an eco-friendly garden and reducing your environmental footprint is easier than you may think. Using natural methods to enrich the soil, irrigate and control pests is not only healthier and less expensive - it also encourages Mother Nature to give back

By combining an ornamental garden with an edible one , your eco-garden will produce delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs while providing a friendly habitat for beneficial wildlife and insects. Here are a few ideas on how you can turn your property into an eco-friendly garden.

Use Native Plants

Look for plants, fruits and vegetables that are native to your region - they'll be more likely to thrive with minimal care. Agricultural extensions, as well as online and local plant specialists may be able to give you information on new varieties. Native plants already have an excellent natural defense against local pests and weather patterns.

Use Natural Pesticides

By spraying or sprinkling poisonous chemicals in your garden in an attempt to kill one or two harmful insects, you may also kill most of your beneficial insects. There are hundreds of recipes available for homemade, nontoxic pesticides - and many of them contain natural ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen or pantry.

Start Composting

The best way to provide your garden with natural nutrients is with organic materials. Why not put those old newspapers, eggshells, vegetable peelings and coffee grounds to good use? If building a composting bin out of old boards isn't your style, manufactured bins are available in a wide range of sizes and materials.

Be Water Wise

Reduce the amount of water used for irrigating your garden by adding organic mulch around the base of your plants to hold moisture in the soil longer. Watering your garden with a drip line or soaker hose is an effective way to target the roots of your plants, or you can set out rain barrels or containers to collect rainwater from your downspouts for use in your garden. Eco-friendly gardening is all about working with nature, so have fun designing your garden using the best your region has to offer.