Thursday, March 31, 2011

Helping the Environment

Jan, over at Thanks for Today, is holding her 2nd Annual Gardeners' Sustainable Living Project, in which she asks us garden bloggers to share things we are doing in our gardens to help, or not harm, the environment. I love the idea, and so i joined in this year!

There are a number of things I do, very intentionally, as a Minnesota gardener. One of the easiest things I have done is to use native Minnesota plants in my gardens. The book Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota has been a valuable resource for me. These plants are proven to handle the conditions Minnesota can dish out, and are mostly drought-tolerant. That is very important to me, as I don't want to waste any water, if at all possible. Once the plants are established, I usually have to water them just once a week, and that only if it hasn't rained. I water at the ground level, not using a sprinkler most of the time. I simply lay the hose down in the garden and let it run. That way I don't lose much to evaporation.

Mulching is a big thing i do for my garden. I use significantly less water when i mulch the beds, and containers! The water does not evaporate off, and the soil does not dry like a garden without mulch. Less water= less waste= happy environment!

As far as pesticides/insecticides go, I choose to not use them. I do not use them because there are many beneficial insects/bugs/spiders that I want to keep in my garden. I am the one who will go out there and pick off the bugs one-by-one! I can often be found lying under my rose bushes picking off japanese beetles!

These are just a few of the things I do to be a responsible gardener as far as our environment goes.

What  are some things that you do?


Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Hi Nettie, nice to meet you! Thank you for joining in the project this year! I can just picture you , lying underneath your bushes, picking off the bugs;-) My favorite insects are the caterpillars because they usually turn into gorgeous butterflies. I will use insect repellents such as neem oil or other organic sprays, if long as they aren't toxic. I don't use this on the swallowtail or monarch cats because I believe that would prevent them from fully developing...but I definitely use it on aphids and other pests! Thanks again for stopping by and linking in. Jan

NettieYork said...

if i have a really bad outbreak of something, i DO look for a natural way to get rid of it... i LOVE seeing the butterflies and all the different bees! i even had ONE real ladybug last year!!