How To Create an Eco-Friendly Garden and Greenhouse

September 13, 2018 by


Photo by Robin Plaskoff Horton.

If you are a gardener, it’s likely you feel connected with nature and care about the planet. Think about strengthening that relationship by learning some simple ways to green your garden or greenhouse.

 Photo by Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Avoid Chemical Fertilizers
Nature is complex and yet so simple. She’s a beautifully designed balancing act with a purpose. One way to maintain that natural balance is to avoid chemical fertilizers that cause more harm than good. Consider natural fertilizing methods to create healthy soils, because when you nourish nature properly, she will thank and reward you.

Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Healthy soils are diverse ecosystems, rich with microbes that produce amino acids that plants convert to protein.  Good soil provides all the nutrients plants require and more. The bacteria, fungi, and various microbes in healthy soil create a natural defense against pests and disease so plants don’t need artificial, chemical fertilizers. They get everything they need directly from the soil, the way Mother Nature intended.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Chemically enhanced fertilizers, essentially poisons, add toxins to the soil (and therefore the food grown in it) by stripping the soil of its natural nutrients, breaking down its structure, and disrupting its complex balance. Genuine biological fertilizers feed the soil’s microbiology and support the garden’s health instead of depleting it. Unlike chemical fertilizers, they will not cause groundwater contamination, making water unsafe for human consumption.

Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Make Compost
Composting is a way of breaking down food waste to make a natural fertilizer. Recycling food scraps for fertilizer is extremely economical, and if done correctly, also benefits the environment. When organic material ends up in a landfill, it releases greenhouse gases that emit harmful radiation into the atmosphere.

Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr, Creative Commons.

When making compost, it’s important to know what can and can not be composted: animal products — meat, bones, butter, milk, fish skins—and dog and cat droppings. To be certain, consult a complete list of what can and can not be composted.

Photo: Ken Mayer, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Collect Rainwater
Collecting rainwater is a natural and free way to hydrate your garden. The water from your faucet is generally chemically treated to eliminate bacteria and make it safe to drink. We also use this water to irrigate the garden, but the chemical salts and other added minerals are not good for soil health.

You and your garden benefit from using collected rainwater––it provides plants with quality natural water and also reduces your water bill.

GardenGlo Solar Garden Container. Photo via the manufacturer.

Use Solar Lights to Light Up the Garden
Solar lights are powered by the sun, a renewable energy source., and aesthetically pleasing solar lights are a great way to illuminate a garden while conserving energy. In addition, they are nearly maintenance-free as they require no wiring or switches since they charge on their own in daylight and automatically light up at nightfall.

Photo: Timo Newton Syms, Flickr, Creative Commons.

The bulbs on solar lights are normally LEDs with a warm color temperature that helps reduce light pollution. Compared to any other light source, LEDs are less likely to attract insects, offer more accurate lighting, and are more efficient and longer lasting so they’re very cost-effective. Some people worry that switching to solar energy might be difficult, but a clean energy company can assist consumers in making the switch with affordable energy-efficient solutions and an LED lighting program.

Photo: Rhonda Fleming Hayes, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Use Bubble Wrap Greenhouse Insulation
Bubble wrap to insulate a greenhouse? Yes, it’s cost-effective and eco-friendly in the long run. Using bubble wrap insulation helps the greenhouse retain heat, reducing the additional energy required to keep the space warm. And as the material can also last several years, it’s also an economical choice.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Use a Wood Stove to Heat a Greenhouse
A wood stove is an alternative option for heating up a greenhouse, but there is good and bad wood, so it’s essential to burn the right wood. Sawdust and wood chips make great kindling, and also consider small branches rather than logs for building the fire.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Living a Greener Life
Gardening sustainably is one way of living a greener life, but remember that collectively, every little effort helps preserve our planet.

This post was sponsored by Atlantic Energy, whose mission is to reduce energy consumption and costs by providing affordable energy-efficient services and solutions to consumers nationwide.







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