Sustainable gardeners need garden tools like everyone else. Without tillers and chemical fertilizers, what do you need to improve your garden – and the world?
Home gardeners are on the first line of defense to protect against climate change.
We see the effects of poor gardening practices right in our own backyards with poor soil, erosion due to harsher weather, and fewer pollinators due to failing to plant natively.
But, it’s not too late; as a climate-friendly gardener you can improve your own little piece of heaven.
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Try to use tools that don’t use gas or electricity when you can. Hand tools and your own bare hands are better for the environment and your garden than gas-powered tools that add carbon dioxide to the environment.
The really good news is that it is making a difference. Scientists have confirmed that changes made a generation ago are showing an effect. We need to keep up the momentum.
Your most important ingredient for gardening is using the right soil for the plants that you want to grow. Don’t use synthetic ingredients in your soil.
Plants take CO2 from the air and turn it into starches and sugar. This combines with other types of carbon which then turns into a plant that people and animals eat.
The one thing you really want to do to practice climate-friendly gardening is to compost.
To accomplish this, you simply need an aerator, air, water, the sun, and organic material. You may need a hand cultivator or fork, a screener, and something to collect kitchen waste in to help.
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A gas-powered mower puts too much carbon dioxide into the air and should not be used by the climate-friendly gardener. Therefore, look for electric mowers – they’re healthier for the environment.
If you really want to impact the environment positively, a manual push mower will work best. It’s good for the grass too because it cuts it differently than other types of mowers, with less damage.
We need to replace ours – it was stolen from our shed at the cabin. (Boo, hiss – thieves are bad.)
Try to avoid synthetic fertilizer and use only organic fertilizers that aren’t fuel based. They should have the right compounds for your needs based on the tests you perform on your planting areas. Horse, cow, and chicken manure are all great, but so are earthworm castings.
Chickens are great for gardening – their manure is a good source of nitrogen for your compost pile. They also work great as they can clear up to 50 square feet of land per chicken within six weeks.
There are two types of people, by the way – those who swear by chickens in the garden and those who swear at chickens in the garden. I am fine with letting chickens into the garden after everything has been harvested and any perennials are covered and protected. But experience has taught me that chickens really love broccoli and ripe tomatoes.
Plant Cover Crops
Never leave your garden soil empty. Remember how Nature abhors a vacuum? Empty garden soil will quickly fill up with weeds!
Always replace crops with a crop cover of some kind to keep the soil healthy and manage erosion, weeds, and diseases. Plant grains, grasses, and legumes make good cover crops.
Trees and Shrubs
Control water runoff, plant damage, erosion, and even cool down a hot spot in your yard with the right trees and shrubs. Look for native plants for the best results that most fit your needs.
Using these tools and your own bare hands, you can create a fruitful garden that gives you all the food you and your family need, while improving the environment instead of ruining it. In fact, if everyone used these same tools and practices in their gardening and yard care, we could help slow down climate change damage.