by Sasha O’Connor, Garden Coach and President of Sustainable Landscape Design, sustainablelandscapedesign.ca
For to many people, the ‘perfect’ garden has come to mean one which is completely free of all weeds and pests. This ideal garden may be realized through the heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but only for a short period of time due to the risk of environmental damage. We may need to change our concept of what a ‘perfect’ garden is, recognizing that a healthy garden with a few weeds or chewed leaves can still be a source of great personal pleasure and pride.
Sustainable Gardens thrive with minimal inputs of labour, water, fertilizers and pesticides.
Here are a few initial steps towards sustainable gardening that you can take:
- Improve your soil: You may want to have it tested for pH, nutrient level and organic content. Add organic content regularly.
- Select the proper plants for your conditions to reduce the need for care and maintenance, and pesticides.
- Conserve resources: Compost your own yard and kitchen waste, or purchase organic materials from a local nursery. Conserve rain and drainage water (grey water). Encourage and protect the beneficial insects which are in your garden.
- Protect your soil by using mulches and ground covers to prevent soil erosion and weed growth, preserve soil moisture, and control soil temperatures.
- Only use renewable resources in the garden and minimize your use of power tools.
- Grow your own organic food and get the kids into sustainable gardening.
Wishing you Happy Spring Gardening!