Green Your Garden
Turning your kitchen and yard waste into compost is easy. Take green kitchen waste—vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, and egg shells—and add brown waste, leaves, and water. Mix all together in a container or compost bin, keep moist and turn a few times per week. The result? Black Gold for your garden!
While you don’t need a compost bin in order to compost, it does help keep your things in order. If you’re purchasing a bin, look for one with a removable top, making it easier to turn your materials. To build your own, a simple box is all you need to hold it together. Wooden planks and chicken wire will do.
Composting is a great teaching moment for the younger set. They’ll learn quickly that plant and veggie waste can be recycled into something that benefits the earth and themselves.
The Perfect Location
As the composting materials may have a slight smell, keep the bin in an out of the way spot that’s sunny and has access to water.
Portable composters are great for smaller spaces and can be wheeled right next to your garden or flowerbeds for easy spreading.
Compost used as mulch around plants is an instant vitamin boost for soil; it helps to keep moisture in, while cutting back on weeds. Using compost instead of a non-renewable peat based mulch, helps the environment. Harvesting peat strips the bogs and adds to global warming. Coir, the fibrous outer husk of a coconut is a natural alternative mulching material.
Seeds in flats are a great way to start off your green garden. Pick a warm sunny spot, and use your compost for potting soil to stimulate healthy root growth. It’s a natural source of nitrogen, just what little plants need to get growing strong.
Mark the Spot
Wooden plant markers are a great way to keep track of your seedlings. They look fresh and neat and can be used from season to season.
Get creative with plant markers and add some fun! Try making signs from polymer clay and armature wire, old silver spoons or smooth stones, labeling with paint pens or markers.
Picking Where to Plant
Proper spacing when planting helps young plants thrive and stretch. Proper aeration helps against disease, too. A ring around the base of the plants helps for retaining moisture.
Mix it Up!
Rambling or spreading plants like these vibrant purple petunias are great green choices because they require less care. Plant them in window boxes, containers, planters, and in the garden for a mass of border color.
Lavender, with its lush heady fragrance, is also a hardy plant. A good choice for your green garden, it doesn’t require lots of water, adapts to its surroundings and naturalizes in the landscape.
Choosing plants that are native to your area will assure thriving results. They are accustomed to the length of the growing season, and have adapted to the temperature range, as well as the local pests.
Add Some Décor!
Decorative accents make your garden have a personality. Reflective balls, bird baths, benches, stone animals and concrete figures add a bit of whimsy to the garden, take up space and require no care.
Mass plantings such as camellias, peonies or roses, will bring fragrance, height, and interest to your gardens borders. Go eclectic and place an antique birdbath centered in the pretty pink blooms.