6 steps to making your Garden more Eco-Friendly by Jennifer Kitching

Helping Improve The Nature Living In Your Garden

While your garden may be full of plant life, it could be ecologically harmful. According to environmental advocates the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), many American gardens do substantial harm to ecosystems through their lawns. They stymie diversity in plants and creatures, consume 3 trillion gallons of water and create pesticide runoff.

Having some greenery is better than nothing – that goes without saying. That being said, your garden could be doing a lot more for the plants and animals you share the world with. Making changes is straightforward, and can be a fun activity for families. As well as doing your bit for the local environment, you’ll be honoring Florida’s impressive natural diversity.

Quick and easy wins

Before you start taking wholesale changes to your garden, think about what you could change straight away. Take, for example, pools. There are over 1 million residential swimming pools in Florida, and most will use techniques harmful to the local ecosystem; water is evaporated, chemicals are used that will leech into groundwater over time, and local plants can be adversely affected by the building process. Consider using ecological filters instead of chemicals, and a pool cover to reduce water loss. Using moss filters, for instance, is eco-friendly and is a fun and curious bit of equipment to teach your children about.

Improving plant diversity

Biodiversity is incredibly important to having an eco-friendly garden, and has a role to play in national heritage, too. Go for native plants to achieve this. The USDA have a comprehensive native plants guide and Florida has plenty to work with. Look into building a selection with your children – you can choose from the colorful milkweed and purple coneflower, versatile blanket flower and more. Plants like the blanket flower also help to combat environmental problems like drought and are salt tolerant in times of storm surge.

Make use of the full cycle

Do you compost in your home? Instead of throwing out the proceeds of gardening activities, conserve them into a compost pile and use that to make potent fertilizer for the next batch. A compost heap is a great way to educate your kids on basic chemistry and biology, and can be exciting when there are plenty of wriggly bugs inside. There are few better ways to show your kids the circle of life when it comes to plants, and also to teach them about how valuable insects and plants are.

An eco-friendly garden is an effective one, and especially in a state as damaged by climate change as Florida. Taking steps to reduce your footprint and let nature take over will improve your green environment. What’s more, you’ll help your kids to understand the value of green spaces and having a variety of plants – not just what looks good.