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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogStarting your own garden is an excellent pastime that can provide you with an abundance of fresh produce, but this type of project is easier said than done. If you want to make sure that your first crop is successful, then you will need to put in a little bit of work before you plant your first seedlings. Choosing the Best Location Many new gardeners don’t realize just how important it is to spend some time figuring out exactly where they are going to be putting their new plants. Moving your garden from one side of the yard to the other could have a huge impact on which plants are going to survive and what type of yield you are going to get. As a general rule, a garden needs to get plenty of early morning sunlight so that newer plants thrive. You should also have easy access to a hose or some other source of water. Demo Another step that you need to take well before you start your garden is demoing the area where you will be planting. Demoing for a garden is going to involve removing any existing foliage, pulling up the grass, and getting all of the larger rocks out of the soil. If you aren’t interested in pulling up grass and sifting the soil, then you might want to consider building or buying a few raised beds. Collect Your Supplies Larger gardens require quite a few landscaping supplies, and you should collect all of the equipment and products that you are going to need at least a few weeks prior to planting. The type of supplies that you get will depend on a few different factors, and that includes how much demo work needs to be carried out, what the local climate is like, and which types of plants you are going to grow. At the very least, you are probably going to want a garden hose, a drip hose, a trowel, some pots in various sizes, and a good pair of gloves. Get Rid of Pests Pests could wreak havoc on your garden if you don’t come up with a plan for eradicating them. Scheduling preventative pest control services is a great start, but you might also want to install some type of netting or fencing to keep out birds, gophers, and squirrels. You can also contact a pest control expert and ask what types of insects you should be prepared for. After you have planted your first batch of seeds and seedlings, you should check up on your garden at least once or twice a day. A single pest or broken sprinkler could eradicate your crop and waste all of your hard work.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogEveryone says that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but green doesn’t always mean environmentally friendly. Those homeowners who want to be conscious of their impact on the environment can start with their own yard care practices and what they grow. Doing so can ensure that both your yard and the natural landscape beyond stay green and healthy, and here are a few ways you can accomplish that. Use Native Plants When you use plant life that is common to the community, it helps provide food and resources for native animals. You can ensure local species survive with trees, shrubs, and plants that offer food and nesting material. Growing native plants also prevents the spread of aggressive foreign plants that could overtake the local native plants in your area. Plus, local plants are easier to grow and care for because they thrive in your climate. If you want a low-maintenance yard, then the garden center can show you which plants are easiest to care for and hardy plants for your climate. Feed Pollinators Bees help pollinate crops and flowers. Martha Stewart says 80 million pounds of pesticides are put on crops and communities across the United States annually. These chemicals kill bees and other animals that are susceptible to small environmental changes and displace others. Something as simple as planting flowers and fruits to provide nectars for pollinators can do a great deal of good in giving your local bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators a place to refuel. Anything that flowers can work, so when you’re considering plants to grow in your yard and garden, keep that in mind. Plant Trees You can help the environment by planting trees. Not only do trees help clean the air, but they also offer valuable shelter to birds and animals. Fruit trees especially can be a source of nourishment for the local wildlife. Not only do the flower buds provide nectar for pollinators, as previously mentioned, but they also give fruits and seeds to birds, squirrels, and other animals that are now running out of healthy food sources and shelter. To encourage birds to return to your yard, planting oak trees for shelter is a great idea, and the acorns they grow make for great food for animals. Cardinals and bluebirds are partial to dogwood trees, and pine trees are excellent for most bird species, as well as for animals. Use Organic Fertilizers Another tip is to work with gardening centers and landscaping companies that offer organic fertilizers as opposed to the more toxic varieties. These organic fertilizers are safe for pets and any birds, bees, or animals that visit your yard while still creating a green lawn. If you want to attract specific species, then the landscaper can also give you ideas about what bushes or flowers you can plant to attract them to your yard. Make sure that the fertilizers you get work well with your intended plants and lawn, as different plants and regions require different nutrients to thrive properly. You can make sure your side of the fence is greenest by adding local plants and trees. Organic fertilizer will protect your pets and ensure bees and birds are safe on your property. Whether you are familiar with the area or you want to know more about specific plants, the local garden center or landscape provider can help you discover the right ways to help the Earth in your little corner of the world.