If you want to be part of saving the environment, these tips for the climate-friendly gardener will help tremendously. There is no reason you can’t have both a beautiful yard and a fruitful garden without ruining the environment. In fact, you can improve your soil and create an almost self-sufficient garden by using these climate-friendly gardening practices.

1. Ditch Your Gas-Powered Mower – Use a manual push mower or an electric mower to cut down on carbon emissions when cutting your grass. A manual push mower is also thought to be better for grass because it cuts it longer and clips it off differently than a gas mower.

2. Plant Trees and Shrubs – When you plant native trees and shrubs strategically around and within your garden, you can create an environment that you have more control over than you may have thought. For example, if you have a super-hot sunny area, you can plant trees to bring some needed shade so that plants don’t burn in the sun.

3. Choose Native Plants That Are Adaptable – One problem with current gardening practices is the desire to grow too many non-native plants. You need plants that are meant for the environment you live in. Pay attention to how your climate is changing over time, because what worked ten years ago might not work now.

4. Avoid Using Non-Permeable Surfaces – Asphalt, concrete, stone, and brick might look nice but it’s better to use planting beds, mulched beds, gravel, and other permeable pavers so that water can be absorbed into the soil more easily and you won’t end up with a superheated area of your garden.

5. Plant a Diversity of Plants – Using native choices, plant a lot of different types of plants for your needs. You can reduce soil erosion with properly placed shrubs, trees, and cover plants. You can plant pollinators, water collectors, and beautiful flowering plants that help ward off pests.

6. Grow Perennial Plants – You don’t want to have to keep replanting every single year four times a year. Instead, plant perennials strategically so that each year at the right time of year you have new plants without messing with the soil and digging all the time.

7. Don’t Leave Your Garden Soil Naked – For your food gardens and any soil that you’re preparing, it’s imperative that you don’t leave your soil uncovered. You can cover it with natural mulch, compost, and straw. Or you can grow ground covering such as legumes which will add nutrients to the soil.

8. Think Maintenance-Free – When you are planning your garden, try to think about the type of maintenance that you’re going to have to do to keep the garden going. Plant and design with that in mind so that you can work with nature instead of against it.

9. Conserve Water – When you do work with nature, you also naturally conserve water. For example, having higher grass will improve the roots so that you don’t need as much water. Collecting rainwater will help you conserve water too.

Plants will grow when they are given nutrient-rich soil, the right amount of water, sunshine, and care. This happens naturally in nature. There are 2000-year-old food forests that still produce (with very little if any intervention) food that feeds people. Nature is wonderful and knows what it’s doing. It’s up to us to figure out what we can do to help rather than interfere.

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