In addition to giving you a peaceful place to relax, your garden can clean the air or harmful pollutants and keep sediment out of waterways. Increasing vegetation and tree cover keeps urban neighborhoods cooler, reducing health impacts from the heat island effect. Community gardens give our food insecure neighbors access to healthy options, and have a range of social benefits, like increased community connection and improved mental health.
Sustainable gardening is all about working with nature and making conscious decisions to mitigate our impact on natural ecosystems. Here are some tips to help your garden thrive this year.
1. Choose plants wisely
Plants that are indigenous to your area thrive because they are already suited for your climate. Planting natives also helps urban areas adapt to environmental changes. Be sure you plant at the appropriate time, and choose species that are in season and native to TN. Try companion planting for long term plant health.
2. Harvest rainwater
Although rainwater isn’t drinkable, it’s great for your plants. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants on dry days instead of using your hose. This will save you money on your water bill and makes good use of a natural resources that may otherwise be wasted.
3. Compost and keep your soil healthy
In addition to avoiding all chemicals, monitoring soil health, the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem, is a key to a maintaining sustainable and organic garden. Composting your waste creates fertilizer that enriches your soil and promotes resilient plant growth.