Making your garden green is about creating a garden you can enjoy today while keeping an eye on sustainability. It’s using water efficiently, protecting the quality of air and water supplies, replacing harsh chemicals with natural, healthy alternatives and protecting it during the hash harmattan season.
Eliminate chemical fertilizers
Store-bought fertilizers will help your garden grow, but may also contain harmful chemicals that can contaminate local water supplies and pollute the air. To keep your garden green naturally, switch to composting.
Make compost from kitchen scraps
Compost is made from the remains of kitchen and yard waste, including coffee grounds, apple cores, vegetable peels and grass clippings. Virtually any type of organic material can be added to your compost and used as a free source of fertilizer to help nourish your plants
Compost enriches soil fertility by giving it a shot of high-powered, plant-loving nutrients. Aside from stimulating healthy root development, the addition of rich and earthy compost also improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention.
Why waste your hard-earned cash on commercial products when the real deal is free for the taking?
Water your plants early mornings
Early morning is the best time of day to water your plants. Most people water during the hottest part of the day, thinking that this will help out their poor parched plants. Unfortunately, that means that most of the water evaporates with hardly any getting down to the roots.
Or you may think it’s best to water late in the day when things have cooled down. The problem here is that the soil will stay moist all night, setting up a nice environment for fungus to grow.
As said earlier, the best time to water is early morning (between approximately 4 and 6 am) when the soil is cool and the water will be able to get down to the roots. You can do it while you have your first cup of tea, or set the sprinklers on a timer if you don’t get up that early!
Water with care
While we’re on the subject of water, adopting a few smart-watering habits will do much to stretch out your supply, especially during dry, hot spells in the harmattan season, which occurs between the end of November and the middle of March here in West Africa.
Adding mulch and compost to your soil will retain water and cut down evaporation. Plus, soaker hoses or drip irrigation only use 50 percent of the water used by sprinklers. Make sure you water early in the day so you can avoid evaporation and winds.
This might seem weird, but adding a rain barrel is an inexpensive and effortless way to capture mineral- and chlorine-free water for watering lawns, yards, and gardens, as well as washing cars or rinsing windows.
By harnessing what’s literally raining from the sky, you’ll not only notice a marked dip in water costs, but also a reduction in stormwater runoff, which in turn helps prevent soil erosion and flooding.
Use a screen to cover your barrel to keep out insects, debris, and bird missiles, and make frequent use of your water supply to keep it moving and aerated.
Bring on the butterflies and bees
Provide a pesticide-free sanctuary for our pollinator friends, such as butterflies and bees, by growing a diverse variety of native flowers they’re particularly drawn to.
Gardens with 10 or more species of attractive plants have been found to entice the most bees. Because pollinators affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production–and increase the output of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide–extending a little hometown hospitality could go a long way.
Choose native plants
Choosing plants native to your area is one of the best ways to green your garden. These are plants that are able to grow well in the local climate without a lot of care.
They tend to be well-suited to local temperature ranges, average rainfall, and sun exposure. Native plants are naturally resistant to local predators and pests and require little or no fertilizer.
You’ll save water, reduce air and water pollution, and take some of the work out of gardening. After all, your garden should be a pleasure, not a chore. Why fight to keep fragile flowers alive when there are so many plants that will thrive in your area with little effort?
Test your soil’s nutrient and pH levels every 2 years
Soil testing will let you know exactly what amendments to make in order to get a greener lawn. Home test kits are usually only reliable for pH levels, so order a lab test kit, collect samples, and send them in for testing.
Adjust your soil’s pH if it’s too high or too low. Grass grows best at neutral pH levels between 6 and 7.2. If your soil test reveals your pH levels are outside that range, you’ll need to add lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it.
Mow your lawn properly
Keep your mower’s blades sharp. Inspect your blades regularly and sharpen them when necessary, which is usually after 15 to 20 hours of use. Dull blades waste fuel and hack away at your grass. If the tips of your grass are brown and ragged, chances are they’re stressed from being shredded.
Mow in a different direction each time you cut your grass. You shouldn’t follow the same pattern every time you mow the lawn. Instead, vary the direction to avoid compacting the soil. Mowing in different directions also helps your grass stand up straight, rather than leaning the direction you always mow.
Prune at the right time
Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time. Some are best pruned in the rainy season; some right after flowering. Probably the worst harm you can cause your garden and lawns is during harmattan.
It’s nice and a good feeling to have a garden at home. Keeping the environment clean and green is everyone’s responsibility. These 10 tips should help you. If you need help or want a beautiful garden or lawn in your house or office, you can contact us.