Top 10 ways to go green in your garden


1. Strengthen your soil
Work in a few inches of compost every time you plant -- it makes the soil light and loose so plant roots can really spread out, and it builds in natural nutrients that feed plants
>> Good earth

2. Plant smart
* Native -- good choice, adapted to your area, often low-water and immune to pests and diseases
>> Knock-out photos: 8 great natives
>> A defense of native gardens

* Low-water -- lots of gorgeous choices that are light on resources
>> Lose the lawn: 14 inspiring yards

* Attract beneficial -- bring good bugs to fend off the bad bugs naturally; lotta plants that do this are beautiful, colorful bloomers
>> Pollinator pots

* Right plant right place -- when a plant gets what it wants, it will do well; healthy plants are more resistant to bugs and disease so you won't need toxic chemical controls

3. Grow your own
Food travels on average 1500 miles before reaching your plate -- that's a lot of fuel and pollution involved with transportation. By growing your own, you're doing several things -- minimizing pollution, and saving yourself a lot of money.
>> Video: How to grow veggies in a pot
>> Plant an edible backyard>
>> Lose the lawn: 14 inspiring yards

5. Mulch
Keeps soil moisture in (saving our resource), keeps weeds down (saving you work), and insulates roots (keep plants healthy and looking good)
>> Q&A: Mulch basics

6. Water wisely
• Change irrigation systems based on seasons
• Make sure heads are going in the right places and you're not watering the sidewalk
• Switch to drip
>> Match your irrigation system to your plants

7. Flex your muscles -- use hand tools instead of gas-powered

8. Use permeable paving
Opt for pavement options that let water and air through
>> Water-wise garden makeover
>> How to make compost

10. Go organic
Minimize chemicals -- pesticides, fertilizers; switch to organic and natural where possible
>> Gentle pest controls

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