5 easy ways to be sustainable in the garden



In Corvallis, Oregon, as the gardening season starts, horticulturist Ross Penhallegon from Oregon State University Extension Service emphasizes sustainable gardening practices that benefit both the environment and gardeners’ wallets. He suggests several tips for eco-friendly gardening:

  1. Composting: Instead of disposing of yard debris, Penhallegon recommends starting a compost pile. This can be a simple cold composting process where yard waste is left to decompose over time. Composting retains nutrients in the garden and eliminates the need to buy compost.
  2. Drip Irrigation and Soaker Hoses: Switching from traditional sprinklers to drip irrigation or soaker hoses can significantly reduce water usage, up to 80%. Using drought-resistant plants further conserves water, benefiting both the environment and reducing water costs.
  3. Planting Larger Seedlings: Larger seedlings are more resistant to pests and diseases, reducing the need for pesticides. This approach promotes healthier plants and minimizes chemical use in the garden.
  4. Seed Saving: Saving seeds from the healthiest plants not only saves money but also can result in stronger plants in subsequent years. This practice is also a fun way to experiment with plant growth.
  5. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): IPM involves using the least toxic methods to control pests and diseases, thereby minimizing environmental risks. Techniques include physical removal of pests, using water sprays, employing protective fabric, and planting species that attract beneficial insects. If pesticides are necessary, low-toxicity options are preferred.

These sustainable gardening practices contribute to reducing carbon footprint, conserving water, and using fewer products, aligning with the broader goal of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

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