The climate change crisis has been here for a while and its effects are becoming more apparent every year. However, you can offset the climate crisis just by changing your gardening practices. To hire professionals and implement those changes, you can search for “landscape companies near me”. Here’s how you can rethink residential gardening for climate change:
- Get rid of lawns – Lawn grass is the most irrigated crop in the United States, surpassing actual commercial crops like corn. Let that sink in. turf grass is a water hog that needs to be watered to a depth of around 2 inches every week. Each square foot of your lawn requires 0.62 gallons of water for 1inch depth. That means an average-sized lawn of around 8700 square feet needs around 10000 gallons of water every week. Now that’s an absurd number for a green patch.
Water is already getting scarce, and it requires a lot of energy and processing before it gets to your home. It also costs you a lot of money. Some lawn grasses also need more fertilizer than your veggie garden. That’s why it’s best to get rid of your lawn as soon as possible. It helps mitigate climate change and also saves your bank account. Instead, you can look for lawn grass alternatives like native plants.
- Plant natives – As mentioned above, lawn grass isn’t good for anybody. While a patch of green looks pleasing to the eyes, one could argue that it lacks diversity and fails to add character to your garden. Instead, you can plant native species in your garden. Native plants have been in the region much longer than humans and have been evolving to thrive in that landscape and climate.
They can resist drought, extreme temperatures and don’t need a lot of care. They are great for the environment and also promote diversity. If one plant gets infected by a disease you don’t have to worry about your garden getting wiped off. Your soil’s fertility also remains high, and you don’t have to rely on artificial fertilizers for growing native species. Visit your local nursery, botanical garden, and wildflower center to get a list of native species that would suit your property.
- Pamper Pollinators – Even the smallest garden in the urban center of the city can provide some relief to bees and butterflies that are disappearing every day. If you don’t have enough ground space, you can grow plants in potted containers and stack them up. If you’re growing a container garden on the balcony, go for pollinator plants like echinacea, milkweed, and gaura. Pollinator plants are better at attracting bees and butterflies and that in turn helps other plants in your garden.
- Feed the birds and help the animals – Monoculture and reduced habitats haven’t just affected small insect pollinators but birds as well. This has far-reaching effects since the reduced number of pollinators makes the ecosystem less diverse, more prone to diseases, and reduces green cover on the plant. This also reduces the planet’s carbon absorption capacity and keeps emissions in the air and pushes up the temperature.
That’s why you need to invite more birds to your garden and give them that respite they need to thrive. Leave clipped grass, seeds, twigs, and other such waste products from your garden in an easily accessible and open area. Birds and animals can feed on the seeds and use other materials to build their nest or den. You can also visit the Audubon Society’s native plant finder website and learn about local plants that attract specific animals and birds.
- Get rid of chemicals – Chemicals used in fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers mostly come from petroleum. When you use them, you encourage companies to produce more of it and dig out more petroleum. That’s not good for climate change. Moreover, these chemicals kill off thriving beneficial microbes in the soil and also pollute the ground and water.
They can also be fatal for fish, insects, and wildlife when the chemicals eventually make their way to them. That’s why it’s best to avoid them as much as possible and instead rely on organic compost and adopt practices that naturally deter weed and pest infestation. One of the methods includes inviting pollinators, birds, and animals that feed on that weed and pests and help to make your garden eco-friendlier.
- Harvest rainwater and implement smart irrigation – As mentioned above, water gets processed and uses a considerable amount of energy to reach your home. This increases global temperature rising emissions into the environment and also drains your wallet. You can save more money and push the climate crisis further away by harvesting rainwater and implementing smart irrigation systems.
Harvesting rainwater can be as simple as placing a rain barrel at different parts of your property when it rains or installing a few ducts and pipelines to redirect all the rainwater in a storage tank. You can also implement smart irrigation systems that detect soil moisture levels and data from a bunch of other sensors to water the garden just the right amount.
- Switch to manual tools for the lawn – Completely getting rid of the lawn is a tough choice. That’s why most people reduce its size while also planting more native species. The next best step to mitigate climate change is to switch to manual tools. A small lawn doesn’t need a gas-guzzling lawnmower.
Even if it’s an electric lawn mower, it doesn’t help if the mower is charged from the electricity that is generated by gas and coal-burning plants. Switching to manual tools also gives you a good workout and keeps you healthy.
From getting rid of lawns and implementing smarter irrigation methods to planting indigenous species, you can do a lot as a residential gardener to mitigate climate change. However, doing all of this from scratch isn’t an easy task. If you need professional help, you can search for “landscape companies near me”.