Make Earth Day – Everyday
Add these Eco-Actions to your Gardening Checklist
- Reduce the size of your lawn (or replace a troublesome section of lawn) with an alternative such as a low maintenance meadow, edible landscape, garden, or groundcover. Read the ELA Newsletter article: Our Lawns are Killing Us
- Let your lawn “rest” during the heat of the summer – you’ll reduce water consumption and the grass will green up again when the rains return. Check out ELA Newsletter article: The Art of Lawns at Chanticleer
- Replace your gas mower with an electric or reel mower. For more read Can Electric Revolutionize Landscape Maintenance?
- Mow high and let clippings lie – you’ll use less energy and return nitrogen to the soil. More on soil at: Ground Rules: Soil Health
- Use a rake to tidy the yard and clean up leaves – you’ll improve local air quality and save energy over a leaf blower. And then recycle your leaves – conserve resources by shredding leaves with your mower and returning them to your gardens. You’ll save money, enrich the soil, and save energy over trucking them to a landfill. Learn more about Living with Leaves.
- Too many leaves? Then… Create your own compost pile – turn leaves, vegetable and fruit waste, and other plant material into a valuable amendment to feed your soil. Tips available at Composting: Addition by Subtraction
- Plant a tree…or several – trees planted in the right location can reduce your heating or cooling bill https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
- Plant native groundcovers and deep-rooted, native grasses on steep slopes – you’ll prevent soil erosion, eliminate the need for mulch, and won’t have to mow. Find native groundcover plants using ELA’s guide: Native Plants Resource
- Learn how to identify locally invasive plants and remove or avoid invasives them from your property. Visit https://plants.usda.gov/java to find “who” the rogues are in your state.
- Welcome natives! When making plant selections, opt for a native plant which will provide a better food source for beneficial insects, birds and animals. And read labels to ensure that the plants are raised in neonicotinoid-free nurseries. Read more at Buying Bee-Friendly Plants
- Save the rain – capture rainwater in barrels for use during dry periods, your plants will love it. Read more at: Rainwater for Gardens: Why Plants Love Rainwater Best
- Use permeable materials for a new driveway or parking area – you’ll minimize runoff and recharge groundwater. Get inspired with ELA’s article: Water Wise & Whimsy
- Minimize your use of pesticides – learn about non-chemical control methods.
Professor Cassagrande shares tips:
Biological Control of Invasive Pests
- Create habitat for beneficial birds and insects by creating a meadow or other natural areas, don’t forget to provide a shallow water source for them to drink from.
Professor O’Neill offers advice:
Lawn Gone: Nourishing Our Ecosystems with Meadows