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Sustainable Gardening:

What is 'Sustainable Gardening' ?

Gardening without chemicals, using compost and mulch. This allows the natural balance
of predator and prey to re-establish, providing a complex food web with natural checks & balances
for control of insects, etc. Rain gardens, rain barrels and other features also enhance sustainability.

Further reduce impact by switching to an electric or 'reel type' mower if property size permits.
Set your mower as high as possible. Mowing at 3" - 3.5" leaves more of the 'healthy green part'
of your grass, and the extra thickness is more likely to choke or shade out weeds.

Remove Alien Invasive plants. They regularly escape cultivation and spread to the wild, replacing
diverse native species with monocultures that alter the Ecoscape drastically. Even if you don't
see a plant spreading in your yard, seeds may be washing into storm drains or be carried far away
by birds and other creatures

How does 'Sustainable Gardening' apply to yards ?

In yards, the first step is to reduce the lawn area, replacing some of the turf grass with beds of
native perennials blooming from spring through fall.

Eliminating chemical use is also key to allowing nature to rebalance.

  1. Typical chemical treatments (fertilizer & pesticide) are applied at an amount 10 times
    that used on agricultural land.
  2. Yard care fertilizers typically contain only 3 nutrients ( Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium ),
    when in reality grass requires 19 elements, a number of them at the micronutrient level.
  3. There are natural (chemical free) fertilizers available, as well as natural weed control
    measures such as Corn Gluten

How do I tell if this really makes a difference ?

Here is information from a research study, showing how:

  1. Sustainable practices greatly impact wildlife diversity over 5 years
  2. Sustainable practice impact compares with traditional yard care on an adjacent property

Based on the studies, there are specific recommendations which should be implemented widely
by property owners, government officials, schools, farmers and landscape professionals.


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