Simple Steps. Big Impact.
Let’s Green It Up!
You personally can make an enormous difference in supporting populations of pollinators and other wildlife by choosing to garden from nature’s eye.
To get an idea of how to do this, take a couple of minutes to read the “Evolution of a Gardener.” It’s one gardener’s mindset shift that allowed her to make small changes that added up to a big impact.
With a little shift in your mindset, your “green efforts” will clean water, reduce erosion, and help prevent flooding while you create your own nature sanctuary at your home or office.
Here are some simple ways to begin:
Ask your state extension office or environmental groups how to find plant lists and gardening tips for native plants that are local to your area. You do NOT have to dig up your existing garden! Just fill in bare spots with beneficial shrubs, add native ground-cover, and plant your flower pots with non-hybridized or local varieties that are full of nectar and pollen or that are host plants for butterflies and moths. Resources
Leave your leaves! Stop doing winter cleanup. Dead leaves and flower stalks provide homes and overwintering habitat for lots of important critters. Let them stay in your garden till next spring. This article from The Nature Conservancy says it all: The Wildlife Value of A Messy Garden.
Go au naturel in the garden. Stop using insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides and buy only from growers who don’t use chemicals. Adjust the lens on your human gardener’s eye and revel in chewed leaves and holes in your blossoms! Those are signs that your plants are giving back to insects and other critters who need the nourishment or habitat for their young. Resources
Plant native trees and shrubs. Volunteer with local organizations that plant trees in your area. If your internet search doesn’t bring up any local organizations, contact your city or county parks departments, chamber of commerce, or your extension office. Resources
Put your money where your planet is and make a monthly financial contribution to an organization that is doing restoration on a global basis. Even $5 a month can make a HUGE difference. Just by living in an industrialized world, we all have a global footprint and have a responsibility to minimize it in any way we can. It’s vital that we support the financial health of nonprofits and NGOs who are working on our behalf for a healthy planet.
- Grow Native
- Million Pollinator Gardens
- Plants for Butterfly and Pollinator Gardens
- Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- EnviroTip #1: Tomato Hornworms: Feeling The Love
- Understanding the problem: Xerces Society explains in Beauty and the Bees
- From Birds and Blooms: Grow a Chemical-Free Garden
- From Mother Earth News: Build Better Garden Soil With Free Organic Fertilizers! For the vegetable gardener, tips for natural fertilizers and repellents as well as organic products.
- From Xerces Society: How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees. Page 9 of this study lists examples of neonicotinoid products for sale in the U.S.; they are banned in many places throughout the world.
- From EarthShare: Top 10 Benefits of Trees
- From TreePeople: Top 22 Benefits of Trees
- Suzanne Simard’s TED Talk: How trees talk to each other explains the scientific findings about Mother Trees in a healthy forest
- How to Properly Plant a Tree from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful – of all the gazillion YouTube videos on this topic, this one is the best
- From This Old House: How to Properly Mulch Around a Tree
Please comment below and let us know what works for you and what you tried that wasn’t so successful..
How else can you Green It Up?
Check out our other EnviroTips articles too!