Turn spring planting into summer savings
Discover eco-friendly backyard ideas to help save water & money.
With the snow melting and spring about to begin, many Canadians are starting to think about summer. Is your yard ready? Before you head for the garden shed, it’s worth reviewing the options for your yard and garden. There are eco-friendly choices that can save you both money and time — so you can spend more of the summer enjoying your yard, and less time maintaining it.
Permaculture — a term that refers to creating permanent and sustainable forms of agriculture — is a rapidly growing movement. It integrates natural and human uses of land to create healthy systems that maintain and regenerate themselves. Shifting to permaculture is a big change for most gardeners, but there are plenty of resources and courses available online or in person to help you make the leap.
If permaculture is too big a first step, you can still create a more sustainable garden by following a few key tips. First, plant a low-maintenance garden that is easy to keep tidy. Choose plants that are well suited to your climate and site conditions, so they will thrive naturally. Vegetables are always an option to save you money on your grocery bill while enjoying the freshest produce.
You can use a planting calendar to determine the best weeks and months in your specific region to schedule vegetable gardening. And with Canada being Canada, you will need to keep a few blankets on standby to cover some plants in case of frost. Check your local forecast for frost warnings and have a look at this frost calendar to plan accordingly.
Lounging on the lawn
To ensure your lawn is ready for entertaining or even lazy summer afternoons, you’ll need to get started early in the spring.
Don’t forget what’s beneath the surface: root growth leads to a healthy lawn that doesn’t need much water. To keep your roots healthy, avoid nitrogen fertilizers in the early spring: they encourage shoot growth at the expense of a strong root system.
As with gardens, you can choose to have a low-maintenance lawn that uses a mix of different grass and plant types. It will become hardier and more resistant to pests, and you won’t have to mow as often. A low-maintenance lawn not only saves you time, but it also reduces or even eliminates the need for watering and pesticides.
Save water and money
You may have noticed a recurring theme when it comes to gardens: saving water. On top of the tips mentioned above, there are dozens of other ways to save water in your yard. Watering before 9 a.m. helps to reduce evaporation and the scorching of leaves. Try not to water on windy days, as moisture can be blown away. Putting plants that need lots of watering together in yard or garden also saves time. The key is to find the most efficient way to keep your plants and lawn watered and healthy. Not only will that help preserve a finite natural resource, but it will also save you money on your water bill.
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