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Eco-Friendly Tips for Maintaining Your Garden

Millennial Magazine - maintaining your garden

Millennials seem to be all about going green these days. As young people, they will have a smaller carbon footprint than the generations before them—and that includes their gardens! If you’re a millennial looking to reduce your environmental impact, here’s a list of tips you should look into when maintaining your garden.

1. Get a lawn mower bagger

A lawn mower bagger is a handy tool that attaches to the back of your mower. It collects the cuttings as you go, allowing them to be easily disposed of afterward. They’re really easy to install on most push-style mowers. Just remove the back of your mower and attach it—simple!

If you don’t have an outdoor space for composting or just want some quick garden enrichment, then these are for you. By using a lawn mower bagger you will reduce the amount of waste and cuttings left over, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. It also prevents seed spread. Collecting the cuttings will help to create a bigger lawn by preventing seeds from spreading, which is perfect for millennials with small patios or balconies.

2. Use organic pest control

It’s important to protect your garden from pests—but sometimes poison seems like the only option. However, there are many natural ways to keep insects away. One of the most effective is using a ‘bug hotel’. These are great for attracting helpful insects, which will repel harmful ones. You can build your own or buy one online or in some gardening stores. Another easy method is spraying plants with soapy water, this works well on aphids and whiteflies as they don’t like the soap residue left behind.

Other useful methods include companion planting (e.g., marigolds love tomatoes, so plant them together), growing herbs nearby, planting pest repelling plants such as lavender, chives, and dill, creating physical barriers around your plants, and caring for your garden.

3. Don’t buy too many plants

If you’re a millennial who enjoys having plenty of choices when it comes to decorating your home, chances are you love to fill your outdoor space with lots of pretty flowers and greenery. But make sure not to overdo it—different plants require different amounts of sunlight, water, and soil nutrients, or they will die. It’s important to do research before buying new plants,  so you have a better chance of them thriving.

Also, it’s very easy to underestimate how much water your plants need—but it’s essential not to overwater them. Millennials tend to want to spend as little time in their gardens, so it can be easy to just turn the hose on for half an hour and forget about it. However, this isn’t good for plants—too much water causes rot and fungus, which negatively affects plants’ health. Check plants regularly by taking a stick or ruler and inserting it into the soil of your pots or planters.

4. Don’t over-fertilize

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Millennial’s love to spend a lot of money on their garden, but it’s important not to over-fertilize. If you’re using chemical fertilizer or compost, follow the instructions carefully—overwatering can cause this stuff to work its way into the atmosphere and air. If you do accidentally use too much, add plenty of organic matter (such as well-rotted manure) and mulch your plants to try to offset it.

This will help plants to absorb nutrients. If you’re using chemical or slow-release fertilizer, again, follow the instructions carefully and water your plants after applying it. It is essential to remember that plants need time to absorb this stuff, if you put it straight into the ground they won’t receive their nutrients.

5. Dispose of garden chemicals carefully

Chemicals are at their best when they are in the home, however, they are dangerous if not disposed of correctly. It is important to remember that garden chemicals can be poisonous, so dispose of them at your local recycling center or with the rest of your household waste. Check the instructions on the packaging—most will have their own disposal methods.

You can also try burning certain products—this works well for weed killers and pesticides which are contained in waterproof containers—just don’t use it within 24 hours of rain. Or you can try neutralizing dry-product repellents by adding lots of water and stirring until it becomes muddy, before pouring onto the soil where plants won’t need to grow for six months or more.

Gardening is a great way to maintain your plants and have an easy-care green space. If done correctly, plants require very little maintenance or effort. So, if you’re a millennial who loves having a garden, be sure to follow these top tips. Good luck with your garden!

What do you think?

Written by Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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