What Does Climate-Friendly Gardening Mean?
Climate-friendly gardening involves using natural gardening practices to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These practices also have an added benefit by encouraging healthier soil through improving the absorption of carbon dioxide – which also helps to reduce the issue with global warming. Whether or not you agree with the science of global warming, living more naturally by gardening naturally can help the environment and reward you with a bounty of fresh vegetables from your garden.
What Are Greenhouse Gases?
First, let’s understand the problem with greenhouse gases. While about 66 percent of greenhouse gases are attributed to fossil fuels and cement production, the rest is caused by human use of land. Greenhouse gases are made up of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and black carbon. One way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere is to plant trees and plants, which use CO2 in photosynthesis and expire oxygen as a by product.
So how can the climate-friendly gardener reduce greenhouse gases and receive a delicious bounty of those fresh vegetables?
The way gardeners cause extra carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere happens due to not considering the habitats they’re destroying, or the unnatural cultivation of the soil using fuel-based fertilizers and chemical pesticides.
* Peat moss – Although arguments have been made about the damage from using peat moss, if renewable harvest techniques are used, peat moss can help your garden by helping to retain moisture. Just don’t remove and burn the peat moss after use.
* Renewable sources – Use renewable sources for building materials, such as bamboo.
* Cover your soil – Don’t leave your soil naked between growing; use a cover plant that adds the right nutrients to your soil.
* Use human power – Avoid gas and instead use gardening tools that are human or electric powered.
* Use rainwater – Avoid watering your garden with tap water; instead use rainwater catchment.
This is of more concern to animal farmers than gardeners, but methane production can be greatly eliminated by:
* Keeping soil aerated
* Keeping compost heaps turned and moist
* Getting rid of weeds properly through hand digging or natural competition
* Keeping ponds aerobic
By doing the above, you’ll reduce the production of methane within the ecosystem of your garden, keeping it at more natural levels.
Gardeners cause too much nitrous oxide to get into the atmosphere from gardening practices such as by using synthetic fertilizers, working in the garden when the soil is wet causing the soil to compact, and burning garden waste. You can cut down on this by using natural practices instead, for example by using the right plants such as legumes as cover plants to increase soil nitrogen and so forth.
While this is not a gas, it does behave as if it’s a greenhouse gas because it absorbs heat. You can cut down on this problem by not burning weeds – or at least not burning them while they’re wet. Black carbon is also produced by transporting garden products to chain stores. Try buying locally to cut down on black carbon.
Use climate-friendly gardening practices such as planting strategically, weeding properly, keeping soil healthy, and moist without fossil fuels and more. When you can do something naturally to control the environment such as planting shade trees or building water features by catching rainwater, or strategic placement of wildlife attracting plants, you’re going to have a healthier garden that does not contribute to greenhouse gases.