Gardening Tips And Ideas
Gardening sustainably will not only benefit you, but also the environment around you.
Living in harmony with nature is something we all have the choice to do. Sometimes as humans we forget just how much power and effect we have on our lives and the Earth we live upon.
These are my tips and ideas on what we can do as a collective to help benefit the environment and are way of living.
Starting With Number 1
1. Collect Rain Water
One of the ways to live a more sustainable life is to collect rain water. Collecting rain water can have many uses.
You can use the water for you're plants, or to actually drink it yourself in an emergency situation.
How To Collect Rain Water
There are 2 main ways to collect rain water that I found to be the most effective. Using a rain barrel or a pond/pool.
When it comes to a rain barrel you can either make one yourself or buy one online. I personally use the FCMP Barrel as it already has everything made for me.
Make sure to put a mesh screen on top of the barrel to prevent any debris or mosquitos from contaminating the water.
In some places it is illegal to collect rain water, which is just insane. To get around this just simply buy or build a pond/pool.
The pond can be decorated with plants, and you can add fish to prevent any mosquitos from breeding.
The pond can be used for the same things as a rain barrel. To drink or water you're garden. I recommend getting a water filtration system if you do decide to drink, like the LifeStraw.
Benefits Of Collecting Rain Water
What are the benefits of collecting rain water? Well it's free water of course! Why wouldn't you want free water?
This free water provided by nature is essential for our survival, Now, I know, you can just go to the store and buy water, but that isn't really self sustainable.
Collecting rain water can be an extra source of water if you ever need it, for example, something happens to the food supply, a natural disaster, or the power goes out.
Having water collected and ready to use will greatly benefit you in times of strife. You can use the water for you're plants that will produce food for you to eat.
This will save you money and make you self sufficient. No longer will you be dependent on a store to feed you.
2. Make You're Own Compost
Making you're own compost is another great way to grow food sustainably, as it significantly cuts down the amount of trash that's goes in a landfill and reduces carbon emissions and even methane gases.
Studies have also shown that plants grow more rapidly in soil supplemented with compost.
So, why buy nutrients from the store when you can save money and make you're own?
How To Start Composting
I Recommend using a compost bin with plenty of air flow.
The food you are growing can be used for composting and so will all the leaves.
Keep your compost moist and, if it smells, add more leaves and grass clippings.
When using a compost bin make sure it has good air flow and a barrier to prevent rodents from entering.
What To Use For Composting
Fruits and veggie scraps are some of the best items to use for composting, and as they break down they may stink, and when they do just keep adding browns and greens.
Then once the volume becomes difficult to manage, begin a new pile and let the old pile finish off breaking down so that it is completely black and does not have any large pieces of recognizable food waste before adding it to soil.
The Benefits of Composting
Composting enriches the soil with nutrients, which reduces the need for fertilizers and can help remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Composting also increases the soil’s ability to retain moisture, thus helping to prevent erosion by reducing runoff.
Composting also prevents and suppresses plant diseases and pests.
3. Use Peat Free Soil
Not using peat moss soil is another great way to grow food sustainably.
Peat moss is naturally found in wetlands, and contributes hugely to naturally filtering the water through the landscape that provides freshwater to us.
So, when you purchase peat moss based soils, you are basically supporting the destruction of these naturally occurring water filtration systems.
4. Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food is another great way you can become more self sustainable. It does take a learning curve to start growing food, but it is well worth it in the long term.
The greatest benefits of growing your own food is the freedom and independence it gives you. No longer will you rely on a grocery store to feed you.
Why go to the store and spend money on food when you can create your own food producing system at home?
Technology is always advancing, and now we have technology that can make growing your own food at home so much easier.
You can grow your own food the traditional way with pots and soil, or, you can grow hydroponically. Growing hydroponically, if you didn't know already, is simply just using water instead of soil. You can also use the rain water you collect for you're hydroponic systems.
There are hydroponic tower gardens, hydroponic pots, hydroponic pipes, and many more things you can use to grow your own food hydroponically.
RELATED: Top 3 Hydroponic Kits For Any Grower
Tower gardens are my personal favorite, there easy to setup and can grow an insane number of plants at one time. They can grow fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
In my opinion though, having an outside and inside food garden is the best way you can maximize you're yields and save money.
Grow some food outside with soil, and grow some inside hydroponically. That, is the best way to do this.
If you decide to do this, you are going to need an indoor grow light to feed the plants indoors since the sun will not be available.
Luckily, we have a technology for this, there called LED grow lights. There a recently new technology that can greatly benefit us when it comes to growing food indoors.
Most hydroponic systems though, like the tower garden, already come with LED grow lights. Which is awesome, and makes life so much easier.
5. Use Solar Energy
Harnessing the energy from the sun is possibly one of the best ways to get free energy that can be used to power you're gardens.
Now, I know, it takes an upfront investment, but honestly, I believe this is one of the best investments you can make in you're life.
You will be using energy from the sun! Free energy! Doing this will make you independent from the traditional power grid. If the power grid goes out, you'll be good, because you'll have you're own power source, the Sun!
Yet again, this is an awesome and efficient way to become self sustainable. The energy you get from the sun, can be used to power an indoor garden, and that indoor garden, can use LED grow lights to feed the plants, and those plants, will feed you.
Not only that, but the energy can be used for other things. It can power you're home, and even you're car, if you have an electric car.
It may cost quite a bit of money in the short term, but honestly, this is something that will last a lifetime, and the freedom it offers out weighs everything.
Solar panels will help you become less dependent on the power grid, which if you didn't know already, is actually really fragile in America.
Power shortages and outages happen frequently, which is surprising considering technology is advancing so fast we should have already fixed that problem.
So, it is up to us as individuals to take responsibility and to establish our own power grids. Wouldn't you like to have power and control over you're energy?
Solar panels can help with that, think of it as an investment, a life saving investment.
Can you imagine life without energy to power our electronics?
Electronics have become part of our everyday life, therefore it is important we each have our own home energy systems that generate electricity.
That is the power solar panels give us. (pun unintended). But seriously, it's time we take back our power and control over the necessity's we need in life, like electricity, water, and food. These things don't need to cost money, we can make them free, but will you?
These are just five examples of things you can start doing today to start gardening more sustainably. Doing these things will make you less dependent on others to provide you food, water, and electricity.
Doing these things will help you have more power and control over the necessities you need in order to live. I hope this has inspired you to start doing, to take action, because these are things that we can do as a collective to greatly benefit the human race. And ultimately in the long term, improve the living conditions for all.