3 Beginner Tips for Conscious Gardening

I find it a little crazy that I’m even writing this because a few years ago I wouldn’t even touch soil with my bare hands.

See, my parents always had plants in the home and were always outside gardening in the yard.  They are my epitome of #greenthumb goals.  However, it wasn’t until I moved out their home that I realized how much I wanted to achieve that goal.  Bizarre, isn’t it?  Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’re no longer surrounded by it.

Needless to say, I’m still a novice, but as spring is just beginning and everyone is getting their garden shovels out (or at least considering it 😉 ), I thought it would be a great time to share 3 things I’ve learned recently that can help everyone grow gardens more consciously.

Whether you’re growing a container garden (like me!) or you’re lucky enough to have your own yard, being mindful about the details can benefit everyone.

1) Avoid Plants with Neonicotinoids

At most big garden stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, they’ll note on the plant tag if neonicotinoids are used or not.  Avoid these.  Neonicotinoids is      a pesticide that kills pretty much all insects – including bees – and considering that several species of bees are becoming extinct, we should be paying attention to this.  Without bees, there’s no pollination, and without pollination, most plants will cease to exist.

*Note: It’s a good thing that these bigger stores are transparent because then at least you can make the educated decision yourself.  I’ve heard nurseries don’t always know the origin of all of their plants so they basically can’t disclose if or what pesticides were used.

2) Grow Some Native Plants

These plants will thrive with less care because they’re meant to thrive in the climate of where you live.  That saves you a lot of money and energy and helps your local species of insects and birds thrive.  I didn’t think about this much until we started going through the drought here in California.  For example, if you live in an area that tends to rain a lot but plant a lot of Californian plants, they likely won’t live long because the water will rot the roots.  However, I can plant them here, and they’ll thrive without water for weeks.  They’re made for our climate.  At my mom’s house, she started growing more cactus and other local plants and we noticed an uptick of visits from beautiful local birds.

3) Make Your Own Compost

I’m still learning this step, but it’s a big way to reduce waste and also replenish nutrients in the soil naturally.  If you’re interested in trying this out and learning about its greater benefits, check out this page from Plant Natural and this page from Mother Earth News.

Every little thing we choose to do makes a difference to the bigger picture – especially these days as we start to learn and recognize that our collective individual actions will benefit greater than waiting for our administration to make positive changes.  Don’t think that your day-to-day decisions don’t make a bigger difference, because if that’s how we choose to think, it’ll only hold us back from helping to heal our planet.

“It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

Do you have any tips to help grow a more conscious garden?

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