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Truly appreciating nature starts in your own backyard. Sustainable gardening and landscaping utilizes the natural processes of plant life. By cultivating your own sustainable garden and turning your yard into an eco-friendly space, you will gain a better understanding of the wildlife outside your home. Through landscaping and gardening, you can gain a better understanding of the lifecycle of nature. These are tips on creating a sustainable garden at home.

Plant Native Species

Native plants are those that naturally occur in an area. They have evolved and adapted to grow heartily in their climate, in the areas soil and with other native species. Since they are literally evolved to their area, native plants will thrive, which is of benefit to seasoned or inexperienced gardeners alike. Most importantly, however, native species are one of the best ways to conserve an areas natural wildlife. Because they require less maintenance, native species lower the amount of water runoff that comes with constant watering. Additionally, if you have opted to use man-made fertilizers, you will not need to use as much with native species; this means there will be less chemicals entering the soil than if you had planted non-native species. Another benefit is that animals in the area will find native plants to be a natural, familiar source of food and shelter.

Utilize Companion Planting

Companion planting is a way to harness natures wonderful system for growing abundant plant life. You might see some of the most beautiful flowers or flourishing fruits in the woods or a hidden field. These plants have not had manmade fertilizers or pesticides to help them; they grow naturally. With companion planting, you can have the same results. Certain plants are excellent at attracting good insects that act as natural forms of pest control. Other plants deposit great nutrients in the soil that help all the plants in the same garden. Still other plants have the ability to improve the productivity of nearby plants. Understanding which plants benefit from each other and utilizing this knowledge will give you a healthy, productive garden or flowerbeds without the harmful side effects of manmade pesticides and fertilizers.

Compost

Composting is one of the best sustainable steps your can take in your life. Not only is it another ecofriendly way to fertilize, but you will also be disposing of your own waste in a more sustainable manner. Through composting, your organic waste is turned into nutrient rich humus that can be added to your garden beds. Consider how much organic waste you throwaway daily. This ends up in landfills, which take up valuable land and can take years and years to break down. If you do not throw away your organic waste, then you will be decreasing your personal ecological footprint. You will also improve your knowledge of and connection to the organic lifecycle, as your turn waste into fertilizer that can be returned to the earth in your backyard.

Terry Carter writes about gardening and landscaping topics for Grandview Landscape and Masonry.