Chemical use in gardening is not environmentally friendly, plus bulbs don’t often don’t respond well to them.
Gardening in an environmentally friendly way is just one way to give back to Mother Nature. While you may already incorporate some sustainable practices into your gardening, perhaps some of these tips will inspire you to take your earth-friendly habits to the next level!
There are a lot of “easy” chemical solutions to gardening. But easy doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do! Chemical use in gardening is not environmentally friendly, plus bulbs don’t often don’t respond well to them. For example, chemical fertilizers can cause bulbs to grow too quickly too fast. Plus, the chemicals can give off a sugary smell, basically saying to rodents, “Come eat these bulbs!”
Use Grass Clippings and Raked Leaves
Some people remove grass clippings each time they cut their lawns but leaving the clippings—after going over them with a mulching blade on your mower—will add nutrients to the soil plus will keep moisture in the ground.
The same can be done with fallen leaves. Again, just be sure to grind them finely with a lawn mower. Or if you do rake up some leaves, you can add those to your compost.
Combat Weeds Naturally
When you disturb the soil, like when you work it to prepare for planting, you release a lot of seeds from weeds. To make sure those weeds don’t grow, overseed with flowers that will develop more quickly than the weeds. We like to overseed our bulb plantings with Violas. These biennials come up in spring and make nice shoes-and-socks plants.
Some commercial bulb growers use “trap crops” that attract pests away from nearby bulb crops. You can do this in your own yard too, enticing the pests to eat something other than your prized bulbs.
Growing diverse plants can help with this too. That way, if you do have pests, they aren’t likely to be attracted to every single type of plant you have in your yard, meaning some will still be able to thrive.
On the areas in your garden that do have pests, you can use a horticultural oil or spray. Choose something earth-friendly rather than using chemicals that will be persistent in the soil for a long time.
You can also interplant pest resistant plants among other bulbs. For example, Daffodils and Alliums are a couple bulbs that don’t taste great to critters like rabbits.
Kindly Deter Deer
Bulbs can be pretty appetizing to deer. You can put Plantskydd on your bulbs as you plant them. This repellent masks the fragrance of bulbs so pests aren’t likely to go after them.
If deer keep coming into your yard, you can encourage them to find new paths. Deer are creatures of habit and often come into your yard the same way each time. Put chicken wire elevated on sticks across their usual path. The deer will be hesitant to cross that area since they’ll be afraid of getting their feet caught. They may try to find another way into your yard instead, but as long as you keep that pressure on them, always deterring them from their paths, eventually they’ll find a whole new place to travel away from your yard.
Do Not Mindlessly Water Bulbs
As bulbs are growing, we give them about half an inch of water each week. But when they go dormant—which is typically 8-10 weeks after they bloom, when the leaves begin to turn yellow—there is no need to continue to water them so turn off that region of garden irrigation. Most spring-flowering bulbs like to sleep in a dry bed, and overwatering them can kill them since they may catch a fungus.
Nature knows best when it comes to gardening. Incorporating environmentally friendly practices into your routine can help your plants thrive!
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