Edible Landscaping

Designing An Eco-Friendly Garden

Create Environmental Synergy Through Permaculture
When you get ready to plant a sustainable garden, think permaculture. The idea is not new, but it’s getting a lot of attention. Why? Because it sums up eco-friendly agriculture and provides a great framework for designing your garden.

First, let’s explain what permaculture means. Permaculture is a sustainable design system that creates a positive synergy between people, plants, wildlife, and the soil. In effect, it teaches us how to work with, not against nature. This includes your bountiful, sustainable, eco-friendly garden.

Second, let’s apply the concepts of permaculture to every choice you make. Whether you are planting in your yard or on your patio, your choices impact the soil, animals, and water. Now that we are thinking along the sustainable lines, let’s get started!

No Waste for Quality Soil
How is it that plants in a field or forest flourish without our help? It’s the cycle of life. Nutrients from decomposing matter feed new life. For a strong foundation of soil find new value in waste. With this in mind: Start a bin for grass clippings, leaves, and what you prune from bushes and trees. If you haven’t tried composting, this will be your first step toward your new, eco-friendly garden. Even kitchen scraps will help provide nutrients for next year’s healthy soil.

Make Eco-Friendly Perennials the Stars of Your Garden
You will want a mix of flowers and vegetables to create a sustainable ecosystem. That said, consider perennials a garden star. They return year after year, with no disruption to the topsoil. In addition, their penetrating root systems return carbon and other nutrients to the soil below.

Next, choose native plants. They will be in balance with the local environment. For instance, native plants provide nectar for wildlife. This may include hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and moths. At the same time, these pollinators help proliferate the plants. Additionally, native plants prove to be harder and require less watering.

Include Plants That Are Pleasing to The Eye and Palate
You will want to create a garden that is both beautiful and bountiful. In other words, find bright blooms for visual interest and great herbs and vegetables for the dinner table.

A few ideas for flowering plants include Asiatic lily, aster, black-eyed Susan or rudbeckia, and clematis. For vegetables, you might want to put beans, beets, corn, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers on your list. Ecofriendly perennial herbs include mint, oregano, thyme, and sage rosemary. And we’re just getting started!

Plant Good Bedfellows in Your Eco-Friendly Garden
Certain plants make good bedfellows with other plants. We call them “companion plants”. Did you know that cabbage, broccoli, and onions grow well near beets? In fact, Onions can improve the flavor of nearby plants and deter aphids, beetles, and rabbits. Just don’t plant onions near peas and asparagus. They don’t like each other and won’t grow well together.

Keep It Organic Without Any Chemicals
If you want a truly eco-friendly garden, don’t use chemicals. To design and grow a sustainable garden, plant in soil that is enriched with naturally derived nutrients. Next, place your plants in an area where they will get the right amount of sunlight or shade, water, and eco-support. There are several ways to create eco-friendly pest control. For instance, most wildlife won’t like the scent of mint, basil, lavender, and rosemary. Cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, and some other seasonings deter pests as well.

Contact Fresh Roots for Eco-Friendly Answers
At Fresh Roots, permaculture is where it’s at. Our passion is designing planting and maintaining eco-friendly landscapes. Whether you are starting from scratch or adding to your current yard, contact us for a free consultation.

Fresh Roots is in Waukesha, providing the Greater Milwaukee area with sustainable gardening services. From garden design and planting to maintenance and clean-up, we’re here to help turn your garden green.

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