Preservatives, cleaning agents, pesticides, we are using chemicals everywhere and anywhere we can. More people are starting to wake up to the idea that this probably isn’t the best for us, our environment, our water supply, and our air. So, if you’re looking to tackle your chemical use, where should you start? If you’re fond of gardening, then it should be no surprise that this is where we’ll look first.
It’s easy to hear the word “chemicals” and think “bad”. But what is the real impact they have on the garden and the wider environment? There are a lot of different effects depending on which chemicals they are. Herbicides do a lot more than affect weeds; they impact all kinds of flowers, the fertility of the soil, and the health of helpful insects. Pesticides, on the other hand, can be a real danger to any animals and children in the garden. Even if they “wash away” with time, they seep into the soil. Ground contamination has also raised a lot of concern for its potential to affect the water supply, too.
In the pest-proofing
Just because you avoid pesticide doesn’t mean that you have to avoid fighting off pests, of course. They can still cause a lot of havoc to the garden, so you want to get rid of them. But there are organic ways to do it. Organic pesticides like the examples shown here can work against them just as well. As can planting companion plants. Some attract the pests’ predators, like how Angelica attracts the ladybugs that feed on aphids. Others, such as garlic, will act as a straight-up repellant to some pests.
In the water
The water we use to keep our garden healthy isn’t always the healthiest itself. If it’s not drinking water, it can contain chemicals that end up contaminating the soil. Amongst other effects, this can impact the pH and salinity of the soil so that your garden ends up withering before your eyes. What’s more, the tips found here show that garden chemicals can end up in your water supply through your irrigation system. A sprinkler system backflow preventer is essential if you use sprinklers.
In the soil
You may use inorganic fertilizer to help your plants grow. However, while it can work, it can have some nasty side effects. For one, if you’re growing your own food, you are guaranteeing that it’s contaminated by those same chemicals. Not everything in inorganic fertilizers is safe. Many of the industrial strength varieties contain mercury, lead, and arsenic. When these filter out through the soil, they can have a huge impact on the surrounding wildlife. When it comes to helping the garden grow, then nothing is as effective or as safe as growing your own compost.
A healthier garden, a healthier habitat for wildlife, and a healthier you. That’s what avoiding garden chemicals can help you do. Hopefully, the tips above help you enjoy a better, brighter garden without having to rely on artificial toxics quite as much.
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