Spring has SPRUNG and it is that exciting time of year we get to REALLY enjoy all of natures gifts. The flowers are blooming, the grass is lush. and we can’t wait to get down and dirty and tend to our neglected garden. (Don’t worry, we were busy eating sweets and cuddling under the blankets too.)
Another fantastic part of spring is WARMER WEATHER! That means bathing suits, and because we’re lucky enough to live on the beautiful nature coast, spending the weekends snorkeling, boating, and swimming in one of our many springs.
Something you may want to keep in mind, though. The way you maintain your garden can DIRECTLY effect just how enjoyable your trips to the springs are. The good news though, a few simple steps will have you feeling like nature’s most responsible gardener!
When planning your garden, try to keep “Native Plants” in mind. This will help every step of the way as you become a responsible gardener. It will also ensure that no invasive species will try to take over our beautiful natural landscape. AND native plants require less watering (which is good news if you tend to forget your garden exists, like us) A great reference to help pick the best native plants for your yard is The Florida Native Plant Society
Another important step to becoming a responsible gardener is properly maintaining your plants The Right Way! It’s not news that chemical fertilizer has a huge impact on our environment. Especially our waterways! Over fertilizing and runoff (which can be reduced by less watering *CoughNATIVEPLANTSCough*) are two major factors for all that unhealthy algae we are scraping out of the springs. What may be news to you, though, there are a few safer (and inexpensive) natural alternatives that will make any responsible gardener’s heart flutter. Coffee grounds, Banana Peels, Cooking water (Used to boil potatoes, vegetables, eggs, or pasta), even aquarium water!!! Follow this link for more homemade fertilizer tips.
(Not to harp about native plants but….. …… staying within those designed to flourish in Florida will make maintaining your plants that much easier!)
The bottom line
Being a responsible gardener isn’t about inconvenience (if anything it makes it easier). Following these few simple steps will kick your green thumb in to gear while reducing your carbon footprint.