Relaxing, entertaining, gardening, birdwatching… Your backyard is bursting with possibilities.
If you want to make that special space behind your home safe and inviting for family and friends (an environmentally friendly outdoor oasis, if you will), you’re in luck. Following are some simple tips for maintaining a comfortable, natural backyard.
Not only is composting a great way to keep your food scraps and other waste out of landfills (thereby reducing methane emissions), it can help enrich the soil, suppress plant diseases and ward off pests. Are you ready to help your plants grow and flourish? Click here for your beginner’s guide to at-home composting.
Cut out the chemicals
An all-natural backyard starts with the soil. Choose organic fertilizer over its chemical-laden counterparts. The same goes for herbicides. Products like EcoSmart Organic Weed and Grass Killer can stop the spread of stubborn weeds without posing risks to pets, children and Mother Earth. This natural herbicide “kills weeds fast, without any synthetic toxins or harmful residue.” Use it to rid your patio, flower beds, fence and other areas of your yard of unattractive, unruly grasses.
Think about xeriscaping
This form of landscaping reduces the need for supplemental water, a big plus in arid and drought-prone regions. Xeriscaping relies on use of drought-resistant plants, minimal turf and a fair amount of gravel or mulch, which can stabilize soil temperature, inhibit weed growth and conserve water. Learn the principles of xeriscape design here.
Send pests packing
Rid your outdoor oasis of harmful pests, like aphids, beetles and mites (not to mention their larvae!) with an organic pesticide, such as EcoSmart Organic Garden Dust. This non-toxic insecticide protects your plants and is gentle on the environment and safe for kids and furry family members.
When entertaining in your backyard, keep mosquitoes at bay by burning citronella candles. It is, however, important to note that these candles tend to be most effective in small spaces.
You can also use a variety of essential oils to make your own DIY insect repellent. Choose peppermint, geranium or cedarwood oils as each has proven effective in warding off several pests, including mosquitoes, flies, gnats and ticks.
Bring on the bees, butterflies and ladybugs
Want to attract the right kind of insects to your backyard? Choose plants that beckon these beneficial bugs. To lure bees (and help protect their dwindling numbers) fill your garden with plants such as catmint, bee balm, lavender and crocus. To woo beautiful butterflies, plant zinnias, milkweed and/or Brazilian verbena. Finally, lure those little ladybugs with a variety of herbs, including garlic, dill, cilantro and parsley.
Beckon the birds
Bird feeders are a wonderful way to add visual interest to your backyard—and make new feathered friends. Purchase them online, in a store or you can easily craft your own bird feeder!
Light it up with solar power
Conserve electricity by illuminating your yard with solar LED landscaping lights. As you are probably aware, these lights derive their power from the sun’s rays and typically come on stakes for easy installation.