Friday, December 7, 2012

Transform Your Yard

 Tracy Falbe is the author of a fantastic article that simplifies the process of going green in your own back yard, that we are proud to share with you today. When Tracy  is not studying seed catalogs, tending her fruit trees, or shopping the farmers’ markets, she writes novels. Building a business out of her creativity nurtures her spirit as she seeks to find value in her dreams. Discover her hard-hitting passionate epic fantasies at 

Transform your yard into a productive and sustainable landscape

If you have environmental values, you’re likely frustrated with the state of decline around the world. But there is one place on Earth where you have control and can nurture a healthy productive ecosystem. It’s your yard.

Follow these basic principles to start greening your yard:

Use organic methods
Reduce usage of energy from fossil fuel sources
Nurture habitat for all types of life
Produce food
Be smart with water

I’m in the process of transforming my yard into a productive and sustainable landscape. This is my advice that any home owner can immediately put into practice and enjoy long term results.

1. Stop using petrochemical fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. There is no reason to poison your land. Large amounts of fossil fuel energy go into the production and distribution of chemical “lawn care” products.

2. Add food-producing plants. Even if you don’t want to commit to full-blown vegetable gardening, you can still add berry bushes, fruit trees, grapes, and perennial vegetables like asparagus. They do not require constant attention and can produce prolifically once established. Food produced at home decreases your consumption of food transported to you with fossil fuel.

3. Let’s talk about lawns. Some sustainable yard advocates completely eschew lawns, but some of us want a place for the kids and pets to romp around. To avoid wasting water, let natural rain sustain the turf. Dry spells will make the roots go deeper and make the lawn more resilient. Conserve moisture by setting your mower deck high. The taller your grass, the longer the ground will hold water.

4. Create a diverse ecosystem by choosing a variety of plants that are attractive to birds and insects. When more birds and predator insects can find habitat in your yard, you will reduce insect damage to your crops.

5. Harvest rainwater. Municipal and well water must be pumped, and the power is typically from fossil fuel sources. The more rainwater you use the less power you use.

6. Compost your yard and kitchen waste. Your yard will need this valuable fertilizer to stay healthy. Keep organic matter in your little ecosystem.

By greening your backyard you will be setting a positive example. Imagine if all your neighbors did it too. Then you would be living in a productive human ecosystem.

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  1. Great tips that are habit forming for our back yard healthy habitat. Thank you for sharing.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this article Michelle! And thank you for the lovely comment :)

  2. Lillian, thank you so much for including my thoughts about my yard. I wish I could tell the whole world.

    1. It was a pleasure to feature your article on our blog, Tracy. You are right - making a positive difference for the environment is really just as simple as making better choices, it doesn't cost more and isn't all that hard to do. Creating yards that are rich in biodiversity (or balconies, roof tops, windowsills) supports all kinds of insects and birds, reduces how much we have to spend on food, and can actually reduce how much energy costs we have in heating and cooling the building.


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