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How to go green in your garden and save money too

Our eco expert, Candice Batista, is showing off how she made her own garden as green as possible and sharing her tips to help you do the same. Not only does it help the enviromment, but you can actually save money on your water and electricity bill!

Go Native: Planting native plants and flowers is one of the best things you can do for your garden and the planet too. To do it on the cheap, LEAF, (local enhancement and appreciation of forests) offers subsidized programs. Compost your food scraps. This gives you 100% organic fertilizer that can go back into your garden, it’s free and will provide your plants with nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Mulch regularly, this will help reduce erosion and the amount of water your garden needs.

Quick Tip: Buy 100% certified organic mulch or make your own by using your grass clipping, fallen leaves, and shredded newspapers.

Save Money: The City of Toronto offers free mulch at community environment days, all you need is a shovel and a bag. Grow your own food or join a community shared agriculture program or CSA – you have shares in the farm harvest and have a direct connection to the farmer. Everdale is a great place to start. Co-op’s like Karma Co-op is great too.

If you live in an apartment you can grow food in a box, this is amazing, simple technique, called container agriculture can be applied anywhere. If you want to learn more about urban agriculture, click here.

Get a rain barrel, they are cheap and will save you money, there is no need to waste treated water to water your plants, Riversides has one of the best in the world.

Quick Tip: Watch for drips, one drippy hose can waste 950 liters of water a month. In Ontario the use of pesticides on lawns in banned, that’s a good thing. Spread grass seed every Spring or Fall. Choose a blend of seed, including perennial ryegrass and fescue and note the sun/shade guides on the seed packages. Use a lawn aerator to help soil breathe. Aerators can be rented or purchased at most garden centers or equipment rental locations.

Save Money: Make your own natural pest control agent: Mix one tablespoon of vegetable oil with three cloves of crushed garlic. Leave it to soak overnight.
The next morning, strain the mixture and add it to four cups of water and a teaspoon of liquid soap, pour the liquid into the spray bottle and there you have it! Apply it to your garden!

 

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