Chicago Botanic Garden

Plant information: Conservation

PHOTO: Rain GardenSeven Ways to Go Green
In Your Garden

Going green in your garden isn't as tough a commitment as you might think. In fact, you won't just be saving the planet, you'll be saving yourself time and money. Read on for tips on how easy it can be.

Rethink your watering plan. Watering deeply and less frequently is better, encouraging deeper, stronger roots and more drought-tolerant plants.

Repurpose packing materials by filling the bottoms of large pots with leftover styrofoam and packing peanuts. This will reduce the amount of potting soil needed, and make your pots lighter and easier to move around.

Replace chemical herbicides with a natural mix. Boil 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of table salt, then cool. Add 2 or 3 drops of liquid dish detergent and pour into a sprayer.

Reuse! Instead of buying cheap tools every year, consider investing in quality tools and maintaining them properly. Your tool-sharpening kit should include WD-40, a rasp, coarse sandpaper, and a clamp.

Reduce lawn mowing. Instead of mowing on a schedule, mow when your grass is more than 2 inches tall. Taller grass shades out many weeds and prevents germination.

Reinvent your garden to include native plants and organic vegetables. Native plants attract pollinators to make your veggies more productive. Natives are also low-maintenance.

Recycle garden pots