When we say growing a “green” garden, we mean more than the green color of the leaves of the plants. A green garden, or a sustainable garden, contains edible organic plants, grown naturally without pesticides or chemicals.
Besides adding healthy organic food to your family’s meals, and helping you save on the grocery bill, growing a sustainable garden is a great way to decorate your deck or patio.
If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your garden, don’t worry. Your garden can be anything from just a few simple plants in a single container, up to something much more elaborate that would include veggies, herbs, fruits, and maybe even a few flowers. It’s up to you.
If you have children, encourage them to help in the planting and care of the garden. Children are fascinated by watching the plants grow, and it will help to teach them green living and healthy eating for when they grow up. And they may even be more agreeable to eating vegetables that they helped to grow.
Where to Plant Your Garden
There are several ways to plant your garden. Your patio may have built-in flower boxes, or may have cut out areas that are made for growing plants. Both are ideal spots for your sustainable garden.
Alternately, you can plant your garden in the soil around the patio.
Another method would be to use container gardening, where you plant different things in containers, like barrels, flower pots, windows boxes, or other imaginative containers, like an old pail. Just be sure that your container has adequate drainage.
An advantage to container gardening is that it allows you to have a garden on your deck, or to be able to place your garden exactly where you want it on your patio.
And really, there’s no need to limit yourself to the patio or deck. You can plant in containers on your front porch, stoop, fire escape, or where ever you have room for a container.
If you are handy with a hammer and nails, there are many imaginative types of plant boxes that you can build to hold your garden.
Consider Your Climate
Whatever you decide on, you’ll ideally want to keep your garden in an area that receives full sun, at least for part of the day.
And, depending on where you live, you might want to have them where they can be protected from any heavy rains or winds.
For best results, do some research into what types of plants do best in the climate where you live. You can research online, or visit or call your local nursery for advice.
Try to get organic seeds to grow your plants. Again, look for them online or at your local nursery. If you can’t find organic seeds, save the seeds from organic foods. For example, buy an organic lemon and use the seeds from that lemon.
Organic plants will grow faster, bigger and healthier than their genetically altered counterparts. They’re more sustainable, and many people find that the food they grow themselves tastes far better than the food they can buy at the grocery store.
Protecting Your Plants from Pests
Of course, you don’t want to spray your carefully grown, organic plants with any chemicals. But there are things you can do to protect them.
Neem is a product of India, that has been used for centuries for both it’s health benefits to humans, and it’s ability to repel pests from growing plants. You’ll want to be sure to use the proper concentration of Neem, if it is too strong, the oils can damage your plants.
Other items that can repel small animals or slugs include coffee grounds, organic sprays, bloodmeal, and strong scents.
Adding a sustainable garden to your deck or patio is just another small (or large!) way that you can go green. Plus, it will provide you with healthy, delicious foods to eat, save you some money, and make your deck or patio look great!