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Eco-friendly gardening practices

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

Green thumb

If you believe that planting your own garden for fruits and vegetables makes you eco-conscious -- think again. Gardening can actually have harmful affects on the environment. The Surfrider Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, gives us tips on how gardeners can make an even bigger impact on keeping our earth green.

Women gardener in yard.

when to water

As 30 to seventy 70 of your water use is done outdoors, you should give your garden a drink early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Also, check the forecast before you turn on the sprinklers. If it's going to rain, don't use them, if it's overcast, use your sprinklers sparingly. In fact, installing a "smart timer" on your sprinkler system will significantly reduce your water use based on weather conditions and soil moisture.

homegrown plants

To take advantage of the less-thirsty plants, use native or climate-adapted plants and grasses and adjust your watering.

get out the broom

Blowing or hosing away leaves and clippings is damaging to the ocean. Sweep up the debris on your driveway and bag it up.

eco-friendly pest control

Pesticides and herbicides don't have to be harmful to the environment in order to be effective. Find out which plants attract beneficial insects and research home remedies to keep your garden pest free.

a little mulch goes a long way

Put a layer of bark, peat moss or gravel around trees and plants to slow evaporation.

fillers

Rills (small channels) and gullies (larger channels) are signs of fast-moving water and erosion. Fill these crevices with rock and then find out where the water source is coming from and put a stop to it.

use your imagination

They say your garden responds to energy and creativity, so have some fun, be eco-conscious and watch your garden blossom.

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