Garden Talk: Low Maintenance Eco-friendly Gardening Tips

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

On this edition of Garden Talk, Larry Meiller learns how to make our garden “Green and Easy” when Melinda Myers shares low maintenance eco-friendly gardening tips.

Featured in this Show

  • Garden Expert Shares Eco-Friendly Tips

    Gardening is a wonderful activity and the plants can provide a welcome haven for humans and other creatures alike. But sometimes, the materials used to make a garden healthier or more attractive can actually be detrimental to the environment.

    Melinda Myers said that doesn’t need to be the case. Myers is a Milwaukee-based garden expert and the author of more than 20 books, including the brand-new “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook.”

    Myers offered low maintenance eco-friendly gardening tips to make gardens “green and easy.” As a first step to gardening in a more sustainable way, Myers recommended taking a look around “at all of the resources we have for free.”

    It’s a little like making lemonade from lemons. Myers said it can mean “all of those leaves that we grumble and complain about in the fall, raking them up and shredding them with your mower.”

    “A lot of people will bag them up and stash them, maybe under an evergreen, maybe next to the foundation for a little added insulation,” she said.

    That way, gardeners can use a little at a time throughout the growing season as mulch to “suppress weeds, conserve moisture, and, as they break down, to add organic matter to the soil.” It’s a 4-for-1 benefit, she added.

    Another way to take advantage of easily accessible resources is to leave the clippings on the lawn after cutting. Not only does it save time and effort, but “a lot of research has shown that that’s a great way to reduce your weed problems,” she said. “And you’re restoring nutrients, organic matter and moisture to the soil.”

    This time of year is a great time to plan our next year’s garden, she said. Myers cautioned that in choosing the right plants for a specific location, “push the limits beyond the plants’ limits and your ability to care for them.” She said that one or two higher maintenance plants might be fun to experiment with, but “if you’re a new gardener or stretched for time or energy, stick to those things that you know will do well, that will fit the growing conditions and require less work on your part.”

    Myers shared some welcome advice for any gardener. She said that on the whole, “we give our plants a little too much TLC (tender loving care).Train your plants to be drought tolerant,” she said. While they deserve extra attention when they are first getting established, “then start weaning them off. Water thoroughly, and less frequently.”

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Melinda Myers Guest

Related Stories