Details for FAMILY FOCUS COVER 17

Create Backyard Oasis
a

O

ne benefit of having a yard is the ability to create your own ecofriendly oasis right at home. Through smart gardening
and irrigation, you can contribute a piece of green to the Earth, providing cleaner air and a good environment that
encourages healthy ecosystems. Global Stewards has ways to create a backyard habitat that invites nature in.
ATTRACTING
ANIMALS
You don’t have to turn
your yard into a menagerie to encourage wildlife. In addition to a
hummingbird feeder,
you can attract these
creatures with different
types of flowers and by
avoiding chemical pesticides.
To attract other types
of birds, plant a variety
— seeds, berries, nuts
and other food sources
will keep birds coming
and staying, as will both
deciduous and evergreen
trees. In addition to
food, these provide places to rest and hide as
well.
While they’re less funsounding than birds, getting a bat or two into
your garden is good for
you and the bat. They eat
thousands of mosquitoes
a night. Bird baths provide water, and a “night
garden” that includes
afternoon-blooming or
night-scented flowers like evening primrose, phlox,
fleabane, goldenrod and moonflower will help
attract bats.
ECOFRIENDLY GARDENING
Growing your own food is a great way to reduce
your footprint; throw in smart irrigation and compost you made yourself and you’re a sustainability
hero. When looking for what to plant, choose
plants that are native to your area and thus better

able to thrive in the natural conditions without lots
of extra watering or pesticides.
Beyond what you plant, make your gardening
processes more Earth-friendly. Instead of raking
and throwing away leaves, use them as fertilizer or
just leave them on the ground; dead leaves provide
critical habitats for butterflies, lizards, toads, chipmunks and earthworms. Put away the gas-powered
equipment and pull out a rake, a push mower and a
hoe to work the dirt.

NO BACKYARD? GREEN UP YOUR PATIO
You can cultivate potted plants or plants in windowsills, even grow your own vegetables in containers. Find a big container, good soil and a spot
in or out of the house that gets at least six hours of
direct sunlight a day. Fertilize the plants regularly
and water frequently enough that the soil is never
completely dry. Talk to employees at your local gardening store to get ideas on what grows well in a
pot.

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