Ecosystem gardening is a new concept that allows homeowners to design gardens by using environmental principles to reduce the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals. The Ecosystem garden is based on three main principles that include: diversity in plant growth; placing the right plant in the right location and growing plants adapted to prevailing climate. Let us look at each of these principles in some depth to get a clearer understanding of them.
Diversity in plant growth
Take a walk around a few suburban gardens and you will find no more than just 10 or so plants in the whole garden. Over simplified gardens can cause ecological imbalances and one good example is too many bad insects to good insects. If you have only non flowering plants your garden will attract only certain species of insects in abundance. On the other hand gardens with a balance of flowering and non flowering plants, especially those that flower perennially will attract good insects. These good insects prey on the bad ones. The pest population in a garden multiplies very quickly if there are no flowering plants. When this happens, the gardener’s only recourse is to use pesticides.
Placing the right plant in the right location
Often we tend to plant the right trees in the wrong locations, by this we mean planting trees suited for a particular climate in the wrong place. Then you may end up over watering to keep the lawn looking green and healthy. Over watering has its own drawbacks and soon the bad insects start multiplying.
Growing plants adapted to the prevailing climate
It is important that no matter how elegant or attractive certain trees look, they have to be planted only if they can adapt to the prevailing climatic conditions. When trees become stressed due to being in the wrong climate, and they do, the bad insects start to attack them. The tree slowly starts to die and soon loses its beauty, when this happens the whole purpose for planting these trees is lost because they are no longer beautiful.
People have a tendency to place great emphasis on cleaning the garden and go about it in a most fastidious manner. This is the absolutely wrong thing to do because it is not beneficial to the organisms that thrive in the garden. When you rake out the garden beds to get rid of all the leaves and garden debris you are actually removing food and living space for birds, insects and micro-organisms. Then you end up with an overabundance of some micro-organisms, which unbalances the whole equation.
It cannot be stressed enough how damaging pesticides are for the garden’s ecosystem. When you kill a pest you are removing the food source of the good insects and birds and then the imbalance factor rear’s its head. While pesticides may kill a pest, they do not address the basic reasons for the pest and disease problem.
To summarize, it is best to increase ecological diversity in the garden to bring about a more balanced ecosystem. Plant a variety of flowering and non flowering plants to encourage biodiversity and above all stop using pesticides.