These sustainable gardening practices respect air quality, water supply and soil.
■ Mulch. Natural mulch, such as grass clippings and fallen leaves, helps retain moisture and adds nutrients to the soil, cutting the need for water and fertilizer.
■ Reduce grass. Lawn mowers account for 5 percent of our nation’s air pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Replace grass with flowers, bushes and trees to trim your work load, eliminate pollution and attract wildlife.
■ Xeriscape. Planting native, drought-tolerant plants helps cut water use and maintain soil integrity.
■ Catch rain. Using rain barrels saves water and money while providing a ready source of water for outdoor plants.
■ Go native. Not only do native plants require less fertilizer, water and pest control, but they also serve as pollinators and food for native wildlife.