Winter is the best time of year to plan how you will take care of your garden, and Spring is the perfect time to begin your journey to create an eco-friendly garden. That means that now is the time to plan for it, says Eamon Fennelly, a garden maintenance and landscape specialist at Capital Garden Services.

“There are certain products that you need to throw out before you even begin creating an eco- friendly garden,” advises Fennelly. “For example, many gardeners rely on pesticides to kill insects, herbicides to kill weeds and fertilizers to amend poor soil but any gardener with experience will know that these have an negative impact on your garden.”

Pesticides and other chemical kill not only garden pests, but bees and butterflies and other pollinators. Fennelly suggests compost as an alternative to chemical fertilizers and many experts note that if your plants and soil are healthy and you follow the suggestions in this infographic, you won’t need chemicals to create or maintain a beautiful garden.

Another area on which gardeners need to focus is water conservation, he adds. It’s important to remember that harvesting rainwater is a very straightforward process, and all gardeners should be doing this in an effort to save water. If you need to water your garden, Fennelly suggests using a soaker hose, as they only use 50 percent of the water that sprinklers do. Also, remember that not all plants require the same amount of water to keep them healthy.

Finally, consider companion planting – placing compatible plants in close proximity so they can help each other repel pests and attract pollinators. There are certain combinations that especially are beneficial to each other and the garden and some of them are listed here.

This infographic from Capital Garden Services outlines everything you need to do in your garden to ensure it is eco-friendly.