Now that a new season is upon us, our thoughts inevitably turn to the great outdoors, and the things we can do to get our gardens shipshape after the long winter months. In between weeding, planting and clearing away dead foliage, it’s a great time to consider some of the ways we can make our garden more eco-friendly.
It may sound odd, as of course gardens are the last place you’d expect to find things which are harmful to the environment, but our back yards and gardens are one of the best places to utilize green gardening in order to maximize the potential of our outdoor living space and contribute to offsetting our carbon footprint.
One of the best things we can do in our gardens to save energy is to conserve water. Rather than using sprinklers to water the lawn and flower beds, a drip-irrigation system works more efficiently, by providing a slow and steady amount of water where it is most needed. In addition, use water butts to collect any rain which may fall, that you can then use to keep your pots and beds hydrated. If you have no choice but to use a hose or sprinkler, keep it in an optimal condition and doesn’t get clogged up, which can reduce its effectiveness.
Using local plants rather than exotic ones in your garden will support you to grow things easily, with as little chemical intervention as possible, native plants which are developed and grown in their own soil and natural conditions are more likely to thrive, and will require much less attention than non-native varieties., additionally, they stand to do better with the minimal intervention and support, meaning your garden will thrive better than if you populate it with plants which are used to that environment. Choosing fruits, plants and vegetables which are native to the soil will go a long way towards reducing work for you, while reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
If you use chemicals in your garden, these can run off in to your water, and end up in the local sewers and drains. Because of this, and the harmful toxins which can end up in the environment, it’s a good idea to avoid chemicals where you can. Opt instead for organic versions of pesticides which you can buy in any reputable garden center or home improvement store, keeping your water supply clean and pure.
Steer clear of peat-based products, which are usually used by people to retain moisture and for decoration. However, this substance is not easy to produce, and doesn’t do the environment any good as it is not a sustainable resource. Instead, opt for soils and composts which are easy to replace, and don’t cost the earth.