This year you might have made it your goal to become more environmentally friendly and focus on using more sustainable to practices!
Perhaps you have adopted eco-friendly techniques throughout your home such as recycling and switching to natural cleaning products, but when it comes to our outdoor spaces, how can we be more sustainable? All of the gardens in the UK make up the size of the Peak District and Lake District put together, so it is important to not forget this space when adopting a green mindset. Here are a few tips for creating the most eco-friendly garden to help protect our planet.
Encourage Native Species
If you plant native varieties in your garden, you’ll be making life much easier for yourself, since they are easier to grow and are suited to the particular climate and weather conditions in your area. This also means that there is no need for using any fertilisers to help preserve them since will happily grow without any intervention and are often more resistant to pests than non-native varieties. Planting native plants and trees will also encourage birds from your area to take shelter in your garden, along with attracting bees and butterflies that are incredibly important to our eco-system.
Avoid Using Chemicals
Cutting back on chemical products in your garden is much better for the biodiversity of the land and the overall health of your garden and it is possible to manage a beautiful garden, completely chemical free. Use traditional techniques such as pulling out weeds yourself rather than spraying them with chemicals which has the added bonus of giving you a great workout. For the pests, there are a variety of natural methods that you can use to keep them away, such as washing greenfly off plants using a strong jet of water and placing copper slug rings around your plants to stop slugs from attacking them.
Grow Your Own Food
This is a great way to encourage biodiversity into your garden and limit your carbon footprint at the same time, not to mention saving you money on fruit and veg. You can plant tomatoes for a great home-grown addition to your salad bowl but remember to plant pungent-smelling French marigolds nearby that will keep aphids away. Maybe even have a go at planting carrot and leeks, since they grow well together by repelling each other’s pests, and plant your onions and chives nearby to a rose bush to help prevent black spot disease. Knowing these helpful tips and tricks will allow you to grow your own food whilst making the most of companion planting to avoid the unnecessary use of chemicals.
Use Sustainable Materials
Don’t forget to adopt your eco-friendly philosophy throughout your whole garden, including being cautious about where the materials for your shed, furniture and decking come from. Consider implementing a green roof on your shed or garage to improve air quality and control water run-off if it hasn’t been sustainably made. Furthermore, decking can be significantly damaging to our planet since wooden materials contribute to de-forestation; however, Ecoscape’s composite deck boards are a good alternative since they are made from hardwood fibres that have been reclaimed from ethically sourced materials and recycled plastic. This makes their impact on our planet much less and makes them a great choice for incorporating sustainable materials into your garden. Check out the Ecoscape website to see the wide range of colours you have to choose from.
When gardening, you will often create waste and use a lot of water to maintain its overall health and appearance. However, garden waste can be composted, and water can be collected from the rain to reduce your environmental impact. Harvest rainwater from your gutters by using a downspout and storage container to easily reduce your water consumption and the price of your water bill! This collected rainwater can then be used to water your plants rather than constantly filling your watering can up using the tap. Furthermore, by composting, you can dispose of your organic waste, including some household waste like teabags and vegetable peelings to use later for fertilising your plants, naturally.
Trade in Your Petrol-Powered Lawn Mower
If you are serious about reducing your carbon footprint and being more sustainable then make sure you switch your petrol-powered lawn mower to a manual or electric version. This is important since using a petrol-powered lawn mower for an hour is the equivalent to driving a car for forty-five miles in terms of air pollution generated. Besides, like many of the eco-friendly alternatives above, maintaining your garden in the most manual and traditional way is often the most beneficial to your health and fitness too.
Having a more environmentally friendly garden isn’t too difficult to achieve and will allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, along with encouraging wildlife to keep you entertained whenever you look out the window. Remember that being green often isn’t about keeping a neat and tidy garden; it is about connecting better with nature and letting your garden run slightly more wild.