Living sustainably means you need to consider every area of your life, including your garden! In this blog we will give you some tips on how to make your garden eco-friendly! They are all relatively simple to implement and can make a big environmental difference over time.
1. Attract Wildlife
You can create a garden that makes a great home for wildlife. This is important as the population of many wildlife species have been declining over the years. Having a pond in your garden is one way to create a home for wildlife as this will attract animals like frogs, toads and a variety of insects. You can hang up some bird feeders or bird boxes to encourage birds to visit your garden. You can also build a shelter for hedgehogs using a wooden box and filling it with dry leaves or straw! Just be sure to place this shelter in a quiet area of your garden.
2. Make your own compost
You can also create your own compost from your green waste! This is great for your soil and also recycles your waste instead of it ending up rotting in landfill. Things you can use for compost include: grass trimmings, vegetable peels, tea bags, leaves and shredded newspaper or cardboard. This will make your soil richer and healthier, in turn making your plants healthier.
3. Incorporate bee-friendly plants
The bee population is declining, which is bad news for all of us as many food crops rely on bees. So one way that you can make your garden eco-friendly is to incorporate bee-friendly plants into your garden, such as lavender, hawthorn and foxgloves plants. Try to avoid double flowers that have a lot of petals, as bees won’t be able to get to the centre of the flower where the pollen and nectar is located.
4. Plant trees
Trees are great for us and the environment, as they provide oxygen and help to store carbon in the soil. They also help to offset your carbon footprint since they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Just be careful where you decide to plant your tree so that it doesn’t damage your property. If you have a smaller garden you can smaller tree species such as rowans or hawthorns.
5. Collect rainwater
You can use water butts to collect rainwater, which you can then use to water your plants. This is particularly beneficial if you live in an area which experiences frequent rainfall. And this conserves a lot of water compared to using a hose to water your plants. You can also use the rainwater for other purposes, like to wash your car! If you do need to use a hose in your garden, you should attach a trigger nozzle which can reduce the water use by up to 50%.
6. Low water plants
Incorporating low-water plants into your garden is another great way to save water resources and create an eco-friendly garden. Plants that require little watering include cacti, succulents and Monterey cypress.
You should also water your garden in the early morning or evening as water evaporation is lowest at these times. Watering at hotter times of the day means you will waste water and your plants won’t get as much benefit.
7. Avoid pesticides and weed killer
Another way to create a more eco-friendly garden is to reduce your use of pesticides and weed killers. Pesticides are toxic and easily contaminate the air, ground and water. This is especially true when pesticides are not properly discarded of or are sprayed aerially. There are natural ways that you can get rid of pests. If you follow our first tip about encouraging wildlife into your garden, you should find that pests will decrease as birds and hedgehogs feed on insects. There are also different homemade insecticides you can try, such as vegetable oil mixed with mild soap.
The simplest alternative to weed killer, is to pull weeds out by hand or by using a weeder. Some find that pouring boiling water over weeds works, or you can make a homemade weed killer by mixing 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup of salt and 1 tablespoon of natural liquid soap. Also check out our next tip which will help to prevent weeds in the first place.
8. Practice Mulching
Mulching helps to conserve water as it reduces soil water loss. This means less time you need to spend watering your garden, and more water saved! Using mulch also reduces weeds and soil erosion, keeping your garden healthy and looking great. Using compost and bark chippings as mulch are great options as these or biodegradable and break down naturally. Mulches are most beneficial to use from mid to late spring time, simply place the mulch over moist soil after you have weeded when the soil is not frozen. Mulches should be around 2 to 3 inches thick in order to be effective.
9. Use solar lighting
Switch out your garden mains-powered lighting for solar lights instead! You can get a wide range of solar lights for all different preferences and budgets, plus they are a lot more reliable than they used to be! Simply place them in an area that gets a lot of natural light which will charge them up. You can check out our blog here for some outdoor lighting ideas.
10. Grow your own fruit and veg
Growing your own fruit and veg is another way to live sustainably. And don’t worry if you don’t have a large garden, you can still grow things like strawberries and raspberries in pots! Growing your own produce is great for the environment as you don’t need to buy these things from the supermarket, which often have plastic packaging. And of course growing your own produce means that it doesn’t need to be transported to your plate. So it reduces your carbon footprint in this way too!
We hope that this blog has helped you and given you some useful tips on how to make your garden eco-friendly! Let us know in the comments if you have any eco-friendly garden tips you would like to share!Tags: ecofriendly, garden, gardening, outdoordecorations, outdoors, plants, sustainability