With the current focus on being respectful to our planet, it’s easy to forget that your garden or outside space can often be the simplest place to start. We know that plants are great for the environment and you can help with that in mind. Trees will create habitats, as well as being great carbon stores and there are trees for most spaces. Plants produce oxygen for us but are also a vital food source for hungry pollinators and the world needs pollinators. But it doesn’t have to stop at just planting, there are things you can do whilst gardening that will help too. Here are 3 key areas in garden where you can do your bit:
With the weather warming up, water saving will soon be at the fore front of people’s minds. A water barrel is great way to do this and there is size for any space. Simply connect it to your downpipe with the kit provided and away you go. Not only will collecting rainwater save you money and water, it’s also better for plants as it doesn’t contain any chemicals. If you have a larger area or prefer to use a hosepipe, there are still small things you can do to help. Firstly, check your tap and connections for leaks, older connections can wear and waste water. When watering your borders consider installing a soaker hose in the border. These can be hidden with a layer of decorative mulch, itself helping to trap moisture and keep away those pesky weeds. Adding an automation system to this not only helps to reduce wasted water, it makes your life that little bit easier too. If you are thinking about using household waste water in the garden, make sure it’s free of soap or household chemicals, as these can damage your plants.
The weather is warming up, colour is appearing everywhere and the plants are growing at quite a rate but so are those weeds. By far the most effective way to remove these is by hand and the results are instant. For larger areas hoes are a useful tool, my preference is a Dutch hoe as you can easily remove weeds with a gentle push/pull movement. Dry days are best, as any uprooted weeds won’t re root before you remove them. Smaller areas can be weeded by hand and loosening the ground with a small hand fork will make it easier. Why not get the kids involved? It’s a great way to introduce them to gardening and there are even tools designed for their little hands. Remember to always wear gloves when you garden, they keep you clean and protect your hands. I love weeding, it’s relaxing and instantly gratifying but it’s not for everyone, so there is always the option to use weed killers. There are a range of glyphosate free products available to buy, which are better for the environment, when used correctly. If you want to be really kind to the environment, then using the correct tool and some elbow grease will always be best.
Another great way to tread lightly on the environment is to reuse as much as possible and composting is a brilliant way to do that. Set up a compost area and you can put everything from leaf litter, to waste veg peelings in there. To make really good compost you can add a Compost Maker mix and it will help speed up the task by creating bacterial growth, with the added benefit of preventing the seeds from any weeds germinating. It will help produce rich, ph balanced compost that you can put back in to the garden. You can put a compost bin anywhere, even on a patio but if you aren’t keen on the idea, garden green waste can be taken to La Collette, where it is recycled locally in to soil improver.
There are plenty of other ways to reuse things around the garden; here are just few ideas to get you started:
- Pruning shrubs and trees? Use the branches as natural plant supports.
- Love buying all our lovely plants and end up with loads of pots? Why not reuse them and try growing from seed or take your own cuttings – they make lovely gifts for your family and friends.
- Running out of space for you plants? Almost anything can be a planter. Pallet boards make great vertical planters and even tin cans can be planted with succulents to put on your table.
- There are so many ways you can help the environment with your garden and how much you do will depend on the space and your own imagination. With even a little change or by doing even a small amount of the above, we can all help to do our bit to benefit the beautiful environment we live in and that can’t be a bad thing.