When it comes to creating the most eco-friendly garden possible, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a variety of ways to help you achieve it! Your quest should set out to create a self sustaining environment that not only reduces waste, but relies more on renewable sources of energy as well! The best part… all your local wildlife will most certainly thank you for bringing these new habitats into their world! Check out these 5 eco-friendly gardening tips to make your yard greener than ever.
1) Attract Friendly Bugs
Ladybirds, lacewings, and ground beetles, the list goes on. Whether you absolutely hate insects or sit back and enjoy watching them fly about your yard, the fact of the matter is that while there are plenty of bugs, like greenflies, that can be harmful to plants, there are also beneficial bugs that can help reduce the population of harmful bugs. Ladybirds and lacewings, for example, eat pesky little aphids such as the blackfly. So, if you have an aphid overload, you should consider planting a flower border of sunflowers, candytuft, or marigolds to help attract these “good guys” and minimize any damage to your garden.
2) The Early Bird Catches the Worm
When it comes to the snails, slugs, caterpillars, grubs, and other pests that can destroy your garden, birds can help! They serve as exceptional and natural protectors. You can build and install bird feeders for a number of different birds and nesting boxes to encourage more birds to visit. Using birds and beneficial insects in this way will also help rid you of the need for synthetic insecticides, fungicides, and weed killers that are toxic to the environment! For a faster approach to eliminating slugs and snails, you can plant barriers such as crushed eggshells or environmentally friendly slug pellets.
3) Consider Companion Planting
When creating a beautiful and healthy garden, it’s always a good idea to include a diverse mix of plants. In fact, certain combinations of plants are said to complement each other to boost growth and vitality. Marigolds, for example, are said to help deter unwanted flying and soil insects from plants. Tall plants can naturally provide shade for more sun-sensitive and shorter plants. It is always wise to keep in mind that although there are some brilliant pairings for plants in your garden to keep them in the best shape possible, some plants do not go so well together and can hinder the growth and productivity of other plants. You should always take into account what you would like to grow in your garden before you begin to add plants, and once you know this be sure to do your research so that you do not encounter difficulties in growing season! Some more examples of good combinations include chives & tomatoes, rose & garlic, carrot & spring onion.
4) Set up a Compost Bin!
You could purchase your own soil from a local gardening or hardware store, but that would be a bit too boring for us! Compost is the most important supplement you can have in your eco garden’s soil. Not only is the process of composting an easy way to give your garden the nutrients it needs to grow, the environment will thank you, as well as your wallet! When you add compost to your garden, you’re essentially introducing new and beneficial microorganisms that will help aerate the soil, break down material to encourage further plant growth, prevent plant disease from spreading, retain moisture in the soil, and serves as a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.
5) Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
There really is a huge amount of ways in which you can reduce the amount of waste you create. From growing your own fruit and veg to using your own compost, to only buying products that use recycled packaging. A large part of reducing your waste levels is to reuse what you already have! Materials such as fencing, vegetable peelings, plant clippings and even using a water butt to decrease your use of fresh water in the garden!
Everyday, household products can be used in a variety of ways around the garden. Plastic bottles, for example, can be used as seedling protectors by cutting off the base and placing them over the seedling patch. Or if you fancy having a makeshift watering can for the greenhouse that won’t take up much space at all, simply poke a few holes into the lids of plastic bottles and use them to sprinkle your crops.
Whether you're an eco-friendly citizen or just want to make your garden healthier and more welcoming, there’s no shortage of routes you can take that won’t hurt the environment, or your wallet! What other eco-friendly gardening tips do you know? Let us know in the comments below!