Houseko - What It Means To Have a Sustainable Garden
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Sustainable Gardening: What Is It?
Sustainable gardening is becoming quite the trend, and it refers to the concept of using gardening practices and techniques that reduce harm to the environment and its inhabitants. You can make your garden more sustainable and transform the look and feel without exhausting natural resources, causing further ecological damage.
Gardeners can take many natural practices, whether you're just starting or you've been a keen gardener for several years. The aim is to work with nature when enhancing your outdoor space, rather than against it. With the effects of global warming reaching all-time highs, it's never been a better time to reduce your carbon footprint and make your green space more environmentally friendly.
Gardeners are already noticing the effect of global climate change. Eco gardening is a practical and positive way of making a personal contribution to lessening the future impact of changing climate.
Why Is Sustainable Gardening Important?
Rather than diving straight in with sustainable gardening practices, it's essential to evaluate your garden as it is now so that you can make positive changes moving forward.
How do you look after your soil?
How do you manage your garden water system?
How often do you plant new plants?
How many harmful chemicals do you use?
Looking After Soil
There is three times more carbon in the soil than in the atmosphere. Soil is, without a doubt, the backbone of your garden. It helps grow stunning flowers, fruits, and vegetables and provides wildlife habitat. Choosing what type of soil you use and how you keep it healthy is paramount. Mulching, for instance, is every gardener's secret weapon. Mulch has many benefits, including its ability to retain moisture in the soil, keep it cool, suppress weeds and prevent frost in the winter season.
On the other hand, peat is also commonly used in gardens worldwide. It is created from decaying plant remains, ultimately damaging landscapes and wildlife habitats. To achieve a sustainable garden, it's crucial to go peat-free.
Composting is a practical and sustainable way to care for and maintain your garden and its elements. Rather than store-bought compost, a healthier alternative is to create your own compost at home. You can turn everyday waste such as leaves, plant cuttings, grass cuttings and vegetable peelings into organic fertiliser. This helps make the soil richer and healthier. By doing this, you're adding nutrition to your soil and preventing waste from going to landfills.
Garden Watering Systems
Water is an in-demand resource that needs to be managed efficiently, especially when it comes to taking care of your garden. As discussed previously, creating healthy soil is a crucial step to saving water. Other things to be mindful of is how much water you use, how often and how much you could potentially save. There is no general rule of thumb for watering when different plans have different needs, but watering your garden in the morning is recommended. Avoid watering your garden in the heat of the day as it will be lost through evaporation from the soil's surface. Plants don't need to be wet all the time, so you can allow them to dry out between watering. For simple yet effective watering equipment, take a look here.
Rainwater harvesting systems are strongly recommended so we can manage water more efficiently and reduce pressure on UK suppliers. Rainwater collection systems refer to the collection of rainwater to cut your water consumption bills and reduce waste. There are many harvesting systems available that you can set up at home.
The simplest collection system requires a water butt or water tank and linking it to your gutter system. Once the rain is collected, you can use it to water your lawn and plants!
Using harmful chemicals in your garden impacts the environment, but there are many other practical ways you can control pests. For example, let's take companion planting - this method is used to repel plant pests in a garden by growing different plants together. It's an organic way to protect plants and crops, rather than using chemicals that cause damage to the environment.
The most popular companion planting method is called the Three Sisters. It features corn, beans and squash, which are grown simultaneously in the same area. It's known that it's called the Three Sisters method because the three crops can only grow and thrive together - making them inseparable!
You can learn more about the Three Sisters companion planting method here.
In addition, if you encourage wildlife into your garden, they can pick off insects and protect your plants and crops too!
This can be as easy as adding a pile of logs in a corner of your garden. Adding log piles mimics a fallen tree decaying on a forest floor. As well as providing shelter for frogs, toads, slow worms and lizards, rotting wood is home to a huge number of species including spiders, solitary wasps, centipedes, milipedes, woodlice, earthworms, flatworms, slugs, snails and ground beetles. Make log piles as large as possible, avoid disturbing them and add more logs as they rot.
Go plastic-free with smart alternatives such as wood, bamboo and other bio-degradable materials. Alternatively, always try to reuse items at home to save money and get creative!
Plant With The Environment In Mind
We can all play a part in making the world a more sustainable, eco-friendly place while protecting wildlife. Knowing what plants to use and where to place them can be helpful. Also knowing what plants are indigenous to the climate you live in can reduce the amount of water and pesticides you need to use as the plants are already adapted to the climate. (for examples tomatoes takes a lot more resources to grow in the UK and you can only grow them properly in a greenhouse as opposed to a warmer climate like in Spain)
There are many trees and shrubs that are great for tackling the effects of climate change. Here you'll find a list of trees suitable for planting in your garden.
Although you might not think it, particular plants help fight climate change while providing food and supporting wildlife! Bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects need our help, and we can do this by planting nectar and pollen-rich flowers throughout the year. Pollinating insects require nectar and pollen to feed on for their survival.
Here is a list of the best plants and flowers for pollinating insects.
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