How Green Is Your Garden

We can all take steps to make our garden more eco-friendly. From helping to conserve our garden’s natural ecosystem to recycling garden waste, here are just a few ways that you can make your garden greener.

Collecting compost
There are lots of natural soils on the market from companies such as Omex that are much better than chemical fertilisers. However, by far the most eco-friendly soil option is to collect your own compost. This compost is rich in nutrients that are essential for you garden. Most people have a compost bin for collecting this natural waste in. On top of garden waste such as plant cuttings and weeds, you can put other organic matter in here from your home such as shredded paper, vegetable peels and egg shells. You might want to refrain from putting meat or fish in your compost bin as this can attract unwanted pests. After collecting compost you should then empty it into a sunny area of the garden. After about nine months this compost should turn into fresh soil, which you can then use throughout the rest of your garden.

Recycling water
When watering plants in your garden, there are lots of green alternatives to filling up water from the tap. A common method is to collect rainwater. This water is rich is natural minerals that can help your plants to thrive. You’ll need a suitable container for collecting rainwater such as a plastic tank as available from companies like Tuffa Tanks. Many of these containers are able to prevent overflow and have taps fitted on them for easily pouring water out. Another way of recycling water is to install a greywater recycling system. This takes waste water from your kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower and re-uses it for toilet flushing and garden use. This greywater recycling system can be initially expensive to set up, but you’re likely to make up costs in the future as it will help to lower your water bill. You may want to switch to bio-friendly cleaning products and toiletries if you are installing a greywater recycling system – you don’t want this recycled water to contain harmful chemicals, which might then harm your plants when used in the garden.

Natural pesticides
Many chemical pesticides can be effective at getting rid of slugs and snails and other pests, however these chemicals can have other harmful effects on more friendly animals such as birds, bees and even your pets. Fortunately, there are lots of organic pesticides on the market such as available from companies like Bug Clear. There are also lots of natural DIY tricks for getting rid of pests. Spraying saltwater on plants for example can help to deter slugs and snails whilst not damaging other animals. There are also tactics such as companion planting, which involves growing certain plants next to each other to deter pests. For example, for deterring aphids from shrubs like chrysanthemum, consider planting onions nearby – aphids hate the smell of onions. Encouraging birds into your garden is also an effective way of getting rid of slugs and snails. You can do this easily by adding a bird feeder to your garden. Bird feeders are generally inexpensive and can be hung from a tree branch or placed on the top of a post. Squirrels do have a tendency to feast on birdfeeders, so it could be worth adding a squirrel baffle to deter these creatures. Planting trees is another way of bringing birds to your garden by encouraging them to nest, however if you’re planting a sapling you may have to wait a while to see the impact.

Natural weed-killers
Chemical weed-killers are similarly effective at what they do, but they can harm other friendly plants too and harm animals that might usually consume these weeds. Companies such as Neudorff produce a number of natural weed-killers that are friendlier for your garden’s ecosystem. You can also consider DIY weed-killer solutions such as boiling water and vinegar – when poured on weeds these solutions can be just as effective. Planting shrubs in pots or using concrete edging can also make it difficult for weeds to take hold and spread. Mulching up soil can also be beneficial for discouraging weeds.